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Sleight of hand

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 am, February 18th, 2009 - 27 comments
Categories: economy - Tags:

We’ve been saying for some time that the $9 billion of fiscal stimulus that the Government claims it is putting into the economy in reaction to the global recession is no such thing. In fact, the Government is spending within the ordinary increase in spending allotted by the Budget back in May. And it is spending it on policies either put in place by Labour before the election or promised by National before the credit crisis. This is spending that would have happened anyway dressed up as a recession package, which it is not. Over at Pundit, Tim Watkins and Nicky Hager have excellent pieces detailing this economic sleight of hand. There ought to be some blushes in the press gallery that they have fallen for it so completely.

The one time it has been put to Bill English that most of his so-called recession package is spending that would have happened had there been no recession, he replied he can’t do much more compared to other countries because Labour started reacting to the recession in May. Which is bollocks. There was no recession package in last year’s Budget because when it was released in May we had only one quarter of negative growth and, while a technical recession was expected for the first half of the year, everyone expected us to pull out of it – the twin punches of the peak of the oil spike and the credit crisis had not yet hit. But just because something is bollocks doesn’t mean you don’t see it parroted again and again.

On a side note, it is worrying to see that Key seems willing, once again, to ‘bend the rules’ (ie break the law and/or constitutional convention). This time, he’s indicated he would be willing to ignore restrictions on foreign investment to get capital for Fisher and Paykel. I know it is unfashionable to put things like constitutionality ahead of style but I for one am worried at this pattern of behaviour. If the rules wouldn’t produce the right outcome, the Government should change the rules (or seek Parliament’s approval for changes), rather than bending them.

Anyway, F&P is a solid, profitable company just in need of some more capital. Rather than ‘bending the rules’ to let some foreign company take over F & P, why don’t we put up the cash like we did with Air NZ and keep the profits here, in New Zealand?

27 comments on “Sleight of hand”

  1. BLiP 1

    Goober John Key will do what ever his big business masters tell him to do and it seems his first orders are to ransack the economy starting with the looting of the Cullen Fund and Kiwi Saver cash. . The indolence of the MSM amounts to collusion so it is great to see the blogsphere pick up the mantle of the Fourth Estate. Thank you.

    The sleight of hand in relation to the so-called measures dealing with the up coming recession is frustrating. It would seem that big business is not interested abating the inevitable consequences, preferring instead to see a significant pool of unemployed in New Zealand to better facilitate profit by controlling the workforce. The situation under Labour where there was a demand for workers is an anathema to the multinationals operating in our economy. This is why National’s economic measures amount to zilch.

    Of course the government should bail out F & P – not with a gift of cash – but with the puirchase of a piece of the business. Moreover, that purchase should be funded with Kiwi dollars, not Goober’s foreign mates money. If the Cullen Fund and Kiwi Saver are to be looted, then let the money at least stay in New Zealand.

    Eeeek! Did I just agree with a National Party policy? Still, National have already proved that what it says and what it does are two different things.

    Hahaha – captcha = shares reduction – is it sentient?

  2. infused 2

    I do agree with you on F&P. I have a funny feeling however that F&P is going to leave NZ shores anyway.

  3. ryallsghost 3

    Boo Hiss!

    We hate the darstardly John Keys.

  4. vidiot 4

    F&P are bleeding because they didn’t calculate correctly the costs of relocating 400 odd jobs from NZ to Mexico/Thailand. And the government should invest in them, for what reason ? Anyone else fail to see the irony in that ?

  5. BLiP 5

    Vidiot

    Yeah, it is ironic. Yet another example of the level of management expertise at work in New Zealand. Another Feltex waiting to happen.

    But – if the government takes a piece of the business it become entitled to influence the direction the company is taking and to stop the exporting of jobs. At the risk of being burned at the stake for modern heresy, the government could also slap some nasty tarriffs on the imports and, thus, further protect the F & P jobs for a couple of years . . .

  6. vto 6

    Your post contains yet more evidence as to why people should not rely on govt to get things right or economists and the like to make entirely accurate forecasts, where you say;

    “in May we had only one quarter of negative growth and, while a technical recession was expected for the first half of the year, everyone expected us to pull out of it ”

    Really! “Everyone expected us to pull out..”??? Get real.

    If you believed that and the wonks then, how on earth can you have any certainty about your economy ‘beliefs’ now? Such as you continual blathering on about stimulus this and stimulus that. It is proof of cred failure.

    Dreamland then and dreamland now.

  7. ghostwhowalks 7

    F&P problems seem to both the downturn in demand and unstated financial manoeveurs that have meant its debts have blown out massively almost overnight.

    Was it currency hedging that has gone wrong ! . Key is just the sort of man that would have given advice that got the company in the poo over currency speculation to start with AND then offers the way out

  8. vto 8

    Oh, and yeah, no to F&P. I have only so much money and for the govt to take more off me for some other blighter in similar straits simply gets a big NO. We need every cent of our own for ourselves. F..k F&P.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Steve, there are several pertinent points here:

    1. It is the effect of stimulus packages not who dreamed them up that is important. Prior to the crash in the world economy there was a lot of concern in NZ about the inflationary effect of spending/tax cut packages announced by both National and Labour. Consequently, the existing measures should be stimulatory in themselves, even if that is the end to the stimulus activity. Also, some spending is brought forward meaning the cash hits the economy earlier.

    2. There is considerable disagreement amongst economists and the market generally about whether the massive stimulus packages will be successful in any case. Just look at the continuing downward trend in the markets despite the announcement of stimulus packages worldwide. If the stimulus packages fail, then many countries will have mortgaged themselves and future generations up to the hilt for nothing.

    3. As a small exporting nation we will probably be more affected by the success or otherwise of stimulus packages overseas anyway. If things go well with the international stimulus effort, then we stand to gain without the risks.

  10. vto 10

    tsmithfield “If the stimulus packages fail, then many countries will have mortgaged themselves and future generations up to the hilt for nothing.”

    Not quite… Governments, not countries, will have mortgaged themselves…

    As I’ve said before, these are debts that few of the public have requested. If govt debts blow right out then expect heavy resistance from the taxpayers when it comes time to pay it back. Tax riots. Weakened govts. Social unrest. Political change… the whole works. Govts are exacerbating that by continuing to wrack up the iou’s.

    Perhaps, instead of more debt as a solution (and everyone knows that is not a solution), we should start on the long term solution right now and simply grunt our way through the tough time which will come sooner or later. Go through it sooner.

    That solution is called “living within your means”. Simple. And easy to do (plus or minus). It applies to individuals and families. It applies to corporates and businesses. It absolutely without doubt applies to govts, both central and local.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Tsmithfield, are you Tony Norriss?

    [lprent: You know that I don’t like speculation of that sort. There is a reason using pseudonyms – it encourages robust discussion]

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    I agree with the righties on F&P. No corporate welfare. The government should not support unsustainable business practises. There is no need for those people to lose their job if F&P fails. They can do what workers around the world have been doing and occupy the plants and run them themselves. It ought to become their property, after all it is their labour that has been mixed with it for so many years.

  13. djp 14

    F&P is a solid, profitable company just in need of some more capital.

    Apparently your view is not widely shared (hence the drop in share price).

    If you think they are a good investment then invest your own money.. dont try to force my tax dollars into the farce.

    According to some people I know F&P have made some stupid decisions… lets not introduce a moral hazard into the equation

  14. djp 15

    Quoth the Raven,

    Hear hear on the “No corporate welfare”.

    As for workers commandeering the property, that is called theft where I come from.

    I suppose if you pay me to fix your plumbing I now have a claim to said property? After all I just “mixed” up my labour with it.

    Frankly the whole idea sounds ludicrous.

  15. Pascal's bookie 16

    You know that I don’t like speculation of that sort. There is a reason using pseudonyms – it encourages robust discussion

    Fair enough, I could have phrased it better. But it’s a fair question.

    Take a look. Scroll down to comments

    It’s not about ‘outing’.

  16. You know,

    Sometimes I wander over to this blog from the activities on my own and lo and behold the postings and comments are beginning to look a little bit more upset and a little bit more like what the fuck and dare I say it a little bit more in tune with what I’ve been trying to tell everyone the last year or so.

    Perhaps in the near future (within the next year) when we see starvation and civil war on the streets of America and the prison camps, all 400 of them are filling up with political prisoners perhaps it might not be such a bad idea to investigate when, why and how it all went so horrible wrong and how come so many bankers (Geitner, ex President and CEO of the privately owned Federal Reserve of New York is now the secretary of Treasury working to keep the Federal Reserve in private hands according to his own words) are advising Obama.

    And perhaps then the average hard working, honest to a fault, naive Kiwi’s will finally wake up to the fact that this was all just a rich prick’s game and that John Key is one of them. Sleights of hands is what he has earned his money with. Not an honest days work in his live but a continuous 20 year long scam and why change a habit of a lifetime? Eh? It worked before and thanks to the thickness of the average sheeple it still works a charm.

  17. Matthew Pilott 18

    vto, it’s not about spending more money, but making the most of this situation. Labour planned to invest in our idle resources – people. If someone is unemployed, instead of giving them a benefit, give then a grant or loan to retrain, so when things pick up, there are people to take up the extra work.

    What National have announced are just regular day-to-day outgoings of government. None will help New Zealand when things pick up again after the credit crunch. The Kopu Bridge or a sharp corner in the Rimutakas? All well and good, but where’s the bloody inspiration?

    Where’s the change you all voted for? All you’re getting from National to counter the recession is what Labour paid for, but two months sooner, without the useful stuff Labour promised. What a change eh?

    I think Clark was right about voting for a bloke with training wheels.

  18. burt 19

    Steve P.

    Anyway, F&P is a solid, profitable company just in need of some more capital. Rather than ‘bending the rules’ to let some foreign company take over F & P, why don’t we put up the cash like we did with Air NZ and keep the profits here, in New Zealand?

    No Steve, When I wanted to buy a washing machine, dishwasher etc over the years I’ve paid more for it than it cost F&P to make because we have had tariffs. When tariffs started to be removed F&P went crying to govt that Asian manufacturers were “dumping’ inferior goods and that was hurting their profit. As a result of this tariffs went back on. So once again we (the consumers) are left paying more than the goods are worth to protect F&P profits. F&P had a record profit year the year that special tariffs were slapped on Taiwan importers of “inferior’ good.

    (Inferior according to F&P note that all most people want is a machine that washes their clothes or their dishes and most people don’t use the 372.5 extra options that come with the “quality’ machine but not the “inferior’ machine )

    So, you say throw money at them but you also bagged them for putting profit ahead of local jobs when they announced they were shifting manufacturing off shore. IB went as far as to suggest we boycott their products If you want to keep them afloat why don’t you buy some shares yourself?

    I’ve paid through the nose for either F&P products or other products with inflated prices to protect F&P for many years now why should I continue to prop them up simply to help them generate enough cash to shift more of their operations off-shore?

  19. vto 20

    MP, many on here, including SP in this thread, constantly bang on about not keeping up with Rudd and Obama. That is spending more money. And putting payment off until the future, which is another form of debt. Which caused all of this in the first place. It just doesn’t make sense imo. That’s what I was getting at..

    Re politics and your question ‘where is the change?’ Well there is no Clark or Cullen or Peters. That is one very substantial part of the change that was voted for. So give that part a big tick.

    And there is certainly a change in approach to issues. Key is very different to Clark in how issues are attended to.

    And there is change in legislation – employment, RMA, etc. So the change is there. Whether or not it is good is another question and I think we know roughly what people’s views on that are.

    Re forward projects, bringing forward previously allocated work has quicker effects than starting new ones and I guess that is why that has been done. Makes sense, if you think stimulus is a good approach. Why would it not make sense?

  20. Matthew Pilott 21

    Why would it not make sense?

    because there are few second-order effects. You build a road, road builders get paid and spend more, and Aucklanders can get to Whangamata faster for holidays.

    You train people, you don’t pay a benefit, they are helping to maintain employment in the education sector, we increase the skills of our workforce, and it will be far more responsive to new growth.

    It’s not about keeping up with Obama and Rudd purely on monetary terms, but doing what we can smarter then we are now. What we’ve got is an incredibly cautious, conservative and reactionary approach. But that’s the real change people voted for. The examples you mention, while important, won’t necessarily have the impact of this issue. If they botch up the RMA and employment law, that can be fixed. If they botch NZs reaction to a recession, it will stay botched.

    That is spending more money. And putting payment off until the future, which is another form of debt. Which caused all of this in the first place. It just doesn’t make sense imo. That’s what I was getting at..

    About debt, I think it’s unrealistic to compare goverment debt to ride out a recession and prepare our country for growth in the future with people bankrupting themselves for plasma TVs, and taking negative equity loans under any circumstance. That’s what started this. Although i’m not promoting debt for the sake of it, nor advocating a high level – i think that a certail level, for good reason, will pay off now and in future.

    Your statement about personality politics is probably unfortunately true – those people are indeed gone, for better or worse.

  21. vto 22

    Well MP you had better tell SP that as he is the main one who keeps referring to the amounts and things that Rudd and Obama are concocting, and to needing stimulus etc.

    Re training people rather than straight out benefits – pass. Sounds good but sounds like that hoary old chestnut of trying to pick winners etc. Easy to mis-train etc. Don’t know really – not my area.

    Re second order effects I’m not quite sure. If a road gets built that frees up movement then a second order effect is that, for example, a person travelling to a meeting may spend one hour less in the traffic which frees up that hour for productive work.

    Re debt, you’re right there is a difference between private and public, but not much. The problem at the moment is that govts in the western world seem to be piling it on at a ridiculous rate. Printing money. Burdening future generations. It just all seems so messy and poorly thought out. Remember, govts got it wrong in the 1930’s so chances are they will get it wrong again – I mean that is their track record. They do things with the next election in mind of course (with a secondary eye only on the good of the country. don’t they.)

    Lordy I probably always sound like some constant govt complainer. Bloody govt this, bloody govt that. But on this issue that is the way it is imo.

    How do things come right? Here is one thing …

    Forget all I said above for a moment. I have just got off the phone from my solicitor who said a meeting yesterday with three banksters (love that word of travellerevs) indicated that the financial system was starting to loosen a bit. So perhaps the govt interventions are in fact starting to work?? Could be. Hope so.

  22. Draco T Bastard 23

    There is considerable disagreement amongst economists and the market generally about whether the massive stimulus packages will be successful in any case.

    The stimulus packages that are bailing out businesses are just propping up a failed system. I’m amazed that people still expect everything to be Ok once the stimulus is played – after all, it’s still the same economic system that doesn’t work.

  23. vto 24

    Draco, propping them up just long enough for those execs, directors and shareholders to formulate a plan of escape – for them and anything they can gleen before the final curtain. I would suspect.

    All thanks to the ever-suffering taxpayer, courtesy of the ever-opportunistic politician.

  24. burt 25

    Paying good money into failing companies to protect the best interests of the workers is folly. If a company is not viable then bail out it’s workers, sure… Give them emergency benefits perhaps and/or give them elevated threshold of borrowing for living expenses via student loans if they retrain. Investing in the people of this country is one thing, allowing the multi million dollar a year salary bills from the management team to suck on the public tit is not a good look.

  25. Felix 26

    burt we are in agreement, for the second time this year I think 🙂

    You might want to rephrase this though: “When I wanted to buy a washing machine, dishwasher etc over the years I’ve paid more for it than it cost F&P to make because we have had tariffs.”

    I don’t think F&P would have lasted long if they sold washing machines at cost.

  26. Felix,

    I was just going to say. Friggin hell Burt, where on the same page on this one.

    Burt,

    I am not fond of the callous side of Capitalism. The each for themselves attitude. We are humans and as such not designed to live in isolation and only out for number one.

    We are literally build to live in communities that usually share no matter what we are being told by the Money Masters.

    But if you are the proponent of the capitalist system it does not make for a nice picture if, when things go belly up after years of happy profiting, you appeal to the empathy of the village community part in our collective brain.

    According to old Maori rule, I have been told, you can have your share of the harvest if you came when it was time to plant and you partook when it was time to weed in the communal garden or even helping a friend with his garden.

    Well, F&P have only worked their own patch and had everybody work on it for small pay when the going was good and when they could work a patch with even cheaper labour the dropped their loyal workers and profited from the even cheaper workers and now it’s time to pay the price for their lack of loyalty. They didn’t work the communal patch and they can just drop dead as far as I’m concerned. The community needs all the resources themselves and we don’t have excess to help those who profiteered all these years.

    If Capitalism is all about making it on your own than they should have saved for a rainy day.

    vto,

    I’d love to claim the term “bankster” for myself but it was a man by the name of Ferdinand Pecora, who was the chief counsel to the US Senate Committee on Banking charged with investigating the collapse of the banking system in 1930. The same committee also came up with these gems to describe the scams the banksters came up with: prestidgitation, double-shuffling and even honey-fugling and hornswoggling. LOL.

    These days the term Bankster is a mild one. Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal and a lifelong Republican voter calls them “shyster bankers” in his latest essay.

    One thing I would like to clear way though. Most bankers I know are honest hard working people who are responsible with money and they really try and do a fair job in the real economy and who have no idea what Wall street and the City of London are up to. I have banking friends who are just as confused and scared as the rest of us. The term Bankster is a term that describes the members of the small elite which rules Wall street and the City of London. The power behind the throne as it where.

    I consider John Key to be part of that world because he had a position in that world that made him an insider. He was the Global head for Forex for Merrill Lynch during some of the most scandalous and most manipulative episodes in the existence of Merrill Lynch. A scandal which centred around Merrill Lynch’s involvement in the Asian Crisis through their involvement with the LTCM hedgefund, a Forex betting scam. (Asian currencies being John Key’s speciality) and in the aftermath and known as the “Smiling Assassin” being invited as only one of four upon invitation only advisors to the privately owned Federal Reserve of New York in the most crucial time in the whole sorry history of the mess we are now embroiled in; from November 1999 until May 2001. Just after the last piece of banking regulation was removed and the banks could go all out in their destructive greedy rampage.

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    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    5 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    1 week ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected
    Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
    Finding reality needs more than wishful thinking. The problem is that statistical arguments often provide a jargon to confirm biases. Image credit: Accurate Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking in Gambling I worry at the way some ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), through its skills and employment programme, Te Ara Mahi, is investing a further $1.6m into Tairāwhiti’s workforce development, said Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “This PGF funding follows on from significant PGF investment earlier this ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ First welcomes primary sector support for climate change plan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s steps to reduce farm livestock emissions are necessary and timely. Today the Government and farming leaders announced a plan to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025. “Many farmers ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones hits back at activists upset with immigration changes
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has hit back at those who are upset over a change in approach to partnership visas. There has been a specific government directive to stop waiving requirements such as couples needing to have lived together for 12 months - a test Indian couples who have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Next steps in Northland line upgrade underway
    The North Auckland Line rejuvenation kicks off with teams surveying the rail corridor and Northland construction contractors are showing interest in the project. KiwiRail provided an industry briefing for Northland contracting and construction companies about future work opportunities on rejuvenating Northland’s rail lines. The briefing session in Whangarei was held to ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
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