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Savings based recovery nonsense

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, November 18th, 2010 - 47 comments
Categories: bill english, Economy, national - Tags: , , ,

Bill English is always busy trying to put lipstick on the pig of our moribund economy. We’ve told him off before for fiddling his figures. But now he’s transcended mere lying with numbers. Now he’s invented a whole new economic theory:

English: Savings-Based Recovery Set To Pick Up In 2011

A sustainable economic recovery is underway and will pick up momentum next year as the Government continues to roll out its economic plan, Finance Minister Bill English says. … “This trend towards increased household saving creates a strong platform for faster economic growth in the medium and longer term. That is the only way we can create the jobs, higher incomes and the better living standards Kiwis deserve.

Savings based recovery? Savings based recovery? I’ve never heard of a savings based recovery — have you? I ran it through Google first thing this morning and the phrase generated exactly 5 hits. It’s generating more now (15) as coverage of English’s announcement spreads. In short, it looks like the double dipper has invented the whole notion of a “savings based recovery” all by himself.

I wondered if Google was being unfair to Bill, so I wandered off the check the academic literature with Google Scholar. A bit of messing round showed that phrases relating to X based or led growth or recovery were most productive, where X was replaced by various words of interest. (The exact queries entered, including quotes, were for example “export (based OR led) (growth OR recovery)”, “investment (based OR led) (growth OR recovery)”, and so on.) Here are the results:

  • export — 19,500 hits
  • private sector — 1,510 hits
  • investment — 1,500 hits
  • demand — 1,190 hits
  • knowledge — 1,110 hits
  • finance — 668 hits
  • trade — 515 hits
  • productivity — 330 hits
  • tourism — 249 hits
  • industry — 183 hits
  • savings — 8 hits

So – export based or led growth or recovery the clear winner. Private sector, investment, demand, knowledge, also seen as very important factors in the academic literature. Savings? Bill English’s new theory? Not so much. 8 hits. And most of those are reference to foreign savings. In other words, in terms of economic theory, English’s idea of a “savings based recovery” has a fan club of one.

What’s really going on here is another coat of lipstick. English is trying to make excuses for the fact that due to his brilliant handling of the economy, no one has any money to spend. Those that do have a bit of excess are desperately trying to pay down debt in these uncertain times. He’s tried such tactics before, arguing that anaemic growth and falling household spending on big ticket items are actually good things.

Enough with the lipstick. English needs to face up to his miserable economic record. And stop making empty promises. From the first quote:

A sustainable economic recovery is underway and will pick up momentum next year as the Government continues to roll out its economic plan…

What economic plan? What momentum? English has been promising “jam tomorrow” since before the election. He is never going to deliver.

47 comments on “Savings based recovery nonsense ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The spin goes like this:

    1.) Point out the lower spending
    2.) Suggest, without any evidence, that this lower spending is from higher savings
    3.) ???
    4.) Profit

    So, what he’s trying to spin as good news is the falling wages which is the real cause of the lower spending. And I suppose it is from NACTs PoV – they did, after all, promise to lower wages. And, hey, at least the banks have record profits….

  2. Macro 2

    “And, hey, at least the banks have record profits….”
    and that’s all we need to know!

  3. Jeremy Harris 3

    I find the duplicity on this site curious to say the least…

    The message seems to be contradictary:

    1). Consumption is killing Mother Gaia – we must force people to stop
    2). English didn’t give tax cuts to people to consume – it’s his fault the economy is kaput

    I personally think introducing a tax free threshold was right move, not percentage based tax cuts – I think consumption is good – but seriously which is it; tax cuts should have been for consumption or Mother Gaia is dying..?

    • r0b 3.1

      Can I rephrase slightly?

      1). Overconsumption is killing Mother Gaia — we must convince people to change.
      2). Actually no I can’t rephrase 2, I can’t make sense of it.

      So big picture, yes, we need to change the fundamentals of the economy to something much greener and more sustainable. That’s what I want to see both major parties working towards. National are never going to do it. Labour I still have hope.

      But that’s a bigger topic than this post. The point of this post is that even by their own standards National are useless, and making excuses for being useless. Once we get rid of National we can start work on what the new, better standards on which we judge an economy should be.

    • Bunji 3.2

      One may not think that growth is the only way forward and indeed we need sustainability, but when the government’s only economic plan is:
      1) tax cuts
      2) ???
      3) Growth!

      it’s surely fair to point out that 1 & 2 aren’t working.

      I’d rather they worked on a sustainable, happy future for all of us (which may include some economic growth, but not growth in our consumption of resources), but if they can’t even give us their promised increased wealth with their consumption is the way to happiness philosophy I don’t think we should hold back from pointing that out.

    • Lanthanide 3.3

      I think it goes like this:

      National promised X. We don’t particularly agree with X, but National promised it. X comes at the expense of Y, which we actually wanted to keep and don’t like National cutting it. Now National are failing to deliver on X and have still slashed and burnt on Y as well, so all the pain for none of the gain.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.4

      Cites for either 1 or 2 would be nice. Presumably from the same poster, unless you think it is duplicitous for people to disagree with each other.

  4. Carol 4

    I think it became evident somewhere recently, that when the government talks about a savings-based recovery they tend to refer a lot to savings the government makes by cutting back on the public sector. But then they blur this kind of saving, with statistics about individuals saving more in their bank accounts etc.

  5. burt 5

    Yes it’s so much easier when Labour are in charge, Tax the rich pricks and stop them saving so the govt can have a surplus and spend it on…. middle class welfare for the people you tax so heavily they can’t save…. Oh yeah – churn baby churn. Churn our way into the hearts and minds of the people who have never saved – that will fix the economy.

  6. burt 6

    rOb

    One more thing, remind me again how although NZ was in recession before the global crisis how it wasn’t Labour’s economic policies that caused the trouble we now have.

    • nzfp 6.2

      Hey burt – talking about when NZ went into the recession – have a look at Wikipedia – but be prepared to laugh your socks off.

      Wikipedia have an entry for “The Great Recession” under “Late-2000s recession”

      Wikipedia states:

      The late-2000s recession, or the Great Recession,[1][2] was a severe economic recession that began in the United States in December 2007[3] and ended in June 2009 (as determined by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research).[4]

      … “ended in June 2009” … what a laugh – tell that to the people going through FRAUDclosure, the QE2, the Irish bailout, the riots in France, Germany, UK, Portugal, Spain, Greece…

      However, all that aside it should be noted that according to the New Zealand Treasury Department:
      The recession in New Zealand began in the March 2008 quarter, before any OECD nation, as a result of domestic factors.

      Which is odd, because according to the OECD:

      The United States, along with 19 other countries, signed the Convention founding the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development on 14 December 1960, thereby pledged its full dedication to achieving the Organisation’s fundamental aims.

      So someone is telling porkies, because according to a December 1, 2008 article by Bloomberg:

      The U.S. economy entered a recession a year ago this month, the panel that dates American business cycles said today, making this contraction already the longest since 1982.

      The declaration was made by a committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit group of economists based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The last time the U.S. was in a recession was from March through November 2001, according to NBER.

      Which means the US entered the recession well before we did, and since the gobal crisis was caused by Wall Street, that means the global crisis started before we went into the recession.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1

        And we’ll not talk about how the US staved off recession for so long leading up to the downturn.

        What was fed reserve doing Burt?

    • roblyn 6.3

      Burt, you should stop looking to the past and think a bit more about the future. The global recession was exacerbated by the neo-liberal monetary consensus that existed prior to 2008. Labour was signed up to that consenus along with National. The challenge ahead of us however is moving away from that crisis prone paradigm to creating a more stable economic model. National is determined to try and replicate the failed model. Labour at least is prepared now to step away from the failure and debate what a better model must look like. That is why Labour represents a far brighter future than National can, unless it too is prepared to jettison failed neo-liberal ideology.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Does anyone care to defend, or even explain Mr English’s ‘savings based recovery’?

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      There is a little bit of logic in it. That once households have paid back debt, they’ll be in a better position to increase consumption again. If you’re not paying $50 on CC interest any more, you can save $20 of that and spend $30 on a dinner out, for example.

      Of course if the economic environment isn’t right, people won’t spend that extra $30 on dinner, instead they’ll save it. That’s assuming they are still earning that $50 anyway – they might be down to $30 because of job loss.

      It seems more like firming up the foundation for future growth, but the not the impetus for growth itself, IMO.

      • r0b 7.1.1

        If it was genuine savings I would agree that it was a good thing — a useful contribution. But savings alone will never be enough to cause recovery or growth. For that the savings must be put to good, productive use, they must be part of a bigger economic picture, and that simply isn’t happening.

        Also, I’m not convinced that we are in fact saving. We’re not spending as much, but then we’re not getting as much income either. And as for debt reduction – a drop in the bucket. We’ll be many a long year if we wait for a “debt reduction based recovery”.

        I stick to my theory, we’re stalled, and English is looking for new ways to explain it away. We need a new, sustainable. green economy, and the Nats are never going to deliver it.

        • clandestino 7.1.1.1

          Are you advocating for people not to pay down debt, but to allow the government to take that money and invest on our behalf in…..?

    • Jeremy Harris 7.2

      Savings are important for productivity gains, a country where indivduals aren’t saving cannot increase productivity, efficiency or compete without selling assets (where we are now)…

      But a strategy for a quick recovery it is not… I think if this saving trend continues that’s great, Chinese residents save up to 40% of their salaries…

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        There is a little bit of logic in it. That once households have paid back debt, they’ll be in a better position to increase consumption again.

        So somewhere between 5 and 10 years then? Another ‘lost decade’ in the making.

        (Sorry Jeremy this was supposed to be in reply to Lanth)

      • Maynard J 7.2.2

        Wow, Jeremy, I think you’re right.

        This is English’s new ’10 Year Plan’. Next he’ll tell us to melt down everything we own to make iron, and we’ll have a Smelting Based Recovery, followoed by a Great Leap Forward!

      • Jeremy Harris 7.2.3

        My spidy sense is picking up traces of sarcasm…

        I don’t think English meant for an increase in savings or that what he has done is a good plan or even a plan at all…

        So not really sure what your cheap dig is trying to prove… That English is a c*mmunist..? He maybe many things but c*mmie ain’t one of them…

        That savings are essential for future growth and prosperity shouldn’t really even be an issue for debate though, just an obvious truism…

  8. jcuknz 8

    Bill English may well be telling porkies, but it is in a good cause. If he can convince us to save more, that is either knocking down our credit card totals or actually putting some money in the bank or savings union if it is a small amount. I doubt if anyone in the country couldn’t save, even if only a few cents a week, by forgoing something that is not absolutely essential.

    Politicians often tell us what they hope is happening and sometimes it happens. It is disgusting that people have nothing better to do than make fun of those trying to lead the recovery.

    I think it is, or going to be, a hard row to hoe … the adjustment which keeps the consumption of earth’s resources down without putting even more people out of work. I doubt if capitalism will survive the process but it has got to happen if the human race is to survive. Other earth type planets are a long way away and could only be reached by a select few, so the rest of us have to learn to survive on Earth with what is here.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      It is disgusting that people have nothing better to do than make fun of those trying to lead the recovery.

      I think its OK to make fun of people leading us around the merry-go-round however.

      the adjustment which keeps the consumption of earth’s resources down without putting even more people out of work.

      Didn’t you notice? Capital markets have no interest in whether or not people are out of work. It is irrelevant as the only matter of importance is the rate of return on investment. If pushing more people out of work generates an improved return on investment and improves the financials, that is what the capitalist system will do.

      I doubt if capitalism will survive the process but it has got to happen if the human race is to survive.

      What a frakin joke, capitalism != human civilisation. Check out the Romans, the Greeks and the Mesopotamians for starters. Trading yes. Capitalism as a form of government, no.

    • r0b 8.2

      It is disgusting that people have nothing better to do than make fun of those trying to lead the recovery.

      How is English trying to lead the recovery jc? What is he doing? Economically, the Nats are a one trick pony. Tax cuts. They did it. Didn’t work. Now what? What are they doing?

      • jcuknz 8.2.1

        It is creating an attitude to life and it took me a long time to learn it despite it being ancient history and related in a popular book of a previous century with a Mr McKiber going own about “Income one pound … spend 19/6d is happiness, spend 20/6d is misery”. It is as true today as ever in history and other nations seem to have got the message while Kiwis are spendthrifts as ever. You don’t need a wage rise to correct matters just some self discipline.

        What is the point? capital gives one a feeling of security, and everything is relative to one’s position in society. A few cents over time becomes a few dollars which helps when one is at or near the bottom of the pile … been there … so save those idiot’s remarks about me being all dollars and no cents. Blogs are full of smart alex’s with limited intelligence.

        CV … I think you mis-read my comment, I had a feeling that some might.Try the other that we have to find a system that doesn’t include capitalism.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1

          You don’t need a wage rise to correct matters just some self discipline.

          You do if the amount you’re getting isn’t enough to live on which is where most people in NZ exist. No amount of self-discipline can change that.

          But in that is the problem .. we don’t want more consumption, wasting earths resources. We have to work out a way of improving peoples lives without increasing consumption.

          This bit I agree with. I think a well defined Renewable Resource Base that everyone then has an equal say in how it’s used would be the best option.

      • jcuknz 8.2.2

        rOb … perhaps if you stopped to think for a moment about what I suggested you would appreciate that English is trying to lead New Zealand out of its spendthrift ways by suggesting something which may not be true but would be good if it were true and definitely doesn’t deserve your ridicule. But such is the stupidity and petty mindedness of our politicians and their lapdogs that it is the norm rather than exception. I’m sure that you got considerable enjoyment from your research and writing the article but you missed the final important stage of asking yourself was it reasonable to publish.

        While just about everybody got a tax cut, or an increase in their pension, it was not targeted to do the most good. To do this it should have been given to those with the least, because they would spend it quicker. But in that is the problem .. we don’t want more consumption, wasting earths resources. We have to work out a way of improving peoples lives without increasing consumption. I don’t know the answer but I hope others will find it, and it certainly isn’t by poking fun at Bill English which helps nobody.

        • r0b 8.2.2.1

          English is trying to lead New Zealand out of its spendthrift ways by suggesting something which may not be true but would be good if it were true and definitely doesn’t deserve your ridicule.

          That’s the lamest attempted rationalisation for incompetence that I’ve ever heard. Plus, Bill double dipping English is the last one to have any credibility preaching restraint. That hypocritical idiot deserves all the ridicule he gets.

    • Marty G 8.3

      you just can’t bear to hear the truth about the losers you worship.

    • pollywog 8.4

      I doubt if anyone in the country couldn’t save, even if only a few cents a week, by forgoing something that is not absolutely essential.

      dunno bout that eh…

      …and whats the point in saving a few cents a week ?

    • handle 8.5

      “make fun of those trying to lead the recovery”? Only if not doing anything counts as ‘lead’

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    Looks like English will join Ruth Richardson and become a one term Finance Minister.

    And after all the trouble he went to to engineer Don Brashes downfall ( leaked emails ) and save his career, he wasnt up to the job and will get dumped by Key, who will give the job to Joyce

    • Marty G 9.1

      I think the govt’s agenda would grind to a halt without English. He does all the heavy-lifting for the half-wits like Tolley.

      Joyce is capable and English’s record on finance is awful but could Key really afford to lose English’s ability and leave him embittered on the backbenches (and talking to mates like Nick Smith)?

      For mine, the housing rort issue showed how indispensable English is. He got no reprimand at all for far worse than what got Wong the shove.

  10. roblyn 10

    I attempted to put the comments from English in some context, for my own understanding, this afternoon. English seems to trying to take claim that the govts tax cuts is moving us toward a ‘recovery based on savings and investment rather than borrowing and consumption, the present economic slow down was because people are moving from a consumption based phase to a saving based phase and that this switch to savings will provide higher economic growth’.

    That seems like a really desperate attempt from English to try and extract any good news out of a dire situation. I would strongly suggest that the present lack of spending is not due to savings but rather people paying down debt. This has little to do with what English has attempted and much to do with the high debt levels people have taken on.

    What the government has done is push through a round of tax cuts that will fill the pockets of high income earners but do not very much at all for lower income earners. That was the whole aim of the exercise, to cut taxes. Any perceived automatic flow on through to higher savings and higher growth is a matter of neo-liberal ideological faith rather than empirical fact. Treasury themselves state that any economic growth, as a result of the tax cuts, is margin of error stuff.

    If English seriously did want to move from a consumption based, speculative based economy to one based on savings there were a range of options he could have chosen such as a CGT and progressive improvements to Kiwisaver. Instead he wanted, for largely ideological reasons, reduce tax rates for the high income earners.

    The result is the government books in a worse state and borrowing for the tax cuts.

    • NickS 10.1

      You know it might be an idea to not use your email address as a user-name as even with a decent anti-spam system, you will still get swamped if the bots can find it. And screen-names are very, very visible…

      Not to mention ye olde flood of gay horse pr0n, lemon party (google not, since I wont give you eye bleach), [insert favourite shock image(s) here] as soon as someone takes a disliking to you* **…

      *welcome to the internet
      **I’m a bio-geek, and thus immune to even the all-glorious “offended” page, your reactions may vary though …

      [Agreed – tidied up the username(s) – thanks. — r0b]

  11. djp 11

    More savings means there is more capital available for “investment” in “private sector” “export” industries? (which ticks the top three in your google scholar list)

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      There will be no more capital available for investment as you described UNLESS the banks get it into their heads to lend to startup businesses operating in the ‘real (tradeables) economy’ instead of always lending to people trying to build the next apartment block or flip an investment flat.

  12. prism 12

    I like to refer to my economics textbook by Blaumol and Blinder 4th edn – handy to keep grounded. In their section on the Paradox of Thrift –
    “This last example of multiplier analysis teaches us an important lesson. It shows that an increase in the desire to save will lead to a cumulative fall in GNP. And, because saving depends on income, the resulting decline in national income will pull saving down.”

    English must know this – wasn’t he the clever farm boy who got into Treasury. Cullen was always on about saving too. Neither of them seemed to care enough to back their empty words with encouragement like stopping double taxing on people’s savings, first on the original earnings and then from interest paid, taking even single cents from the miniscule amount that small savers manage to earn. Is it total wage taxing, first on a percentage of wages (say 20%) second on spending GST (15%), and third on interest if you have any left over with just a few items GST free. Seems quite heavy tax if you’re low waged.

    It’s not a simple solution to having more national investment. And when there has been investment by NZs’ with some wealth, the government haven’t had sufficient nous to encourage it to productive entities rather than consumer ones, with spectacular magic shows of disappearing money. It seems that more savings and liquidity may result in negative total investment and unhealthy growth for the economy because of spending on personal indulgences.

    I’m just a learner but experts don’t seem to make their theories work for our good so maybe my ideas are as valid as theirs.

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  • Blowing Off The Froth: Why Chris Hipkins Must Ditch Three Waters.
    Time To Call A Halt: Chris Hipkins knows that iwi leaders possess the means to make life very difficult for his government. Notwithstanding their objections, however, the Prime Minister’s direction of travel – already clearly signalled by his very public demotion of Nanaia Mahuta – must be confirmed by an emphatic ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #5 2023
    Open access notables Via PNAS, Ceylan, Anderson & Wood present a paper squarely in the center of the Skeptical Science wheelhouse:  Sharing of misinformation is habitual, not just lazy or biased. The signficance statement is obvious catnip: Misinformation is a worldwide concern carrying socioeconomic and political consequences. What drives ...
    3 days ago
  • Universities that punish reading – even of books from their own libraries
    Mark White from the Left free speech organisation Plebity looks at the disturbing trend of ‘book burning’ on US campuses In the abstract, people mostly agree that book banning is a bad thing. The Nazis did us the favor of being very clear about it and literally burning books, but ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Hipkins has a chance to show he is more effective in getting results  than Ardern in his Canberra t...
      Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has undergone a stern baptisim of fire in his first week in his new job, but it doesn’t get any easier. Next week, he has a vital meeting  in Canberra with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, where he has to establish ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on extending the fuel/public transport subsidies
    As PM Chris Hipkins says, it’s a “no brainer” to extend the fuel tax cut, half price public subsidy and the cut to the road user levy until mid-year. A no braoner if the prime purpose is to ease the burden on people struggling to cope with the cost of ...
    3 days ago
  • U-turn on fuel taxes could pump up poll support for Hipkins and Co but the poor – perhaps – won...
    Buzz from the Beehive Cost-of-living pressures loomed large in Beehive announcements over the past 24 hours. The PM was obviously keen to announce further measures to keep those costs in check and demonstrate he means business when he talks of focusing his government on bread-and-butter issues. His statement was headed ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Mike’s Cracked Record
    Poor Mike Hosking. He has revealed himself in his most recent diatribe to be one of those public figures who is defined, not by who he is, but by who he isn’t, or at least not by what he is for, but by what he is against. Jacinda’s departure has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Chris Hipkins hires a lobbyist to run the Beehive
    New Zealand is the second least corrupt country on earth according to the latest Corruption Perception Index published yesterday by Transparency International. But how much does this reflect reality? The problem with being continually feted for world-leading political integrity – which the Beehive and government departments love to boast about ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Government confirms a light rail rethink possible
    Transport Minister and now also Minister for Auckland, Michael Wood has confirmed that the light rail project is part of the government’s policy refocus. Wood said the light rail project was under review as part of a ministerial refocus on key Government projects. “We are undertaking a stocktake about how ...
    4 days ago
  • Why Nicola Willis is door-knocking in Johnsonville
    Sometime before the new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced that this year would be about “bread and butter issues”, National’s finance spokesperson Nicola Willis decided to move from Wellington Central and stand for Ohariu, which spreads across north Wellington from the central city to Johnsonville and Tawa. It’s an ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • “With great power comes great responsibility”: we’ve all heard that, but stepping up to it is ...
    They say a week is a long time in politics. For Mayor Wayne Brown, turns out 24 hours was long enough for many of us to see, quite obviously, “something isn’t right here…”. That in fact, a lot was going wrong. Very wrong indeed. Mainly because it turns ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • The escalator rises again
    One of the most effective, and successful, graphics developed by Skeptical Science is the escalator.  The escalator shows how global surface temperature anomalies vary with time, and illustrates how "contrarians" tend to cherry-pick short time intervals so as to argue that there has been no recent warming, while "realists" recognise ...
    4 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • We never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups
    Tomorrow we have a funeral, and thank you all of you for your very kind words and thoughts — flowers, even.Our friend Michèle messaged: we never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups, and oh boy is that ever the truth. Tomorrow we have the funeral, and ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Garrick Tremain’s view…
    ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Much excitement as Hipkins gets down to business – but can he defeat inflation with his devotion t...
    A  new Prime Minister, a revitalised Cabinet, and possibly  revised priorities – but is the political and, importantly, economic landscape  much different? Certainly  some within the news  media  were excited by the changes which Chris Hipkins announced yesterday or – before the announcement – by the prospect of changes in ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • E-bike incentives work
    Currently the government's strategy for reducing transport emissions hinges on boosting vehicle fuel-efficiency, via the clean car standard and clean car discount, and some improvements to public transport. The former has been hugely successful, and has clearly set us on the right path, but its also not enough, and will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins’ need to strengthen focus on “bread and butter” issues suggests the Ardern team was lo...
    Buzz from the Beehive Before he announced his Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced he would be flying to Australia next week to meet that country’s Prime Minister. And before Kieran McAnulty had time to say “Three Waters” after his promotion to the Local Government portfolio, he was dishing ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • 24,000 employed under Labour
    The quarterly labour market statistics were released this morning, showing that unemployment has risen slightly to 3.4%. There are now 99,000 people unemployed - 24,000 fewer than when Labour took office. So, I guess the Reserve Bank's plan to throw people out of work to stop wage rises "inflation", and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • February Stars.
    Another night of heavy rain, flooding, damage to homes, and people worried about where the hell all this water is going to go as we enter day twenty two of rain this year.Honestly if the government can’t sell Three Waters on the back of what has happened with storm water ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup:  Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    * Dr Bryce Edwards writes – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular reforms in water and DHB centralisation ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The Neverending Curse of MLMs
    Hi,It’s weird to me that in 2023 we still have people falling for multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs for short). There are Netflix documentaries about them, countless articles, and last year we did an Armchaired and Dangerous episode on them.Then you check a ticketing website like EventBrite and see this shit ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • We just need the Wayne to stop
    Shortly, the absolute state of Wayne Brown. But before that, something I wrote four years ago for the council’s own media machine. It was a day-in-the-life profile of their many and varied and quite possibly unnoticed vital services. We went all over Auckland in 48 hours for the story, the ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: January (+ Old Phuul Update)
    Completed reads for January Lilith, by George MacDonald The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Christabel (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, by Anonymous The Lay of Kraka (poem), by Anonymous 1066 and All That, by W.C. Sellar and R.J. ...
    5 days ago
  • Is Britain doomed (again)?
    Pity the poor Brits.  They just can’t catch a break. After years of reporting of lying Boris Johnson, a change to a less colourful PM in Rishi Sunak has resulted in a smooth media pivot to an end-of-empire narrative.  The New York Times, no less, amplifies suggestions that Blighty ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • After The Deluge.
    On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth.Genesis 6:11-12THE TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS that dumped a record-breaking amount of rain on Auckland this anniversary weekend will reoccur with ever-increasing frequency. The planet’s atmosphere is ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Education (who might be replaced later today) left it to his ministry to apologise for i...
    Buzz from the Beehive There has been plenty to keep the relevant Ministers busy in flood-stricken Auckland over the past day or two. But New Zealand, last time we looked, extends north of Auckland into Northland and south of the Bombay Hills all the way to the bottom of the ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • The other ‘big one’: How a megaflood could swamp California’s Central Valley
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters When early settlers came to the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers before the California Gold Rush, Indigenous people warned them that the Sacramento Valley could become an inland sea when great winter rains came. The storytellers described water filling the ...
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: The gamechanger PM and polls
    Dr Bryce Edwards writes –  Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Gamechanger PM and polls
    Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins has changed everything, and Labour is back ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • After the deluge – initial thoughts on the Auckland floods
    Over the last few years, it’s seemed like city after city around the world has become subject to extreme flooding events that have been made worse by impacts from climate change. We’ve highlighted many of them in our Weekly Roundup series. Sadly, over the last few days it’s been Auckland’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Ever Get the Feeling You've Been Cheated?
    And so the first month of the year draws to a close. It rained in Auckland on 21 out of the 31 days in January. Feels like summer never really happened this year. It’s actually hard to believe there were 10 days that it didn’t rain. Was it any better where ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Ani O’Brien: Luxon can’t afford to continue ‘small target’ politics
    A ‘small target’ strategy is not going to cut it anymore if National want to win the upcoming election. The game has changed and the game plan needs to change as well. Jacinda Ardern’s abrupt departure from the 9th floor has the potential to derail what looked to be an ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Shaking up science
    When Grant Robertson talks about how the economy might change post-covid, one of the things he talks about is what he calls an unsung but interesting white paper on science. “It’s really important,” he says. The Minister in charge of the White Paper —  Te Ara Paerangi, Future Pathways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Auckland schools closed til Feb 7
    The clean up has begun but more rain is on the way. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Auckland’s floods over the last three days are turning into a macroeconomic event, with losses from Aotearoa’s biggest-ever climate event estimated at around $500 million and Auckland’s schools all closed for a week until ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Auckland schools closed til Feb 7
    The clean up has begun but more rain is on the way. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Auckland’s floods over the last three days are turning into a macroeconomic event, with losses from Aotearoa’s biggest-ever climate event estimated at around $500 million and Auckland’s schools all closed for a week until ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How we get a new Prime Minister – it’s a simple matter of vice-regal appointment without a swear...
    The news media were at one ceremony by the looks of things. The Governor-General, the  Prime Minister and his deputy were at another. The news  media were at a swearing-in ceremony. The country’s leaders were at an appointment ceremony. The New Zealand Gazette record of what transpired says: Appointment of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago

  • Advancing our relationship in India
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for India tomorrow as she continues to reconnect Aotearoa New Zealand to the world.  The visit will begin in New Delhi where the Foreign Minister will meet with the Vice President Hon Jagdeep Dhankar and her Indian Government counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government Northland housing investment to spark transformational change
    Over $10 million infrastructure funding to unlock housing in Whangārei The purchase of a 3.279 hectare site in Kerikeri to enable 56 new homes Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals Multiple Northland communities will benefit from multiple Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago