How the Left won Budget 2010

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, May 31st, 2010 - 60 comments
Categories: budget 2010 - Tags:

On the back of last night’s poll that showed the Budget has done nothing for National, I thought a re-examination of the politics of the Budget is in order.

See, we got a whole lot of excited coverage at the time as the journos got swept up in the income tax cuts. Labour, the Tracy Watkins-types of the world pronounced, has been caught flat-footed. It wasn’t the tax cuts for the rich that the Left had been pre-framing the Budget as. Silly Lefties, that dreamie Johnnie beat you again.

Well, that level of analysis is, with respect, what makes Watkins not a very good political commentator. The Left’s positioning of the Budget worked.

Initially, National had wanted to align the top income rate, the trust rate, and the corporate rate on, at most, 30% (options of 27%, even 25% were explored by the Tax Working Group), and there was no talk of lowering the bottom tax bracket. The political parties, the unions, and the blogs had strongly argued that any income tax cuts ought to be directed at lower incomes and giving it all to the rich would be fundamentally unfair.

The Left’s early framing made it politically untenable for the Nats to only give cuts to their rich mates. They were forced to cut the upper rates less than they had hoped and partially compensate the poor for the GST hike but cutting the lower rates more, including the predictable (indeed, predicted) ‘rabbit from a hat’ of larger cuts in the middle rates than had been previously indicated.

So that was about the best outcome on substance that the Left could hope for – forcing National to slightly moderate the Budget. But it was still overwhelmingly a Budget for the rich. As my calculations show, 3 million (90%) of taxpayers got net tax cuts averaging a mere $4 a week. The very rich, the CEOs on million dollar salaries, received massive cuts.

And the Left is winning the politics on that too. Even the usually heavily right-leaning Herald online poll showed that about half of voters thought they would be no better off after the tax swindle. The Colmar Brunton poll shows no post-Budget bounce for National. Instead, the downward trend continues. Why?

Because the Left has successfully proved that the tax swindle takes money from the pockets of working New Zealand and gives it to the rich elite (a fact that fits very nicely with Labour’s emerging vision: ‘for the many, not the few’). Kiwis are not buying National’s spin and the silly excuses about aligning tax rates and supposedly boosting growth, they see a swindle.

And National losing the tax argument is only the start. The Budget is full of public service cuts and dodgy deals like PEDA. National didn’t catch the Left off guard in the Budget. No. They played their only trump and they’re finding it hasn’t worked.

60 comments on “How the Left won Budget 2010 ”

  1. just saying 1

    All sorts of people are talking about all those important things the budget pundits failed to inform them of. As someone said on another thread, even people who are usually supremely indifferent to politics. And the cumulative cuts in services, that have been going on almost from the start, are starting to reach a tipping point in the public consciousness too IMO.

    I’ve always felt uncomfortable about ‘the many not the few’. Couldn’t it be ‘the many, not just the few’? The slogan seems to me to be appealing to a tribal rather than a community mentality. Almost a bit of a reaction to “identity politics” to my ear.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      it’s not identity politics, it’s class politics.

      The problem, if I may be frank, with the liberal wishy washy left is summed up in a person who worries about whether or not to add ‘just’ to ‘the many not the few’. It’s that inability to take a firm stand on anything that saw the Right roll over the liberal left in the 1980s.

      I say f#ck the few, it’s what they want to do to the rest of us.

      • Bright Red 1.1.1

        I should point out that I’m not espousing illberalism. When I talk of the liberal left I mean the Russell Browns of this world. The weak-willed latte drinkers who are more concerned with identity politics than class politics. They successfully took over the Left in the 1970s and they lost the fight with the Right in the 1980s.

        • I dreamed a dream 1.1.1.1

          Are the liberal left mainly in the Greens now?

        • pollywog 1.1.1.2

          I had high hopes for Russell Brown once, but he’s kinda the Paul Holmes or Paul Henry for my generation now.

          They successfully took over the Left in the 1970s and they lost the fight with the Right in the 1980s.

          How did they do it and if so how can the ‘radical’ left reclaim what was lost ?

          • uke 1.1.1.2.1

            “How did they do it and if so how can the ‘radical’ left reclaim what was lost ?”

            Chris Trotter is continually writing about this (check his blog at Bowalley Road).

            • Lew 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Except Chris doesn’t represent the “radical” left in 2010 — he represents the socially conservative eurocentric Marxism of the 1970s and prior. At the time it may have been the “radical” left, but the world’s changed.

              L

              • Bright Red

                yeah, Trotter seems to think the answer is to be illiberal and dog-whistle racism. He’s yesterday’s man/

              • uke

                Yes, I know Chris has a bit reactionary.

                So who are some others who are discussing the issue that Pollywog raised?

                (I’d like to know too.)

              • RedLogix

                Chris Trotter can still write the arse off anyone else around, and more importantly he remembers all the mistakes that have been made along the way, mistakes we forget at our collective peril. Does this mean everything he says is holy writ? Of course not, but derisively dissmissing one of the most experienced voices on the left is just plain dumb.

                And the term ‘yesterday’s man’ is foolish term that most non-Western cultures, who retain some respect for their elders…. would find offensive.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.2

            How did they do it and if so how can the ‘radical’ left reclaim what was lost?

            Bryce Edwards has a rather good summation in his Identity politics vs class politics series.

            • pollywog 1.1.1.2.2.1

              Cheers for that link DTB.

              Nice that Goff has been pushing his ‘for the many not the few’ line since the 70’s. Dunno that pandering speeches hoping to score the average working class Maori vote is gonna improve Labour’s standing among Maori or his own base though.

              Best to cut his losses and let the nats try and make a foreshore and seabed the Maori party are comfortable lying in, then watch Hone burn the house down around them while he stands by with the water hose

              Then when the time is right, (around election time) hack off a big ol slice of humble pie, swallow some pride, cut a deal with the Maori party and wash it down with some STFU juice on anything racial and if he’s gonna play cards, then play the culture/class card of corporatism vs collectivism.

              In the meantime Goff really needs to work on his wardrobe and image. I could probably help him in that dep’t. 🙂

        • just saying 1.1.1.3

          Interesting. I really was just throwing it out there to see if anyone else felt uncomfortable about it. Loved the “weak willed latte drinkers” image.
          But actually my unease is more about people on the fringes; the poor the disabled, the unemployed etc. There a lot of disadvantaged minorities that Labour seems to be willing to sacrifice for the votes of ‘the many’.

        • Lew 1.1.1.4

          Except that by forcibly privileging class over identity politics, the tendency is to take illiberal positions (like the Foreshore and Seabed Act and current campaigns for tangata whenua to give up their own campaigns for their own goals and fall back in lock-step behind the rest of the left).

          Class and identity politics need to cohabit. Neither can function effectively without the other. A socially conservative eurocentric left is almost as bad as a socially conservative eurocentric right, and lacks the support of the genuine conservatives.

          L

      • big bruv 1.1.2

        Thank you Bright Red, while I obviously do not agree with your politics (small minded and based on envy) I applaud the fact that you are one who is prepared to tell the truth about how the left see things in NZ.

        I wish a few more of your comrades would be as honest.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      It might be more accurate, but it’s not a good slogan.

      captcha: brand

    • Lew 1.3

      BR is dead right — this is not a slogan of inclusiveness, it’s a slogan of distinction. This makes it a strong one, but also a dangerous one, in that there’s a chance that the “wrong” people could find themselves on the other side of the divide. The strategy requires that some people be pissed off with Labour, and that’s a good thing — you can’t keep the whole electorate happy, and if your ideological enemies don’t hate and fear you, then you’re not doing your job properly.

      Labour’s challenge, in plain economic terms, is to set things up so they have the majority of the electorate both objectively benefitting from their policy programme and realising that they do. In general they’ve had one or the other — most recently, it’s been people benefitting, but not really being aware that they do, or not identifying that advantage with the Labour party responsible for delivering it; or in the ’80s, they didn’t benefit but were persuaded that they did.

      National’s job is ultimately the same — except they have the slight disadvantage of a policy programme which actually doesn’t objectively benefit a majority of the population. However they have the considerable advantages of knowing what the hell they’re doing when it comes to running the politics, and of a strong leadership team whom the public instinctively feels is competent, efficient, positive and trustworthy.

      L

      • just saying 1.3.1

        There are already many “on the wrong side of the divide” – that’s my point.
        Maybe I wouldn’t hear it in the slogan if I wasn’t seeing it in Labours actions. They are sacrificing the poorest and weakest to to pander to the dog-whistling right.
        The few, on a plate, in return for an unknown number of soft tory votes.

        • Lew 1.3.1.1

          JS, a few of the many being sacrificed, I guess is what you’re saying. That’s a fair enough comment, but it has ever been thus.

          In 2004-08 it was tangata whenua sacrificed for the middle ground. I think that was a bad call, but not because of the mathematics: in terms of the numbers, it was clearly the right call. But things other than numbers matter, and the FSA and subsequent positions taken by Labour have so severely undermined their relationships and reputation that I don’t think it was worthwhile over the long term.

          L

          • ianmac 1.3.1.1.1

            Well Lew. It will certainly be interesting to see the outcome of the revised F&SAct. If it is not really improved then I think that all bets will be off. The MP were formed to remove the Act. (Perhaps they might be caught in the Act.)

          • just saying 1.3.1.1.2

            I agree with you the sacrifice of the legitimate interests of the tangata whenua is a perfect example.
            Thing is, I think the tory swing to the right is the perfect opportunity for labour to swing left and still catch the disgruntled middle class.

      • RedLogix 1.3.2

        However they have the considerable advantages of knowing what the hell they’re doing when it comes to running the politics, and of a strong leadership team whom the public instinctively feels is competent, efficient, positive and trustworthy.

        Conservatives always have the advantage of being able to point to the status quo as what they want. The ‘do nothing’ option is always in the short-term easier to accomplish, and easier to look competent at… than the left’s fundamental desire to change things for the better.

        Most people are rather risk averse and suspicious of change, for this reason it’s always easy to sell reform if it only imapcts a relative few at the margins. Which is why Prostitition Law reform worked and the S59 Repeal didn’t. Yet liberal identity politics inherently contains this double-edged sword, while it may well deliver real gains for specific groups, it equally it can alienate the majority if they are resentful of their deteriorating position.

        The fact is that real wages have declined 30% over the last 30 years, and the wage share of GDP in this country is an abysmally low 42% and dropping. This hurts the many, regardless of identity. The left could afford to do liberal identity politics while the illusion of prosperity remained and the majority were content with their position, but the last 18 months has ripped this away.

        Unless and until the left talks directly and openly on these fundamental inequality issues, and unless it can convince the many that it has a competent plan to deliver on such a major change…then the majority will prefer the apparently safer option of sticking with what they have.

        • Lanthanide 1.3.2.1

          Labour said they’d put the minimum wage up to $15 over two years. That would seem to be directly talking to the fundamental inequality issue, and would give a real shot in the arm of the 42% and flagging wage share.

          Expect to see them campaign on it for the next election, and coupled with National’s tax cuts for the rich/companies and hopeful end of the recession, it’ll be hard for National to defend against it.

          Such a raise to $15 hour equates to an extra $74.25/week for someone on the current minimum.

  2. yeah, but the leftie politicians still took the taxcut as high paid earners and have directly benefitted from the swindle.

    If they dont agree with what the gov’t has done, then don’t accept the payments and claim to be on the side of the many.

    Either redirect their taxcuts into charity and show some leadership/moral backbone or risk being called hypocrites paying token lipservice criticism to the few/rich elites they themselves belong to.

    • Clipbox 2.1

      Good point…

    • Lew 2.2

      Not to charity. Into a fighting fund to help win elections. BR did the numbers and reckoned it would be around $200k per year across the Labour and Green parties. Talk about using the master’s tools to dismantle his house …

      L

      • pollywog 2.2.1

        I reckon it wont take much money or effort to reinforce what the public are slowly starting to realise Lew, that the John Key they voted for is not the John Key they thought he was.

        and that the Bill English, they voted for is the very same one they rejected in previous elections but who is now currently in charge of the public purse.

        We didnt kick him out the front door so he could wheedle his way in through the back, and likewise for Key. We let him in the front door on good faith, he abused it, so now we need to show him where the back door is and shuffle him towards it.

        captcha : passing (through)

  3. I dreamed a dream 3

    It feels like a shock victory, but it also feels so good!

  4. ianmac 4

    “The many not the few”. Brilliant. That really was a very important phrase.
    For most people I suspect that the finer points of a budget are lost in the busy life etc. So slogans sum up the detail. Think of terms like the Black Budget, Mother of All Budgets, Lets Stop for a Cup of Tea, and how they resonated down the years. “Smile and Wave” (and Duck) sticks. Tuhoe Cheated. Mine the Conservation Land. Not yours. Mine. Transparent Trusts.
    In other words the philosophy has to be summed up with those easily remembered calls.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “Mine the Conservation Land” could work for a Brash-style billboard:
      National: Mine the Conservation Land
      Labour: Mind the Conservation Land

      • Lew 4.1.1

        “Yours” and “Mines” works better, as Labour’s essentially already done. The great virtue of Ansell’s billboards was their brevity.

        L

  5. Mike 5

    The Colmar Brunton poll also asked questions directly about the budget itself, whether people will be better off, whether it was fair etc, I imagine the results will be revealed tonight.

  6. felix 6

    On the possible interpretations of “the many, not the few”:

    It just doesn’t matter. To the intended audience it is obviously a statement about class/economics. And it’s working.

    Let’s get on with it, shall we?

    • Lew 6.1

      Exactly right. It’s a strong slogan because it speaks to the “middle” class or “average” New Zealanders whom are indistinct and numerous. In the US, around 85% of the electorate define themselves as “middle class”, even those who aren’t really.

      In NZ it might not be quite that high, but it’s still a lot, running the gamut from people who earn above minimum wage and have no assets to speak of but don’t usually have trouble making rent each week to those who own the family home freehold and have a few rental properties and holiday homes besides, but only drive a 5-series as opposed to a 7-series BMW.

      This is why the “workers of the world unite” rhetoric of the unreformed Marxists is dead: because, like it or not, most people don’t think of themselves as “workers”, so they don’t consider that exhortation to apply to them (or they’re slightly uneasy about the objective fact that it does). Capitalism has won to this extent, and while it’s a grand goal to roll that back, pretending it hasn’t taken hold is not the path to success.

      L

    • RedLogix 6.2

      Just minutes ago I’m told about a third suicide in three months among a group of underclass people I’m in contact with. Each one has it’s own complex story, but equally each one has the same underlying logic…hopelessness.

      (At this point I’ve deleted a noisy, and ultimately pointless rant.)

      A new govt isn’t going to magically stop any of this overnight, but the current one is taking us in completely the wrong direction and each step is killing hope among the voiceless ones at the bottom of the heap.

      We know what the story is, it’s 30 years of a few rich pricks skewing the game, parasitically looting from the common fabric of society and pretending that their theft makes them better than us.

      Call it the politics of anger…

  7. just saying 7

    Given the strength of feeling that my comment about ‘the many not the few’ aroused, I’d like to say, for the record, that I am not wringing my hands with worry about the slogan. It doesn’t keep me up at night, and when I first heard it I thought it was a step in the right (left) direction.

    But I can’t help feeling that maybe my unease with it was justified, at least a little bit.

    Maybe I’m taking this out of context but “F#ck the Few” is something I do worry about in the politics of the left, when the “few” are the most disdained and powerless in the community. All the time I’ve listened to the “do-nothing “smile-and wave” theme and wondered who has to be affected for this governments brutal actions to count as “doing something”.

    This is something I do stand firm on Bright Red, and I don’t drink lattes actually.

    • Lew 7.1

      I think BR’s (and Labour’s) definition of “the few” is the lionised and the powerful, not the disdained and powerless.

      L

  8. just saying 8

    Appealing to ‘F#ck the few’ IS a double edged sword Lew, F#cking the weakest is just the other side of the same coin IMHO, at least as far as the way Labour is acting.
    ‘F#ck the rich pricks’ is the kind of slogan I could get my head around.

    • Lew 8.1

      Trouble with that is people want to be rich. Believing themselves to be “middle class” people figure genuine wealth is just beyond reach. The trick is to appeal to their sense of middle-class-ness without crushing those aspirations.

      That comment by Cullen was probably the most damaging thing he said in a long and illustrious political career, and it’s what many people will remember him for despite hundreds of wittier and more insightful utterances. Part of the reason for this was that it actually didn’t ring true: he imposed a tax at a level not far enough above actual middle-class-ness that many people who should have been staunch Labour supporters began to feel his disdain applied to them, rather than to the real fat cats. National exploited this exceptionally well.

      So if Labour goes down the “fuck the rich pricks” path again (which they won’t) it had better set the threshold bloody high — somewhere around a couple of hundred grand — to as to make a very clear delineation. But even so, permanent growth being what it is, eventually a couple hundred grand could be middle-class as well …

      L

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Trouble with that is people want to be rich. Believing themselves to be “middle class’ people figure genuine wealth is just beyond reach.

        Actually when you ask them what they really want is to be rich in family, friends shared values and a sense of achievement in their lives. A sense that they could leave the world a little better than they found it.

        Money is of only partial, limited relevance to this desire.

        So if Labour goes down the “fuck the rich pricks’ path again (which they won’t) it had better set the threshold bloody high — somewhere around a couple of hundred grand

        What Labour really needs to make clear is that we are all more or less in the same boat together, a pack of colonial peasants being farmed by banks for the profit a very few outsiders.

        • Lew 8.1.1.1

          RL, I agree with the first bit — my response lacked nuance. The point remains, though: if you trample peoples’ hopes and dreams of one day becoming rich, they stick their fingers in their ears and go “NYA NYA NYA NYA”, so if you aim to garner their support it’s usually wisest not to do so.

          L

  9. just saying 9

    So, sadly, no-one disagrees that Labour’s Us – the ‘many’, pointedly does not include those at the bottom of the heap.

    Most people never see the suffering of the ‘underclass’ first hand, New Zealanders occupy different worlds more than ever before.

    But ‘the many’ had better be bloody careful they don’t slip, because we are in the same boat, and it’s a lot further to fall than it used to be. Few get back up again.

  10. gingercrush 10

    This post should go in the stupid pile too.

    The post makes a number of assumptions. Fundamentally, the post makes the assumption that the left won budget 2010 and points to a single political poll as evidence. Secondly, talks about how the left’s positioning forced National to make changes in their budget.

    That’s quite a stretch to make. First its one poll from a polling company that the left are quite happy to bash any time the poll disagrees with them yet is now being taken as gospel. I have no problem with the TVNZ poll but I like to see several polls before coming to any conclusions. And I believe neither opinion FOR or opinion AGAINST the budget was reflected in the poll.I just don’t. The budget was released two weeks ago and the poll is expected to reflect such opinion straight away? Hell no. That will take a few months. Secondly, there are several issues the government is currently facing. Mining, Super City, Christchurch and the regional council, discussion from all sides about the budget but previous to the budget and any other issue that may be important to the people who were polled. Therefore, why make such an assumption. That just makes you one of the dickhead politicial columnists you attacked in the post.

    To provide further evidence you point to online opinion polls. Are you serious? We’re not taking those to provide credibility. Well here’s one:

    Stuff.co.nz online poll.
    Are you happy with the personal tax cuts outlined in this budget?

    54.4 Yes
    11.5 No
    34.2 GST negates tax cuts
    18, 319 votes

    Now I won’t be taking that poll serious but if we’re going to use any poll as evidence. Then there you go Marty G. People are in favour of the budget.

    Do the right have a desire for long term changes to tax? Yes. Do they have want a far bigger flat tax system. Yes. But most on the right understand that can’t happen straight away. Therefore I don’t buy your argument of 27% or 25% etc. Yes its desirable for New Zealand to have that in the future. But that would never happen over one budget. To do so would be absurd. Therefore your argument here fails.

    The left were pushing for no GST rise. Instead we did get a GST rise and not only that but its rather clear Labour realise they won’t be changing GST down to 12.5% when they get back into the government. Therefore, that is a win for National.

    But more importantly, any time there is a focus on tax cuts and even the left are talking about tax cuts. You know National is in a good position. That is why I disagree wholly with your post. The left lost Budget 2010 and its not because of popularity which from where I sit looks mixed. Its not from what the pundits are saying. Its because ultimately in all the screaming and shouting the left were doing and continue doing. National still managed to implement tax cuts to the top earners and have done in where reversing those tax cuts will be more difficult. And even Goff and others are saying the threshold should be lifted to 100, 000. Meaning if and when Labour get back into government they’ve said they’ll make such changes. They’ve lifted the GST rise and its clear cutting that GST is going to be more difficult. But its also a smart move because as more and more people in this country don’t get income taxed that will be someway offset by the changes in GST. That’s important and why a consumption tax is actually good for this country.

    We’re in a situation where the work force is shrinking. That means the government of the day and future will still need to get tax. How best than to do it via GST which everyone pays. Labour are talking about how they would have done bigger tax cuts for middle income earners (and rather noticeable they barely mention low income earners) and the Greens are talking a $10, 000 tax-free threshold.

    In other words the politics of today and politics in 2011 is going to be around tax. Labour are stupid to go down this path. They were stupid to it when in government and they’re stupid now. That’s why when budget day arrived Labour were rather gazumped and took a few days to even come up with coherent arguments. Yet still to this day they’re rather incoherent. Therefore, it is utterly stupid for you and anyone else to talk about the left won this budget when you didn’t. Because the fact we’re all talking tax cuts means the left is less focused on policy issues elsewhere. And on that front National don’t do well.

    Budget 2010 was very successful for National and the centre-right. Tax cuts will be a huge focus in 2011. GST at 15% is here to stay. Even when the left gets back in we’re highly unlikely to see tax cuts be as high as 38% again and even then the threshold is going to go up. National implemented changes to depreciation so less businesses and individuals will get tax back that way. It also successfully sees National doing something about New Zealand’s investment in property without the need for a capital gains or lands tax. Some ways of paying less tax have been removed and there will be less need for trusts etc. All the while the budget has seen smaller increases in government spending (something the right desires) that have on the whole gone unmissed.

    And the left won the Budget 2010. No Marty G the left lost big time.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Therefore I don’t buy your argument of 27% or 25% etc. Yes its desirable for New Zealand to have that in the future.

      Why? NZ already has the second lowest total income taxes in the developed world. The only country lower than us is Mexico.

      On what possible grounds do you believe we should become the lowest? I’m serious, I really wonder why you believe this.

      • gingercrush 10.1.1

        Because I believe in a tax system where tax on income should be low while consumption taxes are higher. That way people actively want higher incomes because they will in the end pay less on that tax if we have a flatter tax system. I also believe that if you remove the different tax levels in trusts, company and personal tax you’ll see less people avoiding paying tax. This government hasn’t done enough in that area. Nor have they included a tax-free threshold which I’d also like to see. I’d also like to see no tax on savings or investments under $150, 000. I’m not excited about a capital/lands tax though I do think the current system we have is problematic in this area. I too as most on the right prefer less government spending. As for the ability in this country to set up trusts, LAQCs and all other multiple things. We need major change in that area.

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          Well that’s a decent good faith answer worth unpacking a bit.

          Because I believe in a tax system where tax on income should be low while consumption taxes are higher.

          The reason why progressive income taxation is common in most civilised countries stems from several considerations:

          1. The most important is that wealth is not something generated in isolation. All genuinely rich people derive their income not from their own personal sweat or skills, but because a functioning society allows them to leverage ideas, opportunity and risk into disproportionately massive fortunes..fortunes they could never amass as an isolated individual. Therefore their debt to society is proportionately much larger than it is for the rest of us.

          2. By contrast consumption is within an order of magnitude, more or less the same for everyone. We can each only eat, wear and consume just so much …beyond that the money is directed not so much towards consumption…but towards generating more money. Consumption taxes are inherently regressive, in other words they are a larger portion of a poorer person’s expenditure than a wealthy person’s.

          That way people actively want higher incomes because they will in the end pay less on that tax if we have a flatter tax system

          Nah. I just cannot see it. A higher gross income equals a higher after tax income in all cases (setting aside for the moment specific cases where high marginal tax rates might apply.) Countries with much higher total income tax rates (the OECD average is 36%, while ours is barely 22%) seem to have plenty of people who have achieved very high incomes…far more so than is common in NZ.

          I also believe that if you remove the different tax levels in trusts, company and personal tax you’ll see less people avoiding paying tax.

          Again doesn’t seem to apply in most other countries. As has said before, why reward those who cheat on their taxes, by removing the tax? It’s like the referee in a football match giving up on blowing his whistle because one side persisently breaks the rules. No-one would accept that as fair.

          Besides the other obvious response is that while making a huge talking point of just this rather weak argument, the govt quietly went and reduced company tax rates to 28% …still leaving just as much incentive for the same cheating to go on.

          I too as most on the right prefer less government spending.

          Well yes… but again the right is very good at making noises about this, but when in power find the reality of actually governing rather different. The fact is that in order to make any realistic cut in govt expenditure they have to slash at least one of the big four line items, superannuation, health, education and welfare. And three of them are political suicide….which is why the burden of your dreams always lands on those who can least afford to support it.

    • zonk 10.2

      Go by a scientifically conducted poll like the one of TVNZ
      most NZers believe they will be worse off after the budget

  11. gingercrush 11

    Because the Left has successfully proved that the tax swindle takes money from the pockets of working New Zealand and gives it to the rich elite (a fact that fits very nicely with Labour’s emerging vision: ‘for the many, not the few’). Kiwis are not buying National’s spin and the silly excuses about aligning tax rates and supposedly boosting growth, they see a swindle.

    61% said the budget was good for the economy and 51% against 40% said the budget was fair. 53% also said they did not think the tax cuts would make them better off. Do they see a swindle when more people think the budget was fair than wasn’t fair and clearly they see it boosting growth considering 61% said so.

  12. Jim Nald 12

    The mark of a successful swindle is it is not detected by the many … not at first.

  13. rainman 13

    “For the many, not the few” has been bugging me for a while, and I have figured out why.

    The phrase seems to be Brian Nicolle’s work – p47 of The Hollow Men quotes a fax from Nicolle to Brash, from 25 October 2003, before the leadership vote that installed Brash:
    His ‘Tactical Plans’ included purchasing full-page advertisements in the main cities on the (presumed) day before the vote, headed ‘An Open Letter to all New Zealanders’ and ‘Why I want to be Leader of the National Party’ – subtitled ‘For the Future Not the Past, For the Many Not the Few’.

    Captcha: worries. Indeed.

    It’s a fine sentiment, of course – but of questionable provenance.

  14. David Cunliffe 14

    Top job MartyG. Loved the argument and the graphic! DC

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  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 hours ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    7 hours ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    9 hours ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    13 hours ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    14 hours ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    16 hours ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    17 hours ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    17 hours ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    17 hours ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    18 hours ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    19 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 day ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 day ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    3 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    4 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
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