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Inequality and the rich

Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, December 29th, 2011 - 74 comments
Categories: Economy, Media - Tags:

In today’s Herald, Geof Nightingale, tax partner and member of National’s Tax Working Group, joins the argument for greater inequality in New Zealand. He quotes the OECD report saying that

The OECD reckons it’s vital Governments review their tax and transfer systems and increase the top tax rate so well-off individuals contribute their fair share. It also stresses the need to improve tax compliance and eliminate tax loopholes. At first glance, it would seem that New Zealand is heading the other way when in Budget 2010 we rebalanced our tax system by reducing personal tax rates and increasing GST.

Nightingale prefers the argument of the Tax Working Group that

The OECD recognises the dangers of rising tax rates and benefit levels, noting they can produce disincentives (to work, to save or even to remain in New Zealand) and damage economic growth. The Tax Working Group saw the danger signs a while back when tasked with examining New Zealand’s tax policy. As a result it recommended reducing personal tax rates, but increasing GST and taxes on property. The theory being, reducing personal tax rates increases the incentives for people to enter the workforce and increasing tax on consumption would encourage savings.

I saw Nightingale’s presentation to the Tax Working Group conference – it can be viewed here. I found two of the slides particularly interesting. One was headed “Equality measures” – it showed the changes recommended by the Working Groups left 23% of children in poverty after lowering of taxes at the upper end – no change. Also the scale showing the benefit to those at the top end topped out at $120,000 income – a lot less than Nightingale would be earning.

Nightingale is right about one thing – Generation Inequality is not happy. His special pleading won’t change that.

It is ironical that in the same edition of the Herald that gives space to Nightingale, Garth George writes his last column as the editors decided that “his column does not fit in with their future plans for the opinion pages.” Here’s what Garth thinks is important:

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at what I consider to be the most serious and vexing problem facing New Zealand – and the Western World – now and in the immediate future: income inequality and unemployment.

In their book The Spirit Level, British epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett reveal that among the world’s wealthiest countries, it is the more unequal ones that do worse, according to almost every quality of life indicator. The fundamental findings, which are backed by sound social science research, is that inequality damages community life and the relationships that hold nations together. They show that many social problems are more common in societies with larger income differences.

And the sad thing is New Zealand is among the most unequal of the “rich” countries. We have poorer health, higher teenage birth rates, more people in prison, more mental illness, more obesity, more drug abuse, lower levels of child well-being, huge personal debt, and less social mobility than the more equal rich countries.

In a newspaper article, Britain’s Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, wrote: “Evidence-based research confirms what many have always believed: that inequality is divisive. It weakens the bonds of caring, kindness and trust between us . “If we are not to see a generation of young people damaged by long-term unemployment, and a society becoming increasingly anti-social, we need resolute action to tackle these insidious and corrosive [economic and social issues]. If we want a happier and less divided society, then an important step would be to reduce the income differences between rich and poor.”

As we enter the second decade of the third millennium, let us all think on these things.

Blessings for the New Year.

Good on you Garth – I’m with you. Let’s hope the Herald editors’ plans do not involve more Nightingale-type opinions.

74 comments on “Inequality and the rich”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    All Nightingale is doing is singing for his $800/hour charge out rate to wealthy clients. He’s not interested in helping the economy for the 99%, just the economy of the 1%.
    Next he’ll be calling the rich pricks “job creators”, instead of the more appropriate “parasites on labour”.

    • Rodel 1.1

      CV….I Have to agree with the probable word play. Jon Stewart (Daily Show) says republicans can’t use the expression, ‘the rich’ any more.It’s been changed to the more appealing … ‘job creators’.
      Shades of Frank Luntz….

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          Except his successful television program does create jobs for those working on it. Not a huge number of jobs, and it’s probably static or slowly declining, but jobs none-the-less. It’s not entirely clear that all of those jobs would continue to exist without his show, either.

        • felix 1.1.1.2

          And what, chris?

          • chris73 1.1.1.2.1

            Theres something about rich, white people making money lamenting about the poor that doesn’t seem right a la Mike Moore

            Uppe-middle class cringe or guilt I guess?

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.1

              People who start out with social consciences can keep them and still get rich you know.

              Unlike financial market traders who have been shown to be even more psychopathic than run of the mill psuchopaths.

              http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,788462,00.html

            • felix 1.1.1.2.1.2

              So if you’re rich you can’t point out cynicisms? If you’re rich you can’t analyse the manipulative use of language in politics and the media?

              Is that what you’re saying, chris?

              • chris73

                I guess its easier to point out the inequalities when you’re higher up the food chain I suppose.

                • Lanthanide

                  And yet so many rich people are completely blind to what poverty is really like and swear black and blue that it doesn’t happen in this country and they just waste all their money on piss and fags and they’re all just lazy bums that need a kick up the arse to get out and work hard for their money like they themselves have their entire life and they never got given any handouts by the government.

                  You know the type.

                  • chris73

                    you mean the types whose taxes actually pay for the above bludgers?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      you mean the types whose taxes actually pay for the above bludgers?

                      Isn’t that the very least that the wealthy and powerful can do for their designing in systemic poverty in what should be a rich country?

                      Oh yeah, and stop attacking the victims of the very same capitalist system that the wealthy and powerful direct.

                    • KJT

                      I am actually more upset about my taxes paying for these bludgers.

                      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/03/kia-ora-yeah-we-should-be-doing.html
                      “Politicians who accept an income from the people of NZ, while they sell them, and the country out, to their sponsors from private corporates”.

                      Far more costly.

                      Society should look after the sick, old and those unable to find work.

                      After all, with a bit of bad luck they could be any of us.

                  • prism

                    @Lanthanide
                    What you say is what happens for sure. And looking further, the rich people encourage and exploit that tendency to over-indulgence that we all have, but which lower income people cannot afford to allow to indulge regularly and develop into addiction. This then makes it even harder for those already struggling in jobs offering low incomes who would like to improve their living standards.

                    Why else is it so hard to stop gambling parlours and alcohol outlets setting up against the wishes of communities who recognise these mendacious methods of enriching some and degrading many, and costing all through higher taxes required for police and a lower moral and personal code amongst the good-time guys and gals and the addicted.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I guess its easier to point out the inequalities when you’re higher up the food chain I suppose.

                  Of course. Its hard to afford a subscription to The Economist when you are on the minimum wage.

                  • chris73

                    Naah I’m sure the local library has a copy

                    • logie97

                      …apparently the “local library” is up for discussion in the user pays model.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yes quite right. But do note that the local library isn’t open the hours that easily fit what many minimum wage shift workers do. Getting to the local library can also be expensive and time consuming in the bigger cities.

                      So your example illustrates perfectly why it is so much easier the wealthy to be aware of the issues – they have access to a wealth of information and professional advice at their finger tips.

                • felix

                  “I guess its easier to point out the inequalities when you’re higher up the food chain”

                  And, chris?

                  Come on man, you were heading somewhere with that. Cat got your tongue?

                  • logie97

                    Isn’t amazing how the middle class, aspiring upper class, continue to smash the lower classes. Get off our ladder pricks…
                    They never have a bad word for the “Ruling Class” – Time changes nothing.

                  • chris73

                    Did Jon Stewart always think this way or has he now got a conscience because hes done well for himself and feels guilty, I really don’t know but I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable being a “working class hero” while living amongst those I choose to critique

                    But thats just me

                    (and no cat hasn’t got my toungue but my dog had my leash so I thought I’d take him for a walk)

    • Populuxe1 1.2

      Except they’re not “job creators”, they’re “profit maximisers” and all too often these things are mutually exclusive.

  2. Jellytussle 2

    How true is this…………..”In 2010, just 12 per cent of individual taxpayers contributed a disproportionate 49 per cent of all personal income tax.” ?
    How much of the wealth do the 12% own?

    • Peter 2.1

      Don’t know how much wealth but they earned about 40% of the taxable income.

      • Peter 2.1.1

        PS The bottom 12% actually earning receive about 1.6 % of the taxable income compared to the top 12% receiving 40% of taxable income. These people earn up to $10,000 pa compared to the top 12% who earn anything in excess of $70,000 pa.

        The average taxable earnings of the bottom 12% is about $4900. They pay an average tax of 10.5 cents in the dollar. The average taxable earnings of the top 12% is in the vicinity of $108000. They pay an average tax in the vicinity of 26 cents in the dollar.

        So the “rich” earn on average over 20 times as much as the “poor” but only pay about 15.5 cents in the dollar more in tax on each dollar earned. In addition lets not forget the regressive nature of GST, where “rich” and “poor” alike pay 15 cents on each dollar spent.

        Source – Treasury

      • Roger 2.1.2

        This is the problem with the argument that the top small percentage pay a much larger percentage of the tax take therefore the balance is out of whack and the poor need to take a larger burden or the economy will not grow blah blah blah…

        If the top 12% were being taxed at the exact same rate as everybody else they would still be paying 40% of the total income tax. Would this lead to the same argument that they should pay less tax?

        • KJT 2.1.2.1

          Using income tax figures is a fudge. If you use total tax figures the top 12% pay nowhere near 40% of tax.

          Most of the tax (60%) is actually paid by the middle percentiles including the lower end of the 12%. between 50k and 90k.

          The top 4% have had average pay increases of 17% and tax cuts as well as using tax dodges not available to the less wealthy. They do not pay their requisite proportion of tax. Especially as they are the greatest users of and the greatest drain on the resources of our society.

    • Peter 2.2

      The trust between us disappeared with the bankers word-wide rout.

  3. Matt 3

    A society that aims first for freedom will not end up with equality but it will end up with a closer approach to equality than any other system ever developed. A society that aims for equality will end up with neither.

    “You can only aim at equality by giving some people the right to take things from others. And what ultimately happens when you aim for equality is that A and B decide what C should do for D. Except they take a little bit of commission off on the way.”

    • McFlock 3.1

      I’d much rather “A & B deciding what C should do for D” than “A deciding what B, C & D should do for A”. But then neither are the case.
        
      Democracy means that A, B, C & D decide what A, B, C & D should do for D, where D isthe person who needs help. But then nutbar freidmanites understand less about democracy than they do about markets economics, which is not half as much as they think they do.
       
       

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      A society that aims first for freedom will not end up with equality but it will end up with a closer approach to equality than any other system ever developed.
       

      Bullshit
       
      Unless you are using the US as an example of a society that aims for
      “freedom first”. Look how well that has gone. Freedom for capitalists, freedom for corporations, slavery for everyone else.

      • prism 3.2.1

        CV
        And the freedom to bristle with guns and solve political differences by assassinating their leaders, and yet still strut about and say ‘How fine are we, What a piece of work is man, How noble his reason’ etc.

    • Jenny 3.3

      A society that aims first for freedom will not end up with equality but it will end up with a closer approach to equality than any other system ever developed.

      Matt

      The hypocrisy of the right on the issue of freedom as typified by ACT:

      ACT New Zealand’s self described party of “individual freedom” voted for the intrusive video surveillance bill. But of course like Matt, ACT see no contradiction, between state spying and intrusion, and ‘freedom’.

      Right wing supporters of privilege, like Matt, while crying freedom – In practice, are always at the forefront of calling for state repression. As it is the state which ultimately and unequally protects their freedom to exploit, while restricting the freedom to resist.

      Banks and the financiers are perfectly free to lord it over the world in the interest of the elites, and are ‘perfectly free’ to knowingly crash the economy out of greedy self interest, and then have the state bail them out.

      But as a citizen, you are not ‘perfectly free’ to protest about it, in public spaces like Aotea Square.

      In the latter case, the state response is completely different. In fact the state threatens the protesters with jail time. Surely the ultimate state act, of removing all personal freedom from you. (Apart, that is, from gunning you down. As the Egyptian state chooses to do faced with similar protests in Tahrir Square)

      It is all OK for Matt to trot out right wing rationalisations for inequality. But if Matt were sincere in his support for personal freedom, he would be decrying the removal of the personal freedoms of the Aotea occupiers. But of course he won’t do that, because the occupiers are challenging ‘the perfect freedom’ to exploit that is behind Matt’s talk of freedom.

      “Modern libertarianism is the disguise adopted by those who wish to exploit without restraint. It pretends that only the state intrudes on our liberties. It ignores the role of banks, corporations and the rich in making us less free. It denies the need for the state to curb them in order to protect the freedoms of weaker people. This bastardized, one-eyed philosophy is a con trick, whose promoters attempt to wrongfoot justice by pitching it against liberty. By this means they have turned “freedom” into an instrument of oppression.”

      George Monbiot

      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/20-5

  4. henry olongo 4

    Hey Matt, I think your rant about freedom is pretty vacuous. File under rhetoric How is your fantasy relevant to this post about inequality & agenda-setting in the corporate media?

  5. Populuxe1 5

    I have no problem getting rich through genuinely earned work profit, but I object to people who deliberately manipulate, rort and circumvent the system to make money that they can’t possibly need. I strenuously object to governments who make it policy to assist in this behaviour. I think tax breaks for the wealthy should be tied directly to their contribution to the arts, charity and other public foundations.

    • infused 5.1

      The arts? What the hell are you smoking?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Encouraging charitable giving to the arts and creative endeavours is a pretty good idea don’t you think.

      • Populuxe1 5.1.2

        The arts foster creative thinking, highlight complex ideas, nurture national identity and human empathy – all healthy for a society. I agree with Chris Finlayson that private funding of the arts should be encouraged (not that he really does more than pay lip service to this, and I don’t believe public funding should be reduced). James Wallace, Adrienne Lady Stewart, and Fiona Campbell (founder of the Real Art Roadshow which trucks contemporary art to schools) all put their money where their mouth is and all respect to them.

        • infused 5.1.2.1

          The only people that care about art, are art people.

          [lprent: Apologies and a note. Never schedule bans to end between xmas eve and new years day. I forgot to turn the moderation off. ]

          • fender 5.1.2.1.1

            Well there must be alot of “art people” as you put it around then infused, get out more.

            Your comments are normally painted in shit, thought you were an art person too.

  6. Mbossa 6

    I must say I was a little surprised to read something so reasonable coming from Garth George. It almost seems like the prospect of imminent unemployment caused him to grow a heart.

  7. Pete 7

    I read a fascinating article in the Atlantic a couple of months ago called Can the Middle Class be Saved?. It opened with this sobering comment:

    In October 2005, three Citigroup analysts released a report describing the pattern of growth in the U.S. economy. To really understand the future of the economy and the stock market, they wrote, you first needed to recognize that there was “no such animal as the U.S. consumer,” and that concepts such as “average” consumer debt and “average” consumer spending were highly misleading.

    In fact, they said, America was composed of two distinct groups: the rich and the rest. And for the purposes of investment decisions, the second group didn’t matter; tracking its spending habits or worrying over its savings rate was a waste of time. All the action in the American economy was at the top: the richest 1 percent of households earned as much each year as the bottom 60 percent put together; they possessed as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent; and with each passing year, a greater share of the nation’s treasure was flowing through their hands and into their pockets. It was this segment of the population, almost exclusively, that held the key to future growth and future returns. The analysts, Ajay Kapur, Niall Macleod, and Narendra Singh, had coined a term for this state of affairs: plutonomy.

  8. KJT 8

    No published comments on Nightingales column.

    Wonder why not?

    To give Garth G his due, even the ones that totally disagreed with him were published.

  9. Dr Terry 9

    Perhaps rather than all focus being placed on “equality” (which can never happen in human affairs), we should think in terms of “justice for all”. Our country may be on the brink of monstrous injustices, if this creature and his like have their way.
    Garth George more recent signs of enlightenment must have greatly worried the Herald. Has everybody noticed that the Herald dismissed Tracy Barnett a few weeks back? She was too truthful, a threat to this newspaper.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Perhaps rather than all focus being placed on “equality”

      Without wanting to come over too picky, this surely isn’t so. No-one but no-one has been advocating that all people should be exactly the same. You are right, this never has been, nor ever will be so. There always will be differences between people.

      What we are concerned about however is a tiny elite who have exploited their positions of power and privilege within advanced, high-tech capitalist economies to capture a grossly disproportionate segment of income and wealth for themselves.

      It is this extreme of wealth and poverty that is so deeply corrosive, unjust and destructive of the decent humane life that should be accessible for every human on the planet.

      • KJT 9.1.1

        I do not think there are many here who thinks a surgeon and a wharfie should earn the same.

        Just that the children of the wharfie or the surgeon have the same opportunity to become a surgeon.

        These people should not be getting lots of wealth for destruction.
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235576/How-bankers-destroy-7-1-create-Hospital-cleaners-valuable-society-say-researchers.html
        or these. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/how-goldman-sachs-gambled_b_633436.html

        Also. Just the fact of already having wealth should not allow the further accumulation without earning it. It then ends up in fewer and fewer parasitic hands.

        Allan Gates obviously agrees. He has said that his children will be left enough to live comfortably, but most of his fortune will go to charity.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Surgeons are considered as just another labour class by administrative managers these days. Highly unionised like wharfies of course, which also makes them stronger.

          Someone please explain to me why a NZ banking CEO should earn 5 times or 10 times the wage of a specialist surgeon working in the NZ health system. That is obscene.

          • logie97 9.1.1.1.1

            It seems that no one can put a value on anyone’s labour or contribution to society. We have a school funding system based on the “professional status” of its community.

            Perhaps that debate needs to be had. People are loathed to criticize surgeons because they might need one one day. However a surgeon can do SFA without a nurse, an orderly, or an anesthetist, and who taught the “skilled”. Some would say that they learnt despite the teacher, but who built the school for the learning to take place, and who was the benevolent Minister of Education who …

            FFS we all live in one system, yet the self interest in us all overlooks the wider good.

          • KJT 9.1.1.1.2

            There has always been only two classes.

            Workers. Including professionals, innovators and those who start business through their own efforts..

            Parasites including bankers and those with unearned wealth. , Who live off the workers.

  10. felix 10

    So Garth is now unemployed and seeing his income dramatically reduced and he suddenly sees income equality and unemployment as the two most important issues.

    Well fuck me if that doesn’t just make him even more of a prick than he ever was.

  11. randal 11

    stop that felix.
    nearly fell of me chair.
    but you right.
    the nig nono for that lot is income redistribution but only if it is going to the poor.
    if they can get their own hands on the money then its okay.

  12. johnm 12

    “There is no question upheaval is on the way, particularly in the US. If Ron Paul becomes president much can be rolled back and changed peacefully. Another four years of this president could spell violent revolution in the US. The utter temerity of recent legislation, which allows the president to name anyone a terrorist, goes far beyond the pale. It is the throwing of the gauntlet.

    2012 is going to be quite a year with falling economies in the UK, Europe, the US, China, Japan and the remainder of Asia. Latin America, and Mexico by comparison should fare fairly well overall. England is in a death spiral. Europe is next, the US is not far behind and China and Japan will soon join the disjoined group. We are about to witness the end of the period that developed since the end of WWII. That is economically, financially, socially and politically. The transition into the future is going to be borne out of chaos. If you have any doubt just look at the recent legislation passed in the US allowing the president to pick up and incarcerate, torture or murder dissidents. Americans will be labeled terrorists for any reason government decides. ”

    “We are about to witness the end of the period that developed since the end of WWII. That is economically, financially, socially and politically. The transition into the future is going to be borne out of chaos.”
    refer link: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28381

    As AFKTT and many others keep saying we are now well into the collapse phase of Industrial Civilisation with Oil supply set to to slide rapidly into terminal decline. Cheap oil is gone forever.

    Relevance to post? We need a healthy society as equal as possible free from the greedy wealth worship I am alright scourge. We need to reach out to our less fortunate kiwi brothers and sisters and enable them with ourselves to meet the greatest challenge we have ever faced: Coping with a paradigm now in sunset and meeting the new energy constrained future along with the additional challenge of climate change.

    • happynz 12.1

      I’m a bit perplexed by your post’s support for Ron Paul. The man’s Libertarian fantasies and bizarre faith in the invisible controlling ‘hand of the market’ don’t give you pause? Paul’s strident anti-government stance is a bit strange for a man who has spent much of his life on the government payroll.

  13. johnm 13

    “The normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.”

    Why we just don’t get it that our World is already vastly different. We need a strong united society to cope not a divided money gubber grab the spoils which we have now.

  14. randal 14

    what a lot of frigging garbage.
    Barack Obama is the best president the United States has Had since FDR and JFK.
    rampant scaremongering of your sort is straight out of the 1950’s.
    as for ron paul.
    he will do nothing for the poor of the USA.
    he just another greedy who would like to join the gingrinch in having a $1,000,000 charge card at tiffanys.
    please spare us that sort of nonsense.
    lp must be taking a xmas nap letting your sort of nonsense through.
    never mind. it is useful to listen the rantings of madmen just to compare it with sanity.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Barack Obama is the best president the United States has Had since FDR and JFK.

      LOL, certainly the top 0.1% think so.

      1) Guantanamo is still open, Afghanistan appears to be open ended war, and Iraq is slowly collapsing again immediately after the withdrawal of US troops.

      2) Obama insists that Wall St’s massive financial fraud has been “unethical” but not “illegal”, there have been no invesstigations let alone prosecutions of top executive bankers, and he is continuing to allow massive cash injections into big banks even as millions of homeowners have lost their homes.

      3) The US is stepping up economic sanctions against 80% of Iran’s income, squeezing Iran’s livelihood against the wall. This is also what the US did to Japan in the years leading up to WWII. Foreign wars help encumbent US Presidents in election years, of course.

      4) Check out the massive U6 underemployment stats and also the Shadowstats unemployment figures. Meanwhile, there are over 700 billionaires in the US now.

      5) He’s kept Geithner, Bernanke in charge of the sinking ship. US Govt debt to GDP has just crossed 100%.

    • Muzza 14.2

      Yes Randal LP must be away because your post is , let’s say, lacking in political understanding.
      BO a great president, LMFAO – do you seriously believe that !
      Baa aaa ck to sleep little Jandal !

      [lprent: I am around. Why would I need to intervene? Just people disagreeing. No behavior patterns that need rectifying. ]

  15. johnm 15

    Hi randal
    If Barack Obama is the best president since FDR and JFK why are there 46,000,000 Americans on foodstamps with no new deal for them on offer?
    The International Energy Agency itself says we are well past peak oil and there are numerous warnings of overall oil supply decline. Refer Chris Martenson :The next 20 years will be totally different to the previous 20. This is not scaremongering.

    It is not nonsense to say that Major events happening in the outside World beyond this narrow blog will affect us big time!
    Narrow blinkered viewpoints are not necessarily sane!

  16. randal 16

    well golly gee.
    you guys should go to the USA and help them. sounds like they need it.
    sounds like you know how to do it.
    in the meantime.
    what is the average wage here.
    how many people get it or over.
    what do they do with it when they’ve got it?
    when was the last time you had a pay rise?
    why doesn’t the stats department tell us waht we want to know so we can make proper analyses and comparisons?
    is that clear enough?

    • Mike 16.1

      The average wage here is somewhere around $950 per week I think. But that is misleading and I wish the media wouldn’t always go on about the average wage. 70% of working wage and salary earners in this country earn less than the average wage, but many sheeple think that the average represents a typical or middle of the road worker. High salaries drag up the average disproportionately.

      It’s far better to use the median which I think is somewhere around $650 – $700 per week. That way you know that 50% of the working population earn more than the median and 50% earn less.

      The fact of the matter is that it is our entire monetary and economic system that is at fault. Almost the entire money supply is created as interest attracting debt. For new money to be added to the money supply (as the exponentially increasing economic growth model requires) it has to be borrowed into existence. The interest is never created but has to be paid back along with the principle. Total principle plus interest is greater then the total money supply. Hence public and / or private debt simply increases and increases until collapse.

      The most profitable economic sector on the planet is that of financial trading and speculative gain. Where vast amounts of money are used simply to generate more money and where there is absolutely no productive gain or benefit to society whatsoever. Is it a world we really want where a Wall St hedge fund manager gets $300 million a year for contributing absolutely nothing to society or the real economy whilst a scientist looking for a cure for a disease who is helping society might make $60 thousand if they are lucky? Is it a sign of a responsible, positive economic system that the total amount of money in the entire world’s money supply is around $70 trillion yet the ‘value’ of the existing speculative derivatives being bought and sold is around $700 trillion?! That’s 10 times the GDP of the whole planet! Consider this, for one person to become a millionare, roughly 100 people somewhere in the world must have no money at all. For someone to become a billionaire, roughly 100,000 human beings somewhere in the world must have no money at all. In order for someone like Bill Gates, who some think is wonderful due to his foundation, to have 50 billion dollars, 5 million human beings must have nothing.

      Healthcare contributes a large share of GDP, which means that a large portion of economic growth is determined by sick and dying people! If the amount of money spent on healthcare increases, that is considered to be a good thing in economics speak. The more sick and unhealthy people there are, the higher the GDP is. That’s sick. Inflation hurts the poor the most, yet they are the people who have the least amount of influence over it.

      Unfortunately, there is no profit in things that are beneficial to society such as saving lives, peace, sustainability, social responsibility. We live in a society where there are unprecedented levels of wealth, yet there are also unprecedented levels of social failings; increasing levels of violence, self harm amongst kids, drug abuse, mental illness, child abuse, etc. Does that not seem wrong? Activities which are detremental to society and human kind such as war, illness and disease, financial speculation, greed, etc; are the activities which whithin our monetary and economic system are rewarded with massive profits. That’s a defective system surely?

      • Muzza 16.1.1

        Mike, very well said indeed. We live in a world where people are taught that money & profit above all else is king.
        It’s not sustainable, there are some who know this will end badly, for the masses who have no or litle understanding about where the continued money chase is leading us.

  17. We live in a world where people are taught that money & profit above all else is king.

    Who teaches that?

    It’s up to parents and communities to teach better.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Who teaches that?

      Our entire political economic corporate system.

    • Muzza 17.2

      Didn’t you notice the title of this thread Pete? How do you think we arrived at this place. Worship of money is playing a huge part, and it is used by various means against people, whether that know it or not.
      In case you need some help Pete.
      1: marketIng , advertising, targets people, needs money = king
      2: GFC , debt, pensions, stock markets, commodity prIces, OCR, foreign debt, budgets, foreign exchange.

      Even you should get the examples Pete, because if you think money/currency is not force fed onto people , you need to head off to pasture old son!

  18. DH 18

    Some of you guys need to spend a little more time researching & less time bickering IMO. I found this site when googling for info on NZ taxes after reading the Herald commentary by Nightingale. No-one here seems to dispute the figures which I find a little puzzling. The 12% paying 49% of tax claim is correct only on paper, by any real analysis it is false and demonstrably so.

    The 12% figure was likely calculated from the Treasury report here;

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2010/taxpayers

    (It’s actually 11.2% without rounding but the report adds up to 12% & 49% for the top five groups)

    Note that the percentage of taxpayers in each income bracket is worked out from the total of 3,374,000 ‘taxpayers’. Well that 3,374,000 includes 314,000 welfare beneficiaries on the DPB, dole, invalids & sickness, 550,000 OAPs collecting super, the 236,000 at the bottom of the report who declared zero income, part timers, casual workers etc etc. The number of real taxpayers is likely less than 2,000,000 and if the true figures are used it will push up the 12% to a more believable 18-19% paying 49% of the tax.

    Also note the report gives stats on extra GST paid by income bracket which allows one to work out how much GST each group pays. The GST burden is carried mostly by the middle income groups.

    Work it out in terms of real tax and the top 12% pay about 35% of income tax and when GST is added to the tax intake they pay around 30% of tax. Not so disproportionate then is it.

    The recent claims about nett taxpayers was also fiction, for similar reasons.

    • lprent 18.1

      Thanks, I’d been a bit frustrated that I hadn’t had time to look this up. So I hurriedly wrapped your comment into a post to highlight it before hitting the road today.

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  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
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  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
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  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
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    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
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    3 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
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    3 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
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    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    3 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    4 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    4 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    5 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    5 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    6 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    7 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

  • ICYMI Business: Chorus and Stride hopeful
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    17 mins ago
  • The Bulletin: When are we getting out of lockdown?
    Good morning and welcome to The Bulletin. In today’s edition: Conditions for leaving lockdown explored, nation’s first death from Covid-19 reported, and Australian govt continues to discriminate against NZers.When will the Covid-19 lockdown across New Zealand end? Short answer – when it’s actually safe to do so. Officially, the current state ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Braae
    34 mins ago
  • Covid-19 live updates, March 30: Australia bans gatherings of more than two as it nears 4,000 cases
    For all The Spinoff’s latest coverage of Covid-19 see here. Read Siouxsie Wiles’s work hereNew Zealand is currently in alert level four. The country is shut down, apart from essential services. For updated official government advice, see here.The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this work, join The ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff
    53 mins ago
  • Coronavirus: PM backs families battling to keep seniors in their bubble
    People over 70 and those with underlying health conditions faced the lockdown four days before the rest of the country - but some of the elderly still aren't taking any notice. ...
    53 mins ago
  • A photo essay on the one thing to keep you sane in the lockdown: bookshelves
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    1 hour ago
  • Glimmer of hope for Lake Alice victims
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    1 hour ago
  • Emma Espiner: Sunday at Countdown
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    2 hours ago
  • Society’s ‘invisible bonds’ come into the light
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    2 hours ago
  • Practise, practise, practise: The Black Fern and the law
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  • Like being randomly pricked with a pin … and worse
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  • Love in the times of Covid-19
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  • The fears of community health and care workers
    Community health and care workers talk of their fear of infection  -  for themselves, their vulnerable clients and New Zealand Over the last few days, Newsroom has written several articles about the fact that thousands of home and community health care workers, who care for elderly, disabled and sick people, have ...
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  • Covid-19: Petitions launched demanding ‘hazard pay’ for essential workers
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    The SpinoffBy Toby Manhire
    2 hours ago
  • History, hope, and Covid-19
    Covid-19 will transform society, just as the plague and smallpox transformed nations centuries ago. This time, however, we have something they didn’t, writes historian Ayelet Zoran-Rosen.Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics have been a threat to people and states. They strike societies with little or no notice, upend their social and ...
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  • Christchurch, coronavirus and the ‘new normal’
    The Covid-19 epidemic is only the second time New Zealand has entered a state of national emergency. Newsroom’s Sam Sachdeva had first-hand experience of the first  - the devastating Christchurch earthquakes - and tries to make sense of how the two compare. There is so much that is new about New ...
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  • The virus as a Vector for power use switch
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  • Facebook hires AAP for NZ fact-checking
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    2 hours ago
  • Govt’s ComCom Covid-19 directions illegal and irrational
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    3 hours ago
  • Public gatherings restricted to two people and all foreign investment proposals scrutinised, in new ...
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra No more than two people are to gather together in public spaces, and playgrounds will be closed in the latest restrictions in the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile the government will now scrutinise all foreign investment proposals ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    7 hours ago
  • Give people and businesses money now they can pay back later (if and when they can)
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Linda Botterill, Professor in Australian Politics, University of Canberra The novel coronavirus sees Australia facing major unprecedented health and economic crises. The key to preventing a downward spiral of the economy is to avoid a collapse in incomes of newly laid-off workers ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    9 hours ago
  • How Ardern’s coronavirus kindness theme can become contagious
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    11 hours ago
  • Government says Australia’s coronavirus curve may be flattening
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    13 hours ago
  • Broadband and data usage surges as New Zealanders reach out
    Whether to connect with friends and colleagues, catch up on news, or stave off the boredom with bingeable TV, we’ve all been on our devices a lot more than normal.Vodafone has released a summary of its traffic stats for the past six days, which compares phone calls, broadband, and mobile ...
    The SpinoffBy Michael Andrew
    15 hours ago
  • Rushed Vaping Bill During Covid-19, Grossly Unfair
    New Zealand vaping representatives have joined forces to condemn the Government continuing with its plan to rush legislation through Parliament to regulate vaping despite the Covid-19 lockdown. The Vaping Trade Association of New Zealand (VTANZ), ...
    15 hours ago
  • Locked down and locked out in Australia
    Celebrated Kiwi author and expat Ian Brodie adds his voice to pleas for the Australian government to relax welfare rules and help more than half a million vulnerable New Zealanders, writes Jill Herron. Brothers in arms, we are not. That’s the call from award-winning Kiwi author, photographer and film tourism ...
    16 hours ago
  • Review: Netflix’s addictive Tiger King will leave you feeling grubby for watching
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  • NZ lockdown – Day 4: First death in New Zealand from coronavirus
    By RNZ News New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have confirmed the country’s first death from the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand had its first death today, after a woman who was initially diagnosed with influenza died. The woman ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Covid-19 in NZ – Sunday’s numbers charted
    How is Covid-19 spreading within the country? Newsroom is collating information as it's available to paint a picture of what's happening. There were 63 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, down from the previous day's 83 new cases. Details of how many tests have been completed are now being released ...
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  • PNG’s Health Minister Jelta Wong ‘sidelines’ Kramer in virus briefings
    Papua New Guinea will have only one press release in the afternoons at 4:00pm daily to give updates on the Covid–19 in the country in a reshuffle of information briefings. Health Minister Jelta Wong announced this when visited the office of the PNG Nurses Association accompanied by his department’s ...
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    17 hours ago
  • First Covid-19 death in New Zealand
    New Zealand has had its first death linked to Covid-19. The patient, a woman in her 70s on the West Coast, was admitted to hospital with what was thought to be influenza complicated by underlying health conditions. She was later diagnosed with Covid-19. The woman's family has asked for privacy ...
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  • President Lú-Olo declares Timor-Leste state of emergency over coronavirus
    Pacific Media Watch The President of Timor-Leste, Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, has declared a state of emergency to enable the government to address the global Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The state of emergency started last night at midnight and it will run until the night of April 26. Timor-Leste’s National Parliament ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Cut Traffic Speeds To Reduce Pressure On Hospitals, Say Cycling Advocates
    It’s time to lower traffic speeds to reduce crashes and free up hospital beds, say cycling advocates. "This will reduce harm and ease the burden on our health workers and emergency services," says Patrick Morgan from Cycling Action Network. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Pacific coronavirus: French Polynesia Covid-19 tally rises to 34
    By RNZ Pacific The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in French Polynesia has risen by four to 34. The update from the government said the hospitalisation rate is unchanged with one person in care. Last night a curfew was declared for the first time, forcing residents across ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Ohura Medieval Market Day, and the fight to keep a small town standing
    It’s a town where people often feel the rest of the country has given up on them, in the middle of a region where every place feels isolated. So how did Ohura become an unlikely centre of Medieval Combat sports in New Zealand? Alex Braae spent three days there finding ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Braae
    20 hours ago
  • Coronavirus – analysing the data makes you think we could do with more of it
    If you want to understand some of the thinking behind the policy response to the spread of coronavirus, you might want to read the paper from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, which is credited with accelerating the introduction of the current lockdown measures in the UK. The paper builds ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    20 hours ago
  • The Pink Jumpsuit: An essay about the bubbles we live in
    ‘It seems like someone else’s dream of my past.’ For Emma Neale, the painting ‘Wanderlust’ by Dunedin artist Sharon Singer stirs memories of her childhood, and new understandings of guilt and forgiveness.There were gifts from my father when he came home from overseas trips. Love offerings; a bit like those ...
    The SpinoffBy Emma Neale
    20 hours ago
  • Māori Party delay launch to fight Covid-19
    The Māori Party is delaying the launch of its new-look party to fight Covid-19 in Māori communities. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Resuscitating a virus-ravaged economy – the answer lies in the soil and the exports it generates
    Westpac is forecasting 200,000 jobs will be lost in NZ as a result of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Chief economist Dominick Stephens estimates economic activity during the four week lock-down would decline by a third, despite the government and the Reserve Bank having “done a lot to calm ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    22 hours ago
  • Renée, the Lockdown Letters #3: Help yourself to my rhubarb
    In our new series The Lockdown Letters, some of New Zealand’s best writers tell us what they’ve been up to in the days of Covid-19 alert level four. Today, Ōtaki author Renée.I have a wild tomato flopping all over the path down the back of the veg garden. I picked a ...
    The SpinoffBy Renée
    22 hours ago
  • Covid-19 live updates, March 29
    For all The Spinoff’s latest coverage of Covid-19 see here. Read Siouxsie Wiles’s work here. New Zealand is currently in alert level four. The country is shut down, apart from essential services. For updated official government advice, see here. The Spinoff’s coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak is funded by The Spinoff Members. To support this ...
    The SpinoffBy Toby Manhire
    24 hours ago
  • Covid-19 scams: Here’s what you need to look out for
    Online criminals have been making the most of Covid-19 by preying on people’s fear and doubt. Here are some of the calling cards of these con artists.With most New Zealanders tucked up at home, digital devices are proving to be critical tools for staying connected with each other, making good ...
    The SpinoffBy Michael Andrew
    24 hours ago
  • A visit to the supermarket
    Author and illustrator Sarah Laing draws a rite of passage in The Lockdown. Reprinted with the permission of the author from  Let Me Be Frank, Sarah Laing's blog devoted to "Reading. Writing. Parenting. Angsting." Let Me Be Frank is also the ...
    1 day ago
  • Life on paws: How to deal with your pets during lockdown
    As New Zealand adjusts to a month of lockdown, many pet owners have questions about their furry friends. Alex Casey had a chat with the SPCA – here’s what she learned. AC: My cat had a disgusting abscess on his tail and now has to get his stitches out. ...
    The SpinoffBy Alex Casey
    1 day ago
  • No shops, no launches – but the NZ book scene is finding new ways to reach people under lockdown
    Books editor Catherine Woulfe takes an energising walk around the lockdown block of New Zealand books. When the bubbles settled over us they settled over the books too. Libraries were the first to shut down, then the physical bookstores and finally, the hammer blow: online sales and indeed any notion of ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff Review of Books
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: A paradise under pandemic rules
    Convincing its citizens to take lockdown seriously will be a major challenge for Fiji’s government, writes Mandy De Vries. My husband, Howie, and I are lucky enough to live on the beautiful Coral Coast in Fiji. We started a tourism operation here two years ago which was, until recently, booming. ...
    1 day ago
  • We’re better placed now than GFC or 1987
    New Zealand’s businesses and government are far better prepared for the rapidly escalating global health and economic crisis than they were for the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-09 or the stock market crash in 1987, says Rob Campbell, one of the country’s most experienced corporate leaders. “Executive teams and boards ...
    1 day ago
  • Gavin Ellis: Time for adversity journalism
    Journalism commentator and former editor Gavin Ellis says media organisations play a vital role in keeping the community informed and, if possible, safe. They also have a crucial part to play in the maintenance of public order and morale, ­ just as they did in the 1940s. With the country in ...
    1 day ago
  • We’ve been forgotten: midwife
    The country has millions of protective gowns, gloves and eyewear – midwives ask: Where are they? David Williams reports Two days into a national lockdown some midwives didn’t have any protective equipment, adding to concerns about safeguards for frontline health workers. On Friday, announcements were made by the Health Ministry ...
    1 day ago
  • What lockdown could do for your business idea
    Covid-19 lockdown provides valuable time for planning a new business, as Dr Mary-Ellen Gordon explains You have a great idea for a business. You’ve been working to get it up and going. Then, just as you were starting to gain traction, the entire country and much of the rest of ...
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19: A catch-22 for our most vulnerable
    Low-income workers whose jobs have disappeared thanks to Covid-19 will increasingly need to access benefit income. When this happens, however, they lose a tax credit for their children. As a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has improved its rescue policies for business. We now need to see urgent ...
    1 day ago
  • First boredom, then fear
    The strange energy of preparing for level four is over, now the dystopian reality has kicked in. Danyl Mclauchlan writes an essay about home life during a ‘cosy catastrophe’.We start by setting up our home workspaces, covering the kitchen table with such a thick mass of black cables and USB ...
    The SpinoffBy Danyl Mclauchlan
    1 day ago
  • All Australians will be able to access telehealth under new $1.1 billion coronavirus program
    Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra Scott Morrison will unvieil on Sunday a $1.1 billion set of measures to make Medicare telehealth services generally available during the coronavirus pandemic and to support mental health, domestic violence and community services. The “Medicare ...
    Evening ReportBy The Conversation
    1 day ago
  • Covid-19 in NZ – Saturday’s numbers charted
    How is Covid-19 spreading within the country? Newsroom is collating information as it's available to paint a picture of what's happening. There were 83 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, down from the previous day's 85 new cases. Details of how many tests have been completed are now bing released ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ lockdown – Day 3: PM Ardern chats with followers on Facebook
    By RNZ News New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to her followers on Facebook today from her office in Premier House. Her chat lasted about 15 minutes and garnered more than 310,000 views. She discussed wage subsidies for full-time and part-time workers, personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies for ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    1 day ago
  • Effective coronavirus messages and fake news: Can we do better?
    COMMENTARY: By Bob Howarth (self-isolating in Australia after his latest trip to Timor-Leste) After days of web surfing for Covid-19 coronavirus news around the Asia-Pacific, two areas that appear to need improving in some countries are official communication and fact checking. So here’s my two cents, rupiah, kina or ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • The best binges on NEON for these extraordinary times
    Whether it’s a robot uprising, a woman catfishing into the publishing world or a bunch of lovestruck islanders, NEON has you covered. Here’s what we’re bingeing on NEON for the foreseeable future.WestworldJust in time for lockdown, there’s a buzz-worthy show with endless discussion points coming out on a weekly basis. ...
    The SpinoffBy The Spinoff
    2 days ago
  • Covid-19: Who really needs to be wearing protective gear?
    There’s been a lot of talk about PPE of late – do we have enough, is it getting to the right people, and who exactly are the right people, anyway? Here’s the latest official advice.The Ministry of Health has now circulated updated advice on the appropriate use of PPE (personal ...
    The SpinoffBy Leonie Hayden
    2 days ago
  • The face of the Covid-19 response: Who is Ashley Bloomfield?
    A month ago, not many had heard of Ashley Bloomfield. But as the Covid-19 response has ramped up, the director-general of health has become a calm, reassuring presence in a time of uncertainty and fear. Rachel Thomas profiles him, in a piece first published on RNZ.Today, Saturday, director-general of health ...
    The SpinoffBy Rachel Thomas
    2 days ago
  • To fish or not to fish – that is the question
    Jim Kayes tests the waters of social media to see how people are coping with being told to avoid their favourite pastime. “There is something ridiculously exhilarating about catching a fish. The thrill might have faded for the salty angler, but for this rookie, the novice still snagging fish hooks ...
    2 days ago
  • New PPE plan leaves community care workers without masks
    The Government yesterday reassured us there are plenty of masks for front line staff dealing with the public. Yet it seems home care workers, who provide up-close personal care for tens of thousands of people every day, won’t be given them. Yesterday two documents hit my inbox. One was a ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t fret, folks – Hone’s sweet with the mayor so long as he sets up checkpoints and doesn’...
    Hobson’s Choice spokesman Don Brash (a former leader of the National and ACT Parties) is not alone in challenging the justification for tribes claiming to have closed roads to protect their people against Covid. Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters – his remarks apparently ignored by ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Manaaki Key For Getting Though COVID-19
    Preliminary results from a survey investigating how well-equipped Māori whānau in the South Island are to stay at home for extended periods show that the majority are prepared to manage their short-term needs, but have increasing anxiety about ...
    2 days ago
  • Parliamentary Monitoring And Reporting Is Critical In Dealing With COVID-19 Responses
    "The risk of fraud and corruption is compounded during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. When quick decisions are necessary to move vast amounts of resources, bribery, fraud and corruption abound," says Suzanne Snively, Chair of Transparency International ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific coronavirus: Guam still region’s hot spot with 51 plus cases
    By RNZ Pacific Guam remains the Pacific pandemic hot spot with the number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases climbing above 50. On Friday six people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 51. Thirteen of the cases are currently in hospital. READ MORE: Al Jazeera live updates – ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • Outrage after Indonesian politicians get priority testing for Covid-19
    By Mong Palatino Many Indonesian internet users have expressed anger over the decision of the House of Representatives (DPR) to test its 575 members for Covid-19. Indonesia has a population of more than 260 million. As of today, the country has 913 Covid-19 positive cases with 87 deaths. But ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • Latest numbers: 83 new cases, two in ICU
    New Zealand has 78 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and five probable cases, the Government has announced today, taking the total to 451. Civil Defence Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart-Black said 12 people are in hospital and two are in intensive care, including one on a ventilator. Twelve are in ...
    2 days ago
  • Covid-19: Total tops 450
    New Zealand has 78 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and five probable cases, the Government has announced today, taking the total to 451. Civil Defence Emergency Management director Sarah Stuart-Black said 12 people are in hospital and two are in intensive care, including one on a ventilator. Twelve are in ...
    2 days ago
  • ‘We’re ready,’ says NCD chief Parkop with Port Moresby locked down
    By Michelle Steven in Port MoresbyPacific New Guinea’s National Capital City Covid-19 Task Force team is preparing ahead should there be a possible coronavirus case during the 14-day lockdown. NCD Governor Powes Parkop told a media conference that the capital city would be in total lockdown with no public ...
    Evening ReportBy Asia Pacific Report
    2 days ago
  • Automatic 3-month Visa Extension Granted For Every Migrant
    Leading immigration lawyer Aaron Martin assesses the impact of the announcement of the epidemic notice for migrants. Immigration New Zealand announced that the government epidemic management notice relating to immigration matters comes into effect on 2 ...
    2 days ago
  • Government rules magazines and community newspapers aren’t an essential service
    Just a tiny handful of print publications will continue through the lockdown, with only daily newspapers specifically identified as being able to continue. Duncan Greive spoke to publishers of magazines and community newspapers about the impact on them and their communities.Publishers of magazines and community newspapers are reeling, after a ...
    The SpinoffBy Duncan Greive
    2 days ago
  • Magazines and community papers aren’t an essential service, leaving some small towns and elderly w...
    Just a tiny handful of print publications will continue through the lockdown, with only daily newspapers specifically identified as being able to continue. Duncan Greive spoke to publishers of magazines and community newspapers about the impact on them and their communities.Publishers of magazines and community newspapers are reeling, after a ...
    The SpinoffBy Duncan Greive
    2 days ago
  • Coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says no change in Australia’s stance to New Zealand...
    Jacinda Ardern has pleaded with the Australian Prime Minister to make an exception to the rule that bars many of the 650,000 New Zealanders there from receiving a benefit. ...
    2 days ago
  • Morgan Godfery, The Lockdown Letters #2: I’m never sleeping
    In our new series The Lockdown Letters, some of New Zealand’s best writers tell us what they’ve been up to in the days of Covid-19 alert level four. Today, political commentator and essayist Morgan Godfery.I’M TWEETING AT 2AM.The responsible part of my brain is sending sleep signals. Inconvenient yawns. The ...
    The SpinoffBy Morgan Godfery
    2 days ago
  • A review of Attraction, the road trip novel we need right now
    Take a vicarious roadie via Attraction, the novel by Ruby Porter that was longlisted for the country’s biggest fiction prize. Released last year, it’s now a slightly eerie snapshot of Aotearoa as we were. Attraction is a New Zealand road trip novel with a heavy dose of postcolonial guilt. Whitewashing, cultural ...
    The SpinoffBy Emma Gattey
    2 days ago
  • Iwi do their thing: helping those in need
    Iwi everywhere put support plans into action, focusing on their  kaumātua, writes Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters. Iwi are ramping up support services to assist their people in need following the closure of Ministry of Social Development offices and the move to online and phone assistance from Work and Income. Central North Island ...
    2 days ago