Key folds on pay rises

Written By: - Date published: 4:41 pm, March 2nd, 2015 - 82 comments
Categories: Parliament, wages - Tags: ,

It has been an annual ritual, Key reluctantly claiming that he can’t do anything about MP’s pay rises (which significantly outpace those of most other workers). It was never true of course:

This year, with times harder than ever for far too many Kiwis, the scrutiny that the proposed pay rise received was intense:

Key must be feeling the pressure of this, and other recent events, because he has gone populist. Vernon Small and others are covering events on Twitter.

Interesting.

82 comments on “Key folds on pay rises”

  1. Anne 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11410456

    Massive negative reaction from their own supporters? Phone calls, emails and text messages to Nat MPs go into meltdown?

    I was in the local chemist earlier today and the anger displayed from shoppers/clients and staff alike was telling.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “Given that they’re already contemplating a clawback, urgency seems unnecessary”

    Which is pretty stupid on the face of it. The accounting and payroll system will be calculating the backpay, and gearing up for whenever the next pay round is. Who knows when that happens, but it’s probably monthly. Could be the 20th of the month.

    Makes sense to pass legislation under urgency to freeze this, than it does to let it go forward and then have to either organise for the MPs to pay the money back, or dock it from future pay etc.

    Could it be dealt with without legislation? Possibly, but the pay-rise was set by the independent Remuneration Authority, so that might be a little dicey for admin staff to say “we aren’t doing that ’cause John Key told us not to”.

  3. Ed 3

    Key claims to have written to the Authority to ask for a zero increase (well knowing of course that it could not have any effect). If he was honest that is what he would put forward now, so that there could be more time to establish a new basis. It would be easy for accounting systems to process a zero increase for a month or so!

    National know that the reason the increase was high is because it reflects the reality that higher earners have been getting higher increases – National prefers to only talk averages and pretend inequality is not growing. In proposing using the average increase for the public sector (why not the whole country?), they must know that this will be an increase at a higher percentage than the majority of New Zealanders. I hope there is debate about using the median earnings of whatever group is chosen – only by moving earnings for all New Zealanders will the median move; dividing the pool with an increasing share to the wealthy would leave out MPs!

    In the long term the pay for MPs and Ministers does need to be at a level that does not exclude too many people – or be a windfall gain for too many. – a review every say 5 years would be reasonable.

  4. infused 4

    Halarious. Everyone saying Key wont do anything. Does something and everyone shits on it.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.1

      Is halarious something that Muslims find funny? Halal humour?

      Key is obviously panicking because of some poll his pet penguin has done. He knew the criteria the authority had to use, and knew his letter could have no effect. He’s finding out that Kiwis are not believing him any more. Happens to every con artist, but they usually have the good sense to move on and look for new marks.

      • Clemgeopin 4.1.1

        “He’s finding out that Kiwis are not believing him any more’

        Not all Kiwis, but you are correct. Many are.

        I think a good chunk of Kiwis who have been voting Key and National seem Little by Little to be slowly becoming aware of the lies, dishonesty, dodgy goings on, spin and bull shit that is being peddled by Key, National and its very expensive local and foreign based PR machine that has been trying very hard over the last seven years to pull lots of soft silky wool over our collective eyes.

        But, as sure as the day follows the night, they can not fool most of the people all of the time.

    • McFlock 4.2

      does something after claiming he couldn’t do anything. Yeah, pretty funny.

    • Skinny 4.3

      Umm No Infused, this 5 year old back flip shows that internal pollings by the snake oil merchants within the National Party are absolutely panicked by third term blues.

      What happened to the statement by finance minister that workers have weathered the effects of the gobal financial crisis and can now expect sizeable pay increases?

      I’m afraid 1.2 % does not cut it for public and state sector workers. Surely you free market merchants prescrbe to market rates. So 5% is a fair call and its the others that have been left behind in the National Governments ‘Rockstar economy’.

      It is obviously clear the billions of dollars of debit we are in are now coming home to roost. This is not about reasonable pay rises for MP’s (chump change) but screwing every other New Zealand worker below CEO’s and executives. While Key is trimming the fat where is the same under urgency slashing of public and state sector executives payrises?

      Some people laugh when their nervous, are you nervous cobbah?

      • Sacha 4.3.1

        “What happened to the statement by finance minister that workers have weathered the effects of the gobal financial crisis and can now expect sizeable pay increases?”

        Link? I’ve only seen him say workers should restrain themselves indefinitely while dividends for owners flourish unabated.

        • Skinny 4.3.1.1

          Google it I read it on stuff last year and he did say the same on RNZ.

          • Ben Clark 4.3.1.1.1

            It was just before the election to tell voters – don’t worry, the good times are around the corner!

            • Skinny 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes Ben I hope this is rubbed into Key’s smug face during question time. Rather than people bemoaning the 5℅ rise the issue should be where are the
              Workers reasonable (5%) all things considered rise. Flip the issue around to Nationals hand picked CEO’s and public servants, actually include Bolger & Shipley and their ilk ( yeah Cullen etc too) who are put on board of directors with plumb earning numbers.

        • Tracey 4.3.1.2

          I agree with Skinny, he (English) absolutely said it was time for businesses to look at giving workers pay rises (it was when he was trumpeting the rock star economy).

          a quick google showed this

          “Bill English repeated his call for employers to reward workers with more substantial pay increases. He says people have had a tough time since the global financial crisis but now the economy is recovering workers should benefit from that.” RNZ

          • Skinny 4.3.1.2.1

            Thanks Tracy for finding that statement.

            Of course when I heard Key was calling a press conference to outline his popularity contest, I knew the idiot media shrills would choose to ignore this fact, instead choosing to heap praise on Key’s strong leadership decision. A decision made by the spin/damage control department in the snake oil manufacturing office of the National party.

      • Clemgeopin 4.3.2

        +1

        Give the low paid the living wage. Cut all CEO’s pays by half under URGENCY to start with. The fat cats will NOT starve, I can assure you. Peg all the TOP pays to not more than 10 times (TEN TIMES) the median wage.

        The median income from wages and salaries across ALL jobs in June 2014 was about $45,000 a year (or $865 a week) before tax, according to a Statistics New Zealand income survey.

        So, legislate to make the TOP salary in any paid job ANY WHERE should NOT be over $45,000×10=$450,000 per year.

        Change the STAGGERED TOP income tax rate to 39% above 5 times the medium income, ie, on the portion that is above $ 225,000.

        What is UNFAIR about that? You tell me!

        • Macro 4.3.2.1

          yep! I’ve been thinking along the same lines – but added to that would be a non tax bracket up to the minimum wage. and then progressively increase so that hitting over $450,000 would be 100% taxed.
          The problem is there would be all sorts of dodges to avoid the super-tax. These people aren’t known for their citizenship.
          The other problem is international corporates who ship profits made in NZ overseas and declare minuscule profits. That nonsense has to be stopped immediately. Either they pay the taxes earned on profits in NZ or they don’t trade here. Yes Apple is one of the worst offenders in this regard – and I would miss my mac, but corporates have to learn to be responsible members of society just like everyone else.

          • Clemgeopin 4.3.2.1.1

            +1
            Fair Comment, though the rich privileged bastards may not like that.

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.3.2.1.2

            Setting all income tax thresholds at a multiple of the median wage is a great idea. As is an income tax free zone – which could be co-ordinated with a UBI.

            I would go with the standard the US set in the 1950s and 1960s, setting the top tax rate at 89% or 91%. This avoids the prospect of the government applying pure wealth confiscation and for people paid millions of dollars a year, prevents their income tax from closing in on 100%.

            People who structure at least some of their income to be received from overseas – and a lot of people at the top end do this – would need to be discouraged from doing so in future, or taxed using an alternative regime.

            The real issue is that a focus on higher top rate income tax is quite deficient and continues to hit workers (albeit the top 1%), but totally misses those true capitalists living off a massive amount of financial asset wealth. This is the real issue. The IRD already knows that hundreds of NZs richest people report less than $70K pa of income.

            That’s where things like an FTT and a wealth tax become relevant.

            BTW let’s just remember that the government does not need taxes to fund its spending. Taxes are best used to channel activities and behaviour in ways required by a country to progress the nation and its society.

            and I would miss my mac, but corporates have to learn to be responsible members of society just like everyone else.

            This is just the kind of thing that the TPPA’s investor/state dispute resolution i.e. corporatocracy sovereignty clauses is designed to stop in its tracks.

    • Ed 4.4

      Key made a request, in writing, that the rise be zero. Now he plans to put through an increase that is higher than he claims he wanted. When he knew it would have no effect he cynically spun a story that he has been caught out on – the reality is that the National MPs want a bigger increase than most New Zealanders got.

      Pushing it though under urgency is also typically arrogant – they can easily delay any increase while the basis is reviewed. Instead they will try to limit the time to reduce embarassment as much as possible.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      Claims he can’t do anything for years despite having changed the rules once which ensured just as much, if not a greater, pay rise for MPs and then suddenly finds that he can do something urgently?

      Yeah, see, that’s called manipulation and you fell for it.

    • Clemgeopin 4.6

      Here is a thought for you to think about:

      If KEY was not a multi-million dollar rich dude, for whom a few thousand dollar pay increase wouldn’t really make much of a difference to his living or to his blind trusts, do you honestly think he would have wanted to do this and in such unusual urgency? I think he is just trying to earn some brownie points because of his often beige behaviour and bad policies and bad internal polling. He had seven years to do this. Why now? Has he suddenly become a non hypocritical catholic saint or has he gutlessly panicked? What do you HONESTLY think? Tell us.

    • Tracey 4.7

      He hasnt actually done anything about it yet infused. He has been saying he will for about 5 years though. Lets wait and see…

      As for enshrining something for 50 years… he really does not yet quite understand democracy.

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    An interesting back down from Key, you are right about that, and also to wonder where the real pressure points were.

  6. Karen 6

    Obviously Farrar’s polling was showing a drop in popularity for Key, and the pay rise for MPs was one of the reasons.
    Key must be desperate for something to lift his ratings before the next public poll.

  7. I’m gonna reserve judgement till I read the legislation.

    There’ll be some dodge in there for sure – otherwise, why urgency?

    Or, it’ll be a poorly written piece that contains an unintended conseqence which bites them in a few months.

  8. Jay 8

    The increase in pay set by the remuneration authority (who are independent of politicians) was an outrage. John Key said so straight away, and now he’s doing something about it.

    Why does this even piss people off? It demonstrates that no matter what John Key does, some people will either oppose his actions, his motivation, or both.

    In my view people have allowed their hatred of John Key to cloud their judgement to the point that everything he does or says is bad, and it’s actually getting a bit ridiculous.

    This isn’t election year. Keys popularity is as universal as ever. The next election won’t turn on this issue. He spoke out against this pay rise since the beginning, and is now looking to reverse it. Could it be that he believes that it’s just plain wrong?

    Doesn’t putting negative spin on this just expose the extreme bias of many commentators? Doesn’t it make them look a bit foolish? Wouldn’t it improve their credibility if they simply said, “good on you John Key for doing the right thing, we agree with what you’ve done”.

    But those words would just stick in the craw though right?

    • Anne 8.1

      John Key has been saying much the same thing after each MP pay rise for the past 5 years. Yet he never did anything about it. And the only reason he’s doing something now is because internal polling has shown a huge and exasperated backlash against the government and no doubt their phones/emails have been running hot.

      In my view you have allowed your besotted admiration for John Key to cloud your judgement to the point you can’t see the reality of his, and his government’s, cynical manipulation of the political system, exclusively for their own benefit, and regardless of the damage it does to the populace as a whole.

      • Economix 8.1.1

        And Labour/Greens etc have done what about this whilst in opposition? Let’s not kid ourselves that for years there has been a feeding frenzy at the bottomless trough that is the politicians payroll. Hundreds of politicians right across the political spectrum have dropped the odd line into the press that they are uncomfortable with this and haven’t done anything about it. Good to see them being brought back into the real world on this one issue. Plenty more issues that they still have their heads so far up….but that is for another thread.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          What a great way to demonstrate your ignorance: the National Party changed the rules.

          This is their doing. Now reject the facts and cling to your false beliefs like a frightened infant.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      John Key was PM when the National Party changed the rules. He’s a hypocrite for pretending it was out of his hands, and you’re ignorant at best and dishonest at worst, and either way you’re his good little dupe.

      John Key was PM when the National Party changed the rules. Get out of that one, dupe.

    • infused 8.3

      Well you now know why the left gain no traction.

    • Atiawa 8.4

      Its concerning when the “Jay’s” of the world attempt to defend their esteemed leader without acknowledging the hypocrisy of his decision making, and then accuse the dissenters of foolishness and bias.
      It seems that the old adage of ” my minds made up, don’t baffle me with the facts” remains the preserve of the disciples of ignorance.

    • Clemgeopin 8.5

      You are mentioning the word, ‘spin’ but you are spinning exactly like Joyce and C Textor!

      I’ll tell you what you want me to say:

      It is the poor, the low waged and ordinary people that ALWAYS get screwed no matter what. It is the common people that get sucked in and vote you bastards in anyway.

      Try thinking of them FIRST before you think of the wealthy, the CEOs, the banks, the landlords, the corporates or the capitalist crooks.

    • Tracey 8.6

      this was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Rose Tinted Glasses Society

  9. kiwigunner 9

    Teachers and nurses have got almost nothing in the last five years (except a whole lot of crap policy). Whilst I applaud this announcement – there is catching up to do. They should not be expecting 1-2% in their negotiations this year. Indeed the money saved today should be shunted straight to them and health and care workers too – those minimum wage angels who this govt has taken to the appeal court.

  10. Michael 10

    No doubt the National party’s slush funds will make up the difference between what they get from taxpayers and what they expect to get in total. A bit rough on the other pollies, who don’t have party slush funds at their disposal, though. I expect we’ll see National Party MPs outclassing all the others before long.

  11. It would have been nice if Labour MPs contacted for comment had highlighted the fact that the big pay increase was because the RA was tasked with maintaining relativity between MP’s pay and that of other high earners, and that workers might usefully bear that rate of increase for high earners in mind when considering the minimal or nonexistent pay increases those high earners offer their workers.

  12. Sable 12

    The system of government we have in this country is a failure. Its a crappy Brit based system that lets governments do as they like. We need to revise how we govern and apply independent watchdogs to ensure these political parasites do as they are told not as they like.

    As to Keys antics, in my opinion he’s just trying to take the sting out of his US toadying efforts to send our people to Iraq. Nice try but no cigar, asshole.

  13. mary_a 13

    Has Key picked up on a revolutionary groundswell of discontent amongst the masses?

  14. fisiani 14

    So as usual another pathetic attempted diatribe against Honest John. The misleading title Key Folds on Pay Rises starts the rot. What part of firm decisive action is folding? John Key spent years as a market trader and has a keener sense of public mood than perhaps any other politician. He is not rooted to any position no matter what happens. He is always ready to take the right move. Already the morning tea talk I hear is all complimentary about John Key taking the correct action and laying down the law. His direction is popular.
    Desperately trying to spin this as John Key folding is certainly good for a laugh but everyone knows that Honest John is doing the right thing and their estimation of him is surely enhanced.

    • Sable 14.1

      Its amazing you can support this creature after everything he has done. Back to the MSM with you. Its where you belong.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2

      There is probably no one left on the planet who does not know him as a statesman and as a remarkable popular leader. Only a few, however, have the pleasure of seeing him as a man each day from close up, to experience him, and as I might add, to come as a result to a deeper understanding and love for him. These few wonder how it is possible that a man who only three years ago was opposed by half of the nation stands today above any doubt and every criticism.

      Comical Fisiani jumps the shark.

    • Skinny 14.3

      Enjoy your ‘tea break’ fisiani dishonest Johns petty removal of workers tea break becomes law this week. You might be forced to shuffle paper all day long.

      • fisiani 14.3.1

        There is no removal of tea breaks and you already know that. Why repeat such a ridiculous canard? You and I and every poster here will have a tea break next week and next month and next year. john Key has once again taken the wind out of opposition sails with his decisive action. No wonder he is set for as many terms as he wants till he chooses to retire. No opposition leader comes close to him. We are watching a political phenomenon which is only half way through.

        • crashcart 14.3.1.1

          Just to be clear Fisi you think all employers are good people who only want the best for their employee’s and that there will not be any cases of abuse of the law change?

          I am sure most are because they would rather keep their emplyee’s around. I know I will still have my break period. However if all you are doing is using low wage workers for maximum profit then that is not a concern as there are thousands more waiting in line to work like dogs so they can feed themselves and their families.

        • Clemgeopin 14.3.1.2

          Hey, fisiani,

          You being such a devoted supporter of the corporates, employers, Key, National, ACT and shit, I want to know what is your opinion about the Zero hour contracts?

    • thatguynz 14.4

      And Fizzyanus screws the pooch yet again.. 🙄

    • framu 14.5

      what part of “moaned about it for 5 years then acted once polling went against him = decisive action”?

      the only desperate one here is you fisti – desperately sitting by the phone hoping john will ask you out

    • Clemgeopin 14.6

      “Comical Fisiani jumps the shark’

      You just reminded me of Comical Ali! Wonder what he is up to now?

      • McFlock 14.6.1

        Apparently terminally ill in the UAE

        • Clemgeopin 14.6.1.1

          Thanks for that. Poor guy. He was quite a lovable rogue, a little like our oen dear fisiani in some ways.

          Replace Ali with fisiani and make other appropriate changes such as Key, National party etc in the write up from your link:

          Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (Arabic: محمد سعيد الصحاف‎ Muḥammad Saʿīd Al-Ṣaḥḥāf; born 1940) was the Iraqi Information Minister under Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, acting as the spokesperson for the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party and Saddam’s regime.

          He is best known for his grandiose and grossly unrealistic propaganda broadcasts extolling the invincibility and the permanence of Saddam’s popular lie-straight-then-smile-and-wave, rule. His announcements were intended for an Iraqi domestic audience subject to Saddam’s cult of personality and state control of well greased MSM but were met with widespread growing derision, amusement and distrust by others with access to better information from other reliable sources, intelligent commentators and serious leaks from whistle blowers of integrity from the inside.

          In the US he was popularly known as Lapdog Johnny, in the UK as Silly-Walk-Ali, in Italy as Alì-il-Comico and in some quarters of New Zealand, as the Piss-Take-Ali.

  15. Ray 15

    So Sable
    Who appoints these Independent watch dogs?
    The Party?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Is that the only solution you can imagine? Go on, try a little harder. See if you can suggest a better idea than your first attempt.

  16. Planet Earth 16

    So – John Key introducing legislation to limit MPs’ pay rises – good thing or bad thing?

    So – John Key introducing legislation to limit MPs’ pay rises – good thing or bad thing?

    (Sorry, terrible echo in here)

    • Enough is Enough 16.1

      Bad Thing

      He is a cynical arrogant out of touch rich bastard that is only doing this because Crosby textor told him.

      • Planet Earth 16.1.1

        So he’s doing a good thing with bad motives? Or he’s doing a bad thing?

    • crashcart 16.2

      It’s a good thing as long as it is done correctly. I don’t think anyone has argued anything different. What is synical is bemoaning pay rises for years saying you can do nothing to change the rules and it is out of your control when:

      1) You set those rules in the first place, and
      2) You decide you can just up and change the rules under urgency when it becomes apparent no one is buying that bull shit any more.

      **edit** OK people are saying it is a bad thing. That I don’t get. Yes hammer him on being synical but don’t cut off your nose to spite your face by saying actally changing things is bad.

      • Economix 16.2.1

        “I don’t think anyone has argued anything different”

        You would hope not, however when you wear glasses so deeply tinted with any colour other than blue it becomes difficult to see the obvious until it smacks you right in the face.

    • Economix 16.3

      Great question PE, and looking forward to the responses.

      Obviously a good thing. But handled in a way so typical of politicians i.e. everything is done for political point scoring.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1

        Why do you think this will be a “good thing” when the National Party failed so badly last time they had a chance?

        All the evidence tells us it’ll be yet another clusterfuck, because that’s all you’re good for.

        • Economix 16.3.1.1

          You don’t think that aligning politicians pay increases to that received by the rest of the public sector is a good thing? My preference would be for politicians pay to only be reassessed every 3 years following general elections. If voter turnout declines then all politicians should have their salaries cut.

          “because that’s all you’re good for”…who me? I’m not part of the Nat Party. Moron.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3.1.1.1

            If it keeps public sector wages artificially low then yes, bad thing. I say link it to the median wage.

            I was talking about right wingers in general: the shit you believe renders you incompetent.

            Take your favoured proposal, for example. Dirty politics is all about lowering voter turn-out: National Party MPs will be accepting directorship bribes (as detailed by Loose Lips Lusk) whether or not their salary decreases.

            • Economix 16.3.1.1.1.1

              “public sector wages artificially low”…you are kidding right? Not many people in the public sector earning less than median wage OAB.

              OAB you really need to stop lecturing people about what to think/believe, it is becoming tiresome.

              Well, you validate my point. Nat politicians would be receiving a pay cut.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                🙄

                That’s so bad it’s not even wrong.

                I’ll see if I can find a way to explain it that you can grasp.

                Once upon a time, there was a public sector employee, and they were admired by all (except rabid Objectivists) and well paid as a result.

                Then along came an incompetent Tory, for whom no-one had any respect whatsoever, and linked their wage increases. That put downward pressure on the well-respected public sector employee’s wages, which made it harder to retain good staff.

                Soon, the public sector was full of incompetent Tories, taking bribes, missing performance targets, embezzling, and hiring prostitutes.

            • Planet Earth 16.3.1.1.1.2

              How would aligning MPs’ salaries to public sector wages keep the latter “artificially low”?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Because nurses (for example) get respect and Tory politicians don’t. This proposal makes it harder to give nurses decent payrises.

                • Planet Earth

                  How so?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Can’t you work it out on your own?

                    Imagine the public response to that rotten gimp Patrick Gower squealing that MPs get 3% payrise, because he thinks his opinions have value.

                    Then imagine the complete lack of any Patrick Gower-inspired gobshite regarding nurses’ pay increases.

                    Penny, meet drop?

                    • Planet Earth

                      Non sequitur

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A direct connection, in fact. That’s the proposal – link MPs pay rises to public servants’.

                      It’s nice that you’ve learnt a new Latin phrase: the next step is to use it appropriately and in context.

                    • Planet Earth

                      OAB – reply to your comment of 7.55 am today (reply function no go) – you are correct, “That’s the proposal – link MPs pay rises to public servants’.” Not the other way around – you should worry more about your English comprehension than your Latin.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Yes, Patrick Gower and Bloke From The Pub are sure to make that distinction when MPs get a payrise /sarc

                      Why didn’t I realise that before? All hail Utopia.

  17. Ray 17

    I would have thought having an election every three years would be the easiest way to have some oversight
    But it was Sable who is suggesting some other way of having watchdogs
    Just wondering how they were to be appointed and by whom

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      …and “by the party” was the best you could manage.

      Your proposal* to scrap the ombudsman and human rights commissioner etc, did you think it through or are you just typing any old contrary random shite?

      *elections as the only form of oversight.

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    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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