It’s the society stupid

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, September 17th, 2013 - 102 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

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.


    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

          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

          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

          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


    • 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

          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

            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

              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

              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


    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:

    • 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

          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

          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

            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

          …destroyed in less than ten years from 1984.


          • Mary

            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

          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

          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

          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

          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”:,d.dGI

    “Ready, Steady, Crook” by Dr Bratt, likening benefit dependence to “drug dependence”:

    An analysis on the flawed “science” being relied on:

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

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

    Best wishes X

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Surely it won't happen
    I have prepared a bad news sandwich. That is to say, I'm going to try and make this more agreeable by placing on the top and underneath some cheering things.So let's start with a daughter update, the one who is now half a world away but also never farther out ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    8 hours ago
  • Let Them Eat Sausage Rolls: Hipkins Tries to Kill Labour Again
    Sometimes you despair. You really do. Fresh off leading Labour to its ugliest election result since 1990,* Chris Hipkins has decided to misdiagnose matters, because the Government he led cannot possibly have been wrong about anything. *In 2011 and 2014, people were willing to save Labour’s electorate ...
    17 hours ago
  • Clued Up: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    “But, that’s the thing, mate, isn’t it? We showed ourselves to be nothing more useful than a bunch of angry old men, shaking our fists at the sky. Were we really that angry at Labour and the Greens? Or was it just the inescapable fact of our own growing irrelevancy ...
    22 hours ago
  • JERRY COYNE: A powerful University dean in New Zealand touts merging higher education with indigeno...
    Jerry Coyne writes –  This article from New Zealand’s Newsroom site was written by Julie Rowland,  the deputy dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland as well as a geologist and the Director of the Ngā Ara Whetū | Centre for Climate, Biodiversity & Society. In other ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Ain't nobody gonna steal this heart away.
    Ain't nobody gonna steal this heart away.For the last couple of weeks its felt as though all the good things in our beautiful land are under attack.These isles in the southern Pacific. The home of the Māori people. A land of easy going friendliness, openness, and she’ll be right. A ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Speaking for the future
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.MondayYou cannot be seriousOne might think, god, people who are seeing all this must be regretting their vote.But one might be mistaken.There are people whose chief priority is not wanting to be ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • How Should We Organise a Modern Economy?
    Alan Bollard, formerly Treasury Secretary, Reserve Bank Governor and Chairman of APEC, has written an insightful book exploring command vs demand approaches to the economy. The Cold War included a conflict about ideas; many were economic. Alan Bollard’s latest book Economists in the Cold War focuses on the contribution of ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Willis fails a taxing app-titude test but govt supporters will cheer moves on Te Pukenga and the Hum...
    Buzz from the Beehive The Minister of Defence has returned from Noumea to announce New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting and (wearing another ministerial hat) to condemn malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government. A bigger cheer from people who voted for the Luxon ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • ELIZABETH RATA: In defence of the liberal university and against indigenisation
    The suppression of individual thought in our universities spills over into society, threatening free speech everywhere. Elizabeth Rata writes –  Indigenising New Zealand’s universities is well underway, presumably with the agreement of University Councils and despite the absence of public discussion. Indigenising, under the broader umbrella of decolonisation, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the skewed media coverage of Gaza
    Now that he’s back as Foreign Minister, maybe Winston Peters should start reading the MFAT website. If he did, Peters would find MFAT celebrating the 25th anniversary of how New Zealand alerted the rest of the world to the genocide developing in Rwanda. Quote: New Zealand played an important role ...
    2 days ago
  • “Your Circus, Your Clowns.”
    It must have been a hard first couple of weeks for National voters, since the coalition was announced. Seeing their party make so many concessions to New Zealand First and ACT that there seems little remains of their own policies, other than the dwindling dream of tax cuts and the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 8-December-2023
    It’s Friday again and Christmas is fast approaching. Here’s some of the stories that caught our attention. This week in Greater Auckland On Tuesday Matt covered some of the recent talk around the costs, benefits and challenges with the City Rail Link. On Thursday Matt looked at how ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • End-of-week escapism
    Amsterdam to Hong Kong William McCartney16,000 kilometres41 days18 trains13 countries11 currencies6 long-distance taxis4 taxi apps4 buses3 sim cards2 ferries1 tram0 medical events (surprisingly)Episode 4Whether the Sofia-Istanbul Express really qualifies to be called an express is debatable, but it’s another one of those likeably old and slow trains tha… ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Dec 8
    Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro arrives for the State Opening of Parliament (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)TL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote and spoke about via The Kākā and elsewhere for paying subscribers in the last week included:New Finance Minister Nicola Willis set herself a ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Witchcraft Laws: 1840/1858-1961/1962
    Sometimes one gets morbidly curious about the oddities of one’s own legal system. Sometimes one writes entire essays on New Zealand’s experience with Blasphemous Libel: And sometimes one follows up the exact historical status of witchcraft law in New Zealand. As one does, of course. ...
    2 days ago
  • No surprises
    Don’t expect any fiscal shocks or surprises when the books are opened on December 20 with the unveiling of the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). That was the message yesterday from Westpac in an economic commentary. But the bank’s analysis did not include any changes to capital ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #49 2023
    113 articles in 48 journals by 674 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Diversity of Lagged Relationships in Global Means of Surface Temperatures and Radiative Budgets for CMIP6 piControl Simulations, Tsuchida et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-23-0045.1 Do abrupt cryosphere events in High Mountain Asia indicate earlier tipping ...
    3 days ago
  • Phone calls at Kia Kaha primary
    It is quiet reading time in Room 13! It is so quiet you can hear the Tui outside. It is so quiet you can hear the Fulton Hogan crew.It is so quiet you can hear old Mr Grant and old Mr Bradbury standing by the roadworks and counting the conesand going on ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • A question of confidence is raised by the Minister of Police, but he had to be questioned by RNZ to ...
    It looks like the new ministerial press secretaries have quickly learned the art of camouflaging exactly what their ministers are saying – or, at least, of keeping the hard news  out of the headlines and/or the opening sentences of the statements they post on the home page of the governments ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Xmas  good  cheer  for the dairy industry  as Fonterra lifts its forecast
    The big dairy co-op Fonterra  had  some Christmas  cheer to offer  its farmers this week, increasing its forecast farmgate milk price and earnings guidance for  the year after what it calls a strong start to the year. The forecast  midpoint for the 2023/24 season is up 25cs to $7.50 per ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • MICHAEL BASSETT: Modern Maori myths
    Michael Bassett writes – Many of the comments about the Coalition’s determination to wind back the dramatic Maorification of New Zealand of the last three years would have you believe the new government is engaged in a full-scale attack on Maori. In reality, all that is happening ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Dreams of eternal sunshine at a spotless COP28
    Mary Robinson asked Al Jaber a series of very simple, direct and highly pertinent questions and he responded with a high-octane public meltdown. Photos: Getty Images / montage: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR The hygiene effects of direct sunshine are making some inroads, perhaps for the very first time, on the normalised ‘deficit ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: Oh, the irony
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Appointed by new Labour PM Jacinda Ardern in 2018, Cindy Kiro headed the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) tasked with reviewing and recommending reforms to the welfare system. Kiro had been Children’s Commissioner during Helen Clark’s Labour government but returned to academia subsequently. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Transport Agencies don’t want Harbour Tunnels
    It seems even our transport agencies don’t want Labour’s harbour crossing plans. In August the previous government and Waka Kotahi announced their absurd preferred option the new harbour crossing that at the time was estimated to cost $35-45 billion. It included both road tunnels and a wiggly light rail tunnel ...
    3 days ago
  • Webworm Presents: Jurassic Park on 35mm
    Hi,Paying Webworm members such as yourself keep this thing running, so as 2023 draws to close, I wanted to do two things to say a giant, loud “THANKS”. Firstly — I’m giving away 10 Mister Organ blu-rays in New Zealand, and another 10 in America. More details down below.Secondly — ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The Prime Minister's Dream.
    Yesterday saw the State Opening of Parliament, the Speech from the Throne, and then Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s dream for Aotearoa in his first address. But first the pomp and ceremony, the arrival of the Governor General.Dame Cindy Kiro arrived on the forecourt outside of parliament to a Māori welcome. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • National’s new MP; the proud part-Maori boy raised in a state house
    Probably not since 1975 have we seen a government take office up against such a wall of protest and complaint. That was highlighted yesterday, the day that the new Parliament was sworn in, with news that King Tuheitia has called a national hui for late January to develop a ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Battlefield Earth – How War Fuels Climate Catastrophe
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). War, conflict and climate change are tearing apart lives across the world. But these aren't separate harms - they're intricately connected. ...
    4 days ago
  • They do not speak for us, and they do not speak for the future
    These dire woeful and intolerant people have been so determinedly going about their small and petulant business, it’s hard to keep up. At the end of the new government’s first woeful week, Audrey Young took the time to count off its various acts of denigration of Te Ao Māori:Review the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Another attack on te reo
    The new white supremacist government made attacking te reo a key part of its platform, promising to rename government agencies and force them to "communicate primarily in English" (which they already do). But today they've gone further, by trying to cut the pay of public servants who speak te reo: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • For the record, the Beehive buzz can now be regarded as “official”
    Buzz from the Beehive The biggest buzz we bring you from the Beehive today is that the government’s official website is up and going after being out of action for more than a week. The latest press statement came  from  Education Minister  Eric Stanford, who seized on the 2022 PISA ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Failed again
    There was another ETS auction this morning. and like all the other ones this year, it failed to clear - meaning that 23 million tons of carbon (15 million ordinary units plus 8 million in the cost containment reserve) went up in smoke. Or rather, they didn't. Being unsold at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Government’s Assault On Maori
    This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Even so, Christopher Luxon has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young has compiled a useful list of the many, many ways that ...
    4 days ago
  • Rising costs hit farmers hard, but  there’s more  positive news  for  them this  week 
    New Zealand’s dairy industry, the mainstay of the country’s export trade, has  been under  pressure  from rising  costs. Down on the  farm, this  has  been  hitting  hard. But there  was more positive news this week,  first   from the latest Fonterra GDT auction where  prices  rose,  and  then from  a  report ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH:  Newshub and NZ Herald report misleading garbage about ACT’s van Veldon not follo...
    Rob MacCulloch writes –  In their rush to discredit the new government (which our MainStream Media regard as illegitimate and having no right to enact the democratic will of voters) the NZ Herald and Newshub are arguing ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Veldon is not following Treasury advice ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 for Wednesday, December 6
    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    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
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    5 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    6 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    6 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    6 days ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    6 days ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 26, 2023 thru Dec 2, 2023. Story of the Week CO2 readings from Mauna Loa show failure to combat climate change Daily atmospheric carbon dioxide data from Hawaiian volcano more ...
    1 week ago
  • Affirmative Action.
    Affirmative Action was a key theme at this election, although I don’t recall anyone using those particular words during the campaign.They’re positive words, and the way the topic was talked about was anything but. It certainly wasn’t a campaign of saying that Affirmative Action was a good thing, but that, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • 100 days of something
    It was at the end of the Foxton straights, at the end of 1978, at 100km/h, that someone tried to grab me from behind on my Yamaha.They seemed to be yanking my backpack. My first thought was outrage. My second was: but how? Where have they come from? And my ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Look who’s stepped up to champion Winston
    There’s no news to be gleaned from the government’s official website today  – it contains nothing more than the message about the site being under maintenance. The time this maintenance job is taking and the costs being incurred have us musing on the government’s commitment to an assault on inflation. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • What's The Story?
    Don’t you sometimes wish they’d just tell the truth? No matter how abhorrent or ugly, just straight up tell us the truth?C’mon guys, what you’re doing is bad enough anyway, pretending you’re not is only adding insult to injury.Instead of all this bollocks about the Smokefree changes being to do ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The longest of weeks
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday Under New Management Week in review, quiz style1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Suggested sessions of EGU24 to submit abstracts to
    Like earlier this year, members from our team will be involved with next year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The conference will take place on premise in Vienna as well as online from April 14 to 19, 2024. The session catalog has been available since November 1 ...
    1 week ago
  • Under New Management
    1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. Under New Management 2. Which of these best describes the 100 days of action announced this week by the new government?a. Petulantb. Simplistic and wrongheaded c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago

  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    2 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    3 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    4 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    5 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    6 days ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    6 days ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    1 week ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    1 week ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2023-12-10T01:04:00+00:00