Govt’s ACC spin working

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, December 5th, 2008 - 32 comments
Categories: Media, national/act government, spin - Tags:

We’ve covered the National/ACT government’s latest ACC beat-up extensively already. IB spelled out rather well here the techniques being used by the government to undermine ACC in order to create a sense of crisis and soften up the public for privatisation.

And it pains me to say it, but it’s working. And it’s working well.

Colin Espiner’s latest post is so close to the mark of what National would’ve wanted in response, it’s almost satirical. A quick summary of the post… “This ACC stuff is confusing, and it’s all seems to add up to something dodgy. Now the cost to taxpayers are going up… Maybe the private sector would do a better job after all.”

It’s just incredible isn’t it? Colin’s a smart guy, and you’d hope journalists could see through this stuff. But it’s not easy, and it goes to show how well National does spin. Just look at the results.

32 comments on “Govt’s ACC spin working ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    No what its shown is how awful the Labour-led government handled ACC as clearly evidenced by the blowing out of ACC accounts.

  2. ginger. the Labour government had no control over either the financial crisus or the invstment decisions of the ACC fund. How exacty was it meant to stop ACC losing money from its reserves and, so, needing more cash from other spurces to keep providing full service?

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    SP, I recommend you read the previous ACC posts here at the Standard, where various spurious arguments, from the financial crisis being to blame, to the spectre of privatisation, are fairly considerably debunked. Otherwise, if you have read those arguments and failed to respond to them, it just looks like you’re repeating a line that you know isn’t sustainable.

    It simply isn’t true that the financial crisis or poor investment decisions are responsible for the massive funding shortfalls projected in the earners and non-earners accounts. They have a minor effect, probably around 20% of the total.

  4. Tim. the ACC lost $600million from its funds.. it’s not like that money was just sittig round doing nothing.. that shortfall needs to be made up. as you point out, its not the only cause of the shortfalls, the others -higher compensation costs – have been explained to – how will privatisation solve any of them without cutting cover?

  5. gingercrush 5

    Thanks TE I suck at arguing so I would have ended up making up silly large post that lacks any relevancy.

    Anyway, sure there is spin. But one wouldn’t be able to spin ACC as much if Labour had better hold on the issue. Its not like Labour never used spin. The idea that finally the books were sound enough for tax cuts in the final budget before the election struck me very much as spin. How better to do tax cuts when treasury has advised them they can now. Even though treasury has always said there is/was room for tax cuts. Government and political parties exists primarily because of spin.

    Just as the media largely ignored spin working from the Labour-led government, so will they now that there is a National-led government.

  6. “Colin’s a smart guy”

    Not really, hes just a mouth-piece for National Party spin like the other Espiner.

  7. Greg 7

    Here’s a crazy idea. Maybe…….. just maybe this actually is an example of why the private sector would do a better job? Maybe its not spin at all but merely the truth

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    SP, nobody in National is arguing privatisation of the scheme. Read the posts, particularly at http://www.thestandard.org.nz/spinbusting-the-anchor-story/#comment-108781 , http://www.thestandard.org.nz/spinbusting-the-anchor-story/#comment-108787 , http://www.thestandard.org.nz/spinbusting-the-anchor-story/#comment-108793 , and http://www.thestandard.org.nz/spinbusting-the-anchor-story/#comment-108834 for starters.

    As I’ve said several times SP it really is a mix of mischief and ignorance, the claim that National might “privatise” ACC. The only account that could feasibly be opened for competition and/or privatised is the Workers Account, which constitutes 15% of claims and 10% of claims liabilities. It is fully-funded, so it isn’t a liability on the taxpayer, and doesn’t cross-subsidise other accounts.

    The issues with ACC in the other accounts are two-fold: the move to fully-funded accounts (which are vital to ensure that future costs of current injuries aren’t passed on to future generations) has meant a steady increase in costs and levies paid; and whether the inevitable increase in costs is sustainable (i.e. whether citizens are prepared to pay for such a gold-plated scheme when its true costs are attributed rather than passed on to future generations, or whether they would be happier with reduced cover). The latter is the crux of the debate that needs to be had around ACC.

    Labour’s performance in ACC was just woeful. They deliberately came up with irrational arguments about privatisation as you have here, knowing that the non-earners, the earners, and the motor vehicle accounts, which represent the vast majority of claims and costs, just can’t be privatised and National has never pledged to do so. They did so to detract from the proper debate about whether ACC coverage in the gold-plated scheme that we have today is actually affordable. Instead of allowing the proper debate to be held, successive Labour ministers have delayed the transition to full-funding of accounts (dragging the liability and costs out to future generations).

    They then hid the impact of those cost increases before the election. Instead of painting the true picture about rising costs for levy-payers and tax-payers alike, Labour cynically went around the country promising “lower levies” for ACC and “better coverage”, knowing that the only way to do so was to deliberately under-fund the scheme. Labour then had the temerity to claim that only they would protect ACC. They didn’t protect it SP. They ripped the carpet out from underneath it.

    Debates will need to be had on whether economic efficiencies can be gained from opening the Work account to competition. The other accounts need to move to full funding. Debate needs to be had in that environment whether the level of coverage in a fully-funded environment is sustainable, and the public need certainty about what coverage they can expect from the system.

  9. MikeE 9

    Could it possibly be working, because … shock, horror, it isn’t spin?

  10. Tane 10

    Merrill Lynch itself described ‘opening up the work account to competition’ as privatisation. They recognised that moving the functions of ACC to the private sector is in fact privatisation of the scheme.

  11. Quoth the Raven 11

    Colin’s a smart guy

    That’s open to argument. I don’t read his blog anymore and I implore others to do the same. I think he is totally incapable of critical thinking and does absolutely no research. The argument he had with Idiot/Savant about security of energy supply is a case in point as it demonstrated that Colin had done absolutely no research and was just spouting National party lines. That is exactly what he is doing again. All throughout the election his blog entries would go something like this “I followed Key around all day today he is a nice guy.” Then there was his the Maori party will never go into coalition with National thing where he had to eat his own words literally. I think it showed that he didn’t have any grasp of the situation. He would be better suited to writing about celebrities not politicians.

  12. ghostwhowalks 12

    This bit was interesting from Espiner

    ..But for my money (lots of it – well over $1000 a year in levies plus the $200-odd for a motor vehicle.

    Well over a $1000 a year in levyies seems to indicate hes on $90-110,000 pa

  13. ghostwhowalks 13

    From the IRD website the earners levy has been gradually increasing since 2003 when it was 1.2%. The 1.3% in 2006 and then raised in April 2008 to 1.4%

    So in reality Labour has been responsible in raising the amount to meet increase in Costs and claims from an aging population

    And it seems a small increase would have been due next year or the year after

    The financial meltdown has thrown the investments out of kilter but that should only be a temporary measure not to scream the sky has fallen

  14. Lew 14

    Tim: You still haven’t taken up my challenge. I presume, then, that you concur with my (and Merrill Lynch’s, and plenty of others’) assessment that the workers account will end up being privatised despite National’s insistence that it won’t. That being so, upon what basis would you presume to claim that the other accounts won’t be similarly treated once the workers account has gone that way? As I’ve said elsewhere (and you’ve also neglected to engage with that) people don’t conceive of ACC as separate accounts – they conceive of it as an overall scheme.

    L

  15. Lew 15

    GWW: $100k a year as the political editor for the country’s third-largest circulation daily really seems to underscore the oft-made point that journalists, even if you frequently disagree with them, are terribly underpaid.

    L

  16. sweeetdisorder 16

    Lew

    underpaid by whom? They are paid market rates. If you think they are worth more, you pay them then. Typical socialists, always think they are worth more. If you were, you would be earning that. The fact you are not, suggests you are earning what is correct for the market place.

  17. Lew 17

    SD: Ah, the capitalist’s Nuremberg Defence – `we’re just paying market rates’. I concede that journalism in NZ isn’t quite the sweatshops of Southeast Asia, but I’m making a normative, not a descriptive statement. I’m not a socialist (typical reactionaries, calling anyone with whom they might disagree a socialist) – but I work in the media (analysis, not editorial) and I know the work these guys do and the importance of the public information service the media provide. They have a lot of responsibility for not very much money, and that’s dangerous.

    L

  18. Nickc 18

    Question: What do you think is undermining ACC more: The 2.5billion dollars worth of undeclared debt or a few press conferences and media releases from the National Party?

  19. Tim Ellis 19

    Lew wrote:

    Tim: You still haven’t taken up my challenge. I presume, then, that you concur with my (and Merrill Lynch’s, and plenty of others’) assessment that the workers account will end up being privatised despite National’s insistence that it won’t.

    Lew if we go back to the 1998 reforms, the workers account was opened to competition. A number of players entered the market. @work was set up by the government, effectively as the default insurer. This would be a new state asset. National has made it clear that it won’t sell state assets. I suspect that if National did choose to open the Work account up to competition, it would follow the same path. Many employers would opt for separate insurance cover, with a minimum state-sanctioned level of coverage for all workers. I don’t agree that this amounts to “privatisation”, since privatisation involves the sale of a state asset. I don’t mean to play with semantics, but I don’t believe that work insurance in a competitive environment does amount to privatisation. That aside, yes clearly National envisages in a competitive environment, many work accidents would be covered by private insurers. If you want to call that privatisation, then fine.

    That being so, upon what basis would you presume to claim that the other accounts won’t be similarly treated once the workers account has gone that way?

    Quite simply, privatisation would involve the sale of an account to a private entity. I just don’t see it possible that the Earners’ Account, the non-Earners’, and the Motor Vehicle account could be opened up to a competitive insurance market. With the Earners’ account, the contracts for insurance cover would be between individual workers and an insurance company. It’s almost impossible to guarantee universal cover through such a system. Employers with 500 staff can do it–but it just isn’t viable for individual workers. It isn’t comparable with the fire and general insurance market, because there isn’t compulsory cover. It’s even less likely with non-Earners (who don’t pay the premiums in the first place), and the Motor Vehicle Account, where levies are collected through vehicle registration and fuel excise. How would you map fuel excise payments by individual motorists with their insurance levies? It’s just not possible, in my view.

    National has made it clear that it will maintain cover, in a no-fault, universal system.

    There are three core aspects of ACC’s operations. Funding through levies, claims management, and treatment. With the exception of the Work account, there just isn’t a suitable alternative levy payment structure for the other accounts.

    Claims management in other accounts, I suppose could be partly tendered out, but there is no benefit to individual claimants by being able to choose to claim through Claims Management Company X, versus ACC, for individual claimants.

    Treatment provision already uses a range of public and private sector entities to deliver treatment: if you smash your knee playing rugby, you are likely to receive treatment from the local hospital, a private hospital for the knee operation, and private physiotherapists for rehabilitation. There is an element of efficiency that a monopoly ACC provider has with bulk-buying power, but this would not be significantly reduced if merely the Work Account was carved out of the system, especially if health insurers formed a key part of the treatment provision for work accidents.

    As I’ve said elsewhere (and you’ve also neglected to engage with that) people don’t conceive of ACC as separate accounts – they conceive of it as an overall scheme.

    I agree that the ACC scheme is complex to many people, and the only experience that the vast majority of New Zealanders have with the system is when they personally suffer an accident. As I see it, the key elements of the accident compensation scheme are levies paid by a range of sources according to where the accident takes place and where the liability for the accident lies, entitlements determined by the State, no-fault and universal coverage. I just don’t see a publicly-owned monopoly of work cover as fundamental to ensuring that those core elements are provided.

  20. Lew 20

    Tim:

    National has made it clear that it won’t sell state assets

    In the first term. Come off it. This more or less nukes your whole line of argument.

    I don’t believe that work insurance in a competitive environment does amount to privatisation.

    You STILL haven’t addressed my six-point schema. Until you do you’re not credible on this point. You try to accuse me of playing semantics, but I’m not; if you’d even read all the threads you link to above you’d realise that.

    I just don’t see it possible that the Earners’ Account, the non-Earners’, and the Motor Vehicle account could be opened up to a competitive insurance market.

    Why on earth not? Because they wouldn’t want to participate? Get off the proverbial grass.

    National has made it clear that it will maintain cover, in a no-fault, universal system.

    But they haven’t demonstrated how they intend to do this in a competitive environment, I accept that they will mandate minimum levels of cover. But will they force insurers to insure all comers? Will they cap premiums so insurers can’t price undesirables out of the market? If not, retaining universal cover would necessitate an insurer of last resort, who got everyone the private cherry-pickers didn’t want. That’s my point – it’d quickly become moribund and then the only rational thing to do would be to sell it off. Nobody could blame them for doing so.

    L

  21. Lew 21

    NickC: False dichotomy. One being bad doesn’t make the other any less bad; this isn’t about scoring partisan points. Both the previous and current government are in the wrong. The question is – what do do about it?

    L

  22. Tim Ellis 22

    You STILL haven’t addressed my six-point schema. Until you do you’re not credible on this point. You try to accuse me of playing semantics, but I’m not; if you’d even read all the threads you link to above you’d realise that.

    No, Lew, I wasn’t accusing you of playing semantics. I qualified that I wasn’t playing semantics, in case it looked as if I was by my definition of “privatisation”. I didn’t intend not to address your six-point schema. It was a while back, I didn’t recognise it as a challenge to be addressed, and if you could put it again I’ll happily deal with it.

    Why on earth not? Because they wouldn’t want to participate? Get off the proverbial grass.

    No, because in my view there is a clear distinction between the contractual relationships between employers seeking cover for 10, 20, 50, or 500 workers, where there is an incentive to shop around and seek the best deal for mandated cover, and what is possible in the other accounts. Non-earners don’t pay levies. There are no competitive pressures. Earners pay levies, and might shop around, but the systems you would have to put in place to guarantee universal cover in my view make it too complex to put in place. Levies from motor vehicle users are even more difficult to channel to individual insurers to both guarantee universal cover and form viable contractual relationships with levy-payers.

    But they haven’t demonstrated how they intend to do this in a competitive environment, I accept that they will mandate minimum levels of cover. But will they force insurers to insure all comers? Will they cap premiums so insurers can’t price undesirables out of the market? If not, retaining universal cover would necessitate an insurer of last resort, who got everyone the private cherry-pickers didn’t want.

    On the first point, of course they haven’t demonstrated it yet because they haven’t even considered whether to proceed with a competitive scheme for the Work Account, and if so, what the design of that scheme might be. If we take the 1998 scheme as a guide, however, individual employers could contract with private insurers. Those who didn’t paid levies to a default state-owned insurer, @work.

    As for cherry-picking and “pricing out undesirables”, the nature of actuarial risk profiling within the current Work Account means that those with higher risk already pay higher levies. Forestry companies pay more in levies to insure forestry workers than banks do to insure clerical folk like me. I’m not an actuary, but right now in the present scheme, low-risk employers shouldn’t be cross-subsidising high-risk employers. The cherry-picking argument just doesn’t seem to understand what actuarial risk involves.

    In my view the “insurer of last resort” with a default insurer a la @work is less likely to be about insuring expensive, high-risk industries (who pay the higher levies anyway), but insuring much smaller employers that don’t have the time to shop around for accident insurance. Yes, I agree there would need to be a default insurer. I don’t see a problem with that insurer being state-owned.

  23. Lew 23

    Tim:

    No, Lew, I wasn’t accusing you of playing semantics. I qualified that I wasn’t playing semantics, in case it looked as if I was by my definition of “privatisation’.

    I therefore withdraw and apologise.

    I didn’t intend not to address your six-point schema. It was a while back, I didn’t recognise it as a challenge to be addressed, and if you could put it again I’ll happily deal with it.

    It’s six months but still nobody’s actually made any sort of case as to why it wouldn’t be so. As I imply to Nickc above, it’s not a matter of ideology – I’m not committed to it being true, but I am convinced of its validity, so if anyone can prove it invalid I’ll be grateful. The two pertinent links are in http://www.thestandard.org.nz/spinbusting-the-anchor-story/#comment-108829

    As to the distinctions between accounts, I think you’re a bit narrow-minded about the opportunities insurers will create for themselves given half a chance.

    Non-earners don’t pay levies. There are no competitive pressures.

    They don’t pay levies but levies of some sort can be paid on their behalf, and profiling, declarations, etc. enable risk management between clients. This can be privatised too – just because the insured themselves aren’t paying for cover doesn’t mean that, under a universal system, their cover is not being paid for.

    Earners pay levies, and might shop around, but the systems you would have to put in place to guarantee universal cover in my view make it too complex to put in place.

    Here’s an interesting but. It’s too complicated, so it’ll never happen. Give over.

    Levies from motor vehicle users are even more difficult to channel to individual insurers to both guarantee universal cover and form viable contractual relationships with levy-payers.

    You’d think no other country in the world would have mandatory driver insurance, if it’s that hard. But most of the civilised ones do, and I can tell you from experience – they tend to be a damned sight more expensive and less comprehensive than ACC.

    On the first point, of course they haven’t demonstrated it yet because they haven’t even considered whether to proceed with a competitive scheme for the Work Account, and if so, what the design of that scheme might be.

    The word `publicly’ could stand to be inserted here but your point stands. In my view it’s incumbent upon them to give at least some hints as to how it’s done before doing it. However the electorate thinks otherwise.

    As for cherry-picking and “pricing out undesirables’, the nature of actuarial risk profiling within the current Work Account means that those with higher risk already pay higher levies. Forestry companies pay more in levies to insure forestry workers than banks do to insure clerical folk like me.

    Quite right, they pay higher levies – but not higher enough for their risk. I’m not an actuary risk expert either, but under practically all systems of which I’m aware, high volumes of low-risk workers cross-subsidise low volumes of high-risk workers. This is especially true in NZ’s primary-led economy where low-risk occupations like yours and mine (I work in a fucking office tower too, though it wasn’t always so) are reliant upon those who work in dangerous occupations like forestry, dairy, fisheries and so on for our way of life. You can argue for those industries to carry the full cost of their liability if you like – but beware of parallels with the emissions trading scheme moral hazard problem.

    In my view the “insurer of last resort’ with a default insurer a la @work is less likely to be about insuring expensive, high-risk industries (who pay the higher levies anyway), but insuring much smaller employers that don’t have the time to shop around for accident insurance.

    In my view, this demonstrates a blissfully naïve view of insurance. Come on, it strains credibility.

    L

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    Greg
    December 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Here’s a crazy idea. Maybe .. just maybe this actually is an example of why the private sector would do a better job? Maybe its not spin at all but merely the truth

    You’re right Greg – that is a crazy idea. We’ve seen just what privatisation can do over the last 20 years and the end result is that it costs far more.

    [lprent: gotta get that blockquote working across the browsers…]

  25. Tim Ellis 25

    Lew,

    It took a while but I finally found the links, with the six points. I don’t have a lot of commentary on them for the reason that I agree that there are some valid arguments there, but I simply do not agree with the premise that opening the Work account up to competition will see other accounts follow suit. I just do not believe that this move is, as you describe it, a “trojan horse” for privatisation across other areas.

    They don’t pay levies but levies of some sort can be paid on their behalf, and profiling, declarations, etc. enable risk management between clients. This can be privatised too – just because the insured themselves aren’t paying for cover doesn’t mean that, under a universal system, their cover is not being paid for.

    Yes, that is possible. Claims management could be privatised and be made competitive. But it is logistically difficult to do. Further to that, despite many of the claims of the Left, there simply isn’t a privatisation zeal from this National government. National has pledged not to sell any assets in its first term. As much as John Key might think it makes good economic sense to sell assets (or as others have termed it, he wants to make his friends richer), he knows that the public antipathy towards asset sales means that selling assets destroys political capital.

    If there were moves to privatise state assets, then it certainly wouldn’t be the Earners’ Account, or the Non-Earners’ Account, or the Motor Vehicle Account. He’d sell Genesis. Or Kiwirail. Or Kiwibank. You know, things that are already traded in a competitive market and provided by the private sector. He wouldn’t come up with a complex scheme to unbundle the diverse funding strands of a complex accident compensation regime to deliver it.

    You’d think no other country in the world would have mandatory driver insurance, if it’s that hard. But most of the civilised ones do, and I can tell you from experience – they tend to be a damned sight more expensive and less comprehensive than ACC.

    I don’t know of any other regimes that have compulsory personal injury insurance as driver insurance. I am familiar with the European Green Card, which is third party vehicle insurance. It isn’t personal injury cover.

    Quite right, they pay higher levies – but not higher enough for their risk. I’m not an actuary risk expert either, but under practically all systems of which I’m aware, high volumes of low-risk workers cross-subsidise low volumes of high-risk workers.

    There isn’t widespread denials of insurance cover in New Zealand as far as I’m aware, or pricing people out of the market. Nor was there evidence of this taking place in the competitive scheme in 1998. We already have defacto opt-out provisions through the Accredited Employer Scheme, where large companies can assume some of the risk themselves for lower premiums.

