Recreating the reserve army of labour

Written By: - Date published: 5:48 am, August 13th, 2009 - 56 comments
Categories: unemployment, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Unemployment has shot up to 133,500, nearly doubling in 18 months. But that’s not the whole story. The official ‘unemployed’ are only the people without work who looking for work and able to start now. Add to that the ‘jobless’, people who want work but are not actively looking (because they’re discouraged or there’s none to be had) and people looking but not immediately available. there are now 102,600 people in this catagory, up from 66,800. On top of that there are the ‘underemployed’ – people with work but unable to get as much as they want or need – another 114,300 people.

Together they make up the reserve army of labour. It is an ‘army’ that does the work of the bosses by keeping wages down, and it does that better the more people are forced into its ranks.

reserve army of labour q2 2009

These are all people who must compete against each other (and fully employed people wishing to change jobs) for the limited, insufficent supply of work. Whenever there are too many people trying for too few jobs, the only way they can compete is by agreeing to do more work for less money. Workers can’t afford to simply withdraw from the market; their labour isn’t any other commodity, it’s the only way to get a decent livelihood.

sleepytimes - smallWhen few people were unemployed, jobless, or underemployed wages rose quickly (and the bosses screamed about ‘wage inflation’). Now, thanks to the capitalists’ financial crisis the ranks of the reserve army of labour are growing and the Key Government is sitting by doing nothing because it represents the interests of capital, not working New Zealanders.  Workers are forced to undercut each other and the bosses win.

The outcome is falling wages and bigger profits, which is exactly what Treasury is projecting in the years ahead.

56 comments on “Recreating the reserve army of labour”

  1. infused 1

    So what’s your suggestion mate?

    • Sonny Blount 1.1

      “So what’s your suggestion mate?”

      I think what he is infering is that economic growth should always be a priority because the good times of high tax income never last forever

      • starboard 1.1.1

        pity labour wasted the good times…cupboard bare…stuck with a crappy train set and a big hole in ACC…

    • Marty G 1.2

      The Government’s priority should be to support employment, and thereby wages. So far, this government has destroyed more jobs by firing people itself than it has created.

      • Sonny Blount 1.2.1

        The government can’t create jobs. It can avoid destroying jobs and it can offer work for the dole.

        • Marty G 1.2.1.1

          work for the dole only serves to undermine wages and create an army of serfs.

          I’ll talk about how the govt can create jobs in response to your other comment below

          • Sonny Blount 1.2.1.1.1

            But all government jobs are work for the dole under a different name. These jobs have some value but any additional employment by government is fundamentally work for the dole, they still require a private sector job to provide the tax to pay for it.

        • Macro 1.2.1.2

          But! but! but! I just heard our erstwhile Paula on the radio this morning saying how wonderful her new 200 jobs for youth was!!

    • Macro 1.3

      So you admit that the right has no solution to the problem. Well we knew that already.

  2. Sonny Blount 3

    Thanks Labour for 9 years of failed economic policies

    • Marty G 3.1

      how’s that?

      4 years of sub-4% unemployment under Labour.

      • infused 3.1.1

        That wasn’t due to Labour. It was due to the economic climate at the time. An expanded Labour market because of the bubble here and around the world. Artificial jobs really.

        Any party in power at the time would have enjoyed this.

        • Marty G 3.1.1.1

          ah English’s ‘they weren’t real jobs’ line.

          The fact is that unemployment is a phenomena of the capitalist system and even then it has usually been very low – we’ve only experienced four periods of high unemployment in this country – the long depression at the end of the 19th century, the great depression, the neoliberal revolution, and the current global crisis. Each time, it was the capitalists stuffing up and the workers suffering.

          Low unemployment is natural, not an aberration.

          Anyway, my point was that this increase isn’t ‘Labour’s fault’ like this Sonny guy was saying

        • roger nome 3.1.1.2

          Confused:

          Labour’s active labour market policies would have undoubtedly created a more efficient labour market. More efficient than in the US – which has had much higher unemployment than us for the last 10 years, whilst pretty much “leaving it to the market”.

      • vto 3.1.2

        Marty you always try to have your cake and eat it too.

        4 years of sub-4% unemployment under the “capitalists system”, not labour.

        FFS, claiming the downturn is due to the “capitalists system” but that the upturn was due to Labour … you just have no credibility when you do this.

        None.

        waste of time and space

        • Marty G 3.1.2.1

          where did I claim the low unemployment had been due to Labour?

          reading things that aren’t there eh vto?

          The fact is that low unemployment is natural but government can encourage it by making full employment its primary economic goal (both Labour and National government’s did until the 1980s) … there are plenty of steps the government could and should be taking (should have been taking for the past 8 months) to keep unemployment low.

          It hasn’t and now we’ve broken past the point where low unemployment is self-reinforcing (when unemployment is very low, employers are reluctant to fire people because they will be unable to get new workers when the economy picks up), which decreases everyone’s job security and opens the door to a higher ‘normal level’ of unemployment

          • Sonny Blount 3.1.2.1.1

            What are these steps?

            • Marty G 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Investing in labour intensive areas. Public transport, education (National cut Labour’s plan to low pupil to student ratios), conservation (reducing pest numbers would also reduce our net carbon emissions), state housing construction and a home insulation scheme that helps the renting poor, not just the middle-class.

              The Greens put our their Green New Deal recently talking 40,000 jobs for just over a billion dollars a year. That’s a real jobs programme. http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/Green_New_Deal_Economic_Stimulus_12_June.pdf

            • Macro 3.1.2.1.1.2

              Why don’t you ask your mates on the right that question? – They are the ones supposedly responsible now, and was the whole point of the post.

          • vto 3.1.2.1.2

            “where did I claim the low unemployment had been due to Labour?”

            here..

            “4 years of sub-4% unemployment under Labour.”

            not reading what you’re writing eh marty? That would explain a lot.

            • Marty G 3.1.2.1.2.1

              That doesn’t say ‘due to Labour’. Sonny was blaming Labour for rising unemployment, I pointed out that when they were in power, unemployment had been low and stayed there. Was hat primarily due to Labour? No. No government can have complete influence over the economy but it can certainly make a difference and it’s pretty hard to argue that Labour’s policies led to high unemployment now.

        • starboard 3.1.2.2

          ..tee hee hee..

  3. Gaint Mason Philly 4

    I hope the rotund Labour army marches on poisonous sea slugs.

  4. tsmithfield 5

    So, how would you say our unemployment rate compares with most other Western economies at the moment, Marty?

    • Marty G 5.1

      it compares well because we had 4 years of sub-4% unemployment and low unemployment is self-reinforcing (although we’re passing that point now).

      How it that relevant though? You can’t attribute it to anything the Key Government has done, it doesn’t matter to the hundreds of thousands of people unable to get work, it doesn’t stop unemployment dragging on our wages.

  5. John Dalley 6

    Gaint mason alias D4J.
    For a parasite and a laughing stock in the world of Cristchurch, life still not going well for you??

  6. Andrei 7

    The outcome is falling wages and bigger profits, which is exactly what Treasury is projecting in the years ahead.

    Rubbish when less people are working profits go down as well – everybody loses.

    Perhaps if you stopped trying to cast this as a class war (tiresome) and started thinking about how we as a nation form the richest to the most humble tackle these problems some progress could be made.

    • JustRight 7.1

      I agree Andrei. The whole class thing is tiresome and unproductive. Seeing the world through this lens is unhelpful. The problems we face today cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them in the first place

      Perhaps, just perhaps everyone is right! Start with what we agree on, then we have a place to stand together in growing the pie. Why squabble over slicing up an ever descreasing pie, when collectively we should spend our energy on growing it?

      As for me, I happen to think that free markets are by far the best way for human beings to organise themselves, and I also have a social conscience. It is possible!

  7. tsmithfield 8

    Well, there is something being done, for instance bringing forward infrastructure spending and the like.

    Doesn’t matter what the government does, unemployment is going to rise in the current market. Remember, this has been the biggest shock since the great depression.

    So, how do you validate your argument that unemployment is too high, given that employment was going to increase under any scenario, no matter how much the government poured into it. Good grief, look at the US. They are printing money (quantative easing) and they are still going to be pushing 11% with unemployment.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      The US situation is clearly different from here. They started with a higher unemployment rate (none of that self-reinforcing effect marty was talking about) and their recession has been a lot worse. You can’t simply point at their unemployment numbers and say ‘look we may as well do nothing because the yanks did something and it didn’t work’

      Oh and by the way, the unemployment rate in the US is 9.4%, down from 9.5% in June.

      Meanwhile, our unemployment rate, which started nearly 1% lower than Australia’s is now higher than theirs. Ouch.

      • JustRight 8.1.1

        Our recession started 12 months before anyone else as well. This was manufactured to cool the housing market / real estate development that was destroying our exporters through a high dollar.

        The root of our ills is we as a nation spend more than we earn. The fix to both the productivity issue, current account and wage growth issues is to export more stuff the world wants. Simple, but not easy!

        • infused 8.1.1.1

          Nail, Head.

        • Maynard J 8.1.1.2

          JustRight, how do you reconcile the free-market ideology with New Zealand having a fundamental flaw (overspending) that requires intervention to rectify, since it is clear that this behaviour is not self-regulating?

          I know you did not say it was perfect, for the record, I am not putting those words in your mouth. I am just asking if you think the market will correct this, and probing to see if there is a level of regulation you are confortable with.

          To a similar issue, the market corrected for the lack of regulation in the US, which is a fundamental cause of this global mess. As an ideology, what level of control are you confortable with on the ‘free’-market to reduce the effects it has been proven to have – namely ruinous boom and bust cycles.

          These issues are related because there is a juxtaposition of a social conscience upon the freedom of free-market markets that is irreconcilable without regulation.

          • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.2.1

            Maynard – You’re simply stating your opinion as fact. I’m not an Austrian, but adherents would cite the Austrian business cycle. My point being there are differring opinons don’t assume you’re right. Some would think this whole financial sector that got us into this mess would barely exist if at all on a free-market.

            These issues are related because there is a juxtaposition of a social conscience upon the freedom of free-market markets that is irreconcilable without regulation.

            This is just an absurd statement. Many of the first socialists before Marx and many after advocated a free market precisely because of their social concience. Do not masquerade your opinons as facts.

            I think there is a lack of understanding from both the mainstream left and the right about what a free market actually entails.

            • Maynard J 8.1.1.2.1.1

              “This is just an absurd statement.”

              Is that an opinion as fact?

              I was responding to JustRight’s view, and clearly referring to that concept of a free market. I am not really intersted in pissing contests and bandying words about so if you have some form of contribution to make, then by all means, do so.

              “This is just an absurd statement. Many of the first socialists before Marx and many after advocated a free market precisely because of their social concience. Do not masquerade your opinons as facts.”

              Of course it is an opinion, why even start to read into it otherwise? If it helps you sleep at night I will put “I think” in front of every sentence.

              I think most people can have this debate without lengthy analysis of terms of reference, but if you want to call someone up on it for reasons of pedantry why not start with your own?

            • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.2.1.2

              If you like to think that everyone who supports a free-market has no concience go ahead, but your manichean outlook will only lose you arguments. You stated that the market corrected for the lack of regulation and that it is a proven fact that the boom bust cycle is caused by free markets this is what I was complaining as opinion for fact and further than that you said that a social concience and support for the free market are irreconcilable. That is a slight against all people that support a free market.
              Free-market is a term that rasies a lot of argument. The difficulty comes when conservatives and neo-liberals masquerade their policies as free market policies. More confusion comes from social democrats and the like because they continue to say that what we have is a free market system when that is manifestly false. People then start to look at the problems in our current system inequality, unemployment, consumerism etc and blame that on the free-market because they have been told time and again that we have a free-market system when that is false. What free-market actually means is simple what it would entail or how we could get there is not and subject to much argument. You can have a debate without lengthy analysis of terms of reference, but when people don’t even know what the terms of reference are it is meaningless. Right now the debate has been so muddied by left and right wing conservatives that it is meaningless.

            • Maynard J 8.1.1.2.1.3

              JustRight’s comment below was just what I was looking for. I accept that what we have at present is not a free market in its purest sense, and is not remotely like that concept.

              So I am guilty of using the term ‘free market’ in a different context to that which is the real, theoretical idea. I still find value in using that term to have the debate with people who want a majority of our current systems, but argue that the market system can remedy the inequalities, as JustRight has done below. But for what it is worth, apologies for the sleight towards actual free-market proponents, and I accept that it is lazy to use the term incorrectly.

              “People then start to look at the problems in our current system inequality, unemployment, consumerism etc and blame that on the free-market because they have been told time and again that we have a free-market system when that is false.”

              That is pretty much it. When people are talking about that as a free market – meaning arguing for a minimum of government intervention – it seems to me to be little point in arguing that it is not a free market. Incidentally I have made this point before, that there is no such thing, no realised version of the theory, at least in a modern and meaningful context that can be used as a model.

          • JustRight 8.1.1.2.2

            MaynardJ – Yep, I think the market would correct the ‘over spending flaw’ as you put it. However, I am mindful that market participants are human beings with hopes, desires, children yadda yadda. I think there is a significant human cost to ‘market correction’ There are winners & losers in the process.

            My belief that markets are the best way for human beings to organise themselves. The social conscience comes in when discussing the size & shape of the social safety net for people who can not take part in the market (e.g. the sick, disabled yadda yadda, and the structures needed to prevent some market participants from parasitic behaviour.

            I personally believe that well designed structures such as tax systems which incent certain forms of investment & discourage others are fine. I see nothing wrong with taxing tobacco because the cost of this is not only borne by the individual, but the rest of society in the form of having to give lung replacements! Look at the insurance premiums for smokers versus non-smokers.

            Regulations like laws are necessary to protect the majority from a minority. The minority who steal / are greedy / damage others are made to bear some if not all the cost of this behaviour in the form of fines and/or loss of liberty.

            Just as games of sport have rules to ensure a fair contest. So should markets… no different.

            • Ari 8.1.1.2.2.1

              Do you believe in market failures, JR? If so, when do they happen and how serious are they?

              Because I think there’s more point to interfering in the economy than just setting fair and socially responsible rules. I think in some places the market just doesn’t stand up on its own.

    • Clarke 8.2

      Well, there is something being done, for instance bringing forward infrastructure spending and the like.

      Oh dear, not the hoary old “infrastructure spending” meme again. How about a bit of a reality check – let’s use the Auckland Victoria Park tunnel as an example:

      Cost = $406 million
      New jobs created = “between 210 and 300 people working on the project”

      Compare and contrast with the Green New Deal in which you get 40,000 jobs for around $1 billion, which looks to be a much better investment. The downside for National is that a Green New Deal won’t funnel all those tasty taxpayer dollars into the coffers of Fletcher Building to help make up their $46 million loss, unlike the Victoria Park tunnel.

      • Armchair Critic 8.2.1

        I wonder whether the 210 to 300 people working on the Vic Park Tunnel project are people who were previously unemployed and have now been hired, or whether they are current employees who have been transfered from other FB projects as they come to an end. If it is the latter then they aren’t really new jobs.

        • Ari 8.2.1.1

          AC: That depends if there’d be enough work for them without bringing those projects forward. If not, then it would have had the effect of keeping people in employment.

          Clarke: If we spend the amount we spent on the vic tunnel on programs with the same average return as the proposed GND, we would have created or maintained 16,240 jobs.

  8. Graeme 9

    the only way they can compete is by agreeing to do more work for less money

    Surely they could also compete by offering to do more work for the same money, or the same work for less money?

    🙂

  9. Pascal's bookie 10

    marty G said The outcome is falling wages and bigger profits, which is exactly what Treasury is projecting in the years ahead.

    Andrei replied Rubbish when less people are working profits go down as well everybody loses.

    Dum de doo, checking the news, ooh what’s this?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32374533/ns/business-eye_on_the_economy

    The Labor Department said Tuesday that the American work force produced, at an annual rate, 6.4 percent more of the goods they made and services they provided in the second quarter of this year compared to a year ago. At the same time, “unit labor costs’ — the amount employers paid for all that extra work — fell by 5.8 percent. The jump in productivity was higher than expected; the cut in labor costs more than double expectations.

    That is, despite the deep job cuts of the past year, workers who remain on the payroll are filling in and making up the work that had been done by their departed colleagues. In some cases, that extra work came with a smaller paycheck.

    The higher worker output and lower labor costs have been good news for companies struggling through the worst recession since World War II. So far, some 70 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have turned in better-than-expected profits for the latest quarter.

    Hey now Mr fancy msnbc news man, what you talking such lies fer? Everybody knows that the productivity gettin better is the sure fire route to the wages going up. Shit goddam liberal media with it’s bias and it’s quotin of the numbers and such.

  10. Ari 11

    I should point out that the reason productivity gets better in a recession is because mostly the least efficient employees are the ones that get fired first. The problem with a full employment policy is that it is really unattractive to employers- they end up paying more for more employees and needing to take on inefficient ones. This means that when employers have significant influence over government policy they’re likely to try and dump the policy to the extent that they can avoid employing inefficient workers. Nice for the free market, horrible for society.

  11. Hmmmm – it is all part and parcel of the neo-liberalistic policies of governments world-wide, that are gaining favour. People are human captial, easily expendible and, in this throwaway society we live in, quickly forgotten.

    There is also another class of unemployed.

    Those who are unemployed generally through choice, not registered with WINZ, not having to work to feed the family but looking for work … generally on a part time basis. These people are generally highly skilled, motivated, people who chose to have time out from the ratrace but now want to fill their hours with stimulating and interesting paid work.

    I have observed that with the current government crying ‘recession, recession, recession’ all over the place employers have taken this as carte blance to retrench workers without having to provide reasons – the recession is forcing them to take this action (insert Tui ad here). I think that as we come out of this ‘recession’ employers will be kicking themselves that they let go so many trained, skilled and knowledgeable workers because when they have to take on new workers, employers will have to heavily invest in training and upskilling their inexperienced workforce.

    I will cry crocodile tears when this time comes. Boo Hoo.

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    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    7 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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