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Highlighting the income gap

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, March 31st, 2014 - 84 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, democratic participation, poverty, unemployment, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

There’s significant information available about the destructive impact of high levels of income inequalities, on people’s lives and democratic processes.  Many Kiwis feel its impact.  How can the public be better informed about the causes of, and remedies for income inequalities and related differences in access to power.

child poverty a national disgrace

Auckland Action Against Poverty are planning a well targeted and creative bit of action next Saturday. Meanwhile a Herald Digipoll tells us what too many Kiwis already know:

Nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders believe the gap between rich and poor has increased under six years of National Government and almost two-thirds feel they are no better off or have gone backwards, a Herald-DigiPoll survey suggests.

Forty four per cent of the 750 New Zealanders surveyed this month said the gap between the rich and poor had got a lot bigger over the past six years.

Bill English hilariously tries a glass-half-full response to the poll:

Through a spokesman, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said the fact the poll showed most New Zealanders felt better off or the same about their situation “is encouraging given they have been through a large recession and the global financial crisis in the past six years”.

Auckland Action Against Poverty has a piece of action planned for next Saturday evening outside the Young Nats’ Ball in Auckland:

John Key & Paula Bennett are preparing to have a ball with their Young Nats. We’re hosting an alternative party for those left out in the cold by Nationals war on the poor.
[…]
Beneficiaries, low paid workers and young New Zealanders see little reason to celebrate after 6 years under National.

Let’s remind the Nats their champagne celebrations will not go unchallenged while so many of us are pushed further into poverty as a result of their policies.

6.30pm Saturday 5th April outside Rendezvous Hotel, 71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland

Key young nats ball

It is good that there is some coverage in the mainstream media of the issue of the inequality gap.  However, far more needs to be done politically and in policy development and public discourse.  This is needed in order to identify specific problems and causal factors, and to develop effective policies to improve the situation.

Statistics NZ provides useful data

Statistics NZ provides some useful background on the last few decades of income inequality in NZ, and how NZ compares internationally.  Basically, inequality in NZ rose markedly in the late 1980s, started to decrease under the last Labour led government, then began to increase again under the current National led government.  It is still well above the early to mid 1980s level.

The NZ Income surveys show things are not that great for young people, with a relative drop in income for those aged between 15 and 24 years.

 

Sociological research & public knowledge & understanding

For those interested in gaining a more in depth grasp of the issues of income inequalities and social class differences, a special issue of The Journal the Sociological Association of New Zealand, 2013 (v28:3) is worth a look.  The editorial outlines the various ways of understanding the linkages between class and income inequality.  It argues that these linkages are overdue an up-dating for the current NZ context.  Factors that need to be considered are the impact on people’s lives of the interaction between income inequality and social and cultural capital.  These also interact with other inequalities like those of gender and ethnicity

The editorial by Charles Crothers mentions that a more Marxist approach takes into account issues of power and domination (an important factor not to be overlooked).  There is reference to Erik Olin Wright’s (2009) discussion of this and other approaches.  Crothers then provides a general outline of the US context (but relevant to NZ) arising from various sociological approaches:

– At the top, an extremely rich capitalist class and corporate managerial class,[…]

– An historically large and relatively stable middle class, […]

– A working class which once was characterised by a relatively large unionized segment […]

– A poor and precarious segment of the working class, […]

– A marginalised, impoverished part of the population, […]

Brian Easton analyses Bryan Perry and Max Rashbrooke’s books on income inequalities, which he finds useful, but limited in scope, and with some flawed elements. He ends by concluding that policies require a considered mix of redistribution and predistribution.

Peter Skilling argues that argues that many of the claims in books by Rashbrooke and Stiglitz are not very new (e.g. “that a meaningful policy response to inequality might not be compatible with the continuation of free markets”).

Economic power & the media

More importantly Skilling concludes that neither book provides strategies to counter the wider understandings and values that currently dominate the public sphere – and particularly that there is a need to look more in depth at the ways that economic power, and the MSM dominate general discourse.

In this more practical vein, both Stiglitz and (in the Rashbrooke volume) Wade call for greater control over the financing of politicians and political parties. But it is worth recalling that the last attempt in New Zealand to regulate political party electoral financing resulted in a media outcry, led by the New Zealand Herald’s ‘Democracy under Attack’ campaign (New Zealand Herald, 2007).

Skilling notes that there has been no similar campaign in the MSM against the way inequalities undermine democracy.  He ends by saying that there needs to be more consideration of the ways the mass media and social media networks can contribute towards “developing a public consensus to address inequality. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

84 comments on “Highlighting the income gap”

  1. Tracey 1

    And the national crosby tdexter sideshow is revved up to tell us the second most important issue to nzers is law and order… its not, but thats what they are spouting starting with key on tv this morning…

    below is a short extract but gives a taster into how poverty in the usa and loss of welfare led to credit which got the poor caught up in the market forces
    http://m.sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/11/25/sf.sot122.extract

  2. Tracey 2

    below is a short extract but gives a taster into how poverty in the usa and loss of income to fund welfare led to credit which got the govt caught up in trying to fund so eventually the finance sector convinced goct to loosen therules… which they did
    http://m.sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/11/25/sf.sot122.extract

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Anyone who watched the well researched TV mini-series on Packer and Murdoch will have finally had confirmation that what they were told for years by the media was a ‘lefty conspiracy theory’ was actually true. Crony capitalism as the standard operating procedure, with media complicity an essential foundation, kept the right in charge for decades in Aussie. And over here too.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      An efficient economy requires a larger pool of capable people able to take up societies jobs, for many reasons, but simplest is that not having enough people capable means they can ask whatever they like. Now we do have enough bankers, yet their asking wages kept rising despite this The only explanation for this was ideological, that the power think they are irreplaceable and so gave each other high remunerations. The danger though was what happen, first it was just enough that capable individuals were also deeply imbued with the ideology of individual supremacy, but over time there was no need to hire capable (i.e. law abiding, or those with integrity. Or worse those who pushed the ideology further into society morphing the economy out of any efficiency. Welcome to 2014, building roads as petrol peaks, impressively backwards.

      However we have turned, or are turning. Moro points out how the rich aren’t letting their kids inherit their fortunes. Not the royal though. But its impressively bad news for those societies that do this, since the young and capable few who also inherit great wealth and are capable (there are some) are eradicated from society, leaving their skills to be picked up by Arabs and other societies that don’t excise their inferior children from inheritance. You see an efficient economy isn’t necessary a uniform one, that’s the mistake of the communists and now the neoliberals, as both have a commonality, their own supremacy of intellect and righteousness.

      Yes we need to fix the macro linkages that is propelling the wealthy few to great massive wealth, but no we don’t need to do it by making us less diverse and unequal. We need to shift the trends, not organize the people better. The threat is from those in wealth, too stupid to admit the error of Thatcherism, and too stupid to admit their own vanity, and even stupid enough to impose their beliefs on their offspring.

      At its core I believe every generation up to the boomers believed children were the future, but with the boomers they were told they were the future, cultural time stopped, all aspect of society is given over to boomers, and even in retirement boomers will rule tax policy. We stopped living for our children.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Also, anyone tried to ‘vote’ or ‘view results’ on the National Herald on-line poll today? They ask ‘what do you think of National’s handling of income inequality’ and neither ‘button’ seems to work, despite boasting 4650 votes?

    • karol 4.1

      The Poll worked for me. 48% say National’s handling of it has been bad.

      • Belladonna 4.1.1

        Poll still says the same percentage which is a little strange. Hasn’t moved since the middle of the day seemingly.

  5. Ad 5

    Motivation enough for me to go once more into a campaign.
    No more needed.

  6. whatever next? 6

    but will we be pummeled with this poll, as we are by all “who’s winning” polls released ad nauseum?
    I doubt it
    (that picture says it all)

  7. McFlock 7

    I reckon the dialogue around inequality and particularly children facing deprivation has changed over the last 5 or 10 years. That didn’t happen by accident – while there isn’t so much in the coordination as such, academics have been working harder to communicate their research to advocates and activists on the ground, while activists and advocates have worked hard to match the research to real stories of individuals.

    IMO, that’s one of the more significant factors in stories about child maltreatment being viewed as more of a systemic, community problem, rather than the only voice being along the lines of Lhaws saying things like ‘lock up the ferals’.

    Not won, by any means, but I reckon that that’s a fairly solid model for expanding the different issues facing the non-luxury classes

    • karol 7.1

      That’s interesting, McFlock, because that was a major impetus for the Skilliing article that I referred to. I mentioned the academic-non-academia interaction in an earlier draft of my post, but the post got too long. So that was one of the bits I edited out.

      Skilling said at the start of his article:

      One thing that might be noted about the strictly academic literature in this area is that it has been strikingly unsuccessful (thus far, at least) in effecting policy change, or even attitudinal change. In this context it is understandable and – in my view – admirable that many of the academics listed above have sought to engage a broader audience. My interest here is on this specific sub-genre of the recent inequality literature: books on the issue written by academics but written for an audience beyond academia.

      Skilling also mentions “The Spirit Level” as the most well known example, near the beginning of his article. He chose to focus mostly on the Rashbrooke & Stiglitz books to make his article manageable.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        It strikes me as also being one common factor that some of the successful campaigns on what one or two Waitakere Men like to call “boutique identity politics” share.

        And also something that “the left” was once adept at: activists acting as an enthusiastic bridge of communication between the populace and the researcher (generally Marx), if you will.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.2

        The Spirit Level is hardly an academic tretise – it’s journalistic pop soc sci that privileges economic inequality over all other kinds of inequality and fudges the distiction between whether less economic inequality means all society does better or just better on average. Nor does health and income offer a robust enough correlation for a thesis and the book is riddled with western-centric cultural perspectives and assumptions. It’s certainly not enough to build policy around.

        • felix 7.1.2.1

          Have you seen this recent comment from karol where she refers to Skilling describing The Spirit Level?

        • karol 7.1.2.2

          Did you read the articles in the journal cited in my post, pop? They include an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of such books. They also point to where more research is needed. Too much to cover in detail in a post.

    • Ergo Robertina 7.2

      Yes, our social ills are now a rich source of academic funding and kudos for our cash strapped universities.
      I suppose it’s good if you earn your living from it.
      But most of this boils down to the mundane stuff of every day life; reducing alcohol intake, eating healthy food, living in a warm insulated house, accessing healthcare, and having a reasonable distribution of income.
      We don’t need screeds of ‘evidence’ or a fancy academic title to know how to live well, or that poverty is a bad thing.
      And this Chris Trotter column suggests a more sinister agenda at play.

      • McFlock 7.2.2

        And maybe someone once said to Hillary that climbing Everest boiled down to the mundane stuff of avoiding hypothermia, taking oxygen and putting one foot in front of another /sarc

        Oh, and for some reason it’s not quite that rich a source of funding. But then you already know everything, no evidence required – unfortunately the rest of us need to choose between A)quoting the latest research to demonstrate systemic problems; or B)saying that tories are wrong because, well, um, a youtube link with cool sound track said so…

        • Ergo Robertina 7.2.2.1

          Well, I accept it’s still not that rich; which is why academia is so vulnerable to the political preoccupations of the day.
          And that is dangerous, because we need universities to be the conscience of society, without fear or favour.
          Sometimes the political agenda includes delaying action, which academia serves well because there is always more evidence to be garnered, results are seldom conclusive.
          Read Donna Chisholm’s latest piece in North and South for some indication of how things are going wrong, as the agendas of big business and government are actually imperilling the economic aims they hope to drive with research. Academic Rod Jackson – I don’t have the article here to cite with me unfortunately, was quoted saying he was frequently invited to speak at academic conferences about his research indicating alcohol consumption reduced heart disease risk. And then his subsequent findings suggested the reverse, and the invitations stopped, which made him question the influence of vested interests.
          Although you probably believe such an article is meaningless trivia, because it is full of unscientific anecdotes like the one cited above.
          As stated above, universities should be the conscience of society, but I do not believe that is enhanced by being harnessed to produce social policy on everyday matters, and being tied too closely with commercial research.

          • McFlock 7.2.2.1.1

            Everything you said about the issue of academic freedom and research in that comment was pretty much reasonable and true.

            But it’s still a key ingredient to implementing policies that reduce inequality. Because to win the fight capitalists we need something more than some youtube propaganda clips and a belief in the divinity of our own intuition.

            • Ergo Robertina 7.2.2.1.1.1

              ‘… a belief in the divinity of our own intuition.’

              Did the first Labour Government draw upon the divinity of its intuition, or reams of academic research, to marshal the political will to build state houses, set up the welfare system, the health system?
              No, it simply put in place systems and facilities to cater for people’s physical needs because it was the right thing to do.
              As Bill said, the academic model endlessly diagnoses and mulls over the minutiae of the malaise rather than curing it. There is a vital role for reflection, study, and challenge to the status quo, but academia itself does not propel political action.

              • karol

                You underestimate how widely read and knowledgable the early twentieth cnetury socialist/labour movement people were.

                Look at Michael J Savage’s bio on Te Ara:

                In his early years he was into Henry George (a political economist) and Edward Bellamy.

                The Te Ara bio also says this:

                During this time Savage became involved with the WEA and was particularly influenced by the monetary reform views of Irving Fisher, professor of political economy at Yale University. The writings of Fisher reinforced Savage’s belief, derived from his earlier reading of Henry George, Edward Bellamy and Karl Marx, that gross under-consumption, economic deprivation and social misery existed in the midst of plenty because the means of distribution and exchange were unsatisfactory. The state alone should have the right to issue money and regulate its value and to control credit through a government-directed banking system.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  Of course reading was seminal to these mostly autodidact politicians, like John A Lee for whom encountering Jack London was a turning point. The social realism of the likes of London, Sinclair Upton, George Orwell, the syndicalist writers, Marx, and so on, formed their intellectual, social, and political bedrock.
                  It awakened and fed an anger too; these writings aren’t characterised by dry and dispassionate academic jargon, and quantitative findings.

                  • karol

                    these writings aren’t characterised by dry and dispassionate academic jargon, and quantitative findings.

                    Ah, but academics research doesn’t need to always be written that way.

                    And that is precisely what Peter Skilling was on about in the article I referred to in my post – making academic writing that is more accessible and useful to the general public.

                    I’ve been reading bit of The Making the English Working Class lately – inspiring stuff.

                    Sometimes quantitative data is useful in showing the bigger picture.

                    And that sort of information is important in showing how things like income inequality have changed over time. And scientific data is essential to provide evidence of things like climate change.

                    Without being backed with such evidence, how do you expect to convince the general population that change is needed, or that they have nothing to lose but their chains?

                    BTW, Bryan Bruce’s documentary on poverty used academic material well in a way that was associated with images and explanations that could be communicated well pretty widely. Part of the reason I think that the inequality gap, and poverty have become an election issues.

          • karol 7.2.2.1.2

            Do you know think that books like The Spirit Level, and The Rashbrrooke book re inequality in NZ, have helped raise the profile of income inequality publicly? these are books by academics, for general public consumption.

            Indeed, we do need universities to have academic freedom. Too much has been whittled away during neoliberal times.

            I’m more concerned about universities being appropriated by business (think Owen Glenn) and less concerned about the work done on social policy (Sue Bradford is now a lecturer at UNITEC on social practice/ community development, and the work done by many people in sociology.

            • Ergo Robertina 7.2.2.1.2.1

              It’s an interesting question regarding the impact of The Spirit Level and its New Zealand offshoot.
              I would say the impact is positive – but limited.
              Outside the more engaged end of the chattering class, how many have read the books?
              Inequality is on the radar politically, but that’s to a large extent a symptom of the problem, rather than the books per se. That’s not to say they are not a useful resource.
              In Britain, there was certainly an impact. The TSL had an exciting moment, especially given the timing of its release soon after the financial crisis.
              Britain has an intellectual and serious media infrastructure that New Zealand does not have, and the author academics had a bit of charisma, and are quite strident. Whereas here, at a talk I attended, Rashbrooke declined to prescribe specific remedies to reduce inequality, and it all seemed a bit mealy mouthed.
              Anyway, I don’t need 30 years of evidence about the worsening of the gini coefficient to know trickle-down doesn’t work. And neither did two of the ignored and derided politicians of the 1980s, Tony Benn and Jim Anderton.
              In one of your links, Brian Easton said there was a surprising amount of NZ research on inequality. Do you think this substantial body of research has lessoned the problem?
              Good post by the way.

              • karol

                It doesn’t need for everyone to read the books for the ideas in them to become widely circulated. Some read them, some provide quotes and explanations, the ideas get discussed, etc.

                Peter Skilling, in his article that I cited in my post, said exactly that about the research on inequality – he said there needs to be more academic work on the topic that has an impact on staretgies, and that is done in such a way as to be communicated to, and understood by the general public.

                Bryan Bruce puts some of this academic ideas into an award winning and very watchable documentary. It includes reference to The Spirit Level.

                Tony Benn was excellent at being able to communicate socialist ideas in a very easily understandable way. But where did he get those ideas from?

                He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford Uni

                • Ergo Robertina

                  I’m not denying a role for academia, I am though sceptical of whether it can effect the desired change politically and socially.
                  Of course, academia also gave us the Chicago boys and the Washington consensus, providing the intellectual underpinning to deregulate the financial sector, and helped enable shocking political violence and thuggery in South America.
                  It’s not an either-or dichotomy in the black and white terms favoured by McFlock, around intuition versus evidence.
                  I agree with you that academic writing can be a powerful force for good, and need not be written in inaccessible language, although much of it is.
                  As an aside, I believe Benn did not consider himself an intellectual, and was influenced by the family tradition of nonconformist religion, which is dealt with in this article:
                  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/22/tony-benn-peter-wilby-reads-diaries

                  • McFlock

                    It’s not an either-or dichotomy in the black and white terms favoured by McFlock, around intuition versus evidence.

                    cf my previous comment (emphasis added):

                    But it’s still a key ingredient to implementing policies that reduce inequality. Because to win the fight capitalists we need something more than some youtube propaganda clips and a belief in the divinity of our own intuition

                    “autodidactic” you ain’t.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      I’m sorry if you feel I oversimplified your point.
                      However, the strawman of ‘a belief in the divinity of our own intuition’ is hyperbolic and derogatory. It places intuition in the realm of faith, the supernatural, and the irrational, by using the words ‘belief’ and ‘divinity’ for description.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t feel you oversimplified it. I know that portraying something as a black&white dichotomy is not the same as saying that one thing is necessary and the other thing is insufficient. Even if you confuse the two, your non-apology was completely unnecessary.

                      I’ve looked at the divinity line again, and can’t decide if it’s hyperbole or not:
                      If “intuition” isn’t perfect, surely it’s a profound arrogance to want to change society (through either revolution or election) according only to one’s personal intuition?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Well, it’s clearly not hyperbole to you, because in this context you view intuition in regards to politics as ‘profound arrogance’.
                      I said elsewhere on this thread that some of us didn’t need 30 years of gini coefficient data to have known at the outset that trickledown economics was rubbish. Perhaps that is an example of ‘profound arrogance’. If so, I don’t care.

                    • McFlock

                      I said elsewhere on this thread that some of us didn’t need 30 years of gini coefficient data to have known at the outset that trickledown economics was rubbish.

                      Really? Wow, that’s amazing. What about everyone else, how were they supposed to know? And: how did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      When a Government flogs off assets overseas, removes import barriers, and creates a trade imbalance, the result is a tiny elite and huge social problems and poverty domestically. A widening gap between the rich and the poor is inevitable.
                      You don’t need a university degree to grasp it, just a basic understanding of history and human nature.
                      And the Keynesian economists in our universities were swept away by this tide; they had no ability to shape the agenda.

                    • McFlock

                      The questions were:
                      how were people without your “intuition” supposed to know?
                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      that keynesian etc academics failed to stop it is not the issue. Maybe they were wrong. How do you know that the tories aren’t correct, that everyone except the people you personally encountered aren’t better off?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘how were people without your “intuition” supposed to know?’

                      Wow, that’s some intellectually dishonest use of inverted commas there. You introduced the notion of ‘intuition’ to this thread. I agreed it had a place, but elaborated on the historical, social, political, economic factors (mostly just cause and effect) that militate against free markets delivering equal distribution of income. I can see you’re not interested in the actual topic.

                      ‘How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?’
                      ‘that keynesian etc academics failed to stop it is not the issue.’
                      ‘ Maybe they were wrong. How do you know that the tories aren’t correct, that everyone except the people you personally encountered aren’t better off?

                      Your questions are predicated on the odd notion that we need a quantitative data set about every human endeavour in order to make decisions, predictions, or assertions. Which is obviously quite bizarre.

                    • McFlock

                      Your questions are predicated on the odd notion that we need a quantitative data set about every human endeavour in order to make decisions, predictions, or assertions. Which is obviously quite bizarre.

                      nope. They’re pretty simple.
                      You made a specific claim about how your predictive powers made academic research redundant.

                      how were people without [your predictive powers] supposed to know?
                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      Because the objective is to stop those bastards (neolibs) being re-elected, preferably over the long term. It would be awesome if the majority of the populace could, like, just know somehow that the neolibs are full of shit.

                      Apparently research demonstrating increasing inequality and hardship for our poorest is a waste of resources. So how is everyone else supposed to come to your conclusion, and how are we supposed to know that conclusion is correct?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      False premise. Why would academic research be ‘redundant’? Had we followed a different social and economic path, there would simply be a different set of data to analyse.

                    • McFlock

                      Why would academic research be ‘redundant’?

                      cf:

                      some of us didn’t need 30 years of gini coefficient data to have known at the outset that trickledown economics was rubbish

                      Seems you think at least one bit of academic research has a function that was already fulfilled by your predictive powers.

                      Had we followed a different social and economic path, there would simply be a different set of data to analyse.

                      Yes. But the weight of the evidence would have pointed in the same direction. Neolibs = high inequality, high unemployment, and falling living standards relative to less-neolib societies.

                      how were people without [your predictive powers] supposed to know?
                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      What is your view of trickle-down economics?
                      At what point in time was the evidence sufficient (if indeed it is) for you to hold a view?
                      If research and data analysis is framed in a way that seems biased or slanted (like the focus on child poverty, rather than poverty) does that affect how you see the findings?
                      What if research parameters are defined by politicians and NGOs? Does it matter?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      how were people without [your predictive powers] supposed to know?

                      I’m not the only person who thought Rogernomics wasn’t a good idea. Perhaps you missed the mass redundancies, the virtual closure of some small towns, and the electorate’s decision to change the voting system in response.

                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      I have already answered that in cause and effect economic terms. Market economies are nothing new, have been in vogue many times before, and caused huge health and social ills.

                    • McFlock

                      “hold a view” or “know”? Because the two are very different things.

                      But obviously I like data. And I have a bit of an advantage because I was still in school in the 80s, so my opinion was formed equally by personal experience, learning about economics and political history, and of course seeing the broad data. The assurances neolibs give of improvement aren’t matched by the reality of most people. I think their portrayals of markets and human interactions are simplistic, and I think there’s more than enough data now to say that it quacks like a duck.

                      Of course biased data or narrow samples affect how I regard finndings, but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. As long as the bias is known, that’s cool, it has value. If we suspect it’s biased, but not how it’s biased, it approaches worthlessness. Like a herald or reid poll.

                      That’s how I reached my conclusion, and why I think it’s correct.
                      You?

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not the only person who thought Rogernomics wasn’t a good idea.

                      Thought? You said you knew.

                      Perhaps you missed the mass redundancies, the virtual closure of some small towns, and the electorate’s decision to change the voting system in response.

                      I also saw many new businesses start up, conspicuous consumption, building booms in other towns, and a media targeted squarely at the comfortable middle classes.

                      Macroeconomic data certainly helped demonstrate whether there was more “boom” than “bust”. Bust has been winning for three decades, but the only reason I can be sure of that is data, research, and formal education.

                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      I have already answered that in cause and effect economic terms. Market economies are nothing new, have been in vogue many times before, and caused huge health and social ills.

                      Where did you pick that up from? I’m sure they haven’t been in vogue “many times before” in your lifetime.

                    • whatever next?

                      But how to force the moment to a crisis? it took a war to raise “the spirit of 45”, and people finally realising there was another way, and if they could beat Hitler, and run an empire, why not have a decent life aswell?
                      what will it take now? how do we get the 1,000,000 who didn’t vote in the last election to vote in September? hopefully not a war.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘I also saw many new businesses start up, conspicuous consumption, building booms in other towns, and a media targeted squarely at the comfortable middle classes.’

                      Creative destruction eh?
                      You’ve given quite an insight into why you’re sanguine about us wasting 30 years in order to study your beloved ‘data’. Now, I don’t expect you to be able to incorporate this in your dismal and banal mindset, but the ‘data’ you put on some kind of pedestal is human lives, humans thrown on the scrapheap of history.
                      You did not seem to understand the point about opportunity cost, that if we didn’t have this data set, we would have another set of figures, telling a different story.
                      Locked in a reactive knee-jerk ‘evidence based’ paradigm, you appear to think it’s fine if as a society we do stupid, destructive things, as long as it’s measured afterwards.

                    • McFlock

                      aaaaaaand we talk past each other once again.

                      My point was that you somehow knew that the new jobs and wealth would not come close to outweighing the damage of destroyed towns and industries, when lots of other people apparently didn’t.

                      And you still haven’t explained how you know for a fact that you were right 30 years ago. I assume it didn’t involve formal education and actual data.

                      It’s all very well that you can pull this shit out of your arse, but how do you prove it to people who don’t have your perceptive gifts?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘And you still haven’t explained how you know for a fact that you were right 30 years ago. I assume it didn’t involve formal education and actual data.’

                      This implies only academics or researchers in the pertinent subject area can hold opinions on politics and economics. You do appear to hold some rather eccentric views.
                      I was at primary school at the time, but was opposed to Roger Douglas et al, and distressed at the upheaval in our community. It’s not particularly relevant, although children certainly have an innate sense of fairness, and more sensitivity to the suffering of others than most adults.
                      My point was more around the value of the data, in terms of convincing or persuading people. Either you want to see the injustice, or do not, and facts and figures won’t change that.
                      In general terms if you introduce monetarism and austerity etc the result is widening gaps between rich and poor. I’m surprised you find that a contentious statement.
                      If you believe in the power of data to convince, then why hasn’t more progress been made? Can you quantify how many more yearly data sets we need to engender change?
                      And you say you’re fine with bias, because you can see and account for it, but what about people without your perceptive gifts?
                      The focus on child poverty tilts attention away from structural issues and the health and wellbeing of older people. Do you believe everyone is equipped to account for the bias?

                    • McFlock

                      ‘And you still haven’t explained how you know for a fact that you were right 30 years ago. I assume it didn’t involve formal education and actual data.’

                      This implies only academics or researchers in the pertinent subject area can hold opinions on politics and economics.

                      It does no such thing. You just made the inference because we seem to have a failure to communicate.

                      I was at primary school at the time, but was opposed to Roger Douglas et al, and distressed at the upheaval in our community.

                      What about my community? How much upheaval was there? Or the community of random person X?

                      What you don’t get is that businesses are always going under or making people redundant. The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.

                      My point was more around the value of the data, in terms of convincing or persuading people. Either you want to see the injustice, or do not, and facts and figures won’t change that.

                      I have never been to northland. I would have no way of knowing what is happening there without long-term data like unemployments rates, GINI, and healthcare issues. Even a roadtrip around the country wouldn’t really expose all the issues that only one or two data sources might.

                      In general terms if you introduce monetarism and austerity etc the result is widening gaps between rich and poor. I’m surprised you find that a contentious statement.

                      🙄 I don’t.
                      I just think that demonstrating it based on … whatever … is contentious.

                      If you believe in the power of data to convince, then why hasn’t more progress been made? Can you quantify how many more yearly data sets we need to engender change?

                      Personally, I think that progress has been made, but only since real effort has been made by various academics and advocacy groups to get together and coordinate their approaches in the last ten years or so. I think previous efforts were fragmented and siloed.

                      contrast with SUDI/SIDS: down by >90% in 30-odd years. Based on data and primary research leading into public health communication and direct contact with new parents, feeding back into primary research to tailor interventions.

                      And you say you’re fine with bias, because you can see and account for it, but what about people without your perceptive gifts?

                      ahahahaha, I see what you did there. But I have no special powers. I did have a formal education, though. Taught me to do high falutin’ things like “reading the methodology”.

                      The focus on child poverty tilts attention away from structural issues and the health and wellbeing of older people. Do you believe everyone is equipped to account for the bias?

                      Investment in child poverty means many future older people won’t have as many issues. But it’s also the “low hanging fruit” in the wider argument, because even some tories might accept that public money should be spent on preventing pertussis or rheumatic fever, or extra services to keep kids in school or clothed. Adults aren’t so cuddly. Same reason WWF has a panda on its logo, not an endangered dung beetle.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘I was at primary school at the time, but was opposed to Roger Douglas et al, and distressed at the upheaval in our community.’
                      McFlock: What about my community? How much upheaval was there? Or the community of random person X?’

                      I am filtering my early experience through a wider macro view, with the benefit of hindsight. I wouldn’t be talking about it here otherwise.

                      ‘What you don’t get is that businesses are always going under or making people redundant.’

                      This line is straight out of the Paula Bennett playbook that chaos and uncertainty in the economy is normal (‘the employment market is bouncy, like me!’ etc)

                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more
                      stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.
                      Those with a dissenting view are irrational (true belief) and must be discounted. This mirrors the residual denial in Labour to accept the cruelty inflicted on people, as well as the tendency to patronise the victims.

                      ‘I have never been to northland. I would have no way of knowing what is happening there without long-term data like unemployments rates, GINI, and healthcare issues. Even a roadtrip around the country wouldn’t really expose all the issues that only one or two data sources might.’

                      It isn’t hard to work out that a programme like Rogernomics will be disproportionately cruel in a place like Northland, with low levels of education and so on. It is cold and psychopathic to claim this has to be studied to figure it out.

                      ‘I just think that demonstrating [widening gaps between rich and poor] it based on … whatever … is contentious.’

                      I didn’t say ‘whatever’, I pointed to macroeconomic and historical factors that you either don’t understand or are determined to ignore.

                      ‘Personally, I think that progress has been made, but only since real effort has been made by various academics and advocacy groups to get together and coordinate their approaches in the last ten years or so. I think previous efforts were fragmented and siloed.’

                      Considering you don’t really accept there’s a problem in the first place, your assurance that progress is being made is not credible.

                      ‘ahahahaha, I see what you did there. But I have no special powers. I did have a formal education, though. Taught me to do high falutin’ things like “reading the methodology”.

                      You didn’t address the issue of how people who have no such education fare.

                      ‘Investment in child poverty means many future older people won’t have as many issues. But it’s also the “low hanging fruit” in the wider argument, because even some tories might accept that public money should be spent on preventing pertussis or rheumatic fever, or extra services to keep kids in school or clothed. Adults aren’t so cuddly. Same reason WWF has a panda on its logo, not an endangered dung beetle.’

                      So you’re happy for us to just treat the symptoms, making no structural adjustments.

                    • McFlock

                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more
                      stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.
                      Those with a dissenting view are irrational (true belief) and must be discounted. This mirrors the residual denial in Labour to accept the cruelty inflicted on people, as well as the tendency to patronise the victims.

                      You got all that from the above quote?
                      None of it was there.

                      In fact, from:

                      You had a true belief that lab4 was bad.’

                      (emphasis added for the person who doesn’t bother reading before commenting), you got:

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.

                      How about you try reading and responding to my previous comment again, otherwise I can’t be bothered feeding your massive confirmation bias.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      A pathetic attempt to deflect through petulance.
                      How about using the whole quote?

                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more
                      stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      ‘But for you knew it wasn’t lab4. . . ‘
                      This discounts what you term a ‘belief’, which was prefaced with the facetious intensifier ‘true’.

                      ‘How about you try reading and responding to my previous comment again, otherwise I can’t be bothered feeding your massive confirmation bias.’

                      And I can’t be bothered feeding your intellectual dishonesty, so don’t bother responding unless it is with something constructive.

                    • McFlock

                      I didn’t bother with the rest of the quote, because it quite obviously and clearly and explicitly dealt with what you could have known about how lab4 affected the country as a whole versus your direct experience in your community. Because you said you don’t need the things like GINI to “know” that stuff.

                      In smaller words, the rest of that quote has nothing to do with what I believe about lab4, could not conceivably have anything to do with what I believe about lab4, and completely breaks the english language to suggest that it does.

                      The only reason I even included the first bit was because when I described your belief (that lab4 was bad – that is your belief, yes?) as “true”, that is obviously a value judgement on my part that your belief is true and that lab4 was, indeed, bad.

                      Learn to read.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Learn to write.
                      The term ‘true belief’ suggests a belief fervently held, perhaps in a hostile environment. It does not indicate that that belief is justified.
                      Given the context of this discussion regarding experience/knowledge versus data, your construction is sloppy at best.

                    • McFlock

                      The term ‘true belief’ suggests a belief fervently held, perhaps in a hostile environment. It does not indicate that that belief is justified.
                      Given the context of this discussion regarding experience/knowledge versus data, your construction is sloppy at best.

                      To you. In the context of the discussion about whether you had any basis for believing what you had claimed to know, no it doesn’t.
                      You claimed to “know” rogernomics was/is bad. I agreed that it was/is bad (“true”), but my entire theme in this has been that your belief was not justified. Because you rely on, at best, a subjective interpretation of your immediate experience, plus whatever else you happen to already agree with.

                      This is the upteenth time you’ve accused me of suggesting or implying something that I never did. The inference is completely inside your head. At least this time it doesn’t completely break the english language to make that inference. But fuck it, I’ve had enough.

                      You wanted to know how those without formal education fare? If you’re anything to go by, many of them would have a greater likelihood of holding beliefs about the real world that are completely unjustified, even down to what they believe other people wrote in teeny tiny words. They are also apparently more likely to have a confirmation bias that completely filters out any information that is not exactly what they expect. Their beliefs might or might not be coincidentally true, and they are perfectly entitled to hold them.

                      Without any capability of demonstrating that their beliefs are anything other than marsh gas, however, I also am perfectly entitled to think that they’re idiots.

                      This does require further research, however, as it is based on a sample size of 1.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Amid your histrionics in that response, you’ve confirmed the use of the term ‘true belief’ did imply irrational belief on my part.
                      You are entitled to hold that view, of course, but you denied my correct interpretation of it initially, and attacked my ability to read on that basis.

                    • McFlock

                      Amid your histrionics in that response, you’ve confirmed the use of the term ‘true belief’ did imply irrational belief on my part

                      No, I didn’t. Learn the difference between “imply” and “infer”. And also think amount that the role context has in communication.

                      And your interpretation makes it even worse, because it means that your response has nothing to do with my comment. As previously discussed, the second part clearly dealt with your grounds for believing whatever it is you believe, and according to you the first part simply caricatures your level of belief. And from that you drew a conclusion (“Right, so[…]”) that I support rogernomics and think “dissenting” views must be “discounted”.

                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.
                      Those with a dissenting view are irrational (true belief) and must be discounted. This mirrors the residual denial in Labour to accept the cruelty inflicted on people, as well as the tendency to patronise the victims.

                      For the record, I discount idiot views, not dissenting views. And rogernomics was bad, m’kay?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Semantics aside, I don’t accept we need an evidence base to prove the desirability of equality of income and opportunity, decent homes and food, a progressive taxation system. It just depends on society’s desired outcomes, and I think you apply the wrong lens.
                      In medicine itself, even the BMJ is acknowledging flaws in the evidence-based paradigm, which has after all only been around a couple of decades.
                      This from Bill Hicks (since youtube is more my metier) encapsulates it for me.

                    • McFlock

                      Fair enough.

                      I think that most of those things are uncontroversial objectives even for tories. The question is how we get there, and how do we persuade people that rogernomics is completely counterproductive to those objectives.

                      Maybe some people don’t need an evidence base to reach that conclusion. However, although the people who reached the opposite conclusion without an evidence base will probably not be persuaded by evidence, I think a lot of people do actually look at real-world evidence when they come to their conclusions.

                      Because like it or not, some people haven’t been persuaded by the non-evidence approaches that have been taken over the last 30 years. And as the BMJ editorial said: “evidence based medicine may be the worst system for clinical decision making, except for all those other systems that have been tried from time to time.”

                  • Tracey

                    ” to deregulate the financial sector,”

                    research did not cause the deregulation of the financial sector it was used to justify it. The policy decision was made before the research was acknowledged per se.

                    It was to do with difficulties get money in the 1970’s, so the financial institutions lobbied to make it easier for themselves… no doubt research played a part but self interest and greed of the financial sector itself (certain human beings) “underpinned” it.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Tracey, that’s not what I meant. The big driver of deregulation was the low return on capital in the post war period, because the social contract with workers meant higher wages and so on.
                      Milton Friedman et al provided intellectual impetus and legitimacy. Young economists from South America (and NZ) went to the USA to study, and were in many cases radicalised. My point is not that academia is ‘bad’. Of course not. But it is not necessarily an unalloyed force for good. It is vulnerable to the political agendas and policy directions of the time.
                      The film ‘Inside Job’ about the financial scandal culminating in 2008 provides insight into this problem, with interviews with the likes of Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard, about his advocacy of deregulation, and potential conflict of interest.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Hubbard_(economist)#Inside_Job_interview_and_aftermath

                    • karol

                      ER @ 8.34am

                      That is part of how the “neoliberals/neocons” gained so much dominance internationally. There’s was a multi-pronged campaign to restore the power to the tory elites, after the left had made a lot of in-roads.

                      This multi-pronged campaign was led in various areas of endeavour: academically, rightwing think tanks, culturally (from music videos to designer clothes, etc), in the media, in schools, in the financial sector, in politics, etc.

                      The acadmic/research aspect provided a rationale and (alleged) credibility.

                      That is why the left also needs to be multi-faceted in its struggle for a more equal and socially and economically just world: but based more in the collective apporaches of the left. Grass roots actions, cutural expressions (in music, videos, fiction, etc), in online and localised media,citizen journalism, investigative journalism, politics, unions, anti-poverty campaign groups, and also in harnessing scholarly relevant scholarly research intiatives.

        • Bill 7.2.2.2

          Nah McFlock. False comparison. To get to the top of Everest involves understanding and accounting for hypothermia, oxygen levels etc as well as developing a whole raft of skills. Master all that, and a desired goal can be achieved. Capitalism, on the other hand, can offer no ‘better’ future achievement or pinnacle. It is exactly what it is and has always been and is going precisely nowhere.

          • McFlock 7.2.2.2.1

            And Marx knew that to demonstrate the shortcomings of Capitalism, he needed primary research into the nature of money and, for example, the lives of factory workers in Britain.

            I don’t agree with his alternative, but by gum he proved capitalism was a system that inhibited human progression.

            • Bill 7.2.2.2.1.1

              Well okay, Marx offered some analytical insight into facets of Capitalism. Some would argue he mapped out economic exploitation. But did the factory or mill workers need his or any other persons analyses before they could understand that they were being ‘done over’ or before they could offer up resistance? Well…no. They didn’t.

              • karol

                Actually, Bill – yes I think they did.

                The working classes only gradually became aware of themselves as an exploited class. And a mix of writings (academic and popular), popular culture, activism, and specific circumstances led to that awareness.

                From infoplease encyclopedia:

                The first impact of Marxism was felt in continental Europe. By the late 19th cent., through the influence of the Internationals, it had permeated the European trade union movement, and the major socialist parties (see Socialist parties, in European history) were committed to it in theory if not in practice.

                Workers still need to be able to articulate their sense of individually being done over to others, in order to develop any solidairty. Marxism and other expressions of political practice and theory, provide people with the language, and the confidence to act on it.

                • Bill

                  Workers still need to be able to articulate their sense of individually being done over to others, in order to develop any solidairty. Marxism and other expressions of political practice and theory, provide people with the language, and the confidence to act on it

                  It’s very easy to articulate a sense of being fucked over and develop solidarity and act on it. It runs along the lines of “Fuck this for a game of soldiers. Who the fck does that wanker think he is? Fuck him”

                  And expressing that natural sense of injustice got countered by jailings and beatings and guns.

                  But true, to articulate that in terms of political theory requires…um, a theory. Then again, the downside of that (if the history of marxism is anything to go by) is that those who claim to understand the theory better become the new wanker masters.

                  • karol

                    Yes. But in order to develop the solidarity needed for effective action, the concepts need to be in currency – it doesn’t need to be expressed in fancy middleclass language. Otherwise the responses can be fragmented.

                    • Bill

                      What’s so ineffective about leaving a would be boss labourless and powerless? Or monkey-wrenching his production? In the 1800s, people simply did not want to be herded into factories. That’s not hard to understand and needs no theory whatsoever. That’s the beauty about being guided by a moral compass.

                      Anyway.

                      After the nascent working class had been better contained or cowed by the violence of the state, and enclosure more or less completed, the question (for Marx and others) became more about controlling the new industrial means of production than about denying it’s ascendency.

                      Point is, there was effective resistance during and after the period of enclosure, but yes, the states and industrialists etc behind enclosure won out in the end – though resistance to the whole concept of the ‘work ethic’ continued. Then somewhere in there, along comes Marx and others, make their analytical contribution and people build a vision on the basis of it and…capitalism and the market still triumph.

                      And now, today, most people have sunk so low as to have lost their moral compass and are happy to adopt the notion that having this work ethic and being a wage slave bestows dignity etc. It’s not too surprising that articulate political theory was unable to save us from that. It arguably shifted the goal posts and lost us our way.

                    • karol

                      I really think you’re being a bit free with your history, Bill.

                      I’ve been reading a bit around 18th and 19th century British history and other 18th-19th century writers like Robert Burns.

                      There were a lot of ideas circulating through various kinds of communications – art, literature, folk song, popular culture, festivals, etc., as well as from the more “learned” writings – Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Robert Owen and many others. And many drew on the Bible, etc.

                      I’m not talking about relying only on “scholarly” texts. Or that everyone needs to read them. But they are one of the ways ideas and plans for action, are developed and put into general circulation.

                    • Bill

                      I really think you’re being a bit free with your history, Bill.

                      Well, yeah – maybe. But I still think the basic outline holds. As you say, a lot of writers or communicators relied on a sense of moral right and wrong rather than on analysis and were active in one way or another. That analysis can lead to a more defined or nuanced understanding is a given. That the understandings can then be relayed to others in a straightforward manner is…well, if it’s going to be relayed, it’s absolutely necessary it’s done simply but intelligently as far as I’m concerned. Anyway. I do lament the apparently widespread loss in peoples’ ability to act from a simple moral cognisance of what is right and what is wrong.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s critical not to underestimate the role of concrete ideas, writings and other communications in politicising individuals and sustaining political movements.

                      Whether you are looking at the role of American pamphleteers like Thomas Payne during the Revolution, the speech Martin Luther King gave at the Lincoln Memorial or the writings of Kate Sheppard during the NZ suffrage movement, the ability to conceptualise then communicate what about the current situation was unsatisfactory, and then move people to do something concrete about it, relies on something which often includes but must also finally be much more than “fuck the bosses.”

              • McFlock

                There I disagree.
                I suspect that some of them felt themselves lucky to have a job.
                Or that maybe the problem was just their boss or their colleagues, not the system.
                Or that maybe they were in the minority (even more so today – look at the lifestyles depicted as “normal” on TV).
                Or that maybe there was no way out (look at the comparative suicide rate between most and least deprived in NZ).
                Or that maybe they, individually, will probably not be better off from any change to the system.

                I suspect that all of those factors needed to be overcome before the barricades went up. And the way Marx did that was through exhaustive research – although he also took note of the need to widely communicate that research, hence The Capital, accompanied by the Communist Manifesto, and of course his articles and simpler, more persuasive works. The principle distilled later on into Mao’s little red book.

                • Bill

                  McFlock – resistance did not begin with Marx and was not absent in the time before Marx. I agree that he and others provided articulate political expression for some involved in resistance. My main problem with your approach is that it seem to assume a certain degree of a particular type of knowledge is necessary in order to recognise and resist that which is can be obviously identified as being morally wrong.

                  • McFlock

                    My main problem with your approach is that it seem to assume a certain degree of a particular type of knowledge is necessary in order to recognise and resist that which is can be obviously identified as being morally wrong.

                    I think it serves two functions:
                    the first is to increase the number of people who recognise what the situation is and that it is wrong, and provide impetus to push into action those who already knew it was wrong (what is obviously wrong to you or me might be invisible or acceptable to others. How many workers do you know have shrugged when soething shitty was done to them by a boss, just thinking that that’s the way the world works? More than a few, I guess – though you’d have put them straight 🙂 ).

                    The second is to provide ammunition against the tories who wish to deny, minimise, and excuse the situation (essentially to defeat those tories who work the first function, but from the tory side).

                    Research isn’t sufficient to act as a catalyst for change by itself, but it is a powerful tool to help bring change about.

              • Tracey

                What about the manipulation of messages and propaganda. Do you think this had and has no impact? People flocked tot he cities for the awful jobs cos they believed they were less awful than the non job they were leaving in their villages and areas.

                WHY did they think they were better? Desperation? Nothing left to lose or the “make your fortune in the city meme.”

                John Key earlier this week and last week said what is important to NZers is

                the economy
                law and order

                He and his party will repeat that mantra. The day after he said it, out came a report stating crime was at an all time low. That is not accidentally. It is well organised and based on hot buttons.

                I think you under-estimate how brown beaten and manipulated by message and information people are, they actually believe this is the best system and this is the best it can be for them. It doesn’t matter that they are struggling… it’s the best it can be… until they can catch a break or work harder.

                People who are drowning under bills and work that doesn’t pay enough have little time to put their head above the parapet and scream “HELP ME!”

                Capitalists know this and its why they keep them down there and scared to raise their head above the parapet. They might do it in nicer suits than the 17 and 1800’s, but it’s the same underpinning.

      • Bill 7.2.3

        I’m basically, and not a little angrily, with you on this Ergo.

        The bottom line is that Capitalism sucks and you’re* fcked. We’ve* known this since some time in the 1800s.

        The ‘oh so intellectually edifying’ and ultimately useless unravelling of the minutiae of all that constitutes the obvious truth stated above is, well…. a waste of time, energy and resources in the big picture and merely a career for too many in the smaller picture.

        note – the * are for those academics and their fellow travelers, for who the penny hasn’t dropped, and who believe naively, or cynically insist by dint of self interest, that Capitalism contains some salvageable flaws that are best identified ( and magically fixed) via the application of research results. And when that fails, as it inevitably will, then the failure, of course, will be followed up by some more ‘in depth’ research.

      • karol 7.2.4

        The Skilling article particularly, is not just about academic research for academia. It’s about producing research that can have an impact on political strategies, and policies, and on the dominant values in the public sphere – including values that are peddled through the MSM.

        If it were that simple, the values you express would be the ones most foregrounded in te MSM, left wing parties would be foregrounding truly left wing policies, and be the most popular parties int he country.

  8. rob 8

    These perceptions are very interesting
    Because if people do not feel better off or that income equality is worsening then why are they supporting Key of off key during the rock star economy!
    Labour need to focus on the economy and hoe Joe blogs is not getting a fair go
    They need to make that their main point and avoid too many sideshows

  9. BrucetheMoose 9

    You have to give it to Bill for trying, even though he doesn’t have the balls to say it directly.
    John Key and the National Nasty Party – telling it like it is.
    Black is white
    Lies are true
    Shit has the perfume of roses.

  10. G.Hawke 10

    National are National. They run on a concept that market will provide to most, not to all, to most. They greet recessions with cuts for the poor and stability for those most able to take the struggle of a depressed market. They like the idea of a hounded poor as in their minds the poor are just people who don’t understand the national party ideals and are therefore handicapped in their ultimate participation in A national lead N.Z.

    We need a socialist voice with one mandate, 100% employment, we can’t run a poor account, it’s
    immoral on every level of what defines a free nation; and when the economy dips the poor need to be helped not ostracised. That is a moral politic that defines the difference between the N.Z conservative and 50% of the others. It’s morality, can you live with a clobbered poor or does it make you feel ashamed of this country.

    Also the filling up of Aucklands isthmus for immediate economic stimulation will only end in slums. Auckland is choked. Northland and the Waikato need to take populations.

  11. Philj 11

    Xox
    I used to be a proud Kiwi. I now feel sullied and abused by an immoral, inequitable, pseudo government. ( Big business in drag)

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    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    3 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    4 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    4 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    11 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
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