Open mike 21/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, January 21st, 2014 - 318 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 right up to the mike …

318 comments on “Open mike 21/01/2014”

  1. anything wrong with this picture..?

    “..Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy – as poorest half of the world..”

    “..Oxfam claims that growing inequality has been driven by a ‘power grab’ by wealthy elites..”

    phillip ure..

    • miravox 1.1

      A nice explanation of the reasons for the growth in inequality by Will Hutton

      The real reasons for inequality

      The indifference to the growing gap between rich and poor, in all its multiple dimensions, is the first order category mistake of our times. No lasting solution to the socioeconomic crisis through which we are living is possible without addressing it.

  2. i must say i was cheered to see the words ‘there is an alternative’ bandied around during cunnliffes’ appearance on tvone breakfast..

    (no acknowledement of the author of that meme..(paul/commenter standard..)

    ..and there was a follow-up comment to pauls’ idea that has stuck in my head.. it is such a potent message..because it appeals to both young and old..

    ..the young by promising them that ..’yes’ doesn’t have to be as fucked as this..there is an alternative way to do things..’

    ..and to the old..because it just reminds them of that ‘there is no alternative!’ excuse/justification..

    ..that giant fucken lie that has echoed down the decades..and is still trotted out by the right..

    ..that false-justification for the rightwing (in both national and labour) dismantle the welfare state/shred the safety-nets..

    ..which has all brought us to the shit-destination we currently find ourselves in..

    ..(i don’t need to reel out the stats again for i..?..that dismal record of our plunge from being one of the best countries to be a citizen/child in/of.. near bottom of those rankings..?.

    ..with everything going the wrong way/in the wrong direction..?) positive straw in the wind..

    ..the use of that ‘there is an alternative!’-meme..

    ..(and a hat-tip to that author..’paul’..)

    phillip ure..

    • Paul 2.1

      Really? I don’t watch breakfast TV.
      Hope he continues using it.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        Cunliffe said if you dont like the GCSB then vote Labour because we “will repeal it”

        he said who benefis and when.

        he initially focused on the middle of nz then on the lowest and most “vulnerable”.

        pointed out top 1-2 % and those in money markets are ecstatic.

        he needs to stop swaying when he speaks.

      • phillip ure 2.1.2

        @ breakafast tv..’s a chore i feel i must do/endure..

        ..(part of the straw-reading..)

        ..and is as bad as it was last yr..

        ..(i can’t even be bothered detailing the ‘bad’’ll just have to believe me..)

        ..and the female co-host isn’t there yet..

        ..but i do wonder if she is watching..

        ..and getting a view from this side of the screen..

        ..and realising what a bunch of self-indulgant/self-regarding clowns they all are..

        (and could someone tell christie that matted/lank.dank/unwashed-looking hair.. very very

        ..he needs to sharpen up his act/image..

        ..he looks like the guy you find sleeping on yr couch the morning after that wild party you had last nite..)

        phillip ure..

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1.3

        Thanks Phil that is really very heartening to hear that ‘there is an alternative’ is being said 🙂 – long may it continue to be used.

  3. Steve James 3

    Dumb Greed

    My neighbour rents three flats in our street. She advertised one of the flats on November 2nd last year and six prospective tenants viewed the flat the very next day. The asking rent is $350/wk; prior to the Christchurch earthquakes the same flat returned just $175/wk; it’s a bit of a dive.

    The first prospective tenants my neighbour wanted offered her $330/wk which she refused so they went elsewhere. Another couple offered $320 with the same result. Regardless of many visits by prospective tenants the flat has been empty since November 14th (that’s 10 weeks and counting)

    Speaking to my neighbour I remarked that she has so far lost at least $3300 and perhaps should reconsider the asking amount. To which she replied, and I quote:
    “I don’t care I just want them to pay the market value”

    Here we have a combination of stupidity, greed and a total lack of empathy towards renters (her customers).

    Dumb Greed for sure.

    • vto 3.1

      The rental market in Christchurch is ugly. Ugly in what it exposes in humankind.

      I have had many say “wow, great market, high rents, amazing cap rates, etc etc”. But when it is pointed out to them that “the market” isn’t willingly paying these rents and they are only being paid those sums due to being forced to by earthquakes, they tend to go a bit quieter. Even more so when it is pointed out that after this flush is over there will be no sympathy for landlords and that tenants will absolutely screw landlords.

      Landlords are making a rod for their own back in their blinded greed for short term excess-profit.

      (and btw, your neighbour sounds like a complete douche. watch later when tenants offer $125 and then leave the place a wreck, in return for her wretched greed)

    • Tracey 3.2

      auckland is also mad.

      1 bedroom, mouldy and in need of repair flat in Balmoral $390 a week.

      A couple I know are now moving in with another couple to a 2-bdrm flat in St Lukes. An apartment with small lounge/kitchen joined and bdrms on either side. One bathroom. Their share is $250 per week.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      And that my friend is the rentier mindset encapsulated. It is the very embodiment of self entitlement with zero regard for the social need in front of their very eyes.

      The kowtowing to the God of the Markets has spread throughout society.

      • Tracey 3.3.1

        yup, it’s the glowing “success” of the markets CV…

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.2

        And that my friend is the rentier mindset encapsulated. It is the very embodiment of self entitlement with zero regard for the social need in front of their very eyes.


        It is this mindset of the owners that is destroying our society. It is the same mindset that the French Aristocracy* had before the French Revolution.

        * Technically, it’s the mindset of the aristocracy in general. What we’re seeing is the re-emergence of feudalism.

        • Colonial Viper

          an oligarchic neo-feudalism unbridled with any morality, sense or sensibility.

    • dv 3.4

      >>Speaking to my neighbour I remarked that she has so far lost at least $3300 and perhaps should reconsider the asking amount. To which she replied, and I quote:
      “I don’t care I just want them to pay the market value”

      She doesn’t understand what the market means!!!

      • David H 3.4.1

        It looks like to her the Market rate is the maximum she can screw out of a tenant for the least amount of outlay.

        • Murray Olsen

          That’s how I understand the market, David H, and how I see it working every day.

    • Tracey 3.5

      so capitalism, that is, “the market”, is working really well in Auckland and Christchurch…. oh wait.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.6

      To which she replied, and I quote:
      “I don’t care I just want them to pay the market value”

      At which point you should have pointed out that market value was what people were willing to pay and not what she thought it was worth. But, even then, at $330 the amount would have been far more than it was worth.

      • alwyn 3.6.1

        Yes. The lack of coprehension of what “market price” means from both sides of the fence is difficult to believe isn’t it.

        • vto

          Well clever clogs alwyn…. what does “market price” mean? Most valuers put it at something like “willing buyer and willing seller agreeing in conditions without anomaly”…

          The problem here dear chap is that there is not a “willing buyer” there is only a “forced buyer”. This is not a normal situation. People are forced by earthquake circumstance into a situation not of their making nor of their desire. It is a form of duress.

          So where does “market price” come in.

          And if this government is so hell bent on market outcomes then shouldn’t it be doing something in these non-market circumstances? Exactly like this government did with landowners in the CBD of Christchurch? This government acted to subsidise Chch CBD landowners to support their land values.

          What a twisted pile of shit it all is

          • alwyn

            That is right. A willing buyer and a willing seller.
            At $350/week there is clearly a willing seller.
            BUT. There is no willing buyer at $350/week or the place wouldn’t still be empty 10 weeks later, would it?
            There obviously isn’t any forced buyer out there at $350/week either or someone would have been forced to take it wouldn’t they?
            Therefore what do we see? That $350/week is not the market rate for that property in that place is it?

            Obviously the market price is going to go up when half the rental properties are removed from the market (a way of saying destroyed of course) and the people remain living in the area.

            However what do you propose as a means of allocating the properties to prospective tenants? Do you think that landlords should be allowed to decide who they will rent to, or not. If they are they will very likely choose to rent to middle aged professional couples with no children won’t they? Less likely, they may well assume, to cause damage. They are also likely to rent bigger properties than they really need as it is going to cost them less than they are really willing to pay.

            If not the owner picking the tenant what would you do. With controlled rents at below market value do you become the commissar who decides and will you be the one who will pick the “deserving tenants”.
            In the absence of monopoly or monopsony characteristics, and we don’t seem to have those in Christchurch a market system may not be very kind but please tell us what you think is a more efficient one.
            Personally in this case my view is that it is like Churchill’s comments on democracy. He said something like “It may have its faults but it is better than anything else that has been tried”

            • alwyn

              Can anyone tell me why the above comment, and only this comment went into moderation?

              • bad12

                Happens regularly to twisted wing-nuts, it was probably the smell…

              • karol

                Happens sometimes – the auto-mod picks up on stuff that might be tr0llish or spam. Yours maybe seemed like some real estate agent’s spam?

                • alwyn

                  Ouch, Karol, you really know how to hurt a guy.
                  Real estate agent indeed. Consider me mortally wounded, and laughing.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Christchurch a market system may not be very kind but please tell us what you think is a more efficient one.

              The government stepping in to build a massive amount of new housing and renting it out at 25% of household income. That’s fairly obvious as the market just isn’t building enough never mind also helping to keep unemployment high by importing workers.

              • alwyn

                That is fine, but these people are wanting to rent NOW, and I gather there are a lot of them.
                Even if you choose to build you still have the problem of who to rent them to until you have managed to build enough for everyone. Would you, for example, rent them to the lowest income people, on the theory that they are most in need? Alternatively would you rent them to the highest income people on the grounds that you would get more money in quickly to pay for more properties?

                You also have the situation where, in building them, you will either have to bring in skilled workers, which you appear to disapprove of, build the places with unskilled people, or wait until you get them trained. I don’t know how long it takes to train a chippy today but the apprenticeship used to be about four years. I didn’t think that there were currently lots of skilled building tradesman unemployed in Christchurch are there?

                Whatever you do you still have a rationing situation for quite a while and that is something the market is pretty good at solving.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Would you, for example, rent them to the lowest income people, on the theory that they are most in need?

                  I tend to prefer an as need basis for state housing. The government, after all, doesn’t need any money coming in.

                  You also have the situation where, in building them, you will either have to bring in skilled workers, which you appear to disapprove of, build the places with unskilled people, or wait until you get them trained.

                  Quite a few NZ builders have been unemployed over the last few years and rebuilding Chch will take years anyway (nothing to be done about that) and so we could easily train up more people. The problem is that “the market” doesn’t seem to be providing at all (a large part I think is that the insurance companies, including the re-insurers, would go broke trying to rebuild at the necessary speed. The demand would push builders pay rates up to $40+ per hour – and that’s being conservative).

                  Also, there’s a problem with bringing in “skilled” builders from outside NZ. Quite simply it’s that they haven’t got a clue as to how to build in NZ. Hate to say it but that seems to be especially true of builders brought in from poorer nations where they just don’t have anything like the standards that we do (and our standards are too low already). A story I heard through family was of a house renovation and lift. The people chose a company that under cut everyone else by 50%. Two weeks after starting OSH moved in and closed them down because they weren’t doing any of the necessary safety procedures or keeping to building standards. That company was fully imported builders.

                  Whatever you do you still have a rationing situation for quite a while and that is something the market is pretty good at solving.

                  This whole conversation is about the market failing to provide the necessary housing and thus the rentiers are making a killing by ramping up rent.

                  • alwyn

                    I like the “prefer an as need basis for state housing” Tell me though. What will you do when you get the situation of a single person, a widow for example, who is still living in a four bedroom state house that she originally got when she needed it. Will you insist that she moves into a smaller unit to make it available to someone who needs it now? A lot of people on the Left scream at any such suggestion.

                    As you say, rebuilding Chch will take years. My question was what are you going to do NOW. Saying build lots of state houses isn’t going to solve the immediate problem is it?

                    I am quite unable to comment on imported builders, as my knowledge about them is about three fifths of SFA.

                    When I am talking about “the market” here by the way I mean the market for existing rental units. The market for building new properties is a quite separate discussion. I hope that we are not just talking past each other by talking about quite different things.

                    Sure the market is failing to provide new housing instantly. You agree, seemingly, that the Government can’t either as “rebuilding Chch will take years anyway”. If we aren’t going to allow a market system to handle the allocation of the limited places that are there I still haven’t seen what you are going to do as an alternative. And I mean what would you do right now? If we don’t, and we won’t, have a large stock for years we still have to allocate the existing ones NOW and the market can do that.
                    If we have people who can’t afford to pay from their income the rent to provide them with the minimum housing necessary we can make up their income with some form of a housing supplement. This doesn’t mean that they will get the same space for the same price as they got before the earthquake. The vertical supply curve, for the existing stock, has moved to the left of course.

            • jcuknz

              If the owner lets the flat for $320 instead of $350pw then they are immediately accepting a $1560 reduction in income per year … so hoping for the 350 person to come along makes some sense even if it quickly becomes a bigger loss. If they cannot get rid of the tenant, I am completely ignorant of tenacy laws but I hear it is hard to remove unsuitable tenants who may well trash the place during the notice period, So that is $1560 plus repairs.

              I am glad I have not been a tenant/landlord these past 50 years. But it is a pity that so many penalise their lifestyle with mortgages on ridiculously priced properties and appreciate how well I looked after my family through my decisions and our efforts.

              • Draco T Bastard

                If the owner lets the flat for $320 instead of $350pw then they are immediately accepting a $1560 reduction in income per year

                It was previously being rented out for $175 so even at the $320 they would be making a killing.

    • greywarbler 3.7

      Good saying comes to mind when reading about this dedicated rent screwer. Called cutting off your nose to spite your face. Hope she gets screwed herself, bitch.

  4. vto 4

    It is always amusing, especially in this oh-so-English city of Christchurch, when people get all excited when someone has the “right” accent. It kind of points to the excitee being a little dim or short-circuited, a person from the ancient past when your class defined you.

    This is what Chris Trotter did this morning in his opinion piece in the Press. Dear old snobby Chris gets all excited over the rounded vowels of ACT aspirant Jamie Whyte. I mean, each to their own – if Chris wants to get all sweaty over “English” English then good luck to him (having had ancestors pummelled by the English over the centuries in varying lands, sweat of mine over the English would arise from quite the opposite).

    But seriously, nearly the entire piece was a palpitation over an accent. Now correct me if I’m wrong but ….. in setting the rules and laws of a nation surely it is the actual policies which count and not the accent in which the policies are described. A spade remains a spade, a trotter remains a trotter, the crumbling neoliberal crap remains crumbling neoliberal crap.

    It is even stated by Trotter that if Whyte’s manner had been more “kiwi”, or more mangled like Key, then he would have dismissed Whyte as just another right wing bigot. It is very curious that in Trotter’s eye Whyte changes from a bigot to a non-bigot merely by his manner of communication – such change has nothing to do with the what the man actually says.

    It had always been thought of Trotter, and Brian Edwards too among others, that they seem to think that the manner of description, or fluency of the verbal, somehow makes whatever point is being made more real. Somehow more worthy of consideration. Of course being able to describe something well can help people understand what the spade is but in the end the spade itself is unchanged.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      It is a very strange thing.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2

      Why shouldn’t the Left pick the next ACT party leader? Everyone else has had a go.

    • Will@Welly 4.3

      vto – they say that if you have a heart, you start out as a socialist, and later in life morph into a conservative. Personally I’ve never believed it, but proof of that is in Chris Trotter’s article.
      Occasionally I really enjoy Chris’s column, but that was c**p!! A sow’s ear is a sow’s ear, no matter how well dressed it is.
      The other point vto, don’t think you have a monopoly on the “quaintness” of the English accent in New Zealand. New Zealanders positively droll, fawn themselves and just about orgasm when they hear an English accent in close proximity. Just look at all those that have been brought out here to run the various departments and councils and so forth, most tend to be second rate failures from England, but here we give them “cult-like” status, simply because they are English, and they speak “proper.” Methinks Chris is under that illusion too.

      • Will@Welly 4.3.1

        Want to read a decent column – try Bob Jones in “The Herald” today – absolute vintage. He’s thought about things, very bi-partisan. He calls it as he sees it. I prefer that, to any b.s.

    • fambo 4.4

      I honestly don’t know what is happening to left wing commentators recently. Chris Trotter seems to think an accent gives a politician credibility. Martyn Bradbury suddenly get involves with a one policy party, when other far more sound parties have the same or similar policies. Alastair Thompson from Scoop (sorry if the spelling is slightly wrong) gets in behind the same party. It’s like they have taken their eye off the ball and gotten sidetracked with glittery sideshows.

    • karol 4.5

      Methinks Trotter means middle class English English.

      I doubt Whyte has a strong London, or Afro-Carribean EnglIsh accent, nor that of the working class legacy of many northern locations in England. Nor an essex accent… etc.

      I can’t quite work out whether Trotter is actually praising Whyte, or damning him with faint praise. He’s kind of saying that if anyone can sell the last legs of ACT/neoliberalism, then Whyte can…. so laying down a challenge to see if even a very good slaesman can’t sell it. If not, then you know ACT/neoliberalism are dead.

      • alwyn 4.5.1

        I confess I haven’t read Trotter’s column or heard Whyte speak for that matter but if you really want to hear the good plummy vowels of “proper” English you only have to listen to the front bench members of any of the British political parties,
        I’d swear the the whole lot of them, Conservative, Liberal-Democrat and Labour were all recruited on the playing fields of Eton. Every flaming one of them!
        Can anyone out there put their hand on their heart and swear that they can tell the voices of David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband apart?

        • karol

          Yes, I agree on the UK MP leaders’ accents.

          But, having taught for many years in London, mostly in some old working class/lower income areas, those are not the accents I was most used to hearing.

          Most English people are not part of the imperialistic ruling elites.

          • vto

            Maybe Chris Trotter spends his leisure time getting his kicks listening to UK Parliament.

            With such a large concentration of rounded vowel-speakers the UK must be a leading edge nation, at the forefront of everything advanced and equitable on the planet ……..

            Hey Mr Trotter there is a good place for a test of your accent hypothesis ……….

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          “Can anyone out there put their hand on their heart and swear that they can tell the voices of David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband apart?”

          With ease.

    • weka 4.6

      “Dear old snobby Chris gets all excited over the rounded vowels of ACT aspirant Jamie Whyte.”

      ACT being posh? I’m still trying to figure out how one of the Cylons ended up with a kiwi accent.

    • greywarbler 4.7

      I think that Brian Edwards is quite admiring of Paul Henry. Perhaps – ‘It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it, (and whether you are quick with the verbals and the repartee).’

      Incidentally I heard a prediction recently that Paul Henry will be trying to raise the profile of his late night show by stirring his witches pot of bad potions and spells of poisonous utterances.

  5. tricledrown 5

    philip ure you wasted ure chance to post huffington post comment Obama says marajuana no more harmfull than alcohol

    • @ tricle..i did it at my place..

      ..and every day i find multiple stories that would fit/be appreciated by many here..

      ..but linking them to here would get me banned for spamming..

      ..but yeah..that was a bit of a breakthrough for obama to (finally!) come out and state the bleeding fucken obvious..

      ..(i wonder if any of our current crop of political ‘leaders’..(and i use that term most loosely..)..

      ..i wonder if any of them will have the courage to speak honestly about the insanities around every aspect of cannabis-prohibition..?

      ..during this election campaign..?

      ..should we hold our breathes..?..(or just exhale..?..)

      ..and..didyaknow that obama was quite the cannabis-cowboy as a younger fella..?

      ..(his nickname was ‘noriega’..(after the jailed panamanian-leader/drug-lord..(!)..

      ..which begs the question:..was he dealing..?..)

      ..also cheering to see other american states lining up to follow the colorado-model..

      ..of legalisation/regulation/taxation..

      ..what we need here..

      ..and i’ve said it before..

      ..a party promising that sane/sensible colorado-model..

      ..(and not some half-arsed ‘decriminalisation’..what a waste of everything that would be..)

      ..that party will get 5% for just that policy..

      ..(are you listening..?..dotcom..?

      ..don’t believe those scared panty-waists/advisers who are telling you the new zealand electorate is ‘too conservative’ for that magnitude of change..

      ..just remember three facts.. don’t have to please everyone..

      ..over 50% of new zealanders have smoked pot..

      ..there is the colorado model to talk about/point to ..

      ..phillip ure

    • David H 5.2

      Why do you think that the legalisation/decriminalising is being held up? So that the Big companies can tie it all up in bloody patents. Gotta clip that ticket!

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1


      • phillip ure 5.2.2

        @ david h..

        while there are concerns being expressed in america at the corporate takeover of commercial pot-growing..

        ..i think the problen here is more the death-grip the alcohol-pushers have on both national and labour..

        ..and of course..their other (advertising-revenue based) death-grip is on the access-media..

        ..this is why we only get prohibitionist bullshit from them..

        ..those alcohol-pushers know that their (literal) ‘death-grip’ on the recreational-intoxicant market here..

        ..will be broken by the end of pot-prohibition..

        ..and that their bottom-line will be hurt..

        ..and imprisoned etc nz’ers are the real victims in this drug turf-war….

        ..(not to mention the fucken ‘criminality’ of denying relief to cancer sufferes etc..from using cannabis for its’medical/theraputic-qualities..

        ..i have a friend who is in the final stages of a bad cancer…

        ..who is relying on cannabis to ease his way..

        ..and that he has to turn to the blackmarket for this..

        ..makes my fucken blood boil..) is those two..the booze-pushers..the drug companies..

        ..and the twin-whores of political-parties and access-media..

        ..all owned by those two pushers..

        ..that sees us locked in the gordian knot of prohibition of not only the safest intoxicant of them all..

        ..but also a ‘medicine’..just not one the drug companies can control/monetise..

        ..a pox on all of them..

        phillip ure..


  6. Tracey 6

    why is mike williams seen as the left version of Hooton?

    if an editor of scoop has to resign for being part of a political party, why can hooton be a commentator on politics for RNZ when he has worked for national and/or Act and possibly considered standing for Act leadership?

    There is obviously a difference between the two.

    • williams and hooton are both rightwing neo-lib apologists..

      ..(the differences between them are subtle/just shades/shading..)

      ..and yes..!..williams started the year as he has done in the past..

      ,,and no doubt plans to continue into the future..

      ..letting hooton call the shots/set the dialogue…

      ..and serially ‘agreeing’ with him..

      ..the only times that williams ‘turns left’.. when he pulls out of his driveway each morning..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        “.letting hooton call the shots/set the dialogue…

        ..and serially ‘agreeing’ with him..

        ..the only times that williams ‘turns left’.. when he pulls out of his driveway each morning..”

        Exactly, and LOL @ pulls out of the driuveway

        • phillip ure

          (and of course the (fox-news-fan) compere doesn’t help that ideological-slant..

          (she told listeners she watches it to get the other point of

          ..but funny story..!

 much of what is trotted out by said-compere..

          ..are fox news talking-points/arguments..

          ..(i’m surprised all three of them find anything to say..other than nod in agreement with each other/the status-quo/current neo-lib/fuck-the-poor!-paradigm..)

          philip ure

          • Tracey

            maybe williams is being genuinely impartial and hoots is paying the piper?

            • phillip ure

              @ tracey..

              “..maybe williams is being genuinely impartial..?..”


              ..and doesn’t the (faux)-labeling have him as ‘left’..?

              phillip ure..

              • the bottom-line with williams..

       that he was president of labor during those nine long neo-lib/fuck-the-poor-years..

                ..of the clark govt..

                ..and i have never even heard a sliver of second-thought..let alone apology..

                ..out of him..

                ..that is the ship he sails in..

                ..phillip ure..

                • gem

                  On one of the ‘left-right’ slots last year – I should have bookmarked it – Williams, speaking of Rogernomics, said something like: ‘what everyone forgets is how much fun it was’. So no, he’s not very contrite.

    • alwyn 6.2

      One of the main differences is, of course, that the Scoop guy, whatever his name is, was a member of the Press Gallery and, at least theoretically, they have to be impartial to be allowed there.
      Neither Hooton, nor Williams, is a Press Gallery stooge.

  7. Terrible crimes

    Figures provided under the Official Information Act show most animal mistreatment uncovered by government inspectors happens on cattle farms.

    On average, the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) takes less than half of the people responsible to court. Many receive no punishment beyond a written warning or “education letter”.

    and i cannot understand this statement from Fedfarmers

    Federated Farmers has defended the rate of prosecution, saying there is no point punishing good farmers who have found themselves in bad situations.

    A ‘bad’ situation for a farmer means they can starve or break the tails of the animals?

    Federated Farmers board member Katie Milne said there were clearly a few bad farmers who let the side down. “And we are happy to see the back of them.”

    However, others could easily find themselves “close to the edge” after a drought, unexpected financial stress, or personal trauma.

    “Sometimes these guys get really, really distracted and they need help. They can still be good farmers again.”

    Other times, lifestylers mistreated or underfed animals out of ignorance, she said. “I can understand why people say it’s the law . . . but it’s not quite that easy with livestock.”

    yep really, really distracted – can’t see the starving animals for the trees.

    imo an education letter is pathetic, if caught these so called ‘farmers’ should face prosecution and the consequences of their cruelty and neglect so i agree with Hans that the MPI does not pursue charges often enough. But i don’t think filling prisons up with ex-farmers is the answer either.

    • Tracey 7.1

      “Federated Farmers has defended the rate of prosecution, saying there is no point punishing good farmers who have found themselves in bad situations.”

      some of the same folks who say we need to get tough on criminals, and are sick of their porr upbringing |excuses”… irony much?

      animals and children, both get frustrating as hell… never ok to abuse them.

      home detention for the guy who broke the tails of 150 cows was ridiculous.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Nobody ever gets anywhere dealing with Federated Farmers.

        They are like the proverbial ass who refuses to move and only responds to a dangling carrot…

    • Tony P 7.2

      “Sometimes these guys get really, really distracted and they need help. They can still be good farmers again.”

      Replace the word farmers with say “teachers” or “nurses” and it would be a different story.

      • Tracey 7.2.1

        or parents…

        • Bill

          Maybe not so much ‘parents’ as women bringing up children on their own…particularly those who claim their DPB entitlement. When you do swap the terms, and just to underscore the point of our misanthropy, it’s worth remembering that men claiming DPB, unlike those nasty feckless women claimants, are commonly afforded the title of hero – and that such an accolade should rightly be applied to all single parents.

          • Molly

            Interesting comment re hero status.

            An anecdote for our collective bias. I have an acquaintance with eight children – who is often out and about with them in the community. Most comments are – “What a lot of children”, “How do you do it”? with many inferences in this day and age of family planning she is entirely mad.

            Her husband, has a regular appointment to take over this role one full day a month – (he is the income earner, while she is a full-time home educator). He looks forward to this day, and often comes back glowing and full of self-satisfaction. For the only comments he receives are: “What a wonderful father you are”, “Your wife is such a lucky woman” etc.

            An indication that collectively we have a long way to go when appreciating the role both parents play in their childrens’ lives.

  8. fambo 8

    Labour really needs to rethink its policy regarding raising the retirement age and compulsory KiwiSaver. Speaking as a 55 year old on a just above minimum wage, I can say this is a double whammy that hurts people in similar positions to myself. Compulsory KiwiSaver will merely reduce my income further, and working for another two years means I will simply be on a minimum wage for another two years as an older person. There is no genuine proof that raising the retirement age by two years is actually a solution to the problem of paying a pension to a greater number of people. Apart from anything else, it will simply mean a lot of people will be on an unemployment benefit for those two years as it is actually hard to find/keep a job at that age in many industries. Also, a lot of people are worn out by that age in their particular profession, teachers being a good example of this. Finally, this policy will act as a major disincentive to vote Labour at the next election for a game breaking number of voters. You couldn’t pick a more significant voting group to turn off with a policy that has yet to be proved as being a real solution. I know that as much as I want a Labour/Green government after the next election, it we get National again I’ll be able to consol myself with the thought that at least it reduces the chances that I will be still be working at 67 for the minimum wage.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Tell me about it. Both myself and KJT have made similar points recently. Raising the super eligibility age is unnecessary, it aggravates certain problems that our society is already being troubled with (e.g. intergenerational inequity) and to put it in summary fashion: as a Labour policy, it stinks.

      Delegates: vote down the NZ Super age increase

      Super. Reprise.

      • Bill 8.1.1

        I’m not that flash at wading through tables of stats (hint), but would love to have the breakdown of the numbers for working people to total adult population to total population (ie, inclusive of children) up through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

        I suspect such a breakdown would conclusively show that the only reason anyone could claim we’ll be in the shit in the coming years would be by willfully ignoring our abysmal wage rates.

        One wage was, I suspect, enough to support an entire family and buy a house and whatever plus possibly save a little bit, during the 50’s – 70’s when families were generally larger.

        Now one wage barely pays the rent.

        Fuck this idea that we should work through more years to compensate for the fact that we’ve been bled dry.

        • Colonial Viper

          Interesting you bring this up at this time, Bill, because in the USA the breakdown of the ‘labor’ force reality over there is grim indeed.

          Despite the incessant BS spin put out by the MSM.

          I don’t think that 2014 is going to be a good economic year, globally, perhaps ChCh rebuild may prop NZ up but I think barely.

          It seems that the “old” age worker group – that which is supposed to be bleeding workers to retirement – has had zero job losses since the start of the Depression in December 2007, while it was the “younger” workers who according to the BLS’ Household Survey, have hit the labor cliff and seen their number collapse, dropping as much a 6 million, and only slowly rising, with another 3.5 million jobs left to catch up before pre-recession levels are met.

          In fact drilling down in the “young” worker category reveals that the most impacted group of workers is those in their prime working years: Americans aged 25-54.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          +1 Fambo
          +1 Bill

          Thoroughly agree with your comments and line of questioning Fambo & Bill – Good points well said

        • alwyn

          “One wage was, I suspect, enough to support an entire family and buy a house and … ”

          Yes it was but you have to keep in mind that the acceptable standard then was much much lower that it is today.
          For example in 1959 only 54% of households had sole, or shared, access to a refrigerator.
          In the same year only 57% had sole, or shared, access to a washing machine. It cost the equivalent of $4,000 in todays money by the way and was a wringer version.
          There were 25 cars per 100 people compared to today’s 60 cars per hundred.
          I don’t know what todays refrigerator or washing machine figures are but I bet there aren’t many coppers left.

          Also you must remember that families might have been larger but houses were much, much smaller. The average new house built in 1959 was about 93 sq metres. I’ll bet it is over 200 today.

          • Colonial Viper

            So yeah, you can get a 42″ TV for $600, but you can’t eat it, nor can you feed a family of four for more than 3 or so weeks. So it a fucked and inhuman.

            Also I don’t know why you used the “average” house size. Most people cant afford to buy even 90m2 of accommodation in AKL nowadays.

            • alwyn

              I was merely indicating some of the reasons why people seemed to be able to afford a house more readily 50 years ago than they can today. The size of the house we are talking about is surely relevant. The figure for the cost of a washing machine was simply a casual remark.

              I live in Wellington, not Auckland and I haven’t really followed the housing affordibility problems up there but I do wonder whether land costs as a percentage of the total are causing the difficulty. Perhaps someone who has lived in Auckland and owned a property could comment on whether the following situation occurs there.

              I bought our existing house about 30 years ago. It is on larger than average piece of land and in a normal Wellington City suburb. When I bought it the land and building values were such that the rateable value of the building was about 50% greater than the value of the land. Thirty years later, and the property has been updated and well maintained, the land is worth 50% more than the building. If you had 40 land and 60 building you would now have 90 land and 60 building for a total 50% higher. The land hasn’t changed but to get the same living space you have to pay much more than when I bought it because the land is now proportionally much more expensive. Does the same thing occur in Auckland and are the rising unaffordability levels due to the shortage of building sites?

              • Colonial Viper

                Bring housing back down to 3x the average income and you will find that home affordability issues go away.

                • alwyn

                  Yes, but how? One can hardly order builders to only charge that much can you?
                  Venezuela seems to be trying it of course. Just set the price for goods in the shops and don’t worry if they go bust.

                  The only way I can see to readily do that would be to open up a large area for simultaneous development, with a small range of plans and fairly limited sizes. That was I think how the State housing areas were built. I don’t know whether this would work. I make no claims to be a builder.

                  One thing I do notice in the Wellington is the complaints from people who say that they can’t afford their first home. They complain that they can’t get anything livable for less than $600,000 or so.

                  Then you find that they want 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a double garriage and that it be in the currently fashionable Mt Cook area. Suggest that first, affordable, homes with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom are available in Tawa, Stokes Valley, Upper Hutt or Wainuiomata and they will tell you that they couldn’t possibly live there.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    But I’m guessing there’s not much out those ways under $400,000.

                    Heck some people even get desperate enough to live out in Featherston and commute every day…

                    • alwyn

                      Actually there are. You can get a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom property on 700 sq m in Wainuiomata for about $220,000. There are a lot of places for about that figure on the market.
                      I know several people who commute from the Wairarapa. It is amazing the number who apparently commute from Martinborough. That is much worse than Featherston as you have a 20 minute drive before you even get to the railway station.
                      Wouldn’t be my idea of heaven though.

                    • Colonial Viper


            • jcuknz

              When I was building the family home we had a frdige from my pre-marraige life of living in a caravon at a motorcamp, a secondhand twintub washing machine, and a 16″ TV also from my caravan days when I was required by work to monitor TV one day a fourtnight. Transport was just a scooter brought by me to the marraige. There was of course also the mobile home which proved to be a liability rather than an asset.

              Yes life was simpler in the sixties.

          • Bill

            You kinda mutilated your own argument there alwyn. So people were able to buy washing machines that cost the equivalent of $4000 and have money left to (maybe) buy a car or whatever and they generally bought with cash, not credit

            • alwyn

              As I pointed out, not that many people did own cars. I doubt that when I was a kid in the late 1950’s that even half the families that I knew owned cars.
              Yes people did save up and pay cash. It is much more sensible that borrowing to buy things you know will rapidly depreciate and that you can do without.
              You will note that in 1959 I pointed out that only 57% of households had a washing machine.
              There will an awful lot of people who still used a copper weren’t there? You kinda ignored that didn’t you.

          • RedBaronCV

            Back then a lot of people used to build their own houses with help from the nearest relative who knew how. Can’t do that now thanks to the Nact RWNJ leaky building debacle which was blamed on the home builder who had nothing to do with it.

            • alwyn

              I thought that was a bit earlier than the late 1950’s but I’ll take your word for it.

              I knew someone who had built his own house in the 1940’s after he had come back from the war. He had married as soon as he returned home and was living in a converted garriage. He could still show you all the houses near where he lived where he had copied whatever he wanted to build next and where a builder was building the feature. Things like fireplaces, steps, bathrooms and so on. He spent all the summer evenings, weekends and his holidays on the exercise.

              Actually I thought they had eased up a bit on what you were allowed to do as diy a couple of years ago. It didn’t tempt me though. I could paint and wallpaper. After that I was totally useless.

              • jcuknz

                As late as the 1960’s when I used the building regulations to show me what and how to do it things were tight and the builders said it stymied creativity so the regulations were changed which means you have to have expensive ‘professional’ help, unless you remembered the old regs when I built my retirment home in 1990 …. then they built on the leakyhome stuff … GHU. Another problem I didn’t face in the 60’s was the ‘charge what it costs to run’ the inflated building department at council.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Another problem I didn’t face in the 60′s was the ‘charge what it costs to run’ the inflated building department at council.

                  Yes, I keep hearing people complaining about paying how much it actually costs. Interestingly enough, these are the same people who were demanding user pays and lower taxes in the 80s and 90s. Now that they’ve got it they’re complaining about that as well.

    • freedom 8.2

      fambo, do you really think National won’t up the super age to 67 if they get re-elected?
      National election promises are like rainbows
      illusory and momentarily attractive but without substance or longevity

      for proof look at . . well pretty much any promise they ever made

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        They won’t while John Key is in charge. But he may not stay that long.

        On the other hand, the Labour Party seems to think that working nearly 50 adult years in wage slavery for The Man (or patriarchally co-opted Woman) is not enough.

        • freedom

          if National win, Key will ‘have a sudden illness’ and have to stand down.
          If they lose, then he will resign/be rolled anyway as there is no way he wants a third term as PM. He can barely feign interest in NZ as it is.

        • Chooky

          +1 CV…I like that term….”patriarchally co-opted Woman”

          …bring on the matriarchy…with karol leading it may be better for both men and women (maybe karol should stand for parliament?)

          i also dont think the age of super should be raised…nor do i think it will help the Labour party get votes … have a plate of +1s everybody

      • fambo 8.2.2

        Don’t worry – I’m under no illusions about National. They only reason they aren’t saying anything about raising the age is because they don’t want to lose voters, not for any of the reasons I’ve made. However, can Labour afford to stand on principle at this point on this issue when the game is so tight? It really needs a huge groundswell of support on the issue from voters in general for it not to hurt them and I don’t see that at present. A better idea would be just to support compulsory kiwisaver contributions, and keep the age at 65.

        • Will@Welly

          The biggest concern about making Kiwisaver compulsory is that the politicians will use it to replace National Super long-term. Now, what about those people who aren’t in work, for whatever reason how do they fare? And as we have seen, and something we thought would never happen here in New Zealand, the domination of the abysmally low wages – what sort of living standards can older folk hope to live on if they are struggling in their working lives?

          • Colonial Viper

            And let’s just remember that KiwiSaver is a boon for Wall St and the private financial management industry who just love having these funds to gamble with and ticket clip.

        • Draco T Bastard

          However, can Labour afford to stand on principle at this point on this issue when the game is so tight?

          Labour aren’t standing on principle – they’re standing on neo-liberalism which has conclusively failed.

      • gem 8.2.3

        They might keep 65 to avoid the fallout.
        But they’ll keep tinkering with Kiwisaver to get their pound of flesh there instead.

      • jcuknz 8.2.4

        As I understand it when super was introduced very few lived much betyond the age of 65 so it was safe/ecconomical to have super but today with all the money spent on keeping people alive it is not suprisng that 70 is being suggested. The trouble is that a fair number are virtually worked out with manual labour by the time they are 55 or 60 … it is fine for people who spend their working lives sitting in a chair out of the weather.

        The problem with Labour’s 67 policy is that I do not see any acknowledgement of this. The retirment age should be 60 as Muldoon organised it, or better at 55 but organised as of need. UBI might solve this problem. Before the clamps came on welfare if you were made redundant at 55 it was acknowdged that you had little chance of finding another equal job so you were not expected to look for work.
        Ruth R. and her National colleges have a lot to answer for. Not helped during nine years of Labour.

    • BM 8.3

      Vote National, it’s what I’d do if I was in your position.

      Labour can’t back down now, their creditability, what’s left of it, will be totally destroyed.

    • Lanthanide 8.4

      As someone who is now 55, under Labour’s 2011 policy, you would have been eligible for superannuation at the age of 65 and 8 months, instead of 65. This means you’d be collecting supperannuation from the end of 2024, instead of the start.

      Exact calculations depend on your actual birth date. Now, 8 months is hardly 24 months as you’re claiming, in fact it’s only 1/3rd as long.

      Their policy was 2020 = age 65, +2 months for every year after. You will turn 65 in 2024.

      Instead of deciding your voting preference on mis-information, you should actually get the facts first.

      Also I’d suggest voting in the country’s best interest, rather than your own.

      • phillip ure 8.4.1

        i think a serious problem many have lanth.. that this has been about the only policy labour has been ‘selling’..since forever..

        ..and believe me..

        ..the sight of parker hectoring (low-paid) workers..

        ..that they will have to work two years longer than now..

        .goes down lick a cup of cold sick with most of them..

        ..(and yr matematical-qualifications don’t get a look in with them..)

        ..and i must admit to suffering serious gastric-reflux at/to parkers’-prescription..

        ..and..looking back to ‘this is all we have heard’..

        ..was that the important policy parker was sent out to ‘soften-up’ the electorate about..?

        ..well..i gotta tell ya…it’s been/was an epic-fail..

        ..and as for any hint of any change from that same-old same-old neo-lib labour..?

        ..not a skerrick to be seen…eh..?

        phillip ure..

      • fambo 8.4.2

        Don’t worry – I won’t be voting National! I always put principles first and would be happy to suck up the cost of principles where I thought it was important and effective. I just don’t think people should have to work over 65 because at least half of them are past being effective workers. Of course, many enjoy continuing to work over 65 and many retired people work hard as volunteers after retiring, but 65 is a reasonable age to give people the choice. Thanks for your clarification on when I would collect super.

        • Lanthanide

          Thanks fambo, and from your reply above re: National just doing it for the votes, I can see and appreciate your position on this.

    • Will@Welly 8.5

      I still think society needs to have a serious discussion on retirement, and not one driven by the politicians. Too many of them come to the party with their own agendas.
      If this offends, too bad, but my working class roots find it absurd that we pay millionaires and so forth National Super. Also, when National Super was introduced, for a lot of people, it was used as a measure for compulsory retirement – but only for the wage and salary earners, not the rich.
      B.M. – only a half-wit or an imbecile ever votes National -oops – that’s you!!

      • phillip ure 8.5.1

        @ will..

        ..of course it should be means-tested..

        .and the thing is..these selfish/greedy rich-pricks have to opt in to get that (to them..pittance/chump-change..) pension..

        ..the greedy fucks have to go and apply for it..

        ..and they do..and they do..

        phillip ure.

        • Jan

          Back in the 1960s when I worked for what was then the Social Security Department for a while, there was a two tiered system; a means tested Age Benefit from the age of 60 and a non-tested National Superannuation at 65. From memory, if you were on the Age Benefit when you turned 65 you could choose whether or not to swap, but with Super there were no extra entitlements as there were with the Age Benefit. I may have these details wrong, but both systems were definitely in existence

    • Steve James 8.6

      Yes fambo, I’m with you

      Raising the retirement age will cost my vote. As people retire they free up jobs for the young; what could possibly be wrong with that?.

      • David H 8.6.1

        Maybe they could be smart about it. get those who want/need to retire at 65, they get a youngster for training into their job. So you have someone to take over when they retire, and everyone is happy, and the young person would learn way more than the job if they working with a retiree.

        • Colonial Viper

          They haven’t been very smart about it so far. Few were interested in alternatives at Conference and when it came down to the main vote, unions and membership voted overwhelmingly to give caucus the discretion as to what to do with the super elgibility age.

        • Will@Welly

          Love it David. A lot of “older people” aren’t ready to retire at 65 or whatever, and would love the opportunity to pass on their skills and knowledge to younger folk.
          Many years ago a firm I worked for went through a restructuring programme, and we had a number of people on the books around 65 or older. They were all “offered” voluntary redundancy, which they took. Three weeks later, 3 older employees turned up to work, having been re-instated, on a one-year contract to show the newbies what they actually did. Those of us that worked with them just laughed.
          While it was a shi**y way to deal with people, it was an expensive lesson for the company.
          They other thing we learn at our expense, showing older workers the door without fully training their replacements, we lose too much “institutional” knowledge.

