There is no recession in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, September 21st, 2023 - 57 comments
Categories: election 2023, grant robertson, labour - Tags:

The growth figures are up and National operatives will be in despair.  Not only did the economy grow considerably faster than anticipated in the last quarter at 0.9% but the previous quarter’s figure has been resolved from -0.1% to 0%, a small but significant change.

From Liam Dann at the Herald:

The economy grew 0.9 per cent in the second quarter, keeping the country out of recession and exceeding expectations.

And GDP rose 3.2 per cent in the year ended June 2023.

Economists had forecast New Zealand would rebound back into growth in the second quarter of the year.

Estimates for June quarter GDP (gross domestic product) ranged from growth of 0.4 per cent to growth of 0.8 per cent.

But higher dairy, forestry, and meat exports helped drive the growth of 0.9 per cent in the second quarter.

“Business services was the biggest driver of economic growth this quarter, largely due to computer system design,” Stats NZ economic and environmental insights general manager Jason Attewell said.

Stats NZ today said manufacturing activity increased in the second quarter after five consecutive quarters of decline.

The rise reported today followed a flat (0 per cent) March 2023 quarter, revised up from -0.1 per cent, and a decline of 0.5 per cent in the December 2022 quarter (revised from -0.7 previously).

National is going to have to do an urgent review of its advertising.  And one of its major planks, the lack of growth has been cruelly ripped away by reality,

I suspect that Grant Robertson is grinning from ear to ear …

57 comments on “There is no recession in New Zealand ”

  1. Roy Cartland 1

    I just saw it on RNZ and that was my first thought too. The Nats will be spewing!

  2. SPC 2

    There was no recession.

  3. Corey 3

    Nz may not be in a recession but I wouldn't be shouting from the rooftops how great the economy is and how everything is fine because for most people it's not fine.

    For two years kiwis have felt their living standards slip, and Labour has been incredibly hands off from it's insanely timid supermarket reforms to it's refusal to even think about anyone but the private sector building homes.

    Times are incredibly tough. Tougher than they were in the GFC and Labour is offering next to nothing meaningful on a ground level to minimize the suffering.

    The last thing Labour needs to be doing is shouting from the rooftops everything is fine in a coat of living crisis, it'll just further turn off the voters Labour needs.

    At 27% Labour won't even be an effective opposition party, at 27% Labour can expect 2-3 terms in opposition and an internal civil war immediately after the election.

    it needs to be throwing everything including the kitchen sink at voters to at the very least get it's base excited but three weeks out from an election is continuing to drift rightward an offer nothing of substance.

    Shouting that the rich are doing well and the economy isn't in a technical recession under Labour is not going to win many millenials Gen z, poor, working class or struggling middle class voters.

    Gen z and millenials vote based off policy… Labour has nothing to offer in policy.

    Boomers and Gen x seem to vote based off personality… Labour again has nothing to offer in this regard.

    Labour genuinely deserves to lose this election not just for the wasted mmp majority and wasting almost every opportunity in the last three years to meaningfully reform nz and it's economy and commerce not just for the constant ministerial f*** ups,but right now for totally and utterly misreading the country. For two years the country has been screaming and crying for help and Labour go into the election ignoring those crys for help and offering *checks notes* $4 a week off fruit and veges.

    I hope Labour can cobble together a coalition but they are gonna get a historical thumping.

    Campaigning on "we're not as bad as the other lot" never works for the left. We always need excitement, passion and energy and chippy seems to be alergic to anything but bland third way centrism.

    • bwaghorn 3.1

      People borrowed like no tomorrow when interst rates where at record lows, did it not dawn on them that they would go up again?

      I have no mortgage life ain't to bad!

      • Tricledrown 3.1.1

        Good for you most young families can't put food on the table or pay all their bills rents/ housing electricity groceries all going up and all you can do is gloat.

        No wonder the left are not connecting with voter's! Tax cuts are an easy sell for the 70% who are doing it hard.But chippy can't breakthrough that narrative.Because he is not the finance minister he can't remember things like only 30% of families will be better off under National that is those families earning over $100,000 a year which doesn't include single parent families who won't get anything under National so only 20% of families will be better off. Labour haven't taken National to task on who is better off a Webb site should be set up with a.meter showing who gets a family on the median average income will only get $10 a week while those on $120,000 will get $60+ a week.So the bottom 70% of families will be worse off as minimum wages will be kept low wage bargaining gone,free prescriptions,cheap winter power,child care etc etc all gone with Seymour and Luxon having to cut more than what National claim!

    • SPC 3.2

      Boomers and Gen x seem to vote based off personality…

      No, the haves vote their privilege and they came from a time when home ownership was common. And their privileged descendants (no estate tax) inherit the land/earth.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.3

      Some facts Corey, unemployment was 6.6 after GFC.

      Current unemployment is 3.4 after the Pandemic, Terror attack, eruption, mico plasma bovis, war shortages oil price spikes interest rate hikes.

      It has been a difficult period, and it will get more difficult with climate change.

      The Left are not allowed to celebrate small but significant successes, there are too many bloody well enjoying self flagellation.

      This is a feature of the Left. The Right ignore their faults.

      Now Luxon has been pedalling another lie." NZ in Recession, going backwards Worst Minister of Finance ever"

      Will any honest member of Media call Luxon out.???

      His hyperbole is dreadful, and Luxon will take us backwards. imo.

    • James Simpson 3.4

      If Labour want to fight the election on the economy, they will lose big time. The economy is not their strength.

      The rich have done well in the past 3 years and are not effected by high inflation. The working poor are getting hammered.

      Trying to use these numbers as some kind of reason to vote for Labour, demonstrates a complete loss of reality.

      • Patricia Bremner 3.4.1

        Where is the social conscience of those rich "that have done well in the past 3 years"?

        Do they live outside our society?

        Queenstown is discovering what the rules are for, and what happens when you ignore them.surprise

        • Stephen D

          They live in their own bubble, Patricia. The rest of the world can burn, but as long as they’re ok. Who cares.

        • James Simpson

          I'm not sure where there social conscience is. But they will mostly be voting NACT.

      • Louis 3.4.2

        @ James. The topic of this article shows the economy is one of Labour's strengths.

        • James Simpson

          You clearly don't mix with the working poor if you think the economy is strong.

          Unemployment is predicted to increase to 5.4% in the next 18 months (PREFU), and interest rates are going to keep rising while inflation stays high.

          The right don't have the answers for those two problems, but if you are trying to suggest they are not problems then I'm not sure there is much point debating.

      • SPC 3.4.3

        One of those who still believes the myth about neo-liberal economic competence.

        1970's – opposed a super fund to enable local ownership of our economic assets. National.

        1980's-1990's – an international market economy with ownership of property available to those on higher incomes (end of estate tax) after the cut of the top rate of income tax from 66 to 33%, despite downward pressure on wages. Labour and National

        1990's – an economy based around low wage levels (ECA destruction of unions) and no investment in apprenticeships, or research and development. A low productivity disaster. National.

        2000-2023. a population growth driven economy. Major beneficiary banks lending on rising property value mortgages (most profit offshore and little tax revenue derived to government). National and Labour.

        2000-2023 an effort to Labour to revive unions ECR to FPA, rising MW, apprenticeships, R and D. Cullen Fund and later one to deal with climate change induced events. All opposed by National.

        2000-2023. WFF so the poor could still afford to have children, if not own homes as well. And KiwiSaver. Labour and to a degree also National.

        Every wrong policy – National. Some Labour also.

        Your reckons …

  4. bwaghorn 4

    I'd love a social scientist to do a paper on the toxic effect on a country's psyches of have a political party being constantly negative wet and whiny for 6 years when the country is battling a pandemic and inflation caused by outside influences.

    • Barfly 4.1

      I'd love to be rich so I could pay someone to do it and mercilessly beat the people over the head with it (metaphorically)

    • Tricledrown 4.2

      The right know this already and know how to divide opinion avoid the truth to keep the poor poor and the rich rich.They know how to Spin a complete lie and keep spinning it like Donald Trump until the Media stop holding them to Account.

  5. Reality 5

    The serious and draining effect of Covid on NZ over the last three years seems to have been forgotten, which is understandable in a way because people want to move on from that difficult time. But Covid must have affected the government being able to progress on many areas.

    Let us not forget the demands of National – "open the borders". They were not concerned in any way about how many more people may have died. At a time the country should have been united, all they and Act did was want to put business first, ahead of people's health. I will never forget their "open the borders" demands.

    Let us not forget also the businesses who claimed the wage subsidy even as they were making healthy profits.

    Whatever could or should have been done by the Government, they put people first.

    • observer 5.1

      Absolutely true.

      Who said this: "the Government did a very good job in following the health advice in 2020 … "

      Answer: Christopher Luxon, 2021. Citation:

      No need for Auckland borders: Christopher Luxon |

      Nobody remembers this, because the media have moved on, but also (and this is unforgivable) because Hipkins and Labour are too bloody passive to fight back, even with National's own policies and statements.

      Every day National say "the past 6 years", as if nothing had happened and every day this false framing is reinforced in the public mind. That is why they are winning, and Labour's response is … to spend a TV debate agreeing with National. Useless.

    • mary_a 5.2

      100% agree Reality (5)👍

    • Belladonna 5.3

      Whatever could or should have been done by the Government, they put people first.

      Sounds like an epitaph.

      Every time the Left (especially Labour) references Covid, they lose.
      Psychologically, it's associating the Government with a time of anxiety and misery for Kiwis. They *want* to move on. They don't want to be reminded.

      Yes, Yes, YMMV – if you are a died-in-the-wool Leftie – my party, right or wrong – but the majority of Kiwis are not.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.3.1

        Many here, and around the world tragically lost their lives to COVID-19, but no epitaph for me (yet!) I credit our government's prioritisation of health during a pandemic for that, and won't be forgetting in a hurry.

        Just hope I've shuffled off before we face a pandemic with the Nats in charge.

        Coronavirus: Bridges urges shift to level 2, saying more COVID-19 cases possible at any alert level

        Coronavirus: Simon Bridges urges Government to lift lockdown next week, take Australian approach

        National leader Judith Collins question's Government's transparency over community transmission

        What would actually happen if Covid-19 restrictions were stopped?
        National Party leader Christopher Luxon is pressing the Government to ease up on the Covid-19 restrictions.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          One of my daughter's friends in the US lost 3 of her siblings to COVID – all under 16. None had pre-existing medical conditions. One early on and two in a later wave. She got mildly sick as did her parents. She is still distraught as are her parents.

          A school mate of hers who ended up in the states when his parents separated (his sister stayed in NZ with the dad) also died from/with COVID. On such simple and unrelated decisions did some sad outcomes depend.

          There was no rhyme or reason in so many cases as to who lived and who died.

          My daughter is ever so grateful for how we managed the pandemic and protected our population particularly as she has genetic health conditions.

          I get no sense NZ is as community connected as Sweden, has the less politically influenced public service (esp since CEO's were moved from the SSC nor had an opposition which would have supported the government in what ever decision they made, nor a business community that had taken any notice what-so-ever of the pandemic planning 10 years earlier.

          Sweden was in a much stronger position to do what they did.

      • observer 5.3.2

        So your measure of truth is opinion polls.

        It is not "my party right or wrong". It is a fact that spending was significantly increased to save lives and the opposition supported it. Were they wrong?

        If you believe the test is not "is it true" but "do people want to hear it right now" then you might as well advocate for every war from Vietnam to Iraq, or say nothing about climate change, etc, etc. So many issues have shifting public opinion, and if that is your moral compass, you are lost.

        "Perception" changes. Facts don't.

        • Belladonna

          Perception, however, is the reality which matters in a democracy.

          No doubt your conscious rectitude will comfort you in the wilderness of electoral defeat.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            You're right – short-term perception-driven behaviours continue to knee-cap rational responses to the reality of self-made civilisation-ending threats.

            Spaceship Earth will continue to warm long after anyone alive today stops converting fuel and oxygen to CO2 – a reality future generations can bank on.

            Take comfort in your perceptions B. Best of luck getting ahead, and keep fighting your centrist corner.

            James Hansen speaks out about global climate change [2012 TED talk]
            This [energy] imbalance, if we want to stabilize climate, means that we must reduce CO2 from 391 ppm, parts per million, back to 350 ppm. That is the change needed to restore energy balance and prevent further warming.

            Big news in the close-knit and secretive climate change community!
            At Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii they just measured Atmospheric CO2 at its highest level in human history – 423.01 ppm!!!

            • Belladonna

              "You're right – short-term perception-driven behaviours continue to knee-cap rational responses to the reality of self-made civilisation-ending threats.

              Including the multiple TS members who have recently commented on their overseas holidays.

              CO2 doesn't care if you're a died-in-the-wool leftie – your aircraft emissions conttribute just as much as the ACT voter in the seat beside you.

              Not that this comment originally had anything to do with climate change – it was about the negative psychological response of voters to the association of Labour (and the podium of truth!) with Covid.
              Even for you – it’s a bit of a stretch to tie this into climate change.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                "The podium of truth!" – oh dear. But OK, if that's your perception.

                Pleased that you perceive the threats from carbon emissions. Luxon is, in his own words, a "naturally humble and focused" person, who used to run a government-owned airline – I just wish NAct pollies could focus on the reality of emission threats like you do. Instead they continue to serve up 'repeal and delay' "back to the drawing board" policies – it's unreal !

                Future Act MP held ‘climate hysteria skeptics’ meetings at high school
                [13 October 2020]
                David Seymour is quoted as saying Baillie would bring common sense to parliament.

                Baillie is currently ACT’s education spokesperson.

       from the National Party media unit.

                Brownlee is currently the Nat's Emergency Management spokesperson.

                NAct pollies may be sufficiently forward-focused for centrists, but if NZ is operating at current levels of inequality when the shit really hits the fan, then imho pandemic-level 'inconvenience' will be the least of our worries.

                Once again, B, best of luck to you and yours – we’re all in this together.

                Opinion: Luxon must go back to the drawing board [6 May 2022]
                In reality we need several big-bang solutions but the National Party is either for maintaining the status quo or going backwards. Both are untenable choices. Fortunately, the next election is still a long way away and we can hope that by then Luxon will do some homework and bring some real policy ideas that address our current challenges beyond giving himself a tax cut.

    • Ad 5.4

      I'd suggest exactly the opposite on COVID affecting governmental progress.

      COVID showed that central government still had the capacity and will where necessary to intervene more deeply into the entire private sector of the economy than at any time since the Great Depression, and also still had the capacity and will to use coercive powers we haven't seen since the Polio outbreak of the 1950s to command-and-control the whole of society.

      This was a far more muscular show of what the state could do than anything Key did with the Christchurch Earthquake. Underscored by the daily briefings to us all by the Prime Minister for months and months until the necessity started to reside.

      What we were missing was coherent structural redesign to right us afterward as a country. Also missing a coherent economic plan for businesses to grasp. Also missing a social plan to make sense of massive recentralisation.

      Which is, electorally, why we are here now.

      • Louis 5.4.1

        Saving lives, saved the economy. It was about trying to save as many lives as possible, keeping businesses afloat, and keeping workers in jobs.

    • Louis 5.5

      Well said Reality.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    There is no depression in Noo Zee-ee-lan…there are no sheep on our farms etc.… Blam Blam Blam classic

    Baldrick will be loving this. Corey upthread is correct of course about the reality of “wot Labah dun to etsself” particularly since 2020, wealth tax, slap the oil industry and Supermarkets and they would have hosed in. But, but, “Cap’n’s Call”…

    When David Parker chucks his portfolio on the Caucus table, you know there is a serious problem with NZ Labour.

  7. Adrian 7

    Jeez.. I wish they would give me a go at writing Chppys speeches. He needs to get pissed off about the lies, he needs to tell Luxon the next time he uses the gangs are Labour bullshit that he, Chippy, is angry and well pissed off about the constant lying. Come on Chippy, grow some.

    • observer 7.1

      He's spent his working life in Parliament. The place where nobody is allowed to say "you're lying". That has been the whole problem since he became PM.

      Hipkins seems to think an election will be decided by a carefully considered Speaker's ruling on the facts. Luxon knows he can get away with bullshit, so he does.

    • Ad 7.2

      +100 nothing to lose now

  8. observer 8

    National know perfectly well that shamelessly repeating a fiction for months and months before an election is far more effective than being proved wrong 12 days before people start voting.

    And if a party in government thinks the best counter-strategy is meekly promising not to do things that differentiate them from the opposition, the liars win.

    • Roy Cartland 8.1

      Surely Chippy and the LAB know all this. They aren’t completely clueless. Is it too much of a stretch to wonder if Labour would rather a NAT government got in than have to share power with the Greens or TMP? NAT and LAB are both centrists after all.

    • AB 8.2

      Well said. And sadly Mickey is wrong to say that National operatives will be in despair. They'll just swap the "only country in Asia-Pac that's in recession" lie for a different one. It's done it's job anyway after being endlessly repeated for months.

  9. James Simpson 9

    This isn't good new for anyone with a mortgage

    • bwaghorn 9.1

      Yeah it is , try paying one without a job

      • James Simpson 9.1.1

        Paying one without a job is tough indeed.

        But the point I was making is the Reserve Bank's aggressive rate rises, was intended to manufacture a recession. The fact we have growth and high inflation means they will not be inclined to slow down on the rate rises. That means more pain for the mortgage belt.

        On the flip side unemployment is forecast to rise to 5.4% in the next 18 months (PREFU) so that may dampen things anyway.

  10. Ad 10

    If it couldn't name itself a recession, then it'll probably do 'till a real one comes round

  11. Ffloyd 11

    Could someone tell me what qualifications Willis has for being Finance spokesperson for National? Genuine question.

    • Ad 11.1

      Better than Robertson's.

      She was a category manager for Fonterra.

      She was a political consultant.

      She worked in John Key's Office.

      And that's enough these days apparently.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 11.2

      Snippets from Wikipedia:

      She graduated with a first-class honours degree in English literature from Victoria University of Wellington in 2003, and earned a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the University of Canterbury in 2017.

      In 2012, Willis joined dairy co-operative Fonterra, taking on senior management roles, as well as serving on the board of Export NZ, a division of lobbyist group Business New Zealand.

      Willis was a director of the New Zealand Initiative, a pro-free-market public-policy think tank, from May 2016 until February 2017.

      She is a member of the National Party's BlueGreen environmental caucus.

      In the 2020 New Zealand general election, Willis' unsuccessful campaign in the Wellington Central focussed heavily on increasing roading in the central city, with the slogan 'Four Lanes to the Planes'.

      Ah, BlueGreens and their 'Four Lanes to the Planes' – making sure the exit is clear wink

    • Belladonna 11.3

      I think you have to go back to English to find a Minister of Finance with any actual Treasury experience. And right back to Roger Douglas to find one with any finance qualifications (accountancy degree); and then Muldoon (also accountancy).
      Bill Rowling is the most recent one I’ve been able to find with an academic qualification in economics.

      Actual financial qualifications and hands-on experience seem, rarely, to have been a required qualification for the job.

      • lprent 11.3.1

        Formal qualifications aren’t the useful an indicator a lot of the time. What is actually useful is the training in how to think and how to learn.

        I have a couple of completed degrees. Neither of them have anything to do with the work I have been doing full time since 1990. Which is designing and writing code, mostly in c++ (the language that I prefer) and at almost every level from single processor chips to single board computers to the high speed and high capacity remote server systems that I currently work on.

        But my degrees are in earth sciences and management, and had little to do with computers. I just spent a lot of time playimh with computers all the way back to 1980. My profession is a hobby that took over my work. Which I learnt mostly on the job with a few mostly aborted courses crammed in other degrees or between projects.

        Before 1990, after the first degree I did tech sales mostly targeted at large Think Big sites, ran small factories, did computer support over a lot of the SI whilst waiting for ex to finish her degrees, and was the inventory manager for a significant local retailers.

        I actually did my masters purely because I was having communications issues with accountants who keep shutting down or selling factories which were making a reasonable profits. Turned out that accountancy was mostly about some pretty simple concepts done with some attention, and a shorthand language. I’ve written accounting systems and supported them in the field at various times. Easy work. Same with economics – language and concepts.

        Literally anyone can do them if they concentrate and have good learning skills.

        Programming is a bit different. Learning it is tricky but not hard. Suffering its learning curve ~20-25% pa and being able to figure out in your head how to build something complicated so others can work on it is way harder. Then being persistent enough to stay on the technology shift wheel is just exhilaration. But you really have to have some raw talent for the task to be very good and to stick with it. Many flake out after their learnt skills go obsolete and wind up as managers (or as I view them – my servants to do the boring bits)

        The only other professions that I am close to that have anything like the same need for unadulterated learning and cross-learning skills tend to be rare. IMO being a career politician is one of them – and I have been around a few over the years. Law gets close. Project engineering often is.

        Being a accountant, private sector manager, economist generally isn’t that useful inside of political spheres or governing. Private sector managers in particular have some real difficulty learning something like politics or governing. The only ones that seem to do it are the ones who weren’t managers – they were political rung climbers in the private sector – usually closely breathing the rear of someone else who actually had some talent.

        You’d actually be better off becoming a politician from teaching – way more of the skills cross over.

        • Belladonna

          So, based on that criteria – Willis with a Hons degree in English lit, and a post-grad journalism dip; followed by public policy hands-on experience with Bill English – before moving to the corporate sector; is about as qualified as Grant Robertson – Hons degree in politics, followed by MFAT and policy hands-on experience with Clark, before moving to the Otago Uni market research role.

          I guess, I was just surprised how sparse any actual actual economic training or experience was for so many Ministers of Finance.

          • Muttonbird

            It's only accounting and business studies, the very lowest of academic pursuits in secondary and tertiary education.

            As they say, those who can't do science do accounting.

          • lprent

            Yes and No.

            No because the depth and years of political and parliamentary experience (like previous ministerial roles) count for far far more in any given parliamentary role. Any experience gained before getting into parliament pales in comparison for political effectiveness in parliament and national government.

            Yes because it doesn’t matter that much what you did before parliament. It is your parliamentary experience that makes you an effective politician. You may get some background from previous local body experience. But really no that much.

            Prior experience is more about having skills to learn fast and deep, wanting to do it (which lets me out) and concentrating on doing it well over a long term – ie working on a 20-30 year timescale which requires a vast level of persistence.

            The best politician I have run across locally was Helen Clark. She got involved while at university worked as a lecturer in politics and had no private sector experience. She spent about than 50 years concentrating on being a competent, knowledgeable and effective politician inside her party, in government, and internationally. Basically because that was her passion and she wanted to push changes over time.

            At some point any education and even "real world" experience gets vastly outweighed by a simple concentration of learning the profession. Being educated at a tertiary level is usually about 3-5 years.

            Bill English was just as committed towards politics and from roughly the same political generation but you'd have to say that when you look over his political history of achievement – was remarkably ineffective at achieving almost anything that he advocated for.

            To become effective in parliament both in the house and in select committees takes around 5 years based on what I have observed. Working out how to deal with the public servants in their ministries and departments seems to take the same.

            Willis is apparently reasonably competent in parliament after 6 years (unlike Luxon who seems to be flummoxed by it). She may have some previous competence at the public service and corporate side. But it isn't apparent over the obvious unforced errors like her funding for tax cuts that rely on fantasy money from overseas house buyers and the idea of raiding the ETS fund away from its legislated purpose.

            And it is really really hard to see what she is in politics to achieve. Apart from the usual conservative position of trying to return the world to what it wasn't when she was born. While world keeps changing around her.

  12. observer 12

    Everything you need to know about Trumpy Luxon in one sentence.

    Luxon says New Zealanders "see and feel" that New Zealand is in recession.

    Live: Hipkins and Luxon trade blows on the campaign trail |

    "See and feel". Yep.

    If you believe in the almighty god called "Perception" instead of silly old truth, then logically you must believe in Trump, the leader of the anti-truth tribe. And that has real world consequences.

    Jan 6 at the Capitol was not a matter of "perception". It happened on Planet Earth. Fuelled by worshipping "perception" ahead of truth.

  13. Ffloyd 13

    DMK…..Thank you for info on Willis. She hardly seems qualified to be running the zFinances of National. Who really is? I had read somewhere she is mentored by Bill English. She also is singing from the same hymn sheet as Luxon. “There might not be a recession but Kiwis are FEELING like there is one” They are HEARING this from the mythical man on the street the Key used to hear so often. They think we are all stupid. We all know they are just trying to turn the narrative around to suit their agenda.

    Very vacuous people. Quite scary to think they could be the one running NZ into the ground. No thoughts spared for the average population (bottom feeders)as Luxon would have us be. Luxon is just making a twat of himself. I am waiting to see him on the catwalk. Not really though.

    Chris Hipkins is being slammed for not getting outraged and shouty when pitched against Luxon but I liked the fact that he stayed out of the gotcha stuff and was statesmanlike and reasonable and mature enough to realise that all that shite gets him nowhere,especially over Luxons burbling. He is honest and principled and didn’t play to the gallery and is passionate about NewZealand/Aotearoa becomes and stays an egalitarian country. Fingers crossed that Labour gets back in.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1

      'Vacuous' is apt (as is 'hollow'), but there is intent behind NAct's apparent mindlessness. Luxon's "bottom feeders" might be in for a bout of Ruthanasia, but will they vote?

      On National’s Tax Cuts [31 August 2023]
      Revealingly, National’s chart setting out the potential income gains has omitted everyone earning below $30,000 as if they don’t exist – and that’s an accurate reflection of how the “bottom feeders” simply don’t register on the centre-right’s voter radar. So much so that anyone earning below $45,000 a year would receive only $2 a week extra from National’s tax relief package, and nothing at all from its fiddling with the tax thresholds and from tweaks to the Independent Earner Tax Credit, to Working for Families and to childcare rebates.

      Christopher Luxon explains his 'bottom feeding' comments

      Today's classroom visitor is Mr Luxon from the National Party
      MR LUXON: If you were naughty you went to boot camp and got scared into being an ordinary hardworking New Zealander. Or you became a bottom-feeder. Don’t become bottom-feeders, boys and girls.

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    There’s been a change in Myers Park. Down the steps from St. Kevin’s Arcade, past the grassy slopes, the children’s playground, the benches and that goat statue, there has been a transformation. The underpass for Mayoral Drive has gone from a barren, grey, concrete tunnel, to a place that thrums ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    13 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    14 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    15 hours ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    16 hours ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    18 hours ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    23 hours ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    1 day ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket. to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    6 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    6 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    9 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    9 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    10 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    10 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    10 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    11 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    2 weeks ago

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