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The class politics of Lotto

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, April 18th, 2011 - 129 comments
Categories: class war - Tags: ,

And those ridiculous bets you make…gambling is the finest thing a person can do if he’s good at it, but you haven’t won anything in months.

– Krusty the Klown’s accountant

Like all good Kiwis, I was watching American Idol on Saturday night when the Lotto draw came on. I haven’t seen a draw in years and they have this new ‘Winning Wheel’ where a lucky ticket holder from the previous draw gets to come in and spin a wheel to when a bunch of money. Before the big spin, there was a little video on the couple. From the Far North, they were low-income – he was a forest worker. They weren’t greedy for money but they recognised that whatever they won (I think the minimum was $100,000) would be life changing. They had been playing since Lotto began (1987 – which, at $10 a week is over $7,000) and the biggest win they had had before was $30. But that was all made up and more when they won $200,000, eh?

Except, of course, most people will never get to spin the Winning Wheel or win a big prize. Nearly everyone loses money in the long-run. Even the idea that Lotto effectively pools the players’ money and redistributes it in concentrated bundles to a few of them is false. Nearly half the money doesn’t go back to the players.

I find it to be no coincidence that the government established the Lotto Commission to run Lotto and Instant Kiwi during the Neoliberal Revolution, in 1986 and casinos were legalised duirng the same period in 1990. Just as the neoliberals were taking away the hope of working people to work their way to a decent level of wealth, they held out the false hope of gambling instead. So millions of people, seeing their incomes drop and their jobs disappear, see Lotto as a little hope of a circuit breaker. There’s no stats I can find on the income distribution of Lotto players but I know very few well-off people who play, it’s mostly people on low incomes. It makes sense – you can’t get ahead by normal means but invest a little money (which becomes a lot of money, week after week) and there is a slim chance that all your money woes will be things of the past. People have been conned out of a real route to wealth and offered an illusion in its place.

But, there’s a con within the con, because Lotto skims off 46% of ticket sales for operating costs, taxes, and Lottery Grants. $150 million of the $750 million in ticket sales last year went on grants decided by a Commission headed by former National Party President Judy Kirk with the three others all wealthy businessmen. There’s a hell of a lot of, for want of a better word, bourgeois stuff that gets funded from the money working people spend to get the possibility of a life-changing win.

If there’s some good news, it’s that the con doesn’t work forever. People get sick of paying all that money and rarely winning. That’s why Lotto keeps on introducing new games to revive excitement, and why the Winning Wheel has the new little video on the winners and you get to see them win right in front of your eyes – it makes the prospect of winning a lot more tangible. Still, ticket sales are falling – down over 16% in the last financial year.

– Bright Red

* It turns out the Winning Wheel has been around since 2004 – I really haven’t seen a draw in ages 🙂

129 comments on “The class politics of Lotto”

  1. Santi 1

    What?  Lets ban gambling too! Immediately.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      Or, the actual message of the post: poor people gamble because modern capitalism denies them any other route out of poverty. Let’s not have the government making money out of poor people gambling on Lotto and appointing an elitist board to give 20% of the takings to their mates. Let’s have real routes to wealth instead.

      • Tigger 1.1.1

        Nice post.  There’s a stink of desperation around at the moment – ticket sales might be down but I suspect that’s because people can’t afford to buy tickets – even this road out of poverty is closed to them…

        • Vicky32

          I’ve never bought Lotto tickets – once in a while in the 80s, I’d buy a scratchie, but Lotto is just too random!
          I think people are just getting disillusioned.

          • J Mex

            “There’s no stats I can find on the income distribution of Lotto players but I know very few well-off people who play, it’s mostly people on low incomes.” – Guest poster

            Actually, Guest Poster, it looks like you are incorrect. According to this article:

            New Zealand’s most comprehensive gambling survey recently showed that Lotto players are typical of New Zealand society…

            51% are female, 49% male
            79% are Pakeha, 12% Maori, 4% Pacific Island and 3% Asian
            The most likely age of players is 25-34 years (21%), 35-44 years (22%) and 45-54 (18%)
            70% were employed, 3% were unemployed and 27% were “not in the labour force” (e.g. homemakers, indolent intellectuals)
            12% had a tertiary degree, 44% a trade qualification, 21% obtained their highest qualification from high school and 22% had no formal qualifications
            17% earned less than $20,000 per annum and 18% earned $70,001 or more.

            I can’t find a date on the article, but it references 1999 dates, so it must be in the 2000′s.

            Looks like proportionally as many “rich” people play lotto as “poor” people.

            Maybe your well off friends just don’t admit to buying lotto tickets?


            • Colonial Viper

              People on $80K p.a. or $100K p.a. know full well that they are also wage serfs/mortgage serfs.

              • J Mex

                I don’t know what that means or what your point is.


              • Jim Nald

                Yup. And they are kept reminded about that when they stop by the supermarket and petrol station, or pay their bills, esp power bills.

            • Puddleglum

              Actually, Guest Poster, it looks like you are incorrect.

              Not necessarily. More interesting would be how much was spent by different people each week on lotto (perhaps as a percentage of income). I’ve been in lotto queues and waited for many minutes behind people with multiple tickets.

              I know why I buy lotto tickets. Not to be wealthy. I do it in the hope that I might instantly become independent of the need to be employed (i.e., to not have to rent my body and mind). I’m also trying other ways to do this but figure the psychological experience of hope is worth the money for me.

              I agree with CV that even people with relatively high incomes have the experience of not being in control of their lives. Lotto provides the hope that they could be.

            • Jeremy

              It might be true that the demographic make up of those who buy Lotto tickets is a pretty accurate reflection of NZ as a whole. But back in the 80s when I asked the Lotteries Commission for figures all they had was a breakdown of who had bought a Lotto ticket in the last year. It didn’t have figures on how much people spend. I’m not alone in having noted queues in Flaxmere and Porirua but never in Khandallah or Havelock North. I think it’s fair to say Lotto is the most regressive tax in the country and that it’s proceeds benefit the better off – in the form of funding Creative NZ etc.

  2. todd 2

    Lotto is clearly another tax on the poor.  They changed the game a while ago so that less people win. The real crux of the matter is that most people believe that the money lotto makes goes back to the community. Only a small percentage finds its way to helping out communities that are poor, who consequently purchase most of the tickets. I’m in two minds as to whether there is any psychological worth in buying a ticket, in the hope that it will alleviate impoverishment. A lot of poor people have lost hope which in reality is all buying a lotto ticket gives you… I suppose false hope is better than no hope at all.

    • Jim Nald 2.1

      There’s hope that should kept real at the ballot box. The time is getting more pressing to vote for a Government with a spine and doesn’t talk in forked tongues.

    • Santi 2.2

      Tax on the poor, did you write?
      Who is forcing these people to buy Lotto tickets?  Have you heard the words self-control and responsibility for your own actions?

      • Puddleglum 2.2.1

        I often hear those words.

        They’re usually uttered by people who have no understanding of what it takes to develop self-control and what it takes to sorely test anyone’s self-control.

        In short, they’re usually uttered by people who have no sense of the realities that form and influence people’s behaviour. They, instead, seem to think that each person is simply a clone of themselves – then they make the judgment that ‘if I wouldn’t do it, others shouldn’t do it’. They don’t tend to have the impulse (or sense) to see that even they are not responsible for their own ‘responsibility’.

  3. infused 3

    Get over it. No one is forcing you to gamble. Huge numbers @ lotto were because of the massive powerball win. I never buy them, but for the 3 weeks leading up to the draw I was.

    • felix 3.1

      Nobody forces people to do all sorts of things that are ultimately harmful and wasteful to society, but so what?
      That doesn’t mean the state should be actively encouraging them either.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Doesn’t infused know that they use brain scientists and psychologists to make gambling systems and gambling machines as addictive as possible?

      • Puddleglum 3.2.1

        And they (psychologists) have and they do.

        B.F. Skinner was the first to formalise the relationship known as ‘partial [or intermittent] reinforcement’. Laboratory studies with rats and pigeons show that behaviour that is reinforced every time is actually very susceptible to extinction (i.e., when the reinforcement stops, the behaviour ceases soon after).

        Reinforcing on a Variable Ratio schedule (i.e., on average, reinforcement occurs only once in so many behaviours – e.g., only 1 in 20 times, on average) is extremely resistant to extinction. Pokies are scheduled carefully to maximise the number of responses while limiting the number of reinforcing episodes (that helps to maximise profit).

        Then there’s all the work done on people’s gut intuitions about the odds. One finding is famously called the ‘gambler’s fallacy‘.

        And BR is right about the tangibility that comes from ‘live draws’ and the ‘Winning Wheel’ contestants who are profiled.

        The availability heuristic means that people will tend to think something is more likely to happen the more easily instances of it are brought to mind. Interestingly, so called inspirational role models of ‘aspirational’ people, in effect are attempts to skew people’s judgments towards over-estimating the likelihood of materially succeeding in life. Ever noticed all those magazines, radio interviews, etc. with people who ‘made it’. It’s the same manipulation as with lotto.

        It’s the same opium.

        Then again, what Marx actually said about religion and opium was:

        “Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusion.

        It will take a very different kind of society for lotto to be a thing of the past. If you try to get rid of the ‘illusion’ of lotto (and its predecessors in New Zealand) without getting rid of the prevailing conditions which make lotto a solace, then you’ll be left with a vacuum that, if unfilled, will simply leave people uncosoled. Good for the pharmaceutical companies, I guess, who peddle their own, more literal, ‘opium’.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Get over it. No one is forcing you to gamble.

      National is wanting to put SOEs on the NZX in the gamble that it will be good for the economy when all the evidence is that it’s bad for the economy. That sounds remarkably like being forced to gamble.

      • infused 3.3.1

        It’s the same as the cullin fund isn’t it? That’s gambling, and ACC no? Please tell me how it’s any different.

  4. Tigger 4

    My god, how could we be so stupid.  All we had to tell those struggling to pay their bills was ‘get over it!’.

  5. Bill 5

    What’s with the ‘roads to wealth’ meme? Wealth is comparative and is deeply rooted in the creation of comparative poverty.
    I might be in a minority, but merely not being in poverty would suit me fine. Bugger wealth.
    But while, or because a majority are seeking ‘roads to wealth’, poverty ( mine included) will persist.
    The post reminded me of an incident on Byres Rd in Glasgow many moons ago when a young acolyte of one of the many leftist sects approached me with a pile of political newspapers and expounding a sincere sense of grievance over the material disparities within society.
    Anyway. A BMW passed on the road and I made some comment, effectively asking her if she reckoned everybody should have one. She reckoned so. And that’s when I walked away. One, because her sincerity seemed at that moment to boil down to jealousy and  two, because then as now, I’ve no interest in the trappings of material wealth.
    I agree that neo-liberalism spread more and comparatively deeper levels of poverty around. And I agree that desperation can lend itself to gambling on the never, never. But neo-liberalism and lotto or whatever aren’t the principle problems.

    For as long as ‘you’ want to be materially wealthier than ‘me’ or seek to attain some arbitrary level of financial or material security for yourself in comparison to me or whoever, then you are sustaining the zero sum game of market capitalism and ensuring that poverty runs rife.
    Neo-liberalism is merely a descriptive reason for poverty. The incisive reason lies in the conditioned motivations,…fears/hopes… of the majority.

    • Bright Red 5.1

      when I say ‘roads to wealth’ I don’t mean John Key-esque wealth.
      I mean being able to afford to own your own home.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        I know what you mean Red. But like I say, the focus on individual material well being pits the individual against all in a zero sum game.
        To own your own home entails somehow ‘getting ahead’ in the financial stakes. And ‘getting ahead’ means that you are partaking in a system of supposed wealth generation that actually produces poverty.
        What would be so wrong with everybody having a home to live in rather than striving to individually own a home? (Whatever ‘own’ might mean in the context where the house belongs to the bank until such times as you’ve paid the mortgage off in 20 or 30 years hence.)

        • Bright Red

          I’m suggesting that people want to get ahead and Lotto is a tiny chance to do that given that other routes are blocked.
          Whether you think that’s good or not doesn’t bear on whether people buy lotto tickets in the hope of escaping poverty.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            What is so great about owning a house (and having a crushing mortgage on a poor quality and overpriced house)?
            Some people have different priorities. If you want to write articles pointing out the stupidity of certain sectors of society, go nuts. But imposing your preferences, home ownership for example, on others is lame.

            • Bored

              Rusty, what is so great about owning your own home is that moment when you are not obliged to pay some other leach (aka banker or bank shareholder) the “rent” on the capital aka “interest”. That can take years, but it is oh so liberating.
              When you think logically about the way we pay for everything there is always the hand of the “capital” provider insisting on taking a cut. When you work the owner pays you less than your labour value that he can on charge.  When we try and get “rich” the hardest single barrier is to accumulate enough of our “saved labour” aka capital so that we can capture the surplus labour of others. The wealthy are wealthy simply because they have appropriated the labour of others, and the more you get of this the more you can get. Which is why the poor are poor.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                You never “own” your house. You have to pay rates on it, and if you don’t you will lose the house or some other amount of your “saved labour”.
                I prefer to look at it logically. I can pay a mortgage for most of my life, or pay rent most of my life. Which one is going to work out better in the long run? After you add in rates, maintenance etc a house can work out to be more expensive. If you are a baby boomer  it makes sense to have bought a house because of capital gains. I don’t see that persisting into the future.
                I don’t mind if someone is benefiting from my labour. As I benefit from other people’s labour.

                • Lanthanide

                  Alternatively, you should consider how easy it is to live on NZ Super when you are renting, or when you own your home.
                  captcha: differences

                  • RedLogix

                    You beat me to the same point Lanth. Super in this country has always been predicated on the assumption that by the time you reached retirement you would either own a home mortgage free or to have access to suitably low-cost social housing.
                    Unfortunately I’m seeing more and more people arrive at their mid-60’s who are falling into a widening gap between the two.
                    By all means rent, but you still have to plan for the long-term.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I’m a little more aspirational than accepting my fate as a retiree on a state stipend. Further, I’m not advocating against home ownership. Perhaps in the future it will be right for me. But, it’s a different matter to advocate that every person should own a house. Which, in any case, renting IS a form of ownership.

                    Edit: RedLogix
                    Sound advice.

                    • Jim Nald

                      People will choose to rent or buy, depending on their financial, family, social and work circumstances.
                      As a purely financial decision, it may not be the best idea to buy a home. But, as some would testify, there may be other reasons for buying a home, eg non-monetary and indeed mental wellbeing.
                      The main concern presently is that housing is being priced out of reach and property speculation should be regulated.

                    • Vicky32

                      I’ve never wanted to own a house, ever. Until very recently, when I was forced to realise how insecure renting really is! A tenant can end up out on a whim, as happened to a friend recently. The compensation the tenancy tribunal eventually paid him doesn’t even begin to cover the huge distress he felt at being chucked out with a few hours’ notice…
                      It’s all very well to be compensated after the fact for the landlord’s violation of the Tenancy Act  – but at the time, it’s a terrible position to be in.

                • Bored

                  Rusty, we pay a socialized thing called rates, it’s a pain but I do get stuff. Renting or owning you end up paying heaps to somebody other than yourself for a dubious return. What I notice is that those who have lots invariably “own”, that’s how they stay rich.
                  As for not being concerned re making money from the labour of others I encourage everyone  to question which side of the ledger you exist on i.e how much you get from other peoples labour as opposed to how much you disburse of your labour to others? I would suggest that very few of us are in positive balance given that in NZ 10% of the population own 95%.
                  On a personal note I take the labour of others through my company, and capture “my” share in the form of profit. I have always found this slightly anomalous; those who “own” set the rules and take the most.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    As I said, you don’t really own the house if someone else can take it from you.
                    Rates are fine, you can move cities if you don’t like it (although, all districts have raised rates at a higher level than inflation over the last decade). Some of the things cities do, they shouldn’t be doing. Trash collection is more efficiently run on a privatised basis, for example.
                    I’m not sure if I produce more labour than I consume. I work for a public school, so there is no mechanism to measure that figure.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I don’t know about other areas, but Christchurch has a system in place for those in hardship to have their rates subsidised or waived entirely.
                      You can also pay less in rates by downsizing to a smaller/less valuable house.
                      I don’t see rates as a serious argument against home ownership, because landlords have to pay rates on the house you’re renting from them, so it’s factored into the rent that you’re paying.

                    • Herodotus

                      La- Some councils have this “deferral” system. But watch out as the charges can be applied against the property and the council has 1st tabs on the proceeds. Even, if memory serves me before the banks. But what one person is unable to pay is picked up by the rest as an increase in rates.
                      Like many posts people are failing to see the root cause. How anyone can survive on a pension is beyond me, so we end up with some of the most vunerable suffering in silence as they make do by cutting heating etc. Diverting a wee bit, but yet another sector of the pop. that is being abused by politicians and the rest of us.
                      Re Lotto (and casinos) they have done a wonderful job in distancing themselves from what they are Gambling. Not a great night out, or by buying a ticket your/our/my community benefits. It just covers some things that the govt would have to find funds for e.g. Lifesaving

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Trash collection is more efficiently run on a privatised basis, for example.

                      No it’s not you imbecile. It’s far more efficient to run trash collection directly through the council and to remove the profit motive. Doing so removes the added cost of profit.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Profit is evil right? Even if the business does it cheaper and better whilst still making a profit?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Even if the business does it cheaper and better whilst still making a profit?

                      It’s actually impossible for the business to do it cheaper and so the profit and the businesses bureaucracy is merely an added expense.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I was going to write a well thought out post with examples and evidence. But why bother? Your statement is ridiculous on a basic level.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I was going to write a well thought out post with examples and evidence. But why bother?

                      Translation: You can’t actually find any proof to support your statement.
                      Trash collection, no matter how you do it, will take up

                      1.) X amount of trucks, drivers and time
                      2.) X amount of fuel and truck maintenance
                      3.) X amount of administrators

                      To have a private business doing that rather than the council directly means that you’ve added costs on to the council in the form of more bureaucracy (the council has to maintain some administrators for trash collection anyway) and profit.
                      Your whole argument goes back to the delusional statement made by RWNJs and neo-liberal economists that private business can do it better and cheaper and even the Treasury is starting to question that BS because there is no evidence to support it.

                    • PeteG

                      Of course if you knew anything about business and if you knew anything about the efficiencies of public services you would know that “X” is very variable. So is the type of trucks. So is the productivity of workers. So is the efficiency of operations. Add to that the economies of scale that can occur when a service is contracted that is also provided elsewhere and the theory that a simple equation of public cost + profit = private cost is naive nonsense.
                      Why do councils contract rubbish collection services? To deliberately add costs to rates?

                    • rosy

                      “Why do councils contract rubbish collection services? To deliberately add costs to rates?”

                      Oohh I know…Because they don’t want to be seen as responsible for rates rises. Much easier to have the private company taking the flak for “greed” than the council having to argue the case for rising costs. Of course the private company owners don’t care – their job is to make as much profit out of essential services that the tender process allows.

                    • Armchair Critic

                      Why do councils contract rubbish collection services? To deliberately add costs to rates?
                      As a detached observer of the processes at the time, I concluded the move to contract out rubbish collection was driven by:
                      (a) political expedience, and
                      (b) ideology.
                      The financial arguments could have worked either for or against.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      If you think govt bureaucrats work with perfect efficiency, then I don’t know what I can tell you.

                    • Bored

                      Rusty, as a paid employee I can pretty much gaurantee you are on the wrong side of the divide. Myself as an employer, well I am better placed than you. So long as you find it fair and equitable be my guest as my kind capitalise your future to our exclusive benefit.
                      With the surplus capital from yours and other peoples labour I think it best to tender for a rubbish collection contract. Nice profits as I push down wages and cut safety and environmental corners. Now lets see, with thhe extra accumulated capital a villa in Hawaii perhaps.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If you think govt bureaucrats work with perfect efficiency, then I don’t know what I can tell you.

                      It’s not a question of government bureaucrats working perfectly but any bureaucrats working perfectly. They don’t work any better when they work for a private company and yet that’s the assumption you have.

                    • Rusty Shackleford


                      As I said, I’m a public school teacher (not in NZ), so it isn’t possible to measure how much I produce. I don’t feel exploited and there are other facets of my job, other than pay, that work as fringe benefits. Time to study during the day, and 9 weeks of vacation for instance. 

                      I don’t consider the minimum wage to be low. I wouldn’t want to be on it, but it is higher than the so called “surplus labour”, as we seem to be calling it, for some employees. Especially the young. Frankly, if you are cutting environmental corners (ie breaking the law) I would hope you would be prosecuted to the fullest extent (though I know that rarely happens). 

                      There are downsides to being a capital owner. It depreciates. Someone else can undercut you. Your business model can become obsolete. Thanks to unionisation, my skills are relatively transferable and there are high barriers to entry. Any contract I enter into is completely voluntary, therefore I don’t care if my employer earns a dime off the back of my labours. What am I going to do? Build a school?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      If a private company employs inefficient managers they will be undercut by a firm that doesn’t. If a publicly run firm hires inefficient managers, they get more cash thrown at them.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Rusty Shackleford
                      As I said, pure delusion on your part. A good manager does their job well – no matter the location. A bad manager does badly no matter the location and, as studies have shown, NZ managers in private companies are the worst in the world.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I haven’t read the studies, but I’m unwilling to disagree with your assessment of private management in NZ. How about some studies of the virtues of NZ public managers?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If a publicly run firm hires inefficient managers, they get more cash thrown at them.

                      Bollocks. When did this happen last? Oh, unless you are talking AMI insurance of course.
                      You have a real short attention span, you know that?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      ? AMI should go out of business.

                      Enron. GM should have gone out of business. The barber shop down the street from me.  Pets.com. A metric butt-ton of banks. 

            • Bright Red

              “Some people have different priorities”
              It’s not a question of priorities for many though, is it? They don’t have the money to have the choice

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Maybe if they saved $20 a week instead of blowing it on lotto tickets, they might be able to afford the luxury of higher priorities. Although, I agree the OP. Lotteries should be run on an entirely private basis. ; )

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey Rusty what home spending priorities do you think Key should have with his publicly funded extra $1000 p.w. tax cut?
                  Or are you here to dictate only to the poor because the rich have earned the right to do whatever they want?

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I’m not dictating anything to anyone. Just making suggestions. You and your ilk are the ones wanting to dictate terms to people.

          • Bill

            BR. Agreed.

        • Psycho Milt

          Material well-being isn’t a zero-sum game, and poverty isn’t a virtue.

          • Bill

            Material well being is simply material well being.
            But its attainment in the context of market capitalism ( which insists on individual well being) involves partaking in a zero sum game.
            And poverty is a pain in the arse.

            • Psycho Milt

              <i>…its attainment in the context of market capitalism ( which insists on individual well being) involves partaking in a zero sum game.</i>
              I suspect the workers of 200 years ago would beg to differ, if they could view the “poverty” you’re living in now.  Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but working-class movements put a lot of time and effort the last couple of centuries into seeing to it that market capitalism doesn’t get to insist on individual well-being.

              • Bill

                If workers from 200 years ago viewed today’s poverty in NZ in the context of today, then I don’t see what they’d disagree about.
                And if they viewed today’s poverty in India or China or the Philippines or Brazil or any other number of countries from their 200 year old context, then again, I don’t know what they’d disagree about.
                Just as individuals get ahead at the expense of others, so larger economic units…national economies or companies…get ahead at the expense of others.

                Nothing has changed in that respect over the past 200 years.

                The poverty we are looking at is relative PM, not absolute. And I’m well aware of gains made by the working class organising ourselves. And I’m well aware the tide is going out on those gains thanks to the persistent asymmetry of power in society and the market .

                • Very well put Bill.

                • The poverty we are looking at is relative PM, not absolute.
                  On this we agree.  However, it’s still not obvious how a zero-sum game could have made poverty in this day and age something that would have been considered astonishing wealth 200 years ago – unless it isn’t a zero-sum game.  Which it isn’t, to a great extent thanks to working-class movements having imposed significant limitations on capitalism over that time.  It wouldn’t kill you to acknowledge the fact.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Material well-being isn’t a zero-sum game,

            Yes it is. There are limits to what we can draw from the planet/environment to feed and house people. This means that there’s a limit to our material well-being that can simply be defined as (Renewable Resource Base)/(Number of People). The more people we have the less material well-being.
            Anthropogenic Climate Change and loss of natural habitats resulting in massive species loss is proof that we’ve gone beyond those limits. Within this century we are all going to be very, very poor in relation to today but, in NZ at least, nobody will have live in poverty – if we have a viable and sustainable socio-economic system.

            • Rusty Shackleford

              I think what you just said boils down the statist and anti-statist positions.

              Statists see the world as finite. Anti-statists tend not to. If all the assets were divided equally amongst all people, there would be something like $3million worth of goods for every person on earth (those resources would probably, quickly, recentralise themselves) . The universe is infinite. Why can’t life also be such? Earth’s resources are obviously finite but human ingenuity and will power is obviously infinite, in my opinion.

              Energy is the problem to solve (and I have faith someone will. Maybe it will be a govt, but I’m not holding my breath). Behind evergy unit of output there is a unit of energy. There are heaps of clean energy sources. One or a few of which will emerge to replace oil. Perhaps thorium reactors. Perhaps solar technology will progress.  Wind is a joke. No one can pick what will be the dominant energy source. It is wasteful to try. 

              As an aside. I have always envisioned the future of solar thusly. Solar panels are never going to be viable because they don’t work 70% of the time. If I possessed the technology, I would park an array of panels at some safe distance from the sun and pipe the energy back to Earth. This would mean electricity would be produced continuously and wouldn’t need to be stored as with traditional solar energy.

              • Adele

                Teenaa koe, Rusty

                The universe is infinite. Why can’t life also be such? Earth’s resources are obviously finite but human ingenuity and will power is obviously infinite, in my opinion

                Nah.  Human capacity is limited by human nature – the mentality that limits our potential to survivalist thinking only.   

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  In 100 years when every person on earth lives at the level we do now, I guarantee you lot (or your descendants) will still be harping on about inequality.

                  • Adele

                    Teenaa koe, Rusty Shack

                    You obviously are not aware of the population predictions for this country for the next 50 years or so but it won’t be Maaori whining about inequality in this country.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I wasn’t talking about Maori people by saying “you lot”. I was talking about the whinging, middle class wankers on this site. I don’t think I have ever heard a poor Maori person complain about inequality. It’s usually middle class whites and politically connected rich Maori.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I don’t think I have ever heard a poor Maori person complain about inequality.

                      Yeah you clearly hang out in the wrong places.

                    • felix

                      Rusty doesn’t know any poor maori. Of course he hasn’t heard maori complaining about inequality or anything else.

                  • Vicky32

                    In 100 years when every person on earth lives at the level we do now, I guarantee you lot (or your descendants) will still be harping on about inequality.

                    Wow, you’re an optimist! Somehow, I can’t see that happening at all, much less in 100 years.
                    It takes much more than ‘faith’ for that to happen.

  6. JJ 6

    I was going to buy a ticket in the 32mil draw just recently, i hardly ever buy a ticket and they told me the cheapest ticket was $13!! I said forget it, I’d rather keep my money LOL

    I don’t know anything about bourgeois or whatever, but for most people on low incomes Lotto represents pretty much the only escape, now that working hard and saving are pretty much impossible for any family earning less than 100k a year…

    National sure sucks, but then again so do Labour. Most of this neo-liberal bollix was started by them.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      You can buy individual lines, with the minimum being 4 lines I believe, for $3.60.

      • freedom 6.1.1

        minimum four boards at 60 cents a board = $2.40
        powerball per board at 60 cents a board = $2.40
        total minimum spend to play Lotto with powerball = $4.80
        i normally play the basic $2.40, i play powerball  infrequently on the big draws.
        I have always viewed Lotto as voluntary taxation, but believe a far larger cut of the Lotto income should go the the grants

  7. lprent 7

    When I was doing the MBA at Otago in 1985, one of the lecturers on stats was involved with the analysis of setting up lotto. One of the exercises was to analyze the public aspects of the scheme’s outcomes statistically.

    Consequently  I have never brought a ticket.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      I only ever buy tickets when they have must-be-won draws, or the additional cash prizes (as they are doing at the moment for easter).

      The only prizes worth winning are 1st and 2nd division, and 3rd division powerball (but that of course you are 10 times less likely to win). 2nd division can often end up being only a few thousand dollars at that. When they have the extra prizes, and for easter they are doing 100 extra prizes with 90 of them being $10,000, your odds are considerably higher for winning a prize that’s a worthwhile sum that’ll make a difference to your life.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        That will increase your odds. But I’ll bet that it doesn’t improve them too much.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Of course it doesn’t – gambling is, after all, about centralising huge sums of money which is then directed by a few people.

          hmmmm, that sounds like a good description of the share-market.

    • terry 7.2

      That sounds spectacularly interesting. Do you suppose you could elaborate somewhat? TIA

      • lprent 7.2.1

        Can’t remember the details too clearly – it was 25 years ago! But in essence I calculated I could make a better return on investment doing almost any other activity. 

        My alternate hypothesis was that I spent the same amount of money to pan for gold in central otago – I’d lose less money doing that.

        • terryg

          Ah well, thanks for trying. Lotto, like speeding tickets, is little more than a tax on the ignorant. Still, the peasants have their soma and circuses, hopefully they wont pay any attention…..

          • nadis

            You don’t need to be a genius to work out lotto odds.
            First way to look at is if 54% of gross revenue is returned as prizes, then your expected value from investing 1 dollar is 54 cents.
            In terms of odds, the probability of winning first division is selecting 6 numbers correctly (but in any order) out of 40. That is 1 chance in 3.8  million.  Add in Powerball, you have 1 chance in 38.4 million.
            So actually, it is statistically rational to play powerball when the total prize pool gets up above 38.4 million as the payoff > 1.  The only flaw is it’s not distributed evenly…..
            I seem to remember lotto re-jigging their lower division winning odds a bout a decade ago.  What they did was reduce the expected payout at Division 5 and 4 and by definition increase the number of winners at that level.  Like a drug dealer, keep ’em hooked with little tastes.
            I don’t think lotto is the problem – it doesn’t really have the impulse gratification – the real problem is pokies and scratchies.  They should be banned, if not at national level then at local council level.  They suck way more money out of communities than they ever put in.  Or at least restrict grants to local areas.  and the argument about community grants from pokies in general is bullshit.  It’s creating a self-gratifying industry of vested interests with no real economic value based on addiction.

            • terryg

              nope you dont – you just need to be numerate, and to know the rules (I dont).
              for anyone who is interested, this is a Combinatorial problem, where
              the order is relevant; the formula is n!/(r!(n-r!)) where !=factorial
              n = total no. of balls, r = no. of balls picked.
              translated into english:
              40 numbers. randomly picking the first ball, odds = 1/40.
              the 2nd ball – odds = 1/39 (only 39 left)….
              so picking 6 balls the odds are one in (40*39*38*37*36*35)
              n! = n*(n-1)*(n-2)…*1
              thats the n!/(n-r)! = 40!/(40-6!)
              that gets us 6 balls. but they need to be the CORRECT 6 balls. and thats where the r! term comes in.
              More importantly, your Expectation calculation is lovely, and says it all right there.
              The skewed distribution reminds me of something I thought of a while back – how to game Lotto, from the Lotto boards perspective:
              the distribution of selected numbers is pretty much dead flat – it truly is random and independent.
              Therefore selecting a highly skewed distribution for “randomly” calculated “lucky dip” lines will minimise the likelihood of a payout.
              reductio ad absurdum – if all lucky dips always pick 1 2 3 4 5 6 then you’re not very likely to win eh?
              and as a lazy person, whenever I play lotto (E>1) I use their automagic selection because its just not worth the time taken to manually fill in numbers. hence the thought…
              the great thing is, the only way to tell if this is happening is to look at the distribution of numbers in lucky dip tickets – something that while possible (clearly the information does exist), its just not feasible without the assistance of Lotto.
              I contemplated an “exit polling” strategy, but really just couldn’t be arsed – its easier to not buy tickets (unless E(lotto)>1;)
              AIUI you are correct scratchies and pokies are worse (suck more $ from the economy), but that doesn’t make lotto “good”
              before I studied engineering I used to repair video & gaming machines. That was enough to put me off gambling for life. when you put money into a pokie, it drops into the payout hopper – unless its full, then it drops into the cashbox, to be retrieved by the owner. And as for odds – remember, these are NOT random they are, at best, pseudo-random numbers. That are then filtered – EVERY gaming machine has adjustable payout odds. Hell the Golden Poker machines I used to fix had internal little on/off switches for royal flush down to and including two pair.
              Try shining a VERY bright light thru scratchy tickets – you might be surprised what you can see. It certainly used to work for the old AVAGO cards……many operators used to pre-screen the tickets, and pull out the big winners.
              yes the people who haemorrhage money on these things are idiots.
              No I dont think it is OK to rip people off just because they are stupid.
              PS I,too, am  peasant.

              • r0b

                Huh. Interesting!

                • terryg

                  n!/(r!(n-r!)) –> n!/(r!(n-r)!)
                  the explanation is right, I just hit “)” before “!” when typing.
                  [this sort of shit does not help when learning maths. sorry]
                  “are stupid” –> “do stupid things”
                  IMO few people really are stupid. everybody does stupid things though. Lots of people are, however, ignorant (we all are, each in our own special way), which is simultaneously tragic and repairable.
                  unless, of course, NACT continue to asset-strip ECE and averything else that might possibly be helpful.Grrrr.
                  Actually those talentless fools in Labour are what really gets my goat – how shit do you have to be, to be useless in the face of NACT? FFS!

                  • r0b

                    Do you ever turn your hand to the analysis of economic / socioeconomic data? We’re looking for lefties with that kind of background who might consider the odd guest post or two…

                    • terryg

                      hi r0b,
                      I know next to nothing about economic & socioeconomic theory, but once you have the raw data, the maths is easy (note: easy = stuff one can do. hard = stuff one cant do. drawing a somewhat lifelike face is so hard as to be impossible for me. Calculus, however…).
                      getting the data – that i suspect is the really hard part.
                      as far as guest posts – I dont have anything of interest to say, that can be said in less than a few hundred thousand words.
                      EVERYTHING is inter-related, and I for one am NOT HAPPY with the role I, personally, play in maintaining slavery, famine, war and poverty, death and destruction throughout the world. Got a smartphone? you too are responsible for events in the Congo. buy Gap clothing? Bangladeshi & Burmese (IIRC) blood is on your hands. the list goes on…..
                      that being said, I’m happy to crunch numbers for you – you have my email addy. I can, for example, easily put together a defibrillator, which might perhaps revive the corpse we use in lieu of Phil Goff [oh dear god, Labour thru their incompetence are going to let NACT win the next election. and people think life is tough now – ha!]. 600J? 6PJ wouldn’t do it
                      cue Monty Pythons fliegander zirkus: phil goff wouldnt voom if you put 4 million volts through him, he’s ceased to be (relevant). Bereft of leadership, he’s joined the choir invisible

                    • r0b

                      terryg – watch out for an email some time soon.

    • Bored 7.3

      Bloody hell 1prent, you admit to an MBA? Corporate Jesuit, may God have mercy……

      • lprent 7.3.1

        Oh yeah, you didn’t know that? Quite enjoyed it as well because I found most of it was like being in the family discussions – pretty easy.

        But they had a lab full of IBM PC’s donated by IBM for the MBA students and that was where I spent most of my time giving myself a rapid education into the little buggers. By the time I’d left the MBA I’d decided that management was nowhere near as interesting as coding and I really really didn’t want my life split up into small reactive chunks that is the lot of managers.

        Of course this was a continuing theme of my past – I would get pretty well trained in something and then get bored with it. My first degree was a BSc in Earth Sciences. Late in the degree I realized that to become more than a bottle washer, I’d have to continue on to getting a PhD, and that being a permanent student of science for many years before I could do anything interesting was unappealing. So I started doing management courses as well and got a management scholarship to Ceramco to pay for the last year at uni.

        Since then I have generally avoided vocational degrees on the general basis that doing them caused me to change careers, and since I liked programming I wouldn’t let university lecturers bore me out of it.

        • Jim Nald

          Halleluia! And thus was the humble seed planted for many projects, one of which was to grow into The Standard.

        • Bored

          Im delighted by your realisation. I too have degrees never used for employment purposes. Whats worse is being a manager by default, having MBAs etc around me who have’nt got a practical clue……yawn. Programming..now thats a good lurk.

          • lprent

            I have had to exercise my considerable skills and moderate experience in management many times to ensure that I remain programming. For some reason the managers seem to think that all good programmers want to go into managing other people. Urrgh…

  8. Carol 8

    They also promote and market Lotto aggressively, especially to those who have little.  In west Auckland there’s a prominent desk promoting Lotto visually & selling tickets as you go into a supermarket.
    On TV they address the viewer directly, creating the impression, pandering to the dream, that they are going to be the one to win, and asking them to think about what they will do with the money.

    • Bored 8.1

      Oh what it is to aspire, to dream of untold material wealth and comfort, more than you can ever use, aspire, aspire!!! Be like Shonkey, have a security gate to keep out the low life…….

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      Also, and someone has pointed this out before a while ago on this blog, they advertising it as “gaming”, with signs saying things such as “Play here!”.
      They don’t call it “gambling”.

  9. g_man 9

    “But, there’s a con within the con, because Lotto skims off 46% of ticket sales for operating costs, taxes, and Lottery Grants. $150 million of the $750 million in ticket sales last year went on grants decided by a Commission headed by former National Party President Judy Kirk with the three others all wealthy businessmen. There’s a hell of a lot of, for want of a better word, bourgeois stuff that gets funded from the money working people spend to get the possibility of a life-changing win.”
    By “bourgeois stuff” I take it you mean the:
    $84,000 that Refugees as Survivors NZ received
    $13,200 that the Disabled Persons Centre Trust received
    $500,000 that Youthline Auckland received
    $46,827 granted to the Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, for research into sleep-related breathing conditions
    The various grants given to people with disabilities to buy mobility scooters
    $55,000 granted to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter
    Age Concern grants
    Arthritis NZ grants
    Alzheimers Society grants
    Autism NZ grants
    Brain Injury Association grants
    Diabetes NZ grants
    Multiple Sclerosis Society grants
    and many others that anyone can look up.

    • Bright Red 9.1

      “By “bourgeois stuff” I take it you mean…”
      no, I mean the bourgeois stuff.

      • rosy 9.1.1

        Nothing Lotto has funded is as bad as the pub in South Auckland that used pokies money to fund a playground…… outside the pub.

        Lotto is not great, but in terms of evil this stuff vitriol should be directed at operators of pokie machines – from the local pub right up to the casinos. One of the best advertising campaigns I ever saw was the one on the Auckland buses a number of years ago when the sky tower was depicted as a junkies injection. I still won’t set foot in that place thanks to that ad.

        • Jum

          Auckland South, Rosy, Auckland South.

          • rosy

            Auckland South? Is that real estate agent talk?

            • Jum

              No, Rosy; it’s when Franklin was dragging kicking and screaming into Auckland, its assets stolen and being used for tupperwakas.

              Then Melissa Lee told Q and A that South Aucklanders were all criminals and shouldn’t be allowed near Mount Albert, never mind the real criminals are sitting in government now.

              Then South Aucklanders found out about JKeyll’s plan to bulldoze through greenbelts and build gated communities and slums for the poor.

              So Auckland Council decided to call areas Auckland North, Auckland East…

              The only upside was getting Len Brown instead of National’s ex-police minister.

              It won’t stop JKeyll, Hide and English stealing New Zealanders’ assets and the stupid National supporters of Franklin voting him in again to betray them by selling off their assets. Stupid.

              Politics is a gamble, so Kiwis bet on a gambler but we already know that professional gamblers like Key only share the losses, but jet out with the winnings.

              • rosy

                Ahh. Knew there was a story there…  I’ll be checking out how the Auckland family members use it. I suspect South Auckland will be the pejorative term for Otara, Flat Bush etc, elsewhere south will be known as Auckland South.

                And Franklin’s big problem seems to be being labelled South Auckland – otherwise they wouldn’t be getting over the asset grab and they’d not be voting NAct this year. Nice one.

  10. ianmac 10

    I did buy a powerball ticket for $34mil. But after careful reflection I was pleased that I didn’t win because the huge amount of money would be a disaster. If I kept it secret I couldn’t buy much unobtrusively. If it was known in the family who gets what and what if it wasn’t a fair distribution? And if it was well known imagine the begging and the change of attitude with previous friends and acquaintances. (Relatives who were paid out multi-millions after selling their software, put the money in a trust so any applications for money were separate from the family.) And anyway my tastes are simple so what would I spend it on?
    And would I tell my wife or not? Umm no. But might leave the residue in my will. Surprise dear!

    • J Mex 10.1

      <blockquote> I was pleased that I didn’t win because the huge amount of money would be a disaster </blockquote>

      Doesn’t make much sense to me, ianmac.

      If you don’t want the money then you can feel good and use the money for charitable means if you don’t want the money. 

  11. J Mex 11

    “There’s a hell of a lot of, for want of a better word, bourgeois stuff that gets funded from the money working people spend to get the possibility of a life-changing win.”

    I call bullshit on that. Any scan through of a list of Lottery grants is a list that any progressive government supporter would be happy to see the government support.

    You can see an old list – 


    • Bright Red 11.1

      I’m not saying there’s not lots of worthy stuff getting grants but there’s a lot of stuff that’s very much for the well-to-do on that list as well.
      I’m of the opinion that it would be better if NGOs, worthy or not, weren’t reliant on poor people gambling to get their funding.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Yep. Personally, I’d prefer to see the government just properly fund everything. It’s cheaper due to the lack of advertising expenses and it means that everything will always have enough to meet its needs unlike the gambling way which is, by its very nature, unstable.

      • J Mex 11.1.2

        Bright Red, can you provide a few examples of all the “bourgeois stuff that gets funded from the [lotto grant] money”

  12. Campbell Larsen 12

    The issue is the same as with all charity ‘collection’ – collection and admin fees gobbling up funds that should instead be returned to the community. Meanwhile instead, the lotto ads keep getting slicker and slicker (and more and more expensive) Shame.

    • J Mex 12.1

      7% of the funds go to admin, 7% to the retailer, while 86% makes it back to the community or government via prizes, grants and tax.

      This hardly seems excessive, I would have thought.

      • higherstandard 12.1.1

        don’t try talking sense on a political blog the trolls will gorge on your spleen.

        • Steve Withers

          higherstandard: There is sense and then there is sense. 

          Sense is not buying lottery tickets. You have a better chance of robbing a bank and getting away with it….and more control over the odds.

          Lotto – and gambling generally – is for mugs.

        • J Mex

          I don’t really understand some of the writers on The Standard – ‘Gambling: It’s all – bourgeois and a cabal of wealthy businessmen in some shady business designed to keep the poor wage serfs under their boot’.

          No. It’s gambling. Gambling has probably been around as long as their have been humans. It wasn’t invented by capitalists, it’s thrived under tribal societies, communists, dictators and pretty much every known possible grouping of people. Gambling games, that we know, have been huge for more than 3500 years, in all social sectors.

          Put three guys on a desert island and as soon as they are feed clothed and sheltered, you will probably start seeing some gambling of some description start to work it’s way in. Some people are wired for thrill seeking, some aren’t. Some people get a huge adrenaline kick out of gambling – (some get a huge cortisol kick in the nuts).

          Governments of all hue have sort to control, and tax gambling. For the income as much as any social conscience.

          If you really want to help the next generation avoid possible gambling poverty, push for more financial education in schools. I didn’t get any when I went through school. Nobody explained an interest rate, a credit card, a mortgage. Nobody taught compounding interest (with any practical application).

          The best thing we could possibly do to help the poor in regards to gambling, would be to explain to them, when they are children, how lotto and pokies and scratchies work. Show how every time you put a dollar in a pokie machine, you get 60c back. Show that how you do that for an hour or two $200 has gone. Explain that $200 might be 16 hours hard work. Explain that over time they will always lose, no matter how clever they think they are.

          Want adults to understand that lotto isn’t their friend? Teach them at school. Maybe run a lotto simulator? Here’s one that simulated me buying one ticket a week for 38,468 years and didn’t win division one once, and lost tens of millions of dollars. http://justwebware.com/notalot/notalot.html

          But we don’t teach this stuff to our kids in schools. We teach plenty of stuff that kids are never going to need in their lives, but we don’t teach them basic money concepts – which they are all going to run in to, knowledgeable or not. We expect them to learn off their parents. Problem is, many parents don’t understand it.

          All this “capitalism = gambling = bad” stuff is bullshit. Gambling is a human condition. It is apolitical. Give everyone the same about of money today in a utopia and you’ll have gambling, sex and drinking that night. It is in our collective (but not always individual) nature. The best you can do is to warn and educate our children about it – which, to my knowledge, we don’t do enough of.

          • Vicky32

            The best thing we could possibly do to help the poor in regards to gambling, would be to explain to them, when they are children, how lotto and pokies and scratchies work.

            We teach plenty of stuff that kids are never going to need in their lives, but we don’t teach them basic money concepts – which they are all going to run in to, knowledgeable or not. We expect them to learn off their parents. Problem is, many parents don’t understand it.

            Thing is, poverty isn’t always generational! There are poor adults who came from middle class households, and who don’t like being patronised and treated as ignorant.
            My son the maths nerd did grow up in a poor household, and has a better understanding of statistics etc than I ever did – he was president of the maths club.
            My completely uneducated immigrant father had no problem grasping the issue, and always told us “gambling’s a mug’s game”. It was my mother who came from a wealthy background who couldn’t manage money..

      • Campbell Larsen 12.1.2

        Doesn’t seem excessive – until one takes into account the sums of money involved – 7% of hundreds of millions of dollars per year is a lot of money that people that can’t afford the loss don’t have in their pockets – which illustrates the real issue – which is as Draco pointed out – the fact that charity is and always will be a poor substitute for adequate central govt funding.

        Gambling does nothing good for society – doesn’t take a genius (or a mathematician) to figure that one out.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.3

        Does “making it back to the community” include horse racing and piss ups at the local club?
        Frankly, gambling is a bleeding sore on the ass of society. Plenty of fun for a lot of people, plenty of misery and desperation for many as well.

      • freedom 12.1.4

        you are joking right?  you really believe 86 % of Lotto income goes into the community?
        try 76% , and i have suspicions on that number as well

  13. I’ve won over $5,700 at Lotto. At least. 

    Thats what it adds up to if you work out how much money I’ve kept in my pocket by NOT buying a Lucky Dip every week for roughly 22 years.  

    If I didn’t buy a Powerball as well then I’d have “won” well over $10,000…and so on.

    The real winners are the people who don’t buy the tickets.  The more you DIDN’T buy…..the more you won.

    • Bored 13.1

      Steve, I hope that you invested it wisely in some fund that Shonkey bailed out including all due interest. Now thats the kind of “gamble” the Nats make available to their people.

  14. Whats the funniest thing here is that people still play the lotto now that gas has gone up to $4.00 a gallon.  Need money America? Fire all the old people here in Fl and give them a social security boost until they pass away, give their jobs to the younger folk and legalize marijuana and tax it to pay for health care, duh!

    • freedom 14.1

      it looks like one of the blogbots has got its gps data wrong, and published the US version of this comment instead of the NZ version.
      nice to see propoganda machines are as prone to errors as everybody else

      • lprent 14.1.1

        Yeah it is likely to be a bot but could also be a human.

        We eliminate 99% of them at one level or another (there are over a 100k comments that have been discarded as spam). There are a range of IP’s that we just don’t accept from mostly in Russia or China because of previous bombardment. Anti-spam gets most of those remaining. Then they have to be let through the first-time comment moderation (you have to have a comment accepted before further comments are accepted automatically) and weh usually discard between 10 and 50 per day.

        The very very few that get through are the cream of the breed because they look human. It looks like this one wrote a comment that was relevant enough that a moderator let it through at some stage.

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    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    5 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    5 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    6 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    6 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    7 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
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    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    7 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices
    A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.  “The report by WasteMINZ provides a valuable insight into what’s ending up in household rubbish and recycling bins around the country. It highlights the value of much ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    51 mins ago
  • Government considers retirement income policy review recommendations
    The Government is now considering the recommendations of the Retirement Commissioner’s review into New Zealand’s retirement income policies. “The review raises a number of important issues in relation to New Zealanders’ wellbeing and financial independence in retirement, particularly for vulnerable people,” the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
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    6 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
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    6 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    6 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
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    6 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    7 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
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    1 week ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    1 week ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
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    1 week ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
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    2 weeks ago