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Open mike 02/10/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 2nd, 2022 - 103 comments
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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 …

103 comments on “Open mike 02/10/2022 ”

  1. Jenny are we there yet 1

    '

    The ghost that will not rest.

    (at least not until the government does something about it)

    Another biased pro-owner study of the problem has been released.

    The brief of this new study exclusively focused on more carrot for rich people, and not sticks to encourage them to rent or put their empty houses up for sale.
    Despite the authors of the study admitting that the carrot based strategy has had very limited success.

    10% of ghost home owners intentionally keeping them empty

    Geraden Cann 05:00, Oct 02 2022

    ……Ghost homes have become a focus of attention as the housing crisis continues, and now a government-funded project has released a report that explores how many ghost homes there are, how long they remain empty for, why owners keep them empty, and how the Government can encourage owners to rent them out.

    Key findings included about 10% of owners of ghost homes kept them empty intentionally, and a little over a quarter had been empty for at least a year…..

    …..The survey showed most respondents considered the condition of their empty homes as “ready for occupation”…..

    Tax ‘sticks’ not explored

    The report listed some tax methods used abroad to encourage owners to rent empty homes out…..

    …Wise Group did not investigate how similar policies could be rolled out in New Zealand, or how effective they might be, stating incentive-based measures were more appropriate for the study.

    The carrot-based approach was criticised by one of the commenters in the report….

    ….He Kāinga Oranga Housing and Health Research Programme co-director Nevil Pierse warned in the report that internationally it had proven hard to incentivise owners to fill their empty homes when there were “limited ‘sticks’” available….

    …..Despite the report only focusing on carrots, owners still did not favour any of the proposals, which revolved around helping to source and vet potential tenants.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/129998755/10-of-ghost-home-owners-intentionally-keeping-them-empty

    https://waikanaewatch.org/2022/08/23/number-of-kids-living-in-cars-has-jumped-447-under-the-jacinda-government/

    We all know an administration convinced of the justice of neo-liberal trickle down theory, is chary of putting any tax on the lucky rich people with more than one house that they can keep empty, while other families live in cars..

    I suggest calling it a fine, instead of a tax.

    Rich people, love disproportionately fining poor people.

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6347272/not-feasible-income-based-fines-not-an-option-barr-says/

    How about a fine that disproportionately fines the fortunate owners of one or more empty homes?

    Would that be more palatable to a neo-liberal administration that has no hestatation on fining low income people for the slightest parking or compliance infraction, yet never call it a tax.

    We can fine someone for overparking depriving someone else of a carpark.

    Why can't we fine someone for keeping their property/properties empty depriving someone else of somewhere to live?

    • Ad 1.1

      Maybe check whether "full and undisturbed possession of their lands' applies to all. TOW article 2

    • tsmithfield 1.2

      I agree with encouraging owners to put ghost houses out for rent.

      But why go punative? Why not create incentives for owners to rent out their houses? This will likely be more effective than more taxes, because that will just encourage people to look for ways to avoid the tax, so will be a lot less effective than positive incentives to make it worthwhile for Landlords to rent out the houses..

      • Jenny are we there yet 1.2.1

        tsmithfield

        2 October 2022 at 9:03 am

        I agree with encouraging owners to put ghost houses out for rent.

        But why go punative? Why not create incentives for owners to rent out their houses?….

        Hi Smithy what sort of incentive for owners do you think the government should apply. Money incentives?

        Now there's an idea, let's subsidise the rich folk (again). If we could just shovel enough money toward the top end of town, trickledown economics could work.. And, a subsidy for the rich folk would be well in line with this government's convinced neoliberal economic agenda.

        Unfortunately I am not convinced that more 'carrot' for rich folk (their word) would work, neither are the writers of the report. Even though their brief ruled out "sticks" they had to admit that 'carrot's weren't working. Even the creepy government vetting of tenants to satisfy the wealthy empty home owners, couldn't convince these rich folk to let their empty houses out.

        Rather than upset rich folk, better we let kids live in cars. We know homeless kids and their families are never going to give us any party donations. But rich people can and do.

    • Visubversa 1.3

      I came across a few of those "ghost houses" when I was working for Auckland Council. The ones I knew about – I doubt that the owners were tax residents in New Zealand – or has much interest in being landlords here at the time. One very large house on an expensive section on the North Shore was just abandoned when its owners went back to their homeland very suddenly. They just packed up and left – even the power was still on in the house. It was a while before the local kids discovered the place was empty as it was a rear site. The neighbours were concerned about squatters and because the lawns were getting long and rank in the summer heat and were a fire hazard. Council eventually made an arrangement to get the lawns mowed and charged the homeowner. The bills were still paid but the house was empty for years.

    • Ed1 1.4

      Vancouver has just such a tax, see:

      https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/empty-homes-tax.aspx

      There is a report available for the 2020 year. It seems to be a well thought out which is working – raising money to both cover costs and assist non-profit providers of housing.

      See also https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/speculation-vacancy-tax

      My perception is that this would be good in Wellington and Auckland; possibly less useful for Christchurch and Rotorua . . .

  2. Jenny are we there yet 2

    On the good news front;

    The Russian Federation's neo-imperialist and colonialist project in Ukraine suffers another setback.

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      Victory in Lyman appears to be accompanied by an unimaginable slaughter of the fleeing defeated enemy Russian army. Never forget the human cost of this utterly wanton war of aggression.

      Caution – read only if you are of a strong constitution. Erich Maria Remarque meets Ernst Jünger. I just thought Jesus Christ, this is happening now in 2022 and while the Ukrainians at least have agency to make sense of what they are going through the Russians are dying for absolutely nothing other than the blood sacrifice demanded from them by their demented dictator. Putin's war is an unspeakable evil where thousands die pathetic deaths and calling for their mothers.

      • tsmithfield 2.1.1

        Yes, and not only Lyman. I think the whole Luhansk front will collapse. Very soon the Ukrainians will hold several more key towns for supply of Russian logistics to the whole Donbass region.

      • joe90 2.1.2

        Running for their lives but they couldn't abandon booty for the fam'.

        (women's tights and immersion blender in the red bag)

      • lprent 2.1.3

        Just been reading about the rout in Lyman. It was untenable last week. I could speculate about the political motivations that allowed an effective encirclement without withdrawal. But really just saying that Putin has all of military genius of Hitler just about covers it. It sounds like they were told to hold so it didn’t disrupt a political rally in Moscow.

      • lprent 2.1.4

        Just been reading about the rout in Lyman. It was untenable last week. I could speculate about the political motivations that allowed an effective encirclement without withdrawal. But really just saying that Putin has all of military genius of Hitler just about covers it. It sounds like they were told to hold so it didn’t disrupt a political rally in Moscow.

        Lyman cuts out a large chunk of the Russian logistics pipeline to their June to August occupation areas. That is going to make life very difficult for those regions when they are attacked.

      • Jenny are we there yet 2.1.5

        Breaking news. video on the internet of large explosions at a Russian airbase in Crimea.

        This will be the second time that Russian Federation airbases in Crimea have been rocked by explosions.

    • joe90 2.2

      Barking.

      https://konstantinkisin.substack.com/p/putin-the-end-of-western-hegemony?

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        Yes, it makes the term "bat-shit crazy" seem like a synonym for "rationale".

        Despite all the crazy rhetoric, from what I have seen, a lot in Russia are not buying it. Especially those fleeing and those in the poorer regions who are being disproportionately targeted for mobilisation.

        I am not too worried about Russia using nukes. An interesting video from an interview with George Friedman that covers that threat amongst other things. He makes the point that so far as tactical nukes go, there are other weapons better for the job, and so far as strategic nukes, the fact that they are being implicitly threatened means they are unlikely to be used, due to the fact that making the threat gives up first strike advantage which is seen as critical in nuclear war.

        I think Russian mobilisation will be a complete disaster. Excellent analysis on that by Perun. It is a long video, but his stuff is well-researched and comprehensive. Also, Peter Zeihan makes some great points in a video on this.

        So, I think Russia is in deep trouble. They are shoving mobilised people to the front line at the moment without any training. Their logisitics is terrible, and struggles to support what they have there now. And human wave tactics don't work in an age of modern weapons.

        • joe90 2.2.1.1

          Of course he's a defrocked Orthodox priest.

          • tsmithfield 2.2.1.1.1

            Do a twitter search using "Kherson". Looks like the Ukrainians are making their play there at the moment, after spending weeks destroying Russian logistics and supplies. They must think the Russians are now too weak to resist.

            By morning over there Kherson might be liberated.

            That would be a major issue for Russia continuing the war. That is because Ukraine is about to cut supply lines to the Donbass area. Taking Kherson would cut supply lines enable Ukraine to cut supply lines running from Crimea to the other end of Ukraine.

            It would basically be game over then.

        • Sanctuary 2.2.1.2

          Yup, getting big 1905 vibes about this…

        • Sanctuary 2.2.1.3

          OK – Early reports indicate the Russians planned to hold Lyman and reinforce it with some of their poorly trained newly mobilised troops. However the situation moved faster than they anticipated and the Ukrainians shut off the road between Lyman and Zarichne – effectively surrounding the Russian garrison. The Russians were instead forced to commit the newly arrived troops into a hasty unprepared counter-attack to try and relieve the trapped troops. A dramatic and intense battle ensued. The Russian assault was partially successful but at the cost of catastrophic losses both on the retreating units and the relieving assault. Lots of video showing literally piles of dead Russian bodies.

          Sounds like the Ukrainians have suffered many losses as well. What a shit show. Fuck Putin.

          • joe90 2.2.1.3.1

            Fuck Putin.

            Indeed.

        • joe90 2.2.1.4

          I am not too worried about Russia using nukes.

          Another Lyman scale route and these people in Poots’ ear?

          All bets will be off, I reckon.

          Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen republic, said that Putin could use "low-yield" nuclear weapons on the battlefield.

          In a statement slamming Russian generals in the wake of Russia’s withdrawal of its forces from the strategic town of Lyman, Kadyrov said it was time for the Kremlin to make use of every weapon at its disposal.

          “I do not know what the Defense Ministry reports to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, but in my personal opinion we need to take more drastic measures, including declaring martial law in the border territories and using low-yield nuclear weapons. There is no need to make every decision with the Western American community in mind,” Kadyrov said on his Telegram channel.

          Earlier last week, Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president between 2008 and 2012, also discussed nuclear weapons use on his Telegram channel, saying it was permitted if the existence of the Russian state was threatened by an attack even by conventional forces.

          “If the threat to Russia exceeds our established threat limit, we will have to respond … this is certainly not a bluff,” he wrote.

          https://edition.cnn.com/europe/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-10-01-22#h_33f48bf1d4d8f1898e12a4ff46407fae

          • tsmithfield 2.2.1.4.1

            I think two factors are at play there. Firstly, as mentioned in my previous post, it isn't clear tactical nukes are more effective than other weapons. Secondly, NATO has made it clear to Russia about specific devastating threats if they went down that route.

            So, some of the conventional weapons that have similar effects might be preferred. For instance FABs (Father of all bombs) would have a similar effect to low-yield nukes without the international blow-back.

            And, the Ukrainians are moving so quickly that they may not provide an easy mass target for either of those weapons.

            I am always suspicious when people have to say things like "this is not a bluff", because it sounds like they are having to reinforce a weak position that indicates they could be bluffing.

            Though who knows. Time will tell I guess.

  3. Ad 3

    Wonder if some people in Florida will figure out what Federal government is for now.

  4. Peter 4

    Credit to the Herald layout people. They didn't put stories of people living in poverty or trying to survive living in motels next to their walled story about Auckland's newest golf course.

    "Inside Auckland's newest golf course Te Arai Links (Mangawhai, Northland) and what members get for a $48k joining fee" is the headline.

    "As the Herald reported last month, cost of membership is just shy of a $50,000 joining fee and $10,000 a year for a family membership… The club already has around 475 members, made up of New Zealanders and international golfers with a plan to potentially cap the membership towards the 600 mark."

    What they get for their fees is the ability to escape the hoi polloi and the reality of the world. I do appreciate they worked so hard all their lives to afford that and so deserve to escape the slackers who didn't.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/inside-aucklands-newest-golf-course-te-arai-links-and-what-members-get-for-a-48k-joining-fee/7P4QGMPGMGTXRR4FE3L3LLEUR4/

  5. PsyclingLeft.Always 5

    Hecklers are going from meeting to meeting in Wellington and abusing candidates for their positions on Three Waters reform.

    Eagle and fellow mayoral contender Tory Whanau, both of whom are Māori and who support Three Waters reform, were on the receiving end of the heckling. They both believe the hecklers are coordinated and are trying to disrupt meetings.

    Foon has started to make sure her supporters stay nearby at the events and don't leave before her.

    Some comments towards Whanau were "pretty ugly", she said

    support was needed from the council, because residents' associations were not equipped to deal with abuse.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/475887/candidate-meetings-take-a-sinister-turn-with-anti-three-waters-hecklers

    Would be interesting to know who these slime "hecklers" are..and who they are associated with ? Also the Council absolutely needs to ensure the Safety of Candidates..and members of Public..from these type of people. None should be fearful in anyway. Maybe Police need to have a look in?

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Voices For Freedom.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.1.1

        Oh, I had wondered : (. I really like Tory Whanau. This ugly heckling (racist as well to her, Paul Eagle, others). But of course NONE of the Candidates….or Public attending, should have to put up with any of this ugly shit..from the ugly VFF…or their fellow 'travellers"

    • AB 5.2

      American journalist Luke Mogelson has some insights about such groups in the US. As I interpret it, he identifies 3 interesting points:

      • The 'mutability' of the anger they express. It is 'nebulous' and can be manipulated by the movement's leaders against a variety of targets. It thus appears to switch back and forth across a range of targets that to an outsider seem dissimilar.
      • A sense that they are victims, that something like a birthright has been taken away and needs to be restored. This makes the dissimilar-looking targets feel consistent – and this feeling is genuine even though objectively speaking, they are not actually victims (or not more so than many other people)
      • A view of the world as being based on a binary dominance-subservience dynamic, i.e. if you are not dominant you are subservient. This also plays into particular views of masculinity (the alpha-beta stereotype)

      I suspect a closer look at similar groups here might show similar characteristics and forces at play. They do seem to be on the move everywhere.

      • JO 5.2.1

        yes Trump's 'rhetoric of inversion' as Luke Mogelson describes it, is playing out in our theatre of disinformation as well. If this review is worth a read, his book will be even more interesting.

        https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/sep/07/the-storm-is-here-by-luke-mogelson-review-america-on-the-brink

        Mogelson writes with the descriptive fluency and eye for detail that you would expect of a reporter with his credentials. But what makes this book more than a dystopian travelogue is his ability to tease out connections across history and make illuminating global comparisons.

        He dips into his experience abroad, describing, for example, the extraordinary communal response to the Ebola virus in the Monrovia slums in 2014. Local leaders in the Liberian capital designed and enforced their own health measures in the absence of outside help. As a result, fewer than 30,000 people contracted the disease, compared to the 1.5 million that experts had predicted. Mogelson wondered at the time: “How would my country bear up under similar pressure?”

        Six years later, he had his answer. Flying in from France, where residents had accepted stringent health measures pretty much without complaint as the price of containing the disease, he saw how in the US, questions of science were engulfed by the country’s all consuming culture wars.

    • mauī 5.3

      In times gone by this would have been written up in the local rag as lively debate, as politicians were tested by tough questions from passionate local constituents.

      Sadly this is just another sign (like the <50% voter turnouts) that our democracy is in a terrible state of affairs.

  6. So, this is both HDPA (anathama to many Standardistas, I know) and Herald premium content (you can read through PressReader via most libraries – certainly the big city ones)

    However, setting aside her clear preference for much of the ACT agenda, it's the first article that's clearly come out and said that ACT are likely to be heavily influential in a National/ACT government (which, is certainly an option given the current polling).

    Selected excerpts:

    It's worth reading what Act says it's planning to do after the next election. Because if things stay the way they are, Act will be doing a lot of it. And Act's ideas might impact you more than National's.

    On this year's polling, Act could be bringing 20-25 per cent of the votes to that government.

    That gives Act a lot of bargaining power in coalition negotiations. If the party is smart, it'll expect a quarter of the vote to translate to a quarter of the Cabinet positions.

    But more importantly, it'll expect a number of big policy wins. And Act has a very clear idea of what it wants to do. It's been prepping for the last two years.

    The party reckons it's already released eight policy documents, four Covid policy papers and two fully costed alternative budgets. Act's leader consistently has a clear position on everything from crime to co-governance to the cost of living.

    If Act implements even one policy fully, it'll be the closest thing to a proper shake-up within that sector since Rogernomics.

    [HDPA specifically addresses ACT policy on cutting public servant numbers, education vouchers (she doesn't use that word, but that's what she means), and a referendum on co-governance.]

    The size of Act's possible vote counts in its favour.

    So does the fact that Seymour apparently isn't hung up on ministerial posts. If he doesn't get what he wants, he's reportedly happy to walk away, sit on the cross benches and force National to negotiate every piece of legislation.

    But most importantly, it's clear Act's a lot more prepared for government than National. While Act's been pumping out fully thought-through policy documents, National's been selecting leaders. National's still trying to explain whether it'll cut taxes or not. It is several years behind Act in prep.

    Even when it does eventually release policy, National probably won't have big ideas. It's a party of managing the status quo with small changes. There's every chance Act will bring many of the policy changes.

    It doesn't look like National's expecting an assertive Act.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/heather-du-plessis-allan-national-needs-to-watch-its-hand-with-act-holding-the-cards/GVFBYG22RH7TGGQ2QKMCB6ZYTA/?c_id=1&objectid=12555717&ref=rss

    It seems as though Seymour and ACT have a much stronger grasp on their policy outcomes than National does. And, (IMO) Seymour is a stronger character than Luxon – I wouldn't say ACT would blink first in negotiations. [This is me, not HDPA]

    Whatever applies to ACT, in this – should also apply to the Greens (especially after Shaw's recent shake up with the membership). They, too, will be looking for very significant policy gains from Labour – and are unlikely to be fobbed off with minor portfolios and/or meaningless titles.

    In 2023 – policy may shift much more radically to either left or right, than the centre parties are likely to be comfortable with.

  7. Poission 7

    The Sunday lesson (Kipling)

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/DaveTaylorNews/status/1576137253734076418?cxt=HHwWhMCi4eieyN8rAAAA

    • joe90 7.1

      The dodgy debt they couldn't flog?

      Credit Suisse has asked hedge funds and other investors to destroy documents relating to its richest clients’ yachts and private jets, in an attempt to stop information leaking about a unit of the bank that has made loans to oligarchs who were later sanctioned.

      Investors this week received letters from the Swiss bank requesting that they destroy the documents relating to a securitisation of loans backed by “jets, yachts, real estate and/or financial assets”, according to three people whose firm received the request.

      The letters tell the investors to “destroy and permanently erase” any confidential information Credit Suisse previously provided in relation to the transaction, citing a “recent data leak to the media” that it said had been “verified by our investigators”.

      Credit Suisse took the action after a Financial Times report last month detailing how it offloaded the risks relating to $2bn of loans to a group of hedge funds.

      https://archive.ph/g9jeI (ft)

    • Pat 7.2

      Kipling and Bismark in one post….things must indeed be dire.

      • Poission 7.2.1

        If the financial risk of the UK is fragile (without the fairy tail economics) prior,there is a substantive misalignment to be undertaken on currency risk alone.Where the Kiwi due to the same problems as the UK,such as high increasing internal debt,large current account deficit,overvalued currency.

        These are the drivers of instability in the Global markets,where they are looking for the next storm.and where the wobbly domino appears.

        • Pat 7.2.1.1

          And liquidity disappears in an instant….a greatly underestimated risk.

          • Poission 7.2.1.1.1

            Largest risk,as they (the hedge funds etc) need cash to meet margin calls.There has been a large switch from the long end to short dated cash from large investment groups in the last 3 months.

        • Ad 7.2.1.2

          I remember Brash complaining about why we were overvalued 20 years ago.

          Granted all those July predictions that NZ inflation would peak by the end of the year look optimistic with oil esp diesel going up fast.

          But in reality we're pretty good.

          Our GDP has stabilised after 2020-21 and is strong

          Economy | Stats NZ

          Jobs growth looking good still

          Employment indicators: Weekly as at 26 September 2022 | Stats NZ

          Unemployment still the lowest it's ever been

          New Zealand Unemployment Rate – 2022 Data – 2023 Forecast – 1985-2021 Historical (tradingeconomics.com)

          New building consents and construction still gangbusters

          Building consents issued: August 2022 | Stats NZ

          Cars and trucks are busy on the roads again

          ANZ Truckometer | NZ economic indicator | ANZ

          Food and fibre exports are strong and dairy in particular is very strong in both price and production

          Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries | NZ Government (mpi.govt.nz)

          We're in about the best place in the world. No panic.

          • Poission 7.2.1.2.1

            Oil is falling in value due to demand destruction,cracked products such as diesel is short due to industry and power generators switching from gas.

            Electricity is not a driver of inflation in NZ (excluding changes to pricing increases in line charges) Gas similar with lower demand due to some switching to electricity which has allowed the second train at Motunui to start up to meet export demand.

            Food and Fibre will still be in demand due to shortages in NH forced by energy constraints.

            Both local and central government spending on capital projects,is on borrowed debt with increasing interest risk as new issues for both maturing debt,and increased debt are over 4.1% for the government at the short end moving to 4.5 at the long end.

            S&P moved the UK to negative watch late Friday,warning bells are ringing here as each move of 1% in GDP or interest rates changes the interest costs by 1 billion,

            • Ad 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Surely it would take mortgages to get to 10% before we start to see big changes in mortgagee sales. In April the NZ mortgagee sales were at a 15 year low.

              Perhaps a wee shakeout of investors away from property is just what we need.

              • Poission

                More the top end of town,with corporate borrowing becoming more expensive.

                Also Government interest costs are well beyond forecast (more if we count SOE) an extra 2b this year,doubling next and net debt increasing 4-6b it isnt coming down.

                Property market needs shakeup,as well above realistic valuation,removing a few zombie companies is always good.

  8. Civics education is already part of the curriculum. I don't know what McAnulty's high school taught – but political process (including MMP) has been part of the social studies curriculum in high school for a lot longer than 20 years.

    It's not, however, a topic which readily engages kids.

    Disengaged teachers droning on to disengaged youth isn't a recipe to change anything about democratic engagement.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/300701729/civics-education-floated-to-combat-voter-disengagement-distrust

    Actually changing legislation so that people can make bureaucracy change, especially at a local level, is what's needed. Anyone who's ever engaged the the behemoth which is Auckland Council, knows that achieving even the most obviously beneficial of changes is a multi-year process – requiring commitment and dedication from the individual or group. It's not surprising that youth don't see that this is a winning strategy.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1

      Disengaged teachers droning on to disengaged youth isn't a recipe to change anything about democratic engagement.

      "Disengaged teachers droning on" would turn me off – I recall having mostly excellent teachers (the engaged, non-droning kind), and certainly appreciate that now.

      The public service profession of teaching is in decline – how to turn this around?

      There is a high rate of attrition among beginning secondary teachers. Just under half leave teaching within the first five years of joining the profession.

      There are concerns about the perceptions of teaching as a profession, which are often negative. Shifting these perceptions is unlikely to be solved by a single approach.

      https://assets.education.govt.nz/public/Uploads/Secondary-Teacher-Supply-Working-Group-Report-9-August-2016.pdf

      https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2021/06/30/deciphering-the-decline-in-literacy-of-new-zealand-students.html

      • Peter 8.1.1

        Negative perceptions of teaching as a profession are very well deserved. It's been regularly said over years we want, we need, our best and brightest to go teaching.

        We want creatives, flexible and adaptable, personable and empathetic, dedicated with a sense of wanting to make a difference.

        Anyone with those qualities doesn't want to be treated like shit by all the unqualified experts without the balls or inclination to take the job on themselves. They're not going to accept being treated like drones by drones who kowtowed to the ignorant crap and have nobbled and sabotaged meaningful teaching as a worthy profession.

        How to turn around the public service profession of teaching? It is not possible. To mangle an aged adage: The necessary changes are more difficult than pushing shit to the top of Mt Everest with a marshmallow rake.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1.1.1

          How to turn around the public service profession of teaching? It is not possible.

          That's depressing Peter – although there are some excellent NZ teachers, I fear you may be right. Another example of the general decline that threatens to overwhelm society's ability to continue in the manner to which we have become accustomed?

      • Belladonna 8.1.2

        I think that if you discuss the quality of teaching/teachers with almost any parent with kids in the current school system, you'd come to a different conclusion.

        That's not to say there aren't excellent teachers out there: because there are. However, there are also a number, and a significantly higher number, of teachers who are not.

        If you're lucky, you'll get one or two inspirational teachers during your entire schooling career. And they aren't always the same (e.g. a teacher can be inspirational for kid A, but not for kid B).

        A much better goal to aim for is excellence – a teacher who thoroughly understands the topic/s they are teaching, is an engaging presenter of material (which may not always be seen as relevant by the kids), and has multiple educational strategies to cut through to kids who don't necessarily 'get' the standard presentation; as well as being able to manage the necessary class discipline for learning.

        The numbers of those teachers in the education system is dropping, and dropping rapidly.

        • Stephen D 8.1.2.1

          Love to know where you get that information from BD.

          Looks like unreliable anecdata to me.

          • Belladonna 8.1.2.1.1

            What, you believe that the quality of teachers is better now, than it was 20 years ago?

            In that case, why have educational levels (you know, the basic ability to read and write) been on a continuous downward trend in virtually every measure?

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/why-literacy-rates-are-falling-in-nz-schools/YTQJAYXYV4SG6XTJFWIRI5E3CA/

            Why are articles like these common:

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300368442/our-education-system-is-in-decline-but-nobody-wants-to-fix-it

            Yes. Anecdata. In that I do have a kid in the schooling system; do talk to other parents (in primary, a major topic of conversation was how to angle your kid into the class with the 'good' teacher – and you bet it made a difference); do pay attention to the education figures and statistics.

            • Stephen D 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Rather than dump on teachers, maybe look at the Ministry. They’re the ones who set the curriculum and liase with training organisations.

              The range of quality of teaching probably mirrors the range of every other profession. Doctors and lawyers included.

              • That is entirely probable. And may well be a contributing factor to the observed dropping standards.

