The lie behind the Right’s attack on wages

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, February 12th, 2010 - 35 comments
Categories: minimum wage, national/act government, roger douglas, wages - Tags:

Paying a person doing the same work as another person less money because of their sex or religion or ethnicity or any other grounds prohibited under the Human Rights Act is illegal and abhorrent. Yet, the Right wants to do just that with a private member’s bill from Roger Douglas reintroducing a lower minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds (Age is a prohibited ground for discrimination when the person is over 16, HRA s21(1)(i)).

Why do they want to do this? The real reason is because they hate the minimum wage. If you aren’t in the position to bargain for a living wage then that’s tough sh*t for you, is the Right’s position. But that’s not the official line, of course.

No, they wheel out some supposed “academic research” that supposedly shows the abolition of the youth minimum wage on April 1 2008 has caused unemployment among 15-19 year olds to rise faster than for other age groups. The “academic research” is a post on an obscure libertarian blog and the evidence is false. Abolishing the youth minimum wage hasn’t caused 15-19 unemployment to rise. 15-19 unemployment has risen because of the recession.

15-19 unemployment is always higher than that of other age groups. Yes it has risen more than the unemployment of other age groups but it has risen in proportion with the unemployment of other age groups. If the increase was due to the abolishment of the youth minimum wage then we would expect the increase in 15-19 unemployment to be disproportionate. It hasn’t been disproportionate, in has been in proportion. Just like Maori unemployment has risen higher but in proportion with unemployment in other ethnic groups. If the Right genuinely think that abolishing youth rates increased 15-19 unemployment to be consistent they have to claim it also increased Maori unemployment, or find another explanation specific to Maori, or propose a lower minimum wage for Maori, and I don’t see them doing any of that.

Look, I go swimming with a mate sometimes. He’s a bit faster than me. He’s done 10 laps by the time I’ve done 8. If we were to do more and he reaches 20 when I’m still at 16 would we say ‘Jesus, what happened? How did you beat me by 4 laps when usually you beat me by 2? Did you have some extra weetbix for brekkie?’ No. The gap is proportionally the same, it’s just we’ve gone further. Likewise, the unemployment rate for the 15-19 year age group (only 2 years of which was covered by the youth minimum wage, remember) hasn’t risen out of proportion to the unemployment rate of other age groups,  the gap is bigger because total unemployment is higher:

There was long-term trend through the 2000s of the ratio of 15-19 unemployment to general unemployment rising (because unemployment between older people was falling more sharply) but there is no change associated with the abolishment of the youth minimum wage on April 1 2008. If the youth minimum wage was causing youth unemployment, the ratios should have jumped. The relationships between 15-19 unemployment and unemployment in other age groups have remained basically the same. They have all risen due to the recession, and they have risen in proportion to each other. No other explanation needs to be made up…. unless of course your real agenda is to undermine the wages of working New Zealanders.

35 comments on “The lie behind the Right’s attack on wages ”

  1. Has there been a proportional increase in crime amongst teenagers and polynesians ( inclusive of maori) to match the jobless stats with possibly an increase in drug use too ?

    just wondering cos they’ll need a ready market to keep the jails full and well, “n*ggas gotta eat and do something to take they minds of being poor…nahmsayin ?”

    …ties in nicely with the unwillingness for drug refom.

    • Marty G 1.1

      yup. unemployment goes up, so does crime, especially burglaries.

      saw that for the june 2009 stats, and will likely see it when the dec 2009 stats come out too.

      those numbers don’t break down by ethnicity, it’s just recorded offences. there are numbers ethnicity of people getting convictions, but i wouldn’t rely on them to give an accurate pic of the ethnicity of people committing crimes.

      • Paul Walker 1.1.1

        Actually there are some interesting stats coming out the both the US and the UK showing that crime has not jumped in the way you would expect given the recent recession. I have commented on this here and here.

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          A skim through the comments thread of that WSJ article would suggest that the academic rigour of those ‘stats’ is about as firm as their usual standard of article on global climate change… ie fairly floppy.

          • Paul Walker 1.1.1.1.1

            The US stats come from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. Can see why they should be wrong.

            • Marty G 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Don’t know if it’s escaped your attention, Paul. But we’re not in America.

              There have been studies here linking crime rate and unemployment rate. I’ve shown there is a very high correlation between the two – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/might-be-taken-the-wrong-way-by-some/

              • Don’t know if it’s escaped your attention, Paul. But we’re not in America.

                And so? The lack of a positive relationship between unemployment and crime in the recent data from the US and the UK is still interesting.

                Note also what Papps and Winkelmann write “The unemployment-crime relationship is an old issue. No consensus has been reached by economists during the last three decades, nor does one seem likely to emerge in the near future. (Papps and Winkelmann p. 68)”

                Papps, Kerry and Winkelmann, Rainer. ‘Unemployment and Crime: New Evidence for an Old Question’, New Zealand Economic Papers, June 2000, v. 34, iss. 1, pp. 53-71.

              • Marty G

                Paul. Try to keep up. I asserted that crime goes up when unemployment does in NZ. I’ve supplied some data. You’ve supplied a link to a rightwing website giving its interpretation of the situation in the US.

                Not that you’re one to talk about consensuses among economists on issues but I know there isn’t a consensus among economists on this. Why should there be? This is an issue you want to ask criminologists about.

                If economists don’t have a consensus on relativity should we doubt that too? There’s this weird thing going on in rightwing economics, it’s trying to take over the social sciences, tidying up those ‘messy’ disciplines with its nice numbers and pretty formulas.

              • felix

                Interesting indeed Paul, but far more interesting if you’re more interested in the US.

                If you’re more interested in what’s happening here in NZ, then the interesting NZ studies are more interesting than the interesting US ones.

                Any comment on Marty’s interesting correlation or are we just ignoring that?

              • Not that you’re one to talk about consensuses among economists on issues but I know there isn’t a consensus among economists on this. Why should there be? This is an issue you want to ask criminologists about.

                It is a well studied issue. Its just that different studies come up with different results and thus as Papps and Winkelmann put it “The unemployment-crime relationship is an old issue. No consensus has been reached by economists during the last three decades, nor does one seem likely to emerge in the near future. (Papps and Winkelmann p. 68)’

              • Marty G

                You’ve got to love the arrogance of neoliberal economists.

                Is unemployment a cause of crime? Does rising unemployment lead to rising crime?

                Shall we ask an expert on crime and criminal behaviour?

                No, we know the answer “economists say there is no consensus”

                see, felix, we don’t need any of the other social sciences. Economics tells us all we need to know.

              • felix

                Ask a magician, get a trick answer.

            • Paul Walker 1.1.1.1.1.2

              If you’re more interested in what’s happening here in NZ, then the interesting NZ studies are more interesting than the interesting US ones.

              Any comment on Marty’s interesting correlation or are we just ignoring that?

              Its a correlation. Unfortunately correlation don’t tell us that much. There is a high correlation between rainfall and inflation, for example. But you don’t learn anything from that. Which is why serious studies use more advanced statistical techniques to analysis the data.

              The relationship between unemployment and crime could be positive. It is possible that an increase in unemployment will increase crime and studies have found such a relationship. But it is also possible that there is little relationship between the two, and other studies have supported this idea. Thus we don’t know. That explains the Papps and Winkelmann comment.

              • felix

                Without wanting to be rude can I make a wee suggestion? Do you think you could indicate when you’re quoting someone with some quote marks or tags?

                It’s just that it gets a bit confusing sometimes figuring out what you’ve said vs what you’ve quoted.

  2. jcuknz 2

    All your arguments do not alter the fact that it is silly to expect an untrained person to receive the same wage as an experienced worker.

    • Marty G 2.1

      And I’m not arguing that they should.

      Same pay for same work.

      An apprentice or other untrained person obviously isn’t doing the same work as a trained person.

      But it’s nice to see you resorting to arguing against a strawman straight away. That means you’ve got nothing to refute the actual position of the post.

  3. For the work involved in minimum pay i’d expect minimum training and in cases involvng physical labour i’d go for the young un…

  4. prism 4

    I remember being a youth worker in the days of union affected wages. There was a fairer deal to employers than everybody getting minimum wage from the start. Youth started on a lower level which rose with your age as you continued with the same employer. There was extra paid for your qualifications.

    It still had its unfair side though. As the worker became experienced and was given more responsibility the wage still kept pace with age rather than tasks. Young people were often given senior tasks but still paid the same as others.

    I have also been an employer. I think there should be a lower wage paid at the start, for three months say, and that allows for time to learn the job and for the extra work of employer and others checking and passing on needed knowledge. Then a wage rise, and recognition for responsibility and qualifications.

    Some present employers can be shocking. One I heard of was a woman managing a main street chain dress store receiving less than $10 per week over staff rate, despite the extra tasks – the target requirements for turnover, overview of staff prowess and honesty, upkeep of shop and care of valuable stock, security etc.

    • Daveo 4.1

      I have also been an employer. I think there should be a lower wage paid at the start, for three months say, and that allows for time to learn the job and for the extra work of employer and others checking and passing on needed knowledge. Then a wage rise, and recognition for responsibility and qualifications.

      There’s provision for that in the existing law passed by Labour. It’s called the new entrants minimum wage.

      What is the New Entrants Minimum Wage?

      A new entrant is a worker who is 16 or 17 years old except if

      * they have completed three months or 200 hours of employment, whichever is shorter, OR
      * they have been supervising or training other workers, OR
      * they are subject to the training minimum wage.

      http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/pay/newentrant.html

  5. MartyG,

    I am not going to spend a whole day arguing with you here as my colleague Paul Walker does. But please read my follow-up post on the topic. You’re right: my first post just looked at the difference between the two without considering the possibility of a multiplicative effect; but yours dismisses the possibility of a constant term mattering.

    Paul and I had a beer over the weekend and wondered whether it’s best to think about the relationship as a level shift or a multiple effect (your ratio argument) and could see good cases for both. I also worried that my Friday post could have been wrong, and I wanted to put up an update fixing things if it were. So, I asked the data to tell me, as I always do when I haven’t a strong theoretical reason to reckon it has to be one or the other. I took a very simple statistical technique that lets me see what the relationship between the youth and adult minimum wage looks like over time. The correct relationship (according to the data) is a mix between a level shift and a multiple. The very simple model predicts the youth unemployment rate very well, from 1986 through early 2008. There’s noise in the model, but the model is never more than a couple of points above or below the actual youth unemployment rate.

    I took the very least restrictive model possible. The OLS model was simply:

    youth unemployment rate = constant term + (coefficient)*adult unemployment rate.

    Ordinary Least Squares regression tries to fit a line through the data that minimizes the sum of squared differences between the line and the observations. It’s a bog-standard statistical technique: the baseline model most folks will fit for most things. And, I didn’t complicate it up by throwing in a whole kitchen sink of things either. I wanted the simplest model possible to see what was going on in the error terms (the residual).

    If the relationship between the two, from ’86 to present, were just the ratio, the constant term would have come up insignificant and the coefficient would have been large and significant. Instead, it’s a mix of the two. Both the constant and the coefficient matter. I thought going in that it would mostly be the constant, but the data told me it was the mix; I go with what the data tells me. The best fit simple model combines a constant term and a multiple of the adult unemployment rate. And that makes sense. Suppose that the economy is running full bore as hard as it can go: everyone who ever wanted a job has one, and the only unemployment we have is frictional (the amount of time it takes to find a new job after quitting an old one or after joining the labour market for the first time). We’d expect in that case that youth unemployment will be whatever the natural frictional rate is: say 12% (it takes time for new young workers to get their first job). And adult unemployment will be whatever its natural frictional rate is: say 3%. When all is going full bore, youth unemployment will just be 9 points higher than the adult rate. If the economy starts to slow down, adult unemployment will rise but youth unemployment will rise by more. That part of the relationship is multiplicative. The very simple statistical model lets both of these happen when tracing out the relationship.

    Starting late in 2008, the actual youth unemployment rate spikes up dramatically compared with the simple model’s predicted unemployment rate. Is it the recession? Well, youth unemployment diverged from the model’s prediction in the last recession as well, but only by a couple of points. This time, it’s ten points higher than the simple model would predict. So the increase in youth unemployment this time around is five times greater than we’d have expected. Something’s caused that. Is it changing demographics: more folks in the 15-19 year old cohort? Well, from ’86 to ’96 the number of people in that age group was dropping while the residual (the amount by which actual youth unemployment exceeds the model’s prediction) was increasing; from 2001-2011, the number of people in that group has been increasing. I can’t think of any obvious reason why a drop in the number of youths would increase youth unemployment from ’86 to ’96 but an increase in the number of youths would massively increase youth unemployment from 2001 onwards with a big spike in 2008.

    There’s lots of stuff that could be wrong in my regression: it’s a very simple model and there’s lots of stuff for which I’ve not corrected. But that residual plot looks like a smoking gun to me, and to all the other economists here at Canterbury that I’ve shown it to.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Eric Crampton
    Senior Lecturer
    Economics
    University of Canterbury

    • Bright Red 5.1

      oh lolz, and then there’s this:

      “If the relationship between the two, from ‘86 to present, were just the ratio, the constant term would have come up insignificant and the coefficient would have been large and significant. Instead, it’s a mix of the two. Both the constant and the coefficient matter.”

      The strawman here is the assumption that the ratio is constant over time. If you assume a constant ratio then you can pin anything inconstant on the coefficient. But clearly, if you look at the graph above there are long-term demographic and economic factors moving the ratio over time. Which invalidates your constant ratio assumption.

    • BLiP 5.2

      blah blah blah . . . there is no consensus . . . blah blah blah

  6. Bright Red 6

    libertarians = politics’s clowns

    You know how the clown has that serious look on his face, maybe he’s trying to stack a bunch of plates and he seems to have a logical method, then he slips on a banana skin and goes crashing over, knocking everything down? That’s libertarianism in a nutshell, it comes with its own banana skins

    Eric, why would an increased number of youths increase the youth unemployment rate? Surely you’re not confusing absolute numbers and rates?

    • Bright Red 6.1

      And I’m really really looking forward to you explaining the jump in Maori unemployment.

      Pray tell, was that the minimum wage too?

      In fact, other than a chronological coincidence based in dodgy statistical practice, have you any evidence that the end of youth rate caused the increase in youth unemployment?

      For example, are there any reports or studies or even anecdotes of 15-19 year olds (most of whom would be outside the youth minimumw age age anyway) saying they can’t get work because employers say they’re too expensive? Or any employers saying $12.50 is too much for a 16 year old so they’re firing them?

  7. StephenR 7

    He indicated that he might not hang around BrightRed. There is a dialogue at his blog though.

    Out of curiosity what, to you, would constitute proof that equal wages were harmful to youth employment? Just hypothetically, not necessarily using the stats provided.

    • Bright Red 7.1

      proof can come in many forms but to link a specific policy change to a specific supposed outcome I would want to see

      a) the outcome following the change, which is what Marty is disputing – ie. Marty shows there has been no relative increase in 15-19 year olds unemployment
      b) explanation for other similar outcomes that cannot have arisen from this change (eg. the increase in Maori unemployment) because if no explanation is forthcoming it suggests a different common cause
      c) an explanation of the mechanism of the causation. How did the policy cause the outcome? Preferably with some real world, rather than purely theoretical, evidence – like employers saying they had to fire 16 and 17 year olds because they were too expensive.

  8. Samuel Konkin 8

    Hi,

    Just to clarify, what is the graph showing? As in, what is the meaning of “Ratio of % unemployment for 15-19 year olds”?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      It’s showing that the ratio of unemployment between age groups remained the same after the minimum wage was applied to under 18s.

  9. Samuel Konkin 9

    No, I mean, the literal figure, how is it calculated?

    • Bright Red 9.1

      Do you mean ‘what’s a ratio’?

      Take the unemployment rate of 15-19 year olds and divide it by the unemployment rate of the other age group that will leave you with a number: the ratio of 15-19 unemployment to the other group.

      So, if 15-19 unemployment was 10% and 20-24 unemployment was 5% the ratio would be 2.0

      the unemployment rates you can get from Stats NZ.

      I reckon that making a graph like the above would take about 10 minutes, there’s no trickery to it.

  10. Paying a person doing the same work as another person less money because of their sex or religion or ethnicity or any other grounds prohibited under the Human Rights Act is illegal and abhorrent. Yet, the Right wants to do just that with a private member’s bill from Roger Douglas reintroducing a lower minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-olds (Age is a prohibited ground for discrimination when the person is over 16, HRA s21(1)(i)).

    You’re missing one very important caveat:

    While s 22(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act makes it illegal to pay someone less than someone else for the same work because of “their sex or religion or ethnicity” or based on any of the other grounds in section 21(1) – which you reference, and which includes age – you’ve ignored section 30(2):

    Nothing in section 22(1)(b) of this Act shall prevent payment of a person at a lower rate than another person employed in the same or substantially similar circumstances where the lower rate is paid on the basis that the first-mentioned person has not attained a particular age, not exceeding 20 years of age.

    If you’re paying someone 16, or 17, or 18, or 19 less money for the same work, based solely on their age, it’s not illegal now, and Roger Douglas’s bill doesn’t change this one way or the other.

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    Buzz from the Beehive Finance Minister Nicola Willis – and press secretary Nick Venter, too, we may suppose – were up and about before sparrow’s fart. Her bags would have been packed and her passport checked. We report this on the strength of an email from Venter which landed in ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH: Grant Robertson’s new job sends an awful message to students about meritocracy in ...
      The appointment of Grant Robertson as Vice-Chancellor of Otago University has raised hackles – and questions – among academics.  Robertson’s credentials for the job is one issue.  The appointment process is another.  University of Auckland economics professor Rob MacCulloch has posted these three articles in the past few days ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Govt's Budget 'just like a household,' says Willis
    TL;DR: Flying in the face of comments from a ratings agency and a mountain of demand for a new long-term sovereign bond issued yesterday, Finance Minister Nicola Willis has again characterised the Government’s finances as too fragile to borrow in its own right to solve Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure deficits. She also ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How oil sands undermine Canada’s climate goals
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Now in his ninth year as prime minister, Justin Trudeau has sought to position Canada as a global climate leader, touting one of the world’s highest taxes on carbon pollution, clean fuel regulations, and clean technology tax credits. Yet Canada’s per-person climate pollution remains stubbornly ...
    4 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Efeso Collins – Gone Too Soon.
    My wife’s breathing was heavy beside me as I woke this morning, still dark. Yesterday, and it’s awful news, came crashing into my head and I lay there quietly crying.Thinking of Efeso’s family and loved ones. Of so many people who knew him and were devastated by the shocking news. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Efeso Collins spoke in Parliament only yesterday on bill which will regulate social workers (and vot...
    Buzz from the Beehive Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and other party leaders have been paying tribute to Green MP Fa’anānā Efeso Collins, who collapsed and died during a ChildFund charity run in central Auckland this morning, . The event, near Britomart, was to support local communities in the Pacific. Collins, ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • This is corrupt
    Earlier in the month, a panel of "independent" experts in Wellington produced recommendations for the future of housing in the city, and they were a bit shit, opposing intensification and protecting the property values of existing homeowners. Its since emerged that they engaged in some pretty motivated reasoning on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Efeso Collins
    God, life can be cruel sometimes can’t it?If only everyone was like him. He was so very warm, so very generous, so very considerate, so very decent. Plenty of people have those qualities but I can think of hardly anyone I've met who had them as richly as he did.Let me ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Is applying “tough love” to a “fragile” nation the right answer?
      The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer:  How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • DON BRASH: Is an independent foreign policy really feasible?
    Don Brash writes – A week or so ago, Helen Clark and I argued that New Zealand would be nuts to abandon the independent foreign policy which has been a characteristic of New Zealand life for most of the last 40 years, a policy which has seen us ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • YVONNE VAN DONGEN: So proud
    Ratepayers might well ask why they are subsidising people who peddle the lie that it is possible to be born in the wrong body and people can change sex. The preponderance of events advertising as ‘queer’ is a gender ideology red flag. Yvonne Van Dongen writes –  It ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • S&P slams new Govt's council finance vacuum
    Wellington Water workers attempt to resolve a burst water main. Councils are facing continuing uncertainty over how to pay to repair and expand infrastructure. The Wellington Regional Council was one of those downgraded. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the outlooks for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Resigns.
    Yesterday the man that I admire most in NZ politics called time.Around the middle of yesterday news began to filter out. People were posting unconfirmed reports that Grant Robertson was taking a new role as Vice-Chancellor at Otago Uni. Within an hour it became clear that he was indeed retiring ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Auckland’s City Rail Link will fail immediately… in the best possible way
    This post was originally published on Linked In by Nicolas Reid. It is republished here with permission. Here’s the thing: the City Rail Link is almost certainly going to be overcapacity from day one, with crowding on the trains at peak times. In the simple terms of popular transport ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • You can’t always get what you want
    Grant Robertson is leaving Parliament for two new careers, having been frustrated and blocked from achieving some of his biggest political ambitions. So, he is returning to Dunedin, and, unusually for a former finance minister, with seemingly no ambitions to enter the business world. Instead, he will become Vice Chancellor ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Was Greenland really green in the past?
    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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    6 days ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    6 days ago
  • The promise of passive house design
    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. ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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. ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New diplomatic appointments
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