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Key on wages

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 pm, March 18th, 2009 - 93 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

Key’s speech to the CTU today showed an interesting inight into how he thinks you lift wages. NZPA reports:

He said it was not good enough for New Zealand to be in the bottom third of the OECD for per-capita incomes, but was cautious about tackling the issue by lifting minimum wage rates.

“In reality, lifting the minimum wage will only take workers so far,” he said. “In the end, it’s productivity that drives wages.”

As I pointed out when David Farrar made the same fallacy the other day, the minimum wage isn’t there to make us all rich, it’s there to ensure that people on low incomes are able to live their lives with some basic dignity and security. It’s actually quite concerning that Key has such cartoonish view of what the Left stands for.

The other part of his argument – the bit about productivity – is only half right. Yes, in the long run you need to increase the amount of wealth produced per worker if you’re going to increase wages.

But in a capitalist system any benefit from productivity increases goes directly into the pockets of business owners. You need a mechanism to translate that into wages. And that mechanism is decent employment protections and a unionised workforce that has the strength to bargain decent wage increases.

The alternative, hoping that wealth will somehow ‘trickle down’ to ordinary people, has been a recipe for stagnating and in many cases declining wages. We saw a lot of that here in the 1990s under the anti-union Employment Contracts Act, when real wages fell even as productivity increased.

The American experience has been even more stark – since the mid 1970s productivity has increased by 70 percent but wages have remained static. Between 2001 and 2004, when productivity rose 11.7 percent, median household income grew by a mere 1.6 percent.

That’s what happens when you remove employment protections and make it harder for workers to organise through their unions – wages stagnate and the benefits of economic growth go exclusively to those at the top.

So while Key talks about lifting wages through productivity, his attacks on employment rights are kicking away the very mechanism that makes this happen. As it stands, all he’s offering New Zealand workers is the same trickle down theory that’s failed them for the last 20 years.

UPDATE: Good article from CNN here. “U.S. worker productivity still rose 18% in the 2000s… But inflation-adjusted income for the American middle-class family actually fell during the same period.”

93 comments on “Key on wages”

  1. FFS Tane – Key has told the CTU he wants to work with them to lift wages – but you guys can’t get past the bullshit and myths you were perpetuating last year. You lose more credibility by the day.

    • Tane 1.1

      Um, he said that before the election too. So did Reagan, and no doubt Bush as well. The thing is, there’s a difference between saying you want to do something and actually having policies to achieve it.

      Do you think trickle down is a viable plan to increase wages?

      • ben 1.1.1

        Do you think trickle down is a viable plan to increase wages?

        Show me any NZ politican whose policy is, or even believes in, trickle down. Last time anybody in government mentioned that concept in all seriousness was about 1984.

        Get out of the time warp.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          A lot of ACT policy is pretty much bog standard supply side stuff which, inasmuch as it is supposed to benefit the poor as much as the wealthy, = trickle down.

    • Kevin Welsh 1.2

      Yeah, right IV2, by backing his bullshit 9 day fortnight by any chance?

      I still have fond memories of the last time a National government promised higher wages.

      Care to remember Ruth Richardson’s “doubling of wages this decade” speech?

  2. higherstandard 2

    What IV2 said.

  3. keith 3

    Who actually thinks John Key gives a fuck about how the bottom half lives?

    • Tane 3.1

      But… but… he took a Maori girl to Waitangi.

      • Dean 3.1.1

        I do believe that’s more than Helen did. In fact she had a bit of a hard time with Waitangi in general didn’t she? I seem to remember a spot of bother over haters and wreckers, who were possibly in the last cab off the rank. She may or may not have had a cry at one point too.

        Tane, I’m not sure you’ve gotten over the left losing the last election properly. I know you’re not a vehement Labour supporter but really, it is quite concerning when you have such a cartoonish view of what the government stands for.

        IrishBill: you dick.

        • Tane 3.1.1.1

          Dean, my comment was a joke. I was making light of Key’s PR stunts designed to make him appear more centrist than he is. If it looks cartoonish, that’s because it is.

          I’m not too worried about what Helen did or didn’t do at Waitangi. It’s her results I judge her on, for better or worse. I’ve gotta say though, one thing I did find endearing about her was that by the end her PR was so dire that what you saw with Clark was pretty much what you got.

        • Dean 3.1.1.2

          “IrishBill: you dick.”

          Up to your usual standard, I see.

      • Inventory2 3.1.2

        WTF has that got to do with anything? You should ban yourself for posting off-topic!

        • IrishBill 3.1.2.1

          So IV2, care to explain how wages will automatically rise with productivity? Or are you just here to troll in your increasingly shrill way?

        • Tane 3.1.2.2

          Bro, it was an ironic comment on Key’s PR on how much he cares for “how the bottom half lives”, as Keith put it.

          Feel free to answer my question though.

          • Dean 3.1.2.2.1

            Thats a fair point Tane. I’d be more worried about the new Labour party president and how he thinks he can retain any kind of objectivity with his other job taken into consideration though.

          • Inventory2 3.1.2.2.2

            I’d love to answer your question Tane, but I have neither the expertise, nor the resources of a trade union or political party. I’m just a small business owner who’s trying hard not get dragged down by all the recession talk. Our business is actually going well, we’ve increased our staff by 15% this year, and given our staff a pay increase.

            PS – captcha = old unpaid – describes me to a T

            [Tane: All I do is read widely, comrade. It’s all online. But I’ll take that as an admission you’ve been running around the ‘sphere bagging me over something you admit to having no clue about. I’m glad your business is doing well though, right now there are far too many out there that aren’t.]

          • Felix 3.1.2.2.3

            …and given our staff a pay increase.

            To 12.50 an hour. Good for you.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Great post Tane.

    This:

    The American experience has been even more stark – since the mid 1970s productivity has increased by 70 percent but wages have remained static. Between 2001 and 2004, when productivity rose 11.7 percent, median household income grew by a mere 1.6 percent.

    is something I’ve not seen the usual suspects even try to explain. Why is it that 40 odd years ago, a family could buy a house and raise kids on a single full time average wage? Where has all the productivity growth gone? Why?

    It’s funny that these questions are seen as ‘class warfare’, but the facts the questions are talking to, are not.

    In related news, I note in passing the knots folks are tying themselves in about the AIG bonus moolapalooza. It seems that it would be difficult you see, because there are contracts and such, and it would be ever so wrong for the government, the government I say, to break those contracts. Even though the government is also the owner of the funking company, and that the banksters who broke the company would be out of a job if not for that fact. The thing is though, I also remember that when the auto industry was up for a much smaller bail out, the auto workers contracts were fair game for the government to screw up and throw in the corner. Strange stuff.

    • Tane 4.1

      Yep, this article‘s worth a look. In brief:

      “U.S. worker productivity still rose 18% in the 2000s But inflation-adjusted income for the American middle-class family actually fell during the same period.’

      “It’s a compelling example of a large disconnect,” said Bernstein. “Americans aren’t being rewarded for their productivity.”

      90% of the growth in U.S. workers’ income from 1989 to 2007 went to the top 10% highest earners, EPI said. Income for the top 1% grew 204% since 1989, and the top 0.1% saw their income grow 425% in that span.

      Trickle down in action.

    • Phil 4.2

      since the mid 1970s productivity has increased by 70 percent but wages have remained static.

      Real wages have remained static, meaning that in nominal terms they’re actually up roughly 300-400% (depending on which average inflation rate you use, and where ‘mid 1970’s starts). Once you start getting into that kind of percentage growth, comparisons to a productivity measure – which I’m guessing are nominal – are totally spurious.

      Between 2001 and 2004, when productivity rose 11.7 percent, median household income grew by a mere 1.6 percent.

      This is the left-wing equivalent of “global temperatures are falling, compared to 1998” and deserves exactly the same derision as a useless statistic.

      Why is it that 40 odd years ago, a family could buy a house and raise kids on a single full time average wage?
      Families had to work their arses off, and save like my generation cannot believe, to meet an excessively high deposit, and other criteria before getting a loan. I believe the average age of first home ownership would be very high – much higher than has been the case up until recently. A progressive decline in credit standards, as well as NZ’s bizzare aggregate ignorance of the stock market, will naturally lead to house prices rising, o average, faster than incomes.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1

        So are you saying that in real terms we aren’t much more productive than 40 years ago? Sounds wrong.

      • George Darroch 4.2.2

        You’re right that there was more of a culture of saving. I’m disappointed by many people’s attitudes to money. But that doesn’t change the other reality…

        A few decades ago, the average house price was three to four times an average worker’s wage. It remained that way for most of the 20th Century.

        An average house now costs around ten times the average wage. Difference much?

  5. “You need a mechanism to translate that into wages”

    What about competition in the labour market? It’s all very well to mock Key for having a cartoonish view of the Left, but this statement does seem to reflect a slightly cartoonish view of how prices are set in a market.
    If unions were the only way to make wages reflect productivity, non-unionised workers would be working for free.

    Here’s a paper which trivially concludes that productivity broadly leads to higher wages.
    http://ideas.repec.org/p/ssb/dispap/208.html

    Sorry, I can’t seem to find a free online version.

    • Tane 5.1

      Hoping that competition in the labour market will provide an equitable distribution of productivity gains is trickle down. And the empirical record from the last 30 years is that it doesn’t work.

      There are things other than strong unions that can help – keeping unemployment low is important, as are things like the minimum wage at the margins of the labour market, although a lot of the political pressure for policies like these come from the union movement.

      I’ve got no doubt that some, usually highly skilled, individuals will have sufficient bargaining power to have their productivity gains reflected in their pay, but for most workers this isn’t the case. That’s why they work collectively to improve their bargaining power.

      The rest of your arguments are strawmen or suggest you’ve misread my post.

      • Tom Mathews 5.1.1

        Well I think we’re in more agreement than you think, although most economists would probably agree that moderate levels of inflation are at least as important as the other factors you recognise. What I was saying is not that unions can’t wage workers’ wages, but there are many other factors that also do so.

        Business profits affect demand for labour in a similar way that income affects demand for goods. More money, more demand. More demand, higher wage. It might not be nearly as strong a correlation as you might like, but it seems to me you are saying it doesn’t happen at all, which I think is wrong.

        If this is based on a misreading of your post then I withdraw and apologise.

        • Tane 5.1.1.1

          I’m not suggesting there are no other factors involved, a blog post by necessity has to simplify. I just don’t think those factors – that is, other than employment protections and unionisation – are sufficient to provide an equitable distribution of the gains of productivity.

  6. Glad you mentioned the productivity scam.

    It’s got a lot in common with the scam of the 60s that claimed more automation would improve quality of life and give everyone more free time. Instead, it just saw people kicked out of jobs in traditional industries and left to either rot or sort themselves out via re-training if they weren’t too old and had some money to aid in supporting themselves.

    If productivity rises, the benefits do go straight to the company bottom line. Workers don’t get any of it unless there is a labour shortage and they are in demand. On the contrary, they may well find themselves outsourced as the Boss looks for the NEXT productivity hit…..because there is never enough of anything.

  7. Tane said “[Tane: All I do is read widely, comrade. It’s all online. But I’ll take that as an admission you’ve been running around the ‘sphere bagging me over something you admit to having no clue about. I’m glad your business is doing well though, right now there are far too many out there that aren’t.]

    Not quite Tane – I’m bagging you because you pushed a line last year that is demonstrably untrue – that John Key wanted to cut wages. His words to the CTU today make a lie of that:

    “I absolutely share your vision for a more-productive, higher-wage, higher-skilled economy, producing goods and services valued throughout the world.

    And I look forward to working with you to make that vision a reality.”

    And Dean said “” and given our staff a pay increase.’

    To 12.50 an hour. Good for you.”

    Most of our staff earn well in excess of $20/hr – the only ones working on the minimum wage (if you pro-rata’d our hours) would be my wife and I!

    • r0b 7.1

      His words to the CTU today make a lie of that:

      Words are words, actions are actions. Let me know when Key’s actions are shown to be delivering on his fine words. I won’t be holding my breath.

    • Con 7.2

      Gasp! John Key is a Friend of the Worker; it must be true because none other than John Key himself says so! I’m convinced!

    • lprent 7.3

      I2: Don’e be stupid. John Key and National will state something in public and do something quite different in practice.

      For instance read your OIA’s JK was adamant that there would be no sinking lid. Turns out that he was lying. His government is seeking a 10% sinking lid in expenditure across the whole of public sector. Tell me – how is that going to help increase the average wage?

      For the record. I’m expecting that JK will keep doing his jonkey about wages. At present there isn’t the data to say what the average wage levels actually are. But to date there has been nothing put in place or proposed that would help with JK’s “vision”. I think that it is all bullshit, because that is all that this dipshit says in speeches. It is what people do that is important.

      BTW: I believe that you were active in the debates around the time that JK was saying that there was no sinking lid. You going to apologise for your statements at the time? That would be consistent with your preposition on apologies. However I suspect that you have one standard for everyone else, and seperate one for yourself – just like this fuckwit that you admire.

  8. gingercrush 8

    Of course we need to raise productivity. But we also need to raise the minimum wage which at just $12.50 simply isn’t good enough. But we can’t raise that minimum wage to such an extent where it hurts businesses and employers. The fact is some jobs do not justify large increases in their wages. I know that sounds mean but its the truth. But right now earnings are rather low and some rise in that minimum wage is necessary. I was comfortable with the 50 cent increase because we are in tough economic conditions and the truth is regardless of the next government. The likelihood is that under Labour we would have seen a 66 cent increase. So the differences between National and Labour weren’t that great.

    The Greens and the Maori Party support an eventual increase to 15 dollars. I actually think that is sound if done so over a period of time. Indeed I think we could actually go higher. $16.00 or more importantly $17.00 is achievable over the next three years. Rather than annual increases, six monthly increases would work better. But we also need other earners incomes to increase with the minimum wage. Otherwise we will end up in a situation where incomes on a whole deflate. The minimum wage will be higher but more people will be stuck on either the minimum wage or just above it. That in itself would set a dangerous precedent.

    Dramatic changes in the minimum wage will cause pain to many businesses. And if pushed too far a too high minimum wage will see greater number of people unemployed. That is why businesses themselves must be supported by lower compliance costs but more importantly lower taxes. If we could design the business tax percentage to lower when we increase minimum wages. That would I think improve things and make larger increases in the minimum wage work. Indeed, while National has pushed for better tax cuts on personal incomes. Their tax policy for businesses isn’t much better than other parties and indeed is no different from Labour. A business tax cut down to 25% or even 20% overtime will in effect enable increases in the minimum wage to work. It would also allow those incomes higher than the current minimum wage to increase as well. Indeed, one could also further cut personal taxes. Which would therefore open up more money for everyone. And while initially would see cuts to government revenue. Overtime, revenue would improve.

    Such changes I think will also help with inflation. As if we just raised the minimum wage and not cut business tax. Businesses would either have to lose staff or they will increase prices which will ultimately lead to inflation. Such moves would see some inflation increases but if people and businesses have more money, it would allow such people to save. Thus lessening impacts on inflation.

    —-

    Overall, I think Key’s speech was excellent.

    • gingercrush: I’m wondering who will be working in restaurants and cafes soon. The few I know of don’t stay for long. Just a few months to get a small amount of cash together….and they go back to uni or overseas.

      The cafe near me can’t keep staff on for more than a few weeks….and they say they can’t afford to pay more. Judging by the state of their staffing, they can’t afford NOT to. So they struggle on and one or other of them will become ill and that will be the end of the business.

      This is the wonderful new New Zealand? No wonder so many are leaving.

  9. Redbaiter 9

    “the minimum wage isn’t there to make us all rich, it’s there to ensure that people on low incomes are able to live their lives with some basic dignity and security.”

    Well maybe, but it seems to me that the more government regulates and taxes and grows, the more my dignity and security are diminished.

    ” But in a capitalist system any benefit from productivity increases goes directly into the pockets of business owners.”

    At first. Then those business owners spend it, in ways much more helpful to community prosperity than government does.

    “The American experience has been even more stark – since the mid 1970s productivity has increased by 70 percent but wages have remained static”.

    Yet America still has an overall standard of living higher than your Scandinavian socialist models.

    • Red: “Then those business owners spend it, in ways much more helpful to community prosperity than government does”

      Elaborate.

      “Yet America still has an overall standard of living higher than your Scandinavian socialist models.”

      “standard of living” isn’t a term much used these days. In terms of quality of life,

      In 2005, The Economist rated all the Scandinavian countries well above the US.
      http://www.economist.com/media/pdf/QUALITY_OF_LIFE.PDF

      In terms of cities, the first US city on thie scale comes in at 27 (Honolulu) after the Scandinavians, the Canadians, Wellington and Auckland, most of Australia.

      http://www.mercer.com/referencecontent.htm?idContent=1307990

      The US wins on GDP…..but GDP says nothing meaningful about anyone’s “standard of living”. It just says you make a lot of stuff. Not that you enjoy it, are rewarded for it or are particularly happy about it.

  10. gingercrush 10

    Yet America still has an overall standard of living higher than your Scandinavian socialist models.

    Yes the majority of Americans live very well. Greater than most. But those on the bottom face extraordinary discomfort and difficult times without the socialist safety nets other countries provide.

    • gingercrush: Don’t say yes. Every measure I can find says the opposite.

      I know from personal experience the US is full of contradiction. I remember in Mt. Vernon, Illinois a huge proportion of people drove Cadillacs. Well off, eh!!! Yet they paid next to nothing in rates and the roads were full of pot holes you could lose a large dog in. Real 3rd-world stuff….though I have to confess with potholes in that number and size, there would be no boy racers there.

  11. r0b 11

    Well maybe, but it seems to me that the more government regulates and taxes and grows, the more my dignity and security are diminished.

    Those that resent contributing to the common good will always feel that way redbaiter.

    Yet America still has an overall standard of living higher than your Scandinavian socialist models.

    Sources for this claim please? Compare with this summary (Scientific American, 2006):

    On average, the Nordic countries outperform the Anglo-Saxon ones on most measures of economic performance. Poverty rates are much lower there, and national income per working-age population is on average higher. Unemployment rates are roughly the same in both groups, just slightly higher in the Nordic countries. The budget situation is stronger in the Nordic group, with larger surpluses as a share of GDP.

    The results for the households at the bottom of the income distribution are astoundingly good, especially in contrast to the mean-spirited neglect that now passes for American social policy. The U.S. spends less than almost all rich countries on social services for the poor and disabled, and it gets what it pays for: the highest poverty rate among the rich countries and an exploding prison population. Actually, by shunning public spending on health, the U.S. gets much less than it pays for, because its dependence on private health care has led to a ramshackle system that yields mediocre results at very high costs.

    In strong and vibrant democracies, a generous social-welfare state is not a road to serfdom but rather to fairness, economic equality and international competitiveness.

  12. Redbaiter 12

    “Sources for this claim please?”

    All over the net loser. How about you agree to give $20 to a charity I nominate for every one I can find. Deal?

    • r0b 12.1

      Hmmm, my reply seems to be in moderation, not sure why (someone please delete the duplicate). [lprent: done]

      Now that this comment is here, let’s see if I can edit in my reply:

      ===

      You can find various things “all over the net” redbaiter. I’d be interested in examples from sources as credible as Scientific American (as quoted above).

      Those claiming that America has a higher standard of living can make a case, by being selective with their stats. But they will all be ignoring the elephant in the room – an elephant which is making itself increasingly hard to ignore. America’s famed economy / standard of living is a mirage, a bubble, an illusion created by borrowed money and insane financial practices. The whole house of cards is tumbling down. Whatever is left of America when this is all over will be owned by China. None of the “evidence” that you can find to support your claim will take account of this rather important fact.

    • r0b 12.2

      My reply is in moderation for some reason (someone please delete the duplicates) – so until tomorrow, goodnight…

  13. Redbaiter 13

    Yeah that is right Withers. The US has such a low standard of living, people from other countries, including your Nordic paradises, would do anything to get there and get a US passport.

    ..and then you can take Cuba, one of your especially successful socialist nirvana’s, lauded by leftists all over the world and endlessly touted by Hollywood celebrities. It is such a desirable pace to live that Haitian refugees paddled their rubber tubes right past it in order to land in Florida.

    Fuck you Progressives are fucking morons. A total waste of time energy space and oxygen. So obsessively doctrinal you’d deny the negative realities of Socialism even if your grandmother’s life depended upon it.

  14. RedLogix 14

    The US has such a low standard of living, people from other countries, including your Nordic paradises, would do anything to get there and get a US passport.

    Maybe, maybe not. About four years ago I was offered a good full-time role with a decent US based OEM manufacturer, I had been contracting to for some months, that paid about U$105k in the first year. I took a long hard look at it, the stress and long hours, the travel, the long weeks away from home, the MUCH higher living costs, the high taxes… the dislocation from family… and in the end concluded that I would only be a little better off than staying here in NZ.

    What is usually overlooked in these discussions is that while the USA enjoys a very high average GDP/capita, it’s median household income is far less impressive.

    This link demonstrates that NZ actually has a surprisingly high median household income when corrected for purchasing power parity.

    This link has some pretty dramatic graphs that clearly show how US median household incomes have NOT kept pace with rising productivity over the last 4 decades.

    Coincidentally I was working with a Finnish engineer installing a massive log-debarking machine on the same site and talked with him about it…. he vowed in the usual rather blunt Finnish style that only a madman would work for the fracken Yanks.

    And that was that.

    In the meantime Steve Withers made a polite case to suggest that the USA is not at all the workers paradise you seem to think it is, and offered reasonable references to back his argument. Any chance you’re in the mood to reciprocate?

  15. Redbaiter 15

    “Any chance you’re in the mood to reciprocate?”

    Can’t you read you tiresome plodding halfwit? I’ve already made the offer. The remarkable thing to my mind is your apparent disbelief that such information exists. All this demonstrates to me is that as usual, you leftists are locked into such a narrow spectrum of information you wouldn’t know your arse from your elbow.

    As for your “polite” Mr. Withers, he is in my humble opinion, one of the most stinking disreputable lowlife frauds on the internet. He should consider himself lucky he is recognised at all, and if he’s expecting to be treated as a normal human being with morals and integrity he’s sadly deluded.

    As for your Nordic paradises, the only people lining up to get in there are third world no hopers (the kind that Helen liked to bring to NZ because they vote for her) desiring to take advantage of the no work full pay welfare policies they pursue. As miserable as they may be, the Nordic cities are still a great improvement over grass huts, bare earth, failed crops, excreta fouled water, dysentery and a subsistence life style.

    As for the “average” living standard in the Nordic countries, even when it gets close to the US, its artificially inflated by the anomaly of oil rich Norway. As you know. (But why would we ever expect the left to argue their case with integrity, openness and clarity when their whole social construct is based on propaganda and falsehood?)

    • r0b 15.1

      I’ve already made the offer.

      My reply to “your offer” is caught in the spam trap for some reason. But one of the main points it made was this. All of the (recent historical) evidence relating to America’s status ignores the increasingly obvious fact that America’s famed economy / standard of living was all a mirage, an illusion created by borrowed money and insane financial practices. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t sustainable, and it is being swept away.

      • Redbaiter 15.1.1

        See. Even if I had provided such references it wouldn’t have mattered. You would just discredit them by means of rumour and innuendo.

        As for the Scientific American article, its subjective language shows it is clearly politically partisan. (example- “the mean-spirited neglect that now passes for American social policy”)

        This magazine has long ago slipped from any degree of repute, and is today recognised as just one more media outlet whose output is indelibly contaminated by the fact that it has been commandeered by those who are not so much journalists as political advocates for the left.

        The mystifying thing to me is your apparent ignorance of the fact that the mainstream media and the Scientific American in particular are regarded as unreliable by so many people because of their politically partisan stance. I mean, you do come into the real world now and again don’t you???

    • All I see in this post is blah blah blah, distinct lack of evidence and I don’t care what you say to make up for it, either put up or shut up mr baiter.

  16. Redbaiter 16

    Look- here’s what I consider idiotic about your requests for references. How can it be seen as rational behaviour, when all I need to do to provide such references is go to Google, type in “US higher living standards than Nordic countries” and then transfer those references that come up positive to this thread??

    I just don’t see the necessity for it, especially when from my perspective, the claims I make are by no means lacking in credibility, and in the circles I move in, pretty much accepted as fact. The norm. The status quo. Nothing exceptional

    There are two factors at play here. One is the apparent one dimensional approach to political information that typifies what leftists write here, and the second is some kind of dependency or indolence that appears to allow you to make demands upon others when you’re quite capable of performing the requested tasks yourself.

    Furthermore, I work damn hard all day, and then when I choose to amuse myself by contributing to the blogosphere, I’m harried by slow witted dipshits like Redlogix, who apparently lacks the reading skills to see that I’ve already made the conditional offer to produce links, and still, after supposedly reading the thread, makes a fresh demand. I just cannot after a hard days work, suffer such idiocy politely. Sorry.

    • r0b 16.1

      Redbaiter, comrade, you’re sounding a little overwrought. Go get some sleep. I have replies to your comments above that are caught in the spam traps, so they will keep until tomorrow. Go sleep.

    • Stever 16.2

      Wow! This really is the whingeing of someone whose world view, formed from “the circles I move in” (and getting nowhere fast!), bangs up against reality.

    • Your a professional parasite, your jobs been replaced by the internet. If you cannot back up what you are claiming, then don’t say it in the first place.

    • Con 16.4

      Poor RedBaiter … it’s tough being a right-wing troll on a left-wing blog. Especially after a hard day’s work eh?

      Here’s my advice: SUCK IT UP!

      Seriously, if your idea of “contributing” to the blog is to “offer” to Google for some “links” to buttress your pre-conceived position then it’s no wonder you get nowhere.

      Look: I can Google for “the earth is flat” and find some “links”. Does that prove the earth is flat?

      You have singularly failed to show that US residents enjoy a standard of living as high as Nordic residents, because you have not engaged with the FACTS. Talk of “Googling for links” is bullshit.

      You can’t assume that because the USA is financially well off that Americans live well.

      Firstly, their currency is artificially strong – you need to consider their purchasing power.

      More generally, standard of living is not a purely financial issue. The FACTS are that more of the USA’s GDP is wasted on rubbish that doesn’t contribute to the standard of living of Americans. The spend much more on health because their health sector is poorly organised, but they get less for it. They spend far more on their military, and on cops, and they lock up way more people in prisons (more than 1% of the US population is in prison, and 3% are either in prison, on parole, or probation). Does that improve their standard of living? If all you’re doing is counting $ spent then sure, it’s all good!

      • Redbaiter 16.4.1

        You’re crazy. I know that because your post is a standout example of unbelievable hypocrisy yet you’re apparently completely unaware of that fact. All assertion. Not one iota of substantiation. While your criticism of Redbaiter is for doing just that. Sorry, I don’t have the time to deal with deranged loons.

        • Matthew Pilott 16.4.1.1

          All assertion. Not one iota of substantiation.

          If you don’t believe Con, you need to google the assertions and paste the links here yourself. Apparently that’s all you need to do to ‘prove’ something, that’s what you’re insisting everyone else does. Maybe you could pay Con $20 for each link…

          BTW I secretly admire your approach here. People say something, and provide good links to back their points of view up.

          You make opposing claims, and then insist people do their own research to back up your claims. Quite rightly, they haven’t accepted your proposal, nor are they willing to pay you to back your claims up – as is the norm, if you choose not to back up what you say, your claims are merely the worthless ramblings of an anonymous blog commentor.

          Only you could work an approach like this and expect to be taken seriously. Quite the sense of entitlement you have brewing there, Redbaiter.

          • Redbaiter 16.4.1.1.1

            Y’know, I try to be patient with you loons, but really, that you would assert something so ridiculous that the only links on the internet of any repute are those that support a left wing political perspective is taking your idiocy to a completely new level.

            I just don’t think there is any point in presenting links because no matter what I provide, you will assert it of no worth.

            That is why in my posts, I use empirical methods, such as the Haitians swimming past Cuba, and people lining up to enter the States as opposed to only losers wanting to go to Norway.

            These are points you of course ignore, preferring naturally to dredge up partisan rubbish from publications like Scientific American.

            Then you declare yourselves to have provided “proof”, and therefore to have “won” the debate.

            Pffft..

            Fucken hopeless.

            Like trying to wrestle with a column of smoke.

            [lprent: I’d hardly describe Scientific American as being partisan. I’d generally describe them as being stuffy in scientific terms. I think that you may have limited your reading list somewhat too far.]

          • Matthew Pilott 16.4.1.1.2

            Yes, Redbaiter, only an idiot would wrestle with a column of smoke. Interesting observation you have made there; very self-observant, almost zen. Someone rational would, I don’t know, chuck a bucket of water or take a piss on the fire. Keep up your wrestling.

            Your examples are crap. Are you going to use the US-Mexican border as an example of US’ superiority in the lifestyle stakes? Is ‘third-world no-hopers’ some kind of statement of fact I’m meant to believe, some reasible measure of the calibre of immigrants to Scandinavia vs. those aiming for North America, as opposed to the deranged ramblings (to use a certain someone’s quote) of Redbaiter?

            Pffft. Don’t know why you try either.

          • Con 16.4.1.1.3

            I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but …

            I just don’t think there is any point in presenting links because no matter what I provide, you will assert it of no worth.

            Amazing! Madame Baiter predicts the future!

            Listen up Baiter, why the fuck don’t you stop “offering” to provide evidence to back up your received wisdom, and ACTUALLY DO IT? I am calling your bluff! Let’s see these “links” of yours!

            But no, I predict you won’t provide these links, because you are too tuckered out from a long day at work to participate in a debate, with FACTS and such like. It’s much easier to be a troll isn’t it?

            That is why in my posts, I use empirical methods, such as the Haitians swimming past Cuba, and people lining up to enter the States as opposed to only losers wanting to go to Norway.

            Seriously? Is that the best you can do? Let me see if I can “Google” for news about Haitians swimming to Norway … gosh there don’t seem to have been any! I take it all back; your anecdote has totally clinched it for me! Some Haitians rafted to Florida, bypassing Cuba (and the Dominican Republic and Jamaica I guess), so that provides that Scandinavians have a lower standard of living than Americans!

            Seriously, though, it’s a wonder you haven’t been banned here for your trolling … it’s not like you actually do contribute anything useful to the discussion. You’re only here to be disruptive aren’t you?

        • Con 16.4.1.2

          Sorry, I don’t have the time to deal with deranged loons.

          So you keep telling us.

        • ethical martini 16.4.1.3

          But redbaiter, that’s all you do, all day all over the NZBlogosphere

  17. Tane – you make the assumption that all the extra productivity has gone to Corporate bottom line. But if you look at Profit share of GDP it has remained reasonably static. The answer to that conundrum is that prices have come down so consumers can get more for their money.

    I have always been suspicious about your real wages comparison to australia. It is just not consistent with other data I have seen direct from source. You will have to include the impact of exchange rates and show that you are comparing PPP. I am not saying you are wrong but it is not consistent with PPP GDP per capita graph comparisons over the same period.

    Can you please provide the source data with links to stats/treasury so I can recreate.

    John Key’s reported comments are perfectly accurate and reasonable whatever side of the political fence, you are simply creating your own straw man. Which is not terribly productive

  18. keith 18

    phil says: Families had to work their arses off, and save like my generation cannot believe, to meet an excessively high deposit, and other criteria before getting a loan.

    i says: fuck off phil, families have to work their arses off now, except now many have little chance of buying their own home. Currently the median house price in NZ is $330,000 and the median annual salary is ~38,000 (2008 stats) which means the median priced house costs over EIGHT times the median salary.
    I compare this to my work mate who after his fitter/turner apprenticeship in the 80’s was earning over $10,000/yr and bought a house worth just over $30,000. Clearly housing was far more affordable then than now.
    Sure they had to save for large deposits (which in my opinion is a good thing) but right now banks aren’t accepting deposits under 20% which at the median house price is $66,000!
    Basically, phil, youre completely full of it.

  19. Daveski 19

    Some interesting comments about unions in the original post that appear to have gone unchallenged.

    I would argue that a unionised workforce is a sign of a low skill, low wage economy. The reach of unions is highly reduced in professional areas which tend to be higher paid.

    I’d also see some conflict between unions duties to their members (protect jobs, increase wages) and the political aspirations of most union leaders who have much broader political objectives.

    Your view of businesses snaring profits is simplistic also. This may be true where there is no pressure to employ skilled labour but in the majority of employment situations, the market works in favour of the workers by ensuring any employer who fails to reward staff will soon be short skilled.

    It is sad that many hear see a return to cloth-cap unionism as progress when we should be focussing on upskilling and innovation.

    • Tane 19.1

      I would argue that a unionised workforce is a sign of a low skill, low wage economy. The reach of unions is highly reduced in professional areas which tend to be higher paid.

      Some of the most highly unionised sectors in the economy are the doctors and the airline pilots. Some of the least unionised are among the minimum wage retail sector.

      Similarly, your comments about “cloth-cap unionism” against upskilling and innovation suggest that like most righties, you have little clue how modern unions actually work.

      I mean, what do you think was going on yesterday at that CTU productivity conference, if not a focus on upskilling and innovation?

  20. Daveski 20

    Tane

    I tried to pick my words carefully – I did say a return to “cloth cap unionisim”. I’m well aware of the changes to unionism in NZ particularly the EPMU which I think is more about collaboration and co-operation than conflict. My comment reflected the comments here, not the role of the unions.

    I’m not sure whether your comments about a unionised workforce suggest compulsory unionisation which IMO would be a major step backwards. I’m not suggesting for a moment that unions don’t have a role to play but as you yourself note, there is a “third way” (for both unions and employers) that does not mean a return to how things were done in the past.

    • Tane 20.1

      Daveski, comments like that show why it’s dangerous to put too much stock in the comments of armchair socialists like Trotter.

      And no, I’m not proposing compulsory unionism. I don’t know of anyone who does. I’m talking about labour laws that allow workers to organise without employer obstruction, including on an industry basis.

  21. Redbaiter 21

    “Is ‘third-world no-hopers’ some kind of statement of fact I’m meant to believe, some reasonable measure of the calibre of immigrants to Scandinavia vs. those aiming for North America,”

    Take just for one example- international circuit tennis players.

    So many of them come from the socialist hell holes you want to make of NZ, and as soon as they become succesful, they take up residence in the States. Not your socialist Nirvanas. Why is that??

    • Quoth the Raven 21.1

      Where in the US do they take up residence. Michigan, no. Alabama, no. Harlem, no. Compton, no. There are rich areas and there are poors areas Red and there are a lot of poor areas in the US.

      • Matthew Pilott 21.1.1

        What’s also pretty funny is that Swedish tennis players generally stay there instead of moving to the US. Norwegian rally drivers also base themselves in…Norway!

        Which goes to show that you can make assertions all you want, Redbaiter, but they are easily refuted by other assertions. That’s why your average punter would link to a respected article, or some form of corroborating source. You don’t think you need to, that’s fine. Just don’t expect anyone to take your wee anecdotes seriously.

        • Redbaiter 21.1.1.1

          If you cannot see that you just committed the same transgression you accused me of, you really are nuts.

          Not that it even addresses the point. ie- Why do the successful tennis players from other countries choose the US over your favourite Nordic cesspits?

          Like I said.

          As productive as wrestling with a column of smoke.

          • Matthew Pilott 21.1.1.1.1

            I’m not denying it you bithering idiot, I said the exact opposite.

            You tell an anecdote and think it is some form of empirical fact. I do much the same, and we’ll go round in circles. If you recall, my original point was that telling anecdotes is pointless.

    • Relic 21.2

      Master Baiter, you are obviously not from these here parts, please, please, return to your putrescent natrual lair.

    • oh yeah, socialist hellholes like Czechoslovakia. I know you dribblejaws think that history stopped about 20 years ago, but not even Dr Fukayama believes that any more.
      Your rhetoric is almost as bad as your abuse, at least the abuse is up-to-date.

  22. lampie 22

    You can improve productivity by education, maintaining and enhancing skills in changing technology and knowledge.

    So with increase in productivity, it is wise to “invest” in enhancing the inputs to generate more output.

    You can increase productivity through reducing output as long as inputs are reducing at a greater rate though you don’t really want to go down that track

  23. lampie 23

    If you think an increase in minimum wage will decrease productivity this is not necessary true. You need to look at the multi-factor productivity rather than just labour productivity.

  24. Redbaiter 24

    “Master Baiter, you are obviously not from these here parts, please, please, return to your putrescent natrual lair.”

    Yes, I can imagine the pain you totalitarians must feel at discovering there is still some vestige of political diversity abroad in this country.

    lprent: I’d hardly describe Scientific American as being partisan. I’d generally describe them as being stuffy in scientific terms. I think that you may have limited your reading list somewhat too far.]

    No I haven’t. In 30 seconds, I was able to find examples of people expressing concern with the left liberal bias of the Scientific American.

    It is a continuing source of puzzlement to me that you guys don’t seem to know that this kind of criticism is out there.

    Links below, so the usual incessant whiners can shut the fuck up for once.

    http://www.amazon.com/Scientific-American/product-reviews/B00008DP07

    http://www.epinions.com/review/mags-Scientific_American/content_132793339524

    http://www.bloggernews.net/113982

    • Quoth the Raven 24.1

      Redbaiter – You call yourself Redbaiter then you have the gall to talk about political diversity. Your handle which you chose clearly to be intentionally offensive is one that is based on absolute intolerance of political dissent. What a fucking loser.

  25. Redbaiter 25

    “What a fucking loser.”

    Actually, the thing that I found attractive about Redbaiter as a handle was the signature that I originally used with it-

    “In the leftist’s lexicon, the lowest of the low.”

    No room or time for that these days.

  26. Tane, thanks most amusing if not very instructive.
    your post is actually on the money. The labour theory of value and a slight whiff of Marxism.
    Keep it up, you almost restored my faith in the Labour left.
    Pity about redbaiter though. s/he does tend to lower the tone of the neighbourhood. Good for padding out a thread and not much else, not even funny.

  27. Simon-5 27

    Tane wrote:..

    A law-abiding Maori bloke was on his way to work one day..

    Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week.

    [lprent: still banned – another ip added to automoderation]

    • ak 27.1

      (see, ethical? we get the occasional moronic pusball even lower than ratbiter…..actually, give it time, after a while ole bait sorta grows on ya, like a raving old uncle, or a benign wart… a crazy, repetitive counterpoint in ever-decreasing loops, relentlessly highlighting the melodic sanity of the Standardistas)

      • Tane 27.1.1

        Yeah, that’s pretty stunning stuff from Simon-5. He’s banned, but I’ll leave it up to show why that’s the case.

  28. RedLogix 28

    I was thinking that The Standard should consider dropping the agency that allocates trolls a polite note of thanks for the ‘baiter. There are certainly far less capable trolls around on the net, while baiter seems to not only have passed his troll quals with flying colours (albeit with a blood-rage misty hue), but has applied himself to his assigned troll role with remarkable diligence and an engaging homely style all his own work.

    I sure hope that Troll Central remembers to give ‘baiter the lump of mouldy cheese they are contractually obliged to pay him this year. It would be a real shame if this messy AIG business meant that bonuses went totally out of fashion, just when baiter is so richly deserving of his.

    • Felix 28.1

      Well he is consistent I suppose. (Not internally of course).

      • RedLogix 28.1.1

        Of course if they don’t pay out baiter’s bonus, we could have a quick whip around for the poor blighter. It would be all wrong if he didn’t get to feel some good old fashioned leftie solidarity in his hour of need.

        • Felix 28.1.1.1

          I’m in. I need to clean some of the science out of the back of the fridge anyway.

  29. Rosa 29

    Tane: “It’s actually quite concerning that Key has such cartoonish view of what the Left stands for.”

    I don`t think its cartoonish so much as ideological. For all his campaign rhetoric about growing up in a council house, he is the first accountant (by training) to be Prime Minister of New Zealand since Muldoon, and if I am not mistaken, with the same narrow view of his opponents and experience of life.

    He may be repackaged, but it`s old wine in new bottles.

  30. rave 30

    Whiff of Marxism? I’m sniffing but I’m not getting anything.

  31. ben 31

    But in a capitalist system any benefit from productivity increases goes directly into the pockets of business owners. You need a mechanism to translate that into wages. And that mechanism is decent employment protections and a unionised workforce that has the strength to bargain decent wage increases.

    Nope. 100% wrong Tane. When you look at the data across countries, you find close to a 1 to 1 match between productivity and wages, and no or almost no relationship between wages and employment laws or unionisation. The reason capital owners must share gains in productivity is competition for labour.

    New Zealand alone proves the point – employment protection laws do not force employers to share producitivity gains, and most of the workforce is not unionised, but somehow this non-unionised workforce pulls a decent wage. Indeed, since the decline of unionisation in the 1980s real wages have increased substantially. Unions, in other words, do not have much effect on wage levels.

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    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago