Too much of a Good Thing

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, January 24th, 2011 - 42 comments
Categories: exports, farming, wages - Tags: , ,

Higher commodity and food prices, we are told are a Good Thing. Our exporters (ie. Fonterra and foreign oil companies) get more money. But we consumers have to pay more to buy the same products, so are we better off? And what about the poor saps overseas who are paying more for less, or the really poor saps who are priced out of the market?

When you hear ‘rising export prices’ what you’re actually hearing is ‘inflation’ – nothing more is being produced but it is costing more money, that’s inflation by definition. As consumers, we pay more for the same amount (if we can afford it). It’s only good for the producer because their input costs aren’t inflating as fast as their prices.

Which brings us to the big input cost: wages. In theory, we should be compensated for higher food costs because our food exporters will increase activity, hire more people, and, so, push up wages across the country. This is how the gain for the country from higher export prices is meant to be spread through-out the economy. In fact, it’s not happening.

There is a concerted effort – from the government down – to deny workers wage increases. Apart from obviously contradicting the supposed goal of closing the wage gap with Australia, this means that the real value of most workers’ wages is falling (even ignoring the GST increase).

The corporate media is cheering on these wage cuts – we’re told we all have to do our bit in these tough times. But that just means the ‘benefits’ of higher commodity prices are limited to the exporters. Everyone else faces higher prices and lower wages.

The international story behind higher commodity prices is that there are more mouths to feed and more cars to fuel but the cheap oil is gone and food output isn’t keeping up. The disastrous grain harvest in Russia, the loss of crops in Queensland, and an expected poor rice harvest in Thailand are pushing up prices for these staples and also made the grain that feeds much of the world’s dairy cattle more expensive.

High oil and food costs are pricing the world’s poorest people out of the market. Food and petrol price riots have brought down the government in Tunisia and its neighbouring governments fear they may be next. Zimbabwe is experiencing fuel shortages because its foreign suppliers have insufficient supply. Riots are spreading around the third world and the death toll is rising. This is the real cost of that Good Thing – rising commodity prices.

42 comments on “Too much of a Good Thing ”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Which brings us to the big input cost: wages. In theory, we should be compensated for higher food costs because our food exporters will increase activity, hire more people, and, so, push up wages across the country. This is how the gain for the country from higher export prices is meant to be spread through-out the economy. In fact, it’s not happening.

    To be fair, the Dairy Workers Union have been instrumental in making sure that dairy workers get a fair go. Not that it couldn’t be more.

    • Marty G 1.1

      Good news but my point is about wages for the rest of us. This austerity mantra means most workers are taking pay cuts, and being tricked into getting angry st workers who demand more. So, the country’s income is rising but most aren’t benefiting, just paying higher prices

      • KJT 1.1.1

        83% rise in labour productivity since the 70’s. Greater rises than that in the costs of food and housing. 15% rise in wages. The median wage rise is a lot less.

    • The Baron 2.1

      Wow thanks Eve – that show looks really shit.

      • Armchair Critic 2.1.1

        I never even look at links to youtube, Baron, on the basis that all links to youtube are shit.
        I’m sure there are some exceptions, but not enough for me to bother.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          You’re missing out on a lot of thought provoking and useful videos, as well as a lot of entertainment.

          • Armchair Critic 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I’m regretting that comment now.
            I have observed that commenters who post links without much of an explanation as to what the link will tell me or why I should follow it tend to be a waste of time, especially where the link is to youtube. Exception – music videos.
            It occurred to me that maybe it’s the appeal to authority of youtube videos that riles me. Essentially, to appear on TV you need to be sufficiently “important” – youtube is like TV (moving pictures and sound on a small screen), so to be on youtube you must also be important. Except the flaw in the logic is anyone can get onto youtube, there’s no editorial control at all.
            Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              what irks me is that often youtube links are used in the same way as links to nutjob webtext (of all colours of the rainbow), but it takes a wee while to figure out that the monologue / whatever is nutty. On a text website you can scan to the meat of the author’s discussion and pick up obvious stupidities and leaps of logic.

              If I’m moderately pressed for time I skip most of the video links, with maybe a mental note to catch up later if the comment summary seems coherent.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        Keiser is pretty good. His show where he also talks to Australia’s Assoc Prof Steve Keen is worth checking out.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKanqxd5ZW4

      • travellerev 2.1.3

        I don’t know why I bother Baron because you are one of the most dim witted people to have ever graced this blog but there you go.
        Max Keiser has excellent credentials to be saying the things he is saying even though he is saying them online and not in a fancy TV studio. At least that makes him free to say what he needs to say. Fancy TV studio’s belong to the corporate Media and if you speak your mind in them you end up on the street as Keith Olbermann found out last week.

        Funny how Max Keiser talks about the Wall street scheisters eh? Oh oops I forgot you love our very own Wall street bankster turned Prime minister to bits.

    • M 2.2

      Unexpected PO, unexpected peak credit, pumping blood into a corpse LOL.

  2. Dilbert 3

    This is why I believe that only way that fair distribution of necessities like food/water/oil is able to occur is for them to be placed under the control of a global organisation like the United Nations.

    • Bazar 3.1

      “Fair” for who?
      “Fair” for those who have the most numbers? Then china deserves most of the worlds oil.
      “Fair” for those who own it, then they should be allowed to do with it what they please.
      “Fair” for those who need it most, then america should enjoy that resolution as they get oiled piped in.

      Or how about “Fair” for those who lead the global organisation, which China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States would love, since they have Veto power over anything they don’t like.

      The best way to transfer weath is to either trade for it on terms acceptable to both parties, or just take it by force.
      Having someone else tell you what you can and can’t do is negotiations by force. There is nothing fair about that.

      • Marty G 3.1.1

        Fair on a per capita basis is the only true fair, if you believe in the fundamental of humanity. The yanks don’t need it more just because they are able to pay more – which is the trouble with markets in general: they should maximise utility by getting a good to those who value it most but actually it goes to those who can afford to pay the most

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          Having stayed with my ex’s family in a small town in Wisconsin for 3 weeks – my god they waste gasoline. They would make at least 4-5 separate trips in the car per day to run errands or the like, instead of condensing them down into 1 or 2 trips. This behaviour seemed pretty normal.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        Having someone else tell you what you can and can’t do is negotiations by force. There is nothing fair about that.

        This is a naive view of the intracacies of power in relationships i.e. all relationships.

  3. Nick C 4

    “When you hear ‘rising export prices’ what you’re actually hearing is ‘inflation’ – nothing more is being produced but it is costing more money, that’s inflation by definition”

    No it’s not. Inflation is an increase in the general price level. If we’re talking about a few comodities such as dairy and oil, that could be nothing to do with inflation and be a manifestation of changing supply and demand for those goods: I.e. higher levels of demand from overseas.

    • Marty G 4.1

      Does that mean you don’t use the term ‘ wage inflation’? it is inflation when it takes more money to buy the same value. You can have inflation in specific goods as well as the general price level. These commodity rises will drive the increase the general price level.

    • Marty G 4.2

      Your final sentence makes no sense. Do you think that inflation happens by magic? It is created by demand/supply imbalances

      • Bazar 4.2.1

        “When you hear ‘rising export prices’ what you’re actually hearing is ‘inflation’ – nothing more is being produced but it is costing more money, that’s inflation by definition”

        http://economics.about.com/od/helpforeconomicsstudents/f/inflation.htm

        Read it for what inflation is, and what causes it.
        That indeed can be taken as inflation, but your definition is incomplete.

        Honestly the price of goods going up IS a good thing. It’ll create wealth, and promote expantion in the industry helping supply to catch up to demand.

        People dieing because they are being priced out of the market not so good, but thats reality.

      • Nick C 4.2.2

        No, because an increase in the scarcity of one or two goods does not equal inflation. Strawberrys are more expensive during the off season because they are more scarce and have to be imported. No one would say that is proof of inflation occuring. Increases in aggregate demand cause inflation, but one good does not equal aggregate demand.

        “It is created by demand/supply imbalances”

        There is of course considerable debate amoung economists about what causes inflation, and there is no consensus. Plenty of economists will argue that inflation is mostly a monetary phenomenon.

        • Marty G 4.2.2.1

          “Strawberrys are more expensive during the off season because they are more scarce and have to be imported. No one would say that is proof of inflation occuring.”

          actually, seasonal inflation and deflation occurs, but is adjusted out in the seasonally adjusted figures because it doesn’t represent an underlying change in the price level of a good or basket of goods.

          “Increases in aggregate demand cause inflation, but one good does not equal aggregate demand”

          a)one good is part of aggregate demand, especially when those goods are oil and food b) you can have inflation in a single good or service – you’re familiar with the term wage inflation, surely. It refers to inflation in the price of labour. There’s also an inflation index specifically for food and for a number of groups and sub-groups of goods and services.

          you’re confusing the CPI, the headline inflation figure, which is a change in the general price level with inflation, which can and does refer to nominal price increases in any good or service or basket of goods and services.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.2

          There is of course considerable debate amoung economists about what causes inflation, and there is no consensus. Plenty of economists will argue that inflation is mostly a monetary phenomenon.

          And yet we have the Reserve Bank tasked with controlling inflation and pretending that it can do so without knowing where it actually comes from, but who are still willing to sacrifice peoples’ jobs by the thousands to do it.

          Economists, on the whole, should be regarded as storytellers and fortune tellers, good for light entertainment only.

          Nick, I don’t think you know much about this area of fortune telling apart from what the textbooks say, is that fair? And has been pointed out to you already, you haven’t really organised the interconnections between the different concepts in your head yet.

          • KJT 4.2.2.2.1

            I find it difficult to take modern economics graduates seriously when the are not even aware of such giants in economic theory as Keynes, Marx or even Schumpeter, let alone the New Deal and other economic events which contradict their rather narrow Neo-liberal education.

      • travellerev 4.2.3

        Actually it is created by irresponsible and fraudulent banksters and investment gamblers to cover their fraudulent tracks. Watch Max Keiser and learn.

  4. Colonial Viper 5

    If we’re talking about a few comodities such as dairy and oil, that could be nothing to do with inflation

    Technically correct, but if specific commodities and items are being affected, it will still impact the CPI.

    • mcflock 5.1

      particularly if those few commodities are at the root of the production chain for a large number of other products.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The mess we are in now has been coming for 50 years -Hubbert drew attention to peak oil in the 1950s, Carson drew attention to environmental degradation in the 60s, Meadows and company highlighted the resources/population time bombs in the 70s, Hansen drew attention to abrupt climate change in the 80s. We were off course for decades, headed straight for ‘the iceberg. We hit it around 2006.

    Now the ship is actually sinking we have criminals and clowns in charge who say there are no such things as icebergs, ships with holes in them don’t sink, and that we are headed for a ‘better, brighter future’ ….. blah, blah, blah… when in fact we are headed for collapse of western-style living arrangements.

    These are very good times when compared to what is on its way.

    Pretty damned scary really – especially the disruption of the stable climate conditions our food supply is dependent on. Then then are the bees … or rather lack of, acidification of the oceans, depletion of aquifers…

    The scariest one is the ignorance and apathy of the general public.

    We are yet to witness Peak Mayhem. That will probaly be preceded by Peak [official] Lies.

    • Bob Stanforth 6.1

      Im sorry, I have to ask – are you a productive member of society, or do you stay in bed all day, awaiting Armageddon?

      BTW, cant wait for Peak Mayhem, that sounds AWESOME! 🙂

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Uh , when you know trouble is coming down the pike you work pretty hard to position yourself for it. That means that hiding under the covers from Peak Oil like our current leadership is will not help.

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.2

        The scariest one is the ignorance and apathy of the general public.

  6. Tanz 7

    You can’t blame the National govt for this, much as you would like to. I await the great speech coming up, it should be good…State of the National…roll on.

  7. Tanz 8

    How come then, Labour never removed GST from food when it had nine years to do so, or at least on fresh fruit, as they’re advocating now? Wages have been low in NZ for decades, so you can’t lay the blame on National, now can you. Not all of it, anyway.

    We have been working for peanuts for ages, I was lucky once to get a fifty cent an hour payrise. This was three years ago. amd I was told to scape and bow basically, to the corporate management. No wonder people leave their jobs, it’s all take and no give from most bosses, these days!

    • Marty G 8.1

      “How come then, Labour never removed GST from food when it had nine years to do so”

      how come Holyoake didn’t introduce a flat tax? Just because Labour didn’t do everything it could ever possibly want to do in 9 years doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Indeed, you seem to be conceding that GST off food is a good idea, since the only argument you put up against it is so weak.

      “Wages have been low in NZ for decades, so you can’t lay the blame on National, now can you. Not all of it, anyway.”

      actually, wages starting falling when the neoliberal revolution started. They recovered during the 2000s under Labour’s stornger workplace laws and are now falling. (you can see various graphs of this in our archives under wages)

      Of course, the recession is the excuse but I’m glad to see you concede that National bears part of the blame too.

      “We have been working for peanuts for ages, I was lucky once to get a fifty cent an hour payrise. This was three years ago. amd I was told to scape and bow basically, to the corporate management. No wonder people leave their jobs, it’s all take and no give from most bosses, these days!”

      And yet you’re supporting a government that is weakening the bargaining power of workers through its policies (90 days/fire at will law, anti-union laws, piddling minimum wage increases, high unemployment) and, so, making it easier for bosses to give small or no payrises.

      I actually think you’re right at the edge of a breakthrough here, Tanz. You realise that bosses, if they can, will push down our wages. Therefore, to get the wages we deserve we need to be negioating from a stronger position – two things will do that for us:

      1)uniting together and bargaining as a group because an individual is easily replaceable, a group isn’t (ie join a union),
      2) a playing field where the rules are fair and not tipped all in the advantage of the boss (ie. a government that improves your work rights, doesn’t take them away)

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        You realise that bosses, if they can, will push down our wages.

        And of course, its even more than that. Management has a responsibility to owners and shareholders to absolutely minimise the wage bill. Particularly in NZ where short sighted bottom line minded management seems to be rather common. Leaving money on the table for employees when it could go instead to investors and owners is a dereliction of management responsibility.

        Force wages down and keep them down. Take steps to make workers accept lower wages, no matter how grudgingly. Make it riskier for workers to leave for a better position elsewhere (90 day right to fire). Divert a larger and larger share of GDP to the top 1-2% of the population, and less and less to everyone else. Make no effort to retain the best workers onshore, just an executive elite. Install a Government who supports this overall programme without reservation.

        Its one way Westpac can afford to ship $6.2M in profits back to Australian shareholders from NZ every week.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          Partly it is down to the cult of managerialism in the Anglo Saxon countries. The incentive to managers and directors is to push staff wages down to allow room to increase their own renumeration.
          It has happened in both public and private enterprises. Ports, telecoms and power companies being a prime example where managers cut wages and service for short term gain. Usually to the long term detriment of the enterprise and its shareholders.
          Germany, Scandinavia and Japan seem to manage to retain good management without the extravagant salaries of NZ, Australia the USA and UK.
          In fact extremely high management salaries correspond, in most cases, with the worst performing enterprises.

      • Tanz 8.1.2

        I don’t support this govt, Marty G. Not while Smile and Wave is leading it, anyway. No substance at all, just loads of smiling. However, I think National is more aligned to my conservative, rightish views. Wish that English was in charge. Fat chance ! But I won’t vote the Nats, this year, no way.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.2.1

          We can only hope that Hide won’t win Epsom then.

        • fraser 8.1.2.2

          so… are you saying that if key wasnt leader and english was, the nats would be heading in a direction that addressed your concerns outlined in comments above?

  8. Well, once we are forced to stop being so reliant on oil and all that it does for us, we will have the lovely Cuba to draw upon as an example of what to do. Organic farming, working with the land instead of against it and using traditional and more efficient means to produce food. We are also going to have to lower our standards as a society. However, that will be more difficult in the Capitalist society that reigns the USA and Canada. If anyone is interested in watching, what I think is, a good documentary, check out “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”. It gives me some semblance of hope.

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    TL;DR: Flying in the face of comments from a ratings agency and a mountain of demand for a new long-term sovereign bond issued yesterday, Finance Minister Nicola Willis has again characterised the Government’s finances as too fragile to borrow in its own right to solve Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure deficits. She also ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How oil sands undermine Canada’s climate goals
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Now in his ninth year as prime minister, Justin Trudeau has sought to position Canada as a global climate leader, touting one of the world’s highest taxes on carbon pollution, clean fuel regulations, and clean technology tax credits. Yet Canada’s per-person climate pollution remains stubbornly ...
    4 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Untold back-stories: the little things media don't tell us but which are nevertheless pertinent
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.In an article entitled "School donations continue to yield millions of dollars for wealthier schools" on RNZ's website on 19 February, Data journalist Farah Hancock reported on the fees ("donations") that (some) schools were ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Efeso Collins – Gone Too Soon.
    My wife’s breathing was heavy beside me as I woke this morning, still dark. Yesterday, and it’s awful news, came crashing into my head and I lay there quietly crying.Thinking of Efeso’s family and loved ones. Of so many people who knew him and were devastated by the shocking news. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Efeso Collins spoke in Parliament only yesterday on bill which will regulate social workers (and vot...
    Buzz from the Beehive Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and other party leaders have been paying tribute to Green MP Fa’anānā Efeso Collins, who collapsed and died during a ChildFund charity run in central Auckland this morning, . The event, near Britomart, was to support local communities in the Pacific. Collins, ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • This is corrupt
    Earlier in the month, a panel of "independent" experts in Wellington produced recommendations for the future of housing in the city, and they were a bit shit, opposing intensification and protecting the property values of existing homeowners. Its since emerged that they engaged in some pretty motivated reasoning on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Efeso Collins
    God, life can be cruel sometimes can’t it?If only everyone was like him. He was so very warm, so very generous, so very considerate, so very decent. Plenty of people have those qualities but I can think of hardly anyone I've met who had them as richly as he did.Let me ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Is applying “tough love” to a “fragile” nation the right answer?
      The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer:  How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • DON BRASH: Is an independent foreign policy really feasible?
    Don Brash writes – A week or so ago, Helen Clark and I argued that New Zealand would be nuts to abandon the independent foreign policy which has been a characteristic of New Zealand life for most of the last 40 years, a policy which has seen us ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • YVONNE VAN DONGEN: So proud
    Ratepayers might well ask why they are subsidising people who peddle the lie that it is possible to be born in the wrong body and people can change sex. The preponderance of events advertising as ‘queer’ is a gender ideology red flag. Yvonne Van Dongen writes –  It ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • S&P slams new Govt's council finance vacuum
    Wellington Water workers attempt to resolve a burst water main. Councils are facing continuing uncertainty over how to pay to repair and expand infrastructure. The Wellington Regional Council was one of those downgraded. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the outlooks for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Resigns.
    Yesterday the man that I admire most in NZ politics called time.Around the middle of yesterday news began to filter out. People were posting unconfirmed reports that Grant Robertson was taking a new role as Vice-Chancellor at Otago Uni. Within an hour it became clear that he was indeed retiring ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Auckland’s City Rail Link will fail immediately… in the best possible way
    This post was originally published on Linked In by Nicolas Reid. It is republished here with permission. Here’s the thing: the City Rail Link is almost certainly going to be overcapacity from day one, with crowding on the trains at peak times. In the simple terms of popular transport ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • You can’t always get what you want
    Grant Robertson is leaving Parliament for two new careers, having been frustrated and blocked from achieving some of his biggest political ambitions. So, he is returning to Dunedin, and, unusually for a former finance minister, with seemingly no ambitions to enter the business world. Instead, he will become Vice Chancellor ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Was Greenland really green in the past?
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    5 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    6 days ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    6 days ago
  • The promise of passive house design
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    6 days ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    7 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
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    1 week ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago

  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
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