National has blown it

Written By: - Date published: 2:22 pm, April 23rd, 2009 - 37 comments
Categories: economy, national/act government - Tags:

National cannot be blamed for the current financial crisis and recession of course. But they can be blamed for their short sighted and inadequate response. Stuck in old ways of thinking (cut spending, cut jobs, sell stuff) they have done nothing to stimulate the economy. All their talk of extra spending turned out to be just rebranding existing spending (see here and here), or moving money from one project (public transport) to another (more highways). The talk-fest jobs summit resulted in nothing – a token cycleway (now axed) and a nine day fortnight plan (going nowhere). Where was the leadership? Where was the vision?

Well, the chickens are coming home to roost. Borrowing and hoping not an option, says English:

Finance Minister Bill English is setting the scene for a grim Budget next month with the likely cancellation of personal tax cuts in 2010 and 2011. … Government spending growth cannot continue at this rate, particularly with revenue falling so significantly in the current environment.

Govt looks to bite bullet and cut debt:

Next month’s Budget looks set to be a grim affair focused on reducing the country’s ballooning debt and eschewing any major prime-the-pump spending initiatives. … “The preliminary forecast has shown such a strong increase in debt that we don’t think there is room for any significant fiscal stimulus at the moment,” he [English] said.

National should have acted sooner and stronger. Instead of going on holiday after the election, or rushing through their own narrow agenda under anti-democratic urgency, they should have been addressing this crisis while there was still time. They had it wrong then, and they still (according to the IMF) have it wrong now:

It [the IMF] again spelt out the case for a strong fiscal policy response, with the Government acting as the “spender of last resort” to break the negative feedback between weaknesses in the financial sector and the real economy.

National had their chance, and they’ve blown it for all of us..

37 comments on “National has blown it ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    What a stupid guest post.

  2. Pat 2

    I agree, Guest Poster! They should have done all the things you said, which were … um … sooner … stronger …

    By all means attack the colour blue, but maybe put forward some fresh ideas.

    • BLiP 2.1

      What? You want anti-National people to put up fresh ideas – why’s that? Are you another National Party policy wonk scratching around at The Standard for fresh ideas to take to the leader as he sits jabbering and twitching in the corner while the economic depression rolls in the front door.

    • Quoth the Raven 2.2

      Pat – Many ideas are thrown around, you just have to look. The idea of the post was not to put forward new ideas it’s just providing a criticism of what National has done or hasn’t done, however the case maybe. I don’t agree that a big spend up is what’s needed, but there are things National could have done differently. For instance, if they had targeted their tax cuts to those on low incomes instead of towards the rich, as many people have said here and as many economists can attest, it would’ve provided greater stimulus to the economy.

  3. Pat 3

    Trust me, BLiP. No-ones ever gonna steal YOUR ideas.

    • ripp0 3.1

      “steal” is it..!

      always wondered what happened to all those submissions folks made public…

      I suppose the point about.. right now.. is the pre-empted stuff is pretty useless.. when the call to responsibility strikes…

  4. bobo 4

    When will the media start using the words “broken promise” over using the current line of “modify their policy in the current economic climate” ?

  5. Bobo – not a good idea to bring up flip flops anymore. It seems to have been catching.

    One of the problems – ignoring of course the scale of the problem – is that while Labour did much good in paying off debt, the same can’t be said for Govt expenditure.

    The following quote comes from the Stuff linked referenced above:

    He said Government spending growth had to be reined in: Crown spending in the year to June 30 was expected to be $63.5 billion up $21.6b or 51 per cent from five years ago while the economy grew by only 23 per cent.

    Now based on the fact that another Standard post appeared to blame Key for the doubling in his PM salary, I can only assume that the increase in Crown spending can now be blamed at Key.

    • Maynard J 5.1

      I would probably blame the stats there – WfF and Kiwisaver are included in there. If that spending isn’t being cut (and it isn’t. well, KS is being cleaved asunder. but the Independent Earners’ Credit would make up for a good chunk of that) then any spending cuts will be disproportionally large. If they’re based upon flawed logic like the statement you mentioned from Bill.

      Pity the Government won’t consider borrowing to sitmulate the economy – debatable whether there’s a case for it, but the IMF and the rest of the world thinks so – and will only borrow to stimulate their ideology.

  6. gingercrush 6

    Pity the Government won’t consider borrowing to sitmulate the economy – debatable whether there’s a case for it, but the IMF and the rest of the world thinks so – and will only borrow to stimulate their ideology.

    Why can’t you grasp that New Zealand is already at its debt levels just maintaining current services how the hell are they expected to borrow and stimulate the economy. When there is no evidence that the countries that did stimulate their economies in terms of stimulus packages. The US, Great Britain, Australia are not working.Japan too is stimulating their economy by borrowing billions. It isn’t working and it didn’t work in the 80s either.

    To answer you Kevin. The post is stupid because it completely misses the point of this recession and further to actually believe one could spend billions and somehow the economy would be fixed is an absurd assumption.

  7. So ginger… the Herbert Hoover approach rather than the FDR approach?

    • gingercrush 7.1

      No one is doing a FDR approach. Anyone that seriously thinks any plans by any country mirrors what FDR did are smoking something. Likewise, no one is doing the Hoover approach either. Both of those approaches were problematic. No doubt about it. But this recession isn’t the same as that one hence why we shouldn’t be looking back to the 1920s/1930s.

      Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing itself against stimulus. Its rather healthy. I just don’t believe the plans as implemented by many countries are any good in the short or long term. And I worry that the american stimulus package will cause more problems than solve them in the long term.

      —-

      The OCED said we were already at our limits for stimulus and they recommended we did no more. Or do we just ignore that report because it doesn’t tell us what we want to hear? Yes its neo-liberal and some of the proposals in it were pathetic. But they had some truth to them. Health is and will be a problem long-term. I just don’t think privatising it is the solution (as the OCED report recommended). But it does tell us is that changes in health will be necessary in the future. National Radios Nine to Noon had an excellent story with Brian Rudman. Hardly right-wing. He too says there isn’t much New Zealand can do. I just wish people would realise that.

      We either ride the recession out and supply some stimulus while reducing or at the least maintaining debt or we take a far-left regime of dismantling capitalism. In my eyes, those are the only two solutions New Zealand can do. I know which one I would go for.

      • jarbury 7.1.1

        Good post ginger. As has been said before, you’re certainly a cut above most right-wingers in how you put forward your arguments.

        Certainly there is good stimulus and bad stimulus. Some of the efforts made in the USA are good – like the high-speed rail proposals that will put a lot of people to work (even in simply designing them) and will also assist the USA in the long-term future. However, there was certainly a lot of stupid ‘pet projects’ that made it into the stimulus package. The same with Australia really, some good moves but also some stupid stuff – like giving people a lump sum payment of money (which of course most used to pay down debt or they saved).

        I fail to really see what stimulus has happened in NZ so far. A few roading projects were brought forward, money was shifted from public transport to road construction…. a couple more schools were built, 60 odd state houses (whoop de doo, Labour has pumped out 1000 a year). Tax cuts, though they weren’t even really additional spending, just money shifted from Kiwisaver (and most of the extra money went to those rich enough to save it or pay off debt).

        Regarding what you say about the health system, I couldn’t agree more. In the long-term we’re screwed. Why do you think the Green Party is into banning unhealthy food from schools and other health promoting policies? They realise that in 20-30 years time we’re going to be up shit creek regarding the costs of our health system versus the tax dollars we’ll be able to afford.

  8. Nacts ( by association maori & the greens) -Three strikes, you’re out.
    You over-egged the bribe/promise pudding to buy this election you mutts.

    I’m sorry, we were about to have a cleansing ceremo…i mean Change the government just now But Due To A Technical Fault we will have to keep bringing you this sorry lot for the next year and a half.
    Over to you John. Keep going John. John?
    could you please push… oh good, here we go.

  9. outofbed 9

    Nacts ( by association maori & the greens)
    Why the Greens ? are you an idiot ?

  10. Greg 10

    When did we come to the conclusion that fiscal stimulus was a good response to the current crisis? The economists out there seem pretty divided on the issue. Therefore any stimulus seems like a very big lottery to me.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      I’m not quite following the logic there Greg. Surely if the economists are divided then either way is gamble. The bigger gamble would be going with the minority opinion I suppose. Most economists seem to be saying that stimulus is needed as part of the response.

      Many of those ‘most’ are nobel winners and/or people that have been saying the system was heading for trouble. Many of those opposed to stimulus are neo liberals that have lead us down a path of deregulation and so on. on the basis that the market can regulate itself, that the market can discipline actors, and the rest of the supply side axioms. TINA we was told. And here we are.

      TINA is back in town perhaps, and she’s wearing a new dress.

  11. mike 11

    What a pathetic post
    The obama method of throwing billions down the shitter is being critisised more each day as drowning the future generations under a mountain of dept.

    Come 2011 Key’s brilliant vision, pragmatism and restraint will be hailed and the dirty socialists banished for another term or two.

  12. r0b 12

    What a pathetic post

    What a compelling counter argument. Not.

    The obama method of throwing billions down the shitter is being critisised more each day as drowning the future generations under a mountain of dept.

    Yes, Obama has the wrong model and is wasting his billions propping up failed banks. He’s not being criticised for spending, he’s being criticised for spending in the wrong places (“wall street” not “main street”). We don’t have failed banks here, so the Nats can’t make that mistake. Their mistake is that they’re doing nothing at all. Nothing.

    The IMF and most major economies agree that increased government spending softens the impact of the crisis and speeds recovery. Yes it increases dept in the short term, but if it heads off the downward spiral and the economy recovers that debt gets paid back. If you do nothing the downward spiral gathers speed, which is where we seem to be in NZ.

    As for suggesting alternatives, how about this. Cancel the April tax cuts, or redirect completely to low income earners (who will spend it and actually stimulate the economy). Institute capital gains tax. Cancel the useless broadband spend up. Borrow some if necessary. Invest in real infrastructure: (1) proper public transport – not a piddling cycleway but light rail mass transit systems in and around as many major cities as possible, and (2) renewable energy sources, sun, wind, tide. This would bring the short term benefits of “fiscal stimulus” and the long term benefits of reduced carbon emissions, more liveable cities, and less dependence on declining world oil supplies.

    But no, the Nat response is to ignore the international consensus, do nothing, and hope for the best. They can and will be blamed for the disaster that follows.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      I bet Bill English is thinking about what happened to the tory vote after they let Richardson loose. MMP is not as forgiving. I’m not expecting anything great from him, but I think the more fervent righties are going to be far more disappointed in him than I.

      Which itself might have electoral implications.

      If 18 or so months from now, ACT polling starts going up at National’s expense, National could start losing voters from the centre as well, who will be worried about a stronger ACT presence. that’s the problem with Key’s borg style of government. You are making a coalition out of people with fundamental differences, and the centrists will be asked to choose…

      • gingercrush 12.1.1

        PB – The far right fanatics are already pissed off with the John Key government. They’re already expecting the worse. Nothing will please them until Roger Douglas is made Finance Minister. Though one of those fanatics think the solution is making Judith Collins leader of National.

        Such people are likely already voted Act and will keep voting Act or there is about 2% of the voting public out there for them. I honestly don’t believe the fervent right-wing blog readers represent much of New Zealand whatsoever. I would contrast that with some of the people here at The Standard that have far-left views that don’t exactly reflect the left-wing vote either. I do believe Act are capable of reclaiming 5% and I think that would be quite healthy.

        I don’t believe a stronger Act represents any danger for National and the centre. National is far more likely to lose the centre to Labour themselves as they eventually get some traction again. Something that they just have to wait for.

  13. BR 13

    “Stuck in old ways of thinking (cut spending, cut jobs, sell stuff) they have done nothing to stimulate the economy.”

    The best way to stimulate and economy in good times and bad, is to slash government spending and slash taxes. This will put more money back into the pockets of those who have earned it, and give them the options of spending their own money how they see fit instead of having someone else spend it for them.

    When you spend your own money on yourself, you care how much you spend, and how well you spend it.

    When you spend your own money on someone else, you care how much you spend, but don’t care how well you spend it.

    When you spend someone else’s money on yourself you don’t care how much you spend, but do care how well you spend it.

    When you spend someone else’s money on someone else you don’t care how much you spend, or how well you spend it, and this is the reason government spending is so inefficient, wasteful and obstructive.

    Who needs crap government services anyway. Apart from a few core functions, I sure as hell don’t.

    Bill.

    • DeeDub 13.1

      Bill: “Who needs crap government services anyway. Apart from a few core functions, I sure as hell don’t.”

      … and YOU’RE all that matters, eh Bill?

      Screw everyone else then?

  14. outofbed 14

    I think BR would be more at home in Somalia No Gov Services whatsoever
    I’ll contribute to his fare

  15. Greg 15

    “‘m not quite following the logic there Greg. Surely if the economists are divided then either way is gamble. The bigger gamble would be going with the minority opinion I suppose. Most economists seem to be saying that stimulus is needed as part of the response.

    Many of those ‘most’ are nobel winners and/or people that have been saying the system was heading for trouble. Many of those opposed to stimulus are neo liberals that have lead us down a path of deregulation and so on. on the basis that the market can regulate itself, that the market can discipline actors, and the rest of the supply side axioms. TINA we was told. And here we are.

    TINA is back in town perhaps, and she’s wearing a new dress.”

    But it ain’t a minority opinion, not in the economic world at least. Yes Paul Krugman is a vocal supporter of stimulus and did win a nobel prize, but others (like Greg Mankiew for example) have a similar background and similar experience and come to a completely different conclusion. If anything it would seem that the minority opinion in the economic world is against the stimulus.

    If you get it wrong you burden future generations with debt for no gain and essentially completely screw over the economy (kinda like what Muldoon did but on a much larger scale).

    And you cannot be convinced without a doubt (whatever your political beliefs) that stimulus is the best way to go, not once you’ve read the robust debate going on between economists at the moment.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      Thanks for the reply Greg.

      I think we may be talking past each other a little, or I may have misinterpreted your comment that I replied to.

      In that comment you seemed to be saying that the idea of stimulus per se was controversial. This is sort of carried on in your latest comment, but when offering support by the way of Mankiw it becomes “the stimulus” (presumably Obama’s), before reverting back to general stimulus in your last paragraph.

      Mankiw has his opinions, and he certainly doesn’t like Obama’s package, but to claim that he is against govt stimulus at all would mean that he has apparently changed his mind since Nov:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/business/economy/30view.html?_r=1

      IF you were going to turn to only one economist to understand the problems facing the economy, there is little doubt that the economist would be John Maynard Keynes. Although Keynes died more than a half-century ago, his diagnosis of recessions and depressions remains the foundation of modern macroeconomics. His insights go a long way toward explaining the challenges we now confront.

      You don’t point to any other supposed anti stimulus folk, and yet I guess you meant to say that they are actually the majority. I don’t follow the debate intently, but I do follow it. Most treasuries around the world are fiscally stimulating. The RB’s are using monetary policy to stimulate, the world bank and the IMF are urging stimulus. As well as Krugman there is Stiglitz and Galbraith who are all also critical of Obama’s package, for different reasons than Mankiw of course. And Mankiw at least in the above piece doesn’t offer an alternative to Keynes, but says he is the man ‘you would look to’.

      Mankiw was one of Bush’s chief economic advisors no? I think it would be fair to say that his record is mixed.

      I think Muldoon is a red herring to be frank.

      The last global depression was eventually fixed by massive government spending. Yes this generated a lot of debt. After wwII most countries had enormous debts. It took a long time to pay that debt off, and yet the period from 1950 to the mid 70’s (under Bretton woods) saw the fastest economic expansion probably in history. They were doing something right. take a look at the graph at the bottom of page 6: (warning pdf)

      http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2000/01/pdf/chapter5.pdf

      I’m not saying that this or that stimulus package is foolproof, or that any given package is uncontroversial, but only that some sort of stimulus package is being recommended by a seeming majority. Which is what you questioned in your first post quite strongly.

      Everyone recognises that there is a price to pay for that in terms of debt, but what I’m not hearing is the counter risks involved in doing nothing.

      I don’t know why you think I should be ‘without a doubt’. That’s a remarkably high bar don’t you think? All I am saying is that it as least as much of a gamble to do nothing, a point which you haven’t here at least, addressed.

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        Problem is PB, is that New Zealand’s total debt is already at the maximum can be sustained. Sure our public debt is low (and if that were not the case we would already crashed and burned big time)… but our total private and business debt is far too high (aprox $180b) and worse still 60% of that is ‘hot money’ being rolled over short-term by our banks overseas every 120 days or so. Anymore debt and our credit rating gets hammered, and cost across the board rise. Gets worse than that and no-one will lend to us at any price.

        Not too many commentators have realised the significance of the $50 billion dollar ‘hole in govt accounts over three years’ announcement this week. That is roughly $17b pa… or about 34% of core govt expenditure.

        Overseas lenders look at our total debt profile, our volatile currency risk, the huge global uncertainties…. and Bill English going around with cap in hand is not the first man on anyone’s dance card. The fatal mistake was that he has painted himself into a corner by politically committing his Party to PAYE tax cuts at a time when GST is falling (in line with dropping GDP and increased repayment of debt) and Company tax receipts falling into the toilet .

        There will be no ‘stimulus’ here in NZ . English has no choice but to cut expenditure… and massively.

        • r0b 15.1.1.1

          There will be no ‘stimulus’ here in NZ . English has no choice but to cut expenditure and massively.

          English had a choice though, and he blew it. Even now he could reverse / rearranges the tax cuts in the budget. But National lack the will to do what is required. Instead they will sit and watch it all fall apart.

  16. jarbury 16

    Seems like private debt is the huge problem here. Why is it so big and what can be done about it?

  17. RedLogix 17

    Why is it so big and what can be done about it?

    Finally someone asks the right questions.

    Why is it so big? Because a greedy, de-regulated banking industry realised that the best way to rack up huge profits was to lend out massive amounts of credit. They did this by reducing LVR ratios and relaxing income history requirements. (So called ‘lo-docs’.) If two people with say $100k of equity are bidding on the same house; one of them has a bank that does a traditional LVR of 80%, then he can bid to a maximum of $500k on the house. The woman next to him has a bank that will go to 90% LVR. She can bid up to $1m. Of course she does go that far, she only has to go to $501k and she wins the bidding.. and of course the vendor happily takes the cash.

    It was the banks that irresponsibly drove the property bubble, competing for ever bigger slices of a hugely profitable business. It is the banks that should take the pain of cleaning up the resulting crisis… not us.

    Ask the right question, the answer is obvious. The banks must be nationalised, their shareholders and bondholders told that they have lost their money; the senior layer of management sacked and the rest of the business (the daily main-street branches, ATM’s and regular, prudential mortgage and business lending) kept running with direct Reserve Bank oversight, backing and Govt bonds.

    Then every mortgage is reset by $200k, back to sane sustainable levels. That’s right, wipe the credit off the books. It was only printed out of nothing in the first place, it can be made to go away in the same fashion.

    Of course NZ probably would not, could not, pursue such a strategy on it’s own. But eventually the rest of the world will have to. They will try everything else first, there will be 20-30% unemployment, the global economy will be in ruins… but finally they will have no choice but to break the power of the banking oligarchy who have held a gun to our heads and demanded we fund their failure, their losses, and their fraudulent ponzi schemes.

  18. jarbury 18

    So most of our private debt is mortgages I guess…. balanced by house prices that are probably 25% over-valued (at least).

    Hmmm… and here I was hoping that we’d seen the worst of things.

  19. Greg 19

    Pascal.

    You raise some interesting points, rest assured a response will come, its just a little late right now for me to find the necessary evidence to back myself up! Check back tomorrow.

    Also, thanks for managing to disagree while remaining civil!

  20. Greg 20

    Pascal,

    Your right, I have inter-changed ‘stimulus’ terms a bit. To clarify: I am making the assumption that those who promote a stimulus plan in NZ promote one broadly along the same lines as the Obama plan. Ie massive increases in government debt to an unprecedented level in order to increase spending and theoretically ‘stimulate’ the economy. The is where Muldoon comes in ( and your right, I did not justify myself that well here) in the 1970’s he borrowed heavily from overseas to fund ‘Think Big’. A concept that was intended to curb unemployment and therefore stimulate the economy. Broadly along the same lines as Obama plans to. He just about bankrupted the country.

    On Mankiw,

    I take a different reading of the article you refer to. In my opinion he is applying Keynesian theory to the current crisis, not promoting it. Indeed in the conclusion he states:
    “The fly in the ointment — or perhaps it is more an elephant — is the long-term fiscal picture. Increased government spending may be a good short-run fix, but it would add to the budget deficit. The baby boomers are now starting to retire and claim Social Security and Medicare benefits. Any increase in the national debt will make fulfilling those unfunded promises harder in coming years.’

    This is Mankiw’s self professed own opinion on the subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/business/economy/11view.html?_r=1&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

    He seems to be claiming that this stimulus is a massive gamble.

    Yes Mankiw was one of Bush’s economic advisors. However it would not be fair to say that all economic policies come directly from the advisors. Indeed Bush’s economic policy was by no means the major criticism of the Bush administration.

    On other economists:

    Here are a few that disagree with the idea of stimulus: http://www.cato.org/special/stimulus09/alternate_version.html

    Krugman himself acknowledges that many of the worlds top economists disagree with him: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/economists-ideology-and-stimulus/

    “What’s been disturbing, however, is the parade of first-rate economists making totally non-serious arguments against fiscal expansion. You’ve got John Taylor arguing for permanent tax cuts as a response to temporary shocks, apparently oblivious to the logical problems. You’ve got John Cochrane going all Andrew-Mellon-liquidationist on us. You’ve got Eugene Fama reinventing the long-discredited Treasury View. You’ve got Gary Becker apparently unaware that monetary policy has hit the zero lower bound. And you’ve got Greg Mankiw — well, I don’t know what Greg actually believes, he just seems to be approvingly linking to anyone opposed to stimulus, regardless of the quality of their argument.’

    On other countries:

    I would be very weary of justifying stimulus with the argument that “everyone else is doing it’. Politicians often choose the wrong path the incentives are in the wrong place. Their number one goal is to stay in power and therefore will put in place what sounds good to the general public. Who was it who said “the worst thing a politician can do is to do nothing’. A stimulus plan sounds good and is easy to sell. Economists on the other hand a solely concerned with maximising utility (or welfare) thats why we should be worried if a large number agree that the stimulus plan is not going to achieve this (and will probably do the reverse).

    On looking to the past,

    I would contend that it was not the massive government spending that fixed the last global depression oil played a much bigger role. There will always be ups and downs, but there is a difference between falling down and falling flat on your face this is what Obama’s stimulus plan risks.

    To conclude,

    If we do nothing we will pay the price we have to pay and no more. Stimulus could well lead to us paying a much higher price. Personally I would advocate slashing government spending and cutting taxes (but that’s just me and a whole different kettle of fish).

    I set the high bar because the costs of getting it wrong are so high. If the stimulus plan doesn’t work you have massive government debt for no result this could ruin an economy.

    I guess what I’m saying is doing nothing may not be the best option but it is better than the gamble on the stimulus.

    I look forward to your reply.

  21. BR 21

    >>Bill: “Who needs crap government services anyway. Apart from a few core >>functions, I sure as hell don’t.’

    > and YOU’RE all that matters, eh Bill?

    >Screw everyone else then?

    That is a ridiculous comment. If you want to use any government service that not everyone has an equal stake in, it should be paid for separately.

    Bill.

    >I think BR would be more at home in Somalia No Gov Services whatsoever
    >I’ll contribute to his fare

    Where I have ever supported the view that there should be no government?

    Bill.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 hour ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 hours ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    9 hours ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    10 hours ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    13 hours ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    23 hours ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 day ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    2 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    3 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    4 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    5 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    6 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    7 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-06-20T05:32:06+00:00