Should the Government spend massively more?

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, August 8th, 2019 - 58 comments
Categories: business, capital gains, capitalism, kiwisaver, treasury, uncategorized - Tags:

With yesterday’s announcement by the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates by 1%, some are suggesting that the government should embark on a massive public works spree to stimulate the economy while increasing national debt at low interest rates.

This RBNZ move is by some measure a strong intervention by the Reserve Bank. As National’s media release noted, the only times in its history there has been cut of this magnitude has been “after the 9/11 terrorist attack, during the Global Financial Crisis, and after the Christchurch earthquake.”

The Reserve Bank’s primary concern is to get households and businesses spending more, to get more dynamism back into the local economy.

Wage rises are low, business investment is low.

But the crisis the RBNZ is signaling simply hasn’t happened. It’s nowhere near happening. We have about as many people able to be employed as we are going to get. GDP growth in the economy is still going at around 2.5%, and we remain in one of the longest cycles of sustained growth since World War 2. If there is a crisis to come, far better that government pay down debt now, increase social spending now, gently push up minimum wages, and keep even more stimulus for when it really does hit. That has been Robertson’s theme for this government, and he’s right.

Groups such as Infrastructure New Zealand want to see huge new projects get off the ground to stimulate the economy.

But there are no workers to be had to do any more infrastructure work.
Projects such as City Rail Link’s new Alliance are about to suck over
1,500 people both locally and internationally out of labour hire and consultancy businesses. If Auckland Light Rail got the green light tomorrow, the skill shortage would mean that most staff would need to be imported, even if some were pulled from the South Island. We haven’t even got the Auckland-Northland rail upgrade decision, but if we did there are no more rail workers to be had anywhere either.

After the limited effect of government interventions in the housing market, this government is not motivated to spend more of its political capital and ministerial careers chasing bulldozers uphill to corral families to buy houses they just can’t afford.

And in 2020-2021 we have additional stimulus in America’s Cup, APEC, and a slew of big sporting events.

So no, the government does not need to try a big debt-spree.

I am also skeptical that any stronger-directed plan from the massive Provincial Growth Fund would necessarily generate superior outcomes to what it’s already delivered. I’m sure there are Treasury and MBIE cone-heads who are running defensive counterfactuals about what the economy would be like without it, but that’s a mirage.

By any measure PGF is a big intervention, and there’s no sign adding more interventional cash would actually give a big marginal increase in private sector investment.

The other move the Reserve Bank is implying is stronger wage rises. We have to be honest and admit that there won’t be any sector-wide wage awards this term. The instruments to do it no longer exist and are just being slowly rebuilt. The remaining unions in New Zealand with any strength have fought and won the increases they are going to get.

There is otherwise no labour-side pressure on employers to increase wages. Even with such labour scarcity, wages are showing weak rises even now.

No, the lesson the New Zealand economy is going through is this:

Lead yourself.

Too much of the limited private savings that we have is lazy. Far too much of Kiwisaver is in default conservative settings. Instead of looking at pushing for compulsory Kiwisaver, and annual sit-downs with your investment manager to check on their health, public officials are just tooling around with ethical reforms.

Even an average-quality Kiwisaver should be able to show you every company you are invested in.

If government wants to stimulate the economy, it should force the entire Kiwisaver regime to work far harder. It could go for compulsory Kiwisaver, and it could go for a higher level of savings out of wages, such as going for 5% private + 5% compulsory business contribution.

Pump up the volume. Doesn’t have to go for the Australian 9% compulsion standard. But annual savings meetings with advisors would mean we lead ourselves to make our own money work harder in our own economy.

The second area of absent leadership is from business itself. Fonterra and Fletchers are very seriously damaged. We have few remaining large locally-owned businesses left, and still more of them like Westland Milk are leaving or being sold off. The previous 9 years have had few world-beating companies rise up, because private capital was all sucked into the housing speculation boom as mortgages. So there’s no new Icebreaker generation pushing through the ranks. We have thousands and thousands of tiny businesses, and on average they are getting smaller.

We have actually zero leadership from our New Zealand Stock Exchange, or Business New Zealand. No one wants to list, and the rare few who are prepared to list such as Xero prefer Australian listings. Nor is there any will shown by the likes of Business New Zealand to engage hard on cross-sectoral engagement with the government. They are a bunch of fucking lazy self interested moaning bastards.

Can anyone remember the last time a business leader stood up and said:
follow me, I know completely what businesses in this country needs? Me neither.

Business, buck up and lead yourself.

New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses will have to figure out themselves how to burn off their own mortgage burden and redirect their own money into businesses they want to see grow.

I hope Minister Robertson says to every critic this coming week:

You want strong economic leadership? Look in the mirror and start.

58 comments on “Should the Government spend massively more? ”

  1. Ad 1

    Correction: "… cut interest rates to 1%…"

    • joe90 1.1

      … cut interest rates to 1%…"

      For now…

      It’s longer retirements, stupid.

      That, in a nutshell, is why negative bond yields might not be a nonsensical bubble ready to burst but actually natural, according to Joachim Fels, Pacific Investment Management Co.’s global economic adviser. More people in developed economies are living longer and need to save for decades of retirement, which, according to Fels, is causing a radical shift in how people prioritize immediate spending compared with future consumption.

      In a blog post this week on Pimco’s website, he laid out perhaps the most concise and straightforward case I’ve seen yet for what structural changes are behind this phenomenon of paying for the privilege of purchasing debt:

      Once upon a time, economic theory maintained that people always value today’s consumption more than tomorrow’s consumption – and thus display positive time preference. People would therefore always demand compensation in the form of a positive interest rate in order to forgo current consumption and save for the future instead. People were viewed as impatient, and the more impatient people are, the higher the interest rate has to be to make them save.

      This made sense in a world where people usually died before they retired and struggled to satisfy basic needs. However, it can be argued that in affluent societies where people can expect to live ever longer and thus spend a significant amount of their lifetimes in retirement, more and more people demonstrate negative time preference, meaning they value future consumption during their retirement more than today’s consumption. To transfer purchasing power to the future via saving today, they are thus willing to accept a negative interest rate and bring it about through their saving behavior.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/opinion/articles/2019-08-07/is-pimco-right-that-negative-yields-make-sense

  2. Stuart Munro. 2

    "We have about as many people able to be employed as we are going to get."

    Those of us who recall the full employment of the late seventies and eighties will recognize this as the usual pathetically lazy neoliberal cant. NEETs still need a livelihood, and the unsuitability of the gig economy is amplified by the constraints of living on a small group of poorly governed islands.

    • Ad 2.1

      It's the second time this century that unemployment has been this low.

      https://teara.govt.nz/en/graph/24362/unemployment-1896-2006

      The other time was at the end of Helen Clark's era.

      Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

      • Stuart Munro. 2.1.1

        Only because it's measured dishonestly.

        Prior to Rogergnomics, 1 hour a week wasn't misrepresented as a job. When Labour tells the truth they can be better than National, but when they resort to lying there is no choosing between them.

        • Ad 2.1.1.1

          If Te Ara the official history site of New Zealand has a conspiracy on unemployment stats going, you should let them know what it is.

          • Stuart Munro. 2.1.1.1.1

            If they're not capable of keeping an honest ledger without my help they shouldn't be in the job. They'll have their numbers from Stats of course, and anomalies like the thousands of extra jobs in Whangarei posted during the term of the previous government showed that there was no rigour whatsoever in their numbers. Fatuous claims of record employment by the Clark government fool no-one. They were better than the Gnats under Shipley, but that is all.

  3. indiana 3

    Why not refinance the current national debt and pay less interest instead?

  4. woodart 4

    good comment about economic leadership. all the free market wonks want and have had hands off driving from successive governments, so piss poor local private economic leadership is a case of" beware what you want" and ,as you say, look in the mirror. the call for big works runs slap bang into not enough workers, and no housing for those non existant workers. too much money sitting in term deposits doing nothing. but what to do with it. ? crappy local business management (shipley, etc), and crappy penalties for that management have scared many Kiwis off investing in share markets, and aussie banks dont give much confidence. investing in retail real estate is not a goer, with internet shopping and earthquake rules killing that off..Im thinking of taking my term deposits out and buying driftwood. thats about as stupid as doubling the population to increase growth, but without the environmental damage, and longterm downside.

  5. R.P Mcmurphy 5

    correct in every assumption advantage.

    GR is new zealands themistocles.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Look at getting prisoners working. I know it isn't supposed to be done, but it may be that is not the best policy to keep them locked up when there are tensions. Perhaps cycle the jobs; a few from each area, and then give others an opportunity to work with It would give them a break.

    • Stuart Munro. 6.1

      It's a good idea – maybe for seasonal demand like orchards. But the thing is not to exploit the prisoners. Pay them the same as others, maybe limit their access to the money till they're released, but make it so their experience is positive, and it will go some way to rehabilitating them.

    • SPC 6.2

      Building homes is where they should be employed and related trade skills – electric fit out etc.

      Either at a prison prefab factory or bused to a pre fab factory.

      They are doing this small scale now – but just one home at a time training.

  7. Pat 7

    The government very much do need to engage in an infrastructure spend…but not so much for the fiscal stimulus though I expect that will be necessary soon enough….this is the time to convert the foundation of our infrastructure away from fossil fuels and given the fact it will take decades to achieve there is time to direct and train the required expertise (even though it should have begun years ago)…having said that the expectation anything resembling this will occur is about nil

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1

      I would vote for a social spend. Education, health care, poverty. There are huge, unaddressed, problems in NZ.

      • SPC 7.1.1

        Some are advocating handing out money to people to spend – imported goods and holidays – which is truly stupid.

        We currently hand out over billions of dollars a year in super to people who are working, instead of fully funding health and education (pay and staffing and equipment) and Pharmac, lack of state houses, poor support to those sick and dsiabled, 90% abatement over $80 for those on ben benfits etc etc.

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          The handing over superannuation to people who are working is part of a serious situation concerning the number of older people who do or not contribute to society. It is not helpful to throw around emotive unsourced statements like "currently hand out over billions of dollars a year in super to people who are working,". It is important to think about this and if you wil give us the figures and how the demographic is rising for some years for comparison, then we will be able to see the extent of this situation.

          • SPC 7.1.1.1.1

            Yeah na.

            Nothing emotive about facts. It is the case and it is getting worse year by year because the number of people 65-70 is larger and larger each year and more of them are working in these years than in the past.

            It's already over $3B pa and will soon be over $5B pa and that is after tax paid.

            People who are disabled get less than super and get taxed 90 cents in the dollar on any work income. Talk about injustice.

            • greywarshark 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I do not agree that there is nothing emotive about facts. There are ones that I feel very strongly about and rightly so.

              So you are saying that superannuation paid to those who are working is $38 billion per annum and soon to be $58bpa (paid work for how many hours pw – 30 hours full-time equivalent?)

              If you would give a source for the above to assist looking into it that would be helpful. I am very interested in the situation of getting a truly collaborative society going, with all people contributing their talents as appropriate. And the problem in a poorly paid society that has resulted from deliberate actions of the government, is that if older people work on after retirement age, the younger people who could move up to the better paid level of seniority are blocked from gaining this period of decent pay and saving a little for their retirement.

              Fair treatment for the disabled, and indeed for working parents, both of whom have difficulties to cope with in life, should be looked at by any decent people-centred democratic political party.

              • SPC

                I'll get around to it. For now – the amount paid in super to those still working is over 3 billion per annum 3B pa and will grow to over 5 billion per annum 5B pa within a decade or so (on current trends).

        • mike 7.1.1.2

          land lords will just suck up the extra money there a real block on makeing any progress to affordbility

      • Pat 7.1.2

        An infrastructure reset has the potential to concurrently address many of those issues…social housing, public transport, retraining would all b major components of a reset and given the scale and timeframes it would require more than a gig economy

    • greywarshark 7.2

      Pat I think we are at end times for our present society. We cannot afford to throw our hands up in the air and say resignedly the likelihood of action is about nil.

      Now is the tipping point. The fact that lprent is commenting about himself that he needs to get his arse into gear etc. is a sign of how we all are aware of urgency, and we should be looking for leverage to get things done, not be resigned. Unless we want to resign from our present planet.

      If we got going on infrastructure with the single-mindedness and almost fury of the Chinese, and we do the right things in the right way keeping in mind likely sea level rise and fault lines etc and adjust anything we do to match these with perhaps limited life for some, then we will boost the economy, and give jobs back to people who need them.

      We can have special training for supervisors who know how to manage those who have grown an idle backbone while they have been shelved like broken toys, and eventually have a resilient country ready for the various disasters that will come.

      And we can be developing new technology, getting southern agencies for overseas tech innovations, of a physical and practical nature, not all things on screens that are just symbols about things and vanish without electricity or batteries to keep them going.

      Keep growing our own food locally and mostly in NZ; build apartments with allotments round them that the owners or lessees work which can be a co-operative food farm for the local area. This tipping-point can result in a flowering of ideas that normally get over-ridden by know-it-all consulting superiors.

      • SPC 7.2.1

        The thing is we are doing the opposite in some of these areas – we are building houses on the best growing land for our winter vegetables for example.

        https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/08/08/guest-blog-bryan-bruce-your-vegetables-just-became-more-expensive/

      • Pat 7.2.2

        GWS….as SPC noted in reply the indicators continue in the wrong direction and hitting your head against a brick wall not only becomes self harming it achieves nothing.

        Grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change

        The courage to change those things I can

        And the wisdom to know the difference

        • greywarshark 7.2.2.1

          Cripes wise one. Stand on the train tracks and spend precious time deciding whether it is best to jump into the river on one side, or the dense forest on the other. It is wise people like yourselves, uncontaminated by harsh reality as you make your sane and measured plans that bring us to this crisis.

          I remember a journalist with deep knowledge of the African continent talking about a fast-presenting crisis of farmine in Biafra I think. The Red Cross had the matter in hand and would be prepared in about 4-6 months to mount aid. But he said with emotion, there is only an estimated 2 weeks sufficiency of food left.

          Action now is needed, and bright young minds better get onto it, because the cholestorol rate is high amongst many commenters who have the time and capacity for comment and criticism. Help yourselves, because NZ will only react to crisis, not pro-act in an intelligent way.

  8. Nic the NZer 8

    "We have about as many people able to be employed as we are going to get."

    Fark sake, the unemployment rate is 3.9% which means 1 in 25 people in the work force answer yes to I would take a job if i could find one. That is in no way insignificant and worthy of casual dismissal.

    This and the wage question indicates the government should setup a job guarantee program, to provide full time work to anybody who wants it.

    Finally on the question of NZs savings rate, most of what is mentioned is 100% irrelevant to the problem if not harmful. For exampe raising mandatory savings to 5% takes the difference is consumption spending away. This reduces aggregate demand which if anything lowers economic activity (not as implied raises it). On the other hand if you can get all that saving converted into consumption spending then this raises demand and what kicks in then is businesses borrow (which automatically creates the monies) and invest to capture that demand. Your "suggestion" works in the opposite direction and would exacerbate problems.

    • lprent 8.1

      I haven't for a while looked at the long-term unemployment stats nor the household survey looking at people who'd like to work. If I can get it, I prefer to look at those by region to get a sense of where the persistent problems are.

      Anyone looked at them recently? Any comments about the residual finagling of them that National so loved to do – like booting people off the roll temporarily with courses and makework?

      I should get off my lazy coding arse and have a peek at them for the last few years.

    • SPC 8.2

      It could go for compulsory Kiwisaver, and it could go for a higher level of savings out of wages, such as going for 5% private + 5% compulsory business contribution. Pump up the volume. Doesn’t have to go for the Australian 9% compulsion standard.

      Yeah I agree this would do nothing to increase aggregate demand

      Requiring increased investment locally might but at the risk of lower returns on the savings.

    • Ad 8.3

      Kiwisaver funds are placed into companies. On average this is more productive for NZ than encouraging consumption and mortgages, which is the direction Mr Orr pointed us to. It's not a meal it's a sugar rush.

      We won't get higher wages unless we earn it through higher productivity.

      So there's plenty of scope for Min Finance in Kiwisaver both in rates and in investment direction, if he chooses, to get mechanisms working harder, and spending more in our economy in the right way.

      • SPC 8.3.1

        It's really only in buying up new share issues that Kiwi Saver can assist with increased investment – and obvious sure fire wins here could and should be being financed via bank loans with interest costs so low.

      • Nic the NZer 8.3.2

        "On average this is more productive for NZ than encouraging consumption"

        This is either dead wrong or at best depends on a rather weird definition of productivity (e.g what is your operative definition of productivity). If we take a reasonable definition such as, income per hour of work, then its dead wrong. Most businesses have significant slack and therefore can increase output without significant extra (mostly wage) cost directly due solely to selling more output per unit time (e.g higher consumption turnover). That makes complete fiction of your central claim.

        Also, as you highlighted increased productivity has most recent times just flowed into higher capital share and not fallen into most pay packets anyway. Until that is being addressed the concern about the growth in the productivity rate remains spurious. Productivity is at present substantially out of whack with the median wage rates due to decades of political neglect of this concern.

        • Ad 8.3.2.1

          New Zealand will be a high productivity society when:

          – we make continuously smart choices about savings and investment versus instead of focusing on current consumption;

          -dynamic and competitive markets, which we don't have because so many of them operate like near-cartels

          -openness to trade and to international connectedness, which we do pretty well at;

          – high awareness of external influences, which we are narrowly good at;

          – rapid uptake and smart application of new technologies, which we do really badly on average at given we make so much bulky and heavy commodities still

          – and increasing demand for highly skilled and creative people.

          Don't take my word for it. Ask the Productivity Council. As for my point about the importance of capital shallowness upon business productivity in New Zealand, this article was useful:

          https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/pq/article/view/5080/4524

          My experience in the infrastructure, construction, and local government funding agencies like NZTA and AT and water companies is that there's no slack anywhere. They are one of the few lively economic growth areas still.

          Also in central government broadly, health, education, and Defence get plenty of new capital but there's no effect on the economy for years because they don't have the people to do it. It's exactly the opposite of slack .

          Your theory sounds good. But in the practice of those two dominant business sectors of our economy right now, it's simply not borne out in reality.

    • mike 8.4

      as a gen x i have had to pour money into saving for retirement way beyond 10 percent more like 40 percent because i just dont beleave super will be there for us its easy to say spend spend spend but when you feel that gen x is going to be stripped of super to pay for the boomers there is a crises of confidence to do any spending at all and most of kiwsaver money is sent off shore .

  9. UncookedSelachimorpha 9

    We don't need more jobs – we need better paid jobs.

    Low unemployment with low wages is a huge problem…and is actually very similar to slavery. The power of capital has been used to manipulate politics to yield exactly this outcome – wages are decoupled from labour availability.

    • SPC 9.1

      It's $17.70 MW now and will be $20.00 MW in April 2020. That should apply upward pressure on wages c $18.00-22.50 (was 50% premium on MW at $15).

      If it does not then we will have a large proportion of the workforce on or near the MW (and solely because we allow employers to bring in workers from offshore, rather than train up locals).

      • Nic the NZer 9.1.1

        The wage discussion (in sectors where the minimum wage is relevant) is actually about part-time roles and limited available hours more then it is about the minimum wage rate.

        The government should setup a job guarantee which will provide up to full-time work to anybody who wants it at the minimum wage. Providing that alternative will immediately create pressure on minimum wage business to provide a more favorable alternative (higher wage, better conditions or more enjoyable work or maybe more flexible hours).

  10. SPC 10

    There is one quite quick way to increase economic activity.

    Sort out

    1. the consents for small (mobile) homes – as a mobile building.

    2. a legal framework for the placement of these buildings/mobile homes on existing sections (sans subdivision – lease of the land off the existing title holder).

    There is a lot of spare section space available for this – and it makes for a increase of land supply required to make a difference.

    • Dukeofurl 10.1

      Thats not an answer at all.

      You have so many suppositions

      'one quite quick way" Nope , the clue is tiny houses are tiny economic activity

      What we have is poor quality housing of a low standard ( thats what not following existing consents means- I have heard others say here some of our housing standards are too low !)

      'lot of spare section space available for this'- a dream!

      This will create future slums- a general term for mass housing built without regard for basic building consents

      • SPC 10.1.1

        You are so very wrong.

        Quickly built homes are productive activity – not just because they house people the most quickly (especially the factory built) but because they reduce rent costs and thus improve the aggregate economy.

        And kickstarting the home building factories in this way (by creating some demand) develops the basis for a major change to our home building costs in general.

        A tiny home is often very high quality (affordable quality).

        There is a lot of unused land on the front of sections and there is no way placing such new homes on this land would turn a street a few are on into a slum – no more than a few back of section infills would do (most of the owners are going to be first homeowners before they have children or oldies downsizing).

        The higher density means a much lower cost to councils in infrastructure and they would get more rates (off the higher capital value with the small home – whose owner pays a lease for the land).

  11. SPC 11

    Are wage rises low (4% in the past year) – or just low compared to rent increases?

    As for work.

    1. we are not utilising the large prison population
    2. there are many casuals and those on contract work being exploited (paid to work less than they do and travelling between jobs unpaid and at their own expense).
    3. there are those under-employed on casual contracts or in part-time work – thus we under record full-time unemployment (significant in a high rent housing market)
    4. we have those on benefits unable to work part-time without 90% abatement on their work income
    5. we have major under-investment in labour substitution because labour is exploited so cheaply – which means we have a larger working population for the work output than we should – thus immigration and pressure on infrastructure.

  12. cleangreen 12

    Yes Ad,

    We should now fund another ‘public works infrustructure rebuild’ of our sick infrustucture now, as the following position I set out here speaks why, and it is backed by the ‘local government’ because they are now caling for funding local bodies to takle the coming climate change.

    We are seaking up for this.

    “Government must use rail for climate change mitigation.”

    The latest political polls suggest that Labour are losing support for a second term Government.

    We at CEAC have been for 19 years fighting to restore the regional rail services on the East Coast from Gisborne to the ‘main trunk line’ at the Palmerston North rail hub, so we can use rail to export-import/distribute our 35% of all NZ’s export products that we in Gisborne/HB collectively produce every year.

    Rail is a far more fuel efficient mode of transport to move every tonne each km than truck freight is, while rail emits far less GHG (greenhouse gases) to help fight climate change, and produces no tyre dust air pollution which causes cancer and nervous system damage as tyres are made from petroleum and is a form of plastic synthetic nylon, while trains have ‘steel wheels on a steel track’ = no wheel air pollution being emitted.

    Today on the news we see that the Local Government (LGNZ National Council) is calling on the Central Government to put into place a “National climate policy” and give financial support for the regions to use to combat the effects and causes of climate change.

    We searched for a Government financial policy for regional local Governments to request assistance from and only found this older (mfe) ‘Ministry for the Environment’ document.

    https://www.mfe.govt.nz/climate-change/climate-change-guidance/guidance-local-government-preparing-climate-change

    This Local Government (LGNZ National Council) call to Government to produce a clear National Climate Change policy fits exactly what our CEAC Environment Centre has been requesting of successive governments for all those last 19 years and we commend local Government for making the call today.

    We recall;

    PM Jacinda Ardern stood on the Auckland Town Hall Podium in that memorable first pre-election speech in September 2017 saying “Climate Change is our generations nuclear moment” and said “lets do this” but so far we have not seen any real “National climate policy” even in the Governments ‘year of delivery’ before the 2020 election which is fast approaching, so we are reinforcing the local Government (LGNZ National Council) call to Central Government to get a ‘National Climate change policy’ in place now.

    Firstly Government now needs to heed the recommendations in the ‘Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’ (PCE) 2005 report to Government https://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/pdfs/Hawkes-Bay-Expressway-Noise-and-air
    -quality-issues-June-2005.pdf

    The (PCE) report (link above) calls for a more integrated approach that promotes alternatives such as buses, cycles, and trains and a greater co-ordination between land use and transport planning.

    So as history shows; that when the last Labour Government in 2005 under PM Helen Clark received the PCE report above from the PCE in 2005 with those recommendations to make more use of rail then on ‘HB export transport activities to Napier Port’ recommending to use rail to reduce the increase of the national truck fleet inventory, Labour did respond then, as PM Helen Clark and Michael Cullen as Finance Minister moved to buy back our former NZ Rail infrastructure in 2007/8 which was a great start for restoring our regional rail infrastructure again after years of languishing in a dysfunctional privatisation model that did nothing but “defer all maintenance” on the rail infrastructure and sell parts of it off slowly until the whole network was at risk of collapsing. – During the National Government nine years rail was left to die a slow death with most of the regional rail funding redistricted to the Auckland/Wellington passenger rail services only.

    So finally Winston Peters our Deputy PM, and Leader of NZ First is now with his Minister of Regional Development the Firebrand MP Shane Jones actually the only part of Government who are actually promoting rail by using the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to lower our carbon footprint from overuse of truck freight still today expanding unchecked today.

    Government should instead restore all adequate funding for our restoration of all regional rail to all our regions that produce all of NZ’s exports such as Gisborne/HB does, to increase our economic wealth, while lowering the GHG emissions from transport that is still not being reduced since Labour took over in 2017.

    “Lets do this”

  13. SPC 13

    After the limited effect of government interventions in the housing market, this government is not motivated to spend more of its political capital and ministerial careers chasing bulldozers uphill to corral families to buy houses they just can’t afford.

    The major problem is there are only so many first home buyers who can afford to buy a new build.

    They need to increase the number who can buy.

    1. they should include those who bought one bed room apartments and flats as starter homes to get onto the market

    2. those who already own (larger) family homes but who are downsizing to a lower maitenance smaller sectioned Kiwi Build.

    Promoting Kiwi Build as affordable family homes for first home buyers was a mistake.

    3. The most radical option would be to sell some to first time landlords as an investment option (given the low bank deposit rates and fuilly valued stockmarket)

    Of course there are also shared equity and rent to buy alternatives – but they have a different cost structure than the Kiwi Build programme.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Couldn't the government start a first house buyer saver program for young people who are working and earning? Whatever they can save in two years, the government put in the same as a deposit, and give them a ten year low interest mortgage? And allow them to have boarders – this could mean that they could buy some of the larger homes and take in family members who could contribute. This would use up big houses which may be sitting empty, get reliable working and saving people housed in stable communities hopefully, and also provide housing for others which would reduce the pressure on rentals.

  14. SPC 14

    If there is a crisis to come, far better that government pay down debt now, increase social spending now, gently push up minimum wages, and keep even more stimulus for when it really does hit. That has been Robertson’s theme for this government, and he’s right.

    I agree with this somewhat. It’s classic management of the economic cycle

    A MW boost, improved social spending – enhancing government delivery capability (public health and education and housing and conservation etc), some social justice in pay and benefits is just what a first term Labour government is required to do.

    The government has adjusted its debt target out to 2023. But should as Greens have suggested move from the 30% GDP spending cap (for 2017-2020) as well to increase flexibility for any downturn.

    However the problem with government boosting spending on infrastructure later in any downturn is that we are already at workforce max in this area. Thus it is important to invest now in increased workforce capability.

  15. soddenleaf 15

    So because those nearing retirement save more than spend, we will be getting negative rates. That presupposes that we have the same population spread. I thought that was why we have 2+% because we haven't the old's others do.

    Hey makes sense, be paid to borrow to get educated, paid to borrow to buy a home, but unlike to happen here, Japan sure.

  16. Jenny - How to Get there? 16

    Should the Government spend massively more?

    By: ADVANTAGE

    Hi Ad, The Government are already spending massively more…..

    Wait for it……

    On the military

    NZ military $20b shopping list: Planes, boats, soldiers, satellites and drones

    Stacey Kirk11:31, Jun 11 2019

    Defence Minister Ron Mark made the announcement alongside the release of New Zealand's Defence Capability Plan, which lays out more than $20 billion in planned spending – detailing timelines and expected budgets for major new pieces of military hardware….

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113363745/nz-military-20b-shopping-list-planes-boats-soldiers-satellites-and-drones

    No austerity here

    And nobody bats an eyelid.

    Suggest the same amount of extra spending on Health or Housing or the Climate and witness the screams of outrage from the Right.

    • Dukeofurl 16.1

      Military have always had fanciful 'shopping lists' but you are right to raise that issue.

      The reality is within the defence budget there is capital spending of say $600-700 mill per year. Any purchase have to come out of that.

      Stacey Kirk used to work in Business development for a defence supplier Thales before she went into journalism… so its a bit of rah rah in that.

      Hospitals would have way more spending than that 'over 20 years' which is what the defence stuff is about

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 16.1.1

        Hospitals would have way more spending than that 'over 20 years' which is what the defence stuff is about

        Dukeofurl

        Granted.

        But the $20 billion gifted to the military is on top their normal operating budget.

        The hospitals haven't been gifted an extra $20 billion to spend over 20 years on top of their normal operating budget.

  17. sumsuch 17

    Fuck yes. To the headline. You're not a demo-crat if you believe otherwise. If you are opposed to the force majeur that delivered the anglophone countries to laissez-faire and the rule of the rich then you must be for a strong government acting for the people, not to mention, the general interest.

  18. sumsuch 18

    Advantage, we want to throw off the 84 imposition. Nothing else is good. Revolution. That elite carries on because we are divided, atomised to the max. They've been proved wrong, just need a whiff, and now the [deleted] chairman of the Reserve Bank is saying 'be gone', resisted by a [deleted] Labour mental case economics minister (see Chris Trotter).

  19. sumsuch 19

    I can be harsh about the details people above, but I would conscript them all to run govt. Geez (my B.A. brother won't respond to a recent letter cos of that 'word in vain', I assume, despite him recently nearly killing himself by his unrealism) dear human Bruce Jesson was successful in the world. Prepare your stutters and humanity, detailers for humanity above.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A worrying sign

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

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

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

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

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    21 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

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

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

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

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

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

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

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

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-07-23T15:45:46+00:00