Minister Tin-Ears

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 pm, January 28th, 2013 - 65 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

New Zealand’s remaining world-class manufacturers are saying today they are sick of being told by politicians that they need to work harder when they have been doing that for years, but face a huge headwind from an over-valued dollar.

Not a good time for Minister Tin-Ears, Steven Joyce, to give them that message. To add insult to injury, Joyce quotes his own business experience, running radio stations in the domestic economy – he’s never had to face the effect of the high dollar on his bottom line.

I know CEO’s like Keith Whiteley of New Zealand’s iconic manufacturer from the days when we were together on the Board of the Engineering ITO, now Competenz. He runs a world-class business. When he and others like him are prepared to speak out as they did today at the Manufacturing Enquiry run by Labour, Greens and New Zealand First it is time for everyone to listen carefully. The manufacturing sector has lost 40,000 very good jobs in the last four years of the National government’s washing-their-hands inaction.

I am optimistic that the Enquiry will produce some action no later than 2014. We can only hope that National’s lack of action or ideas does not do too much more damage to the productive economy before then.

65 comments on “Minister Tin-Ears”

  1. Eddie 1

    MANA’s also in the inquiry.

    Joyce is one of those people who do their own side more damage than good by denying what everyone can see.

    • xtasy 1.1

      Joyce’s comments are music to my ears, as it proves the man, like much of the National led government, live in mental ivory towers, far away and detached from reality on the ground.

      It is great to hear him make derogative, insulting and stupid comments, as every one of them will be yet another nail in the coffin that will lay this government to rest.

      • handle 1.1.1

        Only if you find a builder who knows one end of a hammer from the other.

        • Colonic Wiper 1.1.1.1

          If Joyce is living in an ivory tower far removed, then the whole of Labours front bench would not even be in this galaxy in terms of a manufacturing context. Seriously what would they know about this.

          If Winston Peters is a so called solution in all this we are truly screwed.

          • CV - Real Labour 1.1.1.1.1

            Just bring Anderton in as a Labour advisor. He knows more about large scale manufacturing than anyone else in Parliament.

    • AmaKiwi 1.2

      But the Nats deny so convincingly.

      I never cease to be amazed at how cleverly they attack their critics and how lamely their critics attempt to fight back.

      National’s PR is so professional compared to the Left’s. Winston is the only opposition leader with a sharp tongue but we don’t hear from him often enough. Cunliffe can slay dragons but he’s been gagged and deported to Siberia.

      • xtasy 1.2.1

        Ama Kiwi: Yes, you are so right on that! It is pitiful what we get from the opposition, although at times they score some points.

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        And not without reason. There are few other serpents that have cause to fear the edge of Cunliffe’s sword. Old climate ignoring, BAU, fire breathing dinosaurs, hankering for a coal renaissance ignorant of the dangers of extinction lumbering around in the bowels of the Labour Party.

        • AmaKiwi 1.2.2.1

          “Shearer downsizes his housing promise”, today’s NZ Herald.

          Shot himself in the foot again.

          • irascible 1.2.2.1.1

            Shearer didn’t shoot himself in the foot. He repeated the policy announced at the Labour Conference, restated the messages given post conference and then had the Herald editorial decision to headline the story in the maner it will always choose whenever Labour announces policy directions.

            Haven’t you noticed that Joyce’s decision on keeping Novopay has been spun constructively as a positive business decision made by a competent businessman turned politician? Compare that spin to the criticism of Novopay & Joyce by Hipkins and get the message.

            • ad 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Shearer was toured around Auckland’s New Lynn site only in December last year. This site has over 100 new units going up, some even under $300k, all of high build quality, all built right next to a new public transport facility. Check out the full page article B5 in the Herland today.

              If housing is the sole major policy he is going to hang his hat on for a good while, he needs to be a whole lot better at it. Doing a good speech to launch it is not enough. Having concrete examples of what success would like like, whether in Auckland or Invercargill, is the key to retailing into a story that spreads throughout the country.

              Simply assigning blame to the media itself is weak. Pointing media’s amplifier in the right direction is a basic political job, particularly for a centrepiece policy.

              Shearer needs to get out there and front this story this week,or otherwise the opposition will continue to tip the story and the policy into the media’s cynicism.

    • Jenny 1.3

      MANA’s also in the inquiry.

      Eddie

      Is this an honest mistake, or is there some other reason for this interesting omission?

      Would you like to comment Mike?

  2. ChrisH 2

    Excellent image. Mr Can’t-fix-it.

  3. “one of those people who do their own side more damage than good by denying what everyone can see.”

    That’s funny irony.
    Who else gets it?

  4. xtasy 4

    I do not know about private media, but Radio NZ, and at least one of the big television news tonight, reported on this inquiry and what those employers said. That is a good sign, as the mainstream media tend to ignore too many other important issues, but at least not this one.

    Maybe it is, because this is about the ECONOMY, which tends to get a fair bit of attention usually.

    They cannot ignore and deny the elephant in the room, so to say.

  5. emergency mike 5

    Manufacturers: “We’re sick of being told to word harder and be more efficient by politicians.”

    Joyce: “Work harder, innovate.”

    Well done RNZ.

    • xtasy 5.1

      “Manufacturers: “We’re sick of being told to word harder and be more efficient by politicians.””

      One problem with highlighting this kind of comment is: This enquiry has been launched by politicians, from the opposition.

      So how would they have felt hearing this???

      I just fear, that although this enquiry is making some sense, that there is some danger of the parties and their leaders later down the road shooting themselves also in the foot.

      Once a new government may change the Reserve Bank Act or do other things, to drive the NZ Dollar down, the employers may come with other demands, some of which may not really be what workers and their representatives may wish for.

      And yes, why was Mana not included in Mike’s lead story up the top? Are they “too left” for you and the mates in the Labour caucus, Mike?

  6. Kobe24 6

    The stat in the article about the manufacturing sector losing 40,000 jobs in the last four years is incorrect. According to the Household Labour Force Survey the people employed in the manufacturing sector has remained constant between 245,000 and 255,000 since 2009 There was a loss in manufacturing jobs between 2005 and 2009

    • xtasy 6.1

      Kobe 28 – You are playing Key’s trick with the figures here!

      Yes, Mike needs to learn that it is 2013 now, as we are a month into a new year.

      But since 2008 about 40 thousand jobs were lost in manufacturing!

      In 2009 there had already been many jobs lost due to the GFC and fallout from that, so when counting from that the losses may not be as high. But Russel Norman and others have challenged the PM repeatedly on the figures since 2008, and Norman was right with the 40 k figure.

    • Eddie 6.2

      The Quarterly Employment Survey is the measure of the number of jobs.

      It’s down 40,000 from June 2008 to June 2012.

  7. Kobe24 7

    The stat in the article about the manufacturing sector losing 40,000 jobs in the last four years is incorrect.

    According to the Household Labour Force Survey the people employed in the manufacturing sector has remained constant between 245,000 and 255,000 since 2009

    There was a loss in manufacturing jobs between 2005 and 2009

  8. Tiresias 8

    “I am optimistic that the Enquiry will produce some action no later than 2014.” – Mike Smith

    I fear I’m not. Much as I loath this present Government I have to say that if there was a magic wand that could be waved to help exporters and manufacturers, Key et al would be waving it furiously. After all the MDs and CEOs and Directors of these businesses are National’s through and through, and I’m sure they’ve been demanding something for their money from the Government privately at parties and golf-courses and business breakfasts since before the last election.

    The only way you’re going to bring the exchange rate down is to sabotage the economy so it looks as shaky as Spain’s or Italy’s. The Reserve Bank Governor set it out in a speech last October:

    “So there are clear limits to what monetary policy and exchange rate intervention can do to lower the New Zealand dollar. In order to achieve a sustained reduction in the New Zealand dollar it would be necessary to alter the overall level and pattern of saving and investment in the economy. In particular, it will be necessary to tackle our addiction of depending on foreign savings to finance our consumption and investment. This dependency means that we have persistently needed interest rates above those in most developed economies to maintain inflation at target levels similar to those being followed elsewhere. Policies that increase domestic savings, including reducing the government’s fiscal deficit, and to reduce the flow of resources into the public sector and other non-tradables sectors, would help to achieve a sustainable reduction in the exchange rate.”

    “http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/speeches/5005204.html”

    Trouble is, to increase domestic savings you have to increase interest rates which puts up mortgates, both of which dries up High Street consumption which may help exporters but hurts all the rest of New Zealand’s businesses and retailers. Also, New Zealand’s Government fiscal deficit isn’t all that bad compared with the countries in trouble. It’s private sector overseas debt that’s causing the concern in the ratings agencies and the Govt. can’t do much about that except ask businesses to stop borrowing:

    union.org.nz/sites/union.org.nz/files/Working%20Through%20the%20Issues%20-%20Debt%20(Revised).pdf

    Plus “reducing the Government’s fiscal deficit &tc” is banker-speak for austerity which is just Graeme Wheeler toeing the official line.

    Politicians – including Shearer in his State of the Nation speech – dream big dreams of other people coming up with better mouse-traps that are going to take the world by storm. Well, it might happen just as I might win Lotto. (Actually I’ll never win Lotto as I don’t buy a ticket, so make that “just as you might win Lotto”.)

    There ain’t nutt’n no Government can do about the exchange rate, unless it’s prepared to sacrifice almost everything else on that altar. And even if the Government could do something about the exchange rate it would have to think very carefully before doing it. Government debt isn’t frighteningly high. Private debt in New Zealand is. (see union.org.nz above). Most of it is via the banks and therefore funded from overseas in the almighty dollar. Bring the NZ dollar down by 10% (at least, as you’d have to in order to make a difference) and you’ve increased NZ’s overseas debt by 10% overnight and that would have Standard & Poors, Moodies et al running flags up flag-poles left, right and centre.

    So are you going to subsidise New Zealand’s world-class manufacturers just like you didn’t support New Zealand’s world-class wind-turbine manufacturer Windflow in Christchurch so that it’s had to lay off most of its staff – including world-class engineers and designers – and is now looking to sell its world-leading, New Zealand developed technology to a foreign competitor for a mess of pottage? http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/windflow-dream-fades-shares-plunge-ch-96636

    Sorry Mike. All the hot air your inquiry will produce over the next few months might have generated a few kw electricity from a Windflow gen set had there been one available – but for the rest it’s just another charade of politicians forming a committee to look at all the ways you might get other people to reshuffle the deckchairs on the Titanic.

    • xtasy 8.1

      Tiresias: Yes, you raise valid concerns here:

      “After all the MDs and CEOs and Directors of these businesses are National’s through and through, and I’m sure they’ve been demanding something for their money from the Government privately at parties and golf-courses and business breakfasts since before the last election.”

      “There ain’t nutt’n no Government can do about the exchange rate, unless it’s prepared to sacrifice almost everything else on that altar. And even if the Government could do something about the exchange rate it would have to think very carefully before doing it.”

      While we have the opposition try to charm some export industry employers feeling the pinch, there is always another side to the story, which requires caution to be applied.

      NZ’s over-dependence on Australian banks, who in part also depend on even larger foreign banks further afield, to keep on borrowing for housing and the likes, that is one major issue that needs addressing.

      Problem is: Few are prepared to address it. NZers are addicted to a lifestyle on borrowed money. So nothing will be gained without some pain. That is where Shearer and Labour are not quite up front with the public.

      NZ could try to issue more government bonds locally, but that bears high risks too, as NZ happens to be too tied up in global trade and business, so that “printing money” will likely just lead to more inflation at home. As a rather small economy, NZ is just over-dependent on the big players in finance and business. Easy money can only be a solution in limits, otherwise the credit rating will sink like a lead balloon.

      We could start with producing more of what is needed here locally, and a reduction in private motor transport in the cities could reduce the amount of fuel imports, which would also reduce import costs over-all, thus improve the balance sheets.

      People may need to go back to learn and build your own homes, in hours after ususal work, so borrowing costs could be reduced.

      Nevertheless, I think that a solution to peg the Dollar to a range of leading currencies, similar as to what Singapore does, would be a solution. Export manufacturers need a solution sooner rather than later, and we know that the NZ Dollar is also so high, due to speculation by overseas currency investors and traders.

      A simple continuation of what has been done the last 2 or so decades is NO option though.

    • tracey 8.2

      ” I have to say that if there was a magic wand that could be waved to help exporters and manufacturers, Key et al would be waving it furiously. After all the MDs and CEOs and Directors of these businesses are National’s through and through, and I’m sure they’ve been demanding something for their money from the Government privately at parties and golf-courses and business breakfasts since before the last election.”

      Not compared to the banking and finance (exchange traders) sectors. I think you are being naive. Key also has no knowledge or experience of what these businesses need because his background is in magic, the illusion of financial markets and exchange rates, nothing real or tangible there.

    • ad 8.3

      Apart from seeking to alter the exchange rate (of which I have no expertise), your question about Windflow is the clearest.

      This National government heavily subsidises some specific manufacturers – particularly pastoral ones. Sometimes through indirect means, but often through industry-good means such as irrigation, or tax rebates for film producers. Sometimes through direct means such as the National Convention Centre deal with SkyCity.

      Your question is really: which sector should get support, if different from the ones currently supported by the current gvoernment. In terms of wind power, one could argue that the Gvoernment is the largest supporter of wind power and wind technology through ownership of its own electricity generator companies – that Windflow’s is not public policy failure, but market failure.

      Each step down the primrose path of public commercial intervention gets very steep and very very expensive with not necessarily any hope of getting back.Why not set out the manufacturing sectors you would want supported and why?

    • infused 8.4

      Well done.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.5

      Yep

  9. tsmithfield 9

    A pegged currency sounds nice, but in practice is much more difficult to manage.

    From the article:

    A government has to work to keep their pegged rate stable. Their national bank must hold large reserves of foreign currency to mitigate changes in supply and demand. If a sudden demand for a currency were to drive up the exchange rate, the national bank would have to release enough of that currency into the market to meet the demand. They can also buy up currency if low demand is lowering exchange rates.

    The problem is that in the case of NZ, there will likely be few opportunities for our RB to buy up currency when it is low, because the natural pressure on the NZD is up (against the USD anyway). So, maintaining a peg will be very expensive.

    Also:

    The system can backfire, however, if the real world market value of the currency is not reflected by the pegged rate. In that case, a black market may spring up, where the currency will be traded at its market value, disregarding the government’s peg.
    When people realize that their currency isn’t worth as much as the pegged rate indicates, they may rush to exchange their money for other, more stable currencies. This can lead to economic disaster, since the sudden flood of currency in world markets drives the exchange rate very low. So if a country doesn’t take good care of their pegged rate, they may find themselves with worthless currency.

    A problem that is very likely in NZ since the pegged value of our dollar will be mostly much lower than its actual value.

    So, its not as easy as it sounds. Also, I think it would be counter-productive. In the case of the US, where deflation was the problem, their central bank is able to drive down the USD without greatly affecting inflation. Also, the US is a large economy that is sustainable within itself, so it gets much more benefit from driving down its currency.

    In the case of NZ, any move to drive down the dollar would be highly inflationary. This would push up the cost of our goods, and negate the effect of a lower dollar. At least at the moment, our cost of imported raw materials etc are low, so we are avoiding spiralling costs that would make our economy less competitive.

    Germany is a good example of an economy that can succeed as an exporter despite a high exchange rate. We need to focus on what we are good at, and avoid those areas where we don’t have a cost advantage (such as high volume manufacturing).

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Not sure why you’re talking about pegged currency, ts, because no one else is.

      All we need is for the OCR to take into account the exchange rate.

      If it did, we’d likely see a drop from 2.5% (one of the highest in the world) to 1.5-1.75%, with threats to drop it further if the exchange rate didn’t fall.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    The New World Order plan is for NZ is for it to become a recreational playground for the global elites, with peasants sweeping the roads, serving meals, changing bedding etc. plus a resource base from which minerals, trees, food and the last of the fossil fuels can be stripped.

    Everything is going according to plan.

    As for manufacturing:

    1. Nobody can compete with low-pay, hi-tech Asian economies.
    2. Manufacturing is a major part of the problem in so far as manufacturing is a major driver of Abrupt Climate change….. so we should be celebrating its demise.

    All too hard for simple-minded folk, I know.

    • I think more people are recognising that Aotearoa is being asset stripped to death. Intensive dairying is just another symptom of this. Rip, shit, bust.
      Aotearoa has cheap resources and high tech, so these get stripped to feed failing profits.
      Its more anarchy than plan. China and US are not following the same plan, but competing at all levels to suck what resources are left out of Eaarth. If war doesnt destroy us sooner CC will.
      Simple minded folk need to get back to Earth and figure out how we can collectively work out what to do to conserve what is left as the basis of our survival.
      A start would be a Labour Party, Greens and Mana doing more than holding an investigation into manufacturing premised on the myth of Aotearoa being a sovereign state, and work on a joint plan to throw out the banksters and their lackeys in parliament and put the working majority in power.
      This is what democratic socialism means today- human survival.

  11. millsy 11

    The RBA has done more harm to this country than erode manufacturing.

    Low wages, run down health and education system, destruction of welfare, you name it.

    As for manufacturing, I dont know of any propserus country that doesnt have some form of manufacturing capapbility (aside from the Arab oil states).

    I also note that a lot of jobs with the best wages and conditions as well as high union membership are in manufacturing, as perhaps thats why the government wants to destroy that sector. Same with Hillside and the Solid Energy coalmines, while the non-union, insecure film industry gets oodles of assistance.

    • CV - Real Labour 11.1

      It’s actually time that Treasury (sorry I said RB initially) got right-sized and some of its medicine taken internally.

  12. tc 12

    How about some stinging criticism directed at the gov’t by labour then……yeah right, that nice Mr Shearer’s too busy trying to string sentences together that aren’t rehearsed.

    Who the F is labours spokesperson on these matters anyway.

  13. Saarbo 13

    Joyce lacks experience and understanding of export industries. Not that long ago I did some work for a Paper company that was selling Paper to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia (not News Print). Now it is having to shed jobs as it cannot operate to capacity, also with a high exchange rate they are finding it difficult to compete with competing importers. It gets worse, the paper being imported is from Indonesia apparently uses Indonesian hardwood, something Greenpeace discovered.

  14. tracey 14

    C’mon everyone, it’s ok, clam down, Mt Joyce says the exchange rate will come down “in time”. Aren’t you all just so gosh darned reassured by his business accumen and insight?

    • rosy 14.1

      “Mt Joyce says the exchange rate will come down “in time””

      It might be sooner than he thinks, for all the wrong reasons, with the Northern hemisphere having a little recovery (who knows for how short a time), with the milk contamination issues and with manufacturing figures and other economic indicators going through the floor.

  15. tracey 15

    So Mr Joyce is going to visit school sto discuss the “problem”. Beginning of the school year, overwhelmingly busy and he is going to, what? Take more time from administrators to discuss the “problem.” Someone, god anyone, from opposition please point out in 30 seconds or less how ridiculous this is.

  16. King Kong 16

    I hope that the oppositions political point scoring on this issue works out for them because it probably isn’t doing the remaining workers in this sector any favours.

    Joyce is right when he says this kind of thing isn’t very helpfull. Just think about the manufacturing exporter who is actually doing ok and finds that none of the banks want to finance his capital investment and the company growth this will enable because they have been told from the roof tops that this type of business is fucked.

  17. vto 17

    Steven Joyce exhibits the age-old problem whereby someone with success in one sphere gets all over-confident that their opinions are pretty damn good on everything and they then try to transplant those talents or luck that led to the initial spherical success to another quite different sphere.

    Clearly, skill at running a radio show does not equate to political skill. (in fact, normaloly it is the reverse and radio is where the useless politicians end up).

    Similarly with John Key. Skill at money trading does not equate to political skills necessary to point a country in a long term correct direction.

    Another recent classic of course is Gareth Morgan.

    People should stick to their knitting.

    As for the issue at hand – for fucks sake here we still sit beholden to the world of money and financial structure. Just like the GFC and banks have fucked us so too now does the world of currency trading. In addition, it is absolutely astounding that whizz-kid Key the currency trader cannot resolve this for exporters.

    It’s stuffed and it’s time to just give up. We don’t need all that foreign money anyway – as DtB always says, we have more than enough to adequately feed, house and amuse ourselves in this country without even needing to hoist sail – we should ignore the rest of the world. It is they who would then come to us and hence provide us the upper hand in negotiating terms ……..

    • King Kong 17.1

      It is not just a problem for the succesful.

      There are many commenters here who have had absolutely no success in any part of their lives yet still spout opinions wildly with unfounded confidence on an enormous range of subjects.

      Exactly the same kind of lunacy.

      • tracey 17.1.1

        at least you agree the Minister is a lunatic. Obviously the big difference between Joyce and Key and those who comment here, is they use urgency to ram through their lunacy thus imposing it on the entire nation.

  18. d2ba 18

    On the flip of the coin Exporters that sell to Australia are doing great as the Kiwi-Aussie cross is more or less what it always has been over the past 20 years

    Joyce is correct we should not interfere with our exchange rate
    What those exporters crying foul don’t tell you is if the US -Kiwi exchange rate drop’s your wages are devalued
    ,so is your property —imagine if you want to sell up to move abroad your asset could be worth 30% less than what it is today if the kiwi TWI drops

    • tsmithfield 18.1

      If we were to peg our exchange rate, the logical currency would be the AU. That is because we tend to fluctuate against the AU, so pegging to the average rate would give our RB the opportunity to top up foreign reserves when the currency moves in its favour. Also, as pointed out by d2ba, Australia is our most significant trading partner. A peg at about NZ78-79 to the AU would be about right I think.

    • CV - Real Labour 18.2

      Joyce is correct we should not interfere with our exchange rate

      Nah you can’t leave it to the market, the market has no interest in the wellbeing of our exporters. And neither it seems do you.

      imagine if you want to sell up to move abroad your asset could be worth 30% less than what it is today if the kiwi TWI drops

      Oh I see. This is a very important consideration for the economic traitor class, those following in the footsteps of Fay and Richwhite.

    • tracey 18.3

      What you and Mr Kong appear to be saying is doing nothing continues tobe a great plan. If you are right, we could save enormous amount sof money by retiring our current cabinet and saving their salaries and hanger son costs

  19. Afewknowthetruth 19

    If the exchange rate were to drop to what it was around the year 2000 (40c US) everyone would be grizzling that they could not afford fuel or imported goods.

    The Era of Entitlement is over and we are now living in the Era of Consequences. Unfortunately, most people still have not realised and think they are still living in the Era of Entitlement.

    • King Kong 19.1

      As the world will end in 2015 I can probably kid myself that we are living in the “era of entitlement” untill then.

      What you are doing is the same as chastising a dying man for having a last smoke.

      • Tim 19.1.1

        As the world is going to end in 2015 (as you say), I’m wondering why you’re advocating the accumulation of wealth. Is it that protestant work ethic kicking in where all work is good – even pushing shit uphill?

  20. Colonic Wiper 20

    Export focussed manufacturers are important , no doubt. But also manufacturers supplying local consumption and this is the rub. Often they source off shore components and raw materials for local conversion. Be careful with shouting about about a dramatically reduced dollar as these companies are the mainstay of manufacturing employment. Again we are seeing a very silo’ed and unintegrated approach only keen on issue raising and noise producing.

  21. ad 21

    I think it was Karl Marx who said that “The point is not merely to interpret the world, the point is to change it.”

    What is this inquiry intended to produce? Would it change any business decisions, or any industry direction, as a result?

    Could the report find common ground between the participant political parties, towards a 2014 coalition policy?

    Will it change the decisions of any company or industry?

    We are probably dealing with the most commerically interventionist National government since Muldoon – so will this report propose a specific set of different interventions with a different underlying rationale? Being more, or less, “hands on”, isn’t enough now.

    And with the recommendations in the resulting report, is David Shearer committed to doing anything with them?

  22. d2ba 22

    If the exchange rate were to drop to what it was around the year 2000 (40c US) your wages. kiwisaver and life savings are wiped out very quickly
    I export to Australia and what the other exporters crying foul are really complaining about is they but a position/forward contract with the bank gambling on the Kiwi coming down and will lose money
    on the punt. I say tough that business , those exporters called it wrong and gambled on the exchange rate

    • Gosman 22.1

      Agreed.

      Also what the opposition parties are not saying is that they really want to lower everybody’s living standards so that industrialists can compete.

      Regardless, any attempts to manipulate the currency to favour one section of society over another is likely to fail given the fact that the rate is largely determined by perceptions of market fundamentals.

      Can someone please explain how the US dollar and the Euro are not at a rate that is basically reflective of the respective weaknesses in those economies.

  23. Gosman 23

    I expect to see a flood of industrialists deserting the National party and joining the various opposition parties then. Hmmmm… I sense a Tui ad there for some reason.

  24. fenderviper 24

    Maybe you will, the exporting ones are not getting any relief, respect, mature dialogue or leadership from this inept Govt.

    woops..reply to Saint Gosman

    • Gosman 24.1

      Excellent. Which party will they flock to do you think?

      • fenderviper 24.1.1

        They should head to the Greens if they are thinking long term IMO

        • Gosman 24.1.1.1

          Good stuff. I look forward to the Greens being innundated with industrialists money and support in time for the next election then.

          • fenderviper 24.1.1.1.1

            Yes me too!

            Or they can continue to hang with dinosaurs, rape resources, foul the place up and shorten their long-term “brighter future”.

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    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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