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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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    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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