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Key breaks Kiwibank pledge

Written By: - Date published: 4:13 pm, June 2nd, 2010 - 54 comments
Categories: assets, Politics, privatisation - Tags: , ,

In the May budget Key broke his pre-election promise not to raise GST.

Today, in the House, Jim Anderton foreshadowed what looks like the next unequivocal commitment that’s set for the chop.

The video is embedded below.

Key: “We won’t be cutting essential services, we’ll be growing them, and we won’t be selling Kiwibank either”

Campbell: “Sorry I just want to come in there…”

Key: “We won’t be selling Kiwibank”

Campbell: “Ever?”

Key: “No. I’ve ruled it out. We won’t be selling…”

Clark: “‘Eventually’, Bill English said…”

Key: “No, we won’t be selling Kiwibank”

So having promised no sale “ever” Key’s now committing only to no sale in the first term. Meanwhile, Bill English is clearly doing the groundwork for the sell-off if the Nats manage a second.

It’s looking more and more likely that asset sales will be the big issue next time ’round.

54 comments on “Key breaks Kiwibank pledge”

  1. Bright Red 1

    awww, that guy looks so relaxed and aspirational for new zealand. and when he makes a promise, you believe him.

    he sure could teach our pm a thing or two.

  2. Lazy Susan 2

    Not just keeping Kiwibank but “growing essential services” as well. This guys got some good ideas – maybe we should let him try them!

  3. exbrethren 3

    Surprise, surprise Captain Beaky caught telling lies.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Susan , thats the category the cycleway comes under – Essential services

  5. zimmer 5

    Spread the risk, let shareholders contribute to the Capital Raising. Keeps public debt lower and gives the people who own shares a chance to make some money as well.
    Nothing wrong with that.

    • Luxated 5.1

      So by selling a sizeable portion of Kiwibank to a small proportion of the population (or people/entities offshore) you ‘spread the risk’? Pull the other one.

      To clarify. Assume that approximately half of Kiwibank is sold off (just assume, it doesn’t matter if it is half, all or ten percent in this case) which is equivalent to the ownership of half of NZ or around 2.2 million people. The only way you would find more buyers than that is if an overseas super/pension fund bought it. Ipso facto, most likely concentrating risk over a smaller number of people rather than spreading it.

      • Rich 5.1.1

        The NZ taxpayer takes all the risk anyway, for all the banks.

        If Westpac went down the tubes, we’d be bailing them out, both with the explict deposit guarantee and with the need to keep banks going.

        At least with state ownership we get to share in the profits as well.

        • mickysavage 5.1.1.1

          If Westpac went down the tubes, we’d be bailing them out, both with the explicit deposit guarantee and with the need to keep banks going.

          I hope we will then realise that it is better to bail out and support banks we own rather than banks the Aussie superannuation schemes own.

          David Cunliffe and Phil Goff are right. We own Kiwibank already. Why should we change this?

        • Luxated 5.1.1.2

          True enough, Rich.

          Which of course begs the question, why are private banks remotely desirable if taxpayers shoulder the burden regardless?

          At least with state ownership we get to share in the profits as well.

          The only argument I’d make against that is the whether or not it is necessary for a state run bank to make a profit.

          • Lanthanide 5.1.1.2.1

            “The only argument I’d make against that is the whether or not it is necessary for a state run bank to make a profit.”

            It’s certainly not good for a SoE to be running at a loss, because it’d be draining the government coffers and any bad business conditions that came along would exascerbate the drain on the government further.

            Also running SoEs as businesses with a profit motive gives you the prime goal of capitalism: efficiency as a means to improve profit, and efficiency is desirable in any business, but especially state-owned ones.

          • seth 5.1.1.2.2

            Simple really, because they do a better job at running a bank than a government can. Governments aren’t there for running banks……..

            • gobsmacked 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Governments aren’t there for running banks ..

              No, they’re there for rescuing banks. From the people who “run” them. Into the ground.

              Was 2008 so long ago?

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.2.2.2

              Many large investors, such as pension and hedge funds, take no active management in their assets whatsoever. Similarly mum and dad investors won’t be taking active management in Kiwibank, unless they buy 5%+ parcels, in which case you can’t really call them “mum and dad” any more.

            • felix 5.1.1.2.2.3

              seth: “Simple really, because they do a better job at running a bank than a government can. Governments aren’t there for running banks ..”

              Yeah, cos Kiwibank is such a fucking awful bank and the others are just so fucking good.

            • Luxated 5.1.1.2.2.4

              It’s certainly not good for a SoE to be running at a loss, because it’d be draining the government coffers and any bad business conditions that came along would exascerbate the drain on the government further.

              I wasn’t suggesting that it be run at a loss, merely that it doesn’t seek to take profits. In other words that over the long term the bank would neither earn nor lose the government any money.

              Also running SoEs as businesses with a profit motive gives you the prime goal of capitalism: efficiency as a means to improve profit, and efficiency is desirable in any business, but especially state-owned ones.

              As any half decent mathematician/scientist/engineer will tell you, you cannot just boil everything down to a single value and still have that value mean anything, which is a fundamental problem of capitalism. It is seen that lowering the dollar value of our increases efficiency but this ignores many things which factor into the decision making process.

              The environment is a topical point which demonstrates this quite well. Take a dairy farm for example, you could buy one now pump it full of fertiliser, drain the aquifer and pollute any nearby waterways. This in the short term will look very ‘efficient’ for a capitalist perspective, you ‘externalise’ your environmental costs and then flick the farm off when yields are high. In this situation you’ve maximised your return by putting far too many cattle on the farm, had temporary high yields which you can use as a selling point and you don’t have to wear the cost of long term damage.

              The truly efficient approach in this example isn’t the one which maximises book returns in this fiscal quarter but one which sustainably provides potentially lower yields (ignoring natural variation) but does so indefinitely.

              Also you may remember a post here with a link to a talk by Dan Pink, I’ll give you a second longer one based on the same thing. The content is largely similar but Dan does briefly touch on the motivational effect of money with respect to businesses.

              Something else that needs to be addressed is that the most efficient method in terms of a dollar value often doesn’t meet the true demand for the resource. Two easy examples of this are power and health, both essential services in modern society.

              In the power industry it probably isn’t terribly efficient to provide power to an out of the way village of 100 or so people, costs could be reduced by not supplying them power at all. By taking this approach the people of the village would be forced (unless they didn’t want power at all) to supply themselves with power which causes a duplication of resources (albeit on a small scale) which could have been avoided if the power company supplied them with power in the first place.

              Health is a particularly poignant one in America at the moment. From a capitalist perspective is more efficient to not provide healthcare to the poor, they cannot afford to pay for it therefore they shall not receive it. This narrow view overlooks the fact that healthcare is a public good, we all benefit from well provisioned healthcare despite the extra initial cost. It is inefficient as a society for people to be off work or just out of society because the are sick or injured, this societal cost (good luck measuring that in dollars) is completely overlooked in the bottom line of the budget.

              Quickly wrapping my points up. By using an ineffective measure of the value of doing something we as a society optimise for the wrong things (or strongly risk doing so), as the adage goes “Garbage in, garbage out”.

              And to quickly address Seth:

              Simple really, because they do a better job at running a bank than a government can. Governments aren’t there for running banks ..

              I’ll give you a small quote from Raj Patel’s book, ‘The Value of Nothing’, chapter 10 note 34:

              In off-record conversation after off-record conversation, financial insiders have said they’re astounded that governments haven’t yet nationalized banks, since it is so obviously the right thing for governments to do.

              In case you are wondering you Raj Patel is, this is the short bio from the back of that same book:

              Raj Patel was educated at Oxford, London School of Economics and Cornell. A former fellow at Yale and Berkeley, he is now at the university of KwaZulu-Natal. He has worked for the World Bank, interned at the WTO, consulted for the UN and protested against them all.

              Just in case you thought he might not have access to financial insiders.

            • Jason 5.1.1.2.2.5

              Nope, they do a better job at maximising shareholders returns, which is not always the same as doing a better job at running a bank. The recent fiascos in the banking sector would show that. And yes I have worked in that sector in a major international bank and do have some idea of that which I speak

  6. all_your_base 6

    That whole debate aside zimmer, what about saying one thing and doing another?

  7. bobo 7

    National will probably spin the capital raising share float as enabling kiwibank to grow its services… blah, blah.. Seems any of Keys “Pledges” have an exit clause, all this goes back to the nasty lie to get in at any cost politics of the 80s/90s. People seem to forget Labour’s pledge card in 99 they honored it in the first term, there were no nasty surprises, cute reversals, or flipflops, and from memory national were crushed to their worst defeat under blingish in 2002. Kiwis do seem to have very short memories at times when they compare this gov’s first term to that of Clarks first term in office.

  8. We can only hope you are right.

  9. vto 9

    Sometime soon the people will simply refuse to pay tax to people like English and Key. And in fact most recent govts in NZ.

    A bit like Greece perhaps, with its social unrest. This current, still fermenting, sovereign debt stench is attributable to individual people in various govts around the globe. And their personal desire for power and etc. Sooner or later (methinks sooner) people will realise that govts are not govts but in fact a group of individual people. Personal responsibility will be brought to bear on those holding those ‘offices’. Just like the trend in the corporate world. Limitation of liability is disappearing.

    Then what will Key and English do? Lead the charge against the people with the heavy jackboots of the state??? I don’t think so.

  10. Fisiani 10

    Wow. John Key says he wont sell Kiwibank ever and he never will.
    John Key says he will never raise GST TO FUND THE DEFICIT and never did

    Two complete non stories.

    You got a scoop there folks. Yeah right.

    • gobsmacked 10.1

      “John Key says he wont sell Kiwibank ever and he never will.”

      So why doesn’t he just say so?

      Some of us would like to know what John Key intends, not what Fisiani invents.

      But if you have evidence for your claim, please share.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1

        The japanese PM just resigned because he broke an election promise – good to see someone taking a ‘non story’ seriously

    • SPC 10.2

      Did he not say before the election

      Tax cuts north of $50.
      He saw no need to increase GST.

      Then after the election

      The tax cuts promised could only be finally delivered when they were affordable.
      The tax reform package would be fiscally nuetral (the $400M cost of a 33% tax rate over the $150,000 thresh-hold was not covered).
      No one would be worse off with the introduction of GST.
      GST was an essential part of tax reform.

      From no need to increase GST to an increase in GST being an important part of tax reform.

      Apparently all he did was form a TWG which favoured GST being increased. What’s next a SWG to prepare the way for the promise not to change Super to be broken as well?

  11. Lanthanide 11

    “John Key says he will never raise GST TO FUND THE DEFICIT and never did”

    Um, if GST weren’t being raised, the government would have to borrow even more money for their taxcuts. You know borrowing = increasing deficit, right? And so raising GST allows them not to borrow, in other words when you connect the dots it means the reduce the size of the deficit by raising GST, which is what “fund the deficit” means.

    Next own goal?

  12. Dan 12

    This is small change compared to the foreshore issue. Clark over-reacted to the prospect of legal claims on the foreshore, and lost the election.
    Key has overpromised on the foreshore, and if the Tuhoe shambles is any indication, will roll over to the Brash brigade, and show the Maori Party the back door.
    Of all his promises, wasn’t tax cuts “north of $50” his promise? Yeah, right.

    To offer Kiwibank to the Mum and Dad investors who already are the main strength of the bank shows he is quite out of touch.

    Why look for oil off White Island? The Nact party is snake oil personnified.

    • seth 12.1

      I got tax cuts of $90 per week, so he wasn’t lying.

      Did you not realise that a tax cut is dependent on how much tax you actually pay in the first place?

      • Lanthanide 12.1.1

        If you got tax cuts of $90/week, then you’re earning around $115,000, which is more than twice the “average wage” of about $48k.

        He said “tax cuts north of $50 for those on the average wage”. Sorry, try again, and this time actually do the maths first.

      • felix 12.1.2

        He promised north of $50 a week for the average worker, genius.

        edit: beaten to it.

      • kaplan 12.1.3

        With the core of your argument ripped to shreds can you please come back and repost incorporating the term ‘so he was lying’.
        Thanks.

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    Fools, have you never heard of non core promises?

    They did John Howard no harm. After brmaking* them in his first term, the voters happily lined up to give him three more.

    [Since you never intend to keep your non core promises you are in fact breaking them by the very act of uttering them, hence “brmaking”]

    • Non core promises are an interesting concept Rex.

      They suggest that you can make a promise and as long as most swinging electors do not mind you do not get hurt if you break them.

      This is logical but totally immoral IMHO.

      It relies on enough of the electorate being sufficiently stupid to not worry when our politicians lie.

      • Lazy Susan 13.1.1

        “This is logical but totally immoral IMHO” – agreed but it also corrosive as far as a society’s value system is concerned.

        The example being set is that lieing (or breaking promises if you want to be very generous) is fine, as long as you can get away with it. Not a great way to build a functional society.

    • Marty G 13.2

      In NZ promises on state assets are core promises. The nats had to make it or the election was at risk.

  14. Lanthanide 14

    “Despite all our principalled statements…”

  15. SPC 15

    He’s building up for the big one, breaking his promise not to make any changes to Super.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      He’s building up for the big one, breaking his promise not to make any changes to Super.

      Yep. Here’s that promise:

      “Today let me make a pledge: National will retain all the superannuation entitlements and eligibility rules that our senior citizens currently enjoy. We will keep this pledge and I will resign as Prime Minister, and as a member of our Parliament, rather than break it.”

      (Speech, Wellington, 2008)

      Now, us dumb public might think that really means “no changes”. But it shouldn’t take a good Spinner very long to come up with an “Out”. Sure, Key said “Entitlements”, “Eligibility Rules”, OK, but … still room to manoeuvre. Throw a little dust in the eyes. And away we go.

      “A courageous decision” – Fran O’Sullivan. “Tough but fair” – Guyon Espiner. “Labour did something or other in the ’80’s” – David Farrar.

      etc.

      • mickysavage 15.1.1

        This is I think the most cynical bit of politics Key has engaged in.

        He refuses to fund the Cullen fund, or to maintain taxes or to consider increasing the age of retirement.

        Something will give within the next ten years, nothing is more certain.

        There will not be enough money in the coffers to maintain current superannuation rights.

        His refusal to do anything about the next three years is an exercise in ostrichism and a guarantee that the problem will be worse.

        • Lanthanide 15.1.1.1

          Yes, it is appalling that Key made that promise. IMO if he manages to get a 2nd, and potentially even 3rd term, he’d have to step aside in the 3rd to make good on his promise, because by then it will be necessary to at least increase the entitlement age, as every other 1st world country has been doing.

          And since we’re living longer anyway, and have generous kiwisaver, I really don’t have a problem with that.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    The problem with this argument is that no-one has defined what Key meant by “selling”. In Keys statement did he rule out “selling” Kiwibank in terms of not letting the entity be sold lock stock and barrel to private interests? Or did he rule out selling any part of it, not even a single share?

    Its hard to tell from the 14 seconds provided above. However, note that in the interview Key did not rule out selling shares in Kiwibank. It seems to me that he was ruling out selling Kiwibank lock stock and barrel, as is the common understanding of “selling” something. For instance, I don’t think many people would consider they had sold their stamp collection if they sold 5 stamps out of 100.

    So long only a minority shareholding is put up for sale, then I don’t think most people would consider that Kiwibank had been “sold”. Hence there is no contradiction in my mind.

    I guess if you want to see a contradiction, you will disagree.

    • jc 16.1

      Politicians call it plausible deniability. The public call it lying.

    • SPC 16.2

      Yeah, like well Super itself is not changed if its denied to those under 70, just the age of entitlement … Politician for “clarification” and “elaboration” …..

      Or its understood as a retirement pension, so if someone is still working ….

      Of course if there is an affordability issue, then the universal and unchanged Super should be means tested. No one who needs it will face any change.

      So its only universal if you are poor, over 70 and have retired – but no susbstantive change to Super …

    • Lanthanide 16.3

      “For instance, I don’t think many people would consider they had sold their stamp collection if they sold 5 stamps out of 100.”

      We’re not talking about a stamp collection. Or indeed, any kind of collection.

    • Marty G 16.4

      balancing on the head of a pin that small is quite a skill, ts.

    • Armchair Critic 16.5

      The problem is that John Key says one thing and does something else.

  17. jcuknz 17

    It is a disgusting wriggle. Though I don’t object to residents raising money for KB by buying shares to make KB stronger, with provisos that shares must be sold if the person moves overseas and only to a NZ resident.

    Perhaps he will never sell KB becuase he will get rolled before he has the chance?

    >>>Sometime soon the people will simply refuse to pay tax<<< Wishful thinking vto becuase except for the self employed the majority of people have no way not to pay tax …. wages have PAYE deducted before you get it and shops will not sell goods unless you pay the stipulated price. Perhaps you can suggest how most of us can do it?

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      I don’t know if it’s easy to build in rules that shares must be owned by NZ citizens. But if it is a reasonable thing to do, I’m all for it.

      A probably much easier thing to manage would be only allowing Kiwisaver schemes (or the super fund) from buying Kiwibank shares, and no one else. As there are only some 30-40 kiwisaver schemes and a single super fund, that would be easy to vet. It seems to be the best of all possible worlds if you are dead-set on selling shares in a SoE.

      “wages have PAYE deducted before you get it and shops will not sell goods unless you pay the stipulated price.”

      PAYE is deducted from your salary because your employer co-operates with IRD. They could simply not report your salary, or pay you cash under the table. Shops could simply choose not to charge GST and cease all GST returns to the government.

      Obviously this would take businesses to make these tax decisions, rather than purely private citizens, but I’m just pointing out that a widespread revolt against taxes is entirely possible. It’ll just never happen because we aren’t insane – I doubt even the nutjobs in the USA will ever manage to abolish taxes like they want to (or if they did, everything would fall apart within 3 months anyway).

  18. gingercrush 18

    Surprise surprise a politician lies. Sorry but cite me a politician that has told the truth all the time?

    Anyway I only commented to say what a shitty leaders debate Campbell’s one was. It was just awful. Clark on the attack, Key looked worse than he did the previous debate (which was probably the shittiest of the three). Useless questions. Only decent thing about it was having Linda Clarke on the panel-thing afterwards.

  19. Jim Nald 19

    haha … the man keeps duping the NZ public
    they keep falling for him
    before NZ’s downfall

  20. kriswgtn 20

    You wait until the yanks with their ships are allowed back in

    Gone by lunchtime ring a bell
    ding dong

    • Jason 20.1

      That one I can;t see happening – not for a very long time. Only if the US change thier policy of non-confirmation policy on Nuclear weapons.

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  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    22 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
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