  26. Lew 26

    Tim: I simply do not agree with the premise that opening the Work account up to competition will see other accounts follow suit.

    You still haven’t really explained upon what grounds you believe

    I just do not believe […]

    This is what it always boils down to – a matter of belief. I’m not appealing to belief, I’m appealing to what we know about the insurance industry, economic theory and the actions of NZ governments elected on a mandate for change.

    As much as John Key might think it makes good economic sense to sell assets (or as others have termed it, he wants to make his friends richer), he knows that the public antipathy towards asset sales means that selling assets destroys political capital.

    And here you’ve hit on the nub of the `secret agenda’ argument you so commonly deride. With this statement you tacitly agree that National’s job in government is to change the public discourse about privatisation from `greed’ to `efficiency’, and once they do so there will be no electoral barrier to wholesale privatisation of state assets. Thatcher and Reagan and perhaps Clark’s greatest achievements were in moving the political centre, and Key’s National party would be fools to look to a short-term Lange/Douglas-like agenda – they’re looking to a long-term agenda of strategic change and ACC is shaping up to be their banner project.

    I don’t know of any other regimes that have compulsory personal injury insurance as driver insurance.

    I’m referring mostly to liability insurance, which is what ACC sort-of provides.

    There isn’t widespread denials of insurance cover in New Zealand as far as I’m aware, or pricing people out of the market.

    You can’t simply draw parallels between property insurance and accident insurance; there’s a qualitative difference because one protects stuff and one protects life and health. However, even in property insurance we see that the bottom of the market effectively opts out, not taking even third-party vehicle insurance. That’s how markets work – by settling at an equilibrium point where participants can maximise their profits, some people are almost always excluded. Normatively speaking, exclusion may be acceptable in property insurance where the adverse outcome is debt or bankruptcy, but not in private accident insurance where the outcome could be poor or incomplete medical care, ongoing lack of support for injury or disability, or premature death.

    L

  27. Only the left could find a way of blaming Labour’s $2+Billion screwup on National.

    Have you learned nothing? The public are sick of this tactic. What is wrong with “we messed up, sorry?” The public are far more likely to forgive if you front up and fess and far less likely if you deny, dodge and blameshift.

    Frankly I would love it if National privatised ACC, it might run efficiently and actually provide 100% cover if they did, but I doubt they will because they are so centrist, mores the pity.

  28. Lew 28

    Madeleine: To whom do you address your `you’?

    L

  29. Paul Robeson 29

    So the Sell New Zealand Made campaign has started again?

  30. NickC 30

    Lew:

    “False dichotomy. One being bad doesn’t make the other any less bad”

    I understand how it could be seen that way however my question is very legitimate in the context of this post, which effectivly seeks to blame the undermining of ACC confidence of government spin and completely ignores the fact that the previous government ran up 2.5 billion in debt. So i was trying to put this so called spin into perspective.

    “The question is – what do do about it?”

    That should be the question, I agree however this post is just so bad that it completely evades that question and seeks to merely accuse National of a smear campaign with the goal to undermine ACC. That ACC should never be privitized/opened up to competition is a premise of this post, not something it is trying to argue.

    That just shows how arrogantly the left is behaving on this matter, not prepared to accept any blame, only to attack.

  31. Rodel 31

    Espiner ‘smart’ ?
    That’s like one of his own fabrications.Shame on you Standard!

  32. Rob 32

    This Email on another Blog shows why you should never let a Trade unionist make Financial predictions . Talk about incompetence.
    n July 2008 the chair of ACC, Mr Ross Wilson claimed that ACC was in “great shape’ and was “on track to become self-funding by 2014′.
    Here we are just a few months later and the story is completely different. So what the blazes has been going on sat ACC?

    Was Mr Wilson:

    A) Insane?
    B) Stupid?
    C) Lying?
    D) On drugs?
    E) Wasn’t taking his pills that day?
    F) Telling his masters what they wanted to hear?
    G) “I’m sorry but I have been misquoted’
    H) “When said self funding what I actually meant was .’

    [lprent: Oh hell. Rob has more than served out his two month ban. Lets hope he has rehabilitated himself and isn’t going to piss me off with unfounded attacks against this site again. ]

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    9 hours ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    9 hours ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    11 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    20 hours ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    23 hours ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 day ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    2 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    4 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
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    1 day ago
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