web analytics

In face of share market meltdown, Govt’s options limited

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, August 26th, 2015 - 54 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, bill english, debt / deficit, Economy, housing, john key, tax, treasury - Tags: , ,

By Simon Louisson

John Key says New Zealand has options in the face of a share market meltdown.

The Prime Minister says that New Zealand is not like Greece (well that’s a relief).

The question is how real are those options?

Enormous debt built up by six successive Budget deficits has limited options.

Government debt under the stewardship of Finance Minister Bill English has soared to $63 billion – some 26.5% of GDP – from just $17 billion, or 9.1% of GDP, in 2009 when National tool office.

And while the economy temporarily revived due to a spike in dairy prices and the stimulus of the Christchurch rebuild, Bill English discarded the concept of the “automatic stabilizer’, where you save in good times so you can spend in bad times.

Remember it is only three four years ago that international rating agencies Fitch and Standard and Poor’s downgraded New Zealand’s credit rating, citing concern over our high external debt.

S&P’s sovereign credit analyst Kyran Curry said then: “the lowering of the foreign and local currency long-term ratings follows our assessment of the likelihood that New Zealand’s external position will deteriorate further”.

Our economic strengths were “moderated by New Zealand’s very high external imbalances, which are accompanied by high household and agriculture sector debt, dependence on commodity income, and emerging fiscal pressures associated with its aging population”.

Downward pressure on New Zealand’s ratings could re-emerge if the external position deteriorated, added Mr Curry.

Shortly after the ratings downgrade, New Zealand’s external position improved, thanks to dairy prices, but that situation has drastically reversed in the last 18 months with the Global Dairy Trade Index down 62 percent from a peak in 2013.

As well, debt in the household and agricultural sectors has increased sharply, and the latter it is about to increase drastically with most dairy farms now being unprofitable.

And now, our economy is tracking on what Treasury euphemistically called “Scenario One” – ie a negative outlook.

Under Treasury’s Budget Scenario One economic forecast, where world prices for New Zealand’s commodity exports fall below the central forecast, New Zealand’s current account deficit jumps to 7.7% of GDP by the end of 2016, far worse than the 3.6% deficit in the year to March 31, 2015.

Such an ugly deficit will certainly make the rating agencies sit bolt upright.

The central forecast had wholemilk powder prices moving back by 2016 to US$3900/MT, far north of their current level of US$1856.

Mr Key told Radio NZ that fears about China’s outlook mainly revolved around the construction and investment sectors while New Zealand was happily exposed to the consumer sector. Well go look at the fall in milk powder prices Mr Key.

The effect of a credit rating cut is to make borrowing by the government or New Zealanders more expensive. It is a detrimental and serious event that has long-term negative economic implications.

So essentially, the option of stimulating the economy via increased spending, or tax cuts, which would each significantly add to debt, is seriously limited.

A second option cited by Mr Key is a potential sharper cut in interest rates than already contemplated by the central bank.

Unlike many of the world’s leading economies, New Zealand has not yet had to cut its interest rates to zero, so with the Official Cash Rate at 2.5% there is theoretically a degree of wriggle room.

However, even there, the rating agencies are poised like Jerome Keino ready to wack us as a sharp cut to interest rates would puff up the Auckland property market further.

S&P just this month cut the ratings of the New Zealand arms of the four big Australian banks, citing concern about the over-valued Auckland market.

It said that most financial institutions would be adversely affected if house prices in Auckland fell sharply, even if they didn’t lend much in that region. The agency said that was because of Auckland’s importance to the New Zealand economy, accounting for about 35% of national output.

Then on Monday, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Grant Spencer said the potential for a bursting of the Auckland property bubble was a serious danger to both banks, the banking system as well as the economy as a whole.

A sharp cut in interest rates will therefore be problematic without further inflating the Auckland property bubble, thereby risking destabilizing the financial system, something the Reserve Bank has a statutory requirement to protect.

So while New Zealand may have more options than Greece, thanks to this Government’s profligate past spending, including irresponsible tax cuts, our options have narrowed drastically.

 


 

Simon Louisson is a former journalist who worked for NZPA, Reuters, AP Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, The Press, The Jerusalem Post and as a media and political adviser to the Green Party.

