web analytics

Sunday Book Club

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, March 19th, 2017 - 31 comments
Categories: Economy, sustainability - Tags: , ,

Welcome to The Standard’s inaugural book club. Our first book is a classic that underpins much of the sustainability movement around the world,

Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered by E. F. Schumacher.

Schumacher lived from 1911 until 1977. He was a statistician and economist in the UK. Small is Beautiful  was published in 1973 and was part of his critique of Western economies and his proposals for human-scale, decentralised and appropriate technologies.

The book is divided into four parts: “The Modern World”, “Resources”, “The Third World”, and “Organization and Ownership”.

In the first chapter, “The Problem of Production”, Schumacher argues that the modern economy is unsustainable. Natural resources (like fossil fuels), are treated as expendable income, when in fact they should be treated as capital, since they are not renewable, and thus subject to eventual depletion. He further argues that nature’s resistance to pollution is limited as well. He concludes that government effort must be concentrated on sustainable development, because relatively minor improvements, for example, technology transfer to Third World countries, will not solve the underlying problem of an unsustainable economy.

Schumacher’s philosophy is one of “enoughness”, appreciating both human needs and limitations, and appropriate use of technology. It grew out of his study of village-based economics, which he later termed Buddhist economics, which is the subject of the book’s fourth chapter.

The Small is Beautiful press conference in 1976.

There is an ebook version here (online and download)

“I certainly never feel discouraged. I can’t myself raise the winds that might blow us or this ship into a better world. But I can at least put up the sail so that when the wind comes, I can catch it.”  E.F. Schumacher

Discussions welcome below.

Please also feel free to make suggestions for next month’s book.

31 comments on “Sunday Book Club”

  1. “I certainly never feel discouraged. I can’t myself raise the winds that might blow us or this ship into a better world. But I can at least put up the sail so that when the wind comes, I can catch it.” E.F. Schumacher

    That’s beautiful.

  2. Schumaker’s thoughts about appropriate scale interest me the most; methods and technologies that are help to a scale (small) that mean humans have to engage intimately with their work and whatever they do knit can be unravelled with relative ease. When I worked in a museum, long ago, I was told never to do anything to an artifact, drill it, nail it, glue it, screw it, that can’t be elegantly undone, leaving no trace of your work. I think Schumaker would have made a great museum conservator.

  3. Olwyn 3

    Greywarshark, I will be out for most of the morning, but will join this discussion in the afternoon. I have read the book, and liked a lot of what I read in it.

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    The chapter on economics is inspiring, and I found myself saying: “Yes”, “Yes”, “Yes” throughout.

    However, it does mostly deal with generalities, rather than with evidence-based case studies and examples.

    I liked the way Schumacher demolishes the “religion” of economics, as used in the mainstream in the 20th century. He says it is all a calculation done from the perspective of those supportive of “markets” and “profits”.

    Schumaher talks of how economic calculations are focused on shorty term profits, and on how it is mostly done in a fragmented manner. ie it is assumed that was is good for a part, such as a car industry, is good for the whole of the economic activity of society.

    He is scathing about how economists only measure part of human activity, and fail to account for the way some activities, especially “free goods”, that they don’t select, impact on the overall economy. He particularly focuses how things occurring in the environment make an impact on the economy, and are not taken into the calculations.

    I particularly liked this bit:

    The market therefore represents only the surface of society and its significance relates to the momentary situation as it exists there and then. There is no probing into the depths of things, into the natural or social facts that lie behind them. In a sense, the market is the institutionalisation of individualism and non-responsibility. Neither the buyer nor the seller is responsible for anything but himself. It would be ‘uneconomic’ for a wealthy seller to reduce prices to poor customers merely because they are in need, or for a wealthy buyer to pay an extra price merely because the supplier is poor.

    And the last bit in the quote reminded me of our current housing situation.

    I think mainstream economics has become somewhat more sophisticated these days, with more factors being taken into account. This is partly because of the neoliberal commodification of everything eg water.

    But the underlying idea about mainstream economics and the focus on the market being an institutionalisation of individualism and non-responsibility still remains.

  5. r0b 5

    I first read this book in 1986, it was a pleasure to revisit it. Looking back, it was quite formative in my beliefs. Obviously it helped to lay the foundations of the entire green political movement.

    The fundamental point that we can’t consume finite resources on this planet forever is irrefutable, but not (as it turns out) “un-ignorable” (is there a better word for that?). We ignore it every day. The drive for profit and the mechanisms of the market are not rational, they are destroying the planet.

    I’m less in tune with the religious themes of the book, and the recurring use of Burma as a model have not aged well.

    There’s a paragraph in Chapter 2 (Peace and Permanence) that I think is worth discussing:

    I suggest that the foundations of peace cannot be laid by universal prosperity, in the modem sense, because such prosperity, if attainable at all. is attainable only by cultivating such drives of human nature as greed and envy, which destroy intelligence, happiness, serenity, and thereby the peacefulness of man. It could well be that rich people treasure peace more highly than poor people. but only if they feel utterly secure — and this is a contradiction in terms. Their wealth depends on making inordinately large demands on limited world resources and thus puts them on an unavoidable collision course — not primarily with the poor (who are weak and defenceless) but with other rich people.

    Schumacher’s “modern sense” of prosperity seems to be utterly bleak, and I don’t think it’s a useful one. I would agree if he had written “I suggest that the foundations of peace cannot be laid by universal greed” – true that. But universal prosperity on the small, social human scale that the whole book is about, how can peace and permanence be founded on anything else?

    I think one of the most important conclusions of the book is right there in Chapter 1. Particularly important for us in the context of our governments new-found knack for setting “goals” for 2040 etc…

    To talk about the future is useful only if it leads to action now. And what can we do now, while we are still in the position of ‘never having had it so good’?

    That is also a major theme in another good book, Here on Earth: An Argument for Hope by Tim Flannery, but more of that later perhaps.

    • Carolyn_nth 5.1

      I think many of the themes of the book are of its time (early 1970s). That was a time when the peace movement was in full swing in the western world.

      It was a time when the main religious underpinning of western societies was being questioned (ie. Christianity). So many people were looking to eastern religions like Buddhism as an alternative.

      And many looked, like Schumacher, at other values of our society that had religion-like qualities. Schumacher puts economics in that box.

      it was also the end of the hippy era when consumer society was being questioned by many: ie there was a rejection of acquiring material goods just because it was the thing to do – I guess because many people had disposable incomes to spend on consumer extras. So that notion of prosperity was being questioned.

      The result was a search for more lasting, humane, and social values. So Schumaker puts an emphasis on the quality of life and society, rather than “quantity” as measured in monetary/economic terms.

      Action now is always important. But the actions people took back then didn’t stop the rise of neoliberalism, and consumerism on steroids.

      Environmental concerns have gained more traction, though.

      I didn’t read the book back in the 1970s, but had it quoted to me by a guy canvassing for the Values Party. He talked about the need to not start with “economics” but with other values to do with the kind of society we wanted. That struck a chord with me. in my naive youth with limited political knowledge, I was frustrated that politics as covered in the mainstream news, was all about money and “Economics”. That was a total turn-off to me. However, the anti-materialistic hippy-values, which focused on a more humane and caring society, was more meaningful to me.

      • r0b 5.1.1

        But the actions people took back then didn’t stop the rise of neoliberalism, and consumerism on steroids.

        Sadly not.

        Environmental concerns have gained more traction, though.

        I fear that by the time it gains enough traction to dictate the terms (which is what is needed) it will be far too late.

    • Carolyn_nth 5.2

      I guess acting NOW, requires acting in ways that will have a positive impact into the future. It’s easy to act within our own lives – the idea being that this would encourage others to follow. That was the hippy mantra. But neoliberalism swept that away.

      So there needs to be a way to act NOW, which will bring large sections of society on board, and which will dismantle the power of those working for profit, and financial gain for a minority.

    • Olwyn 5.3

      Schumacher’s “modern sense” of prosperity seems to be utterly bleak, and I don’t think it’s a useful one.

      There are a number of claims in the book that accord with what he has to say about the modern sense of prosperity. Right from that start he distinguishes between “capital” and “income” on the environmental front, and thinks, with good reason, that the modern sense of prosperity depends on non-replaceable capital expenditure. In line with this, the modern sense of prosperity depends on growth, while his argument favours organising things with permanence in mind. The religious bits that you are not in tune with, to me point to the idea that a healthy society seeks answers to wider and deeper questions that “how do we get more, and bigger, and better stuff?”

      This last one is very important. The book was written right on the cusp of the “return to the shareholder” attaining the top spot in the hierarchy of values. We could have taken another direction, and we will very likely have to in the future, only from a more depleted position. And I do not see how you can give primacy to the “return to the shareholder”, or profit, without at the same time giving primacy to greed and envy. This is not to give profit no importance at all, but to point to the danger of giving it ultimate importance.

      To act now is to do what you can to limit the excesses of the present system, and to start building both the conceptual space and the possibility of an alternative. That, after all, is how the neolibs got there, though they had the banking system on their side.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Gosh this is a monster. I am sorry that I couldn’t do better.

    I am in the middle of a contest over the spirit of a cooperative which is very wearying. I am in one division, reaching back to the distilled experiences of the past and that wisdom as expressed by Schumacher. It is very wearying trying to understand, and get beyond the opposition and I have not been able to get my complete Schumacher reading done.

    The other division is carried forward by the zeitgeist of the present, with prescriptions of pcness, consensus, and talking about the land and being green, and presenting outcomes positively with complete certainty that brooks no input. The message in presented in on-line newsletters, systems are all, the computer is paramount. Words and images and ideas flow around, but people are directed to the system, with the electronic program, with the announced plan and dissent is handled using modern organisational theories. Is it authoritarian or is it fascism? Left to ourselves do we dumb down democracy? At base it isn’t people-centred, caring and respecting people for whatever good person they try to be.

    I see it as a small microcosm of what we face today, and a continuance of the irrational drive that Schumacher attempted to pause to make time for reflection and study of his and others findings and warnings. This time we haven’t an horrific world war behind us and bright hopes to live to a higher level of competence at handling world disagreements, prejudices and inevitable resource deficits of essential things like fuel and degradation of the land and sea. To think of the effect of damaging essential things like arable land, and the animals and biology of the planet that we are part of and which we can never master, but which with understanding and restraint would continue to be used to nurture us forever with different ways of living.

    Schumacher survived WW2 but it was in his mind as he wrote. Chris Trotter’s father survived WW2 and it was in his son’s mind in an article published in the Press on 1st April 2014! He wrote about the three decades following World War II – a period sometimes referred to as The Age of Consensus – the maintenance of social peace and prosperity remained the No 1 political objective of both the centre-Left and the centre-Right.

    People were listened to then. Protesters had a hearing, but as people’s prosperity advanced the “socially levelling effects of consensus politics could not, however, endure beyond the point where they began to undermine the power and persuasiveness of capitalism itself.” So Reagan and Thatcher amongst other citizen bashing, were “reducing the responsiveness of the State”.

    Now capitalism must be unfettered, protest tends to be dismissed, and can spur harsher laws because citizens must be kept in their place. Trotter continues:
    “The neoliberal revolution…was thus predicated on the assumption that if the minority who mattered in capitalist society were to go on mattering, then the majority was going to have to learn to be disappointed….
    The 300,000 workers who protested against the National Government’s Employment Contracts Bill during the first fortnight of April 1991, far from constituting proof of the bill’s inequity merely confirmed for the Right the urgent necessity of its passage.

    Small is Beautiful is still an enduring and telling slogan. We must gather together and do what we can to assist ourselves, trying to influence political change and a future. But we need to do more to work with each other, trade with each other in every widening communities spreading to whole towns or regions, support our communities to have our own economic base and jobs and a place for everyone to work and help within it. We cannot just beg to the government or the wealthy for alms to heal our sick, help with our needs. We can’t let government turn citizens into profit centres for people who are doing our government’s work for them. Demand things to be done by government for the people, but ensure that we have a working local government, working for us, and supporting our resilience. (Note, interesting article on Christchurch local economy recently. I haven’t got The Press link at hand.)

    Those embracing neo liberality which is an oxymoron really, have been brought up in a way that has denied them an understanding of what being human in human society means. They group together in all the comfort they want, and enable their representatives to make pronouncements and targets for the People of the Lesser Being. Watch out for them warily- they want us to have a life, but only on their terms and while we are of advantage to them. Those who want a different ethos, we must be kind to each other, but be practical in how we direct that kindness, at the same time we must have our guidelines for living, and though small have sufficient personal power to achieve the small and beautiful life.

    • Carolyn_nth 6.1

      Grey: I am in the middle of a contest over the spirit of a cooperative which is very wearying. I am in one division, reaching back to the distilled experiences of the past and that wisdom as expressed by Schumacher. It is very wearying trying to understand, and get beyond the opposition and I have not been able to get my complete Schumacher reading done.

      So, are you saying that, in practice, working within a cooperative can require some understanding of how best to make it work? And that you were hoping Schumacher could provide a way to understand how to make a cooperative work well?

      Maybe in future it’d be a good idea, to select a book, but also select an important chapter in it for time-challenged people to focus on?

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Carolyn-nth
        No I wasn’t looking to Schumacher to show me the way, but it happened. He has so much to say about then, and coming to my mind, from a still relevant point of view.

        And as for time, we have to snatch at it as we can to inform ourselves, to gain insight from history, to remind ourselves, to prepare ourselves for the battle for humaneness ahead against the cold, smug, wealthy, and reflect, otherwise we will be caught up in and all suffer from Roger Douglas’ chronic disease:

        Nowhere else in the world was it decided to impose the neo-liberal theory of the Washington consensus with such ideological vigour and with such speed. There was a deliberate attempt to impose change at such a fast rate that opponents would be unable to rally effective resistance and to embed policies so that they were irreversible. Roger Douglas himself described the process as a “blitzkrieg”.

        From essay by Stephen Keys with a bibliography longer than my arm – so plenty to choose from.
        https://unframednz.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/an-essay-revisiting-rogernomics-in-an-age-of-globalisation/

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.1

          And carolyn-nth
          To get different perspectives and keep NZ thinking to the fore, we had talked about reading Marilyn Waring’s Counting for Nothing next. This was talking about the value of volunteers and how unpaid work can be recognised as inputting to the wellbeing of the country, and supports the monetised economy.
          I think it is very relevant at the preent in NZ.

          Is that a good one to go forward with, for another month?

          As you say it could be helpful to cite one chapter, and then people could read that, and then anything else that they found time for and find personally valid while the book is in the spotlight to add to the discussion.

          • Carolyn_nth 6.1.1.1.1

            Marilyn Waring’s work is very important. I think she may have some leftish principles, but probably some rightish ones as well. But, I think her work on unpaid work is pretty important.

  7. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 7

    I’m sorry that this is going to be a long post! And, I hope, is more on the practical application of ‘Small is Beautiful’ ideas to NZ. Here goes:

    Regional development.

    First premise – the market doesn’t know best. The government must shape the economy in the best interests of all the people of this country, not just the rich.

    ‘Small is Beautiful’ instances the case of Italy – a developed north and under-developed south, and the social consequences of that. Also how the rather depressed north of England voted for Brexit, against the wishes of the more affluent London and the south.

    New Zealand has allowed unrestricted growth of the Auckland area – with obvious social and transport consequences. The ideal for the ‘market’ would be four million NZers living within easy transport distance (say 100kms) of the main market, and the others spread over the rest of the country where necessary. But the ‘market’ ideal does not coincide with the desires of most NZers.

    It is imperative that the brakes be applied to the Auckland area. There are many ways this could be done.

    Decentralisation of government departments and ministries – from Wellington and Auckland into the smaller towns – to provide employment and stimulus to rural centres.

    New immigrants could be ‘tagged’ for settlement in the provinces as a condition of entry to this country.

    Government interest free development loans for small businesses in small centres – with conditions – such as use of sustainable energy sources.

    A move away from raw product exports to value added exports. For instance, we should not be exporting dried milk powder when we could be sending overseas cheese and yoghurt and other value added dairy products.

    The Fonterra business model is all wrong – so Muldoonish (think big), More on this later.

    There should be marketing umbrella organisations – for instance for dairy products, wine, timber – who would oversee the placing of NZ products in world markets – but not be the manufacturers of those products.

    State Owned Organisations [SOEs] should be returned in their entirety to state ownership and charged with social goals, not profit. They could, in the case of the energy companies, encourage solar energy by offering proper prices for feeding into the national grid.

    Universal Basic Income [UBI]

    There should be a UBI to give everyone in this country the dignity of living above the poverty line.

    In fact, a quick look at the Wikipedia entry suggests that a UBI is easily manageable – in terms of paying for it.

    • Welfare substitution: Basic income would substitute to a wide range of existing social welfare programmes, tax rebates, state subsidies and work activation spendings. All those budgets (including administrative costs) would be reallocated to finance basic income
    • Auto-financing of basic income: although basic income is paid to everyone universally, most people whose earnings are above the median income are in fact net contributors to the basic income scheme, mainly through an income tax. In practice this means that the net cost of basic income is much lower than the raw cost calculated as a sum of monthly payments to the whole population.
    • More fiscal redistribution: in addition to reforming and optimizing the existing tax systems, additional taxations can be implemented to fully finance a basic income scheme. Some proposals frequently mention to this effect the need for a tax on capital, carbon tax, financial transaction tax etc. which do not currently exist in most jurisdictions.
    • Money creation: In addition to tax reforms, the power of central banks to create money could be used as one funding channel for basic income.
    Wikipedia

    Implicit in the above is a fair taxation system with no loopholes. Frankly, the rich have had it too good for too long – and the ‘trickle down’ myth has finally been discredited.

    If the rich paid their fair share of taxation, and such malignant state departments as WINZ were abolished (saving hundreds of millions), a UBI is probably easily affordable.

    Implicit also in the above is regaining control of our banking system. The four big Australian banks have to be reigned in and made to serve NZ interests, not those (primarily) of their overseas owners! All government accounts should automatically go through Kiwibank, and Kiwibank should, like SOEs, be given social goals as a main objective.

    I especially like the Dr. Richard Wolff idea of worker co-operatives. All businesses which employ say, more than ten workers, should be turned into co-operatives, with workers being part of management, part of the decision making process, and sharing in the returns.

    Large financial organisations within the government’s ability to do so, such as Fonterra, should be broken up within the country and their overseas marketing assigned to specialist marketing boards.

    As a part of regional development, the government should encourage small businesses which will help us (perhaps) weather (!) climate change better – for instance, converting petrol and diesel cars to electric motors. I have a small 1300cc vehicle and would jump at the chance to change it into an electric one if it could be done cheaply enough.

    Transport problems.

    Near where I live in Christchurch is a new motorway development, the Northern Corridor. Work has begun and will be completed in 2020!

    To my mind, this is a completely counter-productive and expensive exercise.

    After the 2011 earthquakes, the opportunity existed to rethink completely the transport needs of the city. Many people moved away from east ChCh to the north, Rangiora, and the west, Halswell and Rolleston. However, corporate interests determined the construction of large parking buildings in the CBD. But the roads into ChCh are jammed at rush hours already. Building another ‘corridor’ into the city will not solve the problem. All that will achieve is, as the Green Party said, getting you to the next traffic jam a little bit faster!

    How much better it would have been to run frequent free rail services from Rangiora through to Rolleston and Lyttleton. How much better to have greatly expanded the bus services, and made them free. How much better to have slapped a tax on the use of cars within the four avenues. To have done everything, in fact, to encourage public transport and discourage private transport.

    I heard Leanne Dalziel, at a climate change protest, say that the provision of electric charging stations would be a priority for the city, and some have appeared – but they should have been fast-tracked.

    After the earthquake the old (and unused as a station) railway station on Moorhouse Avenue was demolished. Presumably the land has been sold to mates of Gerry Brownlee. But what better place for a inner city bus and rail terminus than the present railway station in Addington and the new bus centre on Colombo Street.

    Imagine, those of you who know ChCh, the entire city inside the four avenues being free of cars other than service vehicles. Unfortunately, that opportunity has slipped by.

    But, in view of CC, there is little justification in building more motorways!

    The Fonterra business model is all wrong. It is a remnant of the ‘think big’ days of Muldoon. The insanity of transporting bulk milk by tanker hundreds of kilometres to huge processing plants where it is converted into powder, then sold overseas into a ‘saturated’ market – well, it just does not make a lot of sense! To become viable farms must be bigger, herds must be larger, milking shed must be super efficient and also costly, and the only entities benefitting at the end of the day is the banks who loaned the money to the farmers.

    The downstream of all the above we are becoming only too aware of – degraded waterways and methane pollution.

    We need to think small and to think value added. As a food producer, the world will eventually be beating a path to our door – as it already is with our free water.

    • Carolyn_nth 7.1

      I like a lot of your prescriptions.

      However, I think you miss the points that Schumacher makes in his chapter on Socialism.

      Basically he dislikes both private enterprises or state run systems, if they both just do their version of organisation to pursue economic profits, without considering the aim of a better run society.

      Ultimately Schumacher rejects a totally provatised system as it’s all about profit.

      however, for a nationalised system, in the final paragraph of the chapter he says:

      Socialists should insist on using the nationalised industries not simply to out capitalise the capitalists… but to evolve a more democratic and dignified system of industrial administration, a more humane employment of machinery, and a more intelligent utilisation of the fruits of human ingenuity and effort.

      So for him how it’s done is as important of the system used.

      I can see how some interpreted Schumacher and the Values Party who used his book as a manifesto, saw the book as pointing to being neither left nor right.

      In the course of the chapter Schumacher seems to be saying neither full privatisation nor full nationalisation is the answer. He says it’s not about economics so much as the quality of life. But on the final page, he rejects a capitalist system of private enterprise, because it debases the quality of life.

      So, tony, I think the aims of a better quality of life are behind many of your proposed policies, but you haven’t always made explicit what that better society is.

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 7.1.1

        Yes, Carolyn, perhaps I could have expressed myself better – but I did mention that SOE should have social aims – and forget the dividend to the government.

        Schumacher could see a society, I think, of bustling small businesses with active engagement by all workers, who also shared in the ‘profits.’ But such a society may/will not be sustainable in the long term. In fact, climate change is the elephant in the china shop, to mangle a metaphor.

        I have a book called “Prosperity without Growth – Economics for a Finite Planet” by Tim Jackson – which is available as a .pdf download – which I intend to begin reading soon. Perhaps this book will provide some answers.

        But I still incline towards socialism, but not socialism that tries to out capitalism capitalism!

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          Tony Veitch plus
          You have done a long thoughtful comment and I think that to get more input into the topic than is turning up today, I would like to quote bits of it in Open Mike in the next few days, run an idea up the flagpole and see who salutes if you know what I mean.

          One of the disappointments that can crop up with the free running movement of the blog from day to day is that some longer joined-up-ideas don’t get well aired and critiqued. Perhaps a part of it can become the basis for a post and get more thoroughly explored. What are your thoughts?

          • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 7.1.1.1.1

            Feel free to do what you like with my ramblings.

            There are many aspects of Schumacher’s writings that could do with further investigation in relation to what could be worked in this country.

            One thing is patently obvious – we simply cannot continue down the path towards a National Party ‘brighter future!!’ We have to think outside the box and be prepared to experiment – with the proviso that the important people are those who are doing the work, not the money-lenders!

  8. greywarshark 8

    Tony Veitch with disclaimer!
    Schumacher could see a society, I think, of bustling small businesses with active engagement by all workers, who also shared in the ‘profits.’ But such a society may/will not be sustainable in the long term. In fact, climate change is the elephant in the china shop, to mangle a metaphor.

    I think you have a good point there, that the unknown future is likely to dump big problems on unknown locations to people whose small businesses will be washed away and their crops. Which is already happening around the world. A proper working, thinking government, with a thoughtful and serious leader that may not be quick with a merry quip and win laughs by jumping into his swimming pool in his suit or whatever.

    Kick starting or encouraging small business perhaps those supporting a family may be necessary to give people earning potential. Health and safety regulations need to be practical and necessary not some prescriptive prohibitor dreamed up by an agency or contractor that is actually a paid lackey to big business.

    What Christchurch has been mulling over:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/90552350/Editorial-Could-a-Christchurch-Dollar-take-off
    and
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/90493334/christchurch-city-council-committee-keen-to-introduce-citys-own-dollar
    (Guess who has brought this idea into the light.)

    We need to basket-weave our local societies (using the term once thrown around disparagingly about hippies etc.) and appreciate each other’s work and skills and pay realistic prices that pay a living wage to that local. Lots of small businesses buzzing around doing work locally, spending locally must be good, with the ripple effect of the multiplier. A region may need to have a bit of priming now and then with some infrastructure work, and with a return to the region of some of the GST paid there, so giving an even upward trend of tax returned as there is more economic activity.

    Has anyone got a good source of how local currencies work without causing inflation.
    Does Tim Jackson reference it at all Tony Veitch?

    I envisage a local Council having a local economy arm, perhaps contracted out to secondary school economic students who would keep track of use of Localtens which would be issued as free money each month to be spent and accepted in participating stores, which would tick and sign as receipt on a grid on one side, and then try to spend them again, and then return them end of month so local stats could be collated – how many times spent, most likely places, and all participating stores get listed in the Council newsletter (if they didn’t return they wouldn’t get mentioned.) The stores would decide what they were going to sell for that Localten or perhaps accept it as part. It would be an interesting exercise to underline what the conomy is, which we take for granted, and good for practical instead of just theory for the students. It would probably cause a burst in small transactions, as people tried to use them before they were outdated. Children could learn about spending and choice, and parents would be able to get the odd bargain that otherwise they would have to pass by.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Weka thanks for your work in setting this up. Much appreciated.

  10. mikesh 10

    Yes, I found the final section, on ownership, the most interesting. Schumacher sees ownership being transferred, as the company grows, not to the state but to a trust which would be required, in terms of its trust deed, to use any profits for socially useful purposes. An alternative, also suggested by Schumacher, but drawing I think on the writings of Tawney, would be be for the government to take 50% ownership in the company in return for freedom from tax.

    Also interesting, in his epilogue, was a brief account of the “four cardinal virtues”. I’m not sure what he was getting at there, but the concept dates back to Plato, or perhaps even earlier, and was adopted into Christianity in the middle ages. But Christianity has never really pushed the concept.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Thanks Olwyn r0b weka who originally advised and helped to start, and Carolyn-nth and Tony Veitch plus. More were going to read and discuss but it was going to be a month and ended up being three weeks because of my delay in getting started. So feel free anyone to keep adding, feedback is welcomed on the points you consider offer us ways to go now, or which are past their use-by date. But think again. Are they, or have we come to the end of the road, or been going around in circles, a maze?

    Also what do you think of Marilyn Warings book Counting for Nothing for the next? It isn’t a feminist tract for those who are sensitive to such. It’s good thinking social policy economist stuff.

    • weka 11.1

      I’m thinking we should maybe run the book club over a weekend. Put it up Friday night and then have the whole weekend to discuss. Not that anything is stopping the discussion today from continuing, but it does look like it might be better to spread it out a bit.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        weka
        Yes it was a pilot ready to tweak. I agree with you. Looking at the relatively small number of comments over all posts i felt that everyone was at the beach, in the garden, doing house repairs whatever. Yes run it over a weekend – start Friday, perfect.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          It’s the time of year too I think. In the winter there will be more people around on the weekend. At the moment, TS commenting is slow in the evenings and weekends (i.e. when people aren’t at work 😉 ). I think readership is up overall though.

  12. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 12

    Thank you, weka and greywarshark – I am a lazy reader – more content to settle on an historical novel or an Edgar Wallace than an economics book – so the exercise has been worthwhile for my brain cells!!

    When you name the next book, I shall endeavour to obtain a copy and read it.

    • weka 12.1

      I havne’t even finished the first book 😉

      I’m impressed with the calibre of the conversation here.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    4 hours ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 hours ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    16 hours ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    19 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    23 hours ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    23 hours ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 day ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    3 days ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    5 days ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    6 days ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    7 days ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    1 week ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bloody Great Political Story (From A Parallel Universe).
    Things That Make You Go - Hmmmm: “All right. Let me come at this another way. I’m guessing that what you’ve got in that box contains names, dates, bank account numbers – all the details you need to put Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern squarely in the cross-hairs. So, the first ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Submit!
    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
    Coasters Turn Out In Droves: It’s precisely the widening gulf between those with actual experience of things like guns, chainsaws and drilling machines, and those who regulate their use, that accounts for the angry crowd at Greymouth’s Messenger Park on Sunday, 17 November 2019. In the rarefied atmosphere where decisions ...
    2 weeks ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Porirua housing partnership to improve housing in the city
    A partnership signed today between the Crown and local iwi, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa), will improve the quality of state housing in western Porirua, says the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi. Contracts have been signed at a ceremony at Takapūwāhia Marae, in Porirua, between Ngāti Toa, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minster Delivers Erebus Apology
    E aku manukura, tēnā koutou. He kupu whakamahara tēnei i te aituā nui i Te Tiri o Te Moana, i Erebus I runga i tētahi maunga tiketike i riro atu rā tētahi hunga i arohanuitia E murimuri aroha tonu ana ki a rātou.  Kua titia rātou ki te manawa, mō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF backing Southland skills
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is supporting an initiative that will help Southlanders into local jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced in Invercargill today. “I’m pleased to be in the great South today to announce PGF support of $1.5 million for Southland Youth Futures. This initiative is all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ten Southland engineering firms get PGF funding
    Ten engineering firms in Southland are receiving Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment to lift productivity and create new jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today in Invercargill. Minister Jones announced over $4 million of PGF support for projects in the engineering and manufacturing, and aquaculture sectors and for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Public service gender pay gap continues to close and more women in leadership
    The Government has made good progress towards eliminating the gender pay gap in the Public Service, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today.  The latest data from the annual Public Service Workforce Data Report, shows that the 2019 Public Service gender pay gap fell to 10.5% from 12.2% in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Safer speed limits for schools
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to make streets safer for kids to walk and cycle to school, by reducing speed limits to a maximum of 40 km/h around urban schools and 60 km/h around rural schools. “Our kids should have the freedom to walk and cycle to school ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago