Larger slice of the cake for workers under Labour

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, July 30th, 2008 - 46 comments
Categories: labour, national, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

The essential debate in New Zealand politics (and all capitalist economies) is between Right and Left over how big a share of the economy’s production should go to the workers who produce it (ie wages, salaries) and how much should go to the capitalists who invested in the means of production (ie dividends, interest). The default position, since the capitalist owns the revenue of production and gets to do the division, is that the capitalist gets the lion’s share but workers’ rights – the right to organise into unions, the right to a minimum wage etc – give workers the power to win a larger share off the capitalist. Labour and the Left’s policy is to extend these work rights – high minimum wage, more bargaining power for unions etc. National’s policies are the opposite – they don’t raise the minimum wage meaning inflation makes it worth less and their policies weaken the power of unions.

The simple and intended result of these policies is that when the Left is in power not only do wages go up they go up as a % of GDP, and when National is in power, not only do wages go down, they go down as a % of GDP.

(source)

National tells us they will boost growth and boost wages. Their record suggest otherwise, not only have the Labour-led Governments out-performed National on GDP growth, they’ve also increased the share of GDP that goes to workers.

Some people would have you believe that ‘the old Left-Right divide is over’. That’s bollocks. And it’s bollocks coming from National because they don’t want you to know that a vote for National is a vote for weaker work rights, that a vote for National is a vote for a smaller slice of the cake.

46 comments on “Larger slice of the cake for workers under Labour ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Thanks for this Steve. It’s amazing how much raw politics is embedded in these numbers.

    The graph is even more interesting if you extend it back to the beginning of the source series, 1972.

    What we see is (Compensation of Employees/GDP) was historically around the 50% mark, peaking at almost 56% in 1981.

    But from there on in it has been a bumpy slide down, reaching a low point of 41% in 2002.

    That is a pretty massive difference. In terms of actual employee compensation has seen it’s share of GDP reduced by about 15% over this period, or in absolute terms a reduction of 30%.

    Which curiously enough is similar to the wage gap with Australia. Sorry I’m too lazy to do my own homework, but do you have a similar data source for them?

  2. Hi,

    I can’t get access to the data source for some reason (which is weird).

    I was wondering if you were using real wages or nominal wages – I find a different result if I use real wages vs real GDP. It comes out that total earnings as a % of GDP has been flat over the last 7 years.

    This is interesting as we have had an extremely tight labour market – which should of (all other things equal) increased wage bargaining power and lead to this ratio increasing. Of course investment in capital has also risen markedly over the last 5 years – which might explain it 🙂

  3. RedLogix 3

    Matt,

    The number we are talking about is the ratio of Total Employee Compensation/GDP.

    So long as the source data is logically consistent, ie it does not mix real and nominal dollars, then the ratio will remain unchamged.

  4. “So long as the source data is logically consistent, ie it does not mix real and nominal dollars, then the ratio will remain unchamged.”

    Yes, which is why if it is a nominal wage track and a real GDP track the numbers will not be consistent.

    If the data source is not doing that, then I will have to try and figure out why my series is running flat while this one is increasing 🙂

  5. Matt – nominal wages and nominal GDP. Give me some credit, I wouldn’t mix the two, and of course if I did the graph would look far different from this one.

    I find the link sometimes won’t open if I already have excel open. Close your excel, then open.

  6. Pretty hard to argue with the numbers, expecially when the numbers confirm exactly what you would expect given the policy settings

  7. “Matt – nominal wages and nominal GDP.”

    Nominals make more sense than the reals I was talking about, so good move 🙂

    I still can’t get into the danged data sheet, I will just have to leave it for now I guess – I’m not disputing where your numbers are going, I was just surprised that my series, and the national accounts series I used didn’t give me the same results post 2001.

    When I’m able to get hold of the numbers I’ll see if I can figure out where the disparity is from – it could be interesting 😛

  8. Pascal's bookie 9

    Completely OT Steve sorry, but:

    Any dismal science types want to comment on this sort of thing:

    http://www.newshoggers.com/blog/2008/07/crud-for-cash.html

    Should we be concerned about the health of the US dollar?

    What would be the impacts of a USD collapse?

    But Wall st bounced back yesterday. So woohoo.

    Socialise the losses.

  9. Hi Steve,

    Still can’t get the data series up – I might try at home tonight at home as the internet connection here is playing up.

    I think the issue might come from me using inappropriate reals – as I was deflating one with the CPI and the other with the GDP deflator, which of course is completely wrong. I only just noticed that when I went back through it 🙂

    One thing I would note though, is that the increase in the wage share of GDP has risen as labour productivity relative to capital productivity has risen – which is also interesting.

    Also the trend shown in the graph only occurs because of the 2007 result – I have the 2006 figures, which is why the graph of the nominals looked so flat for me when I initially plotted it.

    The compensation in 2007 was so high because the labour market was so tight – we then have to ask whether this was the result of Labour’s economic policies, or was it the result of other external influences? Furthermore, the decline over the 1990’s could be put down to a fall in our terms of trade, and the increasing productivity of capital.

    It is definitely hard to analyse without a counter-factual, but I’m not sure that the data can clearly tell us that National is entirely anti-worker and Labour is entirely pro-worker.

    Hi Pascal,

    Most economists are concerned about the moral hazard issue associated with the Fed bailing out poor loans – however I wouldn’t be too concerned about a sudden crash in the US dollar, it’s value has fallen so much already 🙂

    The important thing for us isn’t going to be the strength of the US dollar per see, but the impact that events stemming out of the US has on world economic growth.

    The “fairness” of the bailout in the US are not an essential issue when we look at it in terms of NZ economic growth – although I imagine it is an important issue to people in the US 🙂

  10. Pascal's bookie 11

    Thanks Matt.

    I understand about the fairness business and how that in itself is irrelevant to us. (Other than that I don’t want to hear from capatalists about the moral hazard involved in giving unwed mothers the DPB for, let’s say 20 years)

    however I wouldn’t be too concerned about a sudden crash in the US dollar, it’s value has fallen so much already

    To paraphrase the char wallah from “aint half hot mum” :

    Just because you have lost your job the same day that your wife has run away with your best friend, and your dog just vomited on your shoe; this does not mean that your house cannot burn down.
    😉

  11. Bill 12

    Redlogix observation on the drop of wages relative to GDP between 1972 and 2002 “That (it)is a pretty massive difference. In terms of actual employee compensation has seen it’s share of GDP reduced by about 15% over this period, or in absolute terms a reduction of 30%.”

    The interesting point for me is that neo-liberal policies were meant to boost GDP and therefore (presumably) wages.

    I’d be curious of the growth %ages pre and post ’84. My guess would be that average growth slowed under the export driven neo-liberal model.

    If that is the case, then the question has to be asked why it is that the Labour party still clings to the failed economic mantra of export orientated growth and doesn’t pursue a wage driven growth strategy?

  12. “Just because you have lost your job the same day that your wife has run away with your best friend, and your dog just vomited on your shoe; this does not mean that your house cannot burn down.”

    😀

    “You want Table 1.1 from the full series”

    Thanks I/S – I think it might be my internet connection today, as I just can’t access anything on the stats site! I’ll just download it tonight from home 🙂

    I’m sure the figures are right, although again I’m not completely behind the idea that the movement was the result of policy – but thats just because I’m skeptical of the aggregate impact of good and bad policy in the first place 😉

  13. yeah but when the question you’re asking is ‘did did wages fall as a % of GDP or increase?’ and you have policies like not raising the minimum wage and raising it faster than GDP growth you are going to have an impact.

    Don’t underestimate the power of raising the minimum wage – the $11.25 to $12 rise this year directly increased 300,000 people’s wages (that’s 15% of workers) perhaps as many again are in the immediate helo of the minimum wage, when the minimum wage went up it gave someone who was already earning $12 a strong case to argue for a payrise – there is an expectation that the second-tier of low skilled jobs will be paid above minimum wage, especially those that involve added responsibility…. so, you’ve got first and second round effects pushing up perhaps 30% of workers’ wages, then you’ve got the economic stimulus from all those people getting a pay rise. Say that last increase resulted in an average 50 cent an hour increase for 600,000 workers, you’re talking an annual stimulus in the order half a billion dollars, that creates more jobs, tightening the labour market, increasing wages.

  14. Stephen 16

    The ‘more unemployment’ argument doesn’t run with you Steve?
    [the more unemployment argument is a load of crap without a shred of empirical evidence. It’s just an excuse to pay workers less. SP]

  15. “then you’ve got the economic stimulus from all those people getting a pay rise”

    Businesses aren’t black holes of money though. I have discussed how a higher minimum wage could lead to higher employment before on tvhe, but it is more a special case than the rule.

    Unless we believe that businesses who hire people on the minimum wage have significant market power in both the labour and goods markets this story isn’t going to hold – firms will just exist the industry.

    As long as the employment bargain is based on voluntary action, I don’t think it is fair to demonise the capital owner – which is what this type of analysis implies. Why? Well the value the worker is gaining isn’t coming out of thin air – it is being extracted from the capital owner.

  16. No-ones saying a business is a blackhole for money but I didn’t include the multiplier effect of increased demand arising from increased spending either… you usually don’t when you’re talking stimulus from a such a change.

    Matt. For 9 years, Business New Zealand argued that raising the minimum wage would increase unemployment while the hundreds of thousands of minimum wage workers and their families got poorer and poorer in real terms. Did unemployment increase when the minimum wage went up under labour? of course it fucken didn’t. Business NZ doesn’t give a fuck about the workers and some imaginary change in employment levels – they just want to keep more money for the bosses.

    It’s grossly insulting for people to hide behind some half baked neoliberal economic theory to justify the rich in our society ripping off the poor when it means real people suffering. You’ve got a good mind, you can do better.

  17. “As long as the employment bargain is based on voluntary action, I don’t think it is fair to demonise the capital owner – which is what this type of analysis implies. Why? Well the value the worker is gaining isn’t coming out of thin air – it is being extracted from the capital owner.”

    This is an embarrassingly poor argument, especially considering you’ve just read a series of posts on how a capital owner can change the share of the value between itself and the workers. And you really think that a poor man or women with children to feed regards employment as voluntary? this is exactly why I got out of economics, you can’t see real life for all your theories.

  18. “No-ones saying a business is a blackhole for money but I didn’t include the multiplier effect of increased demand arising from increased spending either you usually don’t when you’re talking stimulus from a such a change.”

    No you don’t as it isn’t an “external stimulus” – it is simply a transfer of income between two effective households.

    “It’s grossly insulting for people to hide behind some half baked neoliberal economic theory to justify the rich in our society ripping off the poor when it means real people suffering”

    I’m not doing that though. If you are irritated with Business NZ thats cool – but I’m still not convinced that the graph is saying that workers in NZ are being taken advantage of.

    I am all for changes that allow more equal bargaining positions – to me that seems completely fair. However, assuming that any change which benefits the worker is necessarily fair is not as self-evident.

    I am not criticising of promoting Labour or National policy – however, I’m not happy with the statement that the “rich are ripping off the poor”. As you can tell, I’m not much a far of the idea of class war and the holistic view of society 😉

  19. Draco TB 21

    Should we be concerned about the health of the US dollar?

    According to free-market theory – no.

    What would be the impacts of a USD collapse?

    In theory the US would stop buying up large amounts of Chinese made goods but this may not happen as the Chinese yuan is pegged to the US$. Chinese production relies quite heavily on pre-made products (specialist circuit boards etc) from other Asian nations and Europe so any decline in demand from the US for Chinese goods will adversely affect the majority of the world (Can’t recall the exact figure but a very large %age of Chinese made goods are sold to the US). They would stop buying products from other countries that have a floating exchange rate.

    This would, of course, allow the US to rebuild its industrial base and boost employment at home. It would also allow them to try and balance their trade deficit.

    Impacts would be a massive layoff of workers around the world while employment in the US increased but an overall decrease in trade. Best case scenario would be a worldwide decrease in trade over the short term and a rebalancing of trade in the mid to long term with only minor adjustments to living standards. Worst case scenario would be a deflationary spiral resulting in a worldwide depression. Total impact would be dependent upon how much trade decreased in the short term.

    Normal capitalist modus operandi.

  20. “this is exactly why I got out of economics, you can’t see real life for all your theories.”

    Ok, wtf. Seriously, we have a generous welfare state, including subsidies to families, and enforced labour laws. This is sufficient to create a reservation value for labour, which does give them market power.

    I specifically stated that we need a society where the labour choice is “voluntary” as to be transparent – at least I blatantly admit my assumptions when I say something.

    As a result, it is obvious that I support policies that help equalise bargaining power and make the employment relationship a voluntary one. I am fairly confident that the current labour market provides conditions where employment is relatively voluntary – and as a result the demonisation of employers is a touch ridiculous.

  21. Matt. So, in conclusion, no evidence that raising the minimum wage harms the economy or employment levels. Theory, theory that suits the bosses at the expense of the people, but no evidence, not a shred.

    Evidence that not raising the minimum wage hurts people – as if falling real wages aren’t slef-evidentally going to hurt – the 1990s social stats, the reappearance of diseases of pverty during that period, rising crime and suicide (if you need the stats, search our archives)… you might have been in a world where those things didn’t happen around you, but they were happening around me when I was growing up and it’s not pretty. Try watching Someone Else’s Country or In A Land Of Plenty…

    understand that when you argue against raising the minimum wage to at least match inflation, you are arguing for people to live in worse conditions, suffer more hardship, die more often… I don’t see any economic theory that justifies those costs.

  22. Matt. I’m not demonising capitalists. I’m saying, give them political power via the National party and they’ll act in their rational self-interest – and that means screw over the rest of us. they did it in the 1990s, they’ve ruthlessly opposed every more to undo their actiosn inthe 1990s since then and they’ll do it again because it is their rational course of action to maximise their share of production.

    That’s not evil, that’s economics.

  23. “you might have been in a world where those things didn’t happen around you, but they were happening around me when I was growing up and it’s not pretty”

    I’m not getting into one of these “who had a harder life” arguments – if you want to hear about some of the crap I went through when I was young then it would be better to do over a beer rather than as a way of framing an internet debate 😉

    “understand that when you argue against raising the minimum wage to at least match inflation, you are arguing for people to live in worst conditions, suffer more hardship, die more often I don’t see any economic theory that justifies those costs.”

    I didn’t argue about any of these things – this is a straw man argument!

    I am just saying that increasing the value of the statistic you have shown may not be a good thing – even for workers. What happens if a higher wage share to capital lead to a sharp reduction in capital investment and growth! I am not trying to say – lets screw the workers for growth, I don’t believe that at all. I just believe that your argument is better served by looking at situations where workers require help to have a fair bargaining position – so that fair and voluntary trade can occur.

    “I’m saying, give them political power via the National party and they’ll act in their rational self-interest – and that means screw over the rest of us”

    I’m saying that your evidence does not suggest that. To tell you the truth, as a neutral in the current political environment, National and Labour look exactly the same. They have been captured by the same middle class voters and will likely implement very similar sets of policies – given some of the strange policies associated with the small parties, I don’t know who the hell to vote for.

    Look I’m sure that you believe that there is a class difference, and fundamentally, I don’t. Now I’m sure that we are both wrong in our own little ways.

    As an undecided voter, the difficult thing for me is that I don’t feel that the parties are being honest to me. If I felt that I could trust a party – that they truly believed that what they were doing was to maximise social welfare, then I would run to vote for them.

  24. lemsip 26

    Hmm I may be wrong but weren’t National in power between 1996 and 1999? If they were (which of course they were) how do you explain the significant uptick in wage and salary growth? I presume you’re going to say something about a fall in GDP. But if that’s the case, could not a similar reason be forwarded for a fall in wages as a proportion of GDP in the mid 1990s when NZ experienced strong growth? Afterall wages can be quite sticky in the short run and National institutioned a tax reform package which provided businesses with an incentive to not raise wages and employees an incentive not to lobby for pay rises.

    Its also interesting to note that wages didnt really move much (compared to previous movements shown in the graph) in labours first two terms but have since moved a lot as growth has slowed and the labour market has become tighter. Additionally, couldnt low unemploynment be a large factor driving changes in wage growth i.e. more people earning wages and salaries? You may like to argue that the government is solely responsible for low unemployment or a large contributor but anyone with a shred of integrity knows that it is mainly down to other factors such as a previously strong world economy. As we see now with the global economy slowing more workers are losing their jobs.

    But do by all means bang on about the the minimum wage. However it would be nice to see some analysis that shows just how significant raising the minimum wage has been.

  25. RedLogix 27

    OK so if the minimum wage is such a bad thing, then how low do you wanna to go?

    After all in this globalised era even the proverbial ‘cup of rice a day’ could prove too much for employers looking to endlessly cut costs in a race to the bottom.

  26. So, in conclusion, no evidence that raising the minimum wage harms the economy or employment levels. Theory, theory that suits the bosses at the expense of the people, but no evidence, not a shred.

    But isn’t that the purpose of right-wing economics? To provide the justifications for selfishness and greed, and how oppression and poverty are “the natural order”, and bugger the empirical evidence?

  27. RedLogix 29

    Earlier in the thread (and in the day) I asked if there was any comparable data for Australia. Found it.

    http://tinyurl.com/67mupw

    In case the link doesn’t work the numbers are fascinating, and if they are being calculated on a comparable basis, clearly show that wages are higher in Australia because the Employee Compensation/GDP ratio over there is substantially higher. And by eyeballing the graphs we get the following aproximate series:

    1972: Aus = 53%, NZ = 50.3%

    1977: Aus >= 60%, NZ = 52%

    1982: Aus = 57%, NZ = 55%

    1987: Aus = 55%, NZ = 55%

    1992: Aus = 55%, NZ = 44%

    1997: Aus = 55%, NZ = 42%

    2002: Aus = 53%, NZ = 41%

    2007: Aus = 53%, NZ = 44%

    There is the hard evidence for you. New Zealand wages were roughly tracking Australia until the early 90’s. Then suddenly we drop roughly 13 percentage points or about 28% in absolute terms, and we have struggled to close the gap ever since.

    Given this track record, and given that nothing much seems to have changed in the National Party over the years, and given what little can be deduced from their pathetic list of bullet points they are passing off as policy, one has to conclude that anyone stupid enough to vote for them is also voting for a pay cut.

  28. Razorlight 30

    SP, you continously compare this Laboour goverment to the last National goverment, fair enough, keep providing us with these lovely graphs. I am sure they are turning the tide on National support. But my problem is some how you come out with the conclusion that the next National government will be the same as the one run by Bolger and Shipley. That is absurd.

    How close has the 5th Labour goverment been to the 4th. Not close at all. The policies and results were very different even though many current senior Labour MPs were in both cabinets. The one constant through out has been the Douglas economis reforms. These have remained largley untouched yet I do not think you will dwell on that.

    Same can be said between Muldoon’s National government and Bolger’s. Two very different governments with many of the same Ministers.

    So even if your graphs are accurate I do not join the dots and come out with the same picture you are drawing. Why is Key’s government going to be the same as Bolger’s

  29. RedLogix 31

    Why is Key’s government going to be the same as Bolger’s

    Why not? What has changed?

    The people have not.

    What little of the policy we know about has not.

    And of that little we do know, nothing in it points to improved wages and conditions.

    The 4th Labour Govt was essentially the as yet nascent ACT Party, an extremist right wing agenda that literally hijacked the Labour Party and eventually it ripped apart. The 5th Labour Govt is by both avowed philosophy and policy a totally different creature that spent many years in Opposition repudiating the extremist policies implemented by Douglas.

    Moreover it is a total nonsense to suggest that the Douglas reforms were left untouched. After the disasterous Muldoon era virtually any govt that took power subsequently would have been compelled to implement many liberalising reforms.

    The huge mistake Douglas made, (and he once admitted this in a radio interview I heard in the early 90’s) was that in his haste to push through his entire agenda he did things in completely the wrong order, greatly compounding the pain caused by his reforms. The result was so bad Lange could not stomach it, and he called for a halt.

    Some of what Douglas did at that time was bound to remain in place. For instance he floated the NZ dollar, but of course that is a commonplace in most nations. But much of his more extremist reforms, such as a flat 23% tax, have been rolled back. Besides if Douglas had achieved all he intended then why is he standing for ACT again this year?

    I do not see the current National Party offering any remotely comparable repudiation of the philosophies and policies of the 90’s Bolger/Shipley govt. On the contrary, everything I see about National in 2008, looks and sounds just like National in 1998.

    On the other hand Razorlight, if you have any actual evidence that I am wrong I am willing to consider it.

  30. Razorlight 32

    Redlogix

    Isn’t the fact that National is being accused of being Labour lite clear evidence they are not returning to the 90’s policy platform. Yes they will move to the right. But the fact they are kepping WFF, interest free student loans, Cullen fund etc etc is evidence to me at least this is not the National Party Shipley/ Richardson etc took control of.

    This is a moderate National party under the control of Mr Key. A man who had nothing at all to do with the policies of the 1990’s.

  31. RedLogix 33

    But the fact they are kepping WFF, interest free student loans, Cullen fund etc etc is evidence to me at least this is not the National Party Shipley/ Richardson etc took control of.

    Or that these policies have proven so popular that it makes tactical sense to go into an election making very non-specific promises about not abolishing them.

    On the other hand Key has also learnt to keep his real opinions to himself (as he openly and quite remarkably states in the Herald hagiography on him this last weekend).

    We also know that National has spent much of the last 3-5 years vehemently attacking these very policies that they now profess to support. We all know that Oppositions indulge in a degree of gameplaying, but personally I find these John Key rat gulpings a stretch too far.

    And we also know that it is one thing to commit to a policy, and authentically maintain it in good working order, quite another to pay it nominal lip service before an election, and then subtly undermine it or allow it to quietly run down once you are in power.

    It would also help the credibility of your argument if you could point to some actual documents that spell out in specific detail the exact policies that National is asking for a mandate on. Most of what we have so far have been John Key ‘verbals’, or vague lists of feel good bullet points that mean nothing concrete, and Blind Freddie could wriggle out of post-election.

  32. Razorlight 34

    So you are basing your argument on nothing more than a gut feeling that Key will go back on his word.

    That is clearly scare mongering. Claiming Key is saying he will keep policies but will not follow through on it. This is based on what. Absolutley nothing.

    And by the way I am not convinced the 1990s were as bad as some you believe. 1999 was alot better that 2008

  33. RedLogix 35

    So you are basing your argument on nothing more than a gut feeling that Key will go back on his word.

    I listed three major REASONS why I do not believe that John Key/National will deliver what the electorate is expecting.

    One is a statement made by John Key himself and quoted by the Herald just this last weekend, that he has learnt to not to be too open about his real opinions. We also know that a few years back his opinions we very right wing, and that he is quoted in the same article saying that he has not changed them. Therefore it is entirely possible, by his own admission, that he is only playing lip-service to his newly found ‘middle of the road’ positions.

    We know that National has spent years flat out slagging the very policies they now claim to support. They frequently went rabidly beyond rational opposition and firmly stated that they would repeal these policies if they got into power. No rational person could now believe that National is suddenly and wholesomely committed to backing policies that just months ago they professed to loath.

    We know that National’s policy commitments so far have been exceedingly lightweight and lacking in specific detail, often consisting of no more than lists of feel-good statements that would be child’s play to find some wriggle room with later on. There is a complete absence of thick detailed and specific documents that actually pin down anything meaningful.

    And any fool know how easy it would be for instance to go into the election ‘committed to Kiwisaver’, and then afterwards tinker with the settings to reduce its value.

    These are not ‘gut feelings’, they are facts.

  34. Razorlight 36

    RedLogix

    I understand your argument but the same can be said for almost all MP’s. There is not many in that house that do not follow the Party line and shelve some of their core beliefs to make themselves more electable. That may be a right wing capitalist or a loony lefty. They are all front men for a party that has to moderate extreme views to become electable. Clark, Cullen, Key, Brash, you name them, they all do it. Hyde and some of those Green people are the few who stick to their core beliefs and dont compromise them.

    So even if Key is shelving some of his beliefs it does not mean his government will be the same as the one in the 1990’s. It simply does not make sence.

    Even if National had been in power since 1999, they would have evolved with time.

    SP’s argument that John Key’s goverment will mirror Bolgers is in my opinion absurd and based on nothing but a strange hatred for the right and more specifically National.

  35. “But isn’t that the purpose of right-wing economics? To provide the justifications for selfishness and greed, and how oppression and poverty are “the natural order’, and bugger the empirical evidence?”

    Absolute gold. I/S, do you not understand that these people you are attacking may actually believe that what they are trying to do is in the best interest of society as a whole? Even the people in the ACT party say the things they do because they think it is best for society as a whole – you might not believe it but its true!

    I discuss economic policies in the way I do because I genuinely believe that they are the best way to help people – not because I want the greedy and selfish to “win the game of life”.

    Expecting the government to account for all injustices is not realistic – by doing so they will simply create injustices of their own. The government does have a role to improve outcomes. However, the best way they can do this is by helping to provide a situation where individuals can trade freely and fairly – does this point of view make me a bastion of selfishness and greed?

  36. Pascal's bookie 38

    these people you are attacking may actually believe that what they are trying to do is in the best interest of society as a whole? Even the people in the ACT party say the things they do because they think it is best for society as a whole

    Agreed. Really do.

    “However, the best way they can do this is by helping to provide a situation where individuals can trade freely and fairly,

    This a bit sneaky, and I assume not deliberate.

    The bolded word is where the whole debate is hiding. Innit?

    I mean if I decide that the most fair system, that promoted freedom most efficiently, was one where a certain bookie owned the entire world, some might consider that selfish. Bastards.

  37. “This a bit sneaky, and I assume not deliberate.

    The bolded word is where the whole debate is hiding. Innit?”

    It was deliberate – as without mentioning fairness my claim wouldn’t be able to be applied to anything practical. However, you are exactly right that it is the whole reason for debate, and can explain the whole difference in the way we view what is “selfish” behaviour.

    That is why ACT, National, Labour, and the Greens can all support separate policies but still believe they are doing what is best for the nation – because they believe different things are fair.

    Now fairness is an interesting thing – ultimately, I don’t know what is fair, which is why I place so much value on transparent elections where society can state what it believes is fair.

    As an economist I believe that we can achieve “fair” outcomes in any sense of the word as long as we redistribute and then allow voluntary trade. The reason economists love the idea of voluntary trade so much is because we realise that we don’t know what people want, and by allowing them to trade they can “reveal” this information to us. Now there may be situations where the barriers to trade are too much, as so regulation would be better – if this case is provided for me then I will accept it.

    I guess I should define what I think selfish is. A selfish politician will try to get into parliament solely to benefit themselves, rather than as a way to improve society. I’m not happy that I/S believe that politicians on the left want to improve society while ones on the right don’t – they just have a different view of what a fairness entails. Calling them selfish for this is disingenious.

    I wish that the separate ends of the political spectrum would work to find out what they have in common, rather than constantly attacking each other on ideology – I’m sick of both sides treating the other side as stupid or selfish

  38. Pascal's bookie 40

    “I’m sick of both sides treating the other side as stupid or selfish”

    Fair enough 🙂

    Bloody humans.

  39. “Fair enough 🙂

    Bloody humans.”

    😀

  40. sean 42

    Razorlight,

    Your argument is that we cannot judge the performance of the next (Key) National govt on the performance of the last (Bolger/Shipley) National govt.

    You make the analogy of difference between the Clark Labour govt vs the Lange/Douglas Labour govt. I think that’s a disingenious analogy.

    Between the 4th and 5th Labour Govt parts of the 4th Labor govt left Labour and set up their own organisation (ACT) which they then turned into a party, and we saw Labour make major public disavowals of the reformist approach the 4th Labour govt had taken. We see nothing similar regards the last and possibly-next National govts.

    Brash pushed National to the right, Key appears to be pushing it back towards the more centre-right approach Bolger took. So Key & English appearto be inheritors of Bolger’s National party.

    But there’s another party to this. Given the lack of firm policy details from National, who really knows. Until they start issuing real detailed policies all we can do is assume they’re a National Party and compare them to what National govts have done before. Maybe they’re the party of Bolger. Maybe they’re the party of Brash. Or maybe they’re the party of Mickey Mouse.

  41. Yah I finally got the data 🙂 damn computer has been a pain 😛

    I’ve noticed that you are using compensation of employees from the national accounts as the wage and salary figure. I’m not sure this is appropriate – shouldn’t you be using the wage and salary data?

    Compensation of employees uses GROSS wage and salary information (so includes tax) and also includes other compulsory levies and the such. In a sense, it is more of a measure of the cost of an employee than on the return an employee gets from working.

    Still its an interesting graph, keep up the data stuff 🙂

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    8 hours ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    8 hours ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    10 hours ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    14 hours ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    16 hours ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    18 hours ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    18 hours ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    18 hours ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    19 hours ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    19 hours ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    21 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 day ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 day ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    3 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    4 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

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

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-06-14T13:34:13+00:00