Open Mike 16/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 16th, 2017 - 106 comments
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106 comments on “Open Mike 16/03/2017”

  1. Andre 1

    “…because it’s actually a radically socialist idea in many ways when it’s implemented universally.”

    Some righties like the idea of a UBI because it gives cover for things like abolishing the minimum wage, hours flexibility (zero hours contracts), and eliminating large parts of government departments that administer welfare.

    [I moved this to Open Mike so we could have threading and reply buttons again. Original conversation and background is here – weka]

    • weka 1.1

      Yep. That’s how I took MW’s comment. That a UBI could be RW or LW depending on how it was designed. Morgan’s one doesn’t look particularly LW to me, although I do think he has good intentions with regards to fairness. It’s just that the kaupapa isn’t about fairness, it’s about economic rationing. Fairness is an add-on.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        In Morgan’s case I think you’ll find that he thinks economic rationing is fair. He’s a classically trained economist after all and thinks that capitalism and rich people are the solution and not the problem that they are.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Thanks, that’s what it looks like. The disturbing bit is that he is placing the rationing unfairly on the low end.

          • Sabine 1.1.1.1.1

            but then, that is no his concern now ? He ain’t on that end of the scale, and could not be further from it?

            I do find it lovely tho, how generous he is, i mean 200 bucks who hoo, that will not even rent you a dog kennel or chicken cage anywhere in NZ.

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              It appears to be $200 on top of what you already have, so for women on the DPB for instance, it’s massive. I don’t understand all the tax/WFF stuff though, so I’m 100% sure of what it would mean in reality.

              It’s not a UBI though. It’s a substantial benefit targeted for young families for the first 3 years of the child’s life. As people have been pointing out, it’s going to cause confusion about what a UBI is, and if TOP manage to gain some power it will set the scene for a RW UBI not a LW one.

              Fwiw, I do think that Morgan wants to create a fairer society. I think he just doesn’t understand how to do that, or he thinks some people are expendable, or he thinks people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps if his proposals don’t work for those individuals (but they’re best for society!). Not sure which, and I’m sceptical that someone with the resources he has couldn’t solve the top-up issue.

              • Bill

                The policy is suggesting an Unconditional (not Universal) Basic Income for some clearly defined sections of society.

                If the policy is any way adopted by a Lab/Green government, why would they legislate for what you allege to be the precursor for a right wing universal basic income?

                And on what basis are you claiming it’s a right wing policy in the first place?

                Given that the TOP policy platform is highly redistributive, any claim that one component of it right wing is just odd or plain daft.

                Where (in the policy) is the evidence of ‘expendability’?

                • weka

                  “If the policy is any way adopted by a Lab/Green government, why would they legislate for what you allege to be the precursor for a right wing universal basic income?”

                  Consider a L/NZF govt, or a National one. Lots of potential there.

                  (although I am very curious that you now consider Labour left wing 😉 )

                  “And on what basis are you claiming it’s a right wing policy in the first place?”

                  See Matthew’s comments over the past few days. It’s a RW positioning that is the problem, for all the reasons already laid out. But sure, I could be wrong, maybe Morgan is a leftie in disguise and when it comes to developing other policy he won’t really remove all topups or want pensioners to take out mortgages on their houses to pay asset taxes etc. Maybe he’s resiled from those positions and ideas. Maybe they’re not RW at all (they’re not LW either though), and he’s off on a new tangent. Good on him, but his ideas are still up for scrutiny.

                  “Where (in the policy) is the evidence of ‘expendability’?”

                  As you know from the other convo, I am looking at TOP’s UBI proposals in the context of The Big Kahuna, because Morgan himself is currently using it as the reference point for the bigger picture plan. It doesn’t make sense to me personally, because there appear to be major discrepancies between The Big Kahuna and the TOP UBI policy, but that’s just another reason to be raising an eyebrow at him being in parliament (which actually I don’t give a fuck about, but I do if it costs the left the election).

                  • KJT

                    To be fair to Morgan, I think he is after everyone getting used to the idea of a UBI, and wealth taxes, before it can be fully implemented.

                    There are both cost and electoral credibility reasons against going immediately to a full and livable UBI.

                    However a return to a UBI for children, the old universal family benefit, and elderly, is a good start. I have a problem with how he wants to do his, “hardship” topup for pensioners. To me that rewards tax dodgers and hits PAYE workers hardest, but then so does the present system.

                    I have issues with Morgans financial wizard view of the world, but he is not alone in viewing things in terms of his own specialty.

                    • weka

                      I have no problem with a stand alone policy, or introducing a UBI in stages. Nor do I have a problem with having a Thriving Families Policy, e.g. getting a big chunk of extra cash into low income young families is great (although I do have some problems with the detail, like cutting Super to give extra money to young families that aren’t in particular need).

                      In the above conversation (and the ones over the past few days) I’ve been critiquing the bigger picture issues, namely how TOP would implement a UBI over time, and the risk of them costing the left the election.

                      I’m also thinking through Matthew’s point about how you introduce a UBI and the political positioning of that i.e. the starting point will determine what kind of system we end up with. The more I think about this the more critical it seems.

                      Carolyn posted this,

                      Interesting post on the Daily Blog by Donna Miles, on a Gareth Morgan public meeting and TOP.

                      Miles likes the UBI, but not the policy on sustainable economic growth:

                      Another issue worth mentioning is Morgan’s response to my question around the sustainability of a growth-based economy.

                      Morgan seems to think that a growth-based economy is sustainable if it was coupled with the right ecological investments.

                      This view is at odds with the opinion of Professor Tim Jackson who, only last month, stood on the same stage to deliver a lecture on prosperity without growth.

                      Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, Jackson refers to Morgan’s idea about the sustainability of a growth-based economy, as “wishful” and “magical” thinking.

                      Jackson explains “prosperity isn’t just about earning more and having more, it consists in our ability to participate meaningfully in the life of society.”

                      There at the club, an attendee asked Morgan to describe, in 5 words only, what he had that would make us vote for his party on the election day.

                      Morgan said he would say it in 3 words: “A Business Case.”

                      I wish he had used his 5 words and said: A Social Case For Change.

                      Daily Review 16/03/2017

                • Bill

                  I don’t consider Labour to be left wing… they embrace liberal economics…and I didn’t say they were. I asked why you thought a Labour/Green government would implement policy that would usher in a right wing environment.

                  To be clear about Universal Basic Income in relation to right wing economic theorists…in their scenario, the UBI replaces all state welfare provisions…health care, schooling…everything – which then becomes ‘obtained’ by individuals making rational choices in a free market. And I don’t see any evidence of that kind of direction from this unconditional basic income proposal.

                  And you’re still peddling nonsense around removal of all topups or wanting pensioners to take out mortgages on their houses to pay asset taxes etc. even though it’s been pointed out and links provided, that these arm waving claims you’re making are false and contradict the published policies.

                  Scrutiny is good. Peddling falsehoods and fear in spite of available evidence isn’t.

                  • weka

                    “And you’re still peddling nonsense around removal of all topups or wanting pensioners to take out mortgages on their houses to pay asset taxes etc. even though it’s been pointed out and links provided, that these arm waving claims you’re making are false and contradict the published policies.

                    Scrutiny is good. Peddling falsehoods and fear in spite of available evidence isn’t”

                    Oh, I agree. So here’s my link, just so we know that I am not telling lies but responding to Morgan at source (this is for other people’s benefit as I know you’ve already seen this),

                    On topups, Morgan’s original UBI proposal,

                    However, you would no longer be able to get Work and Income to pay your phone bill or power bill, for example. “Top up” payments like Hardship Grants would no longer be available. So with the freedom to live your life as you choose, comes the responsibility to handle any financial obligations yourself (but with the help of budget advisers, family and community groups)

                    https://garethsworld.com/kahuna/are-you-a-client-of-work-and-income/

                    and, from Morgan on his FB page on release of the TOP UBI policy earlier in the week,

                    “In the first sentence of the landing page the book “The Big Kahuna” is mentioned. Have a read for a long term view of where we see things ending up. It’s fully costed, and the most recent iteration has been audited by NZIER, but like I said this stuff is expensive and we need to start somewhere”.

                    Now it’s true I am going off the website not the book, and it’s true that there are odd discrepancies between The Big Kahuna and the mini or first phase UBI TOP policy from this week, and as I have said, I am happy to be corrected and would love it if Morgan not longer believes in The Big Kahuna. But it appears that he does and is in fact using it as the background document for TOP’s policies.

                    If you have explained those things in the other convo, I’ve missed it, although I got that you personally are going off the TOP alone and don’t want to contextualise it within The Big Kahuna.

                    You can call my opinion a falsehood, I’ll just keep posting the references. Someone that wants to respond to the actual opinion and back up that I posted, have at it.

                    • Bill

                      A parent or guiding or back-ground document written in the past and that informs a policy to one degree or another is not a policy. And when we’re talking of political parties and elections, it’s their actual policies and the details of those policies that matter.

                      What you are doing is akin to stacking Labour Party policies from the 1920s against Das Kapital or some such (a background doc that served to inspire early iterations of Labour Parties) and then running arguments against policy based on a deliberate elevation of Das Kapital.

                      Different links back to policy were provided by both Red and myself and you responded to those comments. So no, you didn’t “miss” those explanations in the other thread. You just choose to deliberately ignore them.

                      You want to critique a book from 5 years ago and the ideas it contains? That’s all fine and good. You want to critique a political party’s policy? That’s also fine and good too. You want to mix and match from those sources and in a way that suits your personal agenda? That sits somewhere between being disingenuous and being dishonest.

                      If there are differences between a stated policy and a background idea formulated in the past, then common sense dictates that the policy and the thought around the policy generally supersedes the thoughts or reasoning that went into formulating the older document.

                      Does that render the older document obsolete? No. But it has a much lesser status than the details set out in current policy documents.

                    • No Bill, what Weka’s doing is akin to holding Bill to his statements about refugees until he withdraws them.

                      Gareth is a political figure now, whether he likes what that entails, or not. That means his public opinions in the past are relevant to discussion of his policies, and he may sometimes have to clarify that something is no longer in his long-term plan if he’s changed his mind, or that it’s up for re-consideration.

                      What’s not fair is holding him to it 100%, but that’s not what Weka’s doing. She’s assuming that he will have a similar approach to the one he personally authored in the future until proven otherwise.

                • Morgan doesn’t conceive of himself as right-wing, and to be fair, overall I think his sympathies are with the left and with liberals. But his take on a UBI is a slightly more moderate version of the kind of UBI proposals that libertarians love: it reduces income taxes while not providing much more in the way of actual welfare. (of course, they pay for it with capital taxes, but for high-income liberatarians as opposed to exceedingly wealthy ones, that’s actually a good bargain)

                  TOP’s current welfare policy is centre-right as well. It cuts super in favour of beefing up WFFs and adding in a child benefit, while making no actual significant moves on welfare reform, and no attempts to adjust starvation-level benefits.

                  • Bill

                    $200 to all families with young children (whether in work or out of work) plus $72 for those on a low income (whether in work or not) plus free early childhood education is a bit more than “beefing up wff” Matthew.

                    And since everything TOPs proposes to ‘put on the table’ will be considered by more major parties in accord with their priorities and (at least with regards the Greens) commitments to social justice, the opportunity is there to have policies formulated that encapsulate the best of all worlds.

                    And as I said previously, if we’re looking at Lab/Green with TOP on the side, Labour can’t shut the Greens down on talk of welfare reform. The conversation will be had.

                    If Morgan had bene-bashed, then I’d agree the lens should be applied to policy. But he didn’t, and ideas are forever evolving or becoming better refined.

                    And again – everything he has will be subject to Lab/Green modification…reformulated with Lab and or Green priorities in mind.

                    So putting a fiscally neutral wealth tax on the table could produce some really good stuff. There is no need for a government that decides to run with it to keep it neutral or incorporate a flat tax.

                    • weka

                      $272 extra per week is huge for low income families. I’m not clear how much of that they get though. Is that in the hand, or is there a trade off with one of the tax/income policies like WFF? i.e. is it on top of what someone is getting today, or does some of it replace one of the other benefits?

                      I don’t understand the need to cut Super either. I don’t have too much of a problem with removing parts of the universal entitlement, if it was done through a LW lens. But TOP appear to be cutting the low end as well. WINZ say the current single rate is $20,000/yr, TOP want that to be $17,500.

                      And I still have concerns about means/asset testing all elderly people and taxing their home if they own it. Yes, TOP want to offer a mortgage via IRD so that that tax is only paid on sale, but I’d like to see some analysis of how that would actually work for elderly people. It also sets a precedent for taxing everyone’s homes. Again, I think there are better solutions if these policies were being developed in LW contexts (or social democratic ones). For the sake of not having another argument, let’s not call Morgan RW, but he does see this as a business issue not a social justice one. That’s the problem with the framing.

                      You think his position would support the Greens pulling Labour left on welfare. I think that assuming we don’t end up with a L/NZF/TOP govt, that TOP would pull the Greens towards the centre 🙁

                    • Bill

                      From the policy summary page.

                      On the $72 –

                      Low-income families with children (under 17) – an additional $72 pw ($3,744 pa) instead of in-work tax credit, no hours test required. Of course they remain eligible for the other current welfare payments (unemployment, disability, sole parent, illness etc).

                      On the $200 –

                      all families with very young children (under 3, or under 6 if adopted or fostered) – $200 per family per week. This replaces paid parental leave

                      That reads to me as removing the highly discriminatory policies that Labour put in place … the “worthy” and “unworthy” poor as defined by whether 20 hours of paid employment is being undertaken or not.

                      Edit. TOPs want that paid for from Super. And at least they aren’t trying to raise the retirement age (Ten times the hit of $2000 p.a. for everyone for every year retirement is pushed back). And just because TOPs have worked this out in a neutral fashion, there is nothing preventing any future government from funding things differently.

                    • Bill

                      It also sets a precedent for taxing everyone’s homes.

                      It isn’t setting a precedent. Taxing homes is a stated policy. Home owners will be taxed on the notional wealth generated from home ownership (I’m thinking the return – the amount that attracts a tax – is taken to be around 5% of total value.) And income tax will be reduced in concert with that – the idea being that a reduction in income tax compensates for the outgoings associated with a wealth tax… for most people.

                      Meanwhile, some ‘as yet to be negotiated’ initial level of wealth will be exempt from the tax. That could be $100 000 or $200 000 or whatever a government agrees to.

                    • weka

                      On the $72 –

                      Low-income families with children (under 17) – an additional $72 pw ($3,744 pa) instead of in-work tax credit, no hours test required. Of course they remain eligible for the other current welfare payments (unemployment, disability, sole parent, illness etc).

                      That doesn’t answer the question though.

                    • Except:
                      1) There is no path for TOP into parliament with their current electoral strategy and polling, so thus,
                      2) We shouldn’t even be talking about TOP’s proposals in the context of “things that might be negotiated in Parliament,” they’re ideas like any citizens’ group could propose. And they’re dangerous ideas because they’re talking about targetting welfare spending with the wrong priorities. Don’t get me wrong, struggling families need their fair bit of help, but a child benefit like TOP proposes isn’t exactly the priority issue in welfare reform. I’d love to have one if we’re not headed straight for a UBI, but it’s much further down the wishlist than TOP puts it, and I wouldn’t gut Super in order to do it. We’re about to have a lot of retiring Boomers and even if they’ve done pretty well out of politics, they still deserve to have Super if we can manage to keep it for everyone.

                      That said, you are right that I was being dismissive of the difference it would make for families. I was being dismissive because there are much better ways to target low-income families for assistance than a generic child benefit worth $10k p/a that goes to even wealthy families. Would you have given John Key $30,000 to raise Max Key? I wouldn’t have. All low-income families in particular get is the $72 topup, when they should be getting the entire budget for any sort of family assistance program.

              • Sabine

                if anyone here believes that after a UBI or similar is installed that there are still other benefits available to them, i have several one laned bridges in Northland to sell.

                I don’t have anything against a UBI, but if that ‘holy grail’ does not cover even the most basic thing humans need to survive, shelter, then its just a load of good feel, do nothing bullshit ment to rake in votes.

                like that beautiful heathcare thats gonna get everyone covered
                or
                or
                brighter futures for everyone and wage parity with OZ.

                • weka

                  I think there is a spectrum.

                  We have the hard right UBI (Roger Douglas in the 80s)

                  We have the centrist UBI (Morgan, I’ll give him a concession there and call him centrist rather than RW)

                  We have a centre left UBI (Labour, who essentially want it because of job losses due to automation, and who are not really in any way looking at improving welfare)

                  We have left/orthogonally positioned (Greens, who basically want a caring social security net and see the potential for a UBI to be *part of that).

                  We have a hard left one (not sure who that is, but I assume it exists).

                  We could put Standardistas into that spectrum too 😉

                  • Sabine

                    let me put it this way Weka

                    you take a UBI of 20.000$ a year (hopfully untaxed) and you deduct 18.200$ a year annual rent for housing (median 380$) pw – and you realize that you hopefully don’t only have that UBI at your disposition .

                    If the UBI does not cover min living costs it can’t work unless you have top ups and then you are again at the stage where you need a WINZ and you go back to having a ‘poor’ person to look after.

                    Immediately in then next few years quite a few things could be done to help the working and non working poor or financially stressed.

                    a. remove tax from the first 25.000$ of earning (this would equal 52 weeks of 480$ rent/mortgage)
                    b. tax rebates on public transport especially for commuters.
                    c. remove GST from Food/Electricity/Water
                    d. increase existing benefits to meet rising costs and facilitate access to all services.
                    e. make the Kiwi Safer available after every 6 years or so, cause sometimes people upgrade or have expenses and such.

                    I am even ambivalent with teh ‘we are gonna loose all our jobs’ scenario, as already currently we have the scenario where services that used to be paid work are now run by volunteers, such as reception desks in small hospitals.
                    We could actually hire a few guys and get these berms taken care of, build more public facilities, not close down our libraries, etc etc etc.
                    Its not as if we did not have the work to do, its just that no – one wants to pay for it.

                    We can have the discussion about a UBI anytime, but first we should establish just what we are aiming to achieve. And then we can throw Dollar signs at it.
                    And this is my beef with the TOP, and Mr. Morgan, there is just the throwing about some feel good numbers but very little what the intended outcome is. A bit like his cat policy,
                    1. lets get rid of cats,
                    2, how?
                    3. Dunno, and surely not with my money

                    He had all these years of pontificating and comes up with something that is neither here nor there.

                    • Having the Basic Income part of the UBI system be untaxed is essentially the same thing as saying “we won’t tax the first $X of income.” Similar to welfare payments, there’s no point taxing a basic income, as it’s double-handling. Set it to the amount you actually want people to get net and save yourself the time. Taxes on benefits were only introduced as a stealth way to cut benefits.

                      You could absolutely exempt income even further than the basic income amount, but then you’re beginning to run into the situation where you’re not proposing a UBI system that simplifies the tax system with it, but rather a UBI with a full-on progressive tax system that would likely lose some of the efficiencies the program promises. That could be a good thing if the extra revenue compensates for it, or it could be a bad thing if you lose too much efficiency for a barely-more-progressive tax system. A UBI already solves a lot of the “incentive to work” issue by making the transition from basic income to paid income smoother, so it’s probably better to invest the available funds in increasing the basic income rather than providing a further tax-free area.

                      What we’re trying to achieve implementing a UBI is a universal and unconditional income that gives people financial security if they can live a modest life, even if they’re not currently in paid employment for whatever reason. That’s what the settings should be tuned to in the long term, although in the short-term it may be beneficial to start out a bit below that level and work your way up as the savings kick in. (as long as it is “a bit” rather than “a lot.” TOP (at $10k BI) and Labour (at $12.5k BI) propose far too small a Basic Income)

                    • Sabine

                      @ Matthew Whitehead.

                      i am too poor for that richs mans folly.

                      when that man puts his money where his large mouth is, i.e. fund desexing /trap/neuter programs for feral cats to just begin with we might have a talk.
                      when that man starts putting his unproductive empty rental properties on the market then we might have a talk.

                      Until then i am too fucking poor to give Gareth Morgan and any of this ‘economists’ my vote.

                      so again, unless that wanker and his mates put their money where their mouth and their ideas are they can go climb on a bike and ride across mongolia.

    • Indeed, those are the dangers, but those things are always dangers when right-wingers take control of government. That’s actually why it’s important to have a left-wing implementation of a UBI first, so that people know the difference and recognise the tinkering for what it is, and as Weka says, Morgan’s model is basically the right-wing version. Having him into the conversation adds nothing to this issue from a left-wing perspective because he’s outright advocating a very regressive version of a UBI.

      My dad, who is an ex-Labour Party staffer and ex-Treasury, likes to remind me whenever I talk to him about UBIs that Roger Douglas wanted one, but David Lange shot it down. I can only imagine Douglas’ was worse than Morgan’s.

      In contrast, the version I modelled assuming generous (ie. very left-wing) settings assumed basic income levels on-par with the maximum payment from NZ Super, (ie. $20k p/a) a two-tier income tax of 45% for income under $80k p/a and 55% for income over $80k p/a and capital gains, and had some pessimistic “make it hard to work” assumptions like people working less as a result of the UBI, more people qualifying than were taxpayers in 2015, and no efficiencies modelled in from WINZ or IRD becoming leaner departments, or savings on health costs, etc… as it was supposed to prove you could fund a UBI until those long-term benefits from reduced poverty and increased labour mobility started kicking in.

      Not factoring in tax exemptions, this system was better for anyone earning under $61k p/a, so it would probably be an improvement on WFFs for kiwi battlers, and a huge liberator for anyone else on low earned incomes.

      All you have to do from there is make sure any adjustment to conditional benefits (ie. not jobseeker support) are relatively generous, and implement a change of culture to a help-our-customers model at WINZ, and you have a pretty healthy social support system set up, with a fair tax system to boot.

      Most left-wing fans who are keen on the idea insist that if we’re going to do it, we get a left wing government to do it first thing in their first or maybe second terms, so that people can have 2-3 years of a generous UBI before they have to vote on it, increasing the chances they’ll start to benefit from a lot of the medium-term benefits of one and then recognise right-wing tinkering to the policy as very dangerous.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        I wondered if you were of that Whitehead family.
        Thank you plural for your service.

        UBI sounds just terrrrrriffic under a left government.
        But if it’s only going to be misused, distorted, and effectively turned into a big data-hoovering net and population-wide disciplinary instrument under a future government, it’s not worth it. I think that’s a very high risk.

        The next Labour-led government may or may not be trustworthy with it. Who knows. Little and Ardern have already signaled in multiple ways that the existing benefits regime and reforms aren’t going to change much, and NZSuper not at all.

        Before they lose their heads on huge social welfare ideas that have no nationwide benchmark anywhere in the world, I would want to see the next Labour-led government prove they have the chops just on housing, which will take most of a term. It’s the most appropriate place to spend one terms’ worth of political capital.

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          I can’t imagine that Labour would go near a UBI until a solid second term.

          Focussing on housing as a priority makes sense.

          Beneficiaries will continue to be stigmatised and left to it. It wouldn’t be that hard to roll back the worst of the Bennett reforms, but I don’t see Labour or the Greens talking about that.

          • Sabine 1.2.1.1.1

            they don’t need to talk about it, they need to do it.

            I can see why both parties focus on core issues, Housing – which is hardest for the very poor if we are honest, and the environment – which also affects our poorest in different ways.

            I do believe that both Greens/Labour will be able to create some good policies. But i can understand both parties to focus on what is on everyones mind, housing.
            And then the election is in winter, and if this winter is similar to last we will be talking a lot about beneficiaries, children, disabled and their needs for good, decent, warm housing and the lack there of.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Life on a benefit is made that much harder because of WINZ, the culture of bashing, and the Bennett reforms. So yep, I support tackling housing as urgent. But ignoring welfare is basically saying you lot over there, we’ll help with this bit but the rest is tough shit because you’re a third class citizen.

              There is only one reason Labour and the Greens won’t touch welfare and that’s votes. Which is an indictment of the country we have become.

              • Sabine

                we have become or maybe always have been a hard country. In saying that, we fix the fundamentals first and for all – unite people behind what they need all and that is how we start – Housing, Health Care, Education, etc. Beneficiaries need all of the above and more then most.
                You can’t undo 9 years with five slogans. I actually have faith in both parties when it comes to this.

                Hence why i am careful with a UBI, i dont want it to be the one and all easy and cheap solution that some would love to make it.

              • Tui

                too true weka. i have some very sad stories i could tell you but can’t for obvious reasons. esp being a woman. 🙁

                ~ Tui

          • saveNZ 1.2.1.1.2

            The problem of is that 65% of Kiwis own their own house so for the majority of Kiwi’s that is not their biggest issue of the election…. you need more than 50% of votes to win…

            That was the mistake Labour made last time….

            If you want change on housing you need a change of government, so blindly following an issue like housing shortages that doesn’t effect enough people and thinking it does, because politicians and lobby groups want it too, just doesn’t work.

            There’s a reason there is a housing crisis and that is due to demand of housing due to immigration. Do the Math. Incoming, outgoing…

            Nobody wants to tackle outright the immigration ugly debate, but the left need to get out of ideology and get into reality. Apparently we are one of the richest countries per capita, (due to high home ownership no doubt), so not everyone is feeling the pinch… but I do think that the Natz have got too greedy and corrupt and even the farmers (and even Havlock North folks) are not happy, let alone middle NZ who have zero job security and are going backwards financially (apart from their houses).

            If Labour want to use housing they need to broaden it past, just the rental market – especially as many younger renters believe all the neoliberal ideology they have heard all their lives such as it’s beneficiaries fault, all politicians are the same, etc and don’t vote.

            Look at people losing their houses due to climate change, high charges of rates and insurance, interest rates, state house sell offs, government stealing water and assets, taking over councils and ECAN etc

            Unlike renters, if someone loses their house in an earthquake or flood, they can’t just move on to a better residence – they get stuck in limbo – sometimes for years fighting council, EQC and their insurers and have no roof over their heads, while still having to pay rates and mortgages… and rents while they wait.

            If a home owner loses their job or gets relocated, their hours cut, they also have the same issues.

            Sorry to be blunt, but I for one don’t want Labour and Greens to blow their election chances yet again, on a narrow issue, by focusing on a third of the NZ population that does not capture enough voters to win the next election of which many do not even vote.

            Labour’s housing policy is also pretty similar on the face of it to National’s – the main difference is that they are not selling off the state houses. However Labour can not build enough houses any way for the amount of people coming in and local people on low wages can’t afford to buy them (aka 100,000 over 10 years and affordable being $500,000) .

        • Yeah, it’s those Whiteheads, although it’s mainly my father and the younger of my elder sisters (she now goes by her married name of course) with a public profile, and he’s the only one in public service. (he’s mostly out now, he’s the chief-executive version of retired where he’s doing some oversight work and consulting on Data Futures, which is the expert group that’s trying to get the government to be a bit more sensible about big data. If you look up their stuff, it’s actually very much in line with what people over here would expect big data should be used for, it’s just the government isn’t entirely listening yet) But yeah, he has a lot to be proud of in public service, especially in getting the Labour government to get Treasury working for them rather than distrusting it. (Labour should be treating them a bit like the Parliamentary Library- they’re not always going to give them the info they want, but by and large they can be a resource, especially if engaged with firmly but positively)

          That said, I plan to join the two of them eventually, but in fiction writing, so look out for me on Amazon at some point as “M. J. Whitehead.” 🙂

          There’s no reason a UBI should be a data hoovering net, we simply attach it to IRD numbers. That requires no additional data and lets you handle tax and basic income at the same time, and anyone can opt out by not getting an IRD number if they don’t like the requirements, or they’re an ACToid who objects to government payments. It will also make it harder for National to hold such a program hostage to big data in the future the way they can arguably justify with NGO funding, as attaching data collection to IRD numbers is a Big Thing.

          Little and Ardern have signalled Labour’s policy. Remember, there will be negotiations with the Greens and NZF, and those negotiations will probably include some welfare reform, and research and trials for a UBI if the Green Party gets its entire wishlist in that area. Trialling it in a small town of a few thousand people to see how it would work in New Zealand, and even trialing it with several different settings, would be an excellent way to gather data.

          I agree that if Labour and the Greens get into government in 2017, Term 1 needs to prioritise housing affordability reforms over anything else. That won’t mean there’s no time for anything else, of course, and in fact certain measures on welfare reform and tax that Labour have been reluctant to agree to (CGT CGT CGT) could possibly help the situation a lot if the Greens were to insist on them in coalition..

    • Andre 1.3

      Matthew, as I understand it, Roger’s proposal was for a guaranteed minimum income. Anyone who earned less than the minimum would get topped up to the minimum. ie 100% marginal tax rate up to the guaranteed minimum, so anyone trying to work their way into the workforce by taking on small stretches of low-paid employment got absolutely no benefit from doing so.

      • A guaranteed minimum income without conditions is a UBI. 🙂 A lot of UBI proposals want it administered by the local equivalent to IRD, which makes a lot of sense, because they can calculate net tax owed or net UBI owed and either make a payment to you, or bill your employer for PAYE if you’re a net taxpayer.

        But yeah, a marginal taxrate of 100% below the minimum income arguably makes it a bit of a different creature. Part of the reason most UBI trials have been good for getting people into work is that they only abate through income tax, so there’s a real financial incentive to taking work and getting both your paycheck and some fraction of the UBI, less income taxes.

        • Andre 1.3.1.1

          The UBI model most attractive to me is some government agency pays every recipient their UBI (with need-based extras) separately from any tax considerations. Whether it’s the IRS, or MSD or something else doesn’t really matter, the idea is it’s a separate transaction to any income tax considerations. To reinforce that idea that it’s a right, not something somehow conditional or related to earning.

          Then couple it with a flat income tax, for horizontal and vertical equity considerations (though I’m not averse to a punitive surtax on absolutely ridiculous pay rates, say over $200k pa). Currently dealing with the IRS and PAYE is enough of an obstacle that it’s an incentive to avoid the hassle. Whether it’s by just not employing someone, or going black market. Simplifying income taxes back to a flat rate may improve that.

          Plus a capital gains tax, to plug that glaring hole in our system.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.3.1.1.1

            Functionally anyone signed up for PAYE would be paid net either way, it’d just be a matter of whether they had it deducted from their paycheck or their UBI payment, so no big issue there. The main advantage of paying a UBI-less-income-tax to people who are net beneficiaries is that it decreases the temporary financial burden on the government for people whose paychecks aren’t as frequent as the UBI payment would be, but that’s a minor policy issue IMO and it could easily be done either way. I agree there’s some philosophical benefits to simply paying the UBI out gross to anyone has an IRD number and provides a relevant bank account or other secure payment method.

            And yeah, a CGT is basically necessary to run a UBI, because you can’t fund one without it.

    • weka 1.4

      I’d love to see a write up of that Matthew. The things that still stand out for me are the benefit/income top-ups, and what to do about housing and/or Accommodation Supplement.

      I know you think $20,000 is liveable, but it doesn’t take into account rent/mortgage, nor individual circumstances. The one good thing about WINZ, and even better when Special Benefit was on place, was that individual circumstances were what counted and theoretically if you can argue your case within the rules you get extra assistance. If you take that away, and say every single person can live on $20,000 then you are saying that every single person’s circumstances are the same (they’re not) or that those who can’t manage should suck it up.

      I’m assuming that the $20,000 is for people that can top-up via working. So we need another system for those that can’t.

      So there will be variation in income need because of disability/illness/parenting etc.

      And then in housing. Rents vary hugely across the country and the current WINZ system takes that into account.

      • Sacha 1.4.1

        I agree there will always need to be a topup system for the items/circumstances you mention, even with a generous UBI (and I doubt we will get anything like $20k from any govt to begin with).

      • Yeah, I would be really keen to look into that, but I can’t make guarantees I’ll make time for it soon. It’s really good to have a basic costing when people say “this is impractical” to throw in their face so they actually have to find holes.

        The major one people would attack my current model for is that it’s a bit mean to the wealthy in terms of a 55% tax rate for all actual capital gains and for all personal income over $80k.

        $20k p/a is roughly $8-10k p/a over most annual benefit payment levels. That should cover you for rent of up to $200 per week. It’s absolutely possible to do a more generous UBI than $20k, I had the same reaction when I looked at the $12.5k UBI proposals, I just got a bit wigged out when I looked at adding on even another $2k or $5k per annum on how much tax that would require. (twice as much net cost in non-income taxes for $5k, basically)

        My model actually assumes no reduction to any benefits other than Jobseeker Support, which it assumes will be replaced by the UBI. This is part of my trying to be pessimistic with my assumptions- I assume at least some reduction to conditional benefits would be practical, because you’ll get the UBI too, so even with a siginicant reduction it should work out to a drastic raise in the overall transfer for most beneficiaries.

        And yeah, I think we’d want to look into offer a conditional benefit for people with high housing costs with some of the money offset from those benefit reductions. (the tricky thing is trying to get numbers on specific benefit types, both in terms of overall transfer costs and number of people on each benefit. MSD doesn’t make it very accessible, so I may need to OIA them for the figures I’d need to run the numbers) The other option would be to calculate those likely savings, and then feed them back into the basic income level, and see if it comes out giving a bit more breathing room to renters. The advantage of that approach is that it encourages people to leave for the regions to live more affordably, if they can.

        $20k per annum works out to $392.15 or so per week. That means you need to fit rent, food, power, and any other costs into that amount. $20k is “generous” in that it will actually cover those costs under some reasonable assumptions, but it won’t cover every adult. Two adults living together on $784.30 per week could probably do quite well for themselves, but it would be difficult for a single person to live that way without either very cheap living conditions, (and flatmates) some conditional assistance, and/or some minor income other than the UBI. I would probably get by, but I’m reasonably frugal when I need to be.

        • To be clear, I can find MSD’s information on how many people fall into various categories of benefit. But I have yet to locate anything like “we payout $X for Jobseeker support in total.” The only thing I can locate dollar amounts for is hardship payments.

  2. RedBaronCV 2

    I’m sure somebody somewhere has asked this but was Peter Thiel made a New Zealand citizen because he had to be a citizen by law to access certain data or attend certain meetings? And it was easier to make him a citizen rather than change the law? I’m thinking something along the lines of accessing security data – don’t GCSB ads require you to be a citizen?

    And I think the secretary of the Treasury has to be a New Zealand Citizen.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      I’ve been asking myself that very same question.

      Make no mistake: spying is a military operation. The New Zealand government employs mercenaries.

      I wonder whether being a mercenary can trigger any of the provisions outlined here.

      • Wayne 2.1.1

        Spying is not a military operation. Both Sis and GCSB operate under civil law with warrants and authorizations. That is is what the the legislation is all about.

        Obviously a lot of their technology is developed by private companies, which is true of most things with government.

        Private firms build schools and provide educational equipment. Pharmaceutical companies supply drugs and medical equipment firms provide surgical equipment. Aircraft manufacturers build transport and combat planes, etc, etc.

        So it is not surprising the same happens in the intelligence world. The staff in GCSB inevitably use software and hardware developed by others.

        So your post has a fundamentally flawed premise.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          Spying has it’s own chapter in The Art Of War. The GCSB was until recently a part of the NZDF.

          The whole point of spying is to make wars shorter and less likely. That’s the only reason they can get away with it. Domestic surveillance by police etc. is not the same as stealing other countries secrets, no matter how much sophistry you employ.

          It’s a military operation with a valid humanitarian purpose. Anything else is just stealing.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            I’m not sure Sun Tzu has much standing in the annals of international jurisprudence.

            Stealing other countries’ secrets is only a bit of it – often the most interesting bit, but also refer to the CIA World Fact Book for examples of opensource data collated in a useful way.

            One nation’s personnel committing an illegal act in another nation is not in itself an act of war, or even a military act. Stealing crop data before it’s released is not a military act.

            The point of spying is to give your nation an advantage over the nation being spied upon. It has nothing to do with avoiding war. China, for example, has been accused of using its intelligence services for state-sponsored industrial espionage. How would that make wars shorter, or even be a military act?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1.1

              A veneer of legality doesn’t conceal the hostile intent behind such actions.

              Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day…

              Sun Tzu may have zero standing in court; The Art Of War is nonetheless required reading at West Point (pdf).

              I suspect we may need to agree to disagree.

              • McFlock

                Not all guns are military weapons.
                Not all spies are military spies.

                AoW is a military text. It is not a text on the history of all espionage, nor on diplomacy.

                Espionage is illegal – pretty much every nation has laws against unregistered agents of other powers working within their borders. It just isn’t always (even mostly) military.

                Getting the eastern European order of battle for someone is military intelligence.

                Getting the text of Nikita Khrushchev’s speech denouncing Joseph Stalin was not military intelligence, although it was diplomatic intelligence.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Espionage is illegal. When conducted by one nation against another, that counts as hostile in my book.

                  Acts of hostility can be acts of peace? If you read Sun Tzu, indeed they can. Conflict between nations, eh. Let’s privatise it.

                  That’ll work /sarc

                  • McFlock

                    But hostile doesn’t equal military. Walking out of the General Assembly when the Iranian or Israeli ambassador is about to make an address is “hostile”. Expelling half the embassy staff from your country is “hostile”.

                    Briefing and debriefing tourists who travel to a certain region, asking them for details about crops or the health of the populace, has produced valuable intelligence for various agencies, and if the tourists’ tasks had been known to the nations they were visiting it would have resulted in spying charges. Was that “military”, or even “hostile”?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Militarily useful. Yep.

                    • McFlock

                      More diplomatically useful than militarily. Especially when the countries are still exchanging tourists.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If the sole purview of spies was talking to returning tourists you’d be standing on solid ground.

                      However, you are standing on broken ground, and that’s why you have to recruit these sophistries.

                    • McFlock

                      But the tourists are the spies gathering military intelligence, according to you.

                      Acts of war committed on a day trip from a cruise liner.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Nope: the tourists in your example just answer questions. The answers only have military potential once they’re collated and entered into a database.

                      That’s why the spies in your example ask the questions in the first place. cf: Rumsfeld and his unknowns.

                    • McFlock

                      And yet they were still briefed in my example (not just debriefed), as well as facing actual legal espionage charges if caught.

                      Edit: hang on, did you just argue that spying only occurs at the collation phase, not collection?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Ah, so they were asked to break laws “for their country”? Good little soldiers were they?

                      Edit: Is this a real example? If so please just link. It seems like nitpicking…

                    • McFlock

                      You get lots of hits for “tourist arrested for spying”, but most of those seem to be bargaining chips rather than spies.

                      But yeah, It’s mentioned in “Every Spy a Prince” (book about Israeli intelligence services) that the Israelis did it, and I Also read somewhere about the yanks and British doing it during the cold war. Usually just “geez, it’d be real helpful if you remember but don’t write down xyz, or any comments from locals, how full the stores are, that sort of thing”. Maybe in some readings about Gehlen I had to do at one stage.

                      As for your “soldiers” line, nope. Not in the armed forces, not armed, no rank, no pay. Just patriots, misled or otherwise.

                    • McFlock

                      this looks like someone’s research on the practise:
                      “Penn DCC Workshop / Alex Hazanov /
                      Foreign Visitors in the Late Soviet Union, the KGB and the Limits of Surveillance”

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You’re saying crimes (eg: espionage) by one nation against another don’t fall into the category of “enemy action”?

                  Seriously?

                  Come to my house and steal and we’re going to get into a fight. Think about that on a global level.

                  • McFlock

                    Some acts of espionage definitely are “enemy action”, gathering intelligence with a view to military advantage. Others aren’t.

                    What was the military value of stealing the text of khruschev’s speech?

                    What was even the “enemy action” in it?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “knowledge of the enemy’s condition”

                      Not to mention intimidation: I’m in your house and there’s nothing you can do about it.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Laugh all you like: “he who does not laugh does not learn.”

                      If you think I’m missing something about the theft of Kruschev’s speech please be more explicit.

                      It has a propaganda value too, no: “Hey look, I was in his house and I found this…”

                      None of it is friendly action.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not arguing that it was a “friendly” action.

                      It just wasn’t military. It had zero military value. There were bragging rights, sure, but that’s political value. It didn’t affect the military situation anywhere in the world.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “He was in my house. How many other things did he steal?”

                      You think that has no effect on military capability? Ok then. Let’s agree to disagree.

                    • McFlock

                      “They stole nothing of value, and now I have a rough idea of where they got in and what level of things they have access to”.

    • Anne 2.2

      ‘Tiger Mountain’ observed here yesterday that Peter Thiel was on the CIA plane seen on the Wellington tarmac at the time of the Warners/Hobbit Affair”. That was 2010. Thiel was fast-tracked to citizenship status in 2011.

      Bye John!

      I’ve submitted a guest post on this and related topics coming from the perspective of time-lines which would be an ideal place to discuss in more depth. Trouble is, it was a rushed job so probably needs a bit of tinkering… maybe too much tinkering. 🙁

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        A self-described Libertwit hand in hand with Big Brother. It would be funny if it weren’t such a clear and present danger.

    • I know you (and your family) have to pass a thorough security vetting to become Secretary. I’m not certain if you actually need to be a citizen, as I know Gabriel was only in New Zealand for about a year before he was appointed, but he might have already been a citizen before he came back to NZ or something. I can ask his predecessor if you’re really interested. 😉

      I expect it would be enough to have the right to work in New Zealand, to pass security vetting, and have no conflict of interest overseas.

      • RedBaronCV 2.3.1

        I would be very interested in the predecessor’s reply.
        Mainly because I heard some thing kinda interesting in that space.

        • I was emailing my dad something else today so I passed on the question. I’ll try and keep this tab open to get back to you if he has any insight.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.3.1.1.1

            Oh, he just got back to me. Gabriel was already keen to apply for NZ Citizenship anyway, and the implication is that he had been approved by the time he was actually Secretary.

            There is apparently no explicit requirement that the SecTres be a kiwi, but the level of necessary security clearance may functionally make it mandatory. I think personally that it’s a good idea not to legislate hard requirements that public servants have to be citizens and that this is the right approach- if ever someone who’s qualified wants to do the job and isn’t yet a citizen, they can try to clear the security hurdle without applying for citizenship first.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    Anyone following the leak of a phone call by US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pre the last elections, saying he wouldn’t support Trump? It was published by Breitbart, media organ of Donald Trump.

    There is a good discussion of it here by The Young Turks – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftLqOHitn6w

    But I think this link by a blogger who supports Trump is possibly closest to the truth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65wnJwSBRs4

    The theory is that there is power struggle going on between Trump and his team and Paul Ryan and the Republican establishment.

    Allegedly the leak was instigated by Trump to attack Ryan whom Trump thinks is purposely failing in his attempts to get the healthcare package through in an attempt to destablise Trump’s Presidency to the point where it is ineffective.

    Bit more general discussion on the subject here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrTGY7yANmI

  4. Ad 4

    Nice to see Wilders not get quite the level of seats in Netherlands elections that polls indicated.

    Same old coalition talks melee to ensue.

    • DoublePlusGood 4.1

      His PVV gained a bunch of seats though, at the expense of their right wing party National equivalent (VVD).
      Also, interestingly the vote for their equivalent of Labour (PvdA) totally collapsed in favour of what looks like a centre-right party (CDA, also picked up votes from VVD), the social democrats (D66) and the socialists. I guess that’s what happens to your core voters when a Labour party goes into coalition with National…

      • Ad 4.1.1

        No it’s what happens when the centrists who were tempted to VVD do the smart thing and vote tactically. Lots of good vox pops from voters coming out of the polls over on the European media at the moment.

        • DoublePlusGood 4.1.1.1

          That might explain VVD losing some seats, but doesn’t really explain Labour losing swags of seats, especially with greens picking up heaps of seats.

  5. Noah 5

    Interesting developments with proposed new CYFS law. Tolley going back to the drawing board after taking flak from Maori groups over the principle to place child safety above placing the child with immediate or extended family.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/326684/govt-backs-down-over-whanau-first-care

    There’s a lot to unpack with this one. Child welfare authorities (administered by central govt / iwi / NGOs) are always trying to identify family members who can take the children. A lot are rejected for a range of safety-related reasons. Those that do pass muster often find themselves subject to lip-service support from those authorities. Not much fun when the kids are experiencing all kinds of trauma-related behaviour or are born with conditions that have contributed to the abuse (fetal alcohol syndrome etc) and whanau / foster parents have little knowledge about how to manage these ongoing issues.

  6. saveNZ 6

    Raybon Kan – best read in the herald! … on Nick Smith and water rights…

    “We don’t have to be greenies. Let’s be greedies. Where’s the state-owned water bottling company? Why aren’t we the country where the police drive Lamborghinis?

    Why aren’t we the country where nobody pays a cent of tax, because we be rich, baby!
    We’d be better off if Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies was in charge. He at least knows gold when he sees it. (Black gold. Texas tea.)

    Water is the new gold. Water is the new oil. And it’s our dumb luck to have billions upon billions of litres of it. Let’s not spit in the face of luck. Luck works. Luck made Donald Trump rich, at birth. We’ve been rich this whole time. This is Antiques Roadshow, and we just found something valuable in the cellar.

    Have you seen the world recently? Billionaires are buying NZ citizenship, to avoid the apocalypse. High-decile, modern parts of the world, don’t drink their tap water. Let’s take the advice of One Direction, and know that we’re beautiful.

    Smith said: what next, air? Well, there are laws governing airspace. Councils tell you how high you can build. Airlines take big detours around certain countries.

    Our country, our rules. The Government just redefined ‘swimmable’ as fresh water where the turds aren’t the size of legal snapper.

    So let’s just declare that they – we – own underground water. You want it? Round these parts, we charge by the barrel. You think the Saudis have a problem with owning the oil under their ground? Do they say: Nobody owns oil! Know what they don’t have? Water.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11818830

  7. saveNZ 7

    Does this sound like affordable housing or selling cheap to private developers and cronies to increase Auckland’s unaffordability???

    Multi-million dollar Hobsonville project announced

    “Willis Bond is buying 1.8 hectares of state-owned land for the scheme, due to settle in stages in the next three years, he said. But he refused to say how much his business was paying for the Government-owned land.”

  8. saveNZ 8

    Be interesting to see how much the government get for 1.8Ha of waterfront land compared to Bayleys for .5 Ha of waterfront land…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11819215
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11819374

  9. Poission 9

    GDP comes in 50% below expectations in dec 1/4

    Gdp per capita falls by 02.%.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/GDP/GrossDomesticProduct_MRDec16qtr.aspx

  10. The Chairman 10

    Little says if he becomes Prime Minister, spending on housing and education would always take priority over spending on the Defence Force.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201836651/labour-won't-commit-to-$20-billion-defence-force-upgrade

    Hear, hear.

    • weka 10.1

      Haven’t listened to the audio, but nice one.

    • exkiwiforces 10.2

      So Mr Chairman and others,

      So you are happy for the Men and Women of NZDF, Civilians, personal from other government department’s and foreign nationals to fly around in 50 year old plus aircraft or the Navy to breached UN environment laws from 2018 with its single hull tanker and OPV’s heading down south because its ice strengthen hulls won’t be spec from 2018?

      Or you and are happy for the NZDF to deployed in Peacekeeping role ill equip and under strength like it did during INTERFET (East Timor 1999) or in HDAR role?

      Like all Government Departments since 91 NZDF has asset stripped big time through equipment and manning and each time it’s had to step up its been found wanting in all areas over the last 30yrs and some more chickens are starting to come home like the C130’s, P3’s and now OPV’s which were brought under Labour.

      I’ve told all 3 services are barely achieving its government mandated outputs because a lack of manpower, equipment and trying to preserve hours or days on equipment so it can squeeze a few years out it.

      • The Chairman 10.2.1

        No, I’m not happy about that.

        However, we all have wish-lists and can all bring out the violin. Unfortunately, we can only spend what we can afford. Therefore, things have to be prioritised, including our defence spend.

        • exkiwiforces 10.2.1.1

          The RNZAF airlift problems could’ve have been in part solve under the last labour government when the last National government put in a option for 8 C-130 J models on the back of the Australia order. But no they didn’t but lets squeeze another 10-15yrs out of them with a upgrade which almost fell over if it wasn’t for SAFE Air and it went budget as well. Then the issue of the OPV’s and again the labour didn’t listen to the RNZN advice about future requirements to operate in the southern ocean and now stuck with 2 ships that won’t be spec after 2018.

          National and Labour both like to avoid making hard decisions when it comes to NZDF and its not just new equipment, its also pay and conditions. Like all pollies they are too worried about the next election to give a stuff about NZDF.

          All equipment Defence equipment etc, have a 30 year life span +/- 10yrs depending on how hard its been used and going over this increases the risk of failure.

          Like you I have never voted national in my life and never will ( I remember the 90’s), on the same token I’ll never vote green as well.

      • gsays 10.2.2

        hi xkf, if short of funds, run a sausage sizzle.

        • exkiwiforces 10.2.2.1

          So do you support poaching in the seas around NZ, South pacific and Southern Ocean?
          http://politik.co.nz/en/content/foreignaffairs/1054/NZ-to-attend–Pacific-security-crisis-meeting-with-US-Quadrilateral-Defence-Operational-Working-Group.htm

          So you support NZDF not doing HADR missions within NZ or the South Pacific?

          Do want the NZDF to undertake Peacekeeping missions like East Timor aka “INTERFET” as a benchmark for future Peacekeeping missions?

          So if and when NZ EEZ expands from 3.2millon sq km’s to about 6.4millon sq km’s you support the NZDF staying at its current force levels?

          • gsays 10.2.2.1.1

            hi xkf,
            that is a lot of sausage sizzles.
            i do support free education for all,
            i do support mental health budget increasing,
            i do not support the many billions of dollars allocated to gcsb.
            if you want more $ look there at your spy colleagues, not at education or health budgets.

            • exkiwiforces 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Well I don’t have a toss about the spooks. Sounds like you don’t the like Greens defence policy as well.

            • McFlock 10.2.2.1.1.2

              Frankly, I think Little fell into the trap of making it a false competition.

              Hell, even the GCSB has some functions that need to be done, such as keeping on top of threats to government communications infrastructure, even if one thinks that gentlemen don’t read the mail of other gentlemen.

              But maritime surveillance and the disaster response capabilities fulfilled by the NZDF have been demonstrated as being essential several times in the last few years.

              Education and health cuts are no longer an issue. They’ve already been cut to unsustainable levels. We need massive injections into all sectors of government, from NZDF and cops through to CYF/Health/Education.

              • exkiwiforces

                Well said McFlock, all I see is repeat of the 90’s by this National government.

  11. Macro 11

    We can stop popularism”
    GreenLeft quadruple the number of MP’s

    Sometimes compared to Canada’s youthful prime minister, Justin Trudeau, Klaver, who has a Moroccan father and a mother of Indonesian descent, said on polling day that the left’s answer to the far right’s rise in Europe was to stand up for its ideals.

    “What I would say to all my leftwing friends in Europe: don’t try to fake the populace,” he said. “Stand for your principles. Be straight. Be pro-refugee. Be pro-European. We’re gaining momentum in the polls. And I think that’s the message we have to send to Europe. You can stop populism.”

  12. saveNZ 13

    From no right turn…

    “Questions are being asked after a lucrative water consent attached to a former wool scouring plant in Christchurch went on the market.

    Newshub reported tonight the Kaputone wool scouring plant in Belfast is about to be sold off and, with it, a water consent allowing the extraction of more than 4.3 million litres of water a day – the equivalent of 50 one-litre bottles a second.

    The only cost is $100 – if inspected – and the consent does not expire until 2032.

    […]

    Meanwhile, Newshub reported those behind the sale of Kaputone – owner Cavalier Carpets and its shareholder Direct Capital – would not reveal who the prospective buyers are.

    Several workers told the broadcaster they believed Chinese interests are involved.

    The site is under five hectares and not considered sensitive land so it is unlikely the sale will need to go through the Overseas Investment Office.”

    • saveNZ 14.1

      +1 AsleepWhileWalking!

      That is why the cost of living in NZ is getting so high under this neoliberal regime. They put a private expensive ‘service’ charge on top of a free public service, again and again.

      So the result is, that private company makes a killing and often pays little to zero tax, the sick person or their family (and all their visitors) have to pay for getting sick and ultimately it makes hospital care not free any more.

      I paid $125 at A& E for a ‘free’ blood test form to check we did not have measles before flying. Next time I might think twice about checking.

      Free Public health???

    • gsays 14.2

      Hi asleep, I too have had a bee in my bonnet over hospital parking fees.
      It is wrong in so many ways, and can only be justified in a narrow financial view.
      Effectively it is a decrease in income for those hospital staff who use private vehicles to get to work.

      It inconveniences local residents and places an unfair burden on families and friends of ill people.

      But it gets our local dhb an extra $450,000 annually.
      Greedy and cruel.

  13. Macro 15

    Trump Travel Ban Blocked Nationwide
    Oh Dear! How Sad! Never Mind.

    The Judge cites Trump in blocking the new immigration order:
    https://twitter.com/BNONews/status/842152320381128704/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

  14. Carolyn_nth 16

    A small number of young people say why they haven’t voted.

    it seems to me a lot comes down to not understanding our electoral system, or how their votes do make an impact, including when they vote for small or medium sized parties.

    I don’t think the not wanting to stand in line is the main reason. If people cared about their vote having an impact, the small lines that can occur at NZ booths would not be a deterrent.

    In fact, online voting might encourage voting without putting much thought into it.

    More political education in schools might help. Plus more young people being involved in mainstream politics. Clear out some of the old guard candidates, and bring in more younger ones.

  15. Chris Trotter whacks dairy, hard!
    Goodness me! Mr Trotter has been pulling his punches…till now:

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/03/new-zealands-non-negotiable-mythology.html

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  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
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    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
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    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago