Shallow recession this year but the future looks tough

Written By: - Date published: 12:03 pm, September 26th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: climate change, economy - Tags:

We all knew New Zealand was in recession in the first six months of this year. The official figures have confirmed this. The surprise though is on the upside. The consensus had been that the economy had shrunk 0.5% in the quarter. In fact, it was 0.2%. Remember that this figure occurred during the height of the latest oil price spike. Petrol increased 13% in price over this period. So, the fact that our economy could weather this storm better than expected speaks to its underlying strength.

Conditions have improved in the last few months. But things look set to get tougher in coming years. The current credit crunch and the global waves of volatility moving from one market to another (housing, shares, oil, gold, commodities, food) are signs of the global economy reaching the limits to growth. In the next few years we will face ever higher oil prices as peak oil hits and shortages of other resources will flow from that (as an example, there is now a waiting list for the huge tyres mining trucks use: the ingredients are oil and rubber, there is not enough oil, and rubber plantations are being replaced by palm oil grown as biofuel). We will also face a demographic shock as the baby-boomers retire: the housing market will tank, the workforce will stop growing, while the number of dependents will rise. Larger than all of these concerns, climate change is happening more rapidly than anyone predicted. In the last few days, plumes of methane gas have been reported rising from the Arctic Ocean; it appears the undersea permafrost is melting. If you don’t understand the implications of that, I’m afraid you will in the coming years.

42 comments on “Shallow recession this year but the future looks tough ”

  1. Ooh oops, we haven’t had the first bailout passed or it appears the banksters need another US$ 500 billion.

    John Key, managing director for debt and bonds and derivatives anybody?

    US radio and tv presenters are calling for the arrest of Paulson, Bernanke and the other Wall street banking scheisters and here we are going to elect one of the scheisters in as a prime minister because “They want to give him a chance and people can chance even though he is a proven liar and investment banker/gambler.” Mindbogling.

  2. John Stevens 2

    Clark is a proven liar as well so it is all even.
    Doone
    Speedgate
    Paintergate
    Winston
    Can’t really call Cullen a money man, he is a history teacher.

  3. Billy 3

    Ev,

    Congratulations. You have been quite restrained on 911 and depleted uranium in the last little while.

    Now could you please shut up about the so-called international banking conspiracy.

    Thanks. That’d really help me out.

  4. Felix 4

    Dr Cullen has a phd in Social and Economic History. He’s also been Finance Minister for about 8 years.

    But “history teacher” is what you’re going with? Riiiight…

    And don’t use “gate” to denote a scandal, it makes you look ridiculous. It’s like you don’t know how to write English good.

  5. lukas 5

    anyone know what the solicitor general is being investigate for?

    captcha- obvious damages…. is that our first clue?

  6. Quoth the Raven 6

    In the midst of this economic crisis does anyone actually think National’s idea to increase borrowing is good?

  7. Pat 7

    “In the midst of this economic crisis does anyone actually think National’s idea to increase borrowing is good?”

    Yes. Increased spending on infrastructure improves productivity and provides contracts/work for businesses (when they sorely need it), which increases demand for jobs, which increases wages and immigration, which increases overall tax revenue, which increases government spending on social services.

    Just my personal opinion.

  8. John Stevens 8

    Felix – ‘don’t use gate…’ wtf, heard of watergate??????
    With a cats name you don’t need to tell me how to write English. I have more than adequat skill levels at that my friend.
    In the 1990s HC wanted spending as a percentage of GDP to increase from the level of near 50% it was at so it’s a bit rich to say otherwise now.
    This country needs productivity increases to survive so investment is needed.
    Labour don’t know what investment is but they know how to spend.

  9. Billy 9

    John Stevens,

    This comment is the last word on the use of “gate” to describe a scandal.

    It is a little unimaginative.

  10. Billy,

    John Key is a lying scheister and he has made his money selling crap to pension funds and mum and pop investors with the Wall street binds and Derivatives ponsy scheme and a 47 floor building twice reinforced to withstand a nuclear blast does not collapse in a freefall speed of 6.5 seconds in a cloud of dust into it’s own footprint after a couple of hours of light office fires.

    So get fucked OK? Jeez.

  11. Billy 11

    Ev,

    I think everyone is well aware of your views on this and the two other topics you consider explain everything that has ever happened in the history of the world.

    So, really, there is no need to go on about them on every thread.

  12. And Billy,

    Why don’t you add something to the debates here instead of you pathetic baiting. Your getting to be quit boring.

  13. Billy 14

    That’s it, Ev. I am the boring one.

  14. Matthew Pilott 15

    Billy – I’m not sure which ‘gate’ comment you were referring to, there were several funny ones.

    Funny, I’d almost forgotten Absolute Power exists – you read it?

    I have a new one – knobshinegate – for everyone who uses “-gate” as a suffix to a ‘scandal’ – coz they are.

    Trav – Will you be watching “Sunday” on TV1 this…Sunday?

  15. r0b 16

    “In the midst of this economic crisis does anyone actually think National’s idea to increase borrowing is good?’

    Yes. Increased spending on infrastructure improves productivity

    As long as the benefits outweigh the costs of servicing the debt,
    yes it does. But increased spending on tax cuts does not improve productivity. So – is National’s idea to increase borrowing for tax cuts good?

  16. Don 17

    Lukas, since everyone else seems intent on regressing to the kindergarten, I’ll answer your question. He is being investigated over a breach of section 111 of the Crimes Act, which is to do with issuing a false declaration. From what I understand of the background to the case he could well be in for the high jump.

  17. Pat 18

    Rob – I arrange loans for a living, so it is pretty simple:

    Borrow $500M, and infrastructure spending does not increase by $500M = money was borrowed for tax cuts = National not re-elected.

    Borrow $500M and infrastructure spending increases by $500M = increased tax revenue = that’s how tax cuts were funded.

    By the way, John Key gets to sit in traffic on the North Western motorway on the way to his Helensville electorate, so he gets plenty of time to contemplate the non-productive costs for all the business vehicles stuck in the same traffic. The Greens don’t like it, but the economy needs better motorways. Try being a plumber on a bicycle.

  18. Matthew Pilott 19

    The Greens don’t like it, but the economy needs better motorways. Try being a plumber on a bicycle.

    So what if everyone who lived within 200m of a public transport access point, and worked within 200m of a public transport exit point, and did not have to carry more than 5 kilos of tools to work each day, used public transport?

    Apart from the immediate collapse of the public transport system due to a lack of capacity?

    So, what would it cost to improve said capacity vs cost of improving motorways, thus encouraging road usage, thus increasing car usage, thus necessitating better roads, and so on?

    On your other point, if $500m borrowed and taxes cut by $500m over Labour’s cuts, and Labour weren’t going to borrow anything, tax cuts funded by borrowing = poor strategy at present.

  19. Pat 20

    “On your other point, if $500m borrowed and taxes cut by $500m over Labour’s cuts, and Labour weren’t going to borrow anything, tax cuts funded by borrowing = poor strategy at present”

    Matthew – the Labour line is that National is borrowing for tax cuts. National says they will borrow to spend on infrastructure.

    Retrospectively, it will be easy to see who was telling the truth. Just look to see whether all the large motorway projects get brought forward.

  20. Felix 21

    I think it was this piece of gold from SP:

    “The habit of labelling every mini-scandal ‘x-gate’, no matter how minor or whether it has any similarities to Watergate, is the single worst aspect of New Zealand political debate, except for Peter Dunne.”

    And sorry John, but it is retarded. The only appropriate use I can remember is “Whitewater-gate” scandal in the U.S.

    (When you do it like that it’s called a pun, John)

  21. Pat 22

    Matthew – on the other point. The whole issue needs some lateral thinking and fresh ideas, plus a sea-change in our habits.

    Why does everyone stop and start work at the same time? = traffic conjestion.

    Why do schools start and stop at the same time? Why do parents drop their kids off and pick them up in their cars?

    Plus fixing/completing the motorways also means adding the bus lanes and associated park’n’ride infrastructures, safe cycle lanes, bybassing of conjestion points, and access and parking to train stations.

  22. Matthew Pilott 23

    Pat, I reckon if they give greater tax cuts, but then borrow and bring forward spending, it’s still borrowing for tax cuts. It is forgone income, in a backward sense, and forgone income they will need to borrow to cover.

    Some of those ideas are great – I know the public service is looking at flexible start times in order to reduce peak road demand (shouldn’t the private sector be leading the way?) and you are right – things can’t stay as they are indefinitely.

    I generally suspect the majority of motorway construction is purely roading – some of this is necesary, but it’s not the whole answer. So th eeconomy doesn’t need new motorways – it’s an expensive and short-term solution. Fortunately, we’re getting on the right track, electrification of rail, new busways: that’s what will make a real difference.

  23. Pat 24

    “Pat, I reckon if they give greater tax cuts, but then borrow and bring forward spending, it’s still borrowing for tax cuts. It is forgone income, in a backward sense, and forgone income they will need to borrow to cover”.

    Your argument only works because you are ring-fencing these things together. You forget that the flow-on effect from better infrastructure is greater tax revenue.

    We could go on for hours but I suspect this is a philosophical argument that you and I would never agree on.

    Also, I admit my view on motorway infrastructure comes from the point of view of a business owner in West Auckland. Completing the motor connections (Waterview/Hillsborough, Hobsonville) is required before the associated commercial land can be developed. 70% of Waitakere residents travel to work somewhere else in Auckland. We need these people working where they live.

  24. Matthew Pilott 25

    It’s not specifically ring-fencing those two elements of goverment finance. If they cut revenue (taxes) and need to borrow anyting, then they are borrowing for taxes. Although if they are specifically borrowing for infrastructure, then I’d point to the other side of the balance sheet, to where the revenue was cut.

    Put it this way – if they could invest in that infrastructure without tax cuts and without borrowing, then we get the flow-on benefits, without the cost of borrowing.

    We need these people working where they live.

    Who planned that city anyway! I guess that’s what happens when you get no regional planning and a series of medium-sized towns in close proximity…

  25. Draco T Bastard 26

    Pat:

    Plus fixing/completing the motorways also means adding the bus lanes and associated park’n’ride infrastructures,

    We don’t want the buses on the motorway any more than we want the cars on the motorway. We should be making those bus lanes as light rail instead – it carries more people than buses, it’s far more efficient and less polluting. Have the car parks for park-n-ride and have the buses feeding from the suburbs to the closest train station.

    IMO, National are borrowing for tax cuts as it’s highly unlikely that the infrastructure that they invest in will be able to pay for the interest that will be charged on the borrowings especially considering the credit crisis and recession that the world seems to be in ATM.

  26. ramsey 27

    Nice linkage of John Key to Global Warming.

  27. ramsey 28

    By the way, you website tried to install a .jar trojan onto my PC, why is that?

  28. Felix 29

    It’s because you touch yourself at night.

  29. The comments on this post read more like Kiwiblog than the Standard.

    I’m amazed anyone still trots out the painting thing with a straight face.

    I don’t see how anyone can think trying to raise money for kids is bad compared to lying about owning 100,000 shares of TranzRail while seeking sensitive commercial information about that organisation.

    How a speeding cop makes Clark dishonest is equally unclear.

    If this is the worst these folk have against Clark then she must be a saint.

    Whereas: National wanted to whore the lives of Kiwi soldiers in the invasion of Iraq so we might get an FTA with the USA.

    Whereas: National has – serially – attempted to deceive voters as to their real policy intentions after the election (2005 and today)

    Whereas: National wants to introduce PPPs on a vast scale – despite overwhelming evidence PPPs lead to higher costs, less service and reduced transparency with public money…..precisely at a time when crony capitalism has been shown to be another name for corruption and a recipe for failure.

    Winston Peters is master of his own fate. Trying to hold Clark or anyone else responsible for that is simply wrong……and being wrong does seem to be a defining characteristic of National’s crew of party hacks.

  30. T-Rex 31

    http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2008/09/how_the_financial_crisis_started2.html?kipad_id=5

    I strongly recommend the above to anyone nearing panic over the state of the international economy, or just anyone who’s interested in the background.

    To all those who thing CEO’s are acutually worth all the money they’re paid – What do you think the CEO’s of all these banks were taking home? And what do you think they deserved to be taking home in retrospect, considering the standard of their corporate guidance?

    Let’s take the case of Robert Willumstad, CEO of AIG. An annual salary of -$95Billion seems pretty reasonable to me in light of the reduction in market cap he’s overseen…

  31. jbc 32

    Steve W,
    At the risk of sounding like a Kiwiblogger [don’t like the atmosphere over there actually] I’ll just say that those Clark things, while relatively harmless, do show that she can tell fibs when she thinks it best (I didn’t know we were speeding).

    I guess that’s the point. It just adds some perspective to the Clark / Peters / Key honesty finger pointing Mexican standoff. [I think Winston has already been shot but refuses to play dead.]

    Back on topic, SP has a bloody good post covering so many things at once (although education was left out – surely an important economic factor). Could easily be dozens of topics under similar headings. All things that affect the bulk of New Zealanders.
    It’s a shame that so much media and public discourse gets wasted on (in my opinion) less important politics when many important issues get sidelined or politicised.

    All of SP’s points have the potential to impact people just as much (probably more) than their pay packet. They are even more important factors if you are jobless.

    I understand this is “The Standard” and I have read the About/FAQ. I don’t know where SP and others find the time to write – but some more posts from the fellow Standardistas with their views on similar apolitical topics would be welcome for the “free thinkers” among us (unless of course you prefer to keep the site as a conversation along other lines). You never know, you might broaden your influence. I might appear here like a Nat – but I’m not that simple. That probably applies to most NZers.

  32. T-rex 33

    “I’ll just say that those Clark things, while relatively harmless, do show that she can tell fibs when she thinks it best (I didn’t know we were speeding).”

    Absolutely. I don’t like it, but i’m prepared to put up with it because, as far as I can tell, she hasn’t actually lied about anything that actually matters. I’m sure she WOULD if she had to, but at least she conducts herself in such a way that she doesn’t need to. I mean speeding is not too flash, but to be fair she did have a police escort. The painting thing is the ultimate in irrelevance – I couldn’t give a flying f*ck in a thunderstorm if she rips off a bit of sh*tty artwork for charity once a week. And as for Peters – she wasn’t open, but why should she be? It’s his grave, he’s been digging it just fine.

    I’m worried about Keys lies because they seem like they could have a bigger impact were he prime minister – Insider trading being an obvious issue. And the part that really bothers me is that I think he genuinely believes he’s not really doing anything wrong, at least not for his customary values of wrong.

    Anyhow, totally agree with you. If we could get more attention on the big issues it might help with drawing peoples focus away from the bullsh*t and onto the policy. I like Clark more than Key, despite thinking she’s pretty arrogant and has started to think of herself as “indispensable” which is always a bit of a worry, but the reason I’m supporting the left (and via Green, not Labour) is that 95% of their policy is just flat out better. National is flaky, and on the key issues don’t even believe in the policy promises they’re making. That points to a far more dangerous future for all of us than personality issues with a PM who despite possibly being a bit more full of her importance to the process than would be ideal is, ultimately, doing a pretty awesome job.

  33. T-rex,

    Hear, hear.

    Especially with the economic meltdown not being a paltry US $ 700 billion. That’s just how much they can have outstanding at any given time if the bailout gets passed.

    The actual amount of speculative crap that John Key and his Wall street mates have ratcheted up is closer to a Quadrillion (1000 trillion).

    I don’t want a man who is that irresponsible borrowing more money from his mates to bail them out and gets us in debt.

  34. T-rex,

    Thanks for the link, it’s a good article.

  35. T-rex 36

    No problem, pleased you liked it – thought it was a good summary.

  36. T-rex 37

    THIS though… this is hands down the coolest idea for a resolution I’ve seen so far:

    http://www.overcompensating.com/posts/20080924.html

  37. yukkity 38

    [lprent: stupid troll. ]

  38. lprent 39

    jbc:

    I’ll just say that those Clark things, while relatively harmless, do show that she can tell fibs when she thinks it best (I didn’t know we were speeding).

    Ummm – I’ve seen Helen a lot over the decades. She always has her nose down reading or working on something. It is what she does. I saw her on TV at the netball the other night, and she was working, probably on her speech.

    I’ve also worked with her a lot over the years on local campaigns. She doesn’t micromanage unless people raise issues or something shows up that indicates a problem.

    I believe the “speeding” thing because she simply would have said that she’d like to get to X by Y, and if there wasn’t any discussion, then gotten down to work. Those cars and for that matter roads are pretty smooth so there wouldn’t have been anything much.

    She doesn’t lie, but she will not always help reporters or opposition MP’s out if they don’t ask the right questions. That is pretty legitimate.

    It’s a shame that so much media and public discourse gets wasted on (in my opinion) less important politics when many important issues get sidelined or politicised.

    Agreed. But that is the state of a “talkback” media. They assume that the population isn’t capable of adsorbing anything more. I suspect that is where they are wrong.

    I don’t know where SP and others find the time to write

    With difficulty. I find that writing stuff that isn’t code takes me quite a while. But I can shove thousands of lines of code together in a short period of time. Different talents. I like moderating 😈

    People pretty much contribute whatever time they can spare. At this point most are concentrating on stuff to do with the campaigning of the ‘left’. If they are going to spend time on this rather than grass-roots then they use it as effectively as possible. I know I do.

    I’d expect that after the election there will be more wide ranging pieces, and for that matter that we’d be able to pick up more posters. At present all of the really interesting people are engaged and so are we about having time to find them.

    I might appear here like a Nat – but I’m not that simple. That probably applies to most NZers.

    Who is simple in their beliefs? However around here you tend to get concerted attacks by the goon squad from the rabid right whenever you show any intelligence in posts.

    As you probably remember I’m probably the most right of lefties you’re likely to meet outside of Act. It is just that I recognize that you have to work with people to do things. Act seems to want to coerce.

    Incidently there was a lovely line that Wilson said the other night (referring to Act). Something like Labour has had to provide the ideas for both the Left and the Right.

  39. randal 41

    morning all…must answer John Stevens and his crude allegations denigrating the Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Minister of Finance MIchael Cullen. this is the same line being promoted on twiedmee this morning as if these people suddenly got lucky and elevated to the highest positions in the land because of some mumbo jumbo that john stevens cant understand. Well all I can say is if New Zealand gets boy racer turbo capitlaism on the 8th then we are all stuffed john stebens included.

  40. Randal,

    We’re stuffed anyway. Ye biggum financial tsunami can no longer be avoided. The economic growth of the US was not through wealth producing middle class jobs.
    Those had been outsourced to China but in the finance industry. Speculating with securities, hedging and betting to the tune of a quadrillion and selling predatorial mortgages to unsuspecting idiots who believed you couldn’t loose with owning your own home because the prices would always rise followed up by tricking people into taking on ever more debt to borrow cheap shit made in China.

    America is bankrupt because the banksters have been running amok in a totally deregulated market and now those same criminals want the bankrupt Americans to cough up to bail them out while still retaining the right to foreclose on them.

    the FBI is investigating Fanny and Freddy and a couple of other subprime lenders and as far as I am concerned they should put all of them in jail.

    And here they want to vote one of those irresponsible gamblers to become the next prime minister even though he already tells us he’s going to borrow money to pay for tax cuts. Go figure.
    It is absolute mayhem and if George Bush looks like a deer caught in the lights that is because he really is petrified. not because of the economy because that’s a goner no matter what but because he and his banking mates really don’t want to be found out.

    Captcha: penny thousand. No not even that is gonna help. LOL

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    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    4 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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