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Tax cuts and the wage gap

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, February 5th, 2008 - 64 comments
Categories: tax, workers' rights - Tags: ,

News that 28,000 New Zealanders left for Australia last year has Business NZ, the Chamber of Commerce and the National Party predictably calling for tax cuts as the solution to New Zealand’s wage gap with Australia.

Of course, they know very well that tax cuts are not the answer. Workers in Australia currently earn 30% more than workers in New Zealand, which means unless John and his business mates are willing to reduce taxes by 30 cents in the dollar they’re not going to close the gap. And as keen as they might secretly be on such a plan, it’s clearly not a plausible option.

Because the real issue, as always, is wages, and it’s the elephant in the room that National and its allied business lobby groups would rather ignore. New Zealand’s low wage economy can be traced directly back to the Employment Contracts Act of 1991, which was deliberately designed to reduce the ability of workers to bargain for better wages through their unions.

Since then New Zealanders’ pay packets have fallen behind Australia, our productivity has failed to keep up and even Labour’s Employment Relations Act has done little to repair the damage. As few as one in five New Zealanders now belong to a union, pass-on is rife, and enterprise bargaining is heavily favoured by legislation.

If we want to raise New Zealanders’ living standards to Australian levels then we need to seriously lift wages and restore industry-wide collective bargaining, and that’s something National knows it has a shameful record on.

It’s no wonder they’d rather talk about tax cuts.

nominal-small-revised.jpg

64 comments on “Tax cuts and the wage gap ”

  1. Wayne 1

    Is there any social ill that National doesn’t think can be solved by tax cuts?

  2. Ausy Mosy Kiwi 2

    Forget tax cuts this country is a case study in madness.

    [lprent – junk warning – this is probably dad4justice under yet another alias. It is in his usual IP range and with the usual comment type.]

  3. Daveo 3

    I’ve had a lot of my family go to Australia but I’ve never once heard any of them talk about tax cuts as a reason for leaving. Every single one has said something along the lines of “Working here I get $12 an hour but in over in Aussie I’ll get $18.50”. It’s wages every time. How National continues to get away with limiting the argument to tax cuts I don’t know.

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    Yeah probably Wayne, the ones that are cured by privatisation 😉

    Now what’s the y-axis indicating on the graph? My guess would be hundreds of dollars (i.e. so it starts at $20,000, and finishes at $50,000), but it’s not all that apparent.

  5. Tane 5

    Sorry Matt, should have made it clearer. It’s hundreds of dollars per week – was explained better in its original context:

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

  6. Camryn 6

    Sorry to be pedantic, but the title of the graph is still a little misleading. It’s labeled a graph of “Median Wage Growth”. It’s actually a graph of the Median Wage (in $/week) that, when you look at it, shows growth. A map of growth itself would have the rate of change on the y-axis, not the median wage itself.

  7. East Wellington Superhero 7

    Australians not only get paid more – they are taxed less. Then, to add insult to injury on NZ Labour’s performance, the Australian Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is more generous than Working for Families (WFF). That must certainly be embarrasing for Dr. Cullen.

    Of course, unlike WFF, the Aussie FTB isn’t given to a huge portion of the population. After all, it makes no sense to tax families and then give them their money back because a) it’s inefficient and b) it opens up that money to politican manipulation (by any politician, Left or Right).

    Seriously, how could anyone who believes in freedom and fairness vote for NZ Labour?

    The Aussie’s have good wages, low taxes, and look after low-income families.

    NZ Labour just seeks control.

  8. Brownie 8

    Well said, EWS.

  9. Phil 9

    In summary;
    Nationals answer is the ‘carrot’ of tax cuts, and Labours is the ‘stick’ of legislation…

    Conclusion;
    I think it’s time we all got a new mule.

  10. Tane 10

    Australians not only get paid more – they are taxed less.

    Well, that depends which tax bracket you’re looking at, and it also excludes state taxes etc as well as WFF tax credits. It’d be interesting to see a proper comparison of the average NZ and Australian family, taking into account all extra taxes and tax credits. I imagine it would be quite difficult, which is probably why people tend to resort to slogans instead.

    unlike WFF, the Aussie FTB isn’t given to a huge portion of the population

    So that kind of undermines your argument. WFF is a broad but targeted tax credit that goes to a large number of working families. It’s not my preferred mechanism but it seems to work.

    The Aussie’s have good wages

    They do. But you still haven’t addressed how National will raise wages to Australian levels. The point of this post was simple – tax cuts aren’t the answer, wage increases are. So when is National going to address wages? Or are they going to continue to avoid the issue in the hope that no one notices?

  11. BeShakey 11

    “Australians not only get paid more – they are taxed less. ”

    Given the problems that various people have identified with making these comparisons (federal taxes, taxes on buying property etc) it might be an idea to offer some evidence in support of this. Or is it simply another case of ‘if I say it often enough maybe someone will think its true’?

  12. Rocket Boy 12

    I totally agree. The real difference between us and Australia is the wage and salary levels. I would like to think I am doing my bit to push up wages in NZ, I am an employer and we have increased our salaries this year by between 6% and 10%. In New Zealand we should be aiming for a high value and high wage economy and I don’t see that happening with National in charge.

  13. Seamonkey Madness 13

    Rocket Boy,

    As I’m sure you’ll agree, wage increases aren’t anything without the matched productivity increase. Out of curiosity, have you – as an employer – seen that from your workers?

    And Tane, I agree with your argument: Key is talking up tax cuts at every available opportunity, but isn’t tackling the real issue of wage growth.

    Well said EWS.

  14. Phil 14

    It’s all well and good to talk about collective bargaining increasing salary and wages, but this extra cash for the plebs like you and I isn’t just conjoured up out of thin air – it has to come from somewhere else.

    If we’re going to suck it up from business profits, that means there is less to be rolled back into capital-investment and, hence, improved productivity down the track.
    By the way; contrary to the popular belief of thestandard, not all buiness profit gets used by greedy slave-masters to buy another BMW – another case of “if you say it enough it becomes true”?

    Another aspect of this is the argument that “increased wages improve productivity”
    I accept that there is a correlation, but yet again we cannot assume causality in the direction that you’re all implying. I contend that the causality is the other way around – that is; “more productive workers are rewarded today for being more productive yesterday”, not; “the reward you get today encourages you to be more productive tomorrow”.

    Shameless plug; StatsNZ’s “IBULDD” database is provisionally showing some really fascinating stuff in this space – watch out for more from people like the RBNZ, MOTU, and other researchers over the next couple of years)

  15. chris 15

    I have a friend, a mining engineer working in the Northern Territory, and every year he raids NZ and the UK looking for geology and earth science graduates, electricians, diesel mechanics, fitters, welders, mobile drill rig operators, heavy machine operators, truck drivers and pretty much anyone with good references prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder as rig hands and labourers.Last year in NZ he recruited 16 graduates and 60 or so assorted trades people and well over 100 graduates and tradesmen from the UK. All well and good during boom times but if or when the bubble bursts I think you’ll see things going the other way. The Australian housing industry is the other big attraction but when it slows things are going to get very
    uncomfortable for an awful lot of Kiwis who bet the house on the move across the Tasman.
    As for EWSs assertion that Australians are better paid and have lower taxation levels, I accept that wages are higher but so are the costs of living and because he’s not telling the whole story, state taxes, capital gains, death duties, medicare, stamp duties, vehicle registration and compulsory super I’m calling bullshit on the lower taxes mantra

  16. Phil 16

    “All well and good during boom times but if or when the bubble bursts I think you’ll see things going the other way. The Australian housing industry is the other big attraction but when it slows things are going to get very uncomfortable for an awful lot of Kiwis who bet the house on the move across the Tasman.”

    What, you mean kind of like how we had a mini-exodus of tradespeople prior to the Sydney Olympics, when the Aussies were building like mad?
    How many of them came ‘home’? Sweet… F… A…

  17. TomS 17

    Our business leaders are generally very poor comparative to overseas countries. They are basically an unimaginative managerial elite dedicated to a tribal new right ideology that allows them to masquerade as capitalists in lieu of any actual risk taking or real entrepreneurial spirit. The primary focus of our managerial class is the efficient running of a branch office economy dedicated to the generation of maximum profits for their (usually offshore) shareholders. This class demands tax cuts not for reasons of entrepreneurial advantage but rather as a simple wage subsidy from the government. In short, they expect the government (that is, you and me via reduced public services) to make up for their unwillingness to lift wages, they’re under investment in training and technology (hence the low productivity) and a blinkered short-termism in planning.

    Of course, given the neo-colonial role and the globalised loyalties of most of our business class they always bitterly oppose any measures that would raise wages and productivity. The irony of their blathering about tax cuts and the need to be competitive would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.

    There is an old saying – “there is not such thing as good or bad soldiers, just good or bad generals”. I would paraphrase that for our business leaders – “There is no such thing as a good or bad workforce, just good or bad managers”.

  18. Rocket Boy 18

    Seamonkey: Yes we have been working hard to increase productivity and are about 20% ahead of where we were last year. I agree that productivity and reward go hand in hand and that is where business should be putting its efforts.

  19. Draco TB 19

    It’s all well and good to talk about collective bargaining increasing salary and wages, but this extra cash for the plebs like you and I isn’t just conjoured up out of thin air – it has to come from somewhere else.

    And most righties go round telling us that it’s not a zero sum game…

    If we’re going to suck it up from business profits, that means there is less to be rolled back into capital-investment and, hence, improved productivity down the track.

    Not that there’s a lot of investment in NZ into the productive sectors anyway – most of it seems to go into housing which is why we need foreign investment to keep the economy going. Foreign investment just sucks the profits out of the economy and keeps it stagnant because there’s very little left to reinvest.

    Another aspect of this is the argument that “increased wages improve productivity’
    I accept that there is a correlation, but yet again we cannot assume causality in the direction that you’re all implying. I contend that the causality is the other way around – that is; “more productive workers are rewarded today for being more productive yesterday’, not; “the reward you get today encourages you to be more productive tomorrow’.

    Productivity has increased as shown by the increase in business profits but wages have not risen at the same rate. This would, according to you, prove that being more productive isn’t actually being rewarded in NZ. This may be why people are leaving.

    Correlations a wonderful thing isn’t it.

  20. East Wellington Superhero 20

    Tane,

    “WFF is a broad but targeted tax credit that goes to a large number of working families.”

    Whilst not really wanting to go off on a tangent on WFF, I think it’s important to highlight something. I once heard WFF described and “spending money to make our economy less productive”. I’ve heard dozens of stories in my personal circles (so I can only assume this is repeated all over NZ) of people chosing to refuse offers of pay increases and job promotions because they’ll lose their WFF benefit.

    This has a terrible impact in an individual’s career and the fortunes of their dependents, and a terrible impact on the economy as a whole. One example was of an analyst who refused to be promoted to a manager (a significant opportunity to develope an important skill set) and another of a person who was asked if they wanted to be promoted to a position where he would be teaching apprentice welders. So, in the later case multiple working Kiwis are disadvantaged.
    (I mean it’s nuts – on one hand you have the govt talking about a knowledge economy and the govt funding on the job education to make us more skilled – and then on the other hand the govt throws a billion into WFF which discourages on the job skills improvement – this is the Party of the workers – if it wasn’t so worrying it’d be funny.)

    There is also the fact that people don’t work longer hours. Now, you can complain that in a modern economy people should be able to enjoy a 40 hour week. However, some NZers want to get ahead (in fact you’ll find that most wealthy people are those in business who do at least 60 hour weeks) but WFF prevents them from doing so.

    Money is being spent to make NZ less productive. In a terrible irony, WFF hurts Kiwi workers – the very people Labour claims to be the campions of.

    Then of course there’s the fact that WFF was largely and election bribe anyway. But I think the points I raised above are more concerning.

  21. East Wellington Superhero 21

    Oh, and regarding the so-called “extra” taxes Australia pays – not once have I seen any analysis of how big they are and what they add to the Aussie tax burden.

    Do you have the numbers? If so please share them with the class.

    It’s a silly one-liner that Dr. Cullen uses (and I suspect that you’re just repeating) because he’s knows that no one will actually go and do the analysis. And even if you did it wouldn’t be applicable and it’s probably not that much anyway. For example, stamp taxes are a red-herring as they’re generally on property sales which most Aussies would only do a handful of times in their lives.

    Taxes are lower in Australia. Everyone from the OECD to the RBA, to the RBNZ, to Boy’s Brigade knows they are lower – the numbers are there – you can’t just ignore them.

  22. Gooner 22

    Why should National or any government for that matter be tasked with the job of lifting wages? It’s got nothing to do with a government. It’s a private matter between the employer and employee. I just signed a new employment contract and at 3.5% unemployment could virtually name my price. I didn’t ask Helen Clark or John Key what to do!

    What governments can do is set an economic framework that allows for productivity increases that will allow wage growth. It is dangerous to talk about wage growth in isolation, it goes hand in hand with productivity increases.

  23. It’s all well and good to talk about collective bargaining increasing salary and wages, but this extra cash for the plebs like you and I isn’t just conjoured up out of thin air – it has to come from somewhere else.

    If we’re going to suck it up from business profits, that means there is less to be rolled back into capital-investment and, hence, improved productivity down the track.

    Increasing wages can have the reverse effect. Often an increase in wages results in an increase in productivity as firms recognise the need for capital investment in order to make the most of their labour. Cheap labour is often an incentive to avoid capital investment (and investment in training/upskilling etc).

    And there’s plenty of profit available to do this. Last year alone the NZX increased it’s value by 22% and there’s are more than one Australian shipping billion dollar plus profits out of NZ.

  24. there’s are

    Should read “there’s”

  25. Tane 25

    it’s value doesn’t need an apostrophe either. You’re slipping ‘sod…

  26. schrodigerscat 26

    Nice to know the lawyer market is so buoyant Gooner.

  27. Tane,

    1. Apart from its lack of units on the vertical axis, your graph doesn’t indicate whether it’s measuring income before tax or after tax. Given that you’re saying taxes have had no effect over the years shown, don’t you think that’s somewhat important? Don’t you think you should also show on the same graph the rise in tax levels over the years shown? Or would that confound the point you’re trying to make?

    2. Given that you’re using the graph to indicate the difference between NZ and Australian wages, perhaps you’d care to track Australian take-home pay against NZ on the same graph, and then perhaps you’ll see why NZers have been heading to the ticket office in their droves.

    3. Quite incredibly, you seem to imagine that there is no connection between tax levels and wage levels. Quite apart from the obvious connection between take-home pay and gross pay (a relationship your graph carefully skates over) you appear entirely unaware of the all too obvious connection between productivity — which is what grows wages — and taxes.

    Excessive taxes and regulations tend to strangle productivity and wage rises that come from greater productivity. Minimal taxes and regulations tend to the opposite effect.

    It would be ignorant to ignore that all too obvious point, don’t you think, and also to ignore the other all too obvious fact: that Australia has been the fortunate beneficiary of lower taxes on productivity than NZ, and as a consequence they enjoy higher wages than we do in this small authoritarian backwater.A s Paul Walker points out, the ratio of NZ tax to GDP has been increasing over the last 30 year: “In 1975 New Zealand’s ratio was 28.5%, in 2005 it was 37.8%. … What is more worrying is that the gap between New Zealand and Australia in terms of this ratio is increasing. In 1975 New Zealanders paid a bit less than 3% more of GDP in tax than Australians, while by 2005 the gap had risen to about 7%. Not a good look.”

    Not a good look either to ignore all this in the hope you can distract attention by some graphic sleight of hand.

  28. burt 28

    Tane

    That graph again…. Is this the third time it’s been trotted out on this blog to make an attempt to prove Labour good – National bad”. The other thing your “logic” misses is that salaries and wages have been higher in Aussie for about 30 years, not just since National were required to rescue the economy from the train wreck Labour got it into during the late 80’s.

    Peter Cresswell makes some very valid points, will you address them?

    Another interesting thing about this graph is it shows how much Labour have shafted students in NZ. In 1992 the student allowance was set under the failed policies of the past at $150/Week. According to your graph that was probably about $50/week below the median wage. Now in 2008 it must be close to $350/week below the median wage.

  29. Draco TB 29

    Taxes are lower in Australia. Everyone from the OECD to the RBA, to the RBNZ, to Boy’s Brigade knows they are lower – the numbers are there – you can’t just ignore them.

    The OECD disagrees with your statement that Australia pays less tax.
    http://www.oecd.org/vgn/images/portal/cit_731/52/32/36366632TaxingWages_Chart_1_1.jpg
    http://www.oecd.org/vgn/images/portal/cit_731/51/55/36366659TaxingWages_Chart_1_2.jpg

    Excessive taxes and regulations tend to strangle productivity and wage rises that come from greater productivity. Minimal taxes and regulations tend to the opposite effect.

    This is supposedly correct but NZ, which pays less tax and is easier to do business in, seems to be the exception to the rule.

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    burt, what actual policies do you think have caused the divergence between us and Aus?

    Remembering back to the eighties and early nineties I recall articles in the economist saying that NZ had gone about the reforms a little rashly but had done so very purely. That is to say that we applied the economic theories better than places like say, Australia. We privatised more, we deregulated more, we leveled playing fields with atom bombs as it were. We floated and desubsidised, detariffed and let a thousand foodbanks bloom. They predicted this would serve us very well.

    Unfortunatly we had a share market crash like everyone else, but it hit us a lot harder for some reason. Our market was sometimes described as a wildwest, though looking back it was more of a turkey shoot. Kiwis lost faith in the stock market and it has taken untill very recently for that faith to start creeping back. Somehow Australia who took a more measured and pragmatic approach has fared much better.

    Talk to me burt. Particularly, talk to me abnout labour law and how Australia has differed in their approach over the last 20 yrs.

  31. lprent 31

    I’ve been collating dad4justice’s various accounts and IP addresses.

    His persistent trolling with little content is starting to annoy me (and by the looks of it – everyone else).

    So I’ve put a temporary moderation block on factors that identify him. This will remain in effect while I find or code a better solution, or he starts writing in a better style and with more sense.

    Unfortunately this will lead to some other comments going into moderation. I will clear them as fast as they get notified.

    I thank you for your patience over the next few days.

    Lynn

  32. burt 32

    Pascal’s bookie

    One of the most noticeable differences between Aussie and NZ is attitude. In Aussie not everybody is equal. They are not all the same, participated is what is expected and achieved is a bonus, like we are in NZ.

    Aussies still test their primary school children, something that is now optional in NZ. Aussie kids sports teams are still coached to win. Wealthy people are not denigrated as rich pricks and success is not sinful. Aussie rich pricks are taxed higher than rich pricks here and Aussie battlers are taxed less than Kiwi battlers. Go figure that Labour call themselves left wing!

    Aussies still reward success and don’t praise failure.

    I can talk at length about the differences between NZ and Aussie in the late 80’s. I was working there when Hawk was crying on TV about his fling and when Howard came to power. It was an interesting comparison between NZ then and Aussie and it still is interesting today. It’s not all about tax, it’s about opportunity and attitude as well.

  33. r0b 33

    Burt – why did you move to Australia? Why did you come back? Genuine enquiry (I’m not trolling here). I’m just interested if the decision was a purely economic one?

  34. Pascal's bookie 34

    burt, thanks. What about policy?

    Funny thing is I’ve spent a bit of time in Aus myself, and I study their media a lot in my work environment over here (I work for a transnational so I am in daily contact with many ockers as well) and the same complaints about political correctness are raised over there. Usually they compare themselves to the States in ways that we compare ourselves to them.

    Do you think that what you consider to be Australia’s more left wing policies have contributed to their sucess? (I guess that was what my questions really were getting at). If not, why not? And if so, then why do you often criticise Labour for being more left wing than National?

    The stuff about attitude seems like handwaving to me, unless you believe that economic policy does not matter. And if it does not matter, why oppose or support differrent policies?

    Thanks again for the non troll response.

  35. burt 35

    rOb

    The decision to move was certainly a financial/economic one. The pay for the same role was substantially better and in the late 80’s the cost of living was very similar. Rents were comparable (10% more in Aussie at that time), public transport was much cheaper and oh so modern!. The decision to come back was inevitable family reasons in NZ.

    Tax rebates for private education and private health care (both of which are available in Aussie – neither in NZ) are a significant policy difference between NZ & Aussie tax wise. The 0% income tax threshold in Aussie ($10K?) must also be a big draw card to minimum wage workers. It’s not just high earning National voter scum leaving the country for ‘take home pay’ reasons.

  36. burt 36

    Pascal’s bookie

    It’s flipping obvious that Aussies more progressive taxation system is what allows them to have such low taxation at the bottom end of the income scale and provide more livable welfare.

    However it’s not just taxation rates, it’s thresholds and it’s also fairness of the taxation that is important. Few people would argue that earning circa $200K makes you a high earner in Aussie. Many many people would argue that earning $60K in NZ makes you a rich prick. Australia (a little bit like Norway) have actively managed their taxation rates. In NZ rates and thresholds have been static and targeted benefits have been the order of the day while the govt gets richer and people get poorer.

  37. r0b 37

    Interesting Burt. Pay is at the top of your list, and taxes way down the bottom. Your individual case certainly supports the point of the original post, that if we are concerned about the numbers leaving for Australia, it is higher NZ wages that we need.

    And family reasons always bring us home. Thank goodness there is room in life for motivations that are not economic. ‘Night.

  38. Pascal's bookie 38

    Thanks again burt.

    I’m a bit confused about a few points, given other things you’ve written. But I’m tired. So there you go 🙂

    I agree with you completely that thresholds should be indexed and taxation more progressive. I think National are worse on this issue.

    I agree that people on 60k are not rich pricks. Some of them are poor pricks, some are comfortable pricks and most are not pricks at all.

    I don’t agree that ‘Many many people would argue that earning $60K in NZ makes you a rich prick.’ I think that’s a straw man. Cullen was talking about Key, and Cullen is but one man in any case.

    I think that when the govt runs a surplus ‘the people’ don’t necessarily get poorer. In fact, (leaving election year bribes from all sides to the side for a moment*), I fear that we may end up very glad that Cullen has been such a scrooge, given global economic trends.

    *Aussie pollies are worse than ours at this as well IMHO. (do they have a Fiscal Responsibility Act?)

    g’night

  39. AncientGeek 39

    The pingbacks on here are getting interesting. For instance this debate over at The visible hand in economics – Migrant outflows to Australia, etc.

    I had to engage my brain at a rather higher level than I usually do around here. Apart from anything else I had to leave a bookmark so I can find it again when I’m not quite so tired

    captcha: scored repro
    ??

  40. outofbed 40

    Ancient Greek i followed you link and now my brain is fucked
    I blame you

    captcha data antithesis

  41. AG – bro that link’s just bullshit. Let’s talk about something serious. Like whether Insolent Prick fucks pigs or like how our democracy’s under threat. Burt? Are you out there Burty-boy?

  42. outofbed 42

    Robinsod Some bastard is using your handle

  43. What the fuck??? Where? I’ll rip ’em a new one…

  44. AncientGeek 44

    Careful Robinsod, I think that the education is showing.

    I must say it is more fun cutting loose occassionally.

    Has anyone seen Michele recently…..

  45. Billy 45

    Care to comment on this allegation?:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/02/labour_promises_years_and_years_of_tax_cuts.html#comment-405209

    [lprent – sure.

    It means that some pathetic person didn’t read the post and probably doesn’t understand how wordpress and google operate.

    The post argued that the higher wage level in aussie were more important than the differences in tax rates in aussie.
    Either title would have expressed that. Tane obviously changed his mind after he pressed Publish, and changed the working title. Google scanned in the intervening period.

    Since google is scanning this site almost continuously (measured in minutes between sweeps), it is hardly surprising that it might have a copy pre-update.

    So would you like me to comment on my opinion of someone who finds this important?

    Lynn]

  46. Billy 46

    Iprent/Lynn,

    Do you enjoy drinking? Can I advocate that you do more of it? Your every comment bristles with an angry energy that cannot make you pleasant to live with.

    I am uncertain of the chronolgy, but the following events occurred:

    1. Post made under heading “Tax cuts not the answer”
    2. Labour announces tax cuts
    3. Heading changed

    Surely you can see why that is of interest.

    [lprent – I was answering the question that was implied in the link. How is it possible to change the title]

  47. Tane 47

    Hi Billy, as Lynn rightly suspected I changed the title immediately after pressing publish as I realised the second title – “Tax cuts and the wage gap” – was a better reflection of what I was saying in the post. If you read the post again you’ll see I said explicity said that “tax cuts are not the answer”.

    It’s amazing what absurd and desperate lengths some people will go to to try and attack this blog.

  48. Billy 48

    What about my other point? Lynn/Iprent has turned into the angry little man of the Standard. Every thread you read lately, there he is, shouting at us in his angry black text, all defensive about the slightest thing. He sounds like a humourless bore.

    [lprent – yes. I run the backend of the site – why would I need a sense of humour to do that? Just at present I’m looking at trolling.]

  49. Tane 49

    Billy that’s a question for Lynn, not me, but if you’d had to put up with the kind of personal attacks he has over the last few weeks I suspect you’d be a little annoyed too.

  50. Oh Billy quick! I noticed at the visible hand they changed a title after I pointed out a spelling mistake. Goddamn lackeys. Go geddim tiger!

  51. Billy 51

    Yeah, ‘sod. Let’s pretend it’s about changing the title, rather thatn how and why the title was changed. Fuck me, I only asked the question. I am unprepared to die in a ditchover it. As it happened, Tane’s answer is a damn good one: the article says tax cuts are bad. I’m fine with that, so there’s no need for all the advanced ‘soddiness.

    And as for Lynn/Iprent. I fear he’s taking himself too seriously. That last little ominous “just at present I’m looking at trolling” thing was creepily officious. He doesn’t get an invite to my fantasy bloggers’ dinner party. Despite his last hurtful comment, ‘sod does. He’s seated next to IP: I think there’d be a whole opposites attract thing happening.

    [lprent – thats ok, I’ll pass. I’m known as being anti-social. For instance, as far as I’m aware I’ve only ever met one editor on this site, and that was over 6 months ago]

  52. Billy 52

    “For instance, as far as I’m aware I’ve only ever met one editor on this site, and that was over 6 months ago”

    Fascinating.

  53. He’s seated next to IP.

    Oh yes please! Will there be steak?

  54. Billy 54

    I thought pork.

  55. It’s ok to think it Billy.

  56. r0b 56

    Billy, Every sysadmin I’ve ever known has been somewhat grumpy (in their professional context). It’s something to do with dealing with lusers all day…

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    A 51-year-old flight attendant has completed a swift and stunning rise to CEO of Air New Zealand. New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand, has expressed great enthusiasm in announcing its new CEO today: 51-year-old Nathan Guy, a flight attendant who has spent about 1200 hours on the job. Guy ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 hours ago
  • A true story
    by Daphna Whitmore In a recent debate on free speech I closed with a true story. A woman I know – a writer – tweeted a joke in response to a man having just insulted her on the platform. The joke featured some violent imagery, but it also featured absurdist ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 hours ago
  • Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga inspires Māui Hudson’s research journey
    Māui Hudson says the characteristics of his namesake, the Māori diety Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga, enables and inspires him to confidently walk into new spaces of research. He hails from Te Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine and Ngāpuhi. Māui is a trained physiotherapist but is well-known for his leadership in creating guidelines and ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    7 hours ago
  • Driven to help the planet and humanity thrive
    Mihi mai ki a Dr Te Kīpa Kēpa Morgan, a professional engineer, who’s inspiring a different value system that he says can help humanity thrive and safeguard the sustainability of our planet. Kēpa affiliates to Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa), Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu. For more than a decade, Kēpa’s main ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    7 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why an attack on Iran is back on the agenda
    Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite ...
    9 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 30 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr David Bromell, Senior Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies: “While working as a public policy advisor, NZ Politics Daily was a daily “must read” as it alerted me to wider public policy issues than workplace-based media scanning, which generally covered only subject areas that related directly to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    9 hours ago
  • The Simple Thing That’s Hard To Do.
    What's Not To Like? There’s a reason why the self-evident benefits of a “one world government” arouse such visceral opposition from those with a vested interest in both the local and the global status quo. A world run for the benefit of all human-beings strikes at the very heart of the ...
    13 hours ago
  • A Stay of Execution: The National Library of New Zealand Caves to Authors
    Well, well. Looks like Christmas has arrived early, with a victory over vandalism. You may recall this little furore about the future of the National Library of New Zealand’s Overseas Published Collection: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/lack-of-public-service-announcement-the-national-library-of-new-zealand-internet-archive-and-alleged-digital-piracy/ Well, those outrageous plans to digitise and pirate copyrighted works have got enough negative attention ...
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We can do it!
    RNZ reports on the other story to come out of the government's emissions budget Cabinet paper: the scale of the changes we need to make: The massive scale of the nationwide changes needed quickly to cut climate gas emissions is laid bare in newly-released government documents. [...] The number ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Cold feet?
    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 day ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    2 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    3 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    4 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    5 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    5 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    5 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    6 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    2 weeks ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
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