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The magical disappearing surplus

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, April 11th, 2015 - 67 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2014, Economy, election 2014, john key, making shit up, national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

John Key and National have placed a huge amount of political capital in returning the country’s books to surplus.  Back in 2008 they campaigned heavily on how Labour was going to deliver “a decade of deficits” and it really was the slogan de jour.  According to them Labour’s mismanagement of the economy was the cause of the global financial crisis and not the pure unadulterated greed of a bunch of merchant bankers like Key seeking never ending wealth.

That always annoyed.  Helen Clark and Michael Cullen had always run a tight budget, produced nine, read that again, nine budget surpluses during the term of the fifth Labour Government, had paid off debt, put ACC on a more secure financial footing, had created the Cullen fund and had put away funds for the time that things went pear shaped.

At the time of the 2008 election the Global Financial Crisis was already causing havoc and no matter who was in power it was the right thing to do to open up the chequebook.  To be fair to National the Christchurch earthquakes have certainly put considerable pressure on the country’s finances.  But Key and co have created this illusion that they are sound financial managers.  And this illusion needs to be shown for what it is.

If you google search the word “surplus” on John Key’s own website the results suggest that he has used the word “surplus” 1,280 times in reported speeches and press releases.  And some of the quotes and passages are real doozies.  Like the following:

  • August 2011 – “In only three years we will be one of the first developed countries back in surplus.  After that, we will be repaying debt while other countries keep borrowing.”
  • October 2011 – “An earlier return to surplus gives future governments more choices, and National is focused on that goal”
  • November 2011 – “We are committed to getting back to surplus in 2014/15 and that significant challenge will require ongoing spending restraint across the public sector and a focus on innovation and results.”
  • January 2012 – “Mr Key said that the Government’s focus on responsibly managing its finances includes a commitment to return to surplus in 2014/15 – which National campaigned on at the election.”
  • April 2012 – “Getting back to surplus is a challenge but we are making the decisions required to get there, so that we can pay down debt and have more choices about what we want to do.”
  • April 2013 – “We remain firmly on track to reach surplus in 2014/15.”
  • May 2013 – “New Zealand’s economy is in good shape.  The Budget confirms the Government will get back to surplus by 2014/15.”
  • January 2014 – “After much hard work, the Government is effecting a remarkable turnaround in the books, with the latest forecasts showing a budget surplus in the next financial year – 2014/15 – after which government debt begins to fall.”
  • May 2014 – “A $500 million support package for families and children, dividends from a growing economy, and a track to surplus next year are all features of Budget 2014.”

Even the 2014 election campaign material continued this theme that a surplus was just around the corner.  Remember this?

Since National came into government, we have been working towards achieving a surplus in the 2014/15 year as well as reducing debt.

But the earlier euphoric confidence started to wear off after the 2014 election.

  • October 2014 – “The Government is focused on returning to surplus.”
  • January 2015 – “The Government is working towards a surplus and repaying debt.”

This week Bill English (note it was Bill and not John) was forced to admit the bad news.  Despite all the promises, despite all the shenanigans such as cutting funds from the Christchurch rebuild, recategorising grants to Auckland Transport as loans and hanging onto ACC surpluses, despite all the rhetoric National is going to fail.

In reality not reaching surplus this financial year is not such a big thing. Economies tend to be cyclical and a good government will save during the good times and spend up during the bad times.  But when you promise for so long with such confidence that you will achieve a result and you then fail to deliver you deserve all the cynicism and opprobrium that opposition parties can muster.

Remember the decade of deficits?  We are over two thirds of the way there and the end is not in sight.

67 comments on “The magical disappearing surplus ”

  1. fisiani 1

    It takes a supertanker 22 miles to stop. Bill English has taken the basket case economy he inherited and virtually turned it around and you quibble about a few more weeks to get to surplus. Clutching at straws.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Yeah bloody Helen Clark and Michael Cullen were responsible for the global financial crisis and the 2007 drought. You guys must think they have superhuman magical powers.

      But do you think the nats should have been promising a return to surplus for so long when they clearly are unable to achieve this?

    • Paul 1.2

      Your support of Key is slavish.
      People would respect our opinions more if you, like Fran O’Sullivan, showed a modicum of independent, intelligent thinking.
      She is right wing and she can see faults in the God you call Honest John Key.

      At present your views are laughable and ridiculous.

    • Wynston 1.3

      1. In the words of Mark Twain “First get your facts right, then you may distort them as you choose”.
      2. In the words of Thomas Carlyle “I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance”, and you are one of the very best at the latter!.

    • Tracey 1.4

      And how did they go fulfilling their debt reduction promises? You only make yourself look foolish defending the lies and PR spin.

    • NZJester 1.5

      Nationals claim they inherited a country in bad financial shape from Labour is now and always has been Nationals biggest lie. They inherited a country with nearly all debt paid off and assets that where returning the government good dividend money. Of course there was little actual cash in the government coffers as it had all been spent paying off huge money draining debt.
      If National had not given the rich a tax break this country could not afford and borrowed money heavily to do it, then not sold off half those assets that gave them good returns the books might not have been in surplus, but they would be balanced. A country does not need surplus it just needs good balanced books like Labour had done using any possible surplus to pay off the large debt the National government before them had run up!
      In good times and in bad, the National party always cuts the tax for the rich and runs up our debt while claiming to have surpluses. All so called surpluses are false as long as you have huge debts that still need to be repaid.
      National also claimed at one point it would also cut the taxes for the less well off. That was yet another tricky lie they told as although they did cut PAYE tax they on the other hand also increased GST and any PAYE gains most kiwis got never made up for the higher output in the extra money they had to spend on the GST increases. Only those in the higher wage brackets benefited from the PAYE to GST tax swap. The average kiwi has always paid higher taxes since then.

      • Nic the NZer 1.5.1

        You, and others, need to stop criticizing the government for not running a balanced budget. Balancing the government budget is the wrong way to manage the economy, and previous and current attempts to balance the government budget are a causal factor in many of the issues you also have with the NZ economy. These include but are not limited to,
        * Low levels of funding for public sector programs (education, health care, public transport infrastructure).
        * Income inequality (and low paying jobs, with poor rewards).
        * High levels of personal indebtedness (and of course low levels of personal savings, including retirement savings).
        * High levels of unemployment.
        * High house prices.

        Similar issues will occur regardless of which political party attempts to run a balanced budget and how they try to do that, in fact many of the issues listed above were happening already under the previous Labour government.

        NZ’s government debt is not ‘huge’ and does not in any way need to be paid off.

        • mickysavage 1.5.1.1

          I am not criticising the Government for failing to run a balanced budget. I am criticising them for promising this repeatedly and for failing and for having this as essentially their sole economic policy.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.6

      Bill English is on record as saying that the economy was in great shape after the 4th Labour government. Or are you saying that Bill English is a liar?

    • Straight out of J Keys mouth, written by N Fisiani.

    • Pat 1.8

      basket case economy they inherited??…you really are an economic illiterate fisiani

  2. Nic the NZer 2

    For a government like NZ’s which issues its own currency, running a surplus or deficit, is purely the by-product of the governments impact on the economy. The question of if that results in a surplus or deficit is completely irrelevant, there is certainly no virtue in running surpluses, the only question worth addressing is how the overall economy is doing. There is also a non-linear relationship between the governments surplus/deficit status and the overall level of economic activity, so in many cases governments attempting to cut spending drives overall economic activity down to the extent that the government deficit increases (e.g in Greece recent austerity has only made their government deficit larger, and cut 25% off their GDP since 2008). The NZ governments cutting of spending has probably only resulted in a reduction of NZ’s GDP growth rate, e.g ordinary NZers aggregate income growth, however. In so doing the unemployment, and underemployment rates have been higher than necessary for longer than necessary.

    As can be plainly seen the economy is starved of public funds, programs such as the earthquake rebuild, public health, many infrastructure projects, border controls are being poorly impacted by cuts in their budgets. Most councils are trying to find ways to increase rates, because central government will not provide the extra needed funds. Plainly any attempt by the government to run a surplus is not useful in the present economic environment the deficit should be larger and the government more generous in many areas.

    Even the Cullen surpluses are highly questionable, as they largely resulted from activity due to a housing bubble, with the result that NZ has huge problems now due to inflated house prices locking people out of the housing market. If the government of the day had introduced the stringent credit controls required to check the housing bubble (e.g with a much stronger form of present LVR legislation, e.g with 100% coverage) then the surpluses would have disappeared as the housing bubble stopped and the government might have been required to run a significant deficit to balance this and maintain similar GDP growth rates to those of the day.

    Most of the time, due to saving desires of the private sector, a government should probably be running a deficit of some size. For some reason people still wonder why NZ has a low savings rate, but its perfectly obvious and is simply the product of the government trying to lower its deficit.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.1

      For a government like NZ’s which issues its own currency, running a surplus or deficit, is purely the by-product of the governments impact on the economy. The question of if that results in a surplus or deficit is completely irrelevant, there is certainly no virtue in running surpluses, the only question worth addressing is how the overall economy is doing.

      This. Of course, the government can run a surplus if it decreases the savings and income of the private sector and of households. Why anyone thinks that is a good idea is beyond me.

      Even the Cullen surpluses are highly questionable, as they largely resulted from activity due to a housing bubble

      Cullen ran a debt swap. He allowed escalating private sector debt (esp from mortgages) to inject lots of money into the NZ economy. He then taxed that extra money in to the Treasury coffers in order to pay off public sector debt. The government’s books looked better, the private sector’s books looked worse, and NZ overall became more indebted than ever. It was just the balance of whose books that debt appeared on which changed.

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        You really have trouble reading financial reports to produce this sort of mumbo jumbo.
        Since we dont have a capital gains tax, Cullen coudnt tax anything from the property bubble. We dont even have land tax and stamp duty on property transfers like Australian states, to benefit from property speculation. Major property sales are usually done by a sale of shares in a company to avoid GST, or they use the rollover provisions

        • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1.1

          Huh? If you can’t follow the monetary concept of sectorial money balances between the private sector and the public sector, and the fact that an increasing government surplus *always* drives an increasing private sector deficit in the absence of a current account surplus, then please don’t comment. “Financial reports” in a general accounting sense are irrelevant to this activity because they do not track this activity.

          Cullen coudnt tax anything from the property bubble. We dont even have land tax and stamp duty on property transfers like Australian states, to benefit from property speculation.

          Irrelevant to my point that Cullen effectively performed a debt swap between the private sector and the public sector balance sheets.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Why anyone thinks that is a good idea is beyond me.

        Because if the government runs too much of a deficit the private sector ends up with too much money. Considering that that too much money will be in the hands of the few due to the way capitalism works that means that those few will be a) looking for returns on that money resulting in ever higher accumulation and b) looking to buy up society’s wealth and they’ll be able to do both of these because of c) they’ll have the politicians in their pocket. These result in ever increasing poverty for society.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      For a government like NZ’s which issues its own currency

      Although governments can and should do that no government today actually does so. They take out interest bearing loans instead.

      Even the Cullen surpluses are highly questionable

      From what I can make out most of the GDP growth of the last decade or so is a result of both public and private borrowing and very little else. Although there’s been some actual development of the economy I don’t think that it’s as much as the rate of GDP growth.

      Most of the time, due to saving desires of the private sector, a government should probably be running a deficit of some size. For some reason people still wonder why NZ has a low savings rate, but its perfectly obvious and is simply the product of the government trying to lower its deficit.

      It’s pretty obvious in this article: Private profit (which includes savings) = government deficit.

  3. Tracey 3

    ” But when you promise for so long ”

    But when you lie for so long

    FIFY

  4. I do not believe the current Govt are interested for one minute in the books being in balance as all they are interested at this time is keeping workers from having any decent pay increases .

    But come 2017 prior to the next election announcement what’s the bet that a surplus will magically appear just in time we go to the ballot box ?
    And the promises of pay increases will flow from their mealy mouths once again.

    These Tories are a devious lot and will do anything to stay in power.

  5. david 5

    Colonial Rawshark, while there are merits on what you say, Bats have done precious little to address the external debt. Their focus has been on the govt books but these are not a problem. To address the external debt we need to save and invest more. Other than lowering tax rates they have nothing to encourage savings and investment. You compare nz incentives for saving to the incentives they have in Australia like salary sacrifice and we don’t stack up here. National are all talk and no do.

  6. The Murphey 6

    Until such time as legitimate financial and monetary commentators are involved in preparing and distributing messages to the public the lies and deceit will continue to revolve around meaningless abstract targets such as ‘return to surplus’

    Should the above come to pass it is likely the current financial framework has collapsed and or is in transitional state towards phase out

    Realistically the transitional state has been underway for +/- 40 years however the message is still controlled by the establishment which is why the lies and propaganda are becoming ever more transparent

    The NZ media and its messages are reflective of the NZ economy and financial well being which if course are directly responsible for many deaths and the poverty levels in NZ

    • tracey 6.1

      There does seem to be an (unscientific) correlation between the rise and domination of neo liberal (instantly benefit those at the top) economics and the deterioration of understanding of journalists of the role they are meant to play and the power they hold. And IF this journalistic deterioration is because of editorial and boardroom pressure then where is the courage? Many people suck it up and challenge the status quo and accept the price may e less pay or a different job. Sadly there don’t seem to be many of these in the field of journalism these days…

      • Naturesong 6.1.1

        This is worth a read – it covers some of your questions;

        Speech delivered by Nicky Hagar to Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand Conference, University of Otago, 26 November 2008: Imagining a world where the PR people had won

        • Tracey 6.1.1.1

          Have read it before, but was good to read again. Thanks. His Bruce Jesson is always worth a re-read too.

          “We live in an era where the public spaces are being crowded with paid spokespeople, spin and trickery; where news and political discussion are being polluted by the glib outpourings of ever growing numbers of PR people; and where the public spaces available for real democratic activity are drying up.”

          How proud people like Farrar and Hooton et al must feel…

          • Naturesong 6.1.1.1.1

            This is the bit I was thinking of at the time I commented:

            I believe that to understand current New Zealand society, one of the most important mechanisms to understand is the past and present attacks on certain groups of people. For example, one of the vigorous PR vehicles in the 1980s was NZBR. It claimed of itself that it was purely a source of information and analysis, but one of its main tactics was active attacks on anyone prominent or influential that did not support its beliefs. Many people were hounded out of positions of influence by its efforts.
            Because the winners wrote lots of this history, these events need more analysis to understand the long-term effects. However there is a lot of evidence of the journalists who got repeated attacks and found themselves marginalised at that time.
            The same with public figures like economist Brian Philpott, who was hounded out of the Wellington newspapers. One Wellington lobby firm specialised in pressuring journalists (it’s co-founder is still a dominant character in Wellington PR and lobbying).

            The same thing happened in universities and the public service – with nasty attacks on critics of Rogernomics and behind the scenes manoeuvring to undermine their employment. Many people were pushed aside in this way, while other were favoured and promoted. NZBR head Roger Kerr went onto VUW council from 1995-99 to continue this process, actively investigating and making life difficult for lecturers who were outspoken against the policies he believes in.

            A university economist told me recently that there had not been a single appointment of a left-leaning economist to any university department in New Zealand for about 20 years. If correct, this would mean that – even though New Zealand has moved a lot since the 1980s and 1990s — econ students today are still getting an almost uniform diet of free market ideology.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Did you read Farrar’s “research” on media “opinion” which is positive or negative toward Labour or National?

              One criteria was

              “An editorial or column is assessed against whether someone reading it will feel more positive or more negative about the Government/National, Labour, Greens or NZ First.”

              WHO made the assessment?

              • I was not aware of the criteria – I’d seen the figure in Bryce Edwards colmn.

                Adding “An editorial or column is assessed against whether someone reading it will feel more positive or more negative about the Government/National, Labour, Greens or NZ First.” to his piece would have provided useful context.
                Instead he wandered off into the weeds.

                • Tracey

                  yes and WHO made the assessment on whether it was positive or negative and based on what…

                  AND why exclude the large numbers of other opinion pieces which litter our papers, espeh on weekends, from the “research”?

                  And didnt do NZF or the Greens cos they dont written about enough…. That is probably the most interesting statistic about our FPP media.

            • Wynston 6.1.1.1.1.2

              “econ students today are still getting an almost uniform diet of free market ideology”.

              Spot on! But then for the last 40 or so years one has only had to teach a parrot “trickle down” and they’ve turned out an economist.

              • NZJester

                Trickle down as a theory has so many major flaws and was long ago debunked as a good working economic model.
                When those at the top get that money they have no incentive to let it trickle down as it makes them far more money locked away in their bank accounts or in long term investments.
                Why would they invest that money in small businesses to help them grow when those business have few customers that can afford their goods.

                When you put the money in at the bottom however it does make its way up the chain.
                Those at the top must invest in helping small business grow if they want to collect any of that money as it makes it’s way up the chain.
                Because more costumers at the bottom of the chain have the money to spend on goods businesses can afford to grow to meet a real demand for their services.

                Basically Greed prevents trickle down from working. But then Greed does not hinder, but can help trickle up from working.

          • The Murphey 6.1.1.1.2

            How proud people like Farrar and Hooton et al must feel…

            One is left to speculate what those who ‘support the framework’ have been blackmailed or threatened with

            There will be many who are willing participants and again speculation as to the motives makes for interesting conversations

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.2.1

              No threats. Ego and money, and a complete failure to give a shit about the wider consequences. Note this week Hooton was annoyed at Key government, in part cos Key had lied about Hooton. NOT cos of any inherently wrongness about where they are taking NZ.

              • The Murphey

                Many must genuinely not give a toss given the state of play globally on so many fronts

                I wonder if the minions stop to consider the consequences of their contributions

                Something does not add up

        • Unicus 6.1.1.2

          Thanks for the reminder – some great work from Hagar over the years

          Here’s a helpful “PR concept ” for the addicted and depressed wanting to kick their evening dose of pap and lies

          “LOOSE THE NEWS”

  7. When you have to slash social spending as this government has in order to get a surplus, then it’s not a real surplus. It’s an attack on those who cannot protect themselves and the community at large.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      Well said and the only people who benefit from such policies are the rich.

    • tracey 7.2

      Robbing the low income to make the higher incomes richer and the middle income feel comfortable.

      • Picard101 7.2.1

        The middle have no reason to feel any better. Unless the thought of 30 police stations closing in order to meet government ordered savings from the police dept makes them feel safer.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.1

          no they don’t but that is the trick, isn’t it… make them feel threatened by beating a drum, then stop the drum.

          the law and order drum is beaten pre election… the time to close stations cos law and order aint as bad as presented in elections, is the year after elections.

  8. Chooky 8

    Letter from Metiria Turei , Co-leader of the Greens:

    Kia ora

    The Government opened its books yesterday and it doesn’t make pretty reading.

    With just over a month to go to the Budget, John Key and Bill English are heading towards a record seventh consecutive deficit, equalling the mark set by their National mates from 1966 to 1972.

    This is a Government that has sold itself as the masters of economic management, and what do we have to show for it?

    To start with, there’s that string of deficits, as well as growing inequality, and a two-track economy that only benefits a small number of people.

    Tax cuts for the rich and selling off our assets have done nothing to help everyday Kiwis.

    There are signs of this Government’s ineptness everywhere you look; be it growing child poverty, substantial job losses or the horrendously over-inflated housing market – all of which John Key and Bill English are turning their backs to.

    The Green Party is committed to promoting a fairer, greener economy for our country.

    We also know that New Zealanders are depending on us to hold the Government accountable for its fiscal failings – and that’s what we’ll be focusing on over the coming months.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Remember the decade of deficits?

    National have worked hard to ensure that we would have such a decade by giving the rich tax cuts and corporate welfare and selling off state assets while putting the boot into the poor.

  10. fisiani 10

    if we are not in surplus by election 2017 I admit the election could be close. Low inflation makes it difficult to achieve a surplus but I’m sure the average person cares not a jot about when a surplus is achieved. Most people appreciate low inflation, improved housing affordabilty (ex Auckland) affordable mortgages and raised pensions. extended free primary health care for children and cheaper holidays in Australia and the All Blacks winning the World Cup.

    • Paul 10.1

      More slavish nonsense.
      Some help for you, fisi.
      How to leave a cult.

      http://www.wikihow.com/Leave-a-Cult

    • Straight out of J Keys mouth, written by Nat Fisiani.

    • mac1 10.3

      Dear Fisiani, since you never reply to information which you cannot dispute or spin, here is a piece of something I wrote in reply to you on another thread. I’d be interested in your view of a current reality quite different from yours above.

      “The budget forecast to be in the positive has gone red, the by-election was lost and the privatisation of NZ prisons gets a boost. Social housing land is sold, the value of the NZ dollar hurts our exporters, and our poorly researched government is starting to pull back on silly ideas such as paying for police checks; and 30 Police stations are to close.”

      • mac1 10.3.1

        Oh, and Ministers of the Crown don’t even know the basic facts of their portfolio, Fisiani, as demonstrated by Tim Groser, to the point of getting it exactly wrong.

        Will the Great Leader, and Protector of the Bastions of Honesty, John Key, have a word with his errant Minister?

        • mac1 10.3.1.1

          I wonder, Fisiani, whether the above GL and PotBoH, John Key, will be having a word with his Minister of Finance about his ability to accurately predict, and plan for, the first fiscal surplus of his tenure.

          “Geez, Bill, get it right , mate, or I’ll give the job to …..er….. now who’s not been telling lies or stuffing up? OK, look just do better next time, or my reputation for honesty and integrity in government will be in tatters, and we know What Keeps Us In Power, don’t we?”

    • tracey 10.4

      But then you were so confidant the dollar would reach parity with the Aussie dollar at 4pm one day last week… when it didn’t you changed your certainty to in a “month”. It’s like you are writing from the Government’s playbook.

      Dollar Parity

      “improved housing affordabilty (ex Auckland) ”

      THAT is hilarious Fisi… you conveniently remove a third of the population from your aggrandizement of the situation.

      “but I’m sure the average person cares not a jot about when a surplus is achieved”

      FUNNY that the Government puts so much emphasis on it Fisi.

      “1,280 times in reported speeches and press releases. ” is 213 times a year, 17 times a month, and 2 and a half times a week…

    • Incognito 10.5

      “Most people appreciate low inflation …”.

      As if people have a choice in the matter! Low inflation also leads to lower or no wage increases: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11430800

      Do you think most people do appreciate that as well?

      • Tracey 10.5.1

        In Fisi’s world

        ” the average person cares not a jot about when a surplus is achieved.” but they really appreciate the impact of low inflation on their lives.

    • Picard101 10.6

      You seem to miss the point. It is the fact National have made a MASSIVE deal about this surplus and how it proves how great they are at managing the country. They have a lot riding on this. You are right that normally the average joe cares not a jot, but national have made people care, and now they will be hung by this massive broken promise.

    • dave 10.7

      the world is grip of deflation stagnation we have austerity . property bubbles ,an over valued currency , no real income growth, exports crashing , new Zealand has one of highest household debt problems in the oecd ,child poverty through the roof a government practising the 4 ds divert , deflect ,deceive ,and FJK favourite denial, suicide rates are spiralling upwards ,polluted rivers and a total national debt of over 508 billion and all the likes of fisiani can say is how fucking awesome there key-god is.

    • I love it when you contradict yourself in the space of one comment.

      Because how can a lack of surplus make 2017 a “close” election if “the average person” doesn’t care about surpluses?

  11. Paul Campbell 11

    really it’s simple – we wouldn’t be in this situation if we hadn’t given Key’s mates a tax break – all English has to do to fix things is to take the tax break back – I’m sure he knows that but refuses to do so

  12. Penny Bright 12

    How much is New Zealand now exposed to ‘off the books’ derivatives?

    Penny Bright

  13. Wynston 13

    http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/04/theres-trouble-brewing-in-middle-earth/

    Provides an excellent coverage of the country’s economy and the governments performance. Blinglish, Fisi and others of such ilk would do well to read it! And I am sure that Shonkey will love (I don’t think) this piece of truth in particular: “The country’s prime minister since 2008, John Key, used to work at Merrill Lynch and the New York Fed, and that sort of background guarantees valiant efforts to sell anything in the country that’s not bolted down, and take an axe to what is. It also guarantees zero initiative to become self-sufficient.”

    • dave 13.1

      that’s a bloody good article so was Forbes article last year on 12 reasons NZ economy will crash
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessecolombo/2014/04/17/12-reasons-why-new-zealands-economic-bubble-will-end-in-disaster/

      and its fucking happening

      • Wynston 13.1.1

        Agree totally!
        It was a toss up between the two articles as to which one I linked. The “reasons why” one totally stumped (“stuffed” might be more accurate) our (now brand new) local MP when I raised it at last years Grey Power AGM!

      • I remember that article in Forbes.

        Although it doesn’t take an analyst to know something is wrong. Someone who can read and DOES read between the lines will figure it out.

        And essentially none of the problems that we have had for the last 15-20 years since a programme on television in about 1999 talked about the success of nations that invested more in research and development; bigger emphasis on exports and diversification of the export base – all which we have not done – have been solved.

        Yes the economy is in trouble.

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    2 days ago
  • New Chief Coroner appointed
    Coroner Anna Tutton has been appointed as the new Chief Coroner, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Anna Tutton was appointed as a Coroner in January 2015, based in Christchurch, and as Deputy Chief Coroner in 2020.  After the previous Chief Coroner, Judge Deborah Marshall, retired Ms Tutton took on the ...
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    2 days ago
  • DIRA Amendment Bill passes third reading
    The Government has passed an Amendment Bill today to support Fonterra’s move to a new capital structure and the continued success of New Zealand’s dairy industry. The Dairy Industry Restructuring (Fonterra Capital Restructuring) Amendment Bill will allow the Fonterra co-operative to make changes to its capital structure, as well as ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister Whaitiri to attend Food Ministers’ Meeting with Australian counterparts
    Minister for Food Safety Meka Whaitiri will attend the Fourth Australia and New Zealand Food Ministers’ Meeting in Melbourne on Friday. It will be the first time the meeting has been held in person since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted international travel. “The Food Ministers’ Meeting sets the policy direction for ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Kiwibank parent appoints directors
    David McLean and Sir Brian Roche have been appointed as the first two directors of the newly incorporated Kiwi Group Capital Limited (KCG), the parent company of Kiwibank. In August, the Government acquired 100 percent of Kiwi Group Holdings, which also operates New Zealand Home Loans, from NZ Post, ACC ...
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    3 days ago
  • Defence Ministers meet in Cambodia
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. “The first face to face meeting of the ADMM-Plus members is an opportunity for me to highlight New Zealand’s position on key regional security matters,” Peeni Henare said.  “In ...
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    3 days ago
  • Pay equity extended to thousands more social workers
    The Government will extend pay equity to all community and iwi organisations who employ social workers and receive funding from the Crown, Minister for Women Jan Tinetti announced today. We expect this will improve the lives of approximately 4,600 social workers. “This extension means thousands more social workers will be ...
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    3 days ago
  • Taskforce set up to protect construction industry from product shortages & delays
    New ‘Critical Materials Taskforce’ will trouble shoot building materials shortages Focus on maximising productivity & cushioning businesses from supply chain risks Successful ‘Plasterboard Taskforce’ reshaped to include broader sector knowledge and expertise Will provide guidance, data and information to support builders, designers and business owners A new Critical Materials Taskforce ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bigger ED, more theatres and more beds in new Whangārei Hospital
    A new emergency department with three times more space will be part of the first stage of a two-stage project to build a new hospital for Whangārei and Northland. The Government has today confirmed funding for stage one of the new hospital – an acute services building and a child-health ...
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    4 days ago
  • Finnish PM to visit New Zealand
    Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin, accompanied by Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari and a business delegation will visit New Zealand next week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The two leaders will meet in Auckland. “New Zealand and Finland are natural partners. We share similar approaches ...
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    4 days ago
  • New recreational rules to support hāpuku and bass fisheries
    The daily limits on recreationally caught hāpuku (also known as groper) and bass will be lowered to a total of two per person in some areas, with a new accumulation limit of three per person on multi-day trips. Oceans and Fisheries Minister, David Parker said the rule changes would take ...
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    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature enabling Mātāuranga Māori
    Mātāuranga Māori is at the heart of the latest tranche of Jobs for Nature projects set to promote biodiversity and reduce impacts of climate change on Māori land, Minister of Conservation Poto Williams says. Project work will include the creation of an ecological corridor in Tairāwhiti, protecting 60 hectares of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting resilient shipping infrastructure in Vanuatu
    The Government has announced further support to Vanuatu to assist in constructing climate-resilient wharves as part of the Vanuatu Inter-Island Shipping Support Project (VISSP). “Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to supporting the economic recovery of our Pacific region in a way that continues to provide growth and supports climate resilience,” ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government welcomes High Court ruling on climate case
    The High Court has today confirmed the legality of the advice provided by the Climate Change Commission (the Commision) to inform New Zealand’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) and the first three emissions budgets.  Minister of Climate Change James Shaw says New Zealanders can have confidence in the Commission and of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government introduces changes to mining Act with stronger environmental focus
    ·         Crown Minerals Act will no longer actively “promote” prospecting, exploration, and mining of Crown-owned minerals ·         Will create more certainty around engagement between industry, iwi and hapū. The Government is proposing changes to modernise the Crown Minerals Act 1991 (CMA) to support more environmentally conscious management of resources, says ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to Building Nations 2050 conference
    Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Good morning and thank you, Jack, for the introduction. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge Infrastructure New Zealand Chair, Margaret Devlin and all the sponsors and organisers of this event for bringing us together in ‘Building Nations 2050’. I would also like to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Better natural hazard information for home buyers
    Associate Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty has today introduced legislation to empower councils to share better information about natural hazards with the public. The Local Government Official Information Amendment (LGOIMA) Bill will make it easier for Councils to share clear and concise information in Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports. ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand welcomes visiting WTO Director General
    The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visits New Zealand this week. Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor said the WTO was essential to New Zealand as a small export-dependent trading nation.  “New Zealand’s economic security depends on our ability to trade. Our goods exports ...
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    5 days ago
  • Faster, cheaper, better resource management law given first reading
    New laws that will deliver a faster, cheaper, and better resource management system had their first reading in the House today. The Spatial Planning (SP) and the Natural and Built Environment (NBE) Bills, which were introduced last week, will replace the 30-year-old Resource Management Act (RMA). Environment Minister David Parker ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister Sio to meet new Vanuatu PM
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to Vanuatu today, to meet with the new Government led by Prime Minister Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau and to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the Pacific Community (SPC) Ministerial Conference being hosted in Port Vila. Minister Sio will have a number of bilateral meetings with ...
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    5 days ago
  • Driving ahead with the Clean Car Standard
    Following discussions with vehicle importers, the Government has confirmed the Clean Car Standard will be phased in from 1 December 2022, significantly reducing the CO2 emissions of light vehicles in New Zealand, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood. “Emissions from our light vehicle fleet are the single largest source of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to Constitutional Kōrero conference
    Our Evolving Sense of Nationhood – Me Anga Whakamua Indigenous Futures and New Zealand’s Constitution Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, Tuia te here tangata, Mai i te wheiao ki te ao mārama Ka rongo te pō ka rongo te āo! Tīhei Mauri Ora! Kei ngā miro o te ao ...
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    6 days ago
  • Rental sector changes to regulate residential property managers, clear up meth confusion and ease pr...
    A suite of measures to improve the lives of renters and landlords has been announced by Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods as the Government makes more progress on reform of the rental sector. “Nearly 600,000 households rent in New Zealand and these measures will result in regulated oversight of residential ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further sanctions on the political and economic elites of Russia and Belarus
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced further sanctions on members of the inner circles of governments in Russia and Belarus, as part of the ongoing response to the war in Ukraine. “Aotearoa New Zealand first moved against the powerful and wealthy in Russia with sanctions on political and economic ...
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    6 days ago
  • Another step towards improved supermarket competition
    The Bill to trigger an unprecedented shake-up of the grocery sector and deliver New Zealanders a fairer deal at the checkout and help tackle cost of living pressures is ready for its first reading at Parliament. “The duopoly has now been given plenty of warning. If they fail to adequately ...
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    6 days ago
  • Black Ferns to be celebrated at Parliament
    A public event and celebration will be held on Parliament’s lawn on December 13 to celebrate our Rugby World Cup winning Black Ferns. “The Black Ferns’ triumph at Eden Park is one of New Zealand’s greatest sporting moments,” Grant Robertson said. “They are extraordinary athletes, exceptional people and proud New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Autism Guideline released by Ministry
    The release of the latest edition of the Aotearoa New Zealand Autism Guideline – He Waka Huia Takiwātanga Rau has been welcomed by Minister for Disability Issues Poto Williams today. The Guideline provides an opportunity to better understand and communicate best practices for supporting autistic people and their families and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to Aotearoa Refugee Hui
    Nga mihi nui ki a koutou, Welcome to the Parliament, your Parliament. It is great to see the community here in such numbers, and I am happy to be here with my parliamentary colleagues to listen and take part in the discussions today. I particularly want to acknowledge Ibrahim Omer ...
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    7 days ago
  • Global climate talks underline need for domestic action
    Minister of Climate Change James Shaw marked the end of COP27 negotiations in Egypt by saying it was now crunch time for counties to step up and take urgent action at home. “Even though we have these international negotiations every year, our focus must always be on what we do ...
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    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister visits Ukraine and Poland
    Defence Minister Peeni Henare has visited Ukraine and Poland, holding talks with his Ministerial counterparts. During the talks Minister Henare reaffirmed New Zealand’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian defence against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion.   The visit  was a further demonstration of New Zealand’s ongoing support to the people ...
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    1 week ago
  • Stuart Nash to attend OECD meetings
    Small Business Minister Stuart Nash will travel to Paris today to attend small business meetings with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Stuart Nash will chair the OECD’s Digital for SMEs (D4SME) Steering Group meeting and the 4th Roundtable of the OECD D4SME Global Initiative. “The OECD’s Digital ...
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    1 week ago
  • Human Rights Act enhanced to protect religious communities
    The Government will amend the law to make sure religious communities feel safe and welcome in New Zealand. After extensive consultation, with more than 19,000 submissions on six proposals, the Government will make one change to address incitement towards religious communities while asking for further work to be done alongside ...
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    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister meets with UK counterpart and visits NZDF personnel
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare held talks in the UK today with his counterpart, Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace.   The Ministers reiterated the importance of our defence relationship, and reflected on the strong historical and cultural ties between the United Kingdom and New Zealand.   Together, they ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government takes action to reduce gambling harm from pokies
    The Government is announcing today changes to strengthen the requirements in venues which have pokie (gambling) machines to reduce the harm they cause people. “The changes focus on reducing harm caused by pokies, which can affect both those people gambling and their whānau. In short, they would make the ‘host ...
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    1 week ago
  • The Pacific business village comes to Auckland
    The Pacific Business Village (the Village) is now going to set up in the Auckland region, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. The Ministry secured $15.5 million in Budget 2022 to meet community demand volumes for services to support Pacific businesses and Pacific social enterprises across Aotearoa. “The ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government’s health investments making a difference for New Zealanders
    Fewer New Zealanders say cost is a barrier to visiting a GP or getting a prescription. The number of children going hungry has halved over the past decade. Statistics show why the Government has made major investment in mental health. Official statistics released today show the Government’s targeted health investments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Asia New Zealand Foundation
    Kia koutou, warm pacific greetings.I am delighted we have the opportunity to meet kanohi ki te kanohi and talanoa in-person, I would like to extend my thanks to Adele and her team for organising this event, for us, today; fa’afetai tele lava.  I am also delighted to see some rangatahi ...
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    1 week ago