Immigration in election year

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, April 19th, 2017 - 38 comments
Categories: bill english, election 2017, im/migration, winston peters - Tags: , , , , ,

National is about to execute a flip flop on immigration (Vernon Small):

Government to announce new moves to ‘control’ the flow of migrants

The Government is poised to unveil measures aimed at “controlling” the flow of migrants in a move seen as an attempt to neutralise the hot-button issue in election year.

But it is refusing to say exactly what impact they are likely to have on record net migrant numbers that hit 71,000 in the past year.

Speaking ahead of a major speech by Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse in Queenstown on Wednesday, Prime Minister Bill English said the changes were designed to get better control and to better match immigrants with the skills needed.

Asked what impact the new moves would have on net inflows, English said he would not give an exact estimate. “The changes are about controlling the flows, I’m just not going to forecast exactly what impact they may or not have because forecasts have proven to be wrong so often over the last couple of years.” …

Speaking of forecasts that have been wrong over the years, here’s English in 2015:

…record arrival numbers will naturally drop, Finance Minister Bill English says. “… now we are moving into a part of the cycle where that inward migration must flatten out some time,” Mr English said. “We are not considering that [toughening criteria]. It will be self-balancing. As the economy is a bit softer you are going to get less opportunities and less of them turn up.” …

So much for self-balancing, Immigration soars to another record high.

Here’s what English has been saying about immigration:
Govt feels NZ migration settings are about right, PM English says, after figures show record net inflow…
PM: ‘Record immigration’s a good problem to have’
Prime Minister Bill English says immigrants are flocking to New Zealand because of the strong, confident economy

Here’s what’s actually behind what English has been saying about immigration:
New Zealand’s economic growth driven almost exclusively by rising population
Record migration boosts growth short term, but will it make NZ richer?
Immigration could have lowered wage growth – Bill English

Here’s why he’s executing the reluctant flip flop (Bernard Hickey):

Case against migration gets unlikely support

It is set to be one of the hottest topics of the election campaign, despite the Government’s attempts to tweak it away or hope it goes away in some sort of cyclical swing.

Concern that record high net migration is intensifying Auckland’s housing and transport deficit has been one of the Opposition’s key attack lines against National in the last three years, led firstly by Winston Peters and then carried on by Labour. But it is the relatively low-skilled quality of the migration that is set to take the debate to another level, and Peters has some unlikely allies that include his old foes at Treasury and some data that just won’t go away.

The biggest worry for Treasury in its advice to Ministers is the heavy role of temporary migrants in the workforce and how it may be displacing unemployed and young New Zealanders who also have low skills. That hits directly at one of the Government’s core strategies – generating jobs growth that can soak up beneficiaries being nudged off dependency by some of its social investment policies.

Treasury highlighted its concerns in advice to ministers through 2015 and 2016 that was released through the Official Information Act in May last year. It was the turbo boost Peters needed and the surge in annual net migration to over 70,000 early in 2017 has injected more fuel into the debate.

High and growing levels of low skilled migration are a worry for the Treasury, but they’ll be a political worry for the Government in an election year. Winston Peters has an extra gleam in his eyes when he talks about migration and jobs and wages in an election year. That’s because one of the most eye-opening correlations over the last two decades is that between long term net migration and New Zealand First’s polling.

National – it’s always and only about the next election.

38 comments on “Immigration in election year ”

  1. red-blooded 1

    A cynical flip flop from the Nats in election year – what a shock!

  2. Incognito 2

    It will be self-balancing. As the economy is a bit softer you are going to get less opportunities and less of them turn up.

    Where does this absurd idea of self-balancing immigration come from? Are explosions “self-balancing”? Mr English seems to have such strange concepts of the world. On top of that, his English is becoming as bad as his predecessor’s.

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    People need to see this for what it is. As an Auckland renter, I have seen the Nats’ track record – just make it seem like they are doing something, but in practice, it’s never enough to change the status quo.

    The status quo is a rentier economy, that benefits the wealthy propertied classes, while exploiting renters and the homeless. And the most exploited renters and homeless, are those on low incomes: those with least power.

    Fuck the Nats with this transparent, cynical move! They have sat and fiddled while more and more people are struggling and homeless. All they care about is maintaining power, and the brutal division between haves and have-nots. That will not change with this latest window-dressing move.

    • michelle 3.1

      Agree with you Caroline the gnats have had plenty of time to put things right for 9 years they have not listened to the people there crap policies are hurting. They have continued with the ‘I know best attitude” they have had 9 years to create our brighter future the problem is the brighter future was for the few. The change of heart not that they have a heart is mainly due to the election. Bills social investment approach of out sourcing our state services to foreign companies is not going down very well and he was warned but he didn’t listen.

  4. Gosman 4

    Of course National was going to change tack in this policy. They haven’t got a reputation as being the party of political pragmatism (or opportunism if you like) for nothing.

  5. Ad 5

    This government had enough time to enact policy to deflate housing speculation. But not enough to make a difference to housing supply.

    I think it will be the same with immigration: they have enough time to stop the lowest quality migrant and student, but not enough time to curb whole inbound population growth causing social problems.

    They’ve left it too long.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Of course National are going to look at Immigration this year after all it is an Election Year and the Sleepy Hobbits here in NZ and MSM will make out National are on to something, meanwhile Auckland’s roads are at a standstill, sewerage is spewing into our harbours and our parks and reserves are being used as camping grounds for the homeless?

  7. ropata 7

    National will pay lip service to the problem and do absolutely nothing, as usual. Just like their ineffective CGT

  8. Antoine 8

    Oh well, hopefully a change for the better, rather overdue

  9. mary_a 9

    Natz looking into immigration. Ah time to appease the masses is it, after how long …?

    Election coming up folks … beware of forked tongue false promises from most deceitful, lying Natz!

    Can’t see this one kicking in any time soon.

  10. Tamati Tautuhi 10

    Woodhouse and English to tighten Immigration Rules?

  11. simonm 12

    What a joke! The focus groups have started telling Blinglish and Woodhead that uncontrolled, low-skilled immigration is a major concern of the NZ voting public. Now they’ve come up with some more minor policy tinkering.

    Does this mean that our poor, hard done-by New Zealand employers will have to hire a few more “druggie” Kiwi workers and pay them a legal wage?

    • Jono 12.1

      Hope so and we can see how picky our employers really are…

    • Once ..whatever 12.2

      And think of all those restaurants and others charging for PR. I guess they’ll have to demand more in cash back payments and accommodation.

  12. Sacha 13

    Liam Dann writes: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11841134

    In the end, whether it’s a cynical move or not, this will play well politically.

    It has been done in consultation with business and the major lobby groups have applauded it.

    Winston Peters has predictably denounced it as far too mild – which keeps the policy well distanced from the kind of populist stuff that many New Zealanders are fearful of.

    But the Government still gets a headline saying it has toughened immigration policy – something that it knows won’t do it any harm at the polls.

    • Once ..whatever 13.1

      “Winston Peters has predictably denounced it as far too mild”. Perhaps only because it does nothing to address what we’d once have described as corruption – such as shady consultants and employers, and NZ’s nasty little secret of a slave trade.
      You can bet things will go quiet for a while, but the ticket clipping, amoral interlopers will be back in the very not too distant- simply charging and demanding more for their services.
      The hope this gubbamint has is that there’ll be no effect on NZ’s 5th largest “Export Industry” (education), or its supply chain.
      And that’s even before we start to consider other sectors that some have taken the time to research.

      Thankfully, India has apparently already come out and said this ‘could’ affect any notions of a free trade deal. (Oh Shit! I wonder why!) ….. Not
      You rip our nationals off using bullshit based here and in India (and China), fail to investigate, blame the victims and do nothing about the perpetrators, shove ’em out of the country in a flash after deigning to give them a shit existence , then expect us to believe you are of such good character that we should enter a trade agreement with you.
      I say whistle Dixie, and I sincerely hope they stick to their principles.

      And as for the $50K mark – I know of immigrant people granted PR on the basis of their IT skills who’re only JUST earning that amount.

  13. Poission 14

    Australia introduces tax on companies that want foreign workers, to train unskilled Australians.

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/businesses-who-want-foreign-workers-will-now-have-to-pay-a-tax-to-train-unskilled-australian-workers-2017-4

    • simonm 14.1

      And Australia has a Tory government too. I’d say the chances of our own useless, neoliberal tossers implementing what actually sounds like a sensible policy that would cost their big-business mates a very modest sum, would be zero.

  14. Marco 15

    Serious question. Have any of the commenters above hired, trained & paid people? If so have you experienced the skills shortage or encountered 10000’s of skilled & willing local workers ready to work diligently & show up regularly?

    • simonm 15.1

      Serious answer. No. However, I do live in Auckland and therefore experience the enormous strain that unlimited immigration is placing on the city’s infrastructure, schools and hospitals every day. If employers are having trouble finding skilled New Zealanders to fill positions, it’s time they started doing two things:

      1) Pay better wages that allow citizens to live with dignity in the city. People sleeping in cars or garages, or eight people to a room is not acceptable.

      2) Start training New Zealanders in the skills required for a high-wage, high-productivity economy. Importing cheap foreign labour that undercuts wages and conditions for local workers in a race to the bottom does nothing to improve the country or the living standards of its citizens in the long-term.

    • Andre 15.2

      Yep. On my last project when it transitioned from the development phase to production, I hired and trained a couple of people. Since it was an expensive niche product with an uncertain sales future, the company was only offering a short-term fixed duration contract with uncertain hours. The people we hired were both immigrants, one that came a while ago when the general industry I’m in was genuinely having a desperate skills shortage, one a new arrival (with a relevant degree but little hands-on experience) who came in on the “pay for a short study course, get job, turn the job into permanent residence, bring family” plan.

      The word I got from contacts in the industry was that local skilled people were put off applying by the uncertainty in the contract. Had the new arrival not been available, the company was in a position to offer more certainty to attract a local, or offer more training to a less-educated local, either of which would have been a better outcome for NZ in my opinion.

      That’s not a criticism of the new immigrant, he’s bright, hard worker and he’ll be an asset to NZ should he choose to stay here. But at the same time, it’s hard to avoid thinking that these easy paths to immigration make it too easy for employers to exploit migrants while pushing down wages and conditions for the locals already here.

      • Once ..whatever 15.2.1

        “That’s not a criticism of the new immigrant, he’s bright, hard worker and he’ll be an asset to NZ”
        That seems very magnanimous of you Andre. And did you adhere to the SDLC (not to be confused with synchronous data link control) and various other acronyms?

        Perhaps because of age I’m becoming too cynical, but just as you relate your experiences in your sector, so too are there so so many in various others.

        Shit dressed up as concern I can’t abide.

        I could offer you an IT (oh that’s right they call it ITC these days) PHD candidate, or an ex Indian Airforce candidate specialising in Electronics and Avionics.
        I could and I would – even at the risk that he/she might be smarter than ye, but (s)he’s come to his/her senses and realises NZ’s loss will probably be Canada’s gain.
        In case you’re wondering … there are ekshully two of either sex (going forward)

    • Once ..whatever 15.3

      The following was intended as a response to 15, I’m not sure its showing up as such (I’m without reading glasses)
      Indeed I have.
      The problem is that this situation has been allowed to develop over a long time.
      We’ve under-resourced the Labour Inspectorate, NZQA has been slow to pick up on the charlatans (probably for the same reason), and INZ have allowed themselves to be manipulated.

      This latest – as opposition parties say is a dog whistle and not very sophisticated.
      We’ve made promises to many immigrants, then we try to tip them out when no longer needed or when the issue gets sticky.
      Sure fruit picking might be ‘unskilled’, but an understanding and experience of the entire process isn’t necessarily, but experience is not valued apparently – even if we were to get another PSA Virus incursion.
      The same applies to other sectors – look at the number of truck accidents we’re getting.
      I note there are 600? or so ‘special cases’ in the Sth Island – Woodhouse just suggested on RNZ they are in the farrming and hort sectors – probably Bill’s mates.
      What makes them any different than those in hort in BoP or Hawkes Bay?

      Surely a better policy would have been to allow those who’ve been here for say 5 or 6 years or more to stay so that their experience and skills can be used to pass on to NZers.
      It just seems the Natz panic, and think shit – we better try and tip a few out.

      And whilst they do that, they should ensure the Labour Inspectorate is properly resourced to weed out the unscrupulous. When they’re caught (regardless of their PR status) – tip them out rather than their victims.

      And if and when we get a change of government, let’s hope they have a cold hard look at the likes of MoBIE, MPI and a few others.
      As Guyon Espiner suggested of the Munster – he appears to be simply an ‘observer’. The same can be said of MoBIE and MPI

  15. Paul Campbell 16

    This is the immigration policy you bring in if you don’t really want people like you to stop from immigrating … heaven help us if the 1%ers stopped coming and that Auckland housing bubble popped before the election …

    • Once ..whatever 16.1

      +1
      And there was another hint as to the drivers behind this policy – even if it was dressed up in a Ming Blue Suit and feigning intelligence and authority,.
      It was to do with the South Island.
      I’m not yet sure why all those long term well-established immigrants who are contributing to sussoighty are so completely different from the other decade-long, well established immigrants in the North Island (in various areas) …. other than they might be farm workers or vineyard workers in National Party electorates such ez Bul in Nuk’s en uthas.

      This really could become a shit show – here’s hoping (already the Kiwi Fruits are getting up in arms, the consultants are panicking and looking for ways to disguise and continue on, some in the proivit tershry edjikayshun secta will be considering their future) …..

      It’s actually good in some ways: Woddhouse has just pissed off a good many more people, and unlike him, there are still quite a few that care about their fellow man rather than the almighty dollar and the ming blue suit. It’s not just people either – it’s other governments

  16. Draco T Bastard 17

    Asked what impact the new moves would have on net inflows, English said he would not give an exact estimate. The changes are about controlling the flows, I’m just not going to forecast exactly what impact they may or not have because forecasts have proven to be wrong so often over the last couple of years.

    Translation: At the minimum there will be no change to incoming flows but there could also be an increase.

    Here’s what’s actually behind what English has been saying about immigration:
    New Zealand’s economic growth driven almost exclusively by rising population
    Record migration boosts growth short term, but will it make NZ richer?
    Immigration could have lowered wage growth – Bill English

    1. It’s is only increasing population that makes the economy bigger. To actually become wealthier we need to increase productivity and develop the economy but we haven’t really been doing that as we’ve refused to do the necessary R&D. Instead we’ve been relying far too much upon exporting our limited resources through farming and mining which is cheap and easy – the path chosen by the truly lazy.
    2. No it won’t.
    3. Which is a large part of why the government likes it. Lower wages results in higher profits.

  17. Incognito 18

    Once again National failed miserably. Arguably, the immigration issue is complex but in true National style they reduced it to a simplistic meaningless measure: $49k (The meaning to life is 42 but National has always been a little off-target so this is actually pretty close).

    This figure does not address actual need nor does it address where the need is most pressing. It does not anticipate future needs.

    One can only assume National’s figure is based on full-time employment, which is an anachronism from a bygone era. Thus it has got nothing to do with so-called highly skilled work.

    Where are the model predictions to support this cynical move? Surely, National has requested some modelling; they always do because they are ideological bean counters.

    Since the highest paid jobs are predominantly found in the main centres this will not do anything to alleviate the pressures caused by large immigration influx in these centres.

    The higher-paid immigrants moving to the main centres will also keep the upward pressure on house prices; National will want their cake and eat it too, obviously.

  18. Tanz 19

    It’s too late – Auckland and NZ are now swamped, house prices have gone to ridiculous heights, the job market is so competitive and wages have been driven down, there is no bargaining power now, roads are completely clogged – was on the shore yesterday, the queues south over the bridge were still there at frigging half eleven am, and our schools are over crowded. No doubt I will be deemed racist for such comments, but I am annoyed with the fact that my children will probably never be able to buy their own home, they have to compete hugely just for a basic job, and the roads are now absolutely chaotic and more dangerous – my own car written off the other week, via a hoon flying into the back of me. Congestion everywhere, even up as far as Orewa, and don’t bother with Hamilton – you sit in endless queues of traffic there too. Yes, have some immigration, but the amount right now is far too much for a country and cities of our size, we can’t house all our own at the moment, let alone give quality education or a fair and decent job market.

    And I don’t consider it racist to stick up for our fast-disappearing Kiwi traditions or the birthright of my kids – my grandfather was a house and church builder in the Hawkes Bay – they were given a state house for life and did not have to cope with the consequences of mass immigration. No state houses now, just cars and garages. Disgraceful.

  19. Tanz 20

    Thanks Ropata, I will have a look. I think immigration is our most important issue this election, as it is impacting on NZ so much, and sometimes the genie can never be put back into the bottle. I want my kids and grandkids to have the NZ I and my family enjoyed, not an overcrowded, chaotic, un Kiwi like lost paradise.
    Such a fantastic country, now being squandered. Do potential immigrants realise how chaotic, harsh and expensive Auckland now is?

    • ropata 20.1

      Of course not, it’s heaven compared to Mumbai or Beijing or Jakarta

    • michelle 20.2

      Immigration is our 2nd most important issue housing is our first, health our 3rd and education our 4th, all of these areas are under stress and are showing signs of falling by the wayside due to the tories slashing and cutting so much for better public services its all been a lie and spin for 9 years we have all been waiting for the brighter future we were all promised but it hasn’t happened and the main spinner has gone he sprayed and walked away leaving his big mess behind.

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    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

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