The very strange election campaign

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, July 8th, 2023 - 86 comments
Categories: climate change, crime, Economy, election 2023, Environment, housing, labour, national, political parties, prisons, same old national - Tags:

Probably like the rest of you I find politics really weird right now.

Parliamentary Team Labour are not helping.  Too many of them are making unforced silly errors.

Third termitis, where people are too tired to respond effectively, has started to hit in the second term.  When you think about the colossal strain put on our leaders by guiding the country successfully through a one in one hundred year global pandemic this is not surprising.

I had a similar impression during the third term of the last Labour Government.

My impression was that Wellington had sucked the collective spirit out of our MPs.

Rather than dealing with day to day issues and trying to make local lives better one decision at a time they were more deeply entwined in Wellington analysis that became more and more complex.

They became to sound like Wellington senior public servants and less and less like representatives of the people.

Their effectiveness decreased as they became more and more deeply mired in Wellington’s labyrinth.

It normally takes three terms.

But for this Government there are a few worrying signs now.

Out in the country Federated Farmers make New Zealand sound like some dystopian hell hole.  Their rhetoric is interesting, given that if their approach to dealing with climate change is followed then we really will be living in a dystopian hell hole.

People are grumpy about crime.  It does not matter how often you point out that overall offending rates are down, that the Government has met its goal of putting 1,800 new police officers on the beat, or how prisons which are moral and fiscal failures are seeing their numbers reduce.

It also does not matter that the causes of crime are generational, cultural and due heavily to colonialism and poverty.  People want results now, and National is promising them action, no matter how ill thought through, uncosted and ignorant their proposals may be.

The same is that this sense of malaise is not warranted.  On the big issues real progress is being made.

The Government has stemmed the housing crisis, record numbers of houses are being built and the Government recently completed the construction of 12,000 new public houses.  And houses are becoming more affordable while at the same time the housing market has not crashed.  This is no mean feat.

Child poverty statistics are over time improving.  There was a hiatus last year but a one in one hundred year global pandemic and the war in Ukraine had their effect on that.

And Greenhouse Gas gross emissions have reduced for two years in a row.  The Climate Change Commission is established, the goals are in place and the decarbonisation of industry is under way.  The Government deal with New Zealand Steel that would see emissions reduce by 800,000 tonnes or the equivalent of removing 300,000 petrol cars from the fleet was an outstanding example of what an activist Government can achieve.  And the number of electric cars in the fleet is surging.

The deal with the Agricultural Sector, He Waka Eke Noa, has been sabotagued by Farming interests and National’s policy of delaying the introduction of the Agricultural sector into the ETS is the height of irresponsibility.

Gradually, slowly, too slow for some, fundamental changes are being made and Aotearoa New Zealand is the better for it.

Which is why the intensity of the grumpy campaign that National is running is so irksome.

On his get New Zealand on track tour Christopher Luxon is attracting a crowd that is predominantly old, pakeha and evidently comfortably well off who yearn for the simple things like the 1960s and tax breaks for their rental accommodation investments.

The general level of grumpiness is intense.  It is a testimony to how disliked Luxon is that National is not surging in the polls.

Given current grumpiness levels and the state of the economy it is incredible that things are neck and neck.  It does not normally matter that our economic problems stem from overseas events, normally Governments get punished if the economy is gloomy.

What Labour has to do to win this campaign is to create a sense of pride and unity and celebration.  It needs to clearly state what it has achieved and what it plans to achieve in the next term if it is returned.  It needs to get young people voting in huge numbers.  And this can only happen by creating a surge fuelled by hope for the future and a desire to stop National wrecking the place.

And it needs to stop making mistakes.

There are now 98 days to election day.  Tick tock …

86 comments on “The very strange election campaign ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Nothing I need to criticise there. I was intrigued to see this morning that Janet Wilson has outed herself as a Nat member yet criticised her party's campaign strategy: https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/132497298/the-clear-omen-that-should-have-national-strategists-rethinking–and-worrying

    Using omen psychology seems radical for the Nats so I guess I oughta give her kudos for being audacious. She would probably argue that it's authentic archaic political tradition so Nat dinosaurs can resonate with it on that basis. True.

    it’s that 1.5% switcheroo between National and ACT that’s a barometer of National’s strategic failure. The Nats can’t say that external forces were working against them; in fact, in June they were granted an Opposition’s dream, with an economy that’s tanking, households facing a mortgage Armageddon, and steadily increasing numbers in arrears. Even the Labour Government was doing its bit, as various ministers [flipped out]

    For Luxon, that lack of common touch has seen him blunder into telling people to have more babies or that he’s not an AI robot.

    Janet Wilson is a financial member of the National Party.

    Her thesis, that we are in a re-run of 2005, is documented well. The message for her fellow Nats? It's the pattern, stupid.

    • Mike the Lefty 1.1

      Just on the one point of National promising to make gang membership an aggravating factor in criminal sentencing.

      National will give you special treatment because you are a gang member. I can't think of a better way to incentivise gang membership to people who have little positive prospects in life and want a way to stick the middle finger to society in general. The gangs will love this policy.

      But I don't suppose that National, in their populist clamour, ever considered that.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        enlightened It's something you never see in Nat ranks, an MP with a rocket-science brain. All Muldoon-era Nats probably dead or decrepit, but perhaps a Nat political advisor that reads history will know that Muldoon deliberately promoted himself as gang's best friend. Think it was Black Power he fronted with.

        So the obvious thing to do with their political history is to blend it into their current policy framing along these lines:

        The gangs are our buddies. We're getting tough on them because tough love does actually work. We can wheel out any number of professional psychologist to tell you that. How many do you want? Science is very important due to being evidence-based. We are doing sophisticated social darwinism. You can quote me. We'll give them padded cells hard wired with a blend of punk & heavy metal music so they can bounce off the walls all day & night. They'll love that."

        wink

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      To err is human. This complex meme achieved perpetual currency by pointing to an elementary fact about humans.

      Labour's propensity for exhibiting humanity via performance is extremely realistic. Only, however, if you use logic. Most folks don't.

      The stance that Labour ought to stop making mistakes is therefore a signal of covert AI infiltration. Luxon may have claimed he's not AI recently (haven't seen any quote to validate that report) but who's gonna believe him??

    • Patricia Bremner 2.2

      You do realise this was examined in 2022? DPA is very late to this party, and has not read previous decisions, or is pretending this is "new" news.

  2. Ad 3

    In the words of the prophet Bruce Springsteen, "At the end of every hard-earned day people find some reason to believe."

    Hipkins needs to find and express some actual ideals that resonate with us, and make us sit up straight. That's how Lange, Clark and Ardern did it, and there's no other way for Labour.

    No more Hutt boy with a sausage roll bullshit.

    • Shanreagh 3.1

      Agree with this Ad.

      Hipkins needs to find and express some actual ideals that resonate with us, and make us sit up straight. That's how Lange, Clark and Ardern did it, and there's no other way for Labour.

      Down home boy is all very well but what is in it for us in terms of hope.

      There used to be a saying about life & happiness

      • having something to do
      • having someone/something to love
      • having something to look forward to.

      All borne out by Maslow's hierarchy of needs – hope or aspriation are powerful motivators.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

      While criticised, as a govt/people we make sure that the levels of physiological and safety needs are met. We want people to be involved with each other, their communities and ultimately thinking about their forms of government or democracy or the big things like climate change. It is hard to do these things when food, money, shelter are uneven.

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        Yeah, about Maslow:

        We moderns have ascended Maslow’s hierarchy and now, as culture at the apex of self actualisation, are falling back into tribalistic squabbling. IMO beyond self actualisation is service to our fellow human.

        If you’re interested in reading about the Gendered Foundations of Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy, it is in my previous recent comment (https://thestandard.org.nz/enter-the-patriarchy/#comment-1951649).

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Aye he needs to step up and provide us with hope. As big Norm said kiwis want somewhere to live, food to eat, clothing to wear, and something to hope for.

      National is campaigning on despair. Labour really needs to campaign on hope.

      And agreed with you entirely Shanreagh.

  3. Anne 4

    Yes. I'm seeing the parallels too ms and it isn't surprising. The first sign of third-termitis was apparent with the resignation of former PM, Jacinda Ardern at the beginning of the year. She was tired and exhausted and who can blame her.

    When you think about what has happened in the past six years it also isn't surprising that a few ministers seem to have lost a bit of the plot. I put the blame fair and square on Covid and its outcomes. We had two plus years of almost continuous mandates which ensured life at a parliamentary level did not function as smoothly. The normal checks and balances were not in place.

    I well recall the absurd handwringing and squealing over insipid subjects like shower heads and light bulbs. The intention being to create an aura of an authoritarian government hell bent on telling us how to live our lives. It worked a treat because that government behaved like possums in the headlights, seemingly unable to respond to the nonsense.

    And now its happening again only this time the aura is “a government in chaos”. It is being helped along by pathetic attempts by ZB s***s trying to conjure up another ministerial mishap out of thin air while Chippy is off on his European trip shoring up important trade deals which will take care of NZ's future for decades to come.

    • Kat 4.1

      And I see Emily Henderson MP for Whangarei quit after one term and a list MP from the BOP to stand in her place………Whangarei will vote National Dr Reti with a non local as alternative…….

  4. Patricia Bremner 5

    I would add to that, Labour has been outflanked by National over the Hospital issue in Dunedin. (see the side column "A Phuulish Fellow"). Good points made on vying for the Labour vote in a grumpy tired Electorate that "just wants their Hospital complete."

    Further points, promoting our progress, while continuing to "have our backs", is keeping people on board. Empathy coupled with pragmatism may win the day. But it will be close.

    Small things could count, like choosing an overseas oil based product for classroom floors instead of hard local wool. That choice could cost some support. After all the "reasons," it is still an oil based product. Local sustainable resilience starts at home, so why not wool?

    The things we are proud of, and promote to others as the special features of us, is often our generosity natural warmth and sense of community, along with our varied scenery, and we have had two Prime Ministers who represent us well when overseas.

    Fundraising for Elections has never been so starkly revealed, with the uber wealthy giving millions to preserve their protections.
    Labour leaning on the small donations of many, find it hard to compete. That the right are using their funding to discover and disrupt is obvious, with enquiries by some in National leading DP again.

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      choosing an overseas oil based product for classroom floors instead of hard local wool. That choice could cost some support. After all the "reasons," it is still an oil based product. Local sustainable resilience starts at home, so why not wool?

      Yeah I saw that story & intended to use it but forgot. Almost surreal. Officials who made that decision ought to be held accountable. If they bleat "cost too much", just expose that to critical analysis so everyone can see if they make a reasonable case on that basis. School carpenting ought to be resilience based, in accord with Green thinking, and not market-driven. Goddam neoliberal worms… sad

      • Belladonna 5.1.1

        My experience of purchasing managers – who are the gatekeepers of external contracts for both central and local government organisations – is that they pay little or no attention to policy directives from their political masters (things like carbon miles, eco-friendly, or buy local).
        They can always find an excuse to follow the 'lowest cost' model, which is their guiding star.

        • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1

          Well that gets down to their employment contracts, I presume. If delegated such operational autonomy, can't blame them for using it. From a Green governance perspective, solve the problem via imposition of a higher rule. Seems a problem easily solved:

          1. Cabinet agrees that the public service will henceforth make all decisions in accord with principle that natural products of Aotearoa be used whenever possible, unless sufficient cost consequences can be reasonably considered in the decision.

          2. All official employment contracts will contain a clause specifying adherence to cabinet decisions.

          3. Enforcement consequences to be used against delinquent officials.

          Simple 3-step process in accord with Occam's Razor [a triad]. I see no inherent problem with suggesting Labour/Greens do this.

          • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes "Directives towards sustainability need to be followed" Boffins who are not elected need watching. Too cosy, perhaps?

      • Belladonna 5.1.2

        The significant point mentioned was the synthetic product's fire retarding features.

        I really question how significant this is. All school fires (as far as I know) have been out of hours arsons – where the fire retarding properties of the carpet have been entirely moot.

        Also that it was longer-lasting and cheaper. Both open to interpretation.

        They also claim that the synthetic product is entirely recyclable.

        That *may* be the case. But how much will it cost to recycle it? And will the MoE actually bother to do so at the end of life? Whereas wool carpeting just naturally biodegrades with no additional expenditure required (heck, the school can use it as weed mat for plantings).

        https://www.odt.co.nz/business/school-floored-govt%E2%80%99s-carpet-choice

        A similar point was brought up by Sue Kedgley on The Panel on NatRad this week.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/20230706

        Where she commented that the new All Blacks kit is trumpeted as sustainable – because it's made out of recycled polyester. She pointed out that using natural materials (e.g. merino wool) to start with is a better choice than recycled synthetics.

        https://allblackshop.com/shop/jerseys/all-blacks-rwc-performance-jersey/

        While, one might argue that the actual players need to have the high-tech materials engineering that synthetic fabrics make possible – that is certainly not the case for the supporters replica jerseys.

      • Ad 5.1.3

        No, simply the local product failed.

        So they went with one that worked.

        • Patricia Bremner 5.1.3.1

          Could you add to that? Failed in what way? Failure in this instance would have to be profound to push earth kind qualities aside. imo. The Earth System is in distress, when do we listen? Sometimes? Occasionally? When it suits?

          • Ad 5.1.3.1.1

            The Ministry of Education said Milliken outperformed wool carpet tile providers in performance specifications, the supplier’s approach in working with the Ministry and cost.

            This is how it was evaluated:

            “In primary schools, carpets endure heavy use, wear, and dirt, so it's important for the product to last a long time and be cost-effective in the long run. The selected carpet tiles exceed the Ministry's warranty requirements and therefore won't need to be replaced frequently. The selected product is also materially less expensive than other options,’’ he said.

            “Based on the information and analysis we conducted, solution dyed nylon not only met our product performance requirements but also fulfilled our recycling and carbon footprint goals.”

            Would be great to see Greens or Federated Farmers or Groundswell support industry research levies that would demonstrate such products were competitive.

            Labour has already invested $26m into the Wool Impact unit.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/132502932/oconnor-classroom-carpet-decision-not-an-indicator-that-government-doesnt-back-wool-industry

            The faster NZ gets out of strong wool as a dead low quality commodity the better it will be for us all. Good for insulation and slippers and not much else.

            • Dennis Frank 5.1.3.1.1.1

              Well okay, so far so good, but what about risk assessment? In case of fire, with floor-boards burning, did they do an appraisal of the products of combustion? Kids dying from inhaling gases emanating from burning plastic unlikely to go down well…

              • Ad

                OMG go ask them.

                • mickysavage

                  Farmers representatives fucked up and underperformed. I am not surprised MinEd made the decision it did. Only a farmer would convert this into some sort of culture war.

                  • newsense

                    Over the last while it’s been harder and harder to buy NZ made or grown even though you try. And when your public faces are groundswell it’s harder and harder to pay that NZ premium and feel patriotic. You just begin to feel ripped off. You look at the comparative support for the primary industries v the tourist industries which briefly supplanted them pre-pandemic and wonder again.

  5. Shanreagh 6

    The general level of grumpiness is intense. It is a testimony to how disliked Luxon is that National is not surging in the polls.

    I agree but I also do think people remember how dire it was under National so a combo of Luxon, smarmy boy and memories.

    Given current grumpiness levels and the state of the economy it is incredible that things are neck and neck. It does not normally matter that our economic problems stem from overseas events, normally Governments get punished if the economy is gloomy.

    I agree with this. The perception is though that our cost of living crisis has elements of being home grown. However it came to be a focus on the future is needed. Unpick the elements of where rises are happening, tell the electorate what we have done so far and plans for the future.

    • So smashing the supermarket cost plus duopoly
    • investigating why our power prices are so high
    • what is happening in the local govt sector…….in some areas it seems to be a bit/a lot cost plus
    • Everyone likes or needs to travel. This can be by private vehicle or public transport. Christmas and the school holidays used to see large parts of NZ on the move, to go home….can something be done in the first few months to recognoise/stimulate this?
    • Taxes, bracket creep etc seem to be easy pickings. I am not sure why chnages have not been signalled before this. I like the Grenns tax brackets and Labout could adopt those without the Wealth tax.

    What Labour has to do to win this campaign is to create a sense of pride and unity and celebration. It needs to clearly state what it has achieved and what it plans to achieve in the next term if it is returned. It needs to get young people voting in huge numbers. And this can only happen by creating a surge fuelled by hope for the future and a desire to stop National wrecking the place.

    We need hope and we need to know that Govt intervention will work…..or perhaps we need to throw out the last shreads of neo lib and accept that Govt intervention is not a bad thing. I have felt that we have fallen into a grumpy & gloomy mindset. I thought it came in with Covid but perhaps it has been around longer…the Moaning Minnie virus.

    And it needs to stop making mistakes.

    Couldn't agree more.

    The Government has stemmed the housing crisis, record numbers of houses are being built and the Government recently completed the construction of 12,000 new public houses. And houses are becoming more affordable while at the same time the housing market has not crashed. This is no mean feat.

    I also like the term public housing/homes rather than social housing. I like that the building of new homes to be in private ownership is seen as part of the way to keep the housing market moving.

    Out in the suburbs I am hearing support for a capital gains tax or a tax like death duties. (ie not a wealth tax) Others, than me, have picked out the unfairness/error/shooting in the foor of including Kiwisaver savings in the wealth tax idea of The Greens.

    The point I heard last night from youngish female scientists was that KS should not be touched as KS was set-up in response to the fact that govt funded super is less likely the further out you go. It is funded from tax paid sources. I don't know the salary ranges of these scientists but they are likely to be far more than the $60,000 I did some calculations on. Some have 20 or years of working life ahead of them.

    Several of these scientists were single women. In the scheme of things it is harder for women, still, to access higher salaries. House purchase is done in safer areas, they have no one to help muck in and share intense home renovations. Safer areas have houses of higher value. Several said their homes plus KS would be very close to the $2m 'you're a wealthy person' Greens concept.

    It would be easy for Labour to recognise that KS is a response to Govt signalled policies and therefore should not be touched.

    • Incognito 6.1

      You and your acquaintances seem to have a real bee in your bonnet about the Greens’ Wealth Tax proposal. I think that a personal net wealth of $2,000,000 means you are wealthy (in NZ). What’s to stop people to sell up their investment property/properties and/or downscale their home and put all the proceeds into their KS account to avoid a WT? You’re simply advocating for the generation of a giant tax loophole because you refuse to accept that wealth generates more wealth – this principle is one of the main reasons of current and growing inequity & unfairness.

      Anyway, Labour has not yet released its Tax Policy. Hipkins has not declared his party’s support for the Greens’ proposal and I think it is unlikely they will. Although Ardern had ruled out a CGT this might be different under Hipkins. The bright-line property rule already is effectively a CGT.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2023/06/election-2023-chris-hipkins-won-t-say-if-he-backs-greens-tax-ideas-will-reveal-labour-s-policy-closer-to-election.html

      • Shanreagh 6.1.1

        I guess the ones I met with last night are more or less of the same demographic as me….mostly single, home owners in their own name, contributors to KS and minimal other assets. We all live in a large city where houses cost more/are valued more highly.

        The discussion was not about the wealth tax per se but about including Kiwisaver in it. That was the discussion last night.

        For single females it is a stretch to buy a property and also to contribute to KS.

        I don't class people who have provided for their own retirement as bidden by the Govt to be wealthy. One thought that it seemed that the Greens did not vlaue people saving for their retirement if this was going to be taxed again and disincentivised.

        I am glad that Labour is unlikely to adopt it as there are better & fairer ways as were mentioned last night…..death duties and a transaction tax that did not seem to be the same as what I had thought and that was a tax on real estate sales as they went through. This suggested tax was a tax on all financial instruments and would have been a % on share sales etc.

        You don't appear to grasped the (valid) points I am making. After all the poo-poohing about my views and ideas that I am wealthy, ha ha, I had begun to think I had missed the point somehow.

        Last night when another started talking about the proposal to tax KS & retirement savings I pricked up my ears to find it was about the Greens 'wealth' so-called policy.

        You do not seem to grasp that for single women the choices can be more limited and the savings & contributions are more hard-won than men. One mentioned that taxing KS or including it as wealth, if adopted was a case of govt policies working against each other. She gave it a special name that I cannot remember now?

        I fail to see how KS, which has an annual govt contribtion and is locked away until after 65 is a 'giant tax loophole'. Hyperbole much. KS contributions are deducted from salaries and wages after tax (PAYE) is paid, so their is no tax loophole.

        So people who are using KS, as encouraged by the Govt …. 'is one of the main reasons of current and growing inequity & unfairness'. I would say that people using KS are actually doing future tax payers and the Govt of NZ a favour as they will not be needing to claim national super which can then be means tested and made available to those who really need it and maybe this can then be upped to give 'cake' every now and again instead of 'potatoes' only

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          I don't class people who have provided for their own retirement as bidden by the Govt to be wealthy. One thought that it seemed that the Greens did not vlaue people saving for their retirement if this was going to be taxed again and disincentivised.

          But your scenarios aren't about people who have saved for their retirement. They're about people that got on the property ladder as a specific point in time and have accrued very large amounts of income without paying any tax on it. In order to save $1m over 40 years you'd have to put aside $20,000/year every year. There are people in this country whose total annual income is less than that.

          I fail to see how KS, which has an annual govt contribtion and is locked away until after 65 is a 'giant tax loophole'. Hyperbole much. KS contributions are deducted from salaries and wages after tax (PAYE) is paid, so their is no tax loophole.

          Incognito didn't say KS is a tax loophole, he's saying that your proposal to exempt it from a wealth tax would make it a tax loophole.

          • Shanreagh 6.1.1.1.1

            The Greens want to include KS in the calculations for a wealth tax.

            The Greens want to include the family home in the calculations for a wealth tax

            You are trying to quiz me on CGT, as if this is my policy. GCT was discussed as an example of where The Greens policy was deficient in not assessing and rebutting other forms of raising extra taxation. I hold no personal like or dislike for CGT and I supect neither did the women on Friday,. They just used it as an example. Another example was the idea of a tax on all financial intruments, including share trading, house sales etc.

            Have you no talking points given to you as a Greens insider that you can use to rebut queries like this?

            [you’ve been here long enough to know not to make stuff up like this. I’m not a Green Party insider, I’m a non-active member. I don’t even talk to GP insiders at this point in time. I will respond to your comment below as someone who understands GP policy and politics, but I’m relying on what is in the public domain just like most other people – weka]

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              mod note.

              • Shanreagh

                Thanks and I am sincerely sorry if this is not correct.

                I did not know this actually I thought with the plethora of Green type policies being discussed you might have some inside running or closer interest than the rest of us.

        • Incognito 6.1.1.2

          Weka has already done an awesome job, with admirable patience, responding to your comments.

          Given that you are a highly educated and intelligent woman, it puzzles me that you continue to miscomprehend or twist replies from others and me.

          Anyway, you seem to insist on missing or ignoring the points that a net wealth of $2,000,000 can easily be considered wealthy by NZ standards and that wealth generates more wealth.

          It doesn’t really matter how this threshold has been reached or by who – it is a strawman.

          Looking at the average KS balance of KS savers or the projected pay-outs upon reaching 65 it is clear that not often will this be anywhere near $2,000,000. Most wealthy Kiwis have their wealth tied mostly to property.

          Someone who lives in their own home mortgage-free has the luxury of investing a much larger chunk of their salary in a KS account – this is one example of the better-offs become better off faster & further than permanent renters do, for example.

          KS is not dead money; it earns money and tax is paid on this income. For example, if you have saved $2,000,000 in your KS account through your own contributions (e.g., from gross salary), the government contributions, and returns on KS investments it would trigger the Wealth Tax under the current proposal and if you were going above this balance (assuming all your other net assets/liabilities are zero). In other words, your $2+M investment would attract the additional WT. However, you would withdraw a regular income from KS upon reaching 65 because that’s what it’s there for. Say, you live for another 25 years, this would mean an annual KS-based income of at least $80,000 on top of your Super, assuming no return or loss of KS during this period, which seems highly unlikely. So, starting at $2M at 65 means you never pay a cent in WT. To me this scenario sounds like that of wealth and raises no reason to cry poor. A person who’s been renting on the other end will find themselves in a very different situation for 25 years after they reach 65, if they even live that long. You want to talk about fairness?

          Another scenario might be that you live mortgage-free in a home worth $2M and you have no liabilities and your only other asset is your KS account. In this case, you must pay a WT over the combined net wealth over $2M (i.e., home + KS) while both are likely to increase in value over time. Let’s assume you have $1M in your KS account at 65, which would provide you with at least $40k pa over 25 years (same KS assumptions as above) on top of Super. Now, let’s assume your $2M mortgage-free home increases in value by a very modest 3% pa. By my calculations, your home would be worth $4.19M when you’re 90. Seems to me that a small WT wouldn’t break the bank, but let’s ask that permanent renter again. Oops, they died at 83 …

          If you choose to defer the WT payments till after your death @ 90, your estate would still be over $2M or thereabouts (not corrected for inflation and not including interest on WT, to keep it as simple as possible).

          I assume that you and your acquaintances are/will be somewhere in between these two scenarios. Consider yourselves wealthy!

          You’re desperately trying to shift the goal posts. NZ Super is universal and not means-tested. I suspect that the large majority of eligible people do claim it regardless of need – Chris Luxon would, I reckon. Rather than introducing a WT you’d prefer fiddling with NZ Super – this is the flawed thinking one would expect from someone in a privileged position trying to protect their wealth & entitlements.

      • alwyn 6.1.2

        "What’s to stop people to sell up their investment property/properties and/or downscale their home and put all the proceeds into their KS account to avoid a WT?"

        Can you explain how this is going to avoid the wealth tax? I have read the Green proposal and it doesn't say that your KiwiSaver account is going to be exempt from the tax.

        Whether you assets are held by you directly or as part of your KiwiSaver doesn't seem to make a blind bit of difference to the application of the tax. In fact it would only seem to make it harder to pay.

        https://assets.nationbuilder.com/beachheroes/pages/17574/attachments/original/1687385898/Tax_Full_Policy_Document_22June.pdf?1687385898

        • Incognito 6.1.2.1

          Please keep up with the comment thread before you comment. That will save you and others alike from wasting time before and when you parachute in with ignorant comments such as this. Thank you so kindly.

    • weka 6.2

      Out in the suburbs I am hearing support for a capital gains tax or a tax like death duties. (ie not a wealth tax)

      In other words, you want to tax everyone who has assets, not just wealthy people. Would you mind explaining why, when the point of the GP policy is to lift all poor people out of poverty?

      Several of these scientists were single women. In the scheme of things it is harder for women, still, to access higher salaries. House purchase is done in safer areas, they have no one to help muck in and share intense home renovations. Safer areas have houses of higher value. Several said their homes plus KS would be very close to the $2m 'you're a wealthy person' Greens concept.

      So they're single and they've managed to pay off the mortgage on an expensive house as well as save a large amount on KS? How did they manage that?

      Below you said, "For single females it is a stretch to buy a property and also to contribute to KS. Can you please confirm that the women you were listening to have paid off their mortgages in full and have large KS savings?

      I pointed out the other day that the scenario you were giving would mean the person would pay no tax.

      What you seem to be arguing is that people who own homes are entitled large amounts of income (via capital gains on their home) without paying tax like other kinds of earnings.

      • Shanreagh 6.2.1

        My first point is

        1 I don't accept it as a given that we need a separate wealth tax. (ie nothing in The Greens policy has convinced me as to the reason that of all the options open to a Govt this version has been chosen. This point was not missed by the group I was talking to on Friday. Maybe because they are scientists and used to examining options, exloring options before diving into the nitty gritty.

        The whole discussion came about with first AI, then the overarching science curricula, then made a surprising, to me, diversion into The Greens wealth policy as one example of where all options appeared not to have been looked at. Also that women on the face of it were unevenly impacted, the conflict of policies ie Govt encouraging everyone to put aside what they can for their retirement then saying people who did this were wealthy.

        It harks back to the concepts of 'Build it and they will come (Field of Dreams) and 'Just do it' (Nike). Both OK as a premise for a film or a marketing strategy but not for a policy issued by a political party.

        2 If we assume that we do need a separate wealth tax I would prefer that all options to bring in extra tax were up front, examined and discounted or not.

        3 Assuming we need a extra funding to help those struggling why is the option of specifically lifting rates in open and explicit way not on the table. So a programme that makes its way through Govt budgets and wins the case for explicit funding

        4 Why are we not looking at the wealth figures/papers examined by IRD?

        5 So if the decision has been made that we need extra tax revenue why are the options for:

        • death duties
        • tax on house sales
        • tax on all financial intruments
        • CGTax
        • using the upped rates of taxation suggested in the paper soley with a review period to see the effect of this?

        not examined.

        6 The responses to the very real concerns I have picked up have been more or less dismissed as 'oh you are wealthy'. (yeah right Tui anybody?) Some of them have been so personalised that I think behind this policy lurks (and not well hidden) an example of the politics of envy.

        The fact that no rational reasons for including the family home nor KS contributions have been raised in response other than people can manipulate and do weird extraordinary things as suggested by Incognito last night….

        Incognito6.1

        8 July 2023 at 3:53 pm

        To me it means these points of contention or concern were NOT raised nor known about at policy formulation stage so were not explicitly included and explained as part of the published policy. Rebutting the arguments that people may raise within the paper itself is policy formulation/speech writing 101. or at least including them in talking points…..So basic.

        I guess I am so used to reading/writing govt policy papers that have to include options that the lack of a list of what was considered going through and the reasons they were put aside or not suitable stands out like a sore thumb.

        Were these options examined?

        • death duties
        • tax on house sales
        • tax on all financial intruments
        • CGTax
        • using the upped rates of taxation suggested in the paper soley with a review period to see the effect of this?

        Why were these options not deemed suitable?

        • death duties
        • tax on house sales
        • tax on all financial intruments
        • CGTax
        • using the upped rates of taxation suggested in the paper soley with a review period to see the effect of this?

        What background/riding instructions about fairness/equity or conflict with existing Govt policies were examined?

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          1. yes, you've been saying you don't like the GP policy. You say that it's unfair because it includes the family home and KS. You ignore requests to clarify the scenarios you have in your head about this.

          Also that women on the face of it were unevenly impacted, the conflict of policies ie Govt encouraging everyone to put aside what they can for their retirement then saying people who did this were wealthy.

          People now being required to pay for their own retirement is a consequence of neoliberalism. I remember the point where the Retirement Commissioner started doing the PR work on this (90s?), to encourage the middle classes to invest so that by the time they retired they wouldn't have to rely on superannuation. It was a massive mistake, but true to neoliberal ideology. The state would no longer be responsible for making sure that elderly people didn't live in poverty and they wanted the middle classes to take the load off the neoliberal economy with the advancing boomer retirements coming up. That was a TINA position.

          The situation we are in now is a direct consequence of that in at least two ways. One is that it shifted the overton window on social security for the elderly so that we didn't have to support them. Two is that investment in housing featured strongly. See where that is going? That's one of the drivers of the housing crisis.

          Govt encouraging everyone to put aside what they can for their retirement then saying people who did this were wealthy.

          KS was a Labour policy. The 90s neoliberal push on retirement was presumably a National policy, but it strikes me as an extension of 80s Labour neoliberalism. I don't think Labour is saying much about wealth people other than a brief attempt earlier this year that Hipkins knocked back.

          It's the GP that are talking about wealth inequality. They're not promoting the neoliberal idea that everyone should save for their retirement themselves. Please stop conflating the different policy positions here.

          2 If we assume that we do need a separate wealth tax I would prefer that all options to bring in extra tax were up front, examined and discounted or not.

          Why are you assuming they were not considered? The GP have been working on this policy for a very long time, it's highly unlikely they didn't look at a range of options.

          3 Assuming we need a extra funding to help those struggling why is the option of specifically lifting rates in open and explicit way not on the table. So a programme that makes its way through Govt budgets and wins the case for explicit funding

          Your use of assuming implies that maybe we don't. Please clarify if accept that we need to lift many people out of poverty or not.

          The GP policy is about lifting rates in open and explicit ways. This is why I don't believe you understand the policy.

          The whole point of the wealth tax is to fund the GMI and other initiatives to lift everyone out of poverty. It's a costed plan with specific structures to address poverty across a range of areas and intersects with their other policies.

          You are now arguing that instead of a comprehensive plan, NZ should simply lift benefit rates budget by budget. This also tells me you don't understand the plan. The first thing that would happen to your idea under Nact is that funding will be diverted elsewhere.

          4 Why are we not looking at the wealth figures/papers examined by IRD?

          Not sure who you mean by 'we', but feel free to start a conversation on that. The GP policy would have been developed before that. You can use google to see what the GP said at the time (they looked at it).

          5 So if the decision has been made that we need extra tax revenue why are the options for:

          • death duties
          • tax on house sales
          • tax on all financial intruments
          • CGTax
          • using the upped rates of taxation suggested in the paper soley with a review period to see the effect of this?

          not examined.

          Again, feel free to make actual arguments for those. The GP previously had a CGT policy. I don't know what their current position on that is, but the Ending Poverty Together plan supercedes that.

          CGT is a single lever used in neoliberal economies. If you want to make an argument for it being useful in lifting people out of poverty, please make that argument. It doesn't make sense to say the GP wealth tax is no good but CGT might be good.

          As I already pointed out, the capital gains taxes and FTT you want considered affect all people, including the poor. You are suggesting that instead of taxing wealthy people we tax everyone, including the poor. This isn't conducive to lifting poor people out of poverty.

          6 The responses to the very real concerns I have picked up have been more or less dismissed as 'oh you are wealthy'. (yeah right Tui anybody?)

          This is simply not true. You have failed to make any argument on why excluding family home and KS would matter apart from some vague hand wave to people who might be affected. You gave some limited figures, and I pointed out they wouldn't pay the wealth tax. You appear to have ignored this.

          If you want to make the argument that individuals with more than $2m in assets are going to be hard done by, then please make the actual argument. Not vague assertions, but scenarios explaining what you mean. I still don't know.

          Some of them have been so personalised that I think behind this policy lurks (and not well hidden) an example of the politics of envy.

          Please provide two examples where people have personalised the argument.

          The fact that no rational reasons for including the family home nor KS contributions have been raised in response other than people can manipulate and do weird extraordinary things as suggested by Incognito last night….

          This is dismissive. Exempting KS means people could divert some of their wealth to KS to avoid paying the wealth tax. How can you not understand that?

          The rational for including the family home and KS is that it increases the tax take from wealthy people and nearly all NZers with a family home and KW won't be affected by the tax.

          Of those that would be affected and don't have adequate income to pay the WT, they can defer paying until such time as they sell their home or they die. In which case the WT effectively IS a CGT or a death tax. Which is what you are suggesting.

          I will note again that despite my repeated requests, you haven't provided scenarios which demonstrate that the WT would unfairly impact on some people. You might be right, it might. But without those scenarios, we have no way of examining your ideas on this.

          What they look like to me is that you object to the massive capital gain from the housing market being share with those most badly impacted by the housing crisis that was in large part a consequence of the housing market capital gains. I could be wrong about this but unless you bring actual details to the table, this is the only thing I can think of that explains your position.

          • Shanreagh 6.2.1.1.1

            3 Assuming we need a extra funding to help those struggling why is the option of specifically lifting rates in open and explicit way not on the table. So a programme that makes its way through Govt budgets and wins the case for explicit funding

            Your use of assuming implies that maybe we don't. Please clarify if accept that we need to lift many people out of poverty or not.

            Again you misinterpret …I have covered this before. It is this use I am meaning …….'as though one knows : in the belief'.

            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on%2Funder%2Fwith%20the%20assumption

            Is it better if I say 'on the assumption or accepting, in the belief that we do need extra funding …….

            Bearing in mind that the figures I have seen have come from a paper from a political party I would not be the only one caveating them in some small way……

            My point is that widespread poverty should be explictly and openly addressed as a specific part of Govt policy just as homelessness and health gaps are. We should see exactly what is needed every year and this should be addressed on a Vote: whatever department basis.

            • weka 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Ok, so let's assume we are roughly on the same page, that there are people living in poverty in NZ, that lifting them out of poverty is a necessary thing.

              My point is that widespread poverty should be explictly and openly addressed as a specific part of Govt policy just as homelessness and health gaps are. We should see exactly what is needed every year and this should be addressed on a Vote: whatever department basis.

              You want it to be managed through the yearly Budget. I've already pointed out that this means Nact, or even Labour, can just adjust spending however they like. This is not about ending poverty, it's pretty much the system that Labour uses now that forces many people to continue living in poverty.

              The poverty we have in NZ isn't a 'let's see what's happening this year' problem. It's a multigenerational, deeply institutionalised problem in NZ that has been building since the 80s. Using an approach based on tinkering with the budget each year is part of the institutionalisation of poverty in NZ.

              But fine. Now I understand your position.

        • weka 6.2.1.2

          To me it means these points of contention or concern were NOT raised nor known about at policy formulation stage so were not explicitly included and explained as part of the published policy. Rebutting the arguments that people may raise within the paper itself is policy formulation/speech writing 101. or at least including them in talking points…..So basic.

          I guess I am so used to reading/writing govt policy papers that have to include options that the lack of a list of what was considered going through and the reasons they were put aside or not suitable stands out like a sore thumb.

          Are you saying you want the GP to publish all it's policy development material? Maybe try google, but the place to have seen that was in the member meetings where the policy was developed. Much like other parties I expect.

          We know that the GP looked at a CGT for instance, so your assertion that these things weren't considered is baseless as far as I can see.

          • Shanreagh 6.2.1.2.1

            We know that the GP looked at a CGT for instance, so your assertion that these things weren't considered is baseless as far as I can see.

            Who is the 'we'.

            I'm thick but I just now working out that critiques were actually not wanted nor expected. Only out and out and unstinting praise.

            Sorry I've been too long in the world of policy planning/making/commenting to let something past that I see has holes in, or with lack of explanatory material. I shudder to think what would happen should a policy document like this hit the Govt policy departments for comment.

            As you were.

            • weka 6.2.1.2.1.1

              'We' in my sentence means the NZ public, including here on TS. It's public knowledge that the Greens used to support a GCT, and it's a 20 sec google.

              I'm thick but I just now working out that critiques were actually not wanted nor expected. Only out and out and unstinting praise.

              Nah. My very long history on TS is all about the debate. I want you to put up some arguments for your position. Seriously, please do. I want people to critique GP policy so that we see where the wholes are and we end up with something better. You have consistently refused to address the issues I have brought up and I'm at a loss to understand why.

              Sorry I've been too long in the world of policy planning/making/commenting to let something past that I see has holes in, or with lack of explanatory material. I shudder to think what would happen should a policy document like this hit the Govt policy departments for comment.

              From the GP policy document,

              Modelling Assumptions

              The Income Guarantee modelling was developed by the Parliamentary Library using the Treasury’s Fiscal Strategy Model (HYEFU 2022), the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2023 (p.146) and The Ministry of Social Development’s Benefit
              rates at 1 April 2023. Modelling and calculations for creating the Family Top-Up from Working for Families used data from the 2018 Census, Stats NZ and HYEFU 2022.

              Calculations for a Universal Student Allowance and the Agency for Comprehensive Care were prepared by the Parliamentary Library using HYEFU 2022 (at p148), the Ministry of Social Development’s Monthly Benefits Update – March 2023, current
              minimum wage rates, and StudyLink Statistics (2022).

              The calculations for the Income Tax, Trusts Tax, Corporate Tax and net Wealth Tax revenues were done with models created by the Parliamentary Library. Data for the models were sourced from Inland Revenue’s systems of personal income tax
              returns, Stats NZ Household net worth statistics, Parliamentary Written Question 15528 (2023) 1 June 2023, The Treasury’s data on the Revenue Effect of Changes to Key Tax Rates, Bases, and Thresholds for 2019/20, the HYEFU 2022 and He
              Tirohanga Mokopuna 2021 The Treasury’s combined Statement on the Long-term Fiscal Position and Long-term Insights Briefing.

              Modelling the behavioural response to a change in the tax system is beyond the scope of these models. However, an adjustment has been made for likely avoidance and evasion when collecting a net Wealth Tax. The model assumes that 25% of any such revenues will be foregone. This takes the starting point of 35% based on the Canadian Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer in 2019 when considering a wealth tax, then reduces the avoidance assumption to take account of the trust
              tax. Modelling assumes an additional 20% uptake of benefits in the first year and 25% in the second year to take account of individualising. This is informed by the Household Economic Survey 2022/2023 data on employment status.

              Costings for each policy have been projected through to the end of 2026 and are estimates only based on the best available information.

              https://assets.nationbuilder.com/beachheroes/pages/17574/attachments/original/1687385898/Tax_Full_Policy_Document_22June.pdf?1687385898

              There is a list of sources after that at the bottom of the document.

              I will also point out that the Greens developed policy in 2016 requiring political parties to put their policy through an independent Policy Costing Unit. They're one of the best parties in parliament for this kind of thing.

              https://www.greens.org.nz/policy_costings_unit

              • Shanreagh

                Weka,

                I did read, follow up and try to critique the references. In fact one of them led to some work that IRD had done that did not seem to be picked up I linked to it in one of my posts.

                Without knowing why they decided to opt for this type of wealth (sic) tax it is hard.

                And faced with acceptance of an idea that it is OK to have possibly two policies working against each other eg KS & Wealth tax it does make a bit of a dog's breakfast. Possibly three if you count in the concept of people being able to buy their own homes.

                I have addressed the unfairness issues as I see them. Now I am faced with the idea that KS or retirement planning is some sort of neo-lib idea/artifact. I disagree with this totally and I can now see why we are at cross purposes.

                I have looked at the Manifesto and can see no support for KS or self funding of retirement for those able to do this, only the wealth tax and keeping the National Super. Does this mean that The Greens does not support the $500pa odd that is paid to those with a KS account? Does The Green party support KS or any form of retirement saving?

                When I joined the PS those of us with parents who went through the depression were on our backs to encourage us to join GSF. Especially keen were those wage workers who had access to GSF in some Govt depts.

                I used to work in that sector after I took early retirement and there were always people I met that had kept up their GSF contributions while on a wage worker wage. Several of the wives said it was a point of honour with them/their family to be a top notch budgetter/saver of the family benefit/all round thrifty person so the wage worker husband could maintain contributions. No doubt they would be classed as wealthy and in need of taxing now!

                Just as a point of interest I wonder if contributions to a super fund like GSF, there still are some contributors, and some who take an annuity will now find themselves classed as wealthy!

                If this view is out there in the world (that KS is a crock) and people are believing it, then things will get much worse. It makes me sad if there are people discouraging others from putting aside even a small regular amount in KS.

                My dad, an accountant used to get very enthusiatic about the 'magic' of compound interest'. Compound interest is the fundamental behind KS & other long term savings.

                I now see he was in good company with Albert Einstein calling compound interest the 8th wonder of the world.

                'Albert Einstein famously referred to compounding interest as the eighth wonder of the world. He went on to state that those who understand it, earn it and those who don't, will pay it. It is therefore important to understand what interest is, where compounding interest fits in and how to use it in your everyday life'.

                I know that some grandparents, not wealthy people, who are putting small amounts of money into KS accounts for their grandchildren. Perhaps every child in NZ should have a KS account opened for them and people be encouraged to donate to them, whether they are related or not. Sounds more productive than slamming down on dedicated savers who by dint of this saving ethos are buying their home or funding their own retirements.

                If you can assure me that the truly wealthy and we know who they are, will be caught then I might think differently. These wealthy people have the means and ability to pay for advice on how to avoid this tax so it will fall heavily on those who have no means to set up structures to avoid it…..as it usually does.

                Thanks for the chance to contribute.

                If the Greens do not support KS or the like then I am not really going to bother critiquing anything they put up.

                • weka

                  Without knowing why they decided to opt for this type of wealth (sic) tax it is hard.

                  It's pretty clear to me that the reason the GP chose a wealth tax over taxing everyone with assets is because they believe in redistribution of excessive wealth so that people don't have to live in poverty. This is bog standard leftist and green positioning.

                  And faced with acceptance of an idea that it is OK to have possibly two policies working against each other eg KS & Wealth tax it does make a bit of a dog's breakfast. Possibly three if you count in the concept of people being able to buy their own homes.

                  They're not policies working against each other. Again, the wealth tax is only going to affect people at the top end. Nearly all people with a KS won't be affected.

                  What you haven't explained is why you think very wealthy people shouldn't pay tax on capital gains or wealth accrual way beyond what most people have.

                  I have addressed the unfairness issues as I see them.

                  I know you think you have, but in terms of debate culture on TS, you haven't. You have repeatedly ignored the issues I have raised, and instead just keep repeating your position without actually explaining it.

                  eg you say that it's unfair to tax wealthy people on the capital gains on their homes, but you haven't said why other than it's unfair to tax people for their good financial planning and saving. This completely ignores the issues I have raised,

                  • very few NZers would have to pay the tax
                  • those that do but who can't afford it can pay it as a defacto CGT when they eventually sell
                  • capital gains on housing is a major driver of poverty in NZ
                  • why should people who accrue large amounts of wealth from the property market not pay tax on that income?

                  Now I am faced with the idea that KS or retirement planning is some sort of neo-lib idea/artifact. I disagree with this totally and I can now see why we are at cross purposes.

                  All I did was point out the historical shift from social security for everyone to the people that can afford it using investment housing to make sure they are ok in retirement and I pointed out that it was the neoliberals that created that shift.

                  There's nothing wrong with saving for retirement. There is a problem with using a mechanism that is pushing so many people into poverty and then refusing to share some of the excess wealth with them.

                  I have looked at the Manifesto and can see no support for KS or self funding of retirement for those able to do this, only the wealth tax and keeping the National Super. Does this mean that The Greens does not support the $500pa odd that is paid to those with a KS account? Does The Green party support KS or any form of retirement saving?

                  Sorry, this is just silly. They're a 10 MP party, not government. They don't cover everything that governments do in their manifesto, the manifesto is a campaign document for voters to understand what the Greens want to do.

                  I know what compounding interest is. Unfortunately the government puts such barriers in the way of savings for my class of people that the most I am allowed is around $1200. Any more than that and my benefit would be cut. I'm better off than many beneficiaries because I came out of a middle class family that had intergenerational wealth and I will probably inherit some of that. WINZ of course will want to take that from me. Many beneficiaries live on the bone of their arse and that's all they ever see.

                  I don't think I've seen you even acknowledge these kinds of realities that under pin the GP policy. Wanting all children to have a KS is a fine idea, but WINZ will still eventually asset strip them if they are of the underclass. And it's not something that will lift people out of poverty now.

                  Sounds more productive than slamming down on dedicated savers who by dint of this saving ethos are buying their home or funding their own retirements.

                  Anyone individual with more than $2m in clear assets either inherited, or has capital gains on property, or used investment to increase wealth. No-one can save that amount of money simply by working for ordinary wages. If I am wrong, please demonstrate how with actual scenarios.

                  If you can assure me that the truly wealthy and we know who they are, will be caught then I might think differently. These wealthy people have the means and ability to pay for advice on how to avoid this tax so it will fall heavily on those who have no means to set up structures to avoid it…..as it usually does.

                  I'm fairly sure this has been addressed by the Greens. Please do your own homework, and let us know what you find.

  6. Peter 7

    Creating a sense of pride, unity and celebration in a couple of months from what the situation is now?

    The whingers who determinedly over a couple of years have spewed out negativity, misery, gloom and doom are in the driving seat. Every Labour MP or Minister who has cocked up has given the naysayers petrol to put on the fire.

    Unity? The meatheadedness of the rabble who turned Ardern's 'team of 5 million' into a mantra of 'the most divisive PM NZ's ever had, stoked by the likes of Mike Hosking, sees an end to that hope.

    To perfectly set the scene for the 'world will end with Labour in charge,' the All Blacks will go out early in their World Cup, the women footballers all be embarrassed in their one on home soil, the netballers in their World Champs end of July and cricketers in October will crap out.

    What chance pride, unity and celebration in those circumstances?

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Yer blues. John Lennon wrote & sang it raunchy. Beatles '68.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yer_Blues

      In the morning, wanna die
      In the evening, wanna die
      If I ain't dead already
      Girl, you know the reason why

      My mother was of the sky
      My father was of the Earth
      But I am of the universe

      Shifts from suffering into holism. Another toke oughta do it…

    • Ad 7.2

      You are not going to get pride and unity from Chris Hipkins.

      You are going to get sausage rolls and "boy from the Hutt" over and over and over again.

      • Incognito 7.2.1

        Subversive strategy has moved from trying to undermine & take out the leader (formerly Ardern) to taking out one-by-one (all) other team members and chipping away until there is only one “I” in a team of one. I think this plan was hedged before Hipkins took over the baton from Ardern but so far, it is working like a treat.

        The over-critical and hyper-sensitive Left are always first to self-amputate to save their moral consciousness and virtuous values & principles from being spoilt by even the smallest of imperfections or misdemeanours – one or two words spoken are ripped out of their meaningful context and enough to kill off the career & aspirations of any politician of the Left and consequentially sink the prospects of their Party.

        • Ad 7.2.1.1

          it ain't me repeating it.

          It's in his every speech.

          The only "self-amputation" whatever that is, is by Hipkins of actual policies and ideals worth campaigning for.

          • Incognito 7.2.1.1.1

            The Left, IMO, is prone to self-amputation and cannibalisation, of itself. And by ‘the Left’ I mean the people that claim to be, folks that write whiny comments on blogs and run to ACT or TOP when a Left politician raises their right eyebrow and this offends their delicate sensibilities.

            • Ad 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Whoever you are speaking of, they aren't in government. Nor do I see them in the Labour Party. We ain't delicate.

              The only delicate left-sensibilities I've seen this term are the fools who tried to kill Shaw, the fringe groups from the Greens who sawed themselves off, and the other fools who ran off to form the Women's Party. None are any use now.

              • Incognito

                Whoever you are speaking of, they aren’t in government. Nor do I see them in the Labour Party. We ain’t delicate.

                I agree! This is my point.

                No further comment.

      • Antonina 7.2.2

        so true AD, Unfortunately. I would love to be proved wrong, but not holding my breath

      • newsense 7.2.3

        Hasn’t that worked quite well so far given the circumstances?

        He’s not a Taylor or a Fleming, more a John Wright or Watling perhaps, but better playing your game well than being like Luxon and trying a different technique every ball cos people are yelling from the stands. Honest determination and a bit of humour has been an NZ quality. It’s not as if his game is as flair impaired as Richardson’s.

        Sorry, cricket analogies.

      • newsense 7.2.4

        For example the messaging on health is that the reforms are going to make it incrementally better. Bit by bit we’re making it better. Here’s what we’ve achieved so far- it’s a bit better and going to be more. Single here, whippy shot for a two and we’ve got 30 runs up on the board with too much grandstanding.

        We’ve brought in a great many more staff. It’s not perfect, times are tough but it’s this much better. Fees off prescriptions. Not the earth, but a bit better than before.

        We’re not confused about signs or not signs or all the rest of that carry on. We know what we stand for and we’re not against too much. We just want to improve the things we can for everyone.

        That seems to be the message so far.

        • Anne 7.2.4.1

          Its not just prescription fees that are now free, but also some medical related potions that we once had to pay for over the counter.

          I have an eye problem which requires permanent daily treatment. Went to purchase the ointments/eyedrops only yesterday to be told by the chemist they were now free of charge. It seems the government has quietly added to the list of free medical preparations that are now available.

          I don't recall seeing any publicity thus far, which makes me wonder if positive messages re-this govt. are being deliberately withheld.

          • Tiger Mountain 7.2.4.1.1

            I have raised this many times here since 2017–the reluctance of NZ Labour to blow its “own trumpet”. There are literally hundreds of useful and appreciated incremental reforms and major policies that just seem to slip under the public radar.

            • Anne 7.2.4.1.1.1

              I have been raising the subject of Labour being unable or unwilling to blow its own trumpet for the past 15 years and I have brought it up with numerous MPs in days long past. The responses – translated – seemed to be: they have to be careful what they say because the media will pounce on them if we upset them too much.

              God give me strength!

              • PsyclingLeft.Always

                Agree there Anne and T.M.

                There have been lists of the Labour achievements on the Standard.

                Many very long coming/hard won. (Albeit I'd hazard "we" are "mostly" already voting this way : )

                I think Darien Fenton,…Ad, and others collated some of these achievements …?

                And have to say, If not now…when !?. Blow that trumpet now, Labour, grud dammit !

                • newsense

                  Sorry mods, what does the three little dots above a comment mean, rather than thread numbers? Something to do with moderation?

                  • Incognito

                    It’s nothing to do with the Mods as such and it simply means that the thread numbering of that (nested) thread/sub-thread has run out. What’s interesting is that there’s now still a Reply button, which used to disappear with the thread number and one had to scroll up and find the first/nearest numbered comment + Reply button of the thread to continue contributing to the same thread.

                    HTH

  7. Corey 8

    I agree with this mostly.

    This government started showing signs of third termitis in 2021, it was then that government became increasingly Welly centric, unfocused and bogged down.

    2021 was the year Labour went from a govt that was open to new ideas to a govt that "categorically" ruled out every new idea put to them and they started saying "there is no crisis" in housing or poverty and would waffle out statistics like National.

    The Govt has made some, very very slow progress, but they have very little, if anything to be proud of in housing, it's worse than ever, especially for it's voters who are mostly renters, trying to find a rental property, in any City in NZ is now one of the most stressful, dire, grim, depressing and upsetting experience and with rapid immigration it's only going to get worse.

    This election is basically national have bad ideas, labour have no ideas.

    Hipkins should have released policy in his honeymoon period, people may have gotten excited, especially young people, but now it's going to be really hard to get my generation to vote.

    The whole sausage roll thing is so cringe at this point.

    Labour needs to release policies and fast and they need to retail much like Helen Clark and interest free student loans.

    A page out of Joe Bidens book and offering student debt forgiveness, or something that major, would get gen z and gen y to vote.

    And I have no idea why labour can't tax empty houses like Canada and Germany! We have 200-300 k ghost homes in NZ, a lot of the new builds stay empty.

    I totally agree that Labour needs to excite the public, but how a party that's been in power for six years and currently has a sole majority can manage to excite people…. I'm not sure.

    They need to stop being a party afraid of tax reforms, they need to be a party brave enough to regulate crony capitalism, seriously reform housing and break up duopolies and monopolies and have a plan for NZ wages and wealth to catch up to Australias.

    National is content to simply manage the downward spiral of NZ living standards and watching us become a poorer and dumber country.

    Labour needs to show that it can make NZ a richer, smarter, fairer country and not chicken out and run away from the hard stuff.

    Hipkins can wipe the floor with Luxon on any debate, Labour just has to have the guts to take the debate to the Nats.

  8. Ad 9

    We were all just damn lucky Ardern resigned when she did; she was pulling us fast down the plughole.

    Chippie has done his best to stabilise the ship, but it's very hard to see a third term for Labour.

    • Craig H 9.1

      I think it's easy to see a third term for Labour – they have to convince more undecideds to vote Labour/Greens/Te Pati Maori than National/ACT. It's still very close – this isn't 2008 where Labour were clearly done for 3 months out.

      • observer 9.1.1

        Agree with Craig. Much more 2005 than 2008.

        For swing voters, Luxon is an invitation not to vote National. What's more, he clearly isn't learning. Remarkable lack of self-awareness, which is why he keeps talking himself into trouble.

        He is more than capable of throwing away a winnable election, as Don Brash did.

    • Anne 9.2

      Except it wasn't Ardern who was "pulling us fast down the plughole". It was the haters both in Nact and the media who, in their rage and overwrought jealousy, were dragging her name through mud and guts in order to destroy everything about her.

      History is going to treat her very kindly and the haters will not even warrant a mention.

      • Phillip ure 9.2.1

        @ anne..

        I don't think history will treat j.ardern 'very kindly'..

        Her early exit really is a metaphor for over-promising and under-delivery..

        Yes..she went thru a pandemic…but so did every other leader of every other country..

        Yes..there was the horrors of the christchurch massacre..

        But once again…there are many countries where as bad things happen on a sickening regularity…(e.g….u.s.a..et al..)

        Then there's the not small matter of her failures to deliver on what she promised so fervently to do…

        Poverty..the environment..(to shorthand them) ..

        Yes..she faced online abuse.. pretty much from day one…

        And she can't have not been expecting it..

        She saw what h.clark received…

        And as for her exit…'i'm tired' didn't cut it for me ..

        My initial (and still) response being:..'ok..you are tired..fair enough..go to a health spa for a couple of weeks..and see how you are then'

        But no…that was it..

        She left the stage…with pretty much very little to show for having been there..

        So anne..I would be interested to see from you just why you think j.ardern will be treated kindly by history..

        I see very little exceptionalism in/from her time in office..

        • Jilly Bee 9.2.1.1

          Wow Philip Ure……..

          I can’t believe what I’m reading from you, but sadly on second thoughts maybe I can……

          If you can’t see what Jacinda Ardern had to endure as PM, especially during the Covid pandemic and its immediate aftermath, culminating in the occupation of Parliament grounds, including more than a few death threats…… I wonder which rabbit hole you may have been hiding in over the past year or so……..while she dealt with the ramifications of the Christchurch massacre, the Whaakari/White Island eruption, as well as the Covid epidemic and its aftermath…..as aforementioned………just maybe some ingrained misogyny there……I thought your suggestion to have a soak in a spa was simply disgusting.

          I sincerely hope she goes on to far better things in the future, and I hope her forthcoming book will be a successful undertaking……..

          Finally…….I hope my paragraph layout meets with your approval…..

          • Anne 9.2.1.1.1

            "just maybe some ingrained misogyny there…."

            More then just a little bit of misogyny there Jilly Bee. Best to ignore him unless he actually says something worthwhile. 😉

            • Phillip ure 9.2.1.1.1.1

              @j b. + Anne..

              I covered most of what you describe…and noted many other leaders faced similar/the same..

              And surely you must remember those heartfelt promises j.ardern made..on child poverty… environment..that she failed to deliver on…

              And my suggestion that if tired…she should maybe have taken a break/rest..before deciding to bail..I think makes sense..

              Please tell me what I have got factually wrong..

              And anne..I ask again just why you think she will be remembered kindly by history..

              And really..to you both…does a reasoned critique of the ardern years…make one a mysoginist..?

              Yeah..nah…eh..?

              (As a slight counter to such a charge..I would note my daughter's name is simone..a name chosen by me..and a direct mark of respect to proto-feminist simone de bouvier…who I had read ..and respected..)

              And it reminds me of demurring from (shorthand) women's party p.o.v…and being called a 'women-hater' by more than one person..

              @jilly bee…8/10 for liberating your words/sentences..

              Don't you think it just flows better..?

              • Phillip ure

                Two points:

                One is that I think that j.ardern resigned for reasons of family…not 'cos she was tired/empty petrol tank/whatever..

                I think she looked at her daughter..and realised that a third term as pm…would mean her daughter would be nearly nine by then…

                And that was too high a price to pay..

                And having raised my daughter..I know how wonderful those primary school years are..

                And I think that if that was a key factor in her decision to go..that is totally understandable

                Second think is the general subject of history treating politicians 'kindly'…

                I think this generation of politicians…will go down in history as the most reviled..

                Because future nz'ers/historians ..on a day to day basis…will be grappling with what this generation of politicians failed to prevent..

                And they will be further reviled because they knew what the future held..and again…did s.f.a. about it…

                So if it some consolation..j.ardern will share that future/historical approbium with every other political leader of this generation/these blighted times..

          • Peter 9.2.1.1.2

            Ardern as PM had to endure the normal shit from misogynists. And simply endure being in the job with many dismayed and distraught because National had not won who were determinedly negative and destructive about everything to do with the Government.

            The ramifications of the Christchurch massacre, the Whaakari/White Island eruption, the Covid epidemic and all its aftermath? They were, are, beyond the ken of that crowd.

            New Zealand is not Paradise, the Garden of Eden, Nirvana? Yeah, and it's all the fault of Jacinda Ardern. It's nothing to do with self centred, shortsighted, ignorant, know-it-all, partisan malevolents.

            • Anne 9.2.1.1.2.1

              There were a lot of middle class women out there who hated Jacinda. She was talented, had brains, beauty, charm and a refreshing personality that captured the world. Instead of basking in all the attention she brought to NZ, they were full of envy and spite. And the NActs and their tabloid turds were encouraging them.

            • newsense 9.2.1.1.2.2

              What Jacinda received was not normal.
              As people who liked her turned to her for reassurance, those who wouldn’t have liked her anyway channeled inner torment against her in ways that should not be acceptable. Occasionally in the past deranged people had turned up at PMs electorate offices before with intent to harm property.

              This was the mainstreaming of that deranged behaviour, the ‘good people on all sides’, and it was tacitly supported by people who should have known better by association. And we saw derangement as a rallying point, broadcasting through poorly regulated online space.

          • observer 9.2.1.1.3

            I would be interested to see from you just why you think j.ardern will be treated kindly by history..

            Because we can read the world news?

            In NZ an errant politician's hiccup is a "Huge Story". In the UK it's a typical Monday. In France it's a nice distraction from chaos on the streets. Governments fall apart in democracies from Spain to the Netherlands. In the USA … well, we'd be here all night.

            If you don't get that yet, a few weeks of PM Luxon will certainly help you get it.

    • Muttonbird 9.3

      Nah, you were pulling us fast down the plug hole because of your distrust of decent women. Now you have sausage roll guy…

  9. Shanreagh 10

    Well hoping against hope I am hoping that Labout gets in again and in such numbers that any alliances with the Greens and TPM are courtesy rather than required. I do not want Labour to be forced to take on board any/some of the latest Greens crop of policies. Picking out some of the better parts may be Ok.

    eg Renters charter but not the ability for a developer to go to six storeys in suburbs that are currently single or two storeys.

    taking the tax changes in the Greens wealth policy and nothing else…..to me it will hit single women hard and the inclusion of Kiwisaver is very poor seeing as KS was set up in response to Govt signalling that its citizens could not rely on national super as it is funded now.

    Climate Change from TPM has some good parts

    https://www.maoriparty.org.nz/climate_change

    To do this though Labour needs to do as Corey says and avoid the

    'This election is basically national have bad ideas, labour have no ideas'.

    Corey has some good ideas and comments. Something bold like student loans with the firm declaration that this will only come from a Labour vote/win.

    They need to stop being a party afraid of tax reforms, they need to be a party brave enough to regulate crony capitalism, seriously reform housing and break up duopolies and monopolies and have a plan for NZ wages and wealth to catch up to Australias.

    I agree the sausage rolls have done their dash. It was done to 'humanise' him.

  10. Antonina 11

    thank you MS. Avery accurate portrayal of Wgtn Labour

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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
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  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
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  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
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    6 days ago
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  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
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    6 days ago
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
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    6 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
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    6 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
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    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
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  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
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    6 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
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    6 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
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  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
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    7 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
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  • American Boy
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  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
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    7 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
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    1 week ago

  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
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    9 hours ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
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    15 hours ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
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    15 hours ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
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    16 hours ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
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    1 day ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
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    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
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    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
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  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
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    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
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    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
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  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
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  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
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  • Taking action to reduce road cones
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  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
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  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
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  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
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  • $25 million boost for conservation
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  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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  • Country Kindy to remain open
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  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
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  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
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  • Minister concludes local government review
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  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
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