The trans-Tasman wage gap

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, April 1st, 2008 - 92 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Now this is rich. National, the party that gave New Zealand its low wage economy, is running the line that the trans-Tasman wage gap is “Labour’s legacy”. You’d think such a shameless rewriting of history would be laughed off in a second, but it seems in the age of the memory hole even senior political journalists can be fooled.

So let’s get a few things straight. When National entered government in 1990 the wage gap was 18.9%. By the time they were kicked out in 1999, the wage gap had increased to 28.4% – a whopping 50% increase over nine years. Under Labour the wage gap has not moved, despite the minerals boom in Australia.

gap 450

The reason for this is simple. National’s policy on wages was deliberately designed to remove minimum employment conditions, restrict the ability of workers to bargain for higher wages, let the minimum wage fall behind inflation and use high unemployment as a lever to put a lid on wage increases. The catchcry then, as now, was ‘flexibility’, a term that gave bosses the power to ‘reduce labour costs’ by cutting your pay and gave you the right to go to bed at night not knowing if you’d have a job in the morning.

As a result, most Kiwis’ average weekly earnings dropped or stagnated under National – by 1999 incomes had risen by just 0.3% after inflation. By comparison, eight years after Labour became government average weekly earnings have increased by 9.3% – more than thirty times National’s increase.

earnings 450

The real reason for the wage gap is clear – National’s attack on New Zealand wages.

So when National says Labour caused the wage gap, they’re lying. When they say it can be solved by tax cuts, they’re lying. And when they say they’ll close the wage gap if given a chance, just remember they’re hoping to do so with the very same policies that caused the wage gap to expand in the first place.

92 comments on “The trans-Tasman wage gap”

  1. Higherstandard 1

    Tane is this before or after tax ?

  2. Tane 2

    Before tax. This story is about the wage gap, not about the tax gap. Trying to compare after-tax incomes is fraught with difficulties, and not just on which taxes to count and which not to count (capital gains, state taxes, GST etc).

    When taxes are cut, social services are cut, and that hits the incomes of working people. If National had been in in 2005 I might have had a higher after-tax income based on massive tax cuts, but I’d be paying interest on my rather hefty student loan and no longer able to get cheaper doctor’s visits, WFF or Kiwisaver tax credits.

  3. Thanks for fishing this info out, Tane. I’d just like to add to this bit:

    So when National says Labour caused the wage gap, they’re lying. When they say it can be solved by tax cuts, they’re lying.

    Let’s add to that “When right-wing bloggers and their yapping commenters say “Liarbore” caused the wage gap, they’re lying. When they say it can be solved by tax cuts, they’re lying. Generally, when their mouths are open, they’re lying.”

  4. Higherstandard 4

    Thanks Tane can you point to any data on the gap in take home wages which may be of more relevance to income earners.

  5. Tane 5

    I’ve linked to National’s figures on after-tax wages in the post. As I said, they’re incredibly misleading because apart from being selective in the taxes they count, they also ignore the social wage.

    There’s also the fact that if you’re going to close the wage gap it has to be done through higher wages. No amount of tax cuts will close a 30% wage gap.

  6. Steve Pierson 6

    How will JK’s $6 a week tax cut close the wage gap? especially while wages are stagnating?

  7. Higherstandard 7

    Sorry social wage .. not a term I’m familiar with

  8. Daveo 8

    I can’t help you there Steve but labour costs will be coming down for Key’s rich mates, and the tax cuts will help reduce wage demands from staff. It’s a win-win situation.

  9. Tane 9

    HS, it’s a reference to the benefits citizens get from public services paid for by taxation. Things like cheaper doctor’s visits and interest free student loans.

    It’s a response to many on the right who think cutting taxes will make everyone richer, ignoring the impact a reduction in public services would have on working people.

  10. Higherstandard 10

    Attached link for those interested in after tax differences .. scroll to bottom of article and download word document.

  11. mike 11

    “Before tax. This story is about the wage gap, not about the tax gap”

    Its one in the same for your the battlers on struggle St. Tane.
    Gross income comparisons are irrelevant when we are getting severely gauged by Dr Cullen.

  12. Steve Pierson 12

    social wage: the goods and services that a person receives without charge from the state, public services.

    Getting these goods and services free means you don’t need to have money to pay for them. Since an income is really an entitlement to consume goods and services to the value of that income (moeny is just a medium of exchange), receiving goods and services free of charge is the same in effect as an income. When more goods and services are being provided free of charge the person’s wealth increases, just as it would if the person’s income increased and they were able to purchase more.

  13. Higherstandard 13


    He’s not guageing as well as gouging is he ?

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    mike, without any tax in New Zealand, there would still be a wage gap with Australia (i.e. us gross vs them net) – that make it simple enough for you?

  15. Steve Pierson 15

    Well put MP.

    Tax cuts cannot solve the wage gap.

    And, as Tane says, tax cuts are not free, they come at the cost of a reduction in the social wage.

  16. dave 16

    Tane, if you have time can you do a graph for after tax income ( ie take home pay) or are you too busy working today?

  17. Tane 17

    Its one in the same for your the battlers on struggle St. Tane.

    As is the social wage. That’s the point – if you’re going to count tax coming out of a workers’ weekly earnings you have to include the public services going in as well. National’s figures are only telling half the story.

    There’s also the point of the post – National says the wage gap is “Labour’s legacy”. The facts show it’s not. It wasn’t lack of tax cuts that led to the 50% increase in the wage gap under National.

  18. Tane 18

    Hi dave, I’m actually pretty busy – I wrote this post up last night. Anyway, I wouldn’t bother making a misleading graph on after-tax income for the reasons I’ve already explained.

  19. Can you email me the spreadsheet for the second graph? I have some very illuminating data I’d like to superimpose on it.

  20. Tane 20

    I/S – No worries.

  21. higherstandard 21

    social wage: the goods and services that a person receives without charge from the state, public services.

    Bit misleading most of us pay for these via taxes either corporate or private.

  22. Tane 22

    most of us pay for these via taxes either corporate or private.

    Yes, HS, which is my point.

  23. Attached link for those interested in after tax differences…

    Through some oversight, Bill has neglected to define “after-tax” in his statement. This is the variation of lying called “lies of omission.”

  24. higherstandard 24

    I agree personal Tax cuts alone will not solve the wage gap vs Australia they will go a small way however what really needs to be addressed by this governement and the next is our poor performance in labour productivity and it’s effect on GDP per capita where we have performed poorly vs Australia for a number of years unless this addressed little will change whether there is a Labour of National led government.

  25. higherstandard 25


    Not wanting to be pendantic but the Nat’s have been fairly explicit that they won’t be cutting front line social services to fund tax cuts.

  26. Steve Pierson 26

    But they won’t be increasing them either. There will be a trade-off – higher social wage or tax cuts.

  27. Tane 27

    You’ve got to remember as well National is basically saying that if Labour had cut taxes at the same level as Howard in the last eight years working families would better off.

    Of course, that would mean no Kiwisaver, no WFF, no cheaper doctors’ visits and no interest free student loans, all for a couple of bucks a week for us and a big fat tax cut for National’s rich mates.

  28. higherstandard 28


    Not necessarily – guess we’ll just have to wait to see their election platform.

  29. infused 29

    “Of course, that would mean no Kiwisaver, no WFF, no cheaper doctors’ visits and no interest free student loans, all for a couple of bucks a week for us and a big fat tax cut for National’s rich mates.”

    Where did you get that info from? Oh right… More bs lefty talk. I think you guys are right sometimes, but when you go posting shit like this you really show your true colours.

  30. Murray 30

    It’s all very well to harp on about tax cuts resulting in a reduction in social spending. In my experience it seems to be the ones not contributing that consume the bulk of the resources.

  31. Tane 31

    Where did you get that info from?

    National opposed Kiwisaver, WFF, cheaper doctors’ visits and interest free student loans. If they’d be government this term these schemes would have been scrapped to pay for the 2005 tax cuts, which overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy.

    This is the trade-off between tax cuts and the social wage that National thinks Labour should have made over the last eight years.

  32. Steve Pierson 32

    infused. National voted against working for families, it opposed interest-free loans, kiwisaver, cheaper doctors’ visits and dozens of other increases in the provision of social wage/ public services. If National had been in power the last nine years instead of Labour, those policies would not be in place.

  33. dave 33

    Tane, are you saying that the extra income through not cutting taxes paid for labour s policies? If so you`d also agree, then that not adjusting tax bands for inflation was the real reason Labour could afford its policies, not failure to cut tax.

    Cullen’s failure to make that adjustment means that he has increased income tax, in real terms, by about $1.37 billion per annum simply through inaction on tax. Inhstead he gave those people a tax refund if they had kids – but you had to apply for it. It’s called Working for Families.

  34. insider 34

    Yes they may have opposed certain schemes but that’s their job and I doubt even the most bias supporter could say there are NO policy alternatives ever. It does not mean they don’t have equally valid alternatives. eg They were concerned about distortions/contradictions of WFF so why support that if you think there is a less distortionary way?

    It seems a slightly childish meme – “they voted against it”. I’d be more worried if they kept voting for govt initiatives as that could be a sign of a one party state.

  35. dave 35

    Tane are you saying that Labours policies were paid for by its failure to cut tax – ie: theres a trade of between cutting taxes and paying for services. If so, you`ll agree that Labours failure to increase tax bands for inflation also paid for Labour’s policies ( and its surplus)

    Cullen’s failure to adjust tax bands means that in real terms $1.37billion extra has been paid in tax each year – and some high income people can get relief only if they have at least three kids.

  36. Tane 36

    Yes they may have opposed certain schemes

    National wanted to abolish these schemes and hey, they had to pay for their tax cuts somehow. If they’d kept WFF (unlikely) it would have been something else that got the chop – health spending for example. They certainly wouldn’t have had the money to pay for Kiwisaver Mark II or a variety of other programmes, even if they changed their minds about them.

    See, the actual schemes they end up cutting aren’t the point, I was just using examples. The point is that tax cuts mean a cut in social spending, they’re not free money like National paints them. Therefore issuing figures of ‘after tax incomes’ and pretending everyone is richer is only telling half the story.

  37. randal 37

    CUT THE CRAP—– wages will go up when employers pay higher wages…q.e.d.

  38. Tane 38

    Dave, certainly there’s been extra tax revenue as rising incomes have pushed more people into the top tax bracket, and I’m not against the idea of an adjustment for fiscal drag. I’m not sure what your point is though – what’s any of this got to do with the trans-Tasman wage gap?

  39. dave 39

    The point is Tane, that people dont spend their tax money. It goes to the Government. The money people spend is based on their take home pay – which is why I asked if you could do a graph on take home pay showingthe gap between the take home pay that aussies get and what we get.
    For someone who is rather busy, and hasnt got time to do a graph, youre doing a lot of comments today. Are you on sick leave or something?

  40. Tane 40

    Dave, you don’t seem to understand what the social wage is. Have a read through the thread and get back to me.

    And how I schedule my workload is my own business. Keep making personal attacks and I’ll ban you for a month.

  41. insider 41

    I think National’s concern is that diverting income to recycle it as a social wage is far less efficient in delivering improvements than just allowing people to keep more of their own money and decide how best to prioritise it in teh same way as you are best placed to schedule your workload.

    is there any evidence the social wage is more effective than private wages in delivering outcomes for individuals?

  42. dave 42


    Im well aware on what the social wage is, it has got higher and higher with no economic benefit. had it had more econmic benefit it could have increased wages – which of course would have increased the tax take.

    Given that I am not making personal attacks, why the threats?

  43. Im well aware on what the social wage is, it has got higher and higher with no economic benefit.

    ie, you in fact have no idea what the social wage is.

  44. dave 44

    The social wage is usually taken to mean the social expenditure of government and underpins economic policy. The social dividend is a central component.

    So social expenditure has gone down?

  45. Ari 45

    Insider- National certainly claims it’s less efficient. Have they got any good research to back up that claim? They haven’t been able to point out any good policies to make the public sector more efficient without cutting services or dictating what people can research or what films get public funding. They haven’t made any convincing announcements on how the private sector would be more efficient, especially after previous sell-offs of social enterprises failed spectacularly, and after their gutting of the public sector tanked our economy in the 1990s.

    In America, they don’t base their healthcare system off a social wage. This is one of the biggest demands that American people actively push on their politicians- they call it “universal healthcare.” Are they wrong to want it? Surely by your reasoning it ought to be less efficient, even despite the fact that health insurers base their businesses on trying not to pay their clients what they owe them.

  46. randal 46

    When Ronald Reagan was U.S. president he never tried to privatise the C.A.B. because even he wouldnt trust private enterprise on that one. Private capital only goes where it can make a profit and the only way it can make a profit is to cut costs, raise prices and lower quality and standards. It is very EFFICIENT at doing that.

  47. Draco TB 48

    is there any evidence the social wage is more effective than private wages in delivering outcomes for individuals?

    Yes – the USA’s healthcare system. Costs 3x more than ours, isn’t as good and only reaches 5/6 of the population.

  48. naturalpartyofgovt 49

    Would I be correct in guessing you are using median wage figures and not average wage figures?

    I wonder if you have the figures for the lower and upper quartiles as well?
    Combining your data with DPF’s data would suggest a pretty clear picture of low and middle income workers stagnating under national and increasing under labour. While high income earners increasing fasting under national.

  49. Razorlight 50

    Everyone have a read of DPF’s rebuttal.

    At least he is explaining how he reached his conclusion and where he got his figures from.

  50. Occasional Observer 51

    It looks like the Standard’s attempt to regurgitate EPMU and Beehive spin on wage comparisons just doesn’t ring true. The Standard hasn’t come up with any evidence to back their claims: instead they have two pretty graphs, unsourced, without any referential data.

    DPF just nailed you guys. Reporting before-tax incomes, without taking inflation into account, is just plain dishonest.

  51. What I like about Davey’s so-called rebuttal is his offer to review the Standard’s data for them. It’s like he thinks people want the DPF big-tick of approval! After the statistical sophism he’s displayed in the past he really is kidding? Surely? Or maybe he really thinks he is that important…

  52. Come to think of it there is considerable doubt about the facts behind many of Davey’s posts. Perhaps he can email me his evidence for issues such as where he runs curia from – I’ll be happy to try and work out why there is a disconnect for him.

  53. Razorlight 54

    no figures or sources yet….nailed by farrar

  54. Robinsod… stop faffing about and give us the sources. Nobody is falling for your stalling tactics.

  55. James Kearney 56

    Razorlight- the post says these are after-inflation figures.

  56. Robinsod stop faffing about and give us the sources. Nobody is falling for your stalling tactics.

    Clint – I don’t have the source data because I’m not part of the standard. What are you going to do next demand answers from Russel Brown over a NRT post? Nice one fool.

  57. Tane 58

    Hi Clint, I’ve provided the figures to DPF. They originate from Treasury and have been in use for more than a month – see

    By the way, you still photoshopping Helen Clark’s head onto transexuals, or have you decided to grow up?

  58. Occasional Observer 59

    The Standard doesn’t like to admit that the only source they’ve got is the ninth floor of the beehive: the graph was prepared by them, and the spin-doctor authors of the Standard don’t have the statistical analysis to back it up, because they’ve had other people in government do it for them

    [Tane: The source data was provided by Trevor Mallard’s office to unions and a range of journalists, that’s how we got hold of it. The actual data was prepared by Treasury. I’ve actually been looking for this ever since it was first brought up in Parliament more than a month ago, it’s actually quite old. But that’s beside the point – continue making baseless allegations and I’ll ban you, as per our policy]

  59. Kimble 60

    Okay then.

    How long does it take for a new government to affect the economy? Unemployment, wages, prices, interest rates, currency. How long does it take before the impact of the policies of the previous guys gets swamped by the impact of the new guys?

    18 months? 3 years?

    Perhaps we should base it on how long the new guys blame the old guys for everything bad. For Labour would that be 5 or 6 years? In fact, you Unionists are doing it right now, blaming what National did 15 years ago for the wage gap now.

    Anyone that seriously tries to argue that Labour had an impact from the start of their first term is retarded. If you are going to make that argument, gtfor.

    So what do we see from the middle of Nationals time in power? Around 1996. We see an upturn right? And if we do the fair thing and attribute to National the stats in the first year or two (or three) of Labours “Reign of Error”©, we can see a definite trend.

    Labour have continued to reap the rewards of the tough decisions National had to make in their previous term in power.

    Labour have done “feel-good” things like increase the minimum wage [which may simply cause a small increase in welfare today for a large increase in umemployment in the future] but the hard yards were done way back before they took power.

    Labour have had every opportunity to make the changes you think are necessary to close the gap with Australia. Even if they cannot do it today, they can set it up for the future. But there is nothing coming out of the Labour camp to indicate that they even consider this a real priority.

    If they dont know how to do it, they are incompetent and not worthy to lead. If they do know and aren’t doing it because it is too hard, then they are too weak to lead.

    You can glossy it up as much as you like, but the standard at The Standard is still Everything Bad is because of National, Everything Good is because of Labour. (EBNEGL)

    PS. Doesnt kiwiblogblog have a complete emotional breakdown whenever DPF presents a chart without the Y-axis starting at zero?

  60. Kimble 61

    God forbid you release the information in an excel file so that everyone other than Labours poodles in the unions and the media can use it and scrutinise it.

  61. AndrewE 62

    I thought we were supposed to be looking at median incomes?

    The graph is a bit misleading – in that it is designed to exaggerate the differences. Show the zero on the y axis!

  62. God forbid you release the information in an excel file so that everyone other than Labours poodles in the unions and the media can use it and scrutinise it.

    God forbid you ever just shut the fuck up instead of being contrarian trolls. Tell you what fools, how about you go over to Davey’s and dog him for his stats and then your whining might be taken a bit more seriously here. In fact you should ask DPF why he’s not releasing the data ‘cos he’s got it.

    I notice none of you have taken the chance to ask Jeanette Fitzsimons a question on the interview the leaders thread and I know why: it’s ‘cos you’re moronic trolls who couldn’t pony up with a real argument if your pathetic little lives depend on it (unless of course it was provided to you by the National Party research unit via Farrar’s excuse for a blog). Here’s a tip boys: fuck off until you’ve got a clue.

  63. higherstandard 64

    RS – point of order – no need for this kind of post.

  64. Kimble 65

    “God forbid you ever just shut the fuck up instead of being contrarian trolls.”

    Thanks for taking Trevor Mallards balls out of your mouth long enough to contribute Robinsod.

    Your opinion has been noted and laughed at.

    “(unless of course it was provided to you by the National Party research unit via Farrar’s excuse for a blog)”

    What was it Tane said about baseless accusations and banning? Oh, I get it, you only enforce the rules against people you disagree with.

    Some more Standard “policy”,

    “What we’re not prepared to accept are personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”

    Pull your fucking head in guys, if you dont ban Robinsod for THAT worthless post, then why the fuck should anyone else follow your bullshit rules?

    As for the data, pardon me if I dont give you a free pass. Shady “inside” information provided by a Labour politician to his attack dogs doesn’t automatically pass the sniff test for some reason.

    What is the data exactly? Treasury may have put it together, but how did they do that? Are there any potential biases in the data? What did Mallard ask for? Shit! We dont even know what he got!

  65. Kimble 66

    The first post got stuck in moderation, I assume it is a language thing, so I have ****ed the ***king ***t out of this post to see if it makes it through.

    Feel free to delete the other one if you like.

    “God forbid you ever just shut the f**k up instead of being contrarian trolls.”

    Thanks for taking Trevor Mallards balls out of your mouth long enough to contribute, Robinsod.

    Your opinion has been noted and laughed at.

    “(unless of course it was provided to you by the National Party research unit via Farrar’s excuse for a blog)”

    What was it Tane said about baseless accusations and banning? Oh, I get it, you only enforce the rules against people you disagree with.

    Some more Standard “policy”,

    “What we’re not prepared to accept are personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”

    Pull your f**king head in guys, if you dont ban Robinsod for THAT worthless post, then why the f**k should anyone else follow your bulls**t rules?

    As for the data, pardon me if I dont give you a free pass. Shady “inside” information provided by a Labour politician to his attack dogs doesn’t automatically pass the sniff test for some reason.

    What is the data exactly? Treasury may have put it together, but how did they do that? Are there any potential biases in the data? What did Mallard ask for? S**t! We dont even know what he got!

  66. So Kimble all you’ve got is a lame attempt to come back at me and a dull repetition of your last snide and meaningless argument?

    You’ve got nothing but knee-jerk opposition mate, but thanks for proving my last point. I’ve read your stuff on KB, Kimble and you don’t seem to be able to offer anything of value over there either. In fact it strikes me you are a total waste of space.

    Tell me, do you actually have any ideas of your own or is your entire life dedicated to malignantly deriding the ideas of others like some kind of ideological cancer?

    Oh and while I’m asking questions, is your off-line life as meaningless as your commenting and if so how do you justify your breath to yourself? Parasite.

  67. Tony 68

    Tane, point of order again. Do we need the ilk of Robinsod here? He brings the tone of the blog down to the gutter. Can you tell him to piss off and go somewhere else.

  68. Steve Pierson 69

    How about all you jokers stopping putting each other down and debate substantively?

    It would be good to have some decent questions from rightwingers for Fitzsimmons. Keep them pithy and as one-piece questions, and remember that questions aren’t an opportunity to tirade but it is possible to still ask tricky ones.

  69. All I’m doing is using robust language to express my displeasure and contempt for rightwing fools who come here only to snipe and whinge without offering sound argument or useful information. Here’s a tip Tones – I offer both regularly. If even those of my “ilk” can do it why can’t these fools? Come to think of it “Tony” I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you post before – are you a sockpuppet?

    IrishBill says: last chance ‘Sod and then it’s a week.

  70. Tane 71

    The first post got stuck in moderation, I assume it is a language thing, so I have ****ed the ***king ***t out of this post to see if it makes it through.

    We’ve had to tighten up the moderation on language after some quite offensive porn spam started showing up. It sucks, but I don’t want to have our site blocked by workplaces.

    And ‘sod, tone it down eh? You’re getting out of line.

  71. Tony 72

    rishBill says: ‘Sod, behave yourself. You’ve been good lately but one more attack like this and you’re banned for a week.

    This was what was written about Robinsod the other day underthe post ” scum” . We`ve had one more attack ( at least) from Robinsod You banned someone for calling someone else a wanker. Cant you guys at least stick to your word even if you are not consistant?

    This guy is an utter disgrace. And you are condoning it by keeping him on to abuse people with purile comments.

  72. Hey Irish – I might use stronger language but at least I make a point!

    IrishBill says: ‘Sod I’ve just had a look at your previous efforts and you’ve been unnecessarily aggressive over the last few days, despite repeated warnings. Take a week to cool off.

  73. Tony 74

    … naughty little boy.

    IrishBill says: Don’t think for a moment I banned ‘Sod at your request Tony and after that smug statement you’re on my watchlist. I’d expect a decent contribution from you now or you’ll be joining ‘Sod.

  74. Occasional Observer 75

    Good on you, IrishBill, for enforcing standards. I hope you continue to enforce those standards among commenters from both sides.

  75. Kimble 76

    Truth hurts doesnt it, Robinsod?

    I point out, based on the (still shady and suspect) evidence supplied on this site, that National started the rising median income trend, Labour inherited it as well as other nice economic trends, crowed about their economic management ever since, and all you have to counter it is vitriol and verbal gym-spastics.

    IrishBill says: I wouldn’t be so smug if I were you Kimble. ‘Sod got banned for his style not the substance of his attacks and I happen to agree with him that you are trolling. “Gym-spastics” only confirms that point. You’re now on your last warning: stop trolling or face a week’s ban.

  76. r0b 77

    Truth hurts doesnt it, Robinsod?

    Let’s not be kicking the man while he’s down eh.

  77. Matthew Pilott 78

    Kimble, a few points as to why ‘sod might have got annoyed with your post – you’re not alright with “free passes” and then make such statements as “Labour have continued to reap the rewards of the tough decisions National had to make in their previous term in power.” and “How long does it take for a new government to affect the economy? Unemployment, wages, prices, interest rates, currency. How long does it take before the impact of the policies of the previous guys gets swamped by the impact of the new guys?

    18 months? 3 years?

    Perhaps we should base it on how long the new guys blame the old guys for everything bad.

    Both of these statements, the foundation upon which your whole diatribe rests, are utter rubbish and thoroughly contradictory.

    Scenario one: your first statement is correct. Your second one is therefore a lie, otherwise Labour’s policies would have swamped those of National, there would be no ‘free ride’ on National’s policies.

    Scenario two: your second statement is correct, there is a limited time before the new party’s economic policies take effect. Your first statement is therefore a lie, and the flourishing economy is due to Labour, and not National’s hard work.

    Scenario three: both statements are bollocks. You can’t draw a line somewhere and say “this is where the influence stops”. Tell me where the influence of the First Labour Government, in setting up the Welfare State, stopped. Was it three years afterwards, in 1952?

    The Standard have shown the wage gap opening under National, and detailed the policies that brought it about. That’s a whole lot more than your jumbled rhetoric has done.

  78. Kimble 79

    Standard definition of trolling?

    “Disagreeing with anything on The Standard.”

    Seriously, where is the trolling? I am not talking OT, I am not simply gloat-posting (which is what a lot of The Standard regulars do/did at Kiwiblog, as in only post to say, “So what about Nationals secret funding?” etc), I am not inventing conspiracy theories.

    What I DID do was respond to Robinsod in the way he deserves. Your banning shows that even you think he deserved it, and Robinsod is your #1 fan!

    What I DID do was point out that based on the evidence provided, Labour inherited an increasing median wage. Look at the chart!

    Nobody even bothers to point out that the National chart has the same demarcation, which is the simplest counter-argument. (But that is a weak argument because I haven’t refered to National’s chart at all, and quite frankly I dont care about it.)

    This reminds me of the last time I was here. I simply asked people what Labour DID to cause some happy looking stat that was being crowed about other than being in power at the time. And all I got for what seemed like 100 posts was insults, equivocation, accusations of trolling, and the like.

    Its the same here and now. Way to grow.

  79. Kimble 80

    First of all, the free pass I was talking about was on the quality of the data Tane used.

    National made some tough and unpopular decisions in the 1990’s, and no Labour supporter will ever admit that they were necessary, or could possibly have led to a better long term outcome. That is not a debate worth getting into. They will not change their minds. Ever.

    The second statement was philosophical, and was meant to get you thinking (try it sometime) about whether the chart can really be split into a clearly marked blue and red sections.

    Surely Labour did not influence the labour market the very instant they took power? They hadnt passed any laws. Even when they DID pass laws, the laws would have taken some time to come into effect. And then there is even more time after that before behaviours and expectations changed.

    Obviously there is a big lag. So most of what occurs in the early part of Labours reign, is going to be attributable to the previous governments policies (as much as they can be attributed to anyones policies).

    Tane is trying, on Labours behalf, to claim the entire increase in the real median wage from 1999 onwards, which is, quite frankly, either idiotic or disingenuous.

    So if the first few years of the median wage increase is Nationals instead of Labours, then you can clearly see that trend in real median wage growth was established by National and was simply carried on by Labour.

    At most, all Labour can claim is that they did not disrupt this trend, and may have helped accelerate it. (Though it may not appear so on a log scale.)

    Wages STARTED increasing under National, and continued to increase during the first part of Labours reign with no credit to the Labour party. National set the trend, Labour was riding that trend. And the trend continues.

    I just dont know how you guys can seriously argue that either, National got lucky and wages started to increase without any influence from them, and then Labour came in and caused them to continue to increase, or that Labour somehow managed to influence wage growth while in OPPOSITION!

    PS. I just had a proper look at it and realised that the first chart isnt Nationals. It is supposed to show the wage gap opening up under National and staying flat under Labour!

    But what else does it show? It shows the wage gap coming down in the first part of Labours reign! This is the part where National’s policies would still have had a significant impact.

    What changed? Obviously nothing National did, they werent in power. This change in the trend is therefore attributable to Labour. So what did they do?

    Tane also tries to say that the gap between Australia and New Zealand hasnt increased “despite the minerals boom”, but fails to acknowledge that NZ has had its own commodity boom.

    Oh and lets all ignore inflation and what it does to restrain investment and increase uncertainty.

  80. Matthew Pilott 81

    The second statement was philosophical, and was meant to get you thinking (try it sometime) This is why you get bad reactions from people. Being a wanker doesn’t really encourage people to respond to your comments (especially given their content or lack thereof, despit your high and mighty insistence that people MUST respond. Get off your high horse mate, you might realise that intelligent post get intelligent responses).

    You’ve tried a lacklustre cover for both of your statements, but even so, I’ll give you a free pass and accept what you’ve said in pretending you can explain thm away, it’s not even worth debunking them. I’ll just point out that you said them both and if you can’t maintain a locigal flow throughout one comment you’ve no right to deride the reponses you get.

    Quite frankly, your next effort is a whole lot of drivel as well. Can’t really be bothered with much of it as there’s a few vague insinuations, but it’s interesting you mention that Labour has merely carried on trends under National and so on, yet mention inflation, investment & uncertainty. So is it only Labour’s policies that operate in a vaccuum, or perhaps thy are affected by the same? Kinda makes it hard to ‘ride a trend’ in the real world.

    I suggest you have a go at explaining how National’s policies could be so disasterous for wages and the wage gap at the time, yet set some platform for such great perforance – surely this will be pretty simple if the trends you elucidate are so clear?

  81. Kimble 82

    Fuck off Matt, that was pathetic.

    Look at the chart Tane provided. Tell me it doesnt support my story better than his. LOOK AT THE CHART. It is as plan as anything! The upward trend started with National!

    You havent said a single thing to counter this. You demand that I explain why it is, when I dont have to, the data is what the data is.

    I dont DEMAND that people respond, I just point out that they HAVENT.

    Basically all you have done is misunderstand plain English then get prissy when your feelings were hurt. You never counter with anything worthwhile so just stop wasting my time with worthless semantic quibbles.

    “I suggest you have a go at explaining how National’s policies could be so disasterous for wages and the wage gap at the time…”

    I could point out that the period of low inflation allowed greater investor certainty leading to greater capital investment and increased worker productivity. Or that the ECA gave employers a sense of parity in the labour market. Or that National didn’t pass on to Labour a huge budget deficit and a country sliding headlong into bankruptcy. I could point out that the 2.5% decline in the median wage (yes only 2.5% decline) coincided with a reduction in the unemployment rate from almost 11% to 6%. Or that the removal of subsidies, tarrifs and quotas on import lead to a period of economic flux as inherently inefficient businesses closed, but after which resources could be better directed to more efficient and productive enterprise.

    But why do I need to bother doing any of that?

    I dont have to explain why the data is the way that it is. Tane has to support HIS assertion that Labour has done more to increase the median wage.

    You guys are such suckers. All Tane has to do is put up a few pretty pictures, insinuate that National is evil and you lose any ability to think rationally.

    The chart Tane is using SHOWS that the upward trend began with National. That is a FACT.

    Look at his wage gap chart. LOOK AT IT. See how it is heading down at the end of Nationals reign? LOOK AT IT. See how it continues down over a period in which Labours policies couldnt possibly have had an impact?

    Look at the median wage chart. LOOK AT IT! It starts going up in 1996, and continues to do so until the economic double whammy. LOOK AT IT.

    You havent even looked at it have you? You are just going to go on about semantics again, arent you?

    Tane only wanted to talk about the start of the period and the end of the period for each party. Which is dishonest, because he knows the story isnt that simple. But he knows his readers are.

    They are reading from the same National Bad, Labour Good hymn sheet. National decimated wages. They attacked poor people. Their policies were mean. George Bush doesnt care about black people!

    Really pathetic, even by these Standards.

  82. I note Tane you never ever came to my blog to say anything about my little photoshopped effort. Say what you like but I’m not the one in denial about the fact Labour are toast after the election.

    Robinsod…hello? Hello? All that anger and nothing to show for it.

  83. Tane 84

    I try not to visit your blog Clint.

  84. r0b 85

    LOOK AT THE CHART. It is as plan as anything! The upward trend started with National!

    Calm down Kimble, you’ll do yourself an injury.

    Yes, it’s true to say that the upward trend started under National. Also true to say that at they were just recovering from their earlier downward trend, and that at the end of their 9 years in government they left real average weekly earnings exactly where they found them (about $463).

    Labour have continued the upward trend, improved on it, and after 9 years of their government have the wage substantially higher (about $519). Thanks Labour!

  85. r0b 86

    Ahh Kimble, Idiot/Savant has just gone in to this in more depth (as usual an excellent contribution):

  86. Kimble 87

    As usual there is zero discussion on whether the previous distribution of economic gain was correct / equitable / sustainable.

    The assumption continues to be that the way things were before 1991 was fair, and that just isn’t a given. There is ZERO consideration from the Left on whether it was redressing an imbalance. In fact, even posing the question is offensive to these non-thinkers.

    “Yes, it’s true to say that the upward trend started under National.”

    The first to acknowledge this obvious fact, but notice how you do it? The trend “started under National”, but somehow was not because of National. Whereas later you say that Labour has extended and improved the trend, and therefore can claim full credit.

    Do you even notice that you are doing this? Do you think I am just being mean when I call you all unthinking National Bad, Labour Good drones?

    Something good happens under Nationals reign, it is luck, happenstance. Something good happens under Labours reign, they are fully responsible for it.

    This is even more stupid when you are trying to say it about a trend National started and Labour carried on.

    “Also true to say that at they were just recovering from their earlier downward trend,”

    So the policies they put in place, which started the enduring trend, are completely disregarded. And no consideration that perhaps the restructuring of the economy, of which the wage blip could just be a symptom, was necessary for the long-term success of the country.

    “Labour have continued the upward trend,”

    So at best Labour hasnt done anything to disrupt the trend. And because of this you swoon over them?

    “improved on it”

    Their marginal impact on the trend has actually been very small. Place a ruler on the screen and you will see that quite clearly.

    “and after 9 years of their government have the wage substantially higher (about $519).”

    I think I already covered this, but no one seems to want to acknowledge the logic. Labour may have been in power for 9-years, but the increase in the median wage is attributable to National’s policies and management for, at least, the start of that period.

    It is a simple concept to grasp and I dont know why everyone here refuses to do so.

    Labour rode the trend, didnt stuff up too badly, and had the good fortune to be in power for the 9-years, so uncritical thinkers like Tane and you credit them for the entire increase.

    “Thanks Labour!”

    But no thanks National for turning around a struggling economy, no thanks National for starting this trend, no thanks National for doing the hard yards.

    National didnt “attack” wages, they didnt deliberately set out to make things worse for “the workers” just for the sake of it. But that is what Tane is saying, and that is what his followers are saying. And resorting to this sort of ridiculous argument just shows how bereft of ideas the Left is in NZ.

  87. Kimble 88

    BTW the first part, before I quote rob, was in reference to the NRT post. Just in case that wasnt obvious.

  88. r0b 89

    The first to acknowledge this obvious fact, but notice how you do it? The trend “started under National’, but somehow was not because of National.

    Actually Kimble, what I wrote was pretty simple, and you are projecting you r own interpretation into it.

    Do you even notice that you are doing this? Do you think I am just being mean when I call you all unthinking National Bad, Labour Good drones?

    Actually Kimble, it is you who are doing this, exactly as above.

    We are all “guilty” of seeing the world according to our prejudices and expectations Kimble. It’s the way the brain works at a pretty basic level (not just politics). You are as guilty as anyone else. Sorry.

  89. Matthew Pilott 90

    Just to illustrate how mediocre kimble’s rantings are, let’s look at the second graph. A rise at the end of National’s term, continuing for a couple of years, and then a dip in 2001.

    An equally vaalid interpretation of the graph, therefore, based upon National’s history of having the wages drop under them (the start of the graph), is that this is National’s policies starting to take effect, and lower wages. Suddently, BAM! Labour’s policies halt the seemingly precipitous slide instigated by National, and from 2002 onwards they save the day, giving us the huge rise.

  90. Kimble 91

    Your language betrays you, r0b.

    “the upward trend started under National.” implies no causal relationship

    “Labour have continued the upward trend, improved on it” states a direct causal relationship

    Matthew, are you really trying to equate a single year event with a multi-year trend? What happened in 2000 and 2001? Anything? Idiot.

    Did I try to say that the dip was the fault of Labour? No. I am not stupid.

    You guys have nothing. You have been pwned so hard, just give up and stop embarassing yourselves.

  91. r0b 92

    Don’t play semantics with me Kimble, because you’re no Montague. If you want to split hairs on implied causality between:

    “Yes, it’s true to say that the upward trend started under National. Also true to say that at they were just recovering” (fuller quote than yours please), and

    “Labour have continued the upward trend, improved on it’

    then once again, this tells us more about your prejudices than mine.

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    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    14 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    16 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    17 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    18 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    19 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago