Spin-busting: Govt could have used surpluses for tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, October 6th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: economy, election 2008, labour, national - Tags:

With the economic situation deteriorating the surpluses the Government has run for the first eight years have turned to a deficit. National’s line now is that the Government ‘suquendered’ these surpluses when it could have been cutting taxes. As if when the Government runs a surplus it takes the extra money out and burns it.

What actually happened? The Government used those surpluses. The $2 billion a year for the Superannuation Fund comes out of the operating surplus, as does other capital investment. The Government reduced net debt from $22 billion in 1999 to $2 billion in 2008. The fact that there were structural operating surpluses allowed the Government to fund the Working for Families tax credits, Kiwisaver, other new spending and the $10.6 billion tax cuts package that started to take effect last Wednesday. National now supports all of those spending programmes.

If we had done what Key is saying we should have done (he doesn’t really believe it, of course) and used all the operating surpluses on tax cuts then there would be no WfF, no Kiwisaver, none of the other spending increases, no Superannuation Fund, no additional capital investment like the extra billion Labour put into transport in 2006. And we would still be holding all that extra debt. National doesn’t want to acknowledge it but there’s always a trade-off with tax-cuts, something else has to be given up.

Hypocritically, National both supports the policies that have been paid for by the surpluses and says we should have had tax cuts instead. They just hope the voters won’t consider that. Once again, their argument depends on their audience’s ignorance.

28 comments on “Spin-busting: Govt could have used surpluses for tax cuts ”

  1. vidiot 1

    And just in are the Treasury Figures:

    Key figures from the fiscal update include:

    * Gross government debt to rise from 17.4 per cent of GDP to 24.3 per cent by 2013 against the Government’s target of 20 per cent of GDP on average.

    * Growth expected to be only 0.1 per cent by March 2009 before lifting to 1.8 per cent and then 3.3 per cent in the following two years.

    * The budget deficit (OBEGAL) forecast to be $64 million next year rising to $1.7 billion by 2010 and staying in deficit for 10 years.

    * A cash surplus of $2 billion in the year to June falling to a projected cash deficit of $5.9 billion in 2008/2009 and further deficits over the next four years rising to $7.3 billion by 2012. In the May budget cash deficits were forced to average $3.5 billion.

    * Dollar to decline in value by 22.7 percent by 2013.

    * 90-day interest rates falling from 8.8 per cent to 6.3 per cent by 2013

    * $496 million is all that is left in next year’s budget for new spending promises

    * Unemployment tipped to rise above 5 per cent by 2010

    * Inflation forecast to rise to 4.5 per cent by March 2009 before falling back to just under 2.5 per cent.

    * Tax revenue for the next three years to be lower on average by around $900 million.

    * The government reported a surplus for the year to June 2008 (OBEGAL) of $5.6 billion.

    So who ate all them pies ?

  2. higherstandard 3

    Or Gerry ?

    Although I suspect Nicki Haggar has secret emails to show that John Key or Don Brash are at the bottom of this

  3. NeillR 4

    Oh dear, oh dear. So instead of a tax cut for all New Zealanders, we got lumped with the horrendous WFF, which turned the middle class into welfare beneficiaries. And on top of that, more bureaucrats to oversee the whole mess. Yet in the face of massive forecast budget deficits (which make the whole WFF unaffordable) you attempt to justify the greatest economic vandalism the country’s seen since universal unemployment entitlements and the DPB.

    [lprent: Yawn – yet another troll. Looks like this one wants to roll the world back to the stone age. And its previous comments show the same level of ill-informed neolithic logic.

    I couldn’t believe an earlier comment that this pinbrain made. He said that there had been out-of-control inflation under Cullen. It seems kind of obvious that it missed the 1970’s, 1980’s, and even 1990’s. Must have had a direct time-warp from the 1950’s, because I remember what massive inflation was like here. When I started work it was heading towards 20% – not 5%. This dillbrain probably thinks that a Honda City is a high performance car]

  4. noxxano 5

    Stop defending that bastard Cullen. Labour´s goose is cooked and you bloody know it.

    Go now, go now, and maintain some decency (maybe toomuch too ask)!

  5. randal 6

    natoinal are supposed to be the party of business but so far there is not one proposal for new business. they are just going to creep round the national accounts and slice off anything they can get their greasy hands on. Its not trickle down its slurp slurp gimme sum more.

  6. well, you’ve convinced me noxxano. my fact-based economic arguments are just no match for your bile.

  7. Noxanno, your intellectual veracity is compelling.

    Kiwis shouldn’t try and resist the the approaching tide of free market fascism, but just learn to accept it, and do what your told. And ffs, be happy about it. Otherwise you are a commie.

    Go back to Kiwiblog, where your intellectual contemporaries might have anything more than utter cynicism and contempt for your bile.

  8. lprent 9

    I think noxxano is merely a refugee from the World of Warcraft. Or a bastardised bit of pig-latin where he pressed ‘n’ for the first letter rather than ‘p’. Does sound like a person you’d want to avoid because of the pox afterwards

  9. randal 10

    gee you are a tough guy noxious. calling the minister of finance bad names. does it make your puny little ego swell with vainglory you putrid little piece of shit

  10. NeillR 11

    “I couldn’t believe an earlier comment that this pinbrain made. He said that there had been out-of-control inflation under Cullen.”
    You attack the messenger rather than deal with the question. Ignoring your abuse for a second, can you tell me what it means when Cullen sets an inflation target at mid-range of 1-3% over the medium term, but we have only been able to achieve that once in the last four years?

    [it means that the world has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the price of the fuel on which our civilisation runs. You have to show causation, NeillR, merely showing something bad happened when a govt was in power is not enough. Govts are not omnipotent. SP]

  11. Funny debate.

    Cullen ought to be praised as our best finance minister, bar none.

    Because Labour has refused to jump on the tax cut bandwagon and invested in superannuation and paid off debt over the past 9 years NZ is in a very good position to ride this out. Unemployment peaking at 5%, we should be so lucky. Government debt will go up to 24% of GDP, this is far better than historical levels.

    And what do the right bray for,

    1. Tax cuts,
    2. Less bureaucracy,
    3. Less Government,
    4. More freedom for private enterprise, including the freedom for merchant bankers to charge excessive fees and destroy institutions.

    This sounds just like George Bush’s USA where the world’s current economic problems have originated.

    I look forward to the day when a right winger will apologise and say they are wrong and the centre left idea of the role of Government is actually the better role.

  12. lprent 13

    NeillR: NZ is pretty open to world markets in particular for incoming investment and cost increases on imported goods. It also have a floating exchange rate.

    Over the last 6 years the NZ/US exchange rate (which a lot of our imports are denoted in) has been down as low as under 50c and over 80c. On its own this has caused massive changes in imported inflation. Not to mention it has made my exporting ‘interesting’.

    We have also had major changes in fuel prices, a major housing price boom and bust, major changes in interest rates, and a steadily tightening skills shortage with consequent wage rises. These all also feed inflation.

    None of that is fully under any government control. What is surprising is how little inflation there has been. The reserve bank has been doing an awesome job.

    Now remember that I’ve lived through real inflation when we were hitting 20% annual inflation and massive interest rates. I’m afraid I think that your ideas are totally screwed. I’d suggest that you wake up and do some economics so you can appreciate exactly how good a job the reserve bank has been doing.

    BTW: Cullen doesn’t try to control inflation. That is Bollards job. Perhaps you should add some self-education about the responsibilities inside the governance structures in NZ.

  13. Bill 14

    I might say that I don’t know why I didn’t see this on the TV news…could it be that it was not regarded as news!? Nah, surely not.

    “On Saturday, clearly aware that they could be facing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the four leaders (of Germany, France, Italy and Germany) backed Sarkozy’s call for a global summit to draw up a new international financial system to replace the one adopted at Bretton Woods in 1944.

    Sarkozy urged a summit of the G8 countries, together with China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, by next month at the latest.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/06/europe.germany

    And, if you wanted to contemplate just how much shit might eventually be hitting the fan, it seems that it was not just mortgages that were packaged and sold on, but credit card debt too! An interesting, well worth the read analysis is at http://www.counterpunch.org/ by Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.

    Go, John, GO!

  14. lprent 15

    ms: Exactly – the current low level of government debt is a awesome achievement. Not only have we killed the massive debt left over from the Muldoon government, we have also started to minimize the forward debt by starting to deal with the liability of an aging population with our superannuation scheme.

    Of course the implications of this are probably beyond some peoples level of understanding. The last thing we need is some irresponsible policy from the Nat’s destroying that for a short-term electoral advantage. But that is really the hallmark of the Nat’s. They have a strong track record of trying to destroy the economy over the last 30 years. The current lot look just as fiscally irresponsible.

  15. milo 16

    Gee Lprent, what you have just described sounds a lot like “intergenerational theft” to me. Why should a 30-year old suffer to pay for previous governments (including Lange’s squandering of our foreign reserves in 1984), as well as her parents’ pensions?

    Meanwhile, the two words that seem unknown to this Government are “productivity growth”. Leaving ideology aside, that is one of the major problems with Working for Families. It is a very inefficient method of transfer payment, and this inefficiency directly hits economic productivity. Oh, and that train company looks like such a productive expenditure now, doesn’t it? Unlike previous Labour governments, this one seems to have given up on growing the size of the pie, and instead thinks the economy is a zero-sum game. They are currently being proven wrong in spades.

    Sigh, but why bother with arguments? When you accuse the Nat’s of “trying to destroy the economy” over the last thirty years, you are probably not amenable to arguments from facts or logic.

    Well, what about history then. I seem to recall that when the Nat’s took over in 1990, Labour was faced with a forecast $5 billion budget deficit, and apologised by saying “it’s only a forecast, we’ll manage it, that’s what governments do”. And here we are, 2008, facing cash deficits of nearly $6 billion, and the best we get from the Finance Minister is “steady as she goes”.

    Is this farce or tragedy?

  16. Pascal's bookie 17

    I hear hooten has discovered Keynes. Which when filtered through the needs of a tory hack, ‘means spend more and cut taxes’, presumably when the good times come back we revert to the ‘cut taxes, spend less and flog off the assets to pay off some of the debt’ plan.

    But this Labour government has wasted the good times, so can’t be trusted in the bad.

    Are they evil, stupid, both, or just made of fail?

  17. lprent 18

    milo: Most measures about productivity are a bit narrow. For the country as a whole having almost everyone who can employed, doing so, and paying taxes for the intergenerational debt seems like the most effective way of raising ‘productivity’.

    Besides you’re daft. The Cullen fund is meant to peak on its outgoings in about 2050. Isn’t your hypothetical 30 year old also going to be a a pension bludger then? Oh thats right, they aren’t a bludger because they’ve paid (partially) for it in their taxes today.

    The actual beneficeries of the Muldoon stupidities about super are pretty much on it now. Perhaps you’re suggesting that we should throw them off the pension and put them back to work to pay for their excess in 1975 onwards? I can see that going down well with the 30 year olds when they get their parents bludging off them.

    The actual answer is to make sure that the short-sighted fools from the Nat’s don’t get control of the treasury benches.

  18. milo 19

    Yes Lprent, I agree most measures of productivity are a bit narrow. And so is this silly idea of GDP per capita. Or for that matter GDP purchasing power parity. Why not toss them out in favour of gross national happiness. Or maybe we could just measure the proportion of left wing votes as a proxy for national prosperity … .

    And it’s a bit rich to diss somebody for not knowing much about economics on another thread, and then to say the economists have got it all wrong on productivity measures on this thread. But I guess, consistency, hobgoblins, and all that. Mind you, it is the blogosphere, and I’m sure I’m equally guilty !

    But on my hypothetical thirty year old – I don’t think they’ll be getting National Super. The long-term playing out of the Kiwisaver policy will see to that. Just as compulsory super ensure the pension is means-tested in Australia, so Kiwisaver will lead to means testing in New Zealand. So they will get to pay again.

  19. NeillR 21

    NeillR: NZ is pretty open to world markets in particular for incoming investment and cost increases on imported goods. It also have a floating exchange rate.
    True, but these have little relevance to the state of inflation in the country. We have had excessive non-tradeables inflation for years – it sat above 3% for six years from 2002. Cullen is responsible for what happens in the domestic economy and he’s been a profligate waster.

    Now remember that I’ve lived through real inflation when we were hitting 20% annual inflation and massive interest rates. I’m afraid I think that your ideas are totally screwed. I’d suggest that you wake up and do some economics so you can appreciate exactly how good a job the reserve bank has been doing.
    You think i haven’t. And the condtions we are currently experiencing are the most similar i can remember since Muldoon. And for good reason – Cullen and Muldoon are cut from the same cloth. If it moves, tax it and then give some of it back and make the electorate feel grateful for their gain.
    And if the PREFU is anything to go by we are faced with the same result as the Muldoon years – low growth, high inflation and an economy that is a basketcase. Incidently, pretty much the same as when National came to power in 1990.
    And the RB has done a poor job since Bollard took over in 2002. They failed to raise rates fast enough when the housing market took off, and failed to act at all during 2005 when Cullen was out of control on his spending.

    BTW: Cullen doesn’t try to control inflation. That is Bollards job.
    Of course he does. Bollard is just the civil servant who gets to implement Cullen’s (and by extension – Labour’s) policy with respect to inflation (independently of course – *snigger*). The policy targets agreement is a pact between the government and the Reserve Bank, but the RB doesn’t tell the government what it’s contents will be.

  20. Milo

    You should reread your history books or at least get one based on reality.

    Muldoon squandered the country’s financial reserves. When Lange took over there were two weeks of reserves left and the Forex market was closed AND Muldoon refused to devalue even though he had been voted out.

    I am no fan of quite a bit of what the Lange Government did but their hands were tied by the shenanigans of the so called economic miracle worker.

    The country is in tremendous shape.

    Growth has been higher than that in mineral rich Australia.

    And productivity has not gone up because we are getting towwards full employment. If you sack 100,000 kiwis from their jobs you would be pleased with the productivity increase but appalled by the social carnage.

    The only chance for your 30 year old to get super is to keep supporting labour. The Cullen fund and kiwisaver are there precisely to address this problem. A merchant banker would never do this because it would make the next 3 months figures look slightly worse.

  21. milo 23

    mickysavage: Lange said he was going to have a large devaluation. As a result, a huge number of people took positions against the New Zealand dollar. Yes, there was a constitutional crises, as Muldoon (in caretaker mode) said I’m not devaluaing, let’s wait and these positions will reverse, as people won’t be able to maintain them. Lange won the day. So the reason reserves were so low was that Lange had effectively donated them to currency speculators, by enabling them to bet on a sure thing – a pre-announced devaluation. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

    Labour set up an enquiry into those issues straight away. Guess what happened? They closed it down before it reported. They wouldn’t have done that unless the results of the enquiry were damming to Labour.

  22. noxxano 24

    Whatever the argument in favor of Cullen is, the truth of the matter is that the arrogant professor of History is about to be retired as Finance minister. His demeanour towards the Kiwi electorate is very much to blame for the upcoming demise of the Labour Party.

    I look forward to reading the socialist stalwarts lurking around here after election day. Enjoy!

  23. Felix 25

    That’s “Doctor of Social and Economic History” to you, little brain.

  24. Ari 26

    If we had done what Key is saying we should have done (he doesn’t really believe it, of course)

    Oh no, he really does believe we should have cut taxes instead of paid off debt. Perhaps he realises that cutting taxes would be mutually exclusive with the policies he now supports, or perhaps not. Or perhaps he doesn’t really support them, he just knows he has to swallow a few dead rats to win the election.

  25. Phil 27

    he really does believe we should have cut taxes instead of paid off debt.

    With interest rates around the world falling, and inflation on the way up, now is exatly the time to be taking advantage of being in debt.

  26. Milo

    You can’t have been around then. In 1984 catatonic people in Hospital realised that the NZ dollar was overvalued and needed to be devalued. Despite losing the election Muldoon refused to do so even though he received specific instructions to do so. This was the closest thing we have ever had to a constitutional crisis. The old bugger almost killed the economy with think big and the wage and price freeze, he then started to dig the grave by refusing to devalue and was only stopped when McLay offered to be sworn as a caretaker PM to do what was necessary. How you can blame Lange for this is beyond me.

    In any event there were no overseas reserves left, the economy was in that bad shape.

    Typical debate, Cullen gets criticised for “squandering” an opportunity when the reality is that he has done extraordinarily well. And the right try and spread the blame away from where it should be laid, at the feet of their leaders for historic events.

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    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    3 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    3 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
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    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    3 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Questions from God
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    5 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Women in Space.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    7 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A criminal minister
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
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    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • School attendance continues to increase
    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights
    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery
    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    1 day ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers
    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    6 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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    6 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
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    6 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
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    7 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government creates MAG for retail crime victims
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    1 week ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
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  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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    1 week ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
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    1 week ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
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    1 week ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
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    1 week ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
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    1 week ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
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  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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