Labour’s Ardern and Democrats’ Biden: Learnings

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, August 28th, 2022 - 47 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, jacinda ardern, Joe Biden, us politics - Tags:

For those fishing around for a progressive playbook in this fractious world, Biden and Ardern are pretty similar. But Biden appears to be turning the fortunes of the Democrats around but Ardern is currently unrewarded. Is there anything to learn?

Let’s check a few common fields, as succinctly as one can.

COVID 19 Action

Both Biden and Ardern administrations successfully mobilised the largest free vaccination programme in the history of either New Zealand or the United States of America. Arguably the recalcitrance of Republican-controlled states and conservative media cost far more lives in the USA than any resistance in New Zealand. The Biden administration effort got over 75% of U.S. citizens fully vaccinated, and the New Zealand response and population-wide effect was even better.

Guns

At the level of gun saturation and gun violence between the United States and New Zealand there is no useful national comparison. But turn to the legislation. The United States passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that broke a 30-year streak of Federal inaction on gun violence legislation, including everyone under 21 to undergo enhanced background checks. Biden also signed dozens of executive orders to build on this most significant gun violence reduction legislation to pass Congress since the 1980s.

The Ardern government built upon a very strong legislative regime, with the Arms Act 2020, Arms Regulations Amendment 2021, and the big weapons buyback coming just in time to give stronger powers to the Police to combat a massive influx of Australian-domiciled gangsters. The first tranche of changes had overwhelming if not unanimous Parliamentary support while the second were more closely contested. It’s the biggest arms policy shift since the Aramoana massacre 32 years ago.

International Leadership

Under previous administrations, New Zealand influence such as it was in the South Pacific weakened, and confidence in U.S. leadership around the world plummeted to historic lows. Since taking office both President Biden and Prime Minister Ardern have worked to revitalise alliances and restore their respective positions on the global stage (nothing that New Zealand’s advances from ‘undetectable’ to ‘now we know you exist’). Arguably the Russian invasion of Ukraine has provided renewed energy to defensive alliances and sharpened common values between the U.S., Europe, the United Kingdom, and smaller players such as New Zealand.

And now a couple of big divergences.

Student Loans

In the last week of August President Biden signed orders wiping US$10,000 off student loans and US$20,000 from student loans through Pell Grants – under a specific salary income. This is an incredibly popular policy move.

The last time Labour did something big with student loans was in the final weeks of the 2006 election, in which Labour promised to wipe out interest on student loans. There’s political opportunity in students and their parents to harvest if Labour are up for it. Right now Labour’s tertiary training reforms are in chaos. Loans is a great hip-pocket place to improve this perception.

The CHIPS and Science Act

President Biden signed this into law to accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. The policy focus is on bringing back manufacturing jobs from China to the United States and advance U.S.-led technological leadership. An equivalent for New Zealand would be to target key offshored manufacturing eg requiring Icebreaker, Fisher&Paykel Healthcare, Fonterra and Fletcher Building to bring all their key ingredients and product lines and R&D back into New Zealand rather than being beholden to more fragile Chinese manufacturing and supply lines. One could only imagine the effect if they were required to as Biden has.

Ardern has been remarkably doctrinaire when it comes to industry protection and in-sourcing, and there’s plenty to learn as a very small and very narrow economy to vulnerability to China.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

President Biden’s once-in-a-generation transformational investment in repairing bridges and roads, removing all lead piping, upgrading ports and airports, and expanding broadband to all is remarkable in the state system of the United States. It also included the largest federal investment in public transport and the biggest investment in Amtrak since its creation.

Ardern’s government too invested on top of the Provincial Growth Fund with a $NZ60 billion further investment, and nearly a billion further to assist Councils with water network upgrades.

But the key is in the politics. With consistent infrastructure benefit evaluation, and network benefits, whoever is in New Zealand parliament and both sides agreeing on the need for investment in resilient state highways, huge public transport systems, and climate emergency impacts, there is ample room for Ardern to sit down with National and take all-transport-network infrastructure off the political table for good. Indeed it is only internal Labour politics that is preventing cross-party agreement on water and wastewater reform that all agree is necessary.

Healthcare

New Zealand’s socialised – often free and otherwise massively subsidised – healthcare again doesn’t compare well to the United States. But there are key policy moves that are remarkable to both. President Biden’s win has been in the Inflation Reduction Act which goes straight for the U.S. citizen’s hip pocket by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time. It’s like a baby step towards Pharmac. There are specific caps to pay for annual prescriptions like insulin. 13 million US Citizens will have their premiums reduced by US$800, and the uninsured in the United States is now at a record low 8.8 million.

What Biden has done that the Ardern government hasn’t been able to do yet – and desperately needs to – is demonstrate how greater national power over the health system will result in lower costs to the public and faster and better treatment to get them well. At some point the NZ targets may well be published, but at this point in the cycle what people need is a dollar-and-cent improvement to what they have now which is chaotic.

Rescue Plan

All citizens like to think their government has a plan, and the first big one to come out of the Biden administration was simply the American Rescue Plan. This US$1.9 trillion rescue plan paid for the full vaccination programme, family debt relief with mailed cheques to most people, and a new child tax credit that led to the largest-ever one-year decrease in recorded U.S. child poverty.

The Ardern government has been renowned less for its plan for recovery per se than for Ardern’s own daily media briefings. It is s substitute of perpetual visibility for a durable plan. New Zealand’s government expenditure was as a proportion of GDP even greater than that of the United States, but the economic effects have been uneven with unemployment remaining low yet economic growth stagnating.

What hasn’t remained is a sense that the Ardern government is continuing to be guided by a plan, a plan with a visible public shape and direction.

The key differences with Biden’s broad and very bold plans are the focus on costed benefits to citizens, the focus on strong guidance of the whole economy, and translating the legislative and policy wins into fresh political momentum.

Progressives have similarities, but Biden has a performance edge Ardern can learn from.

47 comments on “Labour’s Ardern and Democrats’ Biden: Learnings ”

  1. Kiwijoker 1

    “Learnings”. Proof that Advantage is John Key in drag!

    [You attack an Author without adding anything to the discussion. Less than a week ago you were warned for the same thing (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-22-08-2022/#comment-1907179). Take a month off – Incognito]

  2. Blazer 2

    Ardern is articulate….Biden is a bumbling fool ,that struggles to remember what day…it is.

    The Democrats initiatives you mention do not seem to be translating into support for Biden.

    • Favorability of President Joe Biden 2022 | Statista

    • LibertyBelle 2.1

      It is a source of much curiosity (for me anyway) how a country with the size and power of the US can elect people of the obvious inadequacies of Biden.

    • Corey Humm 2.2

      Jacinda has not been articulate at all this year and has seemed stuck in first gear all year.

      Out of the two of them Biden has done more to overturn forty years of neoliberalism by bringing back manufacturing jobs and that semiconductor chip bill is massive and should be praised by the left.

      This not only makes his country less reliant on china it also brings some jobs to an underclass who has been so screwed by offshoring that they have become liable to propaganda by extremists.

      The closest thing Ardern has to reversing neoliberalism is putting benefits up for the first time since Ruth Richards.

      Bidens gone from being the most unpopular president in history to being a president whose party now has a chance in midterms cos he turned the ship around with big bold policy wins.

      The way he's turned his ship around could teach Ardern and labour a lesson.

      People like it when you're bold and visionary. Ardern has been stuck in management mode for 18 months ruling more policies out than passing policy wins.

      Biden can teach Ardern a thing or two.

      If Ardern wants a shot at a third term she's gonna need to get out of management and status quo mode and get into bold visionary mode and rack up some big huge policy wins that the public wants not bugger around on inner governmental reforms.

  3. alwyn 4

    Why do you bring Fisher And Paykel Healthcare into the subject of fragile supply lines and the manufacture of product in China.

    F&P, to the best of my knowledge, carry out all their R&D and the majority of their manufacturing in New Zealand. The do have manufacturing plants in Mexico but that is to supply their major market in the USA and is to shorten the supply lines into that country. They do not have any manufacturing facilities in China.

    Any change in these arrangements would be more likely to harm rather than help their operations and their business prospects.

    • lprent 4.1

      I was thinkingvthe same thing. I thi k advantage is confusing Fisher and Paykel whiteware with Fisher and Paykel Healthcare.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Damn the editor on a cell phone while trying to cook dinner…

        Imagine what I was saying.

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          The brain is a wonderful thing. I didn't see anything wrong with your first comment until I read the second one. Then, when I reread it I saw the typos that hadn't even registered at my first glance.

      • Gosman 4.1.2

        Even that is inaccurate as Fisher and Paykel whiteware has distributed manufacturing across Thailand, Italy and Mexico not just China. On top of that it is 90% owned by Haier which is a Chinese company so trying to force them to manufacture in NZ would be similar to trying to get BMW to manufacture cars here.

        • lprent 4.1.2.1

          That latter point was the one that I was making. But I was trying to type one-handed on a cell-phone while using a fish slice in the other.

          So I either the comment clear or got the scalding earlier than your comment. The imminent threat was quite a lot more on my mind than simple pedantry.

  4. bwaghorn 5

    If labour wants to do anything with student loans the only acceptable road is ,a reduction in debt for each year worked in nz , with the reduction increasing if you're actually employed in the feild you got in debt to learn ,

    • SPC 5.1

      Sure, and one would start in areas where there is a shortage of local workers – such as nursing and some areas of education (science/maths teaching etc).

  5. Bearded Git 6

    "Learnings". WTF? I expect better on TS.
    (written before I saw Kiwijoker’s comment above-no apologies for this grammar attack)

    • Ad 6.1

      'Lessons' had a didactic or patrician tone.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        Note to Ad – you were auto spell checked into use of the word nothing (line 5 international leadership).

        Interest free loans were policy for the 2005, not 2006, election.

        The US and European chips/science move was based on Taiwan being the major supplier and at risk of embargo action by China. The major Taiwanese producer is offshoring production to Texas/USA and Europe.

        Without a continuing child tax credit they are returning low income families to poverty. And have to return to campaigning on it.

        • SPC 6.1.1.1

          I doubt that there is any easy agreement between Labour and National on funding transport projects when one favours them and the other prioritises funding for roads.

          And one on water and waste reforms is also unlikely, because one is focused on centralisation and co-governance and the other is championing local (democratically elected council) ownership. And one on public ownership and the other into selling down the public stake to raise money.

          • Ad 6.1.1.1.1

            Your political laziness is profound. No political agreement cross-Parliament is easy. But:

            Labour and National agree on carbon and climate legislation, housing policy legislation, electricity markets, welfare policy, and most of the RMA reforms.

            National started CRL and most of the big cycleways, as well as RONS. Labour opened them

            The water reforms are only centering on governance because that's all there is left to debate.

            What is needed is higher-order political work.

            Seriously the next time you want to just moan about syntax, put your keyboard away.

            • SPC 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Classic projection and transference.

              I explained why agreement would be difficult and you accuse me of being lazy – it's the Labour government that is in office, not me.

              And while National and Labour have agreed on some legislation (and on some public transport projects) that is not the same as agreeing on the totality of policy and even the planning approach (in those portfolio areas).

              I'll note your lack of reply to the substance of my first post – and as to the claim I was only questioning the syntax of your post. Na. Much more than that.

              Just "governnance" … co-governance and the role of local government (as to assets and debt on its books) within any centralisation (its assets and debts) – has anyone proposed an accounting model for that that fits into existing practice?

      • Bearded Git 6.1.2

        "There is no actual reason for the questionable usage of the count noun “learnings” instead of lessons. We know so far that it’s a buzzword in business-speak….Despite being more popular than “lessons” in the corporate setting, “learnings” is still incorrect. It’s an erroneous plural form of the colloquial term “learning."

        https://grammarist.com/usage/learnings/#:~:text=Despite%20being%20more%20popular%20than,instead%20of%20a%20mass%20noun.

        • SPC 6.1.2.1

          From learning lessons, learning is the singular, lessons is the plural.

          • Stephen D 6.1.2.1.1

            Not sure about that.

            I write and follow Lesson Plans, not learning plans.

            • SPC 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Lesson and plan can be singular or plural. Learning has been singular …

              • Stephen D

                Learnings is an abomination. End of story.

              • Ad

                Plants must die when you walk in the room.

                • Hanswurst

                  It's "into the room".

                  • Blazer

                    Wrong, you can lie in the room…sit in the room and walk in the room….etc.

                    • SPC

                      You'd have to ask Ad: if he think this happens when I walk into a room, or around the room (close enough to breathe on them, or step on them).

                    • Hanswurst

                      The only way that your statement can possibly apply would be if I didn’t want to know what Ad means by “come”.

                    • Hanswurst

                      Oops, bad use of the edit.

                      My statement was that it is 'walk into the room', meaning that that is what it must be in this case, not that the only possible preposition when describing the action of walking with respect to one's relationship to a room is 'into'.

                      Your statement is of the same ilk as if I were to point out to someone driving down the right-hand side of Dominion Road that the correct side to drive on was the left, and you were to suggest that I was wrong, because one is legally required to drive on the right in the USA, France, Guatemala, etc. (unless otherwise signposted). The fact that your additional information is accurate has no bearing on the fact that I am right, whereas you are simply engaging in incomplete parsing of the statements involved, and mistaking the result for pedantry.

                • SPC

                  Still labouring away with the lazy use of words, and the casual resort to putdowns of Green voters.

                  • In Vino

                    As a resident pedant, I would say that 'learnings' is a gerund, not a true noun, and is favoured only by the base nouveaux faux pretenders.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I associate it with unsolicited powerpoints.

                    • Tiger Mountain

                      Heh, “learnings” for me evokes images of men with fringes, and beards, but with no moustache…call that stereotyping, but really… “learnings?”…I even heard a guy on V8 Supercars broadcasts use it!

                    • Mac1

                      Somehow, Tom Paxton may have the last word. The last thing on my mind.

                      "It's a lesson too late for the learning
                      Made of sand, made of sand………."

        • RosieLee 6.1.2.2

          Absolutely and that was my original point.

  6. Tiger Mountain 7

    Hard to compare the US and NZ really–apart from ruling class collusion with 5 Eyes, and NSA info supply that inextricably binds at top level. Free Trade? don’t think US farmers are in any hurry to admit NZ Dairy.

    The US runs a bent Electoral College system, and state level gerrymandering and voter suppression, while NZ has MMP and people are virtually begged to vote. In my lifetime and my extended family’s, we have had top quality medical care totally free–cancer, cardiology, injury repairs–that would have bankrupted several or more US families.

    Joe has not been able to sit on Manchin or Sinema in the Senate, or bypass the Filibuster to get more done. Jacinda has well tamed 95% of the Labour Caucus–it is ideology that holds her back from doing more in terms of retiring Rogernomics, the State Sector Act and all the rest.

  7. Stuart Munro 8

    Biden has an industrious team, and translating efforts into results that reach further down into the economy is not only more productive as economic stimulus, but also produces more votes. Housing here in NZ might be a reasonable example: 41000 houses that don't result in higher owner occupation or lower rents is at best a technical success – doctrinal preferences for large investors successfully misdirecting any potential benefits to citizens & voters.

  8. RP Mcmurphy 9

    I have sstudent loan and $57,000 debt. They take $27 out of my super and I never did get a job. The word went out that I had studied freudian pshychoanalysis and though "they" dont believe in it it scares the crap out of them. I could have gone off to th eUSA and made a killing but out of some stupid misguided sense of loyalty I stayed in NZ butting my head against a brick wall watching the lunatics running the asylum.

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    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
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    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
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    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

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