No super contributions = worse net debt

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 114 comments
Categories: budget 2009, economy, spin, superannuation, welfare - Tags:

I’ve had a dig into Treasury’s numbers and worked out that they expect the Superannuation Fund will make a 13% return next year, falling to 11% a year by 2012. Those figures seem pretty good, not too optimistic. It’s what the Fund made in ordinary years before the crunch and bear in mind the Fund made 8% last month.

Now I asked, what if we put in the payments we were meant to ($1.25 billion more in 2009 than the $250 million National is putting in and $2.2 billion a year thereafter), getting the money by borrowing more?

Government bonds are selling at about 6% return a year (I’m pretty sure that’s non-compounding unlike the returns the Superannuation Fund makes, doesn’t make a huge difference).

So, what would we make if we borrowed $7.85 billion in the next four years at 6% and made the 13-11% returns that Treasury projects for the Superannuation Fund?

About $1 billion by my count.

So, not only National has effectively sounded the death knell of superannuation as we know it in the future, they’ve cost us money right now. $1 billion in just four years. The loss will be much, much more by 2020 when payments to the Superannuation Fund resume (yeah, right – not if National has a say).

Our net debt would be 0.5% of GDP lower in 2012 if we kept on making contributions to the Fund. Far from being unaffordable and risking our credit rating, the contributions would have seen our national books in better shape.

John Key and Bill English are both former bankers. They can do the maths. They know that borrowing to buy an asset with abetter long-run rate of return makes sense. The gamble, as always, is that none of the media can. Do you think the gamble has paid off?
-Marty G

114 comments on “No super contributions = worse net debt ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Those of you who argue that the Cullen fund contributions should have been maintained are missing some vital points:

    1. Risk v Return: Sure, there are opportunities for making money at the moment. However, focussing only on the return side of the equation is shear folly. The adage “the greater the return, the greater the risk’ is even more worth remembering in the economic times we face. Borrowing large sums of money to speculate with is simply stupid because the borrowed money has to be paid back. We don’t know how far the market can fall yet, so there is still truckloads that could be lost.

    2. Net present value v future value of money. To assess the likely worth of an investment it is important to consider the cost of the borrowed money at the time that the return is to be realised. Paying interest on borrowed money over the many years it takes to get a return may eliminate any gain that is eventually made, no matter how much it may seem. If you doubt me, get a financial calculator and work out the actual cost of $2billion per year compounding at three percent for the next 20 years.

    3. The assumption that the market will rebound quickly from its current lows may not be correct. The market may well remain flat at a low level for a number of years before it recovers.

    With these factors taken into account, I think the government is quite justified in suspending the fund until it can fund it out of surplusses. In my view the risks of funding it out of borrowing is too great. If you doubt me, consider if you would mortgage your house to invest on the sharemarket. If the answer is “no’ then you really have no complaint about the government doing the same thing.

  2. aj 2

    1/ The Super Fund does not just invest in stocks. I’d imagine investments in the next few years would be conservatively balanced. At worst the nett position after borrowing costs could be neutral.

    2/ The interest costs do not ‘compound’ in the sense you are trying put forward. Returns compound. Interest is a fixed cost.

    3/ See 1

  3. burt 3

    Marty G

    Over on this thread there is much discussion about how Treasury projections are crap. (see: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/the-debt-bogey-returns/ )

    Do you agree with the other people who have commented about the validity of Treasury projections? Do you think the Treasury projections are more accurate for the Cullen fund growth but not for debt? Or did these numbers just fit better with your own opinions?

  4. The Baron 4

    Is this the same blog where a whole pile of wannabe anachists keep crying “capitalism is dead”?

    And then you expect us to go out and make a killing in the sharemarket? Where are those anarchos now to pour cold water on this “everything goes up” investment plan?

    Pure madness. Christ, you lefties need some consistency.

    • Chris S 4.1

      Yeah, we should be more like the “team” that just flip-flopped on a bunch of their election promises?

      • The Baron 4.1.1

        You can’t have it both ways Chris – I thought tax cuts were economic madness?

        If you want us to assume that that is what Labour would have done with their future tax cuts had they won the election, then so be it. My, how irresponsible that would have been.

        So, what are the other attack lines that grassroots labour is seeding? might as well get them all out in the open now, team. or is it getting in the way of your pre-written letters to the editor?

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          The question is more about keeping your promises. Personally I thought that Cullens tax cuts were too much. A slow and gradual bracket move was all that was required.

          When this current pack of idiot politicimoaners started whining about taxcuts in 2004/5 I thought they were positively moronic. When I saw them massively over-promising last year, I knew that were lunatics who would keep braying at the unrealistic orb of increased productivity through taxcuts and deficit spending until reality hit them. Then they’d break their promises.

          Which is what they have done….

          • The Baron 4.1.1.1.1

            But again I ask, if Labour had have won the election, what would you have expected them to do with their promised tax cuts?

            There were only two options available here – either break your promises or push us deeper into the shit than we are already. You can’t sit back and criticise the nats when labour made THE SAME PROMISES.

    • lprent 4.2

      Also the same blog that has a pile of dipshit commentators who claim that everything is the fault of
      a. the unions
      b. excessive PC
      c. Not enough tax cuts

      The comments section is full of interesting people… Take yourself for instance…

    • Quoth the Raven 4.3

      The Baron – I don’t know that there is any other anarchist except me that comments here. From your comments it is clear you understand nothing of anarchism. There’s no point even trying to explain how ignorant your comment is.

      • The Baron 4.3.1

        My apologies for offending your wacko sense of ideals, QoR.

        I assure you that there is plenty of WANNABE anarchists here, who know even less than I do. How about you read the entire sentence before revelling in the exclusivity of your radicalism.

        • Quoth the Raven 4.3.1.1

          Then your comment required ‘wannabe’ to be inserted before anarchos or are we take it that it was simply implied? Must we analyse and delve deeply into the language of your little irruptions? Futher to the point I don’t see any wannabes either, despite your assurances.

          • Pascal's bookie 4.3.1.1.1

            Here’s a usedtabee, which is not meant as a criticism of the philosophy, if you’ll catch the distinction. Got a black flag? Wave it. We need the critique.

          • The Baron 4.3.1.1.2

            Er, it was inserted, QoR – go back and have a look after your eye check.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    The Baron: “Is this the same blog where a whole pile of wannabe anachists keep crying ?capitalism is dead??

    And then you expect us to go out and make a killing in the sharemarket? Where are those anarchos now to pour cold water on this ?everything goes up? investment plan?”

    Well said.

    aj: “1/ The Super Fund does not just invest in stocks. I?d imagine investments in the next few years would be conservatively balanced. At worst the nett position after borrowing costs could be neutral.

    2/ The interest costs do not ?compound? in the sense you are trying put forward. Returns compound. Interest is a fixed cost.

    3/ See 1”

    Aj, the point is, it is other peoples money that is being invested, not their own. Also, it is being put in the hands of fund managers. Might as well put it in the hands of monkeys. I think you will find that the historical success of fund managers has been fairly uninspiring. Afterall, why do these people need jobs as fund-managers if they are so good? If they were any good then they would be making their own money instead of trying to manage others poorly.

    Depends how you borrow as to whether the interest is compounding or not. If it is funded as interest only, then it definitely does compound.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    aj “1/ The Super Fund does not just invest in stocks. I?d imagine investments in the next few years would be conservatively balanced. At worst the nett position after borrowing costs could be neutral.

    2/ The interest costs do not ?compound? in the sense you are trying put forward. Returns compound. Interest is a fixed cost.

    3/ See 1”

    Aj, if it was put in the hands of someone like my friend who had made himself a multi-millionaire and retired by the age of 30, I might agree with you. However, it is put in the hands of fund-managers who have tended to be spectacularly unsuccessful. Think about it. If these people were so good, why are they employed as fund managers rather than making their own fortune like my friend has.

    Interest also can compound if it is borrowed as interest only. I don’t know how the government would have funded the borrowings for the super fund.

    • IrishBill 6.1

      The super fund managers have done a good job of beating the market so far (as have the ACC fund managers) so I’m not sure what you mean by “spectacularly unsuccessful”.

      • aj 6.1.1

        tsmithfield,
        I reccommend you go and study up on the Superfund. Many of your comments come from your imagination.

  7. Question: If the super fund can make 13% per year then so can other people, just by doing what the super fund does, so why would they lend to the government at 6%? Getting 13% is better than getting 6%.

    IrishBill: Because they aren’t investing on a timescale of decades and they don’t have the capital required to rife out the peaks and troughs that average 13% rate is derived from.

    • tsmithfield 7.1

      Paul you are quite correct. These are the questions that others here should be asking themselves.

    • The Baron 7.2

      The risk profile of the two investments is quite different though.

      13% is unlikely to be the average over that term, as the markets are still quite volatile; whereas the 6% is likely to be guaranteed. Some people would be happy to take a relatively riskless 6% over a very risky 13%. Why on earth Marty thinks that that sort of gamble is ok with public money is beyond me.

      • Paul Walker 7.2.1

        So at the very least the 13% and the 6% are not comparable as they have different risks attached to them. Thus Marty G should be comparing risk adjusted numbers.

        • The Baron 7.2.1.1

          Well don’t rely on that being done with any accuracy – cos accuracy ain’t Marty’s strong suit.

          Prent, it’s time to cut this retard loose before he drags the quality of this blog down even further.

    • Bill. There are many funds out there which invest long-term and have the funds to deal with peaks and troughs. As an example the California Public Employees’ Retirement System was worth around US$179.2 billion at the end of 2008. And anyway the gap between 13 and 6 is just too large for that to explain it.

  8. Thomas Beagle 8

    That’s awesome! I think we should borrow as much money as we can at 6% (with the right leverage we should be able to get quite a bit) and then invest it at 11-13%. We’ll make a killing.

    • Macro 8.1

      You can try it if you like – but be warned unless you have a sound investment strategy and don’t know what you are doing – it can all become horribly unstuck! You have to pay back your borrowings even if you loose them. And I wouldn’t trust the investment advisers down the road either.
      Fact is (for burt’s benefit – it reminds him of his granddad) the Super Funds investment team are right up there with their investment strategy and are performing reasonably well. Although I’d prefer to see that they stuck to ethical investments. Not companies involved in nuclear, or weapons production or employing slave labour in 3rd world countries. Do you reckon you can out perform them?

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Thomas Beagle “That’s awesome! I think we should borrow as much money as we can at 6% (with the right leverage we should be able to get quite a bit) and then invest it at 11-13%. We’ll make a killing.”

    Yeh, But what if your investment loses 13%? How much have you lost then borrowing at 6%?

  10. kinoy 10

    What is really pissing me off at the moment is the green party! Where the hell are the press releases asking the hard questions? Questiong what the government has done to create jobs in this budget? Are they not a party that support the unempolyed? They make me sick………. Some left party! Makes me sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. RedLogix 11

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that if National had NOT gone ahead with the $2.2b tax cuts on April 1 this year; then the Super Fund contributions could have been fully funded from existing govt income.

    Given that the vast majority of the Nats package went directly into the pockets of the top 10% of taxpayers, then all that has happened is that the multi-party poltical consensus and NZ’s Super system itself have been put at huge risk of complete failure… simply for the benefit of the wealthiest handful of New Zealanders.

    It was National who have relentlessly pursued the tax cut mantra since 2004, succeeded in setting a poltical agenda around them, and more or less compelled Labour’s hand as well. Yet from at least September last year it was obvious to anyone with half a clue that the Nats tax cut promises were nothing more than deluded baying at the moon. They were never going to happen, Key must have known they were never going to happen, yet he staked his PERSONAL GUARANTEE that they would.

    The man is either a total fool or lying filth.

    • cocamc 11.1

      RedLogix
      I understood the April tax cuts were funded from Kiwisaver changes. so if we didn’t have tax cuts we’d still have Kiwisaver obligations. In the end same result. Would have spent the money on tax cuts or spent on kiwisaver

    • Macro 11.2

      “man is either a total fool or lying filth.”
      I think he is the former – he just can’t go around making all these “warm fussies” if he was anything else! I don’t think he has any idea what he is saying. Take for instance his “target of 50% reduction in green house emissions by 2050” Does he really understand what this means? What sort of commitment this is? And we fiddle while the rest of the world – yes even USA and China get on with policy.This budget has nothing in it apart from the insulation initiative that even looks at the problem, and funding on CRI’s and science is reduced!

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Redlogix

    “Everyone seems to have forgotten that if National had NOT gone ahead with the $2.2b tax cuts on April 1 this year; then the Super Fund contributions could have been fully funded from existing govt income.”

    But it still would have been borrowed. The government is running a deficit much bigger than the contribution to the Cullen fund. At least with the tax cuts people can put the money into their own superannuation funds, pay off their houses, or do what ever they want to prepare for their retirement rather than leaving it to the government to pour it down the toilet for them.

  13. RedLogix 13

    But it still would have been borrowed. The government is running a deficit much bigger than the contribution to the Cullen fund.

    But still $2.2b less than now. We are now borrowing to pay for all sorts of things, but even you are presumably not suggesting that we slash them all in order to reduce the deficit to zero? English and S&P claim to be happy with the balance of debt and costs at present; with an extra $2.2b in the kitty, some decent level of Super Fund contributions could have been maintained with pretty much the same overall balance.

    But they threw that opportunity down the toilet with their slavish obsession with tax cuts, pushed through under urgency the instant they got into power. At a time when there was so much uncertainty in the world that an even mildly prudent man might well have taken pause.

    At least with the tax cuts people can put the money into their own superannuation funds, pay off their houses, or do what ever they want to prepare for their retirement

    That is just a plain old bit of wicked Tory nonsense. In that bad old days before pensions, large numbers of the elderly suffered terrible poverty once they became too old to work. Many simply died in their 60’s.

    The fact is that even with a prudent, safe investment plans and strategies, by no means everyone will succeed in making them work. Many will fail, often through no fault of their own. And hell, exactly WHERE do you think we should invest our money? The thieving snake pit that is our stock market? One word… Feltex. Finance companies? Or the much maligned property investment market?

    The fact is that once you have retired (or get close to it) you need certainty, because if the investment plan falls over for any reason, it’s too late to stage a recovery… you’re basically fracked. Only the govt is big and stable enough to provide that certainty. Every other investment vehicle in this country has a long and inglorious record of destroying huge amounts of capital. (Pouring it down the toilet if you like.)

    • Macro 13.1

      Exactly! Red and – we are still to see what the outcome of this reduced investment is to be! An increase in the age for retirement I’m predicting and not too far off. 67? 70? next year?

      • micro 13.1.1

        Who’s stopping you saving for your own retirement ?

        Do you want the government to come to your house and wipe your bottom after you’ve done number 2s tomorrow morning ?

        • RedLogix 13.1.1.1

          Well if you fall victim to senile dementia, as many do in old age, then likely you would hope someone would.

    • jerry 13.2

      “As a financial advisor with over twenty years of experience, I have seen markets go up and down many times and have assisted my clients in getting through them. We are prepared for a normal economic cycle where the economy overheats and then needs to cool off through a recession before picking back up again. We are primed to advise our clients through various charts and graphs how these cycles work and why they need to stay invested in equities in their 401k plans for a solid retirement. We are ready to console and counsel our clients through market downturns. We were not ready for this.

      Due to a perfect storm of financial incompetence created by Congress, banks, and Wall Street our clients are going through an economic downturn that is destroying their retirement. This is not a normal economic cycle. This is a credit market fiasco that was caused by appalling decisions made in governmental monetary policy, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Congressional oversight, loan creation with no accountability, and by Wall Street derivative designs that took delight in how complex and over-leveraged they could make their derivatives. They were all playing with taxpayers money, depositors money, and 401k plan money as if it were a board game with no real economic consequences. We are seeing the economic consequences now.

      Counseling 401k participants into staying in equities through normal market cycles is good retirement planning advice. Counseling them to stay in equities when the parties mentioned above have mismanaged the entire economic system is folly. Advising your clients to stay in equities through this downturn would be similar to advising your clients to stay in Enron stock after the mismanagement of that company. The best advice you could have given an Enron shareholder would have been to sell and go to cash, the earlier the better. The same advice would have been best here as well.

      The market is down 52% and may still drop more. How much do we have to pay for mistakes that we never made? Investors did not cause this. They put their faith in the system that was supposed to invest their money prudently. The system has failed them. Bankers have failed them. Congress has failed them. Wall Street has failed them. Nonetheless, they are paying the price as they watch their 401k plans dwindle before their eyes. Hard-earned money that took years to accumulate is gone to pay for these mistakes. Their only mistake was trusting the system.

      During the great depression, stocks lost 90% of their value and unemployment went up to 25%. As most financial historians know, governmental policy and speculation also exacerbated that economic downturn and created tremendous hardships on ordinary Americans. I do not believe we will experience that kind of economic depression but we have already paid a terrible price which can still become worse.

      Wall Street’s propaganda that if we trust them with our money they will invest it wisely turns out to be just that. We do have one of the best economic systems in the world but, in this case, our trust has been abused. We have also done a tremendous disservice to our 401k participants in advising them to ride this market all the way down. We should have recognized that this was not a normal economic recession but a mismanagement of the financial system by those who believe they are so much smarter than the rest of us. They broke the system and we should not have let our clients pay the price.

      Congress, the banks, and Wall Street need to earn our trust again. My clients are in almost all cash now and we will not change that position until we know that any investments we make will not go to imprudent lending or unregulated derivatives. Stocks can still be excellent long-term investments but they need a competent and stable financial system that supports them. Wall Street needs to understand that the trillions of dollars 401k participants give them to invest is not money to play with but the economic future of each hard-working American. That money needs to be given the respect it deserves by investing prudently, not speculatively.”

      • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1

        We do have one of the best economic systems in the world but,

        Yeah, I think you need to do a little bit more research. Try reading E.F. Schumacher’s book Small Is Beautiful. Here’s a small quote:

        I started by saying that one of the most fateful errors of our age is the belief that the problem of production has been solved. This illusion, I
        suggested, is mainly due to our inability to recognise that the modern
        industrial system, with all its intellectual sophistication, consumes the very
        basis on which it has been erected. To use the language of the economist, it
        lives on irreplaceable capital which it cheerfully treats as income.

        Our economic system is, quite literally, consuming itself.

  14. burt 14

    The whole issue of tax cuts Labour/National is absurd. They were and are required. They were affordable for 9 years and we didn’t get them, they are not affordable and we got them. And people still play the tribal game and vote red or vote blue. Astounding.

    Tax is mechanism to raise govt revenue at an agreed level. It is not a way to fill the coffers for an election spend up, it’s not a popularity lever come election time.

    If you worked for a company that had record profits for 9 years and never gave you a pay rise till you said you might resign you would feel they had exploited you. Why would some see it differently for tax take?

    • Macro 14.1

      No they weren’t!! required or affordable! There were far too many in this country shafted in the 90’s and they are about to be shafted again.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      Labour reduced the company tax rate to 30%.

      Labour introduced Working for Families, which is essentially a tax cut for a particular sector of the workforce.

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        Yes, the truly ironic thing is that biggest effective tax cut most righties will ever see in decades, will probably have came from a Labour govt.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Redlogix “But they threw that opportunity down the toilet with their slavish obsession with tax cuts, pushed through under urgency the instant they got into power.”

    I seem to remember National being pilloried here because their tax cuts were largely what Labour had planned to do anyway. You can’t have it both ways.

  16. RedLogix 16

    Burt,

    Demanding tax cuts without at the same time being explicit about what govt spending cuts you are willing to implement at the same time, is intellectually weak and dishonest.

    Dr Cullen repeatedly stated that the surplus’s of the 2002-2008 period were NOT structural. In other words he believed that when the boom turned to bust, that they would vanish like the morning dew. And so they did. He was absolutely correct… was he not?

    As any prudent business should do, he used the boom time profits to reduce debt, build capacity and set aside reserves for the inevitable rainy day.

    That is not exploitation. It is simply an age old lesson, known since the time of Joseph when he served the Pharoahs.

    • burt 16.1

      In other words he believed that when the boom turned to bust, that they would vanish like the morning dew. And so they did. He was absolutely correct was he not?

      I don’t think you should be defending his gloating that he had left the cupboard bare for National. Yes Cullen & Clark were great extractors and spenders of the nations wealth. The govt became rich and went back to poor while we slipped quietly down the OECD ladder. What about this makes Cullen a capable finance minister?

      And when you talk about economic bust you seem to be ignoring the fact NZ was in a domestic recession well before the sub prime crisis and ensuing global shite. Our productivity was stalling as was our growth. Surpluses were already predicted to be shrinking when Cullen waltzed all over his 4 way test in an attempt to match the opposition. I don’t call that a strong finance minister – do you?

    • burt 16.2

      Demanding tax cuts without at the same time being explicit about what govt spending cuts you are willing to implement at the same time, is intellectually weak and dishonest.

      Are you saying it is not possible for the govt to set a budget and operate largely within it?

  17. RedLogix 17

    I seem to remember National being pilloried here because their tax cuts were largely what Labour had planned to do anyway. You can’t have it both ways.

    Oh yes I can. It was National who relentlessly beat the tax cut drum for more than 5 years, constantly repeating the ‘overtaxation’ attack line, creating a massive political expectation. This more or less forced Labour’s hand… but Dr Cullen repeatedly stated that he was very uncomfortable about whether they were possible or even desirable.

    Turns out the much pilloried Dr Cullen was right .. was he not?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1

      Not only that the didn’t touch WWF and student loans. This budget could easily be written by Cullen.

      • burt 17.1.1

        I agree, I bet if you scratched at the blue covers just a little the red would start to show through pretty quickly.

  18. tsmithfield 18

    Redlogix “Turns out the much pilloried Dr Cullen was right .. was he not?”

    Nah. The real problem is that things haven’t gone far enough in that direction. Tax cuts to date have been little more than tokenism.

    • burt 18.1

      tsmithfield

      Absolutely correct. Question 1. Did Labour restore the top tax threshold to it’s 1999 policy level of the top 5% of all earners – NO. Have National – Almost/perhaps.

      Plain and simple – tax cuts to date have been tokens. The govt still takes more from our pocket while borrowing like crazy from overseas than it did in 1999. And people still play tribal games and vote red or blue. Outrageous.

  19. RedLogix 19

    OK Mr Smithfield. Be honest. Stop hiding behind vague rhetoric.

    Tell us exactly what taxation levels you want.

    And exactly what the govt would cut in response.

    You cannot have one without the other. So cut the waffle, get honest for once.

  20. Josh 20

    The problem with your analysis is that you assume the money invested in the Cullen Fund will be available to draw down over the immediate term as it returns 11-13% per year. By law it cannot, the capital of the Fund cannot be touched until 2027 (2030 after today i think). So you are borrowing today to invest in a fund which has a future maturity. Now, there is nothing wrong with that in principle, but the problem we face is that we have massive and sustained cash deficits, deficits which cannot be solved over the medium term (10 years) through the investments in the super fund. The decision is then simple, we have to borrow, the only question is how much can we afford to take on without a) a credit downgrade or b) a massive increase in sovereign debt such as we faced in the 1980s

    • RedLogix 20.1

      Simple. Recind the $2.2b tax cuts put in place in April 1 this year. That way we could maintain existing levels of Super Fund contributions, and no need for increased public sector debt.

      • Josh 20.1.1

        Correct me if i am wrong, but that was $2.2bn over 4 years? The contributions are $2bn each year, where is the other $18bn going to come from?

  21. RedLogix 21

    Burt,

    I don’t think you should be defending his gloating that he had left the cupboard bare for National.

    So in this sentence you tell us that Cullen impoverished the govt.

    The govt became rich and went back to poor while we slipped quietly down the OECD ladder.

    And in this sentence you tell us that he enriched it.

    And when you talk about economic bust you seem to be ignoring the fact NZ was in a domestic recession well before the sub prime crisis and ensuing global shite.

    A normal sort of business cycle recession that in the normal course of events we would have pulled out of, as we have done many times before. But that is not what we are being told is the reason why Mr Key’s personally guaranteed tax cut promises have been broken is it?

    • r0b 21.1

      Mr Key’s personally guaranteed tax cut

      Nice one!

      Yes, this is going to define Key as a politician – he said: “Under National, personal tax cuts are a priority. New Zealanders will be able to believe in our tax cuts, they will be able to trust our tax cuts”…

      He wasn’t wrong to cancel the tax cuts today, he was wrong to promise them in the first place…

      • burt 21.1.1

        rOb

        It’s up there all right rOb, right up there with only the top 5% of earners.

        Key has joined Clark already on a key election promise. I call them both shite but I know you only have bad thoughts about one of them. Shall we agree to differ on that tonight?

        • r0b 21.1.1.1

          It’s up there all right rOb, right up there with only the top 5% of earners.

          Both turned out to be silly promises Burt, but in no sense are they of comparable significance. Nationals miraculous tax cuts personally guaranteed by Key defined their last two election campaigns.

          Take a look around on the various media comments sections – people are pretty pissed…

          • burt 21.1.1.1.1

            Oh FFS rOb, yes yes yes it’s National we are talkign about – bad bad party people angry yes yes. Labour good, little broken promise people go tisk tisk and move on – yes rOb I get it – I do really get this now.

          • burt 21.1.1.1.2

            rOb

            You were proven wrong here:
            http://www.thestandard.org.nz/national-has-blown-it/#comment-129599

            English had a choice though, and he blew it. Even now he could reverse / rearranges the tax cuts in the budget. But National lack the will to do what is required. Instead they will sit and watch it all fall apart.

            What you said should happen did happen, why are you so upset about it ?

        • r0b 21.1.1.2

          What are you on about Burt. The Nats cancelled new cuts yes, they did not reverse the existing (April 1) ones, which is what I was suggesting.

    • burt 21.2

      RedLogic

      Yes I take two different position on Cullen and the economy. The clue for the readers is when I say; “The govt became rich and went back to poor while we slipped quietly down the OECD ladder. “

      Tricky stuff timelines.

      • RedLogix 21.2.1

        Oh so now you are implying to us that the reason we ‘went back to being poor” was the global financial crisis Dr Cullen engineered? Or exactly what are you saying?

        Just to compound things, Mr English today explicitly acknowledges that Dr Cullen was right in maintaining high surplus’s and reducing debt.

        Tricky stuff these timelines.

        • burt 21.2.1.1

          OK, lets put this to the test. Labour said they would put us back in the top half of the OECD and we went backward. Once we generally agree that the global economic crisis is past the bottom lets see if after all OECD countries have been ranked after hitting the ‘bottom’ we are in the top half, better than we were in 2008 or worse than 2008, better or worse off then before we went backward under Cullen.

          That will be the proof of the pudding for Cullen. Do you agree this is a fair test ?

          • r0b 21.2.1.1.1

            Don’t mean to intrude, but just to get the facts here Burt, could you point to the data on OECD rankings and how we went backward? The actual data please, not some blog rant.

          • burt 21.2.1.1.2

            F off rOB, you are being a c##t again. You look up the data and post your findings if you want to prove me and the less cantankerous and belligerent members of the blogsphere wrong.

            Do you think that it is a fair test to judge the Labour govt on ?

          • r0b 21.2.1.1.3

            See thing is Burt, when you make a claim the onus is on you to back it up. Data please, I’d be interested to see it. (Discussions of “tests’ make no sense until we know what we’re talking about).

          • burt 21.2.1.1.4

            A sepcial rOb verison.

            OK, lets put this to the test. Labour said they would put us back in the top half of the OECD. and we went backward. Once we generally agree that the global economic crisis is past the bottom lets see if after all OECD countries have been ranked (after hitting the ‘bottom’) we are in the top half, better than we were in 2008 or worse than 2008, better or worse off then before we went backward under Cullen took the levers of power.

            That will be the proof of the pudding for Cullen. Do you agree this is a fair test ?

            edit: Your point is inconsequential to the question – can you answer the question with that point removed ?

          • r0b 21.2.1.1.5

            Do you agree this is a fair test ?

            No, its nonsense.

            What happens to the NZ economy over the course of this crisis will be determined by 2 factors, (1) how strong the economy was going in (Labour) and (2) how the government of the day (National, but perhaps Labour again by the end) performs during the crisis.

            There’s no sensible way to separate out the contributions of Labour and National. But note re 1 that the economy is well placed going in to the crisis, thanks to the prudent management of Dr Cullen.

          • burt 21.2.1.1.6

            Bet you are even to scared to back him not having gone backward since he took office on 2008 statistics. You are incredible, defend him to the death but you won’t back him when the rubber hits the road on hard data will you.

            OECD stats to follow tomorrow night.

          • burt 21.2.1.1.7

            rOb

            Here we go for a starter. OECD ladder too steep for NZ to climb ( Trinh Le, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research | Friday October 24 2008)

            New Zealand’s ranking indeed fell from 20th highest income per capita in the OECD in 1999 to 21st by 2004 and 22nd by 2006.

            That growth promise, which seemed to have been discarded in the light of New Zealand’s performance, was this week revived in the Labour Party’s election campaign….

            Future growth prospects are not very positive, given labour productivity growth has been heading south since 2000…..

            So what do you reckon, we will be above 20 in the 2008 statistics?

  22. jarbury 22

    A good one to throw back at National each time they claim Labour screwed up the economy.

    http://blogs.nzherald.co.nz/blog/audrey-young/2008/12/18/things-must-be-bad/?c_id=1501219

    Bill English (on December 18th last year):

    Having condemned his predecessor for many years for paying off debt too quickly, English said: “I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.’

    “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,’ he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts.

    • Pascal's bookie 22.1

      Exactly, what our friends from the starboard seem to miss is that this recession was foreseeable. Many foresaw it. Some countries acted in advance to prepare, others just tried to keep the bubble inflating harder. Those countries blew their wad, for the benefit of delaying the onset.

  23. aj 23

    English all but admitted in his budget speech that Cullen was right. He said that the government started from a strong position to deal with the economic storm.

    Remind me – who was it that put the government in such a good postion.

  24. burt 24

    aj

    The National govt that handed them a growing economy, low interest rates and less progressive taxation. After nine years of golden economic weather, an international dairy price boom the reckless spending and welfareism of the socialist had it in recession ready and waiting for the global crisis. Yes debt was paid back but really any monkey can pay off the credit card while overcharging their customers. Where was the vision for growth, the investment in infrastructure?

  25. aj 25

    burt if you opened your eyes and took of your blinkers you’d see the heavy investment in infrastructure and education eg apprenticeships that national ignored during the 1990’s. A growing economy? after stagnation even a 0.1 growth is growing. And welfareism? yeah, right WWF Student Loans Kiwisaver – all flagship programs not being touched by National.

  26. RedLogix 26

    Where was the vision for growth,

    The $700m Fast Forward R&D Fund? Shitcanned.

    the investment in infrastructure?

    The $1b Labour/Green home insulation fund (not the crappy $300m we got from the Nats).

    Labours significant swing of funding into public transport reducing our oil dependency … not the endless unimaginative fracking motorways we got from the Nats.

    A broadband policy that actually made sense… not some pointless damm fibre-pipedream that would only be good for delivering faster porn.

    An ETS scheme that would have boosted our trade credentials. Shitcanned

    A commitment to sustainable bio-fuels. Shitcanned.

    And so on. It’s late at night Burt, so maybe I’m too tired to remember it all, but hell I struggle to think of even ONE constructive thing this pack of clowns calling itself a govt has actually done in the last seven months.

    • Luxated 26.1

      “A broadband policy that actually made sense not some pointless damm fibre-pipedream that would only be good for delivering faster porn.”

      Probably wont (wouldn’t? Has it survived the budget?) have even do that, NZ lacks the international backhaul to actually be able to get the data here in the first place so all it would have done is enable people to look at locally hosted pages really quickly.

      I seem to remember Labour offering part funding for any new Tasman cable which would have helped somewhat, Australia is also short on capacity so the benefits would be dubious at least until new Australian cables went into Guam. Anyone know if this offer survived the change in government or are we still at the mercy of Telecom/Singtel Optus being generous enough to upgrade Southern Cross every once in a while?

  27. gingercrush 27

    Sheesh R0b it doesn’t matter how prudent Cullen was. That is over and done with. The Treasury forecasts and indeed any sane person must agree that debt is climbing and we are facing a number of years where rather than surpluses we are getting deficits. Is that not true? Therefore we’re no longer well placed to face this recession. Because the forecasts are clear we’re in trouble.

    National has chosen to get debt under control. The far-right would like to see debt dramatically controlled and deliver huge cuts to government services including whole departments. Labour and the left one imagines want a sizable fiscal stimulus whilst seemingly cutting nothing, meaning debt would rise dramatically and we would have seen a downgrade by S&P, interest rates would likely rise also. Though its hard to even quantify what Labour and other elements of the left would do since they just criticise and don’t offer any proposal whatsoever. The Greens of course did produce a possible Green Measures stimulus.

    You can not keep harping on about how Cullen left us in a fine economic position when world forces have made that position irrelevant. Labour inherited a sizable surplus from National. They also inherited forecasts of rather strong economic growth in the future years. When Labour came into power. The dollar was very low. This enabled businesses to prosper thanks to that low dollar and strong commodity prices. This saw an increase in tourist numbers and sizable immigration into the country. This saw significant consumer spending on goods and services leading to the unemployment rate dropping significantly. Meanwhile a housing bubble was created that saw record growth of house prices. This made us feel good about the country. But it was spending that in the end proved unsustainable leading to a self-created recession that would have been short-term had it not been for this world recession.

    What Labour failed to do was diversify the economy. They failed to transform this economy instead relying on substantial consumer spending for the economy to grow. That isn’t a sustainable economy. They spent excessive money that works when the economy is running well but when economic conditions worsen it means there are implications. They also expected the economy to keep getting surpluses thus why we got the Suerannuation Fund. This fund assumed this country would continue to enjoy surpluses. It implicitly said that if the government of the day was in a situation where there were to be no surpluses that the fund could be suspended. That Labour and the left choose to ignore the specifics of that legislation proves their ignorant.

    National in turn doesn’t get to enjoy inherited surpluses. True they inherited a better credit rating than what Labour inherited and true they inherited good government debt. But that changed so swiftly that by the time National actually got into office. Government debt levels were forecast to soar, unemployment numbers were set to rise and the government was facing years of deficits. That means they have to sort out how we get back into surpluses and how we reduce government debt. Something the current opposition has absolutely no answers for.

    Don’t you see the inherent difficulties this government faces. It doesn’t enjoy surpluses when it gets into office. It doesn’t get projections for economic growth in the short term. It gets forecasts that are all in the wrong direction. Before it even starts to transform and diversify the economy it has to worry about the worse economic conditions for years.

    So you are correct when you say this government will be tested on how the economy performs in the future. But you must also provide allowances for the difference Labour faced from 1999-2008 and what National is facing now.

    • r0b 27.1

      Sheesh R0b it doesn’t matter how prudent Cullen was. That is over and done with.

      It certainly does matter. It sets the parameters that the current government has to work with. And as this blog amply illustrates, the legacies that governments leave are important and are debated for decades afterwards.

      National has chosen to get debt under control.

      No it hasn’t, National has budgeted for a decade of deficits. It has chosen to hope that over a period of many years magical economic growth will make the problem just go away. It has no plausible plans for growth or stimulus, and it (fortunately) lacked the will to go the other route and slash everything. This was very much a punt and hope budget.

      What Labour failed to do was diversify the economy. They failed to transform this economy

      The economy is diversifying all the time, though too slowly. No they didn’t “transform” it, whatever that means. But they paid off debt, and helped lower income earners, and invested in long term future planning.

      But that changed so swiftly that by the time National actually got into office. … Don’t you see the inherent difficulties this government faces.

      I think I understand the difficulties as well as most non economists. And yes in a way I feel sorry for National, they have come to power at a historically difficult time. But I feel much sorrier for the country, as it’s clear that National hasn’t a clue what to do, except punt and hope for the best.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 27.2

      GC “What Labour failed to do was diversify the economy”

      Isn’t that what biofuels, emission trading, the green branding, Fast Forward rural research funding, , R and D, sustainable farming fund, sustainable communities fund, recycling were all attempting to do.

      All trashed.

      I know Labour wasn’t perfect, they allowed way too much private borrowing for housing, but tell how National are attempting to diversify the economy?

      Air NZ don’t seem to think they are doing anything for tourism.

      Its OK to play it safe, but you still need to have a plan and vision.

  28. Bevanjs 28

    Cullen was only ever going to make contributions from surpluses anyway. Sounds sensible. Don’t gamble what you don’t have.

    “The government will make contributions to the Fund from available surpluses. Where these are insufficient for making the required contribution a reduced contribution would be made. If this were the case, the government would need to specify how it would make up for the reduced contribution in future.’

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/questions+and+answers+proposed+nz+superannuation+fund

    • lprent 28.1

      Of course they’d be a *lot* closer to a surplus if both lots hadn’t put in tax cuts. Then there might even be contributions towards national super within the next few years under the Cullen criteria.

      I say – rollback the tax cuts and pay the top up on national super. Because otherwise that superannuation burden is going to be hell in a decade or so. You’re either going to have massive tax increases or old people starving.

      • aj 28.1.1

        I’d agree here. The tax cuts mostly go to people who have high incomes anyway – the top 10%?
        Half of the savings into the Super Fund and the other half to reduce debt.

        This would have been too difficult for a National Party to do though. We know they never have the best interests of the majority at heart.

  29. burt 29

    Bevanjs

    Please don’t confuse what Cullen said he would do with what National have done. Sure on the surface it may appear that National have kept with Dr. Cullen’s intentions and plan for the super fund BUT there is one big difference.

    National did it. It’s bad – Reptilian brain stem reflexes in lowly evolved (tribal) thinkers respond according to the colour of the party logo that made the decision rather than the substance of the decision. This is something that more highly evolved thinkers need to be sensitive to.

    • r0b 29.1

      This is something that more highly evolved thinkers need to be sensitive to.

      Well if you ever meet one Burt, be sure and warn her.

  30. tsmithfield 30

    RedLogix

    “OK Mr Smithfield. Be honest. Stop hiding behind vague rhetoric.

    Tell us exactly what taxation levels you want.

    And exactly what the govt would cut in response.

    You cannot have one without the other. So cut the waffle, get honest for once.”

    I don’t see things that way. I believe we need to go back to first principles with Government and decide what Government does or does not get involved with and how government should function. For me, this would mean a lot less taxes and a lot more individual responsibility.

    However, I am also a pragmatist and realise this is not likely to happen any time soon, so prefer strategies that reduce the amount of government in our lives.

  31. jarbury 31

    Sheesh R0b it doesn’t matter how prudent Cullen was. That is over and done with. The Treasury forecasts and indeed any sane person must agree that debt is climbing and we are facing a number of years where rather than surpluses we are getting deficits. Is that not true? Therefore we’re no longer well placed to face this recession. Because the forecasts are clear we’re in trouble

    Thanks GC for finally admitting that Cullen handled the economy pretty damn well.

    Setting aside the superannuation debacle, I think the strangest thing we have in this budget is how it seriously goes against what pretty much every other developed-world economy is doing to get itself out of the recession.

    Are we right and the rest of the world wrong, or vice versa? Personally I’m going to go with the majority.

    • burt 31.1

      The test for Dr. Cullen will be comparing out standing in the OECD ratings for 2008 compared to our standing in 1999. If he was a prudent manager of our economy we will have climbed, if not we will have fallen. These stats will be out in about a year or so – it will be interesting.

      If we have gone up I’ll join you in heaping praise onto Cullen, if we have gone down will you stop claiming he was a good finance minister?

    • infused 31.2

      The spend, spend, spend which most other countries are doing isn’t working. It’s very clear. It may stabilize things short term – that’s about it. You also have to realise that New Zealand is not facing a lot of the problems these other countries are facing.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 31.2.1

        Define not working. Japan has just had a record increase in industrial production, US consumer spending is increasing, Australia’s unemployment rate dropped last month. Don’t any of this happening in NZ

        • gingercrush 31.2.1.1

          You’re taking isolated incidents. That doesn’t tell us much. New Zealand’s building consents rose in April compared to March. By the assumptions you seem to be making. You would have to say that is good news.

          Of course none of that is good news. For the US, consumer spending may have increased slightly but they still record a sharp contraction in their economy. For Japan, they experienced further job losses and are seeing real signs of prices deflating. Australia’s unemployment numbers are still set to go down.

          You simply can’t take isolated incidents to somehow show that an economy is improving or that stimulus is working. Such thinking is absurd. Until you get many things moving in the right direction. For instance, consumer spending up, less contraction in an economy, unemployment slowing, business confidence up etc etc etc. Then you could say that an economy is improving.

        • gnomer 31.2.1.2

          Have you just had a workout with the triple breasted whore of Eroticon six or are your comments always so breathless ?

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 31.2.1.2.1

            I’m not saying that we are on the verge of economic nirvana. But making all embracing generalised statements about whats working and whats not, unless you have good evidence to back it up is ideological.
            I suspect we won’t know how successful these measures are for a long time and even then we will be arguing about it on blogs like this one.

  32. jarbury 32

    That seems a pretty blunt instrument for measuring his success burt. Over the course of the last Labour government we did out-perform Australia in terms of economic growth, and we also started to close the wage-gap on them.

    Just remembering that in 1984 our GDP per capita and wage levels were higher than those in Australia. It was the next 15 years of neo-liberal thinking that destroyed that.

  33. burt 33

    jarbury

    So what are you saying? Cullen’s management might have been good and made an improvement? 9 years was not long enough to make a difference? You don’t have the balls to stand up and be rated by one of the least subjective measurements we can use?

    Please clarify why you don’t want to use hard data to back your assertion that Cullen was a prudent finance minsiter and that he prepared our country better than most for the down turn?

    • r0b 33.1

      you don’t want to use hard data to back your assertion that Cullen was a prudent finance minsiter and that he prepared our country better than most for the down turn

      These people all used hard data Burt, and they all said that the NZ economy was well placed going in to the economic storm:
      Treasury,
      the IMF,
      the National Party.

      Now we can add rating agency Moody’s:

      While the budget indicated continuing pressure on public finances for several years to come, because the country’s finances were starting from a relatively strong position, the Aaa rating was not immediately affected by the projected debt path, Moody’s said.

      So Labour left us well placed going in. It remains to be seen how National will do as the storm progresses. Given their “do nothing” approach so far I’m not hopeful, and that’s a disaster for NZ…

  34. r0b 34

    That seems a pretty blunt instrument for measuring his success burt.

    A single ranking is a very blunt instrument indeed. But the OECD does lots of rankings. LOTS of them. For every one that Burt will find and trumpet as having fallen (income per capita), there will be another one that has gone up (percent employed). There are also many other ranking agencies other than the OECD, but trust Burt to find ones that will suit his “reptilian brain stem” “Labour bad” “NZ Sux” campaign!

    • Pascal's bookie 34.1

      Nah It’s ‘unions bad’ for burty boy. The labour thing just follows. They ruined his holidays back in the seventies and now he cannae think of anything leftish without a red mist covering his eyes as he pictures that wee lad tearful on the dock in picton with snot dribbling outa his nose, and icecream melting down his T-shirt and onto his stubbies.

      Now he spends his days in ever increasingly daft attempts to prove once and for all that no one to the left of him really cares about anything, that they are none of them on his pure plain of intellectually honest impotence. That none can compare to his own uber strict adherence to the cold inflexible demands of truth (TM).

      Every issue is simply a prop, raw material to be fed into the pseudohypocrisy identifying ad hom generation device that he imagines counts for a tinkers damn.

      Burt: Clue: at the end of the day, it matters not 1 fucking stale bean that you are any more or less honest pure principled or consistent than other commenters on the blogs. So why do you keep trying to demonstrate this?

      I feel sad for him. He needs to move on, it’s boring.

    • ak 34.2

      Go easy on him r0b. “OECD rankings” is one of the last threads the righties have to grasp.

      burt’s retrospectively validating mob have lost “tax cuts”, and “nanny state” (as they now tuck us up in our own homes and build us bike tracks), and their slick 50-million-dollar “business wizard” is now but a grinning shell of his former vainglory – ironically at the mercy of the faceless and discredited S&P “bureaucrats”.
      Take away “OECD” and pretty soon “rich pricks” and “haters and wreckers” will be all burt has to hang his hat on.

      The cocky rolling maulers are now possums in the headlights: hoist and exposed by their own media fabrications and “north of $50/wk” vote-bribe – now chewing gum for the rich and the reaper hovering over the rest of us.

      It’s the fudge-it budget. Billy Bleak fingering his rosary beads and hunkering down with a whimper: hoping against hope as the train roars on round the world, sucking us off the platform at any minute.

      No wonder burt and co are getting all philosophical on us. Their own ideological ammo is spectacularly blowing up in their faces and there’s not a thing they can do about it. Not even any bread, and the supercity circus is threatening to eat its keeper.

  35. jarbury 35

    Burt, the main thing I am saying is that we should look at absolute gains rather than relative gains.

    If everyone in NZ is significantly better off than they were 10 years ago, why should it matter that people in other countries are more significantly better off? Why is the competitive battle to do better than other countries so important? Why can’t we all be winners?

    • burt 35.1

      Jarbury

      If we are looking at individual gains rather than relative gains then why are we saying that Cullen left the country in a better position than most to face the economic downturn? Better position than most is a relative comparison (all be it subjective at this time). The acid test (objective) is our standing in the OECD.

      Sure you can say Cullen left you better off than you think any other govt would have but that is completely your own opinion. Personally I have profited from the Labour govt as well however my best interests and the countries best interests are not one in the same. Looking at my personal wealth relative to 1999 my subjective rating of Labour is quite high but I acknowledge that for an objective rating a less “how I feel about it & how it effected me’ rating is required. This is why I’m suggesting the OECD ratings are valid for this purpose.

      Are you only interested in saying you think Cullen was great or would you rather say he was great?

      • jarbury 35.1.1

        Burt I’m just quite interested in exploring the conversation actually, and coming to some sort of conclusions.

        1) From a public debt perspective Cullen seems to have left NZ in a pretty good place. Nil net debt and historically low gross debt.

        2) From a private debt perspective the last government probably should have done more. I’m not sure what exactly, perhaps a capital gains tax, perhaps built a crap load more state houses to off-set the shortage of housing in Auckland that led to skyrocketing house prices?

        3) From a spending perspective, perhaps Labour did get carried away in the last couple of years. The only policy that seems to be responsible for that though would be Kiwisaver. Perhaps it was a bit generous, but there were good reasons for that, with lowering that horrific private debt being the big one.

        4) Regarding absolute vs relative rankings, I’m saying that from an absolute perspective Cullen left NZ with a reasonably low amount of public debt going into the recession. Just as from an absolute perspective the Labour government improved the lot of New Zealanders quite significantly.

  36. infused 36

    Investors can cry all they want about losing money. The signs were there. Tell me how, NZ’s only owned investing company never invested in any of this crap that’s sinking the world and making a healthy profit at the moment?

    At the end of the day, people were greedy.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    4 hours ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 hours ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 hours ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    8 hours ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    8 hours ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    8 hours ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    9 hours ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    10 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    20 hours ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    23 hours ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 day ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    2 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    4 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – CO2 is the main driver of climate change
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-06-14T03:19:15+00:00