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Tax cuts, one-off payment, or something better?

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: budget 2009, national, tax - Tags:

Budget papers just released reveal that Treasury recommended a package of measures to reduce debt including an 8-year suspension of the Cullen fund contributions, new operating allowances of $1 billion, rather than $1.75 billion and cancelling the tax cuts and giving New Zealanders $1billion worth of one-off payments instead. This either would have taken the form of $300 to each taxpayer or $1200 to each single super annuitant and beneficiary,and $1800 to couples. National turned down the idea. Was it a good one?

It’s a better idea than tax-cuts, that’s for sure. One-off payments (ideally actually split into smaller payments over a couple of months) would have given an injection into the economy when it needed it without locking in a permanent decrease in government revenue as with tax cuts. Jobs would have been saved and, like a zap with an economic defibrillator, it may have helped get the economy ticking over again.

Even better than one-off payments much of which would have bee pissed away on consumer imports, would have been if the government had spent the money itself on large short-term projects to create jobs and improve our productive capacity for the future. A Green New Deal, like the Greens and Labour have called for, and which National hasn’t had the vision to take up.
– Marty G

43 comments on “Tax cuts, one-off payment, or something better?”

  1. burt 1

    Marty G.

    So what you are saying is that the way to lift NZ out of it’s domestic recession is for the govt to increase it’s ownership of the economy?

  2. Ianmac 2

    Back in about 1937 or so, didn’t the incoming Labour Government give 5 pounds to each worker or was it to each adult? Anyway it had a dramatic effect on uplifting the economy and started an end to the Depression. (Memory is a bit dodgy.)

  3. MartyG 3

    I don’t have a knee-jerk, ideological opinion on that. Whereas you seem to think it’s bad per se.

    But you’re wrong anyway. I’m arguing the government should be expanding the economy by creating sustainable and useful capital, not by buying existing assets.

  4. Anita 4

    Is Labour calling for a Green New Deal?

    I know my news watching is patchy, but that sounds sufficiently visionary I’d like to imagine I would’ve noticed.

    • Zetetic 4.1

      No. They’re more generalised. Want a better home insulation programme. Opposed public sector job cuts. want more on public transport. But no single plan laid out like Greens.

      • burt 4.1.1

        Zetetic

        The way I recall it Labour thought they were better at Green stuff than the Green’s. That was a pillar of their [two ticks Labour] assurance.

        Like Anita I missed the subtle change of position, did it happen last November perhaps?

      • craig 4.1.2

        What about RAM, what’s their recession-busting plan?

        • burt 4.1.2.1

          craig

          RAM are quite open about what they would do;

          $2,000 ‘baby bonus’ to every mum
          Offer first-home buyers a 3% interest state loan
          Lift minimum wage to $15 per hour
          Free lunches in schools serving poor areas
          Free tertiary education plus a student living allowance
          Free and frequent public transport in our main cities
          Offer cheap solar panels to homeowners

        • Anita 4.1.2.2

          GST off food would do more good to the NZ economy and the lives of the poorest than anything that National have suggested so far.

          Add to that cheap loans to first house buyers (stimulating the building industry better than anything National’s suggesting), an increase to the minimum wage (another good stimulus because it’s small amounts of regular additional spending), and increased participation in tertiary education it looks like a damned fine recession busting plan.

          Funding it, as RAM suggests, from a financial transaction tax and tax increases for the wealthiest isn’t recessionary.

          It’s very anti-capital, pro-labour (more so than anything Labour ever suggests) which is why it’ll never happen, but it’d be a great way to manage through the recession.

          • gingercrush 4.1.2.2.1

            Oh yes cheap loans for first time house buyers. What New Zealand needs. More speculation on the property market. And doesn’t Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ring a bell? That is after all the major cause of this world-wide recession.

            Impose on small businesses (the backbone of this economy) higher employment costs. Gee what a great idea during a recession. If the minimum wage was pushed upwards to 15 dollars that would mean other employees would want increases in their income. During a recession that will merely lead to more lay-offs and businesses moving elsewhere. Nothing would be gained in the extra spending because people wouldn’t have jobs. Going from $12/12.20 to $15 simply isn’t sustainable.

            The rich invest in this country. Taxing them too harshly (which is exactly what RAM would do) would simply drive them to invest elsewhere.

            It isn’t pro-Labour, its anti-capitalist. It isn’t sustainable either.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.1.1

              The rich invest in this country. Taxing them too harshly (which is exactly what RAM would do) would simply drive them to invest elsewhere.

              They can leave – the market will adjust. That’s the whole point of having a free-market.

              And having rich people in the economy drove the present recession. Actually, they seem to have driven all recessions. The Arch Druid Report pretty much sums it up:

              Instead, as the world crossed the bumpy plateau surrounding its 2005 production peak, oil prices moved up and down in waves of increasing violence, culminating in a drastic price spike driven in part by speculative greed, and followed by an equally drastic crash driven in part by speculative panic.

              Sure, he’s talking about oil specifically but I’m pretty sure that it applies to all other financial transactions on Wall Street et al.

          • Anita 4.1.2.2.2

            cheap loans for first home buyers != risky loans for poor credit risks

            cheap loans for first home buyers != increased speculation

          • Pascal's bookie 4.1.2.2.3

            GC

            Oh yes cheap loans for first time house buyers. What New Zealand needs. More speculation on the property market. And doesn’t Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ring a bell? That is after all the major cause of this world-wide recession.

            Please explain?

            Bear in mind Anita’s very helpful, and quite correct equations. Tell me what you think freddie and fannie did, since they were created, what changed, when, and how much of a role they played in the crisis, seeing you seem to imply the F&F are the major cause.

          • gingercrush 4.1.2.2.4

            PB you know full well that F&F distribution of loans and how those loans were created were a major cause of this recession. Supplying loans to people who simply could not afford them created a real mess. That combined with F&F and other financial institution’s strange ways of supplying money to the markets contributed to the current mess we’re in. The US government not only covered up the troubles F&F were in. They also directed those two companies to supply easy loans to millions of Americans.

            As for first home buyers and house speculation. Just look at Australia. Supplying cheap loans to first-home buyers just drives the costs to others. Meaning New Zealand would have to borrow more money to fund first-home buyers. 3% interest rates wouldn’t even get that money back.

          • Pascal's bookie 4.1.2.2.5

            No GC. I don’t know that at all. In fact, I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

            Be specific about what you are saying please.

            F&F do not, repeat, do not make loans. They guarantee them. There were rules in place that if an institutiuon wanted their loans guaranteed by F&F then a certain percentage had to be made to minorites. Note, minorities, not ‘the poor’. All loans backed by F&F had to meet lending criteria. F&F could not, by law, directly back no doc or sub prime loans.

            All the sub prime stuff that you are talking about was leant out by institutions not using F&F as a backstop. The deregulation of the sector made such loans legal, and the banking sector took advantage of that. Because of the growth in that sector, F&F were losing market share. That loss of share ws why they started, very late in the game, investing in some of the products derived from those shitty loans. But again, it was at the other end of the process, they were not, I repeat again, not making bad loans, or backing them.

            That’s what I know.

          • Anita 4.1.2.2.6

            If someone can safely afford to repay a 3% mortgage then offering them a 3% mortgage is not risky. The problem, as I understand it, is that people were offered mortgages they could not safely repay.

            RAM is not suggesting that people be given mortgages they can’t safely repay, it’s saying that people who can safely repay at 3% (but not at 7%) should be able to get a mortgage and buy their own home. No increased risk but increased home ownership.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.7

            GST off food would do more good to the NZ economy and the lives of the poorest than anything that National have suggested so far.

            Actually, that’s a bad idea as it would cost more to administer than what GST brings in. Would be cheaper and easier just to have the people who’s income is within the lowest tax bracket have their GST refunded from IRD. As they pay GST on pretty much everything just use the basic calculation 12.5% of = and then send out the cheque.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.2.7.1

              PS. Any ideas as to why I don’t have an edit function?

            • Anita 4.1.2.2.7.2

              Draco,

              You’re logged in, edit doesn’t seem to work when I’m logged in either (and I’ve told lprent and it’s on The List :).

              Try logging out and see if it comes back.

  5. lprent 5

    Completely off-topic. The search re-index finally finished, so the server should be now at its normal loading. Now I can start looking for why the site got suspended at bluehost.

    So far it looks like there is a simple reason. The volume of traffic is staggering even on a saturday after the site has been down for days. I hate to think what it is like on weekdays

    • Anita 5.1

      Did you trip the threshold for traffic volume or CPU?

      Lovely to see you all back btw 🙂

      • lprent 5.1.1

        Thanks.. Nice to be back. It was a pain them suspending the site in the mornings. I had to head to work because that is pretty active at present as well. As it was BlueHost made me late two days in a row.

        CPU. It is averaging about 30% per CPU at present on a dual CPU motherboard running ubuntu server with 2400MHz Operton’s. It is the cost of generating the pages even with SuperCache running.

        We did over 60 GBytes transfer in May. But a basic DSL is handling that without hassle

        • Anita 5.1.1.1

          How much are the sidebars costing in generation? If they’re hurting there are a number of elements that could go.

          Also, is reply threading generation heavy? I imagine it might be if badly coded.

          Yeah, complicated things only ever go wrong when it’s of maximum inconvenience (I always get those phone calls after the final call for any plan I’m boarding :). You didn’t move til after the by-election eh?

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.1

            The cache takes care of things that aren’t changing. It just serves up the same file that it used previously.

            There are two things on the front page related to comments. The count on each post and the sidebar. The main cost is that when any of those change, the whole front-page has to be regenerated. Looking at the pages going out, that is the biggest cost by a couple of orders of magnitude.

            Ummm – thinking about super cache. Just going to run a test

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.2

            Threading isn’t a problem. That is efficient – I checked the code after I turned it on.

            Cache rebuild. Serve a supercache file to anonymous users while a new file is being generated. Recommended for very busy websites with lots of comments. Makes “directly cached pages” and “Lockdown mode” obsolete.

            I thought that might be turned off, but it is ok.

            I’ve just turned off the super-cache compressing its files on disk. It looks to me in the code like it may be uncompressing them before serving (different to the gzip on request). I’d prefer to use a spare gig of disk space.

          • Anita 5.1.1.1.3

            Are you saying that every time the number of counts on a post changes, or any new comment is posted (changing the right sidebar), then the whole page (both sidebars and post and comments and banner) needs to be regenerated? Or that if only the right sidebar changes then only the right sidebar will be regenerated?

            If the former, then lowering the number of dynamic elements anywhere on the page would help wouldn’t it?

            Argh, I’m not sure I’m being coherent 🙂 If someone posts a new comment on a post, then someone views a different post and the server knows it has to serve them a new “Recent Comments”, will it also regenerate the calendar on the left sidebar?

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.3.1

              Yep. The whole page gets regenerated for all pages whenever a comment is added and the page request comes in. To make the site visible to the search engines you can’t use frames (although that shouldn’t be true any longer).

              The code doesn’t break parts of the page down for seperate regeneration. It recalcs the whole page.

              That usually really isn’t a major issue. Comments are added in human time.

              • lprent

                Arrghhh This wouldn’t help in SuperCache

                Garbage Collection

                If expiry time is more than 1800 seconds (half an hour), garbage collection will be done every 10 minutes, otherwise it will happen 10 seconds after the expiry time above.

                Checking for and deleting expired files is expensive, but it’s expensive leaving them there too. On a very busy site you should set the expiry time to 300 seconds. Experiment with different values and visit this page to see how many expired files remain at different times during the day. Aim to have less than 500 cached files if possible.

                I was set to 3600 so it was cleaning every 5 minutes which explains the type of spiking I was getting. I’d prefer it to do a big cleanup infrequently. Now set to 1500 seconds.

              • Anita

                That doesn’t explain a big spike in the middle of the night does it?

                Edit: I’m getting “Cannot open socket” when I try to post comments at the moment
                Re-edit: but apparently not when I edit comments 🙂

                • Anita

                  But now I do seem to be able to post comments, it’s weird, I might go bake something 🙂

                • lprent

                  I don’t think that Bluehost got a CPU ‘spike’. I think that was when someone looked at the stats from the previous ‘night’. They showed The Standard chewing more CPU than they’d like (there are apparently no ‘criteria’) so they suspended the account. Certainly I couldn’t see anything except normal high patterns where ever I looked at in the logs.

                  For Bluehost I suspect that it is simple economics. They provide a cheap and pretty good service, but they get paid the same regardless if people are doing very little or a lot. If Bluehost get a site with a big footprint, then they spike it because they can fit more users in the same resources if they have simple requirements.

                  What gets me is that they were suspending the system then telling me.

          • lprent 5.1.1.1.4

            I just had a peek at some of the text on the generated pages for the root screen. You can see it at the end of the generated code.

            !– Dynamic page generated in 2.383 seconds. —
            !– Cached page generated by WP-Super-Cache on 2009-06-27 15:25:22 —

            That was about 1.2 seconds on Bluehost. But it is pretty acceptable considering the amount of data it is doing. Thats in that page as well. 107 queries.

            Ummm the richard worth has resigned post with 74 comments

            !– Dynamic page generated in 3.391 seconds. —
            !– Cached page generated by WP-Super-Cache on 2009-06-27 15:30:21 —
            There were 58 database queries to make that page.

      • lprent 5.1.2

        Yep. Thursday was our peak day. The highest number of page views we’ve ever had. Higher than anything during the election.

  6. Bill 6

    Was it a good idea?

    Well, beneficiaries were never going to get a tax cut, either under Labour or National.

    So I find it strange that treasury put forward an idea to give beneficiaries a lump sum. I guess they’d have lost all their benefit entitlements that week?

    And any bankrupt beneficiary would have had $200 taken straight off the bat to go back below the $1000 bankruptcy threshold.

    Anyway, I reckon $1200 would have been incredibly handy and have been spent out of necessity more than by any other reason…which would be good for a lot of businesses.

    WINZ caseload and expenditure would have dropped for a spell. Far fewer applications for non-recoverable food grants and the like.

    On the other hand, banks might have been pissed off with all those long term negative bank balances being cleared.

    But at the end of the day, why not just increase benefit levels by a substantial amount? Let’s say to pre-1990 levels for a start and get that money ging around. At the moment, beneficiaries don’t really participate in the pushing around of money beyond the landlord, the utilities companies and the supermarkets.

    Now that Treasury seems to understand the very basic notion of people spending being good for business….

    • gingercrush 6.1

      So why not just increase benefit levels by a substantial amount? Let’s say to pre-1990 levels for a start?

      – Dependency on welfare is a real recipe for success. We Tories might hate Labour on a lot of things. Including putting more and more people on sickness and invalid benefits. But one thing we’re very thankful of is that Labour never changed benefit levels back to pre-1990 levels.

      You’re quite serious though aren’t you Bill. You’re quite happy for thousands to choose not to work but live on the welfare of the taxpayers. After all, those of us that pay tax are clearly evil for actually earning money.

      • Ari 6.1.1

        Yes, thinking that beneficaries should have enough money to buy groceries means that taxpayers are evil. *rolls eyes*

        Nobody wants to be a beneficiary, GC, even if it WERE cushy. (Which it isn’t anywhere near) It’s depressing not being able to be fully independent.

      • Bill 6.1.2

        Beneficiaries are tax payers too GC.

        BTW, why is it expected that everybody should be a happily willing wage slave?

        For those that believe a salary or wage married to some material concept of success will see their human potential fulfilled and eventually lead to freedom I say….”Knock yourself out!”

        Others might rather spend their time productively engaged with concepts of human potential that are completely outside the bounds of the arguably crass and hopelessly crushing examples offered up by you and your masters GC.

  7. OhPlease 7

    The problem with Government spending money in a Green New Deal is that the distributional consequences cannot be predicted or established. The problem is recessions is that they have major distributional consequences. If everyone took their fair share of the -1% growth last quarter , then Weldon and Co’s incomes should fall by say $10,000 , and a person on average wage should have a fall of say $400. You can bet that this does not happen. Instead some people lose 100% with losing their jobs other go unscathed. A one-off payment can to some extent off-set these distributional consequences.

    • Bill 7.1

      So increase benefit levels thereby putting an upward pressure on wage levels which will see more money going around. And insist that business take a hit on profit margins instead of the current mindset which allows for individual well being and security to be slaughtered at the alter of businesses ‘Inalienable Right to Sustain Rates of Extraction’

      • OhPlease 7.1.1

        No, that simply accepts that unemployment will occur – and that what the State does is insure people against the wealth shock through increased benefits. We need to also compensate those people who are not unemployed, but face the increased risk of unemployment. A risk of unemployment – not just unemployment – makes people worse off. That’s in fact why CEOs demand high salaries, they claim that their contracts make their tenure risky and they need to be compensated for this risk. So, I think optimal insurance would target people who are increased risk of unemployment (i.e. low wage workers).

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    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    5 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    5 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago