The modern precariat and the Unconditional Basic Income

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 pm, August 2nd, 2015 - 127 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism, cost of living, Economy, employment, equality, Globalisation, jobs, poverty, socialism, uncategorized, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert have just done a great episode of the Keiser Report with Dr Guy Standing of the international Basic Income Earth Network.

They cover:
– How a globalised plutocracy has constantly shifted income share to capital and away from labour.
– How a rump ‘Solaria’ of people with good jobs, good pay and good benefits remain (for now).
– How most people are left trying to cope with insecure employment, loss of social protections, and increasing reliance on poorly paid precarious jobs below their level of education, training and experience.
– How technologies like Uber are becoming the new labour brokers and rentiers of labour.
– How one in three jobs will soon be allocated by technological ‘Dutch Auction’ where only the lowest bidder gets the job.
– How well meaning politicians (like Jeremy Corbyn) and long standing organisations like unions, have not updated their toolbox to combat these changes.

The phenomenon of technological job destruction (which dates back to the 1800s) also increases inequality, breaking down society’s ‘income distribution system.’

Critically, Standing describes the difference between ‘work’ and ‘paid jobs’. There is a lot of useful work in families and communities which could be done, but which is not being structured into the form of a ‘paid job.’ A UBI would allow people to focus on getting that kind of work done, not on chasing scarce, poorly paid, badly led, disorganised, ‘paid jobs.’

As he talks we can see how a UBI can completely change the picture to greatly reduce peoples’ reliance on poorly paid precarious jobs. A UBI gives a far greater sense (and reality) of control to ordinary people over their own lives and their relations with others bringing with it many health and social benefits.

In other words, as a principle of justice, a UBI provides security and provides dignity to ordinary people who would otherwise be trapped in a precarious day to day, week to week existence.

edit: Guy Standing was interviewed on RNZ in February (hat tip Katipo) talking about the modern precariat.

127 comments on “The modern precariat and the Unconditional Basic Income ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Top post CV. This has been a topic close to my heart for a long time.

    Here is my first comment on the topic back in 2008:

    There are a number of very interesting positives that come out of this idea that rather nicely combine many of the advantages of both a progressive AND a flat tax system, while mitigating the disadvantages of both.

    Personally I have long thought that UBI is the potential ‘circuit breaker’ idea that could get NZ politics out of the current stale mode we are in squabbling over taxes versus public services.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/on-flat-tax/#comment-70332

    Or an post I did in 2011:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/universal-income-revisited/

    While it is natural for the left-wing to focus on the social benefits of a UBI – we shouldn’t overlook the economic efficiency of a flat(ish) marginal tax rate. This is something Gareth Morgan has emphasized strongly – the idea of vertical and horizontal equity – that our tax system should treat all people equally, which removes all the distorted incentives our current system is burdened with.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      🙂

      Also agree that Morgan has some good ideas, although I will say that his system as structured would leave some people at the bottom end considerably worse off than today. In addition, there needs to be an increasing awareness that Government spending funds into existence is just as valid an option as Government choosing to tax in funds to spend. There are plusses and minuses with each.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    Although the UBI addresses many social justice and fiscal issues I don’t think any NZ party is quite ready to embrace one yet, and in the short term I wonder if a transitional form or prototype for it might not be a better aim.

    I want the restoration of the social safety net that the Gnats have torn great holes in, but I also want greater social participation to combat the decline that Putnam describes. One of the great features of the NZ I grew up in was that we didn’t have to lock our doors, and though I doubt we can return to that overnight, the principal that we help each other was part of what once gave us an extraordinarily effective an uncorrupted civil service.

    Having spent some time out of work over the years too, I recognise that the lack of regular participation isn’t especially helpful to people, and structurally encouraging it makes sense. But not being a vicious and unprincipled baggage like Bennett, I’d prefer to wield a carrot than a stick, and I think many Winz folk are also uncomfortable with the dysfunctional pressure they are being obliged to apply.

    There is no benefit to an economy in generating hundreds or thousands of applicants for jobs – efficiency and productivity lie in maximising participation. A move toward self-employment and artisan lifestyles has the potential to provide some relief, but the current Winz emphasis is pernicious and dishonestly represents unemployment as being much lower than it is. Real underemployment numbers based on working age population are in the order of 40% – Treasury are simply distorting figures until they are effectively lies.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Although the UBI addresses many social justice and fiscal issues I don’t think any NZ party is quite ready to embrace one yet, and in the short term I wonder if a transitional form or prototype for it might not be a better aim.

      Important points to ponder. I would say that the Left risks making a big mistake by limiting its perspective to what its elected Parliamentarians can cope with considering. Politicians are followers not leaders, and they need considerable poking and prodding along.

      In terms of a transitional prototype, something like 80% of NZ Super available from 50 through to 64 years of age inclusive, could be the go.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Yip, I’m sure the baby boomers would be right behind voting for that.

        Then expect the next National government to steadily raise the entitlement age, just as their backers would want.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          enlightened self interest heh

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            The baby boomers are of course the segment of society least in need of a UBI.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              On average, agree, but there are still plenty in the 60+ age group today who are living on the edge now, after having lost their businesses or their livelihoods or their marriages in the 1990s or 2000s.

              Having a solid UBI (NZ super) is helpful of course.

              • Lanthanide

                Yeah, but while a UBI for 50-64 might be politically easy to get across the line, it is a sad indictment of what is really needed.

                Better to do the full measure, or if you really can’t make it universal, spend the money where it is needed most – those in the 16-35 range. You know, the people paying taxes that are spent on super now, but whom almost certainly won’t be able to share in such a lucrative system when they reach 65.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Although the UBI addresses many social justice and fiscal issues I don’t think any NZ party is quite ready to embrace one yet, and in the short term I wonder if a transitional form or prototype for it might not be a better aim.

      Andrew Little brought it up shortly after he became leader of Labour. The Greens have it as a policy and so do The Alliance.

      Having spent some time out of work over the years too, I recognise that the lack of regular participation isn’t especially helpful to people, and structurally encouraging it makes sense.

      Did you watch the video where the guy being interviewed told us that people who got a UBI engaged more and were more productive?

      • Stuart Munro 2.2.1

        No – but I’m aware that disengagement is not unrelated to financial embarrassment. There are few people indeed who cannot meaningfully contribute to our commonwealth if they have enough room to breathe.

    • Ian 2.3

      UBI is topic of discussion with Iain Less-Galloway at his regular ‘Coffee & Politics’ in Palmerston North this Monday evening

      • rhinocrates 2.3.1

        He should take Robertson’s place on the front bench. He knows why he’s in Labour.

  3. rhinocrates 3

    A topic close to my heart too, and a very welcome post.

  4. rhinocrates 4

    On the subject of lowest bidders, astronaut John Glenn had this to say:

    “I guess the question I’m asked the most often is: “When you were sitting in that capsule listening to the count-down, how did you feel?” Well, the answer to that one is easy. I felt exactly how you would feel if you were getting ready to launch and knew you were sitting on top of two million parts — all built by the lowest bidder on a government contract.”

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      And then imagine constructing a whole society like this…

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Don’t need to imagine – just need to look around. The results, as we can see, just aren’t that great.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          It is starting to really grate, truth be told…and I’m someone damn lucky enough not to be in the bottom quartile of NZers economically…by definition over a million Kiwis are.

          • Jones 4.1.1.1.1

            I sometimes assist with bidding processes and despite the rhetoric that “value for money” is much more than cost, very rarely have I seen it go beyond that upon consideration. Very frustrating.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Been on both sides of this game Jones. Lowest price is always the most expensive.

              Sadly most managers are either too stupid, too scared or too full of themselves to know otherwise.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “Lowest price is always the most expensive”

                ^this

                • rhinocrates

                  It’s the Samuel Vimes Boots Theory of Poverty: If you’re wealthy, you can afford a good pair of boots that last forever, but if you’re poor, you can only buy a cheap pair that wear out quickly and have to be repeatedly replaced. As a result, the person who can spend more on a pair of boots spends less in the long run, while the poor person spends more and is kept poor.

      • freedom 4.1.2

        +1

    • freedom 4.2

      Difference being rhinocrates the lowest bidders on the moon shot had a unique and spectacular motivation to do a good job.
      A motivation noticeably absent in far too many corners of today. The manufacturers, and the consumers, betray themselves all too easily.

      I don’t imagine Reaching For The Stars is festooned on the bosses’ walls of most corporate hq’s
      Screw’ em! They’ll buy the crap we make! is a more likely contender.
      Fast food, bulk retailing, throw away tech and wash’n’ wear values. Every unit carefully integrated into engineered obsolescence.

      A disposable humanity where we wonder, is the same slop to be welcomed when our building and infrastructure development, our healthcare, our education, even our social services are to be shifted into the same lowest bidder mindset? Oh that’s right, too late.

      • marty mars 4.2.1

        + 1 Good comment

      • rhinocrates 4.2.2

        “Difference being rhinocrates the lowest bidders on the moon shot had a unique and spectacular motivation to do a good job.”

        Indeed – an ethos or goal, or even the concept of having an ethos is lacking today.

  5. Exile 5

    Well meaning politicians like Jeremy Corburn?
    Seriously, well meaning, the man who reckons that Islamic courts are acceptable in Britian, who actively tries to blockade israel a democracy and instead support the hamas led Gaza republic?
    A man who support the present Venezuelan republic (who has virtually bankrupted the country) and who is in favour of re-nationalising industry.

    Hmm, to me people like him needs to be locked up and kept where they belong, in the communist parties and not trying to establish their ideas and ideals into the socialdemocratic movements that Labour belong to. these people are dangerous and can split our parties. The communist movement tried and failed and we shall never go back there.
    I visited Eastern Europe in 1992. It left an impression on me that ill never forget, people who share the views of such leaders are not supporters of the working men and women that populates the labour movements.

    When even Bob Crow, the most feisty trade unionist that Britian has seen post Thatcher, is scared of a candidate you sure know that the man is beyond repair.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The only reason that Jeremy Corbyn sounds like an extremist to your ears, is that you have grown used to corporate capitalists like Tony Blair pretending that they are what Labour stands for.

      UK Labour would be very lucky to have Corbyn shake them up and remind them that they were founded as a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST party, not as a left-of-tory placeholder for the corporates and the ruling class.

    • half crown 5.2

      ” who is in favour of re-nationalising industry”

      Comrade What a fucking good idea,

  6. ianmac 6

    Thanks CV. It will be great when not only Mr Little and Mr Morgan take a serious look at the UBI. The unattainable Utopia might become the attainable Utopia. Hoping.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      What has changed in the 7 years since I made my first modest post in 2008 (and of course there are a great many others who’ve worked very hard on the idea for MUCH longer than that) – is the receptivity to it has changed substantially.

      And I first formulated the idea for myself, in a very primitive form, back about 2001. But until recently anyone I mentioned it to was either scathing or labelled it ‘idealistic’. Indeed you have to be of a certain age to recall Muldoon’s sneering mockery of Social Credit’s similar ideas as ‘funny money’.

      That’s changed in just the past few years. I think it will happen now – and a lot sooner than I ever dared hope.

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        Since this would be a major shift in thinking and that those with the most already and therefore most able to block discussions, then it would take years to filter through from an idea to a reality. But one of the forces which will push it forward would be that technology will wipe out many of today’s jobs. Fear of losing jobs and being unemployed will be powerful.
        Change in society takes time to accept. Unless traumatic events force change.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Given that a UBI for Kiwis 60 and over was implemented many many decades ago, hopefully it will not be too much of a stretch to envision something a bit more now.

          • ianmac 6.1.1.1.1

            I think Morgan said that Kiwis over 65 on Super would be the biggest losers in UBI, as they would only get that basic income which would be much less than current Super. So I guess they would be a hurdle. (Me for instance.) 🙂

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Depends on how the UBI is done. From memory Morgan’s UBI rate is pretty low. Others calculate it differently.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep. We’ve got to get over the meme that a UBI is not affordable. This country has enough physical resources to support every body within it to a basic level of dignity and independence. Accepting that, finding the money required – whether it is form income redistribution or from the issuing of new money – becomes a purely political matter of preference.

                • weka

                  This is very true, but I’m not sure how feasible it is to get the country on board with that. A UBI is one sell, a UBI at a decent rate by transforming how we do economics is another. Both are worthy of our effort of course, but perhaps there is a pragmatic issue here, would we go for a lesser UBI in the meantime, or is that counter productive?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The declaration by people that we can’t afford a UBI is a declaration that we can’t support our present population. From this we can determine that the people making such claims are either:

                  1. Totally ignorant and thus shouldn’t be listened to or
                  2. Psychopaths that want to keep all the countries wealth to themselves and thus shouldn’t be listened to

              • RedLogix

                I think we’ve had this discussion a while back; the base UBI would likely be pretty low. But for the elderly or disabled this could be topped up with residual target benefits.

                And of course the big thing is that you don’t get caught in the very high marginal tax rates most people with a benefit presently experience. This means it becomes a lot more attractive to do those casual, part-time or informal sorts of jobs.

                • weka

                  Doesn’t a high rate get taken back for people on higher incomes via tax? ie a high rate doesn’t mean everyone gets that in their pocket.

                  The topup one is pretty thorny, because we already have a culture that supports the bludger meme. Would be good to see some discussion around this at some point rather than it being treated as a side issue. It’s core to a UBI working.

                  • RedLogix

                    The present system has this built in poverty trap; that for every dollar a beneficiary does earn – their benefit is rebated substantially.

                    If you include things like stand-down periods, the myriad complications dealing with WINZ, and all the costs associated with working – and the crappy low wages a lot of jobs pay – means that there isn’t all that much nett difference between working and not working. That effectively amounts to a very high marginal tax rate on the earnings.

                    A pure UBI replaces all this with one fixed basic income and a flat marginal tax rate. Effectively the paper-boy and the billionaire pay exactly the same tax rate on each dollar of their income. Usually around 30-35%. (Gareth Morgan’s version also sees the billionaire pay other taxes on land, capital gain and financial transactions.)

                    Under the current system for instance, if your income on a benefit was say $600pw, and then your nett income in a job is say $800pw, then in reality you are only $200pw better off. In this example it amounts to a marginal tax rate of 75% on the income from your job. If you include other costs it can easily be higher.

                    In reality I agree with you. It’s may be best if we didn’t try and leap from the current system to a UBI all in one go. There any number of ways to make the transition.

                    On the other hand – there have been some pretty decent trials of a UBI already undertaken and I’d guess it’s worth reading up on them to see what issues they encountered.

                    • weka

                      Thanks, I already understand most of that (you’re teaching your grandmother to suck eggs on the benefit issues).

                      I was asking if given the real terms tax rate is higher for higher income people (which is part of how the UBI is paid for) why does the UBI have to be set low?

                    • RedLogix

                      I was asking if given the real terms tax rate is higher for higher income people (which is part of how the UBI is paid for) why does the UBI have to be set low?

                      Sorry – I misread your question.

                      (Incidentally my original passion for the UBI arose directly out of consideration for people on a benefit … all the other advantages were things that I discovered later.)

                      The challenge just lies in the numbers. Say NZ has an adult population of 3m. Each one receives $10k pa – this amounts to a total ‘cost’ of around $30b pa.

                      If the total adult workforce participation rate is around 70% and the average income is $50k pa then total wages income is about $105b. If this total income was taxed at a flat PAYE rate of 30% ($31.5b) this would nicely balance the total cost of the UBI.

                      Of course a UBI of $10k pa is still pretty miserable, but if you increase it, you have to either raise your flate PAYE rate or find the money elsewhere.

                      And this is before we’ve paid for any of the other expenses of govt, like education, health and development. Gareth Morgan covers these off with GST, CGT and a FTT among other things. But however you cut it, a UBI of much more than $10kpa is very hard to fund conventionally.

                      These days I tend to agree with CV – simple, standard QE (ie getting the RB to print the difference) is probably the most sensible way of going about it. Of course the banks would hate this as it undermines their exceedingly profitable little monopoly on money printing.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Comparing UBI with a Job Guarantee I think there are some obvious issues with the UBI.

                      1) The UBI rate has to be quite low for various reasons (one being 3 below).
                      2) The UBI still leaves intact the system of managing inflation using unemployment (your still going to have mass unemployment, and people are still going to falsely believe their jobs are being taken by technology or shipped overseas).
                      3) It has an inflation bias if the economy actually reaches full employment levels of capacity utilization (though that is unlikely in the current political environment). The inflationary bias is there because its pay without work, so no extra output is produced by the economy.
                      4) It will at best have a minimal impact on increasing the voluntary sector (maybe as much as bringing beneficiaries up to retired levels of voluntary work, but clearly not at the rates being proposed, and probably no higher).
                      5) You will still have unemployed persons, and the UBI does little to help them develop a job history or work skills. Many unemployed persons would rather work for an income than collect a benefit, just because work provides a sense of engagement with society.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.2

              True .. but the UBI does not rule out other superannuation provision like they do here in Australia.

        • Andrea 6.1.1.2

          “then it would take years to filter through from an idea to a reality”

          Perhaps not.

          How long was it for the uptake of home PCs, mobile phones, pocket calculators, smoking bans, seat belts, helmets for cyclists? All the politically correct ideas we now take for granted – women wearing trousers to work, woman as prime ministers and high court judges, paid parental leave.

          And the insidious drivel that is the neo-liberal religion. Didn’t take ‘long’.

          If we can keep that pernicious word ‘deserving’ out of the conversation it may have a chance…

  7. half crown 7

    I think attitudes have got to change first from what we have now.

    Spiv good citizen, deserves a knighthood after years of tax avoidance.
    Lower class, 3 jobs to survive, trash deserves ridicule and/or abuse.

    I cannot see that happening, Can you honestly see the .001% giving up anything? and they have all the money and power. Things are being spudded into place to keep that so. Very concerned that the police are now armed with Tasers. What is the truth, behind that, is it a measure for future demonstration control?

    The book The Precariat The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing is well worth a read.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      That’s a damn valid question hc.

      But then again it always useful to recall that there is a lot more of us than there are of them. The Berlin Wall was impregnable until the day people stopped believing in it.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        And especially when the East German soldiers guarding the Berlin Wall stopped following the orders of the elite and put their weapons down.

      • old school 7.1.2

        So the farm fence and its control has to be questioned for its dynamic of our cultures compliance and its dominant control of right.

    • Skinny 7.2

      Another great topic posted by CV.

      ” Very concerned that the police are now armed with Tasers. What is the truth, behind that, is it a measure for future demonstration control?”

      Yes it is no coincidence the wholesale taser implementation for our police comes out with the US and our Government expecting the sign off on the TPPA, and the strong possibility of civil unrest. I got quite an insightful briefing from an American friend who has moved here from Hawaii with his Kiwi partner. He was saying the US military had been running crowd control workshops with it’s 5 eyes partners. So the New Zealand fuzz have been tooled up with the latest technology and techniques in dealing with mass protests of the people. Suffice to say the old motorcycle helmut and make shift wooden shield wouldn’t be much chop against the latest arsenal the cops have at their disposal courtesy of Uncle Sam.

      Very scary Big Brother stuff indeed.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        As I mentioned in the post on tasers, 5,700 NZ police are scheduled to be trained in the use of the M4 assault carbine, and they are trialling pepper spray 6x stronger than that originally approved for use for the NZ Police.

        Something is very wrong.

        Reminds me of reports that the US Ferguson police dept had received riot control training – in Israel.

        IMO the US is leading its FVEY partners into establishing all the elements required for a turn key security and surveillance state.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.2

        This is the M4 carbine. Ordinary NZ Police have access to a civilianised semi-automatic version, but with the ability to attach all the various scopes and add-ons.

        http://www.military.com/equipment/m4-carbine

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      Can you honestly see the .001% giving up anything?

      Not willingly but then we’ve forced them to before. The choice is theirs really: Do they give up the privileges that they have willingly or do we take them from their cold, dead hands?

      Very concerned that the police are now armed with Tasers. What is the truth, behind that, is it a measure for future demonstration control?

      That is a very good question but all revolutions have started with the ‘authorities’ being better armed than the revolutionaries.

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        Do they give up the privileges that they have willingly or do we take them from their cold, dead hands?

        The uber elite really need to study a bit more history. Even studying only recent western history of the last 500 years should give them a pretty good idea of where they are heading now.

        • Stuart Munro 7.3.1.1

          They cannot imagine it. Then they will think they can resist it. Then they will try to outrun it. Then they will pretend to support it – just as they did with the decent society.

          • ianmac 7.3.1.1.1

            And there would be huge savings on Welfare agencies being no longer required. The savings would be chanelled into UBI.

            • maui 7.3.1.1.1.1

              $2 billion according to the Gareth Morgan video, by scrapping WINZ and the massive changes to the IRD I would guess.

              • Colonial Viper

                And remember, money paid out in a UBI doesn’t “disappear” from the economy. Over a short period of time, the government will get much of it back in terms of GST, company tax and income tax.

                You can’t collect in tickets at the gate if you haven’t given the tickets out to the punters first!

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We nee to start the meme that money comes from the government and returns to the government.

                  Of course, that does require that we stop the banks creating money.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Yes. In Korea the government follows what happens to money closely, and tax evasion is not readily achieved. Private citizens can get a small rebate by submitting transaction evidence, which helps tax authorities to understand how the economy is working and what the consequences of various interventions would be – none of the ‘oh shit it isn’t working’ stuff, or knee-jerk gst hikes that have characterised Bill English’s misrule.

              • Tricledrown

                The saving of Winz costs of $2 billion ,
                Still means we would have to find $ 20billion dollars to fund the UBI it would mean you would have to increase GST +taxes .
                It’s not going to happen while 2/3 of New Zealanders see themselves as well off.

                • maui

                  These are numbers from the Gareth Morgan vid.

                  Universal Basic Income of $11,000 for everyone over 21 years old.

                  UBI total cost for the country = -$36 billion
                  Existing WINZ benefits no longer required = +$21 billion
                  WINZ & IRD bureacracy no longer required = +$2 billion
                  New land & housing tax = +$8 billion
                  New flat tax (30%) on everything = +$5 billion

                  TOTAL COST = $0

                  • weka

                    is that last one meant to be income tax (30%)?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Thanks for detailing the break down.

                    I think the UBI is a tad low – it should be more like $12K or $12.5K pa, tax free.

                    The property tax is a progressive idea.

                    I don’t think you would be able to cut out all existing WINZ benefits payments, although you would be able to cut out most of them.

                    Everything else being equal, the Government is currently under-spending into the NZ economy which makes it very difficult for ordinary people and ordinary companies to generate sufficient income and savings. It would do NZ a world of good to get monies which were equivalent to an extra 1% of GDP spent into the economy by the Govt, even if it is to partly offset the $15B or so taken offshore by foreign companies.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I think the UBI is a tad low – it should be more like $12K or $12.5K pa, tax free.

                      That’s not enough to live on. Personally, I think it should be up around the $20k mark. Enough to live on and to be entrepreneurial.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I can see a rationale for why it could be set at much higher than $12.5K pa, however at $20K pa it starts interfering with many other parts of the money economy in a serious way e.g. $20K pa is more than you would earn doing a 3 day a week job on the minimum wage.

                      Also at $12.5K pa you encourage people to really work together to make their UBI’s benefit each other collectively.

                    • weka

                      it looks like two different scenarios. One is a sub-liveable rate, where presumably people either top up from wages or govt allowances. The other is a higher rate that is liveable, but most people are probably still going to prefer a higher income so would choose work (or where needed allowances).

                      Is the main rationale for the first one affordability? Or are there concerns about inflation and business viability as well?

                      I tend to agree with Draco, make it a generous rate that encourages creativity and entrepeneurial activity (along with non-financial support for those things). But I don’t know what the downsides are. Anyone?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’d like to see a UBI set at a level which gives people significant freedom from paid employment and to choose/design other ways of life whilst not causing too high a level of disruption to employers and businesses.

                    • weka

                      Presumably there is a bunch of work that is only being done because people need an income. With a UBI, the only way those jobs will still exist if is the wages are higher, is that right? (because with the UBI there is a surplus of jobs rather than a surplus of labour). Which puts some businesses and workplaces at risk of failing. What would be the economic and social impact of that?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And it’s not just that wages are too low in some jobs, but very many jobs are badly designed, badly led, and put no thought whatsoever into giving the worker any sense of satisfaction or accomplishment.

                      People might actually enjoy going to work if companies and managers put some effort into the old fashioned concept of “job design.”

                    • weka

                      so we might see a general improvement in work conditions/wages as well as businesses/employers becoming more skilled in how to create desirable jobs, but some businesses/work places would presumably fold in the process.

                    • RedLogix

                      A very interesting discussion here. I’ve always tended towards a UBI of around $10k – which I accept is pretty low.

                      Mainly because the numbers more or less fit into a conventional fiscal framework without too much stress. Overall most people would actually be in about the same nett tax position.

                      But there is a good case for making it higher – and using this as an opportunity to re-think the role of money, debt and banking in the whole economy. I guess my thinking always allowed for a fair bit of political flexibility around the UBI and Tax Rate settings.

                  • Tricledrown

                    So has any party taken this policy on board.
                    It sounds good every policy has side effects .
                    The flat tax of 30% does that include Gst.

        • half crown 7.3.1.2

          “The uber elite really need to study a bit more history. Even studying only recent western history of the last 500 years should give them a pretty good idea of where they are heading now.”

          Damm right Colonial. I said earlier attitudes have got to change
          The first place is the Universities. Steve Keen the Australian economist said when he was a lecturer it was frowned on teaching an alternative point of view to the Neo’s “Debunking Economics by Steve Keen.”

          There has to be a culling out of this dogma that has now become some form of a religions cult in our Universities. Also economic students need to be taught history, not the 1066 type of crap but the economic causes of the likes of the French and Russian revolutions.
          To me it is scary, If a revolution happens. All of us will be victims. That is something the Neo’s cannot seem to get in to their heads.

  8. Stuart Munro 9

    The third branch I want to social policy is lifelong (and ideally free) education – so that income security, participation, and education form almost equal features of our culture. Cloud and community provision should enable economical asymmetric delivery and supervised practice or peer tuition.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      yes – and where people can both be students and tutors, sharing their accumulated knowledge and experience.

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        There’s a thing called the 2 sigma effect – peer tutored students lift performance by two standard deviations. But the clincher is that the tutor’s performances are also lifted appreciably. So a mass social tutoring program is a game changer.

        What would become of a society that lifted educational outcomes by even one standard deviation? And the oh-so-expensive tail could be crossing from the red side of the ledger to the black. A neo-con argument – lives would be improved.

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.1

          Yes – we used to have these things. They were called WEA, Workers Education Associations.

          They were doing quite ok until the Nats defunded them in 1991.

          http://www.wea.org.nz/

          • Stuart Munro 9.1.1.1.1

            Not quite – though they were constructive. The community ESOL tutors were probably closer, or ARAS. But way too small in scale – to get the full societal effect you’d need substantial coverage – two thirds or so. The U3A is probably the closest to it – but teaching only one end of the age curve (Japan does that too – there is some transfer nevertheless).

            Suppose there were student volunteer armies in non-earthquake cities organised for this – you’d get a big uptick in educational outcomes – and enhanced community participation. Which you’d need if you mean to build a proper 21st century enlightened society…

            • Molly 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Enjoying this discussion.

              I’m interested in the opportunities for a collective education system. Particularly for our high-school aged students and as an affordable and more responsive alternative to tertiary education. The wheels of change move slowly in higher levels of education, and when politicians finally reach a consensus view on the required needs of the population, the education system will still take a while to catch up. (I remember reading once, that educational shifts take about 12 years to be entrenched).

              Due to the economic situation in Spain, a few collectives have started up, with people sharing knowledge and working together to educate themselves and others. Another Life is Possible, shows a couple of examples (around 24 minutes in)

              The hackschooling approach or Uncollege are also alternatives, results are much enhanced by face-to-face participation and interaction, which bodes well for collective local groups to get together using an already provided framework.

              Many colleges and universities, including Auckland University have got together to create online programmes on futurelearn or edX.

              • Stuart Munro

                The another life is possible link is good – & I’ve been doing futurelearn for awhile.

                But these don’t exactly exhaust the learning options.
                The green guerrilla and foodwall movements in the states are an antidote to food poverty and neglected urban space like the Christchurch redzone. Voltaire’s prescription for poverty idleness & vice.

                Apprenticeships and internships are one form of experiential learning that meet the intention – but so do the kind of working bees that once built or maintained our community halls – or learning from a home builder or quilting group.

                A workshop on prestressed concrete shell structures or grown buildings(a la Nervi or Hundertwasser) is an obvious community built solution to Christchurch’s cathedral bombsite. (We might even see Dutton’s spandrels :D)

                The kind of pinus planting that helped us out of the last depression would be appropriate in many areas – hopefully with better ecological species selections.

                But in many areas there is capital induced paralysis – people not reacting to/improving their circumstances or obstructions like Gerry Brownlee preventing them from doing so. This is such a waste.

                • Colonial Viper

                  They are afraid of what people could be, and could come up with, if they weren’t subject to control mechanisms like being starved of financial capital.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    They should be afraid – we are the species that built pyramids and castles – extinguished the mammoth and the European lion – put down the absolute monarchs and facist industrialists, built a truly decent society from Europe’s second siblings and local warriors without descending into barbarism.

                    These pissant crooks aren’t up to keeping us ‘in line’ much less leading us into the future – any future – certainly not their dystopian fantasies.

                • Molly

                  My older children have been doing some of the online courses at both futurelearn and edX as part of their home ed curriculum as well. (Finding it difficult at the moment to balance those with the idea of getting the required NCEA credits through Te Kura. A very pedantic method of learning, and time consuming with it).

                  Interested regarding your suggestion of working bees etc, as I am currently trying to come up with some way to do this in a concrete form where I live. Franklin (in Auckland) is not really a leader in terms of social innovation.

                  Something along the lines of Sector 67 is a possible model for community learning spaces, particularly in urban areas. Don’t have a lot of capital to invest, but currently living on a one-acre rural block within spitting distance of an established community. Only after we purchased, did I get involved in community planning and realise how much of a waste smaller lifestyle blocks are. It would be partly cathartic to create some value out of it instead of extending the house, and tidying the gardens to flog off.

                  Home education has given me some experience at collective classes and disparate group meetings. It is time to take it up a notch.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I think the initiative is very sound. Sector 67 looks great – though the particular technologies and facilities need to coalesce around what people can use or learn to use in each locale.

                    From the Alt/Ed side of things, the object is to get people undertaking the risky business of genuine self-directed learning with support. Dr Tae has a few useful things to say here

                    Institutional education isn’t performing particularly well – and the neo-liberal prescription tends to increase the dysfunction. Csikszentmihalyi is worth reading too.

                    • Molly

                      Thanks. Will have a look.

                      As an aside, sent my eldest off to to a Foundation class at MIT last year.

                      He completed it, but was scathing of the quality of teaching and material given to young adults. So was I. Although the certificate was in creative arts, the level of discourse and the expectation of the students was abysmal. We were doing a higher level of work at home several years ago, and I am fundamentally deficient in any kind of artistic skill.

                      The most disturbing aspect though, is the outcome of some of these courses would be to further alienate students from learning, whether in an institutional setting or personally. I’m very glad we met the Youth Guarantee criteria and did not waste the $5,500 fee that this course charged.

  9. I’m thoroughly in favour of a UBI. I think one of the difficulties is that even though it’s being talked about in Labour Party circles at the moment (probably the Greens too, I’d imagine) it’s still in very wonky, detailed “look at this spreadsheet” terms. When you want to achieve a fundamental shift in how government provides a safety net for people, you do need to outline it in a way people can easily get their heads around.

    • weka 10.1

      Yep. Green Party policy is to use government funding to investigate how a UBI should be done and to promote public debate. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Without funding what party is going to do justice to it, and without doing some substantial work on making the UBI concept accessible how would it get support?

      The concept of how taxation is a crucial part of the UBI could be explained in graphics rather than tables. Simple explanations of tax terms would help too. I don’t for instance know what marginal tax means and when people use it in these conversations I have to go through a translation process. I think many people would be in a similar situation to me, and the only reason I understand the concept is because I spent the time teaching myself what the various posts on ts meant. Most people aren’t going to bother if it’s not easier. So there’s an education process as well as making it accessible.

      • Much as I hate to promote anything done by Gareth Morgan (though at least this is actually in his area of expertise) he’s done a good series of short, accessible videos about UBI.
        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLneuhRbDIJCUpEWuVYzBCpgyAmSDf1WQ0

        As a movement we must have the resources to get the message out plainly and simply, and in the internet age (*smacks self on wrist*) you don’t need the same level of resources to broadcast ideas.

        I bet White Man Behind A Desk would do a phenomenal job of it.

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          Thanks, I’ll check those out. I think they’re for people already interested, but too much for most people who just want to get their head around the basics.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 10.1.1.1.1

            They’re for people who are already interested inasmuch as they’ve had no real promotion aside from being put on GM’s YouTube channel. The point I was making is that there’s no need for “substantial work” to make the concept accessible nor get the message out. The anti-TPPA campaign is another good example of this.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.1

              hmm, I think the anti-TTPA campaign has involved substantial work. I agree with you that the vids are a useful resource, but a lot of people outside the politicos are going to look at that list of vids and turn off. I was thinking of something really basic like a single page of graphics that has flow charts or similar that people can look at in one go and get their heads around the basics (that’s people who don’t know what a UBI is). With links for further reading/vids etc. Maybe Morgan already has something like that?

              It really needs someone like Action Station to pick up, that has a team of people who know how to promote an issue. Much of the discussion I’ve seen on ts revolves around people who know how UBI would work who are arguing about the detail, and people who kind of get it but throw up questions that come from not really getting it.

              eg lots of people refer to Morgan’s work. Is it preferable to Rankin’s, or is it just that Morgan has a higher profile?

              I like what CV has done with this post in terms of raising issues like the difference between work and paid jobs. I think those kind of softer concepts will be important as well.

  10. Macro 11

    Thanks CV for a very useful and informative post. Our society is now so individualised that it is difficult for many people to see just how better off we would all be if, instead of working just for ourselves, we were to work for each other. A very good example that I have come across recently, where people work for each other, and where the benefits are profound, is in the FoodTogether program started by Craig Dixon in Christchurch. http://foodtogether.kiwi/
    Currently the programme packages around 2500 – 3000 parcels of fresh produce a week for a cost of $12 per package – enough for a family of 4 for much of the week. This is health eating, and recipes for the packages are available on facebook. Obviously this is a non -profit organisation and runs on volunteer work (around 300 are involved in Chch alone I gather).
    Such a community development as this demands time and effort from people working together to provide better outcomes for others. I believe projects such as this, are the way forward to a far richer, and more interesting, and caring society. And such would be made possible with a UBI – for as can be seen it doesn’t take a lot of money, but when we pool resources in this way, we can all benefit.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      +100

      initiatives which allow people to contribute to the non-$$$ economy in order to support themselves and each other are going to be increasingly important.

  11. Great post. It is time for this.

  12. gsays 13

    Great post cv.
    I caught part of the guy standing lecture in wellys earlier this year.

    An attractive aspect of the ubi was it appealed to the right as well, as it enabled people to participate in the ‘market’

    I also agree that the community building potential of this kinda initiative is where its real value lies.

  13. Andrea 14

    Aside and related: at present many ‘prices’ are fixed on the assumption that all payers have big incomes and frequent pay rises. Think rates, rents, water, power, vehicle licensing, health costs, education.

    Regardless of inflation rates, and the low or no increases in most pay packets, up go those basic costs of living and participating in monstrous leaps.

    A UBI sounds nice but look at reality of living on a fixed income where those who can earn more peg increases to what they can afford.

    Life on the whiff of an oily rag – particularly when the opportunity to add a little extra is limited by age, infirmity, location, or skills – is not exactly ‘living’. More like eking out and barely existing.

    Mr Micawber’s famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness:

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” Charles Dickens.

    We’ve got a lot of the latter.

  14. Craig H 15

    I’m a believer and look forward to it. I think it will be major policy plank of the next Labour Govt, but would work best just to be introduced at the first budget, rather than argued about as a bribe during an election.

  15. maui 16

    Can’t wait for it. I think how it might possibly come about is either through a big economic collapse that we can’t find a way to get out of, or a series of downturns. Status quo governance is going to be completely inadequate for more and more job losses. People will move to the party that has a UBI, and hopefully that won’t be National through stealing other party’s policies.

  16. keyman 17

    the current system is unsustainable but to get where we would like to be we need a total crash and reset.but i wouldn’t like see a Greek situation where the elite are pandered to more like Iceland where the the crooks are dealt with and removed so proper reset can begin

  17. geoff 18

    ‘Precariat’ is a shitty word. Sounds like something a turtle-neck-wearing, chardonnay socialist would come up with.

    How about ‘part-timer’, a nice contrast to the name of the social clique that John Key’s son is a part of…’the fulltimers’.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11471687

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      heh blame the highly academic Dr Marx for introducing terms like “bourgeoisie”, “proletariat”, etc. of which “precariat” is in the same vein .

  18. half crown 19

    I have just noticed my appalling grammar at 7.3.1.3. I don’t know why that happens at times, can only put it down to the S O S syndrome.

    Damm should read Damn, and religions should be religious

    If you have not read it, I highly recommended what we are reading at the moment.

    “Debunking economics” by Steve Keen

    • half crown 19.1

      Shit I did it AGAIN recommended should read recommend.

      Keep taking the tablets it will come right I hope.

      • RedLogix 19.1.1

        Quite a few of us here have been long-standing fans of Steven Keen.

        I did a post back on a while here:

        http://thestandard.org.nz/i-owe-my-soul-to-the-company-store/

        And met the guy when he came to Wellington about 2 years ago. The back row of the room was lined with heavy weight RB and Treasury types. Russel Norman was in the front row asking questions – all up there were probably about 100 or so beltway types in the room. As ordinary joe public I felt a wee bit out-gunned.

        But during a break I did have a 10 min chat with him. I found him passionate and committed … with a lot of warmth when he’s not lecturing.

        The good news is that since moving to London he’s gained a lot of profile and attention.

        • half crown 19.1.1.1

          Thanks for that Red and the heads up to your earlier post.
          What I have read so far is most interesting, like neo classical economic students are not taught economic history. That explains one hell of a lot of the thinking of the majority of modern day economists. Very dangerous and I can see why this TINA is always used. They have no history as a bench mark and the likes of the 2008 crash was not the fault of neo classical economics. As Keen points out in his book their thinking is, neo classical economics can never fail.

          My words, What a fucking joke that is, I am not the sharpest knife in the draw but I have so easily pointed out to some of these Neo’s the disastrous results of this shit, and nearly every time there is no answer. They haven’t got one. TINA..

          • Colonial Rawshark 19.1.1.1.1

            You’re going to like this video I think HC, it explains a lot about the ahistorical nature of university economics courses.

            Economics, power and the powerful: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)

            “The cry of “loss of confidence” is largely a smokescreen let loose by certain conservatives who are traditionally opposed to almost any Government expenditure, who object to any increase in taxes, and are too shortsighted to know that the perpetuation of the present level of unemployment constitutes de most dangerous threat to their own interests … The statement that the bond market could not absorb Government bonds has been made ever since the first unbalanced budget, yet today Government bond prices in the United States are higher than ever. … If [companies] do not employ the potential purchasing power [of the unemployed], the Government can do so at virtually no expense to the community.”

            – Harry Dexter White

            • half crown 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks colonial I have to do some work now will have a look tonight.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh yes I should mention that Steve Keen is one of the speakers in that video; Lord Robert Skidelsky is also very good.

  19. Jones 20

    Great post CV and a great Keiser Report. I’m definitely for a UBI and I believe it needs to be universal.

    Having worked in the IT sector since the late-80s, “technology is now destroying more jobs than it is creating” has been my sense for at least the last decade. I’ve seen too many technology implementations of systems justified by savings in FTEs. It’s not uncommon for the disestablished employees move off into lesser paying jobs or part-time work, and it seems to me they rarely find like for like.

  20. greywarshark 21

    I looked and listened at Guy Standing and thought that was a great link thanks CV.

    Further to that I was interested this morning hearing on radionz Sir Peter Talley make some prognostications that sound realistic about the future and work and people as he sees it. Worth a listen.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201764873
    Originally aired on Business News, Monday 3 August 2015
    The head of one of New Zealand’s largest food companies predicts more change for business over the next five years than it’s seen in the past twenty five years. The loint managing director of the Nelson based Talley’s group, Sir Peter Talley, opened the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce annual business leaders conference, Aspire.

  21. CJess 22

    I am very much in faviour of UBI, and have been (on and off) arguing away about it with anyone who would listen for over a decade now.

    Interestingly, Utrecht, in the Netherlands, is currently carrying out an experiment with it. That’s one worth watching.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dutch-city-of-utrecht-to-experiment-with-a-universal-unconditional-income-10345595.html

  22. Colonial Viper 23

    I think from the many insightful comments here that we have also created a clearer understanding of why Labour’s intention to reduce NZ Super entitlements (our UBI for 65’s plus) went down with the electorate like a cup of cold sick. It was exactly the wrong direction to go and Kiwis knew it.

  23. old school 24

    Universal fairness for everyone,a oxymoron for a profit exploiter capitalist thinker not conducive to a society fairness,how is your profit property ownership portfolio profiting you.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Colonial oppression in Kanaky
    How does France deal with opponents of its colonisation of the Pacific? Arrest them and deport them to France to face prosecution in a foreign court: A group of pro-independence leaders charged with allegedly organising protests that turned into violent unrest in New Caledonia last month was indicted on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Media Link: Post-pandemic economics and the rise of national populism” on “A View from Afar.”
    On this edition of AVFA Selwyn Manning and I discuss post-pandemic economics and the rise of national populism. It seems that a post-pandemic turn to more nationalist economic policies may have encouraged the rise of populists who use xenophobia and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    15 hours ago
  • Climate Change: National’s vice-signalling
    Two weeks ago the climate denier government announced they would be giving farmers what they want and removing agriculture from the ETS. On Friday they introduced the bill for it to the House. Due to past efforts and backdowns, the Climate Change Response Act has a lot of inactive clauses ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • The Left’s Joyous Cherub: Keith Locke, 1944 – 2024.
    The Struggle Continues: Keith Locke belonged to a generation that still believed in a world that could be, through struggle, relieved of its chains. That struggle constituted the core of a life lived with purpose, courage and determination. MANY NEW ZEALANDERS would, no doubt, have been surprised to discover that Keith Locke was ...
    17 hours ago
  • The Night Before Yule: A Reprint
    A couple of my stories – A Breath Through Silver, and The Last Libation – have previously earned themselves reprints. Well, I am pleased to report that the nice people at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (https://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/) have included my narrative horror-poem, The Night Before Yule, in their newly-compiled Best Of anthology. ...
    17 hours ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Monday, June 24
    TL;DR: Responding to the grounding of the Aratere over the weekend, the Government has signalled it will buy new replacement ferries, but only enough to replace existing freight capacity.That would effectively limit Aotearoa-NZ’s ability to handle any growth in population or the need to reduce emissions by shifting freight from ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    23 hours ago
  • Greater Auckland 2.0 – we need your help!
    Hi, we’re Greater Auckland. We’ve been a part of the landscape for over 15 years now. Over that time, we’ve provided informed commentary, evidence-based analysis, and inspiring visions for the future of Tāmaki Makaurau. You might know us from such hits as: The Congestion-Free Network 2013 (and its 2017 ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    24 hours ago
  • Distractions and Inaction.
    Fancy, a fast carA bag full of lootI can nearly guaranteeYou'll end up with the bootThe Prime Minister arrived home, perhaps a bit surprised, maybe even secretly a little pleased at the diversion, to find the country falling apart. Things going more badly that even his c-list, self back-slapping, trip ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    24 hours ago
  • KiwiRail aground while Government obfuscates
    The problems at KiwiRail go further and deeper than the maintenance issue, which caused the inter-island ferry Aratere to run aground on Saturday. The company is also the subject of a damning report published last week about the way it runs its rail operations from the Transport Accident Investigation Commission. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #25
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 16, 2024 thru Sat, June 22, 2024. Stories we promoted this week, by publication date: Before June 16 ‘Unprecedented mass coral bleaching’ expected in 2024, says expert, ...
    1 day ago
  • The Realm Of The Possible.
    The People’s House: What would it be like to live in a country where a single sermon could prick the conscience of the comfortable? Where a journalist could rouse a whole city to action? Where the government could be made to respond to the people’s concerns? Where real change was possible? And ...
    2 days ago
  • Public Service Day
    Good morn or evening friendsHere's your friendly announcerI have serious news to pass on to everybodyWhat I'm about to sayCould mean the world's disasterCould change your joy and laughter to tears and painIt's thatLove's in need of love todayDon't delaySend yours in right awayHate's goin' 'roundBreaking many heartsStop it pleaseBefore ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • When is a road of National significance not a road of National significance?
    I loved everything about my first Cook Strait ferry crossing: a day parked in the car in howling Wellington wind and driving Wellington rain, waiting to hear if they were going to sail or not; watching the huge black ministerial limousines come and go; listening to the adventures of Chicken ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Was the Medieval Warm Period a global event?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Was the Medieval Warm Period a global ...
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa Runs Aground
    Your face has fallen sad nowFor you know the time is nighWhen I must remove your wingsAnd you, you must try to flyCome sail your ships around meAnd burn your bridges downWe make a little history, babyEvery time you come aroundWhen I went to bed last night I thought the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Wagon keeps movin'
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Mainstreaming Māori
    Mainstreaming need not be inherently anti-Māori. It will be if it is done badly because it will be anti-those-in need, and proportionally more of them are Māori.That the Coalition Government says it will deliver public services on the basis of need rather than, say, race deserves consideration, even though many ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • National says “fuck you”
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the government's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation in local government. The report duly notes the Waitangi Tribunal's finding that the bill breaches te Tiriti, and the bill's inconsistency with our international human rights obligations - and then proceeds to ignore both. Instead, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
    This week our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon… mmm, let’s take a moment to consider just how good that sounds. Hope you weren’t eating.Anyway that guy. Better? That bloke from the telly, he said - what I would say to you is… I’m big in Japan. My kind of people, hard ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    4 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    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). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    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 ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-06-24T19:42:35+00:00