The zero growth agenda

Written By: - Date published: 6:43 am, May 14th, 2012 - 68 comments
Categories: benefits, corruption, Economy, law and "order", privatisation, workers' rights - Tags:

I chuckled to read Fran O’Shillivan on Sunday: “John Key has made a strategic decision to burn some political capital and front-foot major Government decisions” – yeah, all those major decisions: $1m for contraception, ‘tackling cyber-bullying’, a petty pokies for convention centre deal, even their centrepiece policy – asset sales – won’t benefit the economy a jot.

Of late, the Nats have descended into self-parody, going for the ultimate in irrelevant populism. $1m for contraception. Whatever the class issues involved, $1m is a joke. It’s not going to have any real effect. The same with the sudden rush to make cyber-bullying illegal – a redundant exercise that basically consists taking existing law and adding ‘on the internet’ to the end – totally unenforceable. These are like little mascot versions of National’s usually popular ‘tough on beneficiaries’ and ‘tough on crime policies’ but with zero real-world effect and pushed purely for the politics.

Of course, not all National’s policies are so meaningless. Gambling law for sale, asset sales, and, now we learn, further attacks on workers rights are all big, bad moves. But the weird thing is the Nats can’t even argue they’re pushing growth first and foremost, overriding sensitivities about due process, economic sovereignty, and workplace rights in an all out effort to get the economy roaring. Because none of these policies would cause any growth. The pokies deal would almost certainly be negative for GDP because casinos are notorious blackholes for money that is diverted from real investment and leads to problem gamblers collapsing businesses. The asset sales would increase our current account deficit. And reducing work rights and wages would just see more people queuing to find a job in Australia.

There is no growth agenda. All there is are petty headline-grabbers and class warfare policies that are about dividing up New Zealand’s wealth even more in favour of the elite.

68 comments on “The zero growth agenda”

  1. Poission 1

    The strategy is obvious,to distract from the toxic branding that is apportioned to both the coalition partner and inadequate policy from ministers.

    The fundamental problem is the inadequacy to create sound and robust economic policy,or to constrain sectors that have been proven to be wanting in there internal “self governing”

    This is well seen in financial catastrophes,and the inability to learn is obvious.

    Suggesting that monetary policy is the sole prerogative of the RBNZ, is misleading as the economic constraints of asset leverage,is a major cause of housing inflation and illiquidity in capital markets.

    The approach we see is that business is constrained by labour laws,as it effects “productivity” and profits is a chimera,as we see in the Australian example where Fairwork Australia is an effective balance in an asymmetrical sector.

    The piecemeal and patchwork initiatives have been significantly damaging to the NZ economy,and that is the real reason that little is happening.

  2. There is no growth agenda.

    For a minute I thought the “zero growth agenda” was extreme Greens wanting us off the world growth ponzi scheme.

    The lack of growth over the past four years is more to do with what has now been tagged the GFC – global financial crisis. Does this actually provide us with an opportunity to re-evaluate what’s most important for a sustainable future.

    Is continued growth in consumerism a good thing? Don’t most of us already consume far more than we need already? How fat and drunk and drugged and beauty and anti age obsessed and loaded with technogadgets do we want to become?

    • Roger 2.1

      LOLOLOL

      Nice spin there, the fact is that this government has pushed an agenda that is both environmentally and economically unsound. There is nothing in this government’s agenda to promote sustainability or any post-consumerism/post-growth future. This government has done very little to lessen the effects of the GFC other than to ensure that their wealthy backers are protected.

      “Does this actually provide us with an opportunity to re-evaluate what’s most important for a sustainable future”

      So far this government has come up with the following.
      More pokies and a convention centre.
      Kids with third world diseases.
      Mines in conservation land.
      Oil rigs in conservation land (future).
      Condoms and the pill for one group.
      More roads.
      Less public transport.
      Less public broadcasting and more commercial incentives for TVNZ.
      Not owning our own power generation.

