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The borrow and hope budget

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 19th, 2011 - 108 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2011, class war, Economy - Tags:

It’s only taken two and a half years of mismanagement and reckless tax cuts from John Key and co to run the country and the government into a mountain of debt. The questions now: how bad have they let things get, who will they make pay for their mistakes, and how rosy will the forecasts their plans hang on be? Rolling coverage through the day.

*David Cunliffe has laid out the tests for a successful budget:

The budget will be a success if it shows that National has realised it cannot go on as it has: borrowing and splurging on tax cuts for the wealthy, then asking the rest of us to pick up the bill…

..A successful Budget will be one that confronts the fundamental problems of this country’s economy head on, rejects the “borrow and hope” mantra of John Key’s National Government, and protects important public services while asking all Kiwis to contribute their fair share to the cost.

To do so it must pass four crucial tests:

First, it would build a stronger export-oriented economy through investment in skills, innovation and R&D; matched with the necessary monetary reform to bring policy up to date with best practice.

Second, it would invest in savings to help build up a domestic capital base, so that we can own our own future, rather than becoming further indebted to foreign banks. In doing so it would keep the Government’s side of the bargain with the 1.7 million Kiwis who have joined KiwiSaver.

It wouldn’t pretend that selling public assets to tackle Government debt makes any more sense than selling your house for scrap to pay off your mortgage.

Third, it would recognise that our greatest asset is our people and that Kiwis need more jobs with better pay. It would contain a fair tax plan that would close the loopholes that allow too many wealthy New Zealanders to avoid their fair share of tax.

And fourth, it would contain a credible plan for debt reduction that was part of an integrated economic reform plan that left our economy in better not worse shape to innovate, invest, employ, and earn a great living in a competitive modern world.

But we’ll have to wait until 2012, and the first budget of the sixth Labour-led Government, to see a budget like that.

*John Armstrong yesterday praised Labour for returning to a focus on the big economic issues (not that Labour ever stopped talking about them, and not that the ministerial expense scandals weren’t about a big issue – the government’s hypocritical elitism). Today, he devotes a whole column to laughing along with National as it focuses on the smallest of possible stories – a poll that accidentally went up too early on David Cunliffe’s website and was hijacked by righties. I smell a Pulitzer, John.

*The Maori Party is worried about pretty much everything in the Budget. They’ll vote for it though, because they’re gutless scoundrels.

*Campbell Live‘s cost of living series in the last week has been interesting. They had a family of four live on a single full-time average wage, and a person live on the pension. What was interesting was not so much that that it’s hard to get by on so little but that this was a revelation in the eyes of the media. To hundreds of thousands of families it’s called every day life, and it has been getting harder under National.

*Tracy Watkins and Vernon Small write about Key’s strategy. By pushing the hard decisions past the election he is trying to present the public with a deal he thinks we will take: ‘if you want more of my smiling mug, you have to vote for these policies, and if you vote for them, you can’t complain’. And, by leaving everything until later, the unpopularity of the decisions doesn’t crystalise into lost votes as much until after the election by which time Key, if re-elected, will already be planning is 2013 retirement. It’s a hell of a way to run a country.

Watkins/Small also write: The Government will start pushing laws through Parliament under urgency this evening putting the KiwiSaver and Working for Families changes in train – but they will not take effect until next year at the earliest

Why the hell would you need to go into Urgency to pass legislation that won’t even come into effect until after the next Budget? Contempt for democracy is the only explanation.

Update 1: Davide Cunliffe has been doing some great posts on Budget FAQs over at Red Alert. The last two (5 & 6) in particular should be required reading for every budget analyst and commentator.
Budget FAQ #6: Why the Deficit Hole?
Budget FAQs #5: Growth Hockey Stick
Budget FAQs #4: National’s Growth Gap
Budget FAQs #3: Kiwisaver
Budget FAQs #2
Budget FAQs

Update 2: All much as expected so far, but plans for privatisation are set out in more detail:

What is new is the Government for the first time detailing its plans to raise between $5 billion and $7 billion by partial privatisation of its four state owned energy companies and extending private ownership of Air New Zealand.

Starting next year, the Government wants to sell off stakes in Genesis Energy, Meridian, Mighty River Power and coal company Solid Energy. The exact proportion of private ownership has not been decided but the Government will retain a majority shareholding.

Its plans are to sell shares in the companies through a public offering, with New Zealanders “at the front of the queue”. There is no mention of any foreign ownership restrictions.

Update 3: Families are hit harder than expected:

There were few surprises though the Working for Families cuts reach further down than expected and will hit middle income households as well as those on higher incomes.

The size of public service cuts – $1 billion over three years – was also unexpected. The sweetener for the KiwiSaver cuts is an increase in the employer contribution to 3 per cent, matched by the employee, and a firm date for the resumption of payments to the so-called Cullen Superannuation fund in 2016/2017.

But many families, including middle income families, will be worse off – despite the Government’s earlier suggestion that only high income earners would be targeted by its cuts.

The Government says the cuts are modest – just a few dollars – and will be phased in over 7 years to lessen the pain. But for a middle-income family earning around $70,000-a-year the combined effect of Working for Families cuts, and the requirement to top up their KiwiSaver contributions, will leave them about $20 a week worse off.

$20 a week worse off? That must be about the third or fourth time that ordinary families have had to spend their modest tax cuts. But apparently there is a modest increase for some low income families – so some good news.

Update 4: Gower on the hidden sting in the KiwiSaver cuts:

And there’s a nasty wee surprise – the employer contribution will now be taxed before it gets to you. Sneaky.

You pay more, but get far less bang for your buck. It’s a hammer blow. The biggest hit of the budget.

And summing up:

Is it bold? No. Does it really address the record $16.7 billion deficit? It is a start – tinkering. But the real question is – will it keep John Key’s Government popular? Because that’s the plan.

Update 5: Even the Nats’ fans think it’s weak. Their scorecard:

Audrey Young: 6/10

Bill English’s plan to return the country to surplus sounds good but feels flimsy.

It is based on heroic assumptions of a strong economic economy, high wage growth and and nothing going wrong. …

It will be funded mainly through a combination of revenue raising, through a tax on KiwiSaver contributions and cuts in the public sector of $326 million a year for the next three years, as well as asset sales.

The Government will claim there is no new tax – just an existing tax exemption on employers’ contributions being lifted.

It amounts to a new tax, however, and the Government collecting tax on something it didn’t before.

If this Budget had a deep dark secret, it is that. …

Overall, the Budget rates a 6 out of 10. Its savings targets feel more like wishful thinking than realism and the Government has left the really hard decisions to the public sector itself.

John Armstrong: 6/10

Bill English’s third Budget will stand or fall on one thing and one thing only.

For his and National’s sake, the Treasury had better have got it right this time with its forecasts – that the economy really has stopped contracting and the recovery is finally under way.

If not, the Budget will be thrown back in English’s face come election time.

These are predictions which Gordon Campbell describes as having “the same predictive accuracy as your daily horoscope”. See how well they’ve done recently

108 comments on “The borrow and hope budget”

  1. vto 1

    If you only have hope then you have nothing.

    • ZeeBop 1.1

      GST was inflationary, government moved the burden from high income earners
      and private businesses, and onto middle NZ. Driving down the value of their wages.
      Argument given that private sector was awash in debt and needed a break.
      Well I live in a Democracy and in a Democracy when you give something up
      to pay for the mistakes of others (debt addicts) government is suppose to
      making it hard for debt addicts to get their debt fix. And without a CGT we
      end up rewarding those who take on debt! So fairs fair, tax reform is
      now owing to middle NZ.

  2. fraser 2

    re: campbell live

    last night they claimed that living on the average wage was what 40% of NZers did.

    could this be a statistical sleight of hand?

    Im sure that its something like 70% are below average wage.

    what gives?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      They probably conflated household income with that figure. A household with one partner earning $100K p.a. and the other earning nothing, well you could say that both people lived on above the average wage, even though only one person is actually receiving above the average wage.

      This bears out in all the asset ownership statistics for NZ’ers – couples own far more assets as a unit than singles do.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        A family with 2 parents earning $50k each full-time will have significantly different dynamics than a family where 1 parent earns $100k. In the latter case they’ll also be paying more in tax, however.

        To simply average out the individual/household income like that is missing all of the unpaid house-keeping that one parent is doing in the latter case, as well as all of the other things about family life that aren’t easily quantified into $ amounts like stress and spending time with the children etc.

        • stargazer

          and if you’re a single parent earning $100,000, you pay more tax plus do the unpaid housekeeping as well as all of those other things that can’t be quantified, including a lot more stress.

  3. joe bloggs 3

    Today, he devotes a whole column to laughing along with National as it focuses on the smallest of possible stories – a poll that accidentally went up too early on David Cunliffe’s website and was hijacked by righties.

    I can’t manage my website but let me manage our $120b economy

    Fabulous comment – really confidence inspiring Mr Cunliffe!

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Hey Bloggs, did you like the way English skimmed an extra $20/wk in tax payers money for his housekeeping?

      I guess that means you think that English is the man for the job then eh?

      Cunliffe is on the ball. National has taken NZ so far backwards in just 2 1/2 years that we will soon be catching up with Australia. Australia of the 1970’s that is.

      • Jim Nald 3.1.1

        Double Dipton got his own priorities right?
        There was a global finance meltdown then and we were convinced he was busy sorting out the issues as Minister of Finance .. for New Zealand, not home affairs.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      This is the standard hey, look over there… distraction that has become normal for RWNJs – especially since all their dreams of the economy rising on the backs of Atlas (Aka, Rich Pricks) after they received their tax cuts came to nothing as predicted by those on the left.

  4. Bush put through tax cuts for the rich. The aim was to impoverish the state, justifying cutting services and bringing in the private sector.

    We know how successful Bush was at breaking the state. He did a great job.

    Our own government appears to be following the same template. There is no way they can’t know about how things have gone in the US. They can only want to repeat that process here.

    Nothing else makes any sense….unless they are that tragically stupid and incompetent that can’t see the combined effects of tax cuts and high spending on the US over the past decade.

    But hard to blame the politicians when it is quite clear Kiwi voters are every bit as clueless. Maybe they really are simply grossly incompetent.

    • johnm 4.1

      Hi Steve Withers
      My understanding as well. Our governments thinks if the kleptocratic U$ does it then it must be right-also selfserving for the already rich here in NZ. The U$ has offshored 40,000 factories to make more profit for Wall Street while ordinary Americans are headed for 60,000,000 existing on food stamps. Obama has told flood victims of the Missisipi they’re on their own-a chance to show self responsibility while trillions have bailed out the crooks on Wall Street.

    • RobC 4.2

      Unfortunately Steve you are right – kiwi voters are clueless. We get what we deserve.

  5. r0b 5

    Updated post with some links to David Cunliffe’s excellent posts at Red Alert.

  6. Bunji 6

    Why the hell would you need to go into Urgency to pass legislation that won’t even come into effect until after the next Budget? Contempt for democracy is the only explanation.

    They’ve scheduled the budget for 2pm on Thursday so they can have urgency all friday and hopefully saturday so that Labour’s Congress is overshadowed. Their MPs can’t participate and their policy revelations and messages are drowned out in the media.


    • Lanthanide 6.1

      One wonders why setting a conference date so close to the budget date was really a good idea.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Lanth, FYI there are a few other things going on in the calendar this year other than National’s frickin no hope Budget.

        And just bear in mind that its National’s misuse of urgency which is the issue here, not the date that Labour has set for its Congress.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        You may not have noticed but the urgency isn’t required.

        • Lanthanide

          Sure. But why give an unscrupulous government like this one, that has shown it doesn’t mind abusing the parliamentary process, the opportunity to screw up your conference?

          • Hanswurst

            Although, if they have anything big to announce, they may be able to put themselves in direct and stark contrast with the budget while it is fresh in people’s minds, and have a good go at the government for misusing urgency while they’re at it.

            Unfortunately, I’m not holding my breath that they will have anything big to announce.

  7. randal 7

    something has gone dreadfully wrong allright. There is no social contract and the thieves have taken over. Is this what is really meant by democracy. a gang of plutocrats gorging themselves on the public purse but pretending they are doing it for the public weal. this nation is not a nation of fools but a nation of imbeciles. some folks like the meat and others pick the bone but thes b*st*rds just want everything.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      The tricksters and gangsters are raiding the country.
      But it’s not all lost yet.
      Each of us still has a vote.
      The many of us outnumber them.
      And they have been adding more to our numbers.
      Each of us need to get ourselves, family, friends and workmates to the ballot boxes come 26 Nov.

      • terryg 7.1.1

        Darn it Jim, I thought that was a poem. you’re right though. Hopefully this well publicised boot on the back of the neck will wake NZ from its torpor

      • Blue 7.1.2

        “The many of us outnumber them”, well not according to the polls. 57% of us outnumber you by some considerable way. Ignore the majority at your peril.

        • mickysavage

          You mean the majority with landlines?

          And should a majority opinion be confused with what is right??

          • terryg

            you mean the majority with landlines that are home when the poll is conducted, answer the phone and choose to participate in the survey?


  8. chris 8

    Labour will not win any election with Goff as leader. Sorry to keep reminded you. Its like the elephant in the room – it just won’t go away no matter how you dress it up. Not too late to put Cunliffe in charge you know.

  9. lprent 9

    And they’re off. Listening to NatRad on the iPad via WiFi. Turned out this morning that the only radio I have is the one on the emergency torch. But I do have a NZ Radio app for the iPad..

    • terryg 9.1

      ROFLMAO! a few billion transistors, and perhaps a million lines of code, to replace 6 transistors and a handful of discrete components. Now thats what I call progress.

      We have a radio, and the damned thing keeps drifting off station. If only some clever person would invent Automatic Frequency Control (like Alec Harvey Reeves did in 1930).

      The stereo also has a tuner, but the stereo uses the TV for its user interface 🙁

      • lprent 9.1.1

        Yep – but I also use this thing to read and write this blog (and others), read the newspapers, listen to the radio, play music, read and write e-mail and it currently has about half of my tech and fiction library on it. 

        I just loaded an encrypted copy of the current code on it using subversion because I have an irritating bug to locate tonight.

        Now does anyone have a link to the budget text? Ah http://www.treasury.govt.nz/

        Oh I forgot. At home I also use DLNA to stream video to it from my home server to watch TV, and stored programs in bed (after the offending code has been found).

        Those few million transistors do a lot. BTW: Someone else brought me the toy. What I’m finding freaky is how far it intrudes into my daily routines

        • felix

          S’pose you can’t wait for Apple’s CENTiPAD…

        • terryg

          Hi Lyn,
          thats totally cool. I like the idea and love the HCI, but as you know I’m hopelessly ignorant about computery-things (other than designing the hardware) so am resisting the urge – plus I’m not OK with ceding authority/ownership to Apple.

          You can doubtless circumvent the evil that is itunes etc, but for me thats harder than drawing recognisable pictures (I got so angry when itunes snotted my ipod touch that I gave it to daughter and went back to CDs. bastards could have warned me).

          Yeah, that seems to be a common theme – thought it was crap, a day later its the cornerstone of life. After the eleventy-seventh person says this, it starts to sound convincing. guess theres a reason Apple is now bigger than MS – who would have picked that last century?

          sorry about digression……NACT are bastards (whew, back on topic)

          • lprent

            iTunes sucks with a massively flawed design and extreme blotware. Toolkit on ubuntu has bypassed most of it with better software. I have to use iTunes for firmware updates only these days.

            But iTunes is the Bill English of software. Overly inflated crap that doesn’t get close to the hype when you look at performance. Why does it take so frigging long to run software updates over USB. Our code does it in a fraction of the time on the hardware we’re using, and the processor is slower and the development footprint is similar.

            • ado

              Enjoy your flash toys while you can. Come the sale of the energy companies, 5 min on the iPad will be a weeky treat. Will it be Jim Mora or This Way Up? Save those razor blades for your crystal set…

            • terryg

              ya. the ipad is almost enough to make me overcome my loathing/inability and put the effort into re-learning OS’s et al (long gone are the days of writing multtasking RTOS’). almost.

              But iTunes is the Bill English of software

              QFT 😀

              I’m pretty sure I read a reason for the embiggened slowification of iTunes on arstechnica.com a while back. but alas I carefully forgot it 🙁

              probably something daft like double handshaking, using the entire memory space as the handshake tokens or something equally mad.

              USB is a fairly sucky protocol – in the early 90’s I studied it in detail to see if it would do as a backplane for pluggable I/O modules in a new range of industrial gear. its like the data comms version of a 64-bit fully object oriented dynamically relocatable toaster controller (implemented in an FPGA using schematic capture). Thankfully I’ve managed to suppress those memories, but the pain lingers on…..theres a reason why CANbus kinda won in industry (not that we used that either)

              I did a design with a little TUSB3210 micro from TI a while back (IRL coded it – heh). that was really simple to get going. shame the firmware was in an external IIC EEPROM (not very secure really)

  10. outofbed 10

    how can Goff defend asset sales?

  11. Bunji 11

    Nasties from the ‘sub-zero’ budget:

    WFF cuts will kick in at $35k, abatement rate 25c instead of 20c. That’s most families hurting there.
    (the 70K family $20 worse off only has 1 child btw)

    KiwiSaver: now they’re taxing your employer contribution – so really the increase from 2c to 3c there is going to the government, not you. They halve their contribution, and you get to pay more, like it or not.

    Student loans: part-time full-year students tightened out of the scheme. They still have costs, even if they can’t study full-time. Attack on Knowledge economy, as are cuts to R&D.

    $1billion cut from Public Service over 3 years: 4% wage growth for the economy when public service isn’t getting any? Dunno how that works.

    The sell off of Power company, solid energy and Air NZ shares – it makes no economic sense. As Gareth Hughes says: it’s like a cafe selling off their coffee machine for a bit of upfront cash.

    Increases in Health and Education aren’t actually enough to maintain current levels of services. Particularly Health with our ageing population needing increased care.

    ACC costs reduced by stopping counselling for sexual abuse victims (cue applause from Nat MPs)

    Take Treasury’s tax predictions over the IRD’s: An extra $4billion magic-ed up so they can reach surplus earlier.

    Pretty much everything else cut cut cut. No plan to grow economy, just to cut public sector…

    • terryg 11.1

      Bunji, nasty is a bit of an understatement isnt it? Oh thats right, sexual abuse victims are probably all just lying to get free counselling. silly me.

      Next we will see legislation about “forced rape” (no I am not joking).

      re. selling the assets – perfect analogy. In an associated newsflash, Mainfreight is today auctioning off all their trucks to raise enough capital to finance a nationwide expansion.

      thats the old “sell the assets, take an immediate profit, and pay to rent the assets back forevermore” – aka the karma credit plan (sell now, pay forever).

      and the resultant windfall, in total, is less than one years debt servicing IIRC.

      why arent the MSM pointing out the bleeding obvious? why the hell would anyone buy them if they weren’t making money? Aaargh.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      “WFF cuts will kick in at $35k, abatement rate 25c instead of 20c. That’s most families hurting there. (the 70K family $20 worse off only has 1 child btw)”
      But it’ll be phased in over a crazy 8 years! Cutting the costs from $2.8B to $2.6B a year. So it’s not really a cut. The *real* cut is that for these figures to make sense, it means they aren’t going to adjust them for inflation. At all.
      “KiwiSaver: now they’re taxing your employer contribution – so really the increase from 2c to 3c there is going to the government, not you. They halve their contribution, and you get to pay more, like it or not.”
      Yeah, I’m struggling to work out exactly how this will work. At the moment you pay 2% and the employer pays 2%. My pay slips show that my employer is matching exactly what I put in – but theirs are untaxed while mine come out of my before-tax income (hence I am paying tax on it). After this change, does it mean that numerically on my payslip my $ figure will be larger than theirs? Or will they still be identical, in which case my employer will now be paying the same amount of cash to me, but paying extra to the government on top?

      “ACC costs reduced by stopping counselling for sexual abuse victims (cue applause from Nat MPs)”

      What, again? Didn’t they just bring that back?

      • Bunji 11.2.1

        You’ll probably see the whole schimozzle on your pay slip, so it’ll be clear it’s a new tax no matter what Blinglish says. The employer only pays 1% extra, not 1% plus the tax. So if you’re on the top tax rate you receive nothing extra from your employer. Less than that and you’ll keep a small slice.
        Employers are already complaining about the extra compliance costs of it. Would be better for them if there was a (v small) rise on the company rate, rather than have to do a whole heap of new accounting with a new tax… But that would mean Bill backing down on part of his tax cuts.

        Somehow there’s still space for $10.7 billion on 7 uneconomic roads of National significance though.

        • Lanthanide

          Yeah, seems to me like the on-going roads are contributing a big whack to the deficit. It was budgeted as something like $10b over 10 years. They should simply can any that haven’t started actual work yet.
          The one in Christchurch (which I can see being built outside my window right now) will actually end up being worthwhile due to the expected new developments out west, since the earthquake. But that’s just a silver lining from the quake – it too would probably have been a waste of money otherwise.

        • PeteG

          rather than have to do a whole heap of new accounting with a new tax

          It’s not a new tax, ESCT (Employer superannuation contribution tax ) already applies to employer contributions over 2% – some companies contribute more than the minimum.

          The employee minimum increase will not affect everyone, I don’t know what the numbers are but there will be quite a few employees that already contribute 4% or more – you needed to do that if you don’t earn more than $50k-ish and wanted to get all of the matched government contribution.

          • Lanthanide

            You could easily contribute the minimum 2% and then top it up to the $1042.86 and get the full matching government contribution. National was considering changing that in the 2009 budget, but didn’t.

          • Rich

            There’s also a little clause in the legislation where employers can offset their contribution during pay negotiations and I understand that is currently happening.

  12. Tom Gould 12

    Does putting the privatisation into the Budget mean they can spend public money on arranging it and promoting it?

  13. Carol 13

    Fiery speech from Goff. Key & Nats treat it as though it’s all a big joke, with key doing a stand-up comedy routine.

    • Treetop 13.1

      Key’s response to Goff’s response to the budget: Key was shouting his head off and came across as being childish in a ranting manner, (I would have hung my head in shame with a 16.7 billion deficit). Key was shown up a good one, there was no vision other than reneging on promises made prior to the election to fix the EXTRAVAGANCE of excessive overseas borrowing for tax cuts. Middle NZ now know what a tax cut does for them and how pointless getting a tax cut is. The projected forecasts of the last two budgets came home to roost. Does Key really think that the projected forecasts of growth, spending and borrowing are accurate this time?

  14. Samuel Hill 14

    This budget is notable more for what is doesn’t do, than what it does. Tinkering with Work for Families and Kiwi Saver doesn’t do anything to put people into work, lift wages, or bring people out of poverty.

    Electricity prices are sure to rise. Domestic flight prices are sure to rise.

    Australia last week announced 500,000 new apprenticeships. We’ve just had a government announce 170,000 new jobs – but they have failed to mention where these jobs are going to come from.

    I’m sure we all can understand the need for frugal economic management, but there is now an extreme risk of losing a generation of young New Zealanders.

    The knowledge economy has been abandoned. Contact your local land-owning aristocracy now for low-wage work opportunities.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      I’m sure we all can understand the need for frugal economic management, but there is now an extreme risk of losing a generation of young New Zealanders.

      Already happened unfortunately. One in six New Zealanders have already left this country.

  15. ak 15

    Tinker and Hope and pawn the silver.

    NZ face down in a dangerous place playing dead.

    The Planking budget, by Plonker & Wankey.

  16. Anthony 16

    Will growth have tanked enough by election time? I’m betting they will sell the ChCh rebuild of 2012 and world cup stimulus that won’t be accounted for until after the election.

    They don’t have to deliver on any of it before November just promise that it’s just around the corner, it will be whether voters believe them or not.

    • terryg 16.1

      world cup stimulus is an interesting way of describing the huge debt we have signed up for. luckily its an order of magnitude less than a typical olympic games stimulus…..o_O

  17. RobC 17

    That’s it. My vote has just been decided.

    Amy Adams just in the house – along the lines of “Labour would rather look after their union mates rather than hard-working NZers”

    Most workers in unions are hard-working NZers you toffee-nosed bitch.

  18. chris73 18

    Well being that it won’t come in until after the election (Labour would have just rammed it in before the election) we’ll all have our say about what we think and return National to power

  19. Toby Keith 19

    The spending didnt help much from previous governments.

    • Lanthanide 19.1

      Previous governments got us into a net asset position for the first time in decades.

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      2 1/2 years in and all Toby can do is blame the last Labour Government 🙂

      BTW that’s exactly the same as what the clueless planless Bill and John can do 😀

    • Draco T Bastard 19.3

      Net position after last government = Balanced (Zero net debt)
      Net position after two budgets from this government = Imbalanced (record and increasing net debt)

      Going into election the previous government promised another budget in December to balance the books due to the global recession
      Going into the election this government promised all the same spending plus tax cuts north of $50/week for people on the average wage

      It wasn’t the previous government that put us in financial stress but the one we have. National even promised to do it although I’m sure that most people who voted for National didn’t realise that was what they were voting for.

  20. Carol 20

    Oh, my! The photo that stuff is using on their main page right now, to headline their Budget coverage:



    Looks like a real love-fest between Key & Blinglish, with Simon Power the jilted lover.

  21. RobC 21

    National do have a plan. It’s a great plan.

    Give tax cuts to the rich. Give them a couple of years to build a war chest. Sell public assets to “mum and dad” investors. Only investors who can afford said assets are the rich who received tax cuts.

    Result? transfer of public assets owned by all to the rich pricks.

    It’s brilliant. “Mum and Dad” have no clue.

  22. RobC 22

    Someone do some figures please.

    4-5% wage growth over next 1-2 years?
    Public sector employees will get f all growth (public sector needs to fund superannuation out of existing budgets which aren’t increasing)

    Ergo, private sector wage growth will need to be … what … 6%? Anyone seriously believe that’s going to happen???

    170,000 net new jobs over 4 years. Public sector will probably have job losses. So private sector expected to provide ….. what …. 180,000 net new jobs? 190,000? Really???

    • felix 22.1

      Ah but you’re forgetting the cycleway (which has already provided more than four public sector jobs btw.)

      Once it’s fully operational there’ll be opportunities for around two million cycleway-related private sector jobs up and down the length of it, mostly in the bicycle maintenance and lycra industries.

  23. Tom Gould 23

    Someone must have voted for Armstong. No way he gave his benefactor less that 9 out ot 10.

  24. RobC 24

    John Key on Campbell Live when pulled up on Treasury projections:

    “Treasury could be under-cooking it”

    Seriously, this guy is no better, probably a lot worse, than a used car salesman.

    • MrSmith 24.1

      RobC comparing our leader to a used car salesman is a bit disingenuous.

      At-least the used car salesman is selling you a piece of shit, key on the other hand can only talk it.

      • RobC 24.1.1

        My apologies 😀

      • terryg 24.1.2

        Sorry MrSmith, but you’re quite wrong there.

        At-least the used car salesman is selling you a piece of shit, key on the other hand can only talk it

        at least the used car salesman is selling you an actual piece of shit.

        Shon Key is selling you a decent used vehicle, and having it stripped while you do the paperwork. by the time you sign on the dotted line and go outside, its up on blocks, missing wheels, seats, and anything else they managed to whip off while you were inside. And when you complain the prick charges you a storage fee, and a towing fee to get it off the lot.

        FIFY 😀

  25. tsmithfield 25

    It seems that Labour doesn’t want to sell assets, doesn’t want cuts to Kiwisaver, doesn’t want cuts to WFF, doesn’t want cuts to the public service.

    The only solution I have heard proposed is to tax the wealthy more. Well, that option doesn’t generate anywhere near enough revenue to put the country back into surplus any time soon. So, if Labour won’t make the cuts mentioned above, then how will they fund the deficit? More borrow and hope?

    • Lanthanide 25.1

      Putting up tax for the rich, and giving some marginal tax cuts to the poor (first $5000 tax free, GST off fruit and vegetables). Investing in job creation programmes.

    • PC Brigadier 25.2

      Well, if they were to reverse those tax cuts they might, perhaps, invest in productive areas of the economy that make money. For example, electricity generation makes money. Imagine if NACT reversed its tax cuts and invested in those (rather than selling them); that could produce wealth rather than borrowing it. Yes, Labour may not have the kahunas…but NACT certainly doesn’t. The Greens however…

    • MrSmith 25.3

      TS you appear to be stumbling about in a room fool of mirrors and sound bites, What Labour wants to do is beside the point, your government has had plenty of time to show us that they had a plan, but they are nothing more than used car salesmen in two thousand dollar suits.
      They keep doing the same old thing over and over and over again namely ripping off the average Joes and spiting in our faces, these people, National are parasites and should be shown the door, do you really believe they run this country, a bunch of sheep could run this country, Oh hang on they are.

  26. Sookie 26

    I’m so glad I saw the writing on the wall 2 years ago and got the hell out of the public sector. I feel terrible for my old department and colleagues, poor overstretched, demoralised bastards, trying to do mostly good for this country with absolutely f*ck all. Well, the Nats have laid it all out on the line now. If NZ is stupid enough to vote for that shower this year, they deserve everything they get. Key was a transparent bullshit artist on Campbell tonight, and yet the mob thinks he’s a ‘top bloke’ who ‘tells it like it is’. Deep, heavy sigh.

  27. Sam 27

    I dare someone to give me an objective definition of the words “fair” and “equality”. These words are everywhere but they mean different things to different people. Go on, I dare ya

    • Lanthanide 27.1

      fair: free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice
      equality: the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability

      There you go, objective definitions.

      • Sam 27.1.1

        So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t fair, because according to your definition people who earn more arent being taxed to the same degree as those of lower income. There’s nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals.

        • mickysavage

          Feck Sam I can’t work out if you are a comrade or a RWNJ.

          I think you are saying that everyone should pay the same tax.  Over the past 30 years the very wealthy have done outstandingly well and the rest of us have suffered.

          The world’s environment is suffering because of this, as are many societies.  So do you mean that the wealthiest and the poorest should pay the same or do you mean something else?

          • Lanthanide

            “I think you are saying that everyone should pay the same tax. ”

            No, he’s saying precisely the opposite (whether he meant to or not):

            “There’s nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals.”

            We shouldn’t treat unequal (rich and poor) equally, eg flat-tax, because that’s unequal.

            • mickysavage

              Thanks L

              I agree entirely with you Sam.  Requiring the rich and the poor to be treated “equally” means that very few rich and many poor will be charged with living under bridges.

              • terryg

                thats exactly right. and guaranteed to tip an RWNJ into full-blown apoplexy at the merest mention.

                But Im not sure that is what Sam means – its not consistent with the first half (nor for that matter is the first half) which doesnt help, but IMO Sams OP@27 reads as full-blown RWNJ prose.

                Not that I ever let cognitive dissonance stop me, so why should anyone else….

                [edit to remove gender assumption]

                • Lanthanide

                  I agree, I don’t think that’s what Sam meant at all. But that’s what he said.

        • terryg

          WTF Sam?!
          the only rational item in your post is this:
          There’s nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals which is very, very true.

          the rest is incorrect verging on nonsensical.

          Your conclusion does not in any way follow from La’s definitions. Lets rip it to shreds eh?

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t fair, because according to your definition people who earn more arent being taxed to the same degree as those of lower income

          1. Reading (your own post) Comprehension Fail: you dont even use the word “equality” so why ask for a definition of it?

          2. Consistent Terminology Fail: initially you refer to “the wealthy” and then “people who earn more” (also known as “the wealthy”) thereby obfuscating your argument.

          re-writing your argument to fix this gives:

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t fair, because according to your definition the wealthy arent being taxed to the same degree as those of lower income

          3. Consistent Terminology Fail: you refer to “the wealthy” and “those of lower income” aka “the poor” – again obfuscating your argument.

          re-writing your argument to fix this gives:

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t fair, because according to your definition the wealthy arent being taxed to the same degree as the poor

          4. Consistent Terminology Fail: you initially state “so taxing [them] more” and later write “[they] arent being taxed to the same degree”. That [they] are not being taxed to the same degree is indeed true – [they] are, as you initially stated, “being taxed more”. This yet again obfuscates your argument.

          re-writing your argument to fix this gives:

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t fair, because according to your definition the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          5. Reading (your own post) Comprehension Fail: La’s definition of “fair” doesnt define the wealthy as being taxed more than the poor – YOU do, in the first 5 words (which I have not altered) of your post! Bwahahahahaha! you just pwned yourself (or in more archaic prose, methinks thou art hoist by thine own petard) 😀

          aside from that minor tiny gaping hole in your feeble argument, lets press on – there is more joy to be had. We can fix fuckup #5 by removing “according to your post” to give:

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t fair, because the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          at long last.

          And now that the obfuscating terminology has been cleared away, we can make some progress, simply by substituting each of La’s definition of “fail” into your (de-mangled for intelligibility) argument, one at a time:

          a) “free from bias”

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t free from bias, because the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          removing the negative for clarity:

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue is biased, because the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          6a. Circular Argument Fail: Using La’s first definition “free from bias” the unobfuscated version of your conclusion is circular – it is by definition biased to tax the wealthy more than the poor.

          b) “free from dishonesty”

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t free from dishonesty, because the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          again removing the negative for clarity:

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue is dishonest, because the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          6b. Unwarranted and Incorrect Conclusion Double Fail: not only do you offer no proof whatsoever that taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue is dishonest, but it clearly is not dishonest – tax rates are both enshrined in law and widely publicised.

          c) “free from injustice”

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue isn’t free from injustice, because the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          again removing the negative for clarity:

          So taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue is unjust, because the wealthy are being taxed more than the poor

          6c. Unwarranted and Incorrect Conclusion Double Fail: not only do you offer no proof whatsoever that taxing the wealthy more to generate revenue is unjust, but again it clearly is not unjust – tax rates are both enshrined in law and widely publicised.

          would you like to play again?

  28. Pete 28

    Man, aren’t we lucky the labour clowns aren’t running the show. We’d all be bankrupt yesterday.

    • Sookie 28.1

      Oh yeah, because we were doing soooo badly when Labour was in power, what with that continuous growth and annual surpluses and shit. NZ really sucked back then. RWNJ’s, you may be able to confuse cretins on Stuff with your bullshit astroturfing comments, but you’re wasting your time here.

    • Yep Bloody Michael Cullen paid off all of the country’s debt so that by 2008 NZ Crown was debt free and good old boy Blinglish today announced borrowings of $16 billion over the next 12 months.  Pete you really need help with remedial economics, in fact screw that you need help with remedial maths.  You could start with taking your shoes and socks off, that will give you greater counting power …

    • Mac1 28.3

      Mmmm…. nine years of surpluses, nine years of low unemployment, nine years of growth, – such a nine years that Bill English himself acknowledged the good state of the economy in 2008.

      Pete, what do you call our economy now, with huge deficits, large unemployment, and borrowing three hundred and eighty million a week to sustain the tax cuts for the already well-off?

  29. Pascal's bookie 29

    So for the people who are struggling to put 2% into kiwisaver, and looking at either the extra money having to go in vs not bothering and keeping that 2% that they could currently spend on groceries;

    and considering that the govt says it’s hunky dory for employers to take their kiwisaver contributions into account when setting wages,

    I’m guessing when those people pull out of kiwisaver they get an automatic payrise right?

    cf: “love to see wages drop”

  30. JAS 30

    This single income household just lost $37 a week by the time these changes all take effect. Just wonderful when prices continue to increase for basic essentials like fuel to get to and from work, food, and electricity.

    Employer contributions to kiwisaver are a direct deduction from my base salary, so I get to wear the increases to both employee contributions AND employer contributions. (a combined total of roughly $16 a week). A quick calculation using the published abatement levels equals approx $21 less a week of working for families.

    To think a few weeks ago I was overjoyed with a small salary increase, sadly it wasn’t enough to cover what will now be lost.

  31. Jum 31

    What % ownership is needed in our assets to control what happens to them?

    • Jum basically 100%.

      Air New Zealand a few years ago shut down Christchurch’s engineer’s depot.  The Labour Government was asked by the Engineers Union to intercede and preserve a skill base.  Cullen refused.  Even though the Government owned 83% of the shares if it made a decision that affected the company’s profitability then the minority could jump up and down.

      So if you want a Corporate to worry about anything but profit the state have to own 100% of the shares. 

      Selling power company shares will mean that to them burning coal is way better than building windmills …

      • Colonial Viper 31.1.1

        Even though the Government owned 83% of the shares if it made a decision that affected the company’s profitability then the minority could jump up and down.

        The majority shareholders have full control over the Board of Directors, should they choose to exercise it.

        If you’re going to be timid and defer to the minority shareholders you get what you deserve.

        Just remember that the last Labour Government was essentially a centrist Government.

        • mickysavage

          I hear you CV but the Companies Act talks about “fraud on the minority” which means that if a majority shareholder makes decisions that are not commercially justifiable then the minority can sue their asses …

          This is the problem with corporatising and selling shares …

          • Draco T Bastard

            Thanks for putting it so plainly.

          • terryg

            wot DTB said. and with a sad face 🙁

          • terryg

            Hmm, thanks MickySavage, that really got me thinking.

            “fraud on the minority” is the corporate version of [struggles to find correct term] the democratic principle of “tyranny of the masses”. literally.

            the difference being that corporations are only concerned with profit.

            whereas (in theory) governments are concerned with people.

            whats the difference between theory and practice?
            In theory there isnt one
            In practice there always is

          • Colonial Viper

            if a majority shareholder makes decisions that are not commercially justifiable then the minority can sue their asses …

            Its the NZ Government and the case would be heard in NZ courts.

            So let them try 🙂

            Further, its not that hard to commercially justify something, if you are single minded enough 🙂

  32. Jum 32

    I would like to see some examples of wealthy people’s income and tax on that income; you know, the ones with accountants, John Key living next door, overseas bank accounts…

  33. Jan 33

    From the budget speech today

    “The expected revenue from offering minority stakes in these five companies (Power SOES and Air New Zealand) is between $5 billion and $7 billion. This will therefore fund about one-third of the core Crown’s increased investment in social assets in the period to 2015.”

    Another way of looking at this would be to say “If we take the average of the $380m and $300M increase in government deficit each week – (let’s says its’ on average about $333M /week to keep the sums simple) then use the capital raised by selling 1/2 the energy companies into private hands to reduce the government deficit it will be all spent up in 21 weeks under the best case scenario or 15 weeks if only $5M is raised,

    In contrast reversing the tax cuts ($140M each week) would have achieved the same result in 50 weeks under the best case scenario or 36 weeks if the lower amount of money is realised from the privatisation.


    /choices-choices-3/ and the budget speech

  34. Georgecom 34

    Deliver billions of dollars in tax cuts based on highly optimistic forecasts of economic growth
    Lead the economy back into recession
    Borrow Billions to pay for your tax cuts
    Announce asset sales to pay the your tax cuts

    Someone tell me why Bill English is not the least competent Minister of Finance for a long time. really, Bill fails the test of competence.

    A new Billboard is needed I think:

    Finance Minister 2012.

    Bill English

    or Someone Competent, like David Cunliffe.

  35. John Key on Close Up tonight said something like ‘we need to reward the top 13% who pay 50% of the tax. He just doesn’t get the other side of that does he – that 13% must EARN half the money!!

    • Hanswurst 35.1

      “Earn” is probably not the word for it. Besides which, the argument is immediately fallacious. Every time you reward them with a tax-cut, their share of the total tax payment is reduced. Therefore, he’s saying “We need to reward them by encouraging them to do less of what they are being rewarded for.”

  36. Carol 36

    John Key, the used car salesman, trying to sell us a very old and well-used neoliberal vehical as a solid road-worthy piece of machinery. It’s been slightly cusomized, with some unusual added features, by a couple of untrained mechanics (led by an ex-farmer, aided by a bully-boy ex woodwork teacher). The vehicle has been in at least one major crash, but this team has just hammered out the dents & painted over the cracks, hoping no-one will notice if they do a bit of an unorthodox, but well-choreographed song & dance routine beside the vehicle while customers are examining it.

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    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
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    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    1 week ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
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    1 week ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bloody Great Political Story (From A Parallel Universe).
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Submit!
    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
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    2 weeks ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Porirua housing partnership to improve housing in the city
    A partnership signed today between the Crown and local iwi, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa), will improve the quality of state housing in western Porirua, says the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi. Contracts have been signed at a ceremony at Takapūwāhia Marae, in Porirua, between Ngāti Toa, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minster Delivers Erebus Apology
    E aku manukura, tēnā koutou. He kupu whakamahara tēnei i te aituā nui i Te Tiri o Te Moana, i Erebus I runga i tētahi maunga tiketike i riro atu rā tētahi hunga i arohanuitia E murimuri aroha tonu ana ki a rātou.  Kua titia rātou ki te manawa, mō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF backing Southland skills
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ten Southland engineering firms get PGF funding
    Ten engineering firms in Southland are receiving Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment to lift productivity and create new jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today in Invercargill. Minister Jones announced over $4 million of PGF support for projects in the engineering and manufacturing, and aquaculture sectors and for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Public service gender pay gap continues to close and more women in leadership
    The Government has made good progress towards eliminating the gender pay gap in the Public Service, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today.  The latest data from the annual Public Service Workforce Data Report, shows that the 2019 Public Service gender pay gap fell to 10.5% from 12.2% in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Safer speed limits for schools
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to make streets safer for kids to walk and cycle to school, by reducing speed limits to a maximum of 40 km/h around urban schools and 60 km/h around rural schools. “Our kids should have the freedom to walk and cycle to school ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago