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

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 46 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

46 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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  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    5 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
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