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. 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. 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 –$file/ROG_7-4-6-5_by_cttee.pdf

    • 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.

          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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    2 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    2 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    3 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    23 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    1 day ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    1 day ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    1 day ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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    1 week ago