                The great experiment in Modern Learning Environments (open plan large scale classrooms with 2-4 classes and teachers in a single space), entirely driven by MoE theorists – looks as though it may be coming home to roost [sorry for the mixed metaphors]. With zero evidence that it makes any positive difference to learning, and lots of evidence that it disadvantages kids with learning challenges (hearing, ADHD, etc.) and anecdotal evidence that it damages the teacher-student relationship (it's not realistic for teachers to have a personal relationship with up to 120 primary school kids in a class).

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018859439/no-evidence-modern-learning-environments-work-report

                Every new or refurbished classroom for the last 10 years has been built in this style.

                However, teachers are (they have to be) a big factor in children's learning. They're the people on the ground, rather than the MoE bureaucrats issuing directives from Wellington.

                And teacher unions are adamantly opposed to teacher quality evaluation and/or measurable educational standards (at least before NCEA level), and/or increased pay for high-quality teachers (those delivering above average results, regardless of the educational starting level)- which makes it a bit of a chicken and egg scenario so far as Ministerial quality standards go.

                Your examples of comparable professions are interesting.

                It's an incredibly high educational bar to get into Med school, requires 7 years of training, and then another couple to be fully qualified, and/or specialize.

                Again, you need high results to get into law school – and these need to be maintained each year of your degree (drop down and you drop out). You have to work in a law form for a year before you can sit a bar exam (and you have to pass – not just serve your time).

                To get into teacher training, you just need a bare UE pass & a C-grade pass for a 3 year undergraduate degree. (Yes, there are other pathways in, but that's the minimum).

        • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1.2.2

          I think that if you discuss the quality of teaching/teachers with almost any parent with kids in the current school system, you'd come to a different conclusion.

          Perhaps, but there's no doubt in my mind that the state school teachers who educated me (50+ years ago) were mostly excellent.

          There will be many hypotheses about why education and other 'sectors' of society are apparently in decline – maybe someone will present a cogent summary of the root causes for Kiwis to fulminate over as we twiddle our collective thumbs.

          The Side Eye’s Two New Zealands: The Table

          UN: We have a narrow window of opportunity to create a better future for everyone [14 Sept 2022]

          The 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR) – which is entitled “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World” – paints a picture of a global society lurching from crisis to crisis, and which risks heading towards increasing deprivation and injustice.

          Heading the list of events causing major global disruption are the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which have come on top of sweeping social and economic shifts, dangerous planetary changes, and massive increases in polarization.

          For the first time in the 32 years that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has been calculating it, the Human Development Index, which measures a nation’s health, education, and standard of living, has declined globally for two years in a row.

          • Belladonna 8.1.2.2.1

            I have no reason to disbelieve you – though have no direct knowledge of the state of teaching 50+ years ago 😉

            I don't know what the answer is in the education system. Though, don't feel inclined to either accept the status quo as the best we can get; or junk the whole system.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1.2.2.1.1

              Teacher status in Finland (November 2016; PDF))
              In Finland, teachers work in one of the most sought-after and respected professions in the country. The 2013 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey found that primary school teachers in Finland had the highest level of agreement (57%) with a statement that the teaching profession is valued in society – over 20% higher than average. The high social status of teaching in Finland makes it an extremely competitive profession to enter: the elementary education departments in Finnish teaching universities (which train class teachers) only accept 10% of all applicants.

              Would be great if successive NZ governments could craft a bipartisan programme to significantly strengthen the 'education brand', but judicious tweeking of the teaching status quo is perhaps the best Kiwis can hope for.

              Glad I 'went through' the NZ school system in the 60s/70s.

              • I agree the Finnish education system is world-leading by a whole raft of measures.

                And would love a bi (or multi-party) partisan approach to providing a pathway to a similar result. The question is how to get there.

                However, I don't have any confidence that the MoE is the right agency to be leading the way. They are very captured by their own dogma – and have proved unwilling to rock the boat in any way.

                I think we need more than just tweaking the status quo. With the dropping attendance levels (yes, Covid, but they haven't bounced back in significant areas post-Covid), as well as the falling literacy rates – we need to take action.

                And, education is one area where you don't have the luxury of time. Kids only have around 10-12 years in the education system from beginning to end. And the crucial years are the first 4 – the years when you learn the basic building blocks.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  They [the MoE] are very captured by their own dogma…

                  Please expand your 'captured by dogma' critique – when did the rot set in?

                  [The MoE] have proved unwilling to rock the boat in any way.

                  Similarly, examples to supporting your impression would be welcome.

                  My recent experience in the tertiary education sector is that since TEC (Government) funding has been linked to the number of students passing courses and completing degrees, the twins ‘evils’ of dumbing down content and grade inflation have been given freer reign – what a surprise.

                  The NZ MoE once crafted a world class education system. Imho it’s important to understand why/how outcomes went downhill [quickly?] if that system is to regain and then sustain its former levels of achievement.

                  Education system not world class – ministry chief [29 Oct 2012]

                  World class education? Why New Zealand must strengthen its teaching profession [14 October 2014]
                  Executive Summary: The greatest asset in New Zealand’s education system is teachers. Teacher salaries make up the bulk of education spend, and teachers are the most important factor for student achievement and development.
                  [Brought to us be The NZ Initiative!]

                  World Class? Inside NZ Education [2016]
                  "The New Zealand education system is broken and we need to start fixing it today if we want to have a prosperous future tomorrow."
                  Bryan Bruce was a teacher for 10 years before he become an award winning documentary maker. He believes the switch to self-managing schools has proved a disaster for children living in poorer areas of our country, that the way we administer our public schools is getting in the way of teachers doing their job and that to produce creative young thinkers from our schools we need to radically change the way we assess the talents and abilities of our children.
                  What is the purpose of public education? Are we teaching our children in the way that will best prepare them for a future that no one can predict?

                  • The MLE linked earlier is one example.

                    https://www.nzinitiative.org.nz/reports-and-media/media/media-release-school-classrooms-experiment-has-been-based-on-ideology-report/

                    The MoE couldn't even produce any research (on improved student outcomes) which led them to the conclusion that open plan classrooms were a winning learning strategy before the new plan was implemented.

                    They commissioned a literature review, only after they had started rolling these out (initially in Christchurch following the quake). I note with incredulity, that they even acknowledge that the vast majority of the 'research' they cite – originates from themselves….

                    The majority of sources were published by the Ministry of Education, the Education Review Office (ERO), or the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, and others were commissioned by the Ministry of Education though published by other bodies. Other studies that informed this report have been published in national or international journals. Any other types of studies such as masters or doctoral dissertations were carefully considered before inclusion by examining theoretical
                    underpinnings, methodological design and data collection instruments, and ensuring the conclusions
                    reached were justifiable based on the data provided.

                    https://assets.education.govt.nz/public/Documents/Primary-Secondary/Property/Design/Flexible-learning-spaces/FLS-The-impact-of-physical-design-on-student-outcomes.pdf

                    Nor did they invest in evaluation of student experience and learning outcomes once they were implemented. And, even when they've been called into question (research showing poorer educational outcomes, especially for students with learning disabilities – and no educational improvement for anyone) – MoE still mandate all new or renovated builds in schools must be open plan MLE.

                    But the worst (and most long-standing one) is the MoE's attachment to 'balanced literacy' (i.e. learning to read using visual cues, rather than decoding words), even after multiple studies showing that it is not a suitable approach for teaching reading for a large group of children.

                    https://iowareadingresearch.org/blog/structured-and-balanced-literacy

                    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/472783/government-s-new-literacy-plan-met-with-some-skepticism

                    People are sceptical (in the above article) because they've been there before with MoE – they'll invest in developing a 'strategy' which takes 3 years – and then the government changes, or there's a new Minister – and they go back to the drawing board. I regard this as professional or bureaucratic capture, rather than a failure of vision from the Minister concerned.

                    There is a very strong culture of 'we know best' at the MoE – which is not justified by the educational results of kiwi kids.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The MLE linked earlier is one example.

                      Thanks Belladonna – the MoE's MLE experiment started in 2011, and the report on MLE you linked to is dated November 2016, so these ‘time points’ coincide with my three links (2012, 2014 and 2016) vis-à-vis when the rot set in at the MoE. It's important (imho) to understand why/how rot sets in, in order to learn from mistakes.

                      But the worst (and most long-standing one) is the MoE's attachment to 'balanced literacy' (i.e. learning to read using visual cues, rather than decoding words), even after multiple studies showing that it is not a suitable approach for teaching reading for a large group of children.

                      The RNZ item you linked to suggests that the MoE is considering moving away from 'balanced literacy' towards the 'structured literacy' strategy favoured by Lifting Literacy Aotearoa.

                      Lifting Literacy Aotearoa chair Alice Wilson said the government was moving in the right direction – but it was moving too slowly.

                      I hope that the (cautious?) moves currently afoot are in the right direction, and that your assertion the MoE are "unwilling to rock the boat in any way" is a tad hyperbolic. I agree that new initiatives are needed in NZ education, and that making education a political football has the potential to undermine positive change.

                      The Way Reading Is Taught In New Zealand Must Change – NZ Initiative Report [November 2021]
                      Reading with the Light Switched On by research fellow and former teacher Steen Videbeck shows there are large teaching challenges to overcome. But recent changes by the Ministry of Education provide some hope for the future.

                      Credit where credit is due [September 2022]
                      Lest our readers think that all we ever do is complain about what’s wrong, I’m delighted to say that we may be on the verge of a new era in New Zealand education. The Ministry has released an action plan for literacy, communication and mathematics.

                      Like most Ministry publications, the plan is long on buzzwords and short on detail. Still, it does signal a Common Practice Model for effective teaching in these three key areas. Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti was recently interviewed on Q&A. Importantly, she confirmed that the model will use a structured literacy approach.

                      But for now, credit where credit is due. Congratulations to Jan Tinetti for heralding a much-needed change in direction for literacy education in New Zealand.

                      https://gazette.education.govt.nz/articles/structured-literacy-provides-solid-foundations/

                      https://pld.education.govt.nz/find-pld/bsla-professional-support

                      https://www.education.govt.nz/our-work/publications/budget-2022/education-summary-of-initiatives-2022/

                      There is a very strong culture of 'we know best' at the MoE…

                      "Very strong" might be a bit strong, but yes, that seems typical of all Governments, Ministries, private companies and individuals. Mind you, sometimes they probably do 'know best', "lest our readers think that all we ever do is complain about what’s wrong."

                  • MoE has been strongly pro the 'whole language' or 'balanced literacy' (the phrasing changes over time) approach to teaching reading – since at least the 1990s

                    https://www.nzcpr.com/doris-ferry-and-the-phonics-debate/

                    We tend to forget that much content, earlier than the mid 2000s isn't readily available online, and gets missed from our searches.

                    There have, during that time, been multiple studies showing that a structured or phonics based approach has a better result for more children (i.e. kids who would learn using balanced literacy, also learn using structured literacy; and the kids who would fail using balanced literacy are more likely to succeed using structured literacy)

                    That's more than 30 years of MoE clinging to an approach which has demonstrably failed. To me, that qualifies as a "very strong 'we know best' culture".

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      To me, that qualifies as a "very strong 'we know best' culture".

                      Let’s hope that MoE public servants continue to believe that they know best, now that they are adopting strategies you support – "lest our readers think that all we ever do is complain about what’s wrong."

                      To my mind, the apparent shift to a ‘structured literacy’ approach is evidence that MoE public servants can ‘change their dogma’ (ha!) – maybe not rocking the boat, just swaying a little.

        • Peter 8.1.2.3

          You're not going to get inspirational people, the 'best and brightest,' in the job and have them stay there because they're going to the treated like shit.

          They can be trained and knowledgeable and become experienced but they will never be as expert as the self-centred, know-it-all, chip on their shoulder parents and the school managers who are driven buy checklists.

          Of course the numbers of those with the qualities you want is dropping, and dropping rapidly.

          From the era of the likes of Dr C E Beeby and Elwyn Richardson came the expression of New Zealand having a 'world class education system.' The further we moved from their philosophy the more the headlines are about failure.

          The discussion started around Civics and topics readily engaging kids. Are we really interested in kids learning about civics and being really engaged? Or is the starting and ending point checklists, accountability charts and administrative paperwork?

          Civics education is already part of the curriculum. I don't know what McAnulty's high school taught – but political process (including MMP) has been part of the social studies curriculum in high school for a lot longer than 20 years.

          https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/6r8/richardson-elwyn-stuart

          • GaynorChapman 8.1.2.3.1

            Not everyone believes C.E. Beeby was the great educator you portrait . When he was around (mid 20th century )NZ did have a world class education but his drasticchanges to progressive education away from traditional liberal education have been the cause of our present educational woes. This was predicted by wise educators of Beeby's era .

            Please note it is well recorded that Beeby , at the end of his seemingly illustrious life greatly regretted the changes he had made to NZ s excellent education .. He saw the damage they had done even in his life time .

            We need to reverse our entire educational philosophy to return to traditional values which believed in universal literacy and numeracy by phonics , spelling, tables some some rote learning , correction of work , proper handwriting , comprehension exercises ,etc .

            Traditional learning would never had excluded art and crafts and civics but progressive education condemned the above mentioned subjects,

    • Ad 8.2

      Lack of civics education doesn't account for a massive decline in local government voter turnout in one year.

      If MPs wanted more public engagement about what they do, they could get those feckless and otherwise utterly $170k useless list MPs to go do some actual work in the community. There's enough of them.

      • Belladonna 8.2.1

        The cynicism about bothering to vote in local body elections is very real — almost no one at work (100+ employees) is going to bother. The few who will, are 50+, and doing so as an act of civic virtue, rather than in any belief that their vote will make a difference.

        • bwaghorn 8.2.1.1

          The problem is in the age of the individual, where most of us don't have regular contact with large parts of our own community, I've got nothing to base my vote on other than guessing.

        • weka 8.2.1.2

          this is why we have shit in our rivers.

          We also have people saying stuff like this,

          234 people agree with him.

          • Belladonna 8.2.1.2.1

            However, it's the older people who are (anecdotally, at least – I recognize this is just my own lived experience) the ones bothering to vote.

            How do you motivate younger people to care? When everything around them is showing that voting doesn't change anything.

            Dropping the electoral limit age below 70 is probably a good thing (we can certainly see instances of where politicians have remained beyond their use-by date – Shadbolt should have gracefully retired at the last election)

            But, I don't see that electing a bunch of people in their 50s and 60s is going to be a whole lot better. And, many of the ones elected younger just become an institutional part of the system.

            Given the stress and family-unfriendly hours and conditions – it's not realistic to expect many politicians in their 30s and 40s.

            Perhaps a total limit on the number of years you can serve as an elected representative. 12 years (3 terms). And then a mandatory break of at least one term (3 years) before you can serve another 3 terms. After that, not eligible. Time served at both national and regional/local level to count.

            I don't believe that we've been particularly well served by MP retreads at local body level.

            But, none of that addresses the engagement factor.

            Coming from Auckland, I'd say the biggest factor is the inertia of the local bureaucracy. Quite simply, I don't believe that any elected representatives have the ability to make change happen.

            • weka 8.2.1.2.1.1

              quite. I ended up in a conversation off that tweet which was saying that if we get rid of the olds, young people will vote. I think this is dangerous (messing with enfranchisement), discriminatory (ageist), and lacking in class analysis (why exclude older women, Māori, working class people and as you say end up with a bunch of late Pākehā middle agers top heavy with blokes).

              It's also daft. Young people don't vote for a range of reasons including that they're busy doing other things they deem more important. I agree that people feel their vote doesn't change anything, but patently it does. So many people seem to believe that their vote is about their personal gratification, even politically aware people hold this view that. I see voting as an act of solidarity with my community and as a social good 🤷‍♀️

              I don't feel disempowered, so I suppose that's part of why I see the power in voting.

              • I vote as a civic duty (if I don't vote in elections, I believe I forfeit the right to complain about the results for the next 3 years – a fate too dire to contemplate) (joke)

                In the Auckland local body elections – even given the relatively significant divergence of the candidates at the mayoral level – I don't have a lot of confidence that much will change in the AC bureaucracy (and especially not with the council owned entities – like AT) – no matter who is elected.

                At the local level – the Community Boards are basically powerless. They are blatantly ignored (and even lied to) by the likes of AT – and have little power to change or influence AC bureaucratic policy.
                I admire the people who put their hats in the ring (without having any desire to emulate them); and I know they work hard in an often thankless job.

                Truly. We have to find a way to give back more power at the local level. So that people can really see that their candidate (i.e. their vote) can make a difference in their community.

                • weka

                  At the very least, voting is holding a line. Even if there is only one worthy candidate, it's worth voting just to support them.

                  Agree about community democracy.

  9. aj 9

    Potholes . . .

  10. Anker 10

    TOp has just released their tax policy. Will try and link. It looks bloody fantastic. They may well get my vote

    • weka 10.1

      TOP will support National into government if it suits them. They've had major problems with their policies conflicting with welfare. I see they've made some changes on that, but haven't looked at the details yet.

      They also wanted to asset strip elderly when they die by deferring the land tax. Don't know if that's still true.

      • Belladonna 10.1.1

        Given they've specifically said they're a Centrist party – then that goes with the territory – supporting Labour or National depending on the policy gains they can get.

        They've specifically said that the land tax can be deferred – so the 'asset stripping the elderly' would still apply (as it does to any land tax or CGT which includes land value, and has the capacity to be deferred).

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          Is there a difference between applying a land tax on death, as opposed to applying one yearly and deferring it until death or sale?

          • Belladonna 10.1.1.1.1

            Mostly a matter of amount and certainty.

            A one-off land tax applied at death (aka death duties) is a known cost. (you know it's x% of whatever the value is)

            A deferred tax simply goes on adding up – depending on how long it takes to die or sell. So, potentially could be a lot more, when added up over 20 years or so….

  11. Anker 11

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/130049986/the-opportunities-party-releases-65b-tax-cut-plan-to-get-back-on-political-map

    TOPs tax policy. First 15,000 not taxed. Forgive the debt owed by beneficiaries. Pay for it all by a small land tax.75%. Retirees can defer payment.

    • bwaghorn 11.1

      Interesting ,nz needs top, if he's got a chance of a seat I might vote top again, (voted once for them , 3 elections ago if I remember rightly)

      • Graeme 11.1.1

        Can see them getting hammered on their property tax. When most landlords are operating on 2-3% real return, at best, (the money's in the capital gain) a 0.75% Property Tax is going to put 25 – 40% on the rent initially until property values crash.

        Like CGT a good idea in a perfect world, but getting from here to there has got a few knobs on it.

        I'd like to see a breakdown of parts of New Zealand where the gain from reduced income tax is equal or greater than what the homeowner will pay in Property Tax. It'll be an interesting relationship between property values and income, desirable places with poor wages will get hammered, others not so much. Can see a lot of wailing from people who have to sell their homes because they can't afford the tax payments.

        I seem to remember Morgan's property tax proposal 10 years back wasn't quite so stark and was around equity so you could borrow and invest something other than property to reduce your liability.

    • observer 11.2

      There are some decent ideas in their tax policy. Worth considering.

      Sadly, they won't get anywhere with the wider public for 2 reasons:

      1) The 5% threshold is too high, and unfair. Proposals to lower it have been consistently blocked by National.

      2) TOP killed their own brand when Gareth Morgan and Sean Plunkett decided to insult as many people as possible, which turned out not to be a vote-winning tactic. Who'd have guessed?

      Of course TOP today is not the same as it was then. But you only get one chance to be a new, fresh party, and they blew it.

      Again, they do have good ideas. Sadly, nobody is going to talk about them, outside a tiny minority of us on poli-blogs.

      • weka 11.2.1

        That Morgan meltdown of his own party was quite something to witness. New people now who seem to be doing good things. I value diversity in politics and it's been good to see them updating their policy as they get feedback on the holes in it. Still have some major issues with their positioning (they will support Nact into govt if it suits them). They've improved some of the stuff that was going to impact negatively on welfare*, but haven't looked at the details yet.

        *they're also smart in some ways. Increasing disability allowance is both good for people who can't work and is non taxable and won't be affected by earnings and the WINZ rebate, but also there are a lot of people fucked off with Labour over them ignoring disabled people in benefits.

        • Anker 11.2.1.1

          This is the first tax policy I have seen that will help the poor and pay for it by taxing landowners.

          Top will also right off beneficiary debt. I am surprized more on the left aren't cheering it.

          There are a lot of dissaffected Labour voters who can't bring themselves to vote National, especially having seen how disastrous the UK tax cuts have been (in all of 5 minutes). I think this policy will appeal. Many of us want some redistribution of wealth. Labour have increased inequality and made a lot of weatlhy people even wealthier.

          • weka 11.2.1.1.1

            This is the first tax policy I have seen that will help the poor and pay for it by taxing landowners.

            It will tax rich and poor landowners alike. The Greens's policy targets people with a lot of wealth and directly helps all beneficiaries.

            Top will also right off beneficiary debt. I am surprized more on the left aren't cheering it.

            Most won't be aware of it yet. There are some good things in the policy for low income people. I'm not seeing an overall plan that's better than the GP's.

          • weka 11.2.1.1.2

            there's some good stuff in here, I'll wait for the details.

            https://www.top.org.nz/the_status_quo_must_go

    • Belladonna 11.3

      The land tax would replace current the bright line test, not apply to rural, Māori and conservation land and could be deferred for superannuitants.

      Suspect they may not have thought this through. Replacing the bright line test, takes us right back to the property price inflation (buy and sell for capital gain) – though, it might look more appealing in an era of falling/settling property values. Rural land exempt? Farmers will be delighted: a massive tax cut, and no compensatory tax increase.

      Manji also announced that he would run in the seat of Ilam, which was lost by long-term MP Gerry Brownlee to Labour’s Sarah Pallett in 2020. Manji won 23% of the vote in the seat running as an independent in 2017

      “If we win Ilam, every single vote will count, so that will be our focus and the team is ready to go”, he said.

      Looks like a well-thought through strategy there. Labour has little hold on the seat, and it would depend mightily on who National chose to put up against him (will Brownlee stay or go?). He's clearly got a strong local profile in the seat – so may be able to capitalize on this – even if only as a protest vote. And, if he looks like a winner in Ilam – then waverers are more inclined to risk their vote on TOP.

      • weka 11.3.1

        Swarbrick broke the mold for Labour holding a seat. It would improve MMP if they win (although some of their policies are problematic from a lw pov).

        • Belladonna 11.3.1.1

          Oh, I absolutely agree the Swarbrick showed it was possible.
          And, it looks as though Manji has the right local profile to give it a good shot.

          I wouldn't expect Labour to hold this seat, even if TOP didn't stand – it's one of the ones which they won in the 2020 Jacinda landslide, and couldn't realistically have believed they'd hold.

          It all depends on who National puts up.

          Options:

          • Brownlee has high local and national profile (you may not like him but you certainly know who he is). However, he's already said he's going list only (with the aim of Speaker, if the Right wins). I don't see him standing in Ilam as a likely alternative.
          • National could parachute another high-profile list MP in (not a lot of options here, given their clean out in 2020)
          • National could head-hunt a local high-profile candidate [better get the selection right 😉 ] – with the specific goal of knee-capping Manji.
          • National could put up a standard candidate, and see how the chips fall. [I don't think they'd be happy with this option – and would prefer no. 3]

          I can't see National doing a cup of tea with Manji – but they have history of working with centrist MPs and parties (Peter Dunn).

          We don't have a good picture on how the resurgent ACT would play here either. Historically, this hasn't been a good seat for them – but the figures have changed a lot since 2020.

          This will be a seat to watch with interest, once electoral polling gets going at the regional/seat level.

        • Visubversa 11.3.1.2

          The Greens ran Auckland Central as if it were a by-election. They threw everything at it – they had people from as far away as Riverton working in Auckland Central. They also piled on the emotional blackmail to Labour people trying to get them to give the electorate vote to Swarbribk as some sort of insurance policy "how would you feel if Labour was not in government because they did not have the Green Party to support them"?

          • weka 11.3.1.2.1

            that's not emotional blackmail, that's reminding people how MMP works 😉

          • Belladonna 11.3.1.2.2

            Do you think Swarbrick will hold Auckland Central?

            I wouldn't bet against her. National profile, and she's visible and articulate at a local level as well.

            I'd be surprised if Helen White (in parliament on a list seat) takes it from her. White hasn't shone in Parliament (I know, difficult when you're a new back bencher), and doesn't seem to be getting cut-through locally, either.

            Don't know who National will stand. A Nikki Kaye clone would have the possibility of coming through the middle, with the left vote split between Swarbrick and White. But it's a big ask for a newcomer. Emma Mellow (previous Nat candidate) has gone to Australia (I think) – so will almost certainly be a new face.

            My gut says that Swarbrick will hold the electorate.

  12. observer 12

    Public Opinion News. Net approval ratings for Prime Ministers (positive, minus negative) …

    1) Wicked Dictator Cindy: + 15. Worst Government Ever, End Of, Fact!!111!!

    2) Bright New Tax-Cutting Tory: – 37.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/oct/01/liz-truss-poll-ratings-plummet-lower-than-boris-johnsons-before-he-was-forced-out

    "The Conservative Party and the National Party enjoy many shared values and I hope both parties will continue to build on that." (Christopher Luxon)

    • newsense 12.1

      And this amazing remarkable stat on Sir Keith considering an alleged 33 point poll lead.

      ‘His net score is now +9, up from -4 last week. ’

  13. joe90 13

    I usually ignore Avaaz campaigns. This time I'm going to ignore the WC and sign the campaign petition.

    In just two months, more than a million fans will watch the World Cup from seats built with the blood of Qatar’s migrant workforce. These seven gleaming stadiums, dozens of new hotels, and other construction cost the lives of 6,500 modern day slaves.

    That’s 39 lives for every goal expected at the World Cup.

    Qatar is expected to rake in $17 billion in profit from hosting the games. FIFA will grab $6 billion. The winning teams will take home $440 million. Migrant workers make as little as $1 per hour.

    It is clear Qatar did not value the lives lost preparing for the World Cup. But we can make sure that the hundreds of thousands of workers and their families are compensated for the serious abuses they faced and continue to face.

    Human rights organizations around the world are calling on FIFA and everyone else profiting from the World Cup to set aside $440 million in compensation funds for the migrant workers exploited in preparing for the World Cup – the same amount that will be awarded to the winning teams.

    FIFA is ignoring the call to action – but pressure is mounting. Just this week England’s top football organization publicly backed the campaign. And if FIFA hears a massive outcry from people all around the world – they may be forced to act! So add your voice today and we’ll deliver our petition straight to FIFA.

    https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/make_fifa_pay_21/

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/what-is-the-human-cost-of-the-world-cup-in-qatar/m3zrnp26l

  14. joe90 14

    They'll investigate until they wear the skin off.

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