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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    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    14 hours ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    15 hours ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    16 hours ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 day ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 day ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    2 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    4 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know! 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    3 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    10 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    3 weeks ago
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    3 weeks ago

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