Key grins blankly, shrugs shoulders

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, July 15th, 2009 - 42 comments
Categories: economy, national/act government, unemployment - Tags: ,

johnkey180I was going to do a fisking of Key’s ‘major speech‘ today. But there’s nothing to fisk, no substance, no ideas, no vision. There’s just endless recycling of the same old Crosby-Textor lines and waffle. In fact, there’s one section that is just a bunch of rehashed lines – one after the other.

You get half way in and you’re thinking ‘hmm, still no substance, it must be coming’. Then you read “Our challenge as a country is therefore to preserve the strengths of the New Zealand economy, while addressing its weaknesses” and you think ‘ah ha, now he’s going to detail how he thinks we should meet those challenges’ and… nothing… just more waffle.

It’s like one of those essays you wrote in high school or uni when you hadn’t studied. You just chuck in every key-word you can think of and bulk it out by restating the question in longer form.

Key basically concedes defeat at one point: “I cannot emphasise enough that there are no quick-fix solutions here”. Mr Key, we’re not asking for quick-fixes, but we are asking for solutions, and you’re presenting none.

If the question that Key was meant to answer with this speech was ‘what are the Key Government’s ideas and plans for lifting New Zealand’s economic performance’? Then you would have to walk away from this speech concluding that he hasn’t a clue.

It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.

1200 Kiwis a week are going on to the dole. About as many again are also losing their jobs. And we’ve got a Prime Minister and a government totally bereft of ideas and vision. I just hope for everyone’s sake this wasn’t the “new ideas to combat the rising tide of job losses” he was promising a couple of weeks ago after the collapse of Line7.

You know, come to think of it, I almost wish he had proposed a giant rollercoaster. At least that would have been a starting point for debate, from which workable ideas might have flowed. Where do we go now, when the PM’s response to crisis is to grin blankly and shrug his shoulders?

42 comments on “Key grins blankly, shrugs shoulders ”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    It’s the Recycle Way …

    • snoozer 1.1

      lol great there goes my coffee 🙂

      seriously though. 2 and a half more years of a government asleep at the wheel. I don’t like where this is heading.

      • millsy 1.1.1

        I’d rather have have 2 years of a government asleep at the wheel than 2 years of a government slashing and burning. Count yourselves lucky.

  2. You are right eddie and you were right about the cycleway from the word go. I wanted it to be visionary and worthwhile but it is a joke and the job creation is also a joke. bennett said the other day that the 1200 a week being made jobless is net. Probably closer to 2500 per week, with some new jobs coming on. But are those new jobs real jobs? i don’t think so. Temporary and part time I bet – no wonder she was shocked at the figures. I think when the real job losses come out, more than bennett will be shocked.

    So the economic tsunami rolls in meanwhile key is on the beach building sandcastles with his little shovel and bucket.

  3. Stacktwo 3

    The government is in its ninth month, and it’s sadly looking like a phantom pregnancy.

    • QoT 3.1

      But much like Mary I, they’re the only ones who haven’t figured it out, and everyone’s buggered off to Spain?

  4. It will all be forgotten tomorrow, except by Armstrong, why continue to give it any oxygen.
    He is just following the script for Ronald Reagan, sunny disposition, plenty of jokes and shiny shoes. And they remember him as a ‘great’ President

  5. tsmithfield 5

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2594149/Bollard-upbeat-on-early-recovery

    So, the government must be doing something right. And we haven’t had to hock ourselves up to the hilt to do it, as many here were advocating.

    • r0b 5.1

      If it’s true (I hope it is, I suspect it isn’t) then it’s not because of anything this government has done (which was what, exactly?).

      When we do come out of this, it will be down to the good position that we had going in to it, and to lots of hard work and sacrifice by ordinary Kiwis (while the government dithered on the sidelines).

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        Just because they haven’t been doing all the flashy, showy stuff, doesn’t mean they haven’t been doing anything. For instance, my company just received effectively 10000 in cashflow from the Government through changes to the GST threshold for going onto the payments basis (1.2m up to 2m).

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          Are yes, another example of a process started by the last Labour government that this one is trying to claim the credit for.

  6. ieuan 6

    After reading the speech it seems to me that Key believes that the job of the government is to create the right sort of environment in which business can flourish and that will help grow a stronger economy.

    I am not sure what the alternatives are. Maybe someone at the Standard could enlighten me.

    • Bright Red 6.1

      ‘it seems to me that Key believes that the job of the government is to create the right sort of environment in which business can flourish and that will help grow a stronger economy.”

      But how ieuan? How?

      It’s child’s play to say what the challenges are. Overcoming them is the real job.

  7. r0b 7

    At some point the damage from the letdown of these empty publicity exercises is going to exceed the benefit from the diminishing appearance of “doing something”.

    Have we reached that point?

  8. Brickley Paiste 8

    studied. You just chuck in every key-word you can think of and bulk it out by >restating the question in longer form.

    That is the mot juste. That made me laugh out loud. I wrote so many essays like that because, in retrospect, I knew that so little hung in the balance.

    I think there should be more discussion and reflection on the cycleway. How did that idea even fly? Why did he get away with it? What’s wrong with our country?

    In other countries, there exists two friends who would destroy such an idea: I call them Satire and Irony.

    These two friends are pervasive in many advanced Western democracies in television, print and song.

    However, in Aotearoa, you say what you mean and mean what you say. In other words, my two friends aren’t wanted on the voyage.

    Did I mention that Eating Media Lunch got the can?

    • r0b 8.1

      Did I mention that Eating Media Lunch got the can?

      Really? Damn! Didn’t tune in as often I should, but always enjoyed it, and it was doing a job that desperately needs doing…

  9. On the other hand, eddie could have written this last night as the content of the speech was never going to be reported here any other way.

    Key laid out six policy areas the Government was focused on: regulatory reform, investment in infrastructure, better public services, education and skills, innovation and business assistance, and a world-class tax system.

    Boring but sensible.

    Would be nice to discuss these priorities rather than fixed position most already have.

    Ironically, the hands off approach may be working (even I’m not sure if it’s intentionally or not). What is clear is that National was not going to borrow and hope which is what was proposed here countless times.

    There does need to be some long term tough decisions made around things like super, capital gains tax, etc. This is unlikely in an environment when both parties play petty politics over long term policies.

    • Bright Red 9.1

      but Daveski, he didn’t present any ideas. You’ve quoted subject headings he mentioned but read the actual speech – there’s no content beneath the headings.

      • Daveski 9.1.1

        Fair cop and I meant to acknowledge that.

        My view is that recovery will long, slow, and in parts painful.

        More fool Key for raising expectations of a magic fix. However, the “subject headings” point us in the right direction. I will happily judge the Nats on their ability to deliver on this policies in the future

        • If you read the speach and not the hatchet job done by NZPA you will see the initial steps that the Government are undertaking under each of the 6 policy drivers. Well yes there is insufficient detail for it to be considered a detailed plan to restore balance to the economy it is a start and a sign that there are people who are actually coming up with policy to fix this. Eddie, once again, I challenge you to set out what policy proposals you would implement rather than simply repeating ad nauseum that this is some Crosby Textor inspired death spiral.

          • BLiP 9.1.1.1.1

            Nine months in and the John Key National Government Inc is “making a start”? F F S !

            Why would anyone in their right mind offer policy to this government – are they so desperate as to be trolling the blogs looking for ideas?

          • Derek 9.1.1.1.2

            This dude cracks me up. He’s all “I’m so above all this politics stuff, let’s just look at the policy

            You’re following a kind of politics that died out long ago my friend. With Key’s goverment it is all about the politics. Or to be more precise, the spin.

            Today’s speech was designed to give the media the impression that there is a Plan. That Key isn’t sitting on his hands doing nothing while 1200 Kiwis a week join the dole queue.

            Both you and I know that his speech was just the same recycled lines he’s been banging on about for more than a year. There was nothing new in this speech. Nothing.

            Trying to dress up these bullet points as a comprehensive plan just makes you look like a sucker who doesn’t understand how politics, and particularly the National Party, works these days. Do you want people to think you’re a sucker?

          • Bright Red 9.1.1.1.3

            P not P. name one new iniitaitive that Key announced or foreshadowed today.

            No. there isn’t one.

            everything he talked about is

            a) minor

            b) old hat

            c) not effective at producing growth or jobs

            and a good deal of it is:

            d) stuff developed under Labour

            • Policy not Politics 9.1.1.1.3.1

              I know a far bit about politics works in this country mate having been involved in the lobbying business for awhile. Nowhere did I say that he announced new initiatives, in fact it is bloody frustrating sitting back watching the spin come out from both sides of the House. It seems the only person who has actually put forward solutions is Sir Roger Douglas – never mind that it is the same ideology he has been pushing for 20 years!!! A shame when you think about it.

              Derek, you need a better understanding of english – there is a difference between initial steps and a plan. You say this kind of politics died a long time ago – if that is true then this country is in a very bad shape. Little wonder Richard Worth gets more discussion over here then the actual issues. Take a leaf out of David Cunliffe’s book and bring something constructive to the table. Come over to my website because that is what I plan to do

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      regulatory reform Such as hobbling the RMA so that it’s easier for businesses to over ride the say of the people and pollute.

      investment in infrastructure Ah yes, more roads – Peak Oil any one?

      better public services After cutting how many thousands of jobs from the public services?

      education and skills Cut in education wasn’t it?

      world-class tax system Now this is interesting – what does he actually mean here? Considering that his government have just cut taxes for the top income bracket I suppose he means that the rich won’t have to pay taxes.

  10. Well Hi guys here a re my few suggestions.

    School Hours -Longer
    Increase the school day to 4:30pm, this will help parents who need to work longer and would help facilitate the teaching of children.

    Military Service
    If after 2 years of leaving school, you do not have fulltime employment or are in tertiary qualification. Military service will be part of requirement to get dole

    Dole
    Only given for 6 months after that, all money becomes a loan.

    Export Tax reductions
    Reduce tax for all companies who export.

    Remove GST of food
    This will help local produce companies as a lot of food products are made l locally. Then remove all GST.

    Sell all Government SOEs
    Get over the feel good political connivence, and sell some.
    Air NZ shares , Airports, Schools, Hospitals , TV companies, Rail, Roads, Power Companies, go for it.
    )) go go go .

    Alcohol
    Increase the tax on this a large amount, and increase buying age. Stop Sunday trading.

    Get our dependance of Oil
    Electric trains, mass fast track and investment.
    Support a local manufacture of electric Cars.

    Governance
    – Reduce all MPS wages, reduce the number of MPs, have a referandam on MMP, etc, performance based wages.

    Local governance,
    Clean up allot.

    All these and hard work may just have a chance.

    • Quoth the Raven 10.1

      Anthony – Some of that’s a bit contradictory. Sell the trains, but invest in them. Cullen brought back the trains to invest in them. Otherwise it’s just handing money over to the private sector. If they’re sold again don’t invest in them.
      More sin taxes, really? I think sin taxes are ludicrous.
      Instead of taking GST off food get rid of GST altogether. We don’t need regressive taxes like that.
      Miltary service, stop sunday trading you really are an authoritarian aren’t you.
      I think you’re plan is daft conservatism.

    • AB are you Keys speechwriter? , if not throw in your day job.

      You havent a clue what you are talking about but a list, any list of inane ideas, seems to be all that the great Communicator wants put in front of him.

  11. jarbury 11

    Hey look it’s Anthony again!

    • Ianmac 11.1

      Anthony says: “Reduce all MPS wages, reduce the number of MPs, have a referandam on MMP, etc, performance based wages”
      I bet a referendum would vote get rid of half MP’s, abolish PM’s salary as he doesn’t need it, cut their salaries to minimum wage, pay their own expenses, and performance pay as judged by the electorate. Very useful. As of course teachers baby-sitting children in school for an 8 hour day. Great! 🙂

      • Jasper 11.1.1

        But but but!

        The PM DOES need his Salary. Remember, he’s got no other income now that he’s only worth about $20million after having lost 60% of his Merrill Lynch shares when Bank America bought them out.

        But much of that 20 million NZD is tied up with property such as London apartment ($1.3 million NZD), the Hawaiian pad ($6 million NZD) The Omaha beachpad ($2 million NZD) and the Parn-Hell McMansion ($8million…apparently)

        So the remainder is locked away in shares which can be cash. Ever heard him go on about his salary being donated to charity lately?

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          Doesn’t he have a house in his electorate as well?

          Or is he not even bothering with that charade any more?

          • Jasper 11.1.1.1.1

            If he does it’s probably under the B and J Family Trust… of which details are unknown.

  12. Bright Red 12

    School Hours -Longer
    Increase the school day to 4:30pm, this will help parents who need to work longer and would help facilitate the teaching of children.
    – I don’t know enough about this topic but I would suspect there are good reason why the school day is the length it is. For one, when are teachers going to do their non-contact stuff – class plans, marking etc if you make them teach an extra 7.5 hours a week?

    Military Service
    If after 2 years of leaving school, you do not have fulltime employment or are in tertiary qualification. Military service will be part of requirement to get dole
    – what if you are in parttime work? or disabled? or looking after a child? to name just a few problems. Then, why do we want to go to the expense of training all these people with military skills? what good does that do? What are they producing? How do you get off the dole by getting work if you’re away in military training?

    Dole
    Only given for 6 months after that, all money becomes a loan.
    – and then it’s a big ‘fu*k you’ to people who can’t find work and their families? All the people losing their jobs right now because of the boom bust nature of the capitalist economy, they should suffer?

    Export Tax reductions
    Reduce tax for all companies who export.
    – ask the WTO about that one.

    Remove GST of food
    This will help local produce companies as a lot of food products are made l locally. Then remove all GST.
    – i supoprt those ideas in principle, but where does the billions of dollars to fund it come from?

    Sell all Government SOEs
    Get over the feel good political connivence, and sell some.
    Air NZ shares , Airports, Schools, Hospitals , TV companies, Rail, Roads, Power Companies, go for it.
    )) go go go .
    – yeah because the history of turning over vital assets to private (foreign) owners is just so wonderful, let’s do it again, but this time bigger!

    Alcohol
    Increase the tax on this a large amount, and increase buying age. Stop Sunday trading.
    – more restrictions on alcohol I agree with. It’s one of the biggest causes of health problems and crime.

    Get our dependance of Oil
    Electric trains, mass fast track and investment.
    Support a local manufacture of electric Cars.
    – good stuff

    Governance
    Reduce all MPS wages, reduce the number of MPs, have a referandam on MMP, etc, performance based wages.
    – performance-based? What is performance? Who measures it? Why reduce the number of MPs? Why reduce their wages – it would just make it more of a game that only the rich can afford to play.

    Local governance,
    Clean up allot.
    – ?

  13. jarbury 13

    Hey at least he’s got a clue when it comes to transport 🙂

    (I mean Anthony, definitely NOT the government)

  14. felix 14

    It’s easy to make fun of some of Anthony’s ideas, but at least he’s putting them forward to be discussed – more than I can say for the ineffectual do-nothing unproductive failure John Key.

    Hey National: ^^ that’s what a list of ideas looks like. Backwards and contradicted maybe, but just as good as anything you’re likely to come up with. Probably took Anthony a few minutes.

    You cnuts have had 9 years in opposition and 8 months in govt and you still haven’t come up with anything this substantial.

    Losers.

  15. Chris G 15

    Good on you Anthony for putting forward ideas, no other tories do.

    Disagree with everyone on the alcohol tax. If you go ahead and tax alcohol more and more I think your heading towards prohibition. If it gets too expensive you know what I will do (and encourage fellow students to do)? Home brew, and that shit is potent.

    Failed tax.

  16. Bill 16

    What he said yesterday “Yeah, there’s no chance of us going into cruise control. Eh. I’m giving a speech tomorrow morning actually, here in Wellington and that’s going to lay out .it’s pretty high level so don’t look for too much in it, but it’s basically laying out what we think are the systemic problems in the NZ economy and some pillars of, or areas where we think there should be a real focus to lift productivity.”

    So, the systemic problems he identified were? And the pillars or areas that should be focussed on to raise productivity are?

    Being fair. The second of the two things he was going to be talking about are not things he could have talked about. He was only ever promising a list of pillars or areas.

    I was going to provide an answer to those two questions above, but my eyes glazed over and my brain shrivelled before I was half way through his mindless Telly Tubbiness.

  17. Doary 17

    Well the state is alright, whats much is he supposed to say?

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    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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