Losing a generation

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, August 20th, 2012 - 59 comments
Categories: jobs, unemployment - Tags:

There are just short of 630,000 people aged 20-29. A net 33,000 of them have left for Australia under National – 13,000 in the last year. That’s twice the rate of emigration under Labour. There’s also twice as many unemployed in this age group – 46,000 (a further 200,000 aren’t in the work-force so can’t count as officially unemployed).

That’s 1 in 8 of our youngest generation of workers either leaving for Aussie or unemployed under National.

The number of 18-24 year olds on the dole is up 300% in the past four years at a cost to the taxpayer fo $150m a year.

The effects of long-term unemployment early in a person’s career and life are well-understood. Yet, nothing substantive has been done. Just a few ‘boot-camps’ that don’t work for the few people they do take on and are really propaganda tools to shift the blame for joblessness on to the young people.

At the same time, the Government is importing hundreds of workers for semi-skilled jobs in the Christchurch rebuild and allowed hundreds of hospitality businesses to import workers for the World Cup. These needs were totally predictable and any sensible government would have invested in skill-matching long ahead of time, giving our young people skills and jobs, rather than doing nothing and then looking overseas for workers at the last minute.

But they didn’t.

And every month, more and more of our young people will go to Australia, rather than face unemployment or low wages here.

59 comments on “Losing a generation”

  1. J. Andals 1

    I am one of these people. I have only got NCEA Level 2, and have failed more than half the papers for the two Polytechnic courses I attempted. Now unless I pay, I can’t attend tertiary education. I can’t get a job because I don’t have tertiary education.
    It’s been two strikes, and now I’m out. Where do I go from here?

    • blue leopard 1.1


      Yes, when you’re in the situation you are in and start realising that our successive Governments are happier to pay a person a welfare benefit than support them to further their education it begs the question as to whether any of our politicians are realising these odd consequences of the policies that they are creating.

      • blue leopard 1.1.1

        @ J Andels

        p.s have you looked at apprenticeships? Keep hassling your case manager, let them know you want to get into something. Ensure they are in no doubt about this. If your interests are in further training you are better off taking a loan out and continuing than not doing so. I am very much aware that going into debt before earning anything of substance is not an easy choice to make, however, take a look at the alternatives; a warning to you-the longer you stay unemployed the more unmotivated you are likely to become. Good luck!

        • Rick Rowling

          J Andels – where to from here? Keep doing something! Attitude and evidence of get-up-and-go are worth as much to a lot of employers as particular skills.

          Can you talk to your local school about ways to get some NCEA level 3?

          Even if there’s nothing paid out there, if you can show that you’ve been doing voluntary work, or some sort of training, it’s going to make you look a lot more attractive when you do get an interview.

    • Carol 1.2

      Sorry to hear about your situation, J.Andals. I have no answers for you about what to do next.

      It’s wrong that there aren’t enough jobs for young people (and others) that pay a living wage. And if the jobs aren’t available, there should be a reasonable amount of benefit available, courses to do, and guidance available to help you choose the course you’re best suited for.

    • Carol 1.3

      or, if you are into protesting, you could write your question on a card and stand outside the office of your nearest National, ACT, UF or Maori Party MP, for a reasonable amount of time every day.

    • NickS 1.4

      There used to be apprenticeships left right and centre, but they’ve been eroded in favour of polytech courses and not exactly straightforward to get.

    • mike e 1.5

      Jandals join some voluntary organizations for now ,their is NZ open polytech.
      Build networks through volunteering that will help increase your chances of being employed.
      Try finding online work.
      Its tough out their right now.
      Good luck.

      • Bored 1.5.1

        Nice prescription and good advice Mike, you have to do what it takes.

        And that, being how it, shouts loudly the saddest commentary upon the malaise afflicting employment chances in this country:

    • infused 1.6

      lol, maybe don’t fail the papers next time?

  2. RedLogix 2

    And at the other end of the scale if you are over 50 try getting a job interview. Increasingly we are being told that retirement age has to be increased to 67 or even 70 … so that’s another 17-20 years (or almost 40% of your working life) … and you are essentially unemployable solely because of your age.

    Go figure.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    The country certainly cannot afford to lose a generation. But Key is happy to see them all go, for him it amounts to “problem solving”. History will one day have a terrible story to tell.

    • Georgecom 3.1

      I’m not sure I agree that “Key is happy to see them all go”.

      ‘Relaxed’ perhaps, but not ‘happy’.

      • Jackal 3.1.1

        The country effectively lost a generation in the 90’s as well after the Labour government stupidly went back on its values and implemented many of the repressive measures Roger Douglas’ 1987 budget proposed.

        The current National government has in fact just been following many of the ideas outlined in Douglas’ neoliberal plan, which is now proven to be a complete economic and social disaster for New Zealand. David Lange was right to finally oppose it, but wrong to resign because the conflict within Labour grew untenable.

        “But with Roger his resolution, and his particular absolutely relentless pursuit of what he conceived to be an agenda worth pursuing, overrode all considerations of loyalty and in the end all manifestations of friendship”.

        David Lange said at the time.

        Most people won’t recall Roger Douglas saying it was OK to lose a generation, but I do. I recall the arrogance and little smirk he said it with and resolved myself then to oppose such reprehensible politicians and their destructive policies. The demise of Act is one I will savour.

        I think there’s many similarities between Douglas and Key, mainly because they both simply don’t care about the misery they cause.

        • Bored

          Your comment illustrates the extreme failure of the Clark government: not only were these policies not rejected and replaced with a sane and humane approach, but the bedfellows of this approach litter the opposition benches still. Plus their bastard children. As does the thinking, the reliance upon spin (aka lies) from paid self important “professionals”.

          I am still unconvinced of any real difference between the machinery, methodology and thinking of Labour and National. Soft velvet encased hammer versus naked hammer, both nail our childrens futures to a failed economic model.

  4. vto 4

    If you’re under 25 or over 45 you’re fucked.

    There aint enough work to occupy everyne anyway so why bother trying. On top of that, there is more than enough wealth in the country to provide each and every person a decent living environment. The answer should be relatively easy.

    The solution is clearly a re-modelling of the wealth distribtion system to satisfy the above. Perhaps start that process with a universal living allowance payable to each living resident.

    Gotta do something as the current situation is just steadily deteriorating into sludge. How on earth can we keep making more and more innovative products for other people to buy to put in their houses? The logic just isn’t there. And if it don’t change we will end up with 25% unemployment as in parts of europe and north america. And then we will have real trouble on our hands – the devil makes for idle hands and all that.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      There aint enough work to occupy everyne anyway so why bother trying.

      That’s the the problem, the one which the politicians don’t want (or possibly can’t) to address. Our massive productivity means that we don’t all need to be working 40+ hour weeks to maintain a good living standard. As that is true then we must be doing them for another reason so, Who benefits from all that work? It’s not hard to answer that question as obviously not the 75% of people who’s income doesn’t meet the ‘average’ wage.

      • blue leopard 4.2.1

        Why isn’t there serious discussion about lowering the working week? Other countries have done this. This is an intelligent response to the developments in work-saving technology.

        Isn’t it better that all New Zealanders have work and if it came to it, more had supplements to their wages, than some having huge hours and others having nothing? I believe there is good economical reasons for this approach; more money being spent AND a more motivated community of people.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Why isn’t there serious discussion about lowering the working week?

          Because it enforces full employment which means the capitalists will have to increase wages rather than profits.

          • blue leopard

            …and why aren’t all New Zealanders made aware that there are more effective forms of economic strategies available than the Blame-the-Bennie approach?

            Here…I’ll answer this one for you. Because people with no real clue how to create positive living conditions for all New Zealanders would have to think up some other way to retain their jobs OR give up on their careers as politicians.

            …But what about investigative journalists? Where are they?

            • Draco T Bastard

              But what about investigative journalists?

              Can’t have those either as they may get around to actually informing people rather than just propagating the lies that TPTB want people to believe.

              • blue leopard

                No DTB I agree; we most certainly wouldn’t want to have people informed.

                …so its “where there is a demand” (need to be informed) “a supplier will arise” (informative media will meet the supply)…

                Unless this doesn’t suit another sectors’ profit earning ability; if such a sector can create a monopoly situation then they will act to create false market readings?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  so its “where there is a demand” (need to be informed) “a supplier will arise” (informative media will meet the supply)…

                  If people actually think that they’re informed then there won’t be any demand for better information.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      There aint enough work to occupy everyne anyway so why bother trying.

      Actually, there is more than enough work to be done in our towns and cities and rural areas to occupy everyone. A lot of it is emotional labour eg. teaching, tutoring, nursing, caring, etc. Certainly more in terms of infrastructure maintenance and building up public transport etc. Sorting things out in a properly designed, and robust manner, instead of good enough short term patches that we have all become used to in NZ.

      Problem is, we don’t have an economic and monetary system which can turn all this societally useful and needed work into paid jobs.

      • AmaKiwi 4.3.1


      • muzza 4.3.2

        We need a reversal of sorts, but before anything can even begin to happen, we need there to be some truthful , detailed information about the reality of the consequences, which are inevitable on current course, and in some cases, are with us alrady!

        There was mention above of investigative journalism, and DTB picked it, that if people think they are informed, they will not demand better. This is a crux of one of the largest problems, which is the controlling of the narratives, to control the minds of those who bother to seek news/informtion. Many people seriously believe that they are “up to speed” with current affairs, politics and the like, they are simply mind controlled sheep!

        Unless this changes, then sadly it is an accelerating decline, with more and more people quickly finding out that they are no longer part of the “middle class”. To be fair its likely those same people who have their heads firmly in the sand hoping that it won’t land on them, it will!

        As CV points out, there is so much work which would add value back into society and communities, which does not invovled people working on spreadsheets, behind computer screens.
        Globalistion has gutted most used to have high standards of living, exactly as it was designed to do, and that is the mindset that needs a reversal.


    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Iceland Was Right, We Were Wrong: The IMF

      The bankers told us that our governments could no longer afford the same education, health care and pension systems which our parents had taken for granted. Iceland told the bankers that what the country could no longer afford was to continue to be blood-sucked by the worst financial criminals in the history of our species. Now, after three-plus years of this absolute dichotomy in economic policymaking, a clear picture has emerged (despite the best efforts of the propaganda machine to hide the truth).

      As I say, the one thing we can’t afford is the rich.

    • Populuxe1 4.5

      Nah, I’m in the middle and I’m still fucked.

    • infused 4.6

      Funny, my dad got a job easy enough and he’s 51.

    • Jeremy List 4.7

      I’m just a couple of years over 25 and I’d still be fucked if I went back to New Zealand. Stark contrast with my pretty decent job as an embedded systems engineer in China.

      • lprent 4.7.1

        There aren’t that many companies in NZ in that area. I can kind of count the ones hiring on my fingers without getting to my toes. People in the embedded area don’t seem to move around that much.

        I’m doing one of those jobs on the software side at present. I like writing tight GUI code so linux/Qt is nice after dealing with the microsoft bloatware.

  5. seeker 5

    Was only thinking the other day, after hearing a commentator remind us that the motto for the London Olympics 2012 was “inspire a generation”- that in little ol’ New Zealand national’s motto could well be “expunge a generation”! Disgraceful!

  6. NickS 6

    And I’m now in a similar situation (%*%&^ depression!), and thanks to depression have no references to grab a job with, so I’m ripe for potential exploitation…

  7. The govt focus should be on the younger generation,but it isn’t, key and his
    militia still praise the fact that benefit numbers have dropped,what they dont
    let on is that it can be because of the huge amount of people that have gone
    to aussie and refusing to renew those on sickness and invalids.
    The welfare changes are punitive,degrading,ad-hock and ill thought
    out and will do so much more damage to the economy and the well being
    of nz’ers that can be imagined.
    Instead of making life difficult for those such as j.andals they should be
    taking every conceivable opportunity to inspire and support our young
    ones to get ahead,to have a future in nz,to get educated,to get a trade,
    to have ‘a brighter future’ the very verbal jargon that was used to haul
    in the unsuspecting voters relishing every word that key said,only to
    now realise they were false words,false promises,so the heading should
    have been for a ‘blighted future’ vote for key and the nacts.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Influential middle class, middle aged NZ willing to sacrifice the younger generation in order to maintain their own expectations of lifestyle, income and low tax rates.

      Expect to see this phenomena worsening as economic decline deepens.

  8. prism 8

    I’ve noticed investment companies talk regularly about the ageing deciding the level of income they want to retire on and asking if people want to continue their working income lifestyle into their old age. Up to 90+? This age is becoming more common. And there seem to be so many women regularly appearing in the paper for winning contests like the silliest hat competition. In cohesive supporting communities the older ones work for their family and food, and the younger ones care and watch out for the older generation. But silly hats is it in NZ.

    And there is a total unwillingness in older people to think about the viability of the situation and act to support their/my meal ticket – the younger generation who should be able to have jobs, money and be happy. Instead it reminds me of the Day of the Triffids, the population largely went blind and to get enough food in the dystopial situation, they had to be harnessed to the ploughs. Here it is both young people and those older than the thrusting young blades who have trained as models of the very modern manager, who can be rounded up and virtually sent to the workhouse.

    There is so much going on to increase people’s life expectancy. (I can’t give a link or source but someone being interviewed recently on Radionz said that for most of the thousands of years humans have been evolving, the average age at death was 18.)

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      In 15-20 years in the US, as the last of the baby boomers hits post retirement, there will only be 2 working age persons supporting each retired person. And because money is not a real resource, and money does not perform any work, having lots of money (electronic digits associated with a paper based retirement account) may mean very little.

      Something is going to break and break bad, IMO. Not suddenly, but over a good number of years.

      Those nice retirement savings forecasts of 5% pa real returns are going away forever. As many people in the ‘developed world’ have already found out. A combination of kleptocratic theft and long term energy/debt driven economic slowdown being primary causes.

      66 million people in the US live near or below the official US poverty line. The so-called richest country in the world. And their political leaders, apart from a few like Bernie Sanders, don’t give a frak.

    • blue leopard 8.2

      Has this


      not been covered on The Standard yet?

      Is there a crisis re superannuation or is it just another form of bashing the vulnerable and effectively putting off what REALLY needs addressing?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        not been covered on The Standard yet?


        Is there a crisis re superannuation or is it just another form of bashing the vulnerable and effectively putting off what REALLY needs addressing?

        Depends upon who you’re asking. IMO, the problem is the system which is designed to reward the rich. As more wealth goes to the rich other parts of society can’t be afforded. Change the system so that the wealth doesn’t accumulate into the hands of the few and all these issues of critical social importance will easily be affordable.

        • Colonial Viper

          A 0.5% asset tax on net worth over $1M. Applies to individuals, trusts and property. Get that stock of capital moving back into the real economy.

          And I’d deliver half the revenue garnered to helping small employers and entrepreneurs expand and grow as co-ops and mutual organisations.

        • blue leopard

          @ DTB cheers, will have a read…tomorrow
          @CV def agree that supporting the setting up of small businesses/co-ops a good way to go.

  9. xtasy 9

    Come on, this is clearly the best “export story” that NZ can present! Human capital so to say, we are getting close to the Philippines, Bangla Desh, India and Pakistan now, who are rating a bit higher in the record statistics for exported labour. But calm down, NZ is moving fast up the ladder now, becoming a hit, a real hit, as Dotcom likes to talk about his “hit” (Mega Upload). Maybe call it a ‘Mega Download” for NZ, sort of, aye?

    Yes, NZ is doing really well, with educating so many into tertiary degrees, that are so in need and welcome across the Tasman, trade could never have been better at all. If I’d be into exports business, I would right away open an international personnel agency exporting great staff from dull and underpaid NZ to the rest of the developed and in some cases even not so developed world.

    NZers are all over the place, not only at Oktoberfest, but steadfastly working in some jobs in Germany, France, UK, Holland, Scandinavian countries, even in Prague, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, of course many in the US, Canada, heaps (half a million now) in Australia, and even in the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, South American countries and parts of Africa.

    Exports are growing by the day, trade is taking off. Get educated in NZ, leave your student debt behind, realise your potential and NEVER come back, the future is all yours!

  10. xtasy 10

    While I totally understand the message in the head story, there must not be a “losing generation”. This may well be an economic decision based on dumbed down, stupid and ignorant economic thinking that a present government has sucked up from a bygone era Milton Friedman “and friends” kind of crowd, but it is totally alienated to the economic reality of the world as it is.

    I do not give a few considerations or hoots on a bit take and give on right or left wing economics, the blatant truth is: The FTAs that we were bloody preached to and promised have NOT delivered! Where is the job creation for economic, supposed “comparative advantage” sake that Nats and even Labour bloody promised us in the late 1980s and early 1990s? There is ZILCH and NONE of advantage, of true job and income growth that has happened.

    Instead economic smart countries like Mainland China and a few others played their smart cards, manipulated or “adjusted” their currencies, otherwise some are so smart and highly competitive, no matter what the exchange rate may be, Germany, Switzerland and even Holland and Finland still do quite well.

    So what is the bloody solution for a little, overly agry and tourism focused economy like NZ to survive. It cannot be that we get more of the same, for sure. Get a wake up call, call up a few leading economic players, collectives and so forth, to bring in investment, ideas and more to grow the local economy.

    Does anybody realise that in Europe collective housing or cooperative housing businesses are doing extremely well, have offered affordable housing for ordinary people for decades, while in NZ it is all left over for the speculator and small to meduium investor to make the most of the buck, rip everyone off, write off losses on tax and so to the government, and even let cold, damp and rubbish flats for exorbitant rents to poor, desperate tenants in Auckland and Christchurch?

    Wake up NZ, this is NOT right!.

  11. There are different layers through the workforce and unemployment in NZ is mostly concentrated at one end with people who either lack skills, qualifications or experience. Despite this further along the line there are significant skill shortages where employers really struggle to find skilled and experienced staff that simply cannot be trained up – you can’t suddenly train someone to have five years experience.

    So there is good immigration to help with this – which creates jobs and prosperity by bringing in highly skilled people with specific skills we don’t have here right now- and there is bad immigration – which reduces opportunities for New Zealanders by bringing in people who will compete at the lower skilled end of the jobs market, reduce wages and reduce training opportunties.

    Over the past two years good immigration is down by 30% – a loss to New Zealand of $2.16 billion in direct income alone, not forgetting the additional $40 million shortfall the immigration department has had to deal with as a result as two thirds of their funding comes from fees.

    Over the same period bad immigration is steadily increasing, for example in Christchurch leaving the Canterbury rebuild to ‘the market’ has shown that for many companies it is cheaper to bring in low skilled labour from overseas than train locals. With a wider view training locals is a much better option, but this is only happening in a limited way. There is no way the current rules (which are very strict) should permit this, but it’s happening anyway.

    Another recent change is to allow English language students on short courses to work while studying. Previously only students on degree or higher courses (and therefore likely to add to NZ after they graduate) were allowed to work. Naturally students are going to compete for unskilled and semi-skilled jobs with NZ workers and I am struggling to understand why the increase in students attracted for courses offsets the potential damage and cost caused at a time when unemployment is rising here.


    • kiwi_prometheus 11.1

      Surprising to see someone actually addressing the negatives of immigration on this site.

      Usually its all pro immigration propaganda – “great for the economy!”, “multiculturalism is awesome!”.

      “A net 33,000 of them have left for Australia under National – 13,000 in the last year. That’s twice the rate of emigration under Labour.”

      So NZ was hemorrhaging away under 9 years of Labour too. But it was a more drawn out kind of dying , so Labour is the best option! 🙄

      • Hi kiwi_prometheus

        Properly managed immigration is hugely beneficial to New Zealand – both economically and culturally. The last census confirmed clear profit of $3.3 billion over costs making it a little strange that recent policy has reduced the greatest drivers of this income (skilled workers) to concentrate on investors (where most of the profit goes offshore) and students (who are now allowed to compete with kiwis for jobs).

        The immigration system in New Zealand is strict, well balanced and works extremely well, however policy tweaks appear to be seriously undermining the stability of this service, the benefits it brings, the guiding principles of fairness and natural justice and even the effectiveness of meeting the purpose of immigration. 

        Multiculturalism is another thing and not to be confused with immigration. While immigration is the act of bringing people into the country for economic and cultural benefit, for example to fill skill shortages created by kiwis heading off to Australia multiculturalism affects what happens after arrival.

        To me this means how the rights and traditions of newcomers are respected and is generally more correctly labelled ‘political correctness’. While the traditions of newcomers should be protected and preserved some believe that these traditions should be respected above the cultural traditions and rules of society existing in New Zealand.

        Having seen what that kind of view did to the UK I see no place for it in New Zealand, so yes I am pro (positive) immigration, but I am anti multiculturalism.


        • KJT

          Migration policy in New Zealand has simply been used as a way of forcing down wages. For both skilled and unskilled jobs.

          New Zealand business do not want to invest in their employees. They do not want to pay for the training or the wages to keep skilled people. Even though they have effectively managed to pass most of their training costs onto tax payers.

          Immigration policy hands them a pass every time. Allowing them to avoid what should be the logical consequences of paying below the market and refusing to train anyone.

          For example I know several skilled trades where there was absolutely no shortage of skilled New Zealanders. The companies involved went crying to immigration that they could not get New Zealanders to do the jobs.
          The only reason they could not get anyone was the miserable wages and conditions they were offering.
          Same as the building trades run by Fletchers in Christchurch.
          Even now they rely on short term employees from India and China who want an entry to Australia.

          Funny that it takes huge salaries to attract Managers and Directors to do their jobs, but skilled people are supposed to be attracted by third world rates.

          The chickens are coming home to roost. Everyone in my profession under 50 are now working in Australia, Singapore or the far East.

        • fatty

          “To me this means how the rights and traditions of newcomers are respected and is generally more correctly labelled ‘political correctness’. While the traditions of newcomers should be protected and preserved some believe that these traditions should be respected above the cultural traditions and rules of society existing in New Zealand.”

          Has this happened in NZ?…or is it just that some people believe it should happen?

          • Carol

            Having seen what that kind of view did to the UK I see no place for it in New Zealand, so yes I am pro (positive) immigration, but I am anti multiculturalism.
            What’s the evidence that it happened in the UK?

            PS – it doesn’t match with my experience living in the UK, so can you cite any evidence other than your own perception of your experiences?

  12. Te Reo Putake 12

    Press release from the EPMU’s Bill Newson on this subject:

    Record Aussie exodus shows failure of ‘hands off’ approach:
    Figures released today showing a record number of Kiwis left for Australia in the last year are a result of the government’s lack of a plan for a high wage, high skill economy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
    EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says the government’s ‘hands off’ approach to the economy isn’t working.
    “The National Party campaigned strongly on closing the wage gap with Australia and stemming the exodus of Kiwis across the Tasman, but in government they’ve presided over a growing wage gap and a lost generation of Kiwi workers.
    “New Zealand will only ever catch Australia if we have a government that’s willing to support a modern, innovative manufacturing sector that creates good, secure, high-paying jobs.
    “That means providing practical support for the manufacturing sector, taking action to bring the exchange rate under control, and supporting employment laws that reduce inequality and empower working New Zealanders to get a fair share of growing productivity.
    “This record exodus to Australia shows National’s ‘hands off’ approach isn’t working, and after four years it’s time for the government to take responsibility, change course and come up with a plan to lift wages.”

  13. Fortran 13

    Why is it assume that jobs are easier to get for unqualified people in Australia.
    Recent articles in the Aussie papers show that for an Aussie getting a job without qualification is getting very tough so what make you think the it is any easier for a Kiwi.
    J Andels – keep at it and go back to get all NCEA you can.

  14. fatty 14

    A brief 30 min speech from Bronwyn Hayward. She has just released a book looking at how we are screwing the future of NZ children. The books looks at how childhood today is different from the past – http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781849714372/

    “Children growing up today are confronted by four difficult and intersecting challenges: dangerous environmental change, weakening democracies, growing social inequality, and a global economy marked by unprecedented youth unemployment and unsustainable resource extraction.”

  15. Tim G 15

    What surprises me most is that no-one has commented on J. Andals name yet. Turns out that it is a supportive crew at TS, after all.

    “I’m looking for Amanda Huginkiss!”

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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