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National’s hoax on unemployed workers

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, November 12th, 2007 - 41 comments
Categories: economy, workers' rights - Tags: ,

unemploy small

Last week Stats NZ announced unemployment had dropped to a record low of just 3.5%, after reaching double-digit figures under National in the 90s.

That reminded me of an old press release from Bill English just before the 1999 election where he called unemployment in the range of 3% “a hoax” and suggested 6% might be a more realistic target:

“Labour’s policies will increases taxes, give unions more power in the workplace, make it harder for employers to give young people a chance at a job, and impose extra costs on business. These policies will not help create one job.

“It is business which creates jobs, not the Government. The Government’s job is to create the right conditions for growth. We must support business with lower costs and flexible labour market policies, and do our bit by keeping Government spending down.

“The recent pre-election opening of the books showed that if we continue with National’s policies over the next three years we will be able to create another 115,000 jobs and bring unemployment under 6%. These are realistic targets.

“Labour’s claim that it can bring the unemployment rate down to 3% is also a hoax on all the people who think if they voted Labour they would get a job.

Sound familiar? National hasn’t changed its policies or its rhetoric one bit from the 1990s. There are no fresh ideas here, just a return to the economic policies of low wages and double-digit unemployment. The hoax was always National’s and it’s being played out on ordinary working families. The question is, are we gullible enough to let them do it again?

41 comments on “National’s hoax on unemployed workers ”

  1. Santa Claws 1

    Since you have 8 year old press releases hanging around Tane, perhaps you could look up and post a few extracts on Labour’s policy on Tax Cuts prior to this years conference.

    I see the fear-mongering and demonisation effort is moving into 3rd gear already.

  2. Tane 2

    Santa, nice try at interference, but that meme died here when your side’s dishonesty was exposed:

    Quoting out of context

    So how those unemployment stats looking? Which family on your street are you going to throw onto a benefit to pay for those inflationary tax cuts?

  3. dancer 3

    fascinating to see those trends – and i bet Bill is applauding from the sidelines these days (no actually i do mean that – he just won’t be telling anyone that it’s what he really thinks).

    i remember in the 90s the frequent headlines of job losses and redundancies – especially in smaller centres. having the security of a job (and a degree of freedom to move between jobs) is a luxury we shouldn’t take for granted.

  4. Billy 4

    Tane: Which family on your street are you going to throw onto a benefit to pay for those inflationary tax cuts?

    I am confused. I thought you guys were for tax cuts now.

  5. Tane 5

    Billy, subtlety is lost on you mate.

  6. Santa Claws 6

    Tane, what is the point of dredging up 8 year old press releases on such minor points. If you want to bang on about employment, then do it directly. Show me the press release from National saying that they want higher unemployment now, and you might have a point.

    Labour has campaigned for 8 years on not reducing taxes. Making a flip flop now is relevant. Show me the press release from National saying that they want higher unemployment now, and you might have a point.

    Anyway how about Labour’s real hoax on Workers:

    “The Government today introduced legislation to increase the top personal income tax rate to 39 percent for income over $60,000 from April 1, next year. “The increase will affect only about 5 percent of the workforce, those who can most afford to contribute a bit more to the country’s well-being,” Finance and Revenue Minister Michael Cullen said”

    What % is over the threshold now, Tane?

    I’m afraid I can’t understand your point on tax cuts – are you suggesting that the army of Labour functionaries employed in govt departments will be turfed out to pay for tax cuts? Unfortunately leeches of that sort are unlikely to end up on the unemployment benfit.

    Did you miss the statements from Evan Thornley (who your acolytes have promoted on this website, and who spoke at the Labour conference) on how stupid it is to pay for capital improvements out of taxation revenue?

  7. Tane 7

    Santa, I’ve gotta give it to you. When it comes to running interference you do a bang-up job. We’ve talked about tax elsewhere, and we’ll no doubt do so in future too. We can chat about it then. How are those unemployment stats looking? Do you think 6% is a more realistic target? Does it worry you that National are still promoting the same policies with the same faces that led to double digit unemployment?

  8. Santa Claws 8

    Tane, as usual you pick the stats that show the best picture – haven’t forgotten that Twain quote yest have you?

    Is the % unemployed the best measure? Sure it gives a nice headline when its moving the right way. However it can be dishonest, just like quoting the overall crime rate hides the dramatic increase in violent crime under Labour.

    Here’s some more from the stats commentary

    “The number of people in the labour force decreased by 8,000 (0.4 percent) to 2,229,000 in the September 2007 quarter, while the working-age population grew by 7,400 (0.2 percent). This resulted in a drop of 0.5 percentage points in the labour force participation rate to 68.3 percent. The female participation rate dropped 0.9 percentage points to 61.2 percent, while the male participation rate was unchanged at 75.7 percent. The number of people not in the labour force grew strongly by 18,000 (1.8 percent) in the September 2007 quarter, with the majority of growth in this category driven by females.”

    So, you are saying its a good thing that less people are working in NZ?

    Lets note quote 1999 policy from National as its 8 years ago – surely you realise that. Do try and at least quote 2005 policy dear boy.

  9. Tane 9

    Santa, percentage is one measure. I’m happy to look at others. Participation rates still show a far better picture than under National.

    But that’s irrelevant for the purposes of our conversation, because your mate Angry Bill seemed to think percentage was a good enough measure to do a press release on.

    The point with the press release is to show that English had exactly the same policies eight years ago and he was proven wrong. He now wants to inflict those same policies on NZ again. Have a read through again – you could be reading a press release from this morning for all his ideas have changed over time. Does this not concern you?

  10. Sam Dixon 10

    Santa Claws – when you try to spin publically avialable stats, its never going to work. The labour force participation rate dipped last quarter after strong growth the quarter before, its just normal statistical variance.

    You have to look at trends not datum points – and labour force participation is clearly up under Labour – and I know you know that because the figures were right there in the report you just quoted.

    National’s policies were bad for employment, Labour’s are not. In fact, Labour has been so successful at geting people into work that tax has grown and benefit expenditure has dropped sufficently for the Government to afford both major new spending in health, education, infrastructure etc, and across the board tax cuts, all while running a surplus and decreasinf our foreign debt.

  11. Billy 11

    I agree that trends are the most imprtoant thing. Your graph shows that unemployment was dropping under National.

    Which brilliant Labour policy was it which led to our strongest commodity prices for a generation?

  12. Santa Claws 12

    Sambo

    How about you look up the total jobs added under National, and the same figure under Labour?

    Tane – so you are saying that it isn’t business where those new jobs are, but government work? That seems to be your claim, since business obviuosly has nothing to with with improving the unemlpoyment rate??

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    Billy, if you account for inflation commodity prices aren’t anything special. Or are you talking milkfat production (that’s the only commodity price that’s really shot up) – that was more Fonterra and a tight world market than Labour, but if you want to give them the credit be my guest.

    Oh and if you understand trends, or claim to, I won’t need to elucidate upon the trend of consistently lower unemployment under Labour, you’ll have already got it figured out for yourself.

  14. Tane 14

    Tane – so you are saying that it isn’t business where those new jobs are, but government work? That seems to be your claim, since business obviuosly has nothing to with with improving the unemlpoyment rate??

    Shit, desperation Santy. Clearly jobs reside at businesses. That’s not being argued. But whether jobs are created has a lot to do with a government’s policies. Labour has implemented policies that promote employment. National did not. It’s pretty simple mate.

  15. Billy 15

    “Labour has implemented policies that promote employment.”

    Such as driving all our skilled workers to Australia.

  16. Tane 16

    No Billy, I think you’ll find that’s the wage gap created by National’s Employment Contracts Act.

    Have a look over here:

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

    It’s not Joanna Average, but the figures on this one are actually correct.

    And before you go arguing that we’re ‘overtaxed’, have a look at this one as well:

    Overtaxed?

  17. Santa Claws 17

    “Labour has implemented policies that promote employment. National did not. It’s pretty simple mate.”

    So, the drop from 11% to 6% was nothing to do with the National govt of the time, but the drop from 6% to 3.5% is all due to Labour’s policies?

    Pull the other one Tane.

  18. Tane 18

    Santa, the Nats went from 8.5 to just over 6% in their nine years in office. Along the way they let unemployment get to more than 11%, with all the social cost that brings. At the end of it all, 6% unemployment was the best they could imagine – a “realistic target”, Bill said. Getting unemployment down to the 3% range was “a hoax”.

    But it’s been done, and we’re as near to full employment as you can get in an economy where at least 2% will be transitioning between jobs at any one time.

    Of course there are challenges such as underemployment and low pay that are still to be dealt with, the fact remains that National has failed on unemployment, and Labour’s policies have delivered. I know it hurts bro, but learn to deal with it.

  19. Policy Parrot 19

    For Santa Claws, all his Christmases have come at once, with the Herald now tying the National Party banner to its flagmast.

    However, Santa, as you will remember, is simply a creation of the big corporates – Coca Cola – I believe? – and when examined as such, it is not hard to understand why he speaks as he does…

    I’d certainly have second thoughts putting one of my children on his lap…

  20. Santa Claws 20

    Tane – its good that you confirm that National was just as good as Labour in cutting unemployment – an overall drop of 2.5% in both cases.

    Congratulations on proving my point.

    In fact, you could say that National probably did the better job, turning around an increasing trend to a decreasing trend. That’s got be harder.

    Parrot, if you are waiting for Tane to post on the EFB, I think you’ll be waiting a long time.

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    Claws – brilliant. You almost managed to make it sould good, being in charge as unemployment reached 11%. Only a brainwashed Tory could spin that!

    Having an overall drop of 2.5% is just as easy starting from 8.5% as it is from 6%, right…?

    It’s not like getting rid of the harder, longer-term cases of unemployment is tough, when National had more that a tenth of the workforce unemployed. Diminishing returns Claws? What a cock-up National are, when they’re meant to be driving employment through business!

    Nice try. You could also try some year 9 math and work out for yourself that average unemployment was about 7.5% under National, and 4% under Labour. Bit too much thought required though, aye champ?

    Congratulations on demonstrating just how worthless your ‘points’ are.

  22. Santa Claws 22

    Haha Matthew – off track again. Didn’t you notice that unemployemnt started rising under Labour, and it took National to get it under control. Credit is obviously due to the current Labour government for not making things worse, and continuing to support the trend downwards.

    Its so good to see that you passed year 9 math. Of course anyone with an IQ above 27 could have seen that the average was higher under National. Are you colourblind or did you just not look at Tane’s pretty picture?

    Here’s another way of looking at it.

    In the Dec 1992 quarter (the worst in the chart) the total unemployment was 175,600.

    In the Dec 1999 quarter it had dropped to 116,900, a decrease of 58,700.

    The latest quarter total is 77,200, but the lowest it has been under Labour is 75,000 back in Dec 04. This was a reduction of 41,900.

    So, who has cut unemployment the most?

  23. Tane,

    Given inflation has been running at twice the rate of the 1990s under this Labour Government, and that every credible economic commentator says that out-of-control government spending is a key factor in inflation, it’s telling that you suddenly become obsessed with inflation and tax cuts.

    Yes, unemployment has fallen under Labour. It helps to achieve this by hiring tens of thousands more civil servants. Hell, just last year the IRD hired twenty six people to work on “internal communications”.

    Meanwhile, the sickness and invalid’s beneficiary numbers have risen by 50% under Labour. Despite spending 100% more on our health system, half as many more people are chronically ill than before.

    You’re a hollow man, Tane.

  24. Sam Dixon 24

    Santy – under National unemployment rose to record highs then dropped to just high, then rose again and fell a bit. Labour came in and rapidly unemployment dropped to record lows and stayed there. All your number games around the edges can’t hide that fact.

    (by the way, inyour trawls through the Stats numbers did you notice what’s happened to underemployment since National got turfed out?)

    I had to ask someone what the ‘Sambo’ thing is a reference to – it turns out your a racist too, hmm, I which I could say I was surprised.

    Tane – an interesting number to look at might be long-term unemployed – I think MSD does numbers on how many have been on the UB for more than a year and 3 years – as you say there is a pracitical floor to unemployment becuase of churn in the economy – that churn unemployment is impossible to get rid of but should mostly only generate short term unemployment, long-term unemployment might be seen as unemployment above this inherent minimum ie. all unemployment that good government and good economic conditions canhope to eliminate (i’m pretty sure I remember Burton saying it had gone down 92% under Labour)

  25. Sam,

    Just what economic crises has this Labour Government had to deal with? Let’s see. Oh, yes, the Asian financial crisis. Oh, no, that was 1997, wasn’t it? Oh, the Canterbury droughts. Oh, hang on, that was in 1997 as well, wasn’t it? Dairy prices have taken a tumble–oh, hang on, they’ve been trading at international record highs.

    Labour has “managed” the economy in the warmest economic summer New Zealand has had since the second world war. Eight years of golden weather. A two-year-old could have achieved what Michael Cullen’s done.

  26. Sam Dixon 26

    9/11,

    oh and Sars, Internet bubble, the current credit crunch, the war on terrorism’s impacts on tourism and trade, record oil price run-up, the auckland black-out, food/travel miles…

    every government faces world economic crises and economic threats … you can’t keep making excuses for National’s pitiful record forever.

    The fact is unemployment stayed high and wage stayed low under National because those are National policies. National wants low labour costs, that means low wages, kept low by a large poll of desperate unemployed. Labour and the left in general have full employment as a central tenent of their economic policies.

    (captcha: Reporters believed … whatever comes out of independent poltiicalcommentator DPF’s mouth?)

  27. Matthew Pilott 27

    IP, of course there’s nothing the Government has done in New Zealand to encourage employment and a healthy economy. Nithing at all. No apprenticeships, no encouraging of exports. Nothign a two-year-old wouldn’t ahve thought of anyway, clearly…

    And Clawsie – try and pretend that there is only white, no blue and red – the colours are obviously screwing with your thought process. The first half is erratic, unstable and, if that stat is indicating whether you have a job, probably not that good. This is backed by the quote that 6% was National’s realistic target. Labour must have disagreed, because they’ve shown 3.5% is possible. That’s surely not too hard to accept?

  28. Tane 28

    Sam, it’s like Angry Bill said:

    “We must support business with lower costs and flexible labour market policies”

    That means lower wages and less employment protection… and with the sweetener of 6% unemployment, if you’re lucky. Tell me again why workers would want this guy in charge of the economy?

  29. burt 29

    Tane

    I see today that Dr. Cullen is saying that higer wages not lower taxes will slow down the drift to Aussie.

    OK, I’ll agree with that but there is always a BUT!

    What will happen when wages start rising an average of 10% a year?

    I’m sure most people would enjoy that level of annual increase, the senior MP’s have for the last 8 years.

    But what about inflation? What about the low ‘Rich Bastard’ threshold? If the average wage is $50K and the ‘Rich Bastard’ threshold has been kept low to avoid giving the big tax payers the benefit from tax cuts then just how big will the surplus be then?

  30. Tane 30

    Burt, wages aren’t going to grow at 10% a year in a hurry, I can tell you that. But the answer is to gradually bring wages up to a decent level in a manner that closes the gap with Australia while having a limited inflationary effect.

    The idea that we can never raise wages because there will be an automatic and equal rise in prices is an absurd (and intellectually unsustainable) defence that paints the current unequal distribution of wealth as somehow natural and eternal. I think you righties massively overstate the inflationary effects of wage rises, and you do so for political purposes.

  31. burt 31

    Tane

    I think wages are ridiculously low in NZ. You bluntly side step the reality that some sectors in NZ regularly get 10% increases when you say that 10% increases are not going to happen in a hurry. The problem is Tane that the groups getting the regular 10% increases are already high earners.

    The country’s leaders (both govt & business) denying their workers relativity against their own pay is surely something that grates with a unionist.

    You also sidestepped the issue of keeping tax thresholds low while talking about lifting wages. From the words Cullen used I’m starting to think he wants to keep the $60K threshold at $60K until the median wage is $60K. Gotta love his passion for his ideology.

    Amusing captcha “china pays”

  32. Tane 32

    Burt, yeah I’m talking about the great bulk of workers who get pay rises slightly above inflation if they’re lucky. You’ll remember the shitstorm that went down when the EPMU laid down its 5% benchmark, and the fights those workers had to go through to get that figure. That’s why I’m saying you’re not going to see 10% pay rises in a hurry, even if the money’s there.

    What’s needed is a strengthening of the ERA to allow for effective industry bargaining, which will most likely see a series of modest but decent pay rises that can start to close the gap over the period of a decade or so. It’s not an issue that’s going to be solved overnight.

    If the median wage approached anywhere near $60k then I imagine Cullen (or whoever his successor is) would have to adjust the tax brackets. But as it stands only about 12% are earning that much so it’s not a major issue.

  33. burt 33

    Tane.

    How do you get 12%. Is that the percentage of working age people paying the top tax rate?

    I can see the numbers as at 2006 from here: Heather Roy’s Diary

    The reality is that it was never kept: when the new higher tax rate was introduced the top five percent of taxpayers earned $66,000 and over, not $60,000. By the 2005/06 financial year, nearly 11 percent of taxpayers were being hit with the top tax rate when the threshold should have risen to $79,000 to keep his five percent promise. The figures for the year ended June 30 2007 aren’t available yet, but it’s a fair bet the numbers being overtaxed continue to rise, contributing even more to the burgeoning surpluses.

    While it’s easy to talk in percentages, this sometimes masks the real extent of the problem. In 2000, when the new tax rate kicked in, 194,000 people were paying the 39 percent tax rate. By 2006 the figure had ballooned to 352,000.

    So it was 11% in 2006.

    Strengthen the ERA, eight years not been long enough to do that? Lets get Labour out of here and get a real left wing party that’s not giving high earners and easier tax ride here in NZ compared to Aussie while punishing the low-middle earners – lets find that party and give it our support!

  34. Sam,

    Wow, what an impressive list!

    Except none of the items stack up. There was no impact on New Zealand tourism and trade by SARS, the global credit crunch, the internet bubble, or international terrorism.

    In 1997-1998, at the height of the Asian financial crisis, international visitor arrivals to New Zealand declined by 2.1% and 0.8% respectively, following six years of phenomenal growth, where increases in tourism ranged between 6.5% and 14.5%.

    Despite the so-called crises of SARS, international terrorism, 9/11, the internet bubble, and the global credit crunch, tourism arrivals have risen by between 3% and 11.5% year on year since the end of the Asian financial crisis.

    Commodity prices and good weather have pushed dairy into record-high production, and record high values. Not even you would be silly enough to claim that dairy, which accounts for 20% of our exports, is driven by government policy.

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  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    6 days ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    6 days ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    6 days ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    6 days ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    1 week ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    1 week ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    1 week ago
  • No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID
    Jack Feehan, Victoria University and Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University   Some recent studies have shown similar peak viral loads in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people who contract COVID. This has raised concerns for the efficacy of vaccines for preventing transmission. How concerned should we be? Are vaccinated people just ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cy...
    Timothy Welch, University of Auckland   At the COP26 climate summit, world politicians patted themselves on their backs for coming to a last-minute agreement. Humanity now waits with bated breath to see if countries implement the commitments they made, and if those commitments help the planet. If the rest of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…
    Feature image: The weight of the world’s news can be too much. (Shutterstock) Neill Fitzpatrick, MacEwan University In 1983, Canada’s Anne Murray released another hit song. This one, though, was different than what her fans were accustomed to. A Little Good News is a sombre ballad summarizing the mood of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   Last week’s COVID protest outside parliament served as a warning that New Zealand is not immune to the kinds of anger seen overseas. As Labour Party whip Kieran McAnulty put it, “I think everyone needs to be aware that things are starting to escalate.” ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Brendon Burns, Marlborough-based communications consultant, former Christchurch MP “Politics Daily is simply the best go-to summary of everything in and around central and local government and much more besides. Compulsory daily reading.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at: https://democracyproject.nz/nz-politics-daily/ Today’s content Govt management of Delta outbreak Michael ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Buying Back The Whenua.
    Dangerous Visionaries: Rex Connor wanted to “buy back the farm” (i.e. nationalise Australia’s mineral wealth) and ended up bringing down the government of Gough Whitlam. Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters Project is seen by many as a first step to “buying back the whenua” (repatriating Māori lands and waters). A policy which threatens the longevity of ...
    1 week ago
  • nuremberg, and history
      There’s a lot been said recently about the Nuremberg code. So what is it, and why is it popping up now? As described in this excellent NEJM article, the Code was developed over 80 years ago in August 1947, by judges involved in the “Doctors Trial” at Nuremberg. There were ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46, 2021
    Housekeeping: New content New Research is primarily focused on reports published in "the academic literature." Thanks to a diversity of publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, researchers and institutional affiliations, such publications are statistically highly successful at approximating and reflecting our best dispassionate understanding of research topics. Any given personal agenda not ...
    1 week ago
  • Another OIA horror-story
    NewsHub reports on another OIA horror story, a simple request for information on the supply and distribution of PPE which required the intervention of the Ombudsman to get a response. And reading the article, it seems to be the usual story of an overly-secretive agency abusing the process to hide ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bribing for convictions
    Imagine that you've been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Now imagine that the government tries to bribe your lawyer to encourage you to plead guilty. It's obviously corrupt and a complete mockery of justice. But that's exactly what the New Zealand Government wants to do: The Criminal Process ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How does Labour expect to get away with this?
    Yesterday's decision by the government to open the Auckland border in December was, like all their other recent decisions, immediately panned by public health experts. The polite version, on Stuff, is that Covid will "travel for summer" with Aucklanders, leading to outbreaks. Newsroom's Marc Daalder cuts through the crap and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Chronicles of Kregsmal and Krunch: Volume III
    Another update from the ongoing D&D campaign… Session 5: Before starting this session, the DM announced that he had got his hands on an actual Iron Kingdoms in Fifth Edition guide, so there was a bit of re-jigging of character stats. Here are Kregsmal’s amended ones: STR: 19DEX: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Good Ship Jacinda Ardern
    Has any New Zealand Prime Minister had to face as many challenges as the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that Jacinda Ardern has had to confront? The coronavirus epidemic alone has presented a myriad of problems, impacting as it does on so many different people and groups of people, ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate challenges mount for California agriculture
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jan Ellen Spiegel California agriculture has experienced just about every form of climate change-induced calamity: Heat, drought, fire, floods. None bodes well for the future of farming in this state that is the U.S. king of agriculture. But there are a couple ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 18 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Kara Tait, External communications manager, Kiwibank “The morning email from Bryce at the Democracy Project is must-read for communication professionals. It provides a comprehensive overview of the issues covered by New Zealand media in an easy to read format. It supplements my media monitoring and ensures I don’t ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago

  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
    Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 All fully vaccinated individuals will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
    A brand new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country is designed to transform the regional economy from seasonal peaks and troughs of past visitor trends. Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Pools at Methven, which received government backing from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Combined efforts connecting locals to nature
    A Government investment in six community and iwi-led projects across the Hawke’s Bay district will provide nature-based jobs for more than 60 locals, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “Combined, these projects are contributing to a really ambitious conservation effort across the region, while at the same time up-skilling and offering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Empowering Diverse Communities
    Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson has approved five funding grants to support national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives for LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, older people and new migrant communities. “Local community initiatives are a key lever in reducing violence. The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    The Moriori Claims Settlement Bill has passed its third reading at Parliament, marking the completion of the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for Moriori. “This is the final milestone for Moriori and the Crown and is a new beginning in our relationship,” Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Permanent drug-checking law passed and new providers appointed
    Drug-checking services will continue to operate legally at festivals, pop-up clinics, university orientation weeks and other places this summer and beyond, thanks to a law passed today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The services have been legal since last summer under temporary legislation that expires next month. The Government’s Drug ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific communities supported to transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
    The Government has agreed to support Pacific health providers and communities’ transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio said. The Government recognises that there is a clear need to prepare new systems and healthcare approaches, to protect and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government helps Pasifika Festivals to ride the COVID wave
    As we transition into a new way of managing COVID and take steps towards giving vaccinated New Zealanders more freedoms to enjoy Aotearoa’s arts and culture, 19 Pasifika festivals across the motu are receiving funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tech ready for businesses and events to open up for summer
    Businesses and events will be set for summer, with the free NZ Pass Verifier app to scan and verify My Vaccine Passes now available to download, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins said today. “New Zealand will move into the traffic light system (COVID-19 Protection Framework) from Friday 3 December, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt providing business the tools to vaccinate workforces
    Simplified vaccination assessment tool will be able to be used mid-December to help employers decide if they would require vaccination for different types of work. Workers covered by the My Vaccine Pass mandate need to have their first dose by 3 December and be fully vaccinated by 17 January 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • The talanoa about the future of our Pacific Languages
    A ground-breaking survey launched today will give researchers valuable insights into the state of Pacific languages in Aotearoa, said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The Leo Moana o Aotearoa Pacific Languages Survey is part of a wider project that will support the revitalisation, and sustainability of Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Foreign Minister concludes successful visit to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta departed the Middle East today for Washington DC, concluding a successful visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. Her visit to the UAE saw her host New Zealand’s most important event at Expo 2020, Te Aratini, and meet with Emirati leaders including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt to review high cost of residential building supplies in market study
    Ensuring Kiwis have access to fairly priced building materials is a driving factor in Government’s decision to review the residential building supply market, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, David Clark, announced today. “We’re looking at how we can lay the foundations for a more competitive building sector,” David Clark ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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