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Nice to have

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, March 31st, 2011 - 116 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2011, economy, education - Tags: , ,

Bill English is running a new line, contrasting “necessities” with “nice to have”. For example:

More public servants face the axe

In a speech to public servants yesterday, Finance Minister Bill English stepped up his warning that some programmes and departments were luxuries the country could no longer afford. He said the Government was eyeing up spending on things that might be “nice to have”, but which came at the expense of necessities.

I think the double dipper has made a mistake with this line, because the too obvious question is which category the Nats’ tax cut gift to the already wealthy falls in to. Phil Goff challenged him on this on morning report yesterday. Others are asking the same question:

Reverse Tax Cuts for Millionaires and Leave Our Public Services Alone
Press Release: Maritime Union of New Zealand

[Maritime Union General Secretary] Mr Fleetwood says last years tax cuts for the wealthy have now been confirmed as irresponsible and unaffordable. “This is austerity for the workers to pay for handouts for those travelling first class.”

“The Finance Minister has said that he will cut so-called ‘nice to have’ services. The Maritime Union says that now is the time to reverse the tax cuts that are ‘nice to have’ for those on upper incomes, like John Key and Bill English.” …

He says the National Government now intends to further starve public services of resources in order to pay for the “sports car and champagne” tax cuts to their friends.

So what sort of thing does Bill English think is expendable? What “nice to have” is he (and his poodles) happy to be cutting? Education. Yes really:

Mr English would not specify to media what areas would be cut or merged. “An example of a nice-to-have would have been the hobby classes that were paid for through vote education. We, a couple of years ago, took away the money for that,” he said.

Never mind that this is pure stupidity, because adult and community education (ACE) has huge economic benefits. What really stuns about this comment is the pure hypocrisy of Bill English. Here’s what he had to say about ACE in 2005 (not online but extracts here):

Community learning has a long and honourable history. I recall my mother going off to night time classes in furniture restoration, a quiet space in the busy life of a household of 12 children. In a painting class I visited a few years ago a man told me about how the tutor had changed his life by challenging him, teaching him and making him finish the picture. He described how he had become part of this small warm community. There are a thousand stories about how human needs are met by the collective and aspirational activity of learning.

So glad that your mother enjoyed her furniture restoration classes Bill. Classes the like of which you are now so proud of cutting. I guess education is just one of those “nice to have” things. Not like your unaffordable tax cuts, which are of course untouchable. And which you will keep on and on and on borrowing for. Hey good luck with that record budget deficit eh? That’s quite a legacy for a Finance Minister.

All of my posts for March will finish with this note. While life goes on as usual outside Christchurch, let our thoughts be with those who are coping with the aftermath, with the sorrow of so many who were lost, and with the challenges ahead.

116 comments on “Nice to have ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Really…does Bill English expect us to believe that ‘cutting hobby classes’ is a legitimate example of an economic plan? Of course not. It’s a feeble diversion from his real intentions.

    What really baffles me is why the MSM report this dreck.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      It really makes me wonder if journalists understand things like ‘bias’ and ’emotive language’ and when they’re being manipulated. It seems not.

  2. Akldnut 2

    Should start with Limo drivers and Double Dip should drive his own car around and while he’s at it downgrade to a holden calais or the like.

  3. Carol 3

    It looks like the unions are gearing up to make this a central part of the coming election. This can be seen on the PSA website’s campaign section:


    It’s time to fight back

    Workers in the UK, USA, Ireland and France are fighting back against brutal cuts to public services and the workers who deliver them.

    Here in New Zealand the PSA is leading the fight against cuts to our public services. Soon we will be registering as a third party for the election and we will put public services and the public servants front and centre of the election campaign.

    We will be working with other unions and community organisations to offer real alternatives to cuts and asset sales and we will be challenging political parties to sign up to the PSA Charter for strong public services.

    and here:


    Cutting back and privatising public services puts all of our communities at risk. We’ve already seen cuts to ACC entitlements, reductions in health services and loss of community resources like night classes.

    But cutting services is not the answer. Cuts to public services affect everyone, from parents who have to pay extra for child care to the elderly who are having their home-help support reduced or axed.

    In fact, when times get tough, we need public services more than ever. They help stabilise local economies and communities. They provide work in our towns and cities. They’re a safety net for families when things go wrong, providing essential services in health, welfare and education. public services help us build strong communities and support the kind of economy we need to help lift the country out of recession.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “be registering as a third party for the election”

      Third party in terms of electoral advertising, right?

      • Carol 3.1.1

        I guess, Lanth. I don’t recall the legal requirements, but it looks like they are aiming for the transparency the law requires, in order to state their policial position & to pitch parties (presumably left wing parties) the PSA wish-list of want they want to see from any government.

      • Brenda Pilott 3.1.2

        Yes. That’s how the Electoral Act (replacing the former Electoral Finance Act) describes organisations like the PSA that want to engage on issues, not stand for election.

    • Shane Gallagher 3.2

      I wonder if the Labour party has a similar plan – you know preparing for the next election? 🙂

    • The Baron 3.3

      Of course they are – its against a national govt. But planning to have an impact, and actually making one are two very different things.

      I suspect that the unions will continue to have a minor direct impact on people’s voting patterns, as their influence will only be on their already declared membership base; but a relatively significant indirect impact through their support of labour, both in man power and in kind.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    DomPost Editorial today points out that it’s nice to have a stonking great big cabinet. Pretty expensive though, even if it does make the PM’s job easier.

    It’s nice for the PM to have so many comms staff too.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    It’s nice that we pay for Roger Douglas to pop over to london to see his kids.

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      May I paraphrase:

      It is “nice to have” taxpayers paying for Roger Douglas to pop over to London to see his kids.

    • grumpy 5.2

      Maybe we can save money by making it “One Way”

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    It’s nice that the coaliton agreement between ACT and National allows for resourcing to be given to the ACT party for research.

  7. vto 7

    It is “nice to have” salary increases for MPs and government ministers every year since before even bloody Clark’s lot.

    It is also “nice to have” those increases for MPs and government ministers way above inflation.

    It is also “nice to have” those increases for MPs and government ministers when all other public services such as nurses and teachers dont.

    What a crock of shit English is

  8. Lew 8

    May I be the first to coin the phrase ‘nice-to-havies’, for people such as those referenced by Bookie and r0b and CV and Jim and vto above — whose profligacy somehow manages to survive this new austerity?


    • Jim Nald 8.1

      Turn your mind back to the ‘fresh’ and ‘change’ campaign of 2008 and feel it’s nice you’ve been had ?

    • ak 8.2

      (heh nice one Lew – and may I also mint the “living-within-your MEANIES” – and suggest that the plebs might be starting to see that they’ve been “HAD by NICEY”)

  9. Carol 9

    “nice to have”…. Joyce’s holiday highway, when Aucklanders are voting with their feet and using public transport at levels not seen since the 1950s/60s.


  10. Adrian 10

    CV, thats an EXTRA $20 a week for the cleaner for one hour. God knows how many hours the poor cleaner puts in cleaning up after people too bloody lazy to sort out their own shit. BTW, cleaner gets $13, what have you done with the other $7, Bill, back pocket? Nice to have. ” Nice to have ” may just be the tipping point. If you really want to get rid of these arseholes, write a letter to the papers quoting ” Nice to have ” examples, yeah I know, according to this site the MSM is old hat, but the majority of fencesitters get their info and shift in attitude from local newspapers not sites like this.

  11. Lanthanide 11

    Seems like “Nice To Have” could work as a nice slogan in Labour billboards.

  12. Bored 12

    The whole concept of “nice to have” needs a radical overhaul, perhaps a 180 degree turn. We are facing:

    * energy shortages and price rises.
    * financial meltdown.
    * climate change costs (including weather event impacts).

    The above will be worldwide events for the forseeable future. So perhaps in NZ we should be asking not what is “nice to have” BUT things like what do we really need?, and how do we sharwe the pain? and who is going to pay?

  13. Kevin Welsh 13

    This is classic Reaganism.

    The hidden agenda is well and truly making it’s presence felt and the strategic deficit will be used as the excuse required to cut services. Just waiting now for the renewed push for asset sales to complete the picture.

    Still in denial RWNJ’s?

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Easy cheap politics to cut, shutdown and eliminate. Any vandal lacking vision, talent and ability can do it.

      Can anyone point to anything actually constructive that this govt has done? Any fresh ideas that have resulted in something brought into existence? Anything that was actually difficult to achieve, but would have created a enduring legacy?

      Didn’t think so. They aren’t capable of it are they?

  14. jj 14

    Why are you guys so opposed to people keeping more of their own money? I got a tax cut and i am certainly not rich. My family is atruggling to survive and the tax cut was much appreciated. Its more than the previous government ever did for us.

    • oscar 14.1

      sounds like you might need to look at the lifestyle choices you’re making.

    • Lindsey 14.2

      So – you didn’t get Working for Families then? Or 20 hours free childcare, or Kiwisaver?

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 14.3

      What’s this “keeping your own money” theory all about? You wouldn’t be in a position to earn a regular salary and have reasonable expectations of a career without the rule of law, a civil society and a stable economy – all the things you’re paying for in your taxes.

      However if you don’t actually value any of those things and would like to “keep more of your own money” I understand that Somalia is currently offering a 0% income tax rate.

      • The Baron 14.3.1

        Blah blah blah mine or societies etc etc. You have one view point – i.e. that all taxation is morally good and useful to society.

        Others, that have PRIVATE bills to pay, also see their PRIVATE income as a way of meeting those obligations. That inspires a sense of ownership, and certainly a sense of angst when people start telling them they shouldn’t appreciate a bit more in their pocket to help make ends meet.

        There are real people behind this guys. Stop treating it all like the next ideological masturabatorium.

        • RobC

          Fuck me. Taxation is needed for a useful society and if you can’t see that then EISG is right: fuck off to Somalia.

          Or I suppose you don’t use roads paid for by taxation, or don’t have your kids (although it won’t be a surprise if you don’t have any) going to school, etc etc etc

          • The Baron

            Who is talking about removing funding for roads? Oh thats right – the left is.

            What this debate is about is nice to haves – the things on the margin. And I and JJ have every right to ask whether that EXTRA dollar of spending is valid compared to leaving it in our pocket.

            If you want to make the frankly incredible leap that that means we hate society and do not see any value in public funding what so ever, then follow it up with an idiotic statement about Somalia, then please try again, because its you who doesn’t get this simple argument, pal.

            • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

              So using this very specific example of roads, I presume that you’re therefore a big supporter of mandatory tolling and congestion charging, which is the fairest way of allocating costs to the people who use the roads? Yes? No?

              • The Baron

                Yup, love both ideas – great way of having users pay for the costs of their usage. In my world, tolls would be proportionately higher for larger vehicles too, to act as an incentive against bigger car purchases and a control on large truck freight.

                And yourself?

                • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

                  I’m pleased to say that I’m in 100% agreement with you on tolling and congestion charging.

                  And without wanting to blow smoke up your arse or anything, can I also say that it’s a pleasure to discover someone who’s position is intellectually consistent, even if it’s sometimes a position that’s quite different to mine.

                  • The Baron

                    Well I appreciate moments of shared appreciation for sound thinking, amongst all the hubris.

                    FWIW, if you are at all interested, this is why I am constantly homeless in an electoral sense. All I want is a consistently applied set of political and economic principles – but every single party is too busy whoring themselves around for whatever will grab the marginal voter.

                    On the specific idea, I always liked the suggestion of having a geostationary satellite tracking vehicles in real time to work out vehicle charging exactly. The cost of doing so would probably be far to prohibitive to make it work; but I think the privacy concerns could be mitigated. But imagine the insights and allocations you could make.

                    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

                      FWIW, if you are at all interested, this is why I am constantly homeless in an electoral sense. All I want is a consistently applied set of political and economic principles – but every single party is too busy whoring themselves around for whatever will grab the marginal voter.

                      Ha! I know what you mean. I end up supporting Labour or the Greens, but with a notable reluctance that comes from wishing they would be intellectually consistent and actually stand for the principles they articulate. Nothing sticks in my throat more than wishy washy politicians, even if I do end up voting for some of them.

                      And not to resurrect an old thread, this is why Goff should have gone, in my view. Labour needs to take a firm and decisive step to the left, start standing up for the working class (and the people who are being eroded out of the middle class) and start behaving like an opposition instead of a slightly re-branded National Party. And Goff is not the man to lead that resurgence.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  For what it’s worth, I’m inclined to support tolls and congestion charges as well. Fastest way to get cars off the roads and more people using public transport. Unless we went with the more rational approach of bringing public transport back into public ownership and making it free to use which, IMO, would probably be faster.

            • RobC

              Actually, pal, you’re the one who made the incredible leap that EISG’s 10.49 comment was “all taxation is morally good and useful to society” Wasn’t anything of the sort and deserves derision.

              • The Baron

                uhuh, so I was about as ridiculous as you and he was with the somalia comeback?

                what’s good for the goose…

                • RobC

                  As you said, we’re all pissing in the wind and as you implied, don’t expect consistency on a blog site

          • the pink postman

            Well some time ago I was in conversation with a rich Waikato farmer.,He proudly told me that the day he pays any tax would be the day he sacked his accountant . His children went to Cambridge high School (state school.He had safe tarmack roads to his farm.’He used the state health system and in times of hardship (sic) he was subsidised by the taxes of the workers. He’s typical of National members and the sods that keep them in power.,They have money and power and its bloody hard to defeat them is it not.

            • ianmac

              And free water for their farm and a handout when there is a drought. Wonder if all those rich folk did pay all the taxes that poorer folk do, perhaps the proportion of taxes paid by the rich would take a giant leap forward.

        • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

          Hey TB, I see you’re still trying to provide some kind of intellectual justification for the right-wing freeloaders, who want all the benefits of a modern democratic state without paying for them.

          Seriously, though, why don’t you guys ever put your money where your mouth is and move to Somalia? I’d even come and wave you off at the airport.

          • The Baron

            See above TEISG. Arguing about whether the marginal dollar is well spent does not mean anything with regard to the rest of the spending. For someone running a support group, you seem a bit of a novice.

            • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

              The marginal utility discussion is always worth having – however it assumes a rational discussion, which is not what the current National policies are all about. If they were, the Holiday Highway would already have been cancelled and the $1.4 billion redirected to the recovery in Christchurch, and no-one in this thread would have been able to point out the absurdities of Bill English lecturing the rest of the country on what is and isn’t a necessity.

              For someone running a support group, you seem a bit of a novice.

              We’re doing what we can, TB, we’re doing what we can. And let’s face it, supporting the economic illiterates in the NACT government is deeply challenging work, as there are such a huge number of the fuckers.

              • Bored

                Too right supporting economic illiterates in government is hard, Labour or Nact. In my experience fekk all of the MPs of any party would be fit to be let loose running the companies I am associated with. They just would not pass muster.

                Couple of things about tax for the RWNJs out there. Companies pay tax on profits, and by way of GST based upon the balance of transactions in and out….GST is bugger all of a cost as you pass most of it on. Individuals dont have that benefit so it hurts them more, yet businesses are always harping on about how it is unnaffordable. Its not unless you are Joe Public and have to pay GST in full on everything.

                The other thing RWNJs nutting off about tax need to understand is that as a business I only pay tax on profit…and I offset that for any number of things to minimise it. Individuals by contrast pay PAYE..no advantages here.

                Then you get the upper income bracket complaining about having to pay too much tax and how that will affect their ability to invest in the “economy”. Most of these buggers are employees and well paid….they dont in general own shares, or invest in anything but property. So their tax decreases have done bugger all for the rest of the population, and they are still whinging.

            • Jim Nald

              We’re not paid RWNJs for Crosby Textor’s Bill Key, John English and their research unit.

              “Nice work if you can get it” 🙂

              • The Baron

                You realise that people can oppose your nuttery without being paid for it, right Jim?

                And I like to think I have established my credentials enough on here to be seen as a lone ranger, rather than an agent. As for you, who seems to just be another card carrying useful idiot.

                Do you think for yourself? All of these lines seem to come straight from red alert.

      • JJ 14.3.2

        I earned the money, its mine. That’s what it means. Not the governments. Working for Families is stupid. Why the overhead of all that bureaucracy? Just let people keep their money. Oh thats right, parties on the left like to use it as an election bribe, so they can pretend they are giving you something.

        • Bored

          Which would all be very good if:
          1. All employers paid fair wages for the jobs in question (so that redistribution by WFF etc) was not needed.
          2. There were no necessities such as health, education, etc etc (which we socialise the cost of….)

        • fraser

          JJ – so you want to keep more of the money that you pay in taxes? ok – thats a common feeling.

          But what if in order to get your taxes reduced, you ended up paying more to use the services of a functioning society?

          are you really holding the position of wanting the govt to reduce your tax take just so you can pay out even more to get the same?

        • felix

          If it were actually true that “you” earned the money all on your lonesome you might be right, JJ.

          But you didn’t and you’re not.

          It is wealth generated by a functioning society. Many, many individuals, institutions, agencies & associations, both past and present, working in unison with, and sometimes in competition with each other created that money, like the cogs of a great machine.

          You’re just too self-centred to acknowledge it.

          • Colonial Viper

            Notice how the RWNJ’s are completely self centred? Don’t take into account any inouts from the rest of society or from the environment in general. It’s all “I did it my way, by myself”

            It’s almost as if they appeared overnight as Masters of the Universe with no parents, friends, communities, schools, infrastructure etc helping them to get to this point.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Why the overhead of all that bureaucracy?

          Because it’s cheaper than the alternative.

          • McFlock

            I dunno. A more efficient way would be to eliminate taxes for the working poor, lower taxes for the middle class and raise taxes for the rich and obscenely rich.

  15. Kevin Welsh 15

    Just keep tugging your forelock jj and all will be well.

    • JJ 15.1

      I don’t understand what you mean. Is that your idea of a reasoned response?

      • The Baron 15.1.1

        What it means JJ is that Kevin is a blinded by ideology idiot, who likes to pull out these nonsensical sayings as a way of making you look stupid.

        Kevin, that saying says more about your idiotic world view than anything about JJ. Real people have real incomes that have been lifted through tax cuts – that MATTERS to some people more than the loss of services that they may not need or want.

        That isn’t a universal truth of course – some people have other needs. But it is more true than your franking fucking ridiculous contribution. Please start STFU.

        • Colonial Viper

          Real people have real incomes that have been lifted through tax cuts

          The National Govt doesn’t know how to raise peoples’ incomes. So they are giving (a few) people the illusion that income is increasing by handing out tax cuts to the wealthy.

          This provides the illusion of increasing incomes. Actually the extra money you have in your pocket now has come from loans from China, from Germany and from the UAE.

          If you think that National has increased your income then you probably think that pulling out $1000 from the ATM using your credit card is also a ‘pay increase’.

    • Jim Nald 15.2

      I got a little tax cut too

      Dear Bill and John
      Thank you for giving the elastoplast that I can see
      but people tell me I can’t see you have amputated a limb of mine

      • The Baron 15.2.1

        Oh look, another one. What does that mean Jim? That you know how to spend JJ’s money better than he does? Thanks for that you arrogant prick.

        • ianmac

          See over there Baron. That is a tree and that over there is them woods. Keep up lad.

          • The Baron

            Piss off thanks Ian. I appreciate that you guys have a different set of priorities for Govt spending – but that doesn’t grant you and your friends the right to be rabid, ideological jerks.

            If you think that does, then I welcome you to electoral oblivion. You don’t win a battle of ideas with dim witted contributions from the likes of you, and the likes of the above.

            Come back when you have something decent to say, or leave the adults to talk please.

            • Jim Nald

              Temper temper

              Would be nice to not have a hissyfit this morning

              Oh, when you signed off, you left behind your smile and wave 🙂

            • Puddleglum

              Hi Baron,

              I think one of the underlying premises of your position is what is at issue. You seem to think that you are being reasonable in stating that dispute over taxation levels (i.e., over the tax cuts instituted since 2008) is simply about ‘non-core’ government spending.

              I think the position of many here – certainly my position – is that the 2008 income tax rates were actually very ‘moderate’ in comparison with other developed countries – and even towards the neo-liberal end if we think of historical taxation rates. From this starting point, further reductions were, themselves, ‘rabidly ideological’ and not simply ‘marginal’ arguments over ‘nice to haves’ etc..

              • The Baron

                Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. I don’t care much for the comparisons, as each country is so different that such comparisons can easily be misused or misconstrued. they’re an indicator at best.

                even if we compare well, it doesn’t obliviate my desire to question whether that money is well spent by govt, or whether it can be in my pocket instead.

                anyway, I think you’re giving me too much credit. I’m more reacting to the useful idiots that turn up on posts like this to biff out meaningless ideological hatred. i seem to have started engaging by accident.

                • Lanthanide

                  “Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. I don’t care much for the comparisons, as each country is so different that such comparisons can easily be misused or misconstrued. they’re an indicator at best.”
                  And yet National keep comparing us to Australia, with the ‘aspirational’ goal of catching up by 2025. People kept whinging about how taxes in Oz were lower than in NZ.

                  Well now it’s very clearly the opposite, and yet people still try and claim that they move to Oz because the taxes in NZ are too high.

                  • Jim Nald

                    Lesson 2: Just make up something, anything –
                    it doesn’t matter whether they are true or not
                    you have to be dispassionate about those things

                • RedLogix

                  I’ll keep repeating this until you get it TB.

                  New Zealand already has one of the lowest tax burdens in the OECD.

                  You pay sod all tax as it is….leave off the unseemly whining.

                  • McFlock

                    but TB would pay soooooooo much less tax if we didn’t have all that wasteful healthcare or welfare. He only wants to pay for police and prisons to protect “his” property.

  16. johnm 16

    OLD BILL and his crooked neoliberal self serving cult of the rich get richer strikes again.

    • The Baron 16.1

      DURRR CLAP CLAP IDIOT. thanks for another stunning contribution.

      • RobC 16.1.1

        Is this the same person who also just said “you don’t win a battle of ideas with dim witted contributions” ???

        • The Baron

          Lucky I’m not trying to win with that one then – only trying to speak to john at the level he is accustomed.

          Plus if you wanted consistency, why are you on a blog site? everyone here is pissing in the wind pal – thats why most of us are pseudoanon.

        • Daveo

          Consistent trolls would be nice to have.

      • john 16.1.2

        Hi BARON You have a lot of beef for such a fancy monocle

  17. William Joyce 17

    Bill displays the sacrifices he is making to help fund the Christchurch recover.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

    • Jim Nald 17.1

      Astounding display there.
      This is your chance to make it go viral. Forward the url 🙂

      Quite an appropriate number plate.

  18. tc 18

    Blinglish is determined to do to the NZ economy what he did to the nat’s vote in 2002’s election…..decimate it under the excuse ‘it was the best I could do’…..no disagreement there bill as you are indeed one of the ‘giants’ of this gov’t.

    What a legacy ! between him, Sideshow, Rortney, Joyce, Aya-Tolley etc there’s some serious medium to long term damage being done.

    • ianmac 18.1

      The funny thing is that Tolley sounded quite reasonable in talking about bullying yet way out of it if she is forced to talk/justify National Standards. You don’t think that she might not believe in NS? Nah.

  19. randal 19

    what would be bestest and nicest most of all would be a new government and looks like we are going to get one.

  20. deservingpoor 20

    I have a certain degree of admiration for someone who will say “its my money and I want to keep it, not give it to you”. At least its an honest argument, one that may see that person being guillotined when they find themselves on the wrong side of history but its an admirably honest argument nonetheless. Trouble is, we’ve already seen what happens when the rich get to make all the decisions about what to do with their money. Before income tax was introduced in 1891, the only social services were from charity where the rich got to decide who got to live and who died. We the people decided that was not ok. Its still not ok.

  21. M 21

    It would be “nice to have” the dumbnamic duo out of power and working at Fukushima.

  22. crude 22

    Yes of course it is the finance minister’s fault that there have been two huge earthquakes in one of NZ’s largest centres and the centre of the South Island’s economy, a tragic mining disaster, a worldwide economic meltdown, and a legacy of enormously expensive middle class welfare policies inherited from the former government. All on Bill’s watch Bill! the obviousness of your being the cause of all of these things is stupefying. Stuff all those rich pricks on their unearned easily acquired incomes. It’s obvious that a countries finances should be arranged around the personal finances of about 2 dozen individuals, such as the CEO’s of Telecom and Westpac. What do you mean his tax policies are closing the loopholes for people of means getting freebies? that just doesn’t fit in here Bill so we won’t address it! Of course, the gaping holes in the stupid and enormously inefficient former tax system that any retarded idiot could use to pay less tax that you mitigated by realigning corporate and personal tax rates are commendable. Lets return to that! and lowering corporate taxes on businesses won’t help businesses! In this universe struggling businesses need subjection to increased artificial minimum wages and increased tax! this will naturally lead to more employment! Of course the govt should make another Tiwai to make jobs! Never mind whether the world needs more aluminium! Never mind that Labour in 9 years of relative surplus betrayed it’s base and did not institute a 15 dollar minimum wage, or give every home light rail to it’s door, or do anything about R & D other then at the bitter end when it knew it wouldn’t have to institute it! Never mind Labour did virtually nothing for the poor, didn’t increase benefits, didn’t subsidise anything, didn’t do anything except buy votes from the middle class that you Mr English in your silliness are now taking measures to pay for! And of course Labour has a plan! No one is quite sure what it is, but David Cunliffe or Parker or King or whoever is the Labour finance guy is a figure to really put one’s faith in, and don’t worry about debt Bill, just because. And Bill you’re a fool for making an effort to stop Mr Waikato farmer doing what he is doing, Cullen didn’t make the effort so why bother?

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    1 hour ago
  • New advisory group provides enduring Māori expertise for Te Aorerekura delivery
    The Government has taken another step forward in its work to eliminate family violence and sexual violence with the announcement today of a new Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group. A team of 11 experts in whānau Māori wellbeing will provide the Government independent advice on shaping family violence and sexual ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Making work better for Kiwi women
    Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine: Women’s Employment Action Plan was launched today by Minister for Women Jan Tinetti – with the goal of ensuring New Zealand is a great place for women to work. “This Government is committed to improving women’s working lives. The current reality is that women have ...
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    5 hours ago
  • PM's comments to NATO session
    Kia ora koutou katoa.  It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation.   New Zealand is ...
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    9 hours ago
  • Minister to advocate for Small Island States
    Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio has been appointed by the United Nations and Commonwealth as Aotearoa New Zealand’s advocacy champion for Small Island States.  “Aotearoa New Zealand as a Pacific country is particularly focused on the interests of Pacific Small Island Developing States in our region.  “This is a ...
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    1 day ago
  • Increased support for households to pay local council rates
    An estimated 100,000 low income households will be eligible for increased support to pay their council rates, with changes to the rates rebate scheme taking effect from 1 July. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced increases to both the maximum value of the rates rebate, and the income threshold ...
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    1 day ago
  • He Oranga Poutama expanded into four new regions
    A long-standing physical activity programme that focuses on outcomes for Maori has been expanded to four new regions with Government investment almost doubled to increase its reach. He Oranga Poutama is managed by a combination of hapū, iwi, hauora and regional providers.   An increase in funding from $1.8 million ...
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    1 day ago
  • Wellington’s rapid transit option progresses to next stage
    The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay, a new tunnel through Mt Victoria for public transport, and walking and cycling, and upgrades to improve traffic flow at the Basin Reserve. “Where previous ...
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    1 day ago
  • Keynote remarks: Tech 4 Democracy Summit, Madrid
    To Provost Muniz, to the Organisers at the Instituto de Empresa  buenas tardes and as we would say in New Zealand, kia ora kotou katoa.  To colleagues from the State Department, from Academia, and Civil Society Groups, to all our distinguished guests - kia ora tatou katoa. It’s a pleasure ...
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    1 day ago
  • On June 28, 2022, a meeting took place in Madrid between the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who was visiting Spain to participate in the Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as one ...
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    2 days ago
  • More young Kiwis able to travel and work in Spain
    A six-fold increase in the Aotearoa New Zealand-Spain working holiday scheme gives a huge boost to the number of young people who can live and work in each other’s countries, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Jacinda Ardern and Spanish President Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón made the Working Holiday/Youth Mobility Scheme announcement ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supporting local government candidates
    A significant barrier has been removed for people who want to stand in local government elections, with a change to the requirement to publish personal details in election advertising. The Associate Local Government Minister Kieran McAnulty has taken the Local Electoral (Advertising) Amendment Bill through its final stages in Parliament ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt passes law to protect consumers in banking and insurance sector
    New financial conduct scheme will ensure customers are treated fairly Banks, insurers and non-bank deposit takers to be licensed by the FMA in relation to their general conduct Sales incentives based on volume or value targets like bonuses for selling a certain number of financial products banned The Government ...
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    2 days ago
  • New law paves way for greater supermarket competition
    Legislation that bans major supermarkets from blocking their competitors’ access to land to set up new stores paves the way for greater competition in the sector, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The new law is the first in a suite of measures the Government is ...
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    2 days ago
  • Vaccine mandate for border and corrections workers to end
    The Government has announced an end to the requirement for border workers and corrections staff to be fully vaccinated. This will come into place from 2 July 2022. 100 per cent of corrections staff in prisons, and as of 23 June 2022 97 per cent of active border workers were ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand's Commonwealth relationships strengthened at CHOGM
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has concluded a visit to Rwanda reaffirming Aotearoa New Zealand’s engagement in the Commonwealth and meeting with key counterparts. “I would like to thank President Kagame and the people of Rwanda for their manaakitanga and expert hosting of this important meeting,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “CHOGM ...
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    2 days ago
  • Emergency monitoring centre opened to keep New Zealand safer
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty officially launched the new Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting (MAR) Centre at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today. The Government has stood up the centre in response to recommendations from the 2018 Ministerial Review following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and 2017 Port Hills fire, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway speed limit to change to 110km/h
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the announcement that a 110km/hr speed limit has been set for the SH1 Waikato Expressway, between Hampton Downs and Tamahere. “The Waikato Expressway is a key transport route for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of the central North ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government listening to sector on NCEA
    Following feedback from the sector, Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti, today confirmed that new literacy and numeracy | te reo matatini me te pāngarau standards will be aligned with wider NCEA changes. “The education sector has asked for more time to put the literacy and numeracy | te reo ...
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    2 days ago
  • Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine
    $4.5 million to provide Ukraine with additional non-lethal equipment and supplies such as medical kit for the Ukrainian Army Deployments extended for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) intelligence, logistics and liaison officers in the UK, Germany, and Belgium Secondment of a senior New Zealand military officer to support International ...
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    3 days ago
  • Electoral changes will bring greater transparency for voters
    Changes to electoral law announced by Justice Minister Kiri Allan today aim to support participation in parliamentary elections, and improve public trust and confidence in New Zealand’s electoral system. The changes are targeted at increasing transparency around political donations and loans and include requiring the disclosure of: donor identities for ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government invests to minimise gambling harm
    The Labour government has announced a significant investment to prevent and minimise harm caused by gambling. “Gambling harm is a serious public health issue and can have a devastating effect on the wellbeing of individuals, whānau and communities. One in five New Zealanders will experience gambling harm in their lives, ...
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    3 days ago
  • More free flu vaccines and a second COVID-19 booster to groups at risk of hospitalisation
    The Government has widened access to free flu vaccines with an extra 800,000 New Zealanders eligible from this Friday, July 1  Children aged 3-12 years and people with serious mental health or addiction needs now eligible for free flu dose. From tomorrow (Tuesday), second COVID-19 booster available six months ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government backs action to drive strong wool growth
    The Government is investing to create new product categories and new international markets for our strong wool and is calling on Kiwi businesses and consumers to get behind the environmentally friendly fibre, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said today. Wool Impact is a collaboration between the Government and sheep sector partners ...
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    4 days ago
  • Veterans Minister pays tribute to service and sacrifice at Korean War commemoration
    At today’s commemoration of the start of the Korean War, Veterans Minister Meka Whaitiri has paid tribute to the service and sacrifice of our New Zealand veterans, their families and both nations. “It’s an honour to be with our Korean War veterans at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to commemorate ...
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    5 days ago
  • Matariki projects star in latest round of Tourism Infrastructure Fund
    Minister of Tourism Stuart Nash and Associate Minister of Tourism Peeni Henare announced the sixth round of recipients of the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF), which supports local government to address tourism infrastructure needs. This TIF round will invest $15 million into projects around the country. For the first time, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Matariki speech 2022
    Matariki tohu mate, rātou ki a rātou Matariki tohu ora, tātou ki a tātou Tīhei Matariki Matariki – remembering those who have passed Matariki – celebrating the present and future Salutations to Matariki   I want to begin by thanking everyone who is here today, and in particular the Matariki ...
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    6 days ago
  • First Matariki holiday marked across New Zealand and the world
    Oho mai ana te motu i te rangi nei ki te hararei tūmatanui motuhake tuatahi o Aotearoa, Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki, me te hono atu a te Pirīmia a Jacinda Ardern ki ngā mahi whakanui a te motu i tētahi huihuinga mō te Hautapu i te ata nei.    ...
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    6 days ago
  • Minister to attend second United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker will represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the second United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, which runs from 27 June to 1 July. The Conference will take stock of progress and aims to galvanise further action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, to "conserve and sustainably use ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports innovative dairy sheep sector to scale up
    The Government is boosting its partnership with New Zealand’s dairy sheep sector to help it lift its value and volume, and become an established primary industry, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “Globally, the premium alternative dairy category is growing by about 20 percent a year. With New Zealand food ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Buller flood recovery and longer term resilience
    The Government is continuing to support the Buller district to recover from severe flooding over the past year, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today during a visit with the local leadership. An extra $10 million has been announced to fund an infrastructure recovery programme, bringing the total ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government outlines plans for future COVID-19 variants
    “The Government has undertaken preparatory work to combat new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19,” COVID-19 Response Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall set out today. “This is about being ready to adapt our response, especially knowing that new variants will likely continue to appear. “We have undertaken a piece of work ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next steps for NZ UK free trade agreement
    The Government’s strong trade agenda is underscored today with the introduction of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill to the House, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “I’m very pleased with the quick progress of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill being introduced ...
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    1 week ago
  • Five new members join education Youth Advisory Group
    A ministerial advisory group that provides young people with an opportunity to help shape the education system has five new members, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said today. “I am delighted to announce that Harshinni Nayyar, Te Atamihi Papa, Humaira Khan, Eniselini Ali and Malakai Tahaafe will join the seven ...
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    1 week ago
  • Address to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons First Meeting of States Party
    Austria Centre, Vienna   [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] E ngā mana, e ngā reo Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you, Mr President. I extend my warm congratulations to you on the assumption of the Presidency of this inaugural meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. You ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt makes sure support workers have right to take pay-equity claim
    The Government is taking action to make sure homecare and support workers have the right to take a pay-equity claim, while at the same time protecting their current working conditions and delivering a pay rise. “In 2016, homecare and support workers – who look after people in their own homes ...
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    1 week ago
  • Targeted second COVID-19 booster a step closer
    A law change passed today streamlines the process for allowing COVID-19 boosters to be given without requiring a prescription. Health Minister Andrew Little said the changes made to the Medicines Act were a more enduring way to manage the administration of vaccine boosters from now on. “The Ministry of Health’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Commerce Commission empowered to crackdown on covenants
    New powers will be given to the Commerce Commission allowing it to require supermarkets to hand over information regarding contracts, arrangements and land covenants which make it difficult for competing retailers to set up shop. “The Government and New Zealanders have been very clear that the grocery sector is not ...
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    1 week ago
  • Plasterboard taskforce set up to ease shortages
    Ministerial taskforce of industry experts will give advice and troubleshoot plasterboard shortages Letter of expectation sent to Fletcher Building on trademark protections A renewed focus on competition in the construction sector The Minister for Building and Construction Megan Woods has set up a Ministerial taskforce with key construction, building ...
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    1 week ago