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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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Recent Posts

  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    33 mins ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    45 mins ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 hours ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    5 hours ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    6 hours ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 day ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    3 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    3 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    4 days ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    4 days ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    5 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    1 week ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected
    Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
    Finding reality needs more than wishful thinking. The problem is that statistical arguments often provide a jargon to confirm biases. Image credit: Accurate Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking in Gambling I worry at the way some ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
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    2 weeks ago
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