web analytics

Right headings, wrong policies

Written By: - Date published: 4:12 pm, July 15th, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

John Key’s speech on the economy, billed as the way to close the 30% wage gap with Australia, had six policy headings – regulatory reform, infrastructure investment, better public services, education and skills, innovation and business assistance, and a world-class tax system.

On regulatory reform, the recipe was more deregulation, particularly of job security with the 90-day law, and less environmental protection. No mention of the need for regulation in the financial sector. Once a cowboy always a cowboy, I suppose.

On infrastructure investment, he offered more state highways, the Kopu bridge, and a start on broadband that doesn’t go to homes. Oh and an Advisory Board so the private sector gets to have a say in how to spend the money.

Better public services? Its all about cuts, with more and bigger ones to come next year. Ideology trumps effectiveness.

Education and skills? National standards in primary schools for ideological reasons, proven not to work, and rehashed Labour policies for school alternatives. Adult and second-chance education goes down the gurgler, and apprenticeship funding is cut while Australia is increasing it.

Innovation and business assistance? A bit of bureaucratic reform, more travel for Tim Groser, and $70million for R&D instead of Labour’s $700 million for Fast Forward and R&D tax credits. Hardly an advance.

A world-class tax system? The wealthiest 3% of taxpayers got 30% of the cuts! Don’t hold your breath about yet another review. The Australian Labor government put their stimulus at the bottom end, where it produced a result.

Not a single new idea there. None of that will improve productivity or increase export earnings. Close the wage gap? More like Key’s earlier line – “We would love to see wages drop”.

For a better approach, check out some of David Cunliffe’s ideas at yesterday’s Mood of the Boardroom meeting.

12 comments on “Right headings, wrong policies ”

  1. BLiP 1

    And not a word about the cause of the lack of productivity . . .

    Perhaps if the foreign owned corporations had invested in their infrastructure instead of shipping container loads of New Zealand currency off shore the productivity might have increased. Instead, it seems, business is to be given a greater role in forming government policy and assisting in the expenditure of our taxes. John Key, instead, rewards this business malfeasance with corporate welfare by the bucketload.

    Yippeee !!

  2. Good post John A. I agree that Key has the right idea when it comes to the “broad concepts”, however when you get down to the detail it all falls apart. National don’t have a plan, because the only obvious plan to have at a time like this is the Keynesian economic stimulus plan that we see Australia and other countries rolling out.

    That kind of plan is not palateable to National, but they can’t really do anything else so they’re left in a quandry.

    1) Do they go against all their ideological beliefs and actually try to do something about the recession (the Australia approach)?

    2) Do they go with their ideological beliefs and embark on a slash & burn approach to government spending that will obviously have horrific short-term consequences?

    3) Do they make it sound like they’re doing the former, do a little bit of the latter but try to hide it, while all up doing bugger all and just hoping like hell the country comes of the recession anyway?

    Seems like they’re picking option 3.

  3. ghostwhowalks 3

    Kopu Bridge !!
    That has been on the ready to go list for about five years, however the local council has been delaying it in Court from 2003 because they want Transit to pay to maintain the old bridge

    THAT Hauraki District Council appeals to the Environment Court against the decision of Transit New Zealand to retain the existing Kopu Bridge structure upon completion of the new bridge.
    http://www.hauraki-dc.govt.nz/documents/minutes/Council/2003/December/kopu_bridge.htm

  4. burt 4

    John A.

    A world-class tax system? The wealthiest 3% of taxpayers got 30% of the cuts! Don’t hold your breath about yet another review.

    Can you explain this a bit more clearly, perhaps back it up with some numbers. It sounds like policies of envy distortions to me.

    The Australian Labor government put their stimulus at the bottom end, where it produced a result.

    Yes, zero rated thresholds & genuine wealth tax thresholds. I have supported a zero rated bottom tax bracket long and hard on this blog. Cullen’s ideology of taxing people from the first dollar they earn illustrated his perspective that tax is about plucking the goose with the least amount of hissing – and who cares when it’s rich pricks hissing!

    • So Bored 4.1

      Burt, I applaud your support and sentiment on zero rated tax thresholds.

      I will however disagree with anybody who tells me that the rich have not benefitted from their much reduced tax burden since the advent of neo liberalism. Check the empirical record. It clearly shows that the rich have severely outstripped the ability of the rest of the populace to keep pace in relative terms.

    • burt 4.2

      Numbers So Bored. Can 3% be explained? Can 30% be explained. I’m not disputing that when top thresholds are reduced that top bracket payers get bigger tax cuts than people paying little or no tax. However this is a consequence of having a progressive tax system and wage inflation. Adjustments must be made and calling them wrong is pretty head up ass stuff really. Call the ideology of a progressive tax system broken if you like, I won’t argue very strongly against you on that one.

      Yes, for 9 years Labour didn’t entertain a zero rated threshold. National have not either but hopefully ACT party tax policy or Green party tax policy will influence the major party dinosaurs and the people will be better off because of it.

      • felix 4.2.1

        What the hell’s going on, burt? I keep agreeing with you this week.

        Have you switched meds or something?

      • So Bored 4.2.2

        Burt, Ii am not disputing minutae, if you back well off and have a gink you cannot dispute how much richer the neo liberal revolution made the wealthy, primarily by the removal of tax. What we now have is a disparity that is so glaring that relativity has gone out the window. If we want an economy that provides the necessary services for all we might:
        * tax the very wealthy a lot more AND / OR
        * force the wealthy to pay much higher wages.
        All depends on what people are prepared to put up with, contrary to popular myth wealth and property are not sacrosanct. They exist only at the behest of the society they serve and can be taken away.

  5. Pete 5

    Did anyone else hear Key on Morning Report this morning?

    He was asked about recent criticism of the government on rising unemployment and what they are doing about it – and he replied with the same old dismissive PR crap about “rough edges”, Australian and UK unemployment levels, “we can’t magic it away” and “it’s a global recession”. Nothing at all to address the question or describe a way forward – and sadly he wasn’t pulled up on it (I think they had the wrong person interviewing – where’s Sean Plunket these days?).

    Sorry I don’t have a link – can’t find it online – but it should be available later today.

  6. If you were depressed by the lack of initiative and direction in the government’s stsatement on the economy yesterday, don’t look at Business New Zealand’s “Setting New Zealand Apart” report, released today. Predictable, unimaginative and so utterly self-serving that one wonders why it was done. The Herald suggests that it is about BNZ trying to “corral” the government, that is, to put BNZ back in the frame from which the government has pretty much dumped it.

  7. randal 7

    its all waffle.
    the primary barrier to increases in productivity is the structural issue of scale and not far behind that is the psychological propensity of new zealand employers to intimidate their staff.
    thats what they like most.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • World’s first algae-based local anaesthetic another step closer to reality
    A partnership between the Government and the Cawthron Institute has delivered a breakthrough in the production of a potent microalgal ingredient for the world’s first algae-based pain medication, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced.  “Scientists at Cawthron Institute in Nelson have developed a reliable and commercially scalable method for producing neosaxitoxin, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri and the Crown sign Agreement in Principle| Ka waitohu a Ngāti Mutunga o...
    Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri and the Crown have signed an Agreement in Principle marking a significant milestone towards the settlement of their historical Treaty of Waitangi claims. Ngāti Mutunga are based on Wharekauri/Chatham Islands and are the second of two iwi/imi to reach agreement with the Crown. “Today’s signing follows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further ACC reforms introduced to Parliament
    New reporting requirements on access to ACC Earlier access to minimum rate of compensation Refinement to ACC purpose to focus on supporting all eligible injured people to access ACC The Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) Amendment Bill which aims to improve access to ACC for all injured people, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Chatham Islands' resilience
    The Government is supporting the Chatham Islands’ resilience to extreme weather events and natural hazards through a grant to secure safe drinking water, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said. “Many households in the Chatham Islands lack easy access to drinking water and have been forced to get water to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Chief Coroner appointed
    Coroner Anna Tutton has been appointed as the new Chief Coroner, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Anna Tutton was appointed as a Coroner in January 2015, based in Christchurch, and as Deputy Chief Coroner in 2020.  After the previous Chief Coroner, Judge Deborah Marshall, retired Ms Tutton took on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DIRA Amendment Bill passes third reading
    The Government has passed an Amendment Bill today to support Fonterra’s move to a new capital structure and the continued success of New Zealand’s dairy industry. The Dairy Industry Restructuring (Fonterra Capital Restructuring) Amendment Bill will allow the Fonterra co-operative to make changes to its capital structure, as well as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister Whaitiri to attend Food Ministers’ Meeting with Australian counterparts
    Minister for Food Safety Meka Whaitiri will attend the Fourth Australia and New Zealand Food Ministers’ Meeting in Melbourne on Friday. It will be the first time the meeting has been held in person since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted international travel. “The Food Ministers’ Meeting sets the policy direction for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Kiwibank parent appoints directors
    David McLean and Sir Brian Roche have been appointed as the first two directors of the newly incorporated Kiwi Group Capital Limited (KCG), the parent company of Kiwibank. In August, the Government acquired 100 percent of Kiwi Group Holdings, which also operates New Zealand Home Loans, from NZ Post, ACC ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Ministers meet in Cambodia
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. “The first face to face meeting of the ADMM-Plus members is an opportunity for me to highlight New Zealand’s position on key regional security matters,” Peeni Henare said.  “In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pay equity extended to thousands more social workers
    The Government will extend pay equity to all community and iwi organisations who employ social workers and receive funding from the Crown, Minister for Women Jan Tinetti announced today. We expect this will improve the lives of approximately 4,600 social workers. “This extension means thousands more social workers will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Taskforce set up to protect construction industry from product shortages & delays
    New ‘Critical Materials Taskforce’ will trouble shoot building materials shortages Focus on maximising productivity & cushioning businesses from supply chain risks Successful ‘Plasterboard Taskforce’ reshaped to include broader sector knowledge and expertise Will provide guidance, data and information to support builders, designers and business owners A new Critical Materials Taskforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bigger ED, more theatres and more beds in new Whangārei Hospital
    A new emergency department with three times more space will be part of the first stage of a two-stage project to build a new hospital for Whangārei and Northland. The Government has today confirmed funding for stage one of the new hospital – an acute services building and a child-health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finnish PM to visit New Zealand
    Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin, accompanied by Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari and a business delegation will visit New Zealand next week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The two leaders will meet in Auckland. “New Zealand and Finland are natural partners. We share similar approaches ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New recreational rules to support hāpuku and bass fisheries
    The daily limits on recreationally caught hāpuku (also known as groper) and bass will be lowered to a total of two per person in some areas, with a new accumulation limit of three per person on multi-day trips. Oceans and Fisheries Minister, David Parker said the rule changes would take ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature enabling Mātāuranga Māori
    Mātāuranga Māori is at the heart of the latest tranche of Jobs for Nature projects set to promote biodiversity and reduce impacts of climate change on Māori land, Minister of Conservation Poto Williams says. Project work will include the creation of an ecological corridor in Tairāwhiti, protecting 60 hectares of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting resilient shipping infrastructure in Vanuatu
    The Government has announced further support to Vanuatu to assist in constructing climate-resilient wharves as part of the Vanuatu Inter-Island Shipping Support Project (VISSP). “Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to supporting the economic recovery of our Pacific region in a way that continues to provide growth and supports climate resilience,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government welcomes High Court ruling on climate case
    The High Court has today confirmed the legality of the advice provided by the Climate Change Commission (the Commision) to inform New Zealand’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) and the first three emissions budgets.  Minister of Climate Change James Shaw says New Zealanders can have confidence in the Commission and of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government introduces changes to mining Act with stronger environmental focus
    ·         Crown Minerals Act will no longer actively “promote” prospecting, exploration, and mining of Crown-owned minerals ·         Will create more certainty around engagement between industry, iwi and hapū. The Government is proposing changes to modernise the Crown Minerals Act 1991 (CMA) to support more environmentally conscious management of resources, says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Building Nations 2050 conference
    Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Good morning and thank you, Jack, for the introduction. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge Infrastructure New Zealand Chair, Margaret Devlin and all the sponsors and organisers of this event for bringing us together in ‘Building Nations 2050’. I would also like to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better natural hazard information for home buyers
    Associate Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty has today introduced legislation to empower councils to share better information about natural hazards with the public. The Local Government Official Information Amendment (LGOIMA) Bill will make it easier for Councils to share clear and concise information in Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand welcomes visiting WTO Director General
    The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visits New Zealand this week. Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor said the WTO was essential to New Zealand as a small export-dependent trading nation.  “New Zealand’s economic security depends on our ability to trade. Our goods exports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Faster, cheaper, better resource management law given first reading
    New laws that will deliver a faster, cheaper, and better resource management system had their first reading in the House today. The Spatial Planning (SP) and the Natural and Built Environment (NBE) Bills, which were introduced last week, will replace the 30-year-old Resource Management Act (RMA). Environment Minister David Parker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister Sio to meet new Vanuatu PM
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to Vanuatu today, to meet with the new Government led by Prime Minister Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau and to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the Pacific Community (SPC) Ministerial Conference being hosted in Port Vila. Minister Sio will have a number of bilateral meetings with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving ahead with the Clean Car Standard
    Following discussions with vehicle importers, the Government has confirmed the Clean Car Standard will be phased in from 1 December 2022, significantly reducing the CO2 emissions of light vehicles in New Zealand, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood. “Emissions from our light vehicle fleet are the single largest source of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Constitutional Kōrero conference
    Our Evolving Sense of Nationhood – Me Anga Whakamua Indigenous Futures and New Zealand’s Constitution Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, Tuia te here tangata, Mai i te wheiao ki te ao mārama Ka rongo te pō ka rongo te āo! Tīhei Mauri Ora! Kei ngā miro o te ao ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Rental sector changes to regulate residential property managers, clear up meth confusion and ease pr...
    A suite of measures to improve the lives of renters and landlords has been announced by Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods as the Government makes more progress on reform of the rental sector. “Nearly 600,000 households rent in New Zealand and these measures will result in regulated oversight of residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further sanctions on the political and economic elites of Russia and Belarus
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced further sanctions on members of the inner circles of governments in Russia and Belarus, as part of the ongoing response to the war in Ukraine. “Aotearoa New Zealand first moved against the powerful and wealthy in Russia with sanctions on political and economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Another step towards improved supermarket competition
    The Bill to trigger an unprecedented shake-up of the grocery sector and deliver New Zealanders a fairer deal at the checkout and help tackle cost of living pressures is ready for its first reading at Parliament. “The duopoly has now been given plenty of warning. If they fail to adequately ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Black Ferns to be celebrated at Parliament
    A public event and celebration will be held on Parliament’s lawn on December 13 to celebrate our Rugby World Cup winning Black Ferns. “The Black Ferns’ triumph at Eden Park is one of New Zealand’s greatest sporting moments,” Grant Robertson said. “They are extraordinary athletes, exceptional people and proud New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Autism Guideline released by Ministry
    The release of the latest edition of the Aotearoa New Zealand Autism Guideline – He Waka Huia Takiwātanga Rau has been welcomed by Minister for Disability Issues Poto Williams today. The Guideline provides an opportunity to better understand and communicate best practices for supporting autistic people and their families and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Aotearoa Refugee Hui
    Nga mihi nui ki a koutou, Welcome to the Parliament, your Parliament. It is great to see the community here in such numbers, and I am happy to be here with my parliamentary colleagues to listen and take part in the discussions today. I particularly want to acknowledge Ibrahim Omer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Global climate talks underline need for domestic action
    Minister of Climate Change James Shaw marked the end of COP27 negotiations in Egypt by saying it was now crunch time for counties to step up and take urgent action at home. “Even though we have these international negotiations every year, our focus must always be on what we do ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister visits Ukraine and Poland
    Defence Minister Peeni Henare has visited Ukraine and Poland, holding talks with his Ministerial counterparts. During the talks Minister Henare reaffirmed New Zealand’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian defence against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion.   The visit  was a further demonstration of New Zealand’s ongoing support to the people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stuart Nash to attend OECD meetings
    Small Business Minister Stuart Nash will travel to Paris today to attend small business meetings with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Stuart Nash will chair the OECD’s Digital for SMEs (D4SME) Steering Group meeting and the 4th Roundtable of the OECD D4SME Global Initiative. “The OECD’s Digital ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Human Rights Act enhanced to protect religious communities
    The Government will amend the law to make sure religious communities feel safe and welcome in New Zealand. After extensive consultation, with more than 19,000 submissions on six proposals, the Government will make one change to address incitement towards religious communities while asking for further work to be done alongside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister meets with UK counterpart and visits NZDF personnel
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare held talks in the UK today with his counterpart, Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace.   The Ministers reiterated the importance of our defence relationship, and reflected on the strong historical and cultural ties between the United Kingdom and New Zealand.   Together, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government takes action to reduce gambling harm from pokies
    The Government is announcing today changes to strengthen the requirements in venues which have pokie (gambling) machines to reduce the harm they cause people. “The changes focus on reducing harm caused by pokies, which can affect both those people gambling and their whānau. In short, they would make the ‘host ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • The Pacific business village comes to Auckland
    The Pacific Business Village (the Village) is now going to set up in the Auckland region, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. The Ministry secured $15.5 million in Budget 2022 to meet community demand volumes for services to support Pacific businesses and Pacific social enterprises across Aotearoa. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government’s health investments making a difference for New Zealanders
    Fewer New Zealanders say cost is a barrier to visiting a GP or getting a prescription. The number of children going hungry has halved over the past decade. Statistics show why the Government has made major investment in mental health. Official statistics released today show the Government’s targeted health investments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Asia New Zealand Foundation
    Kia koutou, warm pacific greetings.I am delighted we have the opportunity to meet kanohi ki te kanohi and talanoa in-person, I would like to extend my thanks to Adele and her team for organising this event, for us, today; fa’afetai tele lava.  I am also delighted to see some rangatahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago