Right plans give away to rich at your expense

Written By: - Date published: 6:48 am, November 18th, 2008 - 72 comments
Categories: national/act government, tax - Tags:

Part of the National/ACT government’s agreement is that a top tax rate of 30% will be the target for the ‘medium term’. Such a cut would cost about $2 billion a year.

Now, I have nothing in principle against reducing tax (and nothing in principle against increasing it, for that matter). It’s a question of trade-offs, which is greater benefit: the services the tax could pay for or the tax cuts, and who gets those benefits? $2 billion a year, that’s a lot of hip operations, so it’s worth asking who would benefit from replacing Labour’s legislated tax cuts with National’s current programme and a 30% top rate added to it (ie. 30% top rate kicks in at $50,000).

Hmm, maybe it will look less like pillaging ordinary Kiwis’ social wage to give the rich a bonanza if we do it in graphical form.

Maybe not.

Now, I can already hear our righties with better ideology than maths saying ‘yeah but when you cut taxes you have to give more to the rich’. That’s not true, of course, the current tax cuts cap out at $55 a week for anyone earning $80K or more. Anyway, the Right’s tax cuts don’t just give more to the rich, they give more to the rich as a percentage of their incomes.

$2 billion a year either coming out of public services or paid for by more debt to pay for massive tax cuts to the already very well-off. It would be ordinary Kiwis who would ultimately pay for this extravagant gift to the rich. Doesn’t seem to me that Mr Moderate has the mandate for that.

72 comments on “Right plans give away to rich at your expense ”

  1. Camryn 1

    Keeping their own money is not a gift. Taking it as tax is more like a gift from them (albeit compulsory).

    If you believe, as I do, in the basic goodness of human nature then you’d probably not be so worried. No doubt they’ll spend much of that extra cash in hand on charity… after all, what’s the marginal utility of an additional dollar spent on comforts versus helping out a cause you’re dedicated to after a certain point?

    Oh, I forgot, somehow the left finds private charity to be potentially demeaning for the recipient… as if being beholden to the benevolence of politicians whose spending is driven by ideology over practicality and who may have no particular passion for your need beyond how many other voters may share it is any less demeaning.

    My final typical* right wing argument for the day is that leaving more money in the economy will likely stimulate the economy so the $2B reduced take is an over-estimation since the new tax rates will apply to a larger base over time than would’ve occurred under the more punitive tax regime. There may be no reduced take at all over a medium term horizon.

    * Yeah, I admit they’re typical… just trying to move the thread along 🙂

    [“leaving more money in the economy will likely stimulate the economy” what do you think the Government does with tax? Burn it? Bury it? The money is spent in the economy too. SP]

  2. IrishBill 2

    Camryn, that didn’t work in the 80’s/90’s why would it be different this time?

  3. Camryn 3

    Didn’t it work in the 80’s/90’s? We can’t tell without a crystal ball, but it seems likely to me that we would’ve had a lot less of an economy in the last few decades without the reforms of the 1984-1993 (or so) period. It seems highly likely to me that much of the extra social spending of the last nine years was essentially paid for by those reforms. I think that the disconnect in time between pain and gain makes many people unaware of the trade-off, and feeling like we can afford the nice-to-have things (aka. Labour in government) all the time.

    All I really ask from the left is for Labour to spend wisely when it does spend, and to keep the foot on the gas in the good times a bit more so National/ACT don’t have to be so drastic whenever they’re government. Still, I think that my wish is largely and increasingly the case these days. I would’ve liked to see slightly higher proven results in health but otherwise Labour did a decent job of spreading around the benefits of the previous governments without screwing things up too bad. Maybe 6 years would’ve been enough and we could’ve started focusing on getting the engine up to higher revs before the downturn…. but, again, crystal ball. Who knew?

  4. IrishBill 4

    Six years into Labour’s term we had record unemployment and rising commodity prices. Generally you don’t put your “foot on the gas” when there is limited productive capacity in your economy. Better to pay down debt and hold surpluses for a rainy day. Labour did the latter which puts us in a strong position compared to our main trading partners. In my opinion their tax cut package dropped the surpluses into the economy too quickly but that was a political move.

    National now has a lot of space to increase debt to stimulate the economy but, as I explained in my “stimulating” post, they are going about it in the wrong way. Watch as their top end focused taxcuts disappear into debt repayment, savings and (for the very top) are exported. Very little of this will be stimulatory.

  5. Daveski 5

    As ever, SP concentrates on the emotive issue painting Labour as the good guy when there is a an overarching problem Labour has created.

    Corporate tax rate is now 30%, trusts are taxed at 33% and various savings vehicles are at rates lower than the top marginal rate.

    Any sensible rich prick able to do so will be able to significantly reduce their average tax rate. Apart from the unfairness (it’s not open to wage and salary) earners, it’s clearer inefficient and encourages tax avoidance.

    Regardless of the % of tax, those who earn more will still pay significantly more tax which you omit.

    In terms of the substantive arguments against the trickle down/lower tax argument, the following is useful:

    Lowering marginal tax rates would boost economic growth. In a recent study for the Business Roundtable covering 98 different countries (available at http://www.nzbr.org.nz), Australian National University economist Alex Robson found that, “on average, countries which significantly cut taxes on upper incomes between 1980 and 2000 enjoyed per capita growth rates of nearly three times those that did not.’

    Source

  6. Tigger 6

    How they will be able to afford this sort of tax reduction is a mystery. The tax take will be down since unemployment is up. I notice that Key is already readying NZ for a bunch of cuts to services:
    “But the prime minister-in-waiting has also thrown a dose of cold water over the victory celebrations ahead of his first Cabinet meeting tomorrow, telling his team there is less money to spread around and that they must find savings.”

    What he’s leaving out is that they need to make cuts so they can afford this sort of tax cut later on.

    Camryn, your whole trickle-down, the rich will support the poor through charity won’t work here. We don’t have a sufficient base of very wealthy people in this country to make a real difference.

    Take arts patronage for example, in the US there is a lot of arts patronage from the wealthy to create an arts scene that doesn’t rely on direct government funding, here there aren’t the numbers of arts minded wealthy to function like that so the goverment is forced to support the arts (or alternatively see it disappear). But can I guarantee Key will be telling us in six months that we can’t afford to fund the arts anymore and that the arts should seek charity funding.

  7. Camryn 7

    IB – Good points re: labour market capacity and the tendency of the rich to save.

    Still, there is always room to boost the economy by getting out of the way. The top of the cycle would’ve been a good time to look at the benefits of cutting red tape and increasing labour market flexibility, but those aren’t Labour-style things.

    Also, regarding that saved money… I think our overall saving rate could’ve done with a boost. Consumer spending might not be taking such a hit now if the wealthier members of our society had been able to put a little more aside.

  8. Lampie 8

    Yes we can afford it, just you have to pay for everything.

    Daveski, question for your source which they have left out. What services do you pay for in those countries that Roger Kerr mentioned?

    By the way, old Roger may have improved in learning about economics as back in the 90s, he was highly criticised by economists 🙂

  9. Ag 9

    “If you believe, as I do, in the basic goodness of human nature then you’d probably not be so worried.”

    I don’t see why. Taxation is compulsory precisely because private charity is subject to market failure, whatever the intentions of those who would like to be charitable. Private charity is an appallingly inefficient means of helping people satisfy their preferences for helping others. You could have a population that is twice as nice as the current one and private charity would still be inefficient. That’s why no sane society relies on it in place of taxation funded social welfare.

    Taxation is just the portion of our income we spend collectively rather than individually in order to avoid market failures. Anyone who wants the tax take to be reduced so that they can spend more on charity needs their head examined.

  10. Janet 10

    Very good post by Tim Watkin on http://www.pundit.co.nz on some tough questions that need to be asked about the coalition deal.

  11. Bill 11

    I wish your graphs would reflect the reality that under both Nat and Lab beneficiaries got no tax relief at all. I also wish someone could explain why.

    And before anyone tries to argue that benefits are not taxed? Yes they are.

    Of course, under Nat I suppose that since the tax cut to the JK’s of this world are roughly x2 the weekly benefit that they will be sponsoring two beneficiaries each, writing it off as a charitable donation in their end of year tax return, abolishing WINZ into the bargain, and I wont have to puzzle any longer as to why tax cuts from both parties appear to apply to workers only rather than tax payers.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    I suspect taxation in NZ would equate to at least 50% of average income. Consider:

    Taxation on income
    GST
    Tax on fuel
    Tax on alcohol
    etc etc etc

    Then we have rates (a local body tax), dividends paid to the government from SOE’s etc etc.

    We are actually coming very close to pure communism in this country. I believe we are grossly overtaxed creating tremendous wastage due to inefficiencies caused through wasteful government expenditure. So, taxation in NZ is simply far too high.

    Furthermore, taxation structures in NZ are a major impediment to NZ moving forward as a nation. Taxation rates need to be set so they provide incentives for people to move ahead and improve their lot in life. Current tax structures simply reward mediocrity. What is the point of trying to improve your lot in life if progressively more is stolen by the government as income increases?

    I believe we have created a society based on envy in this country. I heard someone make the comment recently about the difference between America and Australia (as a proxy for NZ) with respect to wealth. The comment was that in America, someone would walk past a mansion and think “one day I will be living in a house like that”. In Australia (and I suspect NZ) someone walking past a similar mansion would think “I want to get that rich prick”.

  13. Tane 13

    Travellerev – please stop ruining every bloody thread with your boring and longwinded obsessions. You have your own blog, use it.

    Any more of this off-topic crap and you’re banned, I’m honestly sick to death of it.

    I’m going to go through now and delete every off-topic comment. Apologies to anyone caught in the crossfire.

  14. Tane,

    So your OK with people throwing tantrums and not OK with supported arguments. Very enlightening.

    [Tane: I’ve deleted every comment relating to your off-topic comments, including other’s people’s. I’ve nothing against you Ev, but you’re destroying our comments section.]

  15. Mr Magoo 15

    I find these arguments amusing. National and Act are for cutting tax for the rich. This is simply because that is who they are, who funds them and who provides them advice.
    Evidence?
    1) They are rich.
    2) They are backed by large anon donations to trusts.
    3) BRT, Crosby/Textor and soon armies of high paid consultants advise them.

    Why the argument about why they are doing this? There is NO EVIDENCE that the trickle down works even slightly as well as opther methods. In fact, quite the contrary.
    Evidence? (see the image at the bottom of the page)
    http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2008104427/tax-cuts-ineffcient-stimulus

    Now this IS a US example, but then it would be hard to argue that things are so different here the trends would be completely reversed?!

    Talk of charity is just ridiculous. There is no evidence that charity from the rich is even a partial solution to anything. What argument are you making that makes this even slightly acceptable?
    Even arguing this point as if it was slightly sensible would ignore that fact that your average NZer does NOT WANT TO TAKE CHARITY FROM RICH PEOPLE LIKE A PAUPER IN MEDIEVIL ENGLAND!! I would suggest that if key were to suggest this as a way forward it would be time for a bloody revolution of some sort.

    hrm…excuse me. I have an allergic reaction to obscene ideas.

  16. Lampie 16

    I believe we have created a society based on envy in this country. I heard someone make the comment recently about the difference between America and Australia (as a proxy for NZ) with respect to wealth. The comment was that in America, someone would walk past a mansion and think “one day I will be living in a house like that’. In Australia (and I suspect NZ) someone walking past a similar mansion would think “I want to get that rich prick’.

    That is more individual attitude same as some ‘rich prick’ are greedy and not greedy.

    Think you will find there are many countries with the same sort of tax system to ours and regardless of what rate, they would complain it is too much!!!

    Define the right level of tax if too high, is there too low??? I will repeat myself, ask the IRD as they have several different kinds of tax models and their consequences which people forget about rather quickly.

  17. Jum 17

    tsmithfield
    November 18, 2008 at 9:37 am
    No, what I would be thinking as I walked past is ‘nice place’, but then I’d be expected to play the silly one-upmanship games those people do, and have cheap labour to clean my mansion and feel really embarrassed every time I made a speculative run on my own country’s $1. I’d also wonder how many people I’d shafted to get where I was.

    Nah, I’ll stick with the owned 3 acres, couple of beasties, 2 neat young adults still nesting, and an other half who while not agreeing to every opinion I hold doesn’t try to prevent me from having them.

    Thanks Tane. How long did it take for you to move to the fascist right?

    I have always looked to your blog for the other view as expressed by the media and expound that to all who want to listen. Now it appears that I might not be getting all the sides of the argument. I posted on your thread to provide information which I found damning on the National incoming Government. That gets wiped away too. Whose side are you on?

    PS I have filed a copy of my other post, should you wish to behave like an equal opportunity blog owner and re-instate it.

    [Tane: Jum, I’m sorry if you got caught in the crossfire, but I have to a blog to maintain. I put a lot of voluntary time and effort into running this thing and the last thing I want is to have it destroyed by travellerev’s obsessions. I’ve had countless complaints through the email from people turned off commenting by her. She’s posting off-topic, for pages on end, and hijacking nearly every thread we put up. I’m not stopping anyone from discussing the issues, I’m simply trying to make this a place for constructive discussion that doesn’t revolve around one person’s obsession. Hurling abuse at me and calling me a fascist doesn’t help the situation, or your credibility.]

  18. gingercrush 18

    I love the idea of tax cuts. But for anyone to think rich people are charitable should forget it now. The same goes for the likes of Geldof, Bono etc etc.

    Clearly because I swing to the right I don’t have a problem with these tax cuts. National wanted bigger tax cuts for the rich but due to the economic problems couldn’t justify it thus why big tax cuts for high income earners was removed. A sensible move. The agreement between Act-National is sensible too in that Act does have a clear taxation policy in favour of flatter taxs and as such it should have been expected that they would try and achieve this.

    However, the agreement does say “medium term”. Hopefully, that means a Tax cut to 30% will take place only when the economy is recovered, deficits are tracking downwards and other policies National promised are delivered. At the very least, these tax cuts should only take place when the economy is recovering.

  19. randal 19

    gingacruch
    looks like you are apologising for future natoinal policy
    are you using this blog as a beltway leakjob to soften the blow when the diehard act jobs start whingeing about unrealistic lunatic taxation rates

  20. gingercrush 20

    No randal, I’m working with the few conservatives inside the Labour Party to ensure that Labour falls on the wayside in their left ways and actually becomes a right wing party.

  21. Lampie 21

    ” Yeah, I admit they’re typical just trying to move the thread along
    [“leaving more money in the economy will likely stimulate the economy” what do you think the Government does with tax? Burn it? Bury it? The money is spent in the economy too. SP]”

    It seems that some haven’t done the first level of economics at teritary level and seen the national economy model 🙁

  22. Carol 22

    tsmithfield

    I believe we have created a society based on envy in this country. I heard someone make the comment recently about the difference between America and Australia (as a proxy for NZ) with respect to wealth. The comment was that in America, someone would walk past a mansion and think “one day I will be living in a house like that’. In Australia (and I suspect NZ) someone walking past a similar mansion would think “I want to get that rich prick’.

    IMO, the person in the above quote who is envious, is the one who wants to live in a the mansion they walked past. Wasn’t that Key’s response to seeing richer people’s houses that he rode his bike past as a boy?

    My response is that I’ve never had any desire to live in a rich house, or own loads of stuff. And there seems to me to be something wrong with a world where some people have loads more money & stuff than they need to live a satisfying and successful life, while very large numbers of people are struggling just to get enough to survive,

    So it seems to me, when people on the right accuse us lefties of the politics of envy, they are actually applying their own values to us, and failing to understand that, in fact, our values are very different to theirs.

  23. [Tane: Ev, now you’re involving me in your conspiracy theories. You have your own blog, put your thoughts there. Where it’s on topic, feel free to mention them here. Just stop jacking our comments section with your own personal obsessions. That’s all I ask.]

  24. Mark M 24

    Irish Bill refers uses the oft heard statement about Labour , in the 9 years they were in power ” Putting away money for a rainy day”

    Its been drizzling a bit lately with the real rain still to come and we have run out of money big time.
    The latest financial update showing it to be worse than the previous scary number.

    On another point I think a fair way of looking at tax cuts would be to show actual dollars in tax paid as opposed to the dollar amount saved .
    This will show how much different individuals contribute to running the country

  25. Mark M. We paid down debt, now we are in a position where we can afford to borrow some more while the economy is going through a rough patch.

    Think of paying down debt like putting money in a savings account – you get yourself in a good position while you can afford it. When things get tough you draw down your savings (increase debt).

  26. QoT 26

    But come ON, guys, tax cuts to the rich did SO WELL to stimulate the US economy over the last 8 years. Honest they did. And That Nice Mr Key totally promised to donate some of his salary to charity! I’m totally forecasting an end to child poverty once all his mates figure out that giving to charity is the new adopt-a-Third-World-orphan.

  27. randal 27

    some people really need a lesson on what a conservative is
    i.e. someone who resists all change because they believe it is liable to decrease their economic and psyhcological well being rather than increase it.
    simple really and they justify their whole weltanschaung on keeping that carrot rammed up tight.
    and gingacrunch I dont believe you for a minute that you are involved with the Labour Party
    If you were a worker then you would be looking to increase the benefits to the poeple that ensure the smooth running of our society and produce the goods.
    Not sucking up to the owners, money market sharpers and young fogeys who want to bleed everybody for anything so they can run back to europe and buy a house in the south of france to escape their duties to the community that fostered them in the first place

  28. Lampie 28

    “Mark M. We paid down debt, now we are in a position where we can afford to borrow some more while the economy is going through a rough patch. ”

    Something that us as individuals should have done as well

    “I’m totally forecasting an end to child poverty once all his mates figure out that giving to charity is the new adopt-a-Third-World-orphan.”

    He can adopt me, Mr Key my account number is ……..

  29. Milo 29

    The rich have worked really hard for their money. They have displayed the skills necessary for our economy to thrive; enterprise, hard work, determination and innovation. They deserve a reward for such attributes.

  30. Sarah 30

    I have to agree with SP on this.

  31. Carol 31

    Many of the rich work hard to make money for themselves. There are many others who opt for a lower financial return in order to work hard for the betterment of society and to help others eg nurses – or those who do a relatively low paying day job, and work hard for no money for the betterment of society and other people in their spare time.

    Some people get high paying jobs because they had the luck to be born into the right family with the right connections, and don’t necessarily work much harder than anyone else.

    I often see people who work really hard for an average wage, and wonder how much harder any person could possibly work – it doesn’t seem possible they anyone could work that much harder to justify the exhorbitant salaries some people earn.

  32. Lew 32

    Milo: I don’t think anyone is arguing they don’t deserve a reward. I think the relative size and shape of the reward is what’s at issue.

    L

  33. randal 33

    tane
    I have been reading this blog for quite some time now and I have never been offended by ev nor do I consider her posts to be long or offensive
    are you sure you are notjust giving in to the right wing things who want the world to run their way
    for the last three weeks this blog has been overun by righties posting long meandering blobs of material that say nothing
    furthermore it is typical rightwing tactics from hooten and his mob to gang up on people and make mass complaints
    sometimes I read the moderators comments here and they are definitely not up with the play on who is spamming and who is talking gibberish

  34. Lampie 34

    The rich have worked really hard for their money. They have displayed the skills necessary for our economy to thrive; enterprise, hard work, determination and innovation. They deserve a reward for such attributes.

    Ummmm back the truck up here a bit, there is old money and new money, be more old money than new money. So would disagree with your generalisation

    Define rich!!!

  35. Chess Player 35

    Clearly, Lampie, ‘rich’ is anyone earning over $60k, or is that $48k?

    No seriously, ‘rich’ is in the wallet of the beholder.

  36. Tim Ellis 36

    randal, ev is a tedious bore who tries to ruin every thread with what is basically spam. Instead of blaming the Right for your troubles, it might help if you didn’t think that all the world is trying to gang up on you.

  37. Tane 37

    Randal. I read more comments than you care to imagine. I also have to make judgements over what to allow and what not to allow in order to ensure the blog is a constructive place for people to visit and participate in. Ev has been warned, and warned, and warned, and then warned some more. Today’s jacking attempt, and the flame war that ensured, was the final straw.

    This blog is for everyone who wants to participate in good faith. It is not a sounding board for Ev’s personal obsessions. She has her own blog, she can write to her heart’s content there. When she’s here she can stay on topic and respect that not every thread is about her.

    As for your other point – no, I’m not giving in to the Right. I’ve faced down more than my fair share of them, don’t you worry brother.

  38. r0b 38

    randal, ev is a tedious bore who tries to ruin every thread with what is basically spam.

    Tim, ev has asked questions that you can’t answer, and your personal attacks on her (“Ev is a liar, a fruitcake, and is mentally disturbed, in need of psychiatric therapy”) tell us far more about you than about her.

  39. Mr Magoo 39

    “the rich” make their money out of businesses that ultimately, one way or another, rely on the working class to generate their wealth. Yes, that includes investment bankers also. So looking after them is good for everyone AND the economy.
    They also rely on those people to provide other things to enable them to exist: police, nurses, tradesmen, farmers, cleaners, etc. Without these people their rather “artificial and detached” existences would not be possible.

    So the thought that somehow “Cherry the CEO” fully deserves a $250,000 a year income AND a fat tax cut, while “joe the plumber” fully deserves to struggle to pay the power and higher tax with 50,000 is not a good enough argument. In fact it is downright wrong headed.
    That assumes that Cherry even pays as much tax as Joe in the first place, as we all know about tax dodging enabled among the wealthy. Also that all that wealth and asset they are able to accumulate actually earns them even MORE wealth on top of it. The security, opportunity and control that a wealthy person has in their life is huge. e.g. should Cherry be out of work for 6 mths, for instance, her quality of life will be impacted by a very small amount – especially given the golden handshake she will get. Inflation barely touches her cost of living.

    A tax cut of 300/week means little to Cherry at 6.24% of her already heavily surplused income.

    Meanwhile, Joe is struggling to save for a deposit on a house because property investors own 5+ each and have priced him out of the market. He is forced to be exposed to the market and falling on hard times and/or losing his job could mean the dole queue and eviction from his current rental house. Inflation makes a big impact on his food bill and eats directly into his savings in significant % points.

    A tax cut of 40/week means a whole lot more to Joe at 4% of his income, because it would increase his disposable/savable income for 15-50%+ in many cases.

    But hey, maybe we CAN make this work. How about we introduce an asset/wealth tax then? (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_tax ) How about capatal gains tax across the board in all cases?

    Disclaimer: I am one of those “rich pricks” in the middle of my career and stand to make massive gains from “rich prick cuts”. But I also grew up in a beneficiary family in a backwater area and know what the difference in opportunity an auckland well-to-do kid has vs. someone of my ilk and how much HARDER I had to work than them to put myself through university without any assistence at all. I also know how much more disadvantaged I am because of it.
    I believe in a fair and just society and screwing the middle class with your wealth, power and connections to increase your profits so you can pay yourself large bonuses and golden handshakes is just not good enough. There has to be a pressure valve here and differential tax rates is it.

  40. Ag 40

    “The rich have worked really hard for their money. They have displayed the skills necessary for our economy to thrive; enterprise, hard work, determination and innovation. They deserve a reward for such attributes.”

    Argh…. this has nothing to do with it. Everyone benefits from the welfare system, even the rich. Most people do not like the idea of people living on the street or the elderly having to eat pet food. Most people who might end up living on the street don’t want to and all of the elderly do not like the idea of eating pet food. The welfare system satisfies both sets of preferences in the most efficient manner. Private charity is not an option because it is subject to market failure. I repeat: it is not an option because it is subject to market failure. Think of the tax you pay as what you pay to make society worth living in and to insure yourself against crime, because that is what it is.

    The free market can produce many goods more efficiently than any other institution, but there are a lot of things it does badly. The welfare state picks up the slack and ensures a liveable society. Asking for the market to do it is to completely misunderstand how our economy works. Them’s the facts and there is no avoiding them.

    The idea that we should cut taxes on the rich is insane. It means that we either have to cut spending, which will create problems for everyone, or we have to increase tax on lower income earners, which will create problems for everyone. There’s a reason we pay progressive taxes and it has nothing to do with fairness – it is because taxing the rich more provides the best result, even for the rich.

    As it is in New Zealand the wealthy do not pay enough tax. The Nordic economies shame all others when it comes to producing a high overall standard of living, and they are high tax economies. Any clown who argues for the benefit of low taxes has those inconvenient facts to deal with.

    The political right are basically a bunch of idiots who don’t understand the basics of how our society works. It’s like they didn’t pay attention during economics 101. I sometimes wonder if they are being dumb on purpose.

  41. Mr Magoo 41

    Ag:
    As per my first post – they are being “intentionally stupid” because it serves themselves and those they represent.

    Occam’s razor.

  42. gingercrush 42

    The example of Nordic economies makes a return.

    Everyone in those countries are pretty much protestant and lets face it white. They have strict immigration policies and thus don’t have problems other countries have.

    New Zealand, Great Britain, Australia, USA, Canada and most of Europe are completely different. We have ethnic and religious mixes and these will always cause conflicts and will always add complexities. That is something Nordic countries don’t really experience.

    Though I was informed at Kiwiblog that Sweden now days have a large number of Arabs and Africans now days.

    I’m not saying that one can’t use examples from Nordic/Scandanavian countries just that they’re so different politically, historically, ethnically even religeously to New Zealand, other english speaking countries and most of Europe. Not to mention trade relationships with the European Unions.

  43. Ianmac 43

    How do the hardworking people like Mr Magoo feel about the Rich who have never actually produced anything but gained their wealth by wheeling and dealing in money markets?
    And no doubt that their wealth is tied up in Trusts so that they pay little or no tax at all. Is that how it is for Mr Magoo?

  44. Billy 44

    And no doubt that their wealth is tied up in Trusts so that they pay little or no tax at all.

    Look, this is just a wild guess, but Ianmac, you know nothing about our tax system, do you?

    On the off chance that you do and I have missed something big, explain how “tying wealth” up in trusts enables one to pay “little or not tax at all”.

    No pressure but I am prepared to be fascinated.

  45. Quoth the Raven 45

    Gingercrush – The numbers of christians agnostics athesits in the scandinavian nations aren’t really different from that here (look at the stats I just did). What does the fact that we’re more ethnically diverse or that there are more white people in scandinavia have to do with our tax system and social spending – please explain clearly.

  46. Pascal's bookie 46

    QtR- Goodness knows what he meant.

    It sounds like he thinks white people won’t stand for their tax dollars supporting not white people, and that all the ‘principled’ arguments we hear from the right against progressive taxation and redistribution are just hot air. It’s really all just about religious tribalism and race, and that if we didn’t have so many of them stinking up the joint, they’d be all gung-ho for democratic socialism.

    Who would’ve thought? Must be reading him wrong. Hopefully he’ll explain.

  47. Ianmac 47

    Billy: I know Farmers who have paid virtually no tax for years, since the Farm is a Family Trust which by the time all the farm expenses are paid , new car, new house, power then the identifiable income is almost nil.
    Slightly different but in principle the same, I know of a specific family who sold their farm for $11million, to become a vineyard, built the new house (huge) and the Family Trust formed meant that the daughter could go to varsity and obtain a Living allowance of $150 because on paper her parents were well below the thresh-hold.
    You are right. I know little about tax but I do know that clever accountants minmise the tax otherwise due.

  48. Sarah 48

    A good ol’ rich bashing. My favourite.

    [lprent: Probable troll – see the Policy. Lift your standard – where is the point in your last few comments]

  49. Ag 49

    “Everyone in those countries are pretty much protestant and lets face it white.”

    Where have you been for the past 40 years? I guess the difference with the Nordic countries is that they don’t have right wing nutbars constantly race baiting all the time.

    If you don’t like the Nordic countries, then try Canada, which is probably the most ethnically diverse country on the planet.

    What will the next desperate denial be?

  50. Pascal's bookie 50

    “What will the next desperate denial be?”

    ‘The dirty Scandi countries are getting a free lunch from all that Nartzi gold they’ve been hiding, but they’ve reached Peak Nartzi Gold and it’s all downhill here from here for them. They’ll all be living off lanolin and soylent green within months’

  51. gingercrush 51

    It was in response to this: “As it is in New Zealand the wealthy do not pay enough tax. The Nordic economies shame all others when it comes to producing a high overall standard of living, and they are high tax economies. Any clown who argues for the benefit of low taxes has those inconvenient facts to deal with.”

    That has no relevance when you’re talking about a history of similarity and largely a lack of other groupings. I do see that the number of refugees and immigrants over the last 10 years or so has seen some real changes. And from what I read at in links provided via Kiwiblog there is a certain tension towards people with Islamic beliefs. My guess its likely just misunderstandings.

    To clarify I had no intention to be racist but I do think race and religion has a background here and needs to be thought carefully as to why those Nordic countries seem so much more successful in most areas than other countries. There are certain traditions, shared history and the like meaning the nordic grouping of countries have a similarity

    The movement from old orthodox Catholicism to Protestant was much easier than for instance the shift to Protestantism in Great Britain. There wars and years of history have caused long resentment, the use of class to deny low income earners.

    Europe for years has been reshaped constantly where ethnic groupings share the same country but think very differently.

    In the United States you saw the near eradication of native Indians and the slavery of Black people under colonial rule.

    Australia you saw the misuse of Aboriginals.

    In New Zealand lets face it while we were able to sign the Treaty of Waitangi there has been long running tensions between Maori and Pakeha. This has allowed Maori to fall below level

    In the nordic countries they have not had such tensions because of their similarity and this has allowed them to make concensus agreements. Their successes in having high tax, large welfare economies does have to with them largely being the same and not having the huge differences other countries have.

    I’m sure I’m not making sense and I’m sure someone will attack it as being racist or whatever.

    —-

    Also how you can compare the Nordic economies to New Zealand’s economy is strange. New Zealand earns its money via agriculture, dairying, horticulture, seafood, forestry and tourism. That is what earns us dollars.

    Sweden and Finland is technology and engineering. Norway is shipping and oil. Denmark has a business tax of 25% and has a number of huge corporations such as Lego. And all receive more tourist numbers than we do.

    There is a clear difference in how we make our money. Those Nordic countries also tend to export inside the European Union while we have to look for several markets for our imports and we have difficulties in regards to the EU on Agriculture and Dairying.

    Our economy can’t have a supersize government, huge intake of taxes etc because we’re so vastly different.

    None of that makes sense does it.

  52. Quoth the Raven 52

    Our economy can’t have a supersize government, huge intake of taxes etc because we’re so vastly different.

    I’m sorry, but you really do not explain adequately why that is at all and another thing there needn’t be any racial tensions whatsoever. A lot of people need an attitude change there.

  53. Pascal's bookie 53

    I think I can see where you are coming from ginger. But I may well be wrong.

    Are you saying that in societies where there is a variety of cultural groups, and a history of exploitation and grievance between those groups, there will less inclination towards social unity? That those historical and ongoing differences will play out with each group seeing politics through the lens of that history and making political judgments based around zero sum calculations about who benefits? And that this will mean that there will be reluctance for social and economic policy that the dominant group perceives as being beneficial to other groups at their expense? That sort of thing?

    If so, then the problem is surely bigotry of one form or another, and gets us nowhere in terms finding out whether or not low taxes are necessary for growth, or whether progressive taxes and redistribution promote higher aggregate standards of living. It may well be that the Scandinavian way really is better for everyone, but bigotry stops other countries from following their lead. In which case it is the bigotry that is the problem, rather than the Scandinavian systems.

    Certainly Scandinavia benefits from EU membership etc, but that doesn’t explain why they have better living standards than other EU countries.

  54. gingercrush 54

    Homogeneous societies tend to provide more public goods than heterogeneous
    societies, as public services can be more easily tailored for the needs of the “median
    voter”. The Nordic countries are homogeneous, and it is thus be no surprise
    that the public sector is large in all of them.
    – Nordic Model – A Success Story? Ms. Sinnika Salo. European Policy Centre

    http://neweconomist.blogs.com/new_economist/2005/12/almost_everythi.html – May also be of interest and has the pdf file in regards to Nordic Model – A Success Story.

    “The Nordic countries have more in common than their geographical proximity; at least three features are salient for our concerns. In terms of legal tradition they are historical strongholds of Scandinavian Legal Realism. Politically they are egalitarian social democratic welfare state regimes. Culturally, their citizens have regarded themselves as highly homogeneous, religiously, culturally and ethnically.”
    – Rawls in the Nordic Countries, Andreas Føllesdal

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2006/04/27/2003304851 – A balanced approach that shows how it could work in less homogeneous countries.

    http://www.planetd.org/2008/04/29/a-dynamic-welfare-state/ – Interesting article

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/177028390_2.html – Article talks about how Sweden may need to change.

    —-

    This is what I was trying to say albeit unsuccessfully.

  55. Felix 55

    The Nordic countries also have a very high proportion of very good looking citizens which tends to make people fitter happier and more productive.

    30 years ago Australia successfully negotiated reciprocal sexual attraction deals with several Scandinavian countries (most notably Sweden) whereby each country’s citizens are required to find the other’s sexually appealing.

    If NZ hopes to compete with Australia in the world market we need to get to work stitching up similar arrangements.

  56. Tim Ellis 56

    That is an excellent suggestion Felix. On top of Sweden, I think we could advocate similar arrangements with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia and Russia.

  57. Ag 57

    “I’m sure I’m not making sense”

    You’re not. 40 years ago New Zealand had a similar commitment to the welfare state and at that time one of the world’s highest standards of living. That’s the same New Zealand with a large indigenous population. Similarly, Canada has a much more diverse immigrant population than New Zealand does, and it has indigenous peoples as well. Yet, the welfare state has proven remarkably resilient in Canada.

    The idea that it has to do with race or culture just does not pass muster.

    “Homogeneous societies tend to provide more public goods than heterogeneous societies, as public services can be more easily tailored for the needs of the “median
    voter’. ”

    This is obviously false. Developed societies are considerably less homogenous than most underdeveloped societies, and yet deliver more public goods. Just make a list of 100 countries and rank them in this way and you will see I am right.

    Save the partisan links. The right have been predicting the downfall of the Nordic model for three decades. It has been long enough to declare them full of it.

    “Also how you can compare the Nordic economies to New Zealand’s economy is strange. New Zealand earns its money via agriculture, dairying, horticulture, seafood, forestry and tourism. That is what earns us dollars.”

    Irrelevant. The main reason for these countries doing well is not that they are rich. Norway has a much higher GDP per capita than the others, but they don’t differ much in standard of living. The US is much richer than Canada, but Canada provides a better standard of living. The reason is that the Nordics and Canada are efficient societies. They are extremely good at converting national wealth into standard of living. The US is extremely poor at this by comparison, even though it is a very wealthy country. New Zealand needs to be an efficient society. That means getting rid of the right wing plonkers who are preventing this from happening. They have no case.. no case at all.

    Our economy can have now and has in the past had a much higher tax take than we do at present. It would simply be the expression of a preference for more collectively funded goods and less individually funded goods. The idea that this would be a drain on the economy is simply wrong. It would be a drain on the private sector, but would be more than made up for by the gains in overall quality of life, which is the whole point of having an economy.

    The Nordics have demonstrated how a modern society ought to be run. If we don’t run our society that way, it is because we’re stupid.

    We’re stupid. 🙁

  58. Tigger 58

    Ag – superb post.

  59. Jum 59

    Tane
    I accept your apology for removing the first post I have put on your blog for a little while. Please accept mine for lowering my standards in calling you names.

    I don’t know the history with you and Travellrev – I should have checked. Maybe one thread on your blog for Travellrev to vent her off topic spleen on and we can reply to that and keep your other threads sacrosanct??

    I did find her post interesting and that’s why I replied to it. I haven’t changed my thinking on your blog as being a leveller of the media – it will be even more valuable now.

    [lprent: Thanks – I think so which is why I and the others support it (and it does take a lot of time). The thing with tev was likely to happen for a while. We tolerate quite a lot of off-thread in a thread, but this was starting to jump threads. It was also getting bloody tedious to read. It was interesting (as much to see what info could be extracted from the net) but just too much and too often.]

  60. Mr Magoo 60

    Ianmac
    How do the hardworking people like Mr Magoo feel about the Rich who have never actually produced anything but gained their wealth by wheeling and dealing in money markets?

    I could not work out if you were being sarcastic, in agreement, or just completely misread what I wrote?? You do realise that I was agreeing with you, right?

    I AM one of those rich pricks. So I feel quite happy with myself. As for my other rich peers I am not. (some of which shown drunkenly swinging their pot bellies and swilling red wine at National’s victory party )

    And yes, I also agree that trusts and such allow people to bury wealth and assets which are earning them effectively an income and pay little to no tax. (no cap gains for example on a house that is having tax expense CLAIMED ON IT!?!?!?)

  61. Jum 61

    Ag
    You ‘hit the nail on the head’. Why do people continue to equate lots of money with an enriched lifestyle.

    This 3 year cycle of right-wing Government will not improve matters.

    Maybe we should ask the perennial question as people seem to have forgotten; who will be gathered around your bed on the day you die and will you want them there? (That’s two questions)!

  62. Jum 62

    Randal

    “it is typical rightwing tactics from hooten and his mob to gang up on people and make mass complaints”

    This is happening on Colin Espiner’s blog. I first encountered it on the toxic Kiwiblog. It was a nasty experience for me to realise that people like that existed. I’ve learnt a lot since I lost my political ‘innocence’ on Kiwiblog.

    It makes me laugh that over nine years of personal attacks on Helen Clark and Labour was quite ok, but 2 weeks of questions about Key’s personality and National’s ability to keep to the policies it has agreed to and they’re bleating about being picked on.

    (This is my third post. I’ll stop for awhile!)

  63. the sprout 63

    yes disingenuous allegations of dirty tricks seems to be National’s primary dirty trick at the moment, which is really just another permutation of their very successful Jewish Lightning campaign.

    they must have got tired of the “make baseless allegations to authorities in order to reject subsequent dismissals of allegations by said authorities as politically motivated” technique.

    they have many such tools in their toy box.

  64. Ianmac 64

    gingercrush and Ag: As a spectator your dialog is fascinating as you both explore the debate. Thanks.
    Mr Magoo: Yes I did misread your post. OOps. The people that have made their own wealth by their own efforts, impress me. Perhaps I even envy them a little from the point of view as a salary earner. Yet I regard myself as a very lucky chap; family, friends with the sparrows and growing stuff for fun. I suspect that some of my rich friends have a different value system.
    Felix: Wot a great plan to have a reciprocal sexual attraction arrangement. Perhaps NZ could set up a Ministry of Sexual Collaboration MOSC (or Musk for short.) Appoint as Minister …..um.

  65. Mr Magoo 65

    I have no problem with rich pricks being rich pricks. Swilling wine, looking down noses, counting money, smoking cigars and all the other cliches. They like criminals are here to stay – short of a truly successful communist revolution.
    The problem I have is when their money, power and influence is used to skew society’s balance so that they can tip the wealth balance even more in their favour than it already is. When the majore news outlets and media start running biased stories about how terrible “Helengrad” is and then promptly calling her “one of NZ’s best prime ministers” 5 minutes after they manage to throw her out. When any action taken to protect and/or help people/the environment/society is taken as “nanny state”.
    When the man in the street is so f’ing confused I see a paint-covered handyman taking a pamphlet from a young nat in a suit, snarling and sneering about how “they” are going to show helen. (true story)

    That is when there is a problem. Something needs to be done.

    Phase one is complete. National, Act and (unfortunately) the Maori party have been given the reins at the worst possible time. It has become quite clear to those paying attention that they ARE going to try and get through a right wing agenda whereever they can.

    Phase two will be to call them out on this shite at every available opportunity. Make sure they don’t get away with ANYTHING.

    Phase three will begin in 2011.

  66. Billy 66

    Iamac said: I know Farmers who have paid virtually no tax for years, since the Farm is a Family Trust which by the time all the farm expenses are paid , new car, new house, power then the identifiable income is almost nil.

    The trust makes no difference to this. Deducting expenses incurred in procuring assessable income is something all taxpayers are able to do, whether they are trusts, companies or individuals.

  67. Sarah 67

    lprent, I just find this constant ridiculding of anyone remotely wealthy to be rude and quite petty. They deserve tax cuts just as much as anyone else. Yet some people commenting on this site seem to treat them like second class citizens.

  68. Chris G 68

    Felix:

    “The Nordic countries also have a very high proportion of very good looking citizens which tends to make people fitter happier and more productive”

    My mate went to Sweden last year and he said it was absolutely ridiculous how good looking everyone was (He, naturally, tended to mention the women)

    Very off topic I know, but apparently its like a must see thing. haha

  69. Phil 69

    unrelated to the content of the post…

    I don’t know if anyone else noticed the change in Steve’s Graphics… What do you think of Excel 07, Steve?
    It’s a culture shock compared to 03, that’s for sure…

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  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A criminal minister
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    6 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    7 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
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    1 week ago

  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
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    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
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    7 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
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    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
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    1 week ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
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    2 weeks ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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