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Open mike 01/07/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 1st, 2019 - 87 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

87 comments on “Open mike 01/07/2019 ”

  1. KJT 1

    Sneaky cut to super, for a retiree whose spouse is too old to get a job, but too young to retire.

    https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/factsheets/budget/factsheet-super-and-vp-modernisation-2019.pdf

    Hardly an addition to "wellbeing". 

    Couples are taxed on individual income, which makes for an large variation on how households are taxed on the same income, disadvantaging women, usually, who have to stay at home for disabled children or other relatives. One of the few things they could access was the non qualifying spouse share in super, if their older partner retired.

    And. They are using this to fund an effective increase for those who already get overseas pensions/super.

    Again an inconsistent approach.

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.1

      Slight correction KJT… spouse is too old to get a job, but too young to retire, or non qualifying spouse is providing full time high level care to qualifying spouse.

      This is the situation with my man and myself. There is this… People who are currently included as a non-qualified partner will continue to receive this rate unless their circumstances change ….which might 'protect' me from having to get a (paid) job.

      However, when we first discovered that little concealed nugget from the Wellbeing Budget we decided that a) I will refuse the 'non qualifying partner existing arrangement exemption' because, shit, we are only too aware of how absolutely fucking awful it is to see that person enjoying government largesse when yourself does not because of a date on the calendar, and b) ffs, they promised that they would pay a wage to those of us who provide fulltime care to a disabled family member with very high support needs..they did, they did!

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12132665

      • SPC 1.1.1

        Your case is going to be interesting.

        They will be paying the Job Seeker Benefit (as means tested) to non working younger spouses, but some will have a carer role that is not paid, and yet which might be. If that happens will that payment also be available to those younger spouses currently (or as at July 2021) eligible to claim partner super?

        • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.1

          Who knows. What I do know is that they will say…"Oh, you're fine, we are going to allow existing NQP arrangements to continue."

          We have already decided we will not countenance yet another 'Pay this person but not that because… date/cause of disability/preparedness to circumvent the system for monetary gain etc.' There's been way too much of that already.

          Despite loud protestations from some of this Current Mob over the way National responded to paying family carers of non ACC disabled with high/very high care needs back in 2013 and promises made in Manifestos in 2017 and further assurances last year, I have heard absolutely nothing that persuades me that this lot are not just another government who will basically tell non ACC disabled to go away and die. As quick as, if you please.

          Betcha the Greens back down on their grievous and irremediable medical condition who is in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability stand before the final reading of the EOLC Bill.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/112375359/greens-will-support-euthanasia-bill-through-second-reading

          • SPC 1.1.1.1.1

            I'll take the bet, Seymour has said that will be taken out and Greens have restated their position in the second reading debate.

            And I would not be pessimistic about the move to individual entitlement for super. It should strengthen the case of non qualifying spouses in the role of carer receiving a wage – given they are not eligible for the benefit as they are not available for work. And the saving made by not paying super to the younger spouse (if either of them are working) will make funds available in this instance.

            That, and the principle of individual entitlement, should strengthen the case of younger couples where a partner cares for the other – particularly when this is a long term scenario rather than the more temporary couple on benefit.

            Sadly I would not be confident about your own situation – maybe argue for natural justice (equal pay for equal work until reaching retirement age) and maybe a grant on "retirement" to those who have done this for years, much if not all of it unpaid.

        • KJT 1.1.1.2

          Basically, because my spouse was a carer to my high needs son, he had to be home schooled and no one else would care for him, for many years, there are no jobs for her.

          My son has actually got to a stage, all credit to her, that he doesn't need the care, so she will not get the carer payments, but with so long out of the job market, she is pretty much stuffed as far as getting a job.

          Of course she has the minimum in KiwiSaver, which I have contributed from my wage.

          Even worse if I kick the bucket and she has to live on the miserly unemployment benefit.

          This is one of the many things that convince me Labour hadn't abandoned Neo-liberalism.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.2.1

            ….Labour hadn't abandoned Neo-liberalism.

            Disability care/equipment/home modifications was one of the first of the taxpayer funded services that was contracted out to 'Providers'. Some for- profit and some masquerading as 'charities'. All constantly whining to their paymasters that there isn't enough funding and all can simply refuse to provide care if the person's needs are too high for them to provide on the cheap.

            Waste enough time searching and you'll find the same names popping up over and over again. This year they're working for a provider and next year for a NASC. Nekminnit the same name appears in the Misery of Health Disability Support Services newsletter having recently been appointed as Policy Analyst in the Making Disabled People's Life Even More Shit department. A few years of that then they're mentioned in dispatches for some Provider lobby group.

            A revolving door…a wonder they don't meet themselves coming back.

            This Current Mob simply don't have what it takes to undo this structure…its entrenched and none of the MPs have much experience.

            Unless its old Thin Blue Line Greg O'Connor…who enjoyed a bit of kudos being on the board or whatever of the Charity caring for his disabled son.

            The last time I did any serious checking into Hohepa it transpired that the yearly funding from the government for providing services was well over $100,000 per client. That's per client.

            Imagine if those of us who provided the same (or better) level of support were paid even a quarter of that for what we do???

            Respect to you and your spouse KJT, and fwiw I'm pretty sure she could get a job somewhere in the disability sector…perhaps as one of the new upper level teacher aides?…not that it would be something I'd be rushing to do…

    • SPC 1.2

      The reason for current practice is obvious. It provides a couple rate where neither person is working.

      The partner no longer able to be covered by the couple rate has recourse to eligibility for unemployment benefit if the income of a partner is low (as it is on super where there is little other income). So they are bringing in a bit of means testing in these instances.

      This will cost them more in some cases and less in others.

      It will get complicated if there are children involved, or care situations.

      • KJT 1.2.1

        Basically it means I cannot retire until my wife is 65, which could be a real problem given past work injuries. Which I see with other people ACC call “degenerative, age related”.

        • SPC 1.2.1.1

          If she is not working and you were on super, she would be eligible for the Job Seeker Benefit, but that is means tested against the partners income (if you have little income other than Super she would qualify for it).

          Super single rate + single rate benefit would be similar to couples super.

          $633 couples super, $601 if one partner does not qualify. Single super (sharing) $380 + benefit $219.

    • AB 1.3

      "disadvantaging women, usually, who have to stay at home for disabled children"

      Cost to us of this has been 15 years of spouse's income – let's say $700k after tax. In addition $150k for neurosurgery overseas – by far the best treatment available and not funded by the NZ health system – in fact actively obstructed by patch-protecting doctors. Add to that thousands in shoes which are worn out rapidly and $80/week for essential gym sessions for post-operative strengthening – also not funded, while ACC shells out for rugby players.

      Total compensation from the govt? $90/fortnight child disability allowance. So not at all surprised if this super cut (when I get to qualify) turns out to be another piece of radical injustice.

  2. reason 2

    International award winning journalist Nicky Hager faced another round of character smears recently …. Ignoring the truth of the matter the ugly underside of NZ regurgitated all the dishonest John Key 'attack the messenger' lines .

    Is it racism that allows both the war crime to take place …. and the dishonest defence of it .??

    “This material gives a graphic and upsetting picture of a US helicopter gunship firing into a civilian village in which frightened woman and children were seen running and huddling in groups”, Nicky Hager said.

    The NZSAS, which led the raid and authorised all air attacks, knew about the presence of large numbers of civilians and their injuries immediately or soon after but it has never admitted to this nor offered medical assistance.” https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/06/30/nzdfs-key-evidence-in-operation-burnham-issue-is-not-what-it-was-made-out-to-be-nicky-hager/

    http://www.nickyhager.info/foia/

    Cornel West makes some very relevant points about a military mindset … neo lib corruption / inequality … and resurgent white supremacist sickness.

    We need to stop encouraging them and stay out of their evil wars.

    Judith Collins should not be our Bolsonaro over Venezuela … she is backing Eliot Abrhams and co at present.

    • johnm 2.1

      What a despicable U$ war crime toady is Judith Collins: ” Judith Collins should not be our Bolsonaro over Venezuela … she is backing Elliot Abrams and co at present. ”

      Trump Adviser Grilled Over Cover Up of Latin America Massacre

      “This material gives a graphic and upsetting picture of a US helicopter gunship firing into a civilian village in which frightened woman and children were seen running and huddling in groups”, Nicky Hager said.

      Similar to Wikileaks gunship murder sequence in IRAQ. Our forces are guilty of war crimes! shame!

    • Gosman 2.2

      There is a 7 million dollar inquiry in to what happened that the current Government set up. Do you not have confidence this will get to the bottom of what actually happened?

      • Psycho Milt 2.2.1

        I have confidence that back-room appeals to "the national interest" and "let's not undermine public confidence in the NZDF" to win out in the end.

        • Gosman 2.2.1.1

          Then the question becomes why spend 7 million dollars of taxpayer money when that could have been done without the inquiry.

          • Formerly Ross 2.2.1.1.1

            Then the question becomes why spend 7 million dollars of taxpayer money when that could have been done without the inquiry.

            A long running and expensive inquiry feels good. The government can say "we did everything asked of us, we went the extra mile and we got to the truth". That such a statement may be bullshit won't change anything. But yeah, $7 million buys a lot of whitewash.

          • Psycho Milt 2.2.1.1.2

            Reasons why we had to do the enquiry even if the NZDF will be whitewashed at the end of it:

            1. Good governance. If there's an incident in which NZ troops kill a bunch of civilians with no enemy combatants involved, it must be investigated.

            2. International obligations. NZ has a lot of credibility internationally for honest dealing. Covering up a possible war crime damages that credibility.

            3. A lot more information about what happened is now in the public domain, so regardless of the amount of whitewash that gets applied in the final report, those of us who've been paying attention now know that yes the NZ SAS is quite capable of calling in air strikes on civilians, and yes the NZDF is quite capable of covering that up.

        • Anne 2.2.1.2

          I fear you are right PM but it need not be that way.

          My instincts tell me the Americans muzzled the NZDF thus preventing them from admitting what happened. It's to be remembered that it was the bullets etc. fired from the US helicopters which started the little killing spree. From that point, the ground situation appeared to end up out of control. That's my broad reading of what happened and I've read a lot about it including "Hit and Run".

          So, why didn't the NZDF show some guts and acknowledge the mistake? Instead of undermining public confidence, I would venture to suggest that once the truth came out most NZers would have admired them for fessing up.

          We stood up to the Yanks once before and despite the bitching and sulking we came out on top. NZ was admired around the world for standing up to the bullies.

          • Sacha 2.2.1.2.1

            It is the US military who have released the video that the NZ ones refused to.

            • Anne 2.2.1.2.1.1

              My understanding is they were originally classified by the US military as top secret but have now been declassified – at least in part – so now able to release. Pretty sure it was something like that….

      • reason 2.2.2

        The victims who had their kids killed and maimed don't Gosman ….

        And why would an idiot like yourself …. who laughs about 40000 siege /sanctions deaths … sorry make that 500000 deaths if I bring in past Iraq victims, to add to the recent Venezuela victims …

        Why would an fool like yourself who laughs like Eliot Abrams care about NZ killing a few civilians"" …

        lie-a-lot Gosbrams … 'They died because of Socialism' … 'Israel has never committed war crimes' … 'usa all the way'

  3. mauī 3

    ““The liberal idea has started eating itself,” Putin said at a news conference. “Millions of people live their lives, and those who propagate those ideas are separate from them.””

    https://globalnews.ca/news/5445734/vladimir-putin-liberalism-g20/

    • Speaking after the summit in Osaka concluded on Saturday, Putin charged that Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and a drop of popularity of traditional parties in Europe have been rooted in growing public dismay with mainstream liberal policies.

      Well, yeah. He's stating the obvious. The difference is that, unlike Putin, some of us don't find the above to be a good thing.

    • A 3.2

      Use FF + addon

      When it disappears it will return under another name

    • Andre 3.3

      Let's take a moment to remind ourselves what the values of liberalism really are:

      Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed, and equality before the law.[1][2][3] Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), capitalism (free markets), democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.

      In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism (often called simply "liberalism" in the United States) became a key component in the expansion of the welfare state.[20] Today, liberal parties continue to wield power and influence throughout the world. However, liberalism still has challenges to overcome in Africa and Asia. The fundamental elements of contemporary society have liberal roots. The early waves of liberalism popularised economic individualism while expanding constitutional government and parliamentaryauthority.[13] Liberals sought and established a constitutional order that prized important individual freedoms, such as freedom of speech and freedom of association; an independent judiciary and public trial by jury; and the abolition of aristocratic privileges.[13] Later waves of modern liberal thought and struggle were strongly influenced by the need to expand civil rights.[21] Liberals have advocated gender and racial equality in their drive to promote civil rights and a global civil rights movement in the 20th century achieved several objectives towards both goals. Continental European liberalism is divided between moderates and progressives, with the moderates tending to elitism and the progressives supporting the universalisation of fundamental institutions, such as universal suffrage, universal education and the expansion of property rights. Over time, the moderates displaced the progressives as the main guardians of continental European liberalism.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism

      In general, those are things I value, with just a few caveats around things like free markets, where government interventions and regulations are needed to prevent abuses by the powerful.

      I suggest that what people today have become disenchanted with is in fact the loss of liberalism and the rise of corporatocracy. But dictatorial authoritarians have become adept at misrepresenting where the problems lie and harnessing the anger to further their own interests. Their interests do not coincide with making life better for those they have duped.

      • Sabine 3.3.1

        Ahh the issue of the fearful white minority ™ they would like to keep what they and their ancestors had, would like to not share with anyone not them, and can't do so in a liberal democracy. Hence the need for strongmen that will take the world back to the 18 century and earlier if they could where the landowner had multiple votes (as per the properties they owned), women knew their place and the servants too, and the only sexy time that was ok was for men who fornicated for procreation or paid a prositute / mistress……(nothing gay of course).

        Sadly, the same people that advocate these strongmen have a hard time understanding that women and servants might not be inclined to go back to these places to depend on the man for food and shelter, and sadder even they seem to truly believe that they don't belong to the servants class but will be those that get to keep their rights. Oh well to each their delusions.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Paywalled, but it looks like Key is running scared from scrutiny and is hiding behind the skirts of the PR industry.

    Lol.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12245236

    • Rapunzel 4.1

      The number of ANZ ads has really ramped up over the last couple of weeks. I think they sense the damage done in the eyes of the public, after 30 years we are finally on the move and will make clear why.

    • Peter 4.2

      The image trying to be created:

      The big cheese at ANZ was a bit of a silly boy. He wrongly charged back to the company a couple of rides in a chauffeured car to a couple of dos. Just a taxi thing really.

      Oh, and in moving around some bottles of expensive wine which had to be moved and stored somehow in the confusion of comings and goings that got put into the wrong list. Bloody paperwork!

      Fortunately the Really Big Cheese found out about the mistakes and having the Highest Ethics, Standards and Morals said, “David, I know you’ve done nothing wrong, but we have the highest ethics, morals and standards which we all operate by, but what if someone hears about your slight mistakes and says it shows we don’t have the highest ethics, morals and standards?

      If you leave after your outstanding innings with the good sort of deal you’ve had the public will see we’re upholding those highest standards and, heck, maybe even see us being the white knights upholding all the good things even though there’s been nothing wrong done, just a couple of silly misunderstandings.

      It could be that maybe the company’s reputations will even be enhanced by our decisive upright actions. We know you always put the company first.”

      David Hisco rides off into anonymity and St John climbs onto a higher pedestal.

    • reason 4.3

      When Key was our DP prime minister …. if a $700 million usa dollar gift /grift ( over $1 Billion NZ) landed in a ANZ personal account that he had …. and it came from china, russia or who cares where …… then Anz would have kept nice and quiet for him.

      Its what they did for the Malaysian Prime Minister …. and now as a director Key can keep nice and quiet for ANZ.

      “ANZ Bank is the most atrocious example of this failure, since the Australian regulators have done absolutely nothing to investigate, let alone chastise or punish blatant failures by this bank to control vast money laundering activity in a subsidiary where it was the dominant shareholder, namely AmBank.”

      “All the top responsible personnel in charge of compliance, executive decisions and customer care at AmBank were on secondment from ANZ”

      http://www.sarawakreport.org/2017/07/australia-and-new-zealand-slide-from-their-responsibilities-over-mass-corruption-and-malaysia/

      Aside from not whistle blowing on some of the biggest crooks on the planet …..Banks like the ANZ are the funnel for money into tax havens ….

    • ankerawshark 4.4

      How gutless calling in a PR person to tidy up the mess.

      • Muttonbird 4.4.1

        It's a frank admission of disaster and soft corruption, and an inability to address the issues in an honest way.

        In short, a portrait of John Key.

    • Jimmy 4.5

      I know everyone hates John Key on here and everything is his fault, but he did actually get rid of Hisco. My only gripe is that it took him too long to do it. However Hisco had been claiming all these ludicrous expenses for many year before JK got there. Wouldn't surprise me if JK has had some harsh words to some of the directors that turned a blind eye to Hisco over the previous years and also wouldn't surprise me if there was a bit more fall out to come…possibly some 'resignations'.

      • Sacha 4.5.1

        Quite. That the dodgy $3.75m capital gain handed to Hisco ending up buying Key's Omaha home is an unfortunate look.

        • Jimmy 4.5.1.1

          Not sure if that one is that bad, but certainly the ANZ selling the property to Hisco's wife at a few million under rateable value is dodgy

          • Matiri 4.5.1.1.1

            Mmmm – the Omaha holiday home $$$ on the one hand quite neatly balances the Auckland home $$$ saving to Hisco's wife – or is that all just a really unfortunate coincidence?

  5. dv 5

    In stuff article about household debt.

    They say that cc debt is 43 billion. in NZ.

    That means each of 4 million people have a debt of $10,000 each!!!

    I am not sure that is credible.

    (OR maybe it is the credit limit is 43 billion?)
    from the article New Zealanders owe at least $43 billion on their cards.

    • I can believe it, but it's not as bad as it looks. For example, my joint account clocks up thousands per month, which is paid the following month and incurs no interest. So the "debt" only lasts a month or so, but it's still debt. Also, a lot of businesses have credit card accounts. I have a work credit card, like other managers where I work – I don't buy much with it, but across the whole organisation it must come to a fair bit every month (which also gets paid the following month so is a very brief "debt").

      • dv 5.1.1

        Yes a lot of the debt will be 'transient'

        And i hadn't considered business cards.

        Still seem a lot though.

        • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.1

          Yes, it would be more useful to know what proportion of that $43 bil is currently incurring interest. I'm guessing it would be quite a horrifying number (for us, not the banks – to them it would be an awesomely profitable number).

          • dv 5.1.1.1.1

            At at 2%, the cost to charge on the CC, that alone in in the order of $1Billion on 43b

            And say 10% not paid in time and interest rate 15% that is another $600mill.

            Jeez!!!!

          • Poission 5.1.1.1.2

            7,257 billion

            https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/c12

            About 1.2 billion interest to the banks.

            the43 billion number is the transaction vol of which the cc companies pay around 7 million in tax nice little grift.

            • Andre 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Ahh, $43billion transaction volume seems a lot more plausible.

              What do the card issuers clip the ticket for on every transaction? 2%? So over $800 million gross income from transaction fees, on which they pay $7 million tax. That explains the endless card offers I get deluged with.

              • Poission

                Double that commission rate,the smaller business (local cafe etc) pay around5%.

                • Andre

                  Fuuuuuck! I had thought it was only American Express that gouged like that! I already had a habit of trying to pay small businesses in cash, but now I'm going to make more of a point of it.

                  • Poission

                    My favorite cafe was complaining to me about the cost,and the problems that arose for her with the corporates not wanting to pay surcharge on cc.

                    • Andre

                      Well, yeah. After she's taken a reasonable wage for herself out of the gross profit, the credit card companies are probably making more from her business than she is.

            • dv 5.1.1.1.2.2

              Thanks P.

              Thats better., make more sense.

              Still large nos, but 10k per YEAR per CC is feasible.

              Got there in the end!!!!

    • Bearded Git 5.2

      5 million now dv

    • Sabine 5.3

      what about those of us that don't have credit cards?

      Can we be excluded or would that scare off the credit card holders?

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Angst on the right: "Around the world old school conservative parties are in trouble. In the United States, Donald Trump has rewritten the Republican rule book and in Britain, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party is more popular than the Tories. These outliers have replaced traditional conservatism with a populist agenda."

    "Forms of this populism have taken over in Italy, Hungary and Poland and are rising in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and France. The belief something fundamentally important has been lost in the brave new global world lies behind them." Really?? Clinging to the past is fundamentally important? Only to those incapable of facing the future with the right attitude.

    "In New Zealand, National still covers the traditional conservative ground, although you wonder what a more populist National Party would look like." NZ First, obviously. Duh!!

    "Populism is difficult to define. It means different things in different countries. It is generally an appeal to gut reactions about race, national culture, class, immigration and globalism. Some glibly call it the rage of white men who see their entitlements and privilege threatened but, speaking from experience, most white men are not that entitled and not very privileged either." True.

    "The politics of populism is also usually nostalgic, building on a myth the old order was working fine until power shifted to people with some crazy ideas." Yeah, but populism is shifting power to people with some crazy ideas too. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    "National must be wondering, like the Republicans and Tories, if social trends towards a more diverse and urban society have left it behind." https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/113843911/what-a-populist-national-party-would-look-like

    The author flounders around for a while in search of good ideas, fails, then winds up. But at least he's trying to use his intellect – swimming upstream against the National flow. God loves a trier. Conservatives, not so much. Stationary, going nowhere.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    The amateur landlord industry is in disarray. One rep suggests up to 33% of rentals are no longer legal, and another claims it is just 4%.

    No wonder there is no faith in this poorly administered and poorly regulated sector.

    No wonder there is a housing crisis.

    No wonder our housing stock is in such a dire state.

    No wonder our communities are under such stress.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2019/06/the-880-million-bill-looming-for-kiwi-landlords.html

  8. ianmac 8

    This column on Newsroom by Bernard Hickey is a great view on Kiwibuild and why it was bound to fail. A sad position for Phil.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/07/01/657972/how-phil-twyford-lost-housing-and-kiwibuild-failed

    Planning and building 100,000 homes over a decade in our fastest growing cities requires much, much more than just finding people and building materials to build houses. It requires massive capital investment in transport, water, earthworks and other infrastructure….

    After the mid 1980s, the Government saw the private sector as the provider of housing and saw any infrastructure as a cost that needed to be borne by those building the new houses and local Government, not the wider taxpaying public. …..

    • Blazer 8.1

      Very good article by Hickey.

      I expect Labour to 'bite the bullet' and introduce braver policies to address housing ,if re-elected.

    • Dennis Frank 8.2

      Excellent analysis from Bernard. Twyford caught by catch-22. "Even now, that thinking is infused through Treasury and into the minds of the current Labour leadership, going from Ardern through Finance Minister Grant Robertson to Twyford. That's reflected in their decision to re-sign up to the 20 percent net debt target before the 2017 election."

      "The 20 percent number was born in the bruised aftermath of the New Zealand economy's near-bankruptcy experience of the late 1980s and early 1990s when bond vigilantes were a real thing to be feared. The 20 percent number coagulated into policy under Labour's last Finance Minister Michael Cullen and has been adopted reflexively (and I'd say mindlessly) since then by both Labour and National. It has anchored fiscal policy for 30 years and continues to do so."

      Mindless adherence to neoliberal orthodoxy by the coalition govt. Failure to learn from history.

      "The bond vigilantes have been euthanised by a decade of zero percent interest rates and US$15 trillion of quantitative easing or money printing by central banks in the Northern Hemisphere to buy government bonds. Fund managers all over the world are looking for safe government debt with some sort of yield more than 0.0 percent. The New Zealand Government bond yield fell to a record low of 1.5 percent last week."

      "Labour fears being accused of being profligate and of raising the net debt of an already indebted nation, but the Government's net debt is at the bottom of the OECD and the nation's net debt has fallen 20-30 percentage points of GDP in the last decade. Robertson and Ardern argue we are so vulnerable in the event of another GFC or an earthquake that we have to keep our powder dry. But they're thinking as if they were in the offices of Helen Clark or Michael Cullen from 1999 to 2008, when New Zealand's economy and balance sheets were both actually and relatively vulnerable."

      Govt by paranoia instead of realism. If govt finances permit us to reinvent socialism, why not give it a try? Because "a very present and known crisis exists right now and is right in front of their noses: a massive shortage of affordable and healthy housing that has consigned 250,000 kids to such poverty that 40,000 of them get so sick each year with respiratory and skin conditions they end up in hospital. Their parents are mired in working or non-working poverty that is impossible to break out of without affordable and healthy housing."

      "Our growth cities need re-engineering to improve affordability and reduce carbon emissions. That means creating medium density housing corridors along train lines much closer to city centres that produce hundreds of thousands of new homes. Urban Development Authorites have to work in tandem with city and transport planners to buy up the land along those corridors and fund the building of the infrastructure and housing to make them work."

      Bernard targets the financing of how to do this. "Twyford's solution to this infrastructure funding Catch 22 was to try to create Special Purpose Vehicles independent of the Government and the Council that could borrow money in their own rights to fund the infrastructure project by project. The model is the Municipal Utility District (MUD) bodies used in the United States to fund new suburbs and cities. They raise debt from bond markets, get their own credit ratings, and service the debt with targeted rates or fees on residents."

      If that model works, why the hell couldn't Twyford get his cabinet colleagues to agree that the recipe is the one to use? Or did they agree in principle, then decide to keep quiet about it prior to getting ready to act. Don't spook the horses? Paranoia…

      • ianmac 8.2.1

        "Labour fears being accused of being profligate and of raising the net debt of an already indebted nation, but the Government's net debt is at the bottom of the OECD and the nation's net debt has fallen 20-30 percentage points of GDP in the last decade.

        That is a favourite claim from National. They have embedded the claim that Labour spends and taxes. People believe it regardless of the evidence.So to stay in power the Labour Governments display careful conservative spending. My hope is that by the next election the current Coalition will remove the brakes and borrow and spend on infrastructure making it possible for less homelessness, less poverty and so on.

      • Sacha 8.2.2

        If that model works, why the hell couldn't Twyford get his cabinet colleagues to agree that the recipe is the one to use?

        What is Winston First's position on it?

        • Dennis Frank 8.2.2.1

          Don't ask me. Nor expect anyone in the media to ask him. Suggest it, and they'd respond "That sounds like investigative journalism. Ever so '70s."

      • Ad 8.2.3

        Thankfully we will never have to rely on My Hickey to run a country.

        Minister Cullen's savings and debt record enabled future governments to recover New Zealand from the GFC, from the demolition by earthquake of our second largest city, from the demolition by earthquake of the rail line and State Highway 1 from Kaikoura to Picton, and massive spending increases in other areas … all the while keeping inflation in check.

        And still with enough to survive another earthquake if we are pressed.

        The current Minister of Finance has also deliberately expanded the net debt ratio precisely to give the government more headroom for other programmes.

        As for housing, this government's track record is strong overall.

    • aj 11.1

      That picture shows a truck plowing through maybe 30cm of hail floating on 1.2m of water…..very impressive for all that, a vehicle would not be able to move through 1.5m of pure hail, full stop. So, much of that is hail that has flowed on meltwater down streets to a lower point. But even a fall averaging 10cm would be impressive…

      • aj 11.1.1

        Seen more pics – adjacent flat topped roofs don't have much depth at all. So it looks like a freak collection of hail, flowing down streets over blocked drains. So it's a bit of a media beat up, spectacular for all that…

  9. soddenleaf 12

    Whatever happened to overshoot? We get lots of under shoot in the media… …wages no high enough bad, but wages too high no that's good. Neolibs like casting the agenda as under shoot, as it plays into zero govt, higher tax cuts. Since if they argue there is overshoot, planetary resources, overpaid cess, they know the solution is govt pressure cooker valve. And that means regulation and higher taxes. Overshoot management, when a retail over sells and burns their consumers pockets, either high prices or bait switch on quality, consistency, availability, etc. Managing between over and under shooting means some govt, some tax dollars, or in private business regular investment. Essentially the politics of brexit, Trump, are a overwhelm majority getting fedup with under managing govt, with media ignoring over shooting corps, and the political response is to mangle up the system. Trumps Twitter tirades, brexit shut down of parliament. They just don't have a clue how to do govt anymore, routinely rehiring neolib no govt types.

    Nothing ventured nothing gain, the heckler years of Trump will cost us more and more.

  10. Fireblade 13

    Amateur day at Kiwiblog as they forget to post the General Debate.

    When the official Pollster and Blogger can't be bothered, you know the National Party are in serious Eeyore mode.

    Eeyore Quotes.

    YouTube 1:13.

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      Yep. Yesterday one of them was complaining, with not a hint of reflection, the Australian mass murderer 'ruined the place for everyone'.

      The exposure of far right extremists has had a profound effect on Kiwiblog because that exposure shone a spotlight upon them and their behaviour.

      They have slithered back under their rocks.

      • I feel love 13.1.1

        "They have slithered back under their rocks" which is quite worrying really…

      • Fireblade 13.1.2

        Maybe Farrar is trying to limit comments until Newshub have concluded their latest far-right news stories.

  11. Ad 14

    OMG Japan starts commercial whaling again.

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Here's why: "distribution systems within Japan, from docks to markets, are intricately networked by the Yakuza". https://earthtrust.org/impossiblemissions/homepage/whales-yakuza/

      My old friend Bill Watson was our Sea Shepherd national coordinator awhile, when the Japs arrested Pete Bethune. They got told he would die in a Jap jail – the Yakuza would do the job. So I wrote to our new PM, John Key, and asked him to make sure that didn't happen. Key, to his credit, got Bethune out.

  12. joe90 15

    The self proclaimed proper progressive left's favourite right winger normalises state murders.

  13. Abba Lerner 16

    Something that I found interesting, May was a strong month for new residential mortgage lending. It is the first time since this series begin (Aug 2014), that first home buyers have borrowed more than investors. It was also a record month for the other owner occupier category.
    src: https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/c31

    Chart:

    View post on imgur.com

    • Abba Lerner 16.1

      One more to supplement. I call this the first home buyer "highly leveraged" ratio. Basically, I take the amount borrowed by first home buyers that is greater than 80% LVR and divide it by the total amount borrowed by first home buyers. It continues to trend higher.

      View post on imgur.com

  14. Eco maori 17

    Kia ora Newshub.

    The driest 2 month in the Auckland on record the dry spell is a concern for Auckland cause climate change.

    Antarctica is melting fast it is a big worry for our Pacific Island cousin the cause is human caused climate change this fast Global warming is affecting the start of the food chain the micro organisms.

    Cool that Amazon is making the new TVs series follow up of the Movie Lord of the rings kia ora.

    There you go the skill shortage was created by short sighted people canceling the traditional trade training program.

    I think paying a bounty on plastic rubbish is needed that will clean up our environment this will help us get to a environmental sustainable economy.

    The new Sky Waka on Mount Ruapehu is great for boosting tourism in the region all year instead of just in the winter months.

    That's not cool all that waste water pouring into the great lake is not cool.T

    Ka kite ano

  15. Eco maori 18

    Kia ora te ao Maori news.

    At so much for positive te ao Maori News tonight Show is all repetitive negative stories that has been thrashed in the Media is this the pro —– tv .

    I think that tangata whenua O Aotearoa deserves some positive stories. Sorry about the ——Party collapse

    Ka kite ano

  16. Eco maori 19

    Kia ora The Am Show.

    Paul Goldsmith I know you lot were focused on the upper incomes growth thanks for confirming my theory. Paye tax cut that the wealthy gained the most from and raised gst that hits the poor people hardest .

    As for living cost they Have risen sharply under national it's hard to live out there in Aotearoa now.

    InTaupo who has a suerage main running close to a big water way I know it was built years ago but what a stupid design I say all waste water assets need to be audited to see if they will break a stuff our environment.

    I,,, we have to look after the mental health of our men the construction industry is having a bit of a rise in this problem Its good that our government has increased investment in the mental health system.

    The Alexandria Cortiz thing with the Spanish preacher running a story contrary to her story shows me something stinks with the Spanish preachers.???????????????????????.

    I agree getting more Wahine in the construction industry is a must and the boys have to change their attitude to Wahine to get more Wahine in the industry it good for equality and the skill shortage of the trade workers.

    Ka kite ano

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