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Government Spending Ideology

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, December 16th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: class war, dpf, public services, tax - Tags: ,

David Farrar sees that the government is borrowing too much – $300 million each week.  But National’s tax cuts for the rich are obviously not to blame, no it’s the bloated public service.

He would like any party that wants to be government to declare what percentage of GDP is an appropriate amount of government spending.  Because all parties I’m sure have an ideological figure that it should be.  Rather than just enough to provide the public services citizens need, but still balancing the books.

The National Party sounding board is glad to see that the government aims to bring it down to the low 30s, but wants it to be mid 20s – “maybe as high as 28% but no higher”.

That would entail massive cuts to public services.  Like the US & Australia you’d want private health insurance and private education for your kids to match the services you get for free in NZ.  Your tax bills may be lower, but your other costs would rise much more than you’d save.  And, as it turns out, the US and Australian governments still spend a lot more than 30% of GDP.  Australia is low for a western country at 34.2% and the US is at 37.4%.

Looking at US Right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation’s figures, western democracies all spend well above the levels Farrar advocates.  The UK is at 44%, Canada 39.1%, Germany 44.2%, France 52.3%, Sweden 52.4%.  Even Heritage Foundation and National poster-boy / basket-case Ireland is at 35.7%.  If you want good services and a stable society that’s what you pay.  Oddly in the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index almost all the top countries are marked down for high government spending -the only exceptions being Hong Kong (not actually a country) and Singapore – 2 incredibly unequal territories where you give up a lot of other freedoms.

Those with ideological blinkers, like Farrar and many in National, cannot see the high correlation between being a free and stable country and paying for it.  They’d rather screw the poor and live in a country like Azerbaijan (27.4%), Kazakhstan (24.4%) or Fiji (25.4%).

26 comments on “Government Spending Ideology”

  1. higherstandard 1

    The only solution I can see to NZ s current economic woes is to.

    1. cut spending

    and

    2. increase taxes

    • Marty G 1.1

      just as a few non-radical suggestions:

      stop new motorway construction (invest half of what’s saved in public transport), half the new capital investment budget of the defence force, no new prisons. Keep real per capita funding of health and education at 2008 levels or higher.

      You’ll still save maybe half a billion a year.

      Undo National’s tax cuts for the rich and you’ll raise another billion or so.

      We’ll return to surplus a year or two earlier and borrow ten billion or more less in the process.

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        I believe we need as a country to have that the kind of debate about what we can afford and need and how we’re going to pay for it, otherwise we ‘ll be trapped into the cyclical boom and bust for evermore.

        • Rex Widerstrom 1.1.1.1

          Well said, higherstandard. One side giveth and the other taketh away (but giveth other stuff instead) is a recipe for getting at best half-arsed projects with little or no cost-benefit anaylsis and at worst, a huge waste of public money.

          The worst example I’ve seen is in WA, where the Liberal government decided the state needed a train line from Perth to Bunbury (a small city about 200 km south). They started building it, got about as far as the southern part of Perth, and got defeated.

          The new Labor government had agreed with the “need” (I’ve yet to see a credible cost/benefit analysis, though as a commuter it’s great to read a book on the train and not have to drive) but couldn’t bee seen to completely agree with the Liberals so they abandoned the track and took a completely different route south, even though that meant tunnelling under the city and tearing up a really efficient, totally separate bus lane that ran down the middle of the freeway.

          The whole thing was fraught by union trouble; the state government was sued by the contractor; it all took three times as long as it should have and cost almost twice as much as budgeted (and that’s not counting the abandoned line to nowhere).

          I’ve deliberately refreained from finding out the dollar cost of this stupidity, as I fear I wouldn’t live through the experience.

          But the point of this rambling discourse is to point out that the architect of this monument to hubris, Allannah McTiernan, is widely hailed by punters, business people and pollies alike as “effective” because she “got things done”.

          Until we get beyond that level of tit-for-tat posturing, take politics (and politicians) off the table, and decide what we want and what we’re prepared to pay for it, we’re just going to have a series of cock-ups foisted upon us.

          But of course it’ll never happen, because pork barrel infrastructure promises are the butter of politics; the bread being “more police and longer sentences”, and both parties will continue to serve them up.

    • A 1.2

      We need to significantly raise taxes in the long term. We cheap out on things like education, health care and major infrastructure, which are things that the state is better at providing than the market. At the same time, we spend far too much on competitive consumption (status goods), most of which ends up being wasted and does absolutely nothing to improve the quality of life of most people (except the very few winners of the status competition).

  2. Bored 2

    The lines are drawn, those who have versus those who dont. Full on class war will come with the economic decline we are heading into as the energy runs out. The “middle” who all the politicians seem to chase will have to take sides. I have no confidence the fence sitting “aspiring” centre will go with their real interests, more likely their dreams of continuous growth, prosperity and the associated baubles. Then watch the turmoil as a destitute desparate middle emerges demanding jobs, welfare, health and education

  3. Rob A 3

    It seems to me that this is a long term problem needing a long term solution instead of what we’ve been doing like playing with tax rates and govt spending.

    How about we take the billions in the Super Fund and Kiwisaver and invest some of it back into New Zealand industry instead of sending it all overseas.

    For instance the company where I work tried for two years to raise capital fpr expansion in New Zealand but in the end we’ve sold 51% of it to the Chinese.

    • That’s the constant refrain isnit it? The Chinese are taking over so lets become a pawn in the US desperate struggle to stop the Chinese. But US corporates are in China exploiting Chinese workers. General Motors majorityowned by the US government has revived by expansion in China.
      The common enemy of NZ workers and Chinese and US workers is the US and Chinese ruling classes. It is not nation against nation but class against class. NZ is a pawn in the competition between US and Chiinese ruling classes over global domination of resources and workers. The worlds workers have no interest in siding with their national bosses in this struggle. We have a common interest in socialising those resources and managing them with our own labour.

    • prism 3.2

      China story. I was talking to a chap who buys fabric internationally for 10 stores in NZ. Much of what’s on offer comes from China. Interestingly, the Chinese haven’t any interest in doing business with NZs – we are too small to be bothered with. So they announce themselves as Australians and then bargain their way down to the amounts of fabric they need. The Chinese expect them to have a market size that will provide repeat orders and put up with these otherwise minor orders.

      After all the NZ manufacturing business our government has abandoned by withdrawing nearly all tariffs, are we to find that we can’t even buy the goods overseas that we require?

      antispam – fact

  4. prism 4

    Wealthy people can be very hard to extract payment for services from. They know what they want but when settling bills time comes, don’t want to pay for it. Likewise with our country, once they have the money they want, they don’t want to pay into the system to keep the standards that supported their accretion of money as expected from an advanced developed country.

    • Bored 4.1

      You are right, the wealthy wont give a cent without coercion, in fact they will also try and take more at the very time they are pressed to give. Their response backed by historic evidence of every similar event will be to back whichever armed coercive group they can create or align with to reinforce their hold on the failing status quo.

  5. Nick C 5

    This post is actually quite well written relative to some of the rubbish the bloggers here write. I agree that how high our taxes and government spending are is simply a manifestation of what sort of services we want then government to provide and what sort we want the provite sector to provide. I think the reason that those on ‘the right’ generally call for lower government spending and lower taxes is that we believe we get more choice when recieving services from the market. When I go to the supermarket and any other market I get to pick every single product I buy amoung thousands of other products every single time. When I got to the ballot box I get 2 ticks, to pick from a handful of parties with any chance of making parliament, and only once every 3 years. Statistically it is almost impossible for my individual vote to in any way affect the election outcome.

    I think the issue of equality is different from who provides what services also. You could say ‘the poor person gets no real choice at the supermarket’ and that is true to an extent. But say we were to have a guarenteed minimum income so that all citizens were able to live without getting free stuff. I think the case for governmetn provision of a lot of free stuff dries up quickly.

    • Bunji 5.1

      I see a great misnomer in the concept of “choice”, which is popular with many politicians (it was certainly the mantra when I was in the UK).

      I don’t want a “choice” of schools, I want my local one to be the best possible. I don’t need it to be better than my neighbours – I want every New Zealander to have the best possible education. Partly that’s altruistic, but even if every bone of my body is selfish, I’ll do better if I’m in a highly educated society of achievers.

      I don’t want a “choice” of doctor, or hospital, or even medical treatment. I’m not in a position to choose who or what’s best, so I just want the highest quality we can achieve and afford (cost being a particular issue with modern health care). I don’t see I deserve better than anyone else, so I don’t see that I should get a choice that disadvantages someone else.

      I don’t want a “choice” in my national infrastructure either. I don’t need 2 roads / sets of rails / lines of fibre between me and everyone I might want to be in contact with. I don’t see any second option as helping me at all, it’s just consuming the nation’s resources.

      In a lot of these things “choice” merely equates to me getting something better at someone else’s loss. Which equates to those with the wealth and education getting the best choices, which quickly evolves into a privileged class and an underclass caught into a poverty trap.

      I’d rather no “choice” and a focus on getting everywhere the best we can, particularly on those basic services that everyone should have.

      (I’m quite happy to have choice on my washing powder though, although I’m not sure that does me any good either – I don’t really know which one works best for my buck, and they all claim top-billing…)

      [I’ve made this into a post, to allow more discussion on “choice”]

    • Bunji 5.2

      I’d also say that the average person can have a lot more “choice” in their political party. If people get involved (and they used to in much greater numbers than they do now) they can influence the direction of that party. It’s a lot easier influencing parties that you already largely agree with, or small parties, but everyone can have input a lot more often than once every 3 years, with 2 ticks (and some want to take one of those ticks away!)

    • Jeremy Harris 5.3

      Nick C, has covered much of what I’d like to say but I’d also add that when running a business government tax rates greatly affect your ability to expand and hire more people and invest in increasing productivity… When it comes time to pay staff, their salaries minus the income taxes are paid out to them as if salary minus tax was their salaries but the taxes on their salaries are just another business expense, ditto company tax rates…

      That would entail massive cuts to public services. Like the US & Australia you’d want private health insurance and private education for your kids to match the services you get for free in NZ. Your tax bills may be lower, but your other costs would rise much more than you’d save.

      What evidence caused you to make this statement..?

      • Bunji 5.3.1

        Having to pay the staff greatly affects your ability to expand too. But wages and taxes are the price we pay for a stable, healthy, well-regulated and policed society, where people can a) afford your product and b) can’t murder you if they don’t like your product (see: Somalia).

        Evidence of other costs increasing more than you save in taxes: the US health system. With 16.7% of the population uninsured (and paying the consequences with their health instead of their wallet), still Americans pay as a country twice as much as other western countries. Private education economics don’t work out great either.

        • Jeremy Harris 5.3.1.1

          @Bunji, the cost of Police, Armed Forces, Courts, Prisons and Parliament usually runs at about 5% of GDP, so when your talking about the difference between that example, countries (who objectively have out of control government spending in Europe that you cite) and Somalia, Somalia really is a redundant example… Somalia is an example of no government not small government, a fact seemingly lost on those on this blog that constantly bring it up whenever a right winger speaks up…

          The US Health System is hardly private, Medicare and Medicaid are massive programmes, it is a mixture and is taking the worst parts of both government run health care and private big business protected by government…

          • Bunji 5.3.1.1.1

            As I specified stable and healthy as well, you might like to include the costs of public health and unemployment. Without unemployment benefits there’ll be a lot more disorder, and without public health your workers will be a lot more sick.

            Somalia was obviously a cheap shot, but they do technically have a government…

      • Pascal's bookie 5.3.2

        When it comes time to pay staff, their salaries minus the income taxes are paid out to them as if salary minus tax was their salaries but the taxes on their salaries are just another business expense,

        This is just sophistry. If PAYE really was an extra business expense above and beyond labour costs, which is what you are implying, then employers would get to pocket any cuts to income tax rates. If the payment of PAYE is stressing the company, then it is their labour costs that are the stress.

        The broader point just seems to be special pleading. ‘Oh if we didn’t have to pay tax we could do ever so much good, someone else should carry the tax burden.’ But everyone can argue that. Employees could similarly argue that paying their tax was greatly affecting their ability to create more retail demand, and make more use of small businesses like lawn-mowing and house cleaning services, builders, house painters and artists and what have you.

        In the US at the moment companies are hoarding cash. So are the banks. Why? It’s not profitable to be expanding production and hiring people because the demand isn’t there. Demand for services will always be the primary driver of whether or not a company expands or contracts. Beyond that I’d guess that availability of labour and capital would be the next biggest issues. The idea that taxation on profits, which is far a more predictable variable than anything else in business, is the thing that’s holding them back just seems silly in light of all the other things.

        • Jeremy Harris 5.3.2.1

          I’m not talking about companies in stressed situations but if PAYE was reduced the reduction would intially go to employees yes, over time large reductions have the same effect as a reduced or removed business expense, including the ability to pay higher wages…

          The broader point just seems to be special pleading. ‘Oh if we didn’t have to pay tax we could do ever so much good, someone else should carry the tax burden.’ But everyone can argue that. Employees could similarly argue that paying their tax was greatly affecting their ability to create more retail demand, and make more use of small businesses like lawn-mowing and house cleaning services, builders, house painters and artists and what have you.

          No you misunderstand the point I was making I think, I don’t want someone else to carry the tax burden, I want the burden removed through reduced spending…

          That is part of what was so predictable about the massive hole in the Treasury books, cutting taxes, especially taxes for the wealthiest individuals, while not cutting spending by a greater amount was always going to fail as an economic driver… What I thought they should have done (at it’s simplest level) was introduce a tax free threshold (to put money in the lowest earners pockets) at a cost of $2 billion a year and cut WFF at a saving of $3 billion a year…

          US banks and companies are hoarding money for many reasons, they are unsure about Congress, the Fed, Europe and Wall St, with good reason…

          The idea that taxation on profits, which is far a more predictable variable than anything else in business, is the thing that’s holding them back just seems silly in light of all the other things.

          It not variability but the fact that money isn’t on the balance sheet…

          • Lanthanide 5.3.2.1.1

            I was going to make the same reply that PB did earlier, but couldn’t be arsed because I figure you’d probably misunderstand it anyway. And you did.

            “I’m not talking about companies in stressed situations but if PAYE was reduced the reduction would intially go to employees yes, over time large reductions have the same effect as a reduced or removed business expense, including the ability to pay higher wages…”

            Sorry, but that is complete and utter bullshit. I’ll give you some examples:
            A: Tax rate is 30%, person gets paid $100k, gets $70k in pocket
            B: Tax rate is 15%, person gets paid $100k, gets $85k in pocket

            In both cases, the cost to the business is $100k, reducing the PAYE rate hasn’t saved the business any money.

            Now, how about this:
            C: Tax rate is 15%, person gets paid $82,353, gets $70k in pocket

            In this case the company has gone from paying $100k to only $82,353 with the staff member still getting the same after-tax rate. But this company is now paying it’s staff less than it was paying in case A.

            So if anything, all this allows a company to do is pay their staff less, while still giving the staff the same after-tax rate. Over the long term, this doesn’t enable the company to pay their staff more:
            D: Tax rate is 15%, person get’s paid $117,647, gets $100k in the pocket.
            E: Tax rate is 30%, person get’s paid $142,857, gets $100k in the pocket.

            Again the only difference here is that a lower tax rate allows the company to pay the employee less money than they would in a higher tax environment, but with the employee getting the same net benefit.

            Again as PB said, effectively what you are arguing is that if the government cuts personal tax rates, a business will happily say to it’s employees “we are going to cut your pay at the same rate, so you get the same after-tax pay”. I don’t think they’d have many people working for them after pulling a stunt like that.

            Long story short: employees care about their headline pay rate specifically, as tax is universal and will be applied to them equally anywhere they work. So any business trying to take advantage of a tax rate change would have to pay their employees LESS, rather than more as you’re trying to say.

            • Pascal's bookie 5.3.2.1.1.1

              Remember when telecom shareholders clawed back some of the CEO’s dosh when the top tax rate got slashed?

              Me neither.

              • Lanthanide

                Good example.

                My boyfriend also pointed out that all job advertisements are for your salary, eg before tax, not your after tax salary.

          • Pascal's bookie 5.3.2.1.2

            No you misunderstand the point I was making I think, I don’t want someone else to carry the tax burden, I want the burden removed through reduced spending…

            That might be true, but it’s a separate point. You were, and seem to be still, saying, that taxation is the main thing holding companies back. The effect on the govts books of cutting taxes is irrelevant in finding out if that is true.

            The only thing that matters in finding out if that is true is “the fact that the money is on the balance sheet”

            I agree, and I’ve said repeatedly, that cutting taxes without cutting spending is a bullshit mess. It’s not a tax cut until the spending is cut. What it is, is a transference of the tax burden, not only onto future taxpayers, but usually onto different types of tax payers.

            It not variability but the fact that money isn’t on the balance sheet…

            But you are talking as if a tax on profits destroys the availability of capital. That’s silly. businesses have many many more sources of capital for expansion than retained profits.

            At the moment for example, there is all that cash that companies and banks are hoarding. Your answer doesn’t explain this at all, it just waives it’s hands at the government as if that, rather than the collapse in demand is the primary issue.

            What are your thoughts on the importance of aggregate demand, and what do you think would be the effect on demand of the tax shift you suggest re WFF/tax free threshold?

            That’s the problem I have with what you are saying. You point out the benefits of lower taxation, but don’t seem to account for the fact that those taxes are mostly redistributed in ways that create demand. Remove the taxes, you reduce that demand. It needs to be replaced somewhere. We can’t cut taxes for the wealthy by eliminating transfer payments, and still have the same amount of demand in the economy.

            • Lanthanide 5.3.2.1.2.1

              Also note that the majority of money that is invested into a business as capital to help it grow and expand is tax deductible anyway, so a lower corporate tax rate should make no difference in investment into companies. The only thing that increases is your after-tax profits (which goes to the shareholders). In real, practical terms it probably means that a company that was going to go out of business in March, can now operate for a bit long and instead goes out of business in April.

              In other words you’re unlikely to see a corporate tax cut passed on to customers; more likely the tax cut will be absorbed into the balance sheet to help recoup an eroding profit margin (as they tend to do over time due to inflation and labour costs). In this case the corporate rate is going from 30% to 28%, which is even less likely to be passed on to customers because it’s such a small amount,.

  6. MrSmith 6

    Well I think i have just fallen on the Nat’s plan to raise productivity and eliminate the ‘P’ epidemic. Cocaine my friends, this stuff is pouring into the country! so not much sleep for some, may as well go to work then and at $300 a gram they will need to work, productivity and ‘P’ problem solved just like that .

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    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
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