Two editorials on immigration

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, March 1st, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: housing, im/migration, jobs - Tags: , , ,

This anonymous effort in The Herald is a shocker:

The fear that dares not speak its name

Really?

If there is a single anxiety underlying the restive mood of many voters in western democracies at present it is undoubtedly immigration, for which those voters blame high house prices and a housing shortage, low incomes, unemployment, crime and sometimes terrorism.

In all likelihood their mood has less to do with all of these problems than with the fear that their nation’s ethnicity, character and culture are being undermined, but that is a view few dare to express in public because they will sound racially prejudiced.

They feel gagged by political correctness, which adds frustration and anger to their fear.

Yes, political correctness, the crushingly oppressive idea that we should all be decent and respectful of each other, what a nightmare that is.

But to suggest that we’re all racists (I spoke its name!) and just too oppressed to vent about it? Really? What a cartoon evil view of the world.

So the immigration debate proceeds on the safer territory of housing, incomes and jobs.

So the immigration debate proceeds on the real territory that impacts real people all around you.

Blah blah blah, and the piece finishes:

It is clear, though, the immigration and its proxy issues of housing and employment are going to be the heated topics of this year’s election campaign.

It will be hard for the Government to win a proxy war if the voters’ real fear of ethic diversity is left to fester unchallenged.

Ethic diversity. Cute. And once again, painting concern about jobs and housing as just a cover for racism (oops!) says more about you than it does about the country. Like when Bill English repeatedly writes off Kiwi workers as hopeless druggies.

Contrast with the signed piece from those terrible terrible racists at interest.co.nz:

Attempting to fix a shortage of housing while at the same time allowing record numbers of migrants in does not appear to be working

The Government’s kept trying to talk down the rising and rising immigrant numbers as if they are somehow nothing to do with it and, heck, we should all be grateful lots of people want to live here.

But ‘living’ is the nub of it.

Everybody needs houses to live in.

Auckland creaks

And as the chief recipient of the burgeoning numbers of immigrants Auckland is creaking very badly.

There are far few houses being built in Auckland even to accommodate the people there now, and yet this Government keeps pouring more in.

The Government has kept waiting for this situation to abate by itself. All the talk has been of immigration numbers passing their peak.

Well, that’s just simply not true. We don’t know where the peak might be.

What can be said is that the nearly 14,500 people who arrived on a permanent or long term basis last month was the most ever.

On a net basis Statistics New Zealand’s monthly figures put the seasonally-adjusted net gain at nearly 6500 in January – also a record.

Across the past four months the annualised net gain is now running at close to 75,000, which equates to nearly 1.6% of the current New Zealand population – that’s about three times the rate of growth they have in Britain and the British are screaming their heads off about the rate of immigration THEY have.

Auckland grows

For Auckland the net gain over the past 12 months is running at around 42,000, which would require around 14,000 new homes. There were fewer than 10,000 new homes consented for construction last year.

Sort it out

The Government simply can no longer talk about fixing the Auckland housing shortage with any credibility when, a) It’s not getting enough houses built to accommodate the existing population and b) it’s stuffing more and more people into the place.The Government has shown it can’t just jawbone more, or at least enough, new houses into Auckland, even to house those already there..

What it CAN do is bring the hammer down on all these work visas being issued. Till the infrastructure can start to recover.

It is beyond time Bill and his crew put their shovels down and stopped making this hole deeper.

These are real concerns and it is legitimate to talk about them.

29 comments on “Two editorials on immigration ”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    I agree with the general premise of your post.

    It just concerns me when people identify certain ethnicities as the reason why house prices are out of control in Auckland, as opposed to government policy.

    That way of highlighting the issue just breeds the racism that we detest.

    • weka 1.1

      Yep, so talk about the problems with the immigration policy (and other policies), rather than the problems with immigrants. However I think you will find a fair bit of push back from the people who think that immigration itself is Good.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Yeah. I like immigration and immigrants. While theoretically we could possibly figure out skill needs 20 years ahead, in enough time to train people and give them experience… 😈 somehow that never happens.

        I work in areas where we cover our lack of foresight with immigration. Just as my parents did back in the 1960s and 1970s.

        That isn’t the question. The question is if we should have record immigration at the same time as we have record return migration of overseas kiwis AND a Nationally chronic underinvestment in housing and infrastructure.

        I think that the immigration needs to be throttled to reduce the flow until a realistic government actually gets some frigging housing in place. Of course National won’t want to give up their artificial growth from nett inwards migration. Good reason to vote them out.

        • Poission 1.1.1.1

          As around 1.5 of gdp growth is attributable to the CHCH earthquake (and will to 2020) there is little in AK growth from unfettered immigration alone.

          The CHCH example tells us that most of the shortfall in employment was a transfer from the unemployed and underemployed (by increased participation rates) and increased wage growth.

          Of those workers who came from within Canterbury, about a third of
          the increase in employment can be attributed to a rise in labour force
          participation. Canterbury’s labour force participation rate rose from
          about 70 percent before the earthquakes to peak about 73 percent,
          while the participation rate in the rest of New Zealand remained broadly
          unchanged (figure 12). A further quarter of the increase can be attributed
          to natural increase as those in Canterbury reached working age and
          joined the labour force.

          Workers who were previously unemployed also contributed to increased
          employment. The unemployment rate in Canterbury fell from 4.7 percent
          to about 3 percent by 2014 (figure 13). The gap in unemployment rates
          between Canterbury and the rest of New Zealand widened by more than
          historically witnessed.

          http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletins/2016/2016feb79-3.pdf

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.1

            Hummmppph.. You need to get out more. You’re looking at growth from a fix it situation on top of a falling primary sector. You need to look at what is already running that has been sustaining the economy and slowly filling Auckland to overflowing.

            At a rough guess, these days, the numbers of paid jobs in Auckland are close to being half of all jobs in the country by wage value. So that is where migrants go for jobs. Much of thos ejobs are directly or indirectly related to exporting. But the same demand that keeps the Auckland full of jobs, is also slowly stifling the place because the housing and infrastructure isn’t being funded by the government who control the inwards migration policies.

            For instance, much of the immigration is coming from SMC’s (skilled migrant category). Much of that is coming from a rather large overseas education sector. Most of that is located in Auckland and is an existing industry in its own right.

            It is an industry that requires students use accommodation, public transport, and roads. None of which the government has been willing to pay the upfront cost for. Unfortunately, Auckland doesn’t control its migration.

            Now I have no idea how much the overseas education sector is worth these days, but it is in the billions of dollars. And it is a high revenue item for the central government, but not particularly for the Aucklanders who have to put up with the cramming we get from this method of migration.

            The other problem is that many of the people coming into immigration on the points system in this way aren’t particularly skilled. They tend to do a lot of low value commerce or language qualifications and the like. The higher trained are often worth having. We just need a better dross filter.

            Edit: and reading the herald this morning it appears that even the immigration has been noticing the problem.

            Advice prepared for Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse warned of a blowout in overall immigration numbers through a rapid increase in ex-students who were gaining automatic residency as skilled migrants.

            Officials predicted the rise – driven by the Government’s aim to increase revenue from international students to $5 billion a year – would breach the upper limits of both the Skilled Migrant Category and total residency approvals.

            “Give the forecast growth path of export education for tertiary students, over time, the increase in international students are likely to place pressure on the SMC target range,” said the April 2016 draft analysis paper by the Treasury and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

            “And as the target is reached there is a risk that less experienced SMC migrants, working in lower wage industries, may crowd out the higher-skilled, professional SMC migrants that New Zealand is competing in a global labour market to attract.”

        • Brendon 1.1.1.2

          Immigration and building consent numbers affect the estimated size of the housing shortage. It is a little hard to estimate the exact size of the shortage because it depends on assumptions about occupancy rates (Nick Smith is right about that) -which is affected by factors like young adults staying at home longer, delaying family making, household formation etc.

          But we know that in 2013 there was 42,000 people measured as homeless according to the Census of that year. Since then immigration has exploded while building rates have only gradually increased. Much more immigrants arrived in Auckland per new house being built than the existing city average of 3 people per house.

          So in 2017 the homelessness rate is almost certainly to be well over the 42,000 measured in 2013 and this massive homelessness situation has caught the government unawares with its emergency housing grants….. Acknowledging a housing shortage gives a moral imperative to act. This is what happened with the first Labour government back in the 1930s and 40s. Check out this video.

          • saveNZ 1.1.1.2.1

            Building consents are not houses! They should be measuring code of compliances on new dwellings not building consents. Ie finished housing not potential housing.

            Also many of the building consents in Auckland seem to be demolish an exiting dwelling to build a bigger house. It is not increasing the amount of houses at all, it is decreasing them in the short term as the house has to be rebuilt (1 – 2 years) and then the occupants have to find somewhere else to live while they rebuild!

            The new house then becomes less less affordable as it cost so much more than the old one, and often has less occupants in it, as often older people can afford more expensive houses compared to younger people.

        • greywarshark 1.1.1.3

          Thought of a new moniker for National, – The Irrational Party. As Bruce Jesson said in 1999 ‘only their purpose is mad.’ . Now though he’d include the whole caboodle – pompous purposeless, myopic and peanut-brained honed at uni o match his/her cohort.

        • barry 1.1.1.4

          OTOH NZ employers are useless at taking graduates and training them up with real skills. We have people graduating with STEM degrees and working in cafes for years while trying to get an employer to take them on.

          If we turned down the skill category immigration spigot a little, then employers would be a little less fussy about having specific skills on a CV and take people on and train them.

          We should have a conversation about what we want the NZ population to be and how fast do we want to get there. I don’t much care about the ethnic mix.

          I sort of liked the place better when the population was about 3 million.

          Norway has oil and access to Europe but otherwise we are comparable. Over 50 years we have gone from 66% of their population to 88%. It hasn’t improved our economy compared to theirs.

          • Craig H 1.1.1.4.1

            Excellent point about employers needing to be more willing to take on graduates.

          • lprent 1.1.1.4.2

            It isn’t just the employers who are reluctrant to take on grads. Most experienced people are as well. Graduates are hard work.

            I routinely handle a few newbies each year where ever I work. People who already have any experience are at least an order of magnitude easier to get off my back than grads are.

            I’d say that most employers are at least constrained by the willingness of their experienced employees to take on the irritating and distracting labour of hand rearing the lambs after graduation. 😈

            I know that my irritation levels sometimes rise to the level of telling bosses who are asking for too much hand holding to “Fuck off or I will”.

            • barry 1.1.1.4.2.1

              Yes graduates can be hard work, but it is part of our responsibility to hand our skills on.

              We don’t have apprenticeships in the IT industry as such, but we should have something like it. Good employers will allow a portion of your time to go to training (and being trained). Mentoring is part of network building and the ability to pass on skills is always asked for in any interview that I am involved in.

  2. Bill 2

    It’s class war. Nothing much to do with foreigners buying assets or foreigners immigrating here.

    If foreigners weren’t buying properties and sitting on them, then richer NZer’s would be buying those self same properties and sitting on them. And the end result for most of us would be the same.

    If we had decent employment law and good mechanisms to enforce legislation, then employers wouldn’t be able to use vulnerable immigrants to undermine wages and conditions. (Someone pointed out yesterday that manufacturing was relocated overseas in the first instance (driving down wages and conditions) and a second bite at the cherry is coming in the shape of exploiting foreign workers in the remaining service sector and the remaining primary production sector that can’t be relocated so easily.

    Build infrastructure? Absolutely. And can we do it with an eye on CC? Probably not. We’re to be thrown under that bus too.

    Any political parties making the argument around class? (Whistling wind and tumble weed)

  3. Poission 3

    second bite at the cherry is coming in the shape of exploiting foreign workers in the remaining service sector

    A good little earner apparently.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/89912256/masala-restaurant-chain-in-8-million-forfeiture-settlement

  4. Andre 4

    A proposal I find interesting (and have mentioned before) is that an employer wanting to bring in an immigrant on a work visa because they can’t find someone suitable already here should also be required to pay at the 75th percentile or better.

    • Yes. If Immigration gets a request to issue a work visa because the requester can’t find a local unskilled worker to do a minimum-wage job, it should have a form letter that says “Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.” There are high-paid skills that are in short supply here, but unskilled is always in surplus.

      • saveNZ 4.1.1

        It seems pretty crazy when we can’t attract skilled Kiwis to stay in the country because the NZ wages are so low.

        And skilled people and graduates can’t get jobs.

        I defiantly believe that the wages should not only be at the 75% or above for the migrant worker category but also the wage has to be high enough not to need working for families, accommodation supplement or other social welfare for the migrant or temporary worker. Also each employer should only be allowed 10% or below migrant workers – not start pushing in 70% of their workforce to be migrants. Something is clearly wrong with the employer and industry if they can’t find anyone local. How about investing in training for example?

        Students and backpackers should be encouraged to do fruit picking and seasonal work and the unemployed. A lot of the issues of the fruit picking industry is that there is no accommodation provided for the workers. A friend of mine who was unemployed went to do fruit picking in Hawkes Bay, found there was no cheap accommodation and had to camp and was actually told that is was not safe for her to be accommodated nearby to the orchards, because of the risk of rape from the other workers! Unbelievable – then WINZ would not put her back on a benefit. So trying to get a fruit picking job is not easy! It’s made as hard as possible for the unemployed!

        Some of these companies hiring under the ‘skilled worker’ category seem to then go under or relocate after hiring migrant workers (and often getting major grants that deprive Kiwis of the very grants meant to grow that industry in this country) and then the new migrants are then unemployed. So the employer should have to also pay a huge bond per migrant that they need to repay to the government, and the migrant should automatically lose residency and leave the country if their job disappears and wait to be recruited again from overseas if that happens.

        Also it should take 10 years to become a citizen of NZ and there should be stronger criteria for it to protect our welfare state and environmental impacts. We already have an ageing population. Depriving our youth of jobs and opportunities is not going to help that – nor is the current system of getting low paid migrants and their aged parents into our country.

        Property should not be able to be bought by people who are not NZ citizens until the transport and infrastructure and housing issues are solved and working for locals.

        Parents of migrants should not be allowed to migrate here. They should just get visiting rights for their children – and have private health insurance before they come.

        Like wise arranged marriages and so forth. Only the original migrant should be eligible.

        If a company and individual such as offering fake jobs or offering lower working conditions and wages is caught, they should be jailed and deported.

        Education should go back to being about education. Not trying to fleece international students by promising them a 25% chance to become a NZ citizen if they study here.

        It should be the government’s job to protect it’s citizens. Unfortunately with globalism and all the chances for the politicians to make it big in the world in their careers, they seem to forget about protecting their own people and want the 20% to benefit from immigration while making 80% of people worse off.

        It’s not rocket science where all the routs are, under previous Labour government’s we had immigration was not such a problem because it was not as some free for all and a free NZ passport with every crap job or billionaire that donates to the National party.

        I think immigration is great in moderation or if it is necessary. Not as a way to social cleanse a city and create social dysfunction and poverty so a few people can turn a profit.

      • Craig H 4.1.2

        Not in Queenstown as shown by the MSD exemption list, but otherwise a fair point. The requirement to list unskilled vacancies with Work and Income first weeds most of those out anyway.

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.2.1

          And why is unskilled labour in short supply in Queenstown? Because the cost of living is really high there but employers don’t see any reason why market forces should be allowed to impact on their wage costs. If right-wingers really did believe their own bullshit, there’d be no labour shortage in Queenstown because employers would be paying a premium to get labourers to move there.

          • Craig H 4.1.2.1.1

            That would be nice if that happened, although I worry that the requisite increase in prices would make life even more difficult. If employers gave up and Queenstown collapsed into a ghost town, that would also be an unfortunate outcome.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Wage rises are not the cause of business failure. They do not necessarily lead to price increases. They do not cause unemployment.

              Those are facts. I know they contradict right wing thinks, and so what?

  5. sable 5

    The Australians had the right idea and it has worked. Limit those who are not citizens to buy new builds not existing property.

    By contrast the Natwits made it harder for locals to buy whilst making no harder for rich foreign investors.

    The question is can we expect better from the Labour/Green alliance?

    As to immigration its fine as long as useful people we really need are being allowed in not unskilled workers who compete with Kiwi’s already struggling to find work.

    • Duncan 5.1

      I’ve never really understood why people are so keen to promote the new build rule as the solution, unless there is a parallel rule that enforces the occupation of those houses, in conjunction with squatter rights to enforce those rules.
      Sure a new build adds to the economy and provides jobs,but many of the issues remain.
      Overseas speculators can leave the house vacant and flick it at any time (especially when forced to by international events outside our control).
      Infrastructure and builders are required both of which are under enough pressure already.
      To me the crux of the issue is the commodification of homes and the boom bust cycles that this brings.
      I think any promotion of the new build rule must come with caveats and in itself is a BS solution to appease the masses.

  6. Mike Steinberg 6

    Former Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell’s blog is an excellent resource for anyone wondering whether NZ’s current immigration targets make sense from a policy perspective. There certainly seem to be a number of objective economic reasons to significantly reduce the current target of around 50,000 to 20,000 (in addition to the obvious one of easing pressure on house prices).

    https://croakingcassandra.com/2016/06/07/thinking-about-changing-immigration-policy/

    • saveNZ 6.1

      From Mike Steinberg, link.

      “Again, if our education sector was attracting real top-notch people, and encouraging them to apply for residence, there might be a net gain for New Zealand (lifting the average quality of the people we decide to let stay). But as Treasury has noted, we aren’t doing that well at attracting really highly-skilled people. The recent Fry and Glass book reported that we are doing less well on that score than either Australia or Canada. And, as a reminder, these were the top five occupations for the skilled migrants last year.

      Chef
      Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
      Retail Manager (General)
      Cafe or Restaurant Manager
      ICT Customer Support Officer
      Those five occupations alone made up 25 per cent of the skilled migration approvals. And skilled migrant approvals made up only around 60 per cent of the total residence approvals – others, presumably, were not even reaching that standard.”

      (He notes other countries are looking at attracting top notch students at universities like Stanford, Harvard etc, )

      I’d go further and say the fake students for visas scam the government is doing, is actually undermining our entire education and university quality in NZ in favour of competing for funding and grants for overseas students.

      The government is tarnishing our reputation of having a world class education system in NZ.

      Education should be about education, it is a social good. It is not a business or a business opportunity.

      People have forgotten that.

  7. William 7

    I’m sick of this pointing and laughing at leaders who are moved to tears or anger by the plights of others, ie., Galloway and P Bennett in Parliament yesterday.

    I’m sure Paula’s hands are completely steady when she signs off on the fates of the jobless just as I am sure the hands off the psychopathic killer are steady on his weapon when he moves in for the shot.

    The only time I saw the likes of Judith Collins genuinely upset was when she was caught out being evil – upset for herself.

    I don’t think this is a minor thing, I think it speaks to our values. The values of high school bullies.

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    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking
    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.
    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?
    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.
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    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent
    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac
    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation
    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...
    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz
    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    3 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again
    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister
    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    3 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.
    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won
    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16
    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    4 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    4 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    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. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    6 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Women in Space.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs
    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    41 mins ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals
    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
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    1 day ago
  • School attendance continues to increase
    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights
    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery
    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    2 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
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    3 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    3 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
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    3 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
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    3 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    4 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
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    4 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers
    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
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    4 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
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    5 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    7 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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    7 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
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    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
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