web analytics

Labour needs to be firm on tax

Written By: - Date published: 12:48 pm, January 25th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: tax - Tags:

Marty did some really excellent work last week on the Tax Working Group’s proposed tax reforms last week, which Zetetic summed up as ‘tax cuts for tax cheats’. I think Marty convincingly showed that slashing the top tax rates with all the benefits going to the rich and paying for it by putting the cost on poor and middle class is bad policy. I want to talk about why it would be awful politics.

Let’s check out that graphic Marty made again:

Count that up: 3.2 million taxpayers definitely lose out. 250,000 probably benefit. They say that in politics you can fool most of the people some of the time but I find it hard to believe that you can fool 93% of them into paying for tax cuts for the richest 7%.

Worse, the mechanism of imposing the costs on the poor and middle class is very visible – higher rents, higher prices at the shops – while experience shows that people don’t tend to notice changes in net income because of lower income tax unless the cuts are very large (how many of you noticed Labour or National’s cuts?).

That’s a recipe for major voter discontent. All they need is some way to express it. And that’s where Labour comes in.

Labour needs to come out and say what it would do, and that is:

  • drop the idea of increasing GST – its regressive and, after the compensation to beneficiaries and superannuitants, it raises just $200 million in extra revenue.
  • keep the proposed changes to property tax – a combination of measures on property would raise $2 billion. It would lower house prices, discourage housing over-investment, and would lift rents.
  • use the $2 billion to cut income tax at the bottom end – you could make a tax-free bracket of $5,000, which comes out at a $625 a year tax cut for everyone.

Now, which are people going to support? A wealth grab for the top 7% or an equal tax cut for everybody while easing the investor pressure on house prices that has driven them out of the reach of many Kiwi families?

At the end of the day, I don’t think National is going to be going through with any large reforms. Any changes announced in the May Budget won’t come in till October 1 at the earliest or, more likely, April 1 next year. And, say what you will about John Key, he’s got a good enough sense of self-preservation not to put up GST and rents in election year. But, either way, Labour can make good ground by laying out an alternative set of reforms that benefit everyone and aren’t just ‘tax cuts for tax cheats’.

33 comments on “Labour needs to be firm on tax”

  1. RedLogix 1

    while easing the investor pressure on house prices that has driven them out of the reach of many Kiwi families?

    Oh right.. crash the property market and take a chunk out of the equity of tens of thousands of ordinary people…. you know the 70% odd who own their own home, the 35% who have a mortgage on it. And wipe out the retirement plan for the vast majority of mum and dad investors who have one or two other houses.. another 15-20% of the population pissed off. Way to win elections Eddie.

    Far too many lefties unable to tell the difference between a small number of high flying speculators who really have ripped the system off (whom IRD should deal to using existing trader rules)… and the tens of thousands of very ordinary middle class folk who scrimp, save and work rather hard to make their property investment work for them in retirement.

    Far too many lefties with chips on their shoulders about landlords.

    • Mr Magoo 1.1

      I believe the leftist view has always been to protect the family home. (Such as the greens stance on this regarding cap gains)

      Having multiple houses is an INVESTMENT and there is pretty much no case to be made for people avoiding the tax that every other form of investment has to pay.

      I have seen multiple posts in various media from people with multiple properties moaning and complaining. Basically this form of investment has had an unfair advantage and people have naturally taken advantage to the detriment of the economy. This does not mean you should be able to continue to do this or that this is any sort of “right”.

      Your statement about “crashing the housing market” is a complete straw man. Everyone is aware of that danger and has plans to mitigate it and avoid a crash. Currently the housing market is moving in the opposite direction and making things worse so this argument cannot hold water.
      A drop in value is a necessary and inevitable outcome regardless of what happens. Housing affordability and debt ratios cannot continue in this vein.

      As to IRD cleaning up the industry I read recently they have already started by ripping into the worst offenders. (top 1000 or something) Maybe someone has the link on this?

      The numbers in unpaid tax are obscene. There is nothing “small” about it and that only covers the WORST offenders.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Everyone is aware of that danger and has plans to mitigate it and avoid a crash.

        Bollocks, everyone is talking things up… the recession is ‘over’ according to most of the talking heads.

        Basically this form of investment has had an unfair advantage

        Complete ignorance.

        Property investment is treated for tax purposes exactly the same as any other business. I defy you to find a tax ‘advantage’ that property investment has… not applicable to any other business.

        People forget that 70% or so of the cash flow in this industry goes straight into the pockets of the banks in the form of mortgage interest… and that is where the tax is (or should be) paid.

        People are almost universally ignorant of the fact that depreciation claimed has to be repaid if the property is resold for a profit.

        and people have naturally taken advantage to the detriment of the economy.

        What detriment? We provided homes for people… what the hell is wrong with that?

        Or are you suggesting that we should have been putting our money into the NZX…, you have to be kidding me, right?

        • Mr Magoo 1.1.1.1

          Bollocks, everyone is talking things up the recession is ‘over’ according to most of the talking heads.
          You missed the point. I was talking about political parties and advisors discussing CHANGE to property taxation are. Not about the general economy.
          There is not a bollock to be found in my argument. I cannot vouch for anyone else of course…

          Property investment is treated for tax purposes exactly the same as any other business.

          No. The investment is structured like a company for the purposes of tax avoidance yes – but that is hardly the point. It is not a company. It is an investment (property) in name and intent.
          I am not a tax lawyer and I don’t care to be. We are talking government policy changes not legal semantics here.
          And the fact that people are claiming depreciation on an asset that is appreciating in value is a great example of how terribly wrong the system actually is.

          What detriment? We provided homes for people what the hell is wrong with that?
          I see you are one of those multiple home owners by the use of ‘we’. What is is wrong with that in the majority is that housing affordability is way below what it should be.
          Also that these overvalued houses are being propped up by overseas debt and thus it is an UNPRODUCTIVE sector of the economy. This is an unsustainable cycle that must end one way or another.
          Also the that main reason for this is that tax loop holes over a long period of time have made housing a more attractive investment than it should actually be.

          In the majority people don’t WANT to rent your house, they want to buy their own.

          you have to be kidding me, right?

          I would suggest what every investment advisor would. That your money should be wisely diversified across a number of investments both local and international. If all you currently have is property then that would be foolish given the current climate.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            The investment is structured like a company for the purposes of tax avoidance yes

            It’s a company that has costs (mortgages, rates, insurance, labour, repairs, accountancy, etc), pays it’s full whack of GST on all inputs… land, building, labour and materials.

            It also demands a whole bunch of time and effort… and not a little risk from dud tenants.

            If you think that’s the same as investing in shares you really have no idea what you are talking about.

            And the fact that people are claiming depreciation on an asset that is appreciating in value

            Again total ignorance. It is the land that appreciates in value, the building over it’s lifetime gradually looses value.

            What is is wrong with that in the majority is that housing affordability is way below what it should be.

            Again not nearly as much to do with investors as you would like to think. I’m no more of a fan of high property prices than you are. They make the returns utter crap… and it certainly wasn’t me who bid prices up on anything. I built new everything I own.

            Also that these overvalued houses are being propped up by overseas debt and thus it is an UNPRODUCTIVE sector of the economy.

            Try getting your family to live in a tent and get back to us about how productive that is. Besides, the largest portion of the total mortgage debt was racked up by home owners…. not investors.

            In the majority people don’t WANT to rent your house, they want to buy their own.

            But a minority do. There are plenty of people at a stage of life when they have no interest or need to buy a home. Maybe they are just too transient, moving from job to job, moving onto new relationships, new towns. Maybe they have just come out of a relationship breakup and it’s going to take them a few years to get back on their feet. Maybe they just prefer to rent, and spend the cash they are saving on something else. Whatever.. we serve a legitimate market.

            If all you currently have is property then that would be foolish given the current climate.

            Ah right… diversified exactly where? No mention of the trillions of dollars of shareholder value destroyed last year, or the fact that most people hold the NZX in about the same regard as they do the scum build-up behind the refrigerator.

            • Mr Magoo 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So you build and develop houses? So that would not be the pure investment property companies I was referring to? (Not that I was talking about your case specifically anyway)

              That is a completely different kettle of fish and is an actual company and not an investment vehicle.

              So I would agree with you that your situation is not the one I was talking about and actually provides a service that is worthwhile. Of course it has little to do with what I was talking about. 🙂

              • RedLogix

                As much as she’s an windblown beach at times, our prickly friend Cactus Kate more or less nails all the essential points in her latest blog. Worth a read, as she actually knows what she’s talking about in this case.

              • Mr Magoo

                Her stating of the arguments of why the panel and the public don’t “like” housing investment are a very weak straw man summed up as being solely because people think all landlords are like Ebenezer Scrooge .
                Absolute Rubbish.

                She then goes on with a comparison to Hong Kong in which the property market is chaotic because it is a true free market and that the problems we face would be solved by this situation….of course that is a useless comparison because we cannot engineer this and would not want to. Hong King has a land tax also….

                See seems to be seeking some sort of inspirational and out of the box thinking in the tax recommendations? Typically this would mean radical and untried also!
                Perhaps she should visit the art museum for such things as they are less dangerous…

                She then rounds it all up as “be like hong kong” as her personal recommendation for how we should. I am not an expert in this area, but I think hong kong and the rest of asia would seriously object to NZ attempting to force its way into becoming the investment conduit for china!?!?
                Yes, hong kong is about the worst comparison for NZ you could use…

                Enlightened it is not, although I think I know what about the lengthy line of reasoning was so appealing…

              • RedLogix

                I should have been clearer. While I totally disagree with her conclusions (she’s an Actoid after all), she still accurately identifies what is wrong with a lot of the TWG’s proposed solutions.

                She makes honourable mention of Gareth Morgan’s excellent proposals, but sadly dismisses them without too much thought.

              • Mr Magoo

                I think the only, and highly appropriate, answer to accepting Morgan’s view of the world is…

                riiiiiiiiiggghhhttt…..

                It is nice to see you quote someone as backup because they happened to mention something you agree with. Someone who you admit you don’t think has much of a clue.

                Not sure what that proves in any context….???!

        • burt 1.1.1.2

          The landlord argues there is no special tax advantage in rental property – sorry RedLogix, $500m clawed back from the tax base to subsidise landlords says you are wrong.

          I have rental property too, but I’m not so myopic that I can’t admit the pitch is not level compared to other classes of investment.

          Why do you persist with telling lies ? Is it because having the tax payers subsidy removed from your own investments will reduce your own net worth ?

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.1

            OK burt… you tell me exactly what you are talking about. Exactly what aspect of the tax system applies only to property investment.. and not to anything else?

            Go on. Bet you can’t.

          • burt 1.1.1.2.2

            How many mum and dad investors run their rental property through a separate company rather than claim loses against other completely unrelated income?

            And how many of these people pay tax on the capital growth ?

            If you are running your rental property completely separately via a company that is not including other income sources (and you are not claiming unrealistic depreciation because you can ) then rental property is similar to any other business. The business owns the assets and pays tax on the profit from sale, this is not the norm for most people just creaming their share of the $500m tax payer subsidy though.

            • Mr Magoo 1.1.1.2.2.1

              Holy crap burt….I find myself agreeing with you.

              What the hell??? 🙂

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.2.2

              How many mum and dad investors run their rental property through a separate company rather than claim loses against other completely unrelated income?

              That would be a large majority, especially those that had taken some professional advice.

              A majority also probably have another employment liable for PAYE, what you termed ‘unrelated income’. It’s important to note that the owner of the rental company and the PAYE taxpayer are likely to one and the same person. The company is technically called ‘tightly held’.

              In the normal course of events any losses in the rental company would be claimed back as a large rebate by the company owner at the end of the fiscal year, while the same person is paying PAYE each pay period over the course of the year. Which is a silly situation for both the taxpayer and IRD who are both faced with large undesirable lumps of cash flow at the end of the year… for no good reason.

              What you are probably thinking about is LAQC’s. All they are is a cash flow smoothing mechanism which allow the predicted rebate in the rental company to be compensated for by reduced PAYE payments. There is little to no tax advantage, just a better smoother cash flow for both parties.

              this is not the norm for most people just creaming their share of the $500m tax payer subsidy though.

              In the first years most of that ‘subsidy’ goes straight back to servicing the mortgage. With time the depreciation reduces and with most mortgages the claimable interest portion reduces also, so the tax losses go down, while rents have gradually increased.

              After some years (and this can be anywhere from 5-15 yrs) the business becomes cash flow positive and begins to pay tax in the normal way.

    • mike 1.2

      For once RL I totally agree with you.
      Also, if National introduce a substantial land tax they will lose the next election its as simple as that – even talking about one is making me think twice about my membership..

  2. RedLogix 2

    The problem as I see it is that using the tax system to try and fix property speculation bubbles hasn’t worked anywhere in the world, because it hits at the symptom not the cause.

    I’ve said it over and over, investors are not the people who drive the market. Sure we buy up some of the supply, but also a lot of us build new as well… adding to the supply. Nor do real investors ever pay top dollar for anything. We are always on the hunt for undervalued assets or land that we can add value to … it is ordinary homeowners who get all emo about a property and will pay top dollar for it, and they are the huge majority in the market who drive it up.

    And they are enabled to pay over the odds because their bank (in pursuit of its own profits) will lend them the money to do it. It is the banks pumping money into the system that creates the bubble.

    Back in the 60’s and 70’s everyone got all panicky about powerful unions getting uppity, holding essential services to ransom and driving up wages. In response unions were regulated to within an inch of their lives and we haven’t seen wage driven inflation for 40 years. (What we didn’t do was raise income tax rates in the vain hope that it would dampen down wage rises.) Yet when out of control banks create massive asset price inflation… no-one blinked.

    The solution is the same… regulate the banks to within an inch of their lives, return them back to the small, albeit essential, service role they do have in an economy.

  3. Lew 3

    Too many numbers. Numbers don’t win elections or build trust and engagement, except with policy geeks and utility accountants.

    The thrust is right, but try making the argument without numbers. It’s important that they’re there to prove the case, but they shouldn’t be front and centre; they get in the way of a good story.

    L

    • Eddie 3.1

      Of course you don’t make the actual argument with numbers, Lew. I’m giving the basis of why the policy works politically with numbers but basically, what you say is:

      ‘we want to give a fair tax cut to everyone, National wants it only to go to a wealthy few’

      Bring out the fact that you get nothing unless you earn more than $48K under National’s plan and that the CEO of Telecom gets $400K

      • Lew 3.1.1

        Eddie, the trouble is that they do try to make the bloody argument with the numbers. What Labour desperately needs spelt out to them in small words is the narrative — they have the rationale down better than anyone. And yet it counts for nothing.

        L

  4. Mr Magoo 4

    I don’t necessarily disagree totally with what you have said but from a purely cynical and political vote winning viewpoint how about this argument:

    Premises:
    – Labour can do nothing about the policy about to be passed apart from be outspoken
    – National is between a rock and a hard place on this and are set to upset people via action or not enough action
    – An obvious “silver bullet” alternative that makes everyone happy currently does not exist and perhaps never will
    – Their base/promise/inclination/retoric are all about giving more to their rich mates and this will leave the way open for mass attack regardless of what it finally is

    In this case labour have two options:
    1) Do as you say and develop a position sufficiently different to national to be a point of discussion. The problem here is that they are now trying to slip into the same rock and hard place before public opinion is known. They probably wont get the mass media attention to make it worth it anyway. Later when they attempt to attack national for their policy it could come back to bite them as an unpopular alternative.

    2) Hold off as they have done. Wait until National shows their hand and the public reaction is judged. Expose their obvious weaknesses. After all, the majority of the “herd” (aka: swing voters) will only vote national or labour anyway. Its not like you have to work hard to pull them to your side specifically.
    All this will take place closer to the election when it counts.

    Just a thought anyway…

  5. * drop the idea of increasing GST
    * keep the proposed changes to property tax
    * use the $2 billion to cut income tax at the bottom end

    I’m fairly confident you’ll get 2/3 here – I don’t think National will raise GST, I think they’ll make SOME changes to property tax, and I think they’ll go for across the board tax cuts, rather than just lowering the top rate.

    I’m also confident that if/when National do pretty much what you’ve asked them to do, you guys will be screaming bloody murder about it.

    • Eddie 5.1

      mate, I was proposing that as Labour policy.

      If National were to give across the board income tax cuts by shifting the burden of taxation on to land and property investment, I would be all for it. I doubt they will do it because it is their stated aim to reduce the top rats to 30% and the only tax cuts they gave applied almost solely to the wealthiest taxpayers.

      I’ve been reading some of your stuff on our coverage of this issue, Danyl. You really are letting yourself down, you’re not reading what we’re writing, you’re just constructing your own fantasy and applying it to us. Bit like the Herald on Goff at Ratana, actually.

      • The Baron 5.1.1

        I love it how you lefties basically rip each other’s throat out whenever one of you strays from the sanctioned ideology. God, it certainly appears that the nasty side of the NZ left is alive and well.

        At least Danyl’s fantasies are sometimes entertaining; as opposed to your constant state of hysteria/outrage at every possible decision that the Government makes.

        I guess that’s the difference between a mindless partisan hack and a independently minded labour voter. I’ll let you both work out who’s who.

  6. Cactus Kate 6

    Redlogix – I have already covered Morgan’s proposals elsewhere – there’s only so much one person can write on it!

    Mr Magoo – I have no idea what you are talking about based on that comment. You did though get one thing right when you stated – “I am not an expert in this area” so credit where it is due.

    Hong Kong has a land tax, yes, but it has VERY low personal taxes and not many people are subject to the top published rate due to various credits and deductions allowed. That is the government actually leaves plenty of money in the pockets of its people to pay the tax. Hong Kong also has very high rents, cripplingly high. The rents are caused by the cost of land tax, rates and body corporate fees all passed on to tenants.

    I hope I made the point very clear in my post that ANY tinkering with property taxation (CGT’s been thrown out if you read the report) will simply smash your low-incomed electorate as landlords can pass the costs on in higher rent.

    Land tax will be passed on (not to mention due to the lump sum hit for National it is politically unsalable) to tenants as will any risk free method tax (which is flawed anyway as tax wise there are products to structure debt into an asset).

    All and all the TWG report spells doom for welfare for families which plenty of people have missed as the thrust of the report (probably because most haven’t bothered to pick it up and actually read it). Have a look at the numerous references to it in the report which is more pertinent as reviewing it wasn’t even in the scope of the report to begin with.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      I guess that we will always be at opposite ends of the spectrum in most respects, but I’m happy to credit informed and clear analysis.

      Argh.. you are right. There is only so much one dude can read…. I’ll have another look… but I still like Morgan a lot. The UBI idea has a long and very respectable intellectual history, and Morgan is no fool.

      I hope I made the point very clear in my post that ANY tinkering with property taxation (CGT’s been thrown out if you read the report) will simply smash your low-incomed electorate as landlords can pass the costs on in higher rent.

      Absolutely. As a bastard landlord myself I fully intend passing any increased costs 100% onto my tenants. I actually don’t want to (I think the rents I charge are fair value at present)… but it’s what I will do to stay in business.

      Another point missed by everyone over the RFRM model, is that in order to work out the equity, you have to value each property annually. (Using QV is neither accurate nor timely enough as many Councils only get them done on a 3 or 5 yearly basis). This needs a professional valuer to do it… and that’s another cost in the order of $800-1000.

    • Mr Magoo 6.2

      Hong Kong’s rents are a symptom of overpopulation and lack of land. That is a REAL lack of land and not the “everybody live here” mentality of NZ.

      Your comparison with hong kong is still horrendously flawed.

      From what I just read, even the guy posting your link doesn’t think much of it.

      Such is the way of opinion.

  7. Cactus Kate 7

    Mr Magoo – what guy posting my link?

    Pinko Kiwis are terrified of Hong Kong and Singapore. And for good reasons, here poor people are inspired to work harder and blludge less. They don’t want the model to catch on.

    My rent in Hong Kong is so high not because of a shortage of rental property because there are plenty of flats available at any one time for someone with my income, it is because landlords pass on ALL land taxes, rates, stamp duty and costs to the tenant. And because my net salary is higher than it would be in NZ, the landlord judges he can charge me more.

    The best Tax Working Group for NZ would consist of a panel of overseas experts from Hong Kong, Singapore and Ireland. Not a bunch of professional head-nodders with bias towards stocks and government contracts.

    RedLogix gets it.

    Landlords will simply pass on the taxes and costs to their tenants. There is a reason they are called lords after all. As for the analysis of the RFRM model, again correct a valuation model is required, more work for valuers/tax accountants and consultants. Not to mention my point – housing shouldn’t be seen as a risk free investment as it has to have a cycle to ensure people make rational decisions when investing in it.

    Labour need to come up with an alternative tax proposal. So far Cunliffe’s been silent again and not just the (t). The alternative has to appeal to your electorate – “tax cuts for bludgers” or similar. With the top 10% paying 76% of the actual tax, you can hardly cry “tax cuts for tax cheats” now can you?

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Not to mention my point housing shouldn’t be seen as a risk free investment

      I don’t think anyone should see it as ‘risk free’. I see a huge potential downside risk in the market right now (see Steven Keen’s latest), and as much as I would like to get on with my next planned development… my chequebook is firmly shut.

      The main reason why I prefer property to anything else is that if I screw up, it’s my screw up… not some smarmy insider pricks in suits smiling while they rape me.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1.1

        Maybe you should start a business that does property valuations. If we have a Land Tax, every property in NZ will need to be valued.

        Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney are looking good for inner city properties. The way this government is actively pursuing policies to depress wages, reduce our higher education sector to rubble and now push up rents there might be a few Kiwis heading to those places you could rent to.
        They have CGT over there but they would never dream of a loony RFRM scheme like the one Key is considereng.

    • Mr Magoo 7.2

      Look for red’s post near the top? Or do you just share the same name??

      The best Tax Working Group for NZ would consist of a panel of overseas experts from Hong Kong

      I am just going to have to beg to differ here and stop here. Your infatuation with hong kong and your insistence that NZ is similar enough to make this comparison anything more than laughable is bordering on fetish now…

      PS: Redlogix “gets it” because he is up to the elbows in property investment. There is nothing wrong with that, it is a perfectly natural reaction. However the circular referencing between the two of you does not make you more right or even right at all. Just right winged of course.

  8. Jenny 8

    The real test for the Labour Party, will be where they stand on the Maori Party private members bill to exempt food from GST as is done in most countries that have this tax?

    Will the Labour Party back the Maori Party’s private members bill when it is drawn from the ballot?

    Will Labour vote with National and Act, or with the Maori Party and the Greens?

    Can anyone enlighten me?

  9. Omar Hamed from Socialist Aotearoa argues for tax reforms that help workers and the poor- http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2010/01/tax-reform-should-be-pro-worker-pro.html

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    39 mins ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    10 hours ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    18 hours ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    20 hours ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    22 hours ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    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 I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    2 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    3 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    4 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    4 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago