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Tenants in our own land

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, January 14th, 2012 - 54 comments
Categories: assets, overseas investment - Tags:

See Landcorp planning to pay $18m a year rent to a government-linked Chinese firm to run the Crafar farms. So New Zealand is in the enviable position of having to pay rent to foreign owners to farm our own land. Key promised we wouldn’t be tenants in our own land. What’ll be Key’s priority: cutting Kiwi workers’ wages or keeping our land in Kiwi hands?

Here’s what Key said about Crafar farms last year:

“As a general and broader principle I think New Zealanders should be concerned if we sell huge tracts of our productive land.”

“Now, that’s a challenging issue given the state of the current law and quite clearly it’s evidentially possible and has been achieved that individual farms can be sold. Looking four, five, ten years into the future I’d hate to see New Zealanders as tenants in their own country and that is a risk I think if we sell out our entire productive base, so that’s something the Government will have to consider.”

Landcorp put in a bid for about $175m for the farms but it was turned down. Pengxin is thought to be offering about $200m. For the sake of $25m from a government that regularly throws far larger sums to bailout out private companies, we could end up paying tens of millions in perpetuity for our own land.

When Key eventually comes back to New Zealand from holiday, will his first move be to help a company cut the wages of 300 workers or to keep $200m of New Zealand farmland in New Zealand ownership?

The answer will be telling.

54 comments on “Tenants in our own land ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Do you have a link to an original article Zet? Or is there some other source? Not quibbling, just curious.

  2. RedLogix 3

    Interesting. I’ve assumed that the absurdly drawn out delay in annoucing the OIO decision… it’s what over 10 months now… must be due to some deep internal runctions in the National Party.

    What I do know for certain is that a lot of farmers are deeply disturbed by this turn of events.

    The other possibility is that with current dairy prices, the banks are probably quite happy to keep on farming the property for cash. It’s probably quite good returns.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The farmers should be bloody worried.

      All of their so-called capital gains are just numbers on paper if no one has the cash to buy them. If they want to keep the land in NZ hands they’re going to have to take large cuts to their paper figures, probably often on the order of 40-50%. Otherwise the land is going to have to be sold offshore, which basically means China.

      Going to be interesting what happens to the farming sector over the next 20 years.

  3. Conditional 4

    The hiding of this land deal because of the election has a very very bad smell to it.

  4. queenstfarmer 5

    Not as telling as the fact that you fail to mention that Labour approved the sale of 650,000 hectares of land to foreigners when last in Government – vastly more than the Crafar land that you are suddenly up in arms about.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Umm yes.

      According to this NBR article:

      “New Zealand farmers can’t buy land in China but overseas buyers are snapping up farms and other valuable land in New Zealand at a rate of more than 107,000 hectares per year for the past five years (2006-2011 OIO figures). That’s 10 Crafar Farm transactions every year.”

      And no, not one single regular author at The Standard has been happy about it. And most certainly those of us who are Green Party members can point to party policy opposed to this very, very bad trend.

      So no the old ‘Labour did it too’ argument is kinda weak cos no-one here is going to rise to the bait.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      qstf – Labour do something shit like selling off our productive farm land (a policy they have completely changed now – or weren’t you paying attention in November) so its OK we keep making the same mistake with National???

      • queenstfarmer 5.2.1

        … a policy they have completely changed now – or weren’t you paying attention in November…

        Oh yes, I certainly did notice that Labour happily allowed vast amounts of land to be sold to foreigners right up until they lost power, happily collected all the revenue and other benefits generated, and then as soon as they lost power suddenly started condemning the current Government for doing the same thing (despite the current Govt approving far less sales than Labour ever did). Unfortunately this sort of hypocrisy seems to have become deeply ingrained in Labour. Hopefully the new leadership will change that.

        • RedLogix 5.2.1.1

          Parties can and do change policy.

          During the term of the last Labour government, and especially while land prices were rising, everyone and his dog was farming for capital gain. Rich foreign buyers only pumped that process along, so not a lot of people… other than the Greens … were all that exercised by it.

          Put yourself back in time and imagine the outrage if Dr Cullen had tried to limit land sales. Hell they copped enough flack for trying to make efficient light bulbs mandatory.

          All the same it was a bad policy and now with new party leadership Labour have changed it. And of course the Greens were simply right along.

          This kind of really stupid ‘yeah I know it’s wrong but you guys did it too’ argument just gives everyone the shits. Apart from being a stupid distraction, what’s the point?

        • Zetetic 5.2.1.2

          Labour’s policy at the election was to effectively block the sale of farmland by increasing the minister’s power to turn down applications and to change the default assumption from approve to reject.

        • Jum 5.2.1.3

          queenstfarmer

          And I remember NAct screaming blasphemies at Clark and Cullen for refusing to sell off the airport land to a Canadian Pension fund. Labour were already realising that too many foreignors in control of New Zealand assets was not a good thing.

          Also, lining Labour sales up against the plans to sell off all the other SOEs NActMU has got its Tony Gibson’s and other strategically placed CEOs on to prepare SOEs for sell off is in no way comparable.

          Thieving Key couldn’t even leave a small stone back in Antarctica; he just had to steal — something. No doubt, given the forces currently circling around the Antarctica treasuretrove, he wasn’t there to just look at the white stuff. No; he’ll have a little booklet with measurements on it that his masters have told him they want carved off and how to sell it to the idiot New Zealanders.

          There’ll be another little booklet of measurements of New Zealand land and assets that will be sold off with or without Kiwis’ permission. It’s a done deal; only the details have to be forced through. The current ‘detail’ would be the job security of over 1000 family members via the POA betrayal.

        • Liberty 5.2.1.4

          There is a very simple reason why Labour is being hypocritical. Labour sold some land to Americans . While this sale of productive land might be to the dreaded Chinese. We can’t have that as it will upset there opposition partner Comrade Peters. Who as Minister of overseas junkets in the last labour government. Refused to sign the free trade deal with china. One of the few positives of the last labour government.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.4.1

            Hey Liberty you must have been asleep in Nov…you know when Labour campaigned on NO ASSET SALES, and also stopping almost all farm sales over 5ha. in size.

            BTW what is your rationale around keeping doing stink things now, just because stink things were also done in the past?

            This will be interesting to read.

    • The Chairman 5.3

      They also opened the door for PPPs.

      Hence, they are no longer in government, took a thrashing at the last election, changed leaders twice, and are trying to reconnect with their grass-roots for a second time.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        If they are trying to reconnect with their grassroots they sure have a funny way of going about it.

  5. Pundit X 6

    David Cunliffe issued a press release yesterday but the MSN doesn’t appear to have picked up on it..
    He said: New Zealanders are set to become tenants in their own land under the Government’s policies despite John Key saying two years ago he didn’t want it to happen, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.

    David Cunliffe said that news that Landcorp may pay about $18 million a year to rent the Crafar farms from offshore-owned Penxgin, which is set to buy the farms, would see a publicly-owned New Zealand company renting New Zealand farmland from a foreign conglomerate.

    “Labour does not want to see New Zealand taxpayers becoming sharemilkers for a foreign multi-national.

    “That is not the path to creating economic wealth and strength for New Zealand,” David Cunliffe said.

    “Landcorp, which made an earlier, unsuccessful bid of its own for the farms, would clearly prefer to buy the farms than rent them, but it needs government backing to make its tender competitive.

    “It seems, however, that despite John Key’s fine words of two years ago, that the Government is content to let the farms fall into foreign hands and then lease them back,” David Cunliffe said.

    “The failure to act to keep Crafar farms in New Zealand hands bears close resemblance to National’s asset sales policy. Both would see strategic assets go into foreign ownership, with New Zealanders paying the price to send millions of dollars in profits offshore.

    “Where do National’s priorities really lie? When it comes to bailing out finance companies, National is willing to throw around billions of dollars with abandon, but when it comes to keeping strategic assets in New Zealand hands, the Government’s wallet is firmly shut.”

    • Salsy 6.1

      Cunliffe knows how to put the knife in, and twist it. If Shearer is too “protected” to wade into the POAL dispute, let Cunliffe at them…
      At least the international media picked it up at least.. http://www.nznewsuk.co.uk/news/?id=26646&story=Key-s–Kiwi-dream–in-tatters

    • insider 6.2

      What’sall this ‘our’ land crap?

      The farms were owned by a family called crafar, with generous assistance from westpac (?). I had no share and likely would have got short shrift if I’d tried treating it as my own- walking my dog on it, leaving gates open etc.

      It shouldn’t be forgotten that these fine upstanding kiwi farmers had multiple prosecutions for animal cruelty and pollution breaches, and fundamentally failed as farmers. They are not people I’d like to be associated with thanks so less of the ‘our’ please.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Its more “our” land than the Mainland Chinese’, don’t you think.

        And yes the Crafar were shit irresponsible NZ farmers there are still those around the place, in rural NZ everyone knows who they are.

        However them being shit farmers is not really an excuse to sell off land which we’ll simply need to re-nationalise one day.

  6. Arandar 7

    Landcorp are excellent farmers, using best practice, innovation, ag research and experience to get the best from the land, sustainably. They are the obvious choice of purchaser; since apparently no NZ individual would-be farmer is able to buy the Crafar farms from the receivers. Landcorp owning the farms on behalf of all NZers, returning dividends to the govt and employing and training young farm professionals is clearly beneficial as is the fact that the price of farmland generally may start to find a more sustainable and justifiable level, if it is no longer possible to sell it to cashed up foreigners of any ilk (unless, as individuals, they pass all our immigration laws, and are planning to live on the land and work it themselves).

    It’s madness to sell control of our productive land offshore at any time but especially now with the perfect storm of fuel, fertilizer, food, finance and climate change crises coming at us.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      It’s madness to sell control of our productive land offshore at any time but especially now with the perfect storm of fuel, fertilizer, food, finance and climate change crises coming at us.

      It seems that the leaders of our civilisation have been taken ill by a collective madness.

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        They no longer even know what is truly in their own best interests….

      • blue leopard 7.1.2

        “It’s madness to sell control of our productive land offshore at any time but especially now with the perfect storm of fuel, fertilizer, food, finance and climate change crises coming at us.

        It seems that the leaders of our civilisation have been taken ill by a collective madness.”

        Colonial Viper,
        How very true
        Worth repeating

    • Fotran 7.2

      Landcorp are only Farm Managers.
      They rely upon real people to actually farm for them – to get up at 4am to milk cows in all weather, and to maintain sound farming integrity. They are only employees not shareholders other than by way of a taxpayer.
      Should the Chinese buy Crafer what is the difference. You cannot pick up the land and take it elsewhere.

      • Jum 7.2.1

        Fotran,

        ‘You cannot pick up the land and take it elsewhere.’

        That comment is so wrong on many levels just two of which are the land goes out of New Zealand ownership and income. Factories can be built on land, the milk supplies sent off overseas and the income stays overseas. The New Zealand owned farms are then in competition and their profits dwindle.

        As for the New Zealand consumers, the reduced volume of milk products means a higher cost, and we already understand that economic factor!

        Let them eat Kake says Key from America. But, don’t you normally need milk for that? (I know; let’s go back to wartime and have eggless sponges and, and no butter – (in a deeper voice) – and we were never so healthy as when we were starving… Nothing so useful as a war from time to time to keep the masses at bay… Doesn’t the world turn slowly on the cogs in the intelligent life forms inhabiting the government. (that wasn’t a question).

        The land can also be converted to other purposes. Once land is sold, and continues to be sold, to foreign investors (or even NZ scavengers) the government has less and less ability (sovereign right on NZers’ behalf) to legislate or control that land use.

        The most stunningly stupid part of all this is that we cannot buy land for business in those countries like China, America, etc.

        It always comes back to the same conclusion; just how stupid will New Zealanders continue to be in their blind following of America’s monkey John Key.

        He is not working on Kiwis’ behalf.

  7. muzza 8

    Indeed we will see what the true agenda is very soon. Note to the party aligned people, this is not a Red or Blue issue, this is a self sustainable issue..

    We need to not be arguing over who did what and when, because the continuity of agenda , must be very clear by now, and I would bet, about to become even clearer.

    China is the global model being which is vaunted to roll out to the world, and we see evidence of that via, low wages, poor quality/standards/employment laws etc all being used to the advantage of the corporate empires, and at the disadvantage to sovereign nations, and their peoples.Lets see how the FTA may affect NZ is terms of workforce , and imported slave labour

    http://westcapenews.com/?p=1293

    http://laborstrategies.blogs.com/global_labor_strategies/2007/03/free_trade_and_.html

    The discussion about asset sales, re PoAL on another thread is relative to this discussion about potential renting of farmland. I know some people may not see the correlation, but I assure you there is one, and John Key will be front and center lying out of his arse to us all!

    • RedLogix 8.1

      and John Key will be front and center lying out of his arse to us all!

      Yes. Most people forget that Key’s last job before coming back to NZ was serving on the Overseas Currency Committee of the US Fed in London. Now that’s actually a pretty senior job; about as far up the merchant banker greasy pole that a boy from a State House in ChCh is ever likely to climb.

      And then with no reason he quits; to become a very lowly backbench MP for a National Party that has just been thoroughly booted out with little to no prospect of power for 2-3 terms.

      Maybe he is just a good ol’boy who made good and wanted to return to his home country to give something back. Or not.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Key is playing his role as part of the bankster takeover of sovereign governments. Greece, Italy, Ireland have already gone that way. They tried with Iceland but Iceland resisted.

        Portugal and Spain are on the chopping block too. Whoever controls the global money supply controls what governments can and can’t do, what governments can and can’t afford.

        What a farce.

        • muzza 8.1.1.1

          Correct – The deal is now to blow the arse out of as many countries as possible before too many people start to realise the plan – ECB will be going into actual printing mode shortly, it kind of already has with swaps, and looks like the FED will be firing them up again also..

          JK is an insider, and the sick thing is, that of the morons who voted for him, many will refuse to see it, ever! Ive said it on these boards a heap of times, mathematically we can’t pay back our foreign debt, its not possible. Some think we can sell our way out of it via mining etc or that we will not have to pay the debt, but that will not be allowed to happen, oh we will get mined, but NZ wont get freedom financially from it! No , no, we are being taken down the same path, and with all the thickos tolerating it, and even applauding Teflon John, we really are in for a tough time!

          So far as this thread is concerned, assisting Landbank with a purchase, there is little chance of that happening!

  8. In November, I wrote to Bill English…

    from: [email]
    to: bill.english@parliament.govt.nz
    date: Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 11:27 PM
    subject: Crafar Farms

    Sir,

    Shanghai Pengxins lodged an application with the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) on or around 18 April, to buy the Crafar portfolio after Natural Dairy’s application was rejected.

    Normally, applications take up to 50 to 70 working days to process.

    It has now been seven months since Shanghai Pengxins lodged it’s application.

    As the Minister responsible for the OIO, is there a reason as to why Shanghai Pengxins’ application has not yet received a decision? Or is the decision being deferred until after the election because of it’s sensitivity?

    Information on this matter would be appreciated.

    Regards
    -Frank Macskasy

    I recieved this strangre response,

    from: B English (MIN) B.English@ministers.govt.nz
    to: [email]
    date: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 12:19 PM
    subject: RE: Crafar Farms

    Dear Frank Macskasy

    On behalf of the Hon Bill English, Minister of Finance thank you for your recent email regarding Crafar Farms. Your letter has been passed on to the Minister for his information. As the issues you have raised, however, fall within the portfolio responsibilities of Hon Kate Wilkinson, I have also referred a copy of your letter to her for consideration and reply.

    Kind regards

    Katy Greco-Ainslie
    Private Secretary
    Hon Bill English
    Deputy Prime Minister
    Minister of Finance
    Minister for Infrastructure

    Which was strange, so I wrote back,

    from: [email]
    to: “B English (MIN)”
    date: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 3:46 PM
    subject: Re: Crafar Farms

    Kia Ora Katy,

    I am unsure why you have placed this matter before Ms Wilkinson. Her portfolios are,

    Minister of Conservation
    Minister of Labour
    Minister for Food Safety
    Associate Minister of Immigration

    The Overseas Investment Office is responsible to the Minister of Finance, Bill English, or Minister for Land Information, Maurice Williamson, as per the official LINZ website, and Parliamentary websites: http://www.linz.govt.nz/overseas-investment/about-oio/legislation-delegations

    Considering that the issue of the sale of Crafar farms may fall into “sensitive lands” category, this matter would most likely fall under Bill English’s jurisdiction.

    Regards,
    -Frank Macskasy

    And finally got back this rubbish,

    from: B English (MIN) B.English@ministers.govt.nz
    to: [email]
    date: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 3:46 PM
    subject: Thank you for your email.

    On behalf of Hon Bill English, thank you for your email.

    Please be assured that all correspondence is read and noted by this office. Where the Minister has portfolio or MP for Clutha-Southland responsibilities for the issues raised, a response will be sent to you in due course.

    While the Minister considers all correspondence to be important, if your email falls outside of his portfolio or electorate responsibilities, or expresses a personal view, then your opinion will be noted and your response may be tranferred to another office or there may be no further response to you.

    Thank you for taking the time to write.

    Authorised by B English, 15 Main Street, Gore.

    Well, that’s about as helpful as Ken Ring predicting Lotto numbers…

    It’s something I was planning on blogging about, as it seems quite apparent that the decision to grant Shanghai Pengxin concent by the OIO was deferred because of the November Election. (There is no other reason that can be considered.)

    Then, with the Xmas/New Year holiday season – more deferral.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if consent to the application is granted in February or March.

    • Anne 9.1

      @ Frank Macskasy

      Your communications with Bill English’s office are worthy of wider attention!

      • You’re right, Anne. In fact, I just squeezed off this email to his office again,

        from: [email]
        to: bill.english@parliament.govt.nz
        date: Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM
        subject: Crafar Farms

        Sir,

        Shanghai Pengxin lodged an application with the Overseas Investment
        Office (OIO) on or around 18 April 2011, to buy the Crafar portfolio
        after Natural Dairy’s application was rejected.

        Normally, applications take up to 50 to 70 working days to process, as
        per OIO guidelines. (Ref:LINZ, Application Assessment & Timeframes,
        Estimated decision times,
        http://www.linz.govt.nz/overseas-investment/applications/assessment#estimated)

        It has now been nine months since Shanghai Pengxins lodged it’s application.

        As the Minister responsible for the OIO, can you explain why Shanghai
        Pengxins’ application has not yet received a decision? I have written
        to you previously on this matter, and received on an acknowledgement
        of receipt of email, but nothing further.

        Information on this matter would be appreciated.

        Regards
        -Frank Macskasy

  9. beachbum 10

    I would much prefer the Govt gives Landcorp the money to buy these farms. What concerns me is that Michael Fay is trying to get his hands on the farms as well – (previous NBR articles). That might be just as bad as the Chinese getting them!!!

    • Beachbum – what is even more worrying is that Fay’s offer was below the Shanghai Pengxin offer. Fay stated that the Chinese offer was above market value. In fact, the following statement was made regarding the Fay-led consortium, as opposed to the Chinese bid,

      “”Our offer is at a price we firmly believe makes sense it that we are paying the right price for the long-term farming future of these properties,” the group’s negotiator Steve Bignell said.

      “Over a certain price level, these farms don’t work.”

      Which indicates to me that Chinese (and other foreign ) acquisitions of our productive farmland may not be solely profit-based.

      I suspect that some purchases are intended for a long-term agenda, for a time when the Human population on this planet reaches 9 billion (est 2050AD). When that happens, the next resource wars will be for drinkable water and arable land.

      The future viability of some governments will be determined on whether or not they can feed their populations.

      Whoever controls arable land will be in a position of power.

      • beachbum 10.1.1

        I guess in the end out of desperation maybe in the future we could just get a govt to go and “Nationalise” these assets like some other countries have done in the past – but we are so small we would probably get dealt to.

        The land provides access to plenty of water and mining as well I guess.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        Which indicates to me that Chinese (and other foreign ) acquisitions of our productive farmland may not be solely profit-based.

        They’re not. Those countries are looking for food security for their own people. Selling that land will bring absolutely no benefit to NZ. Probably bring about significant loss though especially as climate change hits and we find feeding ourselves become more difficult.

  10. Arandar 11

    The water wars have already begun, see the Horn of Africa.

    Food, fuel, fertilizer and finance have all ‘peaked’. Our retaining control of our productive land is vital to our survival as a people and a sovereign nation. Perhaps that is already too late?

  11. Hami Shearlie 12

    “When he eventually comes back to New Zealand from holiday” – do we really HAVE to let him back in?

  12. Adele 13

    Kiaora Koutou katoa

    New year’s greetings to you all.

    I find this post ironic in that Maaori have been saying the very same thing for simply ages – we are tenants in our own land. As far as Maaori are concerned it doesn’t really matter whether the ‘landlord’ is that fella, or fella-ess, that lives over ‘there’ or over ‘yonder’ – the injury remains the same.

  13. vto 14

    The linking of “foreign investment” with “foreign ownership of land” is the biggest lie perpetrated by these politicians. The two matters are separate and they must be called on their deception. Carter is a prime contender.

    Let the foreigners invest in our business, but do not let them wn the land. It can be leased or rented from New Zealanders. There is no need for them to own the land.

  14. Eduardo Kawak 15

    Moneybags Jonkey does not care for you or your future. He’s a glorified car salesman. In to make a quick buck for himself and his mates.

    My personal opinion is that foreign interests should not be allowed to own property in NZ full stop – companies or individuals. Make the individual fulfil the requirements to become a New Zealand citizen before handing over a piece of New Zealand to them. For foreign-owned companies, let them operate and own the buildings factories etc… but never, never let them own the land.

    I’d love to see a referendum on that topic – it encompasses asset sales and more.

    New Zealand’s great shame – the prostitute of the South Pacific, peddling all its wares to whoever wants them with pimps like Jonkey holding the door open.

    The fact that foreigners living in New Zealand can vote tells you all you need to know about how little pride is left in this country.

  15. muzza 16

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/employment/news/article.cfm?c_id=11&objectid=10778932

    Anyone think that this wage problem will restrict itself to the chefs?

    Welcome to FTA NZ

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    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    2 days ago
  • This is not kind
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    3 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
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    3 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
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    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    6 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
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    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
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    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 weeks ago

  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
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