Hooton spouting nonsense

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, June 11th, 2013 - 179 comments
Categories: employment, spin, unemployment, Unions - Tags: , , , , ,

Matthew Hooton is spinning like mad to talk up the economy. Unfortunately his spin sometimes bends the truth beyond breaking point, and there were three examples of that yesterday. On RNZ Hooton claimed that NZ had the lowest (or one of the lowest) youth unemployment rates in the OECD, and that the fire at will (90 day probation) law had been responsible for a significant fall in youth unemployment (my links are to secondary sources, if anyone knows where the original audio is please link in comments).

Wrong and wrong. Our youth unemployment rates compared to the OECD is summarised in this ILO report (PDF) showing 2012 data (2013 data is not yet complete):


We’re not the lowest, or even one of the lowest, we’re very much in the middle. And as to a “significant drop” following fire at will, the following is a graph of the youth unemployment rate in NZ over the last 13 years (data from page 87 of the same report):


The 90 day fire at will legislation was in place for workplaces under 20 employees soon after the 2008 election – and youth unemployment rose. It was extended to all workplaces effective April 1st 2011. There is a fall from 2011 (17.5%) to 2012 (16.4%) but (a) it isn’t a “significant” fall and (b) there is no way to prove cause and effect for fire at will – the recovery boom in Christchurch is probably a stronger effect.

Not content with these fabrications, Matthew also apparently opined: “It is ridiculous to say that unions deliver higher wages! They don’t!”. Except that they do (2011 data):

It is probably safest to assume that anything that Matthew Hooton says is nonsense unless proven otherwise.

179 comments on “Hooton spouting nonsense”

  1. Audio is at http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20130610-1107-politics_with_matthew_hooton_and_mike_williams-048.mp3

    And I was also astounded at the claims. National must have a bunch of numpties sitting in a darkened room somewhere dreaming all this shyte up. No doubt the claim that youth unemployment has been cured will be shouted from the rooftops until the next election.

    • Winston Smith 1.1

      The question isn’t whether Nationals saying the “truth”, its whether the voting public will believe them.

      In this case Nationals taking a leaf out of Labour and the Greens.

      We’ll see how it plays out.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Can’t you do better than “Labour and the greens did [insert whatever it is National is being criticised for] too”?

        • Winston Smith

          Why do better? Every party lies, confuses, exaggerates, frightens, bribes, cajoles etc etc

          Its just the way it is, all thats important is who takes control of the treasury benches

          I mean for every Green party utterance of doom (Rena springs to mind) theres Labour tutt tutting over leaking (but don’t mention Labour leaking) and of course Nationals playing the fear card of the Greens

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead


          • Colonial Viper

            Glad to see you accepting lower standards from our ruling political class, Winnie.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Dont you know the difference between given confidential cabinet document and then leaking them- like Dunne.

            And receiving information that is in the public interest to be released. You have no obligation of confidentiality.

            Another example of muddying the waters… Nah nah labour is doing the same thing. hello they arent given cabinet documents directly

      • north 1.1.2

        How wondrously moral and upstanding you are Smith. It matters not a shred that it’s a lie. Important is only whether the lie gets believed. You expect anyone to credit you with but contempt ?

    • Tim 1.2

      “And I was also astounded at the claims”, as was I. The thing about Hooten is that when he spiels off statistics at the rate of knots with that emphatic tone – you can be certain that a little fact checking is necessary.
      What is a better indicator for me is the increasing number of youth on the streets around Wellington that are begging, or quite obviously doing it rough.
      Has Anthony ficked off an email to nine-noon I wonder? It’d be interesting to see if he gets confronted by his ‘facts’ next week.

      • Tim 1.2.1

        Edit didn’t work, but the nasty little dig at Helen Kelly – his latest little hate session victim, was probably also an indication that something was up

        • Daveo

          The right has an obsessional hatred of Helen Kelly because they know she is a staunch and effective advocate for working people. I’m sure she wears it as a badge of honour.

          • Colonial Viper

            If there were a few other smart, sharp witted advocates for the working and under class, the Left could draw a bit of pressure and fire away from Helen and instead put some pressure on the 2% who seem to think that they own society.

      • marty mars 1.2.2

        “The thing about Hooten is that when he spiels off statistics at the rate of knots with that emphatic tone”

        Exactly Tim – if we believe that 80-90% of communication is less what is said and more how it is said then you have identified the way these people work and I suppose that is why shearer struggles so much because he can’t say ‘it’ with conviction.

        • Anne

          He’s getting better all the time marty mars. Did a good job at Question Time today and came across well on the 6pm news. Credit where credit is due I say.

          Having said the above… I suppose he’ll muck something up now. Hell, there’s 18 months to go to the next election. Don’t know whether I can last the distance.

          • Colonial Viper

            At the urgent debate on Dunne, Shearer was sorta OK (given the stops and starts), he was given a good speech to read…and read it he did.

            Winston in comparison batted another six.

            • karol

              Shearer’s speech was very well-written, but his hesitancy, and faux attempt at shouty emphasising his key points, just had me cringing. Shearer is just not delivering at leadership, or even front bench, level.

              • Colonial Viper

                He’s a solid electorate MP who hasn’t completed one term in Parliament yet, we have to be fair and acknowledge that and give him a bit more time, say another 6 months.

      • felix 1.2.3

        “Has Anthony ficked off an email to nine-noon I wonder? It’d be interesting to see if he gets confronted by his ‘facts’ next week.”

        It’s a real shame they don’t have a left-wing commentator on the show so Hoots’ “facts” could be confronted at the time.

    • Rob 1.3

      So the first 19 and half minutes of it is all about the Vance / Dunne affair, fast forward if wnat to get the gist of this post is about.

      I think the only thing of fact that came out of in regards to this post is that Unions have a higher influence in the Aus Labor party (and look what a mess that is) than the NZ Labour party and that Australia is going down the shitter both politically (being at a stand still due to the amateurist call on setting an early election date) and its economy which is failing fast. Good job on the stimulus payments chaps, really worked didn’t it.

      • xtasy 1.3.1

        The problems Australian Labour have are more of their own making than the fault of the unions. And much has to do with Gillard flip floping on policy and being a somewhat weak leader. Admittedly that party needs some sorting out, but had Rudd remained leader (love him or hate him), I am sure the mess would not be as great.

        Also is the economy in Australia not failing as badly as you suggest. Naturally they now and then also suffer a slowdown, and re stimulus, it did some good, as it did in other parts of the world.

        Still now incomes and wages in Australia are way ahead of New Zealand.

        If I was English and Key, I would be more cautious with raving on about the economic boom here, which will go as quickly as the Christchurch rebuild will be mostly completed. That taken out of the equation, and New Zealand would still be largely in the doldrums.

      • xtasy 1.3.2

        The problems Australian Labour have are more of their own making than the fault of the unions. And much has to do with Gillard flip floping on policy and being a somewhat weak leader. Admittedly that party needs some sorting out, but had Rudd remained leader (love him or hate him), I am sure the mess would not be as great.

        Also is the economy in Australia not failing as badly as you suggest. Naturally they now and then also suffer a slowdown, and re stimulus, it did some good, as it did in other parts of the world.

        Still now incomes and wages in Australia are way ahead of New Zealand.

        If I was English and Key, I would be more cautious with raving on about the economic boom here, which will go as quickly as the Christchurch rebuild will be mostly completed. That taken out of the equation, and New Zealand would still be largely in the doldrums.

      • xtasy 1.3.3

        The problems Australian Labour have are more of their own making than the fault of the unions. And much has to do with Gillard flip floping on policy and being a somewhat weak leader. Admittedly that party needs some sorting out, but had Rudd remained leader (love him or hate him), I am sure the mess would not be as great.

        Also is the economy in Australia not failing as badly as you suggest. Naturally they now and then also suffer a slowdown, and re stimulus, it did some good, as it did in other parts of the world.

        Still now incomes and wages in Australia are way ahead of New Zealand.

        If I was English and Key, I would be more cautious with raving on about the economic boom here, which will go as quickly as the Christchurch rebuild will be mostly completed. That taken out of the equation, and New Zealand would still be largely in the doldrums.

      • xtasy 1.3.4

        The problems Australian Labour have are more of their own making than the fault of the unions. And much has to do with Gillard flip floping on policy and being a somewhat weak leader. Admittedly that party needs some sorting out, but had Rudd remained leader (love him or hate him), I am sure the mess would not be as great.

        Also is the economy in Australia not failing as badly as you suggest. Naturally they now and then also suffer a slowdown, and re stimulus, it did some good, as it did in other parts of the world.

        Still now incomes and wages in Australia are way ahead of New Zealand.

        If I was English and Key, I would be more cautious with raving on about the economic boom here, which will go as quickly as the Christchurch rebuild will be mostly completed. That taken out of the equation, and New Zealand would still be largely in the doldrums.

        • xtasy

          Sorry, that comment above did not load, so I clicked the button a few times, hence the repetitive comment(s) that showed up time delayed.

  2. prism 2

    W Smith
    You seem to be of the persuasion that uses the term -They did it first- to wriggle out of all criticism or recrimination.

    • Winston Smith 2.1

      No, no you misunderstand me, its not “they did it first” its “everyone does it but who do the voting public believe”

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I understand moral relativism mate, but why do you set the standards for yourself so low? And why should the voting public accept your approach instead of demanding accountability from spinners and from the media?

        • Winston Smith

          “And why should the voting public accept your approach instead of demanding accountability from spinners and from the media?”

          – They already accept it, whether its Key going “show us the money”, Clark introducing massive bribes, “Axe the tax”, Muldoon inviting the Springboks to play etc etc

          – But in answer I case its a case of people wanting to believe what the politicians tell us so we readily believe any old thing they say

          • Colonial Viper

            No, people are quite skeptical of what they are told by politicians.

            And then look at the USA. Approval of Congress is in the low double digits.

            I think you have your assumptions quite wrong.

            • Winston Smith

              and yet politicians on both side of the spectrum can say virtually whatever they like with no ramifications…

              • Colonial Viper

                And that’s not what we are seeing now either in NZ, or in the USA. Virtually every European country has communicated a WTF! to the White House based on Snowden’s revelations.

                Chickens, home, roost.

      • Puddleglum 2.1.2

        Winston Smith,

        You don’t seem to understand the dynamic.

        If you let all lies go unchallenged based on the principle that you can’t stop politicians (or political commentators like Matthew Hooton) from misrepresenting reality then the lies just get bigger, more egregious and harmful to political debate.

        You could say it’s a competition or ‘arms race’ between the cheaters and the cheater detectors (it’s well studied in evolutionary theory). If you surrender all efforts to detect cheaters then the cheaters just cheat to a greater and greater extent in the service of their own self-interests. Interestingly, in evolution, this arms race often results in the evolution of ‘truthful’ signalling as the best strategy – because evolution favours effective cheater detectors as much as it favours effective cheaters resulting in a Mexican stand-off in which (roughly or generally) ‘telling the truth’ becomes the best adaptive strategy (cost-benefit trade-offs, game theory, etc.).

        By challenging blatant untruths the matter of for whom ‘the public’ ends up voting is partly determined by the strength of the challenge. You need to remember that public commentary (including on this blog) is all part of the ingredients of the ‘soup’ that is being boiled in preparation for the act of voting, next election.

  3. vto 3

    It is not a surprise that people like Hooton don’t make sense – this has been clear as a bell since they came to power. What they say and what they do bear absolutely no relation. They make it up as they go along and, in practice, what this has resulted in is policies and practices which are in fact of the left. Examples;

    1. Claim that the free market is best then completely intervene in the Christchurch rebuild (and note the complete failure of the CBD rebuild to fire. A very serious issue for NZ’s second city, and hence the entire country).

    2. Dole out corporate welfare to businesses which have been unable to get underway by way of the free market hands-off approach. e.g. Dairy farming. Nobody happy to fund irrigation so Nats dole out welfare to help this unviable business to function.

    3. That pinnacle of free market business and captains of industry, the NZ sharemarket, admits its own failings despite years and decades of having a free market to get up and running, and asks for businesses that taxpayers have built to help bolster the NZX. Ha – fancy that lot needing help from the taxpayer.

    4. Admission that the again the free market has failed to live up to its hype and supply a demand in Auckland with affordable housing. Complete and utter failure requiring the big heavy hand of central government intervention again.

    there are many many other examples, which I have listed on occasion. The above will do for now as there are other things to attend to.

    Basically this government has gone about things with a heavy handed central government interventionist approach of ‘picking winners’ to pretty much every single thing. Their actions are an admission of the complete and utter failure of the marketplace. They are further left than Helen Clark in their manner of gettings things done.

    They don’t know what they are doing. They have zero over-arching philosophy. They just make shit up as they go along.


    • Hi vto,

      That seems to be what’s happening. They are in the business of deliberately engineering the economy and, consequently, New Zealand society.

      Freedom and democratic processes – as they’ve shown again and again here in Canterbury/ Christchurch – are seen as obstacles to ‘getting things done’.

      Of course, what is being ‘done’ is not necessarily of benefit to all or even the majority (hence the heavy-handed turpitude in the central city in Christchurch), but I think it fulfils the real mandate they have received: The one from their backers and major financial supporters.

      They are clearly delivering on many fronts.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Hi Puddleglum, you said this … “Of course, what is being ‘done’ is not necessarily of benefit to all or even the majority (hence the heavy-handed turpitude in the central city in Christchurch), but I think it fulfils the real mandate they have received: The one from their backers and major financial supporters. They are clearly delivering on many fronts.”

        Which marries exactly into Karols post today on the Corruption of Democracy (highlighting how all government policy in the British government is subject to payments from business to lords. Corrupt 100% Pure which you can see here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/04/corporate-britain-corrupt-lobbying-revolving-door .

        Government for sale = John Key – and wtf did anyone expect

  4. tc 4

    What do you expect from the born to rule set when they get media slots to drop their lines onto without any factual questioning. Tomorrow black is white and up is down, Ryan is such a lightweight.

    • prism 4.1

      Does anyone know how these pundits get picked? (Surely they could pick a pack of pickled pundits from any watering hole in the cities.) Or is it a case of the comfortable shoe being the chosen one? Or is it a case of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – in Radionz and/or NinetoNoon’s opinion.

      • Tim 4.1.1

        I’m pretty sure both producer and Rinnie have the greatest say. Today’s spot however sounds a bit like the Fran sage. Either Rod Oram is on leave or he’s given up on them

        • prism

          Rod Oram is never a quitter!
          Fran O’Sullivan is an expert – in log-rolling and keeping upright above the boiling maelstrom! Which she is happy to feed from time to time.

      • karol 4.1.2

        Kathryn Ryan currently interviewing Fran O’Sullivan on RNZ, as though she is some “expert”.

        • karol

          And now she’s interviewing Rachel Cunliffe – she of Throng?

        • xtasy

          Yeah, she is given more air time on RNZ now, since Oram is away overseas for a while, I understand.

          Fran should be asked about Huawei and their popularity with Chorus, after having been shunned and criticised more so in the UK, US and Australia, and possibly other places, for being suspected of doing some spying for the Mainland Chinese government here and there.

          Fran was highly supportive of Huawei being allowed to operate in New Zealand, and to work with other companies and for the government, in the roll out of new broadband networks.

          Strange why Fran is so quiet on that now!

  5. One Anonymous Knucklehead 5

    Paid liar tells lies, gets paid. You’d think the Right would be embarrassed by this deceitful shill, but he’s the best they can do.

    • stargazer 5.1

      i wonder if there is a broadcasting complaint in this, breaching standards of fairness & accuracy. he is going beyond presenting an opinion here, he is giving out “facts” which are shown here to be incorrect. might be worth taking up.

  6. vto 6

    Hello Mr Hooton?

    Are you there? Come in please.. don’t hide. Stand and answer…

    for your own sake of course

  7. weka 7

    Hooton spouting nonsense… should probably be a regular series 😉

    • David H 7.1

      Yep A weekly dose of Hootens Horseshit! Be a bit of a comedy show me thinks. With Guest spots and quizzes Like who’s this behind curtain no1? A clue? If he was a tap you would call a plumber.

  8. vto 8

    A while ago it occurred to me that the back and forth yelling at each other between the left and the right could be attended to in another manner…. a bit like a boxing bout…

    A blog post is set up between, say 3 from the right (e.g. Farrar, Hooton, Key) and 3 from the left (e.g. Mallard, r0b, McCarten). It is up in the open for the public to view the threads as they develop, on set issues. There is to be no interference from plebs like us. It is for them to bat the issue and particularly the detail and evidence to support their positions back and forth until a winner becomes clear.

    A forum for the big issues to be debated in a controlled and extended manner.

    First issue example – How has selling MRP increased NZers ownership?

    • r0b 8.1

      Kind of you to think of me vto, but I’m not a big league blogger. Put Gordon Campbell in there…

    • Winston Smith 8.2

      If I was selecting the left wing blogging team I’d drop Mallard and add Chris Trotter

      • Chris 8.2.1

        Id drop both and put Cunliffe in… he seems to be one of the very few Labour Party MP’s with any balls

  9. Ancient Ruin 9

    Misinformation, or statements unchallenged, repeated ad nauseam becomes the truth in many eyes. I fully appreciate that a rebuttal is presented here but where are the MSM journo’s calling bull on this? Much like the ‘Labour left us a decade of deficits’ meme – damaging if not challenged with a are…you…friggin…serious?!

  10. KJ 10

    Does Hooton get paid to lie? What the hell is his agenda?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1

      Wealth transfer.

    • RedBaronCV 10.2

      I rub my hands with glee every time Mattie appears on here. What he’s really saying is that all his clients and the right are going to lose the next election so he’s over here to try to curry a bit of favour so he still has a few contacts after the next election.

      His second reason, judging by some of his posting times is to miss the early evening dinner/housework/jungle hour with the excuse – gotta go dear, work to do!

  11. Shaz 11

    Keith Ng’s latest post on Public Address shines some light. The significant drop Keith nn a graph he has seen describes is the proportional relationship between growth in youth and adult unemployment. Because adult employment has doubled since the GFC but youth unemployment has grown but by a lesser amount the youth graph pints downwards! I wouldn’t have spotted it so glad there is an expert on hand.

    Link is here

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Because adult unemployment has doubled since the GFC but youth unemployment has also grown but by a lesser amount the youth graph relative to the adult pints downwards!

      Just for clarification, hope you don’t mind.

  12. Blue 12

    Matthew often gets a bit too excited and says silly things – like lefties ‘crashing’ the stockmarket, David Shearer being a great leader for Labour, and now JK finding the miracle cure for youth unemployment.

    Must be quite embarrassing to be him some days.

    • mac1 12.1

      I’d question Hooton’s motivation for all these assertions. Pretty easy to ascertain in the first and third assertions but the middle one about Shearer being a great leader for Labour?

      I’d suggest Hooton is ‘fomenting mischief’. Any self respecting lefty would say that anything Hooton says has to be wrong, and he therefore has to be wrong about Shearer, too. “Friend of my enemy is my enemy, too” stuff.

      Macchiavelli 001 level.

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        Yep I agree but if he knows that what he says will be taken the opposite then it gets complicated because he has a reptilian brain that is looking for the win so he’ll pretty well say anything about anything. Imo always worth putting what he says against the truth meter and see if it starts making blipping noises.

    • Jimnald 12.2


      And John Key and his mates crashed the global economy at historically epic proportion, with another one looming (this time there won’t be a more robust China to soak up some of the economic nastiness).

  13. mac1 13

    Anybody arguing that youth employment is affected by the 90 day law is likely to fall into the trap that something happening at the same time as something else is happening is causing that effect.

    If (though the evidence is to the contrary, and thanks Anthony Robins for this post) the level of youth employment had fallen, Hooton still has not made the case that the 90 day law affected that decline. I’d ask for the evidence that it did.

    Since the evidence in the post’s graphs says it didn’t, I’d ask rather what were the factors under Labour for most of the nineties that lowered and then kept down the youth unemployment rate, as in the second graph?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      paying youth dirt serf wages is why youth unemployment has not climbed as rapidly

  14. Rhinocrates 14

    Noam Chomsky explains in Manufacturing Consent that there’s an inherent censoring mechanism in news made of soundbites – radical ideas have to be explained or else the audience simply ignores them, unable to have any means of comprehending.

    Alas, that cuts the other way too, as Hoots knows. He talks shit and he knows that he talks shit, but before anyone can challenge on his shit he comes up with new shit. Have you ever noticed that the closest thing he has ever given to a justification is to quite some irrelevant statistic in the hope that people don’t know the difference between correlation and causation or a lame “I stand by that”?

    He’s not very bright, he knows only one trick and it really only works in a medium where his opponent can’t challenge him in depth.

    “They crashed the markets!”

    “That’s not true, Matthew.”

    “They crashed the markets!”

    “Now come on Matthew, really-”

    “Liberal elitists set my goldfish on fire!”

    “Matthew, did your goldfish-”

    “Stupid maoris filled my swimming pool with menstrual blood!”

    “Now Matthew, that’s-”

    “Aaaaah!!! Helen Klark is Stalin, look at the moustache!”

    He’s not interested in reasoning with anyone, he just wants the maximum number of dog-whistles out there in the shortest time to circulate and repeat, He’ll do it by using every cliche, however inane, he’ll make sure that “maori” and “stupid” are close together in the same sentence, preferably with “labour” as well. There’ll be no reasoning, only mud, as thick and as fast as possible.

    • geoff 14.1

      Haah, on the money Rhino. As they say, you can’t polish a turd, but Matthew won’t let that stop him trying.

      • Rhinocrates 14.1.1

        Ah, but you can roll it in glitter! Being paid to do it is the essence of spin. The one about pigs comes to mind too… I have a feeling that if Dante were alive today, the new version of Inferno would have an extra circle where all PR consultants and spin doctors go and it will have an infinite number of pigs and a finite supply of lipstick.

      • Tim 14.1.2

        You can’t polish a turd – true enough. What we have though is all these ‘media expert commentators’ (and some economists & politicians) sprinkling glitter over each other’s turds constantly. It’s not necessarily conspiratorial – it’s just that they feed off each other. It’s the only way they can keep the whole sham going.

  15. Matthew Hooton 15

    Go to http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=STLABOUR

    Look at unemployment rates by age and gender and look at the 15-24 age group, all persons. At 15.1% in Q1 2013, we’re now below the OECD average and falling.

    Go also to http://m.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/Browse%20for%20stats/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey/HOTPMar13qtr/HouseholdLabourForceSurveyMar13qtrHOTP.pdf

    See in particular:

    “Youth labour market improves

    “In the year to March 2013, there was a large fall in unemployment for people aged 15–24 years (down 10,500). This fall can be largely attributed to a decrease in unemployed 20–24-year-olds (down 11,200). This was an atypical fall in unemployment, as the number of people unemployed for this age group usually increases during March quarters. The unemployment rate for people aged 20–24 years fell 4.1 percentage points to 10.9 percent – the lowest rate since the September 2009 quarter.

    “The employment rate for 20–24-year-olds rose over the year to March 2013. There was also an increase in the number of people aged 15–24 years not in the labour force over the year. Behind this was a rise in the number of young people outside the labour force who are studying (up 25,000). The number of both 15–19-year-olds and 20–24-year-olds in study rose – up 16,200 and 8,800 respectively.

    “NEET rate declines

    “In seasonally adjusted terms, the NEET (not in employment, education or training) rate for youth (aged 15–24 years) decreased 1.5 percentage points, to 12.5 percent in the March 2013 quarter. This is the lowest youth NEET rate since the September 2011 quarter. The NEET rate for people aged 20–24 years fell 2.4 percentage points to 15.9 percent.

    “The female youth NEET rate decreased for the first time since September 2011 – down 1.2 percentage points to 16.2 percent. The male NEET rate also fell 2.0 percentage points, to 8.9 percent, after being relatively flat for the last three quarters.”

    Statistics New Zealand and the OECD must also be spouting nonsense.

    It is very sad that many on the left seem to be denying the good economic news. It is like you want more people to be unemployed in order to justify your political prejudices.

    • Bunji 15.1

      Err, Matthew, quite a difference between “lowest youth unemployment rate in the OECD” and “we’re now below the OECD average and falling”.

      Anthony’s graph does indeed show us just below average, so he’s not denying reality. Your original claim was doing that.

      And Keith Ng’s nice post shows us that while youth unemployment may have fallen significantly in the last quarter, the data is volatile and the trend is flat. National’s policies haven’t made a dent in the problem since the GFC. The figures can only look good if you look at youth unemployment vs adult unemployment, as National have made adult unemployment worse since the GFC…

      • Rhinocrates 15.1.1

        Err, Matthew, quite a difference between “lowest youth unemployment rate in the OECD” and “we’re now below the OECD average and falling”.

        QED. Perfect example of Hoots being challenged on his nonsense and quickly substituting different nonsense, coupled with cherry-picked data.

        • Matthew Hooton

          I think I said “one of the lowest”. “One of the lower” would probably have been better. But the fact is it’s now low by world standards and falling. This seems to upset the deniers.

          • Rhinocrates

            Weasel again. Failing to address Bunji’s points of course.

            • CnrJoe

              astonishing performance – scream one thing on radio – whistle the dogs – and then walk it back – thats the technique – the trick – right there
              and revolting regarding Helen Kelly – rnz should apologise – what did Bomber get removed from the Panel for?

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Low by world standards?

            Ahh the appeal to some mythical benchmark no one has heard of.

          • Poission

            MH says

            I think I said “one of the lowest”. “One of the lower” would probably have been better.

            Actually one could conclude that you do not think,or at least you can not provide sufficiently rigorous analysis to the above graph due to being significantly undereducated.

            The statistical anomaly is clearly evident in the distance between the OECD cumulative mean and NZ and in the observed change the divergence is clearly evident.

          • the pigman

            Pray tell, if you have a youth unemployment rate which is above average, how did you get to describing it as “one of the lower”?


            • QoT

              Hey, as long as there’s at least one higher than us, we’re one of the lower! You can’t argue with that grammar!

      • Rob 15.1.2

        Bunji, the policies have made a dent and rates of youth unemplyment have dropped, you are just predicting (or wishing) the forward trend to stay flat.

        • Colonial Viper

          Wish someone would invest societal resources in young workers instead of treating them like serf labour displacing older better paid workers.

        • geoff

          Even if you assume there has been a ‘dent’ in youth unemployment, how can you attribute it to National’s policies? How do you know it isn’t attributable to other factors like the Christchurch rebuild?

          • Rob

            Well you almost never can , unless you employ them directly , which is great if you think the Govt should be the biggest employer of them all. I know in our industry we are hireing and the wider construction industry is hireing as well. Auckland is now growing at significantly higher rates. Manufacturing businesses are fast turing around and the issue is now resourcing up for increaseing demand not falling demand. Pressure on cash is climbing as businesses now are investing in growth – meaning higher raw material charges, bigger inventory and larger labour forces.

            However the reverse is also trueto your comment “Even if you assume there has been a ‘dent’ in youth unemployment, how can you NOT attribute it to National’s policies”?

            • geoff

              Ok thanks for the complete back track on your original statement.

              Let’s just look at them together for maximum contrast….

              Bunji, the policies have made a dent and rates of youth unemplyment have dropped


              Well you almost never can…



              However the reverse is also trueto your comment “Even if you assume there has been a ‘dent’ in youth unemployment, how can you NOT attribute it to National’s policies”?

              Oh dear, and here I thought that you’d finally understood that correlation does not equal causation.

              National’s policies may have had some effect or they may have had none, we cannot tell based on the data. That is why it is silly to try and attribute anything to it.

              • Rob

                Attribute it to whatever you like. However it does show that the policies introduced are not destructive to youth employment rather unemployment has dropped under these policies.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Wage and labour mobility suppression techniques mate. Replacing well paid full time adult workers with part time precariously employed young workers.

                • geoff

                  Wrong again. The policies may have been destructive to youth unemployment but were outweighed by other constructive influences. The fact is we can’t say.

                  Besides, even if they weren’t destructive to youth employment rates, a bill like the 90 day one has irrefutably decreased the employment rights of the individual which is very much a destructive effect.

    • tc 15.2

      I see you’ve cherry picked some numbers conveniently aligned to your meme.

      How many have left the ‘brighter future’ and aren’t inflating the base Matty, how many aren’t even allowed to be included under Basher’s new rules.

      Control the argument via your media slots, rewrite the rules to suit the ruling class, ignore incovenient facts and find an ‘expert’ who agrees with you.

      Life behind the gated communities will be grand in your fantasyland Matty

      • Rob 15.2.1

        Yep and how many are returning now, that will be the pointer moving forward. I think your old rehashed meme’s are comming to a quick end.

        • Colonial Viper

          Looking forwards to half million unemployment are you?

          • Rob

            Well we need them, especially with skills. Tried to employ staff in Chch recently?

            • Colonial Viper

              You know the answer, ditch Kiwi workers, forget about training youth unemployed, just hire them from Ireland and Indo.

              Oh yeah, and don’t forget we know that Fletchers et al are still paying bottom dollar for labour they are charging out at three times the price.

              • Rob

                I hope that does not happen, however certain skills are in shortage. Also hireing rates are going up. The role I am recruiting for now is 10K higher than this time last year.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s two years since the earthquakes.

                  It’s not our fault that with all that lead time the private sector still can’t forecast and prepare for it’s needs worth a damn (especially since they want to foist the cost of industry training on to everyone else), and we also have a government who thinks that planning is quaintly old fashioned because they have a religious belief that the “market” will deliver.

                  • vto

                    Pray tell CV, where has this government done this? ..
                    ” and we also have a government who thinks that planning is quaintly old fashioned because they have a religious belief that the “market” will deliver.”

                    The market wasn’t allowed to deliver in Chch CBD rebuild – centrally planned.
                    The market hasn’t delivered dairy irrigation. Government intervention approach.
                    The market hasn’t delivered waterproof houses. failure od deregulation approach.
                    The market hasn’t delivered affordable houses despite the demand. Gvernment intervention
                    The market hasn’t even delivered in its own marketplace, the NZX. Government welfare.

                    This government does NOT believe in the free market philosophy. The proof is in its actions. This is a full blown heavy-handed central-planning government interventionist winner-picker government that Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavex would be proud of.

                    John Key = Hugo Chavez without Chavez’s success

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh yeah, good point. Like some other religious orders, the neolibs promulgate a certain moral scripture, while in the backrooms do something completely different which suits themselves.

                    • Please don’t compare scumkey to Chavez even in jest ffs that’s like comparing a piece of snot to a galaxy – yes they are both made of matter and energy but that’s about it.

      • rob 15.2.2

        Yes looking forward to the new jobs two of my children will be able to get from
        the wonderful NZ economy as it gives out the promised brighter future that
        Hooten’s friend promised.
        Having to move away for meaningful work isn’t what makes our place great.

      • rob 15.2.3

        Yes looking forward to the new jobs two of my children will be able to get from
        the wonderful NZ economy as it gives out the promised brighter future that
        Hooten’s friend promised.
        Having to move away for meaningful work isn’t what makes our place great.

      • rob 15.2.4

        Yes looking forward to the new jobs two of my children will be able to get from
        the wonderful NZ economy as it gives out the promised brighter future that
        Hooten’s friend promised.
        Having to move away for meaningful work isn’t what makes our place great.

    • At 22:50 Matthew says, and I quote, “youth unemployment has fallen right down to one of the lowest in the world”.

      Audio is at 1 above.

      Care to rephrase Matthew?

      • Colonial Viper 15.3.1

        Hooten like his rich prick clients believes that travelling first class on the Titanic makes all the difference in life. And they are all quite pleased to keep ordering full steam ahead past the icebergs as they break out the next bottle of bubbly.

        • bad12

          The worse thing we can do with the Hootens is to engage in friendly debate with them, once we are conversing in a friendly bantering manner the Hootens of the world have us in a psychological position where their bullshit is less likely to be rigorously exposed,

          That’s why the right invest in these mouthpieces, and i usually choose my nastiest invective for the likes of Hooten simply because i know Him to be full of s**t and a media toyboy,

          A good post this which exposes the creepy little toad for what He is…

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            A good post this which exposes the creepy little toad for what He is…


    • xtasy 15.4

      Hah, copy and pasting madness again.

      I think that Keith Ng answered convincingly and appropriately to your comment in his post further down from your one, Matthew:


      Put your online pasting spatula back in the drawer, perhaps.

    • Puddleglum 15.5


      I can tell by you re-posting your comment from Public Address here that you presumably haven’t read Keith Ng’s response to it.

      As Bunji notes, one data point does not a trend make. And, as Ng notes, the previous data point (for the December quarter) had an equally unusual spike – by your reckoning, if this conversation were happening then, you’d have had to argue that the 90 day trial had made youth unemployment significantly worse. Did it?

      • felix 15.5.1

        “I can tell by you re-posting your comment from Public Address here that you presumably haven’t read Keith Ng’s response to it.”

        That’s very generous of you Puddleglum 😉

    • Chris 15.6

      ‘“In seasonally adjusted terms, the NEET (not in employment, education or training) rate for youth (aged 15–24 years) decreased 1.5 percentage points, to 12.5 percent in the March 2013 quarter.”… what percentage of that 1.5 turned 25 in that period and are now represented in the adult unemployment figures?

  16. felix 16

    That headline gave me quite a start. Had to have a cup of tea and a lie down.

  17. xtasy 17

    There are many statistics, where New Zealand tends to be rather in the middle field amongst developed, or especially OECD countries. Hooton may spin as much as he likes, but that is no surprise, as he is one of the government’s best and most needed spin masters.

    As for economic growth, we all know where that comes from. There is the Christchurch and also larger Canterbury “rebuild” (some actually happens outside of Christchurch!), which of course pushes up growth, and there is the housing bubble, causing some increase in construction also in places like Auckland, although still lagging far behind of what is needed.

    Then we have the milk-powder, baby formula and log exports that mostly go to China, but we know, that with the slightest hick-up in whatever relationship aspect, or bureacratic bungling, shipments can be held up at the border for weeks, without much notice.

    Manufacturing of actually more complex goods has just dropped again.

    So cheering about all that is a bit “early” and unjustified cheering. About how well New Zealand is doing.

    For the longer term the over reliance on existing exports and other economic activity will hardly be the solution for New Zealand’s survival, unless it wants to slip down further to be a mere resource exporting country.

    But aspirations of Key and NatACT go exactly there, with more mining and oil and gas drilling, with yet more milk production from intensified agriculture, and little else.

  18. Wayne 18

    Well, as the author of the 90 day bill, naturally I think it has made a difference in the oppotunities for younger employees. And I obviously mean in a positive way. And all the alarm stories of the Unions simply have not occurred, which is not to say there has been absolutely zero abuse.

    The evidence is that NZ is doing better than most OECD nations, and I think some of that relates to the numerous changes the government has made to improve the microeconomic environment. None of them are particularly large, but in aggregate they make a difference. I dont intend to list them all, you know what they are.

    Certainly the China effect has been important (but I bet many commenters here oppossed the China FTA – I know because I was on the Select Committee that dealt with the FTA). The economic effect of the earthquake is only now being felt, and in any event up till now it has been mainly increased cost for the NZ economy.

    There is now a fair bit of evidence that New Zealand’s more flexible approoach is better than the higher level of Australian regulation.

    Many commenters here keeping looking back to 2008 as if there had been no GFC. Voters will not buy that. It goes against their experience.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      You left out the inevitable reduction of labour mobility as the law makes it more insecure for people to change jobs, and the general flow on effect from that of allowing employers to depress wages further.

      There is now a fair bit of evidence that New Zealand’s more flexible approoach is better than the higher level of Australian regulation.

      The question is, as always, better for whom?

      Both Australian and German economies show the benefits for the many of higher levels of trade unionism and stronger collective agreements.

      Now the mix has to be much richer than that, but the idea of “self regulation” really is a canard which has failed economies across the world over and over in the last 10 years.

      Many commenters here keeping looking back to 2008 as if there had been no GFC. Voters will not buy that. It goes against their experience.

      Their experience of the big banks pulling out ever increasing billion dollar profits even as the rest of the economy stagnates?

      Make no mistake, I believe that the public is quite clear now that a few have done bloody well in this environment, and that everyone else is being slowly sucked dry.

      • Matthew Hooton 18.1.1

        “Both Australian and German economies show the benefits for the many of higher levels of trade unionism”

        But, according to OECD, trade union density in Australia in 2010 (last comparative year) was 18% and in Germany 18.5%, whereas NZ’s was 20.8%.

        • Colonial Viper

          What is the definition of the measure “trade union density” please?


          Ahhh I see, it’s the strength of private sector trade unions in Australia and Germany who have a real economic impact, whereas in NZ the large majority of trade union members are relatively passive public sector unions.

          • Matthew Hooton

            From OECD site:
            Trade union density corresponds to the ratio of wage and salary earners that are trade union members, divided by the total number of wage and salary earners (OECD Labour Force Statistics). Density is calculated using survey data, wherever possible, and administrative data adjusted for non-active and self-employed members otherwise.

            • prism

              When we wanted bread you gave us stones. Or words that don’t throw light and hope on to the situation. Perhaps one day the stones will be thrown back at You.

            • KJT

              Now Mathew. Tell us which “non-totalitarian” countries in the world, sic, apart from New Zealand, have removed the right to withdraw your labour?

              Given that Union negotiated contracts tend to set a floor for wages.

            • xtasy

              While I am not quite sure how accurate Matthew’s union density figures are, he may be close to being correct on Germany and Australia.

              What must be considered is, that trade union membership decreased in many developed countries, especially larger industrialised ones, from about 1980 and shortly afterwards.

              This was naturally a result of the radical economic and social “reforms” that were brought in by mostly right wing governments following the “economic miracle” doctrines based on economists like Milton Friedman. It needs to be reminded that it was the era of Reagan in the US, Thatcher in the UK and Kohl and the conservatives in Germany, who steered a more big and middle size business friendly course, at the same time also limiting or cutting back welfare. Worker’s rights increasingly came under attack, and unions were facing labour laws that discouraged many to bother joining or belonging to unions.

              So no surprises there. What is clear though is, that in certain Scandinavian countries union membership remained and remains high, and it is not a coincidence, that due to that both living standards and welfare safety are higher than in other countries with lower union density. Provided unions act responsibly and as partners, like is common there, they have a beneficial influence.

              It can be said that union density correlates with more equality, more fairness, better all over living standards and social justice.

              Have a look at these graphs:


              New Zealand may still have the roughly 20 per cent “density” as Matthew quotes, only due to large number in the public service still being unionised.

              But even in the US and Germany, like Australia, private sector unions tend to take solid stands, to safeguard wages and conditions for their members, who though tend to be ones in essential industries and with crucial core qualifications.

              Non-unionised workers there face tough conditions also.

              • Jim Davis

                Hooton’s spouting nonsense again. He’s leaving out the fact that Australia has an awards system, which ensures union conditions are enjoyed across the entire industries they’re bargained in.


                I’m not familiar with Germany’s system of industrial law, but I imagine there are other significant differences to the NZ situation that Hooton is declining to mention.

                As anything Hooton says, assume it’s bullshit unless advised otherwise.

                • xtasy

                  Jim Davis – you are right, and good in pointing out that “little” difference between Australia and New Zealand.

                  Also in Germany, like various other Continental European countries, they still have some award systems, that apply at least for selected whole industries.

                  Hooton gets away with much nonsensical claims, because most people in New Zealand would not be that well informed about working conditions and union strength and so in other places.

                  More dumbing down by the day, and sadly it perpetuates and spreads, also having taken over the bulk of people now working in mainstream media.

        • Poission

          Germany has mandatory employer funded, ongoing education for its industrial employees ( ie transferable skills )

          • Matthew Hooton

            And a six month “fire at will” law

            • Poission

              and mandatory medical and redundancy insurance.

            • mickysavage

              Hey Matthew care to address the apparent error in your “statistics”?

            • xtasy

              Bullshit, Hooton!!!

              Trial periods in Germany can be for varying periods, and the employer can certainly not fire at will! Also are trial periods there not mandatory or commonly enforced. It is all negotiable. They have a maximum duration of 6 months though, by law.

              There still are minimum notice periods to follow, and reasons must be given. A two week notice must be given according to law during an agreed trial period that can be up to 6 months long.

              Only if some special exemption is stipulated in certain awards, usually offering other protection for workers, can a notice be shorter than two weeks, but that means, the worker may enjoy a compensation payment or the likes.

              For unlimited (non term contracts) employment, a worker that is employed by an employer who employs 10 or more staff enjoys special dismissal protection. An employer must have good reasons to dismiss a staff member then once the first 6 months have been completed.

              Some employers there try to offer term contracts for say a year, which are strictly regulated. They can only employ the same staff member in such limited term contracts for something like two years, after that they have to make the worker a full time staff member.

              See employment rules for Germany:



              So Matthew Hooton, stop telling people here the total “bullshit” and lies you tell them about other countries!

    • KJT 18.2

      The evidence is the many young people I know, including some we are supporting, are either in precarious part time jobs which do not even pay the bills, or have dropped off the unemployment register and are living in garages off their families, because WINZ will do almost anything to get them off the books.

      Including several who had WINZ subsidised employment, (subsidy to the employer), until the subsidy ran out. The employers then sack them under the 90 day bill and then employ some more with subsidies. Some employers must have avoided paying net wages for several years, now.

      Another bunch, the employer sacked the whole night shift and replaced with minimum wage workers. With a subsidy I suspect.
      Illegal, but in a small town confronting an employer with a personal grievance case guarantees no further employment.

      Not to mention the two teenagers living in our basement who are now on the sickness benefit, for real, with depression, after years of being mucked around by uncaring and rule breaking WINZ staff, (Obviously trained to get people off the unemployment list by any means possible) bullshit training providers for non existent jobs and unscrupulous employers using the 90 day bill and every other bit of anti employee regulation to the max.

      Just from my sample alone, the youth unemployment figures are bullshit.

      As for no problems with the 90 day bill. What fucking world do shitheads like Mapp and Hooten live in.

      • prism 18.2.1

        Three monkeys KJT – that is the RWNJs stance, and some on the left too. No hear, no see, no speak, know nothing. Or if something gets through, it is the individuals fault. No responsibility, no ideal for a good working society.

      • quicksilver 18.2.2

        @KJT “Another bunch, the employer sacked the whole night shift and replaced with minimum wage workers. With a subsidy I suspect.”
        Shame the bastards.. name the employer. If not, name your town – we should be able to figure out who they are. Then picket them, shut them down.
        Bastards make me weep.

      • vto 18.2.3

        “What fucking world do shitheads like Mapp and Hooten live in.”

        The same world so many of them do – the world of haves. They appear to have no understanding or experience of the matters you talk about. Their world is small and padded.

        • KJT

          The funny thing is that unskilled wankers, like Hooten, would probably be living in a cardboard box in the street in their ideal society.

      • Macro 18.2.4

        “As for no problems with the 90 day bill. What fucking world do shitheads like Mapp and Hooten live in.”
        Planet Key
        Totally agree with all the above KJT you are telling it like it actually is – business’ are going bust daily – people fleeing across the ditch, kids living off their parents with no hope of a job, and older employees getting chucked out so that a poor kid can be exploited for a few months. These idiots are destroying this country and the potential that was here has all but vanished. The sooner they are gone the better.
        You hear things like “the booming economy” from the clowns – WTF!! Do they actually go out of doors?

        • KJT

          Another 3 shops shut here, this week.

          Small business owners suffer as well.

          Low or no wages equals no customers.

          • Colonial Viper

            One person’s spending is another person’s income.

            The rule that the austerity mongers carefully forget about.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18.2.5

        Just from my sample alone, the youth unemployment figures are bullshit.

        Let’s substitute empirical evidence with personal anecdote. That’ll make for a much more worthwhile discussion.

        • KJT

          I think more than 200 young people is a pretty fair sample.

          I have direct evidence that a large proportion of them, more than half, no longer figure in unemployment figures because they have given up going to WINZ.

          Most of the rest are in low paid “casual” employment which does not pay the bills.

          Looks like empirical evidence in my book.

          You can also include a large proportion of those now in Australia.

          What would the unemployment figures be if they couldn’t have gone?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Have you noticed a lot more men smoking pipes? There is a lot more of it around my way. Why, I saw about 200 just this last week.

            What shall we do about this?

            • Rosetinted

              Don’t trivialise things that are important to us and to the people that we are considering. If you want to live in an uncaring world there are plenty of computer games. Grand Theft Auto or shoot em up ones or kill the zombie ones – just b..r off and do your mindless thing somewhere else. Your biscuits all have weevils too!

        • vto

          In this instance gormless, KJT has in fact offered empirical evidence, not anecdote. Best re-read or re-think…..

      • quicksilver 18.2.6

        which employer?.. which town?

    • geoff 18.3

      Wayne, you’d obviously do anything to maintain the unfair distribution of the country’s wealth.
      The cold comfort is that if the country keeps following stupid policies, like the 90 day bill, then it will eventually backfire on people like you.
      You’re a fucking a traitor to this country, Wayne. You have the audacity to be proud of treating people like peasants and trying to diminish their stake in the wealth of the country. Scum.

      • Wayne 18.3.1

        Are you not aware that all OECD countries have trial periods, and that 90 days tends to be the shortest timeframe. They can’t all be traitors.

        Why do so many commenters here think that their political opponents,who have been, (or were) elected on the very policies they implemented, are traitors. You are virtually saying that a large percentage of your fellow New Zealanders are traitors – hardly sensible political discourse. Mind you there some commenters in Kiwiblog who fall into the same trap.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Leave the hyperbole to one side. The reason policies that will worsen the country seem treacherous should be self-evident.

          That they will worsen the country is not in doubt – there are too many examples to count. There may well be a pro-New Zealand wing of the National Party, but you’d hardly know it.

        • Puddleglum

          Hi Wayne,

          Some have been asking that the 90 day trial be extended to 180 days. Would you support that? If not, why not?

          If yes, then why not have ‘fire at will’ as normal practice?

        • Blue

          Ah, the ‘everybody else did it!’ defence. Didn’t work when you were 10 years old and it won’t work now.

          You say ‘they can’t all be traitors’. Wrong. If a policy is not in the best interests of the population, then implementing it could be viewed as traitorous, therefore they could all be traitors.

          However, both the allegedly traitorous politicians and the people who vote for them are usually stupid or misguided rather than actually intending their country’s ruin, so it’s more a case of negligence.

          It’s only traitorous if you actually intended to crap all over Kiwi workers and their families. This possibility has not been ruled out.

    • xtasy 18.4

      Where is the clear and convincing evidence that the 90 day trial has created jobs? It may have led to some employers preferring to hire and fire, in low skilled jobs, as it is easier for them to do so.

      As for youth rates at just over $ 10 an hour, this may lead to employers hiring younger staff, whom they can pay less, and refrain them from hiring older staff. So the problem of unemployment may just be shifted around.

      The China effect is one that deserves a closer look. China has also done a fair bit of stimulating of their economy, with easy credit being allowed (that is only as of recent being tightened up again), and with the government releasing funds for infrastructure and other projects.

      Such stimulus programs helped them get over the loss in exports to Europe and the US, where the GFC hit hardest and at least temporarily led to lower spending, also on Chinese made goods.

      So with China having applied a stimulus, this allowed it their population to keep importing baby formula and a few other goods from New Zealand, which of course helped New Zealand weather the worst of the GFC fallout.

      Last not least the worldwide quantitative easing in many countries allowed for sufficient stimulus to keep the world economy going, and that included importing goods from New Zealand.

      It is a bit rich for English and National to go around criticising the Europeans and also the problems of the US, when in fact, things in New Zealand would certainly have been much worse, had stimulus and QE in those places not allowed for New Zealand to continue exporting and managing any negative fall-out as it did.

      Then the Christchurch rebuild, which has only started in part, will also be possible due to insurance payouts from insurance companies, who can claim from re-insurers overseas.

      Add all that together, and it becomes clear, the economic situation here is hardly so much the result of this government doing much, it is a result of what has been done in key economic trading partners, to keep things ticking over.

      So, dear Wayne, try to sell your government’s “glorious achievements” to the fools, thanks!

      P.S.: It is also due to the much printed money and easy credit, combined with low interest rates in the US, some European countries and Japan, that stock exchanges have been showing growth in share values, as investors have shifted into investing into shares, rather than have money sit in bank deposits and else, where there is little to earn.

  19. KJT 19

    “NZ lack of regulation is working better than Australia.”

    Is this sarcasm or a sick joke.

    800 000 people voted with their feet. For Australia!

    I suspect another 3 million would go if they could.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Australia is late to the party but is now getting caught in the wave of international economic collapse still roiling around. The China shock is going to hit them harder than it hits us. Expect a lot of jobless, doleless Kiwis coming back.

      • KJT 19.1.1

        Australia is starting to adopt the Neo-liberal prescription too. Just later than us.

        Of course, same as us, they are beginning to reap the inevitable result.

        Watch how Sweden has gone down by all measures, since they also took the poison.

        New Zealand is doing better, by some measures, because of three things.

        Paul Keatings regulation of Australian banks, which National would have reversed if they had the power. Imagine SCF and Huljich, with the banks failing as well!

        Cullens surplus after refusing to make the tax cuts National’s sycophants demanded.

        A massive influx of insurance money for Christchurch.

        National have squandered all of it.

        • Colonial Viper

          I still don’t see any evolving political philosophy or strength in any of the parties which is going to be of significant help.

          Primarily, none of the political parties seem to fully acknowledge the realities of the real world environment our civilisation is now operating (struggling) in. The Greens understandably are the most ‘eyes-open’ but they are also overtly catering to the biases of a comfortable middle class who believe that they can continue to enjoy massive resource consuming lifestyles ad infinitum, albeit with a socially responsible coat of greenwash.

          Cullens surplus after refusing to make the tax cuts National’s sycophants demanded.

          Cullen’s surplus, useful as it was, was also based on allowing a massive private sector debt accumulation to temporarily boost the NZ economy. It can be argued that it was also a major factor contributing to the early end of the Labour Government.

          Doesn’t really leave me feeling that rosy.

          • KJT

            As you know I was not happy with Labour’s continuation of the neo-liberal approach either, including allowing the reserve bank acts raising interest rates, and resulting incoming bank debt, to push up private sector asset speculation.

            But. It is particularly cynical lying from National when they take credit for the effect of policies which they would have, or later, reversed.

            • Colonial Viper

              True but a party in Govt taking credit for previous stuff which worked, and issuing brickbats to the previous lot for things which didn’t, is stock standard.

              But my main message is that apart from gaming the last ten-tenths from the system, Labour doesn’t have a much of an idea of economic growth either – not because it is their fault but mainly because the era of economic growth is O-V-E-R and all our “leaders” refuse to say it out loud

              • prism


              • KJT

                Yes. Which is why we need policies like a GMI, flatter income distribution, and monetary systems which do not rely on infinite growth, to allow a steady state economy. Don’t think we will get there in one hit, in a democracy you have to persuade most people of the need to change, but Green policies are trending that way. Labour, National, are both denying reality.

                A few people hogging all the remaining resources, a constantly increasing money supply (Which is required for monetary interest/capital accumulation to exist), jobs for everyone (when we can meet all our needs and much of ordinary peoples wants with half the work we do now) and constantly increasing resource use are incompatible with leaving a liveable world for our great grandchildren.

                An informed real democracy is the only means we have to make the changes needed.

                Our current rotating dictatorial kleptocracy has proven to be too shortsighted, stupid and greedy to do anything.

                Ordinary people have shown many times in history that they will sacrifice a lot, if it is shown to be necessary, for a better future for the next generation.

                In 1984 many people bought into the idea of sacrifices now for a better future. Unfortunately that Government, and several since, really meant a better future for them, not us!

  20. Saarbo 20

    I used to work for Carter Holt Harvey for years, preparing budgets for an Australian business. Every year the budget for wage increase in Australia was always 1% higher. The reason: Stronger Unions! Compound that and it is easy to see why Aus wages are where they are compared to NZ – because of stronger unions. Our dickhead CEO’s would rave that this would be great for New Zealand as this would mean that capacity would eventually shift from Aus to New Zealand…but it never happened, we were simply left with workers on lower wages.

    This post is spot on, Matthew Hooten talks absolute rubbish. Another one of his favourites is suggesting that New Zealand’s growth, driven by record Dairy payouts (a commodity) and ChCh rebuild (an earthquake) is because of Nationals brilliant economic policies.

  21. Yes 21

    The union comparisons are only on unionized sites the data you present is flawed

    • Jim Davis 21.1

      Your brain is flawed. Data’s from Statistics NZ’s Labour Cost Index, fool.

      • Yes 21.1.1

        Read the data properly. Union employees are on average in the lower quartile of earners….fool

        • Jim Davis

          You’ll need to provide some data, including references, and explain what point you’re trying to make. I can’t for the life of me work out what you’re on about.

          • QoT

            I think Yes is trying to make the very clever point that if you take all union members in Group A, and all non-union members in Group B, group B will have higher average earnings.

            This of course has nothing to do with Group B including all the senior managers and extremely-highly-paid CEOs who generally cannot, or have no benefit in, being members of unions.

            • Jim Davis

              And, of course, making the assumption that hospital cleaners are paid less than senior company executives because they’re in the union, not because cleaners are paid shit and would be paid even shitter if they weren’t organised.

              • QoT

                Of course!

                I long for the ability to plug righties’ heads into a virtual reality simulator which makes them experience a World Without Cleaners.

            • RedLogix

              But you’re missing Yes’s even more clever point that if all those dumrs union oiks were to quit their dumrs union …. they’d all become high-powered senior managers and CEO’s.

              • lprent

                Yeah right.. Who’d want to? Been part way there, got the tee-shirt, escaped.

              • KJT

                And. Another obvious point. Public sector Unions put a floor under the pay rates and conditions for non-unionised managers and others in the private sector.

                And then, of course, there are the really powerful Unions.

                Senior Doctors.
                Fed Farmers.
                The employers and manufacturers association.
                Chambers of Commerce.
                The top 0.5% club.
                The top management old boys club.

                17% plus pay increases. Last Year. Wasn’t it!
                And how many thousands a year in tax cuts extorted from the Government? Again!

                Shows what belonging to a collective can do!

  22. Yes 22

    Thank you for understanding the logic – by the way KJT – big flaw – Doctors have their own union and be assured they aren’t on $13.50 per hour.

    So here is my other very clever point – if unions are so good at getting great rates – why is it that the unions can negotiate excellent doctors wages and but can’t cleaners.

    \why should a doctor earn more than a cleaner when both equally contribute to society.

    lawyers and accountants are self employed and people use their services – if they cant afford it they don’t. just like political parties pay for spin doctors.

    My so called clever point is: if you want a balanced post you have to compare as some one said – you need group a and group b to compare

    • KJT 22.1

      Joining the Doctors Union is compulsory.

    • KJT 22.2

      Good on you, yes. You have just put forward an excellent argument for compulsory unionism for exploited workers, such as cleaners.

      • Yes 22.2.1

        i think its great cleaners have a voice – now lets see how good the unions are – cleaners should get pay parity with doctors

        Give me on reason why a cleaner in the union should not get the same as a doctor in the union?

      • Yes 22.2.2

        see post below

  23. quicksilver 23


    which employer, which town? How can we fight if you won’t tell us where the battlefield is?

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