National’s policies don’t add up

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, May 31st, 2022 - 48 comments
Categories: benefits, Christopher Luxon, Economy, education, health, national, nicola willis, same old national, tax, welfare - Tags:

This post is plagiarized unashamedly from a series of tweets by Clint Smith.

In very limited space he set out why National’s tax cut policies are absurd and how the media is doing us a disservice by not asking the hard questions like what will be cut and how the promised tax cuts will be paid for.  Following is an abridged and slightly tweaked version of Clint’s tweets.

Journos are getting fed up with National’s refusal to say what they would cut to both fund their tax package & suck demand out of the economy to dampen inflation.

Either National doesn’t know (a major credibility issue) or they’re refusing to say. Maybe we can answer for them.

I hope he is right about the media.  I have seen some evidence of this but I am surprised there has not been more push back by them.

When we did this in Labour in Opposition, we kept track of our spending and tax cut promises against the money available to spend in future Budgets.

Anything in excess of that available money would need more debt or more tax to balance the sums.

(and, yes, our promises were costed – the media would have eaten us alive if they weren’t – and that made us more disciplined because we couldn’t just promise all things to all people like we see National doing)

This is utter rational.  Labour’s policies have always been subject to the most intense scrutiny.  Believe me.  The example from 2014 of Labour’s Best Start policy still rankles.

The Media should be asking National how it is going to afford the cuts.

So – how much would National have to play with if it came to office in 2023? Budgets 2024 and onwards have $3b each of ‘new operating allowance’ (money in the Budget but not allocated to anything – the famous $6b in Budget 2022) that’s cumulative, so $12b in 27/28 year

That’s heaps, right? Well, not so fast. The first thing that needs to come out of that pool of money is funding increases to keep up with population, demographic & inflation cost pressures on health & education. Just to maintain service levels – they need $3b yr, cumulative.

The gradual run down of Health by National during Key’s reign is a classic example, as inflation and an increasing and ageing population increased demand that was not met.  By the end of its reign the signs of how badly the system was run down were evident.

In other words, National cannot fund any of its policies out of the new operating allowance, Health & education need it all. Unless they’re going to cut health and education services, they [will] have to cut things to balance the books against their tax cuts and spending promises.

How much would they need to cut? Incredibly, National hasn’t costed their tax package, haven’t said how much spending needs to come down on top of that, or specified their promised increases to defence & Pharmac funding … but we can estimate all that.

I guess recent events involving Steven Joyce’s and Paul Goldsmith’s inability to use a spreadsheet have rocked National’s desire to delve into the details.  But if ever there was a policy to cost it would be a tax cut.

National says indexation would cost $1.7b/yr. That increases with wages. By Budget 2024, the cost would be $2.2b & grow at 10% a year thereafter. Removing the top tax rate would cost $0.8b also rising at 10% a year. Restoring landlord tax cuts would cost $.85b a year

So, National’s tax package would start at $3.7b a year in their first year, 2024/25, rising to $5b/yr in 27/28

National has also said they want to gradually increase defence spending from its current 0.7% of GDP to 2% & boost Pharmac. That’s $1.7b in 24/25, $7.8b in 27/28

And they have dug themselves into a hole with their Government spending rhetoric.

… National says spending is too high & causing inflation. So, they need cuts over and above those needed to offset tax cuts and additional spending to suck demand out of the economy. How much do they need to cut to make a difference to inflation? There isn’t an answer.

The US Federal Reserve looked at the impact of govt spending on inflation & found “almost no effect of government spending on inflation”. Even rightwing darling Milton Friedman said there is no evidence. National would have to do some cuts though – let’s call it $1b cumulative.

All up, National’s commitments start at $10b yr in 2024/25 & rise to $28b in 2027/28 but new operating allowances are only $3byr in 2024/25, accumulating to $12b in 2027/28.

National’s fiscal hole is $7.5b in its 1st yr, rising to $16.6b after 4 yrs. Hmm. What could they cut?

The spending National has complained about gets us nowhere near. RNZ-TVNZ merger is a one-off that will already be spent. Same with the Te Huia capex. Fishing boat cameras are $15m a year.

The govt will spend $134b in 24/25. Off the bat – $100b is super, benefits, WFF, heath & education. Interest is $4.9b. Presumably, they wouldn’t cut the $5.9b for law & order, $1b for primary industry $4.2b for transport & or $3b for defence. That’s $119b already.

Housing is $2.6b. $1.5b is free ETS allocations. $1.1b is KiwiSaver, $1.9b Cullen Fund, $1b foreign aid, $1.3b sports, arts, culture; DoC etc $1.4b, $2b is support for businesses. Cut the bureaucrats? *already falling* post COVID & will be down 10% to $2.4b in 24/25

So. Luxon wants to cut decarbonization subsidies for families & businesses: $0.5b per yr. Cutting the Cullen Fund: $1.9b that first year, but only $1.5b in 27/28. Cancel fees free: $0.5b per yr

Drastic moves & Luxon still has a $4.5b hole in 24/25, ballooning to $14.1b in 27/28

Luxon’s not going to get those sums by cutting public service jobs – cutting public service by 20% gets only $500m. Cut Kiwisaver? $1.1b.

Still $3b to find just in the first Budget. You’re not going to get there nipping and tucking other small programmes.

Cutting climate policies, the Cullen Fund, KiwiSaver, Fees Free & 10K public servants isn’t enough. National would have to look to the big bucks – super, welfare, health & education.

What would it be? Means testing super? Benefit cuts? Health & education funding freeze?

A Budget is incredibly complex but the maths is simple – if National wants billions of tax cuts, billions on defence & billions less demand in the economy it needs to find billions in cuts to pay for all those things.

If National is serious about the policies they have outlined so far – and we should believe them when they say they want to cut spending – then those cuts are going to have to come from super, welfare, WFF, health & education.

No wonder they don’t want to talk about it.

Clint Smith has laid out how unrealistic National’s rhetoric is.  We cannot have a tax cut and maintain current service levels.

It is not surprising that National did not release an alternative budget, unlike their feeder party which laid out for all to see the carnage the right may cause if it is given the treasury benches.  But you get the feeling that they have pushed the rhetoric without having any idea of how to actually achieve what they are promising.

Hopefully the media will start asking Luxon and Willis the real questions.  What is National going to cut to deliver its right wing nirvana of tax cuts and smaller Government?

48 comments on “National’s policies don’t add up ”

  1. Ad 1

    Great post.

  2. Ad 2

    Just in Infrastrucure we have a $220b deficit and need to spend $31b per year to catch up.

    That's from the Infrastrucure Commission report.

    We are in massive built need deficit. We must cut nothing.

    Only under Labour are we even starting to address this seriously.

    • mike 2.1

      alas they will do what the key government did head in the sand and ignore every problem

  3. Sacha 3

    you get the feeling that they have pushed the rhetoric without having any idea of how to actually achieve what they are promising

    They know exactly what they are planning, and staying quiet is a big part of getting it.

    • roblogic 3.1

      The quiet parts are probably

      • increase GST
      • sell assets
      • cut benefits
      • cut Kiwisaver
      • sell state houses
      • increase petrol taxes

      They will do stuff that hurts the working class and empowers greater corporate theft of the commons

      • Pataua4life 3.1.1

        Got another cut to add to your list.

        • Cut funding to Nanaia Mahuta family
        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          Conflicts register shows nothing inappropriate.

          Top work for a lazy slur though.

          • Pataua4life 3.1.1.1.1

            If it looks like a duck walks like a duck and quacks like a duck chances are it looks like corruption.

            • SPC 3.1.1.1.1.1

              “Fact free social media narrative – fast food mind feed”

              Q 4 8 16 32 64 infinite chin dribble b******* Rabbit.

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Bold accusations require bold evidence, so put up or shut up.

              And FFS, use the correct term or the TS grammar police will put you on the naughty step.

            • gypsy 3.1.1.1.1.3

              if you're referring to the 'all in the family' material, I think the word you're looking for is nepotism (the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs), not corruption (dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery).

              Mind you, Mahuta has other problems, including "volleys of criticism from New Zealand’s former foreign ministers and diplomats over her perceived inaction" in the Pacific.

              The PM has a problem with Mahuta. It will be interesting to see how she resolves it.

              • Ross

                We define corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

                Corruption erodes trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development and further exacerbates inequality, poverty, social division and the environmental crisis.
                [and includes]
                politicians misusing public money or granting public jobs or contracts to their sponsors, friends and families,

                Corruption may be criminal but it doesn’t have to be.

                https://www.transparency.org/en/what-is-corruption

            • Peter 3.1.1.1.1.4

              If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck? Of course it could be a sign a trip to SpecSavers and some place to get a recalibraintion is called for.

      • AB 3.1.2

        Some of those certainly. The mistake is in thinking it is meant to add up. It's not. If it blows out the deficit, that's great, you can then point at the deficit in alarm and say "this can't go on, we'll have to sell assets etc." That's the standard right wing playbook, complain about deficits when in opposition, then in government increase them via tax cuts to the rich – and so justify asset sales and austerity for the lower orders.

      • Mike the Lefty 3.1.3

        Plus scrapping public transport subsidies, scrapping Auckland light rail and selling off KiwiRail (again).

  4. Bearded Git 4

    The Nats will sell off state houses while claiming to be building more-that is what Bill English did. They will also stop Labours plans to build more where that is possible.

    That will be a regressive couple of billion a year.

  5. Incognito 5

    Micky, I think Clint and you’re being a tad unfair to National. They’ve already signalled they would set up the Razor Squad headed by Bill English and Nicola Willis (in that order) and take Death's Scythe to spending in all government departments and throw all regulations on a huge bonfire – away with the red tape, viva the bluetag! What’s left over will be amalgamated in one giant Super-Ministry called Steve’s Spreadsheet, or SS for short, headed by The Hologram from Epsom.

    BTW, it is Luxon, not Luxton 😊

    • lprent 5.1

      🙂 corrected it for him.

    • SPC 5.2

      John has raptured, Christopher is Upper Room.

    • Craig H 5.3

      Nothing like a good razor gang to gut a department…

    • Chris 5.4

      luxton, keys and hoskings…none of them deserve to have their names spelled correctly.

      • Incognito 5.4.1

        It’s not a matter of deserving (and respect, I guess), it’s to avoid confusion with others with highly similar names and it’s an exercise in constructing rational arguments instead of relying on sneering nicknames by way of marginalising insults – this is DP stuff. I personally find it extremely tempting to go for the lowbrow language in my comments, especially after a few drinks, which is why I never drink & comment (let alone moderate) online – don’t use e-mail either.

    • SPC 6.1

      Former National leader Sir John Key told AM the attack ads show the Government is worried.

      "Chris is really right – the cost of living is the biggest issue that Kiwis face and the Government has completely failed on that front," he said.

      Both the current sound-bite, and the former leader John we should chaperone China into a partnership role in the Pacific Key, seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the global economic situation (and in Key's case the geo-political one as well) – the UN and World Bank have issued warnings.

      This is just lazy from both of them – presuming the average New Zealander is ignorant of the global inflation issue. It presumably is a manifestation of their obvious contempt for local media, or their trust in hit and run diversion units Herald/ Taxpayer Union/The Platform etc.

      • gypsy 6.1.1

        They aren't ignorant or lazy. They are politicians. My cynicism runs deep with them all.

  6. MickeyBoyle 7

    Read the replies to Clints tweets. Many prove Clints figures wrong and show that projects like canning Lightrail gives National more than enough cash to pay for their current promises.

    If you want to win next year's election, don't be listening to Clint Smith. The guy is extremely toxic online and will be turning away many potential voters.

    • Incognito 7.1

      You’ve missed the point made by Clint and Micky by lightyears (a measure of distance, not of time).

      Let’s see if you can work it out by yourself without help of a teacher.

      • MickeyBoyle 7.1.1

        I haven't missed any point. I gave my views on why I don't believe Clint Smith should be listened to and noted that many of his assertions around Nationals figures are frankly bullshit when scrutinized.

        But in any case, I couldn't care less what a moronic twat like you thinks.

        So do one.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.1

          What I think of the price of fish is irrelevant.

          What you think is irrelevant – the premise is demonstrably weak, anyway.

          What you argue here matters, however.

          It is not Clint’s job to provide an alternative Budget that has been carefully costed & checked, preferably by an independent trustworthy third-party, so that it can be scrutinised by the public (voters), the media, and experts.

          Clint’s figures were guesstimates or hypotheticals to show the huge information vacuum created by National and National abstaining from its duty as major opposition party, which is just shambolic.

          National has form in showing enormous flaws in its budgets and financial calculations done in simple spreadsheets (or on napkins?). So, we all have a right to see the numbers before they put it to us in a vote in the General Election, not just vague promises and empty slogans.

          That was the point, which you kept missing and missing, over and over again.

          Feel free to link to National’s alternative Budget. I bet you cannot do so and that was the whole point cheeky

          • Ross 7.1.1.1.1

            There is fiscal headroom over the term of the coming Parliament, meaning that if elected, the National Party could accommodate additional spending of up to $10.189 billion over the five years to 2024/25 and still be within its overall spending envelope.

            What idiot said that? Judith Collins, perhaps? Maybe Simon Bridges? It must've been that economic clown, Paul Goldsmith? Blow me down with a feather but it was none other than the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (prior to the 2020 General Election). I imagine the NZIER will be undertaking a similar assessment of National's fiscal policies next year. I’m predicting fully costed tax cuts. 🙂

            https://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/2009/National_Party_Policy_Costings.pdf

            • Incognito 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Your trust in National and its buddies at NZIER is endearing.

              In other words, you have nothing either other than a dated and obsolete report from 18 September 2020 based on even older and more outdated data. It may have passed you but things have happened in the world since then.

              … overall spending envelope.

              laugh That’s so funny!

              BTW, I’m not interested at all in National’s “fiscal policies”, which just goes to show that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

              Please stop insulting our intelligence with your unhelpful comments. The Opposition is supposed to offer an alternative, act like a Government-in-waiting. As it stands, they’re a bunch of hopeless hapless amateurs that cannot even cobble together a spreadsheet-based calculation that could even remotely pass as a ‘budget’ for the nation because they have no policy platform yet, i.e. they are trying to build the plane whilst trying to fly it and want you and us to buy it – a lead balloon stays in the air for longer. Even Clint on Twitter did a better job than those wannabee managers of the economy who have not one economically astute MP among them, least of all their figurehead who’s got his head still in the clouds and thinks he’s walking on air.

        • Kiwijoker 7.1.1.2

          Spoken like a true decaying boomer Mickey B.

  7. Chris 8

    "Hopefully the media will start asking Luxon and Willis the real questions. What is National going to cut to deliver its right wing nirvana of tax cuts and smaller Government?"

    Even if the media did start asking those questions the voting public will still put luxon and national in. All most people see these days is a female prime minister who saw us through Covid, but now we're back on track so it's time to get the real leaders onboard again who can sort the economy out and deal with the many "crises" we seem to be faced with right now. It doesn't matter how much shit comes out of luxon's mouth – people are too stupid to see what's really going on.

    It's a difficult situation to respond to, but what makes things really, really bad is that Labour and the current government have absolutely no clue at all what to do to stop it.

    • MickeyBoyle 8.1

      You are right, kiwis believe National are the party of economic management, no matter what history has shown.

      We shouldn't be relying on National to slip up or our "fair and impartial" media to scrutinize them in the hope of showing some flaws in their promises.

      We should be using the majority we have to implement truly transformative policies that benefit kiwis.

      Stop relying on catching National out or hoping for them to implode and start delivering for kiwis so that the only sensible choice they have when standing in that ballot box next year, is a choice of Labour or Greens.

      • Chris 8.1.1

        It doesn't help that national's MO is lie, lie, lie and hope some of it will stick. The problem the government has is that a lot of it sticks.

        Again, dealing with this is difficult, but Labour and the government can't be satisfied with its usual mild reply of "no, that's not right because…"

        The response luxon's empty lying rants demand is one that focuses on and exposes the deliberate tactic of not telling the truth. It's the "not telling the truth" that needs to be exposed, and then the truth.

  8. barry 9

    So why a series of tweets? Why not a press release saying "Robertson pokes holes in National’s finance policies"? Even the Herald might print it.

    Part of the reason why National is getting so much air time is because they issue about 6 million press releases a week. The media are super lazy and the press releases fill up the paper, and the headlines encourage clicks.

    I know National have time because they have nothing else to do, but it does stick. The content is almost irrelevant. Labour should make time.

    • Christopher Randal 9.1

      Granny won't (in my experience) print anything that criticizes their paymasters

  9. James Simpson 10

    Agreed 100% ,but I don't think National will be spooking the horses with details of their alternative budget this far out from the election. They will be trying to firm up some of that support.

    I think a lot of this will turn on where we are sitting in 12 months time. If inflation is still in the 5 -10% range their will be a narrative growing around having to all collectively go through some financial pain to get inflation under control. That pain will mean restraining and cutting both government and private expenditure. If National can present that as the only way to deal with inflation then they could present that alternative budget with massive cuts to welfare in particular.

    That type of cut is actually supported by your average Tory.

  10. Binders full of women 11

    I'd cut 300mil from Waka transit comms waffle around road to 0, infantile TV ads (as bad as 3 waters). I'd cut the 2bil 3 waters lolly-bribe. I wouldn't cut health.

  11. Patricia Bremner 12

    No Binders full of women, you "wouldn't cut health!!!"

    because those cuts would mean more would die and be injured on the roads. The actual "Road Toll"

    more will get ill or die from contaminated water,

    more will die of heart or stroke from worry about huge rate rises, and welfare cuts.

    Luxon has to explain Cause (Action) and Effect (Outcomes) and most of all Reasons

    This Government has based its Budgets on Wellness.

    What and who will gain from Nationals Budget.???? That is the question that is being avoided.

    So what have we got?

    A chorus of "Crime" and "I am scared" from Paula of Meth fame.

    Tax cuts ..again

    We will cut the spending and throw out all their legislation.

    That is not a plan.

  12. georgecom 13

    Maybe Luxon might want to get Goldsmith to have a look over the books, his fiscal hole was only $4 billion.

    You might expect National to look at raising GST.

    A sensible way for them to fill their fiscal hole will be a capital gains tax. Like that NZ Rocketeer bloke says, plug the 'rascist' policies which privileges some holders of capital assets and untaxed capital gain.

  13. Mat Simpson 14

    " I hope he is right about the media. I have seen some evidence of this but I am surprised there has not been more push back by them. "

    " Hopefully the media will start asking Luxon and Willis the real questions "

    What planet are you on !

    The media is RIGHT WING in case you hadn't noticed and has no intention of asking the hard questions or anything else that might embarrass or put the National leadership under pressure or scrutinise the draconian alternative of Seymour's budget.

    That has been the narrative since Brash's leadership in 2003-05 then the shysters after that for nine years.

    Nothing has changed since their last time in office and their influence and favours in the corporate media remain unchallenged.

    The corporate media will wait patiently for LINO's demise while continuing to push negative headlines like water dripping on a stone.

    Of course National's policies don't add up they don't have to because they know they will never be scrutinised in the MSM.

    • tc 14.1

      +100 that's not changing so the likes of Davis, Mallard etc need to roll the sleeves up and counter the lies.

      Leaving the BS unchallenged till next year's a mistake IMO

  14. Chris T 15

    Have no idea who this Clint Smith dude is, but at some stage after 5 years in power Labour are going to need to realise you can't keep blaming the last lot, when they have had so long to fix their accusations.

    "The last govt did this" after 5 years is getting a bit tedious and looking like whataboutism and frankly just making excuses for a lack of just sorting it out.

    • Incognito 15.1

      I have no idea what Post you did read thus your comment here is unhinged and misplaced.

      BTW, has it already been 5 years? Crikey, I may have slept through the alarm …

  15. Peter 16

    I agree they should move off blaming the other lot and move to a different channel.

    Maybe they'll do that when the other lot and their brain dead supporters STFU about a housing crisis starting out of nowhere in October 2017 and in every utterence acting as that were the case.

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    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    5 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    6 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    7 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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