Open Mike 07/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 7th, 2017 - 128 comments
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128 comments on “Open Mike 07/02/2017”

  1. Andre 1

    Assessing what’s actually news. The key ideas of verification, independence, and accountability.

    Personally there’s another indicator I use if I can’t get a good handle on those first three – credibility of associates. So if something makes me go hmmm, and I do some research and find the source associates with say Greenwald or Monbiot I’ll take it seriously, but if the source hangs out with say Alex Jones or David Icke then it’s probably fantasy.

    • Andre 1.1

      Leftie fake news. Although during the campaign, leftie fake news generally was debunked quickly and didn’t spread, we’re likely to see an increase of it now that Trump is actually in power.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      …but if the source hangs out with say Alex Jones or David Icke then it’s probably fantasy.

      Good advice, Andre. You should also add to your list of deluded fantasist sources the following: anything from the utterly discredited Democratic National Committee and from the perjurer James Clapper.

    • One Two 1.3

      If you did some background checking, Andre, you would find that Alex Jones has accurately front footed many issues which have in recent years come into the light

      Salon is a ‘discredited’ site, in case you hadn’t figured that out

      Do you know where Greenwald gets funding from?

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    Here is an excellent article by Chris Hedges.
    Some good points he makes:

    If nonviolent protest is met with violence, we must never respond with violence. The use of violence, including property destruction, and taunting the police are gifts to the security and surveillance state. It allows the state to demonize and isolate a mass movement. It drives away the bulk of the population. Violence against the state is used by the authorities to justify greater forms of control and repression. The corporate state understands and welcomes the language of force.

    It is impossible to have a rational dialogue with people who view reality through the binary lens of black and white—us and them. They do not recognize the right of dissent. Dissent is at best obstruction and probably treason. Fanatics, in power, always become inquisitors.

    The enemy is, in the end, not Trump or Bannon, but the corporate state. If we do not dismantle corporate power we will never stop fascism’s seduction of the white working class and unemployed.

    • Morrissey 2.1

      Chris Hedges is brilliant, eloquent and brave. That’s why he is hardly ever permitted to appear on network television in the United States.

      • Strypey 2.1.1

        In the first of the quotations above, Hedges is essentially saying “complain loudly, but don’t ever actually do anything that interferes with the smooth running of business-as-usual.” Property destruction is sometimes essential to present irreversable harm being done, and when this is the case, it takes brave people to do it. To call this type of direct action “violence” is not only factually wrong (violence involves violation of people of other living things), it throws the bravest earth defenders under the bus in a pointless attempt to appear “moderate” or “reasonable”. Hedges rhetoric is eloquent yes, but not remotely brave.

  3. Tamati Tautuhi 3

    Evidently the main backers of the Japanese in WW2 and their imperial conquests were the Japanese zaibatsu or large business conglomerates, worldwide in most countries these organisations have a big say in how Governments and countries are run?

    • Ad 3.1

      WW2 accelerated the dominance of bunches of global conglomerates, from all sides, but didn’t cause them.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Same with Germany in the 1930s.

      Same with Italy and the rise of fascism there.

      The simple fact is that capitalism is inherently fascist. It’s not an ‘out there’ ideology – it’s what is used to run the world now.

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    So Bill English talked on the phone to Trump, and then announced it was all good, the world will keep turning as usual, trade will go on, the US continues down a path set long before…..and peace in our time

    Elvis Costello sings Peace in Our Time:

    There’s a man going round taking names no
    matter who you claim to be
    As innocent as babies, a mad dog with rabies,
    you’re still a part of some conspiracy
    Meanwhile there’s a light over the ocean
    burning brighter than the sun
    And a man sits alone in a bar and says “Oh God,
    what have we done?”

    And the Heavyweight Champion fights in the
    International Propaganda Star Wars
    There’s already one spaceman in the White
    House what do you want another one for?

    • Ad 4.1

      I know it’s kind of unfair to transpose an Elvis Costello song from a relationship breakup to a political context, but this is the song I sing to myself to all those who are damaging:

      One day you’re going to have to face
      A deep dark truthful mirror
      And it’s going to tell you things that I still love
      you too much to say
      The sky was just a purple bruise, the ground
      was iron
      And you fell all around the town until you
      looked the same

      The same eyes, the same lips, the same lie from
      your tongue trips
      Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror
      Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror

      Now the flagstone streets where the newspaper
      shouts ring to the boots of roustabouts
      But you’re never in any doubt, there’s something
      happening somewhere

      You chase down the road till your fingers bleed
      On a fiberglass tumbleweed

      You can blow around the town, but it all shuts
      down the same

      The same eyes, the same lips, the same lie from
      your tongue trips
      Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror
      Deep dark, deep dark truthful mirror

      It was my one regret from his show in Auckland two years ago that he didn’t do that one.

      Still great cranked up, but a bit too dark for karaoke.

    • Morrissey 4.2

      He sang the same song, or something similar, when he guested on David Letterman’s show just before the 2003 attack on Iran.

  5. Ad 5

    “Billionaires think they can survive the apocalypse in New Zealand?
    They’d be lucky to last a week.”

    Love to think these people would just squirrell back to where they came from because they’re not Man Alone enough to handle operating a wetback for w week.
    But I think they are here to stay.

    • bwaghorn 5.1

      mmmm wonder what billionaire back steaks taste like.

      • Andre 5.1.1

        Reputedly pork. Hence “long pig”.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        That Peter Foster makes some good points, but takes a long time to do so, rolling in amusement at the idea that the life they will lead on their luxury properties will be to their delicate taste.

        He says, how will the rich guys and girls survive in a crisis when their staff leave them to look after their own families. Easy. They won’t let their staff leave, or they will employ internationals who will not be able to travel home to help. I don’t think he gets the awfulness of the picture where it will impact most on the vulnerable.

        And we have seen this trek to the back of beyond before and Foster shouldn’t connect it particularly with Greenpeace supporters. The Menely family came from California with daughter Courtney in the 1970s, still maintaining their USA interests, and after a period of boredom returned. Courtney went to the local girls college and was uncomplimentary about it. Kurt Cobain came on the scene later.

        Perhaps it is time to have a salute to JM Barrie’s play The Admirable Crichton.
        An aristocratic family who used to be subject to the whim of the patriarch and once a week treat the servants like themselves, and be treated like servants, find it happens in real life. They are cast up on an island, and have to organise and look after themselves. Their capable butler soon becomes the leader and patriarch as necessity prevails.

        It would be a good play, and those in Labour with a literary disposition and ability to play roles beyond being a ‘people’s party’ politician, might like to put on some performances? – summary
        Stage summary –
        Plot and Act 1 –

        Film 1957 with Kenneth More (aka Paradise Lagoon to appeal to you know who)

        • Ad

          There are plenty of operative gated communities around New Zealand already.
          Most upscale retirement villages function as autonomous units from the world in many respects.

          Mr Foster is just hoping that the rich just can’t hack it, so can make some oblique moral point like a French rural comedy about dem urbanistes and their effete ways not coping in the boonies.

          I suspect the billionaires will be fine, wherever they are.

      • keepcalmcarryon 5.1.3

        Will they fit in a craypot?

  6. Morrissey 6


    In 2010, a public figure said, live on air: “If I found out that my missus was fooling around on me, I’d put a knife through her heart.” Who was it?

    (a) Garth “The Knife” McVicar

    (b) “Sir” Robert Jones

    (c) Willie Jackson

    (d) Cameron Slater

    • Sacha 6.1

      Gee, some people really like doing the sewerblogs’ job for them.

    • chris73 6.2

      I’m going to take a…wait for it…here it comes…are you ready…STAB at it and suggest that it was…John Key, dammit, no sorry force of habit, it was c. Willie Jackson

      Do I get a chocolate fish?

      • Morrissey 6.2.1

        Do I get a chocolate fish?

        You do indeed, Chris! Well done my friend.

        Feel free to pop round to Chez Breen some time and collect it.

    • Awww C'mon 6.3

      Afternoon Standardista’s (and to you too, Mossy, I am still waiting in anticipation for your little ditty on another platform!)

      A Little has criticised B English quite heavily for a lack of leadership, but from my totally non-partisan (?!) point of view seems to be tracking pretty poorly with the whole W Jackson fiasco.

      Todays Herald article has a lot (IMHO) of compromising (high list place for a new MP) and explaining (I talked to many MP’s…ummm who?? all comments from them point to the opposite) and then there is the clear rebellion from certain quarters.

      Now I’m all for robust debate and that doesn’t mean you are a poor leader, it can be the opposite, but in this case with team who have been dis-jointed previously it appears poor.

      I have been reading alot of the posts here on the for and against arguments on Mr Jackson but have missed commentary on how y’all think Mr Little is tackling the situation. I would be interested in some opinions please!


  7. joe90 7

    UK speaker says fuck off, you’re not welcome.

    John Bercow bans Trump from parliament: "Our opposition to racism and sexism…are hugely important considerations."— Alan White (@aljwhite) February 6, 2017

  8. Carolyn_nth 8

    I have reservations about The Opportunities Party because Gareth Morgan has never seemed left wing to me.

    However, TOP’s (sketchy) policy on TVNZ and public service journalism deserves attention.

    Stuff reports:

    Under the new policy, TVNZ would be sold off and the proceeds would be used to set up a Public Journalism Fund as part of NZ On Air.

    State radio broadcaster RNZ would be able to compete for the funding alongside other media platforms.

    Morgan said it was concerning that commercial competition had led to fewer resources being devoted to true public interest journalism.

    As with the rest of TOP’s “Democracy reset” package, I’d need to see more details to decide whether the policies would achieve the aims stated.

    e.g. I’m not sure just having a public service journalism fund, which all media platforms would compete for, really would achieve a shift to more effective public service media. It still conforms to capitalist ideals of “competition” within a commercially powerful marketplace.

    The rest of the sketchy “Democracy reset” Package is here.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I’m not sure just having a public service journalism fund, which all media platforms would compete for, really would achieve a shift to more effective public service media.

      It wouldn’t. It would simply cost us more while we got even worse service.

      Much better to directly provide support to journalists who then operate independently.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        Ummm. That TOPS policy of Radionz being able to compete for…. No bloody way.
        Bring that in and they will be in the win or lose situation like science establishments and programs. Let them have their funding, criticise their output when regarded unsatisfactory and let’s have that criticism exposed so we know what pressures are being applied. But competing, that shocks me.

        I thought that Gareth and his associates had more nous and integrity than that. Disappointing. That’s just trickle-away government with a different icing.

        • Carolyn_nth

          Very good, greywarshark. Yes, public service media should not be in a competition with privately (especially corporate) owned media.

          And there should be a publicly funded public service, multimedia platform, free from political or commercial influence.

          • greywarshark

            Oh those shoulds, there should be. Make it so like the Capn in Star Wars!

          • Sacha

            Yep. NZ on Air’s recent simplification of its media funding still includes a healthy component for “platforms”, otherwise only the wealthy can afford them.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I thought that Gareth and his associates had more nous and integrity than that.

          The problem is that he’s a classically trained economist and still sees competition as the solution rather than the problem that it is.

          • greywarshark

            Thanx for that DTB. Would you say that the classically trained economists have adopted what is theoretical thinking into a firm belief system that stands aside religion, and overshadows humanism? If supposedly thinking people cannot use their minds to see the obvious flaws in their marvellous ideas then it sounds more like a religion, a system of instilled beliefs.

            Then the question is that economics is not a science, as much of it can’t be proved or replicated, and so is in the humanities discipline, so why is it not open to being questioned? And why not include more of the humanities studies instead of making up its own theories of human behaviour and then trying to install them in the populace using money as a goad and enticement to drive people to behave according to their economic theories?

            We may as well be pigeons pecking for our seed when the light goes on, which then later get confused when the experimenters change the signals. The pigeons and we both become chaotically affected.

            Just a little pondering.

    • Penny Bright 8.2

      ROLLBACK Neo-liberal ROGERNOMIC$ and their ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE model.

      Return publicly-funded broadcasting to the ‘public service’ model.

      I am absolutely OPPOSED to the privatisation of TVNZ.

      Penny Bright

      Proven ‘anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.

      2017 Independent candidate Mt Albert by-election.

    • millsy 8.3

      I was kicking around the idea of voting for GM’s party, but with policies like these, I might not.

      • weka 8.3.1

        His vision is often good, but how he would implement it seems to then fail from a LW perspective.

    • weka 8.4

      I”m just watching his press conference, much of which was about the media and selling TVNZ.

      His arguments are compelling, and selling TVNZ is probably a good idea if the money is used by a govt dept to produce content that serves the public interest.

      However the policy is far too lightweight. “State radio broadcaster RNZ would be able to compete for the funding alongside other media platforms” It doesn’t actually explain what is meant by that. He says at the end of the press conference that RNZ should be sold too, because what is needed is content not platform. He seems to be saying that the govt could produce independent journalistic content and that it would be delivered via multiple commercial platforms. No detail on how that would happen.

      The selling RNZ thing brings up the issue of how his idea would be Tory-proofed Even if RNZ was sold for the greater good (can’t imagine it myself, and lots of people love RNZ), what would guarantee that a future govt wouldn’t dismantle the dept doing the content? He has good vision, but I don’t think his ideas can be trusted once you start digging (I’ve seen this with his other big ideas).

      Right at the end he appears to be saying that commercial channels would compete to get the content. Really? I think they’d be like yeah, nah, we’ll stick with Paul Henry thanks.

      This was good though,

      “I’m really worried that we’re getting jaundiced views driven by coporate masters. It’s propaganda, nothing but propaganda”

      • Carolyn_nth 8.4.1

        Thanks, weka. I agree that selling RNZ is not a good idea. And focusing on content only, rather than state owned platforms, is no insurance against the gradual (or speedy) decline of public service content. And that decline will happen if commercial, corporate-owned platforms openly compete for content.

        I agree that Morgan seems to have very good aims to reboot democracy. however he seems lacking in left wing processes for ensuring those aims are achieved.

        • weka

          Yes and it worries me who he uses to develop policy. I’m guessing he’s working with elites and not a broad range of NZers.

          • Carolyn_nth

            Good point.

            And surely regular news and current events content need a permanent platform, resourcing and staffing, and not periodic decisions on funding specific content?

            And then there’s the role of RNZ coverage when unexpected local disaster occur eg earthquakes.

            • weka

              Their coverage of Kaikoura was amazing. Yes, they need a channel as well as the content. Maybe someone should suggest to Morgan that he runs a public forum on this stuff. His ideas could be improved so much 😉

      • Macro 8.4.2

        Nope! When you see a properly funded non profit public media in action, you realize just what NZ has missed over these past 20 odd years.
        RNZ has had its funding frozensince National took office in 2008. Frank Macaskey has done an excellent post on TDB on this. I won’t link because it was some time ago and I don’t go there now as a matter of principle 🙂 .
        TVZN could be dramatically improved if again it was no longer required to be self funding, and it was returned to what it was originally meant to be – a cultural, educational, and news channel.
        There is a cost to having an effective democracy, We see just what results in the US when the populace are deprived of sound information. I saw my cousin from the US on Saturday. You know there were people who voted for Trump because he was going to get rid of ObamaCare ,which they didn’t need, it was expensive and they had Affordable Care!!!!! 🙄 I guess now they will have TrumpDoesn’tCare.
        Had they an effective public broadcaster maybe they would have known.
        Privatising is just a fast race to the bottom.

        • weka

          When I was listening to the part about selling TVNZ I thought he meant that there would be another avenue that the govt would use to broadcast. For instance I was thinking RNZ could pick it up. He’s basically talking about news and current affairs (with NZ on Air still providing funding for drama etc). But later he said sell RNZ too, so I’m not sure what he means exactly. He wants public service news to be done by independent journalists and that the govt should organise that, but I suspect he still wants to use a business model.

          I liked the idea of selling TVNZ initially because it would free up a big chunk of cash to set up true public service news, and because it would be a clean slate. I think reverting TVNZ back is a nice idea, but the culture of the place is probably too well established now around commerce and jonolism. But then I realised Morgan hasn’t done the work on the detail, so it’s all a bit of a moot point.

  9. adam 9

    What all this spying and keeping of records mean, as a real world application. Another way to attacking average folks just living their lives. Or the old chest nut – ‘FEAR’.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Just because his thugs are not formally directed or organised as such, it doesn’t mean that similar outcomes don’t occur.

      The beatings and abuses are just more “incited” than “directed”.

  10. Cinny 11

    Listening to Parliament and just wanted to say, Andrew is a mighty fine speaker.

    Would like to see him tour the country during election time, speaking publicly in all the regional towns, that would be brilliant IMO.

    Everyone should get the opportunity to hear him speak for more than a soundbite or short interview, he’s fantastic. So looking forward to the leaders debates this year.

  11. reason 12

    How long are we going to engage in economic warfare/destabilization … for fascists with a depraved SS history …. genocide and ‘ethnic cleansing s’ being an accurate account of their past actions

    These sanctions where we ( nz ) recognize and legitimize the violent overthrow of a government by thugs, killers and fascists …… are bad enough for that reason alone.

    …. But to make it even worse …. we ignore and punish the democratic decision by affected people not to be ruled by such a Government……, as decided by their vote in a referendum they held.

    This New Zealand support for Nazis is part of Johnny Made-offs* legacy …..

    and like his gift of tax haven/money laundering status to us ….. its a piece of rot which needs to be cut out and cleaned up


  12. joe90 13

    I guess this is more fake news.

    A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people were taken out of their prison cells and hanged to death. In five years, as many as 13,000 people, most of them civilians believed to be opposed to the government, were hanged in secret at Saydnaya.

    • One Two 13.1

      Amnesty USA

      Sounds legit!

    • Bill 13.2

      I noticed that the Guardian headlined it. (I dare say others will too).

      So I went to the actual report and found … not one verifiable piece of testimony, not one single name, and more than a couple of really obvious questions springing to mind.


      When I went in search of other reports on the prison, it turns out all this was already ‘doing the rounds’ 6 months ago. The only change that’s occurred in that six month period is that AI have decided to add 13 000 to the numbers of people allegedly hanged. That, and peace talks the west have no say in are about to get under way.

      Draw whatever conclusions you wish.

      edit – seems AI reports from 2012 on the supposed atrocities being committed in “Aleppo under the tyranny of Assad’s army thugs and Shabiha militia.” have gone 404. (Maybe you’ll have better luck following the links from this page?)

      edit – July 31 2012 (From Amnesty International) “In Aleppo city, all of those interviewed expressed fear of possible reprisals, and for this reason, the names of victims (except for the dead and some of the disappeared) and witnesses, and other identifying details, have been withheld.”

      That’s the same Aleppo that was fucked up by Jihadists taking control of some eastern suburbs. That’s the same Aleppo where interview after interview after interview has people voicing their condemnation of the terrorists who used to be in eastern suburbs of Aleppo. The same Aleppo where people gathered to celebrate Christmas after the terrorists had fled the eastern suburbs.

      Something ain’t right somewhere, eh? Maybe AI are just continuing to ‘fall into line’… Or every independent journalist and every single person who has gone to Aleppo (including members of the US Congress) are either just lying scum or too stupid to pick up on people’s mortal fear.

      • Peter Swift 13.2.1

        I don’t know what lines you are taking here. I won’t opine on your motive, but please, do explain.

        Are you saying AI are simply lying and making it up?
        Are you saying AI are making it up because ‘the west’ aren’t involved in peace talks?
        Are you saying because terrorists were combatants in Aleppo, the same Aleppo by the way Assad’s troops dropped barrel bombs on civilians, they are responsible for the crimes or the people’s fear of reprisals?

        So whose line are AI falling in with?
        And what does “every independent journalist and every single person who has gone to Aleppo (including members of the US Congress)” have to do with hangings, or alleged hangings (if you like) committed by the Syrian regime?

        • Bill

          Read the AI report from 2012 that I linked to. That’s all about Aleppo. And that’s the context I’m mentioning journos and US pollies in.

          AI is like just about every single other institution (governmental or non-governmental) and media outlet within our (western) sphere – they’ve consistently run lines over Syria that dovetail with official policy -ie, regime change. And in doing that they have variously relied on accounts of terrorists and passed those accounts off as being from activists or journalists even when it’s been shown that the ‘journalists’ are fighting with groups that are designated terrorist orgs. They have routinely neither questioned nor sought to verify the stuff they’ve reported … as long as it falls into the “Assad Bad” category, it’s been run. (Claims of barrel bombs are in that category.)

          Ever wondered why it is that ‘1001’ “activists” could give nightly or daily reports from eastern Aleppo while, for some strange reason, there are apparently none whatsoever in Mosul? Ever wondered at the lack of reporting coming from the “battle for Mosul” when Aleppo was on our screens every night and every day (and in HD too!)? Ever wondered why journalists from established news outlets haven’t bothered to enter into Aleppo now that the fighting’s over and report back on the aftermath of all those atrocities they said were going to occur with the ouster of “rebels” from eastern districts?

          Do I need a motive to be angry over being lied to?

          And when a six month old ‘report’ is beefed up (inflated number of victims) – has new life breathed into it and is headlined by major media as though it’s fucking new well , you’ll just have to excuse my fucking intelligence for not taking it all hook, line and sinker.

          • Peter Swift

            I read so I’m up with the current state of play.

            Rather than falsely read you position, what I want to know is what you’re actually categorically stating here for the record.
            Without a wall of text, please just bullet point.

            • Bill

              Three coherent paragraphs and two separated sentences isn’t a “wall of text”.

              That report is ‘interesting’.

              The intro states –

              3. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has consistently denied the commission and other international human rights monitoring organizations unfettered access to its territory. (my emphasis)

              I don’t think there’s a government in the world would allow that. Just saying.

              So they can’t enter the country under conditions that no government would agree to and so write a report with no direct access to anything in the country.

              And they conduct 600 odd interviews, 200 were with people who said cell mates had died and these accounts (quite astonishingly to my mind) were corroborated by ex-employees! What’s the chances of that?! 200 interviewees interviewed outside Syria (probably in Turkey) claiming that cellmates were killed and ex-prison guards corroborate each and every claim (that’s what the report says)

              Meanwhile, the other interviews seem to include family of dead people….families who, is seems, all fled to Turkey. (That’s where AI said it conducted their interviews, so I’m making a reasonable assumption, yes?) And how did they choose or vet who was going to be interviewed?

              What is the documentary evidence they allude to? Is it anything more than that photo prop from a few years back?

              No mention of people being summarily hanged btw (as Amnesty International claims…13 000 hangings on top of whatever other number of hangings they were saying had taken place six months ago)

              Bearing in mind that NZ’s prison population is about 10 000 and Syria’s population is (or was) over 20 million and the place has been over-run by terrorists…

              4. Eyewitness accounts and documentary evidence strongly suggest, however, that tens of thousands of people are detained by the Syrian Government at any one time.

              I could go on and on and on. I’ve no doubt terrorists are beaten to death. Just as I’ve no doubt that very young boys and men have been beheaded by terrorists. Just as I’ve no doubt that captured Syrian soldiers have been executed by terrorists.

              But when western institutions (and yes, the UN is very much a western institution) hams up one side to be the really, really really bad guys with reports like that, when we’re talking about terrorists (not “terrorists” as the report writes it) and when those reports have been compiled from territory that terrorists have retrenched to…

              Probably too wordy and angry for you Peter. I’ll wheesht and you can use the silence to engage your brain.

              edit. The bullet point (for ‘the record’). We have been systematically lied to and we’re still being systematically lied to.

              • Peter Swift


                You could have just written that, in your opinion, AI are just lying?
                Generally, in my opinion, there’s no need for placing what we want to say in ass covering wordy round-a-bouts.

                Now all that’s left is to decide whose version and interpretation are more informed, credible and believable.
                Sure it won’t take long.

                • Bill

                  Nope. Not ‘lying’. It’s a bit more complex than that. One piece of false info comes out and it’s believed and then a second sneaks through off the back of the supposed veracity of the first. Next thing you know, everything’s snowballed and self re-inforcing.

                  In no particular order (all either disproved or subject to serious doubt)

                  Shooting on peaceful protests.
                  Chemical attacks on civilians.
                  Summary execution of civilians.
                  Starving civilians in non-government villages/towns.
                  Bombing water facilities.
                  Deliberately targeting hospitals because “hospitals”.
                  Barrel bombs.
                  Unilateral release of Jihadi prisoners.

                  And 5/8ths of fuck all being sheeted to the terrorist groups because thems be ‘rebels’.

                  • garibaldi

                    Good on you Bill. Stay with it. Western propaganda is all encompassing and too many fall for it hook , line and sinker.

                • Paul

                  Supporting the neocons, Peter.
                  Shame on you.
                  You do remember all the lies about wmd.
                  Do you believe the propaganda we are fed about Syria and Ukriane?

                  • Peter Swift

                    Amnesty international are neo cons? Those bastards 🙄

                    • locus

                      I’ve just read this incredible exchange of comments from war criminal apologists trying to undermine the credibility of Amnesty International’s report on brutalities and mass executions reported to them first hand by survivors of the Saydnaya prison……

                      Yet Bill, Paul and garibaldi have no skerrit of compassion, nor any recognition of the horror and suffering inflicted on victims of Assad regime’s

                      – and the mindless opinionated justification for their lack of humanity? Distrust of the AI report – “no verifiable testimony, false information, western neocon lies, propaganda”

  13. Penny Bright 14

    What are the other Mt Albert by-election candidates doing?

    This is what I’m doing to help ensure ratepayer and citizens’ lawful right to transparency and democratic accountability are implemented and enforced – regarding the spending of public monies on private consultants and contractors:

    (‘Activists – get things done 🙂

    “Speaking rights confirmed for Penny Bright at next Auckland Transport Board meeting 16 February 2017.”

    The next AT Board meeting is scheduled as follows:

    DATE: Thursday 16 February 2017
    TIME: 2.00pm
    VENUE: AMP Building, Level 17, Mairangi Room, 29 Customs St West

    “This is going to be, in my opinion, a HUGE development in ensuring that ratepayers’ and citizens’ lawful rights to transparency and accountability in the spending of public monies on private consultants and contractors, are fully implemented and upheld,” says ‘anti-corruption campaigner’ and 2017 Independent Mt Albert by-election candidate, Penny Bright.

    “My subject matter for this Auckland Transport Board meeting, is as follows:

    Having spent days over the Christmas break, studying the ‘Reasons for the Verdict of Fitzgerald J’, I wish to raise key concerns that arise from the facts and evidence, upon which Justice Sally Fitzgerald relied in her Judgment.

    ( )

    1) The need for Auckland Transport to fully comply with the Public Records Act 2005, particularly section 17, and to make transparent and available for public scrutiny the details of ALL awarded contracts, including those under $50,000, and including ALL those sub-contracted.

    17 Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

    (Please be advised that I have raised my concerns directly with the Local Government and Environment Select Committee, regarding the lack of transparency with Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs), which included Auckland Transport.

    Petition 2014/33 of Penelope Mary Bright and 55 others, and Report from the Controller and Auditor-General, Governance and accountability of council-controlled organisations.

    a) Here is the Local Government and Environment Select Committee’s Report on my above-mentioned petition:

    b) Here is my evidence which I presented to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee:

    I would like members of the Board of Auckland Transport to please study both this Local Government and Environment Select Committee Report, and the evidence I provided, before I attend the AT Board meeting on 20 February 2017? )

    2) The need to cease the ‘collaborative’ model for contracting, given that it has proven to ‘breed corruption’.

    3) The need for the Board of AT to urgently review the ‘private procurement’ model for the provision of passenger transport services, and for related services provided by Auckland Transport, regarding ‘cost-effectiveness’, ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’, bearing in mind the statutory obligations arising from the underpinning Act upon which Auckland Transport was established, namely the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009:

    40 Operating principles

    In meeting its principal objective (as a council-controlled organisation) under section 59 of the Local Government Act 2002, and in performing its functions, Auckland Transport must—

    (a) establish and maintain processes for Māori to contribute to its decision-making processes; and

    (b) operate in a financially responsible manner and, for this purpose, prudently manage its assets and liabilities and endeavour to ensure—

    (i) its long-term financial viability; and

    (ii) that it acts as a successful going concern; and

    (c) use its revenue efficiently and effectively, and in a manner that seeks value for money; and

    (d) ensure that its revenue and expenditure are accounted for in a transparent manner; and

    (e) ensure that it acts in a transparent manner in making decisions under this Act and the Land Transport Management Act 2003.
    Section 40: substituted, on 1 November 2010, by section 31 of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 36).

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.

    (2017 Independent candidate Mt Albert by-election.)

    • Sacha 14.1

      Turnips are important your honour but that is not enough. I draw your attention to the Agricultural and Pastoral Societies Act 1908 and in particular section 6 which seems in my considered opinion to require Council to grant me tubers sufficient for my herd in perpetuity.

      What, you say – the Public Records Act does not control public access to information? Then why am I claiming it does, in embarrassingly prolonged and public proclamations??

      Only swedes will quiet me, m’lud. How my goats ache for the fjords. Used placards are insufficient fodder, they bleat. Comprehension might be useful, yes. But who has time to read nowadays? I have already raised my concerns at the used car dealers’ AGM.

      Join my protest in the usual place at 2pm on Sunday (after bargain-hunting for tubers at the markets). Seen this?

  14. Carolyn_nth 15

    Accessed via my Twitter stream:

    There’s a protest in Auckland on Saturday against the planned increase in NZ prisons, which will continue to result in more people imprisoned and unnecessary costs.

    The immediate repeal of the Bail Amendment Act 2013. Since it came into force, this act has put 1,000 more people, who have not been found guilty of anything, in prison.
    The immediate end to all planning, development and construction of the new facility at Waikeria Prison, which will house 1,500 more prisoners.

  15. Andre 16

    You could almost feel sorry for Sean Spicer. Having to front Trump’s derangements must be painful enough. But what really makes him look bad to the boss is being lampooned by a woman!

  16. Whispering Kate 17

    Has anybody seen the ex PM in Parliament – has he even come back to these shores yet? Somebody commented on TS or TDB that he is like Jason Ede and disappeared into the ether. I wonder what contribution he will offer from the back benches – probably be on his Iphone scanning around the globe for a more lucrative position in banking, bored out of his brain.

  17. Skeptic 18

    I read on NZnewswire that Gareth Morgan is proposing NZ reintroduces an upper house to our parliament and a written inclusive constitution. There is considerable merit in both these proposals as they could, if done correctly, allow for better & fuller representation (STV) – even longer terms – as well as locked in personal protection (entrenched Bill of Rights) under the law that cannot ever be over-ridden by anyone in the future, plus a complete separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary. Over the past decade and a half there have been several existing models, mainly from Europe, that having studied, I think would suit as a fitting precedent – slightly modified to provide for traits that are uniquely Kiwi. I envisage a three part constitution – part 1 reciting the reason for and establishment of the Constitution, part 2 describing specifically the three arms of government and the unalterable powers, composition and responsibilities of each, and part 3 establishing a decree of rights and responsibilities of citizens and citizenship. I also think it’s time we got away from the centralised type of government we currently utilise, and provided for a Senate, a House, several Regional Councils, a few dozen Local Bodies and many Community Wards/Parishes – all with specific powers devolved deliberately to the “lowest level of government appropriate”. I also think that along with reading, writing, science and maths, civics should be a compulsory subject at school. If people understood the history behind our political system, the millions who have sacrificed to bring it into being, what it stands for, what it actually does, what its faults are, what its strengths are, I am confident there would be a resurgent interest and participation in our government, and a corresponding decrease in greed and “bean counting”. I hope Gareth Morgan’s idea takes off, because the country really needs the debate. For far too long the government of the people has been hijacked by the privileged few, and too many of those have been Chicago School economists.

  18. timbeau 19

    Anyone got a subscription to (“that fascist rag” as the newsagent described it to me in Glasgow!)? There’s an article in there today available only to subscribers, headlined,

    “Billionaires think they can survive the apocalypse in New Zealand? Trust me, they’d be lucky to last a week” (

    I’m personally revolted by the idea that billionaires think they can flee the troubles of their own making by hiding up in Central Otago. So I’m curious to see what this says.

  19. timbeau 20

    Oh thank you – good spotting.

  20. Ad 21

    Full text of Prime Minister’s opening speech to Parliament a few minutes ago:

    The PM covers a lot of policy, legislative, budgetary, and and executive ground there – there’s a lot of suds but I don’t see anyone actually washing the dishes.

  21. Nic the NZer 22

    Explanation of why Govt debt markets are unnecessary corporate welfare and are successfully used to shrink government influence on the economy.

  22. Pat 23

    I used the 10 year chart because it clearly shows the devaluation following the 2013 QE mentioned in your link.
    You are a little off with your assertion that Japan have been monetising their debt since the early nineties…they started fighting deflation in 99 with zero interest rates and moved to QE in2001….they managed their currency by massive investment offshore, the infamous japanese housewives chasing return overseas until things really came to a head post 2007 when the yen reached around 80 to the dollar and they were forced to embark on their latest QE programme starting in 2013. That monetisation has moved the yen back to around 110 to the dollar….imagine what the same QE would have done if the US wasn’t running its own QE at the same time.

    It is one thing for a country like Japan with a massive positive trade balance, huge foreign currency reserves and products the world is clamouring for to control that demand by strictly controlled monetisation but then to extrapolate that and suggest that monetisation is harmless and doesn’t impact inflation is absurd when it clearly impacts exchange rates (which japan uses to its advantage).

    Take an economy like NZ…permanent negative balance of trade, massive indebtedness, commodity exporter that can be supplied by virtually every country in the world (possible exception tourism) …..where is the demand for our currency? where are our savings to invest abroad? what would happen to the historically comparative high inflation rate in NZ if we devalued by over 30% in 3 years as Japan has done?….it is worth noting the spread and number of cumulative positive trade countries in the link.

    • Nic the NZer 23.1

      If you want a reply, use the reply button.

      So regarding your theory of inflation being largely driven by forex movements all you need to do is derive the relevant (probably lagged?) correlation between forex movements of the Yen and subsequent inflation. Go right ahead, but if there is in fact no correlation then your ‘theory’ amounts to having no actual predictive power.

      In fact do it for another country without huge current account surpluses, demand for products, foreign reserves (or whatever other excuse you try to attach to your theories predictive failures) etc… Why don’t you show the effects the NZ exchange rate has on domestic inflation? Go right ahead, but of course on the basis that no correlation shows no actual predictive power (and a demonstrably bunk Scientific theory).

      You might wonder why I am so dismissive of this, its because I have seen the actual research into this relationship.

      Then we get onto your absurd claims, NZ has a “historically comparative high inflation rate” on which planet?

      “where is the demand for our currency?”, obviously a rhetorical comment, but around Dec last year there are articles by people talking about a potential historical first parity with Australia.

      “where are our savings to invest abroad?” is the funniest one, as I have pointed out before the phenomenon of Japanese housewives is a consequence of the Japanese Government deficit history. The reason NZ has a low savings rate (and high debt rate) is due to our governments habit of running budget surpluses. This is absolutely undeniable, as its down to accounting (basically households and the Government are opposite sides of a balance sheet, so Government surpluses confiscate household income, and potential savings). Obviously if the Government allows savings to accrue then voila the saving appear (and you would probably still not know where they came from).

      The other point here is that if a large number of households decide to invest saving overseas then those savings traverse the forex markets. Forex markets don’t create or destroy money on either side of this transaction (in a floating exchange rate system), so the domestic currency side of that simply ends up in other hands. Of course Yen are mostly useless unless you are trying to use them in Japan.

      • Pat 23.1.1

        right, will do this in stages as i keep losing it half way through

        “So regarding your theory of inflation being largely driven by forex movements all you need to do is derive the relevant (probably lagged?) correlation between forex movements of the Yen and subsequent inflation. Go right ahead, but if there is in fact no correlation then your ‘theory’ amounts to having no actual predictive power.”

        No need, the RBNZ have been doing it since 1985, poorly at first granted but they have improved and its not immune to shocks …i.e. GFC.

        • Nic the NZer

          I am going to be as brief as possible here.

          First that does not address the question. That was, for forex movements what are the pass through effects on domestic inflation. Thats the correlation to demonstrate, before you have even a hope of showing international depreciation will drive NZ inflation up.

          • Pat

            answered…read the link

            • Nic the NZer

              Not answered, what estimates are there of that impact of forex movements on the domestic inflation rate?

              Here is a separate piece of research which does look at this,


              “In this model, an initial fall of around 2.5 percent
              in international prices for the commodities New Zealand
              exports (which itself might be caused by a variety of
              different factors) causes an initial 1 percent fall in the
              exchange rate. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there is
              no significant impact on import prices. Domestic producer
              output prices fall with the lower commodity prices. Part
              of this fall may be because falling commodity prices
              represent lower output prices for domestic commodity producing
              sectors such as agriculture and primary food
              manufacturing (a large component of the Producers
              Price Index). Tradable consumer price inflation also falls,
              perhaps partly because some export commodities directly
              enter the CPI, but also because at times falls in New
              Zealand export commodity prices will be quite strongly
              correlated with falling prices for the commodities New Zealand imports, such as petrol.”

              So, there is a little correlation, it’s that forex and domestic inflation run in the same direction. That’s a bugger for your repeated assertions that forex decline is a strong driver of domestic inflation.

              • Pat

                the conclusion from your linked article…

                “Exchange rate changes and international price developments in the rest of the world affect prices in New Zealand through a number of channels. These channels include the prices paid by New Zealand consumers for nal goods purchased from abroad, the costs of imported raw materials and machinery used by New Zealand businesses, and income and purchasing power effects caused by changes to the terms of trade.
                How tradable product prices change following an exchange rate change differs widely. Petrol prices adjust substantially and quickly. But a signi cant share of New Zealand’s imports appear to be priced for the local market and, however they are priced, there is a large domestic distribution component for most tradable goods. That means prices for traded goods in New Zealand will adjust by a smaller percentage than any given percentage movement in the exchange rate, and may diverge from those in the rest of the world for protracted periods.
                Exchange rate movements are typically symptoms of other economic developments rather than being the originating source – the exchange rate does not move in a vacuum. So what causes the exchange rate to move can greatly affect how domestic prices change. In particular, changes in the exchange rate associated with changes in export commodity prices appear to have had quite different
                in ationary implications, over the past 25 years, than other changes in the exchange rate. Changes in commodity prices appear to have become a more important factor in exchange rate uctuations in New Zealand over the past decade or so. Understanding how different factors drive the exchange rate, and the implications of those for the wider economy and in ation pressures, is part of ongoing research at the Reserve Bank.”

                and a wee kicker…

                • Nic the NZer

                  I am confused about what argument you think you are making here. We were looking at the question ‘does domestic inflation get pushed up by exchange rate devaluations’ clearly any effects there are are small. Of course to actually look at this you need to separate out commodity price movements from exchange rate movements (eg ones which shift all relative prices) and yet your ‘kicker’ is all about domestic petrol price rises?

                  What point are you trying to make? Its clearly not a relevant one on that basis.

                  • Pat

                    “If you are implying this kind of behavior leads to currency devaluation then maybe you should look at the history tab, and further the 10Y history chart. Japan has been doing this kind of thing since the early 90’s.”


                    ‘I am confused about what argument you think you are making here. We were looking at the question ‘does domestic inflation get pushed up by exchange rate devaluations’ clearly any effects there are are small.’

                    well at least we have moved from no impact to now a small impact…I guess thats progress of a sort.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      That was rather dishonest of you. Here is the actual challenge you were producing research for, i even copied that from where you quoted it.

                      “So regarding your theory of inflation being largely driven by forex movements all you need to do is derive the relevant (probably lagged?) correlation between forex movements of the Yen and subsequent inflation. Go right ahead”

      • Pat 23.1.2

        “Then we get onto your absurd claims, NZ has a “historically comparative high inflation rate” on which planet?”

        Obviously not the one you reside on, but here on earth japan has had an average annual inflation rate of 0.25% compared to NZs of 2.05% over the last 25 years.

        • Nic the NZer

          Ok, if your referring only to Japan then yes NZs inflation rate has been comparatively higher. This should lead to rigerous questioning of the assumptions underlying your understanding that ‘inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon’, because it aint.

          • Pat

            “This should lead to rigerous questioning of the assumptions underlying your understanding that ‘inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon’, because it aint.”

            and where did I make that claim?…inflation, negative and positive is the sum of a range of factors, exchange rate being a significant one in an open trading economy.

      • Pat 23.1.3

        “where is the demand for our currency?”, obviously a rhetorical comment, but around Dec last year there are articles by people talking about a potential historical first parity with Australia.

        “where are our savings to invest abroad?” is the funniest one, ….”

        No, the questions were not rhetorical……where is the demand for our goods (currency)….NZs main exports are dairy, tourism and forestry…hardly unique or scarce as demonstrated by the dairy price crash when the US and EU increased production fractionally a few years ago.

        And savings?….NZ has negative savings of around 165 billion and being negative then the servicing is an outflow, not income as is the case with Japan…..and you wish to inflate this debt and outflow????

        • Nic the NZer

          Clearly the NZ exchange rate is _not_ a sensible proxy for demand for our exports overseas. Simply put there are other factors (including export driven demand) which influence the forex rate.
          If thats an underlying assumption of your model of the economy then no wonder its nonsense.

          But as the forex rate for NZ is typically strong then clearly there is some decent demand for NZ currency (probably in order to enable trade with NZ).

          • Pat

            “Clearly the NZ exchange rate is _not_ a sensible proxy for demand for our exports overseas. Simply put there are other factors (including export driven demand) which influence the forex rate.
            If thats an underlying assumption of your model of the economy then no wonder its nonsense.”


            “But as the forex rate for NZ is typically strong then clearly there is some decent demand for NZ currency (probably in order to enable trade with NZ).”

            yes there has been….a dairy boom (and bust) followed by record immigration….both clearly unsustainable….not to mention much of our mortgage lending is derived offshore, a 5:1 FDI ratio and god knows how much moving in and out of FTs.

            • Nic the NZer

              So when you say, “not to mention much of our mortgage lending is derived offshore” what do you mean? Mortgage lending involves a bank buying a securities contract, a mortgage document and expanding its balance sheet to do this. The expansion of the balance sheet is denominated in bank deposits, almost exclusively in NZ$ while the inter-bank transaction to complete the deal (where another bank is involved) is denominated in NZ$ bank reserves.

              How on earth is that supposed to be coming from overseas?

              The bank deposits credit is clearly created by the balance sheet expansion of the bank, while the bank reserves can have come from exactly one institution (the RBNZ). None of these institutions is located outside NZ.

      • Pat 23.1.4

        “The reason NZ has a low savings rate (and high debt rate) is due to our governments habit of running budget surpluses. This is absolutely undeniable, as its down to accounting (basically households and the Government are opposite sides of a balance sheet, so Government surpluses confiscate household income, and potential savings). Obviously if the Government allows savings to accrue then voila the saving appear (and you would probably still not know where they came from).”

        This has been a point of debate for the past century and there is a logic to it so I went looking to see if it panned out in fact…using world bank data for savings rates and budget deficits.

        The country with the highest savings rate is Brunei (SR 56%) but it seldom runs a deficit and many of its almost constant surpluses are huge (in excess of 5% GDP)…an outlier perhaps?
        Honk Kong (25%) mainly surpluses over 25years
        Singapore (46%) always in surplus
        Norway (37%) always in surplus
        Switzerland (35%) 50/50
        Germany (28%) mainly deficit

        There is no correlation between budget deficit and savings…..there is however one common factor these economies share….a near constant positive trade balance like Japan….
        …and NZ with its poor savings record? 19 deficits in the last 37 years…hardly a surplus habit, more like 50/ 50…and a constant negative trade balance…go figure.

        • Nic the NZer

          Well here my comment was a simplification but here is the more complete model. Its based on the sectoral balances where by the accounting relationship
          Private sector surplus = government deficit + current account surplus
          Can be derived by accounting (the fact of this relationship is incontrovertible. Its an account of national income.

          The private sector surplus is indicative of the savings rate, but this can also be negative if the private sector is increasing its leverage. The important thing is if the private sector is going to save (which takes some spending out of the national turnover) then for GDP (the total income stream) not to fall then either the government or external sectors must replace it with their own spending.

          Yes, strong export economies facilitate domestic saving as do large deficit economies. However the thing is income is a flow, but savings are a stock, so its about the history of the flow relationship how much of a savings stock is accumulated (or how indebited the private sector has become).

          • Pat

            “The important thing is if the private sector is going to save (which takes some spending out of the national turnover) then for GDP (the total income stream) not to fall then either the government or external sectors must replace it with their own spending.”

            Once again your model is a closed economy and ignores the impact of exchange values and imbalance.

            • Nic the NZer

              When you say I am referring to a close economy, you do realise the external sector refers to the current account?

              • Pat

                which you continue to ignore

                • Nic the NZer

                  I literally referred to the external sector in the comment you quoted. How is that ignoring it?

                  • Pat

                    naming the external sector but ignoring the role it plays in the overwhelming majority of trading nations…… “not every nation can increase net exports.”….therefor the external sector does not, and will not serve as an investment base (savings)….the world as a whole may be a closed economy, individual economies are not.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      As can be easily observed from my comment this sectoral balances model both incorporates the external sector and therefore applies to open economies. It also explains why nations experiencing current account surplus are receiving an income boost. With the obvious corollary that these nations are more typically in a position to accomodate a higher domestic savings rate, basically because its easier to save on a higher income. The model which you claims ignores the external sector both incorporates it and explains what impact it has on domestic savings rates. It also explains this happens in reverse for nations running a current account deficit.

                      It also explains that the same impact occurs for nations running a government deficit through the same mechanism. It also explains this happens in reverse for nations running a budget surplus.

                      The point about the global economy is that overall while individual nations may be able to get ahead by running a trade surplus (lets call them Germany and China) the imbalances caused are problematic for the income supplying nations on the other side of this (which must either contract their economies, or further indebt their private sectors or run government deficits (typically with increased government debt). Lets call these nations Greece and the US. A better outcome occurs if we don’t have a majority of nations all engaging in this race to the bottom, typically achieved by driving domestic wages down, and instead support domestic incomes, wages and savings. This is true regardless of the fact some nations are somewhat successful at this as its (as repeated several times above) impossible for very many nations to all be successful at this strategy at once.

                  • Pat

                    all of which makes a nonsense of your original proposition that monetising government spending is some form of solution for the worlds economies

                    • Nic the NZer

                      What kinds of government spending are not monetized? I have literally no idea what your suggesting is different about what I have suggested from precisely what is done today. Say the government runs a deficit and spends that on a jobs program for the unemployed, go…

      • Pat 23.1.5

        “The other point here is that if a large number of households decide to invest saving overseas then those savings traverse the forex markets. Forex markets don’t create or destroy money on either side of this transaction (in a floating exchange rate system), so the domestic currency side of that simply ends up in other hands. Of course Yen are mostly useless unless you are trying to use them in Japan.”

        “Third, the paradox assumes a closed economy in which savings are not invested abroad (to fund exports of local production abroad). Thus, while the paradox may hold at the global level, it need not hold at the local or national level: if one nation increases savings, this can be offset by trading partners consuming a greater amount relative to their own production, i.e., if the saving nation increases exports, and its partners increase imports. This criticism is not very controversial, and is generally accepted by Keynesian economists as well,[15] who refer to it as “exporting one’s way out of a recession”. They further note that this frequently occurs in concert with currency devaluation[16] (hence increasing exports and decreasing imports), and cannot work as a solution to a global problem, because the global economy is a closed system – not every nation can increase net exports.”

        “not every nation can increase net exports”…….look at the map again

        Japan has been fighting deflation for the past two decades, probably caused by demographics, an ageing reducing population spends less and saves more….they are living on the success of the past and with their investments and their highly desired products will be in a position to spin out their decline (assuming CC or worldwide financial collapse doesn’t get us all first) ….NZ, and the vast majority of the world are not Japan.

        I don’t know about you, but I see no advantage in replacing a broken, failing system with another that is at least as broken and will, for most of the world fail even faster.

        • Nic the NZer

          Not sure why you raised the paradox of thrift here my point was that when spending traverses the forex markets all that occurs is the holder of some currency changes hands but not the available amount of currency.

          However it seems your reading the paradox of thrift page very poorly. Its incontrovertible that total current account balances sum to zero. Its true by accounting. This means that for some country to have a current account surplus, there are matching current account deficits of some other countries.

          This means some country (an open economy) is able to save while exporting to others, not all countries are able to do so at once (the world is a closed economy).

          The race to the bottom is in countries trying to cut costs and wages in a competitive effort to become trade surplus economies (while all being government deficit hawks). The result of this will be putting the whole onus of income growth on private sector debt accumulation (with accompanying low national savings rates) and eventually unsustainable private sector debts (or a very slow national income growth rate). But what i am describing is hardly a different economic model its just a coherent description of how the economy (and national finances) actually work in the real world.

          • Pat

            “Not sure why you raised the paradox of thrift here my point was that when spending traverses the forex markets all that occurs is the holder of some currency changes hands but not the available amount of currency.

            However it seems your reading the paradox of thrift page very poorly. Its incontrovertible that total current account balances sum to zero. Its true by accounting. This means that for some country to have a current account surplus, there are matching current account deficits of some other countries.”

            you say this with a straight face ….when you advocate increasing the money supply ? good grief! You wish to increase the wealth gap to the point of collapse.

            “But what i am describing is hardly a different economic model its just a coherent description of how the economy (and national finances) actually work in the real world.”

            monetised debt is NOT the model we currently run……unserviceable debt is the model we currently run…as said both broken but one will destroy most economies faster than the other

            • Nic the NZer

              “you say this with a straight face ….when you advocate increasing the money supply ? good grief! You wish to increase the wealth gap to the point of collapse.”

              Unfortunately, I have no idea what so ever what this is supposed to mean. If the government decides to run a deficit and spends that on poverty reduction programs this will decrease the wealth gap.

              “monetised debt is NOT the model we currently run”

              Sorry to tell you this, but all money is a liability of some institution. If not it simply has no value because its irredeemable to discharge any reciprocal liabilities.

              So for example commercial banks will accept their own bank deposits as payment for credit card, mortgage or other debts. Governments on the other hand will accept their currency as payments for taxes, or other fines student loans etc…. Money is circulating debt, that’s the way it is, in fact that’s the way its always been.

              In accounting terms, money and debt liabilities actually sit on the exact same side of the ledger as each other, or are exactly the same. So for example a bank account of savings, that’s a liability of the bank (money the bank owes a depositor) or a bank bond well that’s also money the bank owes (and both of these may pay some interest), or a government bond well that’s reserves the government owes to a lender which in accounting terms sits right beside hard/paper currency outside the reserve bank.

              “unserviceable debt is the model we currently run”, cutting right to the chase you probably have this mental model that ‘debt’ is un-serviceable because the interest to pay it is not created. This is simply a standard stock-flow error in understanding. Simply put this model is total bunk because it doesn’t depend on interest rates, growth rates or even the level of debt. If ‘unserviceable debt’ were the model then its been unserviceable since day 1, e.g about 5000 years hence.

              • Pat

                “Sorry to tell you this, but all money is a liability of some institution. If not it simply has no value because its irredeemable to discharge any reciprocal liabilities.”

                And sorry to tell you money has no intrinsic value….it is valued on its representation and the faith those using it have in its usability….I can make you a billionaire right now, but you won’t be worth a cent more because the billion dollars I give you is not backed by any resource nor wanted by anyone else….as is any currency debased when its ratio to resource is increased and the resources it represents are abundant.

                ” Simply put this model is total bunk because it doesn’t depend on interest rates, growth rates or even the level of debt. If ‘unserviceable debt’ were the model then its been unserviceable since day 1, e.g about 5000 years hence.”

                not so, as long as we could borrow from future growth ( which in simple terms is what we are doing) we could keep deflating the debt to serviceable rates….we are at limit of growth and therefore can no longer borrow from the future….and we have more inter party debt than we can possibly pay( debt jubilee you cry, but that wipes out both sides of the ledger…who owns what?)….public and private. Central Banks printing money won’t change that but they will accelerate it by inflating the “value” of the resources we do have…..and they are owned by an increasingly small percentage of the worlds population (housing crisis anyone) and paid for by everyone else, both within and between economies.

                Whats the solution? I do not know, but thats not important…what is, and is particularly worrying is that the best of our economic thinkers , nobel prize winners and all, appear to have no more idea than anyone else…..what does that tell you?

              • Pat

                The problem is not so much designing a new system that is workable in a zero/negative growth environment although that would be difficult enough… is the transition from one to the other without total collapse (financial and societal) intervening that appears (to me at least) to be impossible.

  23. Paul 24

    Dismal statistics out today about poverty, housing and prison and all the MSM can focus on is the All Blacks being spied on.
    Bread and circuses.
    The Roman Emperors used them to placate the plebs and it looks like many New Zealanders are falling fall the same diversions.

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  • Lies, damn lies and the National Party 
    This week Patrick Gower called it. The National Party was guilty of the biggest lie of the campaign. It’s not the only lie, but it’s certainly the biggest. Labour, apparently, is going to lift income tax. National are arguing, like ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    14 hours ago
  • Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring
    Anti-fluoride campaigners don’t agree. Image credit:Dental Care Tips for Mom and Baby” presentation What’s the story about this new IQ-fluoride study? The one that claims fluoride intake by pregnant women could endanger their children’s IQ? Whatever the truth, ...
    14 hours ago
  • BSA and ASA to political parties: “sure, lie all you like”
    When I first saw the National Party’s blatantly misleading “Let’s Tax This” ad, I thought: the Advertising Standards Authority would have to uphold a complaint about this one. And if the ad is broadcast on TV or radio, the Broadcasting Standards ...
    15 hours ago
  • WINZ steals from the poorest
    Hot on the heels of yesterday's news of WINZ lawlessness, we learn that WINZ has been illegally underpaying the poorest beneficiaries: More than 7000 of New Zealand's most-desperate beneficiaries have been short-changed by the Government - and they're about to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Suspicious
    Remember National's court case with Eminem? A decision was supposed to be issued within three months of the trial ending in May. But strangely, its late:Justice Helen Cull reserved her decision on May 12 - noting at the time that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Māori Party confirms opposition to tertiary education Bill
    The TEU is pleased to report that Marama Fox, co-leader of the Māori Party, has told the TEU that her party is opposed to National’s tertiary education Bill. The Bill would give Ministers greater powers to divert public funds away from public ...
    17 hours ago
  • Second chance learners rely on public tertiary education
    Craig West, a senior lecturer at Otago Polytechnic, discusses the importance of public tertiary education for second chance learners and its role in the local community. Education sits at the heart of every community and this could not be truer than ...
    17 hours ago
  • Election a huge opportunity to improve lives of students
    Jonathan Gee, national president of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, says this election is a chance to make politics work better for students – which, he says, will benefit us all. For too long, students and young people ...
    17 hours ago
  • National announces tertiary education policy
    National published its tertiary education policy for the election with minimal fanfare last week. The policy contains little of substance, but there are two commitments worth pointing to. The first is a target to increase the value of international education in New Zealand ...
    17 hours ago
  • What next for tertiary education?
    David Cooke, national chair of the Quality Public Education Coalition, looks at some of the key issues facing the tertiary education sector after the election before offering some thoughts on what we can do together to ensure a positive future for students and ...
    17 hours ago
  • TEU celebrates Suffrage Day
    Tuesday 19 September was Suffrage Day and TEU members were out in force to celebrate. Many chose to honour those women who fought and won the right to vote 124 years ago by coming together to vote early. The TEU teams at ...
    17 hours ago
  • Access: Disabled floater voters Part 4: Health and Support
    This is the fourth of a series of blogs from the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA).   We have used DPA’s strategic areas of focus, as identified by our members, as a guide to examine key areas of each party’s policies. We ...
    18 hours ago
  • A positive sign
    While Donald Trump seems trying to start nuclear wars with both North Korea and Iran, there's abeen a positive sign: the UN has outlawed nuclear weapons. And New Zealand was one of the first countries to sign up to the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • New Auckland Transport Chief Executive
    Yesterday, Auckland Transport finally announced who would replace David Warburton as Chief Executive later this year. The job has gone to Shane Ellison. It certainly seems that he has significant experience with running public transport which will be very useful for ...
    19 hours ago
  • What Do the Chinese Pay For?
    The Herald’s readiness to alert its readers to the important conclusions of the University of Canterbury research into the links between China and past and present New Zealand politicians and their family members is to be commended, not because there ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow
    The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index dipped marginally this week, but, said the bank's chief economist, "households remain in good spirits". In truth, our good spirits rely on us not looking too far ahead.New Zealanders' perception of their current ...
    19 hours ago
  • Rotten to the core
    How rotten is WINZ? So rotten that they use false names for those serving on their internal Benefit Review Committees, and present them as truthful to their statutory appeal body. As if that's not bad enough, they then continued to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • The Grow Room Profiles – Villette
    Local Alt R&B songstress/producer Villette discusses some of her formative musical experiences, her positive forecast for Women within Aotearoa's music industry, and finally drops the name of her new mixtape. This video was made with funding support from NZ ...
    19 hours ago
  • The Singles Life: What happened to political music in New Zealand?
    Welcome to weekly series The Singles Life, where known experts Katie Parker and Hussein Moses peruse, ponder and pontificate on the latest and (maybe) greatest in New Zealand music. In these trying times, political music feels like it would ...
    20 hours ago
  • Media Link: Chinese influence operations, Hillary’s blame game, Trump’s incoherence and NZ’s 3...
    As part of the series of radio interviews I do with Mitch Harris on RadioLive on Wed nights, this week we decided to be a bit more free ranging than usual (since the normal focus of the radio version of ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    24 hours ago
  • The beginning of the end for nuclear weapons
    "I have been waiting for this day for seven decades and I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived,” said Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow in July, when a new treaty banning nuclear weapons was agreed at the United Nations in ...
    24 hours ago
  • Election Transport Policy Roundup
    Transport featured prominently in this election, particularly in the opening weeks of the campaign. At the same time, the differences between the parties when it comes to transport policies has been stark. It’s also worth remembering the outcome of the 1News ...
    1 day ago
  • The loneliness of the election hoarding
    Every three years the institution of the election poster gives us an object lesson in psychogeography, remaking the country into red zones, blue zones, contested zones. A sign erected on a private fence or put up at one’s window makes ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • This is how civil wars start
    As I write this, Spanish police are raiding Catalan government offices and arresting government officials in an effort to prevent Catalans from voting in a referendum on independence:Spanish police officers have raided three Catalan regional government departments and arrested 12 ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Election edition of It’s Our Future Bulletin
    A vote for National is a vote for the TPPA-11 Kia ora koutou katoa, This will be a short Bulletin as you are all, no doubt, up to your eyeballs in political spin and campaign rhetoric. The general election Saturday ...
    Its our futureBy Stephen Parry
    1 day ago
  • National Increased and Introduced 18 New Taxes, How Many More to Come?
    While National have been the failed Government of New Zealand they have increased or introduced 18 taxes on the ever suffering New Zealand public!   These included an increase in GST, taxing your Kiwisaver contributions, increased your Prescription ...
    1 day ago
  • Bugger
    Still, the Greens look safe. That's SOMETHING.And if NZ First don't get back in (assuming Winston loses Northland and they slip 0.1% more ... Well, I'll try very hard to lament the undemocratic wasted vote while punching the air and ...
    2 days ago
  • It takes just 4 years to detect human warming of the oceans
    We’ve known for decades that the Earth is warming, but a key question is, how fast? Another key question is whether the warming is primarily caused by human activities. If we can more precisely measure the rate of warming and ...
    2 days ago
  • Why I was an idiot for not voting last election
    Three years is a long time.   Image: The Wireless/Luke McPake   I have a flatmate who probably won’t vote. He says he might, but it’s not looking good. A capital gains tax could persuade him, but Labour’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Not That Kind of Voting
    As is customary in the run-up to an election, there is some hand-wringing going on about what turnout is going to be more ...
    PunditBy Leonid Sirota
    2 days ago
  • Bill English is incompetent
    When John Key handed Bill English the poisoned chalice of a third term, it was pretty clear that the smiling assassin was getting out while the getting was good. After all, English had been largely left out of most of ...
    2 days ago
  • Pre-emptively poking holes in the land tax bucket
    Land taxes have – unexpectedly – become a hot policy topic in the run-up to the election. Land taxes were originally suggested by the economist and social reformer Henry George as a fairer alternative to income or business tax. The ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis support a water tax
    The prospect of making farmers and water bottlers pay for their use of public water has been a big issue this election campaign. Irrigation-dependent dairy farmers hate the idea, of course - they're freeloaders who don't want to pay their ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National censors NZTA
    Last month, when the National Party announced ten expensive new roads as the core of its election campaign, the Greater Auckland blog noticed something interesting: the business case for one of them, Whangarei to Wellsford, had disappeared from NZTA's website. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Follow the Leader: Winston Peters – NZ First
    2 days ago
  • Access: Disabled floater voters 3: Education and Justice
    This is the third of a series of blogs from the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA).   We have used DPA’s strategic areas of focus, as identified by our members, as a guide to examine key areas of each party’s policies. We ...
    2 days ago
  • Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (ono)
    . . You show me yours, I’ll show you mine… . Perhaps the most ill-considered public statement from NZ First leader, Winston Peters, was his recent (11 September) demand that Labour disclose it’s full tax plan as a pre-condition for ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • The mystery of the Wellsford-Whangarei business case solved
    Exactly a month ago, the National Party announced the biggest element of their transport policy for this election, $10.5 billion on 10 new Roads of National Significance. These are: Wellsford to Whangarei East West Link in Auckland Cambridge to Tirau Piarere ...
    2 days ago
  • Which New Zealand are you voting for?
    I was walking out of a meeting with two fine people the other day, one a National Party supporter and one a Labour Party supporter. The centre-right man reckons his team has lost it, but he sighed, "the economy's going ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Farmers blame absence of Bill English for failure to summon Cow God
    Farmers were deeply disappointed when an incantation meant to summon the Cow God instead summoned Winston Peters. Dairy farmers have spent the better part of today blaming Prime Minister Bill English for their failure to summon the Cow God beneath ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Trust women to decide: Greens
    The Green party has renewed its calls for abortion law reform, after a woman who was declined a termination considered suicide.    Under the Crimes Act, an abortion must be approved by two licenced specialist doctors.  Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski ...
    3 days ago
  • Suffrage Day is now about equal pay for many women
    The fight goes on.   Merinda Jackson. Photo: The Wireless/Max Towle Women wearing suffragist dress gathered outside Wellington’s central library this afternoon. They periodically broke off into small groups and disappeared inside for a few minutes at ...
    3 days ago
  • How WINZ got social housing costs so wrong
    Last year, National bowed to public pressure over homelessness and replaced emergency housing loans - under which the homeless were saddled with odious debt to be put up in price-gouging motels - with a grant. Their initial budget for these ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Narcissistic men are more likely to troll on Facebook – study
    “Aggression, manipulativeness, low agreeableness.” Sound familiar? Illustration: 123RF A new study analysing people’s motivations for trolling has found men are more likely to bully others on Facebook because they’re more narcissistic. Researchers from Brunel and Goldsmiths universities ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: This is going to cost us
    For the past six months, National have been suppressing Ministry for the Environment guidance on coastal hazards, which show that sea level rise and the resulting storm surges threaten $19 billion of coastal property. This government malfeasance isn't just bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National has failed our health system
    Along with a number of other worsening sectors in New Zealand, the public health system has become increasingly degraded under a National led government. The statistics clearly show a complete failure to meet growing demand for services, especially in peak ...
    3 days ago
  • Suffrage Day
    Today, September 19th, is Suffrage Day. 124 years ago today, women gained the right to vote in New Zealand. Its one of our greatest achievements as a nation, and yet its not one we publicly mark. That needs to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins and the swamp kauri petrol crisis
    The ruptured fuel pipe that runs to Auckland Airport looks set to cause more chaos as fuel shortages start to impede people trying to fill up at the pump.Already a number of international flights have been diverted or cancelled due ...
    3 days ago
  • Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand
    This sort of serious dental fluorosis does not occur in New Zealand A recent issue of the Fluoride Exposed Newsletter gives us the facts about dental fluorosis – a subject very often misrepresented by opponents of community water fluoridation. Ever ...
    3 days ago
  • PT Ridership around New Zealand
    Auckland had a pretty good year for public transport ridership in the last financial year (to the end of June). Overall, compared to the 2016 ridership increased by 5.5 million (7%) to 88.44 million trips, the highest point since 1955. ...
    3 days ago
  • Australia tries to deport Rohingya to persecution
    Myanmar is currently waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against its Rohingya minority. So naturally, the racist Australian government is trying to force Rohingya detained in its concentration camps to return to persecution:Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Chevron’s Amazon Chernobyl Case moves to Canada
    After perpetrating what is probably the worst oil-related catastrophe on Earth - a 20,000 hectare death zone in Ecuador, known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” - the Chevron Corporation has spent two decades and over a billion dollars trying to avoid ...
    3 days ago
  • 5 reasons the car industry needs to change its ways now
    Today the world’s biggest motor show gets underway in Germany. The Frankfurt Motorshow is the moment many of the world’s best known car manufacturers get together for a grand display of vehicles that have been polished so hard it’s a ...
    3 days ago
  • Access Granted: Kat Greenbrook – From insight to action
    Kat Greenbrook (@katgreenbrook) is on a mission to increase the number of data insights actioned as she sees a growing gap between analytics teams and decision makers, stemming from a breakdown in communication.  Kat, through her own company Rogue Penguin, works across ...
    3 days ago
  • When The Country Goes To Town.
    Pretty Ugly, Pretty Quickly: That the demographic and cultural divide between rural and urban New Zealand remains a source of deep unease to farmers cannot be doubted. Equally indisputable, historically-speaking, has been the militant, even violent, character of rural New ...
    3 days ago
  • More on Kiwi Rail De-electrification
    *This is a guest post by Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders KIWIRAIL’S NIMT DECISION EXPOSED IN LEAKED DOCUMENTS Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders1 Leaked documents show that KiwiRail’s decision in December 2016, to ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Limits to growth?
    Mounting concern with housing, transport and diversity issues in Auckland point to a consensus that growth trends are exceeding our ability to readily cope. This is aggravated by reports that portions of our wilderness tourism areas are being hammered by ...
    Briefing PapersBy Charles Crothers
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters hijacks National’s protest
    There was a lot of anticipation surrounding a farmer’s protest in Morrinsville yesterday, a protest over Labour’s proposed levy of 1 to 2 cents per 1000 litres of water used for irrigation.Federated Farmers and Dairy NZ in particular have been ...
    3 days ago
  • Just when will the fat lady start singing this election?
    Now we’ve entered the last week of the election campaign, Saturday’s finishing post is in sight. Once the polls close at 7pm on that day, no further ballots may be more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Prediction
    There's nothing stupider on the internet than putting down your thoughts in an indisputable form.  So that, of course is what I am going to do:NAT – 42%LAB – 39%NZF – 8%GRE – 6%TOP – 2%MAO – 1.5% (With electorate ...
    4 days ago
  • The evidence says TOP have no hope
      The Opportunities Party leader Gareth Morgan has come out swinging against the polls, which unanimously report his party polling nowhere near the 5% threshold. He basically says they’re fake news because they (mostly) only poll landlines. He predicts TOP will ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    4 days ago
  • If you support Labour, Green, TOP, Māori, or Mana: Party vote Green
    I wrote this post on Facebook and it’s got a bit of traction so I thought I’d put it here as well. (These thoughts aren’t unique to me: other people are making similar points.) Most people intending to vote Labour, Green, ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    4 days ago
  • An Alternative to Neoliberalism?
    Are we at a turning point in our politics? I don’t mean whether we have a new government. That is a matter for the voters; the polls say that either they are very volatile or that the polls are very ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • 1969: The “Nearly-But-Not-Quite” Election.
    Labour Nearly Did This: It didn’t really seem possible that Labour could have lost. Its 1969 campaign had broken new ground in terms of media sophistication. Labour’s theme-song “Make Things Happen” had topped the local charts, and its television commercial, ...
    4 days ago
  • Why is Matthew Hooton SO UPSET at efforts to increase voter turnout? (AUDIO)
    Here’s some commentary from PR professional Matthew Hooton, owner of the ‘Exceltium’ PR agency*, on how he sees efforts by New Zealand’s Electoral Commission to increase voter turnout. “I think the way the Electoral Commission has behaved, taking upon itself ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    4 days ago
  • Its going to be a short election night
    Advance voting has really taken off this year, with enormous numbers exercising their right to vote early, parties campaigning specifically for advance votes, and queues at some advance polling booths. As of Sunday, 445,000 people had advance voted - more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • We need more post-publication peer review
    We often tout peer review as the reason for accepting the veracity of published scientific studies? But how good is it really? Does it ever match the ideal picture people have of it? And what about peer review before and ...
    4 days ago
  • No choice
    The decision to have a child can be life changing. But Kate* says she didn’t have a choice.  Illustration: Lucy Han / The Wireless A woman who was denied a second trimester abortion through North Shore Hospital says ...
    4 days ago
  • Too many cows
    Waikato's dairy farmers - the dirtiest in the country - are protesting in Morrinsville today to defend their "right" to keep pumping their shit into our rivers and their piss into our wells. Meanwhile, to get an idea of how ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Upgrading Takapuna’s heart
    While the beach may be the soul of Takapuna, Hurstmere Road is perhaps it’s commercial heart. Working in Takapuna, it’s a heart I know well (in fact at the time this post is published I’m probably walking along it to ...
    4 days ago
  • Cameras on boats will wreck ‘way of life’ – fisherman
    Push back against plans for surveillance on the high seas.       Fishing boats lined up along Bluff wharf. Photo: The Wireless/John Lake For Bluff cray fisherman Jayce Fisher, working the ocean is a way of ...
    4 days ago
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... SkS in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus... ...
    4 days ago

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    18 hours ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    2 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    2 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    3 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    3 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    6 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    7 days ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago