Open mike 26/03/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 26th, 2024 - 69 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

69 comments on “Open mike 26/03/2024 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Do you think seymour could see that instead of cutting lunches , incourage the redistribution of left over ones.might be a good idea?

  2. bwaghorn 2

    National make a pigs ear out of the purse of child care assistance, and tova trys to paper over the cracks,

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      If Tova spent half her time wondering why our entire child care sector is a massive exercise in the transfer of public funds to people like Chloe and Wayne Wright (who then fund far right culture war media outlets to ensure their nice little earner is never threatened) instead of spending all of it endlessly analysing the courtier politics of the horse race people might respect the MSM a bit more.

      • Stephen D 2.1.1

        Nationalise the whole ECE sector.

      • Visubversa 2.1.2

        It is obviously a very profitable line of business. An ex workmate of mine is making a very good living by specialising in obtaining Resource Consents for childcare centers.

        It seems to be one of the business of choices for immigrants who have the $$$ to establish a small to medium enterprise which is a step or two up from a dairy, cafe or vape shop, but not as expensive as a full scale restaurant.

        Also – getting Childcare qualifications is seen as an easy road to NZ Residency.

  3. KJT 3

    Pretending to help people, while actually just subsidising extra profits for private companies. Typical. “Restricted to commercial childcare centres”.

    Just like accomadation subsidies.

    If they really wanted to help. Which they don’t. This is just “smoke and mirrors”.
    How about family members, mostly Grand parents, who have to take up the slack with child care?
    And/or funding more places over a greater age range and times, in free to parents early child hood centres, such as Kindergarten, Kohanga Reo.

    My crystal ball sees more retirement directorships for NACT MP's, to go with those from trucking firms and banks.

    • gsays 3.1

      I agree with yr comment and it speaks to the thorny issue of all the unpaid but necessary work done in society.

      Previously, it could be framed along the lines of the working parent was paid enough so child care, the home, parents and community were able to be cared for by the other parent.

      Sadly, even the notion of a 2 parent family is becoming unfashionable, let alone having decent wages and conditions for most working folk.

      The toxic, neo-liberal mindset has permeated the family where we sub contract our love to others to look after our young and our elderly.

    • Traveller 3.2

      I don't know where the word 'commercial' came from, but if the author meant 'private, for profit' they are wrong. There is a significant portion of the ECE sector that are not private and are not for-profit. Parents of children attending these centres will also be able to access the refund, which is great news for those families.

      • KJT 3.2.1

        It would be even better if they had fully funded access to ECE for their children.

        Such as a place in kindergarten before their child is 4, 4 1/2, Which is the norm around here.

        • Traveller

          Depends what you mean by 'fully funded'? Do you mean 40 hours a week? Do you mean with no top up? And where is 'around here'?

          • KJT

            Kindergartens locally, Whangarei, don't often have enough places to take local kids before 4 or 41/2 and havn't for some time.

            I know that from enrolling Grandchildren.

            Part of the reason is the expansion in population. Auckland refugees.

            Affordable child care is non existent apart from Grand parents, or a few who provide home based child care for a couple of children.

            After school care is almost non existent.

            That, combined with the need for two earning parents puts the screws on families.

            • Traveller

              Thanks, I understand your last comment better now.

              A lot of these things are about defining terms, specifically the term 'affordable'. The Government currently fully funds up to 20 hours per week per child of ECE. Beyond that there has been a childcare subsidy available for low-income families for many years. Some providers charge fees above the current funding, but most I'm aware of are modest, particularly those from community providers. The new policy will extend that 20 hours even further, making childcare even more affordable.

  4. KJT 4

    Meanwhile. Slanted questions driving responses in a curia poll about privatisation of ports of Auckland.

    Auckland port lease: Mayor holds report yet to be made public (
    “If council could deliver a much higher return, would you support the port management being leased out, or would you prefer it to continue with the status quo and lower financial returns but keep full ownership?”

    “In fact, one of the private operators we understand has offered to not only be more efficient, but to actually shrink the footprint of the port — giving Aucklanders more of their waterfront.”

    Code for cut wages and service levels and run it into the ground for short term profit. Then run away leaving public funding having to fix it,

    We all know how that works.

    • Bearded Git 4.1

      Agree entirely on this KJT….did you hear Mike Lee on Nine to Noon today at 9.10?

    • Obtrectator 4.2

      Rule One for drafting questions to be included in a poll: don't use hypothetical ones!

    • newsense 4.3

      Wait we had a bunch of the usual suspects telling us that Curia would never do a thing like that! You’d think there’d be at the minimum a perception of conflict of interest given the highly political role Mr. Farrar has had.

  5. Bearded Git 5

    Idiot Savant has it right today.

    Corin Dann destroyed Hipkins with his first question on Morning Report this week. (paraphrasing from memory here)

    "You rejected changes to the tax system 8 months ago. Why should we believe you when you say changes are appropriate now?"

    Hipkins has zero credibility on tax, and this is the central issue facing Labour. For a start this week he should have rejected a CGT (complicated, produces little revenue, parts of a CGT are already in place) and pushed for either a Land Tax or a Wealth Tax, but he is too timid to do this. Both David Parker and the Greens have a WT ready to go.

    Hipkins has to go.

    Parker should be offered the job/role of implementing a WT policy for Labour-with this he might be enticed to stay on.

    At the moment Labour is drifting to defeat in 2026. A new leader and tax policy as above would at worst mean they went down fighting.

    • KJT 5.1

      You are correct on Hopkins, and Labours, lack of credibility on introducing a fairer and more effective tax system. That taxes all income equally.

      Your comparison of taxes on unrealised gains, Vs realised capital gains is the opposite to the reality.

      Taxes on unrealised gains are an accountants dream and the publics nightmare. A whole new valuation industry will spring up, for one.

      Capital gains on realisation. Sale inheritance or transfer are quantifiable, much easier to assess and harder to dodge. TOP's and the Greens proposals on wealth tax, are unfortunately, 7 unworkable in reality. The bugbear of the "Family home" can be overcome with reasonable tax free threshold on capital gains.

      Not to forget, over 60% of the public understand and support CGT.

      • Bearded Git 5.1.1

        "over 60% of the public understand…a CGT". Yeah right.

      • alwyn 5.1.2

        Are you the same KJT as the one who made this comment yesterday?

        There you seemed to be advocating for a wealth tax, which I would say was unworkable. Now you seem to be against them. A Damascene conversion in just a day.

        • KJT

          Can't remember if you were one.

          But I remember RWNJ's arguing black was white in here that Capital gains is "not income". Now you are saying they are not wealth either. Which is it. Enlighten me.
          Can always rely on right wing tragics for cognitive dissonance.

          Inheritance and capital gains are effective forms of wealth tax on realisation of wealth.
          I have always been constant in saying taxes on unrealised gains are very difficult to quantify and administer.

          • alwyn

            "Now you are saying"

            Rubbish. I was arguing that wealth taxes are impossible to implement.

            I wasn't arguing for or against CGT or Estate taxes yesterday. I was only talking about Wealth taxes. If you read through what I said carefully your cognitive dissonance may be diminished.

            • KJT

              I was talking about CGT and inheritance taxes that are, in effect, wealth taxes.

              “Almost all countries in Europe have Capital gains and inheritance taxes. Wealth taxes. Because they help even up the tax people pay.”

              I will rephrase it for those with low reading comprehension levels..
              Almost all European countries have some form of tax on wealth. If they don’t have a tax on unrealised wealth, they have taxes on realised wealth, such as inheritance or Capital Gains taxes.

      • mikesh 5.1.3

        A land value tax taxes capital gains on a regular basis, without having to wait for an asset to be sold before it can be levied. Most capital gain is probably on land anyway.

        • KJT

          Good luck getting public support for paying a tax, before you have the cash to pay it.

          • Bearded Git

            Rates on a house are a type of Land Tax/Wealth Tax/Asset Tax aren't they?

            And they bear no relation at all to the income being earned by the household.

        • alwyn

          "land value tax taxes capital gains"

          That is a silly comment. A land value tax is a tax on the ownership of land. It is charged whether the land value rises or falls. It isn't a Capital Gains Tax at all. No gains are required before it becomes due.

          The Orchardists in Pakowhai would have to pay it this year even though their land is worth less than it was before the cyclone hit them. As long as the land has any value at all they would have to pay it, even though it may be unproductive for years.

          • mikesh

            That is a silly comment. A land value tax is a tax on the ownership of land. It is charged whether the land value rises or falls. It isn't a Capital Gains Tax at all. No gains are required before it becomes due.

            Quite so. It is a tax on land. It incorporates a tax on capital gain only when such a gain occurs. I would envisage that the underlying tax on the land would be offset by an adjustment to income tax rates; such an arrangement would merely represent a shift in the tax base.

            The Orchardists in Pakowhai would have to pay it this year even though their land is worth less than it was before the cyclone hit them. As long as the land has any value at all they would have to pay it, even though it may be unproductive for years.

            In that case it would probably be worth zero dollars – who would want to buy it – and no tax would be payable.

            • KJT

              Land revaluations every six months?

              I suppose that will result in lots more employment. For valuers and accountants?

              • mikesh

                I think, though of course I could be wrong, that land is revalued every three years, and the valuations that the IRD would work with are made by an organization called Quotable Value, not by miscellaneous "valuers and accountants".

        • Nic the NZer

          This land value tax sounds like rates. The problem with this is often the arguments for a LVT are that LVT's have some economic effects to discourage unproductive land use. But if that is the case we have had rates for long enough to see those effects already, because a tax by another name is still a tax and should have the same impacts even if it's named something different.

          The relationship between the bright-line test and a CGT is similar as CGT's are typically described as fixing the residential property market where the bright-line test already applies.

          So its my understanding that these tax proposals are not going to rebalance the economy in any particular manner, though they might be used to broaden the tax base.

      • Michael P 5.1.4

        100% Bearded Git

        Labour had 6 years in office, 3 of which they held a governing majority which would have enabled them to push through any reforms/changes to the tax system they wanted to.

        Ardern and Hipkins as Prime Ministers both categorically ruled out any form of wealth tax or any major reforms to make the tax system fairer, despite their own commissioned report detailing how the very wealthy pay such a small amount of tax and despite polls suggesting a large majority of Kiwis, (including some of the wealthy) would support wealth taxes.

        This from a party that is supposed to be the champion of the poor and the working class.

        If you were conspiracy minded it might even make you question who is really calling the shots in regards to government economic / tax, etc policy …. It did seem a bit strange to me that both of them came out with such public "definitely not" statements. Is it possible they had beem told "no wealth tax or else?" (cue spooky twilight zone music…)

      • Michael P 5.1.5

        A wealth tax isn't a tax on 'unrealised gains' (or what some might call estimated potential profit) , it's a tax on wealth, which is largely quantifiable. IRD when it wants to (and when it has the resources) is actually pretty good at tracking down and detailing all sorts of financial info.

        What do you classify as 'the family home'?

        If a person owns a residential property then that is wealth (that mostly increases in value all by itself) and should at least be included in any discussion regarding wealth taxes IMO.

        It would be up to the powers that be as to what thresholds and so on would be in place as to what amount of wealth decides inclusion for a wealth tax.

        For many people right now, home ownership is something enjoyed by the 'wealthy'. If we just keep carrying on and tinkering and never really implementing any radical change then the only path we are heading down is that where in the future only the 'very wealthy' will own property. Home ownership rates have been on a steep and steady decline over the last 4 decades. That isn't going to somehow miraculously level out or heaven forbid go back up without massive intervention in various ways. So less and less people will own more and more property until…

      • Obtrectator 5.1.6

        “Taxes on unrealised gains are an accountants dream and the publics nightmare.”

        Taxes on unrealised capital gains were tried in the UK nearly 60 years ago, via an outfit known as the Land Commission. It was a fiasco. The way it was set up. people were having to pay a "betterment levy" on home improvements. To everyone's relief the LC was abolished after 1970 by the incoming Edward Heath administration.

    • Phillip ure 5.2

      Wot b.g. said..(long comment..)

    • weka 5.3

      who do you think should replace Hipkins?

      • Rose 5.3.1

        Same question I asked not 48 hours ago.

        will you threaten to ban yourself too?

        • weka

          and? I didn’t give you a mod warning for asking that question. If you need me to explain why you are on the mod radar please let me know.

      • Phillip ure 5.3.2


        .. enough with the chippy..

        ..time for some serious..

        • tc

          +100. experience and credibility needed to restore some confidence and inspire.

          • AB

            Plus he is nearer the end of his career than the start. So if it goes to custard, the party is not burning off emerging talent before its time.

            • Bearded Git

              Plus Parker would out-debate Luxon with ease….having said that my laundry basket would….

              • Robert Guyton

                No one can out-debate Luxon – he doesn't engage, he obfuscates. He's been trained. Have you not watched "The House"?

        • Michael P

          I'd prefer Parker to be Finance Minister (shadow), he's obviously committed to trying to make the tax system fair(er)

          For me, nobody is really standing out as an obvious leader at the moment. In my opinion to start with it needs to be someone at least a bit more 'gruff' and a bit less academic, nice and smiley. That probably doesn't make sense but I know what I mean lol.

    • mikesh 5.4

      "You rejected changes to the tax system 8 months ago. Why should we believe you when you say changes are appropriate now?"

      Hipkins should reply: When you ask questions like that, why should I not consider you a moron?

      • KJT 5.4.1

        Labour, including Hipkins, said tax changes were needed six years ago.

        Then when it came to the crunch, they rejected most of the tax working groups recommendations.

        What makes you think Labour won't do their usual trick of baulking at the jump, at any serious changes.

      • Michael P 5.4.2

        Seems like a perfectly reasonable question to me. Instead of your suggestion maybe he should just give an honest answer. People tend to appreciate honesty.

        Please explain why you believe it's a moronic question before calling me a moron. (Am happy to be convinced and change my mind)

        • mikesh

          It was a silly question. Whether it is believed or not is not for Hipkins to say. It is really up to NoRightTurn, Bearded Git, or, indeed, the general public, to decide whether to believe him. It was essentially a "gotcha" question aimed at Hipkin's captain's call.

          What did they really want ? A letter of guarantee signed i blood ?

    • Michael P 5.5

      100% Bearded Git

      Labour had 6 years in office, 3 of which they held a governing majority which would have enabled them to push through any reforms/changes to the tax system they wanted to.

      Ardern and Hipkins as Prime Ministers both categorically ruled out any form of wealth tax or any major reforms to make the tax system fairer, despite their own commissioned report detailing how the very wealthy pay such a small amount of tax and despite polls suggesting a large majority of Kiwis, (including some of the wealthy) would support wealth taxes.

      This from a party that is supposed to be the champion of the poor and the working class.

      If you were conspiracy minded it might even make you question who is really calling the shots in regards to government economic / tax, etc policy …. It did seem a bit strange to me that both of them came out with such public "definitely not" statements. Is it possible they had beem told "no wealth tax or else?" (cue spooky twilight zone music…)

  6. SPC 6

    A journalist explains there is not enough working capital in the Auckland transport system budgets.

    Not enough of such funding for system connectivity, this can be worse than not just enough money for maintenance of the existing roads.

  7. Progressive Kiwi 7

    I cannot find a list of the main community groups in Auckland.

    Does anybody know?

  8. weka 8

    Reposting from DR last night.

    Good lord, did Hipkins just do a reverse ferret on Let Women Speak?

    "we should, in a country like New Zealand, be able to disagree with each other, be able to have debates, including around radical feminism, without throwing things, spitting things, and all that kind of stuff"

    starts at 6m 36s

    I'm guessing he doesn't understand the difference between a radical feminist and a centrist/conservative GC, which makes me think his advisors are also still not doing their job properly.

    It's a useful reversal generally. He's turned around, now let's see if he can head in the right direction.

    • As far as I can see – people who are described as "gender critical" come in all shapes and sizes and all across the political spectrum. Most of the ones I know have been active in left wing politics for most of their adult lives. They vote Labour or Green, and like me have never voted National. Many are Lesbian, and see clearly the homophobia of Gender Ideology which denies even the existence of same sex attraction.

      We hear more about it from the right wing media – many of whom already oppose Gay rights, and are happy to use the excesses of the more extreme end of "Trans Rights Activists" to justify discrimination against what they call the "LGBTQI++++ Community" as if we were all one and the same.

  9. Anne 9

    In the wake of the Chinese cyber attack on the UK, USA and Australia, Judith Collins has released information on a cyber attack by Chinese actors on NZ.

    I smell a bit of a distraction tactic going on here.

    Collins has fronted up to a live press conference on the matter followed by Luxon:

    Both have alluded to a previous attack in 2021 when Andrew Little was the minister in charge of the GCSB and my impression: they tried to belittle the previous govt.’s response which, as far as I can recall, was exactly the same as theirs.

  10. Joe90 10

    Limiting the uptake to those with the readies to cover three months worth of fees and the ability to deal with the bureaucracy.



    "Being able to afford ECE fees can also be a barrier to entering the workforce, particularly for the second earner in a household. FamilyBoost will make it easier and more worthwhile for families with young children to work by directly assisting them to pay those ECE fees."

    She said parents and caregivers will be able to submit their ECE invoices every three months through the myIR service and get their FamilyBoost rebate refunded as a lump sum. As payments will be made every three months, those getting the full amount will get $975 every three months.

    "Parents should start collecting invoices from 1 July, so they can begin to apply and be refunded from October 2024," Willis said.

    • Michael P 10.1

      "Limiting the uptake to those with the readies to cover three months worth of fees and the ability to deal with the bureaucracy."

      To be fair I'm pretty sure the government wanted IRD to pay the cash directly to those eligible on a fortnightly basis? Also to make it so those parents didn't need to 'claim' the cash but just received it. IRD said too complicated / expensive to implement straight away so maybe in a few years.

      I'm nowhere near a fan of Wills / Luxon or this government but surely any cash, however it's given, going back to families who need it is a good thing?

      IMO Politically the smart thing to do with announcements such as this is to try and allow them as little air time as possible. In other words acknowledge if you have to (better to say nothing unless you have to because a journalist asked the question) and move on as quickly as possible.

    • AB 10.2

      And if you have the readies, you are likely to be on a higher income, which means the payment is abated and it may not be worth the effort to claim. In any case, we shall see what the uptake is.

      The whole thing appears to me like a parody of the idiotic fetish for targeting.

  11. joe90 11

    Help help me Viktor.


    NEW: Jair Bolsonaro spent two nights at the Hungarian Embassy in Brazil, just after police confiscated his passport as part of a criminal investigation. We obtained security-camera footage that shows the president's apparent bid for asylum. Full story:

  12. newsense 12

    Imagine you worked hard to distress disabled folk and their carers and couldn’t even get into the top 5 worst ministers in this government.

    The ironies of Willis and Luxon putting other people on notice for their performance! And then consider how absolutely ground breakingly bad someone would have to be for that to happen…

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    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    6 days ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    6 days ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    6 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    6 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    7 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    7 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    7 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    1 week ago

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