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Hickey sees the light

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, September 29th, 2010 - 71 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, equality, overseas investment, socialism - Tags: ,

Bernard Hickey has become one of the country’s leading economic commentators, arguing from a position of the hardline neo-liberals – ie. the market is god. Now, he’s changed his mind. He’s come to the realisation that there’s no invisible god’s hand directing capitalist markets. Instead they are directed by short-termist elites. We need to take back control.

It’s time for me to recant and to say what I’ve been thinking for months: the economic god of completely free markets and capital flows is not worth believing in anymore and we must look for other things to believe in and do. I think New Zealand needs to have a debate about capital controls, about foreign ownership of assets, about measures to control our currency and about being openly nationalistic rather than internationalistic about our economic policy.

The neoliberal model introduced by the First ACT Government, further entrenched by National in the 1990s and largely left in place by the Fifth Labour Government has been nothing but a generation-long wealth grab by the elite.

In the end, our economic growth has suffered, our wages have suffered, and our work conditions and job options have suffered. Our national debt has spiralled while we’ve become ever more dependent on imports, while our economy has become effectively foreign-owned with around 7% of GDP heading overseas as profits. The neoliberal heroes failed to invest in this country. Instead, they sold off everything they can and made off with the loot.

“I think we need to rethink the way we run monetary policy, the way we allow foreign ownership of assets, the way we encourage savings, the way our financial institutions are regulated and change the things we are aiming for.”

We need to stop seeing ‘growth’ as an end in itself and realise that successful societies are fair and equal societies.

“We should debate more specific controls on who owns what assets, whether monetary policy should still use the Official Cash Rate to focus on inflation alone, and whether banks should still be free to lend however much they want to whomever they want.”

It’s about taking back the leadership of the economy. Putting it in accountable public institutions, rather than self-interested, unelected elites.

The ‘Great Moderation’ was actually a Great Fraud perpetuated by financial engineers in Manhattan and London who targetted massive short term bonuses by creating financial instruments that gave the appearance of reducing risk, but actually massively increased risk.

These investment bankers exploited all sorts of holes in financial regulations and in the way pension funds are allocated to enrich themselves at the expenses of middle and under classes in developed countries. The created a long term mess for short term gain. They privatised profits for themselves and socialised the losses for us all.

They worked in tandem with the managers of often publicly listed multinational corporates who specialised their operations in different countries, often moving manufacturing and services to lower wage economies in an endless hunt to lower costs and increase profits (often for their own personal benefit).

This seemed like a good idea at the time and even seemed noble, spreading the wealth around. But all it did was reduce real wages for the middle and under classes in developed economies, who then promptly borrowed more to keep spending as if they were richer. It was a recipe for instability.

All this debt-fueled consumption growth in the developed world that was funded and supplied by savings and production surpluses in the developing world.

It could not last. Like any Ponzi scheme, eventually the debt keeps rising until the interest bill overwhelms the ability of the borrower to pay.

And the Great Recession is more of the same. The elites are still getting wealthier, taking from the rest of us. Tomorrow’s tax swindle is just another example.

“Now investors are rightly worried that governments may not be able to afford the extra debt taken on to keep their economies pumped up after September 2008 and the toxic debt they took on that the banks couldn’t handle.

The financial systems in many of these economies remain broken, but more importantly, households know they have too much debt already and won’t borrow more to spend like they were. The great de-leveraging has begun and nothing can stop it.

So the tide really is going out and now we’re discovering the underlying structure of the global economy is flawed.”

Underlying the human artifice of the economy is the real world. We have been ignoring the value of that real world for far too long and, as a result, exploiting and damaging it. Consequences in the form of peak oil and climate change are about to it us.

Emerging economies such as China want to industrialise in a mercantilist way, holding down their currencies to subsidise producers at the expense of consumers.

The global economy is now dependent on production and saving in one or two parts of the world, China and Germany, offset by consuming and borrowing in other parts of the world, America, Britain, Southern Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

This is fine as long as the savers have somewhere safe to put their capital surpluses and the borrowers can keep borrowing. But it all ends when borrowers run out of borrowing capacity and the savers lose faith in the paper they’re exchanging for the product they’re producing.

We need to realise that sometimes the system doesn’t work. We need to have something in reserve.

We need to accept that a completely free and unfettered system of global muilti-national capitalism driven by an elite of CEOs and investment bankers will inevitably blow itself up in a frenzy of borrowing, bonuses, short term thinking and self interest.

That’s the kind of thinking that would get you burned at the stake in commercial circles in this country. Which tells us about another underlying problem – the poor intellectual quality of our economic leaders.

“We increased our foreign debt by NZ$97.5 billion inside the last six years, but all that happened is our per capita GDP actually fell over that period.

We borrowed from the free and easy and low interest rate global capital flows to pump up asset prices and go on a spending spree. All we have left for it now is some leaky homes, a big debt and a hollowed out workforce.”

Borrowing has its place, if it is being used to fund investment for the future. But that kind of planning simply isn’t part of the neo-liberal mindset. Instead, the easy money was borrowed to buy more imported consumer goods. Lack of controls on borrowing resulted in us hollowing out our own manufacturing and importing too much instead. It’s similar to what happened to Spain when it was awash with plundered South American gold. The difference is, we have to pay back the money.

“We need to recognise that in a world of competitive devaluations, growing trade tensions and nakedly selfish vested interests (governments, multinationals and global investment banks) that we have to defend ourselves and be just as nakedly nationalistic.

We have to assume, just as Marx pointed out, that free markets will eventually overheat and blow up if we allow them free rein.

Income needs to be redistributed to offset the concentration of wealth that naturally occurs in such a globalised, free flowing world of capital. Ownership of assets needs to be monitored and controlled. The growth of foreign debt needs to be restricted.

Consumers and bankers need to be saved from themselves.

That is what I think we’re starting to see filter through to our politicians from the grass roots upwards.”

In the end, New Zealand is an interdependent society and economy, and no-one will look out for us but ourselves. Simply letting ourselves be a cork on the stormy ocean of the world economy, or a minnow in a sea full of sharks, is not sensible.

“the inevitable result of these dislocations of capital and the means of production, along with competitive devaluations, is a global land grab for hard assets such as arable land, mines and technology. Bits of paper don’t cut it anymore. No wonder the price of gold hit a record US$1,300/oz overnight.

No wonder the Chinese want to buy our dairy producing land and factories. Or the mines in Australia.”

I can’t understand why selling our assets would ever be seen as a good idea. Especially strategic assets that we can’t afford to lose. We just end up paying profits that disappear offshore and the owners under-invest knowing that the country can’t afford to not bail them out.

“China likes free trade because it wants to build factories and sell stuff to the rest of the world. It wants to own assets in other countries that can provide it with the raw materials and food it needs to keep that export machine going and employing workers from the countryside.

But China will not allow others to buy those assets in its country. It is point blank refusing to allow its yuan to appreciate quickly versus the US dollar.

US politicians, under pressure from voters, are revolting against the multi-national free trading system in a messy way, looking to impose tariffs. The Tea Party movement, however flawed, is a reaction to the failure of this global system and the way it has been distorted by vested interests to transfer wealth from the middle classes to the richest Manhattanites.

America is trying to devalue and print its way out from under its debt. Europe will eventually have to do the same, if only to stop its single currency from exploding from within. China will not stop and Japan is about to announce a massive new stimulus in the wake of its second currency intervention inside a week.

Brazil has declared it is engaged in a currency war to try to stop its currency from rising.

Brazil, like Australia and New Zealand, has a freeish floating currency that is rising as others try to devalue and buy into countries with hard rather than paper assets.”

This is a world where direct ownership of real wealth-producing assets like farms and mineral deposits is once again going to be of prime importance. We need to hold on to ours.

“The government could consider limits on foreign ownership of major assets and restrictions on profit repatriation.

Savings into New Zealand KiwiSaver funds and the New Zealand Superannuation funds could be directed into New Zealand investments.”

We need to build a national wealth fund with money from Kiwisaver, the Cullen Fund, private contributions via Kiwibank, and oil and mineral royalties. That fund should be given a mandate to invest in assets of strategic importance to the New Zealand economy here and abroad. And we must nationalise any exploitation of our oil and mineral reserves, rather than let that one-off wealth endowment flow overseas.

“Much more could be done to protect ourselves and reduce the possible damage from future booms and busts.”

If the post-war period was define by historically long and rapid periods of growth and relatively shallow recessions, the coming decades will be marked by boom and bust caused by oil shocks and environmental havoc. We need to start work now to protect our economy and our society.

71 comments on “Hickey sees the light”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    I don’t think Bernard typed that out over a beer last night. He’s been thinking about this stuff for a while by the looks of it. He no doubt knows that he is going to suffer some repercussions from the Right over this, but he did it anyway. Good on him, good on the NZ Herald, and good on you Marty for pushing this out there. Let’s see who in parliament has the guts to follow this up.

  2. just saying 2

    If the weight of evidence can change Hickey’s mind, why can’t Labour’s front bench be similarly moved?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Because the ideas Hickey is espousing are too complicated for the general population to understand, and too difficult for Labour to sell to them.

      • Vicky32 2.1.1

        You have very little in the way of faith in the general population! I know the 20-somethings seem to be seriously stupid compared to their parents, and even more so, their grand-parents, but even so!
        Deb

        • tea 2.1.1.1

          Perhaps not too stupid to pay for your reitrements and healthcare! I presume you’re not a 20 something I take it?

          We never f*n voted for Muldoon or Labour in the 80s twice!!

    • Bored 2.2

      Just imagine Labour’s front bench mindset over the years… 1913 Marx’s relations to production, dialectic materialism….1938 the Keynesian accomodation, Christian “socialism”, the Welfare State….1984 Friedmanite free market fundamentalism, Hayeks anti socialism….2010 ???????? I dread to think what next.

    • The Chairman 2.3

      We’ve just had Cunliffe’s Systemic Market Failure and now Bernard’s recant. Is this the beginning of a new groundswell for change?

  3. toad 3

    Strike me down with a feather! I’ve always thought Hickey was one of those so entrenched in his neo-liberal mindset that he’s never come to a realisation like that.

    Maybe I should send Don Brash a Green Party membership application form.

    BTW, liked the reference to 1984-90 as the “First ACT Government” Marty.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I’ve always thought Hickey was one of those so entrenched in his neo-liberal mindset that he’s never come to a realisation like that.

      I always thought his writing was reasonably astute and was somewhat surprised that he hadn’t come over sooner. The flaws in the neo-liberal paradigm, that’s taught as Gospel in universities, are glaringly obvious when you actually think about it.

      Maybe I should send Don Brash a Green Party membership application form.

      I LOL’d 😀

      Now that is a leopard that can’t change it’s spots.

  4. jacinda 4

    Excuse me for nit picking, but how are the tax cuts taking from the “rest of us?”

    The tax cuts are the government taking less from everyone, which seems fair, as people get to keep the money they worked hard for?

    So, me getting more of my tax back from now on, is actually me taking from other people?

    • Blighty 4.1

      where’s the moeny for the tax cuts coming from?

      a) GST increase

      b) borrowing increase

      so, your tax cut will be paid for by others servicing the debt long after you’re gone.

      and every dollar in tax cuts is a dollar that can’t be spent on education and health.

      • Craig Glen Eden 4.1.1

        jacindas joking right? Please oh please don’t tell me she actually believes that the money is hers.

        • felix 4.1.1.1

          No, she doesn’t believe it. She’s a troll who has been posting more or less the same thing under several names all around the place very recently.

  5. jimmy 5

    Bernard just made my day. I bet BNZ are taking a close look at their sponsorship contract right now.

  6. prism 6

    Just pondering after reading the line ‘there’s no invisible god’s hand directing capitalist markets. Instead they are directed by short-termist elites.’ Word play – swop letters and they morph into short-termites elites. And it seems as if Labour is being undermined and decimated from within.

    Is it middle-classism, where its more important to have matching curtains in coffee latte colour, than spend time thinking and talking about what is the new vision of a decent, prosperous society (or was that Jim Bolger who ended up saying that?).

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    The difference is, we have to pay back the money.

    Actually, no we don’t.

    When someone loans someone else money, even if the “someone” is a country*, they’re taking the risk that they aren’t going to get it back.

    * Of course, a country should never be borrowing anyway – they have no need to do so and can print the money without interest as a sovereign right. The idea that a country needs to borrow at interest from the banks originates with the bankers. They didn’t come up with that idea with the countries interest at heart.

    We have to assume, just as Marx pointed out, that free markets will eventually overheat and blow up if we allow them free rein.

    We don’t have to assume that as it’s been proven quite conclusively over the last few centuries. The latest proof is the current GFC.

    In the end, New Zealand is an interdependent society and economy, and no-one will look out for us but ourselves. Simply letting ourselves be a cork on the stormy ocean of the world economy, or a minnow in a sea full of sharks, is not sensible.

    Wholeheartedly agree and it comes back to what I keep saying: We can produce everything we need right here from our own resources. If we do that and put proper restrictions on ownership and income then the amount we have to work and produce will decrease. We could even become a sustainable society which is impossible under the neo-liberal/capitalist paradigm.

    That fund should be given a mandate to invest in assets of strategic importance to the New Zealand economy here and abroad.

    As much as I agree with a sovereign wealth fun it cannot invest abroad. If foreign investment is bad for us, which it is, then it is also bad for every other country as well. We need to stop such foreign investment not propagate more of it.

    …the coming decades will be marked by boom and bust caused by oil shocks and environmental havoc. We need to start work now to protect our economy and our society.

    And we do that by ensuring that we can produce everything that we need*. We don’t have to make a profit from it. In fact, that’s a bad idea as profit is a deadweight loss.

    * Note the word “need” not “want”. We need healthy food we don’t specifically need bananas.

    • The Baron 7.1

      Banning bananas now Draco. Awesome.

      You know what happens when Govts print money, right? You know what inflation is, right?

      In other words, you realise how incredibly nuts you sound, right?

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1.1

        But we are in a huge deflationary cycle- in the US interest rates are close to zero, even though they are issuing bonds like crazy. Why would you assume one will follow the other at the moment.

        • comedy 7.1.1.1

          because the USD is the world’s default currency (for another wee while anyway).

          We are a piffling little backwater currency which if we decided to print until the presses started glowing would turn to cak in a pretty short time frame.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Normal RWNJ over-reaction and over-simplification (proving, once again, that the average RWNJ is brain dead). It should have been obvious, even to the brain dead, that I was using bananas as an example and that I didn’t mention banning imports or exports. I was saying that we need to become self-sufficient so that we don’t depend upon them.

        BTW, governments printing money isn’t a problem as long as it’s balanced by the taxes to take it back out.

        • The Baron 7.1.2.1

          Ok, you have to provide some sort of theory to back up this madness. Where does your assertion that “it isn’t a problem” come from – any sort of economic orthodoxy, from any side? Anyone with any academic credentials at all?

          See I’ve been playing around in economics for a while, and that to me sounds almost like Social Credit, ala funny money, to me.

          So please, educate me – where are the texts on this long forgotten strand of “have your cake and eat it too” economic isolationism?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1.1

            Ok, you have to provide some sort of theory to back up this madness. Where does your assertion that “it isn’t a problem” come from – any sort of economic orthodoxy, from any side? Anyone with any academic credentials at all?

            You have got to be kidding me. Its the academic discipline of Economics* which is responsible for the mess we are in and you are still kotowing to their “knowledge”???

            *Thinking here of the Freidmanites, the Austrian school, the ‘Freshwater’ schools of economics

            Gawd some people are gluttons for punishment.

            I back DTB on his call for the Govt to issue its own legal tender – exactly as the US did with the original greenbacks – completely independent of the damned banking interests.

            As for inflation fears –

            a) inflation is not the problem we are facing in the western world, deflation is.
            b) you are putting dollars into circulation anyway so why don’t you do it free of the interest charges the banking system charges the country.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1.2

            See I’ve been playing around in economics for a while, and that to me sounds almost like Social Credit, ala funny money, to me.

            You kill me, ‘funny money’ huh?

            What do you think the banks produce if it is not ‘funny money’ when they take $1000 worth of Government supplied $, and loan it out multiple times to produce $20,000 worth of credit money in the system, out of thin air? (via the fractional reserve banking system)

            That’s ‘funny money’ right there, and no wonder (as Hickey points out) the Chinese as eager to trade that worthless script in for real tangible commercial resources, land and materials.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1.3

            Where does your assertion that “it isn’t a problem” come from – any sort of economic orthodoxy, from any side?

            Actually it comes from the same theory that allows banks to print money out of thin air. i.e. Banks loan money into circulation and that money is then removed from circulation when it’s paid back. It just doesn’t have the delusion that interest can be charged on it because it can’t. What the private banks do is a Ponzi Scheme.

            • The Baron 7.1.2.1.3.1

              We’ve all probably moved on, but shall I assume from this that this is all just mad ranting then, and that no credible economist (and no, they don’t need to be from any particular school Viper – they just need to have some credibility – economics is not monopolised by the right) has ever backed these insane ideas.

              The only country that I can think of that has followed this path is Zimbabwe. How did that work out again?

              Draco, surely you realise that if your particular prescription for the world’s/society’s/economy’s woes is a good one, that someone other than a psuedo-anonymous ranter on a left wing blog site at the ass end of the world would have written about it? And that there would be some authorative source material to back up the theory and its benefits?

              Otherwise, I’ll just assume that it is you who is frankly a nut job and move on…

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ben Bernanke does. In fact, every single damn neo-liberal economist does. They all support the fractional reserve banking system which is exactly the same theory as I pointed out. All I’ve done is remove the private profit of unsustainable interest charges from it and make it so that government prints the money instead. The money is printed into circulation and then paid back.

                • The Baron

                  Righto, but none of them has said that that model will work on the basis of a Government using its printing presses to substitute for private banking and fractional reserves?

                  So, you have no sources? Just sources through extrapolation, without anybody else agreeing that such extrapolation is viable, sensible, possible, or logical?

                  So, this is all just your insane ideas?

                  Good to conclude – thanks.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    According to you, the present system of creating money is an insane idea. As you support it this would indicate that you’re insane.

      • tea 7.1.3

        thought we were at one point there? Has no one been reading the amazing words of Alan Bollard in biography form??

    • comedy 7.2

      “We don’t specifically need bananas”…… comedy gold

      I don’t think we need nuts, fruitcakes or crackers either come to think of it.

      • The Baron 7.2.1

        Oh yes, I can’t wait for the day when Chairman Draco declares exactly what everyone in our society wants “needs”.

        First on the list – no more bananas!

        What else is on the list Draco? God, I’m salivating – what a paradise!

        • mcflock 7.2.1.1

          Baron & Comedy:

          The common ground between Draco’s comment and your responses is also descriptive of your responses. It is the word “bananas”.

        • Aron Watson 7.2.1.2

          Post made perfect sense to me. But hey, let’s pick on the word fruit then shell we…..go figure. The words RWNJ fruityloop come to mind though.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        So when are you leaving then?

  8. tc 8

    ‘Zietgesit addendum’ makes for interesting viewing around some of the points Hickey raises.

    The worms turned as those who considered themselves informed and ahead of the curve have been brought crashing back to reality by the GFC and all the abhorrent practices it exposed as stock in trade by the shonksters.

    Any monkey can make money in a rising market….what happens when it stops rising and probably will never rise as it did before again when you want a rainy day fund……mmmm kiwisaver/superannuation (compulsory since 87 in oz) maybe…crazy talk in the NACT world.

  9. insider 9

    Bernard is obviously a smart guy, and these things should be constantly debated but remember he is just a journalist expressing an opinion. And his opinions have been wrong in the past particularly those on property prices, which is an area he has specialised in more than international trade and economic policies. So I wouldn’t get too excited…

    • Bright Red 9.1

      so, what in particular that Hickey and Marty have said are you disagreeing with?

      • insider 9.1.1

        Well starting at the first line:

        Bernard Hickey has become one of the country’s leading economic commentators, arguing from a position of the hardline neo-liberals – ie. the market is god.

        I’d say he is a prominent journalist who puts himself around and has opinions, but don’t think that makes him more credible than others who get less airtime. I’m just a bit suspect about the weight other journalists give to journalist ‘expert’ commentators. And I don’t think he has ever been a hardline neo-liberal.

        • Blighty 9.1.1.1

          stop beating round the bush old boy. Do you have any substantive disagreements about what Hickey and Marty have to say about the economy and the solutions?

          arguing the toss about Hickey’s bona fides is neither here nor there.

          • insider 9.1.1.1.1

            Well given that Marty is using BH’s conversion as a confirmation that the old gods are dead, BH’s qualifications are entirely relevant. So if your premise is flawed, most of your argument that flows will be too.

            In short I would tend to disagree that fortress NZ is the best way forward. High levels of inward investment to me are a sign of a very healthy economy that outside investors are competing to have a piece of because they see growing returns that we are rich enough to sustain. I’d expect that would be on the back of a healthy level of export and overseas investment driven wealth.

            Conversely, while Marty and BH may celebrate companies like Shell selling up and moving out as a great leap forward in economic sovereignty, I see the sad loss of global discipline and experience that a multinational can bring to a country and the opportunities that provides for local employees.

            What that means is we need greater opportunities to trade not fewer, and that trade needs to go both ways and across the economy. And I think history is more on the side of freer trade than restricted.

            • Blighty 9.1.1.1.1.1

              we have growing levels of debt/investment because we have to finance all the income from that debt/investment.

              the ‘investment’ we’re talking about is not, by and large, foreign companies cueing up to buy kiwi success stories. It’s people loaning us money so we can sell each other houses at over-inflated prices.

              If it were Kiwi success stories being sold overseas, you would have to question why we are selling.

              hickey is writing about restricting capital flows – like the wave of cheap credit that financed the housing bubble. Not trade restrictions.

              • insider

                Hickey and Marty are talking about far more than that. “I think New Zealand needs to have a debate about capital controls, about foreign ownership of assets, about measures to control our currency and about being openly nationalistic rather than internationalistic about our economic policy.”

                Buying and selling of businesses is a form of trade IMO, that’s why I said “trade needs to go both ways and across the economy”.

                Why would anyone sell a successful business? Range of reasons that are true for domestic and international businesses: lack of energy, pride in building something bigger, cashing in, realisation that the business needs wider help to survive, looking for a new challenge.

                Being successful now is not a guarantee of success forever. I’ve worked for successful companies that will never be more successful because of the failure of the owners to let go. While others are able to recognise that they are great building a business to size ‘x’ but to get to y and z requires a different skill set, and the cost of that may be to sell it.

                I think it would be brilliant if NZ is continuously generating a series of businesses that people are lining up to buy. I’d more more worried if there were no line.

                • Blighty

                  but, dear imbecile, we are not selling successful companies. We are borrowing for home and farm loans.

                  And, again, what you’re pointing to are calls for capital controls, not trade controls.

                  it’s about not undermining the viability of our economy by not making it vulnerable to external financial shocks by not selling our strategic assets and nor getting up to our nostrils in debt.

                  it’s not about putting tariffs or limits on trade.

                  you do understand the difference, yes?

                  • insider

                    Well if your response to people who have the temerity to disagree with you is just to resort to patronising smugness, I’ll leave you to play alone in your capital flow controlled fortress Blighty.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Well given that Marty is using BH’s conversion as a confirmation that the old gods are dead, BH’s qualifications are entirely relevant. So if your premise is flawed, most of your argument that flows will be too.

              The old gods of the free market are not dead, they were never there.

              Big difference. To continue the metaphor, false mistaken idols have been the target of reverence by the discipline of economics, and all the governments of the world sucked in by it, albeit not too subtly encouraged by multinational corporate interests.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.3

              I see the sad loss of global discipline and experience that a multinational can bring to a country and the opportunities that provides for local employees to remain serfs.

              FIFY

    • Maynard J 9.2

      You were wrong from the outset, outsider, Hickey is not a journalist. That’s not his angle in the slightest.

  10. Leopold 10

    Waiting for Mr Farrar’s spin on this….

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/77977/delusions-egalitarianism“>Delusions Of Egalitarianism

    The chart below conveys the central point: people think the distribution of wealth is more equal than it actually is; and they think it should be much more equal than their already unrealistically-equal notion of its current state.

    More indications of the irrationality of the market.

    Deleveraging is America’s future

    The latest Flow of Funds release by the US Federal Reserve shows that the private sector is continuing to delever. However there are nuances in this process that to some extent explain why a recovery appeared feasible for a while.

    And it appears that the current GFC still has a long way to fall.

    • Herodotus 11.1

      http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/09/26/the-tax-switchswindle/comment-page-1
      DTB remember this !!! “Since when has Bernard Hickey been from the Left?”
      He is movingthat way. Sorry had to hunt you down regarding this 😉
      And the maket is as rational as people, or is it people are as rational as the market !!!
      Also isnot the market especially the one that has been severally damaged just another version of “A Ponzi Scheme, but Govts all over the world have picked up the bill, or more correctly we the dopy citizen/tax payer

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Apparently he is. Shows signs of intelligence and the accompanying scepticism that goes with it. He’s not just blindly believing what he’s been told but questioning it.

        The collapse of the financial system in today’s GFC is the collapse of a Ponzi Scheme. Capitalism is a Ponzi Scheme fed by the delusion that if you’re rich you can become richer without producing any wealth.

        And the maket is as rational as people, or is it people are as rational as the market !!!

        Is that a question or an exclamation?
        The market is as rational as the known information. Most people have NFI about the information.

  12. ak 12

    A stunning reversal by one of their very own and most influential tools: along with the delicious farce of ACT drowning in hypocrisy and the tories hoist by their own filthy Iwi/Kiwi petard, symptomatic of the ever-accelerating path of Progression brought about by the interweb’s rapid dissemination of information and ideas (also predicted by Karl). The seeds of their own destruction germinating in their very own recta. Happy days for you youngsters and your kids. Keep chipping away: while they still own the scungy dregs of the Media, they still own us all.

  13. r0b 13

    I think it’s been clear ever since this despairing, depressing rant that all was not well with Mr Hickey’s take on the neoliberal dream.

    Good on you Bernard for waking up and seeing the light of day. Good on you for saying so forthrightly and compellingly.

  14. BLiP 14

    Its like watching a baby take its first steps . . . speaking of which, I wonder what’s changed in Bernard’s life that he has begun to think of others and the future rather than just himself and how clever he is. The data which supports his new viewpoint has been available and proved irrefutable for a generation or more; perhaps it just takes a certain light in which to read it before it makes sense, I guess.

  15. gingercrush 15

    I think Hickey needs a grip period and he should have remained fat because he seriously looks unhealthy. As too are his rantings. From the nonsense of his predicition house prices would fall 30%, to his seriously unhinged rants about how X and Y should leave New Zealand (which many of the left seem to lap up despite Hickey having his way would see things the left despise) to his pathetic thoughts on taxes on property where he went from a CGT to Land Tax to other bullshit.

    And I’m not entirely sure why you lot are celebrating his latest rant because the rant before this was about how the period of 2000-2008 of the Clark-Cullen years were years of fraud.

    • Blighty 15.1

      Why you lot were calling for more tax cuts because of surpluses in the Labour years, many on the Left were warning that we were in a housing buble and building up too much debt but the neoliberal settings of the economy had no way to counter that.

      housing is still overpriced and is did come down 10% at the lowest.

    • Herodotus 15.2

      For me what B.H. comments on is very valid. Even “new” industries such as Wellwood is being attacked note re Sir Pete Jacko, the yacht industry from US cup. So what substainable industries and GDP have we from those years of such great opportunity that was missed?
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10676075
      as with Blighty Houseing IS over priced, yet within the current market (Almost regained the al that was lost 2 years ago, Houseing is almost regained those losses) what a house sells for in Jafaland is almost below replacement cost. 1 reason why there are so few housing permits being issued why would a builder construct a house and struggle to sell it for any gain?
      Also there is very little land development occurring due land devaluations that then continues with the lack of willingness from Banks to fund (Not John Banks).
      http://www.interest.co.nz/news/second-lowest-june-year-level-building-consents

  16. Jum 16

    captcha: cycles

    Well all I can say is welcome back with the little people, Bernard. I do remember you taking Key to task a year or so ago when he intending proceeding with the tax cuts for those who didn’t need them and borrowing to do it. Even back then you were ‘waking’ to the Kraken.

    What concerns me is the fact that these very people are ruling over us or, in your case, influencing us and a majority of ‘us’ thought they/you deserved to be representing us.

    I guess the mathematical formula for meaningless elections is: Stupid gets voted in by even more stupid…or is it ‘by stupider’? The fact that we are the stupidest people in the world is because ‘we’ chose a moneytrader while others were trying to get rid of theirs – frightening really.

    If Key was such a good moneytrader with all the right connections to the very finance houses that would spill their poison around the world he would have known about the sub-prime crisis approaching like an iceberg. But, he didn’t warn us. On the other hand, if he was no good, why is he in control of our country? His so-called expertise got him in.

    The conspiracy theorists would have thought ‘how convenient; recession on the horizon caused by men’s greed and a nauseatingly-nice youngish rich white man with financial wheeler dealer engraved on his forehead, appears on the political scene just long enough to manipulate himself into Helensville; even the name of his electorate sounded Labour-lite. Key, manufactured in America, Lord Ashcroft advised from England, Crosby and Textored from Australia and poof: a man who would be pm’.

    But I mustn’t get too comfortable. You’re hardly rejecting Key; you’re just noting his softly, softly approach until next year if he gets in with the help of the current media influences he pays or who believe in him as the new messiah. Trouble is, Bernard, people can’t seem to trust in themselves; they seem to need someone else to think for them. Strangely enough too, economists never acknowledge the chaos theory that is within the human condition in their financial equations. Middlemen are always dangerous, aren’t they Bernard, especially when they’re mellowing, at least in public.

    Typing from Maui’s Titanic

  17. Kleefer 17

    Bernard Hickey is an economically illiterate fool. He has never been a friend of the free market and is too ignorant to understand that the problems the world’s economy is experiencing are not due to the free market (let’s not pretend we’ve ever had one) but rather the result of constant government meddling in the money supply through central banks.

    Central planners like Hickey and this site’s readers suffer from “I know best” syndrome. When the economy doesn’t work the way you think it should you always call for more (government) planning. But the real planning is done in the marketplace by entrepreneurs who try to anticipate human wants and provide for them. The price system sends “signals” that reflect the value humans place on various means of achieving their diverse ends, as well as the availability of these means now and and their anticipated availability in the future. The profit and loss mechanism informs market participants whether to continue providing a particular product or service or to redirect resources elsewhere.

    The interest rate should be like everything else in the price system, determined by supply and demand, in this case reflecting the extent to which people want to consume resources now or save them for future use. However, according to Austrian Business Cycle Theory, manipulation of the money supply through inflation and artificially low interest rates creates “malinvestment” because it distorts the all-important price signals that tell entrepreneurs whether a particular investment is likely to be a profitable one.

    Certain sectors (real estate, financial services etc) that benefit most from the injection of new money become bloated and bid workers away from other, more profitable sectors. When the money-go-round stops the investors in these sectors find out that the demand was artificial because the low interest rates didn’t reflect the availability of real (saved) resources. Loss-making businesses need to be liquidated and their workers allowed to move to more productive jobs.

    New Zealand, and the rest of the world, needs to get money out of the hands of politicians and let it reflect supply and demand like everything else. Free banking with competing bank-issued currencies backed by precious metals (determined by market preference) would render the carry trade and all those other government-created arbitrage opportunities irrelevant. Or we could do what Hickey suggests and fix the New Zealand dollar at a particular price. But how would the government decide what price is optimal? Who would that benefit? And who would get screwed?

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      Central planners like Hickey and this site’s readers suffer from “I know best” syndrome.

      From an Austrian, that really is some classic shit.

    • RedLogix 17.2

      And the fastest growing economy in the world? China.

      Has tight currency control. Assidiously manipulates it’s money supply.

      Has extensive central planning and intensive govt involvment in almost all industries.

      Rigid limits on overseas investment, especially land.

      An openly nationalistic economic agenda.

      None of which work according the economic wizard commenting above.

      • comedy 17.2.1

        You forgot

        A massive population
        No unions
        Fairly striking poverty outside of the “economic areas”
        Little to no regard for the environment
        No minimum wage

        etc etc etc etc

        For all its bad bits and good bits it ain’t somewhere I’d like to live, every time I go up there I’m ecstatic to get the hell out after a week… although I feel the same way about the US as well.

        • RedLogix 17.2.1.1

          None of those things you mention were being argued for by keefer.

          Large population…so does the US

          No unions…pretty much gone in the US

          Poverty …42m Americans on foodstamps. And over 22% real unemployment and the US economy is stalled. (Except of course for the billionare elite who are better off than ever.)

          No minimum wage…well you have me there. That must be the secret to being the fastest growing economy in the world.

  18. jcuknz 18

    >>>I can’t understand why selling our assets would ever be seen as a good idea. Especially strategic assets that we can’t afford to lose. We just end up paying profits that disappear offshore <<<
    This has been obvious to me for decades even though I'm just one of the peasants, why cannot the brainy types work it out?

  19. come get some 19

    because they’re the ones that make the money selling those assets

  20. Jum 20

    It’s a bit like building more roads the more cars will come. The ‘brainy types’ are more greedy than they are brainy. They always see the light when they’ve made their pile of gold; got their cosy job in parliament – Paula the name is – and there’s a lot of money to be made from vehicles. Trains are for people – cars are for government coffers. The brainy/GREEDY types are stateless and will follow the money. Don’t imagine they are here to help us. Anyone who thinks trains are bad fits into the greedy bin.

  21. The Hickey family including Bernard are family friends so its good to see Bernard has seen the light at last. Welcome back home to Cambridge Bernard all is forgiven!!

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    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
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    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
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    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
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  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago

  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    42 mins ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago