It’s bad, what to do?

Written By: - Date published: 1:27 pm, December 18th, 2008 - 48 comments
Categories: economy - Tags:

The latest Treasury economic forecasts are out and, in a continuing pattern, they not only make worse reading than the previous updates but they are already out of date. We are now looking at gross government debt rising from less to 20% to 30% or as much as 40% by 2013. Unemployment could rise above 7% from its current level below 4%.

We are one small country caught in a global storm. Although we went into recession earlier than most other countries, we have entered the storm in better shape than just about any other country with a balanced budget, a decade of strong growth behind us, record low unemployment, and a government with net financial assets for the first time. (ironically, the high inflation and higher interest rates we had also come in handy – other countries are facing the far worse condition of deflation and have already reduced their official interest rates as low as they can go, they have pushed the monetary policy level to maximum without success).

The causes of this crisis are not domestic, our domestic situation is better than most, which makes attempts to blame the last government for the crisis all the more pathetic. However, the way we react domestically will have some bearing on how badly the crisis hurts ordinary New Zealanders.

Right now the National/ACT government is ramming through under urgency a series of hastily written laws (most only a page or two long) dealing with minutiae that National themselves claim won’t change anything but are merely symbolic. How much better it would have been if National/ACT would have shown the same sense of urgency towards developing an economic stimulus program combining sustainable infrastructure spending, skills training, and job creation as they have shown in relaxing energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs.

From Bill English’s comments on these latest updates, it seems he is most concerned about the size of the deficit the government is projected to run. That is the wrong focus. During the growth period we ran large surpluses and used them to pay down our debt, now is the time to run deficits. If we attempt to reduce the deficit significantly (and tax cuts for the rich don’t help) we will have to cut government spending on health, education, benefits, and superannuation, as English did when he was Finance Minister during our last recession. As it did then, that course of action would only make things worse by further reducing employment and cutting people’s incomes. What’s worse we would feel the long-term effects in worse education and heath outcomes.

I’m hoping that English’s instinct to slash public services and hope the economy will fix itself will be over-ruled by Key who, if he really is a pragmatist, will see that we need a proactive government willing to spend and lead the economy out of recession. But I fear my hope is in vain.

48 comments on “It’s bad, what to do? ”

  1. Zorr 1

    Well, the people voted for change. They wanted those who were in power back in the 90s to be leading us in to the 2010s… a change back to the status quo away from the change provided by Labour… ^_^

  2. Gareth 2

    After years of certain people launching attack after attack on unnecessary surpluses, keeping debt too low and not providing tax cuts – they now lay the blame for the “awful spectre” of expected deficits, ballooning debt and a shortfall in tax revenue on those same people and policies.
    Yet it doesn’t seem to strike them that their previous prescriptions were to take us much further in that direction???

    The one area that I think may be a fair cop against the previous Government is that spending reached a level that now cannot be prudently increased for expansionary means. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – a constant level of high spending could be seen to provide a consistent stimulus to the economy that dampens some of the impact of the highs and lows – but it does limit the ability of a Government to respond to external stimulus.

  3. insider 3

    I am so releived the former government left us with the books in such good condition

  4. So am I. Remember those endless calls for tax cuts when we were using surpluses to pay down debt and Key et al were saying debt should be 25% or more? Imagine if we had listened to them and then the crisis has hit.

  5. justthefacts 5

    What a appalling legacy Labour have left the people of NZ, ten years of wasted opportunity, ridiculous social spending for no return and nine years of over taxation.

    History will not be kind to Dr Cullen or Ms Clark, those of us who lived through the Muldoon years hoped we would never again see such idiotic fiscal policy however it seems that Cullen has even outdone Muldoon for incompetence.

  6. infused 6

    The crisis hasn’t even hit yet SP. Give it 6-12months.

  7. Janet 7

    Insider and SP- I agree. Just imagine the mess if Cullen hadn’t been so prudent.

  8. justthefacts. I can’t help noting that all you do is run lines. I’ve discussed various economic indicators, and what the effects would have been had we slashed taxes and spending earlier. All you can respond with is slogans off the back of a National Party flyer.

  9. justthefacts 9

    Sorry about that “Steve”, all I have done is copy you.

    Even you cannot be serious about defending Cullen, the man could have insulated NZ against almost all of the effects of the global meltdown yet he and Clark chose to waste the best economic conditions in living memory.

  10. jagilby 10

    So when we have 9 years of growth it’s all put down to Cullen’s prodigious financial management but as soon as things turn pear shaped it’s becasue “we are one small country caught in a global storm”. Hmmm.

    Fact is that the 9 years of growth were nothing to do with Cullen, that growth has been a worldwide phenomenon – we just didn’t embed as much of it as we should have and the ever predictable result was that we slipped down the OECD rankings. All those surpluses he set aside didn’t stop us from becoming the first developed country to go into recession (that’s discounting the fact that infused mentioned that we are yet to experience the full brunt of this economic “storm”) and all those funds set aside for, what we were led to believe, would be the inevitable “rainy day” are now somehow non existent.

    So we didn’t get as much of the benefit as we should have during the good times and now, because of that, we are more exposed than our international counterparts to the downside of this crisis.

    I can totally see how you like-minded individuals have come the conclusion that the good doctor was a fantastic economic manager – it really is the only rational thing to conclude from all this isn’t it?

  11. Chris S 11

    justthefacts, please explain how, with diagrams if necessary, paying down national debt by billions of dollars during the financial good times wasn’t prudent fiscal management that helped insulate us from the credit crunch and ensuing economic turmoil.

    Even when given multiple chances to explain your position you still just spurt campaign lines. D -, Please try harder

  12. Westminster 12

    This is what Treasury/Bill English say in the opening words of this update:

    “The world economy has changed rapidly. It is vastly different from that of recent years and much weaker than the outlook incorporated in the Budget Update forecasts seven months ago.
    The financial market upheaval this year represents one of the largest shocks to the world economy since World War II and the full impacts are still to work through. ”

    I see over at DPF’s Bigot Creche, the Kiwiblog Right are fully worked up and frothing about “Labour’s legacy” without, I guess, reading the DEFU. The DEFU clearly shows things are in flux because of the changing international context. The only thing Labour did was not recklessly cut government services (with all the attendant flow on effects). It’s always silly to play “what if” but I am guessing had National been in power over the last three to nine years we would at least be in no better off position and possibly in a lot worse position. It’s difficult to know how National could have managed to prepare this country and economy for an unforeseeable global economic shock of this magnitude.

  13. John BT 13

    Mr Key has only been on his throne for a month and already he has stuffed the economy. What a bad naughty man.
    We have been in a recession for some time now; old folks have had their life savings wiped out because of finance companies, ACC is in the crapper, State houses are in need of some attention, the unemployment rate is going to skyrocket, along with inflation (not necessarily a bad thing ), we are facing deficits for maybe 10 years of 10s of billions of dollars and the list gets worse by the day.
    All in a month. Gosh, that Mr Key is bad.

  14. sweeetdisorder 14

    Westminster

    It might help if Cullen hadn’t bought a train set and then promised $1Bil to spend on it. At the same time, spend more on buying it that it was even worth!!!!! It also might help he he hadn’t legislated the warm homes bill, then didn’t leave any money for it. These are just 2 examples in the last year of the last labour government, when Cullen knew of the worlds and NZ’s economic position and yet he still proceeded on his course to spend all the money till the last cent. Key, quoted in the house at the time of the kiwi rail purchase,(the trains) “are coloured red because that will be the colour of the ink running through the government’s books”.

    Yes, Cullen did good getting crown debt down.

  15. burt 15

    Thanks Labour. Well done. You have managed to repeat the mistakes of the past and give us 1990 all over again. You winners!

  16. Dean 16

    SP:

    “justthefacts. I can’t help noting that all you do is run lines.”

    Oh dear. The irony of what you typed here isn’t dawning on you, is it?
    You’ve never ever stooped so low as to run lines, have you SP?

    I suspect supporting being so free and easy with taxpayer’s money over that glorious trainset isn’t tasting too good right now, but for you to ignore Labour’s utterly dangerous last few years in power is nothing more than running a line. I’m just crossing my fingers you’ll dredge out the loving to see wages drop line again – heaven knows you didn’t overuse it in the past.

  17. rave 17

    Steve: It is a vain hope expecting Key to rein in English.

    English may be the ex-Treasury ‘dry’ but Key is no ‘wet’. Key is a Keysian not a Keynesian. He won’t want any bigger deficit than English because it means more debt that has to be paid out of taxes in the future, and its better to cut spending now than leave the question of who will pay the taxbill in the future.

    Key represents the international finance sector like the US pension funds and Private Equity funds that bought into NZ companies over the last 20 years for quick profits. They demand confidence and certainty now. All Key is interested in is growth of profits that can be expatriated not invested in value added. That is because NZ is an ‘underdeveloping’ not a ‘developing’ country. Its role in the global economy is to supply cheap commodities and cheap labour.

    The problem of comparing NZ to the OECD is that NZ should not be compared with Spain, Portugal or Turkey, but with other commodity exporting dependent countries like Argentina and Brazil. If you look at their record you can see how neo-liberal regimes destroyed their national protectionism which dated back to WW2, leaving populist/social democratic regimes with no base on which to protect the economies from further underdevelopment.

    “Change” for Key is to remove what remains of national regulation that limit the rights of foreign investment for all out underdevelopment. This was basically the argument of Kerry McDonald yesterday when he attacked Kiwibank for daring to go against the floodtide of foreign control of the NZ economy. The fact that he said it so blatantly shows that his class is confident about Key’s real agenda, and he and others like him will now create a chorus to soften us up for the rest of Rogernomics 2. Time for our class to blow back.

  18. RedLogix 18

    What brain damage is this that all of DPF’s pack of dog whistlees suffer from in unison?

    DPF writes a breathtakingly dishonest post about the lastest grim Treasury DEFU projections, blames this ALL on Dr Cullen, and without once mentioning or so much as hinting at the dramatic global fiscal meltdown that has fallen upon us all. For some years now Farrar has lead the charge berating Dr Cullen for running surpluses and using them to reduce crown debt. For years he has disdained the Keynesian notions of putting something aside for a rainy day, and now when that day has most unquestionably arrived and Bill English himself acknowledges that our position would be far worse if not for Labour’s prudence …. Farrar attacks Dr Cullen (a most orthodox and conservative Minister of Finance) for having ‘overtaxed’ and ‘overspent’. This Farrar person is a hypocritical, vile spinmeister who clearly cares nothing for even the most elementary forms of honesty or integrity.

    And in unison his howling at the moon chorus all yip and yelp about Labour’s ‘overspending’ and policy settings being the cause of the suddenly far worsened outlook, while at the same time completely ignoring the sudden world events that are the prime driver of the downturn.

    I skim read the thread in amazement, and came to the conclusion that right wingers are either willing dupes, congential liars, brain damaged or some dismal combination of all three.

    More importantly I conclude that Farrar, who is the National Party propaganda/dirty tricks tool, is setting up the lines to prepare for a massive swing to the right by this govt. Given the choices before them, the path most enticing for them will be to exploit their safe Parliamentary majority to dramatically slash and burn the public sector, using the global fiscal crisis as the excuse. I predict that early in the new year Key will abandon all pretense at moderation. Three years is a long time, time enough for them to dismantle the public sector beyond all hope of reconstruction.

  19. burt 19

    RedLogix

    I think there is going to be wailing and gnashing of teeth about the failed policies of early 2000’s for about 18 years now. You know how it works.

    Although there will be some miniature brained people who will blame National for drastic measures and ignore the fact that when the global economy was rocking it was all because of Labour’s prudent management, as soon as it turned NZ decided to lead the world and jump into recession before most countries had even started to slow down. These same dim-bulbs will call this prudent management probably because they haven’t been told what else to call it yet.

  20. RedLogix 20

    These same dim-bulbs will call this prudent probably because they haven’t been told what else to call it yet.

    The word ‘prudent’ does appear to cover it.

    Our economy slowed early this year because the Reserve Bank ‘prudently’ raised interest rates in order to prevent the kind of runaway overheating that inevitably results in a major crisis.

    Our banking sector has withstood the worst effects of the crisis because our major banks ran ‘prudent’ and mostly sound policies that have meant they have so far had little direct exposure.

    Our govt ‘prudently’ reduced it’s debt to the point where for the first time in generations it was a net creditor and is now in a position to fund a recovery if it had the political will.

    That is the question. When the pressure really comes on within the next few months, how will National react? I’m predicting that they will revert to type.

  21. Pascal's bookie 21

    “as soon as it turned NZ decided to lead the world and jump into recession before most countries had even started to slow down. ”

    cite?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7759470.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7542815.stm

    And in any case, even if true, so what exactly?

  22. burt 22

    RedLogix

    Perhaps you could explain “revert to type”?

    Is that another way of saying borrow to prop up the economy and reduce spending just like they needed to do after Labour stuffed the economy with high tax and spend policies in 1990?

  23. burt 23

    Pascal’s bookie

    And in any case, even if true, so what exactly?

    Sound economies being run by prudent managers don’t fall into recession with zero cash reserves at the first sign of economic trouble. Typically strong economies run by prudent managers are the last to be decimated by economic trouble.

    I think Dr. Cullen’s definition of prudent is centered around winning 3 terms rather than the outcome of the three terms.

  24. RedLogix 24

    burt,

    Define reduce spending.

    The biggest spend is National Superannuation. Plan on cutting that?

    The next biggest spend is Health. Plan on cutting that?

    The next biggest spend is Education. Plan on cutting that?

    Toss in Infrastructure, Defense and core services like Customs, MAF, Biosecurity, Corrections and Police and so far I have accounted for about 70% of all Crown expenditure. The only other big one left is Social Welfare accounting for about another15% more. And with unemployment set to rise I wonder how you plan to reduce that.

    That leaves you with about 15% of Crown expenditure to slash. I suppose you could always close Parliament. That should save a buck or two, and it seems to be working for the Canadians.

  25. hey guys,

    something not right.? in the taken right to rule.. what’s the rub.. responsibility..?

    Face up, you wanted it, and now you’ve gotten it you can only keep on playing to your strengths—whining, wailing, woe-betiding!!

    The poster made a statement on how bad the economy (suddenly) looks, then asked a question..? No ideas, no answers, no anything but like I said. How is that living up to the supposed promise that a change of government in enzed led voters to believe would happen..? remember: better, brighter..?

    You look losers now.. and almost three years to keep on .. (playing to these loser strengths).. So.. shape up or ship out!

  26. burt 26

    Oh, the countries debt is low and this is good, it’s just a shame that it was achieved by holding tax thresholds at 1999 levels for almost 9 years and using fiscal drag to limit individuals ability to reduce personal debt.

    Now as a country we have low govt debt but no cash reserves and a nation of over mortgaged borrowers who have been limited in their ability to repay and also limited in their ability to save while the govt made the books look good for the election cycles.

  27. RedLogix 27

    Sound economies being run by prudent managers don’t fall into recession with zero cash reserves at the first sign of economic trouble.

    If I do a few minutes searching in the archives will I find you pontificating about Dr Cullen ‘sitting on a vast pile of surplus tax that he has stolen from the taxpayer’ … or some such?

    If perchance you were to proclaim that you had $10,000 in cash sitting in a bank account, would you expect me to be impressed if you also had $30,000 in debt on a vehicle HP and credit cards? Has it not occurred to you that reducing debt is effectively the same thing as building a cash reserve?

  28. gingercrush 28

    Bleh what a surprise. At kiwiblog the right attack the left. At The Standard the left attack the right. Hallelujah.

    Honestly, I find it all rather pathetic.

  29. burt 29

    RedLogix

    An $8b surplus and no tax cuts – wots the cunnection – there is none right! I was just being a journalist with a personal agenda for a tax cut….

    You wouldn’t find me with $10K in the bank and $30K as a vehicle HP. My car is worth about the same as my mountain bike. Both are freehold. But hey that’s me being prudent and avoiding debt. There is however something I don’t plan to do and that is pay off my mortgage as fast as possible and borrow on my credit card for the power bill and grocery shopping. That would be foolish.

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    Are you really blaming this crisis on Cullen burt? Are you that bitter at him for being proven right about paying back that debt and not just inflating the bubble even further with tax cuts?

    Now where’s is that cite?

  31. RedLogix 31

    it’s just a shame that it was achieved by holding tax thresholds at 1999 levels for almost 9 years and using fiscal drag to limit individuals ability to reduce personal debt.

    Nice idea in principle burt, but in reality New Zealanders overall have a terrible track record in using surplus cash to reduce debt. What we actually do in the good times is rush out and rack up as much new debt as possible.

    Dr Cullen did the saving that as a nation we were incapable of doing for ourselves. Of course it made him an soft easy target for political smears and lies… and now when his foresight and courage is paying off for us, and even Bill English is acknowledging that Cullen was right… you still want to demean the man.

  32. burt 32

    Pascal’s bookie

    If Cullen wants to be know as the prudent manager during the good global economic weather rather than “lucky to be in the seat at that time” then he can be called a twat for what we have now rather than being “lucky to be out of the seat now”.

    He called it as Labour’s prudent management over the last years of global economic stability, so….

  33. burt 33

    RedLogix

    Dr Cullen did the saving that as a nation we were incapable of doing for ourselves.

    Yeah right – he just couldn’t trust us with our own money – fricken socialists just don’t get it do you – I know what is best for me – not Dr. Cullen. We will always be a country of “hopeless savers” while the govt do it for us.

    One day we will all look back and wonder how we ever managed to breath without Dr. Cullen calling the timing for us.

  34. RedLogix 34

    burt,

    I’m pretty much in the same boat with regards to debt. I’m nominally worth several million in equity and my total monthly income is close to $10k, but I drive a 1994 model Peugeot 405 diesel that I forget when I last filled it and have zero, read zero, credit or HP debt. My mortgages are being paid down as fast as my cash flow permits. The house I am living in does not even have a hot water cylinder because I’ve put the cash into productive expenditure first.

    But you also know perfectly well that it is foolish to project from the specific case to the general one. In the last decade NZ went on an unprecendented credit expansion spree and now faces the bill. You cannot blame Dr Cullen for that.

  35. RedLogix 35

    We will always be a country of ?hopeless savers? while the govt do it for us.

    While the opposite is happening in China right now. With no social safety net to speak of the Chinese people have traditionally been fervent savers, knowing that if anything went wrong, or merely if they lived into old age, they could only depend on themselves and their family.

    So while China could aggressively attack export markets and grow dramatically while those markets were bouyant; now those markets have slowed, the Chinese govt has only a weak domestic economy to fall back on. Instead of spending the money they earn, the Chinese save virtually all their discretionary cash. The Chinese economy faces a very hard landing as a result.

    Excess debt and excessive saving both come at a price. Somewhere in between there must be a virtuous medium.

  36. burt,

    a response and a thank you..

    the first to:—he just couldn’t trust us with our own money – fricken socialists just don’t get it do you – being, your own money, huh, like you’re some legit treasury.. why not tell us about it!

    and the second being — -I know what is best for me for its perfect definition of a me-firster. For all here to see.

    the best thing to beat uncertainty is certainty..

  37. oops! apols.. the above comment de-emphasises from italics at the third dash line..

  38. burt 38

    northpaw

    I think I have a better grasp of what my families needs are than the govt with regard to quality of essential social services. Social services which I can also purchase privately. I appreciate this is not true of the entire population.

    I’m a compliant tax payer, that is a legal requirement. I’m not a contented tax payer and are you suggesting that is a moral requirement?

  39. Bill 39

    Em. Hows about this as an option for what to do? http://www.dollarsandsense.org/blog/2008/12/inside-account-of-activism-in-greece.html

    No? How about in 12 months then? 2 years?

    More here http://libcom.org/tags/greece-unrest

  40. RedLogix 40

    I’m not a contented tax payer and are you suggesting that is a moral requirement?

    burt,

    And why not? New Zealand is a pretty civilised place to live. I’m happy here; care to name some place else where you might be a more contented taxpayer? What would you be contented with?

    You remind me of those types who always demand top service at the lowest cost, always knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  41. justthefacts 41

    It must be bad, twelve Labour party staff members have been caught stealing.

    I guess they should be shown some leniency given the way Cullen and Clark have stolen from the tax payer for the last nine years.

    [lprent: Doing a 4 fold increase in the numbers from the reports I read yesterday? And a standard troll line. You obviously don’t want to be here – take a 4 week ban and contemplate why I detest trolls. BTW: with that pseudonym you picked up extra. It is like fairfacts media – you have to live up to the name. ]

    [lprent: Incidentally, while looking back in your comment history. I was vastly amused to see you say this to SP
    From what I can see you are very good at telling endless lies and half truths about the Nat’s yet you take exception (in a rather juvenile way it must be said) to the truth being told about Labour.
    bb: I think that you were projecting yourself on to SP]

  42. burt 42

    Bill

    Em. Hows about this as an option for what to do? No? How about in 12 months then? 2 years?

    Well perhaps it would be viable in 12 months but in 2 years there could be issues. You see the problem will be that if National don’t repeal Labour’s EFA then I don’t imagine thousands of people will want to take to the streets with their full name and residential address on their protest material. Privatisation is undeniably govt policy and therefore to express an opinion on it during the full year election period (which will have started again in 2 years) will be problematic.

    Activism is a good thing, don’t get me wrong on that the problem is that when the govt seeks to shut it down and you support that because it’s “your party’ that are crushing dissent you then need to accept that when you are dissenting you will be shut down.

    Are you prepared to publish your full name and address to protest about privatisation or are you prepared to be fined and/or sent to jail for not doing so?

    Perhaps you personally don’t support the EFA but be careful because the authors of the standard think it’s a great thing well they did when it was working for Labour’s best interests, they might have changed their minds since the election.

  43. Bill 43

    Burt.
    WTF! What parliamentary party are the people in Greece endorsing? Given mirror expressions of democracy here, what parliamentary party would the people be endorsing? None. so the EFA becomes an irrelevancy.

  44. burt 44

    Bill

    It’s possible (but I could be wrong) that such a protest here would be against the current govt. Dissent is not usually endorsing something. People seldom riot in support of something. But hey, what would I know.

  45. burt,

    folks very good, and simple, on the topic I thought I’d raised.

    Because of the intemperate and misplaced language about socialists didn’t get it when just one look at a kiwi banknote reading — This note is legal tender for — tells me it is you, burt, who does not get it. In refering to “my money” and exuding personal attitudes about it..

    Excluding cheques, credit/debit cards, money is legal tender. Needs authority. Legal authority. Do you have that authority, burt? And those notes confer no right to forced purchase. So the use they have enables people buy what makers/manufacturers/suppliers of goods and services willing and able to accept payment. Order in that transactional process is defining. Goods, services etc, then buy. Or extinguishment of debt

    In the production of goods and services much if not mostly social content: slamming that component is a long way from smart.

    Let’s put this down to the festive season when I allowed also for the other possibility of “my money” as stated by you. Like in the wiki’s B52s ‘Whammy’ album entry —

    Lyrically, Legal Tender is an adventure in the counterfeiting of American dollars. The lyrics describe kitting out a basement with “heavy equipment”, and learning to print bills because of rising prices.

    Suffice to say, burt, that your response hath convinced me of your innocence abroad in respect of such occupation 🙂

    Have a good holiday and festive season with many useful decisions for your family. To whom also I wish a happy New Year!

  46. burt 46

    northpaw

    Yes, well of course. It’s obvious really isn’t it. How did I miss that? Here was me talking about making spending decisions on behalf of my family and all the time it’s all about who actually owns the money. I feel so stupid, I was discussing politics on a political blog and all the time the legal issues associated with currency were eluding me.

    Sorry northpaw, I’ll try harder to keep up with next time.

  47. Anita 47

    northpaw,

    Huh? Why so excited about notes being legal tender?

    According to the Reserve Bank “legal tender” only means it is

    a legally defined means of settling a debt. A creditor is not obliged to accept legal tender, but cannot further pursue the debt if the offer of legal tender is refused

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    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    3 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    4 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    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). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
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