54 comments on “In face of share market meltdown, Govt’s options limited”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    +1

    In each of the past 30 years, only three OECD countries have NEVER had a year when they had a positive balance of trade: Greece, Australia, and New Zealand.

    IMO, these market drops signal a dramatic turn for the worse in a global sovereign debt crisis. If I am right, National has done everything WRONG. We are more in debt and far less able to cope than we were under Labour in 208.

    • save NZ 1.1

      +1 – the government should have continued to cut debt like under Labour. Instead they have spent the kitty and then some, AND MORE.

      Not content to get us into huge debt the Nats have also been busy selling our assets to their mates, power, land and state housing.

      Not even content to do just that they have ordered state owned companies like Solid Energy to take on more debt until they are now bankrupt so they could get more dividends (while still not being in surplus).

      Not content with that, they lowered the immigration investment criteria so now you get into the country by buying up residential property and farms!

      Not only content to do that, they set up crazy public private schemes like Serco to lose NZ jobs and pay more money to have worse public service, less jobs and the profits being sent offshore.

      Not only content to do that they set up crazy corporate welfare schemes like paying for SkyCities conference centre build and putting a vanity conference centre in Christchurch (where Joe Bloggs doesn’t even have an insurance pay out to provide a roof over their head).

      They are like SO CRAZY and irresponsible. It is like some sort of sick joke.

      And then having MSM do their dirty work by telling joe blogs how amazing they are running the economy.

      Words fail me.

      They are even worse than Muldoon’s crazy ideas.

      They are the LOONY RIGHTIES.

      • Chooky 1.1.1

        +100…”They are the LOONY RIGHTIES.”…corruption!

        ….they are working NOT for New Zealand and New Zealanders

        • save NZ 1.1.1.1

          And this, money not spent of social welfare but on consultants to take from the poor and give to the corporate rich.

          Cost of private contractors doubles to $11.9m at Ministry of Social Development
          Payments for private contractors at the Ministry of Social Development has skyrocketed to $11.9 million.
          The blow-out has resulted in a bill for taxpayers that is more than double the previous year.
          Figures from the Social Services Committee’s estimates examination reveal that at the same time the public service is being asked to be frugal, the ministry has spent up large on private contractors, including a $2.6m programme provided by Deloitte.
          The ministry spent $5.4m on contractors for the year to the end of March 2014, but that amount ballooned to almost $12m by the end of March this year.

        • save NZ 1.1.1.2

          +1 – I just hope these National MP’s unscrupulously selling off our country and doing criminal financial damage to the economy, get to taste a Serco prison first hand.

    • DS 1.2

      Quibble:

      New Zealand hasn’t had a Current Account surplus since 1974. We have trade surpluses all the time, but they are always outweighed by a severely negative balance of invisibles (profit flows and such).

  2. Ad 2

    The Key/English/Joyce handling of the economy is beginning to feel like the Robert Redford film “All Is Lost”, which consists of a series of flashbacks in which the sailor
    – chose not to plan
    – chose not to tell people where he was going
    – chose not to predict his risks
    – chose to go the unsafe and vulnerable route
    – chose the wrong equipment
    – chose to keep pressing ahead when it was going wrong

    …and then cries out “All Is Lost.”

    Now, I sure ain’t saying “All Is Lost”. Far from it.
    And I would hate to hear any alternative government sounding other than resolute and coherent rather than stoking public fear.

    But this government has consistently failed to plan, form new instruments, chart a course, tell people where it was going, or figured out how to change when things are going wrong.

    National are inferior government in a crisis.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Also, they’re an inferior government when there isn’t a crisis.

    • tracey 2.2

      except the government ministers are not suffering. They are not castaways, they are not bereft or hungry or thirsty.

      • Ad 2.2.1

        And clearly you’re not Robert Redford either.
        Go and figure out the definition of metaphor and come back.

  3. Charles 3

    Cool! The Nats are finally thinking of becoming responsible in the face of a crisis and spending to alleviate effects. This spending will include:

    Proactive job creation, public sector support for self-employment, small businesses, co-operative and community-owned enterprises. Expand the apprenticeship programme and greater availability of bridging courses for immigrants.

    Introduce a tax-free zone at the bottom end of the income scale.

    $6.8 million increase in support Initiatives to employ people with disabilities, mainly in the public sector.

    New top tax rate of 40 percent above $140,000. Tax credit giving an extra $60 a week to families; a non-discriminatory Parental Tax Credit of $220 a week in the first weeks of life for the poorest children; $500 million per year investment in children’s health and education to reduce the harm caused by poverty.

    $21 million a year to extend free GP visits to teenagers aged 13-17, abolish their prescription charges; a further $8 million a year to help GPs deal with the extra workload.

    Increase the minimum wage and ensure it cannot fall below 66% of the average wage.

    Set benefit amounts at a level sufficient for all basic needs of the individual/family: Protect all benefit levels by linking rates to a fixed percentage of the average wage (like superannuation).

    A two-tier benefit system consisting of a universal base rate that is enough to live on, with add-ons for specific circumstances, such as dependants, disability or chronic illness.

    A Universal Child Benefit with the ability to capitalise it towards a home deposit.

    Abolish stand-down periods, treat people aged 18 and over as adults for benefit purposes; no forced work for the dole.

    Oh wait no I was thinking of a Green government. Silly me. https://www.greens.org.nz/policy

    Oh, well then, what will happen is National will use this as an excuse to blame the unemployed, the vulnerable, extend zero hour contracts everywhere, privatise everything, throw those with the least power over their circumstances under the metaphorical luxury tour bus – or into private prisons – while handing out funds to the usual collection of people who don’t need it and waste it.

    • tracey 3.1

      I can always count on your to remind me that I have a pot on the hob… that needs more…

  4. tc 4

    As designed folks, the narrow ‘dairy is the new gold’ focus, hammering R&D, reduction in the govt asset base/revenue, foreign ownership is all good, Cullen fund is evil etc etc is what banksta john’s wrecking crew has been relentless about with TPPA coming along to further give away control and soverignty.

    Granny hardcopy leads today with a dog whistling piece on empty state houses playing her part on the diversion front giving the flag a rest probably.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    The Key government aren’t actually any good at this economics stuff. They just swallow and regurgitate any daft line from the fantasists at Treasury. Among the many options this government faces the service revolver and the decent thing is not the worst.

  6. tracey 6

    I thought I heard Key imply when asked about plan B that he didnt need one cos PLan A is working?

  7. linda 7

    I think national party voters should. Pay the rest of us cant we are stone broke as it is

  8. Anno1701 8

    makes you wonder if JK is our “economic hitman”

  9. Michael 9

    I hate to give National any satisfaction, but this post is wrong.

    a) National was right to run deficits after the GFC as balancing the books when the economy was not running at capacity would have harmed the economy and worsened unemployment.

    b) Debt being 26% of GDP still places us as one of the lowest debtors in the OECD. We can afford to run more deficits if the economy worsens. Debt below ~60% of GDP is considered sustainable, I believe. (And you don’t really get into a Greece-style crisis until you get to like 100-150% of GDP).

    But one point I will make to criticise:
    a) Increasing debt to cut taxes for the wealthy was extremely stupid. National’s tax cuts for the lower tax brackets made sense – that’s classic Keynesianism. But the top rate should not have been changed.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      Trouble is this year which is supposed to be a ‘near surplus’ is in reality a cash deficit of $5-7 Billion. Thats 7% of government spending. Any economic slowing and the cash deficit ( which is the amount borrowed) gets to 10% of total spending very quickly.

    • Lara 9.2

      Your first point a) may have been true for a couple of years, or maybe even up to four years after the GFC ended, but not the last couple of years at least.

      The GFC ended (at least, the markets made their final lows and thereafter have been in a bull market since) in 2009.

      So for a couple of years after that then yes, running a deficit would be okay. With the strong caveat that only so long as the extra spending was carefully targeted to STIMULATE THE ECONOMY.

      But six years? Six years after the GFC ended? That’s ridiculous. Those last years were a bull market, a long one, with economic recovery. That’s the time to put money aside to weather the next storm, not continue to run deficits and leave the economy less able to weather the next storm.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Don’t mix up the bullish state of the financial markets in the last couple of years – fed by a QE I.V. drip of brand new electronic cash direct injected into the markets daily feeding asset price bubbles as well as ZIRP/NIRP – to the state of the global real economy over the same time frame.

        The Wall St/Main St divide has never been greater.

        • Lara 9.2.1.1

          This is true, that inequality and the divide between financial markets and the rest of the economy is great.

          But NZ has still had overall growth in our GDP (with the exception of 2011) for most of National’s reign.

          And although there is a gap between financial markets and the rest of the economy (which is highly problematic) there has been some filter through to the wider economy.

          It’s just not true to say that NZ has been suffering from the effects of the GFC enough for deficits to be run consistently all these years.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1

            The NZ money supply depends on debt, because our government does not issue the money it needs itself.

            Foreign companies take approx $15B out of the country annually, we import more than we export, and the country runs a chronic current account deficit.

            Net, the NZ economy is depleted of many billions of dollars of cash a year.

            If the government were to also start running a surplus i.e. taking more out of the economy than it spends into the economy, it will further exacerbate this extraction of cash out of the NZ economy.

            The result, over time, will be a recession and economic crisis.

            • Lara 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree completely.

              I’m approaching the topic from the mantra of a National supporter. They seem to think a surplus is a good thing, and that National are always just about to produce one, and when they don’t’ keep blaming it on Labour and GFC.

              My point is that is bullshit.

              And I’m aware of how money works, that it is created new as debt by private banks.

              And I’m also aware that this is not the only possible way of structuring our monetary supply, in fact, it seems really dumb to keep doing it this way. Iceland is onto it.

              But while we operate in a money = debt system and while we get into ever increasing debt, the interest must be repaid. If this is the system they insist on then they need to reduce debt in good times so that they are ready for bad times.

              I have read plenty of Bernard LIeater’s ideas, and Margrit Kennedy’s too.

      • Michael 9.2.2

        That’s why I mentioned the tax cuts for the wealthy. Now *that* was profligate. If National had not done that, then the books probably would have balanced themselves a bit faster.

        But other than reversing those tax cuts, National should not have raised taxes or cut spending elsewhere to get the deficit down faster. In 2007/08 the unemployment rate was between 3 and 4 percent. It peaked above 7 percent around 2012 or 2013. We didn’t see a more solid recovery in that rate until 2014. So that’s 5 years after the GFC ‘ended’.

        So sure 6 years after the GFC might be a bit excessive. But we still were quite far from running at capacity until early 2014, so the deficit should not have been forced down. I think if National hadn’t cut taxes for higher income earners, we probably would’ve seen the books balanced by then.

        But I think it was completely justified to deficit spend and keep easy monetary policies until 4 or 5 years after the GFC officially ended, sure. I do agree that we should have seen the books balanced by now, though, so we can be prepared to stimulate the economy in case the China crisis snowballs.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.1

          Governments cannot ‘balance the books’ if a country has a chronic current account deficit like we do.

        • Lara 9.2.2.2

          Yes, I do tend to agree with you.

          I’m just really sick of National supporters blaming this governments lack of financial management, the consistent deficits and increasing government debt on the GFC which ended years ago.

          Their supporters are so sure National is a good manager of the economy, all the while they have never actually produced a surplus while repeatedly promising it’s just around the corner, and blaming it all on Labour and the GFC which damn well ended years ago.

          I do agree the “recovery” is a fake. And I expect it’s beginning to all unravel now.

    • Stuart Munro 9.3

      Don’t confuse the incompetent inability to run surpluses with stimulus spending. Those tax cuts were paid for by austerity measures that more than consumed any stimulatory effect. Tax cuts are invariably a remarkably poor stimulus – they feed into the wrong end of the economy.

      We’re in trouble – and the reason we’re in trouble is our economic management is hopelessly captured by neo-liberal cultists. Whatever goes wrong their answer is to steal more public assets.

      This government are looters – only in power for what they can steal. The public should impose martial law on them until the crisis abates. Martial law usually includes shooting looters.

    • Pat 9.4

      debt is approx 37% of GDP…from near zero under Labour

  10. SPC 10

    The OCR was reduced to 3% in July.

    It is not 2.5%, it is forecast to reduce to 2.5% later this year.

    • lprent 10.1

      Agreed. A bit pedantic though

      By now I’d say that the drop is built into everything that the market already does. It is even more likely to go ahead now that the overseas trade is falling.

      The only thing that appeared to have been staying the RBNZ’s hand last year was that it might heat up the Auckland housing market further. However it has become quite apparent over the last 18 months that the money fuelling that is from financing sources outside of the local mortgage markets, and therefore unaffected by OCR rates.

  11. SPC 11

    The most obvious option is to introduce unemployment insurance.

    A pool of money available to pay people for up to 12 months unemployment keeps the economy intact despite job loss – it also means there is no shock to the government budget from benefit cost rise.

    Re property, a surcharge on investment property mortgages would help to calm speculation driven buying and assist resort to a lower OCR/dollar.

    • Craig H 11.1

      I don’t care how it’s done (UBI is my personal preference), but anything that eliminates benefit-bashing is good in my books.

    • Tricledrown 11.2

      That’s not working very well in the US ,ACT style policy.

      • SPC 11.2.1

        Unemployment insurance is not ACT style policy. And they do not have universal unemployment insurance in the USA. They simply have a limited term for UB.

  12. Richard@Down South 12

    The Government crippled the economy when they lead a ‘cut costs at all expenses’ crusade… It didn’t matter what it did to each government dept, as long as costs were cut…

    Private industry was hardly going to look at what the government was doing and go ‘now is a good time to invest and hire new staff (unless you had an up and coming plan/project which had a good chance of succeeding), so most businesses hunkered down, and waited for the ‘economic recovery’ which never came

    Instead, the Government could have made smart choices, invested in real job growth, not changed the GST rate/upper tax rates (a move which was supposed to be revenue neutral but wasnt)… Instead of selling off assets because it is a core belief, they could have kept them and in a few years, we’d have been in a better position than we will be due to the sell off (i believe its 7 years from sale date that we lose any benefit due to what we would have gotten in dividends)

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    I Think I would change the heading “Govts options are limited” sounds like they are caught in something they haven’t contributed to.
    Something harsher like “Govt ensures we have no options ” but I’m sure there are better ways of saying this

  14. Nic the NZer 14

    [lprent: This is a simply awful comment – appears to have been written by a economic idiot doing a diversion comment and not even explaining what their alternatives are. ]

    This is a simply awful article. The author disqualifies himself from ever writing about the economy again due to his total ignorance.

    Question: can NZ ever become like Greece?
    Authors Answer: Yes, maybe.
    Actual Answer: No never, because NZ has its own currency, unlike Greece.

    [lprent: Author never said that anywhere. ]

    Question: should we be concerned about credit rating downgrades?
    Authors Answer: Yes.
    Actual Answer: No never, because NZ has its own currency.

    [lprent: The issue is about debt, specifically sovereign debt which is about how governments raise money offshore in overseas currencies. We raise bugger all sovereign debt inside NZ because our savings levels are too low. Local currency has very little to do with overseas debt except in the export/import balances in paying it back. ]

    Question: should the government stimulate the economy with tax cuts or spending?
    Authors Answer: No, not an option, because it will add to the deficit.
    Actual Answer: Yes, definitely, the government should have already been doing more due to a 5%+ unemployment rate.

    [lprent: He didn’t say anything of the sort. It can only be done if the government wishes to raise debt offshore, or raises local taxes, or causes inflation in prices by printing money or by arbitrary confiscations. (And you didn’t explain any other method). What he said was that using the first was a problem. ]

    Then a discussion about interest rates, apparently the more viable but still problematic alternative. But completely missing the point that the housing market slowing dramatically is a likely underlying cause of the recession at which point your no longer concerned about housing market inflation.

    [lprent: You appear to have been reading a different article. The discussion was about the Reserve Bank’s OCR rate, the rating agencies response to it, and the danger to banks if there was a pop in the housing market. ]

    Obviously by dismissing the best, option for dealing with a likely recession you are going to be left with poor alternatives. Deficit fetishism is doing the country tremendous harm.

    [lprent: And then you didn’t bother to explain what your alternative was. Banned one week for doing a diversion on this post and attacking an author personally. I don’t care if you disagree, but to deliberately misrepresent what the author is saying, and then not even put your own ideas forward is outright stupid. Also tucking this at the end of the comments on this post ]

    • dukeofurl 14.1

      Glad someone pulled apart Nics farrago.

      One other economic lever Key said we could use was ‘lower interest rates’

      Which had me gobsmacked. The Reserve Bank governor is the only one who can set an ‘official interest rate’, and this was because it was taken out of the hands of politicians.

      Last time I checked the only mandate of the RBG was price stability in a certain range. Nowhere is there and requirement ( like other countries) for other economic indicators like reducing unemployment, or growing the economy etc.

      Has Key really thrown the RBG under the bus and the long held economic stability model that goes with it ? Is this the new Muldoon !

    • Wayne 14.2

      Another example of unreasonable banning by Iprent. I appreciate its your blog, but seriously Nic the NZer does not deserve the over the top reaction by you. And if you want to ban me as well because I question your decision, well, its your blog, so its your choice.

      [lprent: Hey don’t tempt me. My usual response to that plea is assist in the self-martyrdom that you are so clearly requesting. I figure that those making that plea should have what they are asking for in full, so I usually quadruple sentences.

      But in this case no. The comment was left in the post with my demonstration of a moderator doing exactly the same style of personal attack in return for a reason. Therefore to allow discussion on why I did it that way. See my comment in reply further down the page. ]

      • dukeofurl 14.2.1

        Banned one week for doing a diversion on this post and attacking an author personally. Im sure this nonsense did it:
        “The author disqualifies himself from ever writing about the economy again due to his total ignorance.”
        Everyone has a go at you wayne but authors are a different category

      • les 14.2.2

        have to agree with you there Wayne..he must have got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning.

        • dukeofurl 14.2.2.1

          read what the banning notice said, attacking the authors is a big no no.
          writing gibberish didnt help

      • Stuart Munro 14.2.3

        Actually Nic was behaving abnormally stupidly.

        should we be concerned about credit rating downgrades?
        Authors Answer: Yes.
        Actual Answer: No never, because NZ has its own currency.

        So credit downgrades make no difference? They don’t affect for example the cost of borrowing? The interest when for example you’ve blown $101 billion by truly spectacular incompetence is more if your credit rating is lower. Magic foreign investment fairies don’t make that go away.

        Like most of you untruthful ultra-righties Wayne, Nic would not survive what he deserves.

      • lprent 14.2.4

        I am always very unreasonable when people personally attack authors, and that was pretty clearly an attack on the author rather than what they wrote about.

        If it’d been a deconstruction of what was in the post, then Nic would have put in their preferred alternatives and left out the personal attack at the start.

        You’ll note that I did EXACTLY the same kind of attack on Nic that Nic did on Simon. This is part of my usual strategy to demonstrate why people shouldn’t use certain techniques unless they are willing to have the same ones used by me against them. Which is why I have this rather hurt email in my mailbox this morning from Nic.

        We need authors a damn sight more than we need commenters. Which is why attacking them on a personal basis is a risky business if people want to continue commenting here. Attack what they are saying, sure. But do not expect to do so when not offering anything as alternatives or without pointing to actual facts. That is a classic avoidance strategy of someone wanting to be a lazy critic without the moral and intellectual underpinnings to frame an effective criticism. It is what you do when you want to frame a personal attack. And leading off with something like

        The author disqualifies himself from ever writing about the economy again due to his total ignorance.

        is pretty hard to view as being anything apart from a personal attack.

        Normally I try to let authors deal with these as much as possible, and acting as a backup. However you’ll usually find me swinging my size 11’s in the same vein as any arsehole commenter (except far far worse) as soon as it is a post by a guest author, or a new author.

        I find it keeps most of the new authors entering the blogging environment happier if they know someone will deal with people being idiots.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    56 mins ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 hours ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 hours ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    14 hours ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    22 hours ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    23 hours ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    3 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    6 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    7 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago

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

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago