Tax cut speculation

Written By: - Date published: 2:39 pm, May 9th, 2008 - 55 comments
Categories: tax - Tags: , ,

Now that Michael Cullen has ruled out a tax-free bracket but promised that everyone will benefit from Labour’s tax-cut package, what cuts will he give?

The simplest option would be to cut the bottom tax rate, which would deliver a tax cut for everyone. As a percentage of income the tax cut would be largest for those on the lowest incomes, while the actual monetary value of the cuts would rise until the end of the first tax bracket, and then remain constant. That would satisfy Cullen’s desire to deliver more money to those on middle incomes without giving massive cuts to those on high incomes.

In the graph below the current effective tax rate at different incomes is compared to what would happen if the 19.5% rate was cut to 16.5% or 14.5%.

(data)

The 16.5% option would cost roughly $2.3 billion and give a $23 a week tax cut for people earning $38,000+. The 14.5% option would cost $3.7 billion and deliver $38 a week. On an income of $35,000 your tax would drop by 16% in the first option and 26% in the second. My money is on a cut somewhere between these two, perhaps in several steps: say a cut to 16.5% on October 1 and another two percent off by 2010. Cullen will probably include an increase in the tax bracket thresholds as well: an initial substantial rise and inflation indexing to deliver on the promise of multi-year cuts.

Some hopefully not altogether baseless speculation to ponder.

[Vernon Small raised the idea of an additional top tax rate of 45% at $150,000 like Australia has, to fund more cuts at lower incomes. This is unlikely to happen: any increase at that level would deliver relatively little revenue ($100 to $200 million) and encourage more tax dodging, so it wouldn’t allow much more cuts at a lower level. Hardly worth the effort and the political cost of not making a clean cut.]

55 comments on “Tax cut speculation”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Steve

    I’d be surprised if you weren’t very close to the money on your speculation.

    It’ll be interesting to see the publics reaction – I suspect whatever is announced the public will view it as not enough – who’d be a politician eh

  2. roger nome 2

    Excellent post steve. That looks like a lot of work.

  3. AncientGeek 3

    I’d prefer a more sustainable approach to start the process of moving the levels of tax brackets to reduce fiscal drag effects.

    Whatever way it gets done, starting in the lowest tax bracket is the best place to work in for whole of society. Doesn’t worry me whatever way it goes really – I’m in the extreme right of that graph.

  4. Billy 4

    “I’m in the extreme right of that graph.”

    You big showoff.

    Mind you, with that impressive atom thing you did on the other thread, ssounds like you deserve to be.

  5. AncientGeek 5

    That was just digging tables out of an old textbook. Fortunately I’m at home today.

    “Geochemistry” by Arthur H Brownlow Prentice-Hall 1979. It was state of the art at the time. Reading the modern stuff makes my head hurt.

    I’m more impressed by this graph of Steves. I’m reading through the data link at present – it is more interesting than what I should be working on.

  6. big bruv 6

    Higher

    Of course it will not be enough, after nine years of over taxation the public are not going to believe a word that Cullen says.

    They would also do well to remember that he has lied once over tax cuts and will definitely do it again if he has the chance.

  7. AncientGeek 7

    Steve: What would the reduction in lowest bracket tax do to the effect of low income rebates? And I don’t understand this at the treasury site:-

    Statutory tax scale from 1 April 2000

    * 19.5c per $1 on income up to $38,000
    * 33c per $1 on income between $38,000 and $60,000
    * 39c per $1 on income over $60,000

    With low-income rebate, effective rates are:

    * 15c per $1 on income up to $9,500
    * 21c per $1 on income between $9,500 and $38,000
    * 33c per $1 on income between $38,000 and $60,000
    * 39c per $1 on income over $60,000

    How can the rate of tax increase with a rebate?

    [the rebate goes to everyone for their first $9,500 and is abated over the remainder of the 19.5% bracket. So, your first $9,500 is at 15%, then the next $28,500 is at 21%, bringing a total at $38,000 of 19.5%. Between $9,500 and $38,000, the total tax you pay gradually rises from 15% to 19.5% of your income. It’s kind of confusing, try making a graph based on the above figures and you’ll see. The “interesting” thing is there are effectively four tax brackets but we only talk about three, and it would be historically more accurate to talk of four becuase there was a 21% bracket and that got replaced by the 19.5% bracket, which as you see is really 21 cents for the most part. SP]

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    There is talk of ‘fiscal drag’ and of course the oft-mentioned fact that only a small percentage would be in the top tax bracket when it was introduced; that number is far greater now.

    Two thoughts, one is that the government’s purchases are succeptable to inflationary pressures as well. Two, fiscal drag is caused by wages increasing – but pay increases are necesary in the public sector as well.

    Therefore continuously adjusting tax thresholds for ‘fiscal drag’ would reduce the tax take of the government, its ability to purchase goods and services, and ability to give salary increases in line with inflation to public servants…

    AG – isn’t the net effect there $0 for someone on $38,000, but with a lower rate up to $9,500 (15%) and a higher rate above it (21%) people earning under $38,000 will benefit?

  9. Patrick 9

    Just at a guess AncientGreek (sorry, it’s Friday afternon, I’m not doing any sums!) – it looks as though having a 15c rate for the first $9,500 would decrease the net amount of tax you paid.

    I vaguely recall something like this when I was doing part-time work as a student, but I never really understood it and certainly don’t now…

    Impressive post Steve, thanks for that!

  10. AncientGeek 10

    MP: I’m actually more concerned with the fiscal drag at the bottom end rather than the top end.

    If you look at the slopes in the graph above you can see the change in the velocity of tax increase with income. It steps. Now consider that just wages at the rate of inflation is is steadily going to move people to move up that slope. It makes little difference to me – but it would at 33k because the base costs are similar, but the residual income after costs is less. Note these are probably the wrong terms…

    I’m just unsure of the effect of the low-income rebate. I feel like I’m either missing something, or the numbers are incorrect.

    Anyway – better stop reading this and get some work done.

  11. Billy 11

    47% of the poulation earns less than $20k. That is astounding.

  12. Santi 12

    “47% of the poulation earns less than $20k. That is astounding.”

    Another great achievement of the socialist Labour government!

    Keep the masses impoverished so they can cast a vote for the reds in the hope of more benefits, handouts, welfare, grants and WFF.

    [pathetic Santi. even more people earnt less than that under National. Higher employment, higher labour force participation, higher minimum wage, stronger unions, have all contributed to an average 15% increase in incoems after inflation since Labour took power – add to that the increase in the social wage – Kiwisaver, 20Free, Working for Families, etc. SP]

  13. Billy 13

    59% earn less than $30k and, on current polling, at least 9% of them would vote for National.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Remember that the 47% earning less than 20k includes retirees and children.

    [It doesn’t include children who don’t work but it does include retirees. It’s 47% of registered taxpayers, not all of whom pay tax in a given year. SP]

  15. Daveo 15

    It’s a pity WFF is so hard to model as it’d be good to factor that into the effective tax rates .

  16. big bruv 16

    SP

    Despite your sickening party political statement the fact remains that Santi is right.

    Labour have done nothing in REAL terms for their core supporters, the fact remains that 47% earn less than 20k, that is disgusting.

  17. Billy 17

    SP, maybe you guys are going to have to re-evaluate your oft-repeated line that National represents a narrow interest group of big business and landed gentry. If 59% of the population earns less than $30k and National is polling over 50%, either being in the landed gentry is not what it was, or National appeals to a wider range of voters than you give it credit for.

  18. Daveo 18

    Santi- here’s one example – the minimum wage is up 70% since 1999. How does that square with your claim that “Labour have done nothing in REAL terms for their core supporters”

  19. Patrick 19

    bruv, can you please remind me, what was the minimum wage 9 years ago? What is it now?

  20. mike 20

    Surely the envy tax threshold will have to move.
    It was put in place to only affect 5% of workers and now hits 12%

  21. Daveo 21

    If 59% of the population earns less than $30k and National is polling over 50%, either being in the landed gentry is not what it was, or National appeals to a wider range of voters than you give it credit for.

    The left doesn’t argue that National doesn’t appeal to wage and salary earners, we point out National’s policies won’t benefit them (which is where dogwhistling and PR come in). There’s a crucial difference there.

  22. Daveo 22

    Surely the envy tax threshold will have to move.

    There’s no envy involved, just a recognition that those on higher incomes can afford to pay a greater share.

  23. BB. This graph includes everyone who pays tax. Now, That includes retired people, kids who work a few hours a week, beneficaires, and the 30-odd% of adults of working age who are registered for tax but aren’t in the labour force. So, those people all have low earnings but are in this graph. If you wnat info on wage growth under National and Labour, go to the archives..

  24. Joker 24

    Without wishing to single out Ancient Greek I think he has unintentionally confirmed my (very) amateur profiling of the “champagne socialist”.

    By volunteering information about how much he earns for no particular reason as some kind of boast it would appear to me that no one (i.e. his parents) taught him that this is a ghastly nouveau riche thing to do.

    From this I deduce that his parents were working class old school labour supporters.

    Having no doubt worked very hard to make himself reasonably succesful for Ancient Greek at some time there must have been some allure in the economics of the right.

    However a sense of guilt from loyalty to his working class roots or the continual exposure to socialist dogma in his formative years will always cloud his judgement.

  25. mike 25

    “Therefore continuously adjusting tax thresholds for ‘fiscal drag’ would reduce the tax take of the government, its ability to purchase goods and services, and ability to give salary increases in line with inflation to public servants ”

    So in other words the private sectors real take home pay should slowly fall to keep welfare payments and public sector’s pay high.
    And you wonder why the tide is turning…

  26. The low income rebate thing is a bit hard to understand. i tried explaining it one way above, now I’ll try the other way.

    All income to $38,000 is taxed at 19.5% but you get 4.5% back on the first $9,500. After that they gradually take back that rebate from you by adding 1.5% to the 19.5%. At $38,000, the rebate is all gone but if you earn less than $38,000 (like most people) you still get some part of the rebate).

    The graph I’ve done is a little unsatisfactory because it’s based on incomes groups, and so the line jerks about a bit when in reality it’s a series of curves – at the start of every bracket the curve is relatively steep and then eases off as it starts to approach the level of that threshold – the effective rate of tax paid can never reach the bracket rate (execpt in the first bracket) because not all your income has been taxed at that bracket, hence the shape of the curve, apporaching the rate at the declerating rate, never able to touch it (think of dividing 1 by 2, then the result by 2, then the result by 2, you get closer and closer to 0 at a slower and slower rate but can’t touch it, same shape curve)

  27. Here’s that the current effective tax rates actually look like

    Tax as a percent of income graph

    like I say, couldn’t do that in combination with the population distribution. Might see if Tane, our images guru, can work something out for when the real tax cuts come.

    [lprent: corrected link so it was readable]

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    Mike,

    1 – still sticking with the envy tax line are we? So how are your politics of greed going? Seems even National has abandoned them, rough bro. Can’t say I’m sorry…

    2 – “So in other words the private sectors real take home pay should slowly fall to keep welfare payments and public sector’s pay high.
    And you wonder why the tide is turning

    No. Drag only occurs with increase in pay. You get a pay rise and an increased proportion gets taken out in tax but your real take-home pay increases. Learn some basic maths, and try to think beyond making irrelevant inflammatory statements, they don’t add much.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    Joker, as an amateur profiler, what are you singling out a champagne socialist from? A 1950’s Soviet Railway worker perhaps?

    That term has no meaning, unless you think all socialists are poor, or anyone who is wealthy will automatically become conservative.

    Or are you saying that all socialists must live on collective farms and read Little Red Books?

  30. AncientGeek 30

    Joker: you name yourself well. Your simplified assumptions say more about your intellect than almost anything else you could have done.

    The reason why I gave an idea of my income is because there has been too much concentration on the upper incomes in the tax debate. The real issues for the whole of society are at the bottom income levels. A standard wingnut tactic is to denigrate on relative advantage in tax cuts.

    FYI: If you scale it in terms of income tax. Most of my extended family are usually in the mid to top brackets and have been since the depression. But we have and have had family members in just about every income bracket. It depends on what you find important. The family doesn’t do much inherited wealth transfer – we live too long. So everyone starts low. This gives an appreciation of choices to make.

    In the family, there is general agreement that what is good for all of society is good for us in the long-term.

    So we don’t get carried away by quick-fix solutions offered by the conservatives. That is something for people without a sense of history

  31. higherstandard 31

    MP

    “Or are you saying that all socialists must live on collective farms and read Little Red Books?”

    There’s no denying it would be a vote winner !

  32. AncientGeek 32

    Steve: thanks – those explanations (especially the graph) made it much clearer.

  33. Billy 33

    “Or are you saying that all socialists must live on collective farms and read Little Red Books?”

    I think that is only reasonable.

  34. rex brown 34

    “As a percentage of income the tax cut would be largest for those on the lowest incomes”

    Is that the goal? If so, why?

  35. Matthew Pilott 35

    Social Democrat Billy, remember there’s a difference!

  36. Billy 36

    So you say…

  37. Phil 37

    “[Vernon Small raised the idea of an additional top tax rate of 45% at $150,000 like Australia has, to fund more cuts at lower incomes. This is unlikely to happen: any increase at that level would deliver relatively little revenue ($100 to $200 million) and encourage more tax dodging, so it wouldn’t allow much more cuts at a lower level. Hardly worth the effort and the political cost of not making a clean cut.]”

    I think you need to be a little clearer about “tax dodging” which, when taken out of context, can be a very serious allegation to be levelled at an individual person or company.

    There is a distinct difference between “Tax Evasion” (illegal) and “Tax Avoidance” (which is transparent and legal). The type of ‘tax dodge’ that you talk about is the latter.

  38. Hillary 38

    Phil,’tax dodge’ as in rich people paying expensive accountants and lawyers to ‘minimise their tax liability’. While wage earners have almost no scope to ‘minimise their tax liability’. Fair, aye?

  39. mike 39

    “No. Drag only occurs with increase in pay. You get a pay rise and an increased proportion gets taken out in tax but your real take-home pay increases.”

    Why should pay increases be sucked up by fiscal drag?
    Will you socialists ever learn that rewarding production is the answer not penalising it.

  40. ak 40

    ah gee, so sad. A whole thread on money. Saw it coming.

    When the tories put up the most blatant election bribe I’ve ever seen in 2005 they dragged everyone down to their level. With the Press now so obviously shallow and blatantly pro-tory it could be a $30/wk versus a $45/wk election.

    Jesus. What an ignominious situation for such a proud, idealistic and world-leading country.

    Labour must continue to lead. Onya Hells and Culls – Slippery’s munificent flip-flops have delivered you an unprecedented and fully mandated platform to project us (and the world) yet further along the path of social evolution.

    Be bold. Race relations is both huge opportunity and electoral – hang on the league tests on – seeya

  41. Why should pay increases be sucked up by fiscal drag?
    Will you socialists ever learn that rewarding production is the answer not penalising it.

    ————–

    You mean profit, and generally its considered its own reward.

  42. ak 42

    (bastard! – no urgency, overhyped, overpaid pack of …. anyway, yes where were we, that’s right

    – GO! Cully and Hels, Slippery’s craven flipflops have given your progress to date an indelible seal of approval and the mandate to press on with further advances in social justice.

    Kiwis won’t be fooled again by the private-owned media. Go for it. Ignore the “New Zealand Sucks” fearmongers and Hollow Men arse-lickers: seize the advantage and pledge to raise maori life expectancy by four years within ten.

    It’s achieveable. It’s world-leading. It’s disgraceful that it hasn’t yet been seriously attempted.
    Go on Hels. Is Slippery going to say it’s an undesirable outcome? Ask him: and the Maori Party.

  43. mike 43

    “pledge to raise maori life expectancy by four years within ten.”

    More racist policy from the left. What a laugh
    Didn’t dear leader retreat on “closing the gaps” faster than “carbon neutrality”

  44. Higherstandard 44

    From a medical perspective it would be a miracle to raise the life expectancy of Maori by this amount in such a short period.

  45. big bruv 45

    ak

    Seems like “Culls and Hells” are going to suffer the same fate as your league team.

  46. Higherstandard 46

    BB

    Unlike the league team they will however fight tooth and nail.

    Don’t know what it is about our rugby and league players at the moment seems to be an acute “lack of ticker”

  47. Phil 47

    Hillary

    ” ‘tax dodge’ as in rich people paying expensive accountants and lawyers to ‘minimise their tax liability’. While wage earners have almost no scope to ‘minimise their tax liability’. Fair, aye ”

    Sure, because it’s so very expensive to set up a company in New Zealand, and it’s so very hard to complete all the documentation required to run it that you simply must spend thousands of dollars on expensive lawyers and accountants to do it.

    If someone is earning enough that it’s cheaper to set themselves up as a company and pay the company tax rate on their personal income, then good on them. That’s the beauty of progessive tax systems. If you want to offer an alternative (flat-tax anyone?) then be my guest.

  48. ak 48

    bruv: “”Culls and Hells’ are going to suffer the same fate as your league team”

    too right bruv – start off behind and convincingly win the second half in November

    HS: “miracle”: that’s what I’d always thought too – “too hard basket” – until I recently saw (by accident) a paper on improvements in cardiac intervention rates for Maori males that had come about purely from the introduction of a “check list” for specialists. You should know better than anyone that late presentation is a huge factor – something as simple as more community-based kaiawhina with a focus on primary checks could work wonders.

  49. higherstandard 49

    ak

    While I applaud your optimism you will not be able to lift Maori life expectancy by 4 years in a decade while surgery is my specialty current public health intiatives will be lucky to maintain current life expectancy in light of the increasing incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

    The major problem is poor diet and inactivity amongst this group coupled with thrifty genetics these behaviours aren’t changed in 10 years.

  50. randal 50

    I hear JOhn KEYS IS PROMISING A 10% GENERAL WAGE ORDER IF NATIONAL WINS?

  51. “There is a distinct difference between “Tax Evasion” (illegal) and “Tax Avoidance” (which is transparent and legal). The type of ‘tax dodge’ that you talk about is the latter.”

    Yeah, Phil, I’m aware of the difference between evasion and avoidance. There’s no arguing that the latter is still not a concerted effort to avoid tax, ie dodge it.

    Like Hillary says, that’s a rich man’s game.

    I disagree with your comments on the cost of opening a company in NZ – we’re rated the second easiest country in the world to do so, and it only costs, what, $400?

    Does a progressive tax system open room for tax avoidance? Sure. Does it also allow us to get the level of public services the public desires without taxing the poor into the ground? Yes. There’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater by going for flat tax because of what are only minor tax avoidance issues and false economies.

    Perhaps more suitable for some future post, but most the tax avoidance uses trusts, which are taxed at 30%, to take income that would normally be taxed at 39%. I question the value of trusts fullstop but, without going that extreme, I believe there must be a way to clamp down on this gaming of the system by the wealthy for their beneift and everyone else’s lost (I wonder how many of those people on zero income in the graph are actually raking it in and using companies and trusts to avoid tax.. it’s not illegal but it should be).

  52. Billy 52

    Steve, I think you will find that trustee income is taxed at 33%.

    [right you are. I thought it was moved with the corporate rate. SP]

  53. Matthew Pilott 53

    Billy – not if it’s a PIE

  54. Santi 54

    Long live the PIEs, one good idea of this socialist government helping me to reduce my tax take and maximise the use of cash resources.

    It’s just a pity that it generates more work for accountants and tax advisers, due to its complexity.

    Lower taxes and make live simpler, I’d say.

  55. uroskin 55

    Leona Helmsley said tax is something only the little people pay.
    If you can’t afford a creative accountant, you shouldn’t be in business.

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    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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