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Selling assets to finance current account deficit = good?

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, October 20th, 2010 - 54 comments
Categories: overseas investment - Tags: ,

I’m generally a fan of Gareth Morgan, but boy his facts are wrong in yesterday’s Herald column, and those false premises lead him to really bad conclusions. Basically, Morgan is trying to argue that we have to let foreigners buy our assets because if we don’t then they won’t buy our currency and lend us the money to buy more in imports than we make from exports. Morgan doesn’t explain why it’s a bad thing to not be able to fund overspending:

“Foreigners who sell us the imports we covet don’t really want to be paid in our quaint currency. So a pass-the- parcel process occurs until some foreigner is found who will either extend us credit (by holding our Reserve Bank’s IOUs) or buys one of our assets, thus giving us the foreign currency to buy those imports we crave…
… The only way this reality might come to an end is for the NZ dollar to fall so far that the price of imports we hanker for becomes sufficiently expensive that we pull our heads in and live within our (income) means.
That prospect is so surreal it’s not worth wasting time contemplating it.”

Well, let’s clear up one thing: New Zealand does not import more than it exports. Since the global economic crisis began, we have exported more than we imported nearly every quarter – exports have exceeded imports by $6 billion in the past 18 months.

True, in recent times we have tended to import more than we export but trade deficits only became the norm in New Zealand after 1995 (see Stats Infoshare). The cause? Neoliberalism, which hollowed out our domestic manufacturing so everything remotely high tech needs to be imported and brought in inflation-targeting which has resulted in New Zealand having a relatively high interest rate, creating the carry trade, which has kept our exchange rate up making imports cheap compared to domestic products.

Morgan seems to think there’s some inherent cultural stupidity about Kiwis that made us import more than we export in the years from 1995 to 2009. In fact, we were just responding to the market signals created by neoliberalism.

“If a foreign investor thinks the price of the asset reflects an attractive entry to the prospective profits that could flow, they will want to buy it – just like anyone else. The land’s not going anywhere, of course, it remains located right where it’s always been and over time its ownership will change – sometimes foreign, sometimes not. No big deal”

Um. It is a big deal because the reason we have a current account deficit is foreign owners of New Zealand assets (like farms) exporting the profits they make, and our banking system, now 90% owned by Australia, exporting its profits. In the past year, we sent $9 billion of profits overseas while exporting $3 billion more than we imported. To make up the difference, we had to sell assets and take on more debt. Insufficient exports and too many imports isn’t nearly as much of a problem as the huge flow of profits to foreign owners of New Zealand assets, including our debt.

The truth of the matter is that we’re selling off our assets to finance the outflow of profits from the other assets we’ve already sold off.

(btw, who else is pissed off with the vacuous ‘they can’t take the land away’ line? The productive capacity of the land is what is valuable, and that’s what we lose)

Morgan then goes on about a dairy farm he owns in Brazil:

“If instead I’d invested in dairying in New Zealand I would simply have pushed land prices up and, I’m reasonably sure, have made less money. So it’s being argued by the xenophobes that a win-win for New Zealand and Brazil is worse than if I’d spent my money developing a farm up the slopes of the Southern Alps.Get real. Foreign investment is how countries develop.”

No. Foreign investment is how developing countries like Brazil develop. A country with a relatively poor domestic economy can’t generate internally the capital it needs to grow. But it only works while a country is in the development phase with high growth rates to finance the foreign investment and increase domestic incomes. New Zealand is not a developing country – it has the growth profile and, potentially, capital depth of a developed economy.

Let’s follow though Morgan’s horror scenario. He goes part of the way, then stops:

“Ban foreigners from buying our assets, though, and there certainly will be a sharp shock to the system.

If foreigners can’t use New Zealand dollars to buy New Zealand assets why would they be willing to hold New Zealand dollars?”

So what happens next? Foreigners are prevented from buying Kiwi farmland and strategic assets. Foreigners become less willing to hold Kiwi dollars, so the currency falls. That pushes up price of imports and make exports more competitive, so the current account balance improves. With less money flowing out as imports and more coming in from exports, New Zealand has more money domestically. That money can be used to fund capital development in place of foreign capital – New Zealand’s indebtedness to the rest of the world falls. Meanwhile, asset prices fall because a group of buyers has been excluded from the market, making it more affordable for Kiwis to buy them, leading to lower mortgages to the Aussie banks, and freeing up capital that was used to buy land for investment elsewhere.

We end up less indebted, with a deeper pool of domestic capital, with more competitive exports, with domestic manufacturing not being undercut buy cheaper imports, and we own our own assets. In return, you might have to buy a small LCD TV than you otherwise would have, or car rather than an SUV.

Yeah, that’s a real horror scenario, Gareth.

54 comments on “Selling assets to finance current account deficit = good?”

  1. M 1

    ‘That pushes up price of imports’

    This could breathe new life into domestic manufacturing if the price of imported stuff soars.

    How on earth will NZers be clothed and shod once the containers slow down or stop coming from China? There can’t be too many shoe manufacturers left in NZ – Minx springs to mind only because it’s been in the media a lot and there’s a custom shoe maker on the Kapiti Coast. Few people can afford designer duds and many people are unable to sew so they’ll be in a tight spot unless they have skilled family members or friends, assuming of course there are any fabrics to buy.

    • You mention shoes… When I grew up in Wainuiomata a lot of the locals were employed at the Bata factory – founded and owned, ironically, by the kind of foreign investor we do want, a fine man by the name of Frank Brugger. And those who didn’t work at Bata were employed down the road at Brugger Industries, who made fuel-efficient (better than 75%) woodburning stoves and car radiators amongst other things.

      There was hardly a pair of Kiwi feet which hadn’t at some point worn a pair of Bata Bullets, and the stoves were a feature of many homes in NZ as well as being exported all over the world.

      Frank Brugger, despite being undoubtedly the richest man in Wainuiomata and one of the wealthiest in NZ at the time (this was the 70s and early 80s, before asset-stripping and money trading made rich men out of people with no talent) but maintained a humble office in Wellington and gave, quietly and unostentatiously, to charity.

      AFAIK he never had industrial trouble at his plants – there were certainly no strikes – paid fairly and treated everyone well.

      It was the influx of cheap footwear (not that Bata Bullets were out of the reach of anyone I knew) and the collapse of the car manufacturing industry that led to the end of both these companies (there’s a Brugger Industries in Samoa, I believe, though I have no idea if they’re connected).

      No doubt Gareth Morgan would cheer the “efficiency” this represents. But Wainuiomata didn’t, in those days, need its own WINZ office which it has today. There wasn’t the domestic violence, or the other sorts of violence, which plague the place today.

      I wonder if, with a little bit of creative thinking by government – tax breaks to cover setup costs, for one thing – we couldn’t reinvigorate a community like Wainuiomata with manufacturing again. After all, as reports like this show, the “savings” from offshore manufacturing are often illusory.

      The idea that decent wages are driving manufacturing offshore is also a nonsense – wages account, on average, for 4% of the cost of manufacture in that study (which looks at US companies shifting manufacturing to South America, admittedly, so there could be differences in actual percentages if such a study were done in NZ).

      But let’s not accept the prevailing orthodoxy that there’s nothing we can do. Let’s at least look at the options, undertake some studies like that one, be a bit flexible in our tax policies instead of looking to milk the most out of everyone to hand back as illusory “tax cuts” to buy votes from a relatively tiny group of swinging voters.

      Let’s stop accepting crap like that mouthed by Morgan in that piece as being as unalterable as the laws of physics, and being too scared to challenge that orthodoxy lest we be called heretic.

      At least that’s what I’d like to do, given the chance…

      [Frank, a Czech immigrant (nowadays he’d probably be called a refugee) I believe passed away in 2000. It’s a source of regret that I didn’t tell him how much I admired him despite the assistance he gave to many community initiatives of which I was a part. I hope his family knew how many people thought him a truly great man].

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        I wonder if, with a little bit of creative thinking by government – tax breaks to cover setup costs, for one thing – we couldn’t reinvigorate a community like Wainuiomata with manufacturing again.

        Forget the tax breaks – just have the government finance it and then once its up and running hand the management over to the workers as a cooperative.

        After all, as reports like this show, the “savings” from offshore manufacturing are often illusory.

        A factory in NZ is just as efficient as the same factory in China. Sourced from local resources and selling to the local market only and it’s far more efficient. It also would be far smaller and unlikely to be making a profit but costs will be covered and the people working there will have a good living standard.

        • Rex Widerstrom 1.1.1.1

          But I like the idea of NZers (other than, but of course including, the workers in a particular business) having a financial interest in it. I think it builds a connectedness that otherwise wouldn’t exist… If I own a shoe factory and you own a market garden, if the weather means you have a bad season and I’m making a good profit out of my shoes, you can come to me for investment. I’ll do that (providing you have a sound business model) because if you go out of business, you and your employees won’t be able to buy my shoes (to use a ridiculously over-simplified example).

          A factory in NZ can be more efficient than one in China, in fact, because the Chinese one probably hasn’t been built with the same amount of ingenuity (something in which NZers excel) and most likely relies for its “efficiency” primarily on cheap labour costs.

          But while we might disagree on the exact shape of the solution we’re clearly both tired of the prevailing paradigm, as are a lot of others here. So why isn’t that seeping through to our Parliamentarians? I expect because candidate selection is tightly controlled so as to weed out any heretics who might frighten the ubiquitous “swinging voter” by proposing something different to the received “wisdom” being mouthed by the hundreds of other wannabes come election time.

          And so long as the elites keep choosing those who think and look and talk the way they do, we can’t expect change.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            I think having control of the business is rather than just being another wage slave is enough. The idea is the people who work there can see just how well the business is going and make decisions that will affect that.

            Yeah, getting the people at the top to realise that capitalism has failed is a little difficult even though the people at the bottom already know this.

      • M 1.1.2

        Rex

        Wonderful post and a good history of Bata – I recall that no matter how dirty your shoes got the stars always shone through. NZ needs to get its manufacturing base back, employ its own people at liveable rates of pay and stop supporting the slave regime in China.

        If that were to happen then maybe we would start rising to the top of the OECD ladder again.

  2. Herodotus 2

    “…We end up less indebted, with a deeper pool of domestic capital, with more competitive exports, with domestic manufacturing not being undercut buy cheaper imports, and we own our own assets”
    So Marty what time period will this readjustment take and what unforseen consequence will be endured by us? Remember the Great Lab follow up comment regarding the economic pain that we were to endure from the ’84 changes. Agreed Lab kept promise .. There was pain !!!
    I am donot hold a degree in economics (But I do have a dart board) Whislt we have current account deficits we require overseas source of funding this will progressively get more expensive. There already are the likes of additional charges from banks as Global Liquidity Costs to cover additional borrowing costs from banks readjustments to longer term source of funds and increased local % of borrowed funds + some other targets.
    As Labour is tradable (if your reactions to this change hold true) then we loss our most unique and valuable resource human capital as they are tempted to follow the money ofshore.
    At the same time that Lab has commented on increasing wages and investing more, but no how?
    It is no good thinking that we have found a cure when the patient has already died.

  3. Bobby 3

    I agree up to a point but like Gareth you mising the next few steps

    NZ dollar devalues hence import prices increases

    Because we dont have the manufacturing capacity or expertise to produce what NZ’ers want we cant subsitute imports for NZ production

    Therefore large increases in inflation leading to a real decline in incomes, leading to all our talent going offshore leading to a cycle of declining productive, inflation and loss of talent

    But we still own the land hence can all live in thatched huts growing our own vegatables and good times will be had by all

    lesson – you cant deintegrate from the global economy unless you have something unqiue the world wants (like China has cheap labour). Unless that is the master plan – become the new China of the South Pacific?

    • Blighty 3.1

      National’s plan is to make us a low wage economy.

      And you’ve forgotten that with domestic production more competitive we can make use of a hell of a lot of idled manufacturing capital. Every city and town in this country has shuttered factories that can easily to reactiviated and equiped with new equipment.

      • Bobby 3.1.1

        Agreed you could reactivate it – but where would you buy the equipment, tools etc from?

        You would have to buy it offshore and high prices given the now weak NZD – making it uneconomic for a private enterprise to reactivate said factory

        Actually i see your master plan – the Goverment steps in and nationalises all these factories…..

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Funnily enough this was the stated policy of Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe when their left wing policies destroyed their productive sector. They thought they could just command businesses to produce and threatened to nationalise any businesses which weren’t opperating at capacity.

        • bbfloyd 3.1.1.2

          Bob… so continuing to import for consumption is fine, while importing machinery/equipment for domestic production is bad? if i buy a pair of trousers made in china, then i pay for those trousers with money that i earned at my job(assuming i have one).. conversely, if i buy sewing machines made in china, then i would be paying for them from the proceeds of the clothing etc i would be selling.. when my trousers wear out(rapidly if they are chinese made, then i have to use more money out of my wages. i recoup nothing on the cost of those trousers, yet if my sewing machines wear out, then the cost will have been factored into the price i ask for my goods. and, of course, it allows me to continue earning… can you spot the difference yet?

          • Blighty 3.1.1.2.1

            Basically, Bobby is pro selling assets to pay for consumption. That’s a pretty f*cked up position.

            It’s better that we don’t learn to fish for ourselves, especially if we have to buy the fishing pole from offshore. It’s far better that we continue to pay someone else’s profits for doing the fishing, even though we have the spare capacity to fish ourselves and we can’t afford to keep buying fish from others.

            • Bobby 3.1.1.2.1.1

              I dont propose it there just no realistic alternative….the alternative outlined above would not work – thats what im pointing out as is Gareth.

              I actually agree that land should be NZ owned….

              • Colonial Viper

                Ah well when the NATs lose in 2011 we’ll show you a few realistic alternatives Bobby. Then you can watch and learn.

                Goodbye TINA hello gorgeous TARA

                There Are Real Alternatives 😀

                • Bobby

                  I look fwd to being educated!

                  Labour does do some good things – Kiwisaver is a brilliant idea – Nats stupid to prune it back. Should be expanded

                  • Herodotus

                    There are some here who comment that the current financial model (neo lib) has past its used by date, if they are correct then wait for this as if/when the world wide economy bursts and our funds go bust then where are we, at least internal investment there is something tangable to build on.
                    Kiwisaver is great for those being subsidised by those unable to benfit, more of the rich profiting from the worker.
                    Also investing the money offshore does what for promoting NZ economy? And Lab wants to greatly limit foreign investment then OK for us to invest overseas. Looks like Phil the Metronome will then have to swap sides again to keep the faith of his comments, now is Phil swinging to the right or left to keep the beat?

          • Bobby 3.1.1.2.2

            Can YOU spot the difference

            In your silly example its a consumer buying both the consumer good and the productive asset

            In the real word the productive asset is purchased by a private enterprise who need a return on that asset and who need capital to invest

            If you make it expensive to purchase input costs then prices need to rise to generate the required return, but in this high inflation, low wage utopia you created nobody can afford it.

            Hence private enterprise wont invest..there is no magic bullet here

            I have no real problem with moving away from a free trade / capitalist enivironment (despite my education and career being tied directly to it). I honestly believe humanity would be happier and our lives more meaningful if the focus of life moved from consumption, wealth to more basic needs and aims. But for it to work the WHOLE world would have to move at once. NZ cant be a leader in this…we would only be hurting ourselves.. mmm think i actually just proposed a global revolution oops

            • KJT 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Someone has to start.

            • bbfloyd 3.1.1.2.2.2

              Bob… you make far too many assumptions to have a valid point… 1) you assume any clothing i produce would be expensive. (have you a costings sheet handy?). 2)have you never heard of cottage industry? assumption 2 is that this wouldn’t be a viable option unless it could be done on a large enough scale immediately to attract investment capital… you really need to go to your local library and read up on how most businesses get off the ground..

              i appreciate your effort in putting forward an opinion, but i would prefer you spent a bit of time considering the examples i gave from a slightly wider perspective.

              a small (three/five person) clothing company would be relatively easy to set up and run, which could produce very efficiently, basic, good quality clothing at prices that would be competitive with imports on two levels.. 1)prices would beat worst, only marginally more expensive than chinese imports..2) the quality of those goods would be, without much effort at all, much higher than the imported product… meaning that it would probably fit better, as we aren’t all shaped like orientals, (which is the templates generally used for imported clothing), and also the items would tend to last much longer, which, of course, over a period of time. lets say one to two years, would result in actual savings to the consumer..

              • Bobby

                Lol – have you heard of specialisation – it is (was) the major driving force in the large increase in world GDP and standard of living over the last 200 years

                To suggest a cottage industry could get anywhere near the costs of Chinese production is laughable and shows a basic lack of knowledge of economic theory and general common sense.

                The destruction of NZ industry over the last 20 years proves my point (and these were large scale operations)

                Its not my number of assumptions that is the issue – it is your lack of understanding of basic economic conceptions that hinders your ability to interpret them

                Cottage industry as the solution….really that is hilarous!

                • bbfloyd

                  Bob… please try to read the whole post…. your cherry picking of points within is irritating.. and pointing to the status quo as justification for avoiding the issue i raised is facile semantics… if you want to discuss this intelligently, then i suggest you do more than react.

                  • Bobby

                    I did read it – and can dispute it with one word ‘specialisaiton’

                    I suggest you look the term up and learn why it such an economic driving force.

                    You are proposing a return to the 18th / 19th century…its really is laughable

                    If you proposal is so achievable why dont we see 100’s of small (3 – 5 person) clothing companies dotted around NZ? I will give you a hint the answer starts with ‘S’

              • bbfloyd

                the time to talk investment capital is once the company has achieved enough market share, and possibly by then, export potential to need significant expansion.

                • I’m in agreement with everything else you’ve written on this topic in this thread bbfloyd, but surely you’re not ruling out venture capital?

                  I know talking about the DFC is akin to goosing the vicar these days, and I don’t support bureaucrats “picking winners” and handing out taxpayer funds.

                  But when the DFC was withdrawn, the chances of a NZ startup getting venture capital went with it.

                  When I was actively in politics the lack of venture capital was the first equal complaint I heard (the other was the imbalance in the Family Court, but that’s another post). I was, frankly, amazed at how many ideas are out there that just need what is (in our terms) micro finance to produce a prototype and explore markets.

                  ABC Australia has a series called The New Inventors. Every week for an entire season they feature three product ideas that have at least some degree of potential. Converting just a third of those into businesses holds the potential to boost the country’s balance of payments (since many have export potential) and put thousands into work.

                  Australia, of course, is short of workers in the mining states so their strategy is to shift people from the non-mining states to fill the vacancies. NZ doesn’t have that luxury.

                  Just scroll through the inventions on that site and I’m certain you’ll see dozens of potential businesses. Sadly, the show often does a “where are they now” segment, and the inventors of a few series ago say they can’t find venture capital.

                  I reckon that if we incentivise genuine capitalism – taking risk in the hope of reward – and disincentivise property speculation, we’d be amazed at the explosion of inventiveness, business startups, employments and eventually exports that would result.

                  • lprent

                    Getting capital is still the biggest pain in the arse in doing startups. There are venture capitalists out there these days which is a let better than it was 15 years ago. They get an arm and a leg but are sometimes worth it. Most ventures still start with mortgaging a house…

                  • bbfloyd

                    sorry for the tardy reply rex.. no, i’m not ruling out venture capital. what i am saying though, is that historically, some of our most successful industries have started life as a “cottage industry”.. i would agree that once a business has become successful enough to look to move towards national, or international growth potential, then venture capital would be a necessary step.

                    i can easily envisage many small local businesses providing the goods we use every day at competitive prices. and making profits doing it. not large profits necessarily, but enough..

                    one of the major problems with the business models i have heard touted seem to be geared towards maximizing profit, ultimately at the expense of quality,and/or service.. i would regard this as regression rather than progression.

              • Uroskin

                Sounds exactly like Mike Baldwin’s ladies’ underwear factory on Coronation Street. Highly mythical even in soap opera terms. Delusional in real life – even at the high end (Italian underpants designers now offshore manufacturing too)

        • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.1.3

          Weak NZ dollar?! If you’re looking to buy your tools from the US there’s probably never been a better time for you (or indeed just about anyone else) to do so.

          The Australian dollar is nudging parity… of course Australians are eyeing cars and Disneyland holidays and US clothing labels bought on ebay. As usual the government has no plan to capitalise on the situation by encourging reinvigoration of the manufacturing sector. Indeed it’s lamenting the effect of parity on exports coz, you know, all Australians can do is grow food and dig holes in the ground…

          Too many people have been brought up over the past 20 years hearing this so that even those ostensibly on the left (like Australia’s present PM) treat it as though it’s writ in stone. It’s not, and if we think a little laterally then the falling US dollar could, for precisely the reasons you mention, make retooling a possibility.

          Then it’s a matter of rethinking our tax system to make property speculation unattractive and thus encourage productive investment…

          Of course I could have it completely wrong. But what annoys me is that no one (aside from a handful of people such as the report I’ve linked to above) are doing the research, and certainly not in NZ, because no one will challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.3.1

            Just buy second hand tooling from Australia and the US. Not too expensive. Australia because they are upgrading and the US because their (non-military) industrial economy is on its last legs.

            That’s how China started.

    • KJT 3.2

      I am sure that denied imports, a whole lot of Kiwi number 8 wire entrepreneurs would soon find substitutes.

      That could well be the best thing that could happen for ordinary NZ’rs.

      We may even avoid becoming a casualty in the USA and China’s currency wars.

      Do you really think we are going to get out of debt by out exporting all the other Western nations that are trying to do the same thing.
      Not to mention getting more and more into debt from China to buy junk from China.

      • Blighty 3.2.1

        bobby and his ilk don’t believe in Kiwis’ abilities. they’re always talking down our ability to do anything ourselves.

        • Bobby 3.2.1.1

          Im sure the #8 kiwi spirit would come out in spades…im sure we would survive -we would just be a lot poorer. If thats a trade off you willing to make so be it!

          A lot of NZ’er would not make the trade off and would leave – and thats not a good thing no matter how you look at it

          • bbfloyd 3.2.1.1.1

            you mean they aren’t leaning in droves now? they have their own suburb in perth now.. get with reality bob…

            • Bobby 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah they are – but could be a lot worse. At the moment the trade off is a 50% higher salary in Australia but move away from family / friends etc. Personally thats what is stopping me

              Are you honestly suggested that if (for example) the wage difference was 100% you would not see MORE people leaving?

              • KJT

                It is the wage difference plus high costs that see people leaving.

                Everyone is going to be poorer soon as lack of resources worldwide start to bite. Oil is not the only one.

                A country that is first in the race to a sustainable economy is likely to be better, not worse off.

                It is a problem that most of the people who can actually do things (Rather than juggle money and flip burgers) have left, but if we are a leader in the new world they may be motivated to come back.

                • Bobby

                  Agree with your basic premise but as i said before being the first to go down that path will cause a lot of hurt – better to be a follower

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Because we dont have the manufacturing capacity or expertise to produce what NZ’ers want we cant subsitute imports for NZ production.

      I’m getting really pissed off with the idiots spouting this line. We probably do have the expertise and the manufacturing is just a question of development from applying that expertise. It’s how every single country has developed and the ones that developed fastest are the ones that did so with government intervention – not foreign investment.

    • infused 3.4

      “Because we dont have the manufacturing capacity or expertise to produce what NZ’ers want we cant subsitute imports for NZ production”

      Wrong. It’s that we shop for the cheapest price. Manufacturing cannot compete with imports.

  4. bbfloyd 4

    talking of kiwi’s abilities… was it not kiwi can do and ingenuity that gave us the opportunities to become a successful, wealthy country? a quote that may be relevant..” to know your past is to know our future”.

    i for one am sick of our looking to a future that is no more than an echo of what has gone on in the last twenty years. time to break the cycle of stupidity.

    • Bobby 4.1

      Got us to ‘where’ today – a continious decline in the OECD rankings since we lost our direct and preferred access to UK market a few decades ago?

    • KJT 4.2

      40 years of idiots in parliament. From Muldoon who taxed sunrise industries out of existence to pay welfare to farmers, Douglas who let his mates steal everything that was not nailed down to Key who thinks we will get rich by selling the remainder of our productive assets.

      look to successful countries, not failed States like the USA and UK.

  5. ZeeBop 5

    If only! The reasons kiwis left NZ to find work, careers, returned! If only the economy was not aplace
    for foreign speculators to make profits and no capital gain taxes to crimp them. The argument that
    we would not find the capital is disingenious since all those Kiwis who left will start returning in force.
    The developers won’t mind, it will mean a booming property market. Exporters won’t mind, larger
    more consistent consumption by Kiwis is actually a bugger buffer to build off to then export.
    One thing’s for sure, we’re catch Australia.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Foreign investment is how countries develop.

    That has got to be the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen any economist say. Britain didn’t develop and become a major empire through foreign investment. In fact, such investment was out and out banned and they also tended to be having wars with the people who could have done the investment.

    Foreign investment is how developing countries like Brazil develop.

    And even then it’s still not needed as they already have the capital to develop their economy. They have the people, the education and the material resources. It’d be a little slower maybe but development would still happen.

    New Zealand is not a developing country – it has the growth profile and, potentially, capital depth of a developed economy.

    Actually, I think we at the point of having to develop a stable state-economy. One that produces enough to cover what we need (with the proviso that it be within ecological limits) and no more. And we have the capital depth – it’s not money that causes development to happen.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Gareth Morgan needed to switch off his economics brain to write that piece. Was someone holding a piece to his head? That’s what it read like.

  8. Gareth Oxymorgan ?
    This guy has been on record about climate change etc … didn’t he write a book about it or something?
    His ideas belong with the dynasores. Economic growth is killing your children’s futures
    But what the hell no one gives a toss.
    Keep paying into Kiwi Saver you 18 year olds, Oxymorgan thinks we will have an environment worth living in when you retire.
    Humans are no smarter than yeast.

  9. john 9

    I think Gareth Morgan is a really nice guy but his social and economic opinions are the failed ones of selfish greedy neoliberalism. Just as Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle
    than a rich man to get to heaven. I think Gareth’s privilege from wealth completely blinds him to the social well being of all NZers, which is don’t sell off your free hold house to buy goodies from overseas! Otherwise you’re renting someone elses house (Who lives overseas and may not even be a kiwi!)while you enjoy your imported goodies.I know which I prefer!

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      John.. i agree that morgaging our future in order to have flash new toys to play with is short sighted stupidity.. gareth does seem like a nice bloke, when he’s not expounding his economic theories that is.

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    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    9 hours ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    12 hours ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    2 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    2 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    4 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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?" ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    5 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    6 days 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
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