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Those who don’t learn from history…

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 am, July 23rd, 2009 - 62 comments
Categories: economy - Tags: ,

Supposedly, we need Don Brash and a gang of his right-wing cohorts to tell us how to close the wealth gap with Australia. Brash and his merry gang are the same old faces from the neoliberal revolution of the late 80s and early 90s. Back then, they ruthlessly applied neoliberal economic theory to our economy in the belief that it was the perfect way to run an economy. But it didn’t work out well, except for the ones who bought up the assets we sold on the cheap.

When we started taking away workers’ rights, firing people hand over fist, making labour cheap, and selling everything that wasn’t bolted down, our wealth per person started to go down. The neolib promises failed to materialise. Meanwhile, Australia wasn’t embarking on a deranged neoliberal experiment, and they got wealthier, not poorer.

wealth gap aus vs nz

(source: IMF WEO)

aus-gdp-per-capita-greater-than-nz

At the start of the neoliberal revolution, Australia’s economy was 17% per person larger than ours. By the time the revolution began to peter out in 1993-1994, the gap was 32%. The only time in the last 30 years we have managed to really start to close the gap was in the last nine years under a government that rejected further neoliberal reforms and made some efforts – Air NZ, Kiwirail, Kiwibank – to reverse some of the revolution’s legacy.

Now, stop me if I’m labouring the point but this is important:

we started to fall further and further behind Australia when we began implementing the policies that Brash and the Right espouse, and we stopped falling behind when we stopped implementing those policies

It’s all very well to make up counter-factuals (‘we would have been stuffed if we hadn’t done it’, well, funny because Australia didn’t do it and they weren’t stuffed, in fact they did better than us) or claim that it was because of neoliberal revolution that we managed pretty decent growth after it stopped (a bit like saying ‘see you’re healing well, if I hadn’t been punching you in the face before, you wouldn’t be healing so quickly now!’) but the simplest explanation is the best: the neoliberal model failed to deliver growth, it failed to close the gap with Australia, it made it worse.

Brash’s economic snakeoil failed then and it will fail now if we try it again.

62 comments on “Those who don’t learn from history…”

  1. Gosman 1

    Ummmm…. Why haven’t you included the comparision figures for last year? You have claimed that it has narrowed over the past nine years but the graph doesn’t seem to indicate that to me.

  2. Bevanjs 2

    circle this bit on the graph if you please:

    “The only time in the last 30 years we have managed to really start to close the gap was in the last nine years”

  3. lprent 3

    Gosman. Looks like the classic neoliberal debating tecnique of avoiding discussion by nitpicking is alive and well in you.

    Looks to me like the 2008 figures are there. But knock yourself out and visit the IMF website.

    This is a blog done by people who work for a living. You use the numbers you have available. Go do some work yourself and look the 2008 numbers from the same basis ( ie don’t do the other neoliberal trick of arguing between apples and oranges) and bring them to the discussion.

    That would bring you far more credibility than your current appearance of pious self gratification. In other words jerk off elsewhere

  4. Marty G 4

    Hmm, well that shut up Gosman and Bevanjs. all bluster and aggression. now no answer?

  5. tsmithfield 5

    This is the danger of only considering one variable, where obviously a number of variables are involved. For instance, I suggest you go to a site like “Yahoo Finance” and graph the performance of the DJI over the last 30 years or so. You will find there was an enormous leap in economic activity as indicated by share values.

    Compared to NZ, Australia, of course is much richer in commodities, which were in huge demand due to the explosive growth in the world economy over the period. Consequently, there are other fundamental reasons that the gap.

    Looking at the graph, it is obvious that the gap has continued to grow, even under Labour. Hence, it seems that the political landscape didn’t really have that much to do with the overall picture.

    • Marty G 5.1

      share value isn’t a measure of economic activity, it’s a measure of a few companies’ values

      In % terms the gap shrank from 40% in 1999 to 34%, and has grown slightly during the recession. the period of dramatic increase was the neoliberal revolution.

      here’s the gap in % http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/aus-gdp-per-capita-greater-than-nz.png

    • chris 5.2

      Sure, if you consider what share value means though? Who drove a lot of the share market increases in value world wide? Banks. and what did most of their wealth consist of? That’s right: ………. (owl noise). Oh ok, BHP and Rio in there as well for australia, but also they had massive “growth” from macquarie, commonwealth etc. etc. etc.

  6. lprent 6

    Ts: Sure there are underlying factors. But if you have a look at the rate of change in the difference graph that he linked to in the comments, it looks far more like a failed policy was dropped.

  7. vto 7

    I suspect the movements on that gwaph are not due to those things you claim. The dates of implementation of various things do not line up with when effects were felt. It takes several years for large scale policy setting changes to flow through.

    Two examples – NZers got extremely carried away in the 80s share market boom, the consequent bust was more extreme here and the Labour govt’s response further exacerbated the problem. Second, MMP introduced bloody Winston Peters in 1996 and I distinctly recall the effect he had on NZ and the economy – big spending etc. You could feel the despondent “here we go again” from business folk and confidence plopped down some rungs with its consequent GDP effect.

    Your gwaph will not be adjusted for those things I imagine. You have used a blunt instrument.

    Anyway, we can all pull stats to support positions (except me as I have to work as well!).

    Further, Helen Clark and Labour claimed it was implementing policies to lift NZ into the top half of the OECD. We have in fact drifted further down the OECD. Therefore your type of policies do not work either.

    • TightyRighty 7.1

      hear hear. nothing says fail better than going the exact opposite direction to what you told everyone they’d be going.

      • Marty G 7.1.1

        Funny, this obsession with a ranking, it’s because when you look at the actual value, the actual standard of living, Labour performed very well…

        we’ll be remembering this quote “nothing says fail better than going the exact opposite direction to what you told everyone they’d be going.” when stats come out in the future under National

        Oh, does nothing say fail like saying you were going to make tax cuts, then canceling them? Or are you going to make excuses for that?

        • Daveski 7.1.1.1

          Stop deflecting Marty. It was Labour’s goal, they said it, they failed their own objective.

          My assessment is a little bit more charitable that yours, not surprisingly. From what I’m hearing on the radio, they doesn’t appear to be the same enthusiasm for the excesses of the 1990’s and we appear to have consensus on the economic fundamentals.

          I think those who are not partisan would accept the point that both parties have failed to close the gap.

          • jarbury 7.1.1.1.1

            What was the objective of the neoliberal agenda then? To increase the gap between NZ and Australia? Worked pretty well I guess….

            • Daveski 7.1.1.1.1.1

              As I said, a non partisan view is that both parties have largely failed to turn things around substantially over the past 30 years.

              I’m not the only one to point out that the fundamentals have been largely the same over this period of time and that at least provides some stability.

              NZ has actually weathered the economic crisis better than most as a result of this. Naturally, this isn’t helpful to the left as you want to blame the Nats.

              Some consensus around the non-economic policies would undoubtedly assist eg the vital role of education and research to lifting our economic performance.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m not the only one to point out that the fundamentals have been largely the same over this period of time and that at least provides some stability.

              The stability of going down?

              Yes, both major parties have accepted the neo-liberal agenda. They’re both wrong but that’s because the neo-liberal economics are wrong.

              NZ has actually weathered the economic crisis better than most as a result of this.

              I’d say that NZ weathered it better because the last government realized the damage that full neo-liberal policies were doing and didn’t follow them. They actually started to pay off the unaffordable debt rather than the NACT tactic of cutting taxes.

          • Bright Red 7.1.1.1.2

            But the gap did close under Labour, Daveski. Look at the graph. from 40% when they came in down to mid 30s

    • Marty G 7.2

      No, vto, my graph isn’t adjusted for any random thing that you decide it should be.

      Ah, the ‘delayed impact’ effect. I’ll tell you what, sacking tens of thousands of workers and cutting benefits didn’t have a delayed effect, it hit straight away.

      Our GDP per capita grew rapidly under Labour, enough to reduce the gap, which is impressive when they were 40% ahead in 1999 because you have to grow faster just to keep pace.

      Rankings are a stupid way to measure wealth – we closed on the top countries but so did the countries of similar rank, some who drew slightly ahead of us. The wealth gap between ranks is not uniform.

      • Marty G 7.2.1

        vto. you’re so clever. could you tell me how you would adjust graphs of GDP per capita for Winston Peters’ election to government? Would you downscale our number by 5%, give another $1000 to the Aussies?

        What else should I adjust the GDP per capita numbers for and by how much? $20 because it was rainy that year? 2% because we won the World Cup?

        Honestly, I’m trying to think of a dumber suggestion I’ve seen on this blog… it’s a struggle

        • vto 7.2.1.1

          Marty G, re both your snarky responses above..

          1. My examples were not random, they were in fact two events which had a direct effect of NZ’s GDP. Why wold you not adjust for things that affect GDP when your entire post rests on it? And your belittling reflects only on you.

          2. If rankings are a stupid way of assessing things then why are you obssessed with our position wrt Oz? And you better ask Helen why she chose to run with rankings. Look within for your own answers fulla.

          3. How would your graph be adjusted for Winston Peters etc?? Dont ask me – your the one putting up the dumb non-adjustable graph. Bit useless isnt it.

          You are really missing the point. You say “What else should I adjust the GDP per capita numbers for and by how much? $20 because it was rainy that year? 2% because we won the World Cup?” The answer is in your very own words. Example – drought effects.

          Your graph is useless.

          • jarbury 7.2.1.1.1

            Marty focuses on the neoliberal age as being from around 1984 to 1994. When did Winston Peters have a significant effect on the economy during that period?

          • Bright Red 7.2.1.1.2

            You sound close to crying, vto.

            the point of a graph like this is to look at long-run trends, then seek explanations for changes in those trends.

            You want Marty to go and change the figure, the offiicial IMF figures, by whatever amount you make up so that the trends conform to your assumptions about what they should look like – ‘reality must be wrong, my theory is perfect’

            Can you show us one example of a GDP graph where the GDP numbers have been changed by some made up figure as an ‘adjustment’ for some non-regualr event? (ie not seasonal adjustment). Of course you can’t because that would be absurd.

            I mean, have you ever seen a graph where they’ve gone ‘well, inthis year GDP was 90 but there was a drought, so we’ll pretend it was 100’? Of course not. That would totally invalidate the figures.

            • vto 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Sheesh Bright Red.

              Just like Marty, your answer is in your own words. GDP figures arent adjusted for such events, as you state. Hence their uselessness for anything other than an extremely blunt brick-type instrument.

              I’ll repeat for the slow bwains.. You yourself agree the figures are not adjusted for all the variables that affect GDP so as to allow the effects of one such variable to be seen, yet you also claim that it represents the effects of just one of those variables, namely macro-policy settings. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

            • snoozer 7.2.1.1.2.2

              Can someone get vto something to drink, and slip some tranq in there?

              GDP per capita is a perfectly legitimate measure of economic activity. We’re looking at a pattern over time and when we look at the late 80s early 90s, the gap grows a huge amount, basically doubles – that was the period when we were undertaking a massive economic experiment.

              So, we’ve got an economic experiment and a measure of economic activity. We can look at that measure and say ‘hey, what happened when we undertook the experiment, oh, our GDP per capita dropped and Aussie’s didn’t and the gap between our countries grew’

              You’re one of the ones who goes on about the gap between Australia and New Zealand. Now, you’re pretending you don’t accept the measure of that gap because it shows where the gap came from.

            • vto 7.2.1.1.2.3

              Bright Red, I have already covered those points in my posts above. Re-read.

              “You’re one of the ones who goes on about the gap between Australia and New Zealand. Now, you’re pretending you don’t accept the measure of that gap because it shows where the gap came from.”

              1. I have never gone about the gap. Personally I dont give a shit – we may as well compare ourselves to timbuktoo for all I care.

              2. Re-read posts above. It absolutely does not show where the gap came from. Not a single piece of evidence has been provided to show that the graph indicates such. And anecdote spilling forth from the likes of yourself is no such evidence.

              Just repeating yourself does not make it any more correct.

              Now, where’s my drink BR? Pop it in the courier will you – Bundaberg rum and Grants whisky will be fine given it is an Oz comparison.

  8. vidiot 8

    Wasn’t 1987 the stock market crash ? And 1997 the Asian financial crysis ? Seems that the graph spikes around both times.

    • Marty G 8.1

      that’s why you don’t look just at one year.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        Those things hit Australia too, though for some reason their effects were worse here…

      • So Bored 8.1.2

        Marty,

        Your graph really only demonstrates to me that the deforms implemented by Dodgy Roger and his soul mate Roof really have not changed under 9 years of Labour. The fundamental building blocks of the neo lib deforms were not reformed, overturned or questioned particularly hard by Labour, the graph remains constant. Changing the scales or parameters might prove otherwise.

        Another problem with the graph is that you are assuming that it was the deform process that widened the gap between us and Oz since 1984 …thats a bit hard to substantiate with just this graph. It may be true (I suspect it is) but I wouldnt hang that up alone as the evidence for the prosecution.

        • snoozer 8.1.2.1

          merely reversing policies would not in itself have made us catch up. Imagine we’re driving side by side, I implement a ‘rapid, random, unskill change of gear policy’, my car starts to go slower than yours. Even if I resume driving normally, I won’t catch up to you.

          Anyway, I read Marty’s post as condemning neoliberal ideas, Brash’s ideas, as a solution, not saying that Labour had reversed all those policies.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    It is a fundamental mistake to include only one variable in an analysis when there are clearly many variables that have an effect.

    In a number of studies I have done using multiple regression, or something similar, an apparent correlation at the single variable level often reduces or even reverses when other relevant variables are included.

    So the whole basis for the argument is highly spurious.

    • So Bored 9.1

      I dont think the argument spurious, merely lacking the correct substantiation. You could also question the validity of the empirical measures.

      What I would not question is that an income gap has widened between the two countries. I would be more interested to see the comparative income gaps in both countries between the top and bottom deciles. That would tell you a lot more about policies and results.

    • jarbury 9.2

      On how many occasions does the right focus on one variable? Come on TS don’t be a hypocrite and ignore that just when the stats show what an absolute failure neoliberal economic policies were.

      • tsmithfield 9.2.1

        I don’t agree with anyone, whether on the right or the left, focusing on only one variable when clearly many relevant variables are at play.

        If its bad science, its bad science.

    • Bright Red 9.3

      This post simply compares GDP per capita between two countries – the measure, along with wages, that people use when talking about the gap between Australia and New Zealand.

      You don’t like the outcome becuase it show neoliberalism was a failure, ts, so you’re MAKING UP the possiblity that if you compared something else the gap would look different. You provide no evidence to back up your claim/

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Further to my comment above, here is an example of what I mean.

    There is a strong negative correlation between height and hair length: As people get shorter their hair length tends to get longer. However, when the gender variable is included in the equation, the single variable correlation between height and hair length will disappear altogether.

    This type of effect could very well happen with the analysis that Marty has provided. It might be that the apparent correlation between the political landscape and GDP gap may well disappear, or even reverse once demand for commodities is included in the equation. It may well be that the gap would have even been bigger had Rogernomics not happened.

    • snoozer 10.1

      ts wrote: “It may well be that the gap would have even been bigger had Rogernomics not happened.”

      in the post, Marty wrote: “It’s all very well to make up counter-factuals (‘we would have been stuffed if we hadn’t done it’, well, funny because Australia didn’t do it and they weren’t stuffed, in fact they did better than us)”

      lolz

      love all your conditionals – “could very well”, “It might be”, “may well”, “may well be ”

      all you’re saying is that anything is possible. I prefer Occam’s razor myself.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        If we were to apply Occams Razor in the way you are suggesting, then we would have to say that the negative correlation between height and hair-length is real and not spurious.

        I don’t think you really understand Occams Razor.

        • snoozer 10.1.1.1

          Yes I do: ‘given the information available, the simplest explanation that fits that information is the most likely to be correct, and, so, is the one most logical to assume’ or to put it antoher way “When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question”

          I’m not interested in hairy midgets but I’ll tell you what, the information on GDP per capita shows that the gap increased while we were embarking on a radical economic experiment and Australia wasn’t. The simplest explanation is that the experiment caused that outcome.

          You haven’t provided any evidence of any other cause or any evidence that the gap didn’t increase during that period, you are just saying there ‘might’ be such evidence. Well, there might be an invisible, weightless parrot on my shoulder but I’m not going to worry about it pooing on my jacket. I’m going to carry on in the assumption that it isn’t there.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            You have defined Occams Razor, but you don’t understand how to apply it.

    • Daveski 10.2

      Like the patient whose life is saved by having a limb amputated but blames the surgeon for the loss of a limb.

      Not one of my more uplifting analogy but I think you get the drift!

  11. Ianmac 11

    Key/Brash/English are saying that the gap must be closed. Right. But what information are they using that shows the gap or even if there is a gap? (There is.) If Marty’s graph above is so wrong as some are arguing, what is being used to show the trend over the last couple of decades or so? TS Could you show me a graph that shows that the gap did not increase under so-called neo-liberal policicis over this time? (Instead of quibbling over detail.)

  12. gingercrush 12

    It also ignores that the last budget National produced before Labour formed a government showed that future growth would be high. Labour inherited surpluses. Something National had been working on for years. National was also reducing debt. It took a long period of time.

    When National departed government, we left you lot on the left an economy that had the ability to grow. Tis a pity then that you lot in turn gave us a recession.

  13. vto 13

    Exactly ginger.

    Due to Labours policies of course (in line with Marty’s own reasoning)

  14. rebelrocker 14

    “This post simply compares GDP per capita between two countries the measure, along with wages, that people use when talking about the gap between Australia and New Zealand. ”

    No the data in the post does this. The post then goes on to state a cause and effect relationship without any substantisation ie, it remains a theory.

    What some of the posters above are asking for is the theory to be tested ie, including other variables which may impact on the comparison between GDP per capita between the two countries.

    It’s sloppy thinking to suggest this further analysis is unnecessary.

    “You don’t like the outcome becuase it show neoliberalism was a failure, ts, so you’re MAKING UP the possiblity that if you compared something else the gap would look different. You provide no evidence to back up your claim/”

    Likewise you provide no evidence to support your theory that neoliberalism failed because you don’t account for other valid variables. If you did they could support or discount your theory. What are you scared of?

    • snoozer 14.1

      If you don’t agree with the interpretation of the data – ie the gap grew at the same time at the neoliberal revolution therefore the neoliberal revolution was a cause of that growth in the gap, then make a fact-based counter-argument.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Since the argument here is based on oversimplification to the degree of absurdity, then no-one here should be able to argue with my observation on the graph:

    The graph shows that the gap started as narrow when National was in power, widened when Labour was in power, narrowed slightly again when National was in power again, and then widened out again when Labour was in power.

    So, Labour was responsible for the widening gap between Australia and NZ. I have just “proved” it.

    That should also satisfy Snoozer with his misguided way of applying Occams Razor.

    • jarbury 15.1

      Should we really classify the 1984-1990 government as Labour? I mean I guess they were, but the economic ideology was more along the lines of Act.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Correlation does not necessarily equate to causation. We would have to look at things that were done individually, what they did to the economy and if they were a part of the neo-liberal reforms.

    Did wages go down over that time period? Yes. Was this drop caused by the policy? Neo-liberal policy called for the smashing of unions and abolishment of the penal rates system. Both of these neo-liberal policies were subsequently implemented. This would have caused a decrease in bargaining power of workers decreasing the wages they could demand. The abolishment of penal rates would drive up unemployment putting further strain on the negotiating power of the workers and, thus, further decreasing wages. Decreasing wages would necessarily decrease GDP because people wouldn’t be able to spend as much.

    Neo-liberal policies also called for the eradication of protections of national businesses which put our businesses in direct competition with businesses in countries with less environmental protections, lower or no minimum wages and even less worker protections. This would, again, force wages down as businesses were moved offshore or closed down completely further increasing unemployment.

    Foreign ownership, another neo-liberal policy and one that was implemented in the reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. GDP would, in the neo-liberal theory, stay the same as the receipts would be the same. This isn’t true though as the profits going offshore are a multiplier decrease. It results in a direct decrease in capital expenditure – the money, quite simply, isn’t being spent. With the decrease in financial capital investment in actual capital will also decrease minimizing productivity increases.

    Has all of these occurred due to the reforms? Yep. Is the graph that Marty G put forward therefore indicative of the reforms causing the increase in the GDP/capita gap between NZ and Oz? Yep.

  17. Bryan 17

    NZ companies are getting relatively SMALLER and THUS less productive. It takes only a little thought and intuition to understand, but here’s some research evidence:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/personal-finance/2661911/Higher-pay-doesn-t-always-mean-higher-skill

    Provides real insight to English, Brash, Douglas & their new right productivity fictions. The real story behind this research entails the wide range of pressures and incentives for businesses to get smaller – de-regulation, de-unionisation, contracting out, dependent contractors, less red tape etc.

    Makes life much easier for their monopolist mates who make the perfectly rational calculation that it’s better to have a huge share of smallish cake that a shrinking share of a growing one.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Very interesting Bryan. I haven’t seen the idea that smaller firms are less productive explicitly articulated like that before.

      I spent much of the 90’s travelling for a large corporate. I got to visit dozens of small outfits in the electrical/automation business. One thing I can assure you of is that many of the guys working in them had world class skills and worked damn hard. Yet it was obvious to me that they were largely wasting their time all running about cutting each other’s throats chasing pissant little jobs. As a result contracting in the country amounts to little more than a frack you contest, the client screwing the contractor before the deal is signed, and the contractor screwing the client after.

      From time to time I’d try to hint that maybe, just maybe there was merit in some of them setting aside their egos and consolidating their undoubted energy and skills into a larger enterprise that could tackle some genuinely profitable jobs overseas. But it never happened. Now a decade later I look about and only see a handful of survivors still grimly grinding their way, never really making it.

      The biggest barrier to improving productivity here in NZ is a dearth of confident, competent business leaders, people with the capacity to take on the world and win

  18. rebelrocker 18

    “The abolishment of penal rates would DRIVE UP UNEMPLOYMENT putting further strain on the negotiating power of the workers and, thus, further decreasing wages.”

    Unemployment fell following the introduction of ECA and kept falling until the recession of the late 1990’s then resumed falling once the economy recovered. It remained falling before and after the introduction of ERA.

    Here is a link that shows unemployment declining from 1991 http://www.dol.govt.nz/PDFs/lmr-hlfs-mar2006.pdf

    • toad 18.1

      rebelrocker said: Unemployment fell following the introduction of ECA…

      Of course it did. Because the ECA was designed to empower employers to lower wages, and benefits were cut in 1991 to encourage that too.
      So employers could get unemployed workers (who were work tested in a way that compelled them to apply for any available job, whatever the wages and conditions, and irrespective of their qualifications) to take shit jobs.

      That’s exactly why the income gap between Australia and New Zealand spiraled out in the ’90s.

  19. toad 19

    And there is a serious danger we will repeat history Marty.

    It is scary how many of the neo-liberals of the 90s are being resurrected.

    Indicative of a governemnt that has no vision, and naturally falls back on its already discredited ideological allies for ideas.

    • Swampy 19.1

      Bit like the regurgitated communists in the Green party, people like Keith Locke and Sue Bradford. The union leaders who have all come out of the woodwork since the Labour Party passed the ERA to rebuild their movement.

  20. Swampy 20

    Some “workers rights” were “taken away” and Labour has never reversed that. Maybe they were unreasonable things to have, like closed shops.

  21. vto 21

    Marty, above you say this “Our GDP per capita grew rapidly under Labour”; and this, “What else should I adjust the GDP per capita numbers for and by how much? $20 because it was rainy that year? 2% because we won the World Cup?”

    as some sort of claim to support your post that GDP is solely affected by govt policy.

    but then later the same day on the post “Show Pony” you say..

    “there was a drought, a bursting housing bubble, a global spike in oil and food prices in the first half last year. They caused the recession, not Labour.”

    as some sort of claim that GDP is solely affected by anything other than govt policy.

    Care to explain ?? Or prefer to remain wallowing in the smell of hypocrisy ..

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    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Signs of global warming are being observed all over our planet. Thermometers measure surface warming. Buoys sunk to ocean depths measure heat building up in our oceans. Ice is melting across our planet, with ice sheets crumbling and glaciers ...
    1 day ago
  • Whiteness, class and the white working class
    This essay by Kenan Malik, on the controversy over the funding of scholarships for white working class boys, was originally published in the Observer on 5 January 2020, under the headline‘Bursaries don’t help when it’s not their colour that thwarts these boys’. There is a scene in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • We have a date
    The Prime Minister has just announced the election date as 19 September. So, its a Suffrage Day election, and well before the Trump hits the fan in the US. The no-longer-new practice of announcing the election date well in advance is good, and puts everyone on a more even footing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • With the En-ROADS climate simulator, you can build your own solutions to global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as “de-nihilism“. One manifestation: An increasing number of ...
    2 days ago
  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    3 days ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    3 days ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    4 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    6 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    6 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    7 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    7 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    15 hours ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    7 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    7 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Statement on evacuation of New Zealanders from Wuhan
    “I spoke with Prime Minister Morrison again this afternoon and we have confirmed that we will work together on a joint ANZAC assisted departure of Australians and New Zealanders from Wuhan,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Specific details of the evacuation plan, including the medical protocols that will be applied to returning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • The New Zealand Upgrade Programme
    Rail, roads, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the new $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The programme: Includes investments in roads, rail, hospitals and schools to future-proof the economy Will give a $10 billion boost to New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • School infrastructure upgrades ramping up
    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break. The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Flicking the switch on a clean powered public service
    Our Government’s programme to upgrade infrastructure and modernise the economy will help more communities to be part of the solution to climate change through a clean-powered public service. Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today announced the first group of projects from the New Zealand Upgrade Programme’s clean powered public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government of Infrastructure delivers for New Zealanders
    Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says today’s capital investment announcements show the Coalition Government is the Government of Infrastructure. $7 billion in projects have been announced today as part of the Government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which will see capital spending at its highest rate ...
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