Super sized problem

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, February 6th, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: benefits, national - Tags: ,

I feel a bit sorry for Key and co. The coming term isn’t going to be nearly as much fun as the first one. Here, for example, is one issue that they’d desperately like to go away. But Treasury have dumped it right in their laps:

Treasury warning over cost of super

The Treasury has warned Finance Minister Bill English the Government must start addressing the pressures of future superannuation costs and it makes a case for lifting the retirement age – one of Labour’s policies going into the election.

The government wants to do no such thing of course. That’s a hard problem, and they don’t do hard stuff.

It [Treasury] also argues the case for less variation in taxing capital – again similar to Labour’s election policy of a capital gains tax.

Yes, Labour’s policies actually realistically addressed the elephants in the economic room, and set out a clear way forward. Too late to cry abut it now though, that ship has sailed and we’ve got the Nats. If they can’t drill it, mine it or sell it they haven’t got an answer.

In the hard-hitting advice on superannuation, the Treasury says leaving the retirement income settings in place would have to lead to higher taxes, which would harm growth, or large cuts in spending on other areas such as health and education.

It says that as the baby-boomers move into retirement, New Zealand’s 65-and-over population is projected to grow nearly four times more quickly than the total population over the next 15 years, contributing to a rapid rise in health, aged care and New Zealand Superannuation costs. … It says the current acceleration in the growth of the older population makes it “a matter of priority for New Zealand”.

The Nats will ignore the issue. It isn’t going to explode in the next three years, so as far as they’re concerned it’s not their problem.

38 comments on “Super sized problem”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    The National Party’s clients do not live in New Zealand. Why should they care what happens here?

    • mac1 1.1

      Then again there are the ‘patrons’ of the National party who have National as their clients. I wonder if they live in New Zealand?

      Now the ACT party is a client of National. They live here. So does the Maori party. And Dunne.

      All clients of Gaius Julius Keysar and his praetorian cohorts, Stevanius Serendipitas, Gerriander Cera Maximus and Bilius Anglicanus Apudipton.

      And then the rest of us plebs, fed on bread and circuses, or nowadays McDonalds and the Media.

      Time to join the Barbarians across the water, with the other Kiwi coloni, away from the Vesuvius to come.

  2. foreign waka 2

    How much of this statement reflects their peers benefits, perks and health service access? How much of it is researched about people who are in retirement or going to be in the next 10-15 years? A comparison will lead the treasury people, who undoubtedly belief that the little people need to be euthanized out of the budget sheet once “unproductive”, that the income of ordinary Nzlandears is too much to die and too little to life on. Elderly people in the next decade and beyond will die prematurely because healthcare will not be easily affordable and the best that some can hope for is over the counter painkillers. These were the people, who with their taxes have helped to build the infrastructure you benefit from and who had, to a large extend lost their life savings in speculative adventures of your kind, being left on the scrapheap and lectured to! How many you say or dare to promise a guaranty, will have any money in their retirement fund, the kiwi saver? Will they also be without a roof over their head when they reach 70 like you so nonchalantly propose to those who have paid taxes all their life? How undignified has one to be to work for your outfit, taxpayer funded no less?

  3. tc 3

    The Nats killed off 2 previous schemes that would’ve solved this and dicked with kiwisaver (wow another broken promise) so this is par for the course…..the Nats have never ever given a shite about resolving this issue.

  4. Roger 4

    The Nats at the time will have a few options when the time comes that they currently roll out at other times, these are:
    1. Blame the poor elderly by trying to sell us the line that they made poor choices by not saving much with their low wages.
    2. Find a way to blame a previous Labour government no matter how long a bow they have to draw.
    3. Push through the changes prescribed above a couple of decades too late and under urgency.
    4. On an individual level, National MPs could just resign and bugger off out of the country to hang out with their wealthy bludger mates.

  5. DH 5

    I read the Treasury briefing and what is missing from it is the issue of super being a universal benefit. Presently there’s some 550,000 OAPs collecting super. How many own +million dollar freehold properties and how many have a comfortable private income? Does anyone have the stats on income of people over 65?

    I’d think means testing etc would be more effective at reducing the super problem. Could fix it completely now that baby boomer property owners have seen their nett wealth more than double in the last decade.

    • foreign waka 5.1

      Age of client at the end of June Clients receiving New Zealand Superannuation1
      2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
      Under 60 years2 4,507 4,205 3,899 3,484 3,179
      60-64 years2 12,815 11,971 11,072 10,303 9,781
      65-69 years 127,786 135,322 144,867 153,900 158,186
      70-74 years 111,757 111,329 111,240 113,201 117,332
      75-79 years 94,098 95,021 96,754 97,382 97,581
      80 years or over 113,661 117,367 120,993 124,447 128,217
      Unspecified 0 0 0 0 0
      Total 464,624 475,215 488,825 502,717 514,276

      Info from Ministry of Social Development.

      Current weekly income Gross/Net (as I said to little to live on, too much to die):

      Category Weekly rate
      Gross Net
      Single, living alone $389.14 $339.92
      Single, sharing $357.40 $313.78
      Married person or partner in a civil union or de facto relationship
      $294.08 $261.48
      Married or in a civil union or de facto relationship, both qualify
      Total $588.16 $522.96
      Each $294.08 $261.48

      Now, even with an increase in age to lets say 67 (Why on earth we want to employ someone at 65 to take the workplace of a young person is beyond my comprehension) it would in the best of all worlds save the money of about 70 000 people of which about 2/3 will have to go on a benefit because of health reasons (also taxpayer money). Ending up with some 25 000 x 13.5k. Maybe this kind of money could be saved by means testing including Trust funds. But I doubt this greatly as it would mean to cut the money supply to exactly those people who suggest taking even more from the people who, in their eyes, ought to maintain them.

      • DH 5.1.1

        Those figures don’t mean anything, they’re just the stats on pensions (and the latest was 2008) The important bit is how much private income people over 65 are earning, plus how much actual wealth they have. I haven’t been able to find any statistics on that.

  6. foreign waka 6

    DH – try this
    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Households/HouseholdEconomicSurvey_HOTPYeJun11/Data%20Quality.aspx

    Go to the end of the page – there is a spreadsheet: Household economic survey 2011. Have a look, maybe this is wath you are looking for?

    • DH 6.1

      Thanks I have that already & I can find nothing about incomes of people over 65.

      Keep in mind I’m not advocating means testing, I was pointing out that Treasury haven’t offered it as a possible option when it clearly is one. Why have they left it out, why pick age over means?

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        You’re looking at the wrong thing. Forget about taxable income of those over 65. You need to look at net asset worth.

        • DH 6.1.1.1

          I have covered that, re my comment about baby boomer property owners doubling their nett worth in the last decade. Income is just a place to start, to find out how many OAPs are receiving private incomes and how much they earn.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Sure, I suppose it is a start. No doubt you understand that the wealthy have set up their affairs so they have valuable economic services provided to them (e.g. housing and cars) by family trusts etc. which you will never be able to categorise as income.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Better is the Universal Basic Income system which eliminates the problem at root. Retirement is a wholly artificial and clumsy notion anyhow… just get rid of it.

              • KJT

                Agreed. A GMFI or equivalent is preferable. Accepting that everyone has a right to live at a reasonable level.
                But the problem of superannuation affordability along with the affordability of a lot of social programs is easily solved by making progressive taxation the same as Australian levels. E,G, 45% over 150k. FTT and CGT would help make taxation fairer.
                Not only does this keep income in NZ, but it increases local spending.

                • KJT

                  The un-affordability of super, welfare etc is a right wing meme which Labour should never have bought into.
                  A good example of “repeat a lie often enough, even those who should know better begin to believe it”.

            • DH 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes I do understand, I also understand that family trusts can be busted wide open at the stroke of a legislators pen. They’re protected only by law and governments make the law.

              • KJT

                Private trusts should be illegal anyway. The prime purpose of the majority of trusts is to avoid legal obligations such as tax, alimony and paying contractors.

                • DH

                  Don’t get me started. The biggest fan of trusts is the mob who push personal responsibility and they set up trusts precisely to avoid it.

        • foreign waka 6.1.1.2

          I doubt that this will be easily to come by – privacy laws etc. If you look at table 6 you can see that taxable income for the over 65 was in the majority up to 21k pre tax (couple). Compare this with Table 6a and you can see the same under “not in labor force”. Any income derived from savings, shares etc is taxable and therefore included. Not included are assets such as family homes and other property, shares ex tax.
          From http://www.bigcities.govt.nz/standard.htm this comment:
          The top 10.0% of wealthy individuals own over half of the nation’s total net worth, while the bottom 50.0% of the population own just 5.2% of total net worth.

          • DH 6.1.1.2.1

            Thanks, I was looking at the wrong tables that one does have incomes. It shows 5% of OAPs are earning more than $78k. (the figures are for personal income, not couples)

            I don’t even know if super is still universal, do the likes of Fay still receive it? But if it is I think it’s time to accept we can’t keep paying super to those who don’t need it. Whether it’s a total solution I don’t know either but it needs to be examined. And Treasury haven’t even mentioned it, why?

            • foreign waka 6.1.1.2.1.1

              As far as I know it is still universal. The very wealthy can reject it, but would they? One has to be careful with these wishes as it could hit a pensioner who bought his/her property in the 60-70’s which is now worth many times what was paid for. This does not mean that this person is rich, it just means that the property becomes more and more unaffordable. It is called asset rich and cash poor.

              • DH

                What’s the difference between rich and asset rich? Rich is rich, what form the wealth takes doesn’t change whether they’re wealthy or not.

                There’s never any perfect solutions, raising the retirement age brings it’s own problems too. Fine for those who work in an office, not so great for those who worked in physical jobs all their lives. A lot of people are plain worn out by 65.

                • foreign waka

                  Totally agree with retirement age. As for Asset Rich – this is an expression only. I know of many who have to sell their homes because they can’t afford the rates and upkeep. Right now, this means their life savings have not grown but have been reduced. This is unfair as these people have saved for all their working lives to get there and have in 99% of cases have no other savings. This is called cash poor.

                  • DH

                    Unfair in what way? Some people who bought houses in the ’60s & ’70s have benefited greatly from urban sprawl in the main cities while others who paid similar sums have seen little real capital growth in their properties. It’s certainly not a nice prospect having to move when you get older but there has to be some reasonable balance struck here.

                    I don’t agree with the ‘solutions’ being proposed but I think we do have to face reality & accept that the numbers don’t lie. We can’t keep spending more & more on super without some radical changes somewhere. We don’t have the money to pay for it.

                    • foreign waka

                      DH – you are running into open doors on the issue of affordability of super spending. I have some time to go and have all sorts of nightmares regarding my “lifestyle” when its my turn. Still, it does not look desirable to work til I fall into the grave despite those poundings my treasury and media. Nonetheless, I am not agreeing on the notion that today’s retirees have to practice this nightmare to give me some satisfaction that hell is for everyone.

  7. RedLogix 7

    The fiscal implications are a bit of a side-show really. My father was forced into an early retirement in his late 50’s; he’s now 85. He’s been retired almost 30 years, and he could live another 10. That’s a retirement almost as long as his working life!!!

    If my health holds together and I don’t go gaga, I could easily continue to work in my current occupation into my 70’s.

    Yet overwhelmingly this entirely arbitrary figure of 65 mandates retirement. Now there are those who welcome it, well and good to them. And there are those who experience it as an overwhelming sense of loss and irrelevancy. In a society that can only measure things in commercial terms, being expelled from work implies that you have become worthless.

    I’m not sure that fiscally tinkering with superannuation policies is going to change much. If there is one thing we could learn from Asian and Polynesian societies is the real meaning of being elderly, and how these entirely natural and inevitable transitions in our life should really be managed.

  8. foreign waka 8

    RedLogix, The Polynesian and Asian population have not state pension hence the family is taking care of them. There social structure is different, always was. And so is for most their life expectancy. So what do you do in the western society that has not had this pattern, where families are much smaller and often not interested to take on the elderly? It is in most cases the women who do the deed and often have to drop their employment – who is helped by that? Add another 2 kids to the household and the caregiver is on permanent Ritalin. And what do you do when the elderly gets sick, maybe very seriously? Most in a very high age have dementia. Have you ever looked after an elderly person that cannot help themselves anymore but is not seriously sick?
    If my health holds together and I am not gaga with 65 I will be perfecting my hobby’s and volunteer when possible. Hallelujah, I will say the chores are done, I am free.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Yes … I appreciate your perspective. I think that was the point I was trying, probably rather badly, that the current ‘one size fits all’ model of retirement is very clumsy. Everyone has quite different needs; their families are different, the community around them, their health, their attitude to work, the type of work they can do or are interested in… if any. A huge range of variables… yet the current system rather mindlessly has a single cut-off date and after that its ‘waiting to die’.

      Personally as I mentioned above, some form of Universal Basic Income that applied to all adults.. regardless of age… is the way forward here. That way the entire concept of retirement becomes meaningless and people would then have far more control over exactly how they managed their transition from working life to something else, whatever else they wanted to do.

      Have you ever looked after an elderly person that cannot help themselves anymore but is not seriously sick?

      umm… yes. Much of last year in fact. A whole story in itself, but not mine for the repeating.

      • foreign waka 8.1.1

        RedLogix, sorry to hear that you have a sick relative. Hope you have some support too as this is often needed. My best wishes.
        As to universal basic income – sounds like a good idea, but would it not greatly disturb the concept of measuring effort and achievement? I could see this applied by a certain age but not sooner. Which brings us back to the universal retirement payment.It is my opinion that there is a flaw in the way NZ distributes the pension.
        trust funds – should be illegal as they do only one thing, hide income from taxation and hence is fraud. Basic Income at a certain age, when sick and very important – when raising children to the age of 3: this should by allocated by individual not by single or couples. Tax is paid individually, benefit should apply the same way. There has to be some form of development in public policy that recognizes that women often do work commercially and in the household. The latter is not recognized as a contribution to society and yet without it we would be living in caves, I am sure of that.
        I really feel that one has to contribute first before any demands can be made. My feeling is that of an innate fairness on this as a balance between give and take has to be struck. Theoretically, one can argue that all people are equally involved when fear of no income is removed. I am thinking aloud when stating that perhaps some free ride on those who see pride on making an effort, believing they will contribute on their behalf. This in turn will not be taken kindly by those who do work. Unless one advocates an Amish society, freedom always comes with a price. Then again, I may be wrong. You certainly made my think about it.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          As to universal basic income – sounds like a good idea, but would it not greatly disturb the concept of measuring effort and achievement?

          That’s a great question. Just for clarity the kind of system that I have in mind (and that espoused by Gareth Morgan for instance) is something like an $11,000 pa UBI for all adults over the age of 18, a flat PAYE tax rate of something like 30-35%, and a modest capital gains tax in the order of 15%.

          At the same time you eliminate all benefits and superannuation. (I know there are complications here … but I’m keeping this brief.)

          The whole idea of “but would it not greatly disturb the concept of measuring effort and achievement” comes from earlier periods of human history when it was relatively easy to measure the contribution any person made. It essentially says that your only worth as a human being is your ability to work. That’s a very materialistic and narrow definition.. but one that was adequate first aproximation until recent times.

          If people didn’t have access to paid employment they could usually access some natural resource in the commons… dig for pipi, plant some kumara or the like. Anyone had the opportunity to fish and feed themselves…but that is far less true in the modern world. If you live in a city, or even in the many rural areas.. and if you are unemployed the opportunity to make a meaningful effort to support yourself in far more constrained than it was in the past.

          Moreover there is the larger idea that human beings are inherently worth more than simply what they contribute economically. This idea tells us that basic human dignity and justice demands that all people should by right be able to access some minimum needs for food, shelter and welfare. Because while a person may not be in paid work, many will be nonetheless contributing in some valued way to their family or community… but at present we largely fail to measure that effort, far less reward it.

          • foreign waka 8.1.1.1.1

            Thinking, have started to read up on it – i.e Carol Bateman. Still a bit uneasy about the concept as it reminds me on a soviet communist model. Thinking – will have to read more….you won’t win me with 11k pa. in retirement as this means I have to find a live in partner so that I can pay for heating in winter. Still thinking, PAYE 30-35% ??? Huh on 11k p.a as well as 110k, still not won over. Thinking, what about the person raising kids, maintaining the household – can be classified as social work? No income, still thinking… I have difficulties with the numbers now as well as the concept. Need to go away and read what Mr Morgan wrote about it. Thank you 🙂

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Lets see .. on an income of say $100k you’d pay $35,000 PAYE and receive $11,000 in UBI.. net about $24,000.

              At present Superannuation for a single person is about $16,000 IIRC. There are a variety of ways to bridge that gap; one is to simply top up the difference in cash. Another is to extend the Gold Card concept to wider range of services and costs..like electricity.

              Bear in mind these numbers are just examples… the whole idea can be fine tuned a lot closer than I’ve described here. Gareth Morgan’s book “The Big Kahuna” is the most recent and comprehensive version I’m aware of.

              The system combines the huge merits of a totally flat marginal tax rate at all income levels and circumstances, with the basic social justice requirements of being inherently progressive in terms of total tax.

              From an ideological pov both the right and the left can find things to like about it… and it makes many of the distortions and problems with our current tax system, simply dissapear.

              • foreign waka

                RedLogix, its late and I have to get to work early – getting up at 5am, so I just put some 5 cents in.
                Lets see .. on an income of say $100k you’d pay $35,000 PAYE and receive $11,000 in UBI.. net about $24,000. …
                Unfortunately, don’t earn that much but what I meant was that 110 k will pay as much tax as 11k – does not sit so well with me, maybe the fact that:
                Super for singles is $ 310 per week nett, too little to live on, too much to die might be the reason.
                Need to read more on that subject as at that stage I feel that I am not contributing to that conversation. Have a great evening. chiao.

            • KJT 8.1.1.1.1.2

              I think it should actually be higher. At least equivalent to today’s superannuation. With a lesser amount per person for children. And taxes on economically dysfunctional high incomes, and/or wealth, should be higher than 35%.

              Unlike Roger Douglas, Don Brash and Paula Bennet, I do not believe starving people actually motivates them to look for work. Neither does 80% abatement rates. Beneficiaries marginal tax rate, if they get part time work, is much higher than that for millionaires.

              When there was full employment, and benefits were comparatively high almost everyone still chose to work.
              Muldoon claimed to know them all by name.

              A lot of opposition is predicated on the Rights idea that people work only for money or status. That may be true for those on the right, but even many of them do unpaid work for charity or the community.

              Most people work because of the sense of meaning in their life and the sense of making a valued contribution.

              Almost all the, career changer, Teachers I trained with took a drop in income to teach.

              Even, the few, teenage dole bludgers I have known soon get sick of it and start to look for something meaningful.

              I can tell you about many people who do low paid or volunteer work, for our communities, for much less money than they could earn elsewhere with their skills.
              In fact our society could not function without these people.

              Those bringing up children, for instance.

              In fact our needs and even most luxuries can be met with most of us working less than 3 days a week.

              Entrepreneurship and social capital may well increase markedly when the penalty for failure or doing a period of volunteer community work is not so harsh.

              • Colonial Viper

                Unlike Roger Douglas, Don Brash and Paula Bennet I do not believe starving people actually motivates them to look for work.

                The top 0.1% need large pay rises, performance pay, expense accounts and stock options as incentives to work.

                Everyone else need hunger, deteriorating conditions and less income as their incentives to work.

                In other words bonuses for US, austerity for YOU

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.1.1.2

            The various levels (of UBI, income tax, capital gains) really come down to what we need to pay for – perhaps with a modest surplus for a rainy day or to save up for stuff we really want like a national cycleway 😉
            …or a major weather event.

            If whatever model was finally adopted also closed the income gap a bit that would probably lead to a reduced budget in the long term as our social indicators improved.

            No doubt there’s some entirely ideological reason why this is all wrong…

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    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    3 days ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    3 days ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    5 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    7 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    1 week ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to progress Control Orders for community safety
    The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill will have its first reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. “The control orders Bill will mean our community is better protected from the risks of the very small number of New Zealand citizens who have engaged in terrorism related activities overseas. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • World-first plan for farmers to reduce emissions
    The Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in one of the most significant developments on climate action in New Zealand's history. Today farming leaders and the Government announced a plan to join forces to develop practical and cost-effective ways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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