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Some facts on Wages, Inflation and GDP

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, May 17th, 2011 - 37 comments
Categories: john key, making shit up, wages - Tags: , ,

Further to today’s Keeping The Buggers Honest, John Key made a number of claims at the same press conference yesterday that do not bear scrutiny.

He claimed that while there had been substantial wage growth under Labour, it had been eroded by high inflation.  National would deliver, according to their Treasury predictions, significantly higher wages that weren’t eaten by inflation.  When reporters asked how much wage growth, he wouldn’t reveal, but agreed that 4-5%pa was an educated guess.

Now I knew that his spiel wasn’t right, and was pretty rich coming from someone whose most recent statistics say: 4.5% inflation (higher than at any time under Helen Clark), 6.1% food price inflation, 1.9% average wage growth and 6.6% unemployment.  So I headed to the statistics website.

Looking at each of those claims:

  1. Wage growth under Labour meant that the median income rose by 69% during their term in office, while over those 9 years the CPI (inflation) grew 28%.  ie, Wages grew nearly 2.5 times faster than inflation.
  2. Inflation was not high under Labour – that 28% CPI increase means an average rise of 2.8% pa.
  3. If we’re looking at 4-5% being National’s strong wage growth – 69% over over 9 years means an average of 6% per year under Labour.
  4. If we look at National’s record? So far there’s been a 6.9% CPI increase under their watch, and a 1.3% drop in the median income.  That’s right, the median income earner in New Zealand is 8.2% worse off under National’s “Brighter Future.”
  5. Treasury predictions haven’t been great.  According to them we’re meant to be having high wage growth now, not the 1.9% average wage growth we have.  We were also meant to have GDP growth in 2008/9/10 of 1.5%, 2.3% and 3.2%. Instead we got -1.1%, -0.4% and -0.1%. (Bernard Hickey’s article is excellent)

At the same press conference John Key also said that a lot of people will be worse off due to the Working for Families changes, but a lot of people will be better off:

There are a number of changes and I’m not going to detail them today, but one impact is of course the CPI [consumer price index] adjustment that comes. But people are better off in cash terms.

That’s right – people are better off in cash terms because they’ll get an inflation adjustment…  Because the number will be bigger, even though it will only buy the same amount.  There’s some spin for you.

Of course it’s not a food price inflation adjustment, so it’ll buy less food…

* Average Wage Growth = the increase in the average wages of all those earning salary/wages – but not other income. Median Income = what the middle income earner in New Zealand is getting – including pensioners and beneficiaries and those earning income from shares etc (doesn’t include those with no income).  In the last year Average Wages are up 1.9% and Median Income is down 1.7%.

37 comments on “Some facts on Wages, Inflation and GDP”

  1. Good post Bro. I think I’ve said this to you before –

    I did the GDP calculations, and it shows that the economy grew by 25% in real terms while the fifth Labour Government was providing leadership.

    Contrast the situation now: GDP per capita is actually shrinking.

  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox 2

    That 4.5% inflation must be real problem for retirees at the moment. Especially given low interest rates. A lot of them would also be coughing up for the 15% GST on everything. How must they be feeling about the current situation.

  3. Peter 3

    Excellent post, a sincere dig for the truth. Refreshing compared to the disingenuous PM. Keep it coming. During the Clark era inflation below 3% was the expectation, now we are conditioned to accept higher rates.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    I’m guessing with Johnny trumpeting away about the big juicy wage increases that are coming down the pike he won’t have a mean word to say about unions negotiating said rises this year right? And if employers are stingy, then he might have to make a wee speech about shared sacrifice and shit, right?

  5. KJT 5

    Like this year.

    Average wages for executives up 14%. Most other workers nil or 1.5% wage increases.
    CPI inflation about 6%.
    Food and necessities up between 15 and 35%, depending on who you talk to.

    Mass exodus of the skilled to Australia.

    Government deficit rising from a net zero under Labour.

    15 billion now forecast.

    Brighter future?

  6. Sean 6

    John Key tells lies. It is as simple as that.

    The reason he tells lies is because for National, the truth hurts.

    Good piece Mr Clark.

    • Carol 6.1

      I was watching today’s question time & was particularly disgusted by a nasty jeering Key saying that Labour makes things up & lies. I will be soooo glad when shonkey gives up politics & leaves NZ for good:

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/9/3/0/49HansQ_20110517_00000004-4-KiwiSaver-Prime-Minister-s-Statements.htm

      Hon Phil Goff: Why is it “borrowing” to put money into KiwiSaver but not “borrowing” to give $2.5 billion a year in tax cuts to the top 10 percent?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: That is an outstanding question. For a start off, National’s tax plan 2010—it does not matter how many times Labour members want to disagree with it; they are just making it up as they do with so much other stuff—was fiscally neutral. By the way, the entire personal tax cuts right across the board for every New Zealander totalled $2.5 billion. As we see so often, when Labour members cannot win the argument with facts, they just make it up and they say it only inside the House, not outside the House.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.1.1

        Its a good question and Labour should just keep asking it. In a way National have already admitted the tax cuts were a big mistake. The WFF and Kiwisaver changes in this budget amount to a selective tax increase (how else could you interpret them).

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    To be writing about GDP as if it has any validity is an act of gross ignorance or insanity.

    Which is it Ben?

    • McFlock 7.1

      GDP isn’t all bad, and has some validity. It just needs to be taken in context.
      GDP is a bit like BMI – I could get to my ideal weight if someone chopped off my arm, and GDP will rise as the reconstruction of Christchurch progresses. But to discount GDP as a measure out of hand is a bit … fundamentalist.

      • Afewknowthetruth 7.1.1

        GDP has validity? Please explain.

        GDP measures how quickly we convert fossil fuels into waste, i.e. the faster we deplete rapisdly declining resources and convert them into poisonous wastes that pollute the environment (and will eventually make the Earthg uninhabitable), the bneter the economy is.

        GDP measures ill-helath and accidents as positives -the more we spend trying to recover the better the conomy is.

        GDP measures the covering of agricultural land in concrete and asphalt as positive, i.e. complete destruction of the planet =a successful economy.

        Sorry mate, ir’s all bullshit.

        GDP = Global Destruction Process.

        GDP = Global Deception Paradigm

        GDP = Grand Delusons of Politicians.

        Unfortuanetly the bulk of the populace has been very successfully brainwashed and doesn’t bother to do any research.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          GDP measures the activity in the economy. Its biggest limitation, as you point out, is that it makes no judgement on the quality of that activity. Hayek had a bit to say in that regard.
          But the fact is that an economy with no GDP is an economy with no activity – everyone is dead (or ‘permanently inactive economic agents’, as a banker would say). So it serves as a broad, crude, blunt instrument, but for some things, in partnership with other tools, it can be useful.
          I suspect you would agree with me that the almost exclusive focus on GDP as an economic target over the last 30+ years was a major and harmful error that damaged societies across the globe.
          I suspect that where we differ is I think that if a hammer is a shite hex wrench it still shouldn’t be thrown out, because hammers are useful, too. Just for different jobs.
           
           
           

      • KJT 7.1.2

        GDP is only one measure, but it can be useful.

        Such as for showing the relative effectiveness of economic policy between countries.

        NZ GDP rose 4% in the same period the OECD average rose 28%.

        In the same period we have had our great experiment in Neo-Liberal economics.

        • ZeeBop 7.1.2.1

          Yeah, we were all paid by the neo-liberal experiment to feel better as we started the long decline into debt. They took our own money, gave us a bonus from it, pocketed a nice fee for themselves, then wrote a debt contract for us to sign. When anyone whined, they would point to how the farmers were carrying us all. The farmers saw their farms rise in value, and loved the stories of those who sold off making millions. Had they looked around they’d have seen others making 100s of millions when the farmers took on more debt to expand!

  8. Great Ben
    Now will you please read this report, http://oilcrash.com/articles/wake_up2.htm and get back to us on how Kiwi Saver is going to survive an on going fall in global GDP (unless you count cadavers)
    As ‘new blood’ why don’t you act differently than the old guard? Start by telling the truth, but please read the above report first.
    Thanks

    • Afewknowthetruth 8.1

      The only logical conslusion one can draw from Ben’s TOTAL FAILURE to respond points made on the crucial issues of our times is that Ben really doesn’t give a damn about the nation, and especially does not give a damn about the next generation. We must conclude he just wants to get his snout into the feeding trough, like all the rest of them.

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        dude, a “total failure” within 8 hours of the Article being posted isn’t much of a total failure. Leave it a day or two – not all of us are constantly on the net.

        • Robert Atack 8.1.1.1

          McFlock
          ‘we’ have been asking Ben for several weeks now, I will come back to this in a ‘day or two’ and see if we have an honest answer to the request to have Kiwi Saver explained – in the light of this parliamentary report http://oilcrash.com/articles/wake_up2.htm

          Sorry to harp on, considering all the information we have given Ben you would think he might have formed an opinion by now … on PEAK OIL verses KIWI SAVER

          “If you see a problem in the world and you have the ability to do something about it — then it’s your duty to take action” Don Brash

          • Ben Clark 8.1.1.1.1

            I’m not sure of your obsession with KiwiSaver wrt peak-oil.

            As the article quoted says, peak oil is not the end of oil. And the end of oil does not need to be the end of our economy.

            We do need much more action on weaning our society and economy off oil. And you are right, in that we cannot have exponential growth in our use of resources on a finite planet. Economic growth does not mean resource use growth (particularly in my line of work), but there is a correlation.

            But even if we take your premise and the economy were to largely collapse, KiwiSaver would seem a very sensible hedge. It would still mean you have assets stored for your retirement, that would quite probably be worth more than sticking your cash in your mattress. Saving will certainly be better for the planet that spending all your money on consumer goods. And hopefully those savings have funded the capital investments in technology companies that help us transition out of our current resource-hungry, oil-eating ways.

            And yes AFKTT, I’d prefer if GDP wasn’t the measure of our economy, let alone our society – there is no judgement on the quality, source or (social/ecological) cost of that growth. It’s largely got the job because it’s simple, and now because it’s established. At the absolute minimum I’d like to change the measure to GDP/capita so you couldn’t mask your figures by merely adding more people. But given GDP is our current measure, one can’t simply ignore it. We need to come up with better alternatives to GDP of course, and Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness doesn’t quite work, as appealing as it is. Oddly the Conservatives in the UK are putting up some good ideas on adding well-being into their societal measures.

            • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Since every aspect of NZ industrial society is dependent on the use of oil -mining, forestry, fishing, dairy, manufacture, transport, food production in general, distribution, retailing, tourism- and since the global supply of oil is declining, the NZ economy and the global economy must contract.

              That contraction will accelerate as oil extraction falls by ever greater amounts, year after year. True, the NZ economy will not end instantaneously; it will suffer death by a thousand cuts over a period of a few years …. maybe as long as a decade.

              However, global and local financial arrangements are totally dependent on continuous expansion of the economy -to maintain the bankers’ Ponzi scheme, based on Fractional Reserve Banking and interest payments. Financial markets can and do collapse over a matter of months.

              • Colonial Viper

                Financial markets can and do collapse over a matter of months.

                Clearly, that is what tax payer funded bailouts are for 😈

            • Robert Atack 8.1.1.1.1.2

              >But even if we take your premise and the economy were to largely collapse, KiwiSaver would seem a very sensible hedge.
              A collapsed economy
              has no banks
              no shops
              KS is not govt guaranteed, because they are spread all over the world and very dependent on Ben’s printing press or Bull Shit.
              It would be way smarter to invest your KS funds in canned goods and gardening tools

              Economic growth does not mean resource use growth<
              Sorry Ben but clearly you haven't listened to Professor Bartlett, not that he is of any import, he dose such a great job of explaining it all, way better than me that is for sure.
              Everything humans do uses resources, as soon as you dig a hole you are living an unsustainable lifestyle. Everything has a limit
              What is the point of this debate??
              How about I get a group of friends together and we come into Wellington and spend a day with you, we will go through everything, climate change, peak oil, over population, etc etc bla bla bla bla you shout lunch .. for 5
              I know it is utterly fucking pointless, but the offer is on the table
              ring me http://oilcrash.com/contact.htm

              • Ben Clark

                Hi Robert,

                I live in the North Shore electorate where I’m standing, so it would be a bit of a mission for me to come all the way to shout you and your mates lunch (not to mention the oil it would burn getting me there…)

                I am reasonably aware of the huge problems of climate change, peak oil, over-population etc that seem intractable but desperately need a solution. As I plan on still being on this planet in 50 or 60 years’ time, I feel I have a personal interest in trying to find those solutions however hard they may be.

                And if you’re talking complete collapse of the economy – no banks/shops etc, then I don’t think your lost KiwiSaver funds will be of much concern compared to staying alive…

                • Ben said – And if you’re talking complete collapse of the economy – no banks/shops etc, then I don’t think your lost KiwiSaver funds will be of much concern compared to staying alive…

                  That is why I said invest your KS funds in canned goods and gardening tools … also learn how to use them.

                  Ben said – As I plan on still being on this planet in 50 or 60 years’ time,find those solutions however hard they may be.

                  It isn't brain surgery, the solutions have been here before the problem, but as James Lovelock said "there is plenty you can do, it is just you will not like it"

                  And McFlock
                  I have no solutions as there are non, the main driving factor behind my 8 year 'crusade' was to point this out, then ask why have another child? http://www.vhemt.org
                  The only way to reduce suffering in the future is if the person wasn't born.
                  Humans are going to depart this rock in an orgy of death and violence, as we fight over the dwindling resources

              • McFlock

                actually, yeah – what is the point of this conversation? Do you have any specific solutions on offer for the problem you identify?
                Or is it just the same as a Rapture warning – calamity for most if it happens on Saturday. If it doesn’t happen on your timeframe, there might be time to adapt a bit.
                 
                And if there isn’t time to adapt, why are you wasting my time? Just so you can say “I told you so”?
                 
                 

  9. morning 9

    Median income includes income from all sources. You’re comparing apples with oranges.

    • Ben Clark 9.1

      I was comparing median income with median income (which is the best measure of how ‘ordinary people’ are doing) and explaining the difference between that and also the mentioned average wage.

      It doesn’t matter where your income comes from (except for tax purposes), what matters is how much you’re getting in versus how much money is going out. The median income gives us the measure of what’s going in for an everyday New Zealander, and the CPI gives us a measure of how much their out-goings are increasing.

      • Herodotus 9.1.1

        Ben, medium income does lack in that there is no consideration as to the changes of tax implications. the likes of tax creep that reduced the said increases in income. As income rose and inflations increased the real term value of wages did not increase as these stats make believe, as we were payiong an increasing % of tax than from the previous year.
        Also with the housing boom and the stresses that came on in 08 regarding mortgage rates do also not reflect as housing price increases and interest rates are excluded from inflation and the such like. So as propertry increased and the value of mortgages increased a 3-4% increase in rates that reduced “disposable incomes by $80 – $200/week did more damage than a 3% increase in inflation indicated. That is a major reason why many of us felt poorer and yetthe news headlines were not reflecting this.
        In the end Lab and Nat can have their cat fights, and botgh can throw stats to display how “their ” side is doing well and how bad the other side is- but in reality nothing changes in the ‘burbs.

      • evening 9.1.2

        “Wage growth under Labour meant that the median income rose by 69% during their term in office, while over those 9 years the CPI (inflation) grew 28%. ie, Wages grew nearly 2.5 times faster than inflation.”

        So you’re saying you netted off all other sources of income contributing to median income growth during the period? If not I think you’re missing the point…

        • Ben Clark 9.1.2.1

          Sorry, my language was a little loose there. It should read incomes grew 2.5 times faster than inflation. But it’s incomes that matter when you’re at the supermarket, not wages.

          But to entirely meet Key’s point on what average income did and whether it was swallowed up by inflation I’ll go find more stats for you.

          (…working on stats.govt.nz… …working on stats.govt.nz… )

          Yes average wage grew less, as part of the drive up of median income was the massive increase in employment, moving people off benefits. The move back onto benefits under National is a large part of why median income has dropped 1.7% when average wages have risen 1.9%

          So entirely on Key’s own terms the figures are: average wage up 45% or 4.2% per year – still significantly more than inflation, and indeed what he’s apparently aiming for with his rosy Treasury stats.

          • lprent 9.1.2.1.1

            *sarcasm mode on* 

            So pushing lower waged people onto the dole is good for average wages because they are not receiving wages. So they stop reducing average wages. So that nice Mr Key can keep pushing up average wages by simply making more people unemployed. It must be obvious to any currency trader that this makes the country more wealthy……..

            Ok – that explains his current inspired strategy that drives tomorrows aspirational budget. 

            *sarcasm mode off*

            But of course it is lousy for average incomes — which includes under employed, and does cause problems with government revenues and expenses. That probably explains the rapidly rising government debt levels.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.1.3

        Isn’t it interesting that the rising energy costs, rising food costs, collapsing values of fiat currencies and environmental degradation we repeatedly warned everyone about for so many years (and were ignored) are now showing up as meltdown of so many economies, and as surging inflation in those that haven’t yet collapsed. And falling tax revenues compared to rising costs of course.

        The government-rigged official numbers are concealing the truth for the moment (does anyone actually believe the official unemployment, deficit, or CPI numbers?), but there will soon come a time when all hell will break lose … around 2013 the way things are looking.

        I guess we ill have new bunch of incompetent fools who don’t know the first thing about energy, the environment or even economics in power by then … or the same old deadbeats.

        • Tangled up in blue 9.1.3.1

          Around 2013? Isn’t it 21/12/12? Glad to see you already have your tinfoil hat ready.

  10. Gazza 10

    And still Mr Donkey has not explained to the people why when the Govt announced to the media a 3.75% cost of living increase to super & beneficiaries, and then only gave 1.85% so any tax reduction last October was wiped out with the increased cost of living.
    We can imagine by this that any adjustments or promises by this current Govt will not or ever be adhered to if they ever get back into power after November.

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    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
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  • 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
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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