No ambition for New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, April 11th, 2011 - 105 comments
Categories: bill english, privatisation, wages - Tags:

National came to power promising to close the wage gap with Australia. Not only have they failed to fulfill that promise but Bill English now portrays it as a good thing. His appearance on Q+A yesterday only confirms how out of touch National is: determined to sell our assets for no good reason, against our will, and happy with our low wages.

Here’s Guyon Espiner taking English to task:

GUYON Let’s talk about the logic of moving those assets on in terms of the ones that you actually want to sell. In 2010, you got $831 million in dividends from the state-owned enterprises and Air New Zealand. Now, $802 million, almost all of that, came from the five companies that you want to sell. I mean, aren’t you killing the goose that laid the golden egg here?

BILL Well, under the model the government has proposed, we would be maintaining at least 51% ownership in those companies, so we still have a right to the dividends that would come from it.

GUYON Well, half the dividends, presumably.

BILL Well, the dividends that come to our 51% share, that’s right. Half the dividends. And we believe in the long run we’re going to get better performance and more value out of those companies by having the opportunity for Kiwis to buy a share in it, get better performance from the market pressure that would be on them.

GUYON But is that true? Your own Treasury says, and I quote, in the paper that you requested on this issue, ‘There is no clear evidence to suggest that financial performance of the SOE companies is better or worse than private-sector comparables.’ It says, ‘There’s little evidence to suggest that privatisation would significantly improve the financial performance of many of the SOE companies.’

BILL Well, we simply don’t agree necessarily with Treasury on that, and we have a number of—

GUYON But Treasury aren’t exactly left-wing sort of hand-wringers on this, are they?

BILL Well, they’ve had no experience of these kind of asset sales now for 10 or 15 years, so it’s not something they’ve dealt with.

GUYON Where are you taking advice from? Is it just you and a few other Cabinet ministers? I mean, if Treasury don’t even believe, and they say there will be ‘modest economic gains’, where has your evidence come from?

BILL Well, we are of the view that the model, like Air New Zealand, has worked very well – mixed ownership where a combination of market pressure, an arm’s-length relationship with government has allowed that company to go through considerable changes and achieve what’s very difficult to achieve anywhere in the world, and that is be a successful regional airline. So we’re more convinced than Treasury that we’ll get better performance out of those companies, but we have other objectives as well, which are to provide some kind of investment opportunities that New Zealanders think would be useful for them, particularly longer term solid investments after all the negative experiences that they’ve had.

In conclusion: English wants to trade our dividends in the future for cash up front. He and a few buddies reckon that getting the private sector in will make the SOEs more competitive but even Treasury thinks that’s just more billshit.

GUYON Can I talk about the real economy for people? They see the cost of living keep going up. They see wages really not— if not quite keeping pace with that, certainly not outstripping it much. I mean, you said at the weekend to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum that one of our advantages over Australia was that our wages were 30% cheaper. I mean, is that an advantage now?

BILL Well, it’s a way of competing, isn’t it? I mean, if we want to grow this economy, we need the capital – more capital per worker – and we’re competing for people as well.

GUYON So it’s part of our strategy to have wages 30% below Australia?

BILL Well, they are, and we need to get on with competing for Australia. So if you take an area like tourism, we are competing with Australia. We’re trying to get Australians here instead of spending their tourist dollar in Australia.

GUYON But is it a good thing?

BILL Well, it is a good thing if we can attract the capital, and the fact is Australians— Australian companies should be looking at bringing activities to New Zealand because we are so much more competitive than most of the Australian economy.

GUYON So let’s get this straight – it’s a good thing for New Zealand that our wages are 30% below Australia?

BILL No, it’s not a good thing, but it is a fact. We want to close that gap up, and one way to close that gap up is to compete, just like our sports teams are doing. This weekend we’ve had rugby league, netball, basketball teams, and rugby teams out there competing with Australia. That’s lifting the standard. They’re closing up the gap.

GUYON But you said it was an advantage, Minister.

BILL Well, at the moment, if I go to Australia and talk to Australians, I want to put to them a positive case for investment in New Zealand, because while we are saving more, we’re not saving more fast enough to get the capital that we need to close the gap with Australia. So Australia already has 40 billion of investment in New Zealand. If we could attract more Australian companies, activities here, that would help us create the jobs and lift incomes.

GUYON The last headline I saw said Australian had dropped its unemployment rate to 4.9%, added 37,800 jobs. Unemployment here pushing 7%, wages 30% higher over there – why wouldn’t you go?

BILL Well, some people will, and that’s fine, but why would we sit round being mesmerised by the fact that some Kiwis go to Australia? We’ve got a long-term plan to lift the performance of this economy, because we need higher incomes and we need more jobs.

Uh, huh. Wasn’t making middle-class women afraid their kids would emigrate to Australia central to National’s 2008 election campaign? You know, John Key standing in an empty stadium? Now, emigration is rising but it doesn’t matter and the low wages that are driving people away are a good thing. What a joke.

105 comments on “No ambition for New Zealand”

  1. Bored 1

    Adfector ergo sum.

    Who needs ambition when you can “aspire”?

  2. Lanthanide 2

    If having wages 30% lower than Oz is so good and going to encourage so many Oz companies to move over here, how come over the last 15 years where we’ve had lower wages (since National ballsed everything up in the 90’s) we haven’t had streams of Ozzie companies setting up shop over here? (not counting the banks, of course, because they’re leeches).

    • Bored 2.1

      Oz companies don’t come here because we pay people doodly squat and we can’t afford their offerings. Instead we send people there, whilst the cash in NZ is hoarded by the squatocratic kleptocracy who work as merchant bankers, landlords and rentiers .
       
      For Joe Average in NZ having a job per se is the big one. If it’s in Oz good, and if its 30% better paid, well that’s lotto.

  3. Cadwallader 3

    English is right! 

  4. Zaphod Beeblebrox 4

    What a disasterous comment. What he is saying is that becoming a third world country is a good thing. You can’t interpret it any other way.

    • PeteG 4.1

      You can interpret it other ways if you think about it. English wasn’t being Politically Correct in how he talked about it, but he’s right.
       
      Having wage rates 30% lower than Australia is a differential we’d rather close, but while we have it we should try and use it to our advantage.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        So PeteG
         
        How do you feel about the fact that Blinglish and smile and wave lied to the NZ population?  They promised NZ would catch up with Australia but are now saying that it is beneficial for us to have poorer wages.
         
         

        • PeteG 4.1.1.1

          They promised NZ would catch up with Australia

          When did they promise that? When did they say we would catch up?

          are now saying that it is beneficial for us to have poorer wages.

          If you read the transcript in the post you will see:

          GUYON So let’s get this straight – it’s a good thing for New Zealand that our wages are 30% below Australia?
          BILL No, it’s not a good thing, but it is a fact. We want to close that gap up, and one way to close that gap up is to compete…

           
          Poor interview for English, he left the door wide open to poor comprehension (or deliberate misrepresentation) from people like MS.
           

          • mickysavage 4.1.1.1.1

            When did they promise that? When did they say we would catch up?
             
            Aww PeteG you are now into serious troll mode.
             
            DNFTT
             

            • PeteG 4.1.1.1.1.1

              If I make unsubstantiated claims I get called a troll and am asked to front up with something to back it up. You?

              • I am not sure why I am wasting time on you.
                 
                I called you a troll because you asked when National promised to catch our wages up with Australia and when did they say we would catch up.
                 
                There are blind eskimos in Greenland without internet access who are aware that National promised this continuously during 2008 and 2009 and that it had to happen by 2025.  You have just confused and mangled another thread.  This is why I called you a troll.
                 
                 

                • PeteG

                  Instead of wasting time on me maybe you should spend more time reading the transcript. I don’t see anywhere in it English saying:

                  “We want to lock our wage rate at least 30% below Australia’s right through to 2025, and when they run out of minerals to mine we will shoot half our cows to ensure we stay below them”.

                  And you should also try and get your head around the idea that anyone who believes that a policy target for 17 years in the future when there are likely to be several changes of government can be construed as a set in concrete promise they need to learn about political reality.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    PeteG’s now saying that it is “political reality” to consider anything that comes out of English’s and Key’s mouths about the future as facile, convenient lies, nothing to be taken seriously.
                     
                    Hey mate I agree.
                     

                    I don’t see anywhere in it English saying:
                     

                    You also don’t see where English has a plan to close the gap with Australia. Or indeed, any plan for the people of this country whatsoever. Apart from being wage serfs of course.

                  • RobC

                    MS – Pete does have a point.

                    We shouldn’t be wasting time on him. I know it’s so tempting but there comes a time where the fun turns to boredom. It gets a bit pointless, I’m beginning to think he is not mischievous at all and might have an intellectual disability. I’m beginning to feel sorry for him.

          • Alexandra 4.1.1.1.2

            We were told that the goal was to close the wage gap by 2020. Of course no quarantee but no actual plan to close the gap either. The gaps widened in the Nats short time in govenment and now were being told the wage gap will encourage aussie investment here. English can’t argue the advantages of our low waged economy and pretend that its not a good thing.

        • Herodotus 4.1.1.2

          MS same as Labour regarding OECD rankings Nat = Lab. For me progressing up the rankings means improving not going backwards !!!
          Also how are Mum & Dads suppose to be able to afford to buy into these coys when/if they are partially sold?
          I know in my situation it will not be easy eating the insects (especialy as the Cidas are now out of season) around my house to save for the this households share allocation. Looks like I will have to be short term in my approach and clean out the worm farm !!!

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        You can interpret it other ways if you think about it.

        Only if you’re in the habit of lying to yourself.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1.3

        So 40% or 50% will be even better?

        • Drakula 4.1.3.1

          I get your drift Zaphod; how about slave labour, no unions, minimal conditions and police surveillence?

          Pure utopia!!!

          They would do Ill Duce proud!!!  – – – -Wouldn’t they?

  5. Steve Withers 5

    Poor Bill English. He let the cat out of the bag. They TALK about raising wages, but they DO everything they can (90-day trials, union busting) to prevent it so NZ workers will be – and remain – cheaper. 

    Every Kiwi should learn at least THIS much about National between here and the election. It’s why their kids are all on employment contracts offering minimum wage with no overtime paid for over time..and you work whenever and for as long as required. Or piss off. 

    A lot of National voters must either hate their kids….or they don’t see how abstract policies they support affect their own kids in the real world. 

    Next comes more expensive student loans so we have an even larger pool of this cheap, unskilled labour. 

    If I was 18yo, I’d get the hell out of New Zealand. There is no future here unless your parents are already rich. 

    • George D 5.1

      Labour has no plans to reintroduce overtime. And yes, I’m considering moving back to Australia.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Yeah, I noticed that and yet it’s the simplest way to provide full employment and to encourage actual investment in productive capital.

  6. millsy 6

    Well I was watching Sunday’s movie last night, which was a rather lame Ben Stiller vehicle, had some funny moments, but I kept waiting for it to get better, anyway, part of the movie took place in Mexico, at a holiday resort where rich Americans would relax and the local population would wait on them hand and foot.

    With the news that Bill English has said what he said about wages, it only reminded me of how we are going to the Mexico to Australia’s USA.

    • south paw 6.1

      Yeah, apparently Hollywood industry already refers to us as “Mexicans with cell phones”.

      • Jum 6.1.1

        http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/12/02/1070351577164.html

        Thanks South Paw.  That information will come in very handy over the next few months.

        At least my intention not to enter any cinema for the two Hobbit films will lose $30 profit to ‘them’.  I will pay $1 each for renting the DVDs when they come out or I won’t watch them at all.

        To think back to the Lord of the Rings films when our whole family would leap in the car and go to Auckland; they were special times.  Not anymore.

        Just one more reason to hate the American puppet-boy Key.

        • Drakula 6.1.1.1

          I can just see the likes of Dame Edna Everidge having a little Kiwi (Mexican) peddling the dynamo in the celler!!!!!

          When we get more outages!!!!

  7. Samuel Hill 7

    Please tell me if I’m wrong. But, it seems to me that the current goal of the worldwide financial system is to take as much money from workers and put it in the hands of the capital market? Isn’t this just National playing along with that idea? They are now using the tax payers money to keep financial markets moving. Soon the money will run out from all the bailouts, and the taxes and  global prices will increase.

    We’re screwed aren’t we.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      I’d tell you that you’re wrong but you’re not. And, yes, we’re screwed.

      • Campbell Larsen 7.1.1

        Strategies people please, not despair.
        Jane Kelsey of TPP watch has one: Governments when they fail in their obligation to consult with the public that they are supposed to represent are without mandate and thus the populace is entitled to refuse to abide by any agreements negotiated in this manner.

        When our economic policy is determined by blackmail from the IMF, world bank and ratings agencies we are also entitled to distance ourselves from the debt obligations that have been created by successive spineless (or more kindly, powerless) Govts

        The lack of an independent free press in NZ (by independent I mean free from commercial/ political interference) is beginning to erode our democracy to the point that even elections cannot be held to be binding.

         What does a future that addresses these points look like? Very different, and not without challenges but at least not bleak.

  8. On one hand we have Bill English saying low wages are good, then on the other hand, John Key is saying that environmental campaigners disrupting oil exploration off the East Cape are standing in the way of “better jobs and better incomes”.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10718560

    Two opposing points of view, both promoting the needs of corporations.

  9. millsy 9

    On the topic of oil drilling, does anyone see the irony in the government promoting privatisation, etc but sells oil drilling rights to a company controlled by the Brazilian government?

    • Afewknowthetruth 9.1

      Millsy.

      Privatisation is the euphemism for transferring control of assets and resources to international corporations for them to exploit for profit.  It is always sold as ‘for the public good’.

      That’s how an Orwellian society operates  -war is peace, ignorance it strength, the chocolate ration has been increased from 25g to 20g.  

      • Jum 9.1.1

        Yes it came to a contact firm near me, sending a letter beginning “we are pleased to announce an increase in the cost of your power…

    • No its a SOE it has big loans from Chinese state banks and partnerships with private big oil, so its one of the biggest PPPs you could dream up. Even bigger than NZ as a branch of the Chinese state. Anyway we all know that PPPs are just front loaded bailouts.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    The major reason Australia is doing well is because they are digging up the place and selling to China. The money acquired is being used to fuel unsustainable urban expansion and keep the bubble economy inflating. NZ can never compete with that.

    How long unsustainable mining and unsustainable urban expansion can continue is anyone’s guess, but Oz is headed for long term economic and environmental catastrophe, just like every other nation, but is more vulnerable to environmental collapse than many.  

    I would imagine Bill English’s ambition is to fulfil the instructions given to him by the Bilderbergers etc. and get his reward  -a knighthood or a position at the UN or as an ambassador-  for his part transferring wealth overseas, just as his predecessors did.

    What is good for NZ or NZers doesn’t even come into the argument. 

  11. Steve Withers 11

    PeteG: National made a huge issue of the wage gap with Australia in the 2008 election year. Links are everywhere to be found via a Google search….even now. Granted the National Party itself has cleansed its web site of any *current* policy reference to it, but press releases from 2008 betray the real history. The target date was 2025 – under Don Brash and no one ever said it stopped being policy. They have just quietly dropped it as they know that with their current policies the gap can only get wider….not shrink.

    • PeteG 11.1

      Weren’t Act the main actors there? The 2025 report was a sop to them and pretty much dissed by National.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        PeteG, National spinmeister history revisionist.
         
        Actually now that I recall, English and Key have always thought that lower wages in NZ was a good thing.
         
        So you are right

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          “Tax cuts? I don’t remember National mentioning anything about tax cuts…”
          – Pete George, tomorrow morning.

  12. Steve Withers 12

    Samuel: We’re screwed if people keep electing National Party governments. But then they will find out eventually it is voters themselves who are collectively accountable to themselves for their ignorance…and its consequences. Of course voters are terrible at accepting the blame for anything. Much like the people they elect in that regard. We’re all taught at school that if we know nothing, we can’t possibly be responsible for anything, right? But their comes a time when collective determined ignorance results in general ‘punishment’ without blame. It affects everyone.

    • Afewknowthetruth 12.1

      ‘We’re screwed if people keep electing National Party governments’

      Very true. However, the difference between genius and supitity is that genius has limits  -Einstein.

      The people of NZ have been carefully trained to vote National or Labour. It’s rather like a game of ping-pong in which the voters are the ball. The basic policies of both parties are the same, of course, dictated by the international money-lenders.  

    • Samuel Hill 12.2

      I agree with you somewhat. I think we the citizens can take some of the blame, due to the fact that there are hardly any strong voices speaking out against our governments. But the media and other ideological states aparatuses of NZ keep this “blue-red” system in power. When we can vote for individuals and forget party affiliations we will be getting somewhere.

      • Steve Withers 12.2.1

        Samuel: Political parties are inevitable. The world is HUGE. Even tiny NZ is HUGE with 4.5 million people compared to only one of each of us. We, as individuals, can’t scale. If 100 people want to talk to us for an hour each, it would take a week…..and a very full one at that with little time for family, friends or meals.

        Run a campaign? With what resources? You *need* an organisation of some kind, even for just an electorate. I’ve leafleted 5,000 homes in a week. For even that simple task, it leaves little time for anything else and each electorate averages 19,000 homes.

        Want to form any *useful* policy? You need experts and access to their time. None of us can be experts on everything…or more than a couple of things. “Common sense” is too often half-baked, uninformed nonsense.

        What we CAN do is share values and ideas…and gather under banners that (supposedly, ideally, hopefully) make it clear what values and ideas we support. Then, together, we can scale to meet the challenge of communicating with those around us whatever message we seek to share with them. 

        Don’t call it a political party if you don’t want to…..but by any name it will end up doing exactly the same things. The reason for it is each of us is tiny, limited, largely ignorant about almost everything in detail….and we NEED each other to get the job done together.

        I’d rather vote for competent diverse team with values I share than a prima donna. This is another reason First Past the Post is a steaming heap of turds. All it gives us is a couple of prima donnas to choose from – if we’re lucky enough to have any choice at all.

        • Samuel Hill 12.2.1.1

          I don’t like voting for a party list. I think each electorate should have two MPs.

    • Galeandra 12.3

      Yes, Steve, but there are still an awful lots of people genuinely worried about the current motley crew but who  feel filled with fear by the thought of another Labour government. Can you blame them for a frying pan/fire perception? The MMS can’t be blamed entirely for the view that Labour have in recent times been autocratic, or inept, or in denial about the necessary responses to the brewing global  storms.

  13. Morgy 13

    People are missing something here; Bill English said it wasn’t good to have this gap but the fact is it offers a strategic advantage at the moment. He then goes on to say they want that closed….therefore the advantage to diminish. Why do you fail to see that on this thread? You are again creating a story of paranoia out of half a soundbite. DUMB! Do you really think he is looking to lock in that differential? There are some very stupid comments in here…..and I know I will get lambasted….but only from those refusing to accept that there isn’t actually a story here. I am a national voter BUT if he did say that I would be the first to agree with you. I just wonder if there is a chance for political debate here rather than strange people living in a world of ever decreasing circles. Christ, you are all sounding like Bomber Bradbury!

    • Galeandra 13.1

      And you sound like a National voter. That’s bad for John Key!

    • RobC 13.2

      Morgy, just think about it (and I’ll use simple language)

      The income gap is not good.
      The income gap is an advantage.

      Do you see any contradiction there? I mean, if the income gap is an advantage, why would you want to close it?

      Either the income gap is an advantage and therefore good …
      Or the income gap is not good and it really isn’t an advantage at all.

      Hope that helps.

      • PeteG 13.2.1

        The preference is to close the gap. But while there is a difference we should try to exploit any advantages that the difference provides.
         
        Hope that helps.

        • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1

          The preference is to actively suppress New Zealand wages while increasing returns for shareholders.

          National is turning NZ into the sweatshop of the South Pacific.
           

          • PeteG 13.2.1.1.1

            I didn’t expect you to get it. I was surprised RobC’s superior intellect and sanity doesn’t appear to help his understanding.

            • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh I get it just fine. Bill and John want to see NZ wages fall, like they have said all along.
               
              It’s ‘advantageous’ (to the corporate class) after all.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1.1.2

              I am unsurprised that you don’t get it.

      • Morgy 13.2.2

        RobC you again miss the point; CONTEXT….which is so clearly obvious if you read the transcript….so let me work it into your day…..

        The income gap is not good and we want to fix it, it is however a fact that whilst it is this big, it is an advantage. An advantage expected to deminish as the wage gap closes.

        You are either just being ‘clever’ or you are so “LABOUR GOOD…..NATIONAL BAD” you can’t see it.

        • Colonial Viper 13.2.2.1

          Business leaders have no interest in closing the wage gap
           
          The wage gap is good for profits
           
          They will keep the wage serfs around as long as they can via programmes of active wage suppression.
           
          More and more of our best most motivated talent is leaving for Australia.
           
          Apparently this is “advantageous”. According to Crosby Textor.

    • Steve Withers 13.3

      Morgy: I absolutely agree that Bill English is promoting the current wage gap as an advantage. I’m not sure I can agree National still wants to close the wage gap with Australia as it no longer appears among the policy goals on the National Party web site. What does appear there is coded language like “flexible work force” – translating into people who do what they’re told for what you’re offering and they don’t argue or they won’t have a job. We can quibble over the details, but that IS the result of the 90-day trial law and the moves to further weaken union capabilities to effectively represent workers. Let us also not forget that each time National has won government, unemployment *always* goes up….which results in competition for jobs and this also keeps wages and conditions down. You don’t need to take my word for this. It has been a consistent pattern for the past 30 years. Check it out. 

      • Morgy 13.3.1

        And Steve when the other mob are in, we fill the public sector up. There is no coded message. There is the way National do things and the way Labour do things. No surprises here at all. The right would argue that the more Labour locked into welfare (WFF) was simply to dumb down the electorate and secure more sycophants. But at the end of the day it is what they do isn’t it. Labour = Mum knows best, employers are likely to treat employees poorly etc and National are the opposite; you know best so live your life, the poor employers are by far the minority so lets write legislation to encourage a better opporutnity for both employee and employer. No code here at all.

        • millsy 13.3.1.1

          Morgy,

          Does it bother you that it appears that employers will only hire someone if they can get rid of them?

          Doesn’t it make workers for all intents and purposes, expendable ?

    • Draco T Bastard 13.4

      Do you really think he is looking to lock in that differential?

      Tax cuts for the rich
      Tax increases for the poor
      Removal of work rights
      Throwing lots of people into unemployment

      I think the answer is a fairly obvious yes, that’s exactly what he intends to do.

    • Puddleglum 13.5

      Hi Morgy,

      I can see your point but you need to think it through a bit further. Bill English is basically saying that, currently, having lower wages in NZ than Australia will drag Australian capital over here – despite Australia’s other, current, advantages. If English wants, eventually, to “diminish” that advantage then will Australian (and other) capital then go back to Australia (or elsewhere – e.g., places with wages at about NZ’s present level)?

      If so, then why seek to equalise wages between NZ and Australia? If not, then, ‘why not’? (i.e., what advantages will NZ at that point have that Australia, currently, does not have, sufficiently, to stop capital coming to low-wage NZ)?

      Is that the kind of “political debate” you would like to have?

      • Morgy 13.5.1

        Much better Puddlegum…as opposed to Draco’s drivel….

        It’s a valid point  but it depends. I work for a massive Australian company who have big interests here in NZ and employees thousands. They have set up, have gained market share and will, as long as the ROA is relevant, stay. If, like John Key said this morning, an Australian company has set up a call centre here (Canon I think) because it was more economic to do so plus they needed a greater skill than an 018 service that can be outsourced in the Phillipines, they may eventually head home…they may not. We are reducing company taxes, the exchange rate is a big part of the equation and of course labour costs will dicate what they do. Bill English wasn’t for a second saying this was the silver bullet. He just layed out a fact. I have been interested in the ‘sell’ on this though….in terms of closing the wage gap. If I remember correctly they wanted this closed by 2025….am I right that this was their policy? I can’t recall anywhere that this was to be closed by now.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.5.1.1

          Poor Morgy got upset by the facts.

        • RobC 13.5.1.2

          Oh, you want a rational discussion?

          You original post had such words as DUMB and stupid which rubbed my superior intellect up the wrong way.

          So let’s start again. English’s premise is the current wage gap advantages us to the extent that it should attract capital inflow which in turn will diminish that gap.

          The wage gap has not suddenly appeared – it’s been around for a while. There is no evidence, currently, that the 30% gap has, or will, attract the capital required to improve the economy. What I see is the opposite – dividends flowing offshore closely followed by 20,000+ Kiwis a year.

          So sorry, I don’t believe there will be a miracle of foreign investment to improve our economy anytime soon. To be honest, it disturbs me to think the current Minister of Finance actually believes this will occur.

  14. randal 14

    forget all the blather.
    national came into government with the firm intention of looting public assests and unless they are stopped at this election then they will.
    no amount of high blown rhetoric disguises the fact that they are thieves in sheeps clothing and uber greedy to boot.

  15. Irascible 15

    GUYON So let’s get this straight – it’s a good thing for New Zealand that our wages are 30% below Australia?
    BILL No, it’s not a good thing, but it is a fact. We want to close that gap up, and one way to close that gap up is to compete, just like our sports teams are doing. This weekend we’ve had rugby league, netball, basketball teams, and rugby teams out there competing with Australia. That’s lifting the standard. They’re closing up the gap.

    Here’s the answer – competition to close the gap is confined to sport not to work according to English. In the context of this Q&A his analogy should relate to industry and wages not to sporting teams who neither provide large numbers of productive employment or  build or create anything of value in the economy. His analogy is shallow and insulting in the context of this discussion. It’s a wonder Guyon didn’t pick him up on it and expose English for the inadequate minister that he is.

    • Jum 15.1

      Yes, I could not believe it when he tried to use sports as an example of starving Kiwis lifting their standards.
      So English equates playing with a ball in the dirt as being the same I guess as human beings fighting in the gutter for their next loaf of bread.  That’ll get my support, not.  Not sure about the other two thirds of New Zealanders who welcome seeing fellow Kiwis being broken down into serfs.

  16. johnm 16

    Does NeoLiberal The Old Bill English need a face lift? He’s not giving Kiwis any lifts for sure : He wants to sell off what’s left of our sovereignty and wealth into Private hands, that means ordinary dumb kiwis will end up even poorer, But Hay! Key’s great looking and sooooo nice vote for him and more selfish tax cuts the common wellbeing doesn’t count any more and that requires we keep our wealth in our hands not sell it to foreign investment sharks!

    • Morgy 16.1

      Ok John. How should the tax system work? What is a high wage? What should the highest tax rate be? What should company tax be? Love to hear your economic revolution. Where is the evidence he wants to sell off our sovereignty and wealth….oh I get it….that loathsome idea of giving us the opporutnity to buy a part of our SOE’s? The ones that no one can buy more than 49% of and no one entity can buy 20% of?
      Selfish tax cuts…what a joke!

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        lol Morgy the issue is quite simple, the already rich are getting richer and the poor are struggling even more.
         
        It’s not brain surgery yeah?

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2

        that loathsome idea of giving us the opporutnity to buy a part of our SOE’s?

        We already own them and get the advantages of that ownership. Selling them will give those advantages to overseas owners as the Treasury report says (it’s one of the few times that treasury actually gets it right).

      • Jum 16.1.3

        Not only did I think you were stupid Morgy, but you’ve just proved it.
        Buy back our own assets?  Duh.  I think that is the problem with New Zealanders.  They are essentially bright, clued up people, but when the government tells them they can buy their own assets, again, in fact probably for the hundredth time, they naturally start to think they’re missing some vital economic fact.
        Well, no, they’re not.  They’re just admitting they don’t have a cynic gene.  They have an overload of trust and naive genes.  They actually trust Key – now that is dumb.   So, I’ll have to revise my attitude towards people; they are bright, clued up, but they’re trusting and naive and blind.

        • Morgy 16.1.3.1

          Jum, I have shares in Australian interests. This decision has made me (and I suggest many others) consider bringing the value of these back into NZ firms and I will look forward to the dividend cheques.
          Based on your reply mate, you must live with a permanent furrowed brow….take a breather…..not all of us are cynics……greater than 55% of the voting public at last count.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.3.1.1

            Jum, I have shares in Australian interests. This decision has made me (and I suggest many others) consider bringing the value of these back into NZ firms and I will look forward to the dividend cheques.
             

            Hey so when will you have enough share dividends to offset the $2.5T that Australian banks repatriate to their homeland across the Tasman Sea?
             
            Or maybe in reality the cash outflow from NZ to Australia outweighs any pittances you bring back over.
             
            I’ll give you another thimble, and you can keep bailing out the Titanic with it, OK?

            …..not all of us are cynics……greater than 55% of the voting public at last count.

            55% of the voting public earn less than $30,000 p.a.

            I’d say frak all of them have shares in Australian companies. You are in a small minority my friend, even though you make out like you are the majority.

            • PeteG 16.1.3.1.1.1

              I’d say frak all of them have shares in Australian companies. You are in a small minority my friend, even though you make out like you are the majority.

              I’d say there are probably more than you think who have interests in Australia companies. Apart from individual investors, Fonterra’s 10,000+ shareholders own several Australian companies, and other New Zealand owned companies will have Aussie interests. There will be a lot more small investors with unit trusts, and a large number of KiwiSavers are likely to have something in Aus.
               
              It may not be a majority (impossible to know) but it certainly won’t be a small minority.

          • Jum 16.1.3.1.2

            morgy,
            I’m not your mate; I’d rather slit my wrists than buy into the crap you rightwingers are spreading.  How do you live with yourselves, you hollow men?
            Well, well, the vultures are coming back to NZ to steal what’s left of our treasures; kiwi-slavers like roger the cur, fay richwhite brierley, the extended nzbusrotundtable -that excitement will surely get them out of their gold-plated wheelchairs to slaver and spit over the remains after the hotchin types have finished.  But sitting there in first place, with the positioning to get the inside track shall we say will be John Key and Steven Joyce covering their eyes, except for that little gap in their fingers where they can see through their blind trusts.
            Yet, you’re probably right, morgy – 55% of New Zealanders who believe what the papers and the talk backs tell them, lies and more lies about the state of the country’s books will find out on the 27th November that they have new masters, neither National nor Labour but TPPA transnationals.
             
             

  17. randal 17

    no morgy.
    I voided and you are it.

  18. randal 18

    and morgy I just read your last mishmash of nonsense assertions and all I can say is a fool like you can ask more questions than a wise man can answer.

  19. Morgy 19

    But all I see is blame but no solutions Randal. What is the answer??

    Draco T Bastard 12.4

    Do you really think he is looking to lock in that differential?
    Tax cuts for the rich
    Tax increases for the poor
    Removal of work rights
    Throwing lots of people into unemployment
    This is the sort of shit that comes from the left blogs? I guess I will never understand the way you see things….and vica versa eh? I would love to see ideas….I am not for one second saying that National has all the answers too by the way….it’s the Labour good and National bad philosphy that is dumbfounding. It’s an ugly cycle that is obviously difficult to break eh?

    • PeteG 19.1

      While the likes of DTB and CV have their slogans off pat they have their logic out of whack.
       
      Forcing the poor majority into unemployed poverty is not good for business. The more money people have the more they will waste on stuff they don’t need.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1

        You’re illogical posts prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that you wouldn’t know logic if it hit you.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      No, that’s the sort of shit that comes from a National government.

  20. RobC 20

    Pete, you handing out advice about being logical is akin to Brownlee handing out advice on healthy eating.

    • Jum 20.1

      Yeah, RobC.
      I’ll be looking for a piece of Brownlee if times get tough.  And it won’t be to have a word.
       

  21. HC 21

    Who says Bill English has “no ambition for New Zealand”?
     
    I think the man has very great ambitions to head this country into the extreme “right” direction, which will force 80 or more per cent of the population into living standards that will be equal with our neighbours in the South Pacific (e.g. Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands and so forth).
     
    As long as the “creme de la creme” of his elitist slice of the population can maintain their perks and privileges, he is not worried, is he?
     
    Never mind the 80 % of lazy “lay abouts” and dole spongers. Get them working until their hands bleed!
     
    It is so clear to see that this man has immense ambitions for him and the top 10 to 20 % of our population. Or would you perhaps doubt this???

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    I see English’s defenders are all ‘look at the transcript’ and ‘ooh what about the context’

    Fair enough. The context; she is important.

    The context of that transcript is that English was trying to explain what he had originally said. That transcript wasn’t the initial comment; it was the fall back position for the general public.

    The initial comments are reported here:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10718151

    “The fundamental competition is for capital, including Australian capital, he said, and over the next few years New Zealand’s advantages would become more apparent.
    “One is the wage differential. We have a workforce that is better educated, just as productive and 30 per cent cheaper,” he said. Another is a better regulatory environment.
    “While Australia had the better approach, consistent and steady reform over time, it stopped 10 years ago,” English said.”They were better at it. Now they are not, while we are getting better at it.”

    Which is pretty straightforward. He says that our advantages, which will become more apparent over the next few years, are a better regulatory environment and low wages. That regulatory environment, one could easily enough conclude, is better because it produces the other.

    • Herodotus 22.1

      And some believe that we are a 1st World economy !!!
      Low wages what do people think.
      At least Bill was being honest, look at Taiwan, India, china etc all built on what we have now … Cheap Labour force

  23. mikesh 23

    Is it a coincidence that English adopted this line of argument shortly after a visit by Julia Gillard. Does anyone think that she may have suggested it?

  24. Steve Withers 24

    Morgy: WFF is targeted tax rebates for families. In effect, tax cuts. But they need to be overseen by a body that can ensure people aren’t cheating and claiming entitlement they ought not to. It isn’t “welfare”. When that programme was begun, we had HUGE surpluses…and Michael Cullen warned there would be rainy days ahead and we should be prudent. 

    As it happens, I agreed with him on at least that, as I could see the 2008 crash coming well ahead of time….as could any person not bound into the myth-making machine that caused it in the first place. I knew a crash was inevitable from about 2003….but wasn’t sure when. As events wound on, I could see in mid-2007 if was about a year away. By April ’08 it was obviously going to be pretty much any day…..as I sold my farm on April 22nd ’08 to cash up and avoid it.  

    Why National couldn’t see the crash coming and instead crowed for tax cuts year after year as the storm clouds were *obviously* gathering………is just one more indication they aren’t objective, prudent….or competent.

    Now we’ve had the crash…and two major earthquakes…and the fiscal consequences of National’s lack of prudence is staringly obvious to anyone with a functioning pair of eyes. They cut taxes *anyway* after the Crash…..and now blame everyone but themselves for the exploding deficit. So people who are blameless are losing their jobs because National lacks foresight, good judgement and prudence.

    Sorry. I can’t support such obviously incompetent people…and they don’t listen. They are are business repeating the same mistakes they made in the 90s. How dumb is that? Pretty dumb.

    • PeteG 24.1

      Steve, when Cullen announced tax cuts in May 2008 did that indicate he was objective, prudent….or competent? Or did he not see the crash coming either, did he not see the “storm clouds were *obviously* gathering”?

      • Pascal's bookie 24.1.1

        Storm clouds were all done with the gathering at that point Pete, they were up to the ‘bursting all over everything’ part.

  25. Jum 25

    Hope you all are ready and angry enough to join me in the streets of New Zealand in a few months time to take our evidence of NActMU’s betrayal of New Zealand to the public’s attention.
    I am beginning to see what is actually happening.  The initial disbelief at the brazen contradictory statements and actions of NAct have been replaced by the simple fact that when we go to the polls on November 26 this government will have already done the deals that make it impossible to turn this country back to a proud and desirable place with an enviable lifestyle for all New Zealanders.

  26. RobM 26

    Where the bloody hell are you Australian multi-nationals?

    You don’t know how fortunate are the circumstances:

    We’ve got low wages, low skills, expensive broadband, insanely great fuel costs and a bunch of friendly SOEs that we can guarantee to gouge you in the electricity department. 

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Where the bloody hell are you Australian multi-nationals?

      Apparently being a piss poor country full of badly paid wage serfs isn’t that much of an actual business advantage, unlike what Bill English thinks.
       
      More seriously, the multinationals are only interested in treating NZ like a mine to be exploited, and a low class market to be dumped on.

  27. I now expect the John Key and his favoured few to come out and ask the workers of New Zealand to accept low wages to get New Zealand businesses up and running, if this sounds familiar, it is, it’s the same line Ruthless Ruth used on the NZ public back in the 90s, she promised the workers they would be compensated once business could afford it.

    Back then the workers were gullible enough to believe the line because they wanted NZ to do well .

    Workers went without wage rises for four years and then when the workers said “it’s our time now, we want wage rises” they were told by the government it was nothing to do with them it was up to employers, employers said “if we give wage rises we loose our investment capital” so there was no wage rises for the worker, surprise surprise.

    Do we have another National governing party in the process of doing the same thing all over again, the question will be, will the worker fall for it again this time.

    Vote National at your peril.

  28. Frank Macskasy 28

    “GUYON But is that true? Your own Treasury says, and I quote, in the paper that you requested on this issue, ‘There is no clear evidence to suggest that financial performance of the SOE companies is better or worse than private-sector comparables.’ It says, ‘There’s little evidence to suggest that privatisation would significantly improve the financial performance of many of the SOE companies.’

    BILL Well, we simply don’t agree necessarily with Treasury on that, and we have a number of—

    GUYON But Treasury aren’t exactly left-wing sort of hand-wringers on this, are they?

    BILL Well, they’ve had no experience of these kind of asset sales now for 10 or 15 years, so it’s not something they’ve dealt with.

    GUYON Where are you taking advice from? Is it just you and a few other Cabinet ministers? I mean, if Treasury don’t even believe, and they say there will be ‘modest economic gains’, where has your evidence come from?

    BILL Well, we are of the view that the model, like Air New Zealand, has worked very well – mixed ownership where a combination of market pressure, an arm’s-length relationship with government has allowed that company to go through considerable changes and achieve what’s very difficult to achieve anywhere in the world, and that is be a successful regional airline. So we’re more convinced than Treasury that we’ll get better performance out of those companies, but we have other objectives as well, which are to provide some kind of investment opportunities that New Zealanders think would be useful for them, particularly longer term solid investments after all the negative experiences that they’ve had.”
     
    Unbelievable!
     
    We watched that interview on Sunday night and simply couldn’t believe what we were witnessing!!

  29. Frank Macskasy 29

    From Radio New Zealand today;
     
    Telnet, the largest privately-owned call centre in this country, says the wage gap with Australia and the low New Zealand dollar have created an opportunity for businesses here to build their market share.
    Finance Minister Bill English said on Friday that 30% lower wages help give New Zealand a competitive advantage over Australia.
    Telnet chief executive John Chetwynd says the gap has greatly benefited his company.
    He told Morning Report that while the situation is likely to be temporary, New Zealand companies should take advantage of it and grow their business.
    Mr Chetwynd said he pays his employees about 25% more than the minimum wage.” – http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/72724/low-wages-seen-as-opportunity-to-build-market-share-call-centre
     
    John Chetwynd says the situation is likely to be temporary, New Zealand companies should take advantage of it” – until, of course wages rise, and then Call Centres will (again) relocate off-shore to places like India, Philippines, etc.
     
     

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    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
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    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
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    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
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    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago