Treasury dreams of cheap oil

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, June 3rd, 2008 - 26 comments
Categories: budget 2008, economy - Tags:

This is the graph of the oil price forecasts Treasury used to underpin its fiscal model for the Budget. It assumes that oil would touch $115 a barrel US in about July this year before easing off to a long-run level of $100 a barrel. That is already up on Treasury’s forecast from November, which had the peak at $90 a barrel and the long-run at $75.

The red dot is where oil prices are today. Literally off the chart.

This has some important implications for the economy. Oil consumption is likely to be lower than forecast meaning less fuel excise revenue for the government but expenditure on oil will be higher, impeding growth, and we will get better prices for our oil exports, bringing more growth and bigger tax revenues. Add in that Fonterra’s milk payouts for this year and next also well above the Treasury’s forcasts and the Budget assumptions are starting to look hopelessly out-of-date only 12 days after they were published.

It also illustrates how hopelessly optimistic government assumptions about oil prices are. Oil prices have been rising ever faster since 1998, are up 30% in the last half-year alone, and show no signs of slowing. But acknowledging we are at peak oil, that the price is not going to drop back to ‘normal’, is simply not something that Treasury can do.

26 comments on “Treasury dreams of cheap oil ”

  1. mike 1

    Nationals $50 a week taxcut looks about right then

    [Tane: Mike bro, you can troll better than this. Try a bit harder eh?]

  2. roger nome 2

    Treasury just takes its oil price projections from futures markets. The problem is however that statistical studies show futures markets are poor predictors of oil prices outside of 6 months.

    The biggest problem is that 60% of the world’s oil reserves sit in the lap of the OPEC dictators. Basically people who play in the oil futures market are trying to guess what the dictators are going to do with production. So buyers for futures contracts tend to go conservative, meaning the price tends to be under-estimated often.

    Another problem with relying on the futures markets to predict oil prices at the moment, and going into the future, is the fact that after 2010, all subsequent increases in conventional oil production will have to come from OPEC (non-OPEC will peak according to the International Energy Agency) – meaning that they will play an even greater role in determining the price of oil in the various spot markets. They could decide to let production stagnate in order to get prices higher (as they have been doing for the last 5 years), or they may give in to political pressure from the west and increase production.

    Essentially it’s a gamble that we should be trying to avoid. We need to break our dependence on foreign oil as much as is possible.

  3. Patrick 3

    So while petrol prices continue to rise dramatically, the government is supposed to keep dropping your tax to match?

    Quite frankly, I find this point of view short-sighted and greedy. It just sounds like a 10 year old demanding extra pocket money to afford something that is out of their price range.

    The only real solution to increasing fuel prices, that I can see, is a continued and increased investment in sustainable technology and public transport. It’s not like anything the government can do will actually make the price of oil decrease.

  4. roger nome 4

    Here’s a good discussion between two economists that specialise in the oil market, which gives a bit of context to this.

    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/econoblog08032005.htm

  5. Stephen 5

    or would be completely useless if say, the price of oil keeps climbing…I would LOVE to know how any political parties are going to reduce NZ’s dependence on oil, as opposed to lowering taxes every time the price goes up.

  6. higherstandard 6

    Clinton

    People might be unaware of the percentage of each dollar in oil the government currently takes. Isn’t it currently around 40% in taxes and duties ?

    [Yes, something like that. But only the GST portion increases with an increase in price (in fact, the portion of govt revenue per dollar falls as the price rises). Also, is that your solution? The market is saying supply isn’t meeting demand, your solution: lower taxes, which pay for roads and public transport, so that demand doesn’t drop. This has the effect of drawing up more of the limited resource quicker, hastening the point where supply really begins to fall while our transport infrastructure degrades and no investment is made in alternatives to private car transport because there are no fuel taxes to pay for them. SP]

  7. lprent 7

    Steve: You should probably put up treasury forecasts of the exchange rate NZD to USD. The landed cost of oil here depends on that, and the combined figure is what will feed into inflation.

    I haven’t been keeping an eye on the USD, but based on the AUD, I’d expect quite a lot of voliatility.

  8. Nedyah Hsan 8

    I love how the price of oil has increased ever so sharply following the Americans invasion of most of the oil producing nations.

    So if the black gold IS discovered in the Great South Basin, will we therefore get cheap petrol?
    People in the oil nations currently pay around 40c a litre.. is it too much to ask that we get the same benefits if we end up an oil nation (as unlikely as it sounds)

    My guess is no. “The Market Will Decide” ultimately.

    As for decreasing oil dependence. Well, it could happen. Increase timetables and halve the fares on the passenger rail network now that we own it. (with the exception of silly ol’ Auckland who has to suffer under Veoila for a few more years)

    LP: USD has been a lot more stable than the AUD with the NZD cross exchange.

  9. BeShakey 9

    HS – as you should know if you want to pretend to be properly informed, the governments take in dollar terms takes a hit if the oil price goes to high. People have already begun reining in the amount of travel they do. So if your complaint is that the actual take is too high, your wrong. If your complaint is that the government is taking too much as a percentage, then presumably you are happy to pull back on the governments investment in transport, since the total amount in the NLTF now exceeds the take from transport.

  10. T-rex 10

    Stephen – Here’s my policy.

    Change cars, and build wind turbines.

    Rogernome and I had a long winded argument on the topic in a previous thread – “Ambitious for big oil”.

    His stance is that we need to improve public transport and rail to reduce oil dependence.

    Probably we actually need to do both. Happily (if you’re me), oil is now so expensive that there’s an incentive to change technology platforms even without paying for all the externalities ignored with oil(pollution, GHG).

    HS: So what? Are you advocating a reduction in the tax on petrol? How would you fund new transport infrastructure?

  11. roger nome 11

    higher:

    If anything the government under-taxes petrol. The fact that we’ve let it be so cheep over the last two decades (we’ve got amongst the lowest petrol tax level in the OECD) means that our economy is more dependant on foreign oil, and more vulnerable to oil price spikes.

    After the OPEC embargos of the 1970s and 1980s most OECD countries raised oil taxes in order to insulate their economies from oil prices spikes. The US left taxes low, and consequently has an oil intensity (units of oil consumed per unit of GDP) figure nearly twice as high as the EU average.

    See the fourth graph at the following link:

    http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/ContentTopicSummary____20094.aspx

  12. Stephen 12

    “Change cars, and build wind turbines.”

    I’m sure that both of those will happen, it’s just that the transition period looks set to be both long and painful…

  13. T-rex 13

    Maybe…

    I swing between optimism and pessimism on the issue. The obstacle isn’t a technical one, people just need to change what they’re asking for.

  14. Phil 14

    Nedyah Hsan

    “People in the oil nations currently pay around 40c a litre.. is it too much to ask that we get the same benefits if we end up an oil nation (as unlikely as it sounds)
    My guess is no. “The Market Will Decide’ ultimately.”

    Oil producing countries do tend to pay less for oil, but only in the sense that it costs an afwul lot less to transport oil from the Persian Gulf to Tehran, than it does to transport the same oil to Wellington.

    You’re also ignoring the impact of gov’t taxes or subsidies – which vary greatly between countries.

    Sweden, for instance, is not even remotely concerned about expensive oil, because the crude component in their retail cost is “two-fifths of f**k all” in comparison to the huge taxes their elected officials put upon it.
    Meanwhile, gas prices in the US, which are internationally quite low, have a lower tax rate – and consequently consumers feel the rise in crude oil costs more acutely.

    As a result, your assertion that “the market will decide” is blatantly incorrect.

  15. roger nome 15

    T-Rex:

    As you know, my opinion is that wind will only make up a small percentage of our energy needs in the next 20-30 years. We need to increase base-load capacity. Now, as the government AFAIK isn’t looking to build dams in order to create the wind-hydro pump loop that we discussed before, it’s difficult to see how wind can help us with that.

    We should also remember that with the current economic paradigm, 3-4% economic growth is expected, and that will mean roughly an equivalent increase in energy demand. It’s a very hard road ahead.

    Stephen:

    “I?m sure that both of those will happen, it?s just that the transition period looks set to be both long and painful”

    Ultimately we need to be looking at the demand side of the energy markets as well. Our transportation infrastructure was all built in the time of very cheep energy, and the wastage inherent in its design reflects that. So rail, busses, boats and cyclist-friendly roads need to be given more priority by the government. It’s a nonsense to think that the market mechanism by itself is the best way to negotiate the coming energy crisis.

    Thinking at the planning level has to change as well.

  16. T-rex 16

    Roger – did you see my latest reply to you in the other thread?

    3-4% economic growth does not necessarily imply 3-4% increase in energy use – there is huge potential for reduction in energy intensity.

    That aside, I agree with most of your last paragraph… at least in as much as the govt should balance its transport investment a bit more than the historic focus on roads.

    Buying back the railways is a fantastic start!

  17. BeShakey 17

    Phil and Nedyah Hsan

    You also need to remember that the stuff that comes up out of the ground isn’t the same as the stuff people pump into cars. My understanding is that NZ doesn’t have the facilities necessary to do the processing, hence the need to export the oil we extract, and import oil for use. Unless huge amounts of oil are discovered (making it worthwhile to locate processing facilities here), I can’t imagine that changing.

  18. roger nome 18

    T-Rex-

    Oil used for Road transport equates to about 30% of the energy used in the NZ economy. I estimate (pull a number out of my arse 🙂 ) that about half of that will be commercial and half personal. So probably about 15% of our energy needs goes to personal transport. So in your “personal transport powered by electricity” future, it will only affect domestic energy prices marginally.

    Also, your vision involves less trucks on the road for long haul, and lighter, more efficient vehicles used for personal transport, both of which will mean less damage to roads. So we can spend less on roads, and more on re-designing transport infrastructure. You agree?

    Of course there are energy efficiency gains to be made in industry as well, and you’re right to think that market mechanism will cause adaptation. I just think that the demand side of the equation needs to be looked at in the short to medium term to help with efficiency gains. There’s just no glut of energy on the global or national scale in sight. We are, for the foreseeable future, living in an energy-constrained world.

  19. Clarke 19

    Every time I see one of Treasury’s dumber predictions I’m reminded of that old joke …. “The problem is not that Treasury could cease to exist and New Zealand would never notice … it’s that New Zealand could cease to exist and Treasury would never notice.”

    To call them a bunch of ivory-tower theorists is a slur on ivory-tower theorists everywhere.

    – Clarke

  20. Draco TB 20

    But acknowledging we are at peak oil, that the price is not going to drop back to ‘normal’, is simply not something that Treasury can do.

    Of course they won’t. If they accepted that we have reached Peak Oil then their projections wouldn’t be of a normal boom/bust cycle that averages exponential growth. It would be of declining economic activity and resource wars.

    Quoting the NZHerald:

    Salameh said Iraq had offered the United States a deal, three years before the Gulf war, that would have opened up 10 new giant oil fields on “generous” terms in return for the lifting of sanctions.”This would certainly have prevented the steep rise of the oil price,” he said.

    This is interesting not in what it says but in what it says very obliquely and that is that the only spare capacity for oil production is in Iraq which is at war with itself while being occupied by hostile forces. The rest of the world cannot increase production, ergo, we are at peak now. It’s just a matter of time before oil production goes into decline. From here on out the price of oil goes up and economic activity goes down.

    T Rex and r nome:
    Would the possible efficiencies available be able to offset the decline in oil use as prices rise? Because if they can’t then we are looking at economic decline and the associated decline in living standards that goes with it.
    From what I can make out they can’t in the time needed to make a difference. Time here is the critical factor because the national power generation would have to be expanded before we run out of spare energy and that isn’t going to happen as we’ve already run out of spare energy.

  21. T-Rex 21

    Draco – for my money, yes, they can.

    I think I’ll write a book about it. People must have had about enough of the preachers of famine and shortage… I reckon a book of solutions might sell well. Although an opportunity for a good whinge is often embraced much more wholeheartedly than its alternative… sigh.

    Roger – Yup, I think we more or less agree on allocation of funds.

  22. T-Rex 22

    Man, my book is going to rule SO HARD! It’s going to retail for $27.95 and everyone will talk about it all the freaking time for at LEAST 3 weeks. It’ll be ‘The god delusion’ of 2009. Only not by Richard Dawkins. Awwwwww yeah.

  23. Ari 23

    Firstly, I can assure you that some Treasury staff accept the eventual reality of peak oil. They just disagree that it’s peaking now, and so keep looking for medium-term price drops.

    My disagreement is essentially that regardless of whether the peak is soon or not, speculators are now informed on the nature of peak oil and are deliberately undoing the market collaboration that has kept oil so low for so long. (ie. this is not an unreasonable price for oil that we are paying now, it’s actually a lot closer to its natural price as an extremely valuable, extremely demanded commodity in somewhat limited supply. We’re still probably seeing considerable seller-side subsidy* on the current price though)

    Because of this, regardless of whether we are peaking now or peaking later, prices for oil will start to act as if we’re peaking now, and prices at the pump will soon follow, and the need to act on it is more urgent than the way we’re acting right now.

    *That is, it’s not being sold as expensively as it could be in all cases in order to maintain economic stability.

  24. Stephen 24

    .

    [lprent: Like profound, man. But was this exercise in punctuation intended? Or do I need more simulation.
    Sorry – just bored]

  25. Dean 25

    “Yes, something like that. But only the GST portion increases with an increase in price (in fact, the portion of govt revenue per dollar falls as the price rises).”

    Did you forget about the temporary which then became permanent taxes the government levied? Say it isn’t so.

  26. Jamesey 26

    We’ve been having this argument at Frogblog.

    I think Treasury’s reevaluation is actually quite realist given a variety of factors that you’ve failed to take into account.

    a) The US dollar is rising due to news that the FED will not cut interest rates, because of inflation fears,
    http://tinyurl.com/5l2r67

    b) Fuel consumption in the U.S. has fallen, because of the recession and high fuel prices
    http://tinyurl.com/5lfjeq

    c) Three major Asian nations dropping their fuel subsidies, because they have become unaffordable.
    http://tinyurl.com/5jsn7z

    China’s fuel demand growth has also fallen compared to recent years,
    http://tinyurl.com/58gy5y

    Massive new oil reserve have been discovered in Iraq.
    http://www.tinyurl.com/5vr3y5

    The claims are corraborated by a conversation that an influential Iraqi Oil Consultant had with a Brazilian Senator on an unrelated subject.

    “He stated that Iraq had surpassed Saudi Arabia and is now the first country in the world in terms of known oil reserves. From the top 12 places in the world where higher quantities of oil are found, 9 are in Iraq, he emphasized.”
    Eduardo Suplicy
    http://www.usbig.net/papers/182-Suplicy–Iraq.doc

    As of May 2007, companies like ExxonMobil are not making nearly the investment in finding new oil today that they did in 1981.[25] Nor are they using state of the art extraction technologies.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980s_oil_glut

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reduce our fuel consumption

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    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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