Sleight of hand

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 am, February 18th, 2009 - 29 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?

29 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 big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    5 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
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