          • Arfamo

            Same thing’s happened in government departments after successive cutbacks over the last few years.

            Are there any departments left with anyone competent in them? I was looking at some web-based job ads for MBIE on the weekend, out of curiosity. What a load of rubbish they were. Typos, glaring grammatical errors. One of them appeared with the statement “The purpose of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE) is to grow New Zealand for all”.

            It’s all empty slogans and empty heads now I reckon.

    • Molly 8.7

      Does anyone know the cost to government to house superannuitants in those retirement villages?

      I know that my in-laws lost their pension when they entered one, but am under the impression that the government tops this up.

      • Will@Welly 8.7.1

        It’s around $500 – 600 per week for a rest home resident, less the National Super, and if they require more intensive care, $1000 per week. And the operators say they can’t make money!! I think the Government “gives” the resident $27.00 a week as an allowance – need to check that.

        • Molly

          Thanks for that Will@Welly.

          Living as I do in an area where we are bombarded with bi-monthly articles in the eLocal about the unearned elevated status of Maori in NZ, and the extra spending allocated to them by government the following strikes me when visiting my in-laws.

          1. The biggest sector of the MSD spend each year is for superannuitants and associated benefits.
          2. I notice very few brown faces in the homes I have been to, Maori, Pasifika or Asian.
          3. Many years ago, amidst criticisms against targeted health spending for Maori, a study was published which showed that the health costs for Maori were less than the amount they would get as a equal percentage of the budget if population figures were used. This was due to the fact that they often did not use the health system, at home care was also utilised quite often, and if they did contract a chronic or severe health problem – their mortality rate was higher – and so costs were considerably reduced. This also impacts on age related illnesses which are more prevalent for the elderly.
          4. It strikes me than even today many – but in particular – Maori and Pasifika and other immigrant cultures – care for their elderly at home and reduce this spend accordingly without acknowledgement or compensation.
          5. A tax rebate offered to those families – at a lower rate than that reimbursed to retirement homes – might not only aid those on struggling incomes who take on this task for their parents, but will improve the quality of life for both parents and their adult children. And money will be distributed locally instead of diverted into retirement companies – which are often overseas owned.

      • Murray Olsen 8.7.2

        I know the government eventually paid $1000 per week to give my uncle a small room in a veterans’ home.

  9. i’ve been thinking about the way the right push the line that parties of the left are all “tax & spend”. they position themselves as keeping tax low, and fool people into believing this by reducing income tax. but the fact is that this government has introduced or increased all kinds of taxes & levies. here’s a list of the top of my head:
    – increase in GST to 15%
    – specified superannuation contribution tax (on employer kiwisaver contributions)
    – increase in car registration fees
    – increase in prescription fees
    – introduced a charge for filing company annual returns (used to be free, now costs $45)
    – continual increase in power prices
    – restrictions on working for families payouts (many are ok, but the ring-fencing of business losses for small businesses really bothers me)

    i’m sure there are others to be added to this list. but we really need to be pushing the message about stealth taxes, which is what these are. and not only do we have all these additional charges, we also have the massive increase in borrowing as well.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Delayed the ACC component reduction on car registrations for 1 year purely to meet their knife-edge “budget surplus” goal.

    • Steve James 9.2

      Hello stargazer
      Not sure I can agree with you on some of your comments:
      – increase in GST to 15%
      GST is a ‘fair’ tax; you usually cannot escape it and the rich buy more so pay more.
      – specified superannuation contribution tax (on employer kiwisaver contributions)
      No different from tax on interest from our savings. All governments attack that.
      – increase in car registration fees
      I believe registration should be compulsory but free of charge as it is not a safety issue.
      – increase in prescription fees
      Prescriptions still cost almost zilch and lower income/beneficiaries don’t need to pay anything.
      – introduced a charge for filing company annual returns (used to be free, now costs $45)
      Woop!; if a company cannot afford a miserable $45 then why on earth are they even in business?
      – continual increase in power prices
      Power prices have gone up minimally over the last five years. The big increases happened way before that. I know I used to work for Meridian.
      – restrictions on working for families payouts (many are ok, but the ring-fencing of business losses for small businesses really bothers me)
      With you on this somewhat. All SME’s should pay tax; how do they live if they are actually losing money? Perhaps at a minimum pay at the same rate of an unemployed person.

      • stargazer 9.2.1

        it doesn’t matter whether or not you think these taxes are fair or not. the fact is that the national party are not a party of tax cuts, they have increased taxes in multiple ways but in ways that are generally not in the public eye. it needs to be much more public.

      • Murray Olsen 9.2.2

        There is no way that GST is a fair tax. This is why it is known as regressive. A low income person, who must spend all their income to survive, pays GST at the full rate. A person who can live on half their income and save the rest effectively ends up paying GST of 7.5% overall, even if they don’t spend anything overseas. It is a tax that hits those without disposable income harder. It is a total disgrace that a Labour government brought it in, but more of a disgrace is that members of that government still sit on the green leather.

        • Lanthanide

          “A person who can live on half their income and save the rest effectively ends up paying GST of 7.5% overall”

          What good is saved money unless you spend it at some point? When you spend it, you’re charged GST on it.

          The only escape is to spend the money overseas.

          Thus, people who save money are deferring GST, rather than avoiding it.

          However there is the other angle that if you save $100 in the bank, you earn interest on the full amount, but if you were only able to save $85 because you spent $15 paying GST, then you’re only earning interest on the $85 instead of the $100, so that is a (small) angle on the issue.

          • Colonial Viper

            OMG Lanth, you are supposed to be highly intelligent right? And I think that you are, but politely, WTF?

            What good is saved money unless you spend it at some point? When you spend it, you’re charged GST on it.

            The only escape is to spend the money overseas.

            Thus, people who save money are deferring GST, rather than avoiding it.

            I mean, WTF???

            The aim of huge sections of the accountancy and legal professions is to defer paying taxes *perpetually*.

            So rich people use their monies to buy financial assets, shares, bonds etc. How much GST applies to those purchases? ZERO.

            Then they use the capital gains from those to start buying existing rental properties. How much GST applies to the purchase of those properties? ZERO.

            And with all that investment and rental income, they go on to buy a nice $2M home in Davenport. How much GST applies to the purchase price of that home? ZERO.

            ZERO fucking GST all the way through to a very nice residence in Davenport.

            So yeah, the rich might pay GST on the $150,000 Cayman in their Davenport garage, but ZERO GST on their $2M Davenport home that it is attached to.

            I hope that makes it a bit clearer to you how this system actually works, mate.

            • Draco T Bastard


            • Lanthanide

              Ok, so they can buy things to consume that don’t attract GST, such as secondhand housing.

              However newly built homes incur GST. This GST cost is then incorporated into the price of the house, should it ever be sold in the market.

              Again, if you buy financial assets, shares, bonds which don’t attract GST, eventually you’ll use that money to buy something and consume it, upon which you will pay GST.

              The alternative is that it stays in your bank account forever as a number in a bank’s mainframe. Whoop-de-doo.

              Again, the only true escape-hatch here when it comes to consuming money without paying GST is to spend it overseas.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sorry mate, you still don’t get it. You’re still stuck in the world of theory. “Well, they’ll have to spend the money sometime, and THEN they’ll get socked with GST.”

                Wealthy capitalists only spend a tiny amount of their wealth their money on GST attracting consumption goods and services.

                With the rest of it they simply ACQUIRE and HOARD GST free assets. Businesses, land, buildings, financial assets. (I guess your position would be: well, one day, they’ll liquidate their portfolios worth tens of millions and THEN they’ll be stung for GST when they buy a hundred Ferraris with the proceeds, or maybe a thousand or so world trips, so they’re not really escaping GST)

                It’s the POOR who get stuffed with GST all day every day, on almost everything.

                • jcuknz

                  Then I remember the businessman who added the cost of a couple of music CDs to his petrol,account at the bowser … I suspect that is old history now with fringe beenefit tax etc … BUT 🙂

                • Lanthanide

                  Er, “still don’t get” what, exactly?

                  All I said is rich people don’t avoid GST, they simply defer it, unless they spend it overseas. I never said anything about the poor not being most affected by GST. Perhaps you should read what I said, and not what you imagined I said.

                  Ultimately: the assets will be sold, either by them, or the heirs to their estate, and spent on consumption items that attract GST.

                  When you think about it like that, it actually means if GST were scrapped today, the people who had saved money up would be getting a comparatively much bigger tax cut than those who hadn’t.

                  Or, the assets will be devalued to nothing and there’ll be no money left anyway.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Keep living in your nicely theoretically symmetrical world Lanth.

                    The one which ignores the fact that capitalists use capital to accumulate more capital. It’s what they do to control the economy. Only a tiny fraction is spent on consumption goods.

                    Keep ignoring that fact in your clever thought experiments though.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I buy your property for $2M. You use that $2M to buy another property. Someone else uses that $2M to buy yet a third property. Finally someone uses that $2M to build a new property upon which is charged GST…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m no longer engaging with you on this topic.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Ok, well as long as you want to focus on very short time frames, your argument hold up.

                      My entire point is that GST is *deferred*, not *avoided* by rich people. You still haven’t shown how this isn’t the case, all you’ve demonstrated is that rich people can use their money to accumulate more money, which eventually will be spent on things that attract GST.

                  • Will@Welly

                    I am a rich person. I spend 10% of my wealth. I “invest” the rest. I “employ” accountants and lawyers to “look after” my affairs, also making sure I do not pay too much tax. So people say I “invest” in genuine tax avoidance, thereby not paying my fair share of taxes.
                    That Lanthanide is how the real world works, the one in which “our” dear leader lives. Love U.

            • Saarbo


              Spot on CV.

          • Steve James

            Makes sense thanks Lanthanide; reasoned arguments are always welcome 🙂

          • Draco T Bastard

            What good is saved money unless you spend it at some point?

            Why spend it when you can go out and buy shares and thus have a permanent income from not working? And that would be an exponential income.

            However there is the other angle that if you save $100 in the bank, you earn interest on the full amount, but if you were only able to save $85 because you spent $15 paying GST, then you’re only earning interest on the $85 instead of the $100, so that is a (small) angle on the issue.

            WTF are you smoking? That makes no sense whatsoever.

            • Lanthanide

              “Why spend it when you can go out and buy shares and thus have a permanent income from not working?”

              And what do you do with this “income”? Spend it on things that attract GST…

              • Draco T Bastard

                Actually, it’s more likely to buy more shares. That’s what makes it an exponentially increasing income.

                • Lanthanide

                  And then, what, you die owning 1,000,000 shares?

                  Or do you, at some point, sell the shares and buy other consumable things, like petrol, food, electricity, local rates, all of which attract GST…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh FFS I take it back, you are actually an idiot.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’m an idiot because I point out that the point of money is to use it to consume things, and almost all forms of consumption in NZ attract GST?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m an idiot because I point out that the point of money is to use it to consume things

                      OK, so it seems that you don’t understand the point of money, for starters. I’m guessing from that that you probably grew up in a working class household, possibly verging on middle class, but certainly not a significantly wealthy one.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Ultimately if money is not spent, it has no point, other than bragging rights.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK so we’re back to you being an idiot again.

                    • Lanthanide

                      So once again, I’m an idiot for pointing out that money exists to be spent.

                      Note that I haven’t actually insulted you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well, you are a smart guy, and both civil and restrained which I do give you credit for.

                      Having said that, money was NOT created to be spent on consumption goods; financial capital was not created to be spent on consumption goods, these are basics you still don’t understand because you have chosen to use a very narrow frame of reference (a household consumer frame of reference) to consider “money” within, despite several of us now attempting to show you that that is not the dominant case when it comes to financial capital.

                    • geoff

                      I’m an idiot because I point out that the point of money is to use it to consume things, and almost all forms of consumption in NZ attract GST?

                      At the risk of being a person that recommends books to people….have you read this, Lanth?

                    • Lanthanide

                      Actually CV, money exists as a means of exchange.

                      I exchange my labour for money, which in turn I can exchange for other items that I want and need.

                      If I didn’t intend on ever spending the money I earned for my labour, I would charge less for my labour than I do because there’d be no point in accumulating the money.

                      I suspect that if humans didn’t have basic needs that had to be met by consuming scarce resources – fundamentally food and shelter and secondarily transport, health and education – then there would be significantly less need for money.

                    • felix

                      Jesus Lanth.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    They die with millions of shares which they leave in the family trust which continues the GST free exponential accumulation.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But surely all those investment millions would eventually get spent on milk, milo, cookies and Ferrari tyres, all of which attract GST!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And a new iPad and a new iPhone comes out at least once a year, those have GST on them too!

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yes, all of the products you have highlighted do indeed attract GST.

                      I think you’re getting the hang of this.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And I’m pretty sure you aren’t:

                      Another possibility is that the mining (and derivative) profits are lent to the rest of the population. That of course is happening. In any society where the minority are wealthy creditors, then the rest are largely heavily indebted consumers. Credit and debt are two sides of the same coin. These debts are, for the most part, never repaid. The main reason for this is that, on repayment, all that the creditors can do is lend it back again. They already have unspent money coming out of their ears. The other reason is that, in these situations, debtors (taken collectively) can never earn enough to repay those debts; and that under these conditions further credit is always easy to obtain. So the debtor consumers who keep the economy ticking over simply service their debts by borrowing. Simple. Private equity capitalism depends on debtors behaving in this way.

                      People with savings and investments pay less GST because they don’t spend that excess income. They use it to boost their already excessive income in ways that don’t accrue GST.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “They use it to boost their already excessive income in ways that don’t accrue GST.”

                      And then what do they do with their income?

                      You’re still missing the point, Draco, that *eventually* the money they have accrued, through whatever way, will be spent, and at that time it will attract GST.

                      My entire point is that wealthy people don’t EVADE GST, they DEFER it. So far you haven’t actually done anything to show that they don’t.

                      I’ll put it another way for you, with exaggerated numbers to get the point across (ignoring GST-free spending such as rent/housing).

                      Person A who earns $50,000 in a year and spends all of it ends up paying a full 15% of their income in GST.

                      Person B who earns $100,000 in a year and spends only $50,000 of it ends up paying only 7.5% of their income in GST.

                      Now, over a 20 year period, the person A has earned a total of $1M and spent $1M, thus paying a full 15% of their income in GST.

                      Over the same 20 year period, person B has earned a total of $2M, and *also spent* $2M, thus paying a full 15% of their income in GST.

                      Yes, in any given year, the rich person will pay less of their income as GST tax. Over a longer time period, for example a life time, all of the money they have earned will be spent, which will all attract GST. Or, it’ll be given to their heirs and they’ll spend it, or it’ll vanish in a puff of asset devaluation and cease to exist.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Over the same 20 year period, person B has earned a total of $2M, and *also spent* $2M, thus paying a full 15% of their income in GST.

                      Nope. They’d still “spend” $50k per year while the other income they got went to buying shares increasing their income which would also go to shares. As their income from shares increases the percentage of their income they pay GST goes down.

                      There’s no extra spending going on no matter how much you want to believe there is.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Ok Draco, so after 20 years they haven’t spent all their income.

                      After 40 years they still haven’t. After 60 they haven’t. After 80 they haven’t.

                      Then they die.

                      Their heirs inherit the money and spend it.

                      Again, GST is deferred, not avoided.

              • gem

                Even if part of the ”income” is spent on GST in subsequent purchases, the original amount becomes larger and is tax-free, as others on here have stated. This is why the financial transactions tax has been mooted to ensure tax is paid on all transactions, such as shares/money trading (as well as fairness and increased revenue, it should improve the stability of the financial system by disincentivising risky behaviour).

        • Colonial Viper

          Steve James has no idea of a fair or progressive tax system. Thoughtless and uninformed.

        • Naki Man

          A low income person spends half there income on rent or a mortgage. They only pay gst on the other half that they spend. So you are wrong. Low income people don’t pay gst at a higher rate.
          GST is a fair tax, it like every other tax takes more from people who have more.

          • Draco T Bastard


          • greywarbler

            Low income person say $500 per week with accommodation help – you say half their income on rent or mortgage leaves $250 per week for rest less 15% GST = $37. Electricity $30, Food $70, Transport $30, Insurance $3, Clothing, Hair and Cosmetics $12, Furniture, Decor, CDs DVDs,, Films, Outings, HP on houseware $30, Licences, Repayments, Fines, Interest $30, Savings $8. Think that adds up to $213. The $37 on GST is the most expensive item on this lean budget.

            GST coming from another better-paid person would not be so onerous. Smart man he say,
            ‘Money doesn’t make you happy. True, but you can be miserable in comfort.’

      • freedom 9.2.3

        Steve, can i suggest you check your data re prescriptions for low income/beneficiaries

        unless you know something they don’t
        which would mean pharmacies all over NZ are involved in a highly lucrative scam 🙂

        • Colonial Viper

          Some were (in a sense) and it has been changing, and for some, owning a pharmacy is going to be far less lucrative than it used to be.

        • Steve James

          Hey freedom

          Just checked with my single mother friends and they say their medication costs are added to their benefits.
          Also here’s a breakdown of my last prescription:
          180 x Diclofenac @ $5
          90 x Omeprazole @ $5
          100 x Codeine @ $5, and
          720 x Paracetamol @ $3
          That’s over six months medication for just $18.00. Good deal I would have thought.

          Might put this down as supporting my statement 🙂

          Be well freedom

          • McFlock

            That’s a lot of painkillers for a randian superhero to be taking.

          • bad12

            Steve James, sounds a bit suspect to me, i doubt if any doctor is going to prescribe those amounts of meds for anyone in New Zealand,

            Have been prescribed, last week, 40 of one of the items on your list which cost $5 so am suspect about your claims,

            You are right tho about long term beneficiaries with on-going health costs,we do get a spcial allowance for these…

          • freedom

            excuse the delay in replying, was afk.

            “lower income/beneficiaries don’t need to pay anything”
            to be clear, I am currently on a benefit, unfortunately,
            and do have to pay prescription costs.

            Yes medications are subsidised thanks to Pharmac, as they are for all New Zealanders (untill the TPPA is signed that is). Some additional health assistance comes in the form of discounted doctor’s visits via the community services card, that all low income earners can use, but prescriptions are not free.

            I do not know your ‘friends’ situation but outside of Invalids benefit and some exceptional cases, beneficiaries do not receive extra funds to cover meds. I believe DPB does have some medical related allowances relating to the child’s needs that others do not receive, but am unsure of the details.

            Regarding your prescription list,
            I must admit I am confused as to what it is meant to say? (and I think I am not alone in this)
            Are you saying you are a low income/beneficiary and pay for scripts?
            thus negating your original comment.
            or you are not a low income/beneficiary and enjoy the state subsidy Pharmac supplies.
            (which only raises the question of what it has to do with your original comment?)

          • weka

            There are two ways for a beneficiary to get prescription costs. One is via the Disability Allowance (adult or child), and the medical reason for the prescription has to be illness they are getting the benefit for. The other is via Temporary Additional Support. In both cases there are caps.

            The Disability Allowance is capped at something like $50/wk, so once ALL disability related costs reach that point, there is no more, unless one also applies for TAS. The disability costs for many beneficiaries exceed $50/wk.

            TAS is paid only as a proportion of costs and one has to prove hardship. I think the proportion is something like 30% ie you don’t get the full amount you apply for. TAS is reviewed regularly and is considered a short term benefit, not an ongoing one, although technically it is possible to get TAS on an ongoing basis if one can do the work required to keep it going. Not all beneficiaries have the skills or resources to do that.

            TAS is abated for people who have part time or casual work (something like 20% after the first $100/wk but it is a much larger amount after $150. That’s on the gross amount, where the beneficiary is already paying tax btw, so they in effect pay twice).

            However WINZ don’t make a practice of supporting beneficiaries to get the payments they are entitled to, so if the beneficiary doesn’t know how the system works then they are unlikely to get the full support they need. Even if they do know, they may not be well enough or have the resources to access those benefits.

            So, your statement that prescription costs are ‘added’ to benefits is theoretically partially correct for some beneficiaries, but in reality isn’t true for most. Your statement is incredibly ignorant and misrepresents reality.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.4

        GST is a ‘fair’ tax; you usually cannot escape it and the rich buy more so pay more.

        And that’s total BS. The component of GST for rich as a percentage of their income is significantly below that of the poor. IIRC, the poor end up paying ~12% of their income in tax while the rich pay less than 1%.

        GST is a massively regressive tax and needs to be removed.

    • Lanthanide 9.3

      Got another one for you: $50 annual admin fee for student loans.

      Another: student loan repayment rate increased to 12%

      Another: student loan repayment threshold frozen for 3 years (used to be annually reviewed and increased, under Labour anyway)

    • Saarbo 9.4

      Nice work Stargazer…Labour needs to have your list ready for when National comes out with their inevitable spin about Labour.

  10. Nature has rights.

    It is great to see that “the first global tribunal on the Rights of Nature successfully wrapped this past week in Ecuador. Spearheaded by international activist, ecofeminist, and physics PhD, Dr. Vandana Shiva.”

    The event marked the end of a five-day summit that was host to more than 60 international leaders. The overarching network, monikered Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, is the product of a 2010 gathering in Ecuador upon which international activists converged in the aftermath of Ecuador’s groundbreaking move to codify Rights of Nature into its newly-minted constitution in 2008. The entire movement has been pioneered upon traditional Indigenous wisdom and cosmologically-inclusive views of nature and the Earth, or Pachamama. The far-reaching intent is to hold a duly recognized space of advocacy and accountability on behalf of the Earth, in the context of international jurisprudence, at this crucial crossroads we now collectively encounter.

    Worthwhile having a read of this event and watching the video

  11. Morrissey 11

    “Happy birthday, Madam Mao!”
    “She just turned fifty though you’d never guess it!”

    Noam Chomsky has commented often on the culture of obedience and conformity in the political class and its vital mass media auxiliary branch. The American political elite in particular, Chomsky says, is almost uniformly supine and subservient; although they have little or nothing to fear from dissenting against government crimes, they have decided instead to become “voluntary North Koreans”, occasionally critical but usually fulsome in their praise of the Dear Leader [1] — whether he or she is named Thatcher, Meir, Bush, Howard, Blair, Cameron or Obama.

    In stark contrast to this boot-licking, when it comes to assessing the behavior of leaders of enemy regimes, the worshipful praise for the Obamas and Blairs is replaced by snarling denunciation. Last August, British and American reporters were apoplectic with indignation when the wife of the Syrian president had the gall to act in the same way—i.e., indulging in shopping and fitness fads—as her American counterpart Michelle Obama. “As Syria implodes,” fumed one Daily Mail headline, “Mrs Assad splashes out on chandeliers, Western food and fitness fads.” The paper set two reporters to the task of studying the “bizarre shopping spree” of the “British beauty” who was “holed up” in a “bunker” with the “vile dictator”. [2] The Torygraph also weighed in to the denunciation campaign, with a savage piece of Maoist demagoguery by Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman, who announced grandly: “It’s Asma al-Assad’s Marie Antoinette moment. As world leaders tussle over how to respond to her husband’s alleged chemical massacre, the first lady of Syria posts cheery pictures of herself on Instagram serving food to refugees.” [3]

    One early morning in 2007, I tuned in to the notorious Murdoch breakfast TV show Fox and Friends, which in its shrieking and bogus “patriotism” was at that time and probably still is the most overtly right wing TV show in the English-speaking world. There was palpable excitement in the air this day; this was because the crew was waiting for the beginning of a live broadcast of some important announcement by President Bush. Eventually, Washington was ready, and Bush began to speak. First of all, he said, “Good morning.”

    Back in New York at the Fox studio, Steve Doocy beamed and said in a sing-song voice: “Good MORNING, Mr President!” I imagine he believed his audience shared his unbounded enthusiasm for and worshipfulness of George W. Bush.

    For an example of groveling, shameless, uncritical adulation of political authority, Steve Doocy’s behavior took some beating, I thought at the time….

    Flash forward several years, to Monday 20 January 2014.
    It’s the last item on TVNZ’s One News, an extended puff piece from CBS about the extended party for Michelle Obama’s fiftieth birthday. The celebration included Samuel L Jackson, Magic Johnson, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and a gruesome-looking couple who might well have come straight off the set of a vampire movie. A closer look revealed that the two were not a part of some zombie-themed stunt, but were in fact the Clintons. The President’s daughters were at the glittering occasion as well, the “reporter” noting with approval that the DJ performed in the East Room until three o’clock in the morning.

    Then it was back to the studio in Auckland….

    SIMON DALLOW: [beaming] Yes indeed! Happy birthday Madam First Lady! That’s One News for this Monday!
    WENDY PETRIE: [beaming] Good evening!

    And the Obama-cult is just as strong at Radio New Zealand. This morning (January 21) Kathryn Ryan’s U.S. correspondent was on the line, so of course there was only one topic to discuss….

    KATHRYN RYAN: It’s happy birthday to Michelle Obama!
    LOUISA SAVAGE: That’s RIGHT! She just turned fifty though you’d never guess it!
    KATHRYN RYAN: She’s much more popular than her husband isn’t she.
    LOUISA SAVAGE: And she’s far more popular than Hillary Clinton was as First Lady! I think Michelle Obama appreciates the fact that the First Lady is not an elected position. People did not appreciate when Hillary Clinton tried to insert herself into health care policy….


  12. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 12


    Judging from recent events, the New Zealand Left is spent as a political force.

    Some Left media types jumped at the opportunity to work for Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party (which is clearly based on the Pirate Party model, originally from Sweden but now with an international dimension that is anything but working class based). Material and personal motivations rather than ideological affinity apparently pushed these people to violate rudimentary conflict of interest and ethical standards.

    That is symptomatic of the fact that the political (as opposed to cultural) Left is well and truly dead in New Zealand. The association (supplication?) of these “progressives” with a cowboy capitalist who has zero Marxist inclinations is a travesty if not treason to any working class cause. In one case the class betrayal had a specific dollar amount and a proposed political candidacy attached to it.

    That some on the Left would countenance Dotcom as a tactical ally (in that his party is supposed to siphon young urban professional votes away from National) demonstrates how bereft of ideas, agenda and praxis they have become.

    But what about the rest? Surely the foibles of a few cannot condemn the many to political oblivion? With apologies for any offense caused, let us not mince words and cut to the chase.

    There is no viable Left in NZ politics.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The chattering Left is as divided as the political Left, in part because they overlap: feminists accuse others Leftists of being patriarchical, GLBT activists accuse other Leftists of being heterosexist, Anarchists see other Leftists as sell-outs or authoritarians (and all of these complainants have a point). In general the Left argues more amongst itself than it does with the Right. Not surprisingly, the political Left is fractured, with activists all too often splintered into narrowly focused groups that do not share either strategic or tactical concerns with other Left movements. Worse yet, much political Left rhetoric is simply devoid of grounding in reality, be it from 9/11 conspiracy types to those who think that the Rothchild Trilateralists control everything.

      More fundamentally, although many on the Left can offer informed and uninformed critiques of capitalism and the current status quo in NZ, none have been able to provide a coherent, much less publicly supported agenda for change. That is its fatal flaw: the political Left in NZ are seen more as naysayers and whingers than proactive and reasonable “doers.”

      • grumpy 12.1.1

        I thought of you when I read that CV 🙂

      • just saying 12.1.2

        Do you see some of your own actions as fostering that divisiveness and in-fighting CV?

        • Colonial Viper

          well, I would frame it by saying that a close examination of life and the conditions that we are being subjected to, is always going to be painful and disagreeable to some extent.

        • QoT

          Isn’t it interesting how Pablo phrases that section? I mean, one could just as easily have written:

          “The men accuse the feminists of being divisive, the middle-class heterosexuals accuse queer leftists of focusing on things that don’t matter, elected Labour MPs see bloggers as unimportant parasites …”

          But no, apparently it’s always the less-privileged group that causes all the fuss. Naughty less-privileged groups, getting in the way of The Project.

    • Murray Olsen 12.2

      “Left” media types such as Bomber and Trotter are not the Kiwi left. The active and noisy left is to be found in Mana, with a sprinkling among the Greens and Labour. They have not attached themselves to the German capitalist. Bomber doing this is no great surprise to me at all, since his politics is based more on date of birth than on class. Maybe Dotcom will give him his own little studio on the grounds of the mansion.

    • lprent 12.3

      It was a good post. I must ask pablo if we can reprint it here.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 12.3.1

        I politely and firmly disagree with you there lprent.

        The first sentence and major message in this defeatist post:
        “the New Zealand Left is spent as a political force.”

        This brings to mind the constant and repetitive rubbish we continue to be subjected to –against all evidence – regarding how strong, effective and correct right-wing memes are…it brings to mind the constant poll pushing that occurs – pushing popularity – and it brings to mind right wing spin and how right-wingers don’t appear to have to conduct such anymore because the left appear to be jumping in and doing it for them.

        Who is Kiwipolitico? Why have they not got an ‘about us’ page? I don’t trust webpages that don’t bother to explain something about themselves. I have been looking, yet haven’t found any information about this website. Any explanation and links would be most appreciated.

        I guess this article raises some interesting points of debate for our self-obsessed shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot compulsioons, however there appears to be only one paragraph I can point to that has some real accuracy – the problem is an important point is missing in that paragraph:

        For a start, it might be wise to put distance on the delusional sociopaths and self-interested opportunists and charlatans that give the political Left its bad name.

        Yeah, it’s a pity that Kiwipolitico didn’t mention that that whole ‘delusional sociopath and self-interested opportunist and charlatan” meme comes straight out of right wing spin doctors mouths – they are the people who set up this framing and they are the people we need to stop listening to.

        How bloody self-flagellating do we need to get before we realise that self-flagellation is the main weakness that the left-wing has. Isn’t it time that we realised that this type of obsessive-compulsive need to self-flagellate is not the same as a humble ability to note and improve on our principles and our message.

        We have good principles that have proven to work and I don’t want another bloody three years of right-wing failed policies degenerating this country any further achieved through the left taking on right-wing framing of the left.

        ‘The left is dead’ -Nah, this is rubbish and is the type of nonsense I expect from Textor Crosby not people supposedly wanting left-wing principles to govern.

        Please may we wake up and stop being so selfishly self-fixated and lift our eyes toward the unfortunate circumstances that are being created and start rallying around getting the very real problems going on here and abroad addressed – sheesh!

        • Pablo

          I suggest you click on the “About” header on the Kiwipolitico web page (that’s right, there is one, at the top of the page) to get an idea of what we are “about.”

          As for the rest of your remarks–well, you clearly do not know what we are about.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            Thanks Pablo, I appreciate your response.

            I could not find that ‘about’ link despite looking for it. (clearly or I wouldn’t have made the comment). I will check again.

            I am glad you do supply that, my apologies for getting that wrong.

            well, you clearly do not know what we are about.

            I assumed you were some type of left-wing site, and therefore reject this comment and my response to your article still stands. I ask you to check out whether you know what you are about.

            Did you consider what the effects are of spreading the idea that there is no effective political left?

            Did you consider all the many people who have spoken out and work hard to ensure left wing principles are heard and decent democracy still exists in this country?

            We have had a real bad time of it – yet I do not think it is useful or effective to start spreading ideas that come out of right wing spin and strongly question you on that.

            Your post was defeatist – it contained right-wing framing of a number of situations

            Have you ever considered that sometimes people need to feel inspired and hopeful – not flagellated and told that they’ve lost before they’ve begun?

            How about sharing some positive efforts people are making to rectify this rotten situation we are in?

            All I continue to think on reading your post is “gees the right-wing will be chuckling to themselves”

            • karol

              Ah, well, and Key is still going on about the Green Party being “far left”….?

              The About page on Kiwipolitico is linked via black print on dark red-brown and may not be easy for some people to see.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Yes thanks Karol – I ended up finding it after Pablo’s comment – that must have been the problem -black on dark read- otherwise I am unsure how I missed it …because I was looking! 🙂

                I just wish people wouldn’t be such suckers for these right-wing memes – however I do have some understanding that they are devised from focus groups and with a lot of psychological expertise to be exactly that – easily believed 🙁

            • Pablo

              You are right on one thing. The NZ rightwing bloggers much enjoyed the post. They likely will not enjoy so much my follow up on the NZ Right.

              The post was written as a polemic in order to stir debate on why the NZ political Left has not secured the support it should have. I outline some of the reasons internal to it that IMO have led to this sorry situation. It is not being defeatist to point out the obvious and in fact it is a major step towards recognizing weaknesses in order to effect positive change once that is done. I may not have all the answers but I do know how to point out the elephants in the room.

              I expected a defensive reaction from some on the Left, and in that reaction I expected the usual attacks on my intentions and character. But rest assured that no Rightwing PR spin doctor talking points were used in the construction of the post–the critique was mine and mine alone.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It is not being defeatist to point out the obvious and in fact it is a major step towards recognizing weaknesses in order to effect positive change once that is done.

                As they say to alcoholics and other addicts – you need to admit you have a problem before you can address it. The left in NZ has many problems as you outline in your post.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  Isn’t it time, though DTB, that we realised we have an obsessive-compulsive self-flagellation problem too though? – we need to start addressing that issue positively – we are not all wrong-minded addicts!

                  If we do not have a self-flagellation problem, then please tell me why no one other than myself responded to this article saying “Hey!! we’re not all bad – we are not dead!!” [see my comment below for more examples]

                  Why did this not occur DTB?

                  The political left is most certainly not dead in NZ, so wtf were all the comments positive about this article conveying such?

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    …I am waiting for a response to this DTB…anyone?

                    • Arfamo

                      I would love to say he’s wrong but I’m waiting for Cunners’ state of the nation speech to see if there’s any point. Also waiting for pablo’s next blog about what’s wrong with the right.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Oh? so whether the left-wing is alive or not is now dependent on the speech of one man?

                      This just gets better and better…

                    • Arfamo

                      I am voting against National. I am probably going to electorate vote Labour, party vote Green. I am doing so with no belief that either party has a credible alternative economic programme, but that simply anything would be better than what National has done and is doing. I have no idea how many others will do the same and am not confident at this stage that the money trader and his cronies will get tossed out on their ear as they should be.

                      Edit: if Labour is still supporting the TPPA and planning to raise the super age to 67, both votes will be going to the Greens.

              • karol

                So who are the charlatans, opportunists, and sociopaths on the left?

                I don’t think that’s the problem so much as this from Pablo’s post:

                More fundamentally, although many on the Left can offer informed and uninformed critiques of capitalism and the current status quo in NZ, none have been able to provide a coherent, much less publicly supported agenda for change. That is its fatal flaw: the political Left in NZ are seen more as naysayers and whingers than proactive and reasonable “doers.”

                I think this has as much to do with perception and the way the left is portrayed in the mainstream. There are plenty of positive sugestions. It’s morre about being able to articulate it clearly and maybe through by-passing the MSM.

                • Colonial Viper

                  There are plenty of positive sugestions.

                  There have been plenty of positive suggestions for decades. But no mass movement, access to levers of power or resources to push any real change ahead. For the Left it has been 50 years of 3 steps forward, 4 steps back.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    No because there is the message immediately put out there on every occasion that ‘lefties are weirdo radicals’ – anyone speaking out on an issue is a ‘rent-a-crowd’ and misguided in some way – Nicky Hagars Bruce Jesson speech indicated that people were losing their jobs for expressing left-wing views – and really, these alienating tactics seems to be something that lefties appear to be amenable to – considering the responses to Pablo’s opinions have all been met with emulation or praise and no objection – so yep, perhaps Pablo is correct: we are our own worst enemies – however I posit that this for quite different reasons than the ones Pablo reckons.

                    • karol

                      Pablo’s opinions have all been met with emulation or praise and no objection

                      Ya think?

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Yes, I did see you as objecting too, thanks Karol 🙂 – I am noting, however, all the comments prior to the one I made appeared to be agreeing so-much-so large sections of the opinion was being quoted wholesale.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No because there is the message put out there that ‘lefties are weirdo radicals’ – anyone speaking out on an issue is a ‘rent-a-crowd’ and misguided in some way – Nicky Hagars Bruce Jesson speech indicated that people were losing their jobs for expressing left-wing views – and really whole alienating tactics seems to be something that lefties appear to be amenable to

                      I did read your detailed and considered responses to Pablo’s writing.

                      I’ll get Hagar’s point out of the way up front – yes people are blacklisted and they will never get work or air time again. That’s the way it runs. In the US McCarthy era teachers, university lecturers, government workers, reporters, writers, in fact anyone who showed any active socialist tendencies were walked off the work site by FBI agents, or their employers otherwise instructed to fire them with no evidence or cause given, and again blacklisted, never again able to work anywhere of significance other than a grocery store.

                      As for the PR and media spin that lefties are weirdo radicals etc. Lefties used to push back hard. They had their own magazines, newspapers and radio stations (which is why I’m excited about karol’s ideas in that regard). The Standard 1.0 was an example of this. So is the 2.0 version. For 100 years it has been the case that the power elite have tried to crush, derail, side track, or otherwise alienate the Left. Very often highly successfully, because that is exactly what money, propaganda/PR expertise, economic infrastructure and institutional control will deliver you.

                      With regards to your point that people here on the Standard seem far too accepting of and passive with regards to Pablo’s criticisms of the Left, and particularly of his assertion:

                      “the New Zealand Left is spent as a political force.”

                      From my point of view, this is not far off the reality. But it does depend on what you consider the “Left.” Relatively Left, or actually Left? In the essay, Marxist socialist tendencies was one landmark used by Pablo. Politically consequential threats to the capitalist establishment was another. Class orientation a third. Using those as the datum, Pablo is quite correct. There is very little credible and cohesively co-ordinated activity on the actual political Left.

                      Having said that, there is still plenty of activity and people pushing for progress in terms of the social and economic centre. A minimum wage that provides a reasonable level of living (for those who are lucky enough to be both employable and employed). House prices which the median household income (of around $85K) will find affordable. New work place regulations and standards to improve safety (after incidents totalling dozens of deaths).

                      It’s managerial rebalancing. It’s incremental change which make wage slavery capitalism more tolerable, humane and decent. It’s the politics of pale social democracy willing to moderately restrain the otherwise unbridled proclivities of foreign and corporate capital.

                      It’s not bad, and all in all, it’s far better than National.

                      But it does nothing to fundamentally change or challenge the economic or power structures of our society, and very little to meet the existential challenges that trans-national corporate power, climate change and resource depletion* foist upon us.

                      *Are the Greens better (at least, more consistent and definite) than Labour at some of this stuff? Yes, certainly. But once again, minimal challenge is presented to the existing economic and power structures of our society, with the focus on working within them as constraints in order to manage them better.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Did Nelson Mandela give into defeatism, or was his win due to tenacity?

                      “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
                      ― Thomas A. Edison

                      “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”
                      ― Theodore Roosevelt


                      “In the closed circle of the war cabinet, pounded by terrible report after terrible report, there had been uncertainty about whether he could fend off the drift to exploring a deal with Hitler. The determination of the larger group trumped the tentativeness of the smaller, and Churchill fulfilled his role as leader by disentangling himself from defeatism–one of his singular achievements at the end of May 1940.”
                      ― Jon Meacham, Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

                      “A battle is won by the side that is absolutely determined to win. Why did we lose the battle of Austerlitz? Our casualties were about the same as those of the French, but we had told ourselves early in the day that the battle was lost, so it was lost.”
                      ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace


                      ‘There is no viable left’ doesn’t have the same inspirational effect as these above quotes and sounds terribly like this wee slogan that has been discussed recently.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No war can be won without absolute realism and calculation, BL. And there are always very many hardships, casualties and sacrifices on the way.

                      But we are in an age now where privilege and power will agree to sacrifice nothing, except perhaps the children of the poor, the shelter of the homeless, and the very ecosystems we depend on for survival.

                      So hope remains as crucial to the human experience as always, but having hope does not necessarily mean that the quite different quality of ‘optimism’ is justified by the reality on the ground.

                      BTW As magnificent a war time leader as Churchill was, he could do nothing more than fend off Germany, reaching a defensive stalemate in ’41. Winning was out of the question, and he was unable to even lift the siege against England as she was slowly but surely strangled by the Axis.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Yes – my point being that saying there is ‘no effective political left’ has gone into the realms of pessimistic, pejorative and defeatist. It is not a reality – it is a pessimistic and defeatist opinion. It is unconstructive and unrealistic.

                      Critique is fine – demanding better from our politicians, commentators and leaders is excellent – saying ‘there is no movement’ is a way to lose before you’ve begun.

                      We have had many obstacles – however how long did it take to get black slavery abolished? India freed from Britain, Apartheid overturned in S Africa, Women the vote? Did these people face obstacles? Did they respond by saying their movements didn’t exist anymore? Or did they persevere despite the odds being against them?

                      All these issues are ongoing, however I don’t think telling people that ,opposition doesn’t exist’ to the crap that is going on is the way to go – not at all. Let us be realistic about this.

                      There actually have been some big movements in NZ over the last couple of years – big shifts – a new leftwing party got into parliament, a new major left wing blogsite, new strongly spoken leader of the main left wing party, a stronger Green Party being taken substantially more seriously, more people speaking out against what is going on reaching the papers and TV, so please don’t tell me that this movement is not happening and doesn’t exist because that is rot.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Yes, I am not surprised re the response from rightwing bloggers!! 🙁

                I do consider your article is certainly well-written for debate stirring. I am questioning whether this debate needs to occur again and with an election looming.

                There is a very good case to be made that it is being defeatist to point out what is occurring with the framing you employed.

                The thing I am noticing reading these pages (on The Standard) and when I am unfortunate enough to have my eyes meet our MSM newspapers and TV news is that the left are so open to self criticism that they do so in public readily without any positive conditionals on their criticisms and the right simply have noone doing this from the right. This leads to an imbalance of criticism for the left as compared to the right. I know where this comes from -it is the left’s value of self improvement – intellectual and otherwise, however there is this aspect of shooting-ourselves-in-the-foot that is going on as far as public perception goes.

                Like why am I the only person who made a criticism to your article – which was posted here by what I suspect was a right-inclined commenter. ?? Why are the left so agreeable to criticism? Why did noone else write in and say ‘hey we’ve achieved some amazing things in the last year – A new leftwing blog site (The Daily Blog), A new leader for the Labour Party who was openly criticising neo-liberalism and only achieved through much political effort from Labour members. Both the asset sales and GCSB objections gained support from people of both the left and right.

                I have some worries about DotCom’s party myself – yet this could be a good thing too – I mean we have had many informative sources shafted from TV – the newspapers are a shocker – and here is someone with money and publicity that is going to fight re internet freedom – this is fairly well the last place left where people can discover that ‘we are not alone – and plenty of people hold views that are akin i.e leftwing views that is. Alienation appears to be one of the major successful approaches occurring re weakening left-wing views – that and divide and rule.

                “But rest assured that no Rightwing PR spin doctor talking points were used in the construction of the post”

                Um, nope, the bit you wrote about delusional sociopaths and self-interested opportunists and charlatans is directly from right wing spin. Don’t you know that?

                Thanks for your reply Pablo – I have to admit I am now looking forward to your follow up – and hope it has a more positive angle and is more distinguishable from right wing spin. 🙂

                • Pablo

                  With regards to the accomplishments you mention. The face of the new lefty blog you extol tried to sell his services and candidacy to Dotcom (although the power behind TDB is the genuine article). The Leader of the Opposition is a corporate lawyer married to another, having taken over from a long-term UN/NGO official. Are these really to be considered triumphs of the NZ Left? My oh my how standards (no pun intended) have fallen.

                  As for charlatans, sociopaths and opportunists (which Karol also mentioned), is it not glaringly obvious who these are? My characterization has nothing to do with rightwing talking points and all to do with calling a spade a spade.

                  Or to rephrase Draco’s point above: “We have met the enemy and s/he is us.”

                  • karol

                    Pablo, doesn’t your post do some of the same things that you criticise?

                    none have been able to provide a coherent, much less publicly supported agenda for change. That is its fatal flaw: the political Left in NZ are seen more as naysayers and whingers than proactive and reasonable “doers.”

                    • Pablo

                      In the post I include myself amongst the inconsequential commentariat. But I do know this: fragmentation and agent/principal problems that prevent across-the-board unity amongst Left factions offers no hope for a coherent platform for change.

                    • karol

                      Pablo, can you explain what you mean by agent/principal problems, please? It’s not obvious to me.

                    • karol

                      Thanks, CV.

                      Or is it just a matter of leadership?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I go with Karl Popper’s view on the politics of this.

                      It’s not a matter of getting the right person into leadership (although that is of some help). It’s a matter of forcing leadership to do the right thing through continuous external pressure.

                    • karol

                      CV: It’s a matter of forcing leadership to do the right thing through continuous external pressure.

                      Maybe a bit of both. But, given Pablo’s intiial focus is on Dotcom, and Bomber seemingly selling out to him (an opportunist?), I’m thinking the agent-principal thing is also about trust in the leaders.

                      And I don’t think it needs to be one leader, or that there isn’t room for disagreement, critiques, etc – surely, in an MMP system, the left doesn’t need to be walking in lock step, but that there is room for debate, dialogue and negotiation?

                      We have some recurrent themes on the left, that keep being repeated in diverse ways.

                      At the moment, the Labour caucus still does not have the full trust of many on the left. Many on the left want a move away from the “neoliberal” scam…… but the anchor chains they are a draggin’!

                      Edit: I posted this before I read Pablo’s comment at 8.37pm below – I reckon I was close to what he says there, but with a different slant.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If we are speaking of a Left leadership which exists *outside* of parliamentary politics, that would make sense to me.

                      In contrast I expect the Left leadership inside of parliamentary politics to be always much more cautious and conservative in their views, through the very nature of having to respond to establishment concerns, including the preservation of their own power and privilege.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    Quite frankly, Pablo, I don’t give a damn about the amount of money a person has – it is the attitude they have that matters – the attitudes they promote.

                    If someone uses the money they have and the standing that gives them for the betterment of those in less fortunate circumstances, where is the point of criticism? You do know that this whole ‘1%’ thing isn’t about being wealthy per se, don’t you? It is not about jeolousy – as the right would want us to believe – it is about the imbalance of power this leads to – not that having money is bad

                    So your criticism of Mr Cunliffe (who is married to an Environmental lawyer – I believe) holds no water so long as the dude keeps speaking out against neo-liberalism and the corrupt corporatism that is going on in this country (and others) and manages to do something about it then I really don’t care how much money he has – money and status would be well used if he is truly aiming at improving this state of affairs we find ourselves in – and so far he has spoken the loudest and clearest of any member of a mainstream political party in NZ – and that he is leader of one is an achievement.

                    Same type of argument goes for Dotcom.

                    If people get wealthy and then use that to improve things for others – What is wrong with that? Certainly better than people who just keep hoarding and actively making less opportunities as this PM is doing. I really don’t think people should be dismissed simply because they are wealthy.

                    No it is not obvious who the ‘sociopaths and opportunists’ are. On the right? Yes –
                    On the left? No. I see a lot of people getting pretty hacked off by what is going on and speaking out about it. I see a lot of people being called ‘radical’ at the first opportunity by those on the right. I don’t see many people I view as charlatans – just people being called such at the first opportunity by those on the right.

                    What was it Key called the protesters to the GCSB Bill again? “misinformed” and “politically biassed” (Privacy is a real concern and a concern for both left and right and lawyers were speaking out on the matter FFS!) What were the drilling protesters referred to? Oh yeah that’s right ‘rent-a-crowd’. That shows a totally unacceptable lack of respect for political principles from a PM of a country. That is calling a spade a spade. Saying that the left is not effective – is not calling a spade a spade – that is opinion.

                    How about saying it is extremely hard for the left to get a platform because the mainstream media are owned by people who directly benefit that we are not made aware of left-wing principles? Now that is calling a spade a spade.

                    Calling the left dead and full of charlatans is simply a very pejorative take on something that can be viewed in a much much more positive light – and were it – we would have much more chance of improving and getting stronger than continually fixating on the most negative elements of our movement.

                    We have huge obstacles – powerful people actively acting against left wing principles such as wealth distribution – of course there are problems involved, of course we have been compromised – but no, we are not the enemy.

                    • Pablo

                      The issue is not about money but about class orientation. One would think that a Labour Party and its leadership would be working class focused above all other things, adding other “progressive” policy approaches and engaging inn tactical alliances with other progressive parties as circumstances permit. I will accept what Geoff has to say about Cunliffe and Little but I have my doubts about them, just as I do about a purported environmental lawyer who works for corporations. Cunliffe, in particular, appears to have just discovered his “true” populist, working class self, but TBH I am not so sure how true it is.

                      This brings up the principal/agent problem Karol asked me to elaborate upon. There are many books written on the subject and I would recommend the classic by the French sociologist Robert Michels titled Political Parties, in which he coined the phrase “iron law of oligarchy” (which I mention in the post) to describe the behavior of party leaderships. The basic premise is this: principals are the rank and file or grassroots members of social organizations. Agents are the leaders of those organizations, Over time there is a tendency of the interests of the leaders to take precedence of those of the “followers,” such as in the oft-repeated dictum that “the first duty of the organization is to protect itself.” If that requires sacrificing the interests of the membership in order to secure the positions of the agents. then so be it. Over time agents of competing organizations–say, firms and unions, or Left and Right parties–develop a status quo based on their mutual interest in preserving their positions, which leads to accommodations between them. This may be good for political and even economic stability as well as for them personally, but is not always good for the rank and file that they supposedly serve. The phrase “selling out the interests of the rank and file” applies here. Add to that dodgy leadership selection procedures in many complex organizations and you get a gist of what Michels was writing about.

                      As for the GCSB and TCIS Bills. I am on record as opposing them. But just because Dotcom shares opposition to the bills with elements of the Left does not mean that the latter should enter into political alliances with him. As someone who takes other peoples creative work and provides it to others for a fee without paying royalties, he is as bad a capitalist as is the currency trader now acting as PM.

                      I did not mean to enter into a discussion here, much less go on for so long in this comment. But if it serves the purpose of engendering thoughtful commentary on what I consider to be the dilemma of the NZ Left–and I have not even mentioned the host of adverse externalities that confront it but which have been partially mentioned here–then I will consider my engagement on this thread as worthwhile.

                    • geoff

                      Pablo, I think you’ve added a fresh perspective, I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming piece on the NZ Right.

                      Regarding the Labour Party, don’t you think the principal/agent problem has improved significantly compared to a year ago?

                      The impression I took from your piece was one of (well founded) pessimism. I didn’t buy your prescription at the end because I think you tacked it on so it wasn’t a completely negative post. Personally I can relate because I vacillate between being completely cynical about the prospects of real political change (ie things have got to get worse economically for NZers before they will get off their arses) and being perhaps naively optimistic that there already is a genuine majority in the community that (even if they don’t know what it is) wants the system to change.

                      In some ways it’s hard to believe that there couldn’t be a huge majority of people who want things to be significantly different. The numbers of people suffering from depression is increasing, most everyone is worse off or working longer and longer hours. The negative effects of our political/economic system are staring us in the face every single day.

                      The problem is reaching all these, essentially apolitical people who don’t seem to realise how badly they are being played by the oligarchs, and how the system of manipulation actually works. I really think it is the case that we’ve had neoliberalism so long now that people subconsciously really do believe that There Is No Alternative. That and bread and circuses.

                      /End rant

                  • geoff

                    “The Leader of the Opposition is a corporate lawyer married to another, having taken over from a long-term UN/NGO official.”

                    That’s true but we’ve got to give him a chance. He represents the massive efforts of the party membership to break the power of the corrupt caucus. He also comes from good stock, ie his old man.

                    If he fails then give Andrew Little the job. I have very few doubts that Andrew is a genuine man of the Left.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      NO NO NO

                      You cannot put all that on the shoulders of ONE person, without the right team of staff and MPs.

                      It’s a recipe for burnout and failure.

                      You also need ***mass pressure*** from organised Left groups to give any left leaning leader the political space needed to do his job.

                      Otherwise even the best leader is going to be able to achieve exactly two tenths of fuck all against the corporate, banking and capitalist lobbies.

                    • geoff

                      Well I’m sorry CV but most of the rest of the caucus are a useless bunch of closet-tories, no point expecting much from that lot.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ain’t arguing with you mate

                    • weka

                      He’s talking about people outside the Labour caucus (and Labour party too).

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You cannot put all that on the shoulders of ONE person, without the right team of staff and MPs.

                      Seen this one by Chris trotter?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ahhh thanks.

                    • McFlock

                      You cannot put all that on the shoulders of ONE person, without the right team of staff and MPs.

                      Gee whizz, CV, it’s almost as if there’s much more to determining the fortunes and policies of a party than whoever happens to be sitting in the leader’s chair.

                      Funny how that’s your position when your man’s in charge 🙄

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Gee whiz McFlock, unlike you, I do think that the person in the Captain’s chair is actually critical. I also understand that a good Captain does need good bridge officers.

                      During the entire time you backed Shearer, you seemed to miss the fact that neither the Captain nor the bridge officers were up to the task.

                    • McFlock

                      You don’t like the caucus
                      you don’t like the policies
                      you do like the leader.
                      So you’re still a member.

                      Got that.

              • Colonial Viper

                Pablo – thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments for Standardistas to consider.

        • lprent

          Pablo is Paul Buchanan.

          The other (these days more infrequent) authors at kiwipolitico are Lew and Anita.

          He is asking a question that (as he points out) as happened several times in the past for the left. It isn’t hard to find the same kind of cohesive loss happening on the right as well – 2002 being a good example.

          In the end result, the requirement for the left to be effective is to be in a position to change things. This seldom happens from a position of beinga fragmented opposition.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            Thanks for the link lprent- very interesting I do believe I’ve seen Mr Buchanan on TV

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

          Who is Kiwipolitico? Why have they not got an ‘about us’ page? I don’t trust webpages that don’t bother to explain something about themselves. I have been looking, yet haven’t found any information about this website. Any explanation and links would be most appreciated.

          Are you a newcomer to the NZ political-commentary scene?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            I guess I would be considered relatively new.

            I occasionally come across and read other left wing blogs – but don’t usually go further than here and The Daily Blog.

            Being on dial-up tends to encourage this behaviour.

            • geoff

              dial-up!!?? you poor dear, my condolences…

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Ahh yes…well I survive….thanks Geoff for giving me a smile 🙂

            • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

              I ask because Kiwipolitico, and Pablo, are pretty high-profile as far as NZ left commentary goes. I find it strange that you had no knowledge of them.

              No biggie though.

            • Saarbo

              Fascinating discussion…this is all making DC’s state of the nation speech on Monday even more critical….

              I think I will have to attend.

          • jcuknz

            I was visiting Kiwipolitico way back when I started reading blogs and discovered Anita. … same as QOT but don’t read either these days.

      • Bill 12.3.2

        Definitely one of his better ones. Have I finally read a post by Pablo that I find myself, at least in large part, agreeing with? Hmm…think so.

  13. Naki Man 13

    EUROPE to DITCH CLIMATE PROTECTION goals and pave the way for FRACKING

    [lprent: Looks like the new anti-spam filter likes shouters as much as I do. I have adjusted the offending text for you. I’d suggest that you don’t rely on me doing that favour too often. ]

    • grumpy 13.1

      Saw that but resisted the urge to share here. Looks like we won’t have to worry about keeping up with Europe as “Good Climate Citizens” for much longer…….what with that and German and British scientists predicting global cooling.

  14. floyd 14

    Oh God. Mora is back.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Market Trade-Offs

    Which brings me to a fourth trade-off – that between a market economy and old-style conservatism. The Oakeshottian conservative, who is averse (pdf) to change, should see much to fear in a truly dynamic market economy. There are – as Polanyi recognized – strong reasons why most advanced societies have retreated from free market economics.

    Same reasons still apply – the free-market is destructive of society.

  16. Steve James 16

    Price increases – Labour vs National

    Check out the following official stats (5 years under National and the previous 5 years under Labour). To gain credibility honesty is essential so lets stop misleading the ignorant with false information and move forward:

    » Under National Electricity up 3.9% compared to 7.8% under Labour
    » Under National Household Energy up 3.6% compared to 10.0% under Labour
    » Under National Food up 1.7% compared to 3.4% under Labour
    » Under National Fruit & Vegetables up 0.6% compared to 6.4% under Labour
    » Under National Rental Housing up 1.9% compared to 3.6% under Labour
    » Under National Home Ownership up 2.9% compared to 8.0% under Labour

    These are FACTS so we can’t fight them and we can’t ignore them

    • freedom 16.1

      you forgot debt
      » Under National Debt up 400%+ compared to – oh that’s right before 2008 we were paying it off

      and before you scream and froth and throw the cost of CHCH as the big reason for 50 billion of new debt, think, if we claim the borrowing to date was to pay for CHCH then the rebuild of CHCH has been paid for right?

      so as the debt under National continues to climb, what will be the next excuse?

      • Steve James 16.1.1

        I’ll need to check your statement out before responding which I cannot do right now as duty calls.

        “scream and froth”? no I don’t do that; I’m interested in facts not emotion.

        Hopefully I can get back to you soonish with either agreement or a reasoned argument


        • Molly

          Hi Steve,

          Since you seem to be flailing – I thought I’d help you out.

          Provided a link to government debt statistics in December, on this comment.

          After many years of recording that statistic in a fairly straightforward manner – the Reserve Bank branch of the National Party decided to discontinue it last year. However, I’ve tracked down the source and you can confirm freedom’s veracity and accuracy.

          By the way, think this should have been a cakewalk for you since you are able to provide a list of FACTS at the top of this thread.

          Any chance of you linking to source?

    • Te Reo Putake 16.2

      Without taking into account the effect of inflation and GFC, these are not useful facts, Steve. National are governing under a depressed economy, which, combined with their austerity policies which are geared to the poorest paying for the errors of the rich, has kept inflation historically low, hence the relatively small rises in power and food etc.

      I note there is no comparison on wage growth during the periods quoted, including Labour’s regular lift in the adult minimum wage, which leads me to think this is just another right wing beat up. KB was it? WO?

      • Steve James 16.2.1

        My point was that statements have been made about price increases under this government which simply are not true and that bugs me. I do not tolerate lies or liars.

        Regarding wage/salary growth; we would all like to see higher incomes as long as they are realistic. I look at companies making staff redundant and always wonder how many jobs could be saved by removing a company director or two.

        Errors of the rich? well they should be held personally accountable. Just who are these people though?

        Regarding my politics; I am not ashamed to say I swing. I even voted NZF (once). My wish is to keep ALL honest and I mean everyone from politicians to the media to the blogosphere.
        Nobody can make informed decisions without facts.

        Be well

        • McFlock

          I do not tolerate lies or liars.

          And yet you’re actively defending john key.
          Blip’s list is somewhere close, I’m sure…

        • Draco T Bastard

          Regarding wage/salary growth; we would all like to see higher incomes as long as they are realistic.

          Actually, National and the business community likes to see lower wages.

          Just who are these people though?

          Did you miss the fact that it was the banks that caused the GFC?

          Nobody can make informed decisions without facts.

          Well, that’s something we agree on. Unfortunately, you seem to be misinformed about the facts.

        • freedom

          Steve, here is an older Blip’s List (only up to April 2013) so as not to scare you too badly.
          Maybe I am being unfair and you are a rational reasonable man, but so far the on-message soundbites you have shared say otherwise.

          Get comfy, curl up with your dogma
          and fully challenge the integrity of your stated hatred of lies and liars

          An honest man?

    • Draco T Bastard 16.3

      Over how many years?

    • Murray Olsen 16.4

      Your statistics are those of a looming recession, where prices can’t go up more because incomes are either stagnant or declining. The housing statistics going the opposite way to all the others demonstrate this. Recession and increasing inequality – thanks for your facts.

  17. bad12 17

    Slippery the Prime Minister will announce at 4pm today who He see’s as National’s preferred coalition partners after the 2014 election,

    In an article in today’s Herald online He has ruled ‘out’ DotCom and His Internet Party so expect no surprises just the usual suspects along with the ‘we are not God Botherer’s Colin Craig Conservative’s…

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Whats the bet that Dunne gets an easy ride with National as part of the package. Yep, around 100% I’d say.

    • bad12 18.2

      A sure sure sign of the desperation of Slippery the Prime Minister obviously reading the tea leaves,(National Party internal polling), and knowing that He is going to need even the highly discredited to be able to form a third term Government,

      The only question of any real interest that will come from the announcement today on who Slippery the PM see’s as suitable ‘LapDog’ material for propping up a third term National Government will be whether NZFirst are seen by Him as willing poodles and whether Winston Peters will then show an ounce of both backbone and integrity by telling the ‘used car salesman’ to take a f**king hike…

      • NZ Femme 18.2.1

        More from Dunne:

        “…I am very much looking to returning to the Internal Affairs portfolio (which I last held 18 years ago) and to picking up the threads again of my roles in the health and conservation portfolios.Internal Affairs covers a range of diverse responsibilities, including working with the Government chief information officer in the modernisation and upgrading of the Government’s IT services, and in particular ensuring proper protection for privacy and security of personal information…”

        Oh the irony.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.2.2

        The only question of any real interest that will come from the announcement today on who Slippery the PM see’s as suitable ‘LapDog’ material for propping up a third term National Government…

        Heard on the radio that Key thinks that the Māori Party, United Future and ACT are perfect lapdogs. He didn’t say anything about NZFirst.

  18. Enough is Enough 19

    When is the next Roy Morgan poll due?

    There hasn’t been one for weeks.

    I truly expect there to be a sizeable gap between Green/Labour and the Tories now. Perhaps G/L five points up.

    The trends were suggesting that would be the case anyway but with the news of the past 5 weeks and continued economic mismangement and high unelmployment, it is almost a certainty. Between the internal fighting which as seen a quarter of the sitting MP’s quit, the disatrous inflation figures, high unemployment, and Key looking like a dweeb in Hawai’i, they havent done a thing right.

    They must be shitting themselves.

    • bad12 19.1

      Lolz, me too, i like to hang out waiting for the latest Roy Morgan, i wouldn’t expect the next Morgan to show such a gap and guessing would suggest another ‘neck and neck’,

      Roy seems to have problems gauging Maori political intent which i think always skews the Morgan toward National by simply considering the Maori Party will hold the 3 electorates they presently have whereas many of us consider it unlikely they will retain any of their seats in election 2014 and their % of party vote is likely to bolster the Mana Party as much as any other…

    • veutoviper 19.2

      Your question sparked my curiosity as to when we would see the next Roy Morgan poll so I checked their website.

      Going on previous years, there should be one out any day now. Last year, their first poll(s) of 2013 covered the periods 2-13 January 2013, and for some reason, a separate one for 14 – 17 January 2013.

      So assuming they started a poll on about 2/3 January 2014 covering about 14 days (which is their normal period) this would go until about 17 January. Last year they usually took about 4 to 5 days to then release the results. Hence my assumption of “any day now”.

    • ScottGN 19.3

      I wouldn’t get too excited about the next Roy Morgan. Don’t governments usually get a bit of a poll boost while the country is on holidays?

  19. has anyone heard dull explosive-thuds from the region of northcote point..?

    ..if morrissey is listening to moras’ panel-fuckwittery..

    ..that’ll be him..

    ..among other drivel..the ‘there is no ‘real’ poverty in nz!’ riff is being reprised..(and mora did not demur..)

    ..(one of those far-right shits is there..)

    ..and we can expect ‘incoming’ soon..from morrissey..i’m picking..

    ..phillip ure..

    • Morrissey 20.1

      Yes, phillip, I did indeed hear Graham Bell make his solemn pronouncement that there was no poverty in this country. I am presently preparing my report—I guess I’d better heed the upbraiding of some of my friends on this forum and refrain from calling it a transcript, although most of it is just that—on yesterday’s dismal show.

      I’m sure I’m not the only listener to have noted that, on the evidence of the first three shows, there seems to have been no rejuvenation of Afternoons at all. Every feature is exactly the same as it was last year and the year before that and the year before that and, just three days in, host Jim Mora is already audibly stifling his yawns and condescending to the oiks from the provinces that he is compelled to talk to, interminably, in that godawful “Best Song Ever Written” slot after the 1 o’clock news. These daily interviews with folk from Ahipara and Pahiatua and Geraldine and Kaitangata are quite clearly a calvary for Mora; it is often quite clear he is giving minimal attention to the person on the other end of the line, and wishes he was at one of those smart dinner parties he often mentions, where everyone reads the New York Times and quotes David Brooks as if he were a serious thinker. Maybe he offers it up as a penance.

      To underline the moribund quality of the whole show, the first three days’ guests on The Panel are all recycled from last year’s undistinguished list. On Monday it was NBR nasty girl Ellen Read and Andrew “No Dice” Clay; on Tuesday it was (God help us) Graham Bell and Bernard Hickey; and today it is one of the world’s more repellent double acts, Michelle Boag and Brian Edwards.

      I’m sure this little critter speaks for every National Radio listener who learned that Boag and Edwards are on this afternoon….

  20. bad12 21

    Bernard Hickey on RadioNZ National predicting that the Reserve Bank will have cranked up interest rates to 8% by 2016,

    Time for those holding $700,000 to one million dollar mortgages, specially in Auckland, to get out their calculators and decide now whether or not they are about to lose the lot,

    Sorry, i cannot find it in myself at the moment to generate any sympathy…

    • Te Reo Putake 21.1

      Yep, it was an interesting interview, though to be fair, he was saying bank mortgage rates would be at 8%, not the RB base rate. That still equates to another 10 grand a year repayments on the average Ak mortgage. How’s that brighter future looking, people?

      Link (I think):

      • bad12 21.1.1

        i enjoy Bernard hickey’s economic commentary, although at times i disagree with Him i think He and Rod Oram are two gems of National Radio,(Oram being my favorite as He has a cutting insight into matters of economy with the nous to explain even the complex in language most will understand),

        You will admit tho TRP, that it is the movement of the cash rate by the Reserve Bank that provokes the interest rates of the trading banks,

        Although there is a growing school of those who believe that it is the consensus and advocacy of the trading banks in the current climate that is in fact strong arming the Reserve Bank to move early on the cash rate,

        Who would have thunk it, dish it out hand over fist at minimal rates to the tune of 185 billion dollars and then start turning the screws all the while screaming ‘it’s a free market’…

    • Naki Man 21.2

      Only the naïve buy over priced house’s with very low equity.
      Most of these people unfortunately won’t take your advice, better to sell before you have a mortgagee sale.

      • geoff 21.2.1

        ALL houses in NZ are overpriced, you fucking thicko.

        • Naki Man

          I guess you are just another poor struggling beneficiary and it’s all to difficult.
          Their is plenty of affordable housing in NZ but you will have to pull your head out of your arse to see it.

          • geoff

            Their is plenty of affordable housing in NZ…

            Yes and the sky is green, and gravity makes things fly up into the air and my flock of unicorns is doing spectacularly well this year.

          • Paul

            If you can’t debate sensibly, please don’t. You are very tiresome.

        • Paul

          You’re wasting your time on a psychopath.

          • geoff

            Yes, I agree, I am. Sometimes, I let them get to me. But that’s a good thing because it means, as laughable as it may sound, that I care.

            • Paul

              He’s one of the worst pests on this site.

              • geoff

                I’d like a filtering system for the standard where you could add user names to it, like Naki Man, and instead of showing what they wrote it just said something like “I’m a complete tosser and usually whatever I write is utter tosh” with maybe a wee tick box beside the comment so you could choose to read what they actually wrote on the off chance that you were interested.

                Good idea? 😉

    • Paul 21.3

      Sound like a rock star economy!

  21. RedBaronCV 22

    And in the print Dominion today and also in the Press. Informal indications that police arn’t charging people to keep the statistics looking good. If I remember correctly the domion also had a comment about the Nact’s being soft on crime. Interesting stuff. Does the don’t charge them relate to crimes against women and kids?

    “”behind the scenes” prosecutors and some police personnel had expressed concerns to him about government directives to police to save resources by not prosecuting 50 per cent of cases. ”

    Police not prosecuting

  22. tricledrown 23

    That fits in with the sinkng lid policies this government is sneakily pushing in all govt depts.
    Massaging the figures.

  23. jcuknz 24

    I wrote this in May 2011 …
    It may be and probably reasonable to abate the superannuation for that 65yo CEO but it is completely inhumane to not pay it to somebody who has worked their body to a shell in manual work and is given maybe just a couple or three years of peace in retirement. In any case Superanuiation is hardly life style rather a subsistence. Since it would be hard with many anomallys to separate the fair from unfair it is worth pointing out that the CEO has most likely saving and private income and the super he gets will be clawed back by taxation. It is just a stupid cry from the petty minded selfish individuals who think only of themselves and the so called injustice by theft of their money instead of accepting willingly their responsibilities as a citizen.

  24. Paul 25

    The Herald encourages two NZ ports to compete against each other so large multinational shipping lines can get the best deal.
    A rock star economy….for Maersk and other large corporates.
    There is an alternative…. nationalised ports in the interests of NZ and it’s workers.

  25. tricledrown 26

    Steve James you find electricity prices rose under labour because of drought and pete hodgson had to build an emergency back up turbine generator which was added to the bill the National grid needed upgrading including cook strait cable after years of neglect and under investment.A Rapidly growing economy needing morepower.
    Vegetable prices rose because of drought.
    Wages also increased.
    Nationals term has seen a lot of energy dependent manufacterer close and move overseas more energy effecient appliances no droughts.
    So get the truth
    While prices haven’t increased as much wages and employment have fallen.
    GST has increased.
    Doctors visits Steve how much have they increased by mine have gone from 28 to 46 dollars my 17 yr old teenager has gone from $0 to $46 under National.
    Then perscriptions have gone from $3 to $5 dollars.
    How many Doctors visits did it take to get all the scrips

    • Naki Man 26.1

      Five years ago I was paying $25 for a doctors visit, a work mate told me he went to Radius medical centre and paid $11. I changed doctors, its now $17.50 per visit. It is not any governments fault that some doctors over charge. You and your son could change doctors if you are being ripped off

  26. tricledrown 27

    Steve James we had 7 out of 9 years of growth under labour.
    You would expect prices to rise 2 droughts occured in that time as well.
    We have had 1 year of growth out of 5 for this govt.
    Fact and truth .
    You are only cherry picking a few facts to build your propaganda!

  27. captain hook 28

    Is wail boil going to advertise for professional hecklers this year?
    and how much does he pay?

  28. captain hook 29

    and why is coloin craig wanting to legalise assaulting children.
    Are we living in back to front land or something?

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  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    1 hour ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    5 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    16 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    21 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    23 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    24 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    2 days ago
  • 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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 - ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago