RNZ: The 9th floor – Palmer

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, April 9th, 2017 - 70 comments
Categories: history, journalism - Tags: , , , ,

On RNZ Guyon Espiner is running what will be a fascinating series, The 9th Floor, consisting of interviews with five ex NZ PMs: Geoffrey Palmer, Mike Moore, Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, Helen Clark. First up (airing on Friday) was Sir Geoffrey Palmer:

The Reformer – Geoffrey Palmer: Prime Minister 1989-90

NZ’s earliest living Prime Minister begins the series reflecting on the revolutionary fourth Labour government and his year as one of its three Prime Ministers.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer was one of New Zealand’s most prolific lawmakers and reformers, but a reluctant politician.

Imagine a country where the Prime Minister set the price of basic goods. Where the Cabinet, without having to even put it to a vote in Parliament, decided the wages you get and the taxes and interest rates you pay.

That was the country Geoffrey Palmer was determined to change when he entered Parliament in 1979. It was an economy, he told The 9th Floor, that no young New Zealander would recognise. … Palmer, a constitutional lawyer, describes Prime Minister Robert Muldoon as running an elected dictatorship between 1975 and 1984. It’s a big claim. …

Ultimately of course Palmer would get his chance to run the country too. He was Prime Minister for 13 months sandwiched between David Lange and Mike Moore, who a desperate Labour party turned to just two months before the 1990 election in a bid to save the furniture.

So what was it like to run the country? What is it like to be Prime Minister? “I found being the leader a nuisance,” Palmer told us. …

Plenty more in the text, but for the full hour-long interview you’ll need to listen…


https://twitter.com/TracyJNeal/status/850793607313342464

70 comments on “RNZ: The 9th floor – Palmer ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    That went a long way to re-confirming my view of Geoffrey Palmer as a very intelligent uber-technocrat completely besotted with his own cleverness.

    The man has the certainty and fanaticism of the technocrat, the arrogance of a self-regarding intellectual and the political nous of a fool. He was, and remains, a very dangerous conviction politician with scant regard for the opinions of the hoi polloi.

    Listening to Palmer, the viciously toxic culture of arrogance of the Roger Douglas era Labour cabinet comes flooding back.

    • Morrissey 1.1

      A pretty good summary of Palmer, Sanctuary. I was appalled by Guyon Espiner’s breathless and admiring tone as he interviewed the Great Man.

      In fact, of course, Palmer was not brave, or principled, or particularly clever. His manipulation by the loathsome ex-president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, was perhaps the lowpoint of his career….

      https://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/2/as_turkey_freezes_israel_ties_critics

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        I think you are mis- understanding the type of interview, I understand its a ‘let them speak’ series on former PMs.
        It not meant to be a challenging of their previous decisions or playing the devils advocate on their current views.

        • WILD KATIPO 1.1.1.1

          Dont bullshit and just answer the fucking question.

          Your making excuses for their treachery.

          Despicable .

          • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.1

            Your rantings arent worth reading let alone commenting on. Still losing it after all these years

            • WILD KATIPO 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Son,… your a ‘new’ kid on the block. It shows.

              ‘let them speak’

              Yeah… weve had 33 years of ‘ letting them speak’

              They still talk trash.

              Along the same lines as you do.

              • red-blooded

                Hey, how about dialling back on the personal abuse? dukeofurl had a perfectly reasonable point – Espiner’s role wasn’t to interrogate or to push his own viewpoint (whatever that may be), it was to give us some insight into the viewpoint of the subject of the interview. He’ll be interviewing others, too, and playing the same role with them. Besides, has it occurred to you that if you lost interest after 20 minutes (as you say below at 1.2), then maybe you’re not the best person to comment on the interview as a whole?

                • Dialing back?

                  How about you dial back on 33 years of bullshit and lies, buddy and stop being such a neo liberal apologist?

                  Its guys like Espiner and co that have enabled these neo liberal pricks to be seen with soft sentimental lenses ‘ because they are senior statesman types’ – or otherwise fulfilling some sort of perverted ‘ father figure’ in the under-confident NZ psyche.

                  If Espiner cant overcome his boyish state of being overwhelmed by dealing with someone that held such a dubious position of influence over so many at such a critical time then maybe he is the wrong person to be interviewing Palmer.

                  I would challenge you and every other closet neo liberal apologist to answer the fucking question of why someone like Kim Hill wasn’t doing the interviewing instead of a ‘ soft ‘ interviewer Guyon Espiner ?

                  Hill would have torn Palmer to shreds and you know it.

          • Richard McGrath 1.1.1.1.2

            “Dont bullshit and just answer the fucking question.”

            Er… what question?

    • Spot on , Sanctuary and Morrissey. My thoughts as well. I didnt even get 20 mins into it before I lost interest and was disgusted in not only Espiners obvious admiration of the man but the real truth about Palmer.

      I bloody lived through that era and I know what this country was like long BEFORE Rogernomics and the bloody mess it is in now. 33 years of that neo liberal garbage.

      ‘ SIR’ Geoffrey Palmer?

      That mans nothing more than a treasonous louse to me. As have been so many that have followed in his footsteps in both National and Labour since. Just a treasonous , lying pack of thieving neo liberal lice.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.1

        I actually thought Espiner did a good job, he let Palmer talk and we got a relaxed and unguarded interview from Palmer, where he did a pretty good job of condemning himself to any discerning listener.

        • WILD KATIPO 1.2.1.1

          Pretty much. But let not the history books record him ( Palmer ) as anything other than any other past anarcho-capitalist saboteurs , however.

          Because THAT is what the neo liberal IS.

          Call a louse a louse and be done with it.

          No more pandering around trying to find nice words for a treacherous wanker. As for Espiner. the guy was in primary school when others of my age group had to front head on Douglas and his bullshit garbage.

          So I’m hardly going to take Espiner as someone with credibility through life experience.

          Just another newbie in my opinion , by and large.

          • WILD KATIPO 1.2.1.1.1

            Dont believe me ?

            Anarcho-capitalism – Wikipedia
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

            Do some relaxing reading and learn what sort of scum have been operating in our country for the last 33 years.

            Hopefully you will want to strip each and every last one of these fuckers of any pretentious, undeserved title they ever have had bestowed on them after reading and realising just how much we have all been played.

          • Richard McGrath 1.2.1.1.2

            “As for Espiner. the guy was in primary school when others of my age group had to front head on Douglas and his bullshit garbage.”

            I too had to front head on the policies of Douglas – it was great. A refreshing change from the Polish shipyard socialism of Muldoon and the National Party that was sending our country to the wall. Hell, I even voted Labour in 1987 as a sign of my appreciation.

            Most of us didn’t realise how oppressed the average New Zealander had been until the Lange government took over.

            • McFlock 1.2.1.1.2.1

              …and doubled the youth suicide rate. You forgot to celebrate that bit.

              • Richard McGrath

                You are confusing correlation with causation. What evidence do you have linking one with the other? How did you eliminate other influences on the youth suicide rate? And why on earth do you suggest that youth suicide is a reason for celebration?

                • McFlock

                  I’m no more confused than you are when you talk about lab4 being refreshing.

                  Many other people had a different experience.

                  As to your last question,you’re a selfish shitheel, so I figured that you’d just be celebrating lower numbers of nonproductive economic units.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I note you have evaded addressing the issue of correlation/causation. You choose to insult rather than engage, which I think reflects poorly on you.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      You have another reasonable cause to suggest for the doubling of the youth suicide rate (other than the prevailing economic policy which threw many into economic hardship)?

                      The causal argument of economic hardship and disengagement leading to a decision to suicide is more than clear, as is the correlation. You need to suggest something stronger.

                    • McFlock

                      Not really.

                      I know you’d never be convinced that the waddling, quacking, feathery thing in front of you is a duck. No point flogging those dead teenagers.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      The onus is on those suggesting a causal relationship to prove it, not for me to suggest an alternative cause for any increase in the youth suicide rate.

                      Female youth (age 15-24) suicide rates decreased year on year from 1988 to 1991, by the way.

                    • McFlock

                      No onus.

                      Female youth (age 15-24) suicide rates decreased year on year from 1988 to 1991, by the way.

                      Figure 57 says you like to pick cherries, by the way. Slight declines in 15-24yo female suicide rates in the last two years of lab4 still leave a higher suicide rate in than group than in 1984 and don’t offset the year on year increases in male suicide rates, and frankly you probably know that, you dissembling fuckwit.

            • Nic the NZer 1.2.1.1.2.2

              McFlock identified the correlation between changes in the economy (exacerbating economic hardship for some) and a rise in the suicide rate.

              Richard pointed out that correlation does not imply causation.

              But the causal link here between economic hardship and a decision to suicide on an individual case by case basis, is well known. This implies the causal link between the correlation of certain economic changes and a rise in the aggregate suicide rate is real.

              The onus remains on Richard to establish a stronger alternative or at least identify a potential confounding factor. The reason the onus is on Richard is because of the strong (if well known) evidence that the correlation here is caused by a causal mechanism. This is bolstered by similar correlations also applying in other countries where mass economic hardship was experienced (not necessarily so intentionally).

              The evidence here is about as strong as you will see for anything in any social science (including the entire sub domain of economics).

      • Once ..whatever 1.2.2

        Indeed. As he said himself – Thank Christ I didn’t become a journalist (to paraphrase) – or we’d have gotten to the shitty state we’re in a lot sooner with the MSM.
        There were a few other indicators as to where he stands as well (the true neo-lib though not wanting to admit it) – like the reforms “happened too quickly” – but you know ….. TINA
        And a few other bits like ‘fortress New Zealand’ – Christ on a bike – he should look at a few immigration laws NOW based almost completely on monetary value of the immigrant rather than their worth as citizens and the contribution they’re likely to make.
        Whether intentional or not, S’geoffrey unfortunately was responsible (along with cohorts) for the commodification of all and everything.

        And just so I’m not coming across as totally negative, he was correct (or should I say right) about a few things – all from the position of comfort and security:
        – such as the competence of some of his peers and populist politics
        – a commitment to democratic process and slowing things down (democracy is supposed to be slow and awkward)
        – he’s apparently as scared now as he was when Labour took office and the country was damn near broke – which begs the question “what was the past 30 years all about?” if after those decades of economic brilliance – we could be facing the same shit all again with a different and more potent stink, AND I might add affecting a lot more people
        – etc.

      • Marcus Morris 1.2.3

        I lived through those years as well, just as I had lived through the previous nine years of Muldoon, who under MMP, wouldn’t have got a second term. Muldoon held enormous and frightening power – read Hugh Templeton’s book “All Honourable Men”. I lived through the twelve years of Holyoke’s laissez-faire government when we were dragged into the Vietnam war. I remember well the joy and relief we felt when Norm Kirk finally became P.M. and we showed the world a little intestinal fortitude (nuclear testing in the Pacific). I remember the palpable despair when Kirk died and Muldoon (aided and abetted by Bob Jones who ran a despicable anti Rowling campaign in Wellington) raged virtually unchallenged against the thoroughly decent Bill Rowling . David Lange’s victory over Muldoon in 1984 brought great rejoicing and he and Palmer proved an excellent political leadership team and it was very interesting to get a bit of insight into that relationship via the discussion with Guyon Espiner. A point that wasn’t made was that Labour actually increased its majority in the ’87 elections so the country as a whole was not too concerned at events during Labour’s first three years of office. There is no question that Roger Douglas’ policies paved the way for the neoliberal economics which have prevailed since but it is certain that David Lange became acutely aware of this, albeit too late. The fact that Prebble, Douglas, the Auckland historian, Bassett, went on to form a right wing party more than justified Lange’s concerns. We now have MMP, a system I applaud, and Geoffrey Palmer, a thoroughly decent and honourable man in my opinion, played a large hand in this improvement to the democratic process. Finally, I thought that is was significant that Sir Geoffrey expressed regret that he had “signed off” the sale of Telecom. “treasonous louse” – I don’t think so.

    • Jlo73 1.3

      So you prefer smiling celebrity driven PM’s like John Key then?

  2. red-blooded 2

    Wow – you and I seem to have been listening to different interviews!

    Palmer made some reasonable points and he also admitted that the government he was part of should have provided more support to people who suffered job losses because of their policies. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on issues like Brexit, Trump and compulsory voting. You don’t have to agree with all of his opinions but it’s still worth thinking through his reasoning. And, BTW, there’s nothing wrong with being clever!

    • Morrissey 2.1

      And, BTW, there’s nothing wrong with being clever!

      But there’s everything wrong with being weak, and being bullied and browbeaten by fanatics and murderers….

      http://gazanalysis.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/norman-finkelstein-torpedoing-law-how.html

      • red-blooded 2.1.1

        My “nothing wrong with being clever” comment was a response to Sanctuary’s dismissive “in love with his own cleverness” put down. It wasn’t an endorsement of all things Palmer.

    • Sanctuary 2.2

      Nothing wrong with being clever, but being a clever clogs who projects that as an intellectual hauteur is IMHO an absolutely fatal and fundamental flaw in a (so called in this case) left wing politician.

      Palmer’s ability to diagnose the ills of the world are not particularly unique, you or I could have just have easily rattled of the list of fairly trite topics – climate change, Trump, the crisis of democracy – he did. What struck me about Palmer was his unerring technocratic ability to correctly identify a crisis then just as unerringly use that crisis as a vehicle to push an agenda driven and completely incorrect solution.

      For instance, the crisis of democracy and voting won’t be fixed by a written constitution or fiddling with how we vote. Palmer’s constant fetishisation of mechanistic solutions to political problems with their origin in fundamental clashes between democracy and authoritarian global capitalism is entirely keeping with the machine like mind and lack of imagination of the high priesthood of neo-liberal technocrats across the West.

      • greywarshark 2.2.1

        Sanctuary
        Great summation of Palmer and why his basic ideas offered little to NZ progress as a balanced nation state then. That ‘intellectual hauteur’ you so aptly name, is going to prevent any useful ideas leading to policies to guide us round, or between, our geothermally active land of steaming, plopping mud pools, earthquakes and other natural or slightly man-made disasters. These, mixed with the inevitable disaster leading from being seduced and dazzled by the financial hat-tricks daily presented to us as examples of solid material success are outside his purview it seems.

        • AB 2.2.1.1

          “Palmer’s constant fetishisation of mechanistic solutions to political problems with their origin in fundamental clashes between democracy and authoritarian global capitalism…”
          Very nice – thanks. It explains why I always find him decent enough in a goofy sort of way but somehow infuriatingly ineffectual.

  3. Karen 3

    I found it fascinating – I recommend it to anyone interested in NZ politics.

    I was shocked by that he still supports the economic reforms of Roger Douglas – his only criticism was that they were done too quickly and did not provide enough help to those affected. I think the key to this attitude is his complete and ongoing lack of interest in economics coupled with the fact he was in Chicago during the height of Friedman. He was willing to believe the spin and lacked the interest to dig deeper.

    I didn’t find him arrogant at all. He is clever – why should he pretend otherwise? I also think he is principled and honest – but that doesn’t mean I agree with his analysis on every issue. What was interesting to me was the details about the feud between Lange and Douglas.

    • Grantoc 3.1

      Palmer’s comments in support of Rogernomics have to be seen in context of the times.

      As he said Muldoon was the closest thing to a dictator that NZ has probably ever had. As PM and Finance Minister he personally ran the economy, from deciding how much wages would increase by to what kind of cars could be imported to what interest rates should be.

      He was leading NZ down a similar path to that which Venezuela is presently on – and that leads to societal and economic breakdown. And that in turn negatively impacts working people the most.

      Rogernomics moved NZ back to economic orthodoxy. There were and are issues about the way in which this was implemented; but nevertheless it doesn’t make sense to deny that this should not have happened or to imply that Muldoon’s way was preferable.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Grantoc
        Politics they say is the art of the possible. You present an either/or possibility. There are always other approaches and game-playing in politics allowing them to be done, considering that there are pressures from the powerful moneyed group on governments and the unions were powerful then too.

        It needed a wily person, with wide economic knowledge, some animal cunning, as well as sterling quality of respect for the people’s needs and how to control their wants, to allow the populace to manage to get an enjoyabe life and achieve their needs.

        But the people were bundled aside in following the chosen neo lib way. The government was not cunning, intelligent or far-seeing, just puffed up with its own cleverness and of being at the forefront of a new economic trend.

      • Karen 3.1.2

        What nonsense, Grantoc.

        The choice wasn’t between the economic mismanagement of Muldoon (which was nothing like that of Venezuela) and Rogernomics. There are many other options of economic management that would not have created the catastrophic levels of inequality that were a result of neoliberalism.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.3

        Muldoon wasnt the closest thing to a dictator.!

        Nixon had a wage freeze in the US in his time too. It was seen as one of the policy options in that era.

        “On the afternoon of Friday, August 13, 1971, these officials along with twelve other high-ranking White House and Treasury advisors met secretly with Nixon at Camp David. There was great debate about what Nixon should do, but ultimately Nixon, relying heavily on the advice of the self-confident Connally, decided to break up Bretton Woods by suspending the convertibility of the dollar into gold; freezing wages and prices for 90 days to combat potential inflationary effects; and impose an import surcharge of 10 percent, to prevent a run on the dollar, stabilize the US economy, and decrease US unemployment and inflation rates, on August 15, 1971

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

        In our time printing money, once unthinkable, has come back in fashion, as the previous idea of manipulating interest rates lost any meaning.

        In the long run Rogernomics has failed, as the principal driver was to increase growth rates over the levels of the previous 20 years. That never happened and we are back to where we were in the 60s and 70s.!

    • Brigid 3.2

      “his only criticism was that they were done too quickly and did not provide enough help to those affected.” And that shows just what a fool Palmer is.
      Not providing for those affected was in the plan.

      And how disgustingly disingenuous such a comment is.

      • red-blooded 3.2.1

        Brigid, on what basis to you claim to know what was “in the plan”? Palmer et al were definitely too rushed, didn’t give enough thought to consequences and got captured by ideology. I think even he was (almost) admitting that. We’ve got to remember the political and economic mess they inherited from Muldoon, though, and we also have to keep in mind the distinction between Rogernomics and Ruthanasia. You might argue that the second couldn’t have happened without the first, but Richardson and her lot would have moved just as swiftly and even more extremely in the neo-lib direction, even if Labour were implacably opposed. I remember that election, with the choice between Douglas and Richardson; talk about a rock and a hard place! I voted Labour, not as an endorsement of Douglas but as a way to stave off Richardson. Remember that it was National who sold off the state assets (they did it again, with different assets, recently) and cut benefits while cutting taxes on business and the wealthy.

        I was opposed to the neo-lib ideology in the 80s and I’m still opposed. I’m bloody glad David Lange finally found the courage to face down Douglas and stave off the flat tax madness. I don’t even drink tea, but that’s one cuppa I’m grateful for! I think it was interesting to hear Palmer reflect on his experience of those days and I’m definitely going to be tuning in for the rest of the series.

        • Once ..whatever 3.2.1.1

          “I think even he was (almost) admitting that”
          Gawd I wish that were true – I’d have a different opinion of the man.
          You’ve even shoved in an ‘(almost)’.
          I now actually have more sympathy for Spud Bolger who I’ve never supported.

          Lange may have woken up, albeit a bit too late. Palmer never did and still hasn’t.
          As a person, I actually quite liked the guy. On reflection, and as I used to watch him strutting around Mt Vic with the Colgate ring of Confidence, I came to realise just how out of touch he became from those he purported to …. you know ….. ‘represent’.

        • Anne 3.2.1.2

          … we also have to keep in mind the distinction between Rogernomics and Ruthanasia.

          Thanks red-blooded. I didn’t get a chance to point out to those intent on placing the blame for neo-liberalism on the 4th Labour govt. … that most of the damage was done in the 1990s.

          I’m referring in particular to the draconian measures introduced by Ruth Richardson which saw thousands upon thousands of people thrown on the scrap heap. I was one of them. At least the 4th Labour Govt. was generous to a fault with their redundancy packages and many people were able to set up on their own because of it. But once R.R. took over, that generosity quickly disappeared. Labour also pledged to ensure that those who fell through the cracks would not be penalised, and would receive every assistance to get back on their feet again. As we know that also went by the board once the Nats gained power.

          It is debatable what would have happened if Labour and managed to squeak back to power in 1990, but bearing in mind Roger Douglas was gone by then, I am certain the “cup of tea” David Lange talked about would have become a more permanent fixture and that would have ultimately allowed Helen Clark to be able to achieve much more during her term as PM.

          • Karen 3.2.1.2.1

            I disagree with this Anne. The changes in tax alone were enough to set the scene for a major increase in inequality, and the creation of SOEs laid the groundwork for the Nats to expand privatisation of state assets.

            Yes, you could argue that the Nats’ cuts in benefits, their sell off of state houses and the Employment Contracts Act were even more damaging but they were only able to do this because of what Labour had set into motion, and because the Left felt so demoralised by the betrayals of the 4th Labour Government that opposition was divided.

            Lange was unable to persuade enough of the caucus to change course – a sad indictment on many of those Labour MPs of that time.

            • Anne 3.2.1.2.1.1

              I’m not denying that what was done in the name of Rogernomics set the scene for the “inequalities” that have persevered since, but it needs to be seen in the context of the the parlous state left by the Muldoon administration. It gave Douglas enormous power… far more so than is normally the case. He literally was given carte blanche to do exactly what he wanted and when he wanted it.

              Lange was unable to persuade enough of the caucus to change course – a sad indictment on many of those Labour MPs of that time.

              A large part of the reason is because a culture of bullying had been encouraged by members of the Douglas clan that was all-pervading. Anyone who dared raise their head above the parapet had it chopped off. That culture spread beyond the parliamentary party too, and there would be many people who can attest to that. Add the over-all confusion which existed at the time and its easy to see why many Labour MPs kept their heads down. It was a very unpleasant time for some of those MPs who did stand up to the Douglas cabal. Ask Jenny Kirk…

            • Richard McGrath 3.2.1.2.1.2

              Always makes me smile when so-called ‘pro-equality’ people push for tax inequality. Douglas’ flat tax together with GST would have achieved tax equality, with everyone paying the same proportion of their income and spending as tax. And those on low incomes would still have benefitted disproportionately from government spending.

    • Anne 3.3

      I didn’t find him arrogant at all. He is clever – why should he pretend otherwise? I also think he is principled and honest – but that doesn’t mean I agree with his analysis on every issue. What was interesting to me was the details about the feud between Lange and Douglas.

      +1000

      And those of us who had knowledge and experience of NZ politics at that time, can commiserate to some extent with the extraordinary crisis through which he had to negotiate almost on his own. I think history will be kind to Geoffrey Palmer. That is, if the precarious position the world currently faces on several levels allows us to have a future.

  4. Cynical jester 4

    Ewww Geoffrey Palmer. The man who said “he had a great deal of fun reforming nz” he had fun whilst so many people committed suicide because they lost everything due to his government. Seems like a lovely chap. Neoliberalism is disgusting.

    • Agreed . What a disgusting little man he is. And to think people like him and Douglas are called ‘ Sirs’ .

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        I never call anyone with a knighthood “sir”. I pointblank refuse to do it. It got me in trouble a few times when i worked in hospo, but tough, it is my right in a free country.

        In this country, we have no need for bowing and scraping to these anachronistic “titles” the elite bestow on each other in the name of a woman living on the other side of the planet.

        • ropata 4.1.1.1

          +1 mostly a bunch of ****s (excepting Ed Hillary)

          • Kat 4.1.1.1.1

            Ropata
            And an even bigger “exception” for Peter Blake.

            Mind you Colin Meads hates being called sir, I think he secretly wishes he never had the moniker.

            There are many others who don’t belong in the “a bunch of ****s” league.

            • ropata 4.1.1.1.1.1

              wtf has “sir” colin meads done? professional boofhead and spruiker of snake oil cancer cures. a grade A pillock IMHO

              • Kat

                Colin Meads entertained the public that like rugby and sport similar to Howard Morrison with singing and show business. Ed Hillary climbed a mountain and drove tractors down at the Antarctic.

  5. Nic the NZer 5

    While Palmer explained his distrust of economists assumptions and ideology, particularly that coming from the Chicago school, this didn’t prevent him being subservient to it in ways which defined his political career.

    We should have no doubt as somebody involved in the process, and as a constitutional lawyer he would have understood there were no processes limiting the sovereign governments budgeting process (though this was not discussed explicitely during the interview).

    Never the less when it came to measures required he raises in particular that NZ had to reform during Labour4 fundamentally because of its significant govt deficit and government debt. What he doesn’t seem to have connected here is that the causal harm to the economy here is mostly one of those assumptions and ideologically driven decisions. Had he made this connection he may have made a different decision about the privatization of Telecom which he didn’t think a good idea in and of itself. He also justifies the requirement here based on the factor that the ‘Ship Yard’ economy ran a significant government deficit. While this would have and did put pressure on the fixed exchange rate other reform measures than floating the exchange rate never followed from this, except by following these ideological economic terms (which Palmer claims he understood and didn’t apply).

  6. Mrs Brillo 6

    I think he certainly did achieve some basic reforms which were beneficial.
    He set in place what there is of an integrated environmental protection legislative system, including the Resource Management Act which consolidated more than 95 poorly articulated statutes and alllowed for joined-up management of natural and built environments. He reformed local government structure, and was the first and best environment minister we have had.
    And he had a good go at a written constitution. And he took his crusade against purse seine net fishing to the UN and argued the case against it world wide.He was very pro protecting our natural heritage, and this got up the noses of the fishing industry and a lot more besides who wanted to exploit assets till they were gone.
    If you dismiss him because he did not have the popular appeal of a Key or a Trump, it says more about you than him.

  7. Philgwellington Wellington 7

    I enjoyed listening to this interview. Sir Geoffrey exhibited a Mr Magoo lack of awareness of how his words would reveal the imperfections in his character. It is a reminder to me of how the clever and the powerful are certainly NO better than the rest of us. And the mistakes THEY make have a greater impact on society as a whole.

  8. Gosman 8

    What reforms of the 4th Labour Government would people reverse now?

    • Nic the NZer 8.1

      The reserve bank act should be seriously modified. One change would be that the sitting government can always draw spending as it sees fit at no interest. This would be explicit, not the current implicit arrangement.

      Also GST to be immediately abolished.

      Telecom re-nationalized (due to natural monopoly status of telecommunications).

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        You think there is a natural monopoly in the telecommunications sector do you? So how do you explain Vodophone and 2 Degrees?

        • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1

          Yes, its called the phone lines (but you knew that).

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            You mean the ones owned by Chorus?

            What about the mobile networks and other services?

            • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Less important to nationalise those, as they don’t form as natural a monopoly there. Obviously Telecom has changed a bit since this was implemented.

              • Michael

                I’d restore a progressive income tax regime and use the revenue to repair some of the damage done by Rogernomics. Make the rich pay for the shit they’ve put the rest of us through. I’d go further too by implementing a few things the fourth Labour government never did, such as: introducing a capital gains tax; penalising tax dodgers and their advisers; stopping corporate welfare to private schools and other emblems of a class-based system of hierarchy; providing for genuinely free-of-charge access to primary health care; outlawing accountacy; and lots, lots more. Perhaps I’ll get the chance in my next life?

                • Nic the NZer

                  I think Gosman was trying to provoke just such responses as ‘Outlawing accountancy’ in his query. On the other points I agree a better tax regime may be fair and desirable, but… the left will burn lots of political capital doing it. Even more if it works so its a long term project. The govt doesnt need to collect more revenue to spend more and deal with inequality that way so its better not to hold off that measure and instead engage in a tax crusade.

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  • A worrying sign

    Back in January a StatsNZ employee gave a speech at Rātana on behalf of tangata whenua in which he insulted and criticised the government. The speech clearly violated the principle of a neutral public service, and StatsNZ started an investigation. Part of that was getting an external consultant to examine ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Are we fine with 47.9% home-ownership by 2048?

    Renting for life: Shared ownership initiatives are unlikely to slow the slide in home ownership by much. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:A Deloitte report for Westpac has projected Aotearoa’s home-ownership rate will ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    17 hours ago
  • Let's Win This

    You're broken down and tiredOf living life on a merry go roundAnd you can't find the fighterBut I see it in you so we gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsWe gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsAnd I'll rise upI'll rise like the dayI'll rise upI'll rise unafraidI'll rise upAnd I'll ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    19 hours ago
  • Waimahara: The Singing Spirit of Water

    There’s been a change in Myers Park. Down the steps from St. Kevin’s Arcade, past the grassy slopes, the children’s playground, the benches and that goat statue, there has been a transformation. The underpass for Mayoral Drive has gone from a barren, grey, concrete tunnel, to a place that thrums ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    20 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 23

    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 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    21 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    22 hours ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    23 hours ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    1 day ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    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 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    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 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for 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! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    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 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    7 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    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 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

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