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Open mike 28/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 28th, 2020 - 283 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 …

283 comments on “Open mike 28/08/2020 ”

  1. Nzsage 1

    Good article in Stuff lamenting the loss of constructive media political opinion and the movement to sensatinalism and partisan commentary.

    If I'm honest, the main reason I like it is the outing of Hoskings and Hawkesby as tory hacks.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/the-detail/122589765/the-detail-whats-the-point-of-political-commentary

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      I always think the embedded journalist model promoted there by Tracey Watkins is by definition, corrupt. To get what she calls the insight into the inner workings of the Party requires a mutually beneficial relationship. In order to gain trust it will be expected the embedded journalist report kindly about their host party and critically about their opposition.

      This was born out in all Watkins pieces and was even more pronounced in her apprentice, Stacy Kirk, who flounced in a huff after her idol, John Key, quit with his tail between his legs.

      Journalists should not be part of a political party’s PR machine in the way Watkins celebrates.

  2. I don't agree with the all-government decision to give $11.7m to a private school as announced by James Shaw yesterday.

    But the reaction to this has been hysterical. The media has collectively attacked the Greens on this as part of its effort to get the Greens below 5%. Sue Bradford has attacked the Greens on this, but she has had a chip on her shoulder ever since she left the Greens because they don't sufficiently focus on social policies as she sees it. However, the Greens remain the most socially aware party in parliament-look at their Wealth Tax proposal, also announced by James Shaw, that is specifically designed for poverty alleviation to the tune of $7.9 billion a year. $11.7 million is a drop in the bucket compared with this.

    The people on the Standard saying they will not vote Green because of the school grant need to stop and think. As Stuff says today Shaw backed the grant alongside a suite of other Green projects.“I did support quite a long list of projects: the Hiringa energy hydrogen refuelling project, a lot of cycleways, bus lanes, a whole batch of waste management projects…”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300093441/james-shaw-calls-meeting-with-green-members-to-explain-private-school-funding-decision

    The Greens are by far the strongest advocates for Climate Change initiatives-Jacinda talks a lot about this but the real policy comes from the Greens. One small stuff-up is irrelevant in this context.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Zakly.

    • mauī 2.2

      They say politics is about optics… $12 million to a private school.. socialism?

      • Andre 2.2.1

        I haven't got anyone in my circles that finds overt socialism appealing. They all prefer the idea of mixed economies, generally with a bit stronger state sector than we now have.

        But they all share a strong distaste for crony capitalism. Which is what this school thing looks like.

        • Graeme 2.2.1.1

          But they all share a strong distaste for crony capitalism. Which is what this school thing looks like.

          Which is what a lot of the private 'shovel ready' funding is going to look like to those that miss out. Same applies to the Tourism Recovery funding, hence the outcry when AJ Hackett got a bailout.

          There's a lot more coming up in the 'shovel ready' program and the petty jealousies will be out in force. Government has to stimulate the economy right now and a lot of it isn't going to be perfect, and might go to people we don't get on with, but it's getting people employed and building confidence in the economy to try and keep us housed and fed.

          • Bearded Git 2.2.1.1.1

            Agreed Graeme….if the media is looking for a disgusting waste of public money and a terrible decision they should be focusing on Hackett….but of course that does not help in getting the Greens below 5% which is the objective.

            • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1.1.1.1

              ….help in getting the Greens below 5% which is the objective.

              This will not be too hard to achieve if Green Party leaders continue to fail to "think twice" before justifying supporting a massive chunk of dosh for a program that directly contravenes a Party flagship policy.

              They make it too easy…

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.2

            I just wish that the government would stop stimulating the economy and start actually developing it. Its the development that we need, not some stimulation of the corpse of a failed system.

            • Stuart Munro 2.2.1.1.2.1

              100%.

            • Graeme 2.2.1.1.2.2

              At least by keeping it alive through this we have a chance of controlling the outcome. Allowing the economy to die / crash risks uncontrollable outcomes which could be the very opposite of what we want. Like more low value commodities and offshore control.

              I'm seeing two approaches in the Governments work, protecting what we have (AJ Hackett, what if that went into offshore control?) and developing for the future (The Taranaki school as an example)

              I'm involved with a company that has put in for quite a bit of 'shovel ready' work. Developing the economy in an added value and lower carbon way is a big part of those projects and what the Government seems to be wanting in the programme. If they get approved there will be huge howls from competitors, 1, because they missed out, and 2, because we got ahead of them. Well maybe they should have some good ideas too.

      • Bearded Git 2.2.2

        Maui…but my point is the Green's are the closest thing to socialists that we have, and they are the greenest too. Look at the overall context not one stuff-up.

        Tell me who are you going to vote for to get a socialist government out of Labour National NZF ACT?

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.2.1

          …the Green's are the closest thing to socialists that we have

          Fuck. We're in the deepest of shit then.

          • Bearded Git 2.2.2.1.1

            So you don't think a $7.9 billion annual Wealth Tax is just vaguely socialist Rosemary?

            • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.2.1.1.1

              How about we ignore the dollar amount for a moment?

              Wealth Tax…..yay!!!

              Tax dollars to fund exclusive, elitist private school for the kids of the wealthy…yay!!!

              I can only imagine the internal conflict this creates.

              • Rosemary-How about we don't?

                The wealth tax is 658 times this amount every year and will be used to alleviate policy. I don't agree with the school grant but (see my original post above) this needs to be put in context.

              • weka

                "Tax dollars to fund exclusive, elitist private school for the kids of the wealthy… or letting Labour and NZF give the money to another climate pushing project, yay!!!"

                fify.

                • weka

                  the issue has been live enough for everyone to understand now that the Greens didn't develop the shovel fund and that if they had it would have looked very very different.

                  The left needs to wake the fuck up and take a long hard look at what it actually wants.

                  Go hard at the Greens for how they handled this, but please stop blaming them for things they have little or no control over.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  What are these climate pushing projects of which you speak? And what evidence is there that Labour and NZF were going to give them the money?

                  • weka

                    the projects developed by the group that controlled the funding. Because it's Taranaki (oil and gas economy), Shaw wanted funding to go to green projects not climate polluting ones. Are you seriously suggesting that Labour or NZF would have turned down projects on the basis of climate change?

                    I'm going to try and put a post over the weekend, but you could probably read some of what Shaw has said in the past two days and watch Swarbrick's video on FB from yesterday, pretty sure she explained it.

                  • weka

                    I have a better understanding now. Shaw made a mistake, in considering the list of projects as infrastructure and didn't think about the GP education policy. It was part of the covid response budget and came under the purview of the Ministers not the GP.

                    The projects that were approved came from a very large pool of applications for the funding. As I understand it, the GP was instrumental in making the shortlist more climate friendly.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Turei admitting to (minor, historical) benefit fraud, or Shaw supporting (pandemic-related) funding for a private school. Who's the worst offender, and how will history 'judge' them. From my PoV, the judgemental pile-on from most quarters against Turei was disappointing and more than a little disturbing; the reaction to Shaw's 'Green offending' is in the same boat.

                Fwiw, the Greens seem to be held to a higher standard. Their political brand may be slightly tarnished, but it is salvageable IMHO, whereas National's brand has long since corroded beyond repair. Given the relative level of support for each party, one might fairly ask 'Is NZ society corroded beyond repair?' Time will tell – in a democracy we get the government we deserve.

          • Patricia Bremner 2.2.2.1.2

            Rosemary, Yes we are in a bad position!! We are fighting a pandemic, trying to keep systems afloat and plan for work for people made unemployed by covid fallout. We are being asked to think as a team of 5 million + and tolerate situations very different from normal. A few dead rats may appear. Mostly the types of ready for work places are suitable and fit the desired brief. But let us get precious, even if it cuts our nose off to spite our face!! Let's drop James Shaw, and see how we go then eh!!

    • mikesh 2.3

      State support for private schools is nothing new – Roman Catholic schools have been supported, as far as I know, since Holyoake's day.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        Yep, and they're now integrated which means, essentially, that they're state schools run by private administrators and don't get to charge fees.

        This is what I'd like to see happen with this green school – but I won't hold my breath.

        Another good reason to support it is to trial out the systems it uses and see if they work and if they can then be rolled out across the state system.

    • Gosman 2.4

      LOL!

      "Please excuse The Greens massive hypocrisy over this issue because Climate change"

      I think Green party supporters should use that excuse more often.

      "Please excuse me from running over your dog because Climate change"

      • Muttonbird 2.4.1

        If you still have time you should probably delete that if you want to keep commenting here. It's not constructive in any way and could attract a ban.

      • mikesh 2.4.2

        Your use of the word "excuse" seems irrational. There is nothing, in the sentence quoted, to imply that the party is using climate change as an "excuse". The implication in the quotation is that the Green Party's support for such a school is to be expected given their preoccupation with climate change.

        I hope your dog makes a speedy recovery.

        • Morrissey 2.4.2.1

          Poor old Gosman is feeling more dyspeptic than usual, due to his sense of impending disaster. Impending disaster for him and his fellow National Party diehards, that is.

          For the rest of us, it's three—probably nine—more years of the best government we've had for many decades.

    • Climaction 2.5

      Small stuff up? how many teacher aides for low decile high needs children would $11.7 million provide?

      How many children in low decile schools would receive free lunches to maximise their learning potential for $11.7 million ? 10,500 using the governments own budget estimates

      "The Government, in its 2020 Budget announced on Thursday, promised to spend $220 million on the free school lunch programme, feeding an additional 200,000 children and creating an estimated 2000 jobs. The school lunch programme, launched in 2019, currently feeds 8000 children."

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121506513/budget-2020-free-school-lunches-to-feed-200000-kids-as-part-of-1b-government-support-package

      You have conveniently overlooked the fact this funding is going to a school that charges 20k Per Annum at a minimum to attend. Why on earth would they need 11.7 million when the parents of the school could afford to fund that themselves as a grass roots crowd funding initiative without too much effort. I mean it's only a shade under $100k per currently attending child.

      Denying 10,500 children a free lunch each school day because this particular school aligns politically with the Greens?

      • RedLogix 2.5.1

        how many teacher aides for low decile high needs children would $11.7 million provide?

        Answer: None.

        The funding you are so upset about was never going to be spent on teacher aides.

        • Climaction 2.5.1.1

          So it was always earmarked for spending on private schools for the 1%? completely against all government policies on funding private schools?

          you can not like teacher aides, but it's pretty callous to say that money couldn't be spent on feeding hungry kids because the money wasn't allocated to that

          • Incognito 2.5.1.1.1

            It is a callous thing to say but roading money cannot be spent on feeding hungry kids either. What has the World come to when we cannot spend allocated money on our pet projects? We should be able to dip in our KiwiSaver funds when we want to start a business.

            • Climaction 2.5.1.1.1.1

              So this money was always earmarked to build safe, warm, dry buildings for the purposes of education to children who already live in safe, warm dry homes and whose parents support green policies. even though government policy is to limit funding of any kind to private schools beyond 30% of the curriculum contribution.

              please explain to me how this inconsistency isn't an inconsistency, I'll be fascinated to hear more spin on the issue.

              • weka

                No, the shovel ready fund was earmarked *specifically for projects as part of the covid response, and those had to meet certain criteria. Some projects were also specifically ruled out. Maybe educate yourself on this before arguing completely inaccurate lines.

                • Climaction

                  the only thing shovel ready about this is James Shaw's political grave.

                  Which is a shame, as i thought he was one of the better politicians in parliament

                  • Robert Guyton

                    He is, Climaction, "one of the better politicians in Parliament", you have called that correctly and your view is mirrored by those who have worked with him, even and especially those from the Right, who know full-well that he's got the right stuff. James Shaw will not be buried by this, he will remain true to his raison d'être and emerge from the barrage of criticism, as a man of substance and valour smiley

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    "the only thing shovel ready about this is James Shaw's political grave"

                    And with recent polls putting the Greens right on the knife-edge 5 per cent threshold to get back into Parliament, Shaw said he hoped voters would remember the party's record on climate change, inequality and conservation.

                    "I don't think one mistake is enough for people to switch."

                    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12360346

                    I hope Shaw is correct, but given the reaction on this left-leaning site that seems unlikely. Shame really, the Greens are (soon to be were?) the most progressive party in parliament (e.g. compare their tax policy with Ardern ruling out a CGT while she is leader), but when you're dancing around the 5% threshold one mistake is all it takes. Even Shaw admitting it was a mistake apparently isn't good enough – it's not easy being Green.

                    Imagine the headline: ACT now third largest party in parliament
                    That possibility alone is enough for me to Party Vote Green.

              • Incognito

                What don’t you understand about funds allocation?

                Green School New Zealand will be supported with $11.7 million from the $3 billion set aside by the Government for infrastructure in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

                https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/taranaki-school-construction-project-create-jobs

                Feel free to Google the details of the CRRF but I have to warn you that they may not confirm your bias.

                • Climaction

                  I understand it. it's an economic issue called scarcity.

                  Group A is 10,500 children that have a scarcity of food and go to school hungry, decreasing their learning potential.

                  Group B is 120 children most likely don't go to school hungry, but need 130 new friends. their parents are also environmentally conscious enough to dig deep to the tune of $20k per annum per child, these parents climate views align with the governments

                  the government, with it's scarce resources, could choose to allocate the funding how it wished. It chose to allocate funds to Group B. Ahead of all the other Group A facsimile's that could used that money to help more children, with greater immediate benefit to society.

                  • Incognito

                    There are funds allocated for both ‘groups’ and these funds are applied according to different criteria and decisions are made by different people. I’m sure you have by now educated yourself on the CRRF criteria, yes?

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Believe it or not, those who are not positively orgasmic with this get that this corporate welfare comes from a different pot of dosh than the comparative crumbs that will/might eventually float down to the Decile 1 school with the leaky roof.

                      We understand about silos, and Vote This and That, and Special Projects and the like…we do.

                      But later on, when things settle down and the Green School and their New Friends are enjoying their tax payer funder New Learning Spaces, what are we going to tell those 10500 poorly nourished kids who go from their cold, damp home to their sub standard school that they did not meet the criteria for such 'investment'?

                      It is troubling in the extreme that some here fail to see just why it is that the principal of Marfell School is so pissed off. Her project is more than shovel ready….young minds yearning to learn…but told to wait. Again.

                      'It is more important that we jump start the post Covid economy than meet our responsibility as Government to finally fund much needed state school infrastructure after decades of under funding and neglect.'

                      Beggars belief that this reaction from the state schools in the area was not anticipated. Shows a saddening lack of sensitivity.

                    • weka

                      Rosemary, I totally get why people are pissed off. I'm not convinced that most people do understand the different funding streams (going by the comments), but being angry about the covid response funding is part of the other angers about other parts of the covid response.

                      All I can say after that is if the GP had 30 MPs in govt we'd have had a completely different covid response. So I'm good with the criticism of the GP and holding them to account. I'm perplexed and troubled by people saying they don't want to vote GP over this, despite the GP policy and direction in Ed being the same as it was last week or six months ago.

                      I also think that the state of state schools hasn't changed in the past few months, so I assume that the anger is longer term, but again perplexed why people are so keen to blame the Greens for that.

                      Shaw fucked up, the GP didn't, on this one thing. They're not responsible for the shocking state of public school infrastructure which is in the same sorry state it was before.

                    • Incognito []

                      I’d say that many people, including commenters here, don’t understand the different funding streams. The money for the Green School comes from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF), i.e. from Infrastructure, not from Education. As such, that Principal is barking up the wrong tree; she could have picked any odd non-Education project funded by Government to get upset about. Similarly, and strictly speaking, it is not against Green Party Education Policy either.

                      I’m disappointed that James Shaw is caving in under pressure and now framing it and owning it as a “mistake”. I thought he’d be of stauncher material than a National fly-by-night MP. If the project was evaluated against set criteria and worthy of funding then it was worthy of funding. End of.

                      It appears that the decision was a Government decision, as mentioned by Grant Robertson at the 1 PM Live Covid update, made by Labour (2) and NZF (1) Ministers responsible for the IRG (Infrastructure Industry Reference Group; https://www.crowninfrastructure.govt.nz/iirg/), the so-called ‘shovel ready’ Ministers, and James Shaw. According to Chlöe Swarbrick’s Facebook videos.

                      https://www.crowninfrastructure.govt.nz/wp-content/uploads/1.-Shovel-Ready-Project-Information-Guidelines.pdf

                      According to Chlöe, the Green School application was in the right region (Taranaki), supported by local community and government, and it was aligned with carbon incentives (i.e. no further intensification and emission).

                      A further $23m will be used for rightsizing Spotswood College in Taranaki, and replacing poor condition classrooms. Design work will start from the middle of 2021.

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/122025481/government-allocates-126m-for-four-new-projects-in-national-school-rebuild-programme [HT to Chlöe]

                      The Mayor of New Plymouth said that applications were going to be viewed through a commercial lens, i.e. job creation and stimulation of local economy, and the Green School application met the commercial imperatives.

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/opinion/300094305/new-plymouth-mayor-explains-why-he-supported-private-schools-117m-government-funding

                      Taken together, there were and still are many good reasons to fund this project IMO.

                    • weka []

                      The mistake is that he didn’t consider GP policy in his decision making as Associate Finance Minister. Had he done so, it’s unlikely the project would have been approved.

                      But lots of people are hurt and alarmed, and I think the apology is appropriate, because if he hadn’t made the mistake people wouldn’t be going through that at this time. The mess that National left is a big, raw wound, and while I disagree that the Greens should be blamed for that, I understand why some people do.

                      The GP zoom call tonight was a most excellent lesson in how government works, I wish there was a way for that to be conveyed to the public.

                    • Incognito []

                      As I said, I’m disappointed but I can also understand why Shaw has apologised; it is a lesson in party politics. I have the luxury of not being a party co-leader of a party on the cusp of 5% and I therefore have the freedom to express my views and feelings about this. As I see it, it was mostly another screw-up in the PR & communication department. From what I have gathered, the Green School project is sound and should be funded. The Greens, their supporters, and others who are fighting for extra funding of public schools should think about whether this automatically means fighting against the CRRF funding for the Green School. I hope the Government is not withdrawing now.

            • Pat 2.5.1.1.1.2

              its getting difficult to tell but I hope thats sarcasm again…..as evidenced by the public response so far it is apparent (and should have been obvious to the politicians, Shaw included who initially proudly supported it) that there is no distinction between silos when it comes to public funding….and voting is largely visceral.

              • Wayne

                So is the objection that Shaw supported it or that it is occurring at all? Or is it both?

                The news reports make it pretty clear, that the funding is intended to result in a major expansion of the school roll (to 250) and that the facilities will be available for community use. Presumably hired out just like public school halls are from time to time.

                From what I can understand of the Green Party philosophy is that the Greens like social initiatives that are not tied directly to the state, so this sort of thing will appeal to some Green supporters, including quite obviously Shaw.

                On the other hand, most Green supporters are on the left edge of politics and like a big state, and virtual state monopolies in things such as education.

                Obviously it is not easy to square these two conflicting objectives.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Essentially, Wayne, there is a plethora of objections, including the insincere, opportunist one from the leader of the National Party; a party that fought tooth and claw, for Charter Schools, but none are free of emotional interference or malign intent. As you know, James is a highly respected and able politician, looked upon admiringly by every sector of Parliament; his predicament is an uncomfortable one and will surely test his mettle. I expect him to rise, phoenix-like, from the fires of this issue. I only wish his "people" saw it as I do smiley

                • Pat

                  Ah the forgetful one rises above the parapet….tell me Wayne would you have supported the funding of a private school to the tune of almost 12 million while state education is struggling with underfunding?

        • Robert Guyton 2.5.1.2

          Your cleaving to reason will get you nowhere with Climaction, RedLogix. I admire it though.

          • Climaction 2.5.1.2.1

            Your passion for lost causes is admirable.

            • Robert Guyton 2.5.1.2.1.1

              Thank you, Climaction. I am receiving your praise with open-hearted goodwill, and will consequently redouble my efforts to express my support for James Shaw and his abilities.

    • Herodotus 2.6

      When we are continually told of the Green Party and their principles – Yet when they act in a fashion that is directly opposite We should not react ?? I am reminded that actions speak louder than words What other principles are also available to be sold out ?

      When in trouble attack the messenger not the message. Sign of lost battle with that strategy. Not just Sue Bradford there are plenty of past Green MPs speaking against this have a look at Mojo Mathers, Catherine Delahunty or Denise Roche twitter /facebook.

      Then we have "Ultimately that was something the Green Party advocated quite strongly for and so it was one of their wins out of the shovel-ready project area,” Hipkins said.

    • Anne 2.7

      But the reaction to this has been hysterical. The media has collectively attacked the Greens on this as part of its effort to get the Greens below 5%.

      Totally agree BG @ 2

      If the National Party had announced the proposal they would have come up with the excuse that it was:

      “… a step in the right direction and that it would add to the growing clamour for more action against CC and therefore a positive move.”

      Or some such thing.

      • Bearded Git 2.7.1

        Thanks Anne.

        The Left is so good at tearing itself apart for no good reason.

        • Robert Guyton 2.7.1.1

          And the Right are expert in facilitating the process.

        • Incognito 2.7.1.2

          Morality and ideological purity always trump pragmatism. The chess player lost because his flag fell while he was still contemplating his best move. The goal of perfection leads to paralysis, mental degeneration, disorientation and disillusion, and involuntary knee jerks.

        • Patricia 2 2.7.1.3

          Agree, Bearded Git. And if the Left continues down this track then in 12 months time we'll all be ranting away on The Standard because of the policies of the new National Party Government.

    • weka 2.8

      this is a really good summation BG. Would you be ok if I quoted some of it in a post on the weekend?

    • anker 2.9

      Agree, big over reaction to the Green School. sometimes our elected representatives aren't going to make the best decisions or maybe they have more information than we do.

    • Graeme 2.10

      For a bit of context as to what $11 million buys in school works. Arrowtown School was rebuilt on a new site in 1997, nice new school with lots of capacity and good layout and location. But it leaked. So they had to tear most of it down and build it again. Cost $11 million.

      Hopefully the developers of this will do better.

      • Robert Guyton 2.10.1

        It rains in Arrowtown? People pay good money for a crisp, dry climate – they'll be furious!

        • Graeme 2.10.1.1

          The climate has been the saving grace of many a leaky building up here. Anywhere else and the things would have rotted away to mush 10 years ago. So much for a 50 year minimum design life, oh well,they got 20 years out of it…

    • Craig H 2.11

      And never compromising means other parties will stop working with the Greens in Parliament, and less of the manifesto will get done. In the grand scheme of things, if this is the dead rat that has to be swallowed to get other stuff done, it's pretty minor.

    • SPC 2.12

      The facts appear to be that

      1. there is a pool of money for capital spending on projects that create jobs.

      2. the Green Party advocated for some projects including one funding a private school's buildings.

      For mine there is something wrong in principle – there should be no immediate private beneficiary to the capital spending. This should be something outside the rules of the fund.

      That the Fund can be used for projects with a private beneficiary is disturbing and that the Greens should advocate for a project of this type of this type even should it be allowed is also. This is the environment where corruption can occur.

      For mine James Shaw has to repent of the mistake and withdraw Green Party support for it and if at all possible stop the funding going ahead.

      • Gabby 2.12.1

        Is it massively different from the largesse ladled out by the Pompous Prince of the Provinces?

        • Andre 2.12.1.1

          The Pompous Prince of the Provinces has never pretended to be anything other than a principle-free pork-barreling POS happy to try to buy votes however he can.

      • Sacha 2.12.2

        Most industry development funding goes to private businesses. The problem here is it is called a 'school'. Shaw and his staffers should have spotted that. However, politics is never about perfection.

        • SPC 2.12.2.1

          When I made that comment I was unaware it was allocation from of a fund set up 1 April to fund economic/commercial projects impacted by the pandemic.

          So my thinking was there are plenty of unfunded community projects that should have received the meony – let alone capital spending for public hsporitals and schools (limited on average to between $100,000-200,000 pa per school each year – $400M for 2500 schools).

          • Sacha 2.12.2.1.1

            For that fund it had to have conventional economic development benefits that would show up in a business case – some future potential beyond business as usual. Maintaining public schools is not that. Nor is just expanding private businesses that are not in strategic industries.

            Shaw is used to exactly that sort of thinking from his previous career. Mistake not to take the politics of it into account in his current one.

    • Binders Full of Women 2.13

      Not just Sue Bradford hating it- also Mojo Mathers & Catherine Delahunty… they can't all have an axe to grind. Maybe it is actually the dumbest of all spending from dumb-Shane's slushfund.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Bored with the old left/right political paradigm? Just for fun let's consider what happens when we go to a triplet model. Keeping in mind no model is perfect:

    Conservatives:

    Risk averse and oriented towards social continuity. These are the people who operate existing systems reliably and predictably. We depend on them for our daily survival.

    The moral values they put the most weight on are loyalty and purity. Conservatives value both individual and collective responsibility.

    Their primary tools are tradition and religion.

    When taken to an extreme conservatism becomes fascism and race supremacy.

    Liberals:

    Risk seeking and oriented toward individual achievement. These are the people who look to extend existing systems and generate new wealth. We depend on them for adapting, innovating and generating new systems.

    The moral values they put the most weight on are reciprocity and liberty. Liberals value individual responsibility and accountability.

    Their primary tools are rules based order and capitalism.

    When taken to an extreme liberalism becomes libertarianism and extreme inequality.

    Socialists:

    Risk mitigating and oriented toward collective action. We depend on these people to ensure a sustainable distribution of wealth and to advocate for the weakest in society.

    The moral values they put the most weight on are empathy and fairness. Socialists value collective responsibility and accountability.

    Their primary tools are the state and class awareness.

    When taken to an extreme socialism becomes marxism and tyranny.

    Looked at from this perspective several ideas can be proposed; one is that a healthy society needs all three modes to communicate and negotiate successfully. The other is that when one mode dominates it tends toward it's extreme, and that in reaction to this we see a flip to another mode. Conservatism yields to liberalism, then to socialism and then repeating in a slow generational cycle.

    • Stuart Munro 3.1

      A world is supported by four things…the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these things are as nothing…without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition! ~ Frank Herbert

      Oddly, treasury economists, foreign investors, property speculators, traffickers in cheap foreign labour, click-baiting media vermin, and looters of state assets are not mentioned. Perhaps it was an oversight.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Herbert eloquently anticipated my next question; what is the ruling principle that binds the diverse elements of a society into a cohesive whole?

        As for your list of rogues, can I add cultural revolutionaries and gulag guards?

        • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1

          I'm not certain all cancel culturers are behaving inappropriately – it's a matter of whether they are addressing real injustice against people privileged by power or only pretending to do so.

          Gulag guards can be complicated territory also, I worked with a soviet captain from Nahodka back in the day who was a good communist. Had he lived in a capitalist society he would have been a good capitalist too. The responsibility for state crimes needs to fall most heavily on those who set the policy – Beria, not Vladimir the welder, or Roger Douglas, not Kevin from accounting.

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1

            But this merely circles around my point, that each of the legitimate political modes, conservative, liberal and socialist (are there any others?), has it's own cast of rogues. Normally these are held in check by the mores of the countervailing modes, who will resist and object to excesses of tyranny, corruption and banal mediocrity.

            Identifying the excesses of the other side is easy, it's the one's your own team is prone to lapsing into that are much harder to deal with.

            Still this diverts from my main thesis here, that these three political modes are a more nuanced and useful model than the tired old left/right binary.

            • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Sure we need the Right – but a principled, policy-driven, smart Right – not a regressive, poorly educated, dirty-tricks and dishonesty riddled Right so out of touch with NZ interests they're taking money from the US arms lobby.

              And, some attention must be paid to the fact that Douglas, without the ghost of a skerrick of a public mandate, moved NZ governance significantly to the Right, impoverishing a whole generation. The representative deficit in NZ is on the Left – supporting and representing the victims of his ill-conceived and inequality generating policies.

              Had Douglas's arrant fantasies delivered on their promises, things like the currently contentious Green school would be welcomed with open arms. A generation ground into poverty by greedy non-performing veiled oligarchs however, is not likely to humour such follies while serious inequalities are still accelerating.

              • RedLogix

                Sure we need the Right – but a principled, policy-driven, smart Right

                Yes. Now how would you go about encouraging the good in someone?

                Had Douglas's arrant fantasies delivered on their promises,

                The excesses of neo-liberalism, both ill conceived and ill timed were especially damaging because at that particular moment in our history, both the conservative elements of the National Party and the socialist wings of the Labour Party had been temporarily snookered.

                National was still some years away from recovering from Muldoon's disastrous exit, and Labour was reeling from the internal political betrayal. As a result neither were in a position to form the usual alliance that would have moderated both the scope and pace of Douglas's neo-liberal reforms, and we would have probably followed something closer to Australia's far more moderate path.

                The fact that the trauma of that period in the 80's still so strongly echoes in NZ's political life, is indicative of what happens when one of the political modes tips over the boundaries into unconstrained excess.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Now how would you go about encouraging the good in someone?

                  We could possibly start by discouraging the bad and put in place the necessary laws and processes to catch it.

                  Greed is Good and its legal

                  is a really bad basis for a functional society and yet its what we've got especially after the Roger Douglas reforms and the right-wing have taken to it fully.

                • Incognito

                  The fact that the trauma of that period in the 80’s still so strongly echoes in NZ’s political life, is indicative of what happens when one of the political modes tips over the boundaries into unconstrained excess.

                  The reason it still is a “trauma” is because it is a wound that does not heal and people continue to rip off the crusty scab. Nobody has figured out how to heal this and let scar tissue form properly to close the wound once and forever. In fact, new wounds are being inflicted on a daily basis.

                • Stuart Munro

                  how would you go about encouraging the good in someone?

                  The first thing in getting people to change is usually getting them to acknowledge the problem. Voters seems to be about to gift a few of them time to reflect on their shortcomings, but media ignoring their dishonesty issues doesn't encourage productive reflection. Nor do the old neolibs within Labour giving tacit support to some of their policy stances.

                  One of my observations from participation in the voluntary sector however, is that public service is mildly addictive. A regular public service day for MPs, putting them on the front line of social service delivery, would improve their feel for critical issues, and, if the opportunity were offered to the Right, some of the smarter ones would take it up if only for the promotional opportunity at first.

                  Let Judith Collins plant a bit of inanga habitat and we might hear a bit less about what would or wouldn't be gone by lunchtime.

                  • RedLogix

                    The first thing in getting people to change is usually getting them to acknowledge the problem

                    Really? How does that usually work out? Most people are a mix of desirable and undesirable aspects. Getting them to do better is a case of putting boundaries on the undesirable behaviours, and then encouraging the desired ones.

                    This is why I explicitly put boundaries on the three political modes, fascism, libertarianism and marxism.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      We don't want to fall into the trap of being required to provide more and more sophisticated boundaries for adults who ought to self-regulate.

                      What we need instead is to somehow spark a culture of self-improvement, where virtuous behaviour, rather than dishonesty, is a serious choice in parties' tactical arsenals.

                      National are slowly learning the lesson that they can't score much against Ardern because her positions are conspicuously, and no doubt deliberately, politically virtuous.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yup. That's more or less the direction I had in mind.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I should probably note that the role of the press in both the loss of moral character in parliament, and in any significant effort to reform it, is non-trivial.

                      Evans says it at length and probably much better than me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Times,Bad_Times(book)

                      Trump is ultimately an end product of Murdoch media – prior to Fox he would likely have been winnowed out.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes; it is non-trivial. But not non-achievable.

                      Here is a story; at the moral peak of the Islamic empire say around AD 1200, it had established a number of large cities with paved and lighted streets, with Universities and civil life well in advance of the rest of Europe which at the time was still very medieval.

                      On the market streets it was normal for a business to indicate that it was closed for the day by putting a small rope across the door. Regardless of whether it was a seller of vegetables or jewellery. If you had asked the owner whether they were concerned about someone stealing their stock overnight, they would have looked at you incredulously. "But why would someone do something so shameful?" would be the likely answer.

                      While much of human history has indeed been a shameful catalog of horrors, there have always been pockets of the opposite as my small example above illustrates. Human nature is not so fixed as we're fond of thinking. In my view as individuals we are equally as capable of choosing good over suffering, but as you imply, the magic ingredients to produce a righteous society do not come together either all that often, nor entirely at random.

                      Or to put it more simply, nothing worthwhile achieving was ever easy. Yet refusing to make the effort is the only absolute failure.

      • mikesh 3.1.2

        It would seem that a society needs to practise the "four cardinal virtues" – prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.

        • RedLogix 3.1.2.1

          Exactly. And while no single political mode has a monopoly on these virtues, it would the conservative voice, harking to hard won traditional knowledge who would be most likely to express their 'cardinal' importance.

          • roblogic 3.1.2.1.1

            …and the Corporation is parasitic on all these value structures; preaching liberty, stoicism, or social justice, while extracting maximum wealth from the host society

            • RedLogix 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Yet the modern post 1800 era, dominated economically by both the corporation and the capitalist model, has seen an unprecedented explosion in new wealth everywhere.

              In 2016 for the first time in all of human history, fully 50% of the human race achieved a modest middle class lifestyle by local standards. We doubled life expectancy, we've gone from just 1b humans to 7.5b. Famine and mass killing disease are mostly horrors from the past. Violence and crime are no longer daily realities for most people. Major power conflict and war, while still a dark threat, has nonetheless been contained at far lower levels than ever before. By every measure human life in 2020 is unimaginably better than it was in 1820.

              Of course none of this has been achieved without exploitation, corruption and unintended consequences. The socialist left quite legitimately points to these failures and demands we do better, but does it's case no favours when it ignores how far we have already come.

              • roblogic

                Progress is due to capitalism and corporations?! Dude your mind has been colonised. It's due to democracy, advances in technology, and hard labour by the workers

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yep. For the last two hundred years the capitalists have been against the advances that Redlogix lists.

                • RedLogix

                  All of the above. Capitalism in it's modern form was more or less invented by the Dutch in the 1600's along with the Scientific Revolution and general extension of political rights in the post Bubonic Plague medieval era. Many elements came together, along with the peculiar geopolitical features of Europe, that ignited what we now call the Industrial Revolution in the 1800's.

                  Many of these components had existed in other parts of the world at various times, but nowhere had the magic combination of science, commerce and the legal systems to support the rights of the individual all come together at once. Arguing that you can subtract out the legal system of private property and capitalism, and get the same result is a counterfactual history that would be rash to argue for.

                  Note carefully; I'm explicitly not arguing for unconstrained neo-liberal capitalism. We've done that failed experiment and there is no need to repeat it.

                  But that does not mean capitalism (and it's underlying foundations of individual agency and private property) should be discarded. We really just need to understand better their correct relationship to the political whole.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.2

            While ignoring them as we've seen.

    • vto 3.2

      well put red.

      i think the problems arise when each of those groups tries to undertake one of the other group's roles. e.g. conservatives try something new (e.g. let's open the border with australia).

      recognition by each of the others and their importance and place would be a good start.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        If you meet a person who sees only the flaws in other people, who always seeks to blame others for anything wrong …. then immediately we know this person lacks social intelligence. Any success they achieve will not endure because they have no allies; their life will be unstable and often dysfunctional.

        Now extend this idea to the three political modes. What if instead of forever looking to the inevitable flaws of the other mode, and gallery of rogues that infests each, we instead acknowledged their strengths and legitimate purpose first? And then took responsibility for our own failings before attending to others?

        • Robert Guyton 3.2.1.1

          That's very biblical, RedLogix.

          • Incognito 3.2.1.1.1

            Or Jungian.

            • greywarshark 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Great RL. Almost as if it comes from General Sun Tzu about logics and maneouvres.

              BornSun Wu 544 BC (traditional) Qi or Wu, Zhou Kingdom

              Died496 BC (traditional; aged 47–48) Gusu, Wu, Zhou Kingdom

              OccupationMilitary general, tactician, writer, philosopher

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Marxism is the anti-thesis of tyranny. It is, after all, democracy that starts in the work place.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    What's that you say? The Greens? Supporting a school? Preposterous!

    What? It's a state-of-the-art Green school, operating to the very principles the green movement admires? Outrageous, what are The Greens thinking???

    Eh? It's constructed using the latest and best green building and earth-friendly methods and materials? Ridiculous! Unforgivable!! That might serve as a model for other buildings around the country!! No, I say, no, no, no!

    Again? The Greens support was specifically around the creation of jobs in a region that has lost it's oil and gas focus?? We can't have that sort of carry on from The Greens – they don't DO that sort of thing!!

    Pardon?? The children who will be attending the school come from rich families??? This is beyond the pale! We don't condone working with the rich!!! We are green, we eat the rich!!!

    It's time to stand up to this sort of betrayal and take the Green Party down!! The timing is perfect, with the election so near; rise up, disgruntled greenies, make as much noise as you can, don't wait for facts or any response from the leaders of the party, act now! Wail and weep, gnash your teeth and tear your hair and do it loud and in public; no point in sitting quietly, weighing-up the pros and cons and consequences, bring them down!!! All those years you supported The Greens were wasted, these guys have funded a school!!! Bring on a National Government! That'll teach the Imperfect Greens (that's what I call them!!!!).

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.1

      Yes, dear.

    • Ad 4.2

      The people who vote Green are predominantly wealthy hyper-liberals. Check the electorates they get most of their vote from. It ain't the proles.

      So Shaw is just shoring up his base. Perfectly natural.

      • Andre 4.2.1

        Shoring up part of the base. And alienating some supporters. If nothing else, it's a strongly divisive move.

        • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1

          In other news..

          The Green Party has refused to support the building of a school that reflects many aspects of its own kaupapa; environmentally-friendly building, energy-conservation, nature-inspired design, teaching methods and programmes that suit the eco-conscious learner and create aware leaders for the future who are grounded in Gaian thinking, teach earth-care and social responsibility, conserve resources, minimise waste and a raft of other green initiatives. Green leader James Shaw said, "We just don't have the confidence as a Party to back our own beliefs; the project is too big, too bold and on such a grand scale that we, a tiny and modest, Conservative party, don't think we can tie ourselves to such an expansive project. We feel that getting plastic bags out of supermarkets is quite enough for one election cycle; we don't want to appear too full of ourselves or confident in our world view as our supporters might rebel if they think this poppy is getting too tall. Consequently, we're not supporting this seemingly green idea. Sorry. Awful sorry. Everyone.

          • Andre 4.2.1.1.1

            Yep, keep uncritically chanting the party line over and over and over and over. Mindless repetition eventually works. Or not.

          • mauī 4.2.1.1.2

            As a first priority, I would have gone for $12 million on the creation of a "Taranaki Forest Service" to remedy 50 years of fossil fuel production, with an emphasis on long term job creation.

            • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1.2.1

              That's a good idea from the left, mauī smiley

              The argument that "other things are more important than a school" will be presented over and over but doesn't change the situation and choices James Shaw was presented with. Sure, the money would be better spent on a, b, c or d, but those options weren't on the table. The education world is up in arms over their "loss" but this money was not from their fund, it was from another department.

              • PB

                It's not that its more important than a school its that state schools have concurrently been told that they will have to struggle on without the required property money. In some cases this means cold, damp, leaky classrooms, old toilet blocks and the like and no more for roll growth classrooms which sees kids piled into overcrowded spaces. That's the point – the private well to do being handed $11.7m whilst the common folk get nothing. Even worse is the advice that state schools will have to struggle on for at least five years before they are considered for funding.

                [Fixed typo in e-mail address]

            • Ad 4.2.1.1.3.1

              I preferred the right splintering. They get purer, faster.

              We'll just be relieved if the Greens make 5%.

              • RedLogix

                I was of course being ironic. The demonstrated fact that so many Green Party activists cannot bring themselves to both walk and chew gum at the same time here is pretty sad.

                This school looks like a seriously innovative green idea; and as with all pioneering efforts it's going to come with a substantial 'first mover' cost. This is the sort of thing government is really good at doing.

                But no apparently the money has to be spent of teacher aides, and doing more of the same old thing. It's a very conservative instinct and I can respect it's motives. Yet as you say, the Greens also have a substantial liberal base that absolutely needs to see innovation like this.

                It all points to a party that's awkwardly positioned between two conflicting moral drivers, and will always be prone to this kind of instability until it's resolved one way or another. At the moment it looks very much as if the socialist element of the Greens are dominating, leaving a real vacuum on the environmental front.

                Maybe my old friends from TOP will be eyeing this fracas with amusement. devil

                • Robert Guyton

                  "This school looks like a seriously innovative green idea; and as with all pioneering efforts it's going to come with a substantial 'first mover' cost. This is the sort of thing government is really good at doing."

                  Tear it down! Drown it at birth! Coz!

                • Incognito

                  It all points to a party that's awkwardly positioned between two conflicting moral drivers, and will always be prone to this kind of instability until it's resolved one way or another.

                  Indeed. Given our adversarial and antagonistic style of politics, it will be ‘resolved’ when one beats the other into submission. So much for the holistic philosophy from the Green Party.

              • Incognito

                We'll just be relieved if the Greens make 5%.

                That will depend on their supporters, some of who are going a bit feral at the moment.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  In seats where Labour can't win we Labour people will vote Green.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That won't change the result except possibly help National get another seat.

                    If you want the Greens to get enough votes then electorate vote Labour (it may actually help get a Labour candidate an electorate seat) and party vote Green which will help get them over the 5% threshold.

            • AB 4.2.1.1.3.2

              Wasn't your comment at 3 above an implicit condemnation of one-dimensional purism – i.e. we need all the strands in balance? Now you are suggesting the Greens need to split to achieve that sort of (bad) purism. Seems contradictory.

              I am a simple soul and don't expect the Greens (or Labour) to be perfect political vehicles, or exact expressions of everything I think. Funding this school does seem on the surface like an odd contradiction – but I am happy enough with the general orientation of the party, just as I am with Labour. I tend to vote based on my perception of a political party's values and intent – because these are predictors of the likelihood of them getting things right in a horridly complex world. If the number of contradictions and discordant notes builds up too much however – then my perception of underlying values will follow in step.

      • weka 4.2.2

        yeah, nah, he fucked up. Greens have lots of well off voters, but the party is much more diverse and generating ire in your membership this close to the election is not a good move. They will sort it out, but the timing is not good.

        More of a concern is the left's response generally and how much of the debate yesterday was based in an understandable emotional response but with scant regards for the facts. That's an issue beyond the Greens.

      • swordfish 4.2.3

        Ad

        The people who vote Green are predominantly wealthy hyper-liberals. Check the electorates they get most of their vote from. It ain't the proles. So Shaw is just shoring up his base. Perfectly natural.

        We've been here before … and in better times https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-25082017/#comment-1373304 :

        • swordfish 4.2.3.1

          That was from the 2014 New Zealand Election Study.

          The 2017 iteration suggests a similar profile for Green voters … predominantly young, urban and, yes, relatively well-educated … BUT … more likely to be lower than higher income. Disproportionately either no occupation or lower-paid non-manual public sector.

          Impoverished (if culturally-"middle class") Radicals, if you like.

    • JanM 4.3

      Well said, Robert! I think the over-emotional reaction has failed to reflect on the whys and wherefores of this decision, preferring to throw the Green Party to the wolves than do some research and quiet reflection. Shame

      • Robert Guyton 4.3.1

        "research and quiet reflection" don't describe the zeitgeist at this point in history, JanM. This brouhaha is just one of a plethora of jangle-nerved states washing over us and it's getting more intense by the day. How long till polling day?

        • Peter t 4.3.1.1

          Problem is, whatever James' justification, this is simply very unpopular with many (most?) Green supporters. Pragmatism demands a rapid reversal to save the party vote. (FWIW my support continues).

          • Robert Guyton 4.3.1.1.1

            It's looking that way, Peter t. Ideologically-stoked passion and emotion are powerful forces that sweep reason out the door like so much dust.

            • In Vino 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Robert: if I accept your pleas for the existence of this school, I have opened the way for Charter schools of all sorts pleading the same innocence. As they have done in the past.

              As regards sweeping reason out the door, what was the reason for the Greens' Education policy, a main tenet of which is (or was) the phasing out of state funding for private schools?

              I have just seen an article in the Herald, where James Shaw has admitted that he would not repeat what he has done, and that he hopes supporters will not withdraw support for just one mistake like this.

              I am glad he understands this, and share his hope.

          • greywarshark 4.3.1.1.2

            No way Peter t should there he a reversal to save the party vote. The members just have to wake up out of their dreams of sleepy hammocks under sheltering green trees, a version of old hippy days and 'ohus'. This is real world politics and we want the Greens in there helping to support the country in all ways, not just in growing organics, planting trees and the myriad of other things of environmental importance. There are people being ground down by present economics which need change, and Greens are about bringing change in many ways.

            So all you armchair politicians out there as conservative as any, who are trying to stonewall the Green Party so it limits itself to your inadequate dreams, just go for a walk in the forest till October 17 and let real people with mind and muscle get on with the job of nurturing both the country and the hapless citizens caught up in this mess.

            • Peter t 4.3.1.1.2.1

              Greywarshark, I want the Greens to hold the balance of power after the election – hence the need for pragmatism with a decision that alienates many potential supporters.

              Accusatory diatribes are divisive and unhelpful. IMHO

              • greywarshark

                edit
                Yes Peter t you are right in a way when you want something removed that may stop them getting above the 5%. But my point is that they must be allowed to get on with the job of cobbling together a network of differing projects that they try to keep as close to green guidelines as possible. And the quibbling onlookers who say they support the superior Green ideas over other political parties and they must be pure and be approved before moving in anything are actually helping to kill off our chances to better this country and move to adopt measures and have infrastructure that will be necessary to survive climate change. We are just so compromised already that I doubt if NZs can ever let go of their negativity long enough and their bloody squabbling to learn new stuff about tactics and take what steps are needed.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.3.2

        …the over-emotional reaction has failed to reflect on the whys and wherefores of this decision

        Perhaps you can elucidate on the "whys" and "wherefores" and then, perhaps, attempt to consider alternatives where $11.7 million could have been allocated in such a way that ALL Green Party principles could have been honoured.

        Because directing those dollars to low decile state schools would have employed just as many, and could have incorporated just as innovative 'green' construction processes. The added benefit of going down that route(other than having avoided the justified backlash from Green party supporters) would have been those dollars having a positive and long term impact on more children. More bang for their buck.

        At the end of the day, Election Day, those of us criticising this appalling decision by James Shaw will be blamed for any decline in support for the Party.

        Weird that.

        • Robert Guyton 4.3.2.1

          "Those dollars" weren't tagged to education.
          Or rather, the consideration Shaw was giving was to projects presented for a specific fund. Building and maintenance of state schools wasn’t one of the projects received, so far as I understand. He couldn’t grant it because it wasn’t submitted.

        • Patricia Bremner 4.3.2.2

          Rosemary, mistakes are made, often with the best intentions. Navel gazing does not help as the Treasurer has said "No" to changing the funding arrangement, so James is between a rock and a hard place, He will read the small print next time.

    • greywarshark 4.4

      I see some smartie pants giving you the 'Yes dear' Robert. Thanks for your fine analysis and shuttlecock playing – you are playing superbly. Your experience on various Councils with cloth ears shows in your adroit and always thoughtful replies. Thanks for keeping your mind and your communications open.

      Hopefully the contretemps is just a passing shower and not likely to develop into a destructive Hurricane Laura now tearing into the USA.

      Aug.27/20 https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-the-2020-hurricane-season-could-end-up-rivaling-the-worst-on-record-11598544359

      https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/cyclones/

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/300092581/hurricane-laura-makes-landfall-in-us-as-ferocious-category-4-storm-its-in-full-beast-mode

      (And Forbes does the Pollyanna thing looking at what positives there are and the use of good preparation to mitigate):

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2020/08/27/why-deaths-from-hurricanes-and-other-natural-disasters-are-lower-than-ever/#7f1bb3aa1396

      • Robert Guyton 4.4.1

        Well, that's very kind of you, Greywarshark. I have to say though, it's usually me that gets labeled "smartypants" smiley

        The way I see it, in simple terms, James and the Labour members of the team chose, from a limited selection of "shovel-ready" projects, a construction project. He will have weighed up the application against the criteria for funding before giving his support to the decision of the others. The rest is churn.

        • greywarshark 4.4.1.1

          Keep laying those paths surfaced with nuggets of rationality, practicality etc. RG and playing your pipe and we anxious citizens will follow and tread along them in good spirits and hopeful, towards the big community hoedown in October. I can hardly wait.

    • SPC 4.5

      The Green Party supporting public funding for a private school because Green ….

      is still the Green Party supporting public funding to a private school.

      Is this OK, if and when it comes from a capital spending fund rather than the education budget?

      For mine there is then the concern about whether money in the $3B fund should be spent on projects where there are private beneficiaries.

      Is this OK because Green …

      While school buildings can also be used by the community, its quite secondary to its main use.

      There must be many community projects requiring capital spending that councils have in the pipeline in Taranaki that could have been funded.

    • Gabby 4.6

      Quite right too. It's about time someone thought of the plight of the children of the rich beyond your dreams of avarice.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    I'm left wondering if the USA ambassador dragged his unquarantined self onto a domestic flight to Wellington. If so what did the relevant airline say to the other passengers – if anything?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122579708/us-ambassador-scott-brown-dodges-quarantine-in-new-zealand-after-us-trip

  6. Peter 6

    It's quite nice that we bend over backwards to support those like the ambassador from shithole 3rd world countries.

    The guy will get the highest possible awards from his emperor boss when he gets home. The boss showed last week he knows that he has sent his man into territory that is in unimaginably dire.

    • Morrissey 7.1

      Your diligence in adhering to the discredited Russiagate fantasy is perhaps only surpassed by Bill Maher’s. As we can see in this dire yet hilarious clip from two years ago, even Ben freaking Shapiro ends up looking smart compared to someone spouting crazy conspiracy theories.

      The nutty Russian theorizing starts at the 8:24 mark…

      BEN SHAPIRO: I have a question. Do you actually think that Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin?

      BILL MAHER: [fervently] Yes. YES. You DON'T? How can you NOT? How can you NOT?

      (AUDIENCE: Wild applause.)

      BEN SHAPIRO: I do not, because I watched that campaign. I don't think that Donald Trump could collude with his own left foot.

      (AUDIENCE: Uneasy laughter, some derisory scoffing.)

      MAHER: Well I don't think HE did it but, you know, his SON did it, his, the people who were, who Muller is INDICTING….

      ad nauseam….

      • Andre 7.1.1

        It's interesting how use of the term "Russiagate" has become a reliable identifier of a convergence moonbat whose wilful blindness to evidence and reason even manages to survive the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report.

        The evidence is so clear and incontrovertible that even Repug senators that live so far up the Fanta Fascist's ass they can party with Hannity couldn't find a way to deny it.

  7. Muttonbird 8

    While I don't agree with Kealy Warren's move to write to the Prime Minister and simultaneously release the letter to Nicola Willis – fine, she's angry but that is a mischievous act which doesn't afford the PM the right of reply – she makes some powerful points here:

    Kealy Warren, acting principal of Marfell Community School – a low decile school in nearby New Plymouth, couldn't believe the news.

    "I felt physically sick, I wanted to vomit. I could not believe we were being so disrespected in favour of an elitist private school.''

    She says it sent a message of worthlessness to her students.

    "I'm heartbroken for our beautiful children that have been told yet again you're the bottom of the heap stay there – what are you going to amount to?

    "You're the bottom of the heap, just stay there, you're not going to add to the economy when you grow up so sit there in your leaky classroom,'' she says.

    Marama Davidson must find that hard to read.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/424646/pressure-on-green-co-leader-james-shaw-to-pull-support-for-taranaki-green-school

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Kealy Warren can choose to pass on the feelings she refers to "You're the bottom of the heap, just stay there" or tell the children that she will help them to do their best, find the special gift they have and build on that. That is what a good teacher can do instead of feeling hopeless and reflecting that on to the children.

      It is bad in NZ, and we have noticed for decades how bad it is. We have been unable to change things for the better, those of us who wanted to that is. So we have to try different approaches. I suggest connecting to people of good attitude, who do not have embedded in their soul a whole lot of bitterness and negative feelings. Start being positive, be pleased with what you have now, and build on that, take hold of opportunities, advocate for better. Enjoy the life you can and build a sense of self-worth from personal achievement of goals you have set for yourself, then give yourself a reward to mark it. The whole world is in a pickle, appreciate what you have, try to improve it, reach out to others.

      And I think that we need to deliberately adopt Pollyanna ideas as written in the book by Eleanor Porter. It seems sugary and laughable. But the only way to keep yourself above the tide of bad news, mismanagement and stupidity that seems our daily lot, is to change the way we think about it before we sink. I suggest applying the Pollyanna principle, of looking for good amongst the bad, not sinking into depression. We could also follow the computer program system of breaking a problem into parts which get worked at separately and then connected and trialled.

      This Atlantic article gives Pollyanna a severe look from all angles but ends up with this:

      …Her "glad game" goes beyond simple positive thinking. Pollyanna isn't always cheerful; she cries over disappointments large and small, and initially refuses to play the game when she suffers a major tragedy. It's not that she's naturally the world's greatest optimist; rather, optimism is a tool she uses to make herself happy. Her gladness is Gladwellian: It's not a state of mind, but rather a skill that becomes stronger with practice. As the freckled little guru herself put it, "When you're hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget the other kind." Welcome to the 21st century, Pollyanna. You'll fit right in.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/02/how-we-all-became-pollyannas-and-why-we-should-be-glad-about-it/273323/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollyanna

    • SPC 8.2

      Why did the government exclude money from the fund being used for capital spending in public health and education? Projects in the pipeline being brought forward when there was unemployment.

      • Muttonbird 8.2.1

        I think they are focussed on Covid right now. Particularly the Auckland outbreak. The pressure must be immense so I'm not surprised there are mistakes around longer term projects.

        • SPC 8.2.1.1

          And for mine they are at risk there.

          WHO recommends masks for schools – spread in one school and then into homes and parents workplaces. They either go back to lockdown fast or risk Auckland not being able to safely have an election in October.

          Their current position – stay at home or wear a mask if out and about at the weekend, then send the children into school classrooms without masks is inconsistent, its damn poor pandemic managment practice and politically suicidal.

          • Muttonbird 8.2.1.1.1

            There is a lot of risk. The relaxation at L1 was a real mistake. Kiwis really need to change their behaviour but that is not easy in a Western society like ours.

            Mask wearing needs to be normalised for instance. There needs to be permanent change around mass gatherings, particularly churches which seem to be a real vector for exponential spreading.

            That is going to be difficult for Pacific peoples who often only have church as their community focus.

    • Morrissey 9.1

      Trevor Noah. Funny as, oh, Stephen Colbert. sad

      • Morrissey 9.1.1

        And then there's the lamest of the lame, Bill Maher….

        • The Al1en 9.1.1.1

          Love Bill Maher, even his appearance in one episode of Max Headroom back in the day, and an essential stream every saturday night for real time.

          A great servant of the left in the usa, and while I don't agree with everything he says or does, I put his contribution and worth to the cause so much greater than any saddo critic sniping from behind in their safe as comfort zone.

          • Sacha 9.1.1.1.1

            Look, they are nothing on the comic genius Northcote has gifted us with.

          • Morrissey 9.1.1.1.2

            Love Bill Maher, even his appearance in one episode of Max Headroom back in the day, and an essential stream every saturday night for real time.

            Fair point. I often laugh at some of his routine, even now. He certainly knows how to deliver a joke. He's not all bad, he's just naive—he seems to actually take seriously such baloney as the "Steele dossier"—and intellectually lazy, as is clear from listening to him rant about the people of the Occupied Territories and the besieged enclave of Gaza.

            A great servant of the left in the usa,

            Repeating bizarre conspiracy theories concocted by the extreme right (Clintonista) faction of the Democratic Party serves no one except the Trump campaign.

            and while I don't agree with everything he says or does,

            That's encouraging. I think we're on the same page, assuming of course that you are not so foolish as to endorse those discredited Russiagate fantasies.

            I put his contribution and worth to the cause so much greater than any saddo critic sniping from behind in their safe as comfort zone.

            Oh, now THAT was hurtful. Ow, ow, ow. surprise

      • Andre 9.1.2

        Anyone hear anything?

  8. Pat 10

    "This market is too big to fail and the Government just demonstrated yet again that betting on the bailout pays off."

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/our-housing-market-is-too-big-to-fail

    And if they are to succeed in stopping that crash then the Government (whomever it is) is going to have to provide well paid employment for a considerable period because without it the ability to service that debt even at near zero interest rates is about to disappear….the RBNZ can solve the banks funding dilemma but it cannot create the employment needed to support it.

    Ironically the crisis has delivered the called for 'transparency'

    • Ad 10.1

      He's right.

      New Zealand's declining middle class is defined by property ownership.

      The 5 year Bright Line test is as close as we are ever going to get to regulating housing capital.

      • Pat 10.1.1

        hes half right….for the reason explained above.

        • Ad 10.1.1.1

          The government has been bailing out most of our jobs for most of the year.

          No one in government is blind to the risks within the economy either now or through the next term.

          • Pat 10.1.1.1.1

            They would indeed have to be blind not to see the risks….the question remains, what are they going to do about it?

            • Ad 10.1.1.1.1.1

              The Government is rapidly coming to the end of ordinary measures it could take.

              I can run through the list of the unheard-of-scale interventions they've already got going. Or pop over the Beehive site and you can see it all.

              At no other time has a New Zealand government spent this amount of money in 6 months, on anything.

              • Pat

                You miss the point (quite possibly deliberately)….subsidising wages for six months does nothing to address the underlying drivers of the problem, it merely defers the impact…..there is nothing to address the rapidly approaching reckoning and no sign they have even a glimmering of how to address it (from ANY party)

                Extend and pretend has run out of road

                • Ad

                  They've got a bit to go in the tank, but yes it will run out.

                  And printing more money doesn't increase economic output – it only increases the amount of cash circulating in our own little economy.

                  I don't see anyone pretending about the NZ economy, least of all the government.

                  Our economic survival depends on a small group of trading partners recovering. This country has only been this vulnerable about three times in its history.

                  • Pat

                    thank you for confirming that extend and pretend is the only strategy and that it cannot work…..it appears the Gov have the same (idea bereft) advisors as yourself

                  • Nic the NZer

                    "And printing more money doesn't increase economic output"

                    Come on, you can be way more factual than that. New Zealand would have many, many more unemployed without the wage subsidy spending (and other on going spending by the government) and lower output, ergo the governments spending (which followed off the back of QE) has increased economic output.

                    In fact I am given to understand you work for the government fairly directly and your employers output is being increased by spending directly also (again off the back of a deficit financed by RBNZ QE).

                    • Ad

                      Our large scale infrastructure projects are indeed public financed, but they get financed years previously.

                      Perfectly happy with Robertson's moves. But only time will tell if the Reserve Bank has done good by bringing inflation and investment returns down to stuff-all.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Our economic survival depends on a small group of trading partners recovering.

                    No it doesn't.

                    It depends on everyone realising that being dependent upon trade for survival is a really stupid idea.

                    • Ad

                      Whatever you think of the idea of international trade, we remain completely reliant on it. Have done for 2 centuries now.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    I was just highlighting that your statement "And printing more money doesn't increase economic output" is demonstrable false. Obviously a lot of government spending is on shorter life span goods rather than infrastructure projects as well. But government spending is quite directly adding to economic output.

                    If we were talking about the RBNZ bailing out South Canterbury Finance or something you may have a point here.

                    "But only time will tell if the Reserve Bank has done good by bringing inflation and investment returns down to stuff-all."

                    This seems a total indictment of Monetary Policy as the RBNZ has been telling us for about the last 10 years that QE and low interest rates actually raise inflation, and that they were busy diligently raising it towards the middle of their target inflation band. But you seem to imply they were so inept at this that they have actually been lowering inflation as well as investment returns.

      • Incognito 10.1.2

        New Zealand’s economic growth and prosperity is defined by FIRE, until CC, which is already here and happening.

        Ironically, the pandemic crisis has conveniently taken the collective eye away. What other better dead cat strategy to ‘combat’ a global crisis than another global crisis?

        Crisis? What Crisis?

        • Pat 10.1.2.1

          "Ironically, the pandemic crisis has conveniently taken the collective eye away"

          On the contrary….the crisis has exposed the lie of the jargon used for decades to maintain BAU

    • mikesh 10.2

      I'm not sure that falling to more realistic should be considered a "failure".

      • Pat 10.2.1

        not necessarily…but how we get from where we are now to there could indeed be a failure….as is pretending we dont need to get there.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      The problem with the housing market crashing is that there won't be as much money created to spend in the economy and thus the economy will crash. This is why the governments have been supporting the unsustainable and poverty inducing runaway house pricing for the last 20 years.

      The point is that we could deal with the crash from the lack of induced money from runaway house prices increases through the government simply putting in place a UBI that's paid for with created money. Then we'd have a facsimile of this:

      • Pat 10.3.1

        or better a guaranteed employment model….but whatever they do it needs a plan.

        I dont see one, or even the sign of one….do you?

        • Draco T Bastard 10.3.1.1

          or better a guaranteed employment model….

          Both. People are moving between jobs and they need support while doing so.

          And, yes, they need a plan but governments gave up planning in the 1980s hoping that the free-market would provide which it has manifestly failed to do. Made a few people very rich though.

  9. swordfish 11

    Professor Jack Vowles defends Govt on latest outbreak:

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/a-gap-between-criticism-and-reality

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      Fantastic read and one which mirrors my own thoughts here over the last two weeks. I should be a professor.

      laugh

    • RedLogix 11.2

      A very good article. This undermining of the government for purely political gain is deplorable:

      Meanwhile, many New Zealanders have found the depth, extent, personal and aggressive nature of the criticism of the Government and its officials troubling and unfair. Full testing at the border, important though it is, has not exposed significant shortfalls in the protocols. At a time when social media and some politicians have been repeating ‘fake news’, allegations that go so far as accusing government officials of lying, run the risk of undermining trust, reducing compliance with the measures intended to eliminate the virus, thus damaging their effectiveness. There is emerging evidence of a corrosive effect on public attitudes and behaviour.

    • Incognito 11.3

      A lonely voice in a dusty desert of discontents.

      • swordfish 11.3.1

        You’re wonderfully Alliterate.

        But I see Jack more as a Prophet surrounded by squealing chameleons in a closed down Shoe Store.

        • Incognito 11.3.1.1

          Just as well that Jack’s job is in an Ivory Tower on a lean frequented by international visitors who love selfies in T-shirts made in China.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.4

      Thanks Swordfish. Professor Jack Vowels nailed it.

  10. Morrissey 12

    Sadistic Facebook shuts down Gaza health ministry page
    by Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 26 August 2020

    When I heard the news on Monday that the first coronavirus cases had been confirmed in Gaza outside of quarantine centers, I headed immediately for the Facebook page of Gaza’s health ministry. It’s the place I go for information or livestreams of press conferences from health officials serving the 2.1 million Palestinians in Gaza, half of whom are children.

    This was the moment everyone dreaded and had managed to stave off since the start of the pandemic: a potentially uncontained outbreak in a besieged enclave whose health and sanitation systems have been on their knees for years due to successive Israeli military attacks and 14 years of illegal blockade.

    To my dismay, however, the Facebook page was gone. Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the health ministry’s spokesperson, confirmed to The Electronic Intifada that Facebook shut the page down about ten days ago. This is the third time Facebook has shut down the ministry’s page.

    Al-Qedra said the pretext Facebook gave was that the ministry had used the words “martyr” or “resistance.” The word shahid in Arabic – often translated as “martyr” – is used almost universally by Palestinians to describe any person, whether a civilian or a combatant, killed in the context of the conflict with Israel.

    I have written to Facebook’s media office twice this week asking for an explanation. I have yet to receive any reply.

    Campaign of censorship

    For years, Facebook has been waging a campaign in cahoots with Israeli occupation authorities to silence and censor Palestinian media. It has shut down the accounts and pages of dozens of Palestinian journalists and publications – on the Israeli-supplied pretext that criticism of Israel and its crimes against Palestinians constitute “incitement.” It has labeled Palestinian journalism as “hate speech.”

    Facebook has even appointed an Israeli government censor to its “oversight board.” …

    Read more….

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/sadistic-facebook-shuts-down-gaza-health-ministry-page

  11. Byd0nz 13

    I'm waiting for the Government to fund a private school that I could support, ie, ' School of Marxist study and a world without money' make the playing field a little tiny bit more even.

  12. When our supposedly "Left" government abandons its principles and predictably bails out the wealthy and powerful, and props up the housing bubble

    • Ad 15.1

      We are all bloody lucky that the housing market is holding up. It's the last main source of wealth we have.

      The government supported businesses directly rather than workers directly – and the net result is still an economy that would have been a whole bunch worse if those businesses had failed.

      There are far better critique lines for this government.

      • roblogic 15.1.1

        You mean, it's the main source of free money for the rich, and inequality and suffering for everyone else.

        • greywarshark 15.1.1.1

          The right just love to lambast Labour – their favourite sport. If Labour were more sure of being supported they would have been able to break through the mess that National left behind. But they are now being hammered for not doing enough to change things, which may lead to us being back with the people who have devastated the country – National Party. What!! Can the Left stop this eviscerating their own party and concentrate on getting it back into power and then we can address the problems that the neoliberal weakened have been unable to tackle using the systems that were supposed to be so efficient and effective.

          Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the Party – Labour or Green. If you keep on criticising you are NOT a good man or woman, you are a disgrace to New Zealand. We have a clear task in this country and a long way to go till the bloody delayed election, and I don't feel confident that clear-minded lefties will be able to prevail against the shit that is being spread at present. It needs to stop, togetherness and determination to win the election need to prevail. Can we STFU with all this hassle and whingeing and stay with the task – an election win for Labour and the Greens. This is for all of us who have a good heart and want NZ to be better and able to cope with an uncertain and difficult future.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.2

        We are all bloody lucky that the housing market is holding up.

        No we're not. The housing market is decades past the correction that it should have had which means that when that correction comes its going to be a hell of a lot worse.

        It's the last main source of wealth we have.

        A home is just a home. Unfortunately, the capitalists have turned homes into income for themselves from the work of others.

        The government supported businesses directly rather than workers directly – and the net result is still an economy that would have been a whole bunch worse if those businesses had failed.

        What a load of bollocks.

        If those businesses had failed then we would be better off as they're obviously dead-end businesses.

        While, if the government had directly supported the workers with a UBI @retirement level then the businesses that we need would have survived anyway and the flow of money into the economy would have remained to keep it going.

        Then, as the economy continued on, new businesses suitable for the new paradigm would have emerged.

        The housing market as the source of new money for the economy is a major problem as it inevitably leads to massive private debt that will crash the economy again – just as it did in 2008.

        • Craig H 15.1.2.1

          Even at the 'just a home' level, it's not ideal to have to continue to spend 10 years' income on a home when it's now only worth 5. However good the socioeconomic rationale is, the homeowner still feels shafted and will vote accordingly.

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.2.1.1

            House prices should never have got that high. The ideal seems to be 4 times the average wage.

            But, as I said, the governments have been supporting the massive house price increases because it means that a huge amount of money has entered the economy and made it look like we were doing really well.

            There's only one real solution to the fact that home buyers are going to feel shafted when the house prices collapse but nobody likes it. That solution is the government printing enough money to buy up the houses at the hyper-inflated prices and then rent them back to the previous owners at 25% of income.

            Do that and the economy keeps ticking over and people would be better off.

      • SPC 15.1.3

        The government provided money for business to pass onto their workers – the wage subsidy.

        The government allowed business to borrow money (lines of credit related to previous years tax paid) etc.

    • SPC 15.2

      Is it?

      A government has no mandate to be left wing in its policies unless it obtains an electoral mandate, until then it is obliged to continue with existing policy settings.

      Using cheap money to stimulate the economy – advantaging those with asset loans, and thus growing relative inequality in wealth to those without property assets

      Banks allowing mortgage holidays is not a government policy, but part of the lender borrower relationship.

      The landlord can pass this on to their tenant or not. A government can try to organise a concord but Winston Peters ruled that out here.

      Income inequality rises when an economy is in decline – the pandemic is not government policy so it is not the cause.

      The government gave much much more to workers through the wage subsidy than it gave to business (access to finance based on past tax paid, then to loans).

      The government had already increased student allowances, brought in the power income supplement (then doubled it), increased the baseline rate benefit by $30 and provided for a 12 week period of unemployment income support at twice the normal rate and allowed this for partners as well.

      There was also placing the homeless into accommodation.

  13. Stephen D 16

    Be careful what you wish for and all that.

    When's the next round of polling due?

  14. Byd0nz 17

    Why didnt businesses use some of their years of exorbitant profits for the rainy day instead of getting the 'Nanny State' whom they berate to prop them up, the Government should have given the wage subsidy directly to the workers. Maybe though, when the handbrake is not attached, the next Labour Government may well find it's true Labour roots.

  15. indiana 18

    NZ is truly blesssed, though my cravings are for a good craft beer with friends.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12360263

    [Fixed error in e-mail address]

  16. greywarshark 19

    A heartfelt comment from one who has worked at Canterbury DHB from The Daily Blog. From 'The Left's Dilemma':

    Jerko August 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    The DHBs all need more money to bring them up to 21 Century. I was in CHCH during those years of the Earthquakes. The National Government did not give the CDHB any extra money. I worked in the Operating room during those earthquakes. In actual fact ACC should have been giving them the funding for treating all of those casualties. But no one knows how they fund these situations except the DHBs are bulk funded for ACC cases. Even though they provide all Emergency and Intensive care For accident cases. In the Private hospitals, they are creaming off ACC for the surgery they do in Private. In Private they itemize everything they use. In Public they dont. The National Government tried to privatize ACC. People need to look at what the Labour Led Coalition have achieved so far. Instead of whining. They are still fixing the mess that National left behind.

  17. Tricledrown 20

    Those wage subsidies have to be paid to employees or returned to the govt coffers.

  18. Nic the NZer 21

    August 16th Presentation by Bill Mitchell to the New Zealand Fabian Society,

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=45675

    Has a good overview of MMT from a principal developer of the ideas (with reference to the New Zealand economy and institutions).

    About 40 minutes, accessible for a lay-person, self contained and doesn't use fancy terms which need to be looked up to understand what is being conveyed.

    • Ad 21.1

      Good intro to MMT thankyou. I've got little argument about the historical context as set out.

      But he puts a lot of stock on Japan. Little old New Zealand better resembles Peru under Garcia, or until the 1970s and early 1980s more like Chile under Allende.

      https://www.cato.org/publications/cato-journal/modern-monetary-theory-cautionary-tales-latin-america

      I can still remember my very first investment in 1983, into a second mortgage at 28%; got in and got out. I also remember 3rd Form Social Studies giving lessons about out impending "leisure society". Yeah right.

      • SPC 21.1.1

        Blame Alvin Toffler

      • Nic the NZer 21.1.2

        Well it is certainly true enough that in economic scale Japan and New Zealand are somewhat different. But institutionally we are similar which is the point being expounded at this point.

        The Cato piece I find to be very convincing due to,

        1) MMT sees itself initially as purely descriptive. New Zealand has been implementing a monetarily sovereign currency since 1984 (when the exchange rate was floated) which MMT categorizes as a system with the most broad fiscal policy space. The Cato piece describes MMT as a regime of inflationary spending.

        2) The RBNZ has implemented QE this year, the consequences of this are described by MMT. If we were to follow the Cato piece thinking on this point we should expect that the govt financing itself this way will result in crowding out and inflation. If on the other hand this doesn't happen then the Cato author is making a spurious (if typical for mainstream economics) claim. If we want our economics to be treated as a science then ideas which lead to incorrect conclusions must be rejected.

        3) The Cato piece doesn't mention the economic sanctions applied to Chile and Venezuela (and in Peru the financial reform process working in a similar way of closing off external markets) but these kinds of international policies have a record of being correlated with significant foreign exchange rate falls and imported domestic inflation. So I think there are items with a track record of causing the ills the Cato authors describes in the mix.

        4) As I said QE is already happening in New Zealand (among other economies) and if your following the actual details of what MMT has to say about Overt Monetary Financing, the kind of policy the Cato author is imputing MMT to be about, its described as similar to QE in that some how the government just ends up owning a lot of its own debt. So unless that regime behaves in an extremely hard to understand way (basically the MMT argument is that the accounts end up in a similar state with both QE and OMF), then New Zealand is already effectively practicing what the Cato author is describing, so the consequences should follow?

        This all leads me to conclude that the Cato discussion is largely to discourage popular understanding of MMT, rather than a serious challenge to its validity as a theory of economics.

    • SPC 21.2

      Yup, we live in a capitalist order society, just as the peasants lived in a fuedal order.

      And it does not have to be this way.

      It does remind me of a conversation in a first year economics class.

      socialist youth – why is there no teaching of socialist economics until the third year?

      professor – you have to learn market economics first

      SPC – they want you to climb a ladder and then make the effort worthwhile by apologising for the market system like a trained parrot.

      Apparently its OK to print money, provided its called a debt that has to be paid back.

  19. dv 22

    I note that it will cost $5000 a day to imprison.

    Thats a lot for a concrete box with a bucket a bunk bed and a couple of meals a day!!!

    And put high voltage wire around the box for security.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/422749/cost-of-christchurch-mosque-gunman-s-incarceration-prompts-calls-to-send-him-to-australia

    "The cost works out at roughly $5000 per day – compared to about $300 a day for a regular inmate.

  20. mauī 23

    Shaw's position is untenable now, he will have to stand down the day after the election. I'm predicting Cunliffe or Jack MacDonald to be parachuted in.

  21. Andre 24

    We don't know how lucky we are …

  22. Peter chch 25

    reply to DV 21 above (my reply button not working).

    Clearly you never been inside a High Security Prison. I have (not as an inmate I stress). A bucket belongs to the far far distant past. The high Security wings of today are true wonders of technology, and have a far higher staff to inmate ratio than other classification levels.

    $5K a day may seem a lot but that is the price we pay for a supposedly civilised society. And a big chunk of that $5k is down to the strong union presence that protects a culture of waste and corruption.

  23. SPC 26

    The government is very wrong not to require masks at schools next week in Auckland.

    The idea that people should stay at home, or if in public use mask at the weekend, and then send their children to spend the day inside in a classroom without a mask is inconsistent (they will require use of masks on public transport nationwide and there is no community spread outside Auckland).

    Spread in school and then onto homes and then multiple workplaces would put at risk the return to Level 2 and the ability for the election to be held in Auckland on October 17.

    World evidence that children do spread the virus has led WHO to recommend the use of masks in schools for children.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12360273

    An evidence led government would require the use of masks in schools in Auckland next week (and also recommend temperature checks at workplaces there).

  24. McFlock 27

    So the taxpayer's union did a little informal polling on Twitter (direct link to thread), and got their arses handed to them on a plate.

    The comments are pretty funny, too. E.specially as TU has received taxpayer funding in the frm of the covid employee fund.

    Which do you support? Higher taxes (resp:80%), lower taxes (resp: 20%)

  25. Herodotus 28

    "Previously, besides zero tolerance long weekends, it was understood police could exercise discretion up to 10kmh over the speed limit.

    That buffer does not exist any more."

    So does that also mean that trucks and those light vehicles towing and are restrict to 90km will also be held to the same zero tolerance standards? These 2 groups never seem to appear in discussions- and how does a speed camera differentiate for on coming vehicles that are in these 2 categories.

    https://www.drivingtests.co.nz/resources/speed-limits-in-new-zealand/#:~:text=110km%2Fh%20speed%20limits,limits%20remain%20at%2090km%2Fh.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/122592414/zero-tolerance-on-speeding-drivers-all-year-round-as-cops-get-tough-on-motorists

    • Andre 28.1

      Enforcement was already very weak on finding drivers that are hazards to others for reasons other than speeding. Now that's going to be even worse.

      As far as speed cameras go, I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere the new digital camera ones already distinguish heavy vehicles. I'd imagine it could do it either by measuring the reflected signal strength (which directly relates to size) as well as how the signal is altered by speed, or just photograph every vehicle over the lower speed limit and have an image processing routine pick out the heavy vehicles and those towing a trailer.

      There’s also a strong argument that having different speed limits for different vehicles is in itself an unnecessary hazard. Opportunities for accidents are minimised when all traffic is moving at the same speed.

  26. Jum 29

    https://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/news/meet-auckland-zoos-baby-rhino-and-contribute-to-conservation

    Trade me is conducting a chance for a group of up to 5 to see our new baby rhino and anyone on here able to do a whole of company bid could raise the latest $5550 bid and really help the conservation.

    Of course, some may disagree with having a zoo at all, even though conservation is very important at Auckland Zoo.

  27. Stephen D 30

    Replying to SPC at 26.

    As a current teacher, it will be almost impossible to enforce proper mask wearing, and utterly impossible to enforce social distancing.

    11 and 12 year olds are a tactile, social lot. And that aspect of their school life is just as important as lessons in class.

    • SPC 30.1

      It's being done overseas. And we would only need it for a few weeks to see off a cluster. For mine, a tragedy is looming.

  28. karol121 31

    Baby, baby. Where did Adele go?

    Whose posts on this platform often hit very hard and had more than a hint of realism attached to them.

    Is it not time that New Zealanders who wish to remove themselves from the hyped up, showbiz style of many in national politics and in well rewarded politicking positions just started accepting that most of the flash Harry's and Hariette's of the NZ political set are just salaried "moth"pieces with fashion, fad and self absorbed positioning strategies at their core? Just annoying, well salaried fricken moths for the most part.

    Of course they are more than willing to appease many of the fearful or those who ingratiate themselves to such idiocy so that they can conduct mouthpiece business as usual, and laugh themselves all the way to the bank, the real estate company or the confidential financial advisors who really are in the know.

    "Equality, justice, transparency, accountability, national interest, sovereignty, economic strategy", and so on and so forth. For frig's sake, give us a break please, and just cut to the chase.

    At street level, people are gas bagging about firearms and their being given in and given up and Covid-19 obviously. Sure, relevant. But please take a look at the bigger picture, New Zealand. Like, how will we address the hoards of economic and environmental refugees who will arrive on New Zealand shores by the time your infant reaches college age to begin with.

    As general election candidates, what are they planning to DO in relation to your personal well-being in all areas that can be effectively managed to at least attempt to bring it about.

    Please, with cherries on top, try to vote on proposed policies and management which you believe best serves yourselves generally, not that which many of these creeps advertise as "national interest"or "domestic well-being".

    Many such phrases are as stale as a fart in a bed, and now quite mundane "narrative friendly" tosh.

    Please. Try, try, try to think for yourselves.

  29. PaddyOT 32

    Reply button down.

    Kealy Warren's move to write to the Prime Minister is somewhat mischievous because she plays around with figures confusing the MoE's infrastructure improvement budget for schools' buildings and combines it with the monies for the curriculum development and delivery of resources for learning outcomes in her invoice rationale to the Government.

    The Green School is not a receiver of the MoE budget but is to receive funding from the Covid Recovery funds for further construction. Green school still has to fund ALL of its teaching salaries and learning resources and targetted specific needs privately as well as pay its taxes, rates and insurances etc. not provided for by state funds.

    This afternoon's Stuff article reporting on Conductive Education Taranaki's needs also mixes the story. Their needs wishes outlined lie with the MoE not the Covid Response budget.

    The number of pupils in a school formula used by Nealy does not necessitate that every school has current needs for more buildings with each school then needing $234,000 per head as Nealy claims.
    That would give Epsom Girl's Grammer for example a total of $513 million for solely building developments.

    All schools do have an existing funding allocation given each year in Operations funding and can apply for specific targetted MoE funding. Additional school building project money as each school develops its wishes, which may not be nation wide priorities, are also able to be applied for.

    If Nealy's school needs more classrooms or has buildings needing repairs her application for these projects are still able to be funded through application for needs over and above her schools annual funding.

    Since 2018 improvement programmes expenditure has $2.4 billion on the go in the pool of funds for all schools to apply for. These additional funds were Labour addressing the specific needs of rundown or insufficient infrastructure created by National's neglect. ( similat picture as health services infrastructure ).

    On top of that $2.4 billion, Budget February 2020 saw the investment of a furthet NZ$813.6 million operating total and NZ$115.1 million in total capital in education. Note tagged for learning support and special needs funding in this round was nearly $ 80 million in this year's budget.

    Outside of that total on education monies was an ethnic communities budget allocation in February also in which there are investments of $50 million for a Māori trades training fund and $200 million in Māori language programmes, teachers' salaries, and maintaining school facilities.

    Further targetted funding is ongoing. In July 2020 the Government announced $75.8 million being invested to enable schools and whānau to better manage the many learner mental health and wellbeing issues that have arisen due to COVID-19. In addition was $50 million, in 2020/21, for an Urgent Response Fund. And $16 million for educator wellbeing, increasing access to support services for an additional 10,000 employees. And $25 million to support tertiary student wellbeing. And $32.8 million for 40 new Curriculum Leads to help schools, kura, early learning services and kōhanga reo deliver a high quality Health and Physical Education local curriculum.

  30. joe90 33

    They hate each other and they're trapped with each other.

    We were all exhausted and stressed out. Yes, Operation Block Ivanka was petty. Melania was in on this mission. But in our minds, Ivanka shouldn’t have made herself the center of attention in her father’s inauguration.

    https://archive.li/JbZe6 (nymag)

  31. Ad 34

    James Shaw walking it all back over the Taranaki school, begging forgiveness over "one mistake":

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12360346

    • SPC 34.1

      $400 million in funding to every state school for property improvements.

      And how much is that per school. 2500 primary and secondary (including those not state schools) Over $100,000 and under $200,000 per school.

      Why did the government not allow HB's and schools to apply for the construction project money?

      Health Boards would love money for works that did not have costs attached (a bit like giving a beneficiary a grant and paying the money back out of their limited benefit income) and schools could have projects done now rather than wait years for.

      • Ad 34.1.1

        What a great question for James Shaw. His funding, his political problem.

        • SPC 34.1.1.1

          The Fund parameters were Labour's doing.

          Shaws has done a Turei, a grandiose green school funding project as a win for the Greens via Ministerial office and Turei (Green vs Labour on getting it on welfare and her personal story highlighting this – Labour Party family association for good or bad measure) … and then Ardern try a little kindness takes over from Angry Andrew.

          • Ad 34.1.1.1.1

            If they were indeed Labour parameters ,there was no need for Greens' Shaw to take the credit, then now have to walk it back. Only the Greens could make a crisis out of a massive regional positive.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slhXhfIVUII

            • SPC 34.1.1.1.1.1

              The limitations on allocation were set by Robertson, Shaw took credit for his support for the Green School funding because he supported the case for it (Treasury did not by the way).

  32. Climaction 35

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12360346

    So it was wrong. James Shaw himself admits and the Green Party leadership has called a meeting over it.

    how many commenters here were prepared to die in the ditch to defend the Green Party in its entirety rather than figure out this was wrong. Politicians wouldn’t make decisions as stupid as this if they knew all their supporters couldn’t be relied upon to support them no matter how stupid there decision.

    Robert being Tier3 super gaia l33t so his sarcasm about any criticism of a Green Party decision can’t be wrong

    • Ad 35.1

      Shaves them back to near 5%

      • SPC 35.1.1

        There was a risk of Labour not needing the Greens, now the risk is that they will (due to the recent outbreak in Auckland not being contained) but a 2%+ pick up from Greens might still be enough to hold off the National ACT axis because NZF are also below 5%.

        It won’t stop me voting for the Greens this time, nor did it in 2017, buit it was a blunder.

        • Ad 35.1.1.1

          It's good for Labour's ego and for our democracy to rely on some partner.

          Hang in there, they're going to need you reluctant loyalists.

          • Climaction 35.1.1.1.1

            now that partner will most likely be Marama and Chloe. which may be the blessing the left need

            • solkta 35.1.1.1.1.1

              no it won't.

            • mauī 35.1.1.1.1.2

              Indeed.. I wouldn't be surprised if the odious Kennedy Graham is bought back into "lead" as well.

              • Andre

                How could they actually do that?

                I mean, it would probably lift their vote share which would make it a good thing to do, but I'm curious about how you think it could actually be done. Y'know, given there are party rules and actual laws around these things.

    • Gabby 35.2

      The millionaire owners could give James and themselves a break by undertaking to pay back the funding. They could raffle off some jewelry.

    • Jester 35.3

      Robertson and Hipkins not doing Shaw any favors that' s for sure.

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  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
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  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
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  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
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    5 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
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  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
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  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
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  • More resources for kiwi conservation
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  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
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  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
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  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
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    7 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
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  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
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  • District Court judge appointed
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  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
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  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
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  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
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  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
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  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
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  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
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  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
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  • Education initiatives add to momentum of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020
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  • The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for 2021 aims to increase Pacific participation in STEM
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  • Financial support for timber industry
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