web analytics

Quantitative easing for the masses

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, March 13th, 2016 - 136 comments
Categories: economy, Financial markets, Keynes, monetary policy - Tags: , , ,

Banks create money out of nothing all the time. When governments do it the process is dressed up in the pseudo-technical term “quantitative easing”. There’s a lot of debate about QE, but some credit it with saving both the American and the European economies after the global financial crisis.

The money created by QE goes to banks and other financial institutions – helping the 1% rich to get richer and contributing to the ever-widening inequality gap. I wasn’t aware that anyone had seriously proposed creating money for ordinary individuals – QE for the masses – but a piece last week from Bernard Hickey covers exactly that!

Want some free money?

Just imagine that one day the Reserve Bank deposited $1000 in your account, and that of every other citizen in New Zealand. It’s sounds crazy, yet it’s something some central bankers are talking about in a world of deflation, negative interest rates and slow economic growth.

This idea is called Helicopter Money and it’s suddenly the hot topic in the sometimes arcane and always sober world of central banking. It’s a truly radical idea that would seem utterly irresponsible and dangerous in normal times.

…the world’s biggest Central Banks cut their interest rates to almost 0 per cent during the Global Financial Crisis. It helped avoid financial armageddon, but proved ineffective in restarting the engine of growth. Almost a quarter of the world’s economy now has negative interest rates. The theory is it will force banks to lend money and encourage people to spend. But it appears this apparent last resort isn’t working either.

Late last year the former chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority, Adair Turner, recommended something similar. He suggested monetary financing of Government deficits, which means the central bank prints money to lend to the Government to spend on new infrastructure or tax cuts or whatever it feels like.

The other suggestion is the central bank simply pay the money into everyone’s accounts. It would be fair and have an immediate effect because much more of it would go to poorer spenders, rather than richer savers.

No one is suggesting this is appropriate for New Zealand any time soon. Our Reserve Bank still has another 2.5 per cent of interest rate cuts to go and is expected to signal a few as early as this Thursday. But Helicopter Money is now being actively discussed in the Northern Hemisphere and, as we’ve seen over the last decade, where they go, we often follow.

Prior to the last election The Greens toyed with a form of QE to reduce the value of the NZ dollar. Naturally the Nats attacked the idea with cheap “printing money” ridicule and it never made it in to policy. But The Greens might have the last laugh if helicopter money makes it out of economic theory and in to the real world.

136 comments on “Quantitative easing for the masses”

  1. dv 1

    Naturally the Nats attacked the idea with cheap “printing money”

    But the nats have borrowed
    NZ$ 117,798,075,204

    • NZJester 1.1

      Most of that borrowed money has been to keep the tax cuts for the rich so that according to their philosophy trickle down market economics would happen with it. But as normal all those that got the tax cut instead of spending it just locked it away in long term investments or real estate that does not allow it to trickle down. Market economics would work well if both management and workers had equal power. But the more National chips away at workers power the more those at the top refuse to share the profits with those doing the actual work and producing it. The big flaw in a market economy is always the greed of those higher up the ladder doing all the can to keep those below from getting up to where they are. The only trickle down they want to see is yellow rain as they stand above everyone else.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        +1

      • Let’s highlight too that even if they invested that money, it’s STILL not as likely to “trickle down”. That theory has other problems than just the fact that tax cuts to the rich are often saved or banked in “inactive” capital.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1

          Money in the capitalist system always flows upwards as research shows quite conclusively. The rich don’t pay for anything at all ever – it’s how they became rich in the first place.

      • Tautuhi 1.1.3

        “Trickle Down Theory” actually works in reverse and what we have in fact is “Trickle Up Theory”, those at the top want to maximize profit and pay minimum wages to those at the bottom?

      • Bob 1.1.4

        “Most of that borrowed money has been to keep the tax cuts for the rich”
        Citation?
        The figures I have seen show at worst $1.5Bn a year has gone on tax cuts, that is around $10Bn over 7 years. Show me where you would have saved the other $90Bn? Health? Education? Increased taxes that remove money from circulation?

        As, “according to their philosophy trickle down market economics”, I would be interested in reading about this economic philosophy, who was the author of this one? I can’t seem to find such an philosophy on Google…

    • Mike S 1.2

      ” Naturally the Nats attacked the idea with cheap “printing money”

      But the nats have borrowed
      NZ$ 117,798,075,204″

      Yes but they rely on the fact that most people don’t understand that when the government “borrows” money it is the same thing as “printing” money. They’ve got many many people fooled into believing that borrowing money is somehow the responsible safe way for the government to get some extra credit and that the government creating it is irresponsible and leads to hyperinflation. Borrow or create yourself, in terms of inflation both have pretty much the same effect. However, borrowing of course means taxpayers are lumped with interest payments for years to come.

      It cracks me up when people trot out the same old ‘hyperinflation’ argument against money printing yet don’t seem to mind the borrowing so much. “Oh, but if the government was allowed to just create the money out of thin air then they’d end up creating too much and we’d get hyperinflation….blah blah,,,Nazi Germany….Zimbabwe…blah blah”

      They never stop and think that we don’t have hyperinflation right now, despite the government creating..(oops i mean ‘borrowing’) so much money. If the government had created the $117 billion itself rather than borrowing it, would we have hyperinflation??

  2. miravox 2

    “The other suggestion is the central bank simply pay the money into everyone’s accounts. It would be fair and have an immediate effect because much more of it would go to poorer spenders, rather than richer savers”

    Isn’t this similar to the Australian stimulus package after the GFC? If so, there must be some analysis somewhere to show it was successful? Or else it’s a bit of a just go for it and hope?

    • alwyn 2.1

      “Australian stimulus package”
      You might be interested in this study.
      http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/fiscalstimulus.pdf
      About 40.5% was spent, 24% saved and 35.5% used to pay of debt according to this work. The amount spent was much greater than in US work. A significant factor in how much is spent has been put down to people’s confidence in retaining their job. If you are sure you will still be employed next year the more likely you are to spend a “bonus”.
      If you have a look at page 14 you will also see that lower income people did not spend a higher percentage of the amount. The theory of “poorer spenders” as opposed to “richer savers” was not observed.
      I am sure there are other studies of the scheme. This is the only one I ever read though.

      • Puddleglum 2.1.1

        Hi alwyn,

        The way I interpret that table is that those below $40,000 household income spend 40-45% of their ‘bonus’; those between $40,000 and $100,000 spend 31 -39%; and those above $100,000 spend 44-49% of the ‘bonus’.

        Seems like a ‘U’ shaped-curve to me.

        It would be interesting to see the proportions of ‘paying off debt’ for each of these household income categories.

        Interestingly (Table 3 on page 15), those who intend to vote Liberal of National have spending rates of 0.29 and 0.24, respectively. By contrast, Labor and Green intended voters have rates of 0.5 and 0.46, respectively.

        • alwyn 2.1.1.1

          “Seems like a ‘U’ shaped-curve to me”
          Yes it does look like that. However that isn’t what is usually claimed about what will happen to spending by a lot of commenters on this blog..
          The premise is often proposed that providing more to the poor will give greater stimulus to the economy than if it is provided to the rich. The theory is that the poor spend everything where the rich save. These numbers don’t seem to justify the proposition do they?
          Perhaps if you want to stimulate the economy you should only give money to the poor AND the rich but leave out all middle income people (not a serious comment of course).

          I find 2 things interesting about the political split. The first is an obvious one, I think. There was a Labour Government at the time. Like here if your preferred party is in power you are likely to be optimistic. If “the other lot” you are likely to be pessimistic. You are more likely to spend if it is your Government as you are likely to be more optimistic about the future. Look at people here who claim that the New Zealand economy is collapsing because National are in power. There doesn’t need to be any evidence does there?
          The other one is the Green’s numbers. They are about 14% of the respondents in this survey. In Australia in 2013 the Green Party got 8.65% of the Primary vote.
          I think they have a similar situation to ours. The Green Party always get significantly less votes than polls, or surveys like this one, seem to claim. People want to appear Green and when interviewed claim they are Green supporters, but back away in private when they vote, perhaps.

          • Puddleglum 2.1.1.1.1

            All interesting points.

            There’s also the possibility that lower income people are more ‘reliable’ spenders than upper income people. The latter may be more influenced in their spending propensity by magnitude of the payment, personal optimism about their circumstances and the like. The former, by contrast, may be more at the financial margins and so always likely to spend to a relatively high rate.

            On the political party finding the author has this to say:

            Somewhat surprisingly, those who said that they would vote for Labor (the incumbent party) were much more likely to spend the stimulus payments than those who said that they would vote for the opposition Liberal or National parties. This result is not merely an artefact of the income, age, or debt attitudes of the respondents, since it remains statistically significant (at the 1 percent level) in a multivariate regression. One possible interpretation is that individuals’ willingness to respond to government exhortations to spend is partly a function of their political views. Another possibility is reverse causality: respondents with a predisposition towards spending the payments might have been more inclined to think that the payment was good policy, and therefore more inclined to support the government.

          • miravox 2.1.1.1.2

            “It would be interesting to see the proportions of ‘paying off debt’ for each of these household income categories.”

            It would. Also interesting would be who used the money as a windfall and went on holiday. The answer to what the money was spent on could add to the information required to determine whether giving money to the poor is a greater stimulus to the economy

            Thanks for the link, Alwyn.

    • Nic the NZer 2.2

      Australia never had a recorded recession. It clearly worked, though arguably Chinese stimulus was also a big part of that success.
      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=11911

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      I expect that the Australian government borrowed and/or used surplus money to pay for that, ie they didn’t print the money to do it.

      • Nic the NZer 2.3.1

        They borrowed it traditionally but printing it would be functionally identical.
        http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=381

        ” I invented this Tin Shed analogy to disabuse the public of the notion that somewhere down in Canberra was a storage area where the national government was putting all those surpluses away for later use” – Bill Mitchell

        “Imagine that the central bank traded government securities with the treasury, which then increased government spending. The excess reserves would force the central bank to sell the same amount of government securities to the private market or allow the overnight rate to fall to the support level. This is not monetisation but rather the central bank simply acting as broker in the context of the logic of the interest rate setting monetary policy.” -Bill Mitchell

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Inflating away the debt you mean.

    Ultimately a stupid idea, but exactly the type that politicians go for.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Agreed. Missing the point. The reason the wealthy are getting richer is the same one neutralizing inflation. When they know what you will pay there is no room for negotiations which provides the opportunity for inflationary pressure. When they track and data store your u choices, pref, etc, and cross with your income, credit rating, they have all the choice, all the power. Similarly, when they crush your ability to unionize, wages stagnate. The market disppears when microsoft locks out programmers to seize opportunities present by its ubiquitious platform. When you cant make mix apes any music is just the same, no infation demand. When individuals have no time, no opportunity to invest and create value, they learn to be nn-inflation, the market, the uniformity, the lack of real leisure time, the lack of privacy, that lack of ability to assert power by real choice, with and adv. Tppa hurts us all as it demands more protectiin fir copyright, ncentives to govt o protect big businness less they sue.

  4. Murray Simmonds 4

    NZ State Advances Corproration:

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/finance-public/page-9

    The big Kahuna:
    http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/

    There’s nothing particularly new about Canada’s experiment.

    • alwyn 4.1

      In your first reference have a look at this comment.

      “Cheap loans on new houses, by stimulating demand, have led to higher costs of sections and houses. They have also had effects on local authorities. Combined with the policy from the mid-fifties to the mid-sixties of restricting State Advances housing loans to mainly new houses, 3 per cent lending led to a sudden rash of new houses on the periphery of towns, with consequential effects on municipal services and costs, transport systems, and on values in the older residential areas. It may take some years for the recent change in policy on existing houses to revive the inner areas.”

      Doesn’t that sound familiar? Isn’t that the policies that some political parties are promoting at the moment? Can we expect exactly the same result?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        So, you would be calling for central control of the money and how it should be spent?

  5. Murray Simmonds 5

    Yep Alwyn, you found the paragraph that suits your particular philosophy.

    How about this then: Not long back the Nats were boasting about how they had succeeded in pruning millions out of WINZ benefits. That is, they had reduced the spending power of a large number of low-income people. Yet one of the present problems with the world economy at the moment is that there is not enough consumption – hence the idea of helicopter money to boost spending.

    I’m not addressing the points raised in your quote because this is not the 1940’s to 1950’s. World economies are currently facing a totally different set of issues than those that pertained in that decade. Like we are now on the verge of going INTO a major depression, not newly emerging from one.

    • alwyn 5.1

      I suggest you have a look at the paper I referenced in response to miravox.
      There was no evidence in Australia that low income people spent more than high income ones out of a “bonus” payment.
      A more significant factor seemed to be how confident you were in keeping your job.
      If, as you suggest, we are going into a major depression confidence, and hence spending, is likely to be low.

      • Nic the NZer 5.1.1

        You have said in the past your an economist Alwyn. I think someone in that position you ought to explain that a “bonus” payment doesnt need to have the same pattern as an “income” payment does. Rather than just leaving the point salient and engaging in a pointless discussion conparing oranges to apples.

      • Murray Simmonds 5.1.2

        I had a look at the abstract of the article you quote Alwyn. It says “Forty percent of households who said that they received a payment reported having spent it. This is a higher spending rate than has been recorded in surveys assessing the 2001 and 2008 tax rebates in the United States. One possible explanation
        for this is that individuals are more likely to spend “bonuses” .

        in other words, the “Aussie experiment” acted a bit like Ben Bernancke’s (Sp??) Helicopter money.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    The Universal Basic Income would be an excellent way of distributing new money into the real economy: Main Street, not Wall Street.

    • Craig H 6.1

      Agreed – I’m in favour.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      Yep. A UBI would give a good, solid base to the economy. Done properly with the correct tax structure and the economy would be unlikely to ever go into recession again.

      • Jones 6.3.1

        +100

      • Not sure a UBI would prevent inflationary bubbles and compensatory recessions, but it certainly would help a lot in dampening recessions and keeping them short.

        • Colonial Viper 6.3.2.1

          In terms of general inflation, that would be controlled by NZ building up a strongly competitive productive economy which does not tolerate rorts, rentierism or ticket clipping.

          In terms of property price asset bubbles, that would be controlled by pulling the behaviour of the retail banks into line.

          In terms of global financial instability, that would be controlled by a Reserve Bank setting up a strong, well insulated financial and monetary system.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.1.1

            In terms of property price asset bubbles, that would be controlled by pulling the behaviour of the retail banks into line.

            Actually, that wouldn’t do it as our asset bubbles are primarily driven from offshore. So, what we need to do to handle property price asset bubbles is to ban offshore ownership.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.2

          Not sure a UBI would prevent inflationary bubbles and compensatory recessions

          That would be what the proper tax structures are for.

    • Kiwiri 6.4

      Facebook has a NZ-based community currently building critical mass for UBI – feel free to check out BINZ Basic Income New Zealand:

      https://www.facebook.com/BINZ-Basic-Income-New-Zealand-822330264514287/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

      • weka 6.4.1

        thanks!

        Looking at their website, http://www.basicincomenz.org/#!our_team/cqn6

        It’d be good if they put a bit more in their bios about what their background are (esp as they are asking for membership and donations).

        (hmm, they might have to do a bit of work on their class and ethnicity diversity too, just looking at the website imagery).

    • saveNZ 6.5

      +1

  7. weka 7

    How would a universal lump sum payment contribute to GHG emissions?

    • Andre 7.1

      Yes, putting more money into the hands of low income people may lead to them spending more money on things like heating their house in winter, driving their kids to things they haven’t previously afforded, adding a bit more meat to their diet…all of which increase GHG emissions in our current energy and general societal structure.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        This is the conundrum that the Left have not thoroughly addressed, and it’s a biggie.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          No-one has addressed it apart from the steady state economy, powerdown people. It’s predicated on growing the economy, which means increased GHG emissions. Not that it’s anything new for economists to practice their profession as if CC didn’t exist.

        • Andre 7.1.1.2

          Which leads very nicely back to a Greenhouse Gas Emissions tax, the proceeds being used to (at least partially) fund some kind of universal lump sum or basic income.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1

            we don’t need to tax the use of fossil fuels, we need to get off fossil fuels so that fossil fuel taxes bring in nothing.

            • Andre 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Looks to me like taxing the crap out of fossil fuels is the fastest and least disruptive route to eliminating them. So the challenge is finding the politically palatable way to introduce and rapidly increase that tax.

              • Colonial Viper

                OK a tax may be a useful tool but that’s just one tool.

                What are you going to say to all those Aucklanders who will no longer be able to afford running a car or those builders who can no longer afford running a truck?

                • Andre

                  Go electric. The way electric transport is improving and reducing in cost means the point where electric is the lowest cost option isn’t that far in the future. But a Greenhouse Gas Tax could bring it a lot closer.

                  • Lanthanide

                    That’s still unrealistic.

                    New Zealand has one of the oldest car fleets in the developed world, at something like 13 years old on average. That is actually quite old.

                    Our cars are old because we import lots of 2nd hand ones from overseas, because people can’t afford to buy brand-new.

                    There is no ready supply of 2nd hand electric vehicles, because they already make up such a small amount of cars sold globally. It’ll take something like 20-30 years of all existing car manufacturers swapping from petrol to electric just to replace the existing global fleet.

                    Petrol cars are going to be on the roads for as long as petrol prices are low enough for people to afford to fuel them. It doesn’t matter if electric cars cost less to run if they simply aren’t available at the necessary price point.

                    • weka

                      +1. And the GHG emissions in replacing the whole fleet won’t be insignificant. If the replacement is incentivised we will see petrol cars being dumped.

                      Electrified public transport, including bikes is more of a viable option, but I think the most important thing is to change people’s head spaces about what is needed.

                    • Andre

                      I’m not going to try to predict what answers people will come up with if imported petrol and diesel gets too expensive, either by oil going back up again or GHG taxation. If oil prices had stayed high, we might now be seeing the start of a booming electric car conversion industry. Kind of like all those CNG and LPG conversions in the early 80s. Companies like Wellington Drive (electric motors) and ArcActive (batteries) might see a new opportunity. Or there might be a lot more ventures like Z’s new biodiesel plant, maybe using novel feedstocks such as lignin.

                      I’m enough of a capitalist to believe that creating on opportunity for money-making is a good way to drive innovation. And the easiest way to create a money-making opportunity out of substituting fossil fuels is to make fossil fuels more expensive. By taxation. The level of taxation can be easily adjusted to create as much or as little pressure for change as desired.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If oil prices had stayed high, we might now be seeing the start of a booming electric car conversion industry.

                      It’s time we started moving away from the concept of personal cars, electric or otherwise

                    • katipo

                      Perhaps we could be making a few of our own electric cars, get rid of corporate teat suckers Rio Tinto, use the people/money/electricity to start researching, building and powering our own electric fleet. We have many advantages in this space compared to other countries we should doing so much more.

                • sabine

                  Germany taxed like hell gasoline on the pump, and subsidised Public Transport users via tax return on their bus/train/tram/bicycle expenses.

                  aka. the litre in the 90’s was already at around 3$+ per litre, but using the public transport system allowed every worker to claim up to 50+% back at the end of the year.

                  now in NZ this can’t be done, insert what ever reason you could make up that would allow people to drive their humongous trucks from a suburb to the CBD, in any town of NZ.

                  it is actually not hard nor complicated, however it would demand a set of steel balls or brass ovary, and these are sadly lacking in NZ Parliament.

            • mikesh 7.1.1.2.1.2

              If we got rid of fossil fuels we could still use road user charges with electric vehicles.

          • greywarshark 7.1.1.2.2

            I think Andre that such a tax is a tax on business, and we need business and trading and transport of things and people to continue. The tax must go on finding alternative fuels, even on a short-term basis, to keep business chugging on. Such as making fuels from discarded animal fat, from oil from fish and chip shops etc, collecting the supermarket bags which at present can not be recycled and turn them back to oil.

            There needs to be expenditure on this sort of fuel, which may have to be subsidised both in the building of the plants, and the fuel sold at near cost.
            It needs to be nationally planned, time for an intelligent, reliable, responsible government to step up to help us move forward instead of letting us sink back into the quicksand to the past. One of our injections of initiative and investment in technology was setting up shipping that took our meat to the UK in chillers.
            We adapted and profited from that and built business on it.

            Now new technology is required – let’s get on with it or we’ll be laggards here.

            • Andre 7.1.1.2.2.1

              There’s plenty of that new technology already available. It’s just that it’s still a bit more expensive than the old fossil fuel way of doing things. A Greenhouse Gas Tax, introduced low but ramped up quickly, would give a big incentive to change in a reasonable transition time.

              • greywarshark

                Did you read what I said Andre? I think I said that the tax should be applied to helping set up other fuel alternatives (in readiness for the decline in deliveries of oil to NZ, ultimately when prices rise again and at the same time our debt overseas is called in). Also I mentioned the subject of the new fuel having to be subsidised both for the fuel and the production plants.

                Sorry if I didn’t make this clear, or wrote too many words for you to cope with reading them.

                • Andre

                  The snark is strong in this one today…

                  Are you referring to things like Z’s new biodiesel plant? http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/295429/first-big-biodiesel-plant-opens-in-june

                  Things like that can be made competitive either by direct subsidy, or by making the alternative more expensive. If you do it by direct subsidy, then you open the door to all kinds of rorting, cronyism and white elephants at taxpayer expense (such as the Motunui synthetic petrol plant). Not to mention that it’s clueless politicians that end picking the winners. If you do it by making the undesirable choice (imported fossil fuel) more expensive (ie GHG tax) then everyone has an incentive to either come up with a substitute (such as electric or biofuel) and/or reduce their use. And it gives the government a revenue stream until the undesirable alternative (fossil fuels) has been eliminated.

                  • greywarshark

                    I think your snark is alive today. Andre. You have plenty of ideas but run down others if they don’t agree with yours within the first sentence.

                    It seems likely that a gradually rising tax on fossil fuels would help to ease people from their vehicles and provide funds to go into –
                    1 Public transport and perhaps little jeepnies to take them from their stop to where they need to go.
                    2 Into electric cars that can be subsidised by obtaining a low interest loan from the government for turning in an old car that will result in a steady but not excessive stream to be crushed. The car cannot be sold on but returned to government if not wanted, with a remission of the loan. Then the same again.

                    This would help in weaning people off old cars and encouraging the mass of electric with more services.

                    And i don’t see why some exploratory businesses making small amounts of fuel can’t be funded by government. Perhaps supplying Auckland and Christchurch. You mention rorts. We know that people can get all keen to rip others off, make a quick buck etc. It could be that these are the sort of people needed to get going on this type of technology. With the prize of making a big profit at the end they will get into the game. Use them would be the idea.

                    Just check their ideas and specifications are viable according to already known data. They would need constant inspection with payments made in steps and constant visits to make sure that it isn’t a ‘moon landing’ scenario. We would probably need someone who definitely knows about it from overseas, not leave it to Steven Joyce or the other clueless politicians with echo chambers for advisors. Or perhaps you really do know enough and would be able to advise the government.

                    • Andre

                      Help me out, please, greywarshark. I’ve looked over what I’ve said and I really can’t see where I’ve run down other people or their ideas, except the my first sentence just above. I get really put off by the kind of pissing contests that occur too frequently here and I try really hard not to start them. So if you could point out to me where I’m dishing out the snark in this thread, I’d appreciate it.

                      I’m an R&D engineer, not in any kind of energy area. But I am very interested in energy and try to keep on top of developments. So yes, I am very well informed. But I wouldn’t dream of trying to pick which emerging technology companies the government should fund.

                      I think we’re far likelier to get useful results by funding basic research in universities and CRIs, and creating the economic conditions where there is a money-making opportunity for people to commercialise ideas. For instance, the basic Google algorithm, or many of the innovations Apple commercialised, came out of universities. When a good commercialisable idea comes out of a university, there never seems to be a shortage of people to take it to market. So yes, I think the government would do well to fund university research into turning waste streams into biofuels, for instance. But not to try to be a part of commercialising the ideas.

                      The commercial incentive to displace fossil fuels comes when fossil fuels are expensive, either because of tax, or high international market price. That’s why I’m a fan of raising the price of fossil fuels with a tax, and using at least some of the proceeds to make sure low-income people aren’t made worse off.

                      Your last paragraph on the surface describes a reasonable way to manage a large well-defined project in a well-known field. But from personal experience, producing continual reports and having outside overseers constantly looking over your shoulder is a sure way to stifle innovation when you’re trying to develop something completely new.

                      Your scheme to subsidise people into electric cars has a lot of similarities to the “Cash for Clunkers” scheme run in the US a while back. Which I would not describe as a success.

                    • greywarshark

                      Andre
                      I’m getting irritated and not letting things flow by as I usually do. But you mentioned snark. I asked you if you had read my comment as I thought I was largely agreeing with you, with some additions that occurred to me.

                      I have already agreed with you about that tax on fossil fuels, only disagreed with someone who was going to put it towards social costs as I think it should go into funding the new systems for transport and the research that will be needed. And now I think of it that should also look at coastal sea transport and innovations there, and how viable these would be along our stormy coastlines.
                      The old days of coastal shipping can’t return with the old fuel used the same, but what now. Wind vanes or something I have heard of?

                      On reading your ideas it seems to me that you are the sort of person, along with others with the expertise in the field, who would form a useful focus group with intelligent politicians. There must be a few of those in each of the multiple MP political parties of whom one could come forward to form an all-party panel to discuss moves into future transport. Then the steps to drive it, causing the least shock and difficulty to the poor, those who have settled at a distance from jobs, and considering the vehicle importers who will fight to retain their lucrative business. They now seem to specialise in a civilian style of hum-vee. High roofed cars with big bums that spread wide.

                      About university research, I am sure that much has been done already and we will be so far behind that we need to connect up with an institution overseas to get cheap entry into the knowledge market. This country isn’t going to fund ours for anything like that.
                      As for biofuels there has already been an effort to develop these. Perhaps there needs to be a New Transport Technology agency which will note what capacity we already have in NZ, and see what can be done at grassroots level while they are perfecting some large nationwide system.

                      I am interested in the USA cash for clunkers idea. You say it wasn’t a success but how was it to be measured? A country has to start somewhere – this is a new situation. Setting targets is the way that the brave new world of politics measures the viability of programs these days. It’s so royal, to wave a sceptre like a club, and say you will achieve 500 things in a month, which is a typo, and even 50 was pushing it. So lack of success must always be explained fully to be able to analyse a program.

                      I can imagine that having too much on the job interference would be a pain but you did mention rorts, and I did mention that the sort of people who would come forward would be keen and innovative and they would be risk-takers and some would be wide boys as the saying goes. We had them building and surveying in Christchurch, we had them starting shell companies for building in the leaky home time, then folding their tents and slipping away. With these people they have to be watched, maybe with weekly meetings with the managing agency, and a regular drive-by to ensure continual work towards manageable targets. They would be likely building to specifications, not be university research programs, and couldn’t be allowed to get off track. That is why I suggested there would be staged payments, to limit the possibility of rorting.

                      It’s bad for us to do nothing. On the other hand the amount of money that can flow out once a program is started which is new territory can turn to a flood before anyone realises what is going on. We can look at the $millions paid out on flawed IT as an example.

                    • Andre

                      You’re probably not going to like this, but when it comes to shipping, the only viable non-fossil reliable propulsion I see is nuclear. Not the 50’s style pressurised light water reactors that require active control systems at all times (as used in Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima), but newer designs that depower using basic physics when not actively controlled (no risk of meltdown). And don’t use uranium so they aren’t military problems, use thorium or a fast-neutron design (which burns what is currently glow-in-the-dark waste). Or else huge quantities of bio-fuel to replace the oil currently used.

                      The wind-vanes you mention may be Flettner rotors, tall rotating cylinders that act like sails. They’re good supplementary propulsion to reduce fuel use, but not viable as primary propulsion.

                      I don’t play well with others when it comes to committees etc. There’s already plenty of good expertise that’s stepped up for energy and transport, Julie Ann Genter, Gareth Hughes and James Shaw can argue the case well (even if I don’t fully agree with all their positions), if they ever get the chance to do so to a government ready to listen. Wish I could name some from other parties, but sorry, none of them seem to really grasp the issues. Though I’m sure there’s already good people behind the scenes, banging their heads against walls in frustration.

                      When it comes to biofuels, yes there’s already a lot of know-how. Hence Z already investing in plant. I’ve heard (no link, sorry) that the animal fats New Zealand exports is enough to substitute a quarter of our diesel use if it was turned into bio-diesel. But not at a price competitive with $40 per barrel oil. I’m happy to let private enterprise take the risk and reap the rewards when it comes to commercialising the knowhow, and just have the government set the scene so the opportunity is there.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Andre, you can’t build and maintain nuclear reactors without fossil fuels.

                      Nor the large steel vessels displacing many thousands of tonnes that they go into.

                      So that’s the end of that.

                      Clipper ships on the other hand are entirely doable without fossile fuels. Just hard work, like the hold days.

                    • Andre

                      I’ll try to muster the enthusiasm for a guest post on why I think nuclear is a likely, maybe even necessary part of a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. Worldwide, that is, not necessarily in NZ. We’ve got plenty of renewables.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep NZ has got plenty of renewables, but currently our transport network is 98% dependent on fossil fuels.

                    • greywarshark

                      Very interesting discussion Andre and when you can find time for a guest post it would be good to read. We’ll all learn something.

        • Stuart Munro 7.1.1.3

          There was a time when the government advised on how to run households – to ensure public health primarily. As contemporary society has been hollowed out by corporate interests, developing a new green household model is desirable.

          Labour moved away from such initiatives as it turned neo-liberal. Also its commitment to gender issues meant it no longer wished to champion conventional families. Nevertheless, one proven path to a healthy economy is to establish the household as a value generating unit. Under current real estate and banking norms that would require some adjustments.

          There are zero waste households in NZ – there is no reason there should not be self clothed and shod households as well. Our grandparents managed it.

          Developmentalist economists in Korea promoted such values by paying workers in unfinished goods (denim initially) instead of currency. This could be traded or made into clothing.

          If a government promoted such initiatives it could promote and model greener or more sustainable lifestyles at the same time.

      • weka 7.1.2

        I’m assuming it’s not an ongoing payment, did I get that wrong?

        If it’s a one off or occasional payment I would have thought that low income people would pay off debt and buy essentials. Middle and high income people will take overseas holidays and drive more and spend on non-essentials. Gross generalisations I know.

    • maui 7.2

      Have a caveat that it can only be spent in a 5km radius from where you live if you’re urban. Not to be spent on fuel, and double your money if you’re buying walking shoes!

    • Graeme 7.3

      Going from the Australian experience in 2009, probably pretty substantially. We had a ripper winter in Queenstown following that effort. Town was full of young Aussies spending their NZ$1200. It was just the right amount for a good ski holiday package.

      It saved a lot of businesses around town though, there could have been some major failures if that season hadn’t fired.

      • weka 7.3.1

        Ae, well tourist towns in NZ really should be thinking about post-carbon strategies by now.

        • Graeme 7.3.1.1

          We are, but that potential crisis is rather well down the list of potential crises we prepare to face. Tourism expenditure is the very peak of discretionary spending, and turns on and off in line with domestic and international economies. Any physical interruption to peoples ability to travel means no income tomorrow. Long term operators are always planning for that, and set their businesses up accordingly, but it can be brutal on new entrants who think they are selling loves of bread.

          And sometimes a crisis can have quite unforeseen outcomes. 9/11 initially stopped everything, no one traveled, of any nationality, and it wasn’t looking good around the town. Then it took off, and we were absolutely flat out with highly paranoid Americans and Europeans. And my example above, GFC wasn’t looking pretty here and businesses were going broke left right and center and the damage was heading towards well established operators.

          Tourism will have a post carbon future, people will still need a change of scenery to recreate their lives. Just it will be different to today’s industry.

          • weka 7.3.1.1.1

            Sure, but you can’t replace av gas with green tech, nor support the huge infrastructure of international and domestic travel without fossil fuels. Air travel won’t disappear, but flying to NZ from Asia will become uneconomic as will renting a campervan to drive around the country. So what is tourism going to do?

            • Graeme 7.3.1.1.1.1

              It’ll be more domestic, more expensive and require more commitment from travellers. The industry has been 50% domestic for last 30 years at least, so it’s actually most of the industry. The more expensive and more committed part of it will bring higher returning and longer staying visitors who will be much easier on resources. The bit that will go will be the cheap 3-5 day bums on seats part of the industry, and I don’t see that as a loss to the country.

              We might get a bit further away from the post carbon world but we won’t go away totally. Might not be too different from the New Zealand I grew up in the 60’s but we’ll be drinking nice wine rather than beer out of tankers.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    No one is suggesting this is appropriate for New Zealand any time soon.

    1. That’s because the mainstream economists and politicians are bloody stupid
    2. I am and so are many heterodox economists. Not NZ especially but the entire world should do it.

    The government creating all the money and spending it into the economy. Making money available for loans at 0% interest. And stopping the private banks from creating money at all in any form would seriously stabilise the economy and deal to inflation – especially asset price inflation like we see with housing.

    Our Reserve Bank still has another 2.5 per cent of interest rate cuts to go and is expected to signal a few as early as this Thursday.

    And it still won’t work. The problem is the banks creating money and that there’s really isn’t anything to invest money in to get a good return on any more.

    • Gristle 8.1

      Whilst there may 2.5% of headroom before deflation is a RB policy, do you want to guess how fast that headroom will disappear when Austrailian banks face up to the bad debts when NZ and Austrailian housing bubbles are pricked.

      Don’t you think that there is economic disconnect when interest rates are dropping and house inflation is still strong. IMO the RB want to tell us that we need to quickly get to grips with house prices falling. If the political pressure to try and get a really soft landing for the housing market was not present my guess is that the RB would have rates closer to zero and minimum house deposits being on a progressive basis for the price of the house and Auckland located.

      • The RB is trying to regulate house prices without any significant capital taxes. It’s not a surprise there’s a disconnect.

        (which IMO is why it’s incredibly frustrating Labour is softpedalling backwards on a CGT, they just need to put in some compensatory factors so that people can own their first home more easily, and so that selling your only home to move to a new place doesn’t hit you badly)

        • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1

          Can you suggest a single example where a CGT has worked then? Hint dont say Australia, Canada or the UK which all had/have significant property bubbles despite a CGT. Note saying a CGT is about fairness is moving the goal posts. Seems best for Labour to reject unpopular policies which dont work IMO.

          • Stuart Munro 8.1.1.1.1

            Absurd – a CGT is not even intended to be a magic wand to control property prices – but it will raise government income while detering an antisocial behaviour. NZ’s position in not having one is unusual and numerous economic bodies have recommended the lack be remedied. It is more the case that in the absence of a CGT measures that might otherwise cool the market to some degree are less effective.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree that a CGT would be useful, but that’s like saying that an 18mm spanner would be useful in a workshop.

              Yes it definitely would be but we need a full set of tools in the tool box to use, and not have the politicians just fixate on one.

            • alwyn 8.1.1.1.1.2

              If a CGT is supposed to cool down the housing market and persuade people to invest in productive assets, why do its proponents insist that the only goods to be excluded are family houses?
              Australia does precisely that. Your house is excluded from the CGT and also from the asset test for their National Super scheme. That is a means tested system. The exemption leads to people, particularly those over 65, investing in very large houses rather than in productive assets. If you want to change people’s investment choices away from non-productive housing into productive businesses the first, and possibly only, asset class to which a CGT should apply would be any form of housing.
              It won’t happen of course as it is politically suicidal.

              • vto

                tax should be raised from capital, not income.

                that way efforts and investment would be pushed into income-raising activities instead of capital-raising activities

                high capital values help nobody

                I realise this is opposite to current thinking (lack) so it may take some time to consider alwyn

                • joe90

                  tax should be raised from capital, not income

                  Indeed V, and my preference would be a consumption tax and a tax wealth not work scheme, a universal personal exemption would apply, at .05% – 1% or so on every single asset owned with a three yearly or thereabouts valuation.

                  Can’t afford your tax – defer or sell something, scam the tax man – lose it.

            • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1.1.3

              “a CGT is not even intended to be a magic wand to control property prices”

              Funny i was replying to a comment claiming NZ was missing its magic wand and hence could not control property prices. I suggest you need to show a few examples where such a policy has been successful before calling on Labour to once again commit electoral suicide with another CGT policy. And as Alwyn points out examples should reflect what is being proposed. I think there are actually reasons a CGT exacerbates asset bubbles myself presently in fact… can you provide evidence to the contrary?

  9. Ad 9

    This kind of logic reminds me of National implementing a massive tax cut a few years ago. Lift all boats, just in different ways.

    Wouldn’t the same effect be achieved – and more targeted – by simply eradicating income tax for the first $15,000 of earnings?

    • arkie 9.1

      Perhaps, except that tax cut was not spread evenly at all, it greatly advantaged those in the higher brackets. The cuts for lower down were quickly absorbed by the rise in the regressive GST.

      I believe a UBI AND a tax-free portion of income is necessary.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Correct. A UBI helps give people more negotiating leverage over employers, and more options in life than to seek increasingly difficult to find decent paid employment.

    • b waghorn 9.2

      “”– by simply eradicating income tax for the first $15,000 of earnings?”

      That would be the cheapest simplest way of making a difference, so I can’t see any politician s going for it.

      • sabine 9.2.1

        hahahahahah

        yep indeed. So true.

      • Nic the NZer 9.2.2

        That or eliminate GST. But every time i point out that National could have either left GST alone or dropped GST during their 2010 tax finangle somebody else has a major hernia arguing against it. Its bizare.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.1

          Firstly, GST is a Labour project so Labour loyalists have an affection for it.

          Secondly, people seem to think – but we can’t AFFORD to forego all that tax revenue!!! Where would Government get its $$$ from?

          • Nic the NZer 9.2.2.1.1

            GST is a Labour project

            Yes, figures. Mostly lefties making up the group who want it abolished also fits with that.

      • alwyn 9.2.3

        “eradicating income tax for the first $15,000”
        It wouldn’t make that much difference.
        On your first $15,000 in taxable income you only pay about $1,645 in income tax.
        That is $14,000 at 10.5% and $1,000 at 17.5%.
        If you earn less than $15,000 the amount is less. It isn’t chicken feed but it isn’t a lot either. The total comes to about $4 billion.
        It isn’t nearly as much as GST collections
        You can work it out from here.
        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/revenue/estimatesrevenueeffects/personal

        • Ad 9.2.3.1

          Not much difference for the rich.

          But the poorer you were, the more important and effective it would be.

        • sabine 9.2.3.2

          that would be almost like three weeks of extra pay for someone on min wage.
          that would be a month of rent, or almost three month worth of groceries, or maybe a dentists visits and a crooked tooth fixed instead of having it pulled a year later.

          a lot of money for many people.

          • alwyn 9.2.3.2.1

            Sure, but it is nothing like the effect of a UBI of the sort that people are proposing. I still think saying that it isn’t chicken feed but not a lot is accurate.

        • b waghorn 9.2.3.3

          Lift it to 20k then, of course some nut from the right will say that poor people will be offended if they aren’t contributing, but I’m sure most will cope !

          • alwyn 9.2.3.3.1

            That would bring it up to about $2,500 for anyone on $20,000 or above.
            The cost goes up to about $5.75 billion. That’s about 7 times the Pharmac budget isn’t it?
            That’s why they call Economics the dismal science.

            • b waghorn 9.2.3.3.1.1

              I should of added the obvious that there would have to be a shift in income streams for the government, , its a pity this government uses its considerable marketing skills to fill the coffers of the rich and not sell the fact that a more equal society is a happy society.

  10. Michael 10

    The concept could work, but I don’t think it is necessary right now as the NZ economy is growing fairly well. However, if the economy slumps a lot, then it should definitely be a policy tool in addition to increased deficit spending.

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      What leads you to conclude that the economy is growing fairly well? It looks like an absolute disaster from where I’m standing.

      • ropata 10.1.1

        I think he means the last decade or so have been sweet for those on the “right” side of the tracks. And for bankers.

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/12/how-new-zealands-rich-poor-divide-killed-its-egalitarian-paradise

        • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.1

          You mean the non-productive sector – yeah I notice they’re pretty happy. Parasite that killed its host.

          • dv 10.1.1.1.1

            Stuart- how do you feel about SCF then?

            • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s complicated – pretty obvious that Hubbard knew what he was doing and wasn’t a crook – the receivers pretty clearly were – going to the press with slanders to drive the value down. SCF was looted as thoroughly as any privatised state enterprise with a $1.6 billion cherry on the top.

              It was after SCF that I began to routinely refer to the Key junta as kleptocrats.

              Creditors were repaid in full, so smears of Hubbard’s skills were clearly groundless. I’m guessing some very wicked folk really wanted a big batch of vulnerable dairy farms. No conventional legal process was followed – rather like Stalin & the kulaks really.

              • dv

                Thank you for a full answer. It is appreciated.
                There also some VERY murky business around the Scales corporation.
                And the real story is unlikely to be told.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Yes – I think a full inquiry would see some senior government figures in jail for decades. But I don’t have all the details – mind, I’ll bet a lot of working folk have pieces of the puzzle though.

  11. greywarshark 11

    I would spend my $1000 on a dishwasher and then I would have more time to do other things, though not to spend on here, I’m already overdrawn on that time bank.

    • alwyn 11.1

      But you told us the other day that doing the dishes gave you time to think about other matters and to listen to audio recordings.
      I thought you were recommending the practise. Now you are proposing that you get a dishwasher. No further thoughtful opinions?

      Open mike 12/03/2016

      • b waghorn 11.1.1

        Shit with recall like that I pity you’re partner. 🙂

        • alwyn 11.1.1.1

          Actually I thought it was a great idea, which is why I remembered it.
          Thinking about almost anything else is better than considering the pile of dishes.

        • alwyn 11.1.1.2

          I’m sorry but I have just noticed something else.
          Remember the Daily Review the other day, started by Anne with

          Daily Review 10/03/2016

          You’re or your.

          I apologise, as you say my recall of past comments is excessive.

          • b waghorn 11.1.1.2.1

            Ha ha got me. Although if you’re at a lose end one day and you want to fill in your afternoon have a look at some of my early comments on the standard, you’ll see I’ve improved greatly.

    • b waghorn 11.2

      I’d spend it straight away too, there’s lots of things around casa waghorn that need replacing.

      • greywarshark 11.2.1

        Yes I have practical applications and wouldn’t spend it on holiday to the Costa Lota.

        • greywarshark 11.2.1.1

          Now I’ve watched the Keiser show with Steve Keen it seems that I would have to pay off my credit card. But that would be a good thing as lately there seems so much pressure to back this or that, and I scrape up the money and haven’t been able to bring down the debt.

  12. dave 12

    its was QE for the people its the same as basic income with one difference if your in debt the money must be used to retire debt if your debt free the money must be spent in the local economy its also a form of debt jubilee steve keen talks about how it would work

  13. linda 13

    is strategic default an option for indebted new zealanders ????????/
    did anyone pick up on the report out Australia regarding ponzi finance scam by the big four banks rapidly revaluing homes to ramp up the values http://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-hedge-fund-manager-posing-as-a-home-buyer-says-he-was-shown-the-tricks-for-white-lies-on-mortgage-applications-2016-2

    • alwyn 13.1

      That sounds rather more like an attempt to scam the banks, rather than something the banks are doing. If I was the boss in one of the big four I would be following up on it though.
      It isn’t a Ponzi scheme though. That has a specific meaning.

  14. linda 14

    time to call bullshit on everything (the big nz short)

    • alwyn 14.1

      Sell everything you mean?
      What are you going to do with the money? There would be no point in leaving it in New Zealand dollars if you think that. Move to Switzerland perhaps and become a mate of Fay and Richwhite?

  15. Descendant Of Sssmith 15

    I’m pretty sure we already do this.

    It’s called NZS.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Exactly. It’s something that NZ has plenty of experience with. Time to extend the concept to more age ranges.

  16. stephen bradley 16

    It’s all been done, quite recently, and quite close to home. In 2008 the federal government in Australia squirted $1100 in to my pension account in response to the GFC. Even though I was only the recipient of a tiny pension due to only 3 years work there, and offset by a deduction from my NZ pension, I still got the $1100 and I assume that all other Australian pensioners and beneficiaries got the same. Of course, if you give money to ordinary working class people they spend it because they have not much choice and it multiplies through the community. Give the money to the banksters and they just hoard it due to market fear. It’s a no-brainer.

  17. swordfish 17

    Simon Wren-Lewis posts on Helicopter Money/Quantitative Easing at Mainly Macro
    http://mainlymacro.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/helicopter

  18. gnomic 18

    Can I have $1,000,000 please? That way I could buy a bach at the beach. Some obscure beach far from anywhere. With any luck there would be no TV reception or smartphone coverage and I could live oblivious to all the bull dung. Righto?

    A grand? Wouldn’t even touch the sides. Twenty visits to a quack? Ten full tanks at the garage? Ten trolleys at the supermarket? Five nights in a motel? A year’s bill for the smartphone?

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Because society still has to extract productive work from you day to day, no, you can’t have a million dollars.

  19. Murray Simmonds 19

    And no you can’t gnomic, because almost everyone else would be using their million to compete for the same batch and beach that you want . . . . . and guess what happens next!

    Thats why you only get $1000.

  20. vto 20

    Free money would finally expose the true value of money

    the true value of our money system

    worthless

    and consequently dangerous

  21. Graeme 21

    Pretty much what Australia did in response to GFC. But, as the ABC article below shows it was as much, or more, for political reasons.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-26/berg-the-cold-calculations-of-the-gfc-stimulus/5696150

    The concluding paragraph –

    “The decision to deploy massive fiscal stimulus set in train all the events and personality clashes that defined Labor’s term in government.

    The debt racked up in those few months crippled Kevin Rudd’s policy agenda, undermined every one of its future budgets, and, by liquidating the surplus in an instant, damaged its economic management credentials.

    And for what? To avoid “the potential political costs of being seen to do nothing”.

    There’s some interesting links in there too.

    I can see our current government trying this to “buy” an election, current discussion is probably part of the scoping process, but it I can see it go the same was as for the last Australian Labor government. It’ll be done for political reasons, and there will be political costs.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      I can see our current government trying this to “buy” an election

      That’s what the surprise minimum wage hike was all about. National are positioning for an early election 2017.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    8 hours ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    10 hours ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 day ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    2 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    5 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    3 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago