National’s gonna National

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, December 2nd, 2020 - 73 comments
Categories: drugs, greens, housing, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, labour, national, poverty, same old national, stuart nash - Tags:

Two recent stories shows out of touch National is with the aims and aspirations of young people.  And given that young people voted in record numbers last election they could tactically be viewed as bad decisions, putting to one side the respective merits of the issues involved.

The first involves providing pill testing services at music festivals to make sure that pills young people are in possession do not contain the really nasty life shortening substances that some have contained.

I posted about this last summer and said this:

Summer is the season for music festivals, and kids doing what they have done for ever, experimenting with stuff.

Occasionally the results are catastrophic as a young person gets their life traumatically shortened either through a drug overdose or because they have tried a dodgy batch of something.

This is why the topic of allowing participants to test what drug they have in their possession has been topical and is important.

In Europe the service is regularly available.  In Portugal for instance the decriminalisation of the personal use of drugs has meant that this can be treated purely as a health issue.

In Australia there has always been this hand wringing about the issue with critics saying that it will normalise and increase drug taking amongst the poor.  But sense has prevailed and the first festival testing service has been conducted.  And the test suggests that the service provides educational as well as safety benefits.

Then Police Minister Stuart Nash supported the service.  But New Zealand First opposed the policy arguing that the policy represented some sort of slippery slope and it absolved young people from taking responsibility for their decision making.  Which no doubt dying from an ingesting a pill from a dodgy batch validates.

This was even though the youth wing of New Zealand First managed to get a remit supporting pill testing passed at their 2019 annual conference.  Young political activists rock.

Fast forward to now and with a majority Labour Government and support from the Greens, and good old libertarian Act as well as the Maori Party and passage of legislation introducing the service legally is pretty well inevitable.  Expert medical opinion is strongly in favour.  And the last time opinion was tested, as far as I can tell, three quarters of kiwis supported such a measure.

So what is National going to do?  Well oppose of course.

Each claim can be debunked.  The availability of the test is a reminder that drugs can be dangerous and rather than give a false sense of security it can and will save lives.  And it will cause young people to reflect on the downside of drug taking.  And drug taking amongst young people is trending down.

But out there in conservative land there is a social construct of what is happening that does not match reality.  And that has to be fed and nurtured.  So National’s response is not unexpected.

The second story where National is on the wrong side relates to the housing crisis.  Yesterday in Parliament Jacinda Ardern suggested that the Government was reviewing options to deal with the crisis.  From Zane Small at Newshub:

The Prime Minister is confident that exploring changes to the property investor tax – or bright-line test – is “absolutely the right thing to do” despite Labour ruling out a capital gains tax.

Jacinda Ardern was hit with questions in Parliament on Tuesday from Opposition leader Judith Collins over the recent rapid rise of house prices – up 20 percent on last year – and how the Government plans to tackle it.

Labour promised during the election no new taxes or any further increases to income tax except for a new top tax rate of 39 percent on income earned above $180,000. Ardern also ruled out introducing a capital gains tax or wealth tax.

But Newshub revealed the Government is not ruling out an extension to the bright-line test – the tax on investment properties. It means if a property is sold within five years, capital gains are taxed at the owner’s income tax rate. The family home is exempt.

“You’ll have seen during the course of the election that we were very clear that obviously, a capital gains tax was not in our consideration. We equally ruled out any measures around a wealth tax,” Ardern said in Parliament.

Ardern said anything beyond those taxes is “purely hypothetical” but she confirmed the Government has sought analysis on the impact the bright-line test is having in the market and whether changing it could help stabilise house prices.

“In this current environment, it is absolutely the right thing to do. We need to know what levers are and aren’t making a difference to house price increases.”

To be frank I do not think that a further increase to the bright line test will have much effect.  At 5 years it is already a long period.  Clearly people and companies have adjusted their behaviour to avoid paying tax by the simple process of holding onto houses for longer.

Clint Smith has thought about the issue and said this:

Grant Robertson has said the government will look at new measures it could take on the demand side – ie discouraging investors and speculators – while not going back on the election commitments Labour made ruling out things like capital gains tax, wealth tax and a land tax.

Extending the bright line test further is no good. It runs into diminishing returns and the justification that it’s to stop people flipping homes gets more and more tenuous the longer you extend it.

Broadening the first home grant won’t help. It costs quite a lot of money per family it’s helping, and it’s ultimately adding net demand to the market, pouring more petrol on the fire, which will increase prices.

He then makes these proposals:

  • The Reserve Bank reinstating the loan to value ratios on investors immediately, effectively reducing the amount banks will lend to them.
  • Change the Local Government Act so councils can only rate on the land value of a property, not the value of buildings and other improvements and imposing penalty rates on properties that sit empty for a year.  This would affect landbankers.
  • Revokeable licensing for landlords.

His most interesting idea is to change tax laws so that home owners as well as landlords can claim tax benefits on mortgage payments to a capped amount.  The current tax deductibility for landlords of interest payments provides a major distortion.  Reducing the benefit and letting home owners share in the benefit is a very interesting idea and should be considered further.

Of course National will oppose meaningful change to address the housing crisis as it will meaningful change to protect our young people.  On both issues it is on the wrong side of what is best for young people and on the wrong side of dominant public opinion.  I hope its political incompetence continues.

73 comments on “National’s gonna National ”

  1. dv 1

    Japan has the interest payments on home are tax deductible. And the property market is fairly flat (according to my son, who bought an apartment in tokyo 15 years ago, and its value is basically the same today)

    • dv 1.1

      And the interest rates are abt 0.5%

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        What is Japan's policy on immigration?

        Do they –
        1 encourage it,
        2 allow it on a reasonable scale,
        3 give short term visas,
        4 encourage in the monied people to invest?

        Could you ask about this? It would be valuable to know and fill out your info on their housing.

        • dv 1.1.1.1

          Sent question will report back
          Immigration is encouraged
          It’s a big change in Japanese policy in the last two years
          Corona stopped it though
          The tax deduction on interest rates is only for first home owners living in the house they bought
          It’s difficult for non japanese to get a loan without some sort of guarantee
          The low interest rates are only available for people who will live in the house
          Otherwise it would be about 1.5%

          Do have a little bit of capital gain because of the Olympics

          • mickysavage 1.1.1.1.1

            Their population has been declining for some time, since 2007. it is currently $126m and is predicted to be in the vicinity of $1110 million by 2040.

            • Barfly 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Lol typos ?

              Their population has been declining for some time, since 2007. it is currently $126m and is predicted to be in the vicinity of $1110 million by 2040.

    • mikesh 1.2

      I think I would go the the other way and make tax on residential rental investment non deductible. This would also put such investment on a par with family homes.

    • Nic the NZer 1.3

      Unbelievably this seems to be still related to the asset price bubble which collapsed in 1991.

  2. NOEL 2

    The testing one has been a gray area so clarity was due.

    I see the Greens in Aussie are pushing for taxpayer pop up testing at AUD 16 million from the taxpayer purse.

    Current cost/benefit analysis would need to be recalculated if a similar push comes from the Greens here.

    Did I read somewhere 24 percent haven't fronted for the current bright line?

  3. Sabine 3

    Drugs, oh boy……what if we had a government that has an outright majority and guts. Alas all we have is a centre right government with an outright majority and no guts, thus it will never see any glory. Case in point, Weed is still illegal in this country and the Lady and her motly crew of knights in dull armor have promised to us the peasants of this fair country to try nothing and do nothing. Nothing. – the best they can do.

    Housing? See above Drugs.

    This government will not rest until they squandered not only their good will capital but also their majority and for that matter their reason for existance. Can;t wait for the next election, maybe then we get some Menschen and not just some robotic -can't do anything, will not do anything, timewasters.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Climate change emergency declaration, legalising the testing of festival drugs, media facing-up to racism, recognition of the place of tangata whenua in setting water quality standards (te mana o te wai), voting-rights restored to prisoners, 3-strikes struck out,

      … I dunno, looks pretty encouraging to me! It's all about trend and direction. Coulda been the other direction.

      • Sabine 3.1.1

        Chlimate change declaration….oh wow, how inspiring.

        legalising the testing of illegal drugs…..way to go.

        media facing up to racism, has got very little to do with anything other then media doing stuff;

        recognition of tangata whenua in settingwater quality standards, all the while people in Auckland and elsewhere run out of money to pay for water, or run out of water to use, while we are shipping water overseas for pennies.

        voting rights restored to prisoners – lucky them.

        3 strikes struck out, but you still can get locked up for growing a plant to smoke.\

        Maybe its because you are comfortable in your life, and thus are easily satisfied, but this is about the saddest list of accomplishments ever, considering that thousands will not even have thirty bucks this christmas for a ham.

        But then you are good, have enough, maybe even too much, and thus you celebrate your accademic little achievements that on the list of shit is wrong in this country are virtually meaningless.

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.1

          Sabine Don't talk yourself down to depression and the rest of us. Can we when we criticise the government, put one new thing they have done that will set the country on the right path, upwards. (Saying they are going to do something, and then a year later showing nothing being done would count as a down thing.)

          Usually everything you say is completely right. But we have to battle on against the b…….stds of neolib, the conservative cult, the nutty liberals, the pontificating pragmatics, the middle way, the demands of the self-involved, the perfectionists, and other 'ists that prevail to excess.

          So can we note what is being done and press for more, and this would be a change for many here, have some ideas of how to solve some of the problems in a way that would be good for all, and state them here. Policy needs to be informed by the reality of thinking citizens in this country. Let this be a pool of ideas that the brainwashed employees entering government with 'business experience, so wise and effective' can turn to for background on what ordinary citizens making their way in life need and think.

          • Sabine 3.1.1.1.1

            i beg your pardon,

            i never promised you a rose garden

            along with some sunshine there got be a little rain sometimes.

            • mac1 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Who said rain is depressing?

              "I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, What a glorious feeling I'm happy again.
              I'm laughing at clouds.So dark up above, The sun's in my heart And I'm ready for love."

              • Sabine

                i love rain, in fact watching it rain is one of my favorite past times, next ot watch the grass grow, which it does really well after a good rain.

                • mac1

                  Imagine watching grass grow at the cellular level and below. I actually have no conception of what that could be like… would microscopic ears hear the sound of cellular construction, for example?

                    • mac1

                      Thanks for that, Incognito- fascinating to read and hear…… I spent a good part of a walk with my viticultural scientist friend yesterday past vineyards as he explained to me cell growth, cell division, how cells are prompted to specialise, the effect of water and temperature, ie weather on fruit set etc.

                      He used words like abscession and turgor so he must know what he is talking about. as one of the world's top scientists!

                      I sent him your link. I'll talk to him in an hour as we go for another septuagenarian stroll today.

                    • Incognito []

                      Walks are good for the soul, with or without good company.

                • RedLogix

                  After a good rain in the Wairarapa, the grass grows so fast the dogs bark at it. Or so one cocky told me laugh

          • Phillip ure 3.1.1.1.2

            @ grey..

            would love to..!

            care to give us the list..?

            ..of what they have done..?

            • Sabine 3.1.1.1.2.1

              🙂

              +1

            • Ad 3.1.1.1.2.2

              You are so pathalogically lazy.

              – Declared a climate change emergency through Parliament

              – Introduced legislation to increase sick leave to 10 days minimum

              – Legalised testing of festival drugs

              – Supported resistance against China eradicating democracy in Hong Kong

              – Recognised place of tangata whenua in setting water quality standards

              – Voting rights restored to prisoners

              – Three-Strikes-Then Jailed law out

              – Stronger rules to protect Kiwis when getting loans

              – Pay equity for all clerical and administrative staff across all DHB's

              – Re-opened the Milford Track

              – Increased minimum wages for horticultural workers, and brought some RSE workers in to help in time for harvest

              – Signaled they want higher quality tourists – with no campervan without a toilet

              – Signed a ginormous trade deal with the whole of Asia

              – Reported tax revenue of $85.1billion which is $2.8billion higher than forecast in the budget – and net core Crown debt as a % of GDP is at 27% not 30% as forecast – both are a modern miracle of economic management

              – Also you should expect more good economic news on December 16th when the half year economic and fiscal update is announced.

              – And of course on December 17th the first race of the Americas Cup occurs, which has significant local and central government funding in it. May not mean much to you, but it's the first major global sporting event in the southern hemisphere since Covid and a massive kick for the Auckland economy.

              The new Parliament has been opened for a week, yes a week, so the list will grow.

              Look around any other developed country in the world bar Australia is expected, and thank your lucky stars we have the government and leadership that we have.

              And for the rest of what's next, move your damn index finger and refer to the Labour 2020 manifesto.

              • Sabine

                offset this by

                housing crisis with the cost of several billion in government subsidy to landlords

                child poverty

                adult poverty

                drugs tested for are still illegal and will still get you into prison or home d with a permanent record

                another government surplus thanks to austerity heeped on our poorest and most vulnerable

                Americas Cup, a nice little race for billionaires with millions form taxpayer that need foodbank assistance in order to eat

                signalled for higher tourism in a world were literally the working population is going to be so impoverished that Jacinda Ardern and her class/ilk will be the only ones holidaying – with at least the travel part paid for by the taxpayer

                the new parliament is literally run by the same crew that ran the last parliament, albeit without Winston to be blamed for anything this crew will not do cause can't be bothered

                increased min wage for imported horticultural workers, not for hte locals.

                as for hte three strikes law, was buillshit to begin with , but at least now some brown kids won't be thrown away for hte rest of their lifes for a joint, they will only get home d and a permantent record 🙂

                water quality, if you can afford it, or restrictions allow you to use it. Still we 'sell' it by the thousands of liters overseas.

                Very little of this is of actual substance but it sure makes for a good reading.

                In the meantime, thousands of kids are hungry on a daily base because their parents either don't earn enough, or they don't earn enough to have a house and food, thousands of parents may go hungry so that the kids have something to eat. And christmas this year is going to be a sad affair for those that live on a government benefit under the poverty line and thus look forward to a generous helping of two dollar ramen or a Sally Army feed.

                This government has achieved so little its not even funny.

                • Ad

                  This government as of Parliament opening has been in power for a week. Very little of it will be noticed because most of its effort was spent on ensuring New Zealand didn't go in to the deepest and sharpest recession we would have ever had.

                  In terms of child poverty, if you actually take the time to look at some facts instead of your wrist-waving histrionics, the Income and Hardship data out today in the latest Child Poverty Monitor out today show the country was roughly on track to meet the Government's 2021 targets under the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018. That's until COVID19 hit.

                  The 2017 Labour government's actions on adult poverty as well attested. You know the list already if you had half a brain or followed the election.

                  Recreational drugs will remain illegal, and the government actually went to the effort of doing the thorough democratic test on whether that should change. Despite many on the left not liking the result, no other government has put that question to the people before. And the Police will do their job to enforce those who deal, as they are required by law to do. You have a problem with that, stop dealing drugs.

                  The government tax surplus gets to be able to spend on public services that we all need. And it was caused in no small part by the government propping up workers, families and businesses with the most massive government cash intervention in our history.

                  It is utterly trite to talk about the Americas Cup in terms of billionaires. Actually what it's done is enable 1,200 workers to continue working right through 2020 on construction and maintenance, several hundred others on refits, and already signed up over 700 volunteers for the event. That's mortgages saved, dinners on the table, rent paid, CVs ready for the next job. May not be your cup of tea but that doesn't matter at all in its national effect.

                  The effect on domestic tourism of loss of international visitors has ensured that our tourist industry fights for another day. Again you may or may not be travelling, but if you'd made any phone calls or bookings recently all the campgrounds are full, all the tracks are full, everywhere from the Catlins to Kerikeri is preparing for the big booked season.

                  Local horticultural workers get a $1,000 bonus.

                  As for water quality, unless you are mana whenua your self don't try and critique the government for involving them. No other government has tried this from catchment through to pricing through to governance.

                  Probably Labour's critics (often I'm one) will look back and say they didn't achieve much in 2020 – except what they did was intervene at such an unprecedentedly massive scale that the recession will roll by here largely unnoticed while our European, UK and South American trading partners continue into the toughest recession in 300 years.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    I lean more towards Sabine's view of government achievement here. Some window dressing but not big substantive stuff.

                    Haven't even bothered to replace a lot of Nat appointees on boards etc or roll back other Nat idiocy's.

                    Have done nothing about overall income equity by higher taxes and more worker empowerment.

                    Nothing to sort out immigration policy and detach the freeloaders in that area.

                    At the moment across the board, public opinion seems to be roaring ahead of their actions, whether it's workers investors or quite a few employers. I leave out the high paid upper management. Case to point a lot of growers seem to be able to structure jobs that are filled locally and want to behave ethically. They don't get much press attention.

                    As to the $1000 benefit – I suspect you need to be on a benefit to get that

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.2

          Satisfied? Hardly and it wasn't a "list of accomplishments" it was a taste of progress being made right now. Nor was it an attempt to sweeten the hard-bitten smiley

          • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.2.1

            Malcontent's gonna malcontent!

            • Phillip ure 3.1.1.2.1.1

              @ad..

              I reckon those living in poverty will be marking their calenders about that upcoming fiscal-update..

              I can feel the excitement building..

              and @r guyon…neoliberal-incrementalist apologists gonna neoliberal-incrementalist apologise..eh..?

              • Robert Guyton

                They may, Phil, but I'm not one of those; no "apology" from me; I simply mentioned some positive aspects of the present situation.

                • Phillip ure

                  'malcontent' – used to describe those calling for meaningful change..(for those one in five children living in poverty ..as just one example of the imperatives we face..)

                  ..is hardly a neutral term ..eh..?

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Perhaps you're right, but I used the word as I might use "maladroit" to mean, "typically not-adroit", therefore, "malcontent", "typically not-content".

                    I made no reference to any particular issue; no-one, I'm sure, is content with the situation where children are living in poverty.

                    • Phillip ure

                      I am sure j.ardern is not 'content' about poverty…

                      and she sure has talked a good talk..

                      but is yet to do the required walk…eh..?

                      and it is year four'….after all..
                      and year three was notable for the richest receiving enormous wedges of corporate welfare..
                      but we can’t t afford to help the poorest..?

                      what exactly is stopping this happening..?

  4. James Thrace 4

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-26092016/#comment-1236759

    Only taken 4 years for that idea of letting owner Occupiers claim interest costs to enter the mainstream discourse. I can’t make the link go straight to my comment on that page as I’m on mobile.

    However, I wouldn't even bother letting landlords continue to claim the interest back. Housing is not a productive business.

    [link fixed]

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Allowing owner occupiers to claim interest is something I've advocated for on and off here for years. It would put them on a more equal footing with rental investors.

      If I recall correctly, it’s something that’s done in the USA; it’s not all that radical.

      Housing is not a productive business.

      Not so sure about that; most people have a legitimate need to rent for some period in their lives. Here in Australia it's what we've done for the past eight years, and it's been very flexible and effective for us. In what way is that not useful?

      • froggleblocks 4.1.1

        Making mortgages EVEN CHEAPER than they are now, at record low levels, is hardly going to constrain house prices, is it?

        Having that subsidy come directly from the government is also a handout to property owners at the expense of those who don't own property but pay taxes.

      • mikesh 4.1.2

        His most interesting idea is to change tax laws so that home owners as well as landlords can claim tax benefits on mortgage payments to a capped amount. The current tax deductibility for landlords of interest payments provides a major distortion. Reducing the benefit and letting home owners share in the benefit is a very interesting idea and should be considered further.

        The Income Tax Act states – I think this is still the case – that an expense is deductible if it is "incurred for the purpose of acquiring taxable income". This seems problematic as it would appear somewhat disingenuous to claim that an expense is incurred for such a purpose if it doesn't actually contribute to that end. This of course is the case with interest, since interest is associated with borrowing, and borrowed money, as any accountant will insist, is not actually income; and, also, it makes no difference to a business's revenue if the capital invested in the business is borrowed, or whether it comes from the the proprietor's own pocket, or from shareholders. Consequently I would alter the act to make actual contribution the decider when it comes to interest deductibility, rather that the borrower's intent. In other words, rather than make interest deductible in the hands of family homeowners I would make it non deductible in the hands of landlords.

        There would need to be a couple of provisos:

        Expenses would have to remain deductible in the hands of businesses which fail to make a profit.

        Interest would have to remain deductible where money is borrowed for the purpose of onlending.

  5. Peter Bradley 5

    As Labour Party members our primary concern is to support our party and criticize the opposition but we also need to remind ourselves that the opposition are not in government and that we as socialists have a duty to hold the party in government to account.

    This government has demonstrated an extremely cautious and electorally bound approach to leadership with a feverish adherence the status quo and maintaining broad political appeal. This is not new and is a style of government adopted under Helen Clark, John Key and now Jacinda Adern. It works as far as staying in power goes but also does little to bring needed change.

    Drug law changes will come – out of necessity to protect young Maori in particular (conviction and prison rates are horrific) – but may be not middle class white kids at music festivals because that would upset conservative voters.

    Housing – no government will ever do anything to change the nature of the NZ housing market and that's by design and deliberate policy choices or lack there of. About 60% of NZer's own property and the fact that it's going up in value election after election is an absolute vote winner. This is why Grant Robertson will do the minimum he can get away with – writing letters, commissioning more reports and assembling expert panels. Do not expect a single economic policy on housing from the current government – anything that could affect the upward trajectory of house prices would spell electoral disaster.

    The amount of social housing will be constrained by concern for the private rental sector which will see a drop in demand if too many tax payer subsidized tenants are moved into affordable state or NGO owned properties.

    We pay around $2 billion every year in housing benefits to land lords to ensure that private market rent is maintained above the level at which tenants can afford. There are few other private sector industries that receive such enormous sums of money directly from NZ tax payers. That $2 billion dollars is never discussed or refuted by the Tax Payers Union or politicians because it defines the exploitative foundation of our housing policy – property owning NZer's walking over and exploiting non-property owning NZer's to make an easy buck with the blessing of the voting public.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Well said PB

    • Ad 5.2

      Yes fair enough.

    • RedBaronCV 5.3

      Yeah $2 billion would build a lotta houses. Is it time to start taking the accommodation allowance off in areas where there is sufficient homes now. Both owned and rental.There must be some areas where enough extra houses can be built quickly – then keep expanding.

  6. woodart 6

    out here at the beach, many houses remain empty all year, only being used by absentee owners for summer hols. they wont rent them,dont need to. r.m.a. has very lttle effect out here. local council has scrapped the 12000$$ development requirement, so cant blame that for rising prices. to rent a house here is very expensive. most small beach settlements are now the same. why put money in bank for hardly any interest, buy a beach house, sit on it for a few years, use it once or twice a year, then cash up……

    • tc 6.1

      With interest rates predicted to stay down for 2 years the situation requires action and fast. Field is tipped toward those with existing equity, brokers admit as much.

      Does the beltway get it ? IMO they do but politics is what it is in NZ and any moves will see the msm/national scream like the sky is falling so conviction is required.

  7. Reality 7

    Ad, you are an intelligent contributor! So refreshing to read a balanced summation of what the government has been working on. It's irritating to see the number here who moan and moan on and on and are filled with envy and jealousy for any sector that is getting on with life in a relatively successful way to a greater or lesser extent. The government has to govern for all, as Jacinda has said and have only just begun this term a couple of weeks ago.

    Regarding the cannabis referendum, it was voted against by a small majority don't forget. To ignore that result would be the same as Trump in his denial of the outcome of the US election. A majority was too wary of allowing greater access to cannabis and having a flourishing black market undercutting legal sources. All the growers were not about to disappear and start growing vegetables and flowers.

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      Most irritating is the way they've hijacked a thread about National in order to lambast Labour!

      Go figure!

      • tc 7.1.1

        yup plenty of socialist expectations from a centrist party that just got elected with a majority by getting us through COVID assisted by a train wreck campaign from the nats.

        • Phillip ure 7.1.1.1

          those 'socialist expectations' you refer to are only what j.ardern herself promised to do ..and in year four' of her govt still has not delivered..

          ..those promises to 'transform' the lives of those one in five children living in poverty …as just one example..

          ..was way back in 2016..wasn't it..?

          so not so much 'socialist expectations'..

          as a 'wassup..?' on those promises made..eh..?

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    I hope its political incompetence continues.

    Well I certainly wouldn't want to see them in power any time soon, but nah.

    If National, even for the dodgy self-serving reasons that typify that assemblage of ambulant dog-tucker, were to scrape up enough joined-up thinking to press the government to act on perennial issues like housing, that would be a mighty good thing.

    On the whole we're more likely to see an out of cycle reappearance of Haley's comet, but a better opposition obliges a government to lift their game. So the better National become the better.

  9. Shanreagh 9

    I support the pill testing service that is offered. Hopefully 'bad tabs' are taken out of circulation ie not returned to those offering them up for testing. Is there any commentary on what these pill-testing services are finding?

    People may have paid significant sums for these tabs and presumably know who they bought them off so they know not to purchase from them again. So some sort of buyer beware. Though sometimes, if it is anything like in the 'way backs' at Festivals, someone has a bag full of tabs and people just pick one or two not knowing what is in them or anything about who is offering them.

    Also even though it is a service for tabs it is not unknown for cannabis to be tampered/laced with with sprays.

  10. Robert Guyton 10

    Standing ovation for Jacinda Ardern's "climate change emergency" speech – deserved.

    Generous round of applause from all Labour MPs for the Green's role in bringing climate change action thus far – deserved.

    National's response, from Stuart Smith, dishwater-weak! Really? Is that/he all they've got? Embarrassing.

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    Stuart Smith; "…still driving the car we want…"

    Idiot.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    James Shaw's speech in the climate change emergency debate is excellent!

  13. Robert Guyton 13

    Te Pati Maori entirely in support.

  14. Shanreagh 14

    Change the Local Government Act so councils can only rate on the land value of a property, not the value of buildings and other improvements and imposing penalty rates on properties that sit empty for a year. This would affect landbankers.

    Clint Smith's ideas at least show some wide thinking behind them. I think the majority of Councils already rate on the land value basis. One Council that was rating on Capital Value was Auckland City, not sure if it is still doing this (checked Google- it seems to be). There may be a few unintended consequences with homeowners whose home/and or other buildings stretch across two sections, or who have purchased an adjoining section to incorporate it into their lifestyle. Any section not formally amalgamated into one title will attract separate rates. So exemptions would be needed.

    Here in Wellington there are a few large properties that are obviously being/were being land banked. Some of these are owned by foreign govts and are 'sat on' usually for years, a property in Molesworth St and one near the Basin Reserve being cases in point. Councils are limited in what can be done to hurry up things where properties are owned by foreign govts.

    Others are owned by developers and it would need to be a very hefty tax to get them to move on their projects. They just do things in their own time 'thanks very much'.

    Some of these developers are those building retirement villages. I suspect that these may be under-utilised in close in urban areas. We have under-used sites such as new supermarkets that are built single storey, so waste perfectly good airspace in suburban areas. Again they won't 'move' until they want. Perhaps a tax on wasted airspace could be looked at.

    Or Local Authorities could have powers to insist that developments that do not maximise the use of space ie the building of single storey supermarkets instead of multi storey buildings can be held up until a better design comes forth.

    Here in Wellington we have homes being let go to rack and ruin, many owned by developers. Some are still rented. We need to hurry along these property-owners/land bankers but in doing so recognise that we put someone out of their home.

    My biggest concern is that people are wrapping up higher prices for homes with plans for increased social housing as if they are the same thing.

    Govt should go ahead with social housing. I don't believe that the scale of social housing we are able to build would have very much of an impact on landlords. If it does have an impact it may be a good thing in fostering investment in other sectors such as the sharemarket or productive sectors such as hort etc or at least slowing down other investors seeking to join the property renting market.

    • Sacha 14.1

      Land taxes are not a new idea. They encourage multi-storey buildings because a tower block costs the same each year as a gravel carpark. I agree that supermarkets are an obvious target.

  15. ken 15

    Who says MDMA is a "hard drug"?

    Great to see that National is still hopelessly out of touch – even with it's own youth wing.

  16. froggleblocks 16

    It's easy to get around the bright line test anyway. It doesn't apply to the family home.

    So if you have a rental that you want to sell to avoid the bright line test, you move into it and make it your family home for 6 months before selling. Your actual family home can remain vacant, or undergo renovations, or house friends/family in the mean time.

    Also due to Labour's ill-advised changes to tenancy law, one of the only ways to evict troublesome tenants now is to move into the house yourself. So in a way their changes to the tenancy laws encourage evasion of the bright line tax.

    [

    So if you have a rental that you want to sell to avoid the bright line test, you move into it and make it your family home for 6 months before selling. Your actual family home can remain vacant, or undergo renovations, or house friends/family in the mean time.

    I think you’ve made that up and you’ll need to back it up with evidence – Incognito]

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Not political in the slightest
    In one way it was phenomenally dull, in another fascinating. He had never met people with such certainty before. Jews and Catholics were less. Irish ugly, Chinese and Aborigines not even human. They did not think such things. They knew them.The Narrow Road to The Deep North Richard Flanagan Wellington ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    11 hours ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Democracy denied
    Political Intervention From Above: From the early-1970s on, lobbying firms and think-tanks have grown like Topsy all across the capitalist world. Had the progressive middle-class not drawn its teeth and clipped its claws, an angry working-class might have risen to meet the Robber Baron’s challenge as it did in the 1890s, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Aotearoa Divided.
    Hey, hey, heyThere's no need to panicThis is just how it isYour pulse is fast and franticAnd it feels like you'll explodePanic isn’t the right word, although sometimes I feel a bit that way when I think about things. Despair is probably more accurate. And sadness. Those are the things ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 23
    Luxon says Kiwis need to face the ‘brutal facts of our reality’, but the evidence shows our financial position is nowhere near as troubling as in 1991 and even if it were, the advice of the ‘financial grown-ups’ of the world is to avoid pointless austerity measures. Photo: Lynn Grieveson ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Hell of a week
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style1. What did the Atlas Network do in Aotearoa this week?a. Got a tobacco whistleblower firedb. Got Michael Bassett to ghost-write legislation c. Planted Kompromat on John Campbell d. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • Media chiefs struggle to understand democracy
    Graham Adams writes — Listening to Sinead Boucher speak last week at a parliamentary hearing on the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill, it was easy to be captivated momentarily by her rhetoric about democracies requiring a strong and free media. Addressing the select committee MPs, she said: “A strong, ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    2 days ago
  • Do We Take Regulatory Impact Statements Seriously?
    The Sorry Story of Earthquake-Prone Buildings.The Treasury requires that when new or amended legislation is proposed, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) be provided – ‘a high-level summary of the problem being addressed, the options and their associated costs and benefits, the consultation undertaken, and the proposed arrangements for implementation and ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Enjoy your weekend in the best little country on the planet in a fragile state under new management
    1. What did the Atlas Network do in Aotearoa this week?a. Got a tobacco whistleblower firedb. Got Michael Bassett to ghost-write legislation c. Planted Kompromat on John Campbell d. Sent Cameron Slater flowerse. None of the above2. According to our one-liner Prime Minister the state of the nation is what?a. Fickle  b. Fragile c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Comings and goings – McClay heads for Abu Dhabi while our leaders prepare to welcome Indonesia Vic...
    Buzz from the Beehive Not too long after we posted Geoffrey Miller’s article about the challenge facing Trade Minister Todd McClay in Abu Dhabi, the minister announced he will be travelling today to attend the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation where he will take up his role ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Garrick Tremain’s view…
    ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Bought and paid for
    Candidate donation returns for the 2023 election are out, and surprise, surprise - Shane Jones has been taking money from the industries he is now responsible for regulating: Newly released donation information for 2023 election candidates show the Fisheries Minister received $5000 from West Food Seafood (Westfleet Seafoods Limited). ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s dilemma at the WTO’s big meeting in Abu Dhabi
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s new trade minister is a busy man. Just weeks after taking office in late November, Todd McClay was also elected as vice-chair for the upcoming 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A major gathering of trade ministers from the WTO’s 166 members, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • What if Generative AI isn’t the ‘benefit’ or ‘existential risk’ to humanity that it’s be...
    This is a fascinating conversation about the roots, the dangers and hype around AI. Both of these thinkers are so insightful about the issues, and raise issues in context with such clarity.I appreciate them so much. Watch the video from Al Jazeerah English at YouTube or below, and I have ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • MIKE GRIMSHAW: Kiwi populism… and future shock
    Mike Grimshaw writes – The last decade has seen the rise of populism across the Western world as well as more authoritarian populist offshoots in Latin America. Populism occurs on both of (what were) the traditional Left and Right, combining a charismatic leader, socio-economic change and challenges, and ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Are You Old Enough?
    Ten years in the jailer's eyeAnd I'm thinkin' 'bout my babyLooking at my life go byFalling in the streets, I'm brokenAnd I'm laughing at the poor man talking to the blind manIf you could choose anybody to lead Aotearoa, who would it be? Maybe you’d like to see Jacinda back, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Article Link. “South America’s Strategic Paradox” in MINGA.
    The Latin American multidisciplinary journal MINGA just published my article on “South America’s Strategic Paradox.” I was surprised that they wanted to do so because they have a very clear left-leaning orientation and my article was pretty much a straight-forward … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the perils of joining AUKUS Pillar Two
    The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:We’ve been gratified ...
    2 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s dilemma at the WTO’s big meeting in Abu Dhabi
    New Zealand’s new trade minister is a busy man. Just weeks after taking office in late November, Todd McClay was also elected as vice-chair for the upcoming 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A major gathering of trade ministers from the WTO’s 166 members, ‘MC13’ will take ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 23-February-2024
    It’s Friday and here are some of the things that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt asked if the upcoming Regional Land Transport Programme will be another debacle. On Wednesday we ran a guest post from Nick Reid on why the CRL ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • Democracy Denied.
    Political Intervention From Above: From the early-1970s on, lobbying firms and think-tanks have grown like Topsy all across the capitalist world. Had the progressive middle-class not drawn its teeth and clipped its claws, an angry working-class might have risen to meet the Robber Baron’s challenge as it did in the ...
    2 days ago
  • “I Was Hacked!”
    Hi,“I was hacked” is a wonderful excuse for a variety of sins, and it was used to perfection this week by Brian Houston, the New Zealand founder (and disgraced former leader) of toxic megachurch Hillsong.Ladies and girls kissing” Brian tweeted at 11.41pm on Tuesday.It was four words he’d clearly meant ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Child poverty progress reverses to 2019 levels
    It was touted as a focus by the previous government, but what progress was made on reducing child poverty has now been eroded away back to 2019-levels. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Six ‘newsy’ things that stood out for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy and beyond from my reading over the past ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume V
    Time for another D&D update. Session XI Gunderlun. So the party is back on dry land. First dealings were with the harbour master, who not only requested his fee, but also noted that if Sir Goatslayer (Goliath Monk) is going to have people lugging around his giant tome ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #8 2024
    Open access notables Transition from positive to negative indirect CO2 effects on the vegetation carbon uptake, Chen et al., Nature Communications: Here we investigate how the impacts of eCO2-driven climate change on growing-season gross primary production have changed globally during 1982–2014, using satellite observations and Earth system models, and evaluate their evolution ...
    3 days ago
  • Gravity wins, everybody loses
    This government should come with a whiplash warning. Did you hear the Prime Minister just go off about the Black Hole They Left Us? - how much was it, 20 billion? 200 billion? Or was it 2 gazillion billion? God he just gets so excited doing his we were going ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Gravity wins, everybody loses
    This government should come with a whiplash warning. Did you hear the Prime Minister just go off about the Black Hole They Left Us? - how much was it, 20 billion? 200 billion? Or was it 2 gazillion billion? God he just gets so excited doing his we were going ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Willis tells us before dawn about her travel plans and – early this afternoon – she reports on h...
    Buzz from the Beehive Finance Minister Nicola Willis – and press secretary Nick Venter, too, we may suppose – were up and about before sparrow’s fart. Her bags would have been packed and her passport checked. We report this on the strength of an email from Venter which landed in ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH: Grant Robertson’s new job sends an awful message to students about meritocracy in ...
      The appointment of Grant Robertson as Vice-Chancellor of Otago University has raised hackles – and questions – among academics.  Robertson’s credentials for the job is one issue.  The appointment process is another.  University of Auckland economics professor Rob MacCulloch has posted these three articles in the past few days ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Govt's Budget 'just like a household,' says Willis
    TL;DR: Flying in the face of comments from a ratings agency and a mountain of demand for a new long-term sovereign bond issued yesterday, Finance Minister Nicola Willis has again characterised the Government’s finances as too fragile to borrow in its own right to solve Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure deficits. She also ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • How oil sands undermine Canada’s climate goals
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Now in his ninth year as prime minister, Justin Trudeau has sought to position Canada as a global climate leader, touting one of the world’s highest taxes on carbon pollution, clean fuel regulations, and clean technology tax credits. Yet Canada’s per-person climate pollution remains stubbornly ...
    3 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Efeso Collins – Gone Too Soon.
    My wife’s breathing was heavy beside me as I woke this morning, still dark. Yesterday, and it’s awful news, came crashing into my head and I lay there quietly crying.Thinking of Efeso’s family and loved ones. Of so many people who knew him and were devastated by the shocking news. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Efeso Collins spoke in Parliament only yesterday on bill which will regulate social workers (and vot...
    Buzz from the Beehive Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and other party leaders have been paying tribute to Green MP Fa’anānā Efeso Collins, who collapsed and died during a ChildFund charity run in central Auckland this morning, . The event, near Britomart, was to support local communities in the Pacific. Collins, ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • This is corrupt
    Earlier in the month, a panel of "independent" experts in Wellington produced recommendations for the future of housing in the city, and they were a bit shit, opposing intensification and protecting the property values of existing homeowners. Its since emerged that they engaged in some pretty motivated reasoning on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Efeso Collins
    God, life can be cruel sometimes can’t it?If only everyone was like him. He was so very warm, so very generous, so very considerate, so very decent. Plenty of people have those qualities but I can think of hardly anyone I've met who had them as richly as he did.Let me ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Is applying “tough love” to a “fragile” nation the right answer?
      The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer:  How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • DON BRASH: Is an independent foreign policy really feasible?
    Don Brash writes – A week or so ago, Helen Clark and I argued that New Zealand would be nuts to abandon the independent foreign policy which has been a characteristic of New Zealand life for most of the last 40 years, a policy which has seen us ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • YVONNE VAN DONGEN: So proud
    Ratepayers might well ask why they are subsidising people who peddle the lie that it is possible to be born in the wrong body and people can change sex. The preponderance of events advertising as ‘queer’ is a gender ideology red flag. Yvonne Van Dongen writes –  It ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • S&P slams new Govt's council finance vacuum
    Wellington Water workers attempt to resolve a burst water main. Councils are facing continuing uncertainty over how to pay to repair and expand infrastructure. The Wellington Regional Council was one of those downgraded. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the outlooks for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Resigns.
    Yesterday the man that I admire most in NZ politics called time.Around the middle of yesterday news began to filter out. People were posting unconfirmed reports that Grant Robertson was taking a new role as Vice-Chancellor at Otago Uni. Within an hour it became clear that he was indeed retiring ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Auckland’s City Rail Link will fail immediately… in the best possible way
    This post was originally published on Linked In by Nicolas Reid. It is republished here with permission. Here’s the thing: the City Rail Link is almost certainly going to be overcapacity from day one, with crowding on the trains at peak times. In the simple terms of popular transport ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • You can’t always get what you want
    Grant Robertson is leaving Parliament for two new careers, having been frustrated and blocked from achieving some of his biggest political ambitions. So, he is returning to Dunedin, and, unusually for a former finance minister, with seemingly no ambitions to enter the business world. Instead, he will become Vice Chancellor ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Was Greenland really green in the past?
    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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    5 days ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    5 days ago
  • The promise of passive house design
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    5 days ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Can we be inoculated against climate misinformation? Yes – if we prebunk rather than debunk
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article written by Christian Turney, University of Technology Sydney and Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge and first published on February 14, 2024. Adrien Demers/Shutterstock Last year, the world experienced the hottest day ...
    1 week ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    1 week ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-02-25T03:44:40+00:00