Intergenerational theft

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, October 18th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: education, Social issues - Tags: ,

intergenerational theftI had a free education. Most of the politicians in this and recent parliaments had a free education. More recent students have not been so lucky. Student loans are a 10 Billion dollar burden on the young. It’s crazy – the state spends all this money to educate people in NZ, and as part of the process creates huge incentives for them to take their expensive education away overseas to earn higher wages to repay their debt, or perhaps to simply escape their debt and never return. Young Kiwis have always been travellers, have always left to see the world, we didn’t need to create any more reasons for them never to come back.

It started in 1990 when the Labour government (stupidly!) increased student fees from the existing nominal $200 to $1,250 pa. It was election year, and National’s spokesperson on education, one Lockwood Smith, promised to abolish the fees, and famously signed a pledge to resign from parliament as minister if National broke this promise. National won the election and instead of abolishing the fees they increased them. (Lockwood Smith did not resign.) The student loans scheme was introduced in 1992, and student debt began accumulating fast. The most recent Labour government took some steps to slow the juggernaut (interest free loans and more) – but to my mind we should have done much much more. Student debt is $10bn and increasing at $1bn a year.

This post has been prompted by a few articles on student debt that I’ve encountered recently. Here’s one on the situation in England:

Once upon a time, graduates could leave university relatively debt-free and walk straight into well-paid jobs, their first taste of big borrowing being the mortgage on their starter home (roses round the door being optional). Today that seems like a plotline out of Narnia…

This one about America puts it pretty bluntly:

Student Loans are the New Indentured Servitude

The Wall Street Journal ran a post over the weekend about a new credit crunch among low income borrowers, noting it is now ‘payback time.’ What they didn’t go into is that their primary interviewee is drowning not on expensive cars loans but student loans. This former student’s debt is far from extraordinary. It is, in fact, tragically ordinary, as student loans have become the 21st century version of indentured servitude.

And here in NZ Bernard Hickey recently wrote a brutally honest and depressing assessment of the situation:

Dear Generations X and Y

Did you realize the baby boomers running the country have just decided to make you poorer for decades to come so they can retire early with all the assets and high incomes?

Did you realise your taxes are going to rise and you won’t be able to afford your own home? Did you know the baby-boomers are refusing to save their own money now for their retirements so they can live off your hard work? Did you know you will be slaving away paying high taxes in your 40s and 50s to pay for their pensions and health care? Did you know you’re wasting your time trying to build a family and life in New Zealand? Did you realise you have huge student loans while they received free tertiary education?

There were two big decisions in last month’s budget that guaranteed this intergenerational transfer of wealth, but they are not the only factor. Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister chose to abandon contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Cullen Fund) for the foreseeable future. Yet they also guaranteed their fellow baby-boomers (they were both born in 1961) they would keep their pensions at 66 per cent of the average wage and could still retire at the age of 65. John Key has even promised to resign if he breaks this promise.

Your only choice is to migrate as soon as the global economy starts recovering and the jobs become available again. This will be the best revenge you can get. They will have to watch their grandchildren grow up by email and the occasional flying visit. I’m not kidding. Leave ASAP.

It will be tragic if more young people take that advice, but on purely economic terms it’s hard to argue against. We need to fix this. Labour made a start but didn’t get far enough. My fear is that National will take us backward. In 2010 the Finance Minister (and it will be no credit to this government if that is still Bill English) will be facing very hard choices in the budget. They will be looking for places to swing the axe, and will be tempted to take the easy path of further intergenerational theft. I can’t imagine a choice that would do more damage to NZ. Do anything but that. Put up the age of eligibility for super instead. John Key can simply break his promise to resign. It didn’t do Lockwood Smith any harm.

43 comments on “Intergenerational theft ”

  1. lprent 1

    The worst problem is that the current political climate is just piling up debt and obligations. The biggest thing that could be done at present is to reverse the taxcuts – all of them. Then there would be sufficient money to put away to pre-fund the liabilities that are piling up.

    The Cullen fund keeps getting its superannuation savings.The student loan system can be steadily made less costly. The burden on the health system can be funded.

    In addition this short-term (they think that way) government should put in a climate change system that is not a direct subsidy from the taxpayers to polluters. The forward liabilities from this crazy scheme that they are putting into place are incredibly high, and all forward loaded onto the young.

    You’d think that from the stupid decisions that the Key government is making that they think that in the future money will grow on trees.

    • Agreed and cuts to Kiwisaver will also increase the obligation of the state to fund Superannuation.

      The action of ACC is confused. Arguably it could be that it is designed to decrease the obligations of future generations to fund current liabilities but the steps that they have taken are all window dressing and will not make significant changes unless more than what they have currently announced is done.

      Unless this is an attempt to discredit ACC and ready it for privatisaion.

      I thought these guys were meant to be the economic geniuses and the left just a bunch of tax and spend liberals?

  2. Iprent sums it up well – it’s all about government priorities. In 1936, as we were climbing out of the Depression, we were the first country in the world, under Labour, to introduce free secondary & tertiary education for all citizens & we maintained that while financing the cost of fighting in WW2. If we could afford free tertiary education then, we can certainly afford it now – education is not a cost, it’s an investment in our future.
    As an interim step, Labour should adopt a policy of sweat equity to pay off all student loans – for every year that a graduate stays & works in NZ, 10% of their loan would be written off, so that in 10 years, they’ve paid no interest, they have a debt free tertiary education & NZ has had the benefit of their 10 years of productive, tax paying work – they haven’t been lost to overseas. A win – win.

    • jcuknz 2.1

      Better would be instead of wanting them to stay behind would be to let them have their OE and then when they return, with perhaps a five year maximum limit to wipe out the debt as Dean suggests. That means we have a more mature contribution to the ecconomy.

  3. jcuknz 3

    I remember when decades ago, I forget how many, when students started to have to pay these fees as government wanted ‘everybody’ to have a university education but it couldn’t be budgetted for. I thought and likely said then it was a mistake. So much better would have been to simply educate those who the country could afford and let the brightest go to uni rather than the current mob of the bums on seats policy. You should not need to have a varsity education to be a success in life, and many don’t though fewer these days than of old..

    • RedLogix 3.1

      You should not need to have a varsity education to be a success in life, and many don’t though fewer these days than of old..

      Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Student Loan = University Education. In fact almost all trade, technical and professional careers need some form of tertiary qualification these days. While there will always be a few remarkable exceptions, the driven ‘self made men’, the majority of people with nothing more than a secondary school qualification, will be stuck in low-paid jobs all their lives.

      Now I’m not dissing the drivers, the storemen, the cleaners, labourers and so on… folk who work hard at jobs most of us here would hate… but the point is that their choices in life are very limited by their education. Some 40% of our adult workforce is unable to progress to skilled work because they are functionally illiterate or innumerate.

      Last week we paid one of our tenants, who is a painter, to do an old roof for us. My partner who organised the gear and paint for him, related how suddenly she realised that this guy, whose mostly hard working and decent when sober… couldn’t read the label on the paint tin. He had no idea, without sniffing the stuff, of even whether it was water or oil based paint he was using.

      Once upon a time this would not have mattered too much. He could have likely made a modest but decent way in the world, married and had a family. In our times this door will be forever be shut… for him it’s booze, dope and transient relationships is all he has to look forward to.

      The old notion that only a small elite of the most capable should go on to post-secondary education is elitist and obsolete. In this complex, technical age some form of tertiary education is essential. In fact Helen Clark’s biggest and best idea was to raise the education leaving age to 18yrs, but that was one of the perhaps sadders losses of the 2008 election.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Student Loan = University Education.”

        Furthermore, and this goes back to jcuknz’s original point, don’t assume that Student Loan = any kind of education at all. A lot of people go to uni for 1 or 2 years and drop out before even getting their degree, saddling them with debt for the future. A lot of people go to university because that seems like the ‘thing to do’, because they have no better idea and because there’s this culture for teenagers that going to polytech to learn a trade is for idiots who can’t cut it at uni, and that high school is purely preparation for university (the teachers at my school generally portrayed this idea, probably not deliberately).

        The current entrance rate for university is set far too low, and the ‘free entrance’ for 20 year olds should probably be moved up to 25. I remember a few months back I think it was Sharples was advocating that Maori should get to go to university without having to acquire entrance, and one of the vice-chancellors was interviewed on National Radio talking about the existing bridging and ‘step up’ programmes that are available for people to achieve entrance, and he said that 80-90% of the people who failed those courses and went on to enrol dropped out within the first 2 years anyway.

  4. schrodigerscat 4

    I wonder if all of the expensive new healthcare that can help people stay alive for longer should be recognised by increasing the age at which people default their way into government super.

    I think too that it should somehow have some threshold at which you are of independent means enough not to get it.

  5. RedLogix 5

    I’m not so sure about Hickey’s overblown analysis. He forgets that the baby-boomer generation are the parents and grandparents of the young students today:

    Did you realize the baby boomers running the country have just decided to make you poorer for decades to come so they can retire early with all the assets and high incomes?

    And some of that high income and a fair whack of those assets will eventually finish up in the hands of the younger generation anyhow… it’s partly just a timing thing. I’m not over-impressed much by the notion that somehow my generation had it all handed to us on a sliver platter. Sure we may not have had student loans, but the kind of incomes we started out on weren’t that flash either. And while at Uni I worked dammed hard cleaning office buildings all hours of the night to support myself… not all of us had rich parents.

    And intergenerational stuff is complex. For example, I’m at the very tail-end of the baby-boom, which meant that for much of my life there was a bulge of more senior people on the career ladder just ahead of me… it’s only as I’m getting to the end of my working life suddenly I’m finding all sorts of opportunities opening up.

    When purchased my first home in 1982, in those days banks acted pretty much as if they were doing you a big favour to lend you money, and then suddenly found myself paying 23% interest on the mortgage, mere months later.

    Now I’m not grizzling about this… just pointing out that Hickey’s analysis is simplistic at best.. that each generation faces it’s own peculiar set of circumstances, and that we are not all isolated into little generational ‘silos’ each thieving off the other… we are all far more interconnected than that.

    Where I do agree with Hickey (and others like Keen), is that unrestrained credit growth is the core of the problem… but unlike Hickey I’m calling the real source of the problem as a finance industry, which in order to grossly profit from our debts, has fed a global addiction to borrowed money. In 2005 some 40% of all corporate profit in the USA was made in the finance industry, just an inkling of the kind of enormous dead-weight these parasites have become… but we can be assured that Mr Hickey (www.self-interest.co.nz) is unlikely to ever point this out.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      …I’m calling the real source of the problem as a finance industry, which in order to grossly profit from our debts, has fed a global addiction to borrowed money.

      I’ve been thinking about this and the more I think about it the more it seems to me that loaning/borrowing money should be illegal. In reality it is impossible to borrow from the future – the resources are either available or they aren’t and money isn’t a resource.

    • QoT 5.2

      And some of that high income and a fair whack of those assets will eventually finish up in the hands of the younger generation anyhow

      … Sure it will, RL. In my case, probably when I’m in my fifties, assuming my parents live to their 80s. Somehow I get the feeling that getting a home and starting a family should occur some time before then …

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        No different to my situation, I’m well into my fifties and still maybe a decade off seeing a direct ihherentance. Buying a first home and raising family was never easy.

        Of course in other cultures the older generation more commonly funds or backs the younger ones than is customary in ours.

    • Quoth the Raven 5.3

      Hickey I’m calling the real source of the problem as a finance industry, which in order to grossly profit from our debts, has fed a global addiction to borrowed money.

      Look into this: Criticism of fractional-reserve banking.

  6. gitmo 6

    1. Capital Gains Tax
    2. Reduce ACC entitlements
    3. Increase the age at which super kicks in
    4. Get rid of working for families
    5. Increase payments into a compulsory super fund

    Re students debt

    Call me harsh but if you want a leg up from the state you should have to pass your exams/degree and the level of support should be targeted to skills needed in the workforce.

  7. Russell 7

    Most of those students racking up such large debts use tertiary education as an excuse to delay growing up, and never use their education to add anything of significance to the NZ economy.
    High fees should act as a deterent to such irresponsible behavour but instead media takes a one eyed view and promotes the view that universal free education for your whole life is a natural “entitlement”.
    Money spent on academic studies would be better spent on support and mentoring for people with energy and ideas.
    We dont need any more policy analysts with masters degrees.

    • Jeremy 7.1

      No, but our economy is screwed if we don’t start creating more jobs for scientists (who generally need at least bachelors degrees to do their jobs properly)
      And scientists are just one of many examples.

  8. Turn off the TV 8

    I’m 31, and I have only recently managed to pay off my student loan. Financially, my net worth is now roughly the same as when I left high school.

  9. Greg 9

    Funding of university education is a classic example of the great transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. By funding university (to the extent we do currently) we are subsidising those best off in society, while making those comparatively worse off pay for it. University (for most) ensures a well paid job and a comfortable middle class life style. Now why should we make those who don’t go to university pay for it?

    To keep kiwi’s in New Zealand we need higher wages – and you can’t just increase wages by legislating despite what many may think. Productivity and growth are key. Any legislation that provided for a universal student allowance or the like would be incredibly regressive and just serve to widen the gap between rich and poor.

    • Jeremy 9.1

      You do have a point, but the only real way to boost productivity and growth is to send more people through higher education, getting them well paid jobs and middle class lifestyles in the process. The way to increase wages is to decrease the number of people willing to work for the minimum. The more people can get well paid middle class jobs, the closer we’re going to get to a shortage of janitors and shelf stackers, and the more people are going to end up paying for janitors and shelf stackers.

  10. Ron 10

    That’s an intriguing analysis, Russell. “Most” ? On what evidence do you base that statement?
    I am always interested by the sort of anti-academic stance you are taking.While I’m always in favour of backing people with energy and ideas i wonder which ones you would back – the Blue Chip guys – HEAPS o energy – plenty of ideas. Fay and Richwhite?
    The truth is that it is from academics that we get a good deal of our knowledge about the world. It is from PhD scientists who have “delayed growing up” that we get the knowledge we use for our “ideas”. But these guys ALSO keep an eye on the people who are always telling us we just have to “get on with it”. If your people with energy and ideas had been given free reign we wouldn’t have any resources to use in your brave new world. Your “delayed adults” were the ones who spotted such things as, hmm lets see, disease inducing effects of industrial wastes for instance. Not only that but your delayed adults also invented pretty much EVERYTHING on which we now base our industries and commerce.

  11. Bill 11

    Who said that the workers would be burdened with unserviceable levels of debt and that that would lead to the nationalisation of banks and then communism?

    According to the ODT a week or two back when they, possibly for the first time ever, quoted Marx in a positive fashion….

  12. Ianmac 12

    My two youngest are graduates and each has a student debt of $50,000 + This was because they had to move to Christchurch to study and had to draw $150pw as well as work partime 2 days a week. Others received a $170 student Allowance either for genuine reasons or if their clever parents could hide their apparent income below the threshold. There was talk from Labour to make a Student Allowance for all but that faded. Pity.

    • Ag 12.1

      They don’t give a damn because the student loan scheme was essentially a means to semi-privatize tertiary education. As far as I know, the loans are provided by banks, with the government as a front.

  13. vto 13

    Agree completely r0b, however I do not see this changing until voter demographics change. The boomer vote will vote entirely in self-interest. This is a human truth.

    So the alternatives are either leave NZ (and go to some other country in the same position?) or don’t pay tax. Or steal back off the boomers what they are stealing from us – the likely option

    • modern 13.1

      “Or steal back off the boomers what they are stealing from us the likely option”

      I like it… as soon as politically feasible (ie ‘demographically’ feasible?), start taxing accumulated wealth. The 50-year-old offspring of an 80-year-old dying baby boomer doesn’t need a huge inheritance, as someone argued above. And when that wealth is allowed to pass to the next generation it ossifies the existing social order and makes it much harder for the children and grandchildren of poor baby-boomer parents, and for recent migrants from developing countries, to improve their income level. Inheritances allow inequality to be preserved across generations, in other words. And, as the post argued, the asset wealth of the baby boomers was not gained by fair means; it was gained by the sacrifices of the parents of the baby-boomers (the ‘war generation’, do we call them?), and gained by running down the publicly owned assets of the country and off-loading costs to future generations – ‘intergenerational theft’, in other words.

      Pension cuts or means-testing in 10-30 years time will hurt the unlucky elderly who didn’t enjoy their generation’s wealth; reduced public spending on health, education, infrastructure and welfare will only hurt the younger generations; and monstrous inheritances will help a sizeable portion of the population become very wealthy but will leave the remainder out in the cold, in a high-tax low-service situation. So it seems to me a good strategy would be wealth taxation.

  14. infused 14

    Quite good reading.

    I think most younger people know this. Some stay in New Zealand purely because they don’t want to leave or family. Me, I’m here because of my business. I wouldn’t want to work for anyone in this country because the wages are piss poor. After running a business for 7 years now, I can see why the wages are poor here though. Tax, tax, tax, tax, on everything, in every way possible.

    If I wasn’t running my own business I think I’d be long gone. It is rather sad too. New Zealand is such a great place… Maybe for the rich that wish to retire.

    This is quite a complex discussion. Just one point, getting the free payment each week while studying is quite difficult to get.

    I thought studying was quite discounted anyway. IE: A course you take for 3k a year is somewhere around 10k for international students?

    Also, getting a student loan is too easy. People do courses they don’t really have any interest in.

  15. Ag 15

    I still have a huge student loan, having gone on to doctoral study overseas for six years after finishing uni in NZ.

    I long ago accepted that I probably won’t be able to afford a house, and that I’ll probably work until I’m dead without having paid it off.

    C’est la vie. What ya gonna do?

  16. BLiP 16

    Debt is a new form of slavery and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal , there is no human relation between master and slave

    . . . or something like that.

  17. sean14 17

    “one Lockwood Smith, promised to abolish the fees, and famously signed a pledge to resign from parliament”

    The pledge says that if he were Minister of Education he would resign as Minister, and if not he would publicly condemn the breach of promise – not that he would resign from parliament.

    I have paid off two student loans and the sky hasn’t fallen in. I can’t see a good reason why I shouldn’t have paid a small fraction of the cost of an education that I will be the prime beneficiary of in the future.

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      Got a cite for that? I do remember him standing in my high school assembly hall promising me that there would be no fees, but can’t recall the detals of what he was going to resign from. But he didn’t resign from anything in any case so he’s still a dick.

    • r0b 17.2

      The pledge says that if he were Minister of Education he would resign as Minister, and if not he would publicly condemn the breach of promise not that he would resign from parliament.

      You are correct – I got that wrong. Fixed in the post, thanks for pointing it out.

  18. sean14 18

    Pascal, the link to the pledge is in the main post. Fair enough on your last sentence.

  19. sean14 19

    Let he who has not been a dick at some point in his life cast the first insult! 🙂

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    Is the solution to any of the serious, long term issues we all have to face as a nation, because many governments of all stripes we can probably all admit if we’re deeply truthful with ourselves haven’t done near enough work at the very times they should have, to basically ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Has Labour Abandoned the Welfare State They Created in 1938?
    The 2018 Social Security Act suggests that Labour may have retreated to the minimalist (neo-liberal) welfare state which has developed out of the Richardson-Shipley ‘redesign’. One wonders what Michael Joseph Savage, Peter Fraser and Walter Nash would have thought of the Social Security Act passed by the Ardern Labour Government ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs’ financial interests under scrutiny
    MPs are supposed to serve the public interest, not their own self-interest. And according to the New Zealand Parliament’s website, democracy and integrity are tarnished whenever politicians seek to enrich themselves or the people they are connected with. For this reason, the Parliament has a “Register of Pecuniary Interests” in ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Mastering FLICC – A Cranky Uncle themed quiz
    By now, most of you will have heard about the FLICC taxonomy of science denial techniques and how you can train your skills in detecting them with the Cranky Uncle game. If you like to quickly check how good you are at this already, answer the 12 quiz questions in the ...
    3 days ago
  • Shane Jones has the zeal, sure enough, but is too busy with his mining duties (we suspect) to be ava...
    Buzz from the Beehive The hacks of the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been able to chip into a rich vein of material on the government’s official website over the past 24 hours. Among the nuggets is the speech by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and a press statement to announce ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Cut the parliamentary term
    When Labour was in power, they wasted time, political capital, and scarce policy resources on trying to extend the parliamentary term to four years, in an effort to make themselves less accountable to us. It was unlikely to fly, the idea having previously lost two referendums by huge margins - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    4 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    5 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago

  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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