Open mike 27/02/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 27th, 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 27/02/2024 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    That classroom your kids need is too nice, therefore they shall have no classroom at all.

    In a November briefing to the incoming Education Minister Erica Stanford, the Ministry said it would not be able to find more than 2% worth of savings without cutting into its spending on school property.

    Hipkins, who was the minister in charge of education for five years, said the former National government underfunded school infrastructure and that Labour upgraded every school in the country through its school investment package.

    “We built thousands of classrooms and added urgent temporary teaching spaces as rolls grew,” he said in a statement.

    “Everyone will remember children learning in damp, mouldy classroom and schools with no space and no funding under National, who were comfortable with kids being taught in gyms and hallways. We don’t want to go back to that.”

    This to further enrich boomer amateur landlords with hundreds and hundreds of millions.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350192903/government-scrapping-classroom-upgrades-pay-tax-cuts-labour-claims

    • SPC 1.1

      National under-estimated its road transport build by 100% using old figures.

      The cost of Labour's school building programme has blown out for the same reasons – inflation.

      We are behind on hospital build/age care – and that cost is rising.

      There is historic under-investment in health, education, state and aged care housing (and water infrastructure) across governments.

      National prioritises new roads and reducing tax on the landlords rent income and CG (bright-line reduced to a token 2 years).

      National are already talking about private sector partnerships in funding school building.

      They agreed with ACT to do this with health sector building in their coalition agreement.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/504309/government-considering-different-funding-models-to-build-new-hospitals

    • bwaghorn 1.2

      Wonder how many nat mps went to public schools

  2. Mikey 2

    I really want to hear the details on the Marlborough colocation blowout. My suspicion is that Labour are unwilling to point to incompetence at the Ministry. Jan Tinetti seemed to miss the point in strongly asserting that her government always funded the planned builds.

  3. SPC 3

    A guy on Wall Street invests in Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway and leaves an estate of $1B.

    His widow worked at a Bronx medical school so they now get a $B to provide free medical education to students.

    Dr. Gottesman said her donation would enable new doctors to begin their careers without medical school debt, which often exceeds $200,000. She also hoped it would broaden the student body to include people who could not otherwise afford to go to medical school.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/26/nyregion/albert-einstein-college-medicine-bronx-donation.html

    Here we get resistance to CGT on landlords, wealth taxation or estate taxation.

    They have CGT and estate taxation in the USA by the way.

  4. SPC 4

    The Hon Christopher Bishop Housing and Infrastructure Minister speaks

    Councils will be required to zone for growth, …. given the opportunity to opt of Medium Density Residential Standards, which would see intensification in suburbia***, but only if they immediately zone enough land for 30 years of housing growth.

    Drury reprise … all those landbanking this area already get a big CG before on-selling to developers – and no CGT or wealth taxation or estate taxation on this huge windfall.

    allow for mixed use zoning*** near transport nodes. That would mean more residential dwellings above shops and businesses.

    There will also be an amendment to the Building Act and the RMA to make it easier to build granny flats or other small structures up to 60sqm, as per the coalition agreement with NZ First.

    Cool good one NZF.

    "I can also announce today that I will be the decision-maker on relevant district plan changes relating to housing where councils and independent hearings panels do not agree,"

    So delay via process impasse will only last so long …

    He said that in coming months new policy would be announced which would enable councils to gain a financial windfall from new housing.

    "ACT campaigned strongly on sharing a percentage of the GST of new housing with councils. That will be part of the mix as we ponder how to get the incentives right."

    Well given the cost of building provides profits to landbankers (not taxed by government) and they are blocking intensification, they have to at least help councils afford the infrastructure cost of expanding out – the issue is who meets this cost and who does not, yet should.

    Drury precedent.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckland-council-has-approved-a-plan-to-collect-11b-from-developers-in-drury-over-the-next-30-years/TKREW3SR4FCSPPWMJ6CEEKRN3I/

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350192974/live-chris-bishop-speaks-public-housing-and-infrastructure

  5. ianmac 5

    Ryan Ward explains our precarious position that we find ourselves in with the ruthless new Government.

    Luxon uses Reagan’s playbook in blaming welfare recipients

    The National Party has a useful bogeyman to blame for the failures of a political and economic system that prioritises accumulation of wealth over the lives and livelihoods of people

    https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/02/27/luxon-uses-reagans-playbook-in-blaming-welfare-recipients/?utm_source=Newsroom&utm_campaign=07293a4b4b-Daily_Briefing+27.02.2024&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_71de5c4b35-07293a4b4b-95522477&mc_cid=07293a4b4b&mc_eid=88a3081e75

    • Ad 5.1

      Though it was also very telling to hear Professor Tim Hazledine on RNZ yesterday evening being really clear that multi-year unemployment welfare dependency was never the intent of our social welfare system. Yet here we are with 90,000 on unemployment benefit for over a year.

      https://www.stats.govt.nz/research/investigating-the-relationship-between-unemployment-and-benefit-receipt/

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/jobseeker-benefit-more-than-half-of-189000-kiwis-have-been-on-welfare-for-more-than-a-year/5Y2MNIG2BVEI7BH5ND4NIWAY2M/

      I fully applaud the Labour government screwing the labour market so hard down to 3% headline unemployed, and a lot more shifted off welfare dependency. Little, Sepuloni and Robertson together did an outstanding job on this.

      But that task must never cease.

      • SPC 5.1.1

        More long term on that benefit was inevitable once they placed sickness within the JS Benefit while the domestic workforce was aging (declining in health) and employers were able to bring in younger migrant workers.

        Exploiting that statistic is akin to taking assets out of the governments debt statistics, to increase debt to GDP and pose a lack of money excuse for government to partner with others to fund roads, hospital and school building.

      • newsense 5.1.2

        But then the RB sees that as a buoyant potentially inflationary economy and jumps on it, forcing more people out of work?

        And we used to run government departments to employ long term unemployed. Was it Keynes who said we should invent jobs for the unemployed?

        • Nic the NZer 5.1.2.1

          In fact the government is responsible for the level of unemployment, particularly the long term unemployed. As Keynes pointed out in his 'The General Theory…' there is such a thing as involuntary unemployment caused by insufficient jobs being available for everyone who would take a job being employed. This is due to the non-government parts of the economy not creating enough demand for everybody to be employed at most times. The only sector which can always choose to employ everybody is the public sector.

          Meanwhile the pernicious attitude at MSD of driving unemployed to apply for work, regardless of their chance of being accepted, does no good to anybody, though is often quite hurtful towards beneficiaries. It also wastes a tremendous amount of productivity. A lot of (though not all) people who are on job seekers could instead be employed towards some public good initiatives and would prefer this at minimum wage to job seekers. This would replace job seekers payments with an actual wage, and benefit NZ by roughly the underemployment rate of productive capacity. The employment record of these people would also reduce inflationary pressures and make it easier for people on job seekers to move into other jobs (most job applications are filtered out first by current employment status).

          Instead of this (through a collection of really dumb beliefs) we understand unemployment as a supposedly a voluntary choice of the unemployed who can supposedly always find a job (at the going rate) if they apply themselves. This involves gas lighting the public that whatever unemployment rate is prevalent in NZ, its close to a supposedly inflationary wage-price spiral rate (called the NAIRU rate) which is the supposed full employment capacity of the country. This logic prevails somehow even when unemployment is below the NAIRU rate (about 4.5% presently) and inflation is decelerating. Notably during the first term of Muldoon the rate of unemployment went up to 2% or about half of what it is presently.

      • Rodel 5.1.3

        It appears that has ceased now withthe coalition of cuts…n

    • SPC 5.2

      With the long term on JS benefits, it is important to look at things like the age profile (reluctance to hire older workers into new work areas) and whether they have health conditions (diabetes – to regular dialysis, heart and lung conditions – long covid etc).

      This long term dependency is occurring in other nations for the same reasons.

      With 40% of long term jobseeker support recipients aged 50 to 64

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/131044912/are-you-past-landing-a-job-at-55-the-reality-of-ageism-despite-labour-shortages

  6. SPC 6

    A company is ending the mailing out of bills to customers (including those with just landlines). Annoying one customer

    Landlines are those resilient communications systems that survive natural disasters better than modern methods (requiring power, or batteries that can be charged by solar power).

    Unfortunately they are being phased out – people having to move to broadband or to power connected handsets linked to cell towers.

    In the unfolding story the company wants to phone her landline in 6 months time – when they will probably talk about the timetable for the end of landlines in her area.

    And how a broadband linked phone and device to receive emails (for those bills) can be provided – and the on-line use of debit cards (used to pay the bill in shops can be used on line).

    according to Grey Power president Jan Pentecost. "Fifty per cent of people over 85 cannot use digital devices," she said.

    "You're asking too much to expect everyone to move with the times, especially given that up-skilling is necessary, very frequently."

    Pentecost said it's also yet another example of digital exclusion which affects many people who are not online due to disability, poverty, or age.

    There are no requirements to provide non-digital options to customers, but Grey Power has lobbied the government to consider changing that.

    https://www.1news.co.nz/2024/02/27/digital-exclusion-is-it-ok-to-refuse-to-post-out-a-bill/

  7. James Simpson 7

    What's up with Nash? What a tosser. Even if what he is saying had an element of truth, why would he come out and try and start an internal war at this point of the electoral cycle?

    • Cricklewood 7.1

      Revenge is a dish best served cold?

      Or is there a leadership challenge coming and this is the opening salvo?

    • newsense 7.2

      He’s a complete tosser who knows.
      He’s probably looking at Shane Jones with envy and thinking if only I was more racist I could be that corrupt. Et voila, this morning’s inspiration on how to help the country from the man we haven’t heard enough from.

      An audition for joining NZ First?

      I mean I’ve heard plenty about Chippy’s flaws regarding campaigning and leadership, but little about Nash’s virtues.

    • Mike the Lefty 7.3

      Nash was so centrist that National probably would have chosen him for THEIR candidate if he had decided to switch parties. He was long time MP for Napier because National supporters found him acceptable, whilst supporting their party with party votes. Napier was the least marginal of the North Island east coast seats, but the one that swung heaviest to National at the last election.

      Wasn't he police minister himself at one time? Don't remember him coming out strongly against gangs then.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    " ANZ says Sir John Key will retire from all of its boards from March 14.

    He was appointed chair of ANZ in New Zealand in January 2018 and joined the wider group board the following month.

    He will be replaced by Scott St John."

    Scott who??

    Saint John???

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/350193328/john-key-steps-down-anz-board

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Tight race between Winston Peters, Rimmer, and Shane Cigareti for the title of most useless Māori.

    Cigareti edging it at the moment, to be fair.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350193412/bills-disestablish-maori-health-authority-smokefree-be-passed-under-urgency

  10. Some here said Labour was "National Lite"

    So what do you think now National are bulldozing any social legislation and playing to the Atlas Policy Strands? I don’t remember that from Labour.

    • Ad 10.1

      +100

      This is already the most extreme government we've had since the ethnic, political and workers rights crushed since Sid Holland. Which is going back a ways.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        Yes, and we can expect a modern day version of this:

        https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/the-1951-waterfront-dispute

      • I was 10 when my Dad was in the thick of that Yes this is similar. playing on people's fears to gain power, to remove any obstacles to money making.

      • Belladonna 10.1.3

        I'd have thought that the 4th Labour Government was well in the running for the label 'extreme'. Certainly it transformed NZ in a way that we'd never seen before, or since.

        • Patricia Bremner 10.1.3.1

          Because Belladonna, they were really Act, and joined later on. Roger Douglas had to do something because Muldoon had bankrupted us, so they floated our dollar.

          He wanted to go further, but Lange paused for a "cup of tea".

          • Descendant Of Smith 10.1.3.1.1

            They weren't really ACT. They were actually in real life Labour. Let's not rewrite history.

            • Anne 10.1.3.1.1.1

              Let's get the record straight. Yes, they were in Labour. They were a minority faction within the Labour caucus, but they held all the power by virtue of their ministerial portfolios. Originally they were given carte blanche by the rest of caucus because of the financial crisis caused by the out-going PM. who wouldn't let go of the reins. It took a long time for their colleagues to get a handle on what they were doing. Neoliberalism was an unknown to all but a few of the original disciples.

              Once the rest of the caucus, including the PM, David Lange began to recognise they had gone way too far, things turned nasty and that govt. eventually fell apart. It wasn't until Helen Clark became leader, Labour was able to start rebuilding itself. However by then the market forces strategy had become so embedded in the economy, it was impossible to totally remove.

              That is a broad outline of what happened anyway, and I find the plethora of barbs and criticism towards Labour due to what happened in the 1980s somewhat hypocritical.

              • Belladonna

                I find the plethora of barbs and criticism towards Labour due to what happened in the 1980s somewhat hypocritical.

                Whereas I find the unwillingness of the Labour supporters (and the left, in general) to admit that the 4th Labour Government even existed, even more hypocritical.

              • Gosman

                If you are correct then the rest of the Labour party caucus was full of idiots. Neo-liberal economic policies were well known in 1984. Margaret Thatcher had been in power in the UK since 1979 and Reagan since 1980. Even Australia under Hawke Keating government implemented neoliberal inspired reforms before NZ.

          • Belladonna 10.1.3.1.2

            Don't re-write history. The fourth Labour Government were Labour.

            Floating the dollar is a very minor part of the radical change that they engineered in NZ society.

            You can argue that some of what they did, needed doing. But the misery they created is equally part of that change.

            They also left a legacy of fear of radical change in politics, which we are still living with. Any time a politician proposes radical change, chills run up people's spines, remembering the 80s.

            The fact that some of them later went on to found a different political party – has nothing to do with what happened in the 80s.

    • Descendant Of Smith 10.2

      Still National lite. Just cause this national lot is worse than the last lot doesn't mean Labour has moved.

      If they have I missed the policy announcements about bringing back the 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week, state housing for life, universal family benefit, increased tax on high incomes, putting benefit rates back to the same as NZS, stamp duty, estate duties, putting government offices and jobs back in regions (even easier now with technology), fixing the rail network including building trains in house ………..

      • At least you acknowledge the coalition is "worse" than other prior groups.

        Any group who ignores the science for politics and to reward their backers instead of building and maintaining schools, treating Maori health cancer rates and early deaths etc is not any type of Labour Party. This Government have removed social legislation, based on science and research for rabid 3 a pronged attack on the poor and they are not even willing to discuss why or how they came to do what they are.

        Apart from Luxon saying "I am incredibly focussed" Yes but what exactly is he focussed on.

        • Descendant Of Smith 10.2.1.1

          Well worse than other groups except the 1984 Labour Government.

          Labour's refusal to implement left wing policies is well documented. The refusal to implement WEAG recommendations at a time when they had massive public support was but just one further neo-liberal failure.

          • Patricia Bremner 10.2.1.1.1

            Covid caused costs unprecedented, and implementation of WEAG was overtaken by emergency covid funding and vaccination costs. You ignore what they did manage to co during a Pandemic.

            As for the rest see my comment to Belladonna.

            • Descendant Of Smith 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Nonsense. WEAG was released in May 2019.

              The decision not to release benefit rates was justified on the basis that advice from MSD was not to.

              They made that decision also in May 2019 and had clearly known earlier what the recommendations would be. Absolutely nothing to do with the pandemic.

              “We have decided not to implement the report’s recommendations to increase benefit levels by up to 47% immediately. As we have said, we will be looking at a staged implementation of the report. There are a range of ways to improve people’s financial wellbeing and reduce the number of people on benefits that live in poverty, in line with our commitment to reduce the overall rates of child poverty in New Zealand, and we will be looking at these over the coming years,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

              What COVID showed is that they could have increased them if they wished as there was plenty of money. This is no different to Helen Clark putting the $20-00 deduction back on NZS but not on benefits. Purely a political not a financial decision – hint it was cheaper to put it back on benefits which by that stage were at least $100-00 per week lower when they once were the same.

              In 2020 it was clear the implementation had been minimal.

              Altogether, the government’s three WEAG launch announcements amounted to a spend that was noted later to be roughly one percent of the recommended total spend.

              https://static1.squarespace.com/static/60189fe639b6d67b861cf5c4/t/6143c978d85bb20a2acba388/1631832443228/WEAG+Stocktake+Final+27+Nov.pdf

              And indeed the advice from MSD was to not do it. Not surprising given who they appointed as CE.

              It is important that this work weighs the impacts on financial incentives to work, as discussed in the WEAG report, fiscal affordability, and risks of unintended consequences that would undermine the goals of these reforms, particularly through interactions with other government systems.

              75. A key recommendation from the WEAG is an increase of between 12 and 47 percent to main benefit rates, as well as changes to abatement thresholds and benefit indexation. The package of income supports proposed by the WEAG report in recommendations 19 to 24 is substantial. This reflects an ongoing lack of investment towards income support over many decades. 76. I am not proposing an immediate one-off increase to main benefit rates in Budget 2019.

              https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/information-releases/weag-report-release/cabinet-paper-welfare-overhaul-advice-from-the-welfare-expert-advisor….pdf

              Again don't rewrite history. The increase in benefits rates was a deliberate political decision at the time and had nothing to do with COVID-19.

              WEAG called for an immediate increase to those rates – neither Labour nor the public service leadership wanted to do that. The main argument was not fiscal but needing to preserve the incentive to find shitty low paid work.

              • Phillip ure

                Yes..this lot are utter bastards..

                But let's not forget that they weren't elected…

                Labour were thrown out…

                For non-delivery on the promises that got them elected…

                These loosely grouped under housing/poverty/environment..

                That rejection underlined by the record setting loss from ruling alone..to ignominious defeat…

                I blame labour for these bastards being in power..

                And pointing at these bastards and going 'look how much worse they are..!'

                really doesn't wash…eh..?

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  And because Labour was neo-liberal and not left it opened the door for National to move further right – ACT was just a suitable proxy.

                • Phillip ure

                  And just one of the unignorable facts is how in the sixth year of labour rule..it was announced that 23 thousand more children had moved into poverty..

                  For shame..!…really…eh..?

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    Ayesha Verral calls Reti's behaviour, "shameful".

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    Willow-Jean Prime in tears.
    The Speaker gets bound up and won’t listen to explanations from Willow-Jean nor Debbie. I hope there’s a follow up explanation.

  13. Robert Guyton 13

    Peeni Henare implies that Reti is not telling the truth.

    https://ondemand.parliament.nz

  14. Vivie 14

    This is a great interview by RNZ's Lisa Owen with University of Otago public health professor Janet Hoek. It confirms the Government's determination to ignore research and facts about the health benefits of Labour's planned anti-smoking law changes, and to spin lies about the frequency of dairy ram raids, which have apparently been decreasing since 2022. The most commonly stolen items were cash and cash registers, not tobacco products. The Government's moral bankruptcy is encapsulated in the interview in this link.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018927806/govt-claims-reducing-tobacco-retailers-will-increase-ram-raids-data-disproves

    "Data disproves the government's claims that reducing the number of tobacco retailers would lead to an increase in ram raids, according to a public health professor.

    The coalition government plans to repeal smokefree legislation that would slash the number of tobacco retailers from 6000 to 600, take 95 percent of the nicotine out of cigarettes and ban sales to anyone born after 2009.

    In documents obtained by RNZ, the Health Ministry urged the associate health minister to keep elements of the current law and suggested compromises, but the minister rejected them.

    On Tuesday morning, the prime minister doubled down on his claim that reducing the number of tobacco outlets would increase the black market and dairy crime, despite evidence suggesting otherwise".

    • gsays 14.2

      I heard the interview and thought professor Janet Hoek was brilliant.

      A couple of things occurred to me, she was an unusually brave and frank academic.

      Also, when Lisa Owen asked a question that was more about Hoek's opinion of the PM's scripted lines policy position she gave it. 'Unacquainted with the facts' etc. Most folk of her ilk would demure and stick to their knitting (the research).

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