Open mike 04/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 4th, 2023 - 52 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

52 comments on “Open mike 04/12/2023 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Folks here collectively covered a significant performance lapse by the Nats yesterday. The leader took it on the chin while the Bish doubled-down was what I saw of their handling of the discrepancy between 1 & 35. Went onto the RNZ site early this morning to see how the pros were framing it. Zilch. Oh well, let's see how Morning Report copes. Meanwhile, at the media interface…

    "Hey Lux, how come you & Bish can't get facts from the govt website?"

    "Well my minder reckons you're meant to blame a junior staffer at moments like this. Seems clever, eh? Must've been temporarily out to lunch. Lot of mental health issues around you know, can't expect us to be exempt."

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      RNZ has now got it up & running: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/503865/christopher-luxon-tells-team-to-fact-check-claims-after-tobacco-outlet-mistake

      "Our team meant to say one outlet… in a town across Northland but we got it wrong. What I've said is look, we got that wrong.

      He's quite right, he has actually said that. RNZ has quoted him saying so. It must, therefore, be true.

      Asked if he had evidence the government's plan would stop as many people smoking as the status quo, Luxon said: "I'm not sure that the previous Labour government's approach had a guaranteed model of how it would reduce [rates]."

      A nifty dodge. Evidence of anything is often elusive. Best not to claim having noticed any because someone might check & it may have drifted away in the interim.

      Floating the notion that Labour may have had a guaranteed model is an adept touch: models are so rarely guaranteed that I've never encountered one that is. If you do, read the fine print on that guarantee extremely carefully!

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Not a happy camper, old Gary:

    Gary Taylor CNZM QSO is Chief Executive of the Environmental Defence Society and has worked with successive governments since 1980. https://newsroom.co.nz/2023/12/01/new-government-crashes-environment/

    National, which has traditionally taken a responsible blue-green approach to environmental management, has traded away many of those principles in favour of a radical anti-environment policy programme. The politics of the campaign period are morphing into revenge politics of a Government wanting to undo anything that has happened during the past six years, irrespective of its merits. This will ultimately come at the expense of our environment and economy.

    He does a succinct policy review then fronts this triad:

    There are three key big-picture points to note. First, our system of government relies on the courts to provide checks on executive decision-making. They will likely be busy.

    Secondly, the interests of tangata whenua and ENGOs will likely be more powerfully aligned than ever before.

    And thirdly, New Zealanders didn’t vote for polluted rivers, habitat loss and species extinctions and are likely to make that clear when they next go to the ballot box.

    The EDS has an extensive bluegreen track record & he's been driving it a long time. Centrist disquiet must be spreading, you'd think. Already.

  3. Pat 3

    “I am aware of the fact that workers pay agents in Vietnam to come here, but I personally have not received any money,” Kang said."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/immigration/133343933/migrants-left-with-no-work-struggle-with-mountain-of-debt-and-no-hope-of-paying-it-off

    The face of modern slavery….what do we say about foreign realms that exploit migrants?

    Immigration NZ is a disgrace….as are the politicians who turn a blind eye to such.

    • KJT 3.1

      Covid has highlighted how much to many NZ businesses don't have a real business.

      Too many rely on underpaid and exploited workers, especially those on temporary visas.

    • Obtrectator 3.2

      Treading very carefully here …. I'm just wondering how that, er, gentleman was able to be a candidate for Te Pāti Māori.

      • Pat 3.2.1

        The Maori Party is not immune to less than desirable candidates.

        All of parliament need to have a long hard look at themselves and consider what they are allowing in our name.

  4. Anne 4

    I hope this bastard gets everything in the book thrown at him:

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/503866/te-whatu-ora-vaccination-data-leak-a-devastating-breach-of-trust

    The time has come when this sort of behaviour is treated as a serious crime. No more the soft touch treatment because it doesn't work with these types. They have messed up heads and capable of causing irreparable harm to many people – not to mention the lives potentially lost through their crack-pot claims.

  5. AB 5

    Elderly couple may lose their home due to Council charging affected ratepayers $48k for a new sewerage scheme to protect Lake Tarawera. The lake must be protected of course, but this is a consequence of how the work is funded.

    Fast forward to the cost of repairing future climate change-induced damage, and expect to see this problem writ large. The young will be (already are) unable to afford homes, while the elderly will be unable to retain them. Who will end up owning them all?

    • Ad 5.1

      Nothing to do with climate change.

      Everything to do with large scale septic tank use destroying a massive ecosystem over multiple decades.

      Instead of facing up to their own environmental damage over decades, they have to pay the bill now in a lump.

      Time to pay their bill.

    • Obtrectator 5.2

      And you can bet the price of this particular example won't stop at $29 million, either. Pay $48,000 in a lump now, and expect further levies "to meet unforeseen costs", or opt for instalments which will increase relentlessly and substantially over that ten-year period? What a bloody choice.

      And anyway, why are only those 450 current residents being expected to meet three-quarters of the overall expense? The benefits of an unpolluted lake are going to be shared by a great many more people than that, and over the course of generations to come as well. User pays, dammit!

      • aj 5.2.1

        And you can bet the price of this particular example won't stop . . .

        A wee vision of the future in many parts of NZ as the costs of fixing 3 Waters comes home to householders rather than NZ Inc.

  6. Reality 6

    Nick Rockel's writing on Feeds is so good. So clever, original, humorous and topical.

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      I went for a look & you're quite right. He is a good writer making valid points well.

      the truth is that the truth actually matters.

      Unfashionable view, but I ain't gonna argue. Trouble is, Lux may not have had the Reader's Digest lying around constantly as he grew up. I lost count of how many times I read "Honesty is the best policy" as a child. Zillions.

    • Agreed Reality. Nick Rockel has become a great source of clarity and is an inspiring read, including the comments section.yes

    • Bearded Git 6.3

      True….and Nick's efforts are free….many of the links promoted by TS now seem to be paywalled or from right wing commentators.

      • He does take contributions, and many of us have donated extra subscriptions to allow others to read his pieces. He puts important ones in the "Free" section.

        Like Gerard Otto he is a voice of reason on the Left. Cheers.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    NZ wins global award:

    New Zealand made a brief appearance in yesterday’s fossil fuel debate. It won the first Fossil of the Day award of this COP for the National-led government’s campaign promise to revoke the previous government’s ban on offshore oil exploration beyond Taranaki’s coastal waters.

    The government was making “a U-turn on the way to a liveable future,” said the Climate Action Network, which made the award. CAN involves some 1,100 NGOs in more than 120 countries. https://newsroom.co.nz/2023/12/04/nz-wins-cop28-fossil-award-for-revoking-offshore-oil-exploration-ban/

  8. They are aligning with the power brokers… poor us.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    I'm not a fan of hers but will give this the benefit of the doubt:

    Labour's new revenue spokesperson Deborah Russell believes it might be time to "seriously" look at a capital gains tax (CGT).

    Russell, a former tax lecturer who was last week appointed to the revenue role now that Labour is in Opposition, says she believes a CGT would be simpler to implement than a wealth tax, which both the Greens and Te Pāti Māori campaigned on at the election.

    She said she believed wealth taxes "are largely unknown" and it would be "complicated to explain it to people".

    Why? She's staking out her position. In Labour, that is sufficiently deviant as to count as using your initiative. Takes courage, so a fair observer ought to give her credit. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2023/12/labour-s-new-revenue-spokesperson-deborah-russall-says-might-be-time-to-seriously-look-at-capital-gains-tax.html

    • SPC 9.1

      Which is why I'll remain voting Green.

      “Unknown”, “complicated” – real sophisticated argument. It’s called an apologetic on behalf of those with established wealth via high value property. Most counties with a CGT (35/36 in the OECD) also have an estate tax (24/36).

      The weakness of a CGT on CG not related to property covered by the bright-line test is that it can become a tax on the productive sector – we want people buying share issues to assist the real economy.

      The bright-line test and the restriction of the mortgage cost deduction to new builds were of a design to re-direct investment to productive use.

    • SPC 9.2

      And her reference to a study in 2016 – before Labour brought in the 5 year and then 2 bright-line test. The bright-line test in place by 2016 was one at 10 years and had brought in no revenue at that time.

      Back in 1983 Douglas argued a preference for an assets tax to a CGT and in the end did neither (and with a deduction for mortgage cost against taxable rent income in place) . Thus set up a generation of borrowing (floating the dollar allowed more money inflow) to speculate on rising property values.

      A CGT also incentivises government with revenue gain from a rise in property values, rather than focus on affordability of housing.

      And landlords just avoid the tax by adding more property to their stock without selling any. Becoming wealthier and wealthier without any tax liability.

    • Pat 9.3

      "She said she believed wealth taxes "are largely unknown" and it would be "complicated to explain it to people"."

      Somewhat disingenuous….there is nothing more complicated about 'explaining' a wealth tax as opposed to a CGT…..but it may be hard to explain that you wont implement one because you fear capital flight.

      There are around 5 countries with a wealth tax and 130 odd with a CGT.

      Whatever proposal they end up with is sure to provide plenty of loopholes in any case as in a world of free capital movement the fear of capital flight governs them all…..governments no longer control their economies, they merely manage them for the international financiers.

      • SPC 9.3.1

        Yet 24/36 OECD nations have an estate tax – based on the same asset taxation as a wealth tax.

        Most of a our wealth tax would be on property. That capital could only be moved with sale (and we do not allow offshore ownership).

        • Pat 9.3.1.1

          So you're advocating capital controls?….that is agin the free movement of capital which is one of the underpinnings of the neolib (Washington) consensus.

          You're in or you're out.

        • Pat 9.3.1.2

          And we dont allow offshore ownership of 'residential property' under some circumstances….lots of loopholes.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Luxon & Willis are just finishing their press conference. He was reassuring on the bluegreen front & emphatic about helping Maori. They were doing a co-leader stance visually & verbally, dunno if they realised it though.

    Willis said the government's mini-Budget would be released on 20 December alongside Treasury's half-year economic and fiscal update.

    "That mini-Budget document will reflect a number of time-critical decisions made by the incoming government including some already confirmed in our 100-day plan. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/503904/watch-government-s-100-day-plan-starts-with-laser-focus-on-cost-of-living-luxon-says

    He's using this triad:

    Luxon said the government was focusing on the 100-day plan, but was also looking at longer term one-year and three-year plans.

    That design will secure traction. That's because 3 in nature creates process (in physics action = energy x time). When a 4th element blends in (structure) we get systems.

  11. Adrian 11

    I agree with Deborah Russell, a CGT would be much easier, a wealth tax would mean a huge leap in the number of bloody Tax Accountants and they would charge more than the WT would bring in. The key is that the simpler the system the better. Wealth is more easily hidden, CG not so much.

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