      The only thing sustainable about this government’s agenda is its ability to bullshit its way through every issue.

    • lprent 2.2

      With a actual population growth going on, then you require growth to stay at the same place. Clearly National and it’s minons aren’t trying for that.

      But Eddie missed the the other economic components of this governments strategy.

      The government is driving our best and brightest to Aussie because of National’s relentless focus on driving down wages for everyone. They are doing this with a combined approach of supporting the most moronic of established employers – like the Talleys group, Ports of Auckland, etc while simultaneously removing all of the things that allow our small tech companies to grow. I listened to that plonker Stephen Joyce mouthing platitudes at the hitech awards on Friday, while thinking about how many of the supports he’d removed from the the audience he was talking to.

      Meanwhile. Gerry Brownlee is trying to destroy a city with his sheer ineptitude and boundless arrogant stupidity. Fortunately I suspect that he is too dumb to achieve his goals.

      The GFC rumbles in the background. But it isn’t affecting companies with products in demand to sell in the global market. Agriculture of course. But also the tech sector – aout the third largest exporting sector.

      Which is why the economy including the tech sector are still running ok. The main effect of the GFC has been to reduce tax takes as profit margins dropped. That wouldn’t have been a problem if some short sighted gits hadn’t screamed to just drop the tax take with tax cuts as the GFC was taking effect.

      • Pete George 2.2.1

        With a actual population growth going on, then you require growth to stay at the same place.

        But how long do we want to keep increasing New Zealand’s population? World population?

        Greens call for an evaluation of this and suggest population control.

        http://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/population-policy-summary

        Key Principles

        – New Zealand’s population should not exceed the ecological carrying capacity of the country.
        – Uneven regional distribution of the population will be remedied through regional development measures.
        – Informed decisions about family size and spacing will be made by the parents concerned.
        – A stable population is desirable to minimise negative impacts on infrastructure and resources.

        Greens say that “Our birth rate is roughly at replacement level at the moment” so that means emigration and immigration – if we stem the Kiwi flow to Australia and other OEs it will push our population.

        They propose we should be having a serious look at population levels.

        An optimum population and quality of life.

        Research what an optimum population level could be in order to maintain both spare capacity and an acceptable standard of living.

        This has to be associated with a serious look at economic growth.

        I don’t know about the rest of the country but sustainability is a growing issue in Dunedin. Two election forums were specifically on the topic, one organised by the virtual Greens.

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          We are already below the natural replacement rate. If you retained all of the people who currently go offshore and want wanted to go to zero population rate, all that has to be done is to have a stricter immigration level. If you didn’t want to population to fall, you’d have to have some immigration or a lower fatal accident rate..

          Carrying capacity is a nebulous concept for foolish idiots because it depends on what you define it to be.

          Without significiant technology (ie more than medevial), the ‘natural’ carrying capacity of NZ would be only a few hundred thousand people. The soils would take a thousand years or so to convert from where they are to good farming soils using low-technological means. Currently they are not natural grasslands or arable soils. They are still bush soils.

          Due to the lack of easily accessible metal ores in NZ (and assuming that you lacked the power to smelt the stockpile of rusted cars) you probably couldn’t maintain much above a medevial civilization without external imports of metal goods. Anyone who has spent time grubbing the damn teatree and young totora out knows how much you need saws and hoes.

          So define what technology you want to determine your “carrying capacity”. Otherwise it is simply nebulous bullshit.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            Carrying capacity is a nebulous concept for foolish idiots because it depends on what you define it to be.

            Well, obviously it would be defined by what we know and what we are capable of today while keeping the natural environment in best condition (and adjusted as we learn more). As far as I can make out, it’s the latter part where we fall down as we’ve never taken into account the environment.

            Due to the lack of easily accessible metal ores in NZ (and assuming that you lacked the power to smelt the stockpile of rusted cars) you probably couldn’t maintain much above a medevial civilization without external imports of metal goods.

            Not quite sure where you’re going with that one. We do, after all, have the power, our iron reserves are reasonably accessible (there’d be some complaints about digging up the beaches admittedly) and recycling should be a standard part of the economy.

    • DH 2.3

      Something I think Labour need to work on is stopping the Govt getting an easy ride blaming the GFC for our problems. NZ really wasn’t affected that much by the GFC, we’ve had record export prices and our financial system remained solid. We just did not have the same problems as Europe & the US. Tourism is about the only sector meaningfully hurt by the GFC but overall it definitely is not the cause of our present economic woes.

      The GFC is a global crisis only in the context of Western Europe & the US thinking the world revolves around them, China just kept growing & so did other economies. The politicians, economists & beancounters in NZ are just using it as an excuse for their failures, and getting away with it too much IMO.

      • aerobubble 2.3.2

        Its joke, we have such poor standards in NZ, so poor that we didn’t amass massive debt on the government books until AFTER the GFC when the ‘economic savants’ decided to massive reduce the tax take by making the rich and foreign investors pay next to nothing toward paying for the services of government. Services like alleviating child poverty, supporting the military, etc.
        Add to that, Key blew a billion on SCF, and the bills for ChCh and Pike are yet to come in.
        If you could not have picked a better bunch of wacky naked zombies to run the country.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.4

      Which has affected Australia to the same extent- excluding the mining sector ?

    • Georgecom 2.5

      Pere wrote:

      “Does this actually provide us with an opportunity to re-evaluate what’s most important for a sustainable future.”

      Pete, yes it does. However, you will find precious little re-evaluation from this government. The most significant bit of sustainable re-evaluating the Key Government has done was the ‘warm homes’ package which they borrowed from the Green Party.

  3. Ad 3

    It was just great this morning to hear Russell Norman showing that the Government has borrowed billions of dollars over the last two years to pay for those tax cuts for the highest bracket.

    Appalling to see Income Tax and GST redistributed upwards to the rich. Our income pulled out of our pockets for the rich!

    • Our income pulled out of our pockets for the rich!

      Who are you referring to when you say “our”? Can’t be beneficiaries or superannuants. Can’t be working families getting WFF credits meaning they pay low tax.

      Are you aware that rich people still pay the most tax by far? How much tax is a valid argument, but framing it as taking from the poor to give to the rich is ignorant or dishonest.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Geez Pete
         
        The evidence of wealth flowing to the already wealthy is absolutely rock solid.  This is happening in New Zealand and overseas.  Third world diseases have started to appear in parts of New Zealand.  Things are getting worse.
         
        But you put your head in the sand and then say “I can see no evidence of this occurring”.
         
        As a request how about you don’t disrupt the thread and let the exchange develop.

        • Pete George 3.1.1.1

          Dishonest quote, I didn’t say “I can see no evidence of this occurring”.

          You could do with heeding your own advice about disrupting threads with targetted attacks,

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.1

            Edit Hmmm comment disappeared, something to do with the window clicking over to WYSWIG lprent?

            [lprent: not sure. I haven’t observed it or had it reported.

            I have a weeks ‘holiday’ scheduled for upgrading the site and fixing the wee pile of errors that have been observed. Was meant to start this weekend. But we aren’t quite to shipping the product for testing. End of projects are always a pain. ]

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.2

            I didn’t say “I can see no evidence of this occurring”.

            But you did say “Are you aware that rich people still pay the most tax by far?” And you did say “framing it as taking from the poor to give to the rich is ignorant or dishonest.”

            So I took it that you meant that it was dishonest to say that wealth was going from the poor to the rich. You did say “tax” but I was talking about “wealth” so I thought your faux outrage at my comment meant you were also talking about wealth.

            Rather than stuff up another thread by your banal chisseling how about you address the merits of the post?

            • felix 3.1.1.1.2.1

              lolz

              Pete can’t respond right now, he’s drafting a Very Important Post over at his own blog. It’s an in-depth investigative piece about mickysavage using double quote marks when he should’ve used single ones.

              He’s given it the working title ‘This One Time At Banned Camp’

              • Would “felix joins micky in deliberate topic diversion and flame fanning” be an example of a misquote, single or double making no difference in effect?

                You complained recently about someone attributing something to you or make a false assumption didn’t you?

                I’ve made my point (in response, not initiated) but I’m not going to continue in this discussion.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Do I detect the smell of burning martyr?

                • felix

                  Crikey Pete, I agreed with you about him making it look like a quote when it wasn’t really one.

                  This country. Can’t even have a laugh in the morning anymore. It’s PG gone mad.

                • tc

                  Awesome, feel free to spread that to all posts on this site ever and make the world a better place.

            • Pete George 3.1.1.1.2.2

              how about you address the merits of the post?

              I understand what National are trying to do, to try and create better economic conditions and less impediments, to encourage and enable business to grow itself. While some targeted investments – “picking winners” – can be worth trying it is mostly private business that has to drive the recovery.

              So I think Eddie’s got it wrong, National do have an aim (or agenda), to facilitate growth. The attention would be better given to why that’s not working (here and in many other countries).

              But that wouldn’t fit with an apparent agenda to paint National as doing nothing and having no policies – when petitions aren’t being organised to try and stop National’s policies.

              • stever

                “National do have an aim (or agenda), to facilitate growth. The attention would be better given to why that’s not working (here and in many other countries).”

                So, National’s policies are not working (and they are not working elsewhere, either), you say.

                So, why are they not trying something different? Surely it’s negligent or insane behaviour to carry on with a policy that does not work?

                Further, what other policies do they have?

                And, *their* attention (because it’s their fault they are pursuing them) should be given to why the policies are not working. The party and government might learn something.

                • So, National’s policies are not working… (

                  They’re not working in that we’re not getting the levels of business and employment growth that is generally seen as needed.

                  But it’s difficult to say (Bernard Hickey agreed on this last week) if things would have been worse if National hadn’t done what they’d done. We haven’t crashed like Greece, for example.

                  It’s also highly dubious Labour policies would have been much (if any) better, their main tax policy was CGT which would have had little effect for years (2016 was mentioned), if it made much difference at all.

                  And Shearer said last week that a Labour government would be very careful about spending and work to get back into surplus too.

                  • You have to be joking Petey and why the concentration on “policies”?  Why not concentrate on “competence”.
                     
                    For instance National did not have a “policy” of running structual deficits and accumulating debts but whadda you know?  They also had a “policy” about something they called “fiscially neutral tax cuts” but these were about as fiscially neutral as a night out at Sky City.
                     
                    And Labour had a policy of paying off debt while times were good and did so.  They also promised stimulus in 2008 and National took credit for a number of projects Labout had planned.
                     
                    So competence wise you have to agree that Labour were way better than National with the financials.  And they kept their word.

                    • No, I don’t have to agree. None of them “keep their word”, all governments have to adjust policies to try and address a continually changing economic environment.

                      Labour was regarded as reasonable enough through two terms but then went vote buying and committing to unsustainable costs in their last term. We headed for recession early, and those cost commitments made it more difficult to maneuvre through the crashes.

                  • jack

                    Pete George, they aren’st working because Key and National have their priorities
                    all wrong. I have to agree with Russell Norman on Q &A.. And Winston Peters. I think National is leveraging themselves to sell off assets. I am tired of listening to the same old excuses. Rogernomics doesn’t work, it’s been tried and failed. Today, I met a couple heading off to Australia because they have had enough. Sad, really because there is a whole lot of payee taxes gone. Multiply that by a thousand a week. That’s part of the reason the tax take is lower. Key himself is paying less tax and leaving up to the taxpayers to pay his increase in yearly income through borrowing. They are highwaymen. I am not a labour fan either. There doesn’t seem to be much there other than capital gains tax, which would help. Key is raping this country for what it is worth… I keep reminding myself that he is going to sell our sovereignty off to the US with the up and coming TPPA.

