Open mike 20/02/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 20th, 2024 - 70 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

70 comments on “Open mike 20/02/2024 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Natzos Bennie Bash confirmed by Minister. Rare is the day that Corin consistently pins someone with informed questions, but he managed it here…even asking about beneficiaries with cancer being required to be work ready…Ms Upston essentially confirmed this…

    National will feed raw meat to its supporters whatever–and to low paid workers to create division. This seems what used to be called a classic “Catch 22”–Joseph Heller’s novel outlined a regime of ridiculous contradictions for bomber pilots.

    Here we have the Reserve Bank and the Govt. clearly stating they desire increased unemployment to help with inflation, and the Minister and PM saying “the free ride” is over and increased pressure will be put on ‘jobseekers’ to be in work at peril of sanctions or cut offs.

    Surveys, local and international research on sanctions, the 2018 WEAG all cut no ice with her, it is all about a punitive approach to excite National, NZ First and Act voters.

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      For clarity sake that should be to "supposedly" help with inflation.

      First off the state now is inflation is already falling along with other countries and I'm not sure the RBNZ wants to be making the potential recession any worse with further rate hikes sucking spending (= GDP) out of the economy. The impending National govt austerity program is being implemented at the worst possible time however in that regard, and it seems unlikely they will turn their entire economic policy program around by 180 degrees (having run for election on govt austerity rhetoric).

      But on monetary policy, was it actually effective is the question. It certainly pushed rents up (which is inflationary, even for the CPI). But the idea of the policy is to head off a wage-price spiral by generating unemployment and undermining bargaining power. Research indicates most price hikes went into profits instead of wages, and wages never kept pace with inflation at any time (instead we had a cost of living crisis), so the narrative is undermined by the statistics. And then inflation starts falling again before unemployment really grows that much. So it looks like the policy was quite harmful at the margins and didn't achieve anything towards its objective.

      Here is a better analysis of the same story happening in Australia.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        “supposedly” is an apt qualification.

        The linked article is informative too. Some shoppers know instinctively they are being ripped with shrinking product sizes and increased prices, but making a systemic link is not everyone’s forte.

    • Kay 1.2

      I do hope these NAFs who voted against their own interests because all they could see was 'more money in their back pocket', use said money to purchase all the insurance they can for all eventualities (employment, health, etc)- IF their tax cut will even stretch that far- spoiler: it won't.

      Once upon a time I had nothing but sympathy for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, economic or health. Now, my first reaction will be, 'who did you vote for? and any sympathy will be dependent on that. It's called not doing one's due diligenc, plus their actions have hurt a lot of other people.I've met a fair few RWers over the years crashed landed into the welfare system- "I had no idea it was this bad." Tough shit.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.2.1

        So true re “I had no idea it was this bad.” Encountered an ex traffic cop online recently who used to play tough guy with us young people driving V8s down Queen St. Auck. many years ago.

        Work related injury fallout, and he has discovered exactly what MSD/WINZ and ACC are like–judgemental case managers, ‘lose’ already supplied documents, don’t advise of full entitlements or appeal provisions etc. Basically make vulnerable people feel even worse, and now the Natzos are “working for the clamp down”. This is not a good time to have to seek MSD/WINZ assistance.

        Oh that NZ Labour had promptly implemented the WEAG Report, it would have been bedded in by now and perhaps harder to totally wind back.

        • Kay

          The case-managers are another concern of mine. Those of us around at the time haven't forgotten Paula's instructions for them to treat us as the lowest form of life, and criminals by default. Regrettably, we discovered there's a lot of sadists working for WINZ who were more than happy to comply. They hounded out the decent staff, and we all suffered 9 years of personal degradation on top of the financial cuts. Interesting how that behaviour (and the culprits) stopped overnight with a change of government and new orders.

          Add to that, the tragic shooting in the Ashburton office. Certainly in my peer circles, the initial reaction was horror, and compassion for the victims and their families (more than the crocodile tears offered up by Paula on the news that night. She was only upset that it happened on her watch). Immediately followed by knowing full well that was going to be used as an excuse to punish all of us, and sure enough, ever since, every beneficiary has been treated as a potential criminal (fraud and violent) until proven otherwise. Followed by we were just surprised that something like that hadn't happened sooner.

          I've witnessed plenty of meltdowns in WINZ offices going back to the 90s (a computer thrown across the room) and while I don't as a rule condone that sort of thing, when there's deliberate systematic government-condoned mistreatment towards vulnerable public, what do they expect? More of this will happen, which will build up that narrative that beneficiaries are criminals.

          • alwyn

            " Interesting how that behaviour (and the culprits) stopped overnight with a change of government and new orders.".

            When was this miraculous change supposed to have happened?

            The only change of the Government that has happened since Paula Bennet was a Minister was in 2017. Are you really claiming that everything has been just peachy since then? If so why do you claim that "ever since, every beneficiary has been treated as a potential criminal (fraud and violent) until proven otherwise".

            Anyone I have talked to tells me that the operation of the benefit system was demeaning right through the time of the recent Labour Government and that nothing at all changed for their clients during the Ardern, or Hipkins, eras.

            Are you saying that everything was fine?

            • weka

              no, she is saying that the special level of hell that Bennett inflicted stopped once Bennett was out and Labour put in a more compassionate welfare Minister with a different agenda.

              That doesn't mean there aren't other problems. It means that Bennett brought a whole new level of bene bashing that Labour were able to roll back somewhat.

            • Tiger Mountain

              WEAG report should have been fully implemented, i.e. abatement rates for working etc.

              Everything was not fine though at MSD/WINZ 2017–2023, but a number of case managers did pull their heads in and some did not. Whenever Auckland Action Against Poverty turns up at a WINZ branch people start getting their proper entitlements. Now the WINZ staff will be emboldened and the sadism and lost documents, “no record of your call” etc. will be back on.

              The ultimate solution is to retire MSD/WINZ and institute a basic income for all citizens paid via IRD, and a special needs agency for sick and disabled.
              Gold Carders collect their National Super payments, and thousands of them don’t need it, but they too are beneficiaries, many deny that, but a payment via the taxpayer makes you a beneficiary!

              • SPC

                The income that can be earned before abatement was increased to $160 for those on JS (at 70 cents over) and Sole Parent (at 30 cents over).

                • weka

                  But TAS still abates as $0. That's the hardship grant of some of the most poor people in NZ.

                  • SPC

                    So the TAS lasts for 13 weeks and is assessed based on shortfall of need to be met.

                    Presumably any earned money then reduced the shortfall of need thus would be abated.

                    • weka

                      TAS doesn't last for 13 weeks, 13 weeks is the insane cycle that beneficiaries have to hoop jump to in order to get their hardship grant. Many long term beneficiaries get TAS ongoing but it abates from the first dollar for any earnings (including things like interest).

                      Presumably any earned money then reduced the shortfall of need thus would be abated.


                      From MSD

                      Temporary Additional Support is an income- and asset-tested payment designed to help people who have regular essential costs that they are unable to cover through their other income. This payment is available to recipients of main benefits as well as non-
                      beneficiaries with low incomes.

                      Temporary Additional Support recipients must reapply every 13 weeks. While the payment is designed to be temporary, people can receive it repeatedly if needed.

                      People must also take reasonable steps to reduce their costs and report these at each reapplication.

                      A single person without children receiving Jobseeker Support. At zero hours of work, this person’s income is made up of their Jobseeker Support benefit, Accommodation, Supplement, Temporary Additional Support, and the Winter Energy Payment.

                      Between 0 to five hours of work, for every additional dollar they earn their Temporary Additional Support decreases by a dollar.

                      At six hours of work, they no longer receive any Temporary Additional Support.

                      From eight to 28 hours of work their Jobseeker Support decreases by 70 cents for every
                      additional dollar earned.

                      From 29 hours of work onwards, they are no longer on benefit and their Accommodation Supplement starts to abate, by 25 cents for every additional dollar earned.

                      They also become eligible for the Independent Earner Tax Credit.


                    • Kay

                      SPC. I currently get SLP, and am maxxed out on disability, accommodation supplement and TAS. My rent currently stands at 65% of all of those combined. Without TAS I would literally be homeless- as would be most beneficiaries in private rentals-and I'm just a couple of sizeable rent increases away from that, because I can't get a cent more, no matter how much my costs increase.

                      Every time there is a core benefit increase, TAS is reduced, because one's income is considered to have increased. That's why you'll find that most of us never saw that $25/week increase. I think mine was maybe $13. One of the things governments seem to forget to mention when they're gloating about increases- that their budget for doing so is way less because of those clawbacks. Sometimes those increases can actually leave us worse off. So we don't even need to be in paid employment to be punished.

                      And yes, every 13 weeks it's reapply, and tell them that I can't cure my disability and can't change the rent, and get it rolled over. Thank God it can now be done online though, and I (rarely) need any real world dealings with them.

              • weka

                Whenever Auckland Action Against Poverty turns up at a WINZ branch people start getting their proper entitlements.

                one of the best things the left could do around poverty action is to organise advocacy and support for beneficiaries in dealing with WINZ. This is woefully under funded and under supported.

                • Tiger Mountain

                  Agree. It is often time consuming one on one support, but it is usually very effective with skilled advocates, and then hopefully training others…and funding of course.

            • Kay

              Alwyn, I'm going to assume you've never experienced the joys of being on the recieving end of the welfare system. My apologies (and sympathies) if you have, otherwise, you really cannot comprehend what it's like to be constantly under attack by the government, public servants- who definitely are NOT serving the public- and the general public who love a good bash and are getting all wound up by the pollies and the media.

              No, a lot of things about the benefit system are not ok, and not really improved, of course not. I've got plenty to say about it, but not now. At the very least, things don't tend to get worse for us under labour-led governments. It was never suddenly peaches and roses after the change of government in 2018. But the order for staff to start treating us as human beings again happened, and they did.

              Personally, I was hospitalised 5 times during the last Nat reign following the most stressful and appalling treatment by front-line staff that I've ever had, exsasabating my medical condition. The money they think they saved by denying what I was legally entitled to was more than wasted on avoidable hospitalisations. That situation has never happened since Labour got rid of those sadists.

              Have a look at the security guards posted outside all the WINZ offices (and inside). Yes, they suddenly appeared after the awful events in Ashburton, but a permanent reminder to all of us that we're all assumed to be a potential danger. Under the nats we were forced to show proof of appointment and ID at the door, and be checked on their appointment list. Something that's ended now for the most, but I suspect will start up again.

              Maybe that seems like small things to you. Yes of course the system is demeaning. It gets more demeaning every time the Nats are in power, then Labour and their glacial incremental changes take forever to turn it around. But there is a very real culture difference when you have to deal with the organisation depending on who is in power.

            • Jilly Bee

              Alwyn, I certainly recall reading a directive from the new Minister – I'm sure it was Carmel Sepuloni asking that WINZ staff treat their clients with dignity and compassion. Whether it got through to some of the Managers – I'm not sure and I'm not entirely sure everything has been totally peachy since, but the violence and antagonism seemed to largely diminish. I shudder to think what lies in store for WINZ staff and beneficiaries in the immediate future once Louise Upston's edicts hit the fan. Probably an influx of security guards at the door.

          • Tiger Mountain

            Yes, know exactly what you are talking about. Have been involved with various unemployed actions since the 80s–Burn Shipley Burn etc. My partner was an effective beneficiary advocate at the Auckland Peoples Centre in Sue Bradford’s time and still helps people out where she can.

  2. Adrian 2

    What is Louise Upson’s financial status? Is she the one with interests in a number of farms? Wealth does colour one’s entitlement. For Christsake, who for no reason other than pure evil would advocate that cancer victims need to be “ work ready “ ?

    These Nat’s are seriously disturbed people.

    • Kay 2.1

      But…but…apparently poor Louise had a terrible time being on the DPB with 2 children. So she's the perfect person for the job, all that empathy /s

    • alwyn 2.2

      Not according to her return in the Register of Pecuniary Interests that she provided.

      Perhaps you should have looked it up before commenting?

    • alwyn 2.3

      Not according to her return in the Register of Pecuniary Interests that she provided.

      Perhaps you should have looked it up before commenting?

    • bwaghorn 2.4

      Don't know but as womans minister she remained silent while john key repeatedly harrased a waitress.

      • SPC 2.4.1

        She would not have known anything about it till the story was reported in the media.

        What could she say so you were having fun with her in her cafe workplace and she was not. Now she is making your job difficult – I'd call that a draw.

        • bwaghorn

          I would expect a minister for woman to be vocal about some greasy old perv useing his position of power to repeatedly harass someone even after they where asked to stop. .

    • The Nats will cull older frontline staff and replace them with poorly trained and paid young staff, who have a set of criteria to work through.

      My dying friend, going through palliative chemo, was asked during their last stint in Government,

      "Could you work 15 hours a week?"

      Marina, ever the lady answered, "If I was having a good day, but they have been thin on the ground lately with the treatment".

      "What would happen if you did not have the treatment? Could you work?"

      "No, I would die". Marina said, "the treatment is giving me time to organise my family, and my oncologist told me it is not a cure".

      "I am not sure what to enter here" said the youngster, "I need a Supervisor".

      Marina said ” Write down the client is in late stage thyroid cancer which has gone to the lungs. Add the oncologists report."

      When she told me about that conference, that she waited 2 hours for, I cried. The inhumanity to call her in when they had the facts… that is what will happen all over again.

      Anyone suffering Long covid, or permanent disability, it is demeaning and cruel, but that confirms who is in control doesn't it?

      • SPC 2.5.1

        W and I are case managing 65,000 now (c1/3rd) and National intend to cohort some others at 6 months.

        The extra problem for those with health issues, would be the 6 month re-application impost.

        Hopefully the more recent targeted approach has a simple phone call update system for those with health conditions and a well designed medical reappraisal timetable categorisation.

    • SPC 2.6

      Barbara Kruger

  3. bwaghorn 3

    Grant Robinson off to Otago University!!!

  4. joe90 4

    #ApartheidClyde and his disinfo operation.


    Like Donald Trump before him, Elon Musk uses Twitter to troll our brains and keep our attention focused on his antics.

    This is anything but harmless digital horseplay. Musk has a definite strategy. As we wrote in a previous post, Musk is on a mission to shift the political discourse towards radical conservatism in all its toxicity.


    Social media algorithms are the processes, rules and signals that determine which information gets elevated to the widest possible audience. With his $44 billion purchase, Musk has become Twitter’s main algorithm. He is using his powerful account, with its 120 million followers, to control the flow of information and thus control our brains. He wants to influence the discourse by ensuring the constant repetition of extreme conservative messages, and by spotlighting and platforming fringe conservative commentators — including actual neo-Nazis — in order to give them an advantage in the digital public square.

  5. weka 5

    One of the pernicious meme comms from gender identity activists is that trans kids will kill themselves if they are not affirmed in their chosen/experienced gender identity.

    This meme flows into many areas include mental health and medical systems where Affirmation Only is now firmly embedded in many places. Affirmation Only means that the therapist or medical practitioner has to treat and relate with the patient as their new gender identity and they can't for instance take a wait and watch approach or help the person explore what gender identity is and whether this is something they are experiencing or if there is something else going on eg autism or mental health issues.

    It also impacts on policy in schools, prisons, changing rooms and toilets, and underpins self ID.

    But when asked for the evidence to support the assertion that trans kids disproportionately kill themselves if they don't get affirmation treatment, activists usually either produce low number, self-selecting surveys, or nothing at all.

    One of the impacts of No Debate is that it's been hard for academics and researchers to do work in this area. Much of public policy has subsequently been based on ideology rather than evidence.


    A new study challenges the common assertion that gender-dysphoric youth are at elevated risk of suicide if not treated with “gender affirming” medical interventions. If it’s true, it ought to have a seismic impact on the accepted medical approach to gender-confused youth.

    Reported in the BMJ, the study examines data on a Finnish cohort of gender-referred adolescents between 1996 and 2019, and compares their rates of all-cause and suicide mortality against a control group. While suicide rates in the gender-referred group studied were higher than in the control group, the difference was not large: 0.3% versus 0.1%. And — importantly — this difference disappeared when the two groups were controlled for mental health issues severe enough to require specialist psychiatric help.

    But as the study puts it: “Clinical gender dysphoria does not appear to be predictive of all-cause nor suicide mortality when psychiatric treatment history is accounted for.” Rather, what predicts risk in this population is “psychiatric morbidity”. And contra the activists, transitioning does nothing to reduce it: “medical gender reassignment does not have an impact on suicide risk.”

    • roblogic 5.1

      Dysphoria is a common trauma symptom – but apparently it's bigoted conversion therapy for a qualified mental health professional to explore and treat causes.

      Gender medicine is too keen to treat acute psychological distress with physical and social transitions – rather than helping the patient to accept their natural selves.

      Gender ideology is full of contradictions. If biological sex doesn't matter and is just an artificial patriarchal construct, why is opposite-sex medical treatment so important?

      Dishonesty and hyperbole in medicine undermines trust and doesn't help people suffering these conditions to get appropriate treatment.

  6. Ad 6

    Finally, Robertson gets out of politics and gets the Otago Vice Chancellor role.

    Finally Labour gets to have the re-set it's needed.

  7. Ad 7

    Finally, Robertson gets out of politics and gets the Otago Vice Chancellor role.

    Finally Labour gets to have the re-set it's needed.

    Hopefully next stop Kieran for leader.

    • SPC 7.1

      The impertinent stammer. The Chronicles of Cor of Archenland.

    • Sanctuary 7.2

      Kieran McAnulty's anti-politician, aww-shucks straight talking style is almost the perfect antidote for Luxon's corporate goobledegook.

    • roblogic 7.3

      Whatever good Robertson did was undermined by his insane Covid QE giveaway (done against the advice of experts) that caused house prices to spike a further 30%

      • Visubversa 7.3.1

        Except that you also had to account for the 200,000 Kiwis who came back here – either because they saw NZ as a safer country, or because their jobs had dried up. I know several people who came back here when their Consultant jobs in London or New York vanished.

        None of them were going to live in their mother's basement. The had lots of $$$ as they had sold in New York, or rented out the London house, and they were either going to rent something or buy something.

        • weka

          the exchange rate always works against NZ locals too.

        • Nic the NZer

          Probably was some effect from returning Kiwi's. I think most of it however was that the housing market was mostly shut down for a few months, and a lot of people had been able to save (unable to spend) their income during lockdown, there would also have been a lot of negotiation with extended family from people locked down in their rental.

          The upshot was when the property market did restart then for a short time there was suddenly more competition between buyers a lot of who had deferred purchases during lockdown. Looking at a few countries house price indexes the series appear to peak in the same kind of way at the same kind of time.

      • Nic the NZer 7.3.2

        I'm interested to know how you understand QE to have driven up house prices. What is the supposed mechanism by which this occurred?

        • roblogic

          How You Lose Your House – YouTube

          “The Effect Of QE ON Real Estate Prices”

          The results reveal that quantitative easing of the Federal Reserve is a key driver of US
          house prices, especially after the Global Financial Crisis. This notion holds even after controlling the result for 32 factor variables reflecting real estate price formation and the macroeconomy. Also, quantitative easing seems to be a separate factor from other, conventional monetary policy channels impacting real estate prices. Interestingly, Euro area house prices are not affected by the balance sheet fluctuations of the European Central
          Bank. While both the US and the Euro area commercial real estate prices seem to be affected by quantitative easing

          • Nic the NZer

            Seems pretty weak to be applying this to New Zealand. Do we really think that the housing boom was caused by lowering govt bond prices and therefore investors rebalancing their portfolios? (One of the more plausible mechanisms). They also go into various asset classes beyond govt bonds which were not a part of NZ QE.

            I gave a pretty reasonable basis for the sale price changes in which was directly related to lockdown behaviors for which the time frame fits very well (and we should not forget NZ had plenty of house price inflation before doing any QE at all).

            Its also going to be important to understand that the studies basic premise of banking (and positive moneys) is fundamentally incorrect (I briefly wrote articles for positive money, btw). Both are based on the idea that bank lending is reserve constrained in some way, and its not. If banks find borrowers flocking who are willing and able to pay the going interest rate they can lend without constraint.

            QE is just a way that the RBNZ (part of the govt) lend to the government (why the RBNZ ends up owning so much govt debt after doing it). In between large scale financial institutions take a small cut for schlepping the risk free asset between the primary and secondary markets and the finance minister gets to say, look the RBNZ isn't lending to us directly. But it's really about stable monetary policy and would have worked effectively the same if the RBNZ had just loaned directly to the govt anyway, or just stopped borrowing at all and run the whole spending program on the RBNZ balance sheet directly.

            • roblogic

              Admittedly there are multiple complex and long-standing embedded problems keeping prices inflated in NZ, but Robertson's QE threw petrol on the flames — as outlined in my other comment below.

        • roblogic

          Two years of COVID – what have we learnt in the property world? | CoreLogic New Zealand

          the policy changes that were aimed at supporting the real economy – e.g. official cash rate cuts, quantitative easing, wage subsidies – also indirectly boosted the property market.

          New Zealand house prices: What went wrong?, All things property, under OneRoof

          Despite all the noise about price hikes over recent years, and despite measures by the Reserve Bank and both National and Labour governments to rein prices in, they have rocketed from a 2.3 per cent value rise in 2011 to a 27.8 per cent one this year [2021].

          last year [2020], when Covid hit, a raft of measures were put in place to keep the economy from collapse so people didn’t lose their homes and incomes – measures such as quantitative easing (described often as the printing of money), mortgage deferral schemes, funding for lending and the removal of LVRs.

          Revealed: The official advice Robertson ignored on how QE boosts house prices |

          Stuff: Reserve Bank repeatedly warned Government money printing would lead to house price inflation

          • Nic the NZer

            Your reading way too much into the reporters opinion. There is a whole lot of a gap between what the RBNZ said (basically that they didn't know how these tools might work because they hadn't tried them) and what happened. There is also a gap between what the RBNZ now attributes to QE and what your reading into it.

            I'm also not clear why your focusing on the statement that QE is money printing? QE is money printing in the same way the OCR policy is money printing, when any bank borrows clearing funds from the RBNZ. That is just how inter bank and govt payments are transacted, using clearance funds which in electronic form, 100% of these exist inside the RBNZ clearance system and guess what were put there by the RBNZ.

            Otherwise a lot of the effects of QE are merely that the govt was willing to implement the covid relief programs including a pretty big deficit, via these tools. So the economy didn't totally collapse during lockdown. Well of course this was quite supportive of house prices, because the economy totally collapsing would have been pretty bad for the housing market otherwise. But that is where the money part of money printing comes in, the govt ended up spending and running a deficit. That is the real narrative being implied by the anti QE rhetoric, it is NZ should not have implemented the successful covid relief economic program.

            • roblogic

              Maybe "the economy" should collapse if it's rigged to support the property owning and landlord class and everyone else can get fucked.

              • Nic the NZer

                Your making an argument that Labour should have locked everyone down with an expectation of 20% unemployment coming out? The institutions in Europe are a bit different, but this sounds similar to Greece around 2010, when there was no ECB QE program to support their fiscal policy. Greece has still to recover to its pre-crisis levels of GDP and lost about 20% of its GDP over this period.

                The eventual solution involved the ECB running a continuous QE program which is ongoing and probably needs to remain indefinitely. Again the ECB is just lending indirectly here to support various countries deficits. Slightly problematically its on an ad-hoc rather than an agreed Eurozone policy basis. If this goes away then you will very get future national Euro crisis again maybe with defaults to follow.

                and you still need an actual case for the QE policy being a cause. Interestingly interest (the website) doesn't even mention it here talking about monetary policy being re-targeted to house prices. I think this confirms my description of the other NZ articles as, reading too much into it.


                In the case QE was not very important you can still expect a competing post-lockdown house price boom, as per the mechanism of (demand get packed into a shorter time frame with purchases deferred during lockdown). This then competes with a huge recession following lockdown and we get to find out if the recession wins (the economy gets so bad the housing market collapses), or house prices get more out of reach due to the prolonged slump, but with even less broad participation. Only thing we can be certain of, in either of these scenarios National won the previous election and are now starting a second term.

    • Robert Guyton 7.4

      Wasn't it you who repeatedly touted Robertson as the better-than-Ardern option for Labour leadership??

    • Hunter Thompson II 7.5

      Grant Robertson will need to exhibit some fancy footwork if he is to succeed at Otago Uni.

      Last year, that institution spent $1.3 million on a "rebranding" exercise, complete with new logo, but also made more than 100 staff redundant.

      Nothing wrong with the old logo of course, but even bureaucrats know the commercial value of novelty.

  8. Barfly 8

    Prediction NACTF will raise benefits by less than inflation

  9. Stephen D 9

    Pre election Cameron Bagrie was pretty much a shill for the National Party.

    Now not so much.

    "I would put infrastructure a country mile ahead of tax relief in the upcoming Budget but I suspect that's going to come down to politics," he said. "But if you look at the economics of the situation, there's a pretty clear winner in regard to where New Zealand needs to be putting more money over the next ten years and it's into infrastructure."

  10. lprent 10

    Took several hours to find an accidentally added empty line in the code that was blocking RSS and some other export options from being easily readable.

    It was also getting in the way of exporting options for a new theme.

    Fixed now.

  11. Stephen D 11

    A Carmel Sepuloni as Leader with Kieran McAnulty as Deputy Leader has possibilities down the line.

  12. Sanctuary 12

    Fun fact:

    The audience for the Daily Show is up over 110% since Jon Stewart returned.

  13. Eco maori 13

    Ki Ora

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    Hon Andrew Bayly, Minister for Small Business and Manufacturing  At the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective (SOREC) Summit, 18 April, Dunedin    Ngā mihi nui, Ko Andrew Bayly aho, Ko Whanganui aho    Good Afternoon and thank you for inviting me to open your summit today.    I am delighted ...
    2 days ago
  • Government to introduce revised Three Strikes law
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to bring back the Three Strikes legislation, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee announced today. “Our Government is committed to restoring law and order and enforcing appropriate consequences on criminals. We are making it clear that repeat serious violent or sexual offending is not ...
    2 days ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced four new diplomatic appointments for New Zealand’s overseas missions.   “Our diplomats have a vital role in maintaining and protecting New Zealand’s interests around the world,” Mr Peters says.    “I am pleased to announce the appointment of these senior diplomats from the ...
    2 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Ethiopia and Somalia
    New Zealand is contributing NZ$7 million to support communities affected by severe food insecurity and other urgent humanitarian needs in Ethiopia and Somalia, Foreign Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters announced today.   “Over 21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across Ethiopia, with a further 6.9 million people ...
    2 days ago
  • Arts Minister congratulates Mataaho Collective
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Paul Goldsmith is congratulating Mataaho Collective for winning the Golden Lion for best participant in the main exhibition at the Venice Biennale. "Congratulations to the Mataaho Collective for winning one of the world's most prestigious art prizes at the Venice Biennale.  “It is good ...
    3 days ago
  • Supporting better financial outcomes for Kiwis
    The Government is reforming financial services to improve access to home loans and other lending, and strengthen customer protections, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly and Housing Minister Chris Bishop announced today. “Our coalition Government is committed to rebuilding the economy and making life simpler by cutting red tape. We are ...
    3 days ago
  • Trade relationship with China remains strong
    “China remains a strong commercial opportunity for Kiwi exporters as Chinese businesses and consumers continue to value our high-quality safe produce,” Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says.   Mr McClay has returned to New Zealand following visits to Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai where he met ministers, governors and mayors and engaged in trade and agricultural events with the New ...
    3 days ago
  • PM’s South East Asia mission does the business
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has completed a successful trip to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, deepening relationships and capitalising on opportunities. Mr Luxon was accompanied by a business delegation and says the choice of countries represents the priority the New Zealand Government places on South East Asia, and our relationships in ...
    4 days ago
  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
    New Zealand is demonstrating its commitment to reducing global greenhouse emissions, and supporting clean energy transition in South East Asia, through a contribution of NZ$41 million (US$25 million) in climate finance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-led Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts announced ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    5 days ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    5 days ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    5 days ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    5 days ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    6 days ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    6 days ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    6 days ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    6 days ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    6 days ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    6 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    6 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    7 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    7 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    1 week ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    1 week ago

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