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It’s the society stupid

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, September 17th, 2013 - 102 comments
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What comes first – the economy or the society? The only point of having a good economic policy is because you have a strong vision for society to which the economy contributes to build.

The media keep saying David Cunliffe has a left wing economic policy. Actually he has a left wing social policy which is built on the best traditions of the Labour Party egalitarian values. To deliver on that vision the Party needs to have a strong left wing economic policy but one that is aligned and contributes to that social vision. It seems to me that that is what it is doing, putting the social vision first.

Cunliffe set it out nicely, in short, on the radio yesterday – where people have a fair go regardless of their background and that fair go includes having a warm secure home, a job that pays a decent wage and live in an environment that will be sustainable for generations to come. This is a social not an economic vision – the economy serves the community and not the other way around. Building an economy that provides for this requires jobs growth (e.g R&D support, training policy, supporting a diverse industrial base, a tax system that builds the productive economy, strong public services etc etc), labour market regulation (e.g allowing for fair distribution of income in wages), housing policies that deal with supply ( e.g. both good state housing supply and support for low cost housing), and a green growth agenda (e.g R&D, investment in public transport, supporting green business innovation etc etc).

This really is the fundamental difference with the current Government. It has no vision for society – it has no concept of it. It only has an economic policy and that operates in a vaccum. The Governments bottom line is that business has conditions to grow (and only some businesses actually) regardless of who benefits from that growth, how that growth is achieved or at whose expense (including through tax funded subsidies, removal of employment rights, low and unsustainable wages, unacceptable workplace accident rates, environmental damage and dodgy favouritism like in the Chorus, Warner and Sky deals).

This economic policy is operated regardless of why it might grow and what it contributes to a good society. It has an economic policy without a social vision. Whereas Labour thinks the Chicken and Egg are mutually reinforcing – National is all Chicken.

The problem the Government has however is that apart from this approach being socially unsustainable, its economic policy is failing because a strong society and good economy are inter-connected, and in the wake of this failure it is causing irreparable damage to the society. Stories of families unable to pay for prescriptions (charges up), new home buyers now paying higher interest rates than others (nothing to address the housing crisis leaving it to crude measures by the Reserve Bank), the privatisation of our beautiful schools, university standards falling (have you notice how the fall in international rankings by Universities is of no big concern yet national standards in schools is of the utmost importance?), and numerous other social ills (unemployment etc) is disasterous, and the cost of living outstripping even middle income families in the absence of a system for fair wages distribution is now the reality.

A conversation about what an economic policy looks like within a broader vision for society and the environment is long overdue and now that it is happening – it gives me hope!

102 comments on “It’s the society stupid”

  1. Sable 1

    Yeah don’t expect the mainstream press to endorse this view they are too busy licking Keys boots….Lies and social inequality is all they care about….

  2. karol 2

    National is all Chicken.

    Indeed!

    A conversation about what an economic policy looks like within a broader vision for society and the environment is long overdue and now that it is happening – it gives me hope!

    Yes, and may it continue – but it needs all of us participating for the discussion to keep happening.

  3. Macro 3

    Helen I’ve just finished reading an excellent book entitled “What’s the Economy For, Anyway?” by John De Graaf and David K Bakter, and it covers very much what you address in your above post. They sum it up with the simple maxim

    “The greatest good, for the greatest number, for the longest run”

    The first part of this is taken from J. S Mill and Bentham Utilitarianism, the second – for the longest run acknowledges the need to take cognisense of needs of future generations and the fact that we live on a finite planet.

    The problem as I see it is that for many the paradigm is that the economy embraces all things – the environment included. Whereas in reality the reverse is true – that is, the economy is a subset of our environment.

    Thank you for an excellent post and your tireless work on behalf of others.

    • Helen Kelly 3.1

      Will look it up – thanks

    • thechangling 3.2

      The answer is Cosmopolitan Social Democracy (CSD) originally devised by David Held and critiqued by Brian Roper, a political historian at our own Otago University.
      CSD lays out the international policy changes and argues for the replacement of neo-liberal based political institutions such as the WTO, IMF, WB etc Their replacement needs to be adopted so individual countries can not be ‘undermined’ when they begin nationally based policies that create, maintain and distribute jobs, incomes and wealth and remove themselves from FTA’s that continually drain away jobs from local economies.
      I’ve asked this question of Labour MP’s twice now as to whether they intend to front up to the WTO and tell them to reject their insane policy that keeps us with 160,000 people permanently unemployed until systemic change begins at the international level.
      So far there is no reply.

  4. Tracey 4

    Agreed. This government and many of its apologists make the assumption that if everyone has money then society is taken care of … but overlooks the fact that everyone doesnt have money and “being patient” for over 30 years in the vain hope of it materialising is wearing thin.

    Be clear on what kind of society you want to live in and create and then build the ways to sustain it.

    It’s this difference that leads to people accusing the right of being uncaring. They get upset largely because they believe that promising some money in the future is the best way to care for people. They cannot counter the argument that it simply hasnt trickled down and has had over 30 years to dribble down.

  5. Crunchtime 5

    Labour believes in Chicken and Egg – both come first. National is all chicken!

    Love the metaphor here. 🙂

    Seriously, I think Labour really does need to stop thinking about policies in terms of “right” and “left”. Only what is best for the nation. Key and other National members (including it seems the press) love to be able to put things in little boxes named right-wing and left-wing.

    Ultimately this leads to thinking in terms of ideology. We don’t need ideology. We need policy that is good for NZ as a whole.

    In Cunliffe’s opening speech: “If putting a warm dry home around every Kiwi child and making sure their tummies are fed and they have shoes on their feet is suddenly far-left, well go ahead with that tag,”

    In other words. Cunliffe actually doesn’t actually care if others try to label a policy as “hard left”. He cares about whether it produces the best possible result.

    Society before Economy! Damn straight.

    Margaret Thatcher once said “there’s no such thing as society” – and put in place policies that were terribly destructive to society at the same time that Rogernomics was doing the same to NZ.

    Society not only exists, it’s a huge part of what makes us human, it’s everything to do with what gives us the right to call ourselves “civilised”.

    • Tracey 5.1

      Margaret Thatcher satisfied those who could be describedas the new aristocracy. corporate success folks who believe the masses are stupid and need to be duped for their own good.

      imagine key as the lord with some land, servants, a fiefdom…thats how he and the new aristocracy view the world. 19th century but with them in the big houses.

      hence the excitement at holidaying with the queen.

    • karol 5.2

      I agree that political parties don’t need to hammer the left-right thing and that Key is trying to use it as a smear.

      However, there is now way anyone can articulate a political position, that isn’t based in an “ideology”, or basic values.

      Ultimately this leads to thinking in terms of ideology. We don’t need ideology. We need policy that is good for NZ as a whole.

      The last sentence is actually underpinned by left wing values.

    • Rodel 5.3

      Crunch time
      Yeah but Margaret Thatcher was whatever is the female equivalent of a selfish dickhead.A brain yes but anatomically displaced.

      Helen Kelly has her brain and heart in the same place and wiIl l hope, one day be our next Helen Clark.
      Imagine the future our kids would have 9 years of the second Helen as our Prime Minister. (Dumb tory comments will be ignored)

      • Crunchtime 5.3.1

        That’s pretty much what I said. 🙂

        Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan (and the Bushes after him, and to an extent even Clinton), Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson… ideological peas in a pod.

        Karol: Call them “left wing values” if you must, if I were forced to label sensible policies for all New Zealanders as anything, pin them on the political spectrum, I’d put them in the exact centre.

        Key would have you think that anything that isn’t hugely favourable to the rich and big corporates as “left wing”. It’s not. Policies that favour middle-income New Zealanders are centrist. That’s where the bulk of Cunliffe’s (and Labour’s) policies are.

        • Rodel 5.3.1.1

          Thatcher and her ilk (Key and his colleagues included) and I’m sorry to say most of my good Tory friends (yes have some) are intellectually unable to grasp abstract concepts like ‘society’ as their education is limited to ‘groceries’, ‘futures trading’ or similar where the only relevance is the differential between the buying and the selling price, an attitude exemplified by our trader PM.They are unable to see outside the box.
          Sadly many kiwis have been manipulated by politicians,economists and the media to think only in this restrictive way.
          I hope Cunliffe and Parker’s team can change this mindset.

  6. Tracey 6

    “Let me issue and control a Nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws” – Rothschild.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      exactly. Its why the bankers were fine with left wing parties pursuing social liberal identity agendas, and ignoring the economic and monetary issues that the bankers really care about.

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        The pay out to the banks may be the biggest legal rort in history. I’m loving the campaign of Bill Nighy.

        And yet we are told it’s not this simple. But it is. It really is.

      • karol 6.1.2

        As Helen says, the left needs to deal with both social policy and economic policy in tandem. And it is crucial for policies that aim to work for a fair and less unequal society, to have an economic policy that is u underpinned and foregrounded by social policies.

        It suits the right to divorce economic from social policy.

        To get the people involved in a bottom up democratic society, the kind of society we are aiming for needs to be front and centre.

      • Lara 6.1.3

        Oh so true

        [lprent: Please settle on which handle you wish to use. We have have to release it from moderation each time you change it. ]

  7. Bill 7

    needs to have a strong left wing economic policy but one that is aligned and contributes to that social vision

    Hate to be picky. But how on earth can you have left wing economics that don’t contribute to social well being? Even I, as a market abolitionist, recognise that left wing economics in any type of market context are more geared to social good while right wing ones are more geared to private profit.

    Are you being defensive over charges of Labour pursuing left wing economics and so deflecting or being somewhat apologetic by elevating society and divorcing the two? I really do hope not. Now isn’t the time to apologise, explain away or diminish a commitment to left wing economics.

    • Helen Kelly 7.1

      Hate to be picky but you are being picky – no I am not

      • Bill 7.1.1

        Good. Just can’t understand the inclusion of that confusing, misleading and redundant ‘but’ then. 🙂

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          The problem is that “neoliberalism” has been very successful in separating the financial aspects of economics from society, and supposedly “left wing” parties have embraced a soft version of that. So the inseparability of left wing economics and society need stressing.

        • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1.2

          tsk, tsk Bill 🙂

  8. Clement Pinto 8

    Helen, nice article there. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Every policy, be it social, economic or environmental that any leader, political party or Government propose, should have the good of society and the welfare of the common people paramount in its thinking and execution.

    I would like to see Labour party and its leader come up with exciting, just, sensible, essential and fair social, economic and environmental polices to help the country, all the people, but especially the less privileged.

    We need policies that put a break on uncontrolled, greedy, so called ‘free’ market that continually widens the gap in wage, income and wealth between those at the top and those at the bottom. Such a society is not only unfair, it is uncivilised and should be an anathema for every one. The Labour party and Mr Cunliffe should not be hung up on left or right or centre policies but encompass and use various sensible fair methods to make our country a great, independent and just place for everyone, the wealthy, the poor and those in the middle.

    Someone being rich is not a problem. The problem is being rich AND being a government beneficiary with huge tax breaks, dodging taxes, getting subsidies, exploiting workers and thus being a sub civilised dishonest human.

    The wealthy need to be just and realise that their wealth HAS come from society and primarily from those that are less wealthy. They have to begin to learn to welcome higher tax rates for higher incomes to give some small reasonable fair share back to society. Even Warren Buffet says the wealthy should be taxed more. The wealthy need to realise the inequity and unfairness there is in the ever increasing wage, income and wealth gap and disparity between the top and bottom in society due to the uncontrolled exploitative nature of the free market and capitalist philosophy.

    The government needs to find ways to reduce this income gap in society before the
    masses themselves may decide to rise up and violently revolt against such excessive disparity and exploitation.

    It is therefore also in their own interest for the wealthy to change their selfish uncontrolled capitalist greed mentality and embrace socialist ideas in their philosophy and practice.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.1

      manifest

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Someone being rich is not a problem.

      Wrong. Someone being rich is a major problem as it means that resources that could be going to better uses are locked up tight and only used at the rich persons say so and they will only say so if they get richer. It’s why we have poverty in this land of plenty.

      • Clement Pinto 8.2.1

        Wanting to be rich and improve one’s status is a natural instinct and need in every human being. You can not prevent it by platitudes or laws. It is counter productive, unwise and undesirable top do so. Both common sense and history shows that. What is essential is to allow conditions for people to get wealthier but expecting and demanding of them to give some of their wealth generously back to society to help the rest of society to improve too, as I stated in the last four paragraphs of my post.

        • Tracey 8.2.1.1

          i dont and i have had the opportunity as a lawyer and walked away. greed might be an instinct but wanting to be rich surely isnt.

          • Clement Pinto 8.2.1.1.1

            It is your right to lead the life the way you prefer. Being frugal, altruistic, simple, modest may be an ideal way of life for some. The majority may have a different view.
            I am wondering how life as we know it today would have been had many of the entrepreneurs, job creators and risk takes had also walked away as you did without perusing what they accomplished : Bill Gates, Steven Tindal, Mark Zuckerberg, Fisher & Paykel etc.

            • Tracey 8.2.1.1.1.1

              yes, but that’s not what you wrote is it? Re-read your post which I replied to.

              you seem to also assume that by not pursuing money I havent accomplished anything of import?

              • Clement Pinto

                No, I did not assume so.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  Really interesting conversation Clemento, Tracy and Draco,

                  I think what you say, Clemento, re acknowledging ‘drives’ and not squashing them, has a lot of merit, however, you conflate the drive to be rich and to have social status with need.

                  I think to call these two things a ‘need’ might be an intellectual error.

                  Needs are something we can’t live without. Food, and water and shelter are needs. Love, too, is probably a need. (Social status perhaps connects with love).

                  Therefore, things you list as needs are not needs; they are perhaps closely associated with needs. Both social status and wealth make meeting our needs easier, however they are not needs.

                  In the system we have money is:
                  a) means of meeting one’s needs,
                  however it is also
                  b) a way of gaining social status and power.

                  Accumulating vast wealth for social status or out of a neurotic fear of not having enough, interferes with other’s meeting their basic needs. (due to point a. )

                  Perhaps money needs to be somehow divorced from social status by using it solely for its prime purpose; helping meet needs. In this way curbing wealth accumulation would not be the same as curbing people’s other drives.

                  • Clement Pinto

                    One can not live on bread alone. One might prefer butter, buns and cake too.

                    Who is to say/control what level or type of food, shelter, clothing or need or want one should have or be entitled to?

                    Different people have different needs and wants. It should be an individuals choice. So should the desire to be wealthy for whatever reason.

                    What the society and government SHOULD insist/control is that the wealthy do pay back generously by way of progressive taxes to help others in society also enjoy basic needs, services and opportunities. The government should always strive to reduce the widening gap between the wealthy and the poor, by working at the top as well as at the bottom. That is simply common sense, just and fair.

                    No person, rich or poor is an island. Every individual is a social being that cannot exist without his/her fellows beings. No one is self-sufficient and everyone relies on the other for successful survival.

                    What we need is an ardent, sensible, just and fair socialism that is practical and realistic.

                    • McFlock

                      Personally, I regard the desire to have much, much more than one could reasonably need while other people starve as a dysfunctional personality disorder. I’m not talking about striving for excellence, but striving for riches, power, or even mere fame.

                      Everybody has some desire for comfort and self-determination, but why would a millionaire emigrate to Russia simply because they don’t want to pay a higher tax rate in the country that enabled them to be a millionaire?

                      It’s a bit like the difference between someone who’s a bit messy about the home and someone who’s a 30-year hoarder, almost getting buried in the piles of junk. One is within the limits of reason, but billionaires who fund propaganda organisations to keep the majority poor have something wrong with them. But capitalism encourages this sort of dysfunction, it doesn’t cure it.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ McFlock,

                      +1 Very much agree

                      @ Clemento

                      I agree with most of what you say, however at first you imply an aversion to people’s predilections-not just needs- being ‘controlled’.

                      I sense that you are veering into licentiousness, rather than catering to ‘freedom’ or ‘freedom of expression’ here.

                      The difficulty with living in groups is that one person’s freedom can be the cause of another’s oppression; therefore it is fair that people have freedom of choice/expression only when their choices do not impinge on others to make similar choices.

                      When people accumulate vast sums of money, they are curbing others choices. This can be the result through a number of ways. They can physically gather more than their fair share of resources, they can cause more than their fair share of environmental damage, they have more power to control the laws, and can shape them to their advantage, they can have a powerful voice in order to get people believing that those who have less than them are in that position because they are wrong (therefore can be treated sub-humanly), they can influence people, they can bribe people. Not all wealthy people do conduct these activities, however one would have to be blind not to view current financial crises and not see that this type of behaviour has been going on for some time, and had it not we simply wouldn’t be having this crises.

                      Please remember that corporations are also considered ‘persons’ under the law.

                      So please take a second look around you and realise that curbing someone’s behaviour or wealth is not always a case of oppressive ‘anti-freedom’ laws, these laws, in fact, can free many people’s lives up that those with wealth wouldn’t think twice about oppressing; actually, it is clear that there are many in powerful positions right now as I write who don’t think twice about oppressing others and condemning them to the wastebasket of humanity; just so they can carry on following their ‘freedoms’. (Airstrikes: Syria, Iraq….)

                    • Clement Pinto

                      McFlock, I agree, but how much is too much? Who sets the limit or parameters and how? How do you stop or control ‘excessive riches, power or fame’ as you put it? And is it about personal wealth, family wealth or company wealth? It is a complex problem with no easy, fair workable solutions.

                    • McFlock

                      But it is easy to get the low hanging fruit – e.g. 90% tax on $1mil income and above.

                      See how much that helps fix problems for people at the other end of the spectrum, and start working on more “complex” solutions from there.

                    • Clement Pinto

                      Blue leopard, I don’t clearly understand most of what you have penned about what you think I wrote. This might help : “What the society and government SHOULD insist/control is that the wealthy do pay back generously by way of progressive taxes to help others in society also enjoy basic needs, services and opportunities. The government should always strive to reduce the widening gap between the wealthy and the poor, by working at the top as well as at the bottom. That is simply common sense, just and fair.”

            • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1.1.2

              Why would they stop doing what they were doing just because they wouldn’t get rich?

              One of the things that I learned in one of my course is that you don’t put an entrepreneur in charge of a company as it tends to crash the company as they chase their dreams. Thing is, no matter what, entrepreneurs will chase their dreams which is why so many of them aren’t rich.

      • Crunchtime 8.2.2

        By some measures David Cunliffe is rich. Is that a problem?

        I would venture to say that it’s not a problem. People being fairly rich and well off isn’t a problem in and of itself.

        The scale of wealth and the gap between rich and poor – the inequality – is a problem.

        As Clement said, corporate welfare is a big problem because it contributes to inequality.

  9. Saarbo 9

    Brilliant.

    You should be in the Labour Caucus.

  10. Mary 10

    Labour does not have a left-wing social policy, Helen, not entirely. I think you’ve been hoodwinked by all of the “fair go” rhetoric. Nobody bothers looking at the detail of Labour’s policy on social security benefits anymore because the climate has shifted to one where beneficiaries do not count. David Shearer did not say “Labour is the party for workers” for nothing. Labour used to be a party for the poorest of the poor as well but not now. I do not know if you are familiar with Labour abolishing the special benefit and obliterating the statutory purpose of the social security legislation which was about meeting need and replacing it with “work will set you free” – in an environment where there are no jobs – but to me that’s not left-wing social policy. Labour has not made one jot of an effort to counter these accusations yet people are still being sucked in to thinking Labour’s social policy is left-wing. Judge a society on how it treats it’s poor. Labour sent the latest government social security fraud bill to the select committee – horrendous. Labour’s not even pretending to be left-wing anymore. It just isn’t politically sexy to say beneficiaries should be able to have a life. Your piece failing to mention beneficiaries and Labour’s social welfare policies suggests to me that this is the new way of describing “left-wing social policy”. We need to start doing what Sue Bradford has suggested we do which is to publicly attack Labour for its abandonment of our most vulnerable, and that we may need to start viewing Labour “in the same way as we see National, as simply an enemy of the most vulnerable and defenceless in our society.” This is pretty heavy stuff but we are sick to death of what is quickly beginning to be regarded as a hatred of the poor in the same way as the right hate the poor. I’m guessing we’re getting quite close very public criticism of Labour’s stance on benefits, beneficiaries and social security:

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/09/17/beneficiary-impact-demonstrates-reality-of-nats-war-on-the-poor-but-will-labour-under-cunliffe-do-any-better/

    • Rogue Trooper 10.1

      hmmm. Ponderable.

      • Mary 10.1.1

        Attack Labour on its social security/beneficiary stance and it’ll lose votes to Mana/Greens. At the same time Labour will take votes from Nact. Win/win? Would there be a significant group within Labour who would privately welcome this approach and result?

        • Rogue Trooper 10.1.1.1

          hard to evaluate from the rhetoric (btw, that is well conveyed and provoking Mary) whether to over-estimate them, unlike some folk around these parts.A strength is my autobiographical eidetic memory… Excellent work though thank-you.

    • Polish Pride 10.2

      The problem you have is that no matter what (overall) policy you enact it is always done by taking from one group and giving to another. It doesn’t matter whether it is Labour or National.
      to over simplify the Left wing policy essentially takes from the rich to give to the poor. Rightwing policy does the opposite and enacts policy that redistributes wealth upwards.
      In either case, this results in those being taken from eventually getting numbers vote in a party that does the complete opposite, so at best you get to implement the policies.
      We swing backwards and forwards every 6-9 years and at best we end up with a poor halfway house and a system that fails to meet the needs of many.
      Labour is not the party for the workers and neither are the Unions. If they were they would seek to free workers from having to work. We have the technology to Automate over half the jobs currently performed in society and should move to a system that takes from no one but enables everyone to have the things they want and need. Only then will you be able to achieve the things for society that you so desperately want to, many of those things being quite noble. But in order to do it you have to move away from a system that takes from one group in order to provide for another. Whilst you continue to do this you will continue to fail in achieving the society you want to have.

  11. Ad 11

    After 30+ years of one variant of neoliberalism, including the Clark government that ran away from big conversations let alone “the vision thing”, I do not believe New Zealand functions sufficiently well to have that conversation you want.

    We are riven by inequality and poverty (including telecommunications and transport poverty), no longer have a common discursive xperience that tv used to provide, and remain blighted by massive levels of loneliness and suicide.

    Cunliffe is a start and could make change to New Zealand. But we can’t even hold a year-long conversation about constitutional change for any meaningful conclusion let alone result.

    We have minor patriotic moments about sport, but other than sport have little binding us together as a collective will or identity. I think the last 30 years have taken that out of us.

    The grand activist movements – including for workers – of the 1970s and 1980s are almost cold ash.

    In the foreseeable future there is no capacity or will for the conversation you want.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Yep. The rebuilding has to start at the very basic levels. Its always been far easier and faster for the neoliberals to take things apart than for the left to build things up.

      • Mary 11.1.1

        “Its always been far easier and faster for the neoliberals to take things apart than for the left to build things up.”

        Like the decades it took to develop a climate of opinion based on looking after your neighbour and that a caring society is good – destroyed in less than ten years from 1991. And it doesn’t help when the Labour Party not only does nothing to fix things but carries on with the exact same uncaring and destructive agenda.

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          We need to play our role. Parties are more likely to pick up on such values and policies if their is a ground swell from below amongst the wider community.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            Absolutely. You work hard to vote your favourite politicians into office, and once they are there, you have to keep working on building the pressure to make them do the right things. That’s how it has to work.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2

          …destroyed in less than ten years from 1984.

          FTFY

          • Mary 11.1.1.2.1

            Sure, I understand. I think though that Labour from 1984 paved the way that allowed the shift in thinking and acceptance of neo-liberal beliefs by the general populace which really took hold in a cultural sense from 1991 with the Employment Contracts Act, benefit cuts, market rents for state housing tenants, user pays in education and health etc. That 1991 to 1999 period was significant in this regard.

      • Ad 11.1.2

        Don’t agree. Nationbuilders come in both parties. As do dog-whistle patriots.

        It is historically very possible, it’s just a ways back.

        Remember, MMP came in under Bolger.

    • Bill 11.2

      Ad. Even the most vile neo-liberal doesn’t steal icecream from a kid on a summer’s day. And the same person would probably save the same icecream eating kid if they were able, should they get in bother. Thing you forget in your above comment (much of which I agree with) is that basic human nature has persisted in spite of having 30 years of neo-liberal individualism imposed on it.

      Maybe.. just maybe, the Labour Party can provide a spark that lights people’s imaginations and demands and elevates our inherent, but suppressed better natures again.

      • Ad 11.2.1

        I have a huge number of National friends and they’ve built much of this country.

        Just don’t give me that hopey-changey stuff yet.

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1

          A lot of Southlanders in English’s electorate hate the fact he is selling off power assets. It simply runs against their conservative grain of building up assets for the next generation.

          Of course, they’re still not going to stop voting for him 😈

        • Murray Olsen 11.2.1.2

          The differences between hopey changey and Aotearoa are that most of us aren’t as blindly loyal to one of two parties as the seppos are, and we have Greens, Mana, and even Winston First. Despite the garbage in right wing blogs, I don’t think many of us see Cunliffe as a messiah. I see him as someone who, because he’s now where he is with the abilities he has, can play an important part in a wider movement. Victory depends on all of us and what we do, not just on one leader.

        • Tracey 11.2.1.3

          wow they must be tired

      • Mary 11.2.2

        “Maybe.. just maybe, the Labour Party can provide a spark that lights people’s imaginations and demands and elevates our inherent, but suppressed better natures again.”

        While we must remain hopeful, there’s been very little evidence of this happening, if any at all. For this reason we need to do more than just hope, and that’s keep reminding Labour that this is what it needs to do. Even if this means putting energy into a Mana/Green opposition. Nothing else has worked so far. Labour needs more than a shot over its bow. A good and proper wounding it seems is what is needed right now.

  12. Lefty 12

    Capitalism has its own characteristics that have little to do with good or bad intentions, conversations or society.

    Neo liberalism was what had to happen to overcome its last systemic crisis. That is failing to give security, even to the ruling class now, and they are casting about for their next trick.

    The traditional social democrat policies of Keynesian economics and the welfare state are not going to work again – they only worked for a while because of the particular conditions after WW11.

    Cunliffe is unlikely to be able to escape the imperatives of capitalism and they have nothing to do with warm dry Kiwi kids with full bellies I’m afraid.

    Around a third of potential voters understand our politicians have nothing to offer and fancy promises from a party that is a serial betrayer of the poorest people in society are not going to fool them again so Labour is going to have to win its support from the right/centre (whichever you prefer to call it).

    And that will be very bad news for those on the bottom of the heap.

    I would seriously like to be proved wrong but it would be a triumph of hope over experience and intelligence to believe Cunliffe or any other social democrat is going to put giving people power before saving capitalism.

  13. Virginia Linton 13

    Great piece Helen.

  14. neoleftie 14

    Gosh beautiful well written.
    Society, community, people,
    Its time for a discussion, as you suggest, regarding how the large societal construct interacts with the economic system, and what needs to change to reflect the new direction and vision…a new or next way is needed to solve the coming global instabilities and challenges of energy, climate and resources.

  15. Rogue Trooper 15

    Good Ol’ Boys, Kentucky Fried Chicken, finger clickin’ good!
    (Yep. no freesias sorry, plenty of thyme). 😉

  16. thor42 16

    One of Cunliffe’s “bright ideas” is to raise pay-rates for the low-paid.

    Result? Some companies will lay off some of the said low-paid (or not employ them in the first place).

    Other companies are very likely to raise their prices, and others may go under completely.

    Others may disappear because the employer moves to Australia because his taxes have now increased (Cunners’ “rich pricks tax”) so we lose their taxes completely.

    Gee….. we’re back to where we started.
    Well done, David Cunliffe.

    I have already seen an article where a coffee-shop owner said “are you ready for $8 coffees?” Other food prices will go up as well – you can guarantee it. Firms have to recover their costs one way or another, don’t they?

    For someone with a Harvard education, Cunners seems to have a remarkably poor grasp of basic economics.
    Raised wage costs = higher prices and layoffs
    = poor people no better off.

    • thor42 16.1

      I have a post from a blog elsewhere (the post is by an employer) – consider THIS, David Cunliffe –

      “I will be starting the person on $15 p.h., and if they are any good they will be on $17 p.h. after 90 days. It will only be 20 hrs per week to start with, but it’s still a shitload better than the dole, and they get to learn new skills.

      But no, Labour would rather tax me until my nuts bleed and keep someone under control on a benefit.”

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        You do realise that it has been National increasing taxes like GST, on petrol, making employers pay $45 to file annual reports for companies, don’t you?

        Also you do understand what happens to monies taken in taxes right? The government spends that money back into the private sector. The money is not destroyed when it is taxed; it is kept moving through the economy.

        In fact, do you know anything?

        The example you quote: $17/hr is only a small fraction away from the living wage of $18.40/hr.

        So what’s the problem again?

      • Tracey 16.1.2

        Um, if he/she is paying above the odds now it is not them the gun is aimed at, it is aimed at the big corporations and businesses who keep on paying a poor minimum wage no matter how much profit they make. It’s their nuts that need squeezing. So within 90 days your example is almost at the living wage and therefore has nothing to fear from David Cunliffe. For another $20 a week your example is at the living wage. I am prepared to bet it wont break that business.

        On the other hand if your example thinks that $300 per week gross is a liveable wage…

        Ideology can be hard to shake.

    • Tracey 16.2

      yup the sky will fall and the economy will collapse if the lowest paid get fairer wages. Better to be on a wage that doesnt enable you to thrive and ensure the highest paid maintain or increase their position.

      Most SMEs i have contact with dont pay minimum wage to ll they “could”. They pay higher.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.3

      Thor, can you cite a single real world example where raising the minimum wage led to decreased employment levels?

      Or perhaps I should just remind you that Cullen raised the minimum wage nine times in nine years and the employment level increased, just as it did in numerous empirical studies from the USA etc.

      So come on, put up or shut up. Show us your comment amounts to something more than lazy repetition of faith-based economic zombies.

      I dream of better wingnuts.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Social Democratic Economy: Part 2

    There’s two major problems:
    1.) We don’t know what the economy is and
    2.) We don’t know what the purpose of the economy is either

    Without knowing these two things we’ve been indoctrinated into believing that the economy is money and it’s movement. This has resulted in the widespread delusion that profit is good which means that the economies purpose has defaulted to that of profit.

    We on the left need to clearly define a vision of community and how the real economy of the sustainable resources we have can be used to support that community.

    • thor42 17.1

      “…the widespread delusion that profit is good…”

      Uh…. even “communist” China has a capitalist profit-based economy now. Nasty nasty “profit”…… 🙂

      As for so-called “rich pricks” that Cunners likes to poke abuse at –
      many of those “rich pricks” are employers. Are *jobs* bad?

      Many will also help out with voluntary work, coaching sports teams and so on, as well as making donations.
      Gee….. nasty nasty rich people! How evil they are!

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Nice derail attempt. No one said rich people were “evil” (apart from you). You just made that up because you are a loser who cannot construct a sound economic argument.

        DTB is quite right in his remarks that excessive profits are a drag and a drain on communities, and need to be eliminated.

        As for so-called “rich pricks” that Cunners likes to poke abuse at –
        many of those “rich pricks” are employers. Are *jobs* bad?

        Are you really going to start using the line that rich people are “job creators”?

        Fact: a rather large proportion of rich people make money by eliminating jobs, reducing pay and cutting back on staff hours. That’s because jobs are a COST on a company’s financial statements. Don’t you know anything?

        • Tracey 17.1.1.1

          The Warehouse created some minimum wage jobs BUT assisted in the collapse of the apparel industry in NZ.

          Banks make billions in profits but had to be sued by IRD to pay their share of taxes. We had to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars chasing them to pay only what they owed. Despite their enormous profits they balked. Or because of their enormous profit they balked. Dont make this into an attack on mum and dad businesses because it’s not, but let yourself be duped into thinking it is, so you can keep being rogered by the current government to help orgs like the banks make even more money and try to void paying their share…

          Anger canbe good, misdirected anger is self destructive.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.2

        Uh…. even “communist” China has a capitalist profit-based economy now.

        Communist China isn’t communist no matter it’s name. Just like the DPRK isn’t democratic. The lack of democracy is why China isn’t communist.

        As for so-called “rich pricks” that Cunners likes to poke abuse at –
        many of those “rich pricks” are employers.

        No they don’t, the community employs them. No demand from the community, no job. Being rich doesn’t change that.

        Many will also help out with voluntary work, coaching sports teams and so on, as well as making donations.

        And so do poor people. In fact, research has shown that poor people give more in respect of their income than rich people.

        Gee….. nasty nasty rich people! How evil they are!

        Yes, they are. They steal from everyone and then demand handouts when their economic system looks like it might make them poor.

      • Tracey 17.1.3

        oh good someone who is still relying on 2004/2005 rhetoric to make their argument.

        poor people also help out with voluntary work, coach teams and so on…

        no one I know thinks having money is evil or creating jobs is evil. Why do you think a living or fair wage is evil? How would your business go, say, for a month, with no employees?

        you sir need to change your handle to Chicken Little…

  18. Rogue Trooper 18

    Thor? I’m tho thor I can hardly think. … … 😀

  19. tricledrown 19

    Their is no other way thor your name is appropriate rocks in your head!
    John Banks cup of tea nasty peasants and old people referances!

  20. xtasy 21

    Dear Helen Kelly –

    I have NOT forgotten, that you signed up to health policy statements that were designed and influenced by such like Professor Mansel Aylward, Dr David Bratt and the likes, who have developed plans in the UK and here in NZ, to usher sick and disabled into jobs on the open job market.

    You were sent information about the agenda behind it, but have not bothered to distance yourself from the ulterior motives behind the UNUM insurance initiated and biased, unproved “research” by the department Mansel Aylward heads at Cardiff University in Wales. Hence I suspect you support also the welfare reform drive pushed by this government we have now, as that is also based on the views and flawed “findings” so often quoted by the same two “professionals”:

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved=0CDsQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.racp.org.nz%2Findex.cfm%3Fobjectid%3D5E3445A1-E478-2539-1D7058D6481AAB3A&ei=k8w6UtjuHOahiAeLhoCwAQ&usg=AFQjCNEZjx9PlSX_J1Oj9FKtKAF39H74sg&bvm=bv.52288139,d.dGI

    “Ready, Steady, Crook” by Dr Bratt, likening benefit dependence to “drug dependence”:
    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf

    An analysis on the flawed “science” being relied on:
    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-controversial-bio-psycho-social-model/

    Professor Gluckman’s (Science Advisor to the PM John Key) report on the government failing to use and adhere to true scientific evidence:

    http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/The-role-of-evidence-in-policy-formation-and-implementation-report.pdf

    http://sciblogs.co.nz/griffins-gadgets/2013/09/03/gluckmans-audit-finds-patchy-use-of-evidence-in-government/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciblogsnz+%28SciBlogs.co.nz%29

    Perhaps you may wish to clarify your stand and have all this researched and responded to at some time?

    Best wishes X

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    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago

  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago