There is no surplus

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, October 14th, 2016 - 125 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2016, Economy, national - Tags: , , , ,

Originally posted at Boots Theory.

Radio NZ reports:

Tax cuts could soon be on the way with the Government opening up its books today revealing Crown accounts are tracking along nicely.

“We’ve always said, if economic and fiscal conditions allow, we will begin to reduce income taxes,” Finance Minister Bill English said.

In Year Eight of this National government, the idea of a budget surplus is a joke (and not just because it’s been completely engineered by the catastrophic Auckland housing bubble). They’ve promised it for nearly a decade. They’ve fiddled the books to make the numbers come out OK. They even declared a surplus in the middle of the financial year – that’s how desperate Bill English has been to pretend that everything’s going along just fine in New Zealand.

The truth is, there is no surplus.

When Housing New Zealand says it simply cannot build the houses we need for families who are living on the street and in their cars, how can we have a surplus?

When District Health Boards insist that they cannot afford to deliver safer rosters for junior doctors, or new equipment, or decent pay rises for support staff, how can we have a surplus?

When public schools, built on the promise of free education for every Kiwi kid, have to demand “voluntary donations” from parents in order to keep operating, how can we have a surplus?

When sick people have to run public campaigns ask for donations to fund the medicine they need, because Pharmac has to prioritise which life-saving treatments it subsidises, how can we have a surplus?

When the people who clean the ministerial toilets in the Beehive aren’t paid a living wage, how can we have a surplus?

If you aren’t providing the services you are contracted to do – in this case, maintaining the public services and promoting the welfare of New Zealanders – and declaring a profit, you’re not running a successful business. You’re running a Ponzi scheme.

This surplus isn’t a success for our government. It is a sign of their failure. It shows they do not understand what their job is: to look after the people of this country. To govern us – not bean-count. It shows they do not understand what success looks like, because success should never be measured on a spreadsheet while children are dying of preventable diseases in mold-ridden houses.

There is no surplus – not if you care about people more than money.

125 comments on “There is no surplus”

  1. Guerilla Surgeon 1

    The problem with the school donation thing is, that the schools that need them most are those least likely to get them. Because their parents just can’t afford it. Whereas places like Auckland Grammar can afford to pay their teachers way over the scale because they have rich parents. But on the whole, MPs kids go to schools like this rather than your average school. So they don’t care until it becomes a public disgrace. I think Fraser Coleman was probably the last MP to send his kids to the local high school.:)

    • Siobhan 1.1

      I think Fraser Coleman was probably the last MP to send his kids to the local high school.:)…. I wouldn’t want to get all hysterically Daily Mail about it, but there should be a register for Politicians stating if they use Public or Private Health Care, Public or Private Schooling for their children and, as we move forward, did they benefit from Free University, Govt Subsidised Housing Loans etc.

      Infact, if relevant to their portfolio, this information should absolutely be on Public record.

      • Red 1.1.1

        I send one kid private the other state, not really that much different, private make sense if academically or sports gifted, if not waste of money

        • Muttonbird 1.1.1.1

          Which one’s your favourite?

        • Siobhan 1.1.1.2

          From my own family and friends I’d say Private School is about connections with the ‘Right’ people. It means when you grow up you see your old school chum is the Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Bank, or something. You’re connected. You can name drop.
          Plus the teachers seem better at getting the best marks out of some of the crappiest students…..even if it means basically doing the work for them.
          Even just the name of the school looks good on your CV.

          It’s a great definer of social Class, in a society increasingly divided.

          • Psycho Milt 1.1.1.2.1

            Exactly. It’s for this reason that people are willing to pay so much for houses in the Auckland Grammar zone, not because there’s something special about the education you get there. It’s just that the people sending their kids to private schools find admitting it embarrassing (my God – admit that and next thing you’ll have to admit there is such a thing as social class in NZ), so they pretend there actually is a superior education to be had there.

        • Gabby 1.1.1.3

          You could put that state kid to work, get the value of bed and board back.

  2. Olwyn 2

    In a nutshell Stephanie. An excellent, true, straight-to-the-point post. Thank you.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Is there a reason that the neoliberal left still thinks that having a Government budget surplus during a time of sluggish economic activity is somehow a mark of pride?

      Governments only get budget surpluses by taking more from businesses and households than they provide back in social goods and services.

      Is this what we really want out governments to do. Take more from the country than they give back to the people of the country.

      • Olwyn 2.1.1

        One reason, I would think, is that debt was used in the Western countries to establish neoliberalism, and is still seen as a goad for driving out governments that don’t toe the line, with screams of “irresponsible” and “living beyond our means.”

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Absolutely – the orthodox economic and monetary system strongly limits government actions to those acceptable within a neoliberal framework.

          Which is why I don’t care much for any left wing party which refuses to break with the current orthodoxy. Because it means that no matter how well meaning their policies or their people, the end result is going to be predictably the same as the status quo.

      • Olwyn 2.1.2

        I should have added, this is not what we want governments to do at all – I have only suggested a possible reason why they aim for surpluses.

      • Is there a reason that the neoliberal left still thinks that having a Government budget surplus during a time of sluggish economic activity is somehow a mark of pride?

        I certainly don’t, CV. It might help the conversation if you discussed what people actually say in their posts instead of treating them as opportunities to sneer about how you’re The Best Leftie In The World.

  3. b waghorn 3

    There needs to be a 30 years concerted effort to rebrand tax(social contribution) as a public good, teach people what we could have if there was more money , and how we should be proud to contribute to a first class society , dreaming i know ?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1

      Absolutely agree and I hope you aren’t dreaming. The right have dominated public discourse on the role of tax. Their lies and soundbites have become the unquestioned mainstream view – i.e. tax is bad and tax is theft.

      The two main lies:

      – Higher tax of any sort is invariably bad for me and bad for society

      – Reducing tax will invariably benefit the economy and society

      I have a German friend who tells me that if you discuss cutting tax there, you are immediately looked at with some doubt and suspicion – “hang on, if tax is cut, what services will be cut – what will the costs be?” etc. You won’t immediately get that type of reaction here in NZ.

      How can the left improve the public dialog on tax here in NZ? b waghorn’s renaming as a “social contribution” seems a start.

      • tc 3.1.1

        maturity v immaturity
        Informed v uninformed
        Intelligence v dog whislted ignorance
        Aware of the bigger picture v feed memes by msm shills

        Scandanavia is similar, happy to pay taxes as they know it provides schools, healthcare, infrastructure, civic amenities, aged care etc.

        The average kiwi voter is nowhere near informed or engaged enough so gets conned by the shonky driven themes, dirty politics etc

      • b waghorn 3.1.2

        Cool ,although as long as we have morons like paul henry banging on like every tax dollar is out of their pocket it,s along row to hoe.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      There needs to be a 30 years concerted effort to rebrand tax(social contribution) as a public good

      It would be good if some lefties understood the principles of the old Social Credit Party and especially understood that taxes are not always needed to fund the operations of government.

      At this rate it will take another 30 years for todays orthodox neoliberal economics lefties to figure out what the original Social Credit lefties knew 30 years ago.

    • Nic the NZer 3.3

      Tax is never a public good, this is fundamentally undesirable. Public goods are what the government buys with its spending. This is exactly the problem Stephanie highlights here, this government has prioratised running an accounting surplus over buying public goods for public purpose (health, housing, education).

      It has done this by collecting tax which reduces demand in the economy (by reducing the non government sectors income) and by also refusing to purchase the resulting idle resources for public purpose following this.

      The net result is that parts of the economy (especially the un and under employed) can’t afford goods like health care, education and housing (where they have resorted to credit and a borrowing contest called the housing bubble) and the government is not buying it on their behalf.

      There is no way out of this for the unemployed as the economy is not creating sufficient jobs (further due to insufficient total spending). There is therefore no way for them to fund their social needs for themselves by finding work, either.

    • I don’t think you’re dreaming at all! This is something which Anat Shenker-Osorio and others have been looking at, the way the very language we use to discuss key political issues works against us – i.e. “tax relief”, “tax burden”, things that frame tax as inherently terrible.

      I’m obliged at this point to link to my review of ASO’s book and heartily recommend it to you:
      https://bootstheory.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/lefty-book-reviews-dont-buy-it/

      • b waghorn 3.4.1

        cheers but my poor old brain isn’t cut out for taking in large dumps of material, vibes and gut instinct i understand.

  4. ropata 4

    Great piece Stephanie… repeating my comment from earlier

    Housing Corp is running out of money

    The Gnats are cheating taxpayers and stealing from the future of NZ. They are fucking over the whole public service and social fabric of NZ to keep their middle class fan base happy with inflated Auckland houses, lower taxes, and flash private schools subsidised by others.

    In IT there’s a thing called “technical debt” incurred when you take shortcuts in projects and leave messy code/bugs for others to clean up. Managers do not care about tech debt, their goal is to deliver a project on time. But the users and maintainers of the code have to put up with a buggy mess that makes their job harder. The manager has effectively shifted the cost of code maintenance & QA onto another team.

    The Gnats are past masters at offloading government “debt” (i.e. their obligation to govern responsibly) to households and social services and beneficiaries. There is a huge social cost that will be paid one way or another. The quality of life for most Kiwis is being destroyed so that Bill English can put some nice numbers on a fucking spreadsheet

    • Michelle 4.1

      Agree Ropata and the timing of releasing this budget surplus is dubious to say the least. Did you hear Billy Boy on the radio he sounded like a fool to me unable to say anything substantial. I think they are panicking because the internal polls they have been conducting are saying many NZers are sick and f..n tired of these rip of bastards flogging of our assets at the same time cutting our welfare state and other state agencies like ACC is hurting many NZers and they (tories) have shown there true colours as they really don’t care and they never will because it is all about money with them not people .

    • miravox 4.2

      Nice IT analogy there ropata.

      English is creating a services debt for his technical surplus.

      Excellent post Stephanie.

    • Yep, National ape economic success by cost-shifting. It’s a traditional practice of the business elite really, of which the National Party is really an extension.

    • Takere 4.4

      Agree.
      With the new Blue Green Blinglish Accounting Software programme called “Recyclables” enables the user to magic up positives only on the balance sheet.

      Savings made by Ministers not spending their budgeted appropriations year on year and some tricky accounting practices such as NZ Post buying Kiwi Bank pre-budget & hey presto! You’ve got a $414m surplus 2015/2016. Moving $450m, the purchase price from one side of the ledger to the other, which is also counted twice as far as GDP goes, so that becomes a $900m transaction!
      Its a bit like everyone believing that the Household Balance as of the End June makes us “All” rich. $1.3 trillion Wealthier??

  5. dukeofurl 5

    It does seem to be year end statement ( to 30 June 2016) which takes about 3 months to compile
    Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ended 30 June 2016
    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements/yearend/jun16

    Statement of cash flows is as allways the real story about the money flow

    Issue of Government bonds 8,029 mill Repay 1779
    Issue of foreign currency borrowings 2,480 repay 270
    Issue of circulating currency 378
    Issue of other New Zealand dollar borrowings 8,708 reay 14699
    Total 19,595 mill

    Last year the Crown received proceeds of $2.3 billion from the Government’s share offer programme (compared with this year’s proceeds of $0.6 billion, reflecting the Meridian Energy final instalment).

  6. Observer Tokoroa 6

    .To: Stephanie Rodgers. A Great piece.

    .
    The Parliament of the past 8 yrs has failed. It has failed to take care of the people of New Zealand. Whilst giving wealth to the Rich and to countless aliens.

    Every aspect of life for New Zealanders – excluding the Rich and the Immigrants – has become a daily tight rope walk.

    Failing your people is grievous. The nationals, the maori party, united future and Act are guilty of serious NEGLECT.

    They have taken their fat pay fortnight by fortnight under false pretences.

    .

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    Krugman’s excellent discussion of the fallacy of austerity and the foolishness of assuming a government surplus is always a good thing, seems relevant again:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/apr/29/the-austerity-delusion

    • RedLogix 7.1

      But read what Krugman really says:

      It is impossible for countries such as the US and the UK, which borrow in their own currencies, to experience Greek-style crises, because they cannot run out of money – they can always print more.

      The point is … only SOME countries are allowed to print money. The rest must borrow from them.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Correct – there is a very strict hierarchy of central banks and currency issuer/manipulators in today’s world order. Countries like US, Japan, UK are permitted to print money with essentially no limit. Countries like China, Canada and Australia are given some grudging leeway to print some currency at times, but often in circuitous and less than obvious ways.

        Western alliance players lower down the totem pole like NZ get good, easy, preferential access to financial markets: but we don’t get to print new NZ dollars out of thin air independent of borrowing from these financial markets.

        Step out of line – like Gaddafi announcing a gold backed African currency which would have crashed the value of the US Dollar – and you are history.

  8. Siobhan 8

    There actually should have been an extra $490 million dollar in “surplus”.
    If corporations paid their taxes with any level of honesty.
    And that’s just a starting figure.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11607336

    • tc 8.1

      +1000 also tax havens and subsidies to business like that aluminium smelter which just gets more uneconomic each cycle.

  9. Bearded Git 9

    How can we have a surplus:

    -When we are selling off state houses when we should be building more
    -When we can’t afford to roll out a bowel cancer screening programme nation wide
    -When RNZ funding has been frozen for 8 years
    -When DOC’s budget has been slashed so that it cannot maintain its tracks and huts
    -When we can’t contribute to a superannuation scheme treasury says is desperately needed
    -When we can’t afford a decent public transport system in Auckland

    …and so on and on

    There are times when I despise smug Bill English even more than Key.

  10. The Real Matthew 10

    “This surplus isn’t a success for our government. It is a sign of their failure”

    On this basis there are a lot of very successful countries in the world at the moment

  11. Bob 11

    The truth is, there was no surplus
    “When Housing New Zealand says it simply cannot build the houses we need for families who are living on the street and in their cars, how can we have a surplus?”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10500928

    “When District Health Boards insist that they cannot afford to deliver safer rosters for junior doctors, or new equipment, or decent pay rises for support staff, how can we have a surplus?”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10386659

    “When public schools, built on the promise of free education for every Kiwi kid, have to demand “voluntary donations” from parents in order to keep operating, how can we have a surplus?”
    http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3220

    “When sick people have to run public campaigns ask for donations to fund the medicine they need, because Pharmac has to prioritise which life-saving treatments it subsidises, how can we have a surplus?”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/herceptin-debate/456083/Cancer-survivors-are-busting-with-life

    “When the people who clean the ministerial toilets in the Beehive aren’t paid a living wage, how can we have a surplus?”
    Can you please point to a time when they have ever been paid the living wage?

    So you are willing to admit Labour never ran a surplus either then?

    • Stuart Munro 11.1

      Although Labour certainly needed to do more, they did not run up $114 billion in debt on top of a set of cruel and ineffectual austerity policies. Whatever savings Labour made at the expense of our poorest and most vulnerable were at least realised.

      The incompetent Bill English however, has achieved the worst of both worlds – viciously slashing service quality across the board, cranking up GST to absurd levels, bringing in uncle Tom Cobbly and all to evade taxes here. And the outcome of this furious activity is persistent underfunding and staff shedding, erosion of core services and declining per capita productivity.

      The man is a genius.

      At destroying our economy.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2

      Did “he did it too!” work for you when you were twelve? I thought you clay-foot types were big on “personal” responsibility.

    • Guerilla Surgeon 11.3

      Tu quoque is not an argument, it’s a fallacy.

      • Bob 11.3.1

        I just gave direct examples that fit Stephanie’s statements, how is that possibly a fallacy?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3.1.1

          Guerilla Surgeon simply gave my criticism its Latin name.

          Do you believe the author is the Labour Party? If she were the Labour Party, what would that say about the National Party’s governance failure?

          • Bob 11.3.1.1.1

            “Do you believe the author is the Labour Party? If she were the Labour Party, what would that say about the National Party’s governance failure?”
            Did I say she was the Labour Party? I simply asked if she was willing to admit that the Labour Party never ran a surplus either based on the fact they ticked every box she stated above, asking an opinion is not stating a position. Or perhaps I could just reply to you, tu quoque is not an argument, it’s a fallacy.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3.1.1.1.1

              Did I say you thought she was the Labour Party? I simply asked if you were willing to admit that you thought she was the Labour Party.

        • ropata 11.3.1.2

          Labour managed to run a surplus without regressive tax policies, illegal backroom deals with big business, or slashing spending on vital services.

          But I agree with the general point made by others here (OAB or DTB probably) that in principle a government should NOT run a surplus, it means they are either a) taking too much in tax or b) spending too little into the economy.

          This surplus shows Bill English doesn’t understand the purpose of government, it helps NOBODY except the uber wealthy.

          Also Bill’s scrooge-like behaviour is totally unChristian

          Here is a sampling of Biblical prophets just to remind you what they sound like:

          “Hear this, you who trample the needy and destroy the poor of the land!”
          Amos the prophet (Amos 8:4)

          “Seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
          Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 1:17)

          “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice”
          Jeremiah the prophet (Jeremiah 22:13)

          “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”
          Ezekiel the prophet (16:49)

          “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
          Micah the prophet (Micah 6:8)

          “Thus says the Lord of hosts… do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the immigrant, or the poor…”
          Zechariah the prophet (Zechariah 7:9-10)

          Got it? It’s pretty clear to anyone who has immersed themselves in these scriptures.

          The teachings of many modern day evangelical church leaders just do not resonate with God’s heart for justice, the way the Biblical prophets did.

          • Colonial Viper 11.3.1.2.1

            Labour managed to run a surplus without regressive tax policies, illegal backroom deals with big business, or slashing spending on vital services.

            Labour managed to run this surplus by allowing the private sector to run up massive levels of debt which pushed cash into the economy.

            The Labour Govt then taxed this debt sourced cash back into its own pockets, in order to make the Crown budgets look good.

            In other words, Cullen ran a debt swap. He lowered Crown debt with skyrocketing private (household, farm, business) debt.

            • ropata 11.3.1.2.1.1

              Maybe they should have taxed housing speculation MORE, this housing bubble is deeply immoral, benefiting only the wealthy few.

            • Matthew Whitehead 11.3.1.2.1.2

              Well, sure. But that’s not a criticism of surpluses in general, just that particular way to get to one.

              I maintain that surpluses are a tool that should be used to deal with economies that are in general overheated and are generating speculative (as opposed to real) growth, the same way deficits are a tool to deal with economies that are overcooled into recession. (and more specifically revenue should be drawn preferentially from sectors of the economy that are overheated in comparison to the rest of the economy)

          • weka 11.3.1.2.2

            Labour managed to run a surplus without regressive tax policies, illegal backroom deals with big business, or slashing spending on vital services.

            Labour cut welfare. I’d guess they were keeping a tight reign on Health too. There are other ways to reduce spending than big flashy slashes that make the front page.

            • pat 11.3.1.2.2.1

              “Labour cut welfare. I’d guess they were keeping a tight reign on Health too.”

              This is the Clark government you are referring to??

                • Karen

                  Labour did not cut welfare. The welfare cuts were made in the 1990s by the Bolger government.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    National did it too? Don’t they have copyright on that feeble excuse?

                  • pat

                    thats why I asked….if anything Clark increased welfare through FS

                  • weka

                    @Karen,

                    The Clark govt cut benefits in 2004 effective 2006,

                    https://blog.greens.org.nz/2006/03/31/not-so-special-benefits/

                    Wellington People’s Centre,

                    “WORKING FOR FAMILIES
                    THE BIGGEST BENEFIT CUT SINCE 1991”

                    “Perversely, the benefit cuts are “targeted” so that those families in the most financial hardship will have the biggest benefit cuts.”

                    http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Wgtn%20People‘s%20Centre.pdf

                    It’s shocking to me that this has to be spelled out again and again.

                    • That’s also in addition to the real cuts for other benefits. (that is, that they allowed inflation to whittle away the spending power of people on benefits) Labour were in fact so hard on beneficiaries that they’ve gotten a better deal in dollar terms under the current Government. (although a much worse deal in terms of ease of qualifying for a benefit and remaining on one)

                    • pat

                      “It’s shocking to me that this has to be spelled out again and again.”

                      its shocking to me that it is painted as a cut when in fact more was paid in TAS than Special Benefits even on the back of falling unemployment.
                      Table 4.31 Trends in combined annual expenditure on Temporary Additional Support and Special Benefits

                      Year ended June Expenditure on Temporary Additional Support and Special Benefits1,2,3 ($m)
                      1995/1996 87
                      1996/1997 74
                      1997/1998 59
                      1998/1999 44
                      1999/2000 34
                      2000/2001 39
                      2001/2002 48
                      2002/2003 79
                      2003/2004 137
                      2004/2005 174
                      2005/2006 160
                      2006/2007 132
                      2007/2008 123
                      Notes

                    • weka

                      @Pat,

                      Good to know that you think individual beneficiaries getting paid less is not a cut so long at more beneficiaries get the lesser payment. Because that is what underlies those MSD stats (and please, post links to your sources).

                      Work and Income, in its earlier incarnation, had been told by the High Court that instead of hiding entitlements from beneficiaries, they had to tell them what those entitlements were i.e special benefit. That was in the 90s and WINZ did some jiggery pokery there in terms of forcing existing Special Benefit recipients to be re-assessed ostensibly to make sure they were getting their entitlements, but as you can see the payments actually dropped for a while. When Labour came in, there was a change in the culture at WINZ and people started asking for more.

                      I don’t think the rise in amounts being paid and the cutting of the benefit are coincidences. Huge numbers of beneficiaries didn’t know about their entitlements in the 90s, and I’m pretty sure Labour could see what was going to happen as people became aware they could get more income.

                      Labour fucked over beneficiaries, I don’t know why that is so hard to accept. Don’t believe me, read my links, and follow ts commenter Chris, because he posts on this periodically and knows the details better than I do.

                      (not sure about the relevance of falling unemployment, you’d have to look at the numbers of people moving off UB and onto Sickness and Invalids).

                    • pat

                      have read your links and first question the accuracy of the quoted figures as the rates don’t match published records AND assume zero entitlement for hardship assistance as opposed to maximum entitlement previously AND ignore the increase in accommodation supplement….the two links are selective in the information they provide to make a point….the disparity in support for those in work and those not….but that doesn’t justify a misrepresentation.

                      You should place things in context…5th labour gov assistance to low paid/ beneficiaries…..
                      A Parental Tax Credit was introduced (2000).[9]
                      A Child Tax Credit (which replaced the independent Family Tax Credit) was introduced (2000).[9]
                      A Family Tax Credit (which was formerly the Guaranteed Minimum Family income) was introduced (2000).[9]
                      A Modern Apprentices initiative was introduced to develop technological skills (2000).[9]
                      The Family Start programme was expanded (2000).[9]
                      Annual inflation to benefits was introduced (2000).[9]
                      The Social Security Amendment Act of 2001 introduced various changes such as “disestablishment of the Community Wage, re-establishment of an unemployment benefit and non-work-tested sickness benefit, and the abolition of the work capacity assessment process”.[9]
                      The Social Security Amendment Act (2006) established three streams for reintegrating beneficiaries into the larger community. These included a work support stream for the unemployed, a work support development stream for most other beneficiaries, and a community support stream for a small group to be exempted from work, training or planning requirements.[10]
                      Income-related rents for state-owned housing were restored (2000).[9]
                      A social allocation system was introduced and implemented with the income-related rents scheme(2000).[9]
                      Vacant sales were frozen and the Home Buy programme was ended (2000).
                      Bulk funding for schools was ended (2000).[9]
                      Expenditure was increased, or newly allocated, for the reduction of attrition of students from school, tertiary education subsidies, Maori and Pacific peoples’ teacher recruitment, and Homework Centres (2000).[9]
                      Interest on student loans while students are studying was abolished, while the decision of the Fourth National Government to increase the student loan repayment rate was reversed (2000).[9]
                      Expenditure for early childhood education was increased (200

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

                      As even Sue Bradford acknowledged in response to the 2004 budget…”Overall, however, I should like to conclude by reiterating that the Budget does take a major step in the right direction in terms of redistributing at least a little of our country’s wealth to some of those who need it most. Tax cuts as proposed by National and ACT are not the answer — all they would do is make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

                      http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/statistical-report/statistical-report-2008/hardship-assistance/additional-support.html

                      http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/statistical-report/statistical-report-2008/main-benefits/payment-rates.html

                    • weka


                      have read your links and first question the accuracy of the quoted figures as the rates don’t match published records AND assume zero entitlement for hardship assistance as opposed to maximum entitlement previously AND ignore the increase in accommodation supplement….the two links are selective in the information they provide to make a point….the disparity in support for those in work and those not….but that doesn’t justify a misrepresentation.

                      Sorry, can’t make sense of that without you being more explicit. But bear in mind that the Wellington Peoples’ Centre were experts in the field and I think were involved in the High Court action.

                      Follow Chris if you want more analysis.

                      “You should place things in context”

                      Only if I were arguing that Labour did nothing good. Which patently I’m not (and you can check my record on ts about that historically). I’m saying that Labour cut benefits. They did. Many of us where there at the time.

                      If you want to argue that because they were doing these other things, the benefit cuts wouldn’t have impacted on Labour’s ability to run a surplus, go ahead, but it still begs the question of why if they had a surplus they wouldn’t give relief to some of the poorest people in the country. Much of what Labour offered was for the working poor or those with kids, but even there there is a huge problem when you talk to actual beneficiaries from the time.

                      As even Sue Bradford acknowledged in response to the 2004 budget…”Overall, however, I should like to conclude by reiterating that the Budget does take a major step in the right direction in terms of redistributing at least a little of our country’s wealth to some of those who need it most. Tax cuts as proposed by National and ACT are not the answer — all they would do is make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

                      And two years later when the cuts were about to take effect the Greens said,

                      The next phase of the Government’s Working For Families assistance package kicks in tomorrow. Sue Bradford has praised a report (offline) by the Wellington People’s Centre showing the negative impact that some of its measures could ultimately have on up to 50,000 of the country’s poorest families and children.
                      While the Green Party supports the extension of WFF to families in paid work, Sue B has also slammed the way that some of its measures discriminate against beneficiaries. The People’s Centre report shows for instance, how the package will scrap the Special Benefit, confront new applicants with a meaner, less flexible alternative, and expose those already receiving the Special Benefit to the risk of being kicked down onto this less Temporary Assistance Support benefit if they happen – during any one week – to do a few hours work, or receive a dividend in the mail from their local energy company.

                      Sue has called on the Government to act urgently to either keep the Special Benefit for the meantime – or create a new backup benefit to make sure no one gets made worse off by the Working For Families package.

                      (linked above)

                      That’s a cut.

                    • pat

                      “The next phase of the Government’s Working For Families assistance package kicks in tomorrow. Sue Bradford has praised a report (offline) by the Wellington People’s Centre showing the negative impact that some of its measures COULD ultimately have on up to 50,000 of the country’s poorest families and children.
                      While the Green Party supports the extension of WFF to families in paid work, Sue B has also slammed the way that some of its measures discriminate against beneficiaries. The People’s Centre report shows for instance, how the package will scrap the Special Benefit, confront new applicants with a meaner, less flexible alternative, and expose those already receiving the Special Benefit to the RISK of being kicked down onto this less Temporary Assistance Support benefit if they happen – during any one week – to do a few hours work, or receive a dividend in the mail from their local energy company.”….(my caps)

                      however as we saw from the previous table payments under the transitional regime in fact substantially increased…..that is NOT a cut.

                      “Only if I were arguing that Labour did nothing good. Which patently I’m not (and you can check my record on ts about that historically). I’m saying that Labour cut benefits. They did. Many of us where there at the time.”

                      Patronising sort of statement….oddly enough your original statement didn’t ring true to me because as it happens i was one of those there at the time….and doesn’t really gell with your previous….”Labour fucked over beneficiaries, I don’t know why that is so hard to accept.”

                    • weka

                      however as we saw from the previous table payments under the transitional regime in fact substantially increased…..that is NOT a cut.

                      It is if you are the beneficiaries that no longer can access that support. Do you understand the differences between Special Benefit, Temporary Additional Support that replaced it, and that the other things that Labour brought in were targeted and not universal? It was a cut.

                      We’re just going round in circles now.

                    • pat

                      upon further reading I concede you are correct…it appears the 2004 changes did in fact result in cuts to some beneficiaries income…..disturbing.

                    • ropata

                      Having fun re-litigating the past? It doesn’t make National’s nasty Budget any better. Just shows that Kiwis have been brutalised by neoliberalism and desentitised to the cries of the poor and 200,000 children growing up without the basics. Shameful

                    • weka

                      @pat, thanks

                      @ropata, I thought the Clark benefit cut might have been part of how they ran a surplus, which seemed relevant to the subthread.

    • As others have pointed out, “Labour did it too!!!” is a terribly weak argument, as is “cleaners have never been paid well so your point is invalid!”

      And your “gotcha” game is pretty weak given that I am quite happy to be critical of the previous Labour government. They simply did not do enough to restore state housing stock, lift benefits, reduce the cost of tertiary education, raise taxes on the rich etc.

      The sole advantage of Labour’s surpluses in the last government is it made us more resilient to the shock of the 2008 global financial crisis. Even Bill English admitted it.

      Now do you have anything to contribute which is actually constructive?

      • Bob 11.4.1

        “The sole advantage of Labour’s surpluses in the last government is it made us more resilient to the shock of the 2008 global financial crisis. Even Bill English admitted it.”
        So your argument is that even though National have gotten us to a surplus the same way Labour did, it’s a bad thing because no global financial crisis has occurred yet, but you will praise them if it were to occur in the near future.
        Is that about right?

        “Now do you have anything to contribute which is actually constructive?”
        My thoughts exactly when I read this post. How about a post on neo-lib politics and how the same slash and burn political decisions keep getting made no matter whether it is National or Labour in power. How about a post on how it is time for a radical shift in New Zealand politics. Otherwise it just comes across like this post, an anti-National puff piece that anyone who can remember back to the Helen Clark years knows is just business as usual no matter which of our two major parties is in power.

        [Stephanie: Please note the site Policy, which states:
        A partial list of these self-martyrdom offenses include … Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write.

        You are either deliberately misinterpreting the post to push your own barrow, or need to read them more carefully to ensure you don’t make yourself look like a time-wasting troll with comments like these.]

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    Not just well written, well argued too.

    Starvation is not budgeting.

  13. left_forward 13

    Kia ora Stephanie.

  14. One Two 14

    The assumption is that English knows he is being misleading when talking about the budgetary position

    It could be called lying given the years of involvement and the level of information/advice he gets

    The questions are, why does he continue to do it, and how long will the charade regarding fiscal policy hold up in NZ?

  15. fisiani 15

    Wages are rising, employment is rising, 200,000 people a year are clamouring to live in NZ and 90,000 arrive here gratefully. Houses are being built at record pace and thousands of Homestart recipients are already enjoying their first home.
    Labour come up with a plan, promise, pledge, piffle to employ 1,000 more police officers. Wow. That’s gonna be a vote catcher. Yesterday’s chip paper.
    It is like a parallel universe here where the phenomenal progress is ignored and the pimples are pricked.
    A rising surplus, a rare thing in the OECD, should be a cause for celebration. The 2,143 homeless people are being daily found warm comfortable houses.
    National want to raise their Party Vote (47%) and are likely to do so (perhaps 49%)

    [Stephanie: this post has literally nothing to do with Labour’s police policy nor National’s party vote. I am tired of your blatant attempts to derail the conversation. Make some effort to stay on topic or sod off.]

    • Bob 15.1

      A surplus should never be a cause for celebration, and at current tax rates it should be cause for more spending. Otherwise, I agree with most of what you are saying

    • ropata 15.2

      Provide evidence to support your outlandish claims or kindly stick your lies where the sun doesn’t shine

    • s y d 15.3

      we have always been at war with eastasia

    • halfcrown 15.4

      TAKE COVER Another flock of pigs coming. Hey fisiani the Zealot, we all know you are bedazzled and blinded by the sun shining out of the fucking spivs arse, but do you really think people take notice or believe the crap you write.

    • smokes kreen 15.5

      What eutopia are you living in fisiani? It’s certainly not New Zealand or anywhere else on earth.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.5.1

        The Utopia where the average is used as an excuse for the outcome. Where personal responsibility means paying expecting someone else to do the job.

    • Wages are not going up in proportion to other sources of income, so what you’re basically saying there is “at least they’re not getting worse.” National has done nothing substantial to address income inequality or poverty, and is tinkering around the edges on the housing crisis when bold measures are needed to end property speculation.

      Fact check on record house building- I suspect you will find that Labour has done better in the past than the current government, and what they’re doing is consenting a record amount of house projects, many of which are then being shelved in favour of land banking.

      Basically, stop treating everything the government says as facts. They’re not, most of it is spin at best.

    • reason 15.7

      The Nacts have some of the most sub prime rubbish and accounting tricks used that our books have that merrill Lynch rotten flavor

      “‘the government forked over $45 billion in aid to Bank of America – $20 billion as an incentive to bring its cross-eyed bride Merrill Lynch to the altar, and another $25 billion as part of the overall TARP bailout. In addition, the government agreed to guarantee $118 billion in Bank of America debt.””

      And speaking of Keys old firm ….There is a world wide move against Tax havens where the richest on the planet steal from the poor…….

      Key is on the side of tax havens and corruption ….. and also believes poor people should bailout Millionaires like himself ………. who got rich selling ‘tax arrangements’ ( ( use of tax havens ) ……. so the richest could steal from the poor.

      Its like key has slapped his bailout providers on both sides of their face ….. getting them on his way in ….. and again when they bailed him out …. “Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America for 0.8595 shares of Bank of America common stock for each Merrill Lynch common share,” ….

      He was named by the Panama papers whistle blower because of his clear and documented actions as he turned us into a little bag man of a country …. and helping corporate tax cheats ….

      If consumer and EU pressure can get some bad apples like Apple to pay their fair share …… then a Domino of good effect could force all the other thievery corps to stop letting their dirty accountants engage them in stealing from the societys where they make their money and do trade in ……

      Key will be fighting hard for the side spreading injustice and inequality ….. enabling things like money laundering and foreign speculation on our Houses ….. which hurts honest New Zealanders

      His main problems are ……the vast majority of New Zealands people do not use tax havens or launder dirty money …… and his very high dishonesty ratings…..

      He support could crash and burn Merrill / Northland style on issues which voters feel directly effects them ….

  16. Wayne 16

    Seriously, what on earth is this post about?

    The surplus is measured on the same accounting rules as applied with the last Labour government. In fact governments don’t get to determine the accounting rules for rather obvious reasons.

    So no-one is going to believe you when you say there is no surplus.

    A much more sensible debate is how to apply the surplus (or if you are more left wing to increase taxes and spend say an extra $10 billion per year).

    On this point, govt spending is currently around 30% of GDP, about the same level as in 2006. Why is it the same? Fundamentally because of economic growth and lower benefit rolls, just as in 2006.

    However, 30% is unusual for Labour, normally it is over 32 or 33%, sometimes as high as 35%. At 35% that would mean an extra $10 billion spending per year, but also would require the overall taxes to go up by 15%. No tax cuts for anyone, and a top rate of at least 40%. But at least a clear political choice.

    In 2006 when Labour saw govt spending at 30% of GDP they started spending in a big way, since 30% is too low for Labour psychology. National will be more restrained, but clearly Bill English’s recent housing announcements were made because he knew the surplus was significant.

    • Stuart Munro 16.1

      Yes, yes – Bill is a rockstar.

      No wage parity with Oz.

      No 170 000 jobs.

      No wage increases.

      But Bill is a fucking miracle, for reasons only Treasury’s spurious math can explain.

      And our debt, and our balance of payments deficit continue to mount.

      Because the Gnats will take a bright and shining lie over the truth every time.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Because the Gnats will take a bright and shining lie over the truth every time.

        QFT

      • ropata 16.1.2

        Not to mention

        Least affordable housing in the OECD
        Massive environmental neglect
        Chronic overwork/understaffing in health/education/police
        HNZ is broke
        People living in cars
        No action on child poverty

        The government is morally bankrupt

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      In 2006 when Labour saw govt spending at 30% of GDP they started spending in a big way, since 30% is too low for Labour psychology.

      What a load of bollocks. Labour and the Left in general spend what’s needed to maintain society.

      National cuts that spending so as to give more wealth to the already rich and destroy society in the process.

      National will be more restrained, but clearly Bill English’s recent housing announcements were made because he knew the surplus was significant.

      No, he made them because the polls show that National is losing on housing and they’re determined to hold on to power.

    • One Two 16.3

      Did you deliberately miss the point of the post, Wayne?

      Arthur Anderson accounting methods were shown up for what that industry represents. Only dupes and those benefitting from statistical fraud would uphold any form of ‘accounting’

      Just another arm of the fraudulant and rigged financial sector

    • pat 16.4

      lol…the difference between the surplus and spending in 2006 and 2016 is the means of achieving it and the quality of the use of the surplus….tax cuts anyone while you carry record debt at record low interest rates that will only move in one direction….brilliant.

      • Pasupial 16.4.1

        Plus as one consequence of that; “record debt at record low interest rates”,

        No contributions to the NZS Fund are assumed in the forecast in line with the Government’s stated intentions to commence contributions once net core Crown debt falls below 20.0% of GDP

        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/befu2016/015.htm

        There have been no government contributions to the fund since 2008, and won’t be until Key’s National are kicked out of office (2017 hopefully, but contributions are not projected to resume till after 2020). Whereas the Clark Government managed to contribute $14.88b and consistently run a surplus without the fire-sale of assets we’ve seen with this government.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.5

      From memory, Lab5 inherited ~34% govt spending to gdp. They left office at the same level.

      30% or 34%, whichever; still equates to the single most powerful market force in the country. The difference is that the Left has a sword which the Right pretends doesn’t exist, even when you’re wielding it.

    • Please, we know Bill English pays no attention to fiscal restraint in deciding spending projects. If he did, we would never have had that first round of disastrous tax cuts.

      There is a technical surplus. The issue is that this surplus has been achieved by basically cutting and slashing services, so we are now instead suffering a deficit of public sector investment, as we usually do under National governments, because they insist on setting public sector spending on ideological bases rather than simply on measuring what spending is more effective than tax cuts. (to which the answer is, basically everything National likes to cut, and none of the stuff it likes to spend on, like wasteful roads)

      It doesn’t matter what percentage of GDP government spending is on. If we’re providing services effectively enough, or the private sector is stimulated enough to grow larger, I’m happy for that percentage to go down. But we do need to be providing adequate levels of services and not essentially shifting the deficit onto public services rather than the budget.

      And that’s without getting into the moronic Herbert Hoover-style economics of Mr. English, who seems to think that it makes sense to slash public spending during a recession, and then to stimulate an economy during a boom, when every bit of economic evidence we have suggests that government economics functions off Keynesian theories.

    • Nic the NZer 16.7

      “The surplus is measured on the same accounting rules as applied with the last Labour government. In fact governments don’t get to determine the accounting rules for rather obvious reasons.”

      Well put Wayne. This post should be about ‘why on earth is the government screwing pretty much everyone over to try to run an accounting surplus.’? You can probably polish that argument up a bit and have a post ready for Monday on here?

    • Seriously, what on earth is this post about?

      I didn’t write it in Esperanto, Wayne. Everyone else except for the blatant rightwing trolls has managed to figure it out.

      If you were running a household and still hadn’t paid half your bills for the week, people would find it a little odd if you declared the $180 left in your bank account as a surplus.

      Your party has deliberately run down core public services and stood by while people end up living in cars and begging for donations for healthcare, and yet it declares a budget surplus. The accountants might be happy with that logic – those of us who care about people see right through it.

      • Chuck 16.8.1

        “Everyone else except for the blatant rightwing trolls has managed to figure it out.”

        In a round about way you have nailed it Stephanie. I think most people understand what you are trying to say.

        Problem is a good portion of those people (non political activists) don’t agree with you.

        For example; can you link to a DHB press release that has said this? –

        “When District Health Boards insist that they cannot afford to deliver safer rosters for junior doctors”

        Or HNZ is “broke” do you understand how a balance sheet works?

        • adam 16.8.1.1

          Oh Chucky you dirty little distraction troll. How your ego must hurt, a women no less – making you and yours look like the selfish, self indulgent, self obsessed mob you are.

          Must be hard being a wingnut conspiracy theorist these days…

          • Chuck 16.8.1.1.1

            Yes of course adam, in order to care for people one must be a far left activist…

            Everyone else is a “wingnut conspiracy theorist”

            Maybe that could be the slogan for your Green or Mana party election banners?

            Could be a vote winner for ya!! 🙂

            • One Anonymous Bloke 16.8.1.1.1.1

              I know a few tories who genuinely care about people – they’re flat out wrong about how to turn that into good lawmaking.

              The whole subculture is infested with gibberish – Judith Collins’ recent meanderings are a great example. Your arguments make no sense – you blame poverty on the poor, for example, then when it’s pointed out that it’s increased under National you blame the previous government or the GFC instead.

              Like climate deniers, you lack a coherent narrative and you betray your self-proclaimed principles. My impression is that the few smart righties drag you lot around like a ball and chain.

        • Groundhog 16.8.1.2

          We all understand what Stephanie is trying to say, we simply know she’s wrong. Your point about HNZ is a perfect case in point. Other writers here have made this claim and no one from the left has the wit to challenge it.

  17. Tamati Tautuhi 17

    By underfunding the Health System, Police and other organisations you are creating a surplus, I think they need to start paying down debt before tax cuts, debt has grown from $15 Billion to $120 Billion in under 8 years, a safe pair of hands?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      I created a surplus in my household budget by cancelling the maintenance and insurance payments. My financial adviser refuses to acknowledge my superior wisdom.

      When I sue her I’m calling Bill English as a witness.

  18. Tory 18

    I don’t need or want a tax cut, I would prefer to see the surplus pay down debt of go into Kiwi Saver.

    • Muttonbird 18.1

      Hmm. The public debt that the National government has tripled in 8 years? The Kiwi Saver that the National government removed the very successful incentives from and which first home buyers are pillaging right now?

      I think there are a few people like you – comfortable with where they are at but uncomfortable with the underfunding of public services which has been the hall-mark of this government. After all Kiwis are fair and compassionate, right?

      There are a few people like you who don’t want or need tax-cuts and in fact could pay a bit more if the result was the required funding of essential public services and socially beneficial infrastructure.

    • Macro 18.2

      I would prefer to see it go into extra health services (DHBs have been underfunded for years). Extra policing, (our town of 8000 – the community centre for the Coromandel – has a police station but no police – first time in 150 years). Reduced pupil:staff ratios in schools, houses for those who have no accommodation, A living wage for all government employees, school lunches and breakfasts for the 100,000 kids who go to school hungry each day, better assistance for those at the bottom of society e.g. the solo parents struggling to make ends meet, those who are sick and cannot work, those who are unable to work because they have special needs, and a thousand other requirements for social justice that this government has over looked and neglected for far too long.

  19. Thinkerr 19

    1. Now would be a good time to hold Bill English to account for declaring the extra parental leave bill unaffordable, back in June. If he had to use his power of veto then, how can he talk about affordable tax cuts now?

    Or did this surplus suddenly appear from nowhere at the end of the financial year, taking even the Finance Minister by surprise?

    2. HSBC economist thinks our economy is far from rosy. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11728936

    3. We only made a surplus if we didn’t borrow anything, surely? I doubt thats the case.

    • Wensleydale 19.1

      If he had to use his power of veto then, how can he talk about affordable tax cuts now?

      He just asked Uncle John how he managed it during the flag debacle. He couldn’t find tuppence for child poverty, affordable housing, or other pressing social concerns, but he could gleefully piss away $26 million on a referendum nobody fucking cared about.

      I believe it was Doug Meyers who once said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “the money’s always there… for the right sorts of things”. Paid parental leave is simply not ‘the right sort of thing’.

      In other news, I’ve recently become a grandfather, and I plan to teach my precocious grandchild that politicians, generally speaking, are a bit like paedophiles, or real estate agents — almost universally awful people who should be treated in the same manner you would a rabid dog or a knife-wielding lunatic.

  20. NZJester 20

    The other thing that makes any budget surplus by National a big lie is due to the fact this country owes a lot of overseas debt. If you have large amounts of outstanding debt your books are in the red, not in surplus.
    The last Labour government managed to balance to books and pay off that debt, there was also a nice stream of cash from taxes and SOEs that could have kept the books in balance. National on coming into power immediately borrowed money to pay their tax-lowering bribe to those that voted for them. If you have to borrow money to afford a tax cut then it is obviously something the country can not afford. They also started to sell off pieces of our assets for a quick money boost to try and make their books look healthy. In real terms, the money they would have received to date or saved from the sold assets if still owned by the government would have exceeded the amount they sold for.
    They had housing New Zealand sell housing stock they claimed was excess to needs in some areas and instead of using it to reinvest in new housing in high demand areas, took money away from them as a dividend. They then spent lots of money in paying to put people in privately owned accommodation that basically would have cost them far more than if new houses had been built with that cash!

    • To be fair, the incoming Nat government in 2008 borrowed money so it could continue Labour’s policies (Working for Families, interest-free student loans etc) at a time when recession was causing the government’s income to fall. That was actually a good thing, not something they should be criticised for. Dishing out tax cuts for the rich while borrowing money certainly was self-centred and just plain stupid, but that’s a separate thing.

  21. Rae 21

    We should all take a leaf out of National’s book and we too can have surpluses in all of our bank accounts, here is how it is done.

    You bank all of your earnings but you don’t pay any bills.

    There, I fixed it for all of us.

  22. UpandComer 22

    There is no surplus.

    The public service has no money.

    HNZ is broke – the $20plus billion on it’s balance sheet, is not.

    If govt debt > govt surplus there is no surplus, only debt. How can one have a surplus if one has debt?

    Therefore no government with debt > ‘surplus’ has ever had ‘surplus’. Therefore, no surplus has ever existed in history.

    If someone in NZ wants more money for something, there can be no surplus.

    The NZ economy is crisis.

    Manufacturing is in crisis.

    Every public sector is in crisis.

    100,000 homes despite a track record of wiping book value from one third of 25k odd state houses with no interference from the private sector is simply a matter of the triumph of the social democratic will.

    Spending = stimulus, so how can spending ever be bad? The answer to every question? Spend. Spending = growth. Spending = services. Spend.

    Spending decreases always mean worse services.

    The Chinese own all the houses.

    Bill English cut spending far too much, he is heartless and spendthrift. Bill English has spent far too much, he is careless and profligate. Labour would have incurred far less debt, whilst spending much much more.

    There is no surplus.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Still can’t resist the juvenile jab, I see.

    • Wayne 22.2

      “The NZ economy is in crisis, Manufacturing is in crisis”

      Are you completely unaware of what is actually happening in the economy?

      Growth rate of 3.6%, employment up, median wages up by around 3%, debt reducing. Does not look like a crisis to me.

      Even Andrew Little has dropped the language of crisis. He knows it would sound ridiculous.

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    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    25 mins ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    43 mins ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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