                    But if I were to do it over again, I’d would have voted for Helen Clark in 2005 instead of Key.. this guy is has no morals.

                  • jack

                    Pete George, they aren’st working because Key and National have their priorities
                    all wrong. I have to agree with Russell Norman on Q &A.. And Winston Peters. I think National is leveraging themselves to sell off assets. I am tired of listening to the same old excuses. Rogernomics doesn’t work, it’s been tried and failed. Today, I met a couple heading off to Australia because they have had enough. Sad, really because there is a whole lot of payee taxes gone. Multiply that by a thousand a week. That’s part of the reason the tax take is lower. Key himself is paying less tax and leaving up to the taxpayers to pay his increase in yearly income through borrowing. They are highwaymen. I am not a labour fan either. There doesn’t seem to be much there other than capital gains tax, which would help. Key is raping this country for what it is worth… I keep reminding myself that he is going to sell our sovereignty off to the US with the up and coming TPPA.

                    But if I were to do it over again, I’d would have voted for Helen Clark in 2005 instead of Key.. this guy is horrible.

              • Colonial Viper

                I understand what National are trying to do, to try and create better economic conditions and less impediments, to encourage and enable business to grow itself.

                I don’t think you understand very much apart from Neoliberal free market fantasies. The advanced industries of every advanced country have always tended to require significant government intervention, protection and support during early phases.

                Even Fonterra/Dairy Board.

            • aerobubble 3.1.1.1.2.3

              Act Student leader recently argued on TV that government should on take tax for the military and police. Now arguably that means the rich would have to pay the same percentage that everyone does, no loopholes, no offshore accounts, no trusts, no fancy army of accountants and tax experts. When they sell Trademe they would pay the same amount on their income, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. The question is, would that be more than it is now. I would say HELL YES. Geez, here you can write off debt interest against earnings, the more debt you can run up with the banks, the richer you can be.
              Just imagine, someone handing Key a gun and saying to him, we dont need no brokers but we do need soldiers now we have no foreign diplomatic core.

          • Tom 3.1.1.1.3

            Pete are you an advocate of the land tax principles of Henry George ?

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

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

            http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/George.html

            http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0254/is_n4_v56/ai_20381869/

            voices.yahoo.com/ article/ 2873740/ is_henry_georges_single_land_value.html

      • felix 3.1.2

        Of course rich people pay more tax, they have all the money you fool!

        Do you think having very rich people and very poor people is some sort of natural state that mustn’t be meddled with?

  4. vto 4

    It is all zero because Key is a zero.

    I mean, before he came back to NZ and straight into Parliament what had he actually done in New Zealand that made a contribution? Anything? Had he taken any rubbish out? Had he built anything that people use in their daily lives? Had he helped in the voluntary sector? Had he participated in productive industry?

    Anything? What had Key done?

    Seems like zero to me, so hardly surprising that it is still zero…

  5. Carol 5

    It’s not policies of brainless, unfocused Tories. T’is all part of the international shock doctrine of disaster capitalism:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/owen-jones-this-austerity-backlash-across-europe-could-transform-britain-7734670.html

    And yet the past four years have proved a total vindication of Klein’s argument. A crisis of the market was cleverly transformed by free market ideologues into a crisis of public spending. Across Europe, the biggest slump since the 1930s has been used to push through policies straight out of some right-wing wet dream: the slashing of taxes on the rich and major corporations; the selling off of public services; and a bonfire of workers’ rights. It is disaster capitalism on speed.

    It’s not so much of a well-coordinated international conspiracy, as that they are all working from the same playbook.

    I hope Owen Jones optimism for an international revolt against this destructive neoliberal agenda is well placed:

    But, this week, the great revolt against the Shock Doctrine began. That is exactly how we must understand the sudden sea change in European politics: not least, the election of Socialist François Hollande in France, and the stunning breakthrough of anti-austerity leftists in the Greek elections.
    […]
    The truth is that the real world has paid the high priests of austerity an unwelcome visit. Their policies have sucked growth out of the economy, failed to tackle debt, dramatically increased unemployment, and devastated living standards. It would be utterly baffling if people did not fight back.

    But where is NZ’s widespread fight back?

    • Bill 5.1

      Accordng to a column by Iain McWhirter in ‘the Herald’ (No. Not that one. Another herald), François Hollande, has prominsed a balanced budget by 2017. Which is….just more austerity.

      The column’s worth a read. He focusses on the lack of fightback in a British context and concludes with this cheeriness:

      Mostly under 40, these households will pay (bankers debt) through income stagnation, through taxation and through inflation, which itself is really a kind of super-tax on the savings and earnings of ordinary families.

      They are the economic living dead, staggering on without much hope of improvement for themselves or their children. They aren’t organised in trades unions, don’t take much interest in politics and can’t afford to go out on strike because of their mortgages.

      They have no faith in, or experience of, collective action, and look with derision on people who think that sleeping in tents can change the world. They do not rise up, or go to the barricades, they retreat into themselves, conserving energy for the day to day struggle.

      For the zombie middle classes there will be no cathartic eruption, no big bang – just a very long and miserable whimper.

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/what-now-for-austerity.17570635

    • s y d 5.2

      Why fight when you can simply withdraw to a much better position…

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10805706

      Young job seeker Joanne Frew said she wanted to move because of the National Government’s lack of focus on “creating better jobs and affordable housing”.
      “I’ve given up hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel, and decided to make my own light,”
      there will be no fightback until there is no other option
       
       

      • Fortran 5.2.1

        Joanna’s degree is in Political Science, for which there are very few jobs in New Zealand.
        Hope she does better in Adelaide.

    • Dr Terry 5.3

      Ideally, there would be very strong fight back, but in this country that will be quickly squashed (witness Umarewa small incident!) We are fortunate to have available to us an alternative, a choice – head for Australia! Europeans have no such ready option to hand and feel trapped.
      In any other country, our mass exodus of population would be considered catastrophic! Here, complacency reigns.

  6. Carol 6

    And this response from Key to the leaked proposals to change labour laws further to undermine collective bargaining and workers rights, is just cynically nasty – it’s a tactic of conning the majority by lining them up against the alleged minority. So udnermining the human rights of a minority is OK then?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6913814/Secret-changes-to-labour-rules

    Prime Minister John Key says changes to industrial relations laws being considered by the Government are minor and won’t affect the vast bulk of New Zealanders.
    […]
    In a new move, Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson wants employers to be able to set the agenda for collective contract negotiations, raising concerns they will be able to walk away from bargaining if unions reject unreasonable demands.

    Curiously, in an earlier version of the article, I’m pretty sure Wilkinson said she hadn’t seen the paper that was allegedly leaked.

    • stever 6.1

      Carol—yes I saw that claim from Wilkinson that she hadn’t seen the paper—early this morning—around 0630??

    • DH 6.2

      “Curiously, in an earlier version of the article, I’m pretty sure Wilkinson said she hadn’t seen the paper that was allegedly leaked.”

      Yup, I read that too. I’m pretty sure I read that she also denied the paper even existed. Stuff changed that article quite a lot from 6am this morning.

      • freedom 6.2.1

        Also in the earlier version when Wilkinson denied knowing about the papers she also alluded to Labour making it up.

        note there has been zero comments, all day, in contrast to the several hundred that had appeared by 8am on the bene bashing article last week. Stuff’s policy of selective moderation/publishing of comments is a little bit obvious. They should try some subtlety like the herald, who at least drip feed a few on the anti-gov stories.

        • freedom 6.2.1.1

          3pm and still nary a comment has been published.

        • rosy 6.2.1.2

          she also alluded to Labour making it up.

          She didn’t just allude to it. The 5am version quoted her as saying they were making it up, if I remember rightly. My partner and I were discussing how often they use that line when stuff they don’t want to appear gets written about…

          I wonder how easy it would be to check for Key & Co saying that? Also to pick up the 5am version of that article?

          • rosy 6.2.1.2.1

            Found the 5am version – The Timaru Herald still has it.
            And you’re right freedom. No doubt she she knows they’re real, with the declining to accept copies and all…

            Ms Wilkinson has refused to comment on the changes and has suggested the papers are made up.

            “I haven’t seen the paper that Darien Fenton claims she has and cannot confirm its authenticity.”

            Ms Wilkinson’s office declined to accept copies of the papers.

            Ms Fenton said she had no doubt they were authentic as they included changes the minister had already signalled.

            • Carol 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Ah. Thanks everyone for confirming I had remembered it correctly.

              Interesting then, that Labour has been getting leaks via a high level NAct person, or someone close to them.

      • Vicky32 6.2.2

        Yup, I read that too. I’m pretty sure I read that she also denied the paper even existed. Stuff changed that article quite a lot from 6am this morning.

        I didn’t read it, but heard about it on National Radio this morning, so as of 11.15, it still said Wilkinson was denying all knowledge…

    • deuto 6.3

      I also saw the earlier version which suggested that Wilkinson said she had not seen the paper. As DH mentions below the article has changed a lot since then. I also recall that the early version mentioned that the cabinet paper had been obtained by Labour which is no longer there with the article now reading that Fairfax has learnt or words to that effect. Another leak to Labour (Mallard) and the main media as last week?

      IIRC the earlier version also suggested that this was the first of three tranches of changes ……….

      • deuto 6.3.1

        Kiwiblog has a use for once. First comment in General Debate quotes the bit re Wilkinson:

        … Ms Wilkinson has refused to comment on the changes and has suggested the papers are made up.
        “I haven’t seen the paper that Darien Fenton claims she has and cannot confirm its authenticity.”
        Ms Wilkinson’s office declined to accept copies of the papers …

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Key and Joyce were contradicting each other the other week as well.

      But Gower hasnt seen an economic report that he didnt chuck in the bin- numbers may as well peanuts, only good when they are swallowed without thinking

  7. captain hook 9

    there will be a housing boom soon.
    is that growth?

  8. Georgecom 10

    I reflect on the comment from last Thursday by Gerry Brownlee in the post “Road to nowhere paved with your gold”.

    BROWNLEE: I think the advice that the member has referred to as coming from the Ministry of Transport lacks the ambition that this Government has for growth in the New Zealand economy.

    Fortunately Gerry, many people lack to ambition for growth that your Government has. That is, we aspire to more than the pittance your lot are delivering.

    Rod Oram in the Sunday Star Times summed up quite well the general approach of the Key Government. Whilst I didn’t agree with everything Oram stated he did map out Nationals approach. Do little, tinker and hope/pray that a cyclical upswing will paper over some of the cracks. The ‘upswing’ is still failing to arrive. If (when?) it does it will do little to place us on a sustainable footing for the future.

    In summary the Nats have failed NZ over the past 4 years and they are setting the country up to fail it again in the next 2 years.

  9. Jason 11

    Left, Right,National, Labour,this is what sheeple are told to think there is a choice,that there is democracy WAKE UP
    They all get their orders from the UN, WHO, WTO, not you the people

  10. Jason 12

    Left, Right,National, Labour,this is what sheeple are told to think there is a choice,that there is democracy WAKE UP PEOPLE
    They all get their orders from the UN, WHO, WTO, not you the people.

  11. Poission 13

    The retail sales figures today are a significant test of the economy.As costs have risen in the non discretionary spend,such as electricity,rates insurance there is little avenue with low wage growth but to cut necessities.

    Unfortunately as food prices have not fallen significantly the fall in supermarket sales is volume orientated.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/RetailTrade/RetailTradeSurvey_HOTPMar12qtr.aspx

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