The end of Ruthenasia

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, May 21st, 2021 - 61 comments
Categories: Austerity, budget 2021, grant robertson, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, national, same old national, treasury - Tags:

National presented a particularly glum picture in Parliament yesterday.  And it was not only the realisation that Judith Collins is out of her depth.  As I noted the real leader of the opposition right now appears to be David Seymour.  I wonder how long National will tolerate this.

Fiscally the budget ticks the fiscally prudent box.  Debt is now predicted to peak at 48% of GDP compared to a pre-budget forecast of  52.6%.

But the headline was the unwinding of the Ruthenasia reforms in 1991 which have caused so much damage in the last two decades.

Jennifer Curtain from the Public Policy Institute said this:

Finance Minister Grant Robertson opened his budget speech by taking voters old enough to remember back to 1991. This was the year Ruth Richardson’s first budget as finance minister was handed down. She described it as the “Mother of all Budgets” and it is remembered for considerable cuts and fundamental changes to social expenditure in New Zealand.

It was savage for low socioeconomic groups and set the scene for New Zealand cementing itself as a neoliberal leader. Today, many advocacy groups seeking increased social spending argue 1991 was the start of what has become intergenerational poverty and inequality.

Invoking the Mother of all Budgets – before announcing spending increases in benefits, student allowances, Māori health, housing and education, and more money for capital expenditure on hospitals and schools – allowed Grant Robertson to once again align his government with the halcyon days associated with Michael Joseph Savage’s first Labour government.

Certainly it was a budget that will warm the hearts of Labour’s base. Judging by much of the early reaction from the Greens and Māori Party, it might also appeal to those who vote for the cross-benchers. All this while emphasising the importance of ensuring debt did not reach 50 percent of GDP and being fiscally prudent.

The creator of the mother of all budgets called Robertson’s attacks a predictable cheap shot which is funny given she then said this:

My budget was driven by a desire to lift economic growth and to make employment attractive …

Grant Robertson’s budget is overtly driven by politics and the desire to pay off Labour supporters.”

Did she make employment more attractive?  In the short term unemployment increased.  All she managed to do was tip families that were already struggling into abject poverty.

And the Employment Contracts Act which her Government passed managed to destroy wages and work conditions at the same time the benefits were being savaged.

The fifth Labour Government in my view achieved a lot of good.  But they did not have the political nerve to unwind Ruthenasia.  The Brash surge after the Orewa speech made them very risk adverse and the dynamics of coalition politics complicated matters.

Which is why yesterday was so refreshing.

Other highlights were a massive increase in rail investment and a significant spend on climate change, especially the commitment to ringfence revenue from the Emissions Trading Scheme for implementing the forthcoming Emissions Reduction Plan.

Of special note were Labour MPs proudly calling themselves socialists, at least of the social democrat type.

And my local MP got into the swing of things.

All in all the only thing I would say to the Government is well done.  But I think they need to keep working in this area so that they can drive a stake through the heart of Ruthenasia.  Just to be sure.

61 comments on “The end of Ruthenasia ”

      • Ad 1.1.1

        To respond to Mr Howell, the previous government:

        • built Kiwibank,Kiwisaver and NZSuper which have done more for us than the BNZ ever did

        Currently this government has:

        • Turned NZTA into something far larger than MoWorks ever were
        • saved public housing from destruction
        • renationalised polytechs

        And plan to:

        • renationalise the health system
        • decarbonise the entire economy to net zero emissions

        And clearly the legacy that Clark and Cullen started continues in much stronger for with Ardern and Robertson.

        Legacy is just fine.

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          Yes. This site is perfect experimental evidence that humans are far more likely to react to negative than positive events – even when the good is far more likely to endure and be of long term benefit.

          It was a light bulb moment, some years back, when I realised I was addicted to pressing the outrage button – but the doomer alarmism I was wallowing in was taking me (and everyone around me) in precisely the wrong direction.

          • GreenBus 1.1.1.1.1

            Great honesty RL and a very relevant statement for Kiwi's in general although there is plenty to complain about. Do we dare dream of a brighter future?

            • In Vino 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Certainly not the 'brighter future' that John Key's government lied about.

          • Patricia Bremner 1.1.1.1.2

            Bless, and then this positive government came RL, to be honest many of us were spiraling into despair under JK and c/o

            I am soo happy, but they, Jacinda and Grant, admit this is a beginning of a 3+ year effort. More grist to their elbow.

            At nearly 80 I hope I live to see all this enacted.

        • weka 1.1.1.2

          Build more roads rather than build more houses?

        • Chris 1.1.1.3

          "And clearly the legacy that Clark and Cullen started continues in much stronger for with Ardern and Robertson."

          Cullen was responsible for introducing stand downs in the late 80s. Clark went on doing to benefits what Bolger/Shipley/Richardson had done before her. Then after that Labour supported Key's further attacks on benefits when Bennett was minister. If you think yesterday's budget was a continuation of the Clark and Cullen legacy then you're attempting to rewrite history.

          • Ad 1.1.1.3.1

            Clark and Cullen softened rather than reversed the structural adjustment New Zealand went through.

            The Ardern Robertson government has expanded the role of the state more than we have seen in multiple decades.

            Historians from left and right lenses agree with that.

            • Chris 1.1.1.3.1.1

              That's because most historians from left and right, just like most of the NZ population, didn't understand what axing the special benefit meant, what the 2007 amendment Act did or what a Labour opposition voting in support of a welfare Bill headed by Paula Bennett represented.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                " what the 2007 amendment Act did"

                The 2007 Social Security Amendment Act was soley about war amputees.

                Perhaps you are referring to the Key governments Social Security (New Work Tests, Incentives, and Obligations) Amendment Act 2010.

                • Chris

                  No, this one here.

                  https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2007/0020/latest/DLM408545.html

                  Clark's government was responsible for changing the statutory purpose of social welfare from meeting need to work-testing people, including the disabled and carers of children. She had no respect for the poor.

                  • ghostwhowalksnz

                    You mean this

                    Purpose

                    The purpose of this Act is—

                    (a)to enable the provision of financial and other support as appropriate—

                    (i)to help people to support themselves and their dependants while not in paid employment; and

                    (ii)to help people to find or retain paid employment; and

                    (iii)to help people for whom work may not currently be appropriate because of sickness, injury, disability, or caring responsibilities, to support themselves and their dependants:

                    (b)to enable in certain circumstances the provision of financial support to people to help alleviate hardship:

                    Wheres the kick in the teeth of the poor …

                    • Chris

                      Have a look at the other three quarters of the section, as well as the following section which contains the principles (sections 3 and 4 of the 2018 Act), and then play spot the difference with what it replaced, which is this:

                      "An Act to provide for the Payment of Superannuation Benefits and of other Benefits destined to safeguard the People of New Zealand from Disabilities arising from Age, Sickness, Widowhood, Orphanhood, Unemployment, or other Exceptional Conditions; … to provide such other benefits as may be necessary to maintain and promote the Health and General Welfare of the Community"

            • Phillip ure 1.1.1.3.1.2

              The clark years were hell…I was a sole-parent at the time…an uncaring clark stigmatised the poorest..with her definitions of the 'desrerving poor'..and the 'undeserving poor (those in work)'..she did nothing for the poorest..for nine long fucken years..

              And winz treated sole-parent like dirt..

              Also funny how nobody these days notes that bolger was the p.m. when richardson created the underclass ..has he been sanitised in some way..?.he was donkey-doo-deep in that exercise in political cruelty..is it sexism that sees richardson carrying the can all by herself..?

      • Sacha 1.1.2

        I was thinking of this comment from Descendant of Smith yesterday:

        While they have painted this as reversing Ruth's mother of all budgets and correcting the wrongs of that budget they are either stupid, liars, naive or all three.

        Ruth Richardson's changes.

        1. $20-00 per week off – fixed belatedly after Helen Clark's Labour Government put it back on NZS only
        2. Youth rate for under 18 year old's extended to 24 – not fixed
        3. Aligning benefit rates away from 60% of the average wage to CPI increases – not fixed
        4. Compensation for the years of neglect and indebtedness that have occurred as people were forced to apply for advances on their benefit to meet costs that should have come from a decent benefit rate- zilch

        Benefit rates used to be the same as NZS – 3 above was the most damaging of all the changes.

        The least they could do is back-date and give everyone a lump sum or clear their benefit debt so they can receive the full amount that they need to survive.

        NZ Superannuation is $437 per week for a single person. Compare that with the single rate trumpeted in these benefit changes. Long way to go.

        • Foreign Waka 1.1.2.1

          NZ Super is

          Single, living alone $436.94 abatement if you work above $ 160 pw: $418.09

          = $ 1893.40 (see below – shortfall of $ 1,699.60)

          Both partners qualify (combined) $672.22 if either works above $ 160 pw $634.52 = $ 2913 per month (not working), shortfall (housing taken out for partner $3,593 plus $1209 = $4802) $ 1889.00

          Poverty is defined as households living at below 60% of the national median income. Pensions are just on the cusp of that.

          https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/country/new-zealand

          Summary of cost of living in New Zealand

          • Family of four estimated monthly costs: NZ$6,929
          • Single person estimated monthly costs: NZ$3,593
          • Cost of living in New Zealand is more expensive than in 85% of countries in the World (13 out of 78)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_New_Zealand

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.1

            Single person benefit rate that Labour are high-fiving themselves for? $315 per week.

            • Descendant Of Smith 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Single, living alone $436.94 abatement if you work above $ 160 pw: $418.09

              NZS isn't income tested unless an underage partner is included – though this current labour government got rid of that cause you know it's fairer they said to make the underage partner get a much lower benefit instead. Someone had a fit of pique over all those mail order 22 year old brides getting NZS when in fact the underage partner is often caring for the older partner or is unwell themselves.

              The S tax rate you refer to is I think the rate paid if you are still paying off a student loan. Nothing to do with income.

              My point is that they haven't fixed anything until benefit rates and NZS are the same again.

              • RedBaronCV

                Benefit rates and NZ super could be aligned but until they are I don't really see any fairness argument around paying a younger partner benefit rates not NZS.

                Basically if you do pay NZS it becomes discrimination on the grounds of marital basis and it favours a group that are likely to be largely male, who have been able to work over a whole lifetime, when wages discriminated in favour of males not to mention super schemes and the like. I don't think the rest of the community has any obligation to pay for a caregiver for this cohort at a better rate than a caregiver for any single person. Plus where there are substantial age gaps it can encourage lifelong benefit dependency for the younger partner.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  You re missing the point. There would be very few cases in this situation – they would be outliers. On the other hand the majority of cases would be as described – near retirement partners who are either ill themselves or caring for an ill older partner.

                  The change unfairly impacts on the working class and Maori who often have lesser life expectancy and don't get NZS for very long anyway if they even reach 65.

                  What you are saying is that because Ruth cut benefits we should now cut these people. That's the wanky fairness argument Labour proffers. It's also the puritan argument.

                  Why oh why would we make low income people poorer except to appease those who will never need it. Consider too the working partner has been supporting two people on a low income leading up to 65. They are unlikely to be in a strong financial position – if they were they wouldn’t qualify.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    No I'm not missing the point. There will be no argument from me that NZS and benefits have a general bias against low paid and Maori because of historic income levels and age expectancy. Nor that Ruth cut benefits.Nor that it is not easy getting a job over 60.

                    But there are single people nearing retirement who are ill and would receive a benefit rather than NZS and have no at home carer on NZS – why should they be discriminated against? Should they be getting super and if not why not? Equally there are single people who are over 65 and ill whose carer would be relying on a lessor income than NZS? Again why are they being discriminated against? And bear in mind that should the ill partner die then the carer loses NZS eligibility and winds up on another benefit.

                    So yes there are overall unfair settings out there but why should there be positive discrimination only towards the one small group who have possibly relied on a traditional version of relationships which is being paid for by others whose situation is even less fortunate?

                    I'd have also phased out NZS for partners under say 50 over a few years – no reason to support them at any level.

            • Foreign waka 1.1.2.1.1.2

              Sacha -That would definitely be below the 60% median income. Any government setting a living allowance that low must have a mandate (?). It is good that it was increased but given the amount you need to actually live not vegetate, it signals that the expectation is, that people either work until they fall into the grave or move in with others to save money. Retirement homes would not take them. Health costs for elderly are higher and not getting treated for any ailment that festers will most likely lead to their dead. So essentially not that far away from the work houses of Victorian England. The underlying thought process seem to prevail.

    • greywarshark 1.2

      edit
      Looking at the picture above I thought 'the farmer and his wife' – that's National's way of running NZ. . Looked up – yes both from farms, Ruth became lawyer.

      Jim from Wikipedia:
      Before entering politics, he farmed in the Waikato area and was involved in Federated Farmers, a nationwide agricultural association. Bolger won election to Parliament in 1972, and subsequently served in several portfolios in the Third National Government.

      And Ruth was from a wealthy farming family in Taranaki with past political representation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Richardson
      (This from Wikileaks dossier, see below – CLASSIFIED BY: JOSIAH H. BEEMAN, AMBASSADOR.) She mentored Jenny Shipley also.

      RICHARDSON, WHO ALSO HAD A FARMING BACKGROUND (ALBEIT A WEALTHY ONE), TOOK A SHINE TO SHIPLEY AND BECAME HER MENTOR AND GODFATHER. RICHARDSON HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR SHIPLEY'S ELEVATIONhttps://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/wikileaks-cable-a-bio-of-new-pm-jenny-shipley/KJA6WUBAJAJCWVKB3VNG6CNFUQ/

      And this from 'Ruthanasia' was interesting:
      https://thestandard.org.nz/the-end-of-ruthenasia/#comment-1793999
      Bolger said that his "electoral honeymoon lasted seventeen hours". So he immediately summoned Don McKinnon, Bill Birch and Ruth Richardson to Wellington. The partly state-owned Bank of New Zealand required an immediate injection of capital to avoid insolvency as a result of the poor performance of a NZ$2.8bn loan portfolio in Australia. The bank held 40 per cent of the commercial paper (loans to businesses) in New Zealand.

      How fascinating that Australia looms again in another of our deciding defeats!

  1. Ad 2

    If they can get through all the massive moves they've done in 5 years, we can see the kind of country we'd get from more and more over the remainder of the term and towards 2026.

    It's the last and best performing Labour government in the world.

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.1

      It's the last and best performing Labour government in the world.

      Seriously? You have to concede the competition ain't up to much.

    • cricklewood 2.2

      'It's the last and best performing Labour government in the world'

      I'll hold judgement on that, the proof will be in the pudding and so far there has been a real struggle with delivery on the big ticket policies…

      That said if the measure is Covid response and increases to housing values and emergency 'housing' costs then yes would happily give a gold medal…

      • Ad 2.2.1

        It's us and a few of the Scandies left in terms of combining strong state intervention and strong democracy and strong civil rights.

        Those MPs currently proudly reifying the term 'socialist' aren't doing so because they have some deep affiliation to the proletariat. Any reference back to such a definition would make tepid comparison.

        Usefully this government isn't responding to the needs of New Zealand out of some faint historic echo of socialism or Marxism or whatever, but out of practical responses to the size and specificity of the needs that present.

    • greywarshark 2.3

      I hope it's not the last Labour government in the world and I hope you are right about best performing and that it gradually ups its moves and withstands the attacks it will undoubtedly receive. It will have to box clever all the way, as the saying goes.

  2. DukeEll 3

    bit weird NZ governments are taking 20th century approaches to solving 20th century problems when we are 20% into the 21st century.

    Fran O Sullivan column nailed it, why aren't we looking for modern solutions to intergenerational problems

    • Incognito 3.1

      You forgot to nail the link to your comment 🙁

    • lprent 3.2

      …why aren’t we looking for modern solutions to intergenerational problems

      I’m pretty well-read in politics, economics, and history. I don’t know of any ‘modern solutions’ that have been tested and are known to work over decades.

      I prefer not to have the kids in my extended family tested on like guinea pigs as the generations behind mine (like my partner and her friends in the 1990s were) by the complete failure of supply-side economics, trickle down benefits, and neoliberal strategies that failed them.

      What some people like Fran seem to forget is that there are two sides to an economy. There is no point in getting a fast growth rate for companies and people with capital, if the cost in it is that it decreases the opportunities for people to grow the skills to sustain it.

      In NZ you can mark the failure of experiments like Ruthenesia by the diminution in widespread skills inside our population economy, our export of kiwis scarred by the experience, and our need to import grunt labour and skills to replace them.

      The advantage of ’20th century’ solutions is that they are known to work, and where the bugs are with them. It is better to figure out how to diminish the flaws in an existing system that to take the desperation tactic of experimenting with untried systems.

      Does that answer your ‘question’?

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.1

        I don’t know of any ‘modern solutions’

        I stumbled across this the other day…I was pretty sure it was a hoax…but no. These techsperts truly believe that this should/could be the next stage human evolution and will, amoungst other benefits, ease or end inequities in health, education etc and mitigate environmental damage.

        I would be interested in your opinion on this.

        https://horizons.gc.ca/en/2020/02/11/exploring-biodigital-convergence/

        It is better to figure out how to diminish the flaws in an existing system that to take the desperation tactic of experimenting with untried systems. Which was exactly my response to the abovelinked.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          A lot of the things in that speculation are coming through.

          For instance this morning at 0900 I was having a morning coffee at home in a video meeting whilst in a 30 minute meeting on the collect project with 5 others in various parts of the UK and US. Same on tuesday morning at 0800 for 30 minutes with a different facet of the same project. For me, this is now routine and allows my project 'team' to be pretty much anywhere. The main constraint is simply timezones and when people sleep.

          In the biological sphere, the two leading (>90% effectiveness in real world studies) vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in active use against covid-19 are both mRNA vaccines created by assembling the genetic code to get our bodies protein generating protien markers for out immune system to train on. This would have been just too expensive and unreliable to do a decade ago.

          That all being said – trying to predict when and what will be available in even a few years is damn near impossible. You certainly can't plan on it. Only idiots would plan on inflicting it on whole populations unless it was an act of desperation.

          The path that lead to both of these developments started at least 2-3 decades ago. I was using remote work running a software development team in the late 1990s (I went to work once a month – the rest was online). But trying to do that internationally was bloody hard because the latency was really only allowed text – not voice or video. Now I can barely detect latency.

          I seem to remember that the full sequencing of a RNA virus was also pretty recent (doesn't say here). But the first mRNA vaccines were only started being worked on for the MERS virus in 2015.

          However, the development we see now for both of these things wasn't clear back in the late 90s.

          Planning based on possible technologies of policies is a fools game.

          It is like saying currently planning on carbon sequestration to save our butts from climate change in the 1990s – when now in 2021 there still haven’t been a successful large scale test that it works.

          If in the 1960s predicting that fusion energy would power the world in the 21st century – when we still haven’t had a successful large test that last more than seconds.

    • Gabby 3.3

      Well that's laissez faire capitalism out of the reckoning then.

  3. Incognito 4

    Ruth Richardson wanted growth at all cost and decided that beneficiaries needed to pay the price.

    Grant Robertson wanted welfare and wellbeing of beneficiaries at all cost and decided that growth has to pay the price.

    • Sacha 4.1

      Robertson 'at all cost'? Dreaming.

      • Chris 4.1.1

        Totally. The only thing Robertson wants at all cost is political expediency. A bit of spending on welfare benefits suits right now.

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      A lot of the touted 'growth' over the last few decades has been technical. A focus on productive growth instead of dodgy accounting around real estate and migration stands a good chance of achieving pretty good real results – catchup is always easier than breaking new ground – half the secret of the tiger economies.

      • Foreign Waka 4.2.1

        The paradigm revolves around increased consumption. Naturally its an finite system as we see with the environment being depleted and ruined because of the human race still stuck in the dinosaur mind and not willing to combine and look at a complete different way to conduct society within the resources available. Some just cant get enough, some need to exercise power over others, some are only happy if they have more than they ever need, others are just plain sadistic. This is the god everybody is praying to. Unless we universally change religion, nothing will stop this to play out in a logical conclusion.

        • Stuart Munro 4.2.1.1

          A lot of truth there – but the transition to a more sustainable paradigm, if conducted intelligently, would also be expressed as 'growth' by the crude tools favoured by economists. Even Robert's eat local initiative would show up as growth, at least until it measurably impacted supermarkets.

    • lprent 4.3

      Ruth Richardson wanted growth at all cost and decided that beneficiaries needed to pay the price.

      It was noticeable that the growth happened a decade later – largely as a result of diminishing some of the most severe edges of austerity under a Labour-led government.

      The beneficiary cuts at a time of Ruthenesia and in its aftermath or significiant economic restructuring caused the whole economy to drop into stagnation with severely limited growth. There was constrained or minimal countervailing infrastructure development so there were limited jobs to move from. The tax cuts to the wealthier weren’t used for anything useful. They just fuelled the initial speculative housing market without causing significiant housing being put in.

      It was a classic case of ideological economic stupidity causing exactly the same effects that it was reputed to prevent. This is a common pattern in political systems throughout history.

      • greywarshark 4.3.1

        Could it have happened if there had been mandatory papers that were published, which required expected outcomes to each revolutionary economic and social action which I think would have reduced if not prevented malformation?

        It seems it was all zealous certainty and choosing the facts to build a lovely path to economic growth and 'prosperity'. As my Dilbert cartoon depicts – hopefuls with glazed eyes after seeing sign saying This Way to Piles of Wealth walking to a cliff.

    • Tricledrown 4.4

      Incognito the 1990s ie Ruthenasia was 9 years of of yo yo growth National gave tax cuts 6 months out from each election growth peaked around elections then for the other 2 1/2 years the economy stagnated or declined over 9 years growth averaged less than 1% under National inflation averaged more than 1% effectively Zero growth with high longterm uunemployment.The 1996 election bribe working for families was in response to even lower wage growth than 1% per annum because of the ECA. My wife's wages were cut by 1/3 because Unions were not allowed to bargain effectively.

      The only reason National got 9 years instead of 6 was because of Winston Peter's and Jim Andertons misogynist bullying with in the Alliance .

      • greywarshark 4.4.1

        Well that is interesting about Jim A and Winston Tricledrown. I noticed myself how uninterested he was to meet his supporters when he visited our town. Seems he was firmly set in his luge sled shooting along his way and others around were 'extras' on the scene.

      • Stuart Munro 4.4.2

        Did not the white butterfly have something to do with it too?

    • woodart 4.5

      growth WONT pay a price. pretty much every dollar that goes into benifits(not counting super here)is spent the next week, in the country, not taken offshore for holiday spending. business in NZ should be thinking clearly about the extra dosh that will be spent from beneficiaries. pretty sad that some on here dont get that.

      • Cricklewood 4.5.1

        Bingo… the best way to stimulate an economy is to put money in the bottom, its nearly all spent often locally and then flows upwards…

        Taxcuts at the top end or freeing up capital always leads in the top end getting richer money flowing into unproductive assets ie housing, overseas holidays or even saved. With the meerest morsel maybe trickling down…

  4. tc 5

    What's not been surprising is the lack of factual analysis in favour of rhetoric and spin in granny.

    Stuff appears to have done a much more even handed job. Not that I follow either in depth.

  5. Tricledrown 6

    The ANZ's chief economist said it was a good budget tackling inequality which needs addressing as the well off have done very well under Covid.

  6. peter sim 7

    I thought a it bit "rich" for richardson to claim it was a cheap shot to have a go at her infamous words by robertson.

    She said it, did it, and ruined lives of thousands of new zealanders.

    Not once did the natz ever try to rectify the damage, only to promote more misery and hopelessness.

    The natz deliberately dumped us kiwis in ordure and left us there. Wall street trader ethics rule. Ask gordon gecko (shonkey).

    Covid hits and arrogant know all "business leaders" are pleading for tax payer money?

    Ok maybe bolger has a point the nz economy was in a painful place at that time. Every thing else got better but keeping and increasing more misery seems a silly response t t"the mother of all budgets".

  7. coreyjhumm 8

    Labours to some extent abolishing (softly) the economic consensus of the last four decades and the screams from the dogmatic followers of it are hilarious .

    They called labour commies and socialists and attacked labour with every dirty trick in the book for decades when Labour agreed with the economic consensus so when labour ditches the economic consensus, their insults have no impact because they call labour this anyway so people are like "yeah yeah well of course they'd say that , they always say that"

    I sometimes wonder if we didn't have mmp would more have been done to overturn the economic consensus because a lot of the time parties are trying to out center each other so they don't need a king maker, and with all the lefty's splitting into different camps theres been no powerful left wing pressure group inside labour forcing things through and voting on manifesto policies internally

    But then I look around the world and I don't think turning away from neoliberalism would have happened until now regardless of the electoral system because of the growth in the 90s /00s that third way polis were riding high on

    Anyway. These insults are overused and no longer mean anything, so lol to the neolibs and new right… The show's over

    • greywarshark 8.1

      I've read that thought about MMP and it concreting in a status quo making swift changes like Rogernomics unlikely again. And as you say there is a splintering of the left vote particularly with minor parties. (Famous one in France with Le Pen pere, nearly getting in decades ago, because of left vote split amongst 16 tiny parties affecting the main vote.) However if MMP is kept with a high enough threshhold I think 4% would be lowest to go, and others also go for that figure) then it enables better assessment of the weight of each political persuasion.

      But capitalism is so strong, and finding a lovely theory like neolib and reverting to the powerful free market so privateers can reign, any political system is under attack. Especially in our cowtopian world, where we can be cowed by thoughts of nowhere to send our butter. How to insure against that? Heigh ho, the gummint turned round and milked the people.

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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 25

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 25, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry published its final report yesterday.PM Christopher Luxon and The Minister responsible for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 hours ago
  • A tougher line on “proactive release”?

    The Official Information Act has always been a battle between requesters seeking information, and governments seeking to control it. Information is power, so Ministers and government agencies want to manage what is released and when, for their own convenience, and legality and democracy be damned. Their most recent tactic for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • 'Let's build a motorway costing $100 million per km, before emissions costs'

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:Transport and Energy Minister Simeon Brown is accelerating plans to spend at least $10 billion through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to extend State Highway One as a four-lane ‘Expressway’ from Warkworth to Whangarei ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    24 hours ago
  • Lester's Prescription – Positive Bleeding.

    I live my life (woo-ooh-ooh)With no control in my destinyYea-yeah, yea-yeah (woo-ooh-ooh)I can bleed when I want to bleedSo come on, come on (woo-ooh-ooh)You can bleed when you want to bleedYea-yeah, come on (woo-ooh-ooh)Everybody bleed when they want to bleedCome on and bleedGovernments face tough challenges. Selling unpopular decisions to ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Casey Costello gaslights Labour in the House

    Please note:To skip directly to the- parliamentary footage in the video, scroll to 1:21 To skip to audio please click on the headphone icon on the left hand side of the screenThis video / audio section is under development. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on a textbook case of spending waste by the Luxon government

    Given the crackdown on wasteful government spending, it behooves me to point to a high profile example of spending by the Luxon government that looks like a big, fat waste of time and money. I’m talking about the deployment of NZDF personnel to support the US-led coalition in the Red ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 24

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:40 am on Wednesday, July 24 are:Deep Dive: Chipping away at the housing crisis, including my comments RNZ/Newsroom’s The DetailNews: Government softens on asset sales, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • LXR Takaanini

    As I reported about the city centre, Auckland’s rail network is also going through a difficult and disruptive period which is rapidly approaching a culmination, this will result in a significant upgrade to the whole network. Hallelujah. Also like the city centre this is an upgrade predicated on the City ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Four kilograms of pain

    Today, a 4 kilogram report will be delivered to Parliament. We know this is what the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care weighs, because our Prime Minister told us so.Some reporter had blindsided him by asking a question about something done by ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 24

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 24, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Beehive: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced plans to use PPPs to fund, build and run a four-lane expressway between Auckland ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Luxon gets caught out

    NewstalkZB host Mike Hosking, who can usually be relied on to give Prime Minister Christopher Luxon an easy run, did not do so yesterday when he interviewed him about the HealthNZ deficit. Luxon is trying to use a deficit reported last year by HealthNZ as yet another example of the ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • A worrying sign

    Back in January a StatsNZ employee gave a speech at Rātana on behalf of tangata whenua in which he insulted and criticised the government. The speech clearly violated the principle of a neutral public service, and StatsNZ started an investigation. Part of that was getting an external consultant to examine ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Are we fine with 47.9% home-ownership by 2048?

    Renting for life: Shared ownership initiatives are unlikely to slow the slide in home ownership by much. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:A Deloitte report for Westpac has projected Aotearoa’s home-ownership rate will ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Let's Win This

    You're broken down and tiredOf living life on a merry go roundAnd you can't find the fighterBut I see it in you so we gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsWe gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsAnd I'll rise upI'll rise like the dayI'll rise upI'll rise unafraidI'll rise upAnd I'll ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Waimahara: The Singing Spirit of Water

    There’s been a change in Myers Park. Down the steps from St. Kevin’s Arcade, past the grassy slopes, the children’s playground, the benches and that goat statue, there has been a transformation. The underpass for Mayoral Drive has gone from a barren, grey, concrete tunnel, to a place that thrums ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    3 days ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    4 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    7 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    7 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    7 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    1 week ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Kiwis having their say on first regulatory review

    After receiving more than 740 submissions in the first 20 days, Regulation Minister David Seymour is asking the Ministry for Regulation to extend engagement on the early childhood education regulation review by an extra two weeks.  “The level of interest has been very high, and from the conversations I’ve been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government upgrading Lower North Island commuter rail

    The Coalition Government is investing $802.9 million into the Wairarapa and Manawatū rail lines as part of a funding agreement with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), KiwiRail, and the Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils to deliver more reliable services for commuters in the lower North Island, Transport Minister Simeon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

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