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How much is $50,000,000?

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, April 17th, 2010 - 93 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.

93 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 Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    28 mins ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago