How much is $50,000,000?

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, April 17th, 2010 - 94 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: ,

From time to time you hear mention of John Key’s personal fortune of $50M. If you say fiftymilliondollars quickly enough it doesn’t sound that much, especially in the context of politics where most budgets come in factors of millions anyway. But as a personal fortune, that amount of money needs some context to really appreciate just how much it is. As John’s a man of the people, in touch with the struggles and needs of everyday Kiwis, I got to wondering what sort of everyday costs that sort of cash would buy you.

Housing
With $50M John could buy 125 average kiwi homes at $400k a piece. That means John could buy enough houses that if he visited a different one of his homes every week, it’d take him nearly two and a half years before he would have seen all the houses he owned.

Cars
Being an everyday kind of bloke, let’s assume John has simple tastes in cars and would go for the trusty Toyota Corolla. With $50M John could buy himself 1190 Corollas at $42,000 each. That means if he used a different one of his cars every single day of his life starting from today, it would be July 2013 before he’d tried them all.

Groceries
If a typical Kiwi family of four watches its pennies, as we’re supposed to do, and spends $250 per week on groceries, John’s $50M means he could buy a week’s groceries for 200,000 families. Or he could buy all the groceries for an entire year for 3846 families.

Whiteware
I’m struggling to buy a new washing machine at the moment, if you look around you can get one for about $600. For $50M John could buy a little over 83 thousand washing machines. So even if John had some kind of germ phobia that compelled him to wash his shirt, pants, socks and undies all in separate machines, he could use a different washing machine for each of those garments every day for the next 57 years.

Savings
Savings really make sense when you’ve got $50M. The simple interest on that much money at a meagre 5% would be $2.5 million per annum. Of course John isn’t silly with his own money so he’d get more than 5% and the interest would be compounded so let’s round it up to a conservative $3 million per annum. That means John’s little nest egg would be earning him $8,219 in interest every day, or $342 for every hour of every day and night.

Average Income
Let’s say the average income is $50,000 per annum. Just the interest John makes on his personal fortune is equivalent to the entire year’s gross earnings of 60 average Kiwis. Of course the principle of $50M is equivalent to an entire year’s gross earnings of another thousand average Kiwis.

Charity
You know those ‘Dollar a Day’ ads that ask for people to donate $30 a month to help save the life of a child? Well at that rate and with $50M, John could provide the money to keep 2,739 of those kids alive for 50 years each.

I could go on, but yeah… sure is a lot of money for one ordinary everyday Kiwi to have all to themselves. Makes me wonder if John could even begin to comprehend what it feels like to worry about the power bill. Somehow I get the feeling that when your personal fortune is making you more than $8,000 a day just in interest, you might be pretty relaxed about a global recession and soaring unemployment.

94 comments on “How much is $50,000,000? ”

  1. I think Key’s sunny, relaxed outlook has more to do with the absence of a credible opposition party than his ability to buy 83,000 washing machines.

    • Eric C. 1.1

      Agreed, but here’s what makes me wonder. Key was reported to have $50 million when he returned from overseas to run for National. That was in 2001. It is 9 years later and he still only has $50 million. Sure there was a crash and all that, but the $50 million was the story before and after the crash and a lot of those losses from a year or so ago have been recouped.

      So, where is his money? What is it in and is he really that bad with his money that he can’t make more over a 9 year period?

      Good on him if he did, but there is something very fishy about the story of his wealth.

      • So, where is his money? What is it in and is he really that bad with his money that he can’t make more over a 9 year period?

        1. Most of Key’s wealth is in his property holdings and his blind trust.
        2. When I worked in the finance industry a perpetual topic of conversation was the amount of money you’d need to retire on, if you could put it in very low risk investments and still make enough of a return post inflation to live in luxury for life. $20 million was the amount that most people agreed upon, Key has more than double that, but if I were in his position that’s what I’d have done with my cash. Also, for the past four years he’s been leader of the opposition and then PM, so presumably he’s been fairly busy with things other than growing his personal wealth.

        • Eric C. 1.1.1.1

          No if you add up the value of his properties, the ones we know of any way, you’d be lucky to reach $20 million. So, most of his money is not in property. Nice try though.

          • Danyl Mclauchlan 1.1.1.1.1

            Speaking of nice tries, try reading to the end of the sentence:

            “Most of Key’s wealth is in his property holdings and his blind trust.”

            • Eric C. 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh, I see. Sorry. But still $50 million in 2001 and $50 million in 2010?

              He must be spending a hell of a lot on those 6-8 weeks of annual leave to keep it at that level, because working for the nation doesn’t cost him anything.

              What’s your source for the amount in his blind trust?

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                It seems that only his NZ investments are in the blind trust. I would say he would many US stocks and would actively manage them, he has the contacts to advise him

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      Here we go again! From his ivory tower Danyl sees only sunshine from Keys government and clouds for the opposition.
      You should get out of the ‘beltway’ more often – no not to the vineyards of Martinborough or the beaches of Nelson

  2. john 2

    I know Christianity isn’t cool anymore, but the only people Jesus really got angry and physical with were the money changers in the Temple,he was onto something, like John Key made his money as a money trader, which I’m sure is manipulation without producing anything of value to society at all. These sorts of people are the biggest bludgers of all time. And they think they’re fantastic for doing it that way, believe me!

    • tsmithfield 2.1

      John, they are just providing a service for those that have a need. Anything wrong with that?

      • Stacktwo 2.1.1

        That is exactly the excuse given by loan-sharks, slum-lords and drug pushers.

        • M 2.1.1.1

          how about dairy owners? electricians? aren’t they just providing a service for those that have a need? are they like slum-owners and drug-pushers too, because they charge for the service people want and they provide?

          and who, exactly, should be providing loans to people who need them, completely free of charge (therefore not accepting a wage or salary for their occupation), and wearing the the risk (and corresponding financial burden) that they’ll never pay the loan back?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        When it produces nothing of value? Yes.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    An article based entirely around naked envy and the tall poppy syndrome. Perhaps it would be better if we tried to emulate successful NZers rather than trying to knock them back down all the time.

    “Makes me wonder if John could even begin to comprehend what it feels like to worry about the power bill.”

    Well, given his well publicized background, he probably does have some idea.

    • MikeG 3.1

      It’s not often I agree with tsmithfield, but I do this time. I think that the post says more about the author than the subject.

    • Michael Foxglove 3.2

      tsmith – If you really think the market creates a good indication of “success” then there’s probably no point trying to argue with you.

      A genuine question for you: At any given time, how many of the four million people in New Zealand could make $50m by speculating on the money of others? I think, maybe ten. The rest of us need to be concerned with real production, offering services, and community work in order for those ten people to speculate on our money.

      You see, real wealth requires production and services. Those who produce nothing are worth nothing to our economy. Key has done nothing create real wealth, and is surely even in the eyes of classical economist, a failure.

      • TightyRighty 3.2.1

        You see Michele, Real wealth needs the infrastructure to create it. When the banks lend money to start up business, they are really speculating with other peoples money. When the government gives out money to whatever, it is speculating with other peoples money. your mortgage? that’s the bank speculating with other peoples money. Now while many mortgage managers won’t make $50,000,000 with their DCA, the theory is the same. So to create real wealth, someone has to speculate, somewhere, sometime. Probably using other peoples money. I know the left are economically illiterate, but really, to let it manifest itself into envy? that is just sad and ignorant.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Actually, it’s that the right are economically delusional. The bank, just like Jonkey, isn’t making any wealth either.

          • TightyRighty 3.2.1.1.1

            I’m sure all those hard working people who have scrimped and saved and then entered into a partnership to buy a house with a bank mortgage would think they are creating wealth. but DTB, you ideology is always right, depsite the fact that most die hard lefties have little wealth. hmmmm what a conundrum.

    • Eric C. 3.3

      That’s if you buy those stories about his background.

      I don’t, but even if you do, his family was not your usual family on a benefit. His parents were well educated and came from wealthy backgrounds. When the family fell on hard times, the taxpayer was there with housing and generous benefits, much more generous than today. His mum got back on her feet and worked hard and his older sisters would have worked too. I’m sure his mother had a very rough life, but little John Key would not have suffered for much.

      It’s wonderful that he was so lucky, but let’s get over this Oliver Twist version of Key’s childhood.

      • This is true , he was not what one would call on his bare bum. Although he was from a refuge family there were members of his family who were wealthy and no doubt helped. The fact is that he was an only son in a Jewish family . Jewish tradition favours the son especially the only son. everything would have been done for him ,In fact the family would have revolved around him. What I would like to know is just how long he lived in a State house. Mazel Tov!

    • tsmithfield, that would be the talkback cliche response.
      i’m not talking about tall poppies, i’m talking about excessive private wealth of absurd proportions, and what that does for a person’s ability to empathize with and truly represent the interests of ordinary kiwis.

  4. ianmac 4

    tsmithfield: What a funny position to take in saying being rich equates to being successful. There are a few very rich people who see being rich is an opportunity to contribute to those in need. Gareth Morgan springs to mind. There are others who buy very expensive houses, buy positions, and exude materialism.
    There are other people who are very successful as human beings and are very poor.
    Then the question of how wealth has been obtained. Personally I despise the wealth of people like Key, Fay, Ritchwhite, or that sad chap who buys women and uses his money to try and destroy Winston Peters.
    Tall poppies? More like noxious weeds!

  5. Perhaps it would be better if we tried to emulate successful NZers rather than trying to knock them back down all the time.

    Im in need of a few successful NZers to emulate. Maybe you could list some i could try to be more like ?…cheers

  6. Michael Foxglove 6

    Nice post Sprout. Makes it very clear exactly how disconnected someone like Key must be from everyday jokers. No wonder he’s so “relaxed” about all the problems Kiwis are facing.

  7. Stacktwo 7

    I have to disagree with tsmithfield. The issue of the widening gap between rich and poor is one of the major issues of our time. And a larger issue in NZ than in most places – What are we? 23rd in 30 OECD countries in terms of inequality?

    Key’s $50,000,000 came from somewhere, for what? It is not naked envy that makes us look askance at the completely unjustified rewards that people like Key amass for pulling financial strings. It is the obscenity of someone having sucked so much out of ordinary working families coming back to New Zealand to bash beneficiaries.

    This is not a tall poppy. This is a tall poisonous weed.

  8. deemac 8

    @tsmithfield: I’d love to know what “service” currency speculators provide!
    Except possibly to the obscenely rich to become even richer.

    • Marty G 8.1

      liquidity and efficient allocation of capital they would say. But then you just have to point out that they and their speculating mates are the cause of nearly every national and international economic disaster in the last few hundred years.

  9. ianmac 9

    Just read in John O’Farrell’s book that 8 year-old James Harold Wilson had been photographed by his dad standing on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street.
    On his becoming PM reporters asked of the photo of the 8-yearold Wilson, was that when he had decided to become PM?
    “Well no,” said the PM.
    So the Press printed that it was then, because it made a good story. Wilson was happy to let it run. Connections anyone?

  10. Shona 10

    Oi ! PollyWog here’s a short list of great kiwis /innovators , many of them world beaters, for you to emulate and start developing some real knowledge of this country’s people before youu slag us off again.
    Sam Neil, Edmund Hillary, Apriana Ngata, Princess Te Puea, Ray Avery, Chris Laidlaw,Jim Salinger, Mat Rata, Kiri Te Kanawa,Sir Archibald McIndoe. Sir Ernest Rutherford, William Pickering, Alan MacDiamard, John Clarke, Janet Frame, Beatrice Tinsley, Brian Barrat-Boyes,Whina Cooper, Ian AthField,Charles Upham,Tamati Waka Nene, Keith Park, Jane Campion, Sonja Davies.

    • pollywog 10.1

      Slow ya roll there Shona…besides the fact i wasn’t talking to you, no ones slaggin’ you off ya silly moo.

      I know of the achievements of most of them and its not a bad list. I was more intereseted in hearing who TS thought i should strive to emulate…but thanx anyway

    • ianmac 10.2

      Well done Shona! Great list. And certainly all those are to be admired for their successes. Makes us proud.
      But you have accidently put a nail in John Key’s coffin. He would not fit into that list as one to be admired because he was a maker of money out of money, rather than an artist, writer, scientist, musician, mountaineer etc.

      • prism 10.2.1

        TS “An article based entirely around naked envy and the tall poppy syndrome. Perhaps it would be better if we tried to emulate successful NZers rather than trying to knock them back down all the time.”

        I think that TS was talking about being successful as in making a lot of money and having lots of property. The sort of success that is recognisable to National Party eyes.

        Doesn’t really matter what you do, when sprayed with gold all look alike. Just don’t spoil it by not understanding how to maneouvre round the law when you are moving the money in your direction or the golden shower could get chipped (though unlikely to be lost completely).

  11. It’s interesting to compare Key with another state house boy of a similar age – Stephen Tindall. Through the Warehouse chain, Tindall has created thousands of NZ jobs, directly & indirectly & has established the Tindall Trust to advance environmental & socially desirable programmes.
    The National Party has put out the lie that Key donates his PM’s salary to charity, but when asked who the charities were, all Key could say was that he once gave $30k to the National Party. The National Party may be a basket case, but it’s not (yet) a charity.
    Nothing wrong with being ambitioius, but to accumulate $50M in a personal fortune smacks of pathalogical greed.

  12. prism 12

    Key and his like carefully accumulating pots of money probably fits into a theory of natural forces at work. Everything uses something else – if we could be more like bees getting pollen and honey from tall poppies we would have a type of virtuous circle.

    But the model is more of predatory insects like fleas and leeches sucking off the body of society. Leeches have been found to have uses that can provide a positive service to people, under proper controls. So the conclusion could be that to get useful outcomes for us all we need to tightly control these financial entrepreneurs as they follow their natural bent. Recent financial market meltdown an example of not doing that.

    Hear Goldman Sachs now on the carpet – but I guess their carpet is shag pile! Past interesting item on Bear Stearns refusal to co-operate with Poulson’s mortgage and hedge fund bidding “we didn’t think we could sell deals that someone was shorting on the other side”. (deepcapture.com 20/1/10)

  13. Marty G 13

    The average full time wage is about $48K. But what you really want to look at is the median income of all adults – $28K.

    Key’s interest at your rough estimate is over 100 times that and the wealth he owns is worth another 1500 median incomes

    by the way, the median income has decreased under Key

  14. sean14 14

    “Makes me wonder if John could even begin to comprehend what it feels like to worry about the power bill.”

    If that’s your criteria for being Prime Minister, you just have been disappointed in Helen Clark, too.

  15. Nick C 15

    Wow this post is kind of creepy. Envy much?

    • Marty G 15.1

      It’s not envious to be angry that one person has so much when most people have so little. It’s disgust at the economic system that created it and its disgust at those who have exploited it and its disgust at Key for failing to do anything for the underclass he used to talk about.

      ‘envy’ is one of the right’s lines like ‘pc’ that they use for want of an argument.

      • sean14 15.1.1

        Will you post on the alternative economic system you would prefer?

        • Marty G 15.1.1.1

          sean14. we’ve posted endlessly about taming capitalism and non-capitalist solutions. Personally, I like anarcho-syndicalism as the basis for the means of production ultimately but starting with more co-ops. I like the Georgist model of land ownership. I think there’s real opportunities even now for deepening democracy and making it more genuinely multi-tier.

          Where I differ from someone like Bill, whose a very good commentator who keeps us honest, is that I see those as desirable but a long way off and a lot of intermediate steps need to be taken along the way.

          • Bill 15.1.1.1.1

            Oi!

            Hope you’re not implying that I subscribe to a ‘spontaneous raising of the conciousness of the masses’ messianic type of politics there Marty.

            Just in case, here’s my rant….

            Incrementalism is the only non-godly way forward ( if I can put it that way), but each incremental step should be fully inclusive…and no reason why that can’t happen right now… as well as be informed by the long term goal(s).

            Fact is, I don’t see any arriving or any destination as such. All I want to see is common movement…vital movement, not a trudge or a regimented march…towards an ever changing horizon.

            My beef is that currently, most of us are deliberately ( and meekly!) sidelined in this stepping forward process; this so-called incremental change… which often means that as a stepping forward is taken, a stepping on is also undertaken….just to keep us in our proper place; that incrementalism is less of a movement forward than a sly shuffle to the side in a bid to preserve the status quo.

            Democracy is either demanded or its not ( presently not). Visions and goals will hopefully always change (notice how under capitalism the goals and aspirations are static variations on an unrealisable theme that just happen to deliver power and control back to those who control the processes while nothing of note changes?). The nature of the process determines the shape of ongoing results. A non-democratic process will yield a non-democratic result. Or put another way, a process that largely excludes us will yield a result that largely excludes us.

            And what is the point in that for any of us?

            Demand democracy now…right now, in all spheres of our lives…and we get both processes and results that are increasingly inclusive and dynamic…real incrementalism!

            Or don’t demand democracy right now and watch our future quietly sicken and fall beneath the twin wheels of climate change and peak oil….not to mention increasingly dictatorial systems of governance as those with privilege seek to hang on to it regardless.

            rant ends

          • sean14 15.1.1.1.2

            Cheers Marty, although I rarely agree with what is written on The Standard I was genuinely asking for info, so thanks.

        • Bill 15.1.1.2

          Here you go sean14. Enjoy the read. Would be really interested in hearing your take on it when you’re done.

          http://www.zcommunications.org/zparecon/pareconlac.htm

  16. Bill 16

    The 50 Million Dollar Man is an emotional cripple…or have you all forgotten? And the 50 million still doesn’t suffice as compensation it seems…now he needs to be PM, now he needs more $$$, now he needs ???

    So he’s welcome to his millions.

    What is unconscionable is the material deficits that are the life long lot of however many people because of the mal-distribution of market driven capitalism. By focusing on individuals and their personal wealth rather than the systems they benefit from, they can acquire a mystique and a power in some peoples’ eyes ( Wow! How’d he get so rich! He must be awesome man! Fuck, wish I could do what he’s done!) while bullshit jealousies can get aroused in others. All pretty pointless at best. Counter productive at worst.

    The fact that John Key isn’t an every day ordinary Kiwi is only superficially to do with his money. The money comes as a result of his much more important drive to deal with and compensate for his deficit on the humanity front. Our economic and political systems aid and abet him and others like him to do this in a generally destructive fashion. He and they don’t just get rich in a vacuum. Not that you’d know when the focus is personal.

    If the focus is to be personal, then ffs focus on aspects of the individual that will not and can not generate respect or lead to people seeking to emulate or achieve what you highlight.

    John is sociopathic.

    Read the hagiography from the pre-election Herald if you have doubts and get this man removed from levers of power by all means. But banging on about his wealth when every bugger and their dog wants to get rich just won’t achieve anything on that front.

  17. prism 17

    Nick C and sean 14
    Important things are being discussed on this blog and I guess that might seem a bit creepy to you. Trying to understand anything involves lots of creepy thinking.

  18. Bored 18

    My creepy thinking is that we take the $50 million of behalf of John and deliver a cycleway which we will in gratitude name after him.

  19. Shona 19

    Thanks for that Bill. I Googled sociopath and got this.
    Feel free to tick the traits.
    Profile of the Sociopath.
    • Glibness and Superficial Charm
    • Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
    • Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”
    • Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
    • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
    • Shallow Emotions
    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
    • Incapacity for Love
    • Need for Stimulation
    Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
    • Callousness/Lack of Empathy
    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
    • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
    Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
    • Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
    Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
    • Irresponsibility/Unreliability
    Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
    • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
    Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
    • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
    • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
    ________________________________________
    Other Related Qualities:
    1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
    2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
    3. Authoritarian
    4. Secretive
    5. Paranoid
    6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
    7. Conventional appearance
    8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
    9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life
    10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
    11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
    12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
    13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
    14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
    15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

    • hmmmmmmmm 19.1

      If you’re trying to suggest that Key, or indeed anyone in parliament, is a sociopath or displays true sociopathic tendencies you’ve moved this post and commentary from being a bit of foolish ranting to trueky demented idiocy.

      [lprent: g – you’ve been getting comments back on the site again because some of them have been interesting and you’ve been using different pseudonyms. Then you screw up by making comments that are obviously meant to be mistaken as someone else. You’re starting to piss me off. I guess I’ll just have to move you to spam – like I did with your last two comments…. ]

      • Bill 19.1.1

        I truly suggest you read the hagliography the Herald printed before the election.

        There was not one example of him helping anyone. Not one example of him engaging with society in any meaningful remotely selfless way. Not one example of anyone he looked to as a role model, example or mentor.

        It was all ‘wee boy John’, self contained and self sufficient, propelling himself ever upward in the impersonal cut throat world of international finance and speculation before parachuting down to be ruler of NZ.

        There was not one hint of humanity in the thousands of words printed. Nothing. I commented as much at the time.

    • Bill 19.2

      Ran out of ticks. Don’t know whether to piss myself laughing or shit my pants in fear.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.3

      You posted that without reading it didn’t you? I mean, if you had read it you would have been able to supply the ticks yourself. Just an example:

      Pathological Lying
      Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

      When he said he wanted wages to drop he was telling the truth. When he said he was talking about Australia and/or joking he was lying. Then there was the 100,000 shares in rail. He only came clean on that one when he realised that the reporter already knew he had 100,000. Before that he kept up the lie that he only had 50,000.

      • Bill 19.3.1

        No. I read it. And like I said, I ran out of ticks.

        I only had a 20kg sack of them and when they were gone, that was it.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.3.1.1

          I wasn’t replying to you but to Shona.

          • Bill 19.3.1.1.1

            a-hem. That would have been my number 14 getting in the way there I guess.

          • Shona 19.3.1.1.2

            DracoT B, I did read it and was gobsmacked at how many of the traits listed described our PM. Until today I had no idea of how to define /describe a sociopath. That’s why I read the Standard,it’s so frequently illuminating. Cheers!

    • ianmac 19.4

      Though John did show deep genuine emotion on Election Night as he marched into the hall flanked by bodyguards, (No 5?) and laughed hysterically at the cleverness of his win. Unless that is part of No 14?

    • aj 19.5

      Shona 1:16pm

      You are describing Tiger Woods

  20. Nemesis 20

    So funny to see you guys get bothered and obsessed about Key’s wealth.

    John Key didn’t make his money off the taxpayer. Same can’t be said about Helen Clark (worth at least $5 million) and Phil Goff (worth a couple of mill).

    When it comes to understanding the needs of ordinary New Zealanders I would rather have somebody who has earned their money through hard work, has a family and raises kids, and is able to engage with ordinary people than somebody who has been a career politician getting fat off the state all their lives.

    I see John Key at the supermarket shopping a lot. Doubt Goff ever does that except for photo ops.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      John Key didn’t make his money off the taxpayer.

      It seems that Jonkey had his hand in the 1987 crash that badly affected NZ as well as the latest GFC (he was in charge of derivatives at Merryl Lynch in the correct time period). On top of that he hasn’t produced anything of value at all, ever – he’s only ever destroyed.

      I would rather someone who understands how to create wealth rather than someone who got very well rewarded for making someone else richer at everyone else’s expense.

  21. Gooner 21

    Helen Clark is a multi millionaire.

    I don’t see your green envious concern about that.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.1

      I hold all millionaires in the same contempt because they’ve all used the same exploitation to get there. HC does have a redeeming factor though – when in government she actually tried to help the society to be better while Jonkey and the rest of NACT are doing their damnedest to make things worse.

  22. tsmithfield 22

    Just a couple of points to respond to a number of similar criticisms of my earlier post.

    Firstly, currency traders actually do a valuable service. Some people like to hedge their positions (exporters for instance who want the certainty of a fixed exchange rate). Hedgers want certainty, not necesarilly the optimal return. On the other side of those trades are the speculators, who like to try and make money by predicting the direction currencies are likely to go. So, without the speculators it would be difficult for exporters to hedge. In fact, it is possible for those on both sides of the trade to be happy. So, it is incorrect to assume that speculators are lower than leeches.

    Secondly, being successful in your chosen career is certainly a fair measure of success. If that makes you incredibly rich in the process, then so be it. Of course, taking opportunities to do good with what you have is even better. But, you are making big assumptions assuming that JK isn’t doing that also. For instance, it has been well known that he donates a good part of his salary as PM.

    • the sprout 22.1

      the depth of your false consciousness is touching

    • Pascal's bookie 22.2

      “For instance, it has been well known that he donates a good part of his salary as PM.”

      Good on him if he does. But it’s far from well known. In fact every time that comes up someone asks for a cite to anything even suggesting that it’s true. The best anyone has come up with a is a promise, at about the same time he was promising north of fifty bucks a week to the average wage earner.

      Seeing your claiming ‘knowledge’, (though strangely in the past tense; what the fuck is that all about?), be a good chap and provide the clincher.

    • Pascal's bookie 22.3

      On the great and glorious bankers who are not leachers oh no, not them. I see the great survivors Goldman Sachs are getting sued, presumably out of nothing more than envy and spite. I see also that the architecture is having to be redone around just what these great and good are allowed to do, again presumably out of nothing but mean hearted jealousy.

      • tsmithfield 22.3.1

        Here is an excellent article on the Goldman situ.

        http://seekingalpha.com/article/199196-goldman-the-sec-and-the-new-face-of-wall-street

        As I understand it, the issue is lack of disclosure, rather than the use of specific instruments. Of course, disclosure is an important consideration in many contracts.

        • Pascal's bookie 22.3.1.1

          No shit there were some disclosure issues.

          Holy jeebus on his angry stick mate. ‘Not so much the instruments as a lack of disclosure’. That’s like saying Jonny McStabby’s problem with the law is not so much the sticking the knife in someone’s throat, but the failure to gain consent. Or that I didn’t kill ‘im, it was the blood loss m’lud.

          They were selling shit they knew stone cold was rotten. The guy that was providing them the shit to sell, was betting against it being any good. They knew this. They then sold it as good.

          What’s excellent about that picerno piece?

          If you ain’t reading Felix Salmon on this, you should be.

          http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/16/goldmans-reputation-in-tatters/

          While you’re there, check out the pitchbook Goldman was selling the toxic with. No mention there of anything much that investors might need to know.

          And watch him dissect GS latest spin:

          http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/16/parsing-the-new-goldman-statement/

          If the word “Paulson’ isn’t included in the section about “extensive disclosure’, then I don’t think the disclosure can be considered to be extensive. The point here is that neither IKB (which really wasn’t that sophisticated) nor ACA was told by Goldman that this synthetic transaction — which, yes, necessarily includes a short side — was actually architected by that short side. Paulson stacked the deck by giving ACA a pool of toxic assets to choose from, without revealing that they were short. Goldman knew what Paulson was doing, and was complicit in the silence. That’s not “extensive disclosure’, chaps.

          seriously though, Salmon is the shizzle on this stuff. Bookmark him, he’ll make you smarter.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 22.4

      Ive heard this many times that he ‘donates’ a good portion of his income as PM.

      Yet we have no actual figures on where it goes, except of course his annual donation of $30,000 to the coffers of the National party. ( which is publically released every year) Of course Hhelen donated to the labour party every year too, but I bet she didnt big note that and her other donations

  23. Lucy 23

    I read somewhere that Key’s mother was a labour supporter so she knew what hard times were. Apparently they used to argue politics. So whatever his mother’s struggle didn’t rub off on him.

    I would advise everyone to go look at a film on PBS called “The Warning”. You can watch it online at the link below.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/

    It is about derivatives one of Mr keys main areas of expertise. They go right back to the Bankers Trust fraud of 1993 when Key was head of the NZ branch. Bankers trust were sucessfully sued by Proctor and Gamble for fraud in selling them derivatives. Yes back in 1993 derivatives were toxic and this is our great financial mistros claim to fame, his expertise in an area that has bought the worlds economy to its knees.

    While Key was on the foreign exchange committee of the Federal reserve of New York there was a letter sent ( you can see it on the Feds Website) to congress co-signed by the committe on which Key served, advising them not to regulate derivatives. Non regulated or Over The Counter (OTC) derivatives had already collapsed a large financial institution “Long Term Capital Managment” and could have taken the US economy down because no one new about the problem. Why didn’t they know. Becuase there was no regulation of OTC derivatives. They were a completely dark market.

    So why after an obvious near collapse of the worlds economy in the late 90s did Keys “Foreign Exchange Committee” recomend the timebomb be left to tick away. It must have been clear to even those who don’t understand derivatives that large investments ( at that stage about 40 trillion) affecting and endangering the whole financial system should be regulated so that danger to the worlds economy can be seen comming.

    If key has done nothing criminal (that we know of ) he is guilty of incredibly bad judgement and he like most of the bankers is not paying the price. The millions in America now living on the streets who we never see on TV are paying for his bad judjment or at the very least his silence when his committee urged the US congress to pass the “Commodities Futures Modernisation Act” which prevented regulation of derivatives and allowing the problem to grow to insurmountable levels approx 600 trillion or 10 times the size of the world markets.

    • tsmithfield 23.1

      Lucy, just a couple of points.

      Firstly, it wasn’t the use of derivatives that caused the crash. The use of derivatives may have sped-up and exacerbated it. However, it was not the cause. The cause was the incredible amount of over-leveraging that has occurred in both public and private sectors to keep the western lifestyle alive and well. Guess how they’re fixing it. More over-leveraging. Guess how that is going to end in a few years from now. And the next bubble will eventually burst whether there are derivatives or not. Remember, there wasn’t the degree of sophistication in derivates in the crash that triggered the great depression.

      Secondly, derivatives are not inherently good or evil. I am not familiar with the type of derivatives you refer to. However, I do trade in options which are derivatives of shares. These options (call and put options) can be used as inexpensive insurance for mum and dad investors to protect their share investments (e.g. through put options), or as low risk ways to generate extra income from their shares (e.g. covered calls). On the other hand, speculators get plenty of leverage to generate good profits if we get it right (not so easy to do).

      So, on one side of the trade there is often someone wanting to get cheap insurance to protect their investments, or make some low-risk money on existing shares. On the other side of the trade are speculators betting in the opposite direction. You see, every one can be happy. Except of course the speculators who get it wrong.

      • the sprout 23.1.1

        what caused the crash was a lack of regulation and an excess of greed

        • tsmithfield 23.1.1.1

          Here is a hint at what was at the root cause of the crash:

          http://seekingalpha.com/article/198348-another-month-another-huge-deficit

          Now the right-hand end of that graph is very scary. But what I want you to look at is the rest of the graph. How often since the early seventies has the US actually been running a surplus? Imagine that scenario multiplied across multitudes of other economies. Similar behaviour with private citizens using the “increase in value” of their houses as cash machines to fund life-styles they couldn’t really afford. This sort of behaviour over many years has left economies incredibly vulnerable. Sure, opportunists might be motivated by greed to take advantage of the situation. However, if the situation had never developed, they wouldn’t have had the opportunity in the first place.

          Heres another hint. All that “money” tied up in derivatives, shares etc never actually existed in the first place, and still doesn’t exist other than in peoples brains. I’ll demonstrate what I mean using shares as an example. Say the current price of shares for a given company is $5.00 and there are $10,000, 000 of them. Does that mean we can calculate the worth of the company by multiplying $5 by $10,000,000? No. Because most of it is speculative value only. If all those shares were dumped on the market at once, the value would crash back down to their actual intrinsic worth.

          Welcome to the world of fiat currencies and speculation and imaginary value.

          • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1.1.1

            And yet he still thinks that the economy as it’s run is viable…

            • tsmithfield 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Can’t change the economy. All we can do is adapt to it.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yes, actually, we can and should change the economy to one that’s based upon reality rather than having one that’s based upon the delusional rantings of the neo-libs and the conservatives.

              • exactly. markets are there to serve people, not the other way around.

  24. Jimmie 24

    For all the lefties envies here, instead of moaning about John Key’s personal wealth , how about bettering yourselves, getting off your benefits and using some initiative to help you and your families to get off the poverty line.
    Frek why do lefties always expect others to do things for them. Work hard for due reward that is how things should work in the real world. And the state should grab as little tax off your hard work as is necessary.
    The socialist fantasy of the ‘people’ working so that mother state can benefit all is a myth that was exposed in the failed USSR and Eastern Europe.
    If you are poor and destitute stop looking for handouts and start looking for how you can better your self. If all kiwis did that the country would be at the top of OECD not at the bottom. Get a dictionary and learn what ‘individual initiative’ means.

    • WillieMaley 24.1

      Mindboggling in your ignorance there Jimmie.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.3

      One thing that I learned from a multi-millionaire who became one after spending his life working hard is that working hard will never make you rich. His advice, get a lot of others working hard for you and then you’ll become rich.

      The USSR was, according to scholars, communist for somewhere between 30 and 50 days. It failed because it became a state capitalist.

      It’s very difficult to take the initiative when the resources you need to do so aren’t available (as they’re tied up by the already wealthy).

  25. Lucy 25

    “what caused the crash was a lack of regulation and an excess of greed”

    Yes the lack of regulation was the problem and Key’s Foreign Exchange Committe” supported not regulating derivatives.

    Brooksley Born who headed the Commodities Futures Trading Committee” says at the end of the movie that derivatives are the problem. She topped her very large law class at Stanford and worked in derivatives law for 20 years before she became head of the CFTC. You might like to watch the movie. Its a little on the basic side and pussyfoots around the really big players but a pretty good movie made by the very respectable PBS Frontline.

    • tsmithfield 25.1

      Lucy, derivatives may have contributed to and exacerbated the problem. But they did not cause it. The boulder was balanced on the edge. Derivatives helped give the boulder a push.

  26. It is an obscene amount of money and far more than any individual ever needs. We should stop “celebrating” the wealthy and celebrate instead those whose intention is to ensure that all of our inhabitants have an adequate amount so that they can have a reasonable quality of life.

  27. Pete 27

    I can’t believe you lot. Why not do some work and save something for yourselves rather than both complaining someone else is doing it and hoping they are so you can help yourselves to it.

    What a bunch of self-serving wankers.

    [lprent: You mean work like I’ve been doing for the last couple of days moving this site to a new server.

    By the look of your comment you just look like another stupid freeloading troll because you are incapable of participating in the debate. Looks like you simply don’t have the requisite intelligence to do so. So you leave useless comments like this one. Face it – you’re an ignorant luser. ]

  28. Lucy 28

    tsmithfield

    The whole financial system ia a mess I know. However this is what has bought us to the Brink. I see the whole thing as deliberate.

    You are entitled to your opinion but the corruption that has gone on in the OTC derivatives markets is a big problem. Our PM was involved in that which says a lot about his suitability to be PM. He is not respectable and not suitable to be PM. Thats how I see it. The New Zealand Herald has either purposly or mistakenly mislead the public about the attack on the NZ dollar 20 years ago and have no intention of looking at or correcting their article that is obviously wrong about where Key was during that attack on our dollar.

    I spoke with one guy at the Herald about the obvious mistake in their article re the Key timeline and the Guys response was . Why don’t you leave him alone ( Key ) that was 20 years ago. Clearing up the real facts of the case as incorrectly outined in their article giving Key the all clear was pretty obviously something that made the guy I spoke to at the Herald extremely angry. Seems they are only interested in labour or NZ First corruption. We are not allowed to challenge their incorrect story about John Key.
    I wonder if you can take news organisations to court for refusing to look into articles that can be shown not to be correct. It would be good if you could make them address it and print the findings on the front page.
    Theres a new law for the Labour party. Make the news papers address important inaccuricies then publish corrections on the front page.

    Unfortunately there are big salaries ( and not so big ) in television, Newspapers and talkback radio. I guess the corporations who own the news and advertisers here are grateful to Key for the tax breaks.

    How to influence the news. Pay your political pawns big money. Our media personalities know who own them and give them that great lifestyle, those a nice pay packets. And like everyone else they need a job.

  29. tsmithfield 29

    Lucy, as I said, I can’t really comment on these specific derivatives. However, another practice that has been argued has been a major cause of market crashes is “naked short selling”. This involves large institutions selling shares they don’t actually own, forcing down share prices, then buying back the shares at a lower price. Thus, this practice is being considered for regulation. However, research suggests that regulating this practice won’t prevent crashes.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/193018-short-selling-rules-when-will-analysis-replace-rhetoric

    The issue is that businesses that are the target of these sorts of practices are generally in terminal decline anyway. Short selling merely speeds up the inevitable.

    The practice of naked short selling, for example, would not work too well with a healthy business because it would just create buying opportunities for other buyers. Thus, the price would probably end up going higher, (after a brief decline) and the short seller would end up having to buy most of the shares back at a higher price.

  30. MollyByGolly 30

    “Whiteware
    “I’m struggling to buy a new washing machine at the moment, if you look around you can get one for about $600.”

    Don’t worry Sprout, the budget will announce tax cuts. At $50 a week, it will only take you 12 weeks to pay for your new washer 🙂

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  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    5 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    6 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago

  • Government to consult on regulation of shooting clubs and ranges
      The Government is consulting New Zealanders on a package of proposals for simple and effective regulation of shooting clubs and ranges, Associate Minister of Justice, Nicole McKee announced today.   “Clubs and ranges are not only important for people learning to operate firearms safely, to practice, and to compete, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
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    2 weeks ago

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