Open mike 07/06/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 7th, 2024 - 68 comments
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68 comments on “Open mike 07/06/2024 ”

  1. SPC 1

    85,000 people are not getting to see a specialist after being referred by a GP.

    Presumably there are others – people who go to hospital without seeing a GP (do not have one).

    National is proposing funding of more scans of people prior to seeing a specialist (without mentioning if they have the technicians in hospitals to do this). *

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/518850/at-least-85-000-people-each-year-turned-away-from-seeing-specialists-some-dying-as-result

    This*

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/517966/radiology-services-faces-concerning-challenges-report

  2. Bearded Git 2

    From the Herald today. Tax avoidance is alive and well.

    "A tax minimisation trick has ironically seen the Government’s tax take unexpectedly spike. Companies owned by trusts appear to have flushed out excess retained earnings ahead of the trustee tax rate rising from 33 to 39 per cent on April 1, 2024 (for trusts that earn more than $10,000 a year). The value of companies’ dividend payments more than doubled, from $23.6 billion to $49.4b, in the tax year to March 31, 2024, according to figures Inland Revenue gave the Herald.

    The spike in dividend payments that occurred just before the trustee rate change took effect was such that it contributed towards the Government collecting $1.7b (1.7 per cent) more tax in the 10 months to April 30 than the Treasury expected"

    Interesting that the COC hasn’t reversed Labour’s move to tax trusts at 39% (except for smaller trusts). The politics of this would not have looked good.

    • SPC 2.1

      The GR government got the same result when they increased the top rate of tax to 39 cents, so they planned to generate this windfall by placing the rate on trusts to 39 cents this year. It was a deliberate move to add to the money available for new spending.

      Interesting that the COC hasn’t reversed Labour’s move to tax trusts at 39% (except for smaller trusts). The politics of this would not have looked good.

      They knew they needed the money because their numbers were dubious.

    • Nic the NZer 2.2

      Something also worth highlighting about this, it represents a budget forecast error in the order of $1.7 billion (over 12 months). Question is, how many of the $million cuts made and being made became irrelevant to the state of the government books by this forecast error (while often seriously hurting public service provision, institution and staff)?

      The same question arises every time an un-forecast 'improvement' in the budget position is reported, where the question regarding that improvement figure should be just how much extra public spending could have been done with the same expected impacts on the economy as forecast. The only difference is in this case the cause of a big part of the forecast error appears to be understood.

      • SPC 2.2.1

        Some of the $1.7B came from higher interest income from banks and PIE (28% max).

        The variation in dividends income comes from companies owned by trusts.

        This shows the dividend income figure variations that can occur from tax consideration.

        https://archive.li/YvYv1

        The budget impact is minimal because it is not regular revenue.

        It can be used for one off funding (school building). Funding of a first year of a new spending allocation (cancer drugs). Or maintaining existing programmes – such as food in schools 2024-2027.

        • Nic the NZer 2.2.1.1

          Not sure what point your making. Trying to fine tune a forecast figure which you have only a very fuzzy idea of is fundamentally foolish, and hurting so many people in the process makes that malicious.

          • SPC 2.2.1.1.1

            Budgets are based on knowns, not unknowns.

            Revenue of 101.7B instead of $100B has more of an impact on future budget plans where it is not a one off increase.

            Regardless of ones view on the nature of government organisation – as to funding means or level of funding, and its ultility to people, it has to do budgets.

            This is so, even though government subservience to a yearly budget balance has moved on – to one of management across the economic cycle, and even then within the context of borrowing for future development – infrastructure and either having contingency allocation or low debt for a rainy day.

            The issue here is really one of maintaining government activity across the economic cycle because political parties have a different perspective on a sustainable baseline role and level to public service delivery.

            • Nic the NZer 2.2.1.1.1.1

              "Budgets are based on knowns, not unknowns."

              I take this to mean you can only forecast based on things you know, which seems rather beside the point. There are lots of things in the budget which are estimates because you don't know them. In this case were talking about something which treasury could have apparently estimated much better, but simply forgot to. Estimates are going to be wrong to some degree of course. The reason that should be contentious is the scale of the things you can't estimate well dwarfs the scale of the things which are being focused on.

              "The budget impact is minimal because it is not regular revenue."

              Don't mistake something which might be legitimately hard to estimate for being unimportant. For specific example, minimal in this context is apparently $1.7 billion over 12 months. The recent Kainga Ora review forecast that the operating balance deficit would grow from $520 million to $700 million annually. This is substantially smaller than that minimal budget error. Kainga Ora is also one of the larger departments in the budget.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.3

      Priorities of course.

      https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/09/17/to-target-benefit-frauds-or-tax-evaders-act-leader-questioned/

      And yep we can see, and know, why..

      Newsable: Billions likely lost to tax evasion, as white collar crime investigators go underfunded

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300878382/newsable-billions-likely-lost-to-tax-evasion-as-white-collar-crime-investigators-go-underfunded

      And under NActFirst….thats even less likely to change.

    • Incognito 2.4

      Link, please.

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.6

      Yeah I remember seeing some advice from financial advisors to do this before the tax rate went up. Just shows how much the system is designed for those who have the greatest means to pay tax.

      I'm still not sure what benefit NZ gets from all the tax haven trusts we have either. Does it just make it look like the country is flush with money even though it doesn't belong to us? Does it just enable banks to lend more money because they have these massive amounts sitting in these foreign owned trusts?

  3. SPC 3

    From the school of common sense.

    Pro rata for pay occurs now. This is based on hours worked (the amount paid even if working, or annual leave or sick leave is taken).

    Pro rata of sick leave is based on days worked.

    If it is 5 days a week part-time or full-time – then that is 10 days a year sick leave.

    If it is 4 days part-time or full-time – that is 8 days sick leave.

    If it 3 days part-time or full-time – that is 6 days sick leave.

    If it is 2 days part-time or full-time – then it is 4 days.

    If it is 1 day part-time or full-time – then it is 2 days.

    https://www.1news.co.nz/2024/06/07/how-the-proposed-sick-leave-changes-could-impact-you/

    • Mike the Lefty 3.1

      You might think it is all common sense.

      I am suspicious of the motives of a party that has, in the past, advocated the reduction of both annual and sick leave for waged workers, plus abolition of penal rates for working on public holidays and was a prime advocate of what we call now "zero hours contracts".

      Leopards do not change their spots.

    • AB 3.2

      Yes, so are the libertarian freaks from ACT trying to pull a trick here?

      Let's assume for simplicity that a full-time working year (minus weekends, public holidays and annual leave) is 40 weeks (200 days) – it's a bit longer in reality, but this keeps the arithmetic simpler.

      If I currently work 5 days a week and 8 hours a day – my working year would be 200 days and 1600 hours. I currently get 10 full-time days (80 hours) of sick-leave – that's one working day in 20 and one hour in 20.

      If I currently work 4 days a week and 4 hours a day – my working year would be 160 (part-time days) and 640 hours. I currently get 8 part-time 4-hour days (32 hours) of sick leave – that's also one working day in 20 and one hour in 20.

      However, what happens if we slyly convert those 640 annual hours of our part-time worker into full time days? 640 hours is only 80 full-time days – only 40% of the 200 days worked annually by the full-time worker. Therefore, if we pro-rate on this basis, the part-time worker will get 40% of the 10 days allowed to the full-time worker, i.e. 4 days. So now our part-time worker gets only 4 part-time 4-hour days (16 hours) of sick leave – that's now become only one working day in 40 and one hour in 40, whereas currently both of these ratios are 1 in 20.

      Note that the total effect is that our part-time worker still has to turn up on 160 days, but their sick leave allowance now treats them as if they had to turn up on only 80. It blurs the distinction between the number of working days (the days on which I must turn up to work) and the total days worked in a year (measured in full-time days)

      It's not clear that this is the trick they're pulling. But it looks like it to me.

      • SPC 3.2.1

        It sure does look like it.

        They are using examples of a person who has two (part-time) jobs and who then claims 20 days sick leave.

        This to portray it as a problem to be solved by pro rata based on hours worked. Despite the obvious injustice to those who work part-time 5 days a week.

        They can solve that problem by having another category for those who have multiple jobs.

        First category – those who meet the criteria for 10 days sick leave (those who work 5 days a week in both those jobs). Allocate the 10 days across the jobs they have. 5 days each.

        Second category – work 2 days in 2 jobs – then get 8 days sick leave – 4 for each one etc.

        It is not hard, if one is trying to be fair.

      • SPC 3.3.1

        Sure the current regime is based on a qualifying criteria and with no pro rata at all.

        If one does have pro rata, a days based one is fairer than one based on hours.

  4. SPC 4

    Auckland is looking at roading de-congestion options.

    Time of use is no more efficient than commuter car lanes (reserved for cars with multiple people). Though charges would encourage commuter car arrangements (shared cost).

    They are fairest when there is spare PT capacity (an alternative).

    They are most unfair on those whose work requires constant travel by car to where they work (home care workers) – so there needs to be exemptions (or rebates).

  5. adam 5

    Wow some journalist out their must feel like they were utterly conned today.

    So the pile on against Te Pāti Māori was led by Destiny Church, I mean if you saw the video about them talking about the money, you could have guessed.

    I'm going to go one more than Martyn over at the daily blog – the double standard and racist whistle blowing is the real story here.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2024/06/07/the-double-standard-crucifixion-of-maori-party/

    The fact our so called independent media can go all feral at Te Pāti Māori and yet let the governments open corruption slide, Is the story. If the so called independent media whinge again about media trust, they might just wanna stop for a second.

    This issue should have been left to be investigated, then we should have been informed of the outcome.

    Not played out as more dirty politics, and a pile on from a collection of Mammon devotees.

    Te Pāti MāoriPāti Māori

  6. The main question will be – did they photocopy any part of the Census to use for making political contacts?

    Having been a Census collector in the past and signed the relevant security documents, I know that is the legal point here.

    Nobody cares that they gave out ice creams or food vouchers to get people to complete the Census. There is nothing unlawful in that. However, if any part of the Census was copied – and utilised for another purpose – that is what is required to be addressed.

    • weka 6.1

      This.

      And whether there was voter influencing. I haven't seen a clear timeline yet on that.

      • Michael Scott 6.1.1

        The Marae agree they gave out free stuff to voters on voting day which seems dodgy as their former chief executive was standing in the contest.

        Does anyone know how to get the vote numbers for the Manurewa Marae booth and compare how many the Te Paati Maori candidate got compared with the surrounding booths?

        • Grey Area 6.1.1.1

          It's really easy. Go to the electoral commission website, find election 2023 results, select the electorate and you download a CSV format file of voting results for candidate and party votes for each polling place in the electorate. Can't recall if it separates for general and Maori roll but I didn't find it difficult when I did some local research.

          • Craig H 6.1.1.1.1

            It effectively does by having separate results by general and Maori electorate since those are separate by roll.

        • weka 6.1.1.2

          I've removed your email address from the URL field, please don't put it in there as it is public.

          • Michael Scott 6.1.1.3.1

            Thanks Joe90 I tried to open the CSV file but can't.

            On reflection even if the Maori Party candidate did get a higher percentage of votes at The Marae booth it might not be treating. Simply that the Marae members had a relationship with the candidate because she was previously in charge of the Marae.

            I don't think the Electoral Commission will let this happen again.

            It is interesting how quiet the Maori Party is on all this.

            • joe90 6.1.1.3.1.1

              Use the html link.

            • weka 6.1.1.3.1.2

              The Independent Electoral Review recommended repealing the treating section of the legislation,

              Treating

              1. 18.15 The Electoral Commission has previously raised specific concerns with the offence of “treating”. Treating is when someone provides food, drink or entertainment before, during, or after an election for the purpose of “corruptly” influencing aperson to vote or refrain from voting. It is also an offence to corruptly accept food, drink or entertainment under these conditions. There is an exception for “the provision of a light supper after any election meeting”.10
              2. 18.16 The offence of treating creates many problems and confusion in practice.11 It is unclear how much food, drink and entertainment can be offered or accepted and under what circumstances. This lack of clarity might mean that such great care is taken not to treat voters that it prevents behaviour that is acceptable, such as providing ordinary hospitality. In particular, the current offence fails to acknowledge manaakitanga, where hospitality shows connection, kindness and respect in Māori culture. Hospitality is also important in many other cultures.
              3. 18.17 The offence of treating also requires a corrupt intent, which can be difficult to prove. In its submission to our first consultation, the Electoral Commission indicated its view that there would need to be an understanding or contract in place that voters would vote in a certain way to provide sufficient evidence that the offence of treating had been committed. Providing voters with food, drink and entertainment without the necessary corrupt bargain is legal, adding further confusion about what is allowed.

              https://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/webarchive/20240119114109/https://electoralreview.govt.nz/publications/

              • AB

                Not altogether surprising that providing low-level hospitality and the collective sharing of food by predominantly poorer cultural minorities is outlawed as 'treating' – while individual donations of very large sums of money by wealthy individuals in the hope of influencing policy is all fine, provided it's declared. In the USA, the latter even attains the laudable and noble heights of 'free speech'.

                • weka

                  pretty much.

                  I can't see the problem. The only things that stood out for me when I read the original piece the other day were the photocopying of records, and whether they were putting TPM fliers in packs at the wrong time/process. I'm also unclear on the timing of the candidate and when she stepped down as CEO. Hoping someone does a timeline.

                • joe90

                  providing low-level hospitality

                  We don't know how lucky we are.

                  .

                  A federal judge on Friday narrowed a section of Georgia election law that banned the practice of handing out food and water to voters waiting in line to cast ballots, as well as halted enforcement of a requirement that voters put their birth dates on the outer envelope of their ballots.

                  […]

                  His ruling on so-called line-warming allowed the ban to still be enforced in what he dubbed the “buffer zone” around a polling place, within 150 feet of the building where ballots are being cast. But he paused enforcement of the ban in the “supplemental zone,” or additional areas that are within 25 feet of a voter standing in line.

                  https://edition.cnn.com/2023/08/18/politics/georgia-election-law-ban-food-water-voters-line/index.html

                  https://www.dictionary.com/e/politics/line-warming/

              • SPC

                Given how the marae operates on other weekends/at other times, it would be a stretch to say what it did on polling day was with any intent.

              • Cricklewood

                To be honest the Electoral commision really dropped the ball allowing the Marae to be a polling place given its leaders candiacy for TPM. It created a situation where no matter the result allegations could be thrown around and the associated murk does a whole lot of harm to everyone.

                • weka

                  I don't know the area, but I agree that it's created perception issues at the least. But again, I still don't get the timeline. Did the CEO resign so she could stand? When did the Marae get chosen to be a polling place?

            • Mike the Lefty 6.1.1.3.1.3

              Serving kai to your visitors is an important part of marae protocols. So you think they shouldn't do that because part of the building was being used as a voting booth?

            • adam 6.1.1.3.1.4

              It is interesting how quiet the Maori Party is on all this

              FFS really, damned if you have an investigation, and damned if you don't.

              Look their is an investigation going on, a labour one. So stuck not commentating. Trolls food?

              There has been a letter of response to Andrea Vance. I’ll add a link soon, can’t find it at mo – as got as email. So lets wait and see otherwise it looks like racist dog whistle politics?

              Any help from the mods would be great appreciated. 🙂

            • joe90 6.1.1.3.1.5

              It is interesting how quiet the Maori Party is on all this.

              nah

              /

              Te Pāti Māori co-leaders have written to police seeking an urgent investigation into allegations made against the party relating to the 2023 election campaign.

              In a statement on Friday afternoon, the party's president John Tamihere confirmed the leaders' request was sent to Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/518926/te-pati-maori-seeks-investigation-president-john-tamihere-retaliates-over-data-accusations

  7. Incognito 7

    What can we say, yet another election promise broken by National. When will it end? That’s a rhetorical question, BTW.

    https://www.politik.co.nz/national-breaks-another-health-promise/

    Good piece by Richard Harman.

  8. Joe90 8

    D-Plus 29,22[0]1

    @rhreid

    Thousands turn out to welcome US WW2 veterans in Sainte Mere Eglise, Normandy where the 82nd Airborne jumped on D-Day.

    https://x.com/rhreid/status/1798385150301966429

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    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    7 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    34 mins ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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