Intergenerational theft

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, October 18th, 2009 - 36 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.

36 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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    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago