Useless and venal

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, January 28th, 2014 - 197 comments
Categories: capitalism, making shit up, same old national - Tags: , , ,

Following David Cunliffe’s announcement of Best Start New Zealand’s right wing took it upon themselves to show how useless and venal they are.

It started with Jordon “the new Cameron Slater” Williams and the National front group Taxpayers’ Union’s eviscerating attack on “Middleclass Welfare” (honestly guys that line’s so 2007) only to blame it on” “Labour Party Leader, David Shearer” M-O-R-O-N-S.

Farrar didn’t do his bosses any favours with his “welfare queen” arguments. There’s so much mysogony and bile in that comments thread it’d see National polling at Colin Craig levels if the Natas took their PR advice from their base.

And then there’s the NZ Institute – formerly the Business Round Table. Their argument seems to be that if women get more paid parental leave (weirdly they don’t seem to realise men can take it too), then employers will illegally discriminate against them. As they’re a business representative group the argument is basically “it won’t work because our members will break the law if you put it in place”. And people actually give these freaks column inches?!

But my favorite of the day was Steven Joyce who made his stupid and meaningless “fake money” argument again (and that’s so 2011 – don’t any of these chumps have any new ideas?). That’s despite having just spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a teacher performance pay policy, along with hundreds of millions of dollars on payouts to Warner Brothers, Rio Tinto, Team New Zealand, tax cuts for the rich…

Come to think of it arguing that money shouldn’t be spent on kids when you’ve got a reputation for handouts to any multinational that wanders along is a pretty shit look. No wonder Key didn’t front.

197 comments on “Useless and venal ”

  1. Tracey 1

    I see the msm outlets have run with joyces meme that cracks are showing in labour and greens cos they are not identical.

    Hard work ahead for labour and greens to counter the bs…

    Greens getting less media attention than colin craig who is not in parliament.

    • Bill 1.1

      I actually quite enjoy the msm aiding attempts to show cracks, drive a wedge etc. The more they do it, the more they will feed a Labour and Green sense of solidarity.

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.1

        +1

        and when Labour / Green warfare fails to develop, it will further discredit these main stream media neo-liberals who perpetuated the greatest hoax of our lifetimes: trickle down economics.

        Remind the public these were the ardent Shearer supporters who painted Cunliffe as a rat-bag. I was at the speech and so were the MSM. They KNOW Cunliffe is on a roll.

  2. geoff 2

    The messdage from National is quite simple:

    We hate your kids.

    • Tracey 2.1

      it’s even simpler than that.

      Not enough mony? You lazy bastard!

      I see the BS that poor people can’t be trusted with money is alive and well. That good parenting is by coincidence amongst those with money… middle and upper classes have same numbers of shitty parents, but their kids have shoes and food.

      • vto 2.1.1

        From what I see, poor people raise their kids better than the rich.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.1

          shhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.

          Rich good. Poor bad.
          Tree good. fire bad.

          • Rob 2.1.1.1.1

            Really , so for the family that has a two year old and earns less than 150K will now no doubt be asked to pay more tax to fund this, and if they have any complaints thay are branded as kid haters. Yep you guys are really on to it.

            • You_Fool 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I will think you will find that the “rich guys need to pay their fair share” top tax rate will be 150K, so the under 150k/yr people who miss out on this will pay the same tax, unless they are selling property that is not their primary residence

    • David H 2.2

      No sorry Geoff the message is…. We hate Poor kids.

      • Rob 2.2.1

        As opposed to we hate all families with kids over 1 and want we them to pay there “fair” share of more tax so families with 1 child under 12 mths old family brining in 149K per annum can get $60 a week to fund free huggies.

        Those poor poor remuera / herne bay strugglers with one child eh. It must be tough doing it on 149K per year.

        Man for our first child, born in the height of the Helen Clarke era , there was nothing, and we did it on one income earning less than 50K per year and then we were asked to pay more tax. Actually David you do hate poor kids.

        • framu 2.2.1.1

          wasnt WWf around then? – and im pretty sure there were no direct tax hikes then either

          your comment has a distinct smell about it

          • Rob 2.2.1.1.1

            WWf maybe but if you mean WFF (working for families) it wasnt around for my first or second child. My first was born at the end of 2001.

            By the way, there is actually no free day care either, thats another Labour propogated myth.

            As for my comment having a smell about it, maybe its because this idea is another poorly targeted give away, being disgiused under the idea that it is only helping poor families. Since when is a poor family regarded as having an income of almost 150k per year.

            • framu 2.2.1.1.1.1

              i actually meant the world wrestling federation, but seeing as your going to focus on incorrect use of a shift key… whatever

              1) “and then we were asked to pay more tax” – considering there where no tax increases during the period (as far as i can remember – happy to be corrected) – thats where the smell comes from – not from something some one else said.

              2) perhaps i didnt see it – but i cant remember this policy being sold as helping poor families. Families both poor and in the middle, yes. But only poor families, no.

              3) not sure why your bringing up free child care

              • Herodotus

                There could be a strong argument that there were tax increases. It was termed tax creep, as the thresholds were belatedly changed late 2007 from memory. As pay increased the portion of tax that was paid increased at a greater %.
                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/155176
                WFF was to assist those in work, if it was to assist the poor it should have been extended to beneficiaries, better still would have been to lift benefit allowances back then.
                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/469911

      • AmaKiwi 2.2.2

        “No sorry Geoff the message is…. We hate Poor kids.”

        There are no poor kids (because Nats don’ have a measure for poverty).

        These are families who have “not yet realized their full potential” (which will happen when Nat’s wealth trickles down from their trust funds).

  3. One Anonymous Knucklehead 3

    The polls showed opposition to asset sales.

    Sauce for the goose.

    Oh and perhaps an adult conversation about hate speech. Make the lying Prime Minister justify the bigotry of his party.

    • Tracey 3.1

      You must be mistaken. National and Act don’t do name-calling or such like, they can just let their policies speak for themselves.

      This was a party political message on behalf of Wayne Mapp.

  4. vto 4

    Cunliffe should ask Key why he hates the poor.

    • Tracey 4.1

      cos he would say he doesn’t but he doesn’t like the idea of some lazy new zealanders taking advantage of those who work hard… and around and around it goes…

      • vto 4.1.1

        My point being that Cunliffe should ramp up the rhetoric. Put Key on the defensive. Take it to him. Cunliffe must most definitely not take a careful approach to Key – he needs to stand up, straight back and punch out.

        He should also ask Key why he is happy that the minimum wage is not enough to live on. It is cheaper to pay minimum wage than it is to keep a slave.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.1

          I wonder how key will fare under the new absentee rule?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.2

          Yep vto. It is clear from the last twenty-four hours that the defining characteristic of the National Party is hate.

          Cunliffe should rub Key’s face in it every chance he gets.

          • Tracey 4.1.1.2.1

            I agree he should but the impact is not by what he says but what is printed/screened. THAT’s the part that I am afeared.

            • vto 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Do not succumb to the fear.

              Cunliffe should indeed rub Key’s face in shit. My view so far is that he is coming across too soft, a little uninspiring, just more of the same. And that will go nowhere fast.

              Cunliffe needs to really fire up. It will get the headlines, grab people’s attention, start making people think…. if people see the leader of one of NZ’ two main parties stomping all over the other and shouting and getting all het up then it will register. It will cause comment at the bbq.

              Cunliffe is too soft so far.

              Fire up man.

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.3

          My point being that Cunliffe should ramp up the rhetoric. Put Key on the defensive. Take it to him.

          That would be suicidal, given that Cunliffe’s just introduced a policy of giving people money to produce children, without including anything to address the rather obvious incentive effect on the production of children to be raised on social welfare benefits. That’s a propaganda gift for the Nats. If your front has a gaping hole in it, going on the offensive is not recommended.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.3.1

            I agree with you in that an overly aggressive stance from Cunliffe is going to be unhelpful. But he needs to place constant, firm pressure on Key and to always frame it from a standpoint of values and fairness.

            I also think that Key would be in a bad spot if he decided to run with the “bludging breeders” line. A hell of a lot of house holds on $60K to $100K pa wont like being told that they are nothing more than paid breeders.

            This is the political beauty of an almost universal scheme 🙂

          • geoff 4.1.1.3.2

            That would be suicidal, given that Cunliffe’s just introduced a policy of giving people money to produce children

            Disappointed to see you spewing out the National party’s line on this one, Psycho. Or do you have evidence from other countries that introduced similar policy that this is what happens?

            Here’s pete’s useful comment from yesterday:
            “Australia introduced their baby bonus in 2002. The birth rate barely changed”
            here’s his link to the data

            http://www.google.co.nz/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&hl=en&dl=en&idim=country:AUS:AUT:USA#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:AUS:NZL&ifdim=region&tstart=-313419600000&tend=1296039600000&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

            • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.3.2.1

              I also think that Key would be in a bad spot if he decided to run with the “bludging breeders” line. A hell of a lot of house holds on $60K to $100K pa wont like being told that they are nothing more than paid breeders.

              Parents bringing in $60 to $100k don’t consider themselves to have anything in common with sole-parent beneficiaries – there isn’t the slightest danger of them thinking Key’s attack lines referred to them.

              Or do you have evidence from other countries that introduced similar policy that this is what happens?

              Given that an increase in something you subsidise is expected behaviour, I think the evidential burden is on those who imagine we can subsidise the production of children to be raised on benefits without seeing a resultant increase.

              However, we do have evidence from this country, in that introducing a payment for sole parenting led to an increase in the proportion of sole-parent households from around 10% in the early 70s to nearly 30% now. Is there reason to assume increasing the payment might not increase that proportion further?

              • geoff

                Given that an increase in something you subsidise is expected behaviour, I think the evidential burden is on those who imagine we can subsidise the production of children to be raised on benefits without seeing a resultant increase.

                Did you look at the graph of the Australian fertility rate in that link I provided above??

                However, we do have evidence from this country, in that introducing a payment for sole parenting led to an increase in the proportion of sole-parent households from around 10% in the early 70s to nearly 30% now.

                What the hell does the break-down of the nuclear family have to do with this discussion?!? Are you suggesting that providing support for solo parents encouraged couples to split up??

                Please enlighten me, Psycho.

                • I looked at it, I just didn’t think it was relevant. I doubt the fertility rate will go up in this country either, but that doesn’t reduce the ease with which Key can paint this policy as a breeding programme for wasters. DPB already has a post up entitled “What the DPB will pay under Labour” – expect more along those lines, and expect it to hurt.

                  Are you suggesting that providing support for solo parents encouraged couples to split up??

                  I’m suggesting that paying people to be sole parents increased the number of sole parents, and paying people more to be sole parents will further increase the number of sole parents.

                  • KJT

                    Of course the fact that so many of the male parents are now out of work, thanks to National, and the reduction in WINZ payments if you have a partner, even an unemployed one, has nothing to do with it?

                  • geoff

                    So now your problem is that this policy can be spun by the right? You don’t care that actual evidence backs it up, that doesn’t matter if National have a way to bag it? Weak bro.

                    Key won’t have to paint this policy as a breeding programme for wasters because you’re doing such a good job for him!
                    If you’re committed to a Labour victory then how about you help to explain the benefits of the policy instead of doing National’s work for them.

                    I’m suggesting that paying people to be sole parents increased the number of sole parents, and paying people more to be sole parents will further increase the number of sole parents.

                    Yeah and your suggestions don’t stand up to scrutiny. You haven’t produced any evidence to back up that this is the case. You’ve also ignored evidence that contradicts that assertion. Your position is based entirely on your own prejudices which are completely contradicted by reality.

                    • So now your problem is that this policy can be spun by the right?

                      What do you mean “now?” It was the basis of my first comment at 12.15. My problem is that they’ll have a point.

                      If you’re committed to a Labour victory then how about you help to explain the benefits of the policy instead of doing National’s work for them.

                      My commitment to a Labour victory is definitely of the “lesser of two evils” variety, but this does strike me as a good policy that just has a bit missing. I’ll be happy to explain the benefits of it on every thread I participate in, once Labour’s done something to address the obvious issue with it: incentivising the raising of children on benefits. Until then, that obvious weakness makes selling it a hiding to nothing.

                      Yeah and your suggestions don’t stand up to scrutiny.

                      Long arguments on other threads already, not repeating them here, suffice to say there’s long-standing disagreement between me and pretty much everyone at the Standard on this subject.

                    • geoff

                      Psycho, if you refuse to use evidence to support your claims and you refuse to acknowledge the evidence that I have shown you then there’s nothing more for me to say to you.

              • Hi Psycho Milt,

                If you’re interested in what correlated with the steep rise in sole parent families you should not look at the introduction of the DPB in the mid 70s but about a decade later. As this study by Blaicklock et al. (2002, section 2.1) makes clear:

                The proportion of children living with one parent is high. In 1981 twelve per cent of all children under 15 years were in one parent families. In 1986 sixteen per cent of all children under 15 years – and 26 per cent of Mäori children and 20 per cent of Pacific children – were in one parent families. In 1991 twenty-two per cent of all children under
                15 years – and 40 per cent of Mäori children and 28 per cent of Pacific children – were in one parent families. In 1996 twenty-four per cent of all children under 15 years – and 41 per cent of Mäori children and 29 per cent of Pacific children – lived in one parent families (Statistics New Zealand, 1995; Statistics New Zealand, 1999a). The proportion of children living in one parent families rose substantially over the period of the economic and social reforms and is high by international standards.

                Section 3 is also worth the read.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.1.1.3.3

            @ Psycho Milt

            “…given that Cunliffe’s just introduced a policy of giving people money to produce children”

            No, Labour is suggesting providing money for people who will produce children – not to produce children.

            This argument re production of children in response to $60 is really very ridiculous. People will produce children – that is a fact – a basic fact – it is a strong urge in people – we need to get our heads around that and adapt to it.

            I really do not think there are many people in poverty – if any – who would decide to have a child because they were going to get an extra 60 bucks – if there is, by some small miracle, a person who makes such a calculation – you have to question what the heck is wrong that someone would be so misguided as to think that this was enough money to allow them to suddenly be able afford the expense of having a child. I really do think this scenario would be an extreme rarity and it is on that extreme rarity that this argument is being based.

            If someone in better circumstances – decided that $60 extra a year made the difference and allowed them to be able afford having a child – then the child is hardly being born into poor circumstances and this no longer comes under the point of concern being argued.

            Such a choice is a good thing isn’t it? Another life in a country that judging by stats supplied by others – does not have enough people having children to sustain our population.

            • geoff 4.1.1.3.3.1

              National are just trying to tap into people’s sense of inequity for the bigotted reaction. They amplify the edge cases, (bene’s pumping out kids for dosh, $150,000 families creaming $60 they don’t need) and ignore the vast numbers of families on low-middle incomes who will be significantly helped by this policy.

            • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.3.3.2

              People will produce children – that is a fact – a basic fact – it is a strong urge in people – we need to get our heads around that and adapt to it.

              We’re homo sapiens, not some species of rabbit. We had ways of limiting the number of children we make even before reliable methods of contraception were invented. Since those inventions, children are products of choice, of carelessness, or of just not giving a shit.

              I really do think this scenario would be an extreme rarity and it is on that extreme rarity that this argument is being based.

              Really? We have right now quite a few people with ridiculous numbers of children, under a benefit regime that isn’t exactly generous. But providing more money won’t see even more ridiculous numbers of children produced? Why will it not?

              • McFlock

                Because human reproduction is not really applicable to a $$ supply/demand curve?

                  • McFlock

                    and you have no evidence to the contrary

                    • I personally keep to hand no evidence that human behaviour is influenced by economic factors, no. I have no interest in fishing any out of the voluminous literature on the subject, either – should you wish to conclude that this means human behaviour isn’t influenced by economic factors, feel free to do so.

                      As mentioned above, I’m not going to rehash this same old argument yet again. Bottom line: the policy invites National to play up the incentive effect of this policy on raising children on benefits, it’s an invitation that will be accepted, and Labour really should have some better countermeasure than claiming there’s no evidence people respond to financial incentives.

                    • McFlock

                      So you have no evidence, the australian experience seems to show absolutely no effect, but you and the nats can fantasize a problem so this is labour’s fault somehow.

                      Talk about jumping the shark

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      We’d better make sure no other Left-wing proposals will meet with opposition from the right, too, because if they say nasty things we’ll just fall to pieces.

              • geoff

                Where is your evidence? Where are your stats? You’re just spouting baseless shit. Your latest comments don’t even deserve reasoned responses.
                Put up or shut up.

      • tricledrown 4.1.2

        But its alright to subsidise
        Billionaires like James Cameron
        $250 million.
        Ironic given the theme of the movie avatar is aboit a powetful force colonizing a poor races land to get all their resources.

      • AmaKiwi 4.1.3

        Believe, sisters and brothers, believe!

        All will trickle down to the worthy in due time.

    • David H 4.2

      Well today is the opening of Parliament. So lets hope for fireworks.

      • vto 4.2.1

        Yes.

        Fireworks is what is needed. Expose the goons for what they are. Do it hard and make no apology.

    • adam 4.3

      It’s not hate the poor question won’t work. , the question should be something like.

      – Why does the Key government continue to make it difficult for hard working families to get a head, and why does he think it is acceptable to attack the children of these families to score political points?

      • Rob 4.3.1

        And why does Labour and the Greens think that taxing these families more in some bizaar way helps them.

        • Puddleglum 4.3.1.1

          What makes you think that these ‘hard working families’ will be taxed more?

          • Rob 4.3.1.1.1

            What makes you think they wont , previous historical Labour Govt performance?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Are you parroting the lie that the harder you work the wealthier you will be? Because Labour typically targets upper income earners for higher tax, not those who work the longest hours.

              Do you have any reality-based opinions?

              • Rob

                I am not parroting any lie, and actually I have never seen any reality based opinions from you, only links to plagerised web site forums.

                Tell me about your family and what you do that makes you so holier than thou, lets base this on reality based discussions.

                Under Labour I was taxed more, thats reality.

  5. Anne 5

    An election year bribe – Labour buying people’s votes. That’s what they’re saying. Well, what’s this then?

    http://www.3news.co.nz/ACT-leadership-hopeful-Boscawen-targets-Asian-voters/tabid/1607/articleID/329895/Default.aspx

    John Boscawen is “buying” the Epsom seat. And with Nationals blessing! So, we are on the road towards parliamentary seats being bought by right wing rich pricks with huge wads of money. The next step is total corruption on a scale reminiscent of former dictatorships like Pol Pot, Pinochet and others.

    • Tracey 5.1

      That’s different. Bear in mind it says that ACT isn”t the Epsom Party…. I expect to see that on a Tui sign…

    • David H 5.2

      And the 357 Million bucks for the Elite teachers that toe the party line, wasn’t an election bribe?

      • Will@Welly 5.2.1

        That David was “prudent Government spending”. All the children will come home raving about their new principals, their new teachers, and how their learning had improved.
        Expect notes coming home soon to a house near you saying “Help elect a John Key led Government.”

        • geoff 5.2.1.1

          +1 Will, I’m amazed to see the numbers of people buying into National’s spin on this one.

  6. Philj 6

    Xox
    Natrad seems to be getting sillier and more juvenile by the week. Zoe and Suzie are not raising the bar with asanine comments and generally clueless. Is this the result of a funding cap for the last 5 years from Dick Griffin and his commercial buddies on the RNZ board? With Chris Laidlaw and Geoff going, I am not hopeful.

  7. ianmac 7

    Notice that Steven Joyce said on Morning Report that the Baby Policy was good but then launched into the familiar “where is the money coming from.”
    A later comment suggests that National will announce a new Early Childhood Policy. I wonder if they are furiously writing it right now with the aim to cancel Labour’s plan?

    • geoff 7.1

      He said that? Brilliant, now Cunliffe can respond with…”Even National’s Steven Joyce thinks Best Start is good policy, but he wonders how we’ll pay for it…so here’s tax hikes for the wealthy!”

  8. Pasupial 8

    ODT has a weird article:

    “While a Dunedin welfare support agency has congratulated Labour leader David Cunliffe on his ”Best Start” education policy, an education specialist says it is ”not a game-changer at this point”.”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/289525/questions-over-labour-policy

    I don’t imagine it has much direct impact on welders or IT techs either. Interesting is the way they frame Labour’s; basic income in at least first year of life, as not an education policy (which it isn’t). All the while ignoring the substance of the Green Party policy which had been announced just the day before and which Cunliffe explicitly stated he supported.

    Instead they prefer to reprint this NZH “analysis” by Trevett:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/289421/free-lunch-plan-may-scupper-breakfast-programme

    • andy (the other one) 8.1

      How about this odd little piece. My summary below

      “I don’t like it cause, and stuff, I have enough money so no one should have it, I also live by the beach in Auckland and am a stay at home mum, why are you all not like meeeeeeeee!!!”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11192807

      • Molly 8.1.1

        A suggestion for Eileen Reid:

        Consider it an opportunity to direct government funds to EXACTLY where you would like to see them spent. No government will ever match up with your individual concerns perfectly – you now have $60 from the government to direct to a concern or charity of your choice….

        A couple of worthy causes:
        AAAP
        350 Aotearoa
        Army
        Auckland City Mission
        …. and that’s just the basic A’s…

        I wonder which one she’ll choose?…

  9. rich the other 9

    Labour has lost the plot, this is a trap for those in poverty..
    If we are going to address poverty, what is $60 a week per child going to do for those in poverty today , NOTHING , it’s for the yet to be born.
    In the long term this will cause the numbers in poverty increase, like it or not, some already struggling in poverty will see the $60 a week for new born babies as a quick fix and have more children that they can’t afford.
    Who pays when these children as they get older ?.
    This policy is a serious own goal , take a look at the comments on the stuff article , the latest number of comments 1047 ,the vast majority strongly oppose this policy .
    Keep it up labour , the Nat’s are loving this.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      Every other country that’s done this has experienced a surge in the birth rate, eh.

      Because if not, your opinion is a fairy-tale. I bet you’re too incompetent to check the facts.

      • Rodel 9.1.1

        rto
        Quick all us right wingers who don’t have shoulders to the wheel and noses to the grindstone, i.e. have executive time on our hands..and computers to play with, write to Stuff to engage in a scientific poll to show what a majority we have in the politic ideas game.Simple logic really. ‘Simple’ being the key word.

      • rich the other 9.1.2

        Who pay’s for the children when they get older ??, answer that.
        This is a poverty trap and that’s why there has been so few comments on this site , deep down labour supporters know this to be true.

        [lprent: That is a pwned style argument. It essentially states that because others don’t do things the exactly the way you want/think that they should do, then they lost. It is an invitation to starting a flame war. It isn’t an “argument”, it is obviously stupid, designed to destroy arguments and the thread flow, and annoys the crap out of me

        Banned for a two weeks for stupidity. ]

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1.2.1

          A two-week ban should give you almost enough time to research the effect of child-support payments on birthrates.

          • McFlock 9.1.2.1.1

            15 years of education failed dismally, so I’m not sure 2 weeks self-directed learning (aka “reading KB”) will do any good.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Well, RTO has a two-week ban. Finding the research should take about ten minutes. Hence “almost enough time”.

        • rich the other 9.1.2.2

          Banned ?,

          [deleted]

          Banned ?, normally, easy to respect if it’s justified but this is just censorship.

          [lprent: Nope. Most people around here have seen me stomp on *anyone* who claims “victory” over another. I call it the pwned/owned heresy. I also stomp on anyone who starts to claim victory because others haven’t done what they said they should do to prove their credentials.

          Both are classic petrol on the flames techniques employed by trolls trying to dominate a discussion. I hit them pretty damn hard especially when they are in the context of of a noisy well commented post, as the techniques tend to be infectious and they get in the way of actual arguments.

          You did both in a noisy post, so I didn’t bother to warn. I just treated you as a troll.

          Now you could argue and people sometimes do. But I have a habit of merely doubling up on sentences when I have to exert effort to reply to foolish and ineffectual statements. Your choice on risk. ]

          • rich the other 9.1.2.2.1

            Censorship ,plain and simple

            [deleted whining]

            [lprent: Quadrupled to 8 weeks. He was just warned that I usually double the penalty. I do like to reward real stupidity. ]

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1.2.2.1.1

              Rich the Other, eight weeks should be almost enough time for you to look for evidence that disproves your opinion, the way a sceptic would.

              You will always be able to find someone who agrees with you, reading those who don’t is a good test of character. After all, you have plenty of practice reading people who don’t agree with your drivel, right here at The Standard, so why not take it to the next level and lift your game?

              This message was brought to you by the Society for the Improvement of Wingnuts.

    • AmaKiwi 9.2

      “some already struggling in poverty will see the $60 a week for new born babies as a quick fix and have more children that they can’t afford.”

      You have obviously never had a child (or at least never supported one). $60/week is a tiny sum compared to the cost of raising a child.

  10. Will@Welly 10

    The comments by Joyce and Williams are entirely predictable. Joyce is squealing like a wounded pig – “printing money, printing money”. Call it what is – qualitative easing – the Americans have been doing it for decades. No one has a problem with that there.
    As David said, this is a part of a list of packages to be announced over the year, not in one hit that National could counter with the stroke of a pen.
    I like the way it targets itself in years 2 and 3, and how Labour wants to see more pre-school groups in lower socio economic communities. Not just for the rich. Shame, a tad socialist.

  11. JustLikeTigerWoods 11

    Well, that policy went down like a lead balloon, huh.

    Taking money and throwing it at people who the public perceive as already having enough handouts is not going to win elections.

    This does nothing to improve the situation of those on low incomes. The focus needs to be on more higher paying jobs.

    • You_Fool 11.1

      have you been talking to Cunliffe about how to get people out of poverty? Because that is his reaction, at least to how to fix the problem. Strangely enough he has a plan for the high paying jobs as well, so I guess that means you will vote for him? Since the other lot don’t seem to have a plan at all?

      Also I didn’t realise that I already get handouts from the government, I will have to go talk to my accountant about all this “free” money I am missing out on…

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 11.1.1

        I’ll wait to see what his other policies are – he has been making some good noises – but THIS one is a-grade moronic.

        Did the ABC club set him up? Sure looks like it.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          Bill English used tax cuts to throw money at rich people.

          All Labour is doing is listening to the electorate and responding with needed support for young families. Its brilliant.

    • greywarbler 11.2

      JLTiger Woods
      You are clinging on to the coat tails of Mr T Woods are you? It sounds like you will always be hanging round closest to where the trickle down from the famous and wealthy are. And why not – that is where the jobs are these days.

      Being flunkeys to the wealthy and following the red carpet road between the lawyers, the accountants, the wedding arrangers, the service people, who are feeding off the magnetically attracting rich, who continue to soak up more. Or perhaps you have been able to get into dairy or some star achieving sector. Hope it doesn’t collapse on you from introduced biosecurity threats or sudden drops in the market. You are just too self-promoting and satisfied, dangerous if you are young. But perhaps you have managed to hold onto it, and you are now retired and the government is behind you with a cushion for your backside.

      What you understand about politics wouldn’t fill a golf trundler though. So don’t go all superior on us.

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 11.2.1

        Are you clinging on to a grey bird that warbles? What is in a name, eh. The Google thing may help you as far as my name goes.

        Could you clarify something for me. Is the $60 benefit calculated on the household income the year before, just before the baby is due, or when the baby is delivered and one partner takes time off, therefore reducing household income?

    • AmaKiwi 11.3

      The smart economy is one of Cunliffe’s next major policy speeches.

      He’ll rip the Nats to pieces for job destruction and show how lacking in vision they are to ignore how other nations become rich (and egalitarian).

      Cunliffe’s has described these strategies for years. He knows his sh*t.

      One issue at a time. He’s going to torture the Right slowly. Let the blood steadily ooze out of them for the next 6 months.

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 11.3.1

        It would be good if he could come up with some smart policy. It’s been very silly thus far.

        At least he’s not holding up dead fish, I suppose.

  12. Xtasy 12

    Yes, the whole “Best Start” policy is being twisted and manipulated by so many in the MS(p)M (Main Stream “propaganda” Media), which is mostly privately and corporate owned and controlled, living from advertising by businesses that have no other interests, to sell products and services, feed consumerism, make heaps of profits, and maintain the political status quo.

    All focus is on the “baby bonus”, the “baby bribe”, the “election bribe”, meaning the $ 60 payments that David Cunliffe and Labour announced would under their government be paid (per week) to new mums and dads from April 2016. There is virtually NO mention of the other, very important policy components, like extended paid maternity leave, more free ECE hours, better targeted and free health care, and what else was announced in Cunliffe’s SON speech. I must admit though, that the $ 150,000 or $ 145,000 income cap for the weekly payment is set too high. Either they should have targeted it more, and been more generous, to truly low income parents, or they should have simply made it a truly universal payment.

    And have any of you noticed, how since of recently, so many knowingly biased, government-friendly journalists, reporters, moderators and talk back hosts suddenly stress “I am independent”, while in the following sentences they swiftly go on and rubbish the “Best Start”, Labour and the Greens?

    They must be starting to have a bad conscience, and it shows. Even Paul Henry did in his first show “attempt” to look “balanced”, but some comments he made, they showed that he has a dim view of Labour’s and Cunliffe’s policies. He was spending more time with his preferred Prime Minister JK, and the body language showed it all.

    The first reporting on the TV networks and their evening news yesterday may not have been quite that bad, but today it is all on. Of course the National and ACT party allies like Jordan Williams from the ‘Taxpayers’ Union’, and certain business lobby group spokespersons will look critically at this, and the same applies to government ministers and MPs.

    But I see that the MSM are again behaving and reporting in similar ways as prior to the last elections. Most scary is how they succeed in spinning people into believing, that THEY (in their vast majority) will have to pay for the extra spending with “their taxes”, while most will not be paying extra taxes under Labour, only the high income earners. There is so much division after years of brainwashing people into a mentality – dominated by total commercialism and consumerism, it seems many do not even understand anymore, what a true sense and spirit of “unity” is in this country. I fear the public needs and deserves better information on this whole policy, and that Labour must find ways to explain it, so that all this misleading is stopped by the selectively reporting media.

    I hope that APN and Fairfax will get even less readership, once they bring in their paywalls.

    • Rob 12.1

      Look, if he is so determined to give 150K households more money, Why doesnt he just tax them less. Why take with one hand and give it back from another, its pretty controlling behaviour.

      • Xtasy 12.1.1

        In my earlier comments (under other topics) I raised some of my own concerns, as to how they decided to set the income level for entitlements to “Best Start” payments at that particular amount. That is where I have some concern about the policy, as it could have been better targeted (perhaps for incomes up to 75 or 80 k per annum). Alternatively it could as well have been decided to apply it universally, just to keep things simpler.

        When it comes to taxation, that will apply to all that go over certain thresholds, so making exceptions for tax payers with newborns, to offer them yet another tax credit, that seems to over complicate matters.

        It does seem there are also technical and administrative reasons for having decided to go ahead this way. There is always some give and take, and it is important to look at the whole policy set. The media get all preoccupied with the $ 60 per week payment, and mostly ignore what else Cunliffe announced.

        That shows once again, the selective reporting we get from the MSM, and how this leads to unbalanced informing – and hence a largely misinformed electorate, which is not at all serving true democracy.

        Such policies should be discussed and debated in open forums on television, radio and on-line, by a balance of participants (incl. experts), but hey, we cannot have that in NZ, as it “costs” too much, they tell us. Welcome to one of the worst informed wider public in the “developed” world.

  13. idlegus 13

    the stuff comments are up over 1000? that’s unusual, they normally shut them off before they get too unweildly, & this is only the beginning. those righties fingers are gonna tire themselves out with all that frantic typing,

  14. Chooky 14

    Re the Useless and Venal NACT Govt

    Bankster trader NACT politicians of New Zealand cream off what they can by selling State Assets and building multi billion dollar privatised toll motorways which will benefit them, their Trust funds and their ‘Chosen’ Bankster overseas mates. They are even proposing privatising evaluation and services to the mentally and physically disabled NZers to an Australian company (see Xtasy’s report on Open Mike)

    Solution:

    1.) All NACT proposed super motorways should be AXED!( we dont need them and they will be an environmental sore…more free public transport and rail is the way to go )

    2.) …the billions saved from super motorways should be used by the New Zealand Labour /Green (NZF/Mana) government to support the most vulnerable….. mentally and physically disabled and beneficiaries ( this is the Christian way! ….to look after the most vulnerable in society!..this is NZ’s ethical tradition … at least ostensibly)

    3.) the money saved from the unwanted super motorways costing billions ….can then also be spent on upgrading NZ State free education to a very high quality …..aiming at free university education, free polytech education, free apprenticeships, free internships for NEW ZEALANDERS FIRST! ( hear that Winston!…. no silly deals with desperate Banksters)

    ….lets look after New Zealanders instead of treating them like delinquents in their own country!!!!

    4.).there should be no young New Zealander or any New Zealander left untrained and without meaningful work….this is the job of the NEW ZEALAND government and not Key’s the ‘Chosen’ foreign Bankster private companies!!!

    Let us ALL take back New Zealand for New Zealanders!

  15. Will@Welly 15

    A big contrast in styles over at the Herald.
    David Cunliffe got dropped off by a mate, John Key turns up with a Press Agent and 5 members of the Diplomatic Protection Squad.
    A f**ken press interview, not a stroll through downtown Damascus.
    There was a bit of b.s. on TV 3 after Gower hounded Cunliffe about more details how everything was to be paid for, and how it would work. More like a desperate journo looking for a story – perhaps its his job that’s on the line.

    • Anne 15.1

      Another big contrast over at the Herald.

      Last week they spread Keys SON announcements over pages 2, 3 and 4…plus a banner head line along the top of the front page… plus (from memory) two opinion pieces lauding NAct’s latest step towards the privatisation of education – although they didn’t admit to it of course.

      What did Labour get? Page 8 with no accolades… plus a female giving the thumbs down to Labour’s early childhood package… no banner headline on the front page… editorial ignored Labour’s SON announcement and concentrated on Paula Bennett’s so-called initiatives instead – as if the policy amounted to nothing and wasn’t worth an editorial.

      Shame on the bastards!!! I think Labour should do a banner with a big NZ Herald front page full of crap and a large red headline above it saying DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK.

  16. captain hook 16

    what is really venal is National selling off the country’s assets and giving $500,000,000 to its mates in fees.
    You cant get much greedier than that.

  17. Philj 17

    Xox
    Supporting the needy is to be applauded. If the poor, and middle class don’t see that and vote they will continue to be dealt to by this heartless crony fake ‘government’. It’s just big business in drag.

  18. tricledrown 18

    Just like tiger woods you have lost the plot like your namesake why are you so worried if its such a bad policy.
    One of the worst things about targeted benfits is it creates unintended poverty traps like the very high abatement rates on people working partime while on benefits.they are paying more than the top rate of tax while being on the lowest incomes.
    Especially when their is mainly only partime work available.

    • JustLikeTigerWoods 18.1

      I am not “worried”.

      I think it’s a ridiculous policy. As do many people. Why? This is welfare for people who don’t need it. If the woman takes time off, thereby dropping an already wealthy household income below the 150K threshold, then she gets $60 p/w for at least the second half of the year.

      Stunning.

      This $60 will just get capitalised into the family home of the middle classes.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1

        The money that is an ‘extra’ for wealthier people will simply be spent on extras and thus go back into the community – as will the money given to the very poor – this is a win-win policy.

        • Rob 18.1.1.1

          Here is an idea Blue Leopard, just tax them less.

          I know this stunning idea dosn’t need an army of strategists and administrators to support it, nor does it require the services of a branding expert to come up with the brand and tag line.

          But if Labour cannot think of any other things to do than to give families bringing in 150K per annum another $60 per week, then they do not deserve to be in Govt.

        • JustLikeTigerWoods 18.1.1.2

          I think you’ll find it will go into house prices.

          Remember, it’s zero sum. You’re not gaining spend because you’re taking it off other people. You’re reducing their consumer spend, or their investment, which is another form of spend, namely the type that grows the pie.

          It is not win-win. It stupid. It’s expensive churn and welfare for the rich. He was onto something with no tax for low earners, but threw that for this?

          • geoff 18.1.1.2.1

            You are gaining because it will be coming off of wealthy people who undeservedly were gifted the money in the first place and who have been spending it on unproductive ego-boosting crap like holiday houses, boats and bmws.

            All that money that the rich drive into large material possessions that go unused is a gigantic waste of money, completely unproductive. Almost as wasteful as them using it to speculate on assets that were previously owned collectively by the Nation.

            You are completely ignorant of real economics.

            • Rob 18.1.1.2.1.1

              Geoff

              A family with one kid under 12mths old bringing in 149,999K per year will look at the extra $60 per week as 2 extra bottles of central otago Pinot. This is obviously the real economics that you are completely abreast of Geoff. For me , all I can see is a huge waste of taxpayers resource that could actually do some good, rather than just trying to buy votes in Central Auckland from all the trendy hip young things.

              Yes ” just like Tiger woods” , we all understand that the other people you are referring to in your zero sum argument are other families that now have the mis fortune of not having a child under 1, but will certainluy celebrate the fact that they will be getting taxed more to fund it, but you have evidently missed this blinder.

              • geoff

                Isn’t it fascinating how you focus on the small minority of families that are relatively well off who would benefit from this and completely forget about the large majority of less well-off folks who will benefit greatly from this policy.

                So let me get this right… you support this policy but you just don’t like the idea of wealthier families getting the benefit of it?

                • Rob

                  No I am actually focussing on how much this thing will cost, and what it means for the rest of the taxpayers that have to fund it. A lot of people are doing it tough Geoff, not just families with children under 1. Families that are bringing in 150K do not need Govt help, so why penalise the rest to fund it.

                  Its pretty predicatble that your arguments are based on who has their hands out and not who has to front up and pay for it. I dont think anyone is a kid hater because they dont think that paying money to high earning families is a good idea.

                  • Rob,

                    What makes you think that these people who are ‘doing it rough’ would pay for this policy with an increase in their taxes?

                    I haven’t heard Labour announce that tax rates at lower income levels are to be raised.

                  • geoff

                    Still focusing hard on that irrelevant minority I see. Not surprising though. It’s very predictable that your arguments completely neglect the economic conditions that led to the Left to promote policies like this.

                    What’s your opinion on privatisation, Rob? What do you think about low flat tax rates?

                    • Rob

                      Geoff I am focussing on this “irrelevant minority” as you term it, because Labour has now made it a focus and it is laughable.

                      I actually see nothing but words about the economic conditions from Labour and when they have a chance to promote a game changing policy, they present welfare packages for top earners.

                      I think the tax rate should be set to pay for the agreed requirements of the New Zealand. I dont think it should be hiked for stupid reasons like paying back high earners. Again if this is the best they come up with , then they dont deserve to be anywhere near Govt.

                      They should try again and at the very least ensure that the policy they present actually addresses the issues they go on about ad nauseum. I mean it is almost like Munchhausen by Proxy. They exists because the issue exists, but actually do nothing to address it, in fact inflame and propogate it.

                      To have a guy living in Herne Bay in a millionairs paradise, going on about the impoverished every 2 minutes, finally getting a chance to do something about it and he presents a welfare package for households earning $149,999 per annum. You could not make this shit up.

                    • geoff

                      Are you the Rob that posts articles on here?

                    • Rob

                      Geoff I am not the Rob who posts articles on here.

                      [lprent: That is r0b (with a zero instead of an ohh) ]

                    • Rob

                      Thanks LPrent

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                But Geoff is implying extra money goes into “the community”. It doesn’t. The money gets spent by different people, after some needless administrative churn destroys some of the value. As a Wellington property owner, that churn benefits me. The country, not so much.

                I would favour a rising tax free threshold for all. We don’t need to be subsidising babies as we offer plenty of child subsidy already.

                • geoff

                  don’t worry your little head. When Labour heavily taxes the rich there’ll be plenty of money to go round.

                  Did you know… The highest tax rates in the USA during the 1960s were over 90%? And the economy was going like gangbusters!

                  Be good to see something like that here. Really ratchet back some of that wealth that the parasitic rich have stolen from the rest of the country.

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    So, if the path to prosperity is simply to raise taxes on “the rich”, then why doesn’t every country make the top tax rate 100%?

                    Venezuela is learning the hard way, as is France.

                    Tax take often decreases when you raise top tax rates because the wealthy tend to provide capital. Capital takes flight.

                    Rather than focus on redistribution, how about *you* think about ways *you* can provide value for others and employ people in the process? That is the path to prosperity, not endless division.

                    • geoff

                      And you took the bait…

                      as I suspected you are a total waste of space, a traitor to your fellow NZers. Time for you to pack up your failed neo-lib happy meal and fuck off back to kiwiblog.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Tax take often decreases when you raise top tax rates because the wealthy tend to provide capital. Capital takes flight.

                      A) Great, we’re better off without them and B) doesn’t matter in the slightest as it’s always the workers who have paid for everything and the government can print money.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Name calling is bullying behaviour. Geoff.

                      You’re avoiding my points and giving up the debate too easily. You could call people traitors, but emotive “arguments” won’t change the fact that capital and people are highly mobile.

                      I’ll give you an example to demonstrate how taxing people highly would make you worse off. Let’s say a NZ company invented a power crystal that produced the same energy as oil, but at half the cost and with no emissions. The profits of the company would be astronomical.

                      What are you going to do? Tax at 90%? You’ll get 90% of nothing when they move counties. You can yell traitor at the airport as much as you like, but you’ve just encouraged a policy that makes Australians much richer and you much poorer.

                      Incentives matter. Ignoring them does not make them go away.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Good luck attracting doctors and other highly skilled immigrants, Draco. Good luck retaining those who are here now. Good luck retaining those you train and then leave once they hit your unfair tax rates.

                      Print as much as you like. The NZ currency will be near worthless.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Interesting how the amoral corporatist right wing always end up first threatening then carrying out economic threats to nations.

                      Anyone who doesn’t understand how this system of undermining countries and citizens works, please get on YouTube and search for “confessions of an economic hitman.”

                      NZ is better off without narrow minded idiots who choose where they want to bring up a family on the basis of getting the lowest tax rate possible

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Print as much as you like. The NZ currency will be near worthless.

                      This also betrays your fundamental misunderstanding of why currency works and why NZ currency will always be valuable, and increasingly so.

                      Besides, a mild devaluation will help our farmers and our manufacturing exporters no end – another sign of your fundamental economic misunderstanding.

                    • greywarbler

                      DFTT THORQ (This Has-been One Received Quota).

                    • geoff

                      Let’s say a NZ company invented a power crystal that produced the same energy as oil, but at half the cost and with no emissions. The profits of the company would be astronomical.

                      Hahaha well instead of wasting your time here, how about you go away and work on that one, buddy.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      It’s not a threat, Viper, it’s an inevitable consequence.

                      Understand why you don’t send a high percentage of your income to Africa, and you’ll understand why others will be reluctant to pay 90%.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      No, Viper. It is you who show little understanding human nature and economics. You can pretend the country is a walled garden all you like, but it isn’t. If you make it so, you’re going to face heavily prohibitive trade barriers.

                      Your currency will be worthless.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “Hahaha well instead of wasting your time here, how about you go away and work on that one, buddy.”

                      Sadly. Geoff, you continue to evade the argument.

                      Few, if anyone, will ever pay 90%. Capital and people are mobile. Tax them too much, and you’ll get less. Invoke capital controls and protectionism and your export revenues decline.

                      You can pretend the opposite is true all you like, but it doesn’t make it so. Maintain your fantasy, if you wish. But fantasy won’t bring about the positive change you seek.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Good luck attracting doctors and other highly skilled immigrants, Draco. Good luck retaining those who are here now. Good luck retaining those you train and then leave once they hit your unfair tax rates.

                      I’m pretty sure we’ll retain the ones that we want to retain – the ones that want to do the job rather than the psychopaths that only do it for money.

                      Print as much as you like. The NZ currency will be near worthless.

                      Oh, look, an export boost. Not that I agree with you. Once we’ve stopped the private banks from printing money with little to no limit I’m sure that the NZ$ will actually climb in value on the world market.

                      Maintain your fantasy, if you wish. But fantasy won’t bring about the positive change you seek.

                      The fantasy is yours in your belief that the present system works.

                    • MaxFletcher

                      Of there are those that want to do the job and are not driven by money alone. But money is still an important factor many people consider and given a doctor can get a working visa pretty much anywhere then NZ would have a hard time retaining a good doctor who loves his job and can get paid much more just over the Tasman.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “I’m pretty sure we’ll retain the ones that we want to retain – the ones that want to do the job rather than the psychopaths that only do it for money.”

                      It’s clear you don’t understand people.

                      A doctor is not a “psychopath” because she wants to be paid well. Given the choice of doing the same caring work here, or Australia, but NZ taxes at 90%, or some other disproportional high relative rate, then more highly skilled people will choose Australia over New Zealand leaving you with a critical skills shortage.

                      “The fantasy is yours in your belief that the present system works.”

                      The present system works well enough. It could be better. The type of system you appear to propose doesn’t work. People don’t want it. Since you don’t understand people and their complex motivations, you’ll remain in your room, spouting invective, convincing no-one. Meanwhile, people like me run the world and enjoy prosperity, because we understand people and take them with us.

                      You take no one with you, which is why you are where you are.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ JLTW

                      “A doctor is not a “psychopath” because she wants to be paid well. Given the choice of doing the same caring work here, or Australia, but NZ taxes at 90%, or some other disproportional high relative rate, then more highly skilled people will choose Australia over New Zealand leaving you with a critical skills shortage. “

                      This is a strawman argument DTB did not say that people were pschopaths because they want to be paid well. DTB didn’t actually define a psychopath, rather DTB said that psychopaths [undefined label] who are only doing their jobs for money are well gotten rid of – I agree.

                    • McFlock

                      you had a reading comprehension fail, there:

                      that only do it for money.

                      does not equal

                      wants to be paid well.

                      Seems to be a recurrent issue you have

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “This is a strawman argument DTB did not say that people were pschopaths because they want to be paid well. DTB didn’t actually define a psychopath, rather DTB said that psychopaths [undefined label] who are only doing their jobs for money are well gotten rid of – I agree.”

                      Life must be so simple.

                      Meanwhile, in the real world, disproportionately high taxation will discourage many people who are not psychopaths, but would rather get paid more than a little. It will also see capital move. It will see companies base elsewhere.

                      This is the rational reaction of most people. The type of high performing people who agree with the ideology you espouse are likely few in number.

                    • geoff

                      National’s Research Unit employee’s must be getting paid per post on The Standard

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      quantity over quality – just like national standards.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Yes, life is a lot simpler when you don’t have your head up your arse – you should try it sometime Tiger.

                      “…disproportionately high taxation will discourage many people who are not psychopaths, but would rather get paid more than a little. It will also see capital move. It will see companies base elsewhere.

                      This is the rational reaction of most people. The type of high performing people who agree with the ideology you espouse are likely few in number.”

                      Yes, being paid more than a little is rather an issue at present for a very large percentage of our population – it is nice to see Labour attempting to address this.

                      I do not think that the reaction you state is rational. Do such reactions analyse what type of activities of capital are present and the different effects of these different type of activities? There is a huge problem with getting capital into productive activities that actually create livelihoods for people – those with large amounts of capital are tending to put that capital into ‘lower risk’ (erhem) higher return speculation -rather than things that actually help society. Speculation is hindering the entire world. It is great to see Labour attempting to curb this trend.

                      How do you define a “high performing” person Tiger?

                      Is it people who produce important goods and services for the rest of us – who do manual labour – build, grow food? Who look after our elderly? Hospital workers? Researchers? Inventors? Car assemblers? Teachers? Road workers? Or are they simply people who have a lot of capital due to their family wealth or those that get paid highly because they work in industries where all the money is flowing currently such as the banking industry and large corporations? What is a “high performing” person?

                    • geoff

                      One mention of the NRU and he’s gone like a fart in the wind.
                      Probably just coincidence.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      …yes and I was so interested to hear what his definition of ‘high performing people’ were too….spoil sport….

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1.2.2

            Oh? So people are going to buy houses now with their extra $60 – wow! this argument just gets more hysterical as it goes on.

            What about the Capital Gains Tax being introduced?

            And your own argument – taking off money from some – and redistributing it to others; the only people having money taken off them in this policy are the ones in the most likely financial position to conduct ‘house price rising’ activities.

            Your arguments are weak and then you decided to refer to Labour’s policies as ‘expensive churn and welfare for the rich’ …Um – make up your mind – your preceding paragraph admits that some people are having money taken off them – let me spell it out for you: they are the rich people in this country

            Additionally, referring to Labour’s policies as ‘expensive churn and welfare for the rich’ after the policy the Nats just brought out – throwing money at creating a small bunch of highly paid bureaucrats and their red tape with the notion that doing so will lift education in this country – and noting no ‘loud’ stroppy comments from you over that one – is laughable.

            • Rob 18.1.1.2.2.1

              Any funding that keeps good teachers in the classroom as teachers is money well spent. The issue we hace currently is that the system is designed to protect the lowest performing teacher. Therefore any teacher worth their salt has to look at alternative career options (such as school admin and leadership roles) to earn more. Not all good teachers make good principals, as the roles are very different. However if a good teacher can remain in teaching and be well compensated for it then this has to be good for our children.

              • geoff

                The thing about good teachers is that they don’t do it for the money. They do it because they like educating kids. If money was their main concern then they wouldn’t be doing teaching. It’s only parasitic rightwing arseholes who are obsessed with much money they can make.

                • JustLikeTigerWoods

                  I have friends – Labour voting friends – who left the teaching profession because it didn’t pay well. They would like to still be teachers, but the pay is insufficient.

                  • geoff

                    Well they’re not going to come back just on the off chance they get picked (by who?) to be super teachers earning $10-20k more.

                    Teachers get paid higher than the average wage in NZ, they are relatively well paid for NZ. Your friends left for higher paying jobs because the cost of living in NZ is so high, a consequence of 30 years of rightwing economic and social policy. Do your friends a favour and vote Labour or Greens.

                    • Rob

                      They may not come back now, but they might not have left if there were other options open to them.

                    • geoff

                      @Rob

                      Yeah good, blame their inability to afford the rise in their cost of living on not having National’s elite teacher policy. That’s some seriously warped logic mate.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      I’d take the Denmark approach. Only take the top graduates and pay them very well. Performance would be measured regularly.

                      It’s a very important job.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “Do your friends a favour and vote Labour or Greens.”

                      Bless. Why would I vote for economic muppetry? Giving the rich $60 a week? What a silly idea.

                    • geoff

                      So who are you going to vote for Tiger? Seeing as you still seem so genuinely concerned for the less well off.

                    • “Why would I vote for economic muppetry? Giving the rich $60 a week? What a silly idea.”

                      That’s the same ‘economic puppetry’ that currently sees very wealthy people getting hundreds of dollars a week? It’s called superannuation.

                      What is wrong with the principle of universalism, apart from some minor economic argument – which is itself debatable – that the ‘transaction costs’ of cycling tax revenue back to taxpayers is inefficient?

                      Universalism is a far healthier principle to run a social security system on than ‘targeting’ on the basis of income and then calling it ‘welfare’. I don’t see this policy as ‘middle-class welfare’ I see it as an extension of social security for all (to that extent, it’s disappointing that it isn’t entirely universal). As a society I believe we should support child-rearing, especially in those early years.

                      In a civilised society the goal should be to provide a base layer of services that provides sufficient dignity – within the context of the society – for all citizens (defined broadly to include residents) to live as healthy a life and one with as many opportunities to fulfil one’s potential as that society can provide to all.

                      It would be a civilised world if nation states competed with each other on the extensiveness of that ‘base layer’ of provision. That wouldn’t, of course, stop individuals from building upon that base to the extent that they chose to do so.

                      I have no problem at all with providing all public services to all as a matter of principle. I think it is quite moral and honourable.

                • Rob

                  Geoff, after this comment, who really is in a dream world?

                  • geoff

                    So you dont think people become teachers because they like educating kids, you think they do it for the money?

                    Yeah it must be me in dreamland….

              • felix

                “Any funding that keeps good teachers in the classroom as teachers is money well spent.”

                Indeed Rob. So what do you think of National’s policy of taking the best teachers out of the classroom and making them into middle-managers instead?

                • Rob

                  Well Felix, the idea of fostering greater middle management is not the outcome they are planning, however I thought you would be a great fan of more adminstration.

                  What I like is the idea of experienced and capable teachers formally mentoring new and developing teachers, especially in the areas of maths & science, which is where we are really struggling to hold on to good teachers and produce good results.

                  Speaking to my brother who is DP at a large decile 5 secondary school in Auckland, and certainly not a fan of this Govt, he felt that this is a good initiative, obviously devil is in the detail, but it is a fresh approach to a some long standing pain points.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    the system is designed to protect the lowest performing teacher.

                    throwing money at issues doesn’t change anything, people are starting to understand this.

                    Neither of these statements has any basis in reality.

                    Further reading for ignorant wingnuts: the “overall framework for teacher performance management”, and the article “Some Evidence About Welfare” at Polity.

                    Google is your friend.

                  • felix

                    “I thought you would be a great fan of more adminstration.”

                    That’s because you’re a lazy reader.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                @ Rob 3.41pm

                How is throwing money toward creating super teachers and a whole new level of ‘middle management’ going to achieve ‘keeping good teachers in the classroom’?

                – Sounds more like good teachers are going to be being told how to teach by a small group of highly paid middlemen – orconversely good teachers may end up leaving the classroom to indulge in this fantasy that a ‘super teachers bureaucracy’ is somehow going to be a fix-all to problems that have very little to do with there being a lack of middlemen.

            • JustLikeTigerWoods 18.1.1.2.2.2

              No, their spending power increases. So what do they spend it on? The middle class tend to spend it on the mortgage. To spell that out for you, it means they can afford a bigger one.

              The proposed capital gains tax doesn’t apply to the family home.

              Taking money off “the rich” and then giving it back to them, after churn, as a baby bonus, is stupid.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                @ Just Like Tiger Woods,

                Someone ‘upgrading’ their family home is not what is causing house price rises – speculating on houses is. Capital gains tax is an attempt to discourage people from speculating on houses – not upgrading their accommodation.

                “Taking money off “the rich” and then giving it back to them, after churn, as a baby bonus, is stupid.

                This all depends on what your definition of rich is. It is not the people on household incomes of $150 000 a year who are creating the problems as outlined by movements such as Occupy Wall street – perhaps this is what you most dislike about this idea; that this policy lumps a lot of people ‘in the same basket’ – which is a pretty dodgy thing for those of you who want to keep dividing good New Zealanders against themselves in order to make way for the interests that solely benefit those holding mass wealth.

                No more ‘we are all in it together’ for the type of ideology you are arguing for, is there?

  19. Skinny 19

    This policy package is smart by Labour in my opinion, it certainly will maintain & increase the female vote. They trumped National on paid parental leave by increasing the number of weeks in the process. The call to implement by July 1 takes ownership of the increase, and has stopped National from taking the credit.

     I was pleasantly surprised that the meeting yesterday was short and sharp and we didn’t have to sit around half the day listening and then trying to digest too much information. 

    The more that National howl the better, 
    Kiwi’s don’t like sore losers and that is what it looks like. The message from this policy release was one of being ‘fair’ to all, 150k maybe a high threshold, however once labour release their amended tax policy you can expect those above a reasonably high income to be paying more taxes. Fair is the key word something that is foreign to Nact.  

  20. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 20

    This ‘Taxpayers Union’ Jordan William’s thing needs to be addressed – it seems to be a deception – Williams was highly active in the media opposing MMP when the MMP referendum was conducted at the last General election- [yet framed it that he “may” support another version of MMP style voting].

    People out there in the real world just get to hear that ‘The Taxpayers Union’ are condemning a Labour policy and that could well hold some sway in their minds – to me this is out-and-out deception – propaganda -and the whole point of this group.

    A highly related approach is that of introducing Prebble as an ‘ex-Labour MP’ – this is deceptive if his ‘ex-Act’ status wasn’t mentioned. Same goes for Hooton as a ‘political commentator’ – this is deceptively neutral with his credentials as an active spin doctor for National

    And ‘The NZ Institute’ – the old business round table??

    This is bullshit and how people get swayed into believing the nonsense they spout – not everyone is told what these people and groups agenda is likely to be – and therefore are more likely to absorb their misinformation more uncritically – I am really very concerned about this – its a shocker – out-and-out deception and needs to be addressed.

    I’m thinking some type of formal complaint – any suggestions [and information on that ‘Taxpayers Union’ would be most welcome

    • geoff 20.1

      “the tax payers union” sounds like astroturfing rightwing populism paid for no doubt through the National party network of wealthy donors.

      It’s going to be a cut-throat battle this year.

    • North 20.2

      “Puppy” Jordan Williams was just a little stooge for mad old Shirtcliffe in the anti-MMP campaign days. Now a stooge for the not so old but very mad Stephen Franks. He of lift in Moscow fame. Wee Jordan’s got nothing going for him except of course a seat in parliament at some point and the promise of a lifetime of trough guzzling. He and his like are the scum of the earth in the real picture.

  21. Tracey 21

    I love how all the “throwing money at poverty wont relieve poverty” brigade dont say what will.

    • Rob 21.1

      Well often throwing money at issues doesn’t change anything, people are starting to understand this.
      Here are some examples of when it doesnt work.

      Lotto winners often end up with very little.
      Expensive private school education does not gaurantee great results.
      large companies spending huge budgets on innovation often miss key trends , ie Kodak invented the digital camera, but could not deal with it in a value adding programme.
      Big shopping budgets can be spent on healthy meals or wasted on repetitive fast food meals.

      The list goes on and on. Just throwing money at it is often wasteful and lazy but gives people a sense that at least they have tried something , which is what is going on with this plan, isnt it.

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1.1

        Yep

        The problem is some kids are going hungry sometimes because their parents are incapable of budgeting correctly. Those kids should be identified, and intervention should be direct.

        The answer is not to give some rich person $60 of their own money via government churn.

        • McFlock 21.1.1.1

          Actually, it’s probably just cheaper to give $3k over the course of a year to almost everyone. Takes the edge of the extreme poverty, makes life easier for those who are struggling, and you don’t need to pay huge amounts for assessors to go round to every household (half of whom might not need it).

        • geoff 21.1.1.2

          Nah the problem has always been ignorant right wing arseholes like yourself

          • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1.1.2.1

            That’s nice.

            When you grow up, you may come to realise that most people want pretty much the same thing, but have slightly different views on how to get there.

            We’re much closer than we are apart.

      • McFlock 21.1.2

        But we’re talking about poverty – which, as a shortage of money, is indeed solved by the regular disbursal of even modest amounts of money. By definition.

        • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1.2.1

          What happened to no tax on the first x dollars? That was actually a good, workable idea.

          • McFlock 21.1.2.1.1

            I agree with you on that one. but it only helps people who get x dollars in the first place.
            we’re talking about “alleviating poverty”, not simply “not kicking the poor”. Givning them “x plus tax difference” ensures everyone has at least x dollars.

        • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1.2.2

          Yes, but that doesn’t explain why he wants to give rich parents $60 p/w? Wasn’t he able to do this policy because he scrapped the no tax on the first x policy?

          Why would he replace a good policy idea with a stupid one?

          • McFlock 21.1.2.2.1

            He wants to give the poor parents the $60. Maybe he’s just erring on the side of caution – unlike tories, who prefer many people suffer rather than one person live comfortably on the dole

            • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1.2.2.1.1

              I don’t know who “Tories” in NZ are, but I don’t want many people to suffer. I certainly don’t want rich people being given $60 to keep their baby in designer nappies.

              I’m surprised anyone does.

              If Key had come up with this clanger, posters on here would surely be screaming blue murder. Is it some rule that if the Labour leader hands money to rich people by proposing some daft scheme, then you don’t get full socialist points unless you slavishly keep your tounge up a place even the Mayor of Auckland fears to go?

              • McFlock

                Hmmm.
                maybe you should look it up.

                Basically, your idea of a “clanger” of a policy is that some people at one end of the scale might not need the modest amount of money they will be given. A tory clanger is when people at the other end of the scale are refused assistance that they desperately need – that’s why commenters here “scream blue murder”.

      • KJT 21.1.3

        “Having more money doesn’t stop people from being poor”.

        Really?

        It worked for me…………..

  22. Penny Bright 22

    NZ Initiative (not NZ Institute) is what the NZ Business Roundtable has morphed into …..

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/roundtable-and-nz-institute-morph-nz-initiative-ck-115751

    Penny Bright

  23. Enough is Enough 23

    Although laudible, my issue is this is policy is a wee bit intellectually bankrupt and creates resentment rather than reconcilliation in this class war being raged by the right.

    It is a blunt tool to provide financial support to any member of society. The real issue in relation to the inequitable distibution of resources in our society is not dealt with under this policy.

    In a fair and just society there would be no need for this policy because every worker would receive fair pay for a fair day’s work.

    The key is how do we get to that position.

  24. tricledrown 24

    Knowledge is power these high finance weasels have to be kept an eye on.
    Their propaganda machine will working overtime this year.
    The new spokesman for nz initiative advocates for the porn industry because of inovation such as 3D.
    Wow what a nutjob they have to import this tosser via germany, UK right wing think tanks,Australian Rightwing think tank propaganda machine.Now he has been demoted to NZ.

  25. Steve James 25

    I am ok with this policy and would in fact make the payments more based on the amount of PAYE the parents have paid over say the previous two years, with a ceiling of course.

    What I will not be voting for is further payments that may encourage voluntary beneficiaries. Benefits should be short term help encouraging recipients back into paid employment, with or without children.

    Rob, I hope you read this, you make a lot of sense but I suspect one or two on this site are not understanding your meaning or are too set in their ways to accept reason.
    Keep it up.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 25.1

      @ Steve James

      Do you have any concern over ‘involuntary beneficiaries’?

      I hope so – because then you will vote for a party that intends to create an high-value economy that is focussed on job creation and is aiming at removing the incentives to use capital in ways that destroy jobs and rise prices unreasonably and adding policies that makes the jobs that do still exist no longer require welfare supplements to cover living costs.

      And that party is not National.

      • Steve James 25.1.1

        blue leopard

        I have been a beneficiary; not voluntary, my wife died. I am eternally grateful to those who did the work and helped my young family out during a difficult time. Within a year I got organised and back to work. My remaining children will all graduate tertiary education paid for by them and me.

        The people who use the benefit system ‘voluntarily’ I have zero tolerance for. Those who genuinely need it; well I am happy to help for say up to five years, plenty of time to sort yourself out. I also believe benefits are somewhat low by todays standards.

        Bye the way, my daughter and friend were targeted by a paedophile couple on line; much publicised almost three years ago. It was with the help of the GCSB that these animals along with their overseas associates were caught. So when you go on about so called government spying remember my little girl and her friend could have had their lives ruined if not for the police and GCSB.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 25.1.1.1

          I am sad for you that your wife died and happy for you that you and your children got through it and sound like are in good circumstances financially and otherwise now.

          Your comment does not, however, prove that people in different circumstances from your own, yet find themselves on an unemployment benefit, might struggle more than you did to find a way out of those circumstances.

          You supplied no information on your background, to your level of education or type of work you do – I consider these strong factors in how easily a person can lift themselves out of poor circumstances – it is clear that jobs are thin on the ground at present, it is clear that wages for some are extremely poor and according to Bill English 43% of the poorest households receive some form of income supplement [i.e. this includes people who are working as well as those without jobs and is a HUGE amount of households requiring assistance], it is clear that the level of debt that one has to agree to for education would deter those who haven’t earned a lot or come from poor backgrounds. It is also clear that opportunities for those in poor circumstances to lift themselves out of such are being taken away by people who don’t appear to realise that not everyone is as fortunate as themselves. This attitude serves noone apart from those who are extremely wealthy already [and I feel sure that neither you nor myself are in that category] and I really do not like the way that New Zealand is moving in this regard.

          I believe the type of policies that Mr Cunliffe indicated in his State of the Nation speech will provide far more likelihood that those in difficult circumstances will get out of those circumstances easier than anything that National have done in the last 6 years or have indicated that they intend to do if they get voted in again. These [Labour] policies include that of developing a ‘high value economy’: encouraging research and development and manufacturing here in this country – I.e. JOBS – instead of sending such off wholesale to other countries – along with the profits.

          As for the GCSB, it is great that they helped you and your family! – I feel confident that the reversal of anything I object to with regard to the GCSB bill would not hinder families such as your own from being helped in similar ways in the future.

          • Steve James 25.1.1.1.1

            Hey blue leopard

            Thank you for your kind thoughts, much appreciated.

            I will certainly take your comments on board as you rightfully pointed out my education did help when looking for work; having said that I work in an unrelated field. I understand it would be more difficult for the under educated; perhaps some form of teaching basic family planning might help them move up in the world. No easy answer I am sure.

            I get little time to visit The Standard but will check your posts when I can. As for some of the haters on this and other sites, I don’t know why they bother they are contributing nothing.

            Enjoy your weekend

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 25.1.1.1.1.1

              Cheers Steve James – Hope you have a good weekend too

        • Anne 25.1.1.2

          You’re a first class idiot Steve James.

          There’s one hell of a difference between the GCSB helping the police (not you) to solve a potential crime scene with an off-shore content… and government electronic spying on ordinary defenceless citizens.

          Glad you had a good experience with the police because I didn’t. Yes, I was targeted on and off for years by a group of people with off-shore ‘associations’ – albeit for different reasons and in a different way to your daughter – and the police never lifted a finger to catch the culprits. That was because there was a political element to the case so they swept it under the carpet and ran for cover. I have a word for a large section of the police force and it begins with w……s. I also have a policy: if the police ever required my assistance for some reason that I would not bother to give it to them.

          • Steve James 25.1.1.2.1

            Anne – Ignoring that first class idiot comment I have an acquaintance at Advanced Investigations (www.advancedinvestigations.co.nz) who may be able to assist you if that problem hasn’t gone away. Give them a call, they wont charge you for your first meeting. Even if they cannot proceed with your case their advice is priceless. Good luck

            • Anne 25.1.1.2.1.1

              @ Steve James

              My comment was a reference to the link you tried to make between the investigation into paedophile activity conducted by the police with the assistance of the GCSB – a legitimate and desirable combination in the battle against certain national and international crimes – and the wholesale spying on ordinary citizens for highly spurious purposes. I was not inferring you are a first class idiot in general terms.

              Thanks for the offer of assistance but the ‘problem’ was historical – 20 or so years ago. In the end I solved the mystery without the help of the police. It took several years and involved a great deal of ‘raking over old coals’ in my mind… a few valuable contacts… and some hitherto unknown historical revelations supplied by an unwitting news media – mainly the NZ Herald. The pieces of the jigsaw slowly came together and started to make sense. I never returned to the police with my discoveries despite the fact it unlocked, at least in part, a few well known historical and politically motivated mysteries (probably including the Colin Moyle saga of the mid to late 1970s) because of their earlier attitude towards me. A bit sad really but there you go…

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    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    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
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
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