The Liz Truss of the South Seas

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, April 21st, 2024 - 35 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, david seymour, Economy, nicola willis, Shane Jones, treasury, treaty settlements, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags:

Readers will no doubt recall Liz Truss, the former UK Prime Minister who enjoyed the shortest reign in the office and who was famously outlasted by an iceberg lettuce.

She has recently released a book ominously titled “Ten Years to save the West”.

Reviews of the book that I have read treat it with the same level of derision that was poured onto her reign as PM.

This review in the Guardian by Stuart Jeffries is a piece of fine art. Especially this passage:

The then prime minister is livid about how a cabal of Cinos (pronounced “Chinos” – Conservatives in name only) and other blob-adjacent political invertebrates were trying to nobble the week-old mini-budget she devised with her chancellor of the exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng. By means of this reform, a new globally competitive post-Brexit Britain would emerge. This “unchained Britannia” would be unconstrained by planning regulations, free to frack as never before and able to explore the North Sea for oil despite the ululations of virtue-signalling eco-zealots and the rest of the anti-growth wokerati. This would be a Britain where the super-rich were less hamstrung by corporation or inheritance taxes, and in which the 45p income tax rate (what she calls here the “anti-success tax”) would be little more than a bad memory.

What Truss didn’t seem to understand, now as then, is the handbrake had long ago come off and that both she and Kwarteng, like some latter-day approximations of Thelma and Louise, were barrelling towards oblivion. At Birmingham, in the face of objections from fellow Tories and serious market jitters, Kwarteng U-turned on that tax break for the rich. Later, the pair’s whole plan for growth was junked. Why? Truss is keen to tell us it wasn’t her fault. It was the fault of the economic establishment, apparently, whose members include the Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, her fellow Conservatives, the IMF and President Biden, not to mention the Office for Budget Responsibility whose “overegged” prognostications of the disastrous impacts hastened speculative panic. They were the reason Britannia had to be chained back up again.

The primary feature of the budget was a massive tax cut for the rich funded by borrowing. The theory was that the rich would then invest all of their newly found money into the UK economy and generate huge growth rates and we would all be rich. It was in essence yet another version of trickle down.

The plan failed. The markets were spooked, the pound slumped, interest rates spiked and it all ended in tears. Truss sacked her old friend and Chancellor of the Exchequor Kwasi Kwarteng by tweet. Shortly after this she was also gone. The longest surviving entity was the lettuce.

In Aotearoa New Zealand we are going through a not dissimiliar experience. The Government is laying waste to the public service, non Government Organisations, Housing Corporation, the enviroment, families with members who have disabilities, in fact just about everyone you can think of.

The onslaught of bad news is profound. Just this week we have witnessed the following:

And that was just this week.

And in news indicating how bizarre things are getting:

  • The Government announced it is investigating a 4 kilometer tunnel under the middle of Wellington so that MPs can get to the airport slightly more quickly.
  • David Seymour wants kids who are sick to toughen up and go to school more often. They can stay home if they have Covid however.
  • Shane Jones and David Seymour were criticised for breaching Section 4.13 of the Cabinet Manual after criticising the Waitangi Tribunal decision to hold an inquiry into the proposal to remove a reference to the Treaty of Waitangi from the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. Jones described the Tribunal as operating as a Star Chamber and Seymour accused it of “race fanaticism”. Luxon showed his weakness by saying their comments were ill considered. In other cabinets Ministers have been sacked for such behaviour.

Perhaps the most jaw dropping piece of recent news is that Willis is planning to borrow to pay for tax cuts. She is trying to say that since the cuts in services will pay for tax cuts and the Government will then be borrowing for new initiatives the tax cuts will not be inflationary. I am sure the market will disagree.

Craig Rennie describes her concession in these terms:

“This admission is in direct conflict with the statements made by Nicola Willis in opposition that the tax plan requires no additional borrowing. Yet today we discover that additional borrowing will be happening,” said CTU Economist Craig Renney.

“The Minister is still insisting that the additional borrowing will not pay for tax cuts, even though it’s clear that without these tax cuts, additional borrowing would not need to take place. The obvious lesson from all of this is that the government is borrowing to pay for tax cuts.

“The economics of this make no sense. Given the economic circumstances that New Zealand is in, if we are borrowing, it should be for investments that will lead to long-term productive growth. It should be for infrastructure, R&D, and public services. Instead, we are providing yet more money for landlords, and more money for higher-income earners.

We have deteriorating confidence and increased unemployment. Important infrastructure required to address climate change is being cancelled. Thousands of public servants have lost their jobs and the flow on effects of the job losses and of cuts to services will be disastrous.

The budget could be for Christopher Luxon and Ncola Willis their Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng moment. Their relentless pursuit of tax cuts for landlords and rich people has the potential of wrecking the economy.

35 comments on “The Liz Truss of the South Seas ”

  1. Kay 1

    Nicola said she’d resign if she didn't deliver tax cuts. Nicola doesn't want to resign. How the tax cuts happen is irrelevant, so long as she doesn't have that particular promise hounding her from all directions.

  2. Ad 2

    Very hard to see a massive and sustained depression in the Wellington region being worth a minor income tax bracket adjustment (unless you're a landlord of course in which case the payoff is stupendous).

  3. AB 3

    At least Truss was transparently daft and unintentionally hilarious. Whereas Willis just radiates menace and Luxon flaps around SE Asia like a hyperventilating turkey.

    • Anne 3.1

      A hyperventilating turkey! Perfect description of him. Might I borrow the phrase and maybe others as well? If someone could persuade one of our excellent cartoonists to draw him being a hyperventilating turkey on an auspicious occasion even better.

  4. Liz Truss lasted all of 50 days. Nicola Willis has lasted a bit longer than that, but should we be marking the day of the Fiscal Budget this year as potentially the last day of her as Finance Minister? And if so, who would replace her?

  5. Patricia Bremner 5

    National always play the "Shock and Awe" card. As the wealthy gain from it, they keep quiet as a rule, however when the Head of your Business Delegation is anxious about comments and direction, dissension in the ranks has begun.

    PM Luxon's puff pieces say he has met his KPIs. If Killing Public Interests was the goal he is sure doing that. None of their actions are without huge impacts on those least able to cope.

    Now we see Ministers in his support Party flouting Parliament's rule book. Such blatant threats and attacks on a legally set up Tribunal drew a mild rebuke from Luxon, which was revealing as the more experienced Jones toned down, but Seymore showed his passive aggressive side, using what is left of the Press to publicly strike back.

    The fact their goals are now not aligning will lead to further infighting. The Budget will lay the bare cupboard for all to see, and actions within it such as borrowing to replace lost tax take may extend the interest pain. Businesses and Landlords will be less than impressed.

    Those receiving a "Squeezed middle " tax cut, will quickly pay it out in Rates and Insurance hikes.

    We were supposed to have a "Little Dip" in our economy, now it appears it could be a long slip down with one pundit saying thousands of jobs could be lost, and far from backroom, they appear to be losing critical long term skills from the front room, and are even applying the old "sinking lid" of hiring freezes.

    It is hard to see skilled people being treated as "waste" in the system, which has quickly swung from people's wellbeing to capital. The new hires appear to be working for PM Luxon on Tik Tok.

    The debacle of the destructive "Fast Track" shows no room for democracy, and the Wards issue is burdening many Councils who are now questioning that edict.

    The house of cards is facing many winds from a variety of directions. I have bought my popcorn.

    • Tony Veitch 5.1

      Add in Winnie's propensity to pack a sad and pull a swifty, and we will probably see a snap election within 12 months!

      Here's hoping!

  6. Champagne Socialist 6

    And yet. When the next election comes around . . . If you want a template of what is happening look to the UK. Despite a decade of horrific austerity UK voters have returned the Conservatives to power over and over.

    Performative cruelty is an exceptionally effective electoral tool in a democracy because you only need to take care of half the population to stay in power.

    And if you think it's bad in NZ, checkout Argentina – they voted for this.

    • weka 6.1

      Mod note: I see you have changed your username. Please stick with this one from now on.

  7. Kat 7

    Nicola Willis does not have a finance plan, any plan even a bad plan….Liz Truss at least had one albeit one that was never going to work.

    Tax cuts are just pork barrel politics in action. Willis is just a small bit player with an almost naive religious devotion to trickle down economics and a propensity for spouting the corporate mantra that govt has no business being in business. Political dog whistles such as wasteful spending appeal to the blue choir that sing gleefully from the song sheet of Douglas and Richardson.

    Anyone who believes borrowing to pay for tax cuts in a recession is a good plan and won't influence inflationary pressures needs help….or should be replaced by an iceberg lettuce….

    • Anne 7.1

      If you want to know about 'wasteful spending' you should have been around ACT in the 1990s. I saw it first hand. How that came about is another story but I did become a witness to some of it. Waste included a never ending supply of money from mystery sources being thrown around like confetti. Paper was used like it grew on trees (as it does) and the amount of it going through the shredder on a daily basis was massive. Computers sat around the place idle and I was never able to figure out what some of the staff were doing. The headquarters themselves were huge and located in the Finance Building on Albert St. I understand it belonged to Sir Michael Fay. To be fair they moved to more humble premises later that decade.

      Every time I hear Seymore rabbiting on about wastage I think of those days. Talk about extolling one virtue for the ministries etc., when you and your party disobey it themselves.

      • georgecom 7.1.1

        given the way David Spendmore is throwing around tax payers money, or wasting it on things like charter schools, he obviously doesn't care much about the budget deficit, not a priority for him

    • Kat 7.2

      Oh yes….I have known Muriel Newman and her husband Frank since the 80's, they typify the 'I'm alright Jack, stuff you' mentality, get rich at anyone else's expense, openly anti Maori and derisive of anything not in the Act bible of libertarian individualism and self interest according to the gospel of Thatcher, Reagan, Douglas and Richardson.

      Muriel puts out a far right propaganda sheet(newsletter) under the banner of NZ Centre for Political Research.

      • Obtrectator 7.2.1

        NZ Centre for Political Research

        The rule seems to be: the more harmless-sounding the name, the more maleficent the organisation is.

        • Kat 7.2.1.1

          Act are an abomination, putting the Tea Party, Jim Crow, NRA gun loving copy cat maleficence aside all they have ever achieved is getting legislation through that provides some lawful assistance with voluntary euthanasia and a pitiful three strike lock em up and throw away the keys law.

          In Act the 'we can help you wither and die' party coupled with National the 'corporate clown party' and NZFirst the 'tinfoil hatters' we have the most motley collection of dangerous seat warmers with their sweaty hands on the levers of power at anytime in this country's political history.

          • Shanreagh 7.2.1.1.1

            Kat, you're on aroll and I support what you are saying.

            dangerous seat warmers with their sweaty hands on the levers of power at anytime in this country's political history.

            There is not a true aspiration for the good of NZ/NZers as a whole from any of them, sure aspirations for political mates, donors, richlisters but nothing that says 'we may be facing foul weather but the govt has your back'

  8. feijoa 8

    I know someone who was working on the ferry upgrade that Nicola squashed.

    Millions have already been spent.

    Many of the people involved in that project are now working in Canada, on a light rail project.

    They are all gone. The architects, the engineers. All gone.

  9. Mike the Lefty 9

    Hell, I'm far from an expert on financial matters but even I can see that borrowing for income tax cuts is a really stupid thing to do at the moment. It will mean interest rates going up further as the Reserve Bank fights higher inflation.

    I wonder whether there are some, as yet unknown to the general public, proposals to milk more money from other forms of taxation to compensate.

    A rise in GST looks the most likely to me. I'm not sure if they have ever actually ruled that out but it doesn't matter anyway. John Key promised there would be no GST rise in his government but did it anyway after gaining power.

    Possibly also more rises in petrol excise, ACC levies/

    Perhaps the NACTZ plan to bring back death duties and/or stamp duty, departure taxes?

    One thing they won't do, I bet, is bring in a financial transaction tax. That would hurt their rich mates the most and they obviously won't want to do that.

    As I have said before, the government WILL give income tax cuts by hook or crook because they are part of the coalition agreement with ACT and NZ First. To delay or cancel them risks ripping apart the coalition and National have such a lust for power they would rather bankrupt the treasury than lose it.

    • thinker 9.1

      I don't think it will mean interest rates going up. It will mean a bigger effort to bring inflation down, meaning more jobs lost, longer period of hard times, more bankruptcies, more mortgagee sales, that sort of thing.

      I wonder how many people have A) Lost/about-to-lose their jobs, or B) seen their small business go under, or C) struggling to keep their homes, who voted this lot in? I would never say "Karma to them" because these things can affect families for several generations, but it is an example of not being fooled by political rhetoric that isn't backed up by fact.

      Time after time, through the election process, Luxon et al wouldn't go into detail about how they were going to do all these wonderful things. Like magicians pulling rabbits out of a hat, whenever they were asked how they were going to perform their miracle predictions, Luxon (particularly) would answer "What I will say is…" then not answer the questions.

      If it sounded too good to be true, it probably was.

      What the left needs to do from now until the next election is to prime voters up to anticipate the next catch-cry, which is "Elect the NACT coalition again because you've had the hard times and now come the good times and if you vote for the left you won't be able to enjoy the good times, blah blah", then they get in and really put the boot in.

      If voters are warned to look out for it, it might knock the wind out of the coalition's sails when they try to spout it.

    • Dolomedes III 9.2

      I hope you're wrong about higher GST and higher petrol tax, as both would hurt low-income earners most. Maybe pricing the plebs off the road is part of the government's plan to reduce emissions.

    • James Simpson 9.3

      It will mean interest rates going up further as the Reserve Bank fights higher inflation.

      You seem to be out on your own in that prediction. No one from the right or left is expecting rates to rise in the near future. All commentators are expecting rates to begin dropping from August (Tony Alexander) or early 2025, (most others).

      • Mike the Lefty 9.3.1

        That ignores the fact that keeping interest rates up is the Reserve Bank's main way of limiting inflation. They no longer have to worry about unemployment so I would expect them to do this so that the NACTZ can brag about reducing inflation, never mind if it creates unemployment, homelessness or anything else.

        • James Simpson 9.3.1.1

          It doesn't ignore that fact. As inflation comes down and gets back towards and below 3%, the interest rates will come down.

          Why do you think interest rates will rise as the rate of inflation comes down?

          Unless you think inflation is going to go up – which is not expected by anyone.

    • Nic the NZer 9.4

      See my comment at 12. The problem isn't with the tax cuts, its the public sector employment cuts.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    “Dracula’s Daughters”–Willis, van Velden & Stanford…borrowing for tax cuts has to be a double bind of the worst kind…public services slashed while the already well off get a nice top up…David Seymour should be trespassed from any child education facility while he insists on denying some children state funded healthy meals.

    • tWig 10.1

      Just to say that lumping these three together on the basis of their sex (use of the term 'daughters') skitters too close for me to attacking politicians for being women, as opposed to taking reprehensiblere political actions.

      • Obtrectator 10.1.1

        Yeah, something in that. Attack the characteristics they can change, not the ones they're stuck with.

  11. The Dominion of New Zealand is a settler colonial republic and since its establishment has always relied on plunder and extraction, enclosure of the commons or outright theft.

    We are past all the gold-rush money-for-nothing schemes, what is left is either

    a) picking over the carcass of our natural wealth, via the fast-track goon squad

    b) class war, more oppressive rent extraction, and pillage of the state

    c) overhaul the fucked up system that currently punishes hard work and rewards inert wealth

    Tweeter @Musical_Chairs has a brilliant thread up, exploring our woeful productivity per hour worked, and how the numbers have been juiced by various ponzi schemes over the years

    Listened to 'His Luxin' talk about the need to turbocharge NZ productivity and ended up burrowing into the data to see what happened during the labour productivity golden years (pre-GFC) and why things have been flat since. What 'turbocharged' productivity then? Long 🧵[1/n]

    Real estate is 16% of our economy and the 'top of the league' industry for labour productivity. Obviously, it's bollox.
    About 60% of the economic output of this 'industry' is an estimate of the rent owner-occupiers *would* pay to live in a house like the one they own.

    Labour productivity for this nonsensical industry did actually go down between 1990 and 2000. Why? Because we doubled our estate agents and property managers when the housing ponzi kicked off in the mid-90s.

    If you strip out the daft 'imputed rent' component from the calculations, NZ labour productivity drops from $68 to $58 per hour! Oh shit!

    The author then proceeds to dismantle productivity bullshit from several other industries – electricity, transport, technology – all based on sacking thousands of people, deferring maintenance, and taking on insane levels of debt (or, in tech, running an actual ponzi scheme). I guess that's how Luxon wants to "turbocharge" the economy?

    • Obtrectator 11.1

      Real estate shouldn't be considered part of the economy at all. It doesn't generate wealth of itself; it's just a mechanism for redistributing it.

      • mikesh 11.1.1

        Real estate shouldn't be considered part of the economy at all. It doesn't generate wealth of itself; it's just a mechanism for redistributing it.

        This is true; and "expenses", such as rates, insurance, repairs, etc., are not true expenses since they do not contribute to the acquisition of revenue. These are costs which are being passed on to the tenant, as part of the rent, on the basis that it is the occupier of the property who should be meeting them, and paying for them from his own tax paid income; (which is exactly what happens when he pays his rent).

        A case could also be be made for making residential income not taxable, which case there would be no tax deductions at all available in respect of revenue from rent. Willis could also claim that making the rental revenue non taxable is a “tax reduction”.

        It goes without saying, I think, that interest should not be passed on to the tenant since the property belongs to the landlord and not to the tenant.

  12. Nic the NZer 12

    "The budget could be for Christopher Luxon and Ncola Willis their Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng moment. Their relentless pursuit of tax cuts for landlords and rich people has the potential of wrecking the economy."

    This final sentence is very miss leading. It's not the tax cuts which will drive the economy down, it's the public sector cuts. GDP is fundamentally a measure of income and these cuts to the public sector will drive GDP down by employing fewer people, it really is that simple. If the government over-eggs this then it may also expand the deficit by lowering the tax take. This would be due to NZ collectively reducing its present consumption spending not only because of the RBNZ policies sapping savings, but also because of the attitudes to spending taken on in response to public sector cuts.

    Tax cuts structured as implied are a very weak way to support for the economy, but if the government committed to very large broad tax cuts it could probably lift the economy in this way, say eliminating GST.

    But the National government is committing the country to a big and entirely unnecessary recession which will likely undermine its objectives even taken on their own terms. This should be called out and described directly, rather than in beltway framing.

  13. SPC 13

    The consequences of small government policy 2008-2012 were becoming known by 2012 when this was written.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/bryan-gould-cuts-come-with-consequences/3474CQP3XIK35TP4D2TC3ZIPIM/

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  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    3 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    4 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    4 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    5 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That is the only way to describe an MP "forgetting" to declare $178,000 in donations. The amount of money involved - more than five times the candidate spending cap, and two and a half times the median income - is boggling. How do you just "forget" that amount of money? ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Justice for Gaza!
    It finally happened: the International Criminal Court prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza: The chief prosecutor of the international criminal court has said he is seeking arrest warrants for senior Hamas and Israeli officials for war crimes and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago

  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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