web analytics

We can do better

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, November 23rd, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: monetary policy - Tags: , , ,

By and large the Right are refusing to defend their neoliberal monetary policy system. The currency is causing chaos, the housing bubble is back, and the Reserve Bank is in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ position as it tries to control inflation. But the Right treat the neoliberal doctrine like a sacred religious text, no debate will be tolerated. Only one guy’s given it a go – BK Drinkwater has responded to my post on the need for reform. It’s pretty shallow but since it’s the best the Right can put up for debate, let me respond:

Drinkwater starts off with a lengthy quote from rightwing hero Milton Friedman, who basically invented the kind of monetary policy setup we currently have but he’s fundamentally misunderstood what I’m saying. I’m saying that the Reserve Bank, like nearly every other central bank should have to consider economic factors than just inflation when setting interest rates. Other countries manage it, why can’t we?

Drinkwater says he can’t figure out if I want interest rates higher or lower. I want both. I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.

Let’s start at the beginning – the point of the OCR is to increase or decrease consumers’ buying power by adjusting how much they have to pay on their mortgages – if inflation is too hot, increase the OCR, that will increase mortgage rates and people will have less money to spend, reducing inflationary pressure. The problem is that our OCR is chronically too high relative to other countries causing the carry trade (=housing bubble, current account deficit, high currency) but if we lower mortgage rates any further it will cause more inflation.

What we need is a way to keep mortgage rates as high as they are (or higher) while letting other interest rates go lower. we could do it with a variable mortgage levy/savings rebate that functions to increase the interest rates on mortgages and savings. The Reserve Bank gets the choice of setting that levy (between say 1% and 3%). The OCR could be lower, letting business borrowing rates fall and killing the carry trade but mortgage rates would effectively be the same as they are, keeping inflation at bay. This levy wouldn’t be a money raiser for the government. The revenue would be used to fund something like a tax rebate on interest income or an inverse payment to savings accounts, encouraging Kiwis to save.

Drinkwater makes some other silly comments – like saying we need the carry trade to create jobs – which fall over on their own without me pushing them. Basically, he seems to think that 40 years ago Friedman created the best of all possible monetary policy setups and we can’t improve on it.

I fundamentally disagree with that. In economics you can never solve all problems at once but we can do better than this. Our current setup is causing the housing bubble, the high currency, and the current account deficit. I’m not saying let’s go back to pre-neoliberal approach, I’m saying let’s go forward to something better. The mortgage levy/savings rebate is one of a number of refinements we could make to do better. I’ll write about others soon.

53 comments on “We can do better”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.

    Interesting concept Marty. I can’t think of a regime where a central bank stipulates higher rates of interest on residential property than it does for business.

    The interest rates that banks charge lenders is based on a range of factors, but it is basically a risk versus return profile. Lending to business is almost always more risky than lending on property.

    Already many small and medium business owners put property up as security for business lending and load up the mortgage to fund their business working capital.

    • I do not disagree with Tim and I think this shows how complex the debate is. Focusing on interest rates alone gives a distorted and incomplete picture as does focussing solely on inflation.

      There may need to be some direct control on currency. Singapore has been held up as an example. The currency is pegged so that it does not move too quickly. I am afraid I do not know what mechanism is used but this may be a tool that New Zealand needs to acquire.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        That’s an interesting perspective Micky. Currency controls are very risky for a heavily exposed economy running large current account deficits. By comparison Singapore has been running huge current account surpluses for years and despite their economy being twice the size of ours, the New Zealand currency is still more heavily traded than Singapore’s.

        Still in NZ bankers’ memories was the run on the NZD in 1984 that the Reserve Bank tried to fight and almost bankrupted the country.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.2

      I can’t see any benefits of high interest rates, as the main beneficiaries of this are the banks. The enemy of interest rates is inflation, since money in the bank loses value so investors look for speculative returns such as property, which in turn causes inflation and higher rates
      The trick is to encourage this investment into the tradable and away from the non tradable economy and our course raise productivity.
      I’d do everything I could to keep rates low- even if it means taxing property.

      • Bright Red 1.2.1

        ZB. the point of the mortgage levy isn’t to make mortgages higher in absolute terms, it’s about making borrowing for business cheaper without lwoering mortgage rates, which causes inflation.

        The banks wouldn’t be getting the money. The levy would be kept by the government or, as Marty suggests, paid to encourage saving.

        Treasury and the Reserve Bank had a look at the idea a few years ago, but the notion was shouted down by Granny Herald.

        “The scheme was conceived as a way of reducing any adverse impact on the tradables sector that might otherwise arise from the monetary policy measures needed to keep overall inflation pressures in check.” http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/monetarypolicy/mil/mil-do-feb07.pdf

        In other words, you could lower the OCR so you’re not causing the carry trade, pushing up the exchange rate and hurting exporters but you can keep mortgage rates at the same level to avoid cuasing inflation.

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    …the Reserve Bank, like nearly every other central bank should have to consider economic factors than just inflation when setting interest rates

    Whilst in total agreement with that statement, it presupposes that the MPA should remain in place and that an unelected (and mostly unknown) group of people — some with potential conflicts of interest (the AFP has just raided the homes of several RBA directors as a result of their private business activity) — should have control of policy lever which affects the futures of every New Zealander.

    We don’t elect them, we can’t sack them. I’ve always felt that that was somehow inappropriate in a democracy and my inclination has always been to return control of the entire economy to our elected representatives (advised, of course, by the RBNZ, Treasury et al). This would also end — hopefully — the ridiculous situation of monetary and fiscal policy sometimes pulling in opposite directions.

    But that doesn’t seem a popular view on either side of the political spectrum, with everyone having accepted the status quo (albeit some with amendments) as the best framework, so I’ve been doing a bit of reading on alternatives that encompass the existing settings but expand upon them (as you seem to have been, Marty).

    On I’m particularly impressed with was presented to the recent NZ Association of Economists conference by David A Preston: “Putting Credit Back into Monetary Policy: Reconstructing the New Zealand Monetary Policy Framework.

    He points out that one negative effect of the current policy is:

    …the massive inflow of overseas capital into New Zealand during the period of exchange rate appreciation, a high proportion of it flowing directly into the banking system.

    One irony in the period is that to the extent that OCR increases had their intended effect of pushing up domestic interest rates, including bank deposit rates, the motivation for additional capital to flow into New Zealand to feed the consumption and asset price boom if anything increased

    and he concludes that:

    the OCR, while a key economic tool, is on its own an insufficient tool of monetary control if a wider definition of monetary policy objectives is to be used… viewed from the perspective of a wider set of monetary policy objectives involving an adequate contribution to maintaining macro-economic stability and international competitiveness New Zealand monetary policy has been significantly inadequate.

    He proposes an alternative monetary policy framework encompassing:

    • A wider range of variables as part of monetary policy consideration.

    • The selection of an appropriate quantitative target or targets for measuring the extent to which policy objectives are being achieved.

    • Additional policy instruments to supplement the role of the Official Cash Rate.

    I’d be interested in the opinions of anyone who knows more than do I on the topic (i.e. just about anyone) as to the viability of what’s proposed by Preston, which seems to be an expansion of what Marty’s proposing (I hope I’m not misreading you, Marty — apologies if I am).

  3. vto 3

    I suspect the problem lies more in manwomankinds fundamental settings, not the settings of some monetary policy. Those settings of over-exuberance, fear, memory ignorance, greed. They rise to the surface no matter the levies or taxes or controls or regulations or ocr’s or whatever recent fashionable phenomona has been dreamed up to arrest whatever recent activity has been deemed now unfit.

    Your levy will do nothing to control those human traits mr marty. But good luck trying.

  4. Hi Marty: thanks for the graceful response.

    I’m a little pressed for time this afternoon, so I won’t be able to reply in full until a bit later; suffice to say there are a couple of quibbles, and a couple of points I’ll be conceding to you as well.

    Just for now, two hit-and-run points.

    1) The lengthy quote is not from right-wing hero Friedman, but from Paul Krugman; the quote is extracted from a fairly famous hit-piece on Friedman. I chose it to illustrate that even if one detests Friedman, it’s probably wise to accept he had a point about the inflation/unemployment correlation (the Philips Curve) breaking down in the long run. This has implications inflation-doves need to consider very carefully before denouncing strict inflation-targeting as a strategy.

    2) How do you reconcile your wish for higher mortgage rates w.r.t. the OCR with Labour’s shellacking of the banks over the last six months, wherein Cunliffe especially has been criticizing the banks for “not passing on” OCR cuts to homeowners? (This isn’t a knockdown argument: the point is that I’m not certain that monetary policy is the villain here: fiscal policy may have a larger effect here than you credit, and the correct prescription may be a CGT or a land tax.)

    • dred 4.1

      I don’t think marty’s proposing higher mortgage rates, he’s proposing a way to keep mortgage rates where they are while bringing down the OCR to kill the carry trade.

      All this stuff makes my head wizz a bit but as far as i can see you’re not really offering a rebuttal of his argument, you’re just constructing a strawman.

  5. vto 5

    One other minor matter mr marty – the post is based on housing being bubbled-up and too expensive. I would be interested to know why you think this the case. Most property at the moment is valued at below what it costs to build. How will you bring down the cost of building mr marty? The cost of timber? the cost of concrete? the cost of the italian tiles? The cost of the local plumber and electrician? The cost of the land? How?

  6. Ag 6

    So the Keynesian solution doesn’t work for ever, but it works for a while. The neoliberal solution doesn’t work for ever, but it works for a while.

    Economics is not a science. Economists are little better than witch doctors when it comes to the long run.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Yep, they got physics envy real bad. Thing is, the things physics boffins study don’t change their behaviour to account for what the physicists tell the engineers to do. (quantum shmontum notwithstanding)

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    if inflation is too hot, increase the OCR, that will increase mortgage rates and people will have less money to spend,

    Actually, it increases all borrowing rates.

    What we need is a way to keep mortgage rates as high as they are (or higher) while letting other interest rates go lower. we could do it with a variable mortgage levy/savings rebate that functions to increase the interest rates on mortgages and savings.

    And then the carry trade will be dominated by mortgages…, oh, wait…

    There’s an easier way to kill the carry trade – a Tobin Tax. Set correctly (as a %age of the OCR) the carry trade will always run at a loss rather than a profit and we wouldn’t have the complexity and extra costs of multiple OCRs.

    • Rex Widerstrom 7.1

      Which was Alliance policy and which I think is still Progressive policy? It’s probably the only thing about which I have ever found myself in complete agreement with Jim Anderton.

    • snoozer 7.2

      “And then the carry trade will be dominated by mortgages”

      nah, because people lending on mortgages wouldn’t be getting all the interest that the mortgage borrower is paying eg:

      current OCR is 2.5%, mortgage rates are about 6%.

      Because the OCR is 2.5% and the Japanese one is 0%, there’s a carry trade.

      Lower the OCR to 0% and slap a 2.5% mortgage levy on mortgages (assume for the sake of simplicity that 100% of OCR cuts are passed through to mortgage rates). The mortgage rate is still going to be 6% for the borrower, serving the point of keeping inflation down. But with the OCR down at Japan’s level there’s not going to be a carry trade and that will lower the exchange rate.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        6% – 2.5% = 3.5%
        Are Japanese loans higher or lower than the 3.5% return from NZ mortgages?

        • snoozer 7.2.1.1

          I don’t know but if there’s a difference it’s likely to be trifling (google says mortgages in Japan at 2.4%, other loans will be a bit higher).

          The carry trade relies on differences in central bank interest rates. There has to be enough of a difference to make it worthwhile.

          • IrishBill 7.2.1.1.1

            A mortgage levy is pretty difficult politically. Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done and I suspect it would be better to in terms of avoiding leakage than a Tobin tax but I still think the latter is a more politically achievable goal.

  8. John A 8

    @ Tim Ellis

    Singapore has a large current account surplus because it controls the exchange rate rather than trying to use it to control inflation as New Zealand has done. Our tradables inflation is low and used to counter non-tradables at the expense of exporters.

    As for the 1984 devaluation; it was a disaster for New Zealand because Roger Douglas leaked it was going to happen during the election campaign, and the insiders ran for the door with their hot money. At that stage the Reserve Bank was supporting Douglas rather than the dollar.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      Singapore also uses compulsory superannuation with an adjustable minimum contribution rate to control inflation.

      • Tim Ellis 8.1.1

        Yes that’s true, IB. SIngapore has very high savings rates, but it is the current account surplus, meaning they’re investing more money off shore (driven by their enormous super schemes) that keeps their currency stable.

        • IrishBill 8.1.1.1

          It also means they’re not stuck with just hiking the OCR to control inflation which helps reduce their risk of becoming a target for debt which in turn limits debt-driven inflation and the current account deficit.

          I can’t think of any reason we shouldn’t have a similar Kiwisaver-based policy here. Can you?

          • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1

            Do you want forced savings IB?

            • IrishBill 8.1.1.1.1.1

              OMG! “Forced” savings! I must be the enemy of freedom!

              Until we get the anarcho-syndicalist revolution I’ll cope with any measure that makes capitalism more tolerable including the use of universal superannuation to provide economic stability. The alternative is the monetarism that currently aids and abets the transfer of wealth from the many to the elite few.

            • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Persoanlly IB I think I would treat each person as an individual. Different people have different time preferences, priorities in thier own lives, etc and it’s for them to make up their mind what to do with the money they earned through their own labour.

              And yes you are an enemy of freedom.

              Someone below mentioned full-reserve banking – maybe just maybe you could have an open mind and look at some ideas from differing ideas to your own – don’t act like the there’s only monetarism and whatever it is you’re proposing.

    • We should not forget that Muldoon refused to devalue even though he was instructed to and made the damage that much worse. Jim McLay showed some backbone and offered to be sworn in as acting PM just so that the devaluation could occur.

      Muldoon’s actions made things much worse.

  9. ” I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.”

    It is an interesting concept and, while it could probally be legislated relatively simply despite protest, I can not help but think that pretty much every other discussed option would be far more effective.
    This change also has the potential to, depending on implimentation, impead with individual home ownership and vastly accelerate the rate at which individuals with property companies are able to acquire property. Esspecially because property prices would drop and it is likely that those companies would find a way to receive the lower rate.
    I can see such an approach increasing inequality and the accumulation of wealth by the upper middle class.

  10. Daveski 10

    This is why I’m going a little septic:

    But the Right treat the neoliberal doctrine like a sacred religious text, no debate will be tolerated.

    Reconcile that crappy comment with Labour’s actions in reviewing and sticking with the policy while in government. It’s a sloppy inaccurate comment at best.

    As others have pointed out, the high relative rates in NZ reflect the risk inherent in small isolated economy still largely based on commodity prices.

    Further, where’s any acknowledgement that forcibly lowering interest rates will naturally decrease for investors, not just nasty rich pricks but retired people who supplement super with savings?

    • Mertel 10.1

      Daveski: “where’s any acknowledgement that forcibly lowering interest rates will naturally decrease for investors, not just nasty rich pricks but retired people who supplement super with savings?”

      Marty: “The revenue would be used to fund something like a tax rebate on interest income or an inverse payment to savings accounts, encouraging Kiwis to save.”

      yeah, looks like he thought of that, daveski.

      • Daveski 10.1.1

        { Putting hand up }

        I missed that. So withdraw my comment and apologise accordingly!

        Mind you it does show the difficulty inherent in trying to mitigate the changes to the current system warts and all.

        I promise to read Marty’s posts most closely in the future!

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.2

      Do you think the right will ever break out of the low taxes and wages will save us meme?

      No sign of it yet. It seems that Bill English makes a grudging acknowledgement of the problem but when asked for a solution can only propose cuts in spending and lower wages as a panacea. This is about as sophisticated an argument as its gets for them. Maybe Brash will come up with alternative- but i’m not holding my breath.

  11. Daniel J Miles 11

    The reason we have housing booms is simple. If you put your money in the bank, your interest gets taxed. If you put your money into stocks or bonds, your dividends get taxed. If you buy a rental property and gear it, you pay no tax on your returns.

    It’s really pretty much that simple. Buying housing is more profitable because we don’t tax it properly, and as a result the value of that house is greater than it would otherwise be. Which is a problem in and of itself, but doubly so when you then want to go along and buy yourself a house not for profit, but to live in, and have to pay the premium that an investor would be willing to pay for the extra return.

  12. Tim Ellis 12

    It seems a lot of readers are of the view that a capital gains on property is a good idea.

    I’m not opposed to it. I think government should tax things that stay still, and reduce tax on things that move.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1

      There’s the big 4. 1.CGT on housing, 2.stamp duty on housing purchases 3.Land Tax(Australia has all of these, we haven’t) and 4.deductibility of interest re-payments on money borrowed for property investment. You could control non-tradeable investment with any mix of the four, if you wanted to.

      • Tim Ellis 12.1.1

        Zaphod local authority rates are a land tax of a kind.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1.1.1

          Not only that but you get levied 12.5% GST on them. The NZ govt makes a huge windfall by taxing a tax. If we had a annual 1 or 2% Land Tax it would be simple to collect tax those who could afford it and would suppress property prices.

  13. The Baron 13

    Marty,

    On your last post, I said that I am yet to see you, or anyone in the Labour party for that matter, pose any alternative to monetarism that is:

    – well researched
    – effective
    – achievable
    – or credible

    It is awfully easy to take free hits, and attack the people rather than the ideas (which is what you seem to be doing to BK here, and anyone that has disagreed with your yet to be articulated “alternative”) when you haven’t yet stepped up to the plate with your own solutions.

    So, I am even keener now to hear your ideas for monetary policy that is “everything to everyone”, and that does not sell us even further down the river to currency speculators… or strangle off foreign investment… or lead to crippling inflation… all of which are very real risks from this debate.

    As I have said a number of times, the Monetary Policy debate is well worth having, both here and nationally. But while monetarism is far from perfect, I still heartily believe that this is a horrible, horrible area to go play politics in. We need reasoned analysis and clear agreement on the outcomes we are seeking when setting monetary policy, not more “I hate JK cos he is evil” or “anyone who disagrees with Marty is a dumb rightie”.

    So, enlighten me Marty – what do you think our monetary policy should be achieving? Don’t forget to address:

    – well researched
    – effective
    – achievable
    – or credible

    Which is all the things that monetarism has in its favour.

    5 days now, still waiting.

    IrishBill: Tell us what to do on our own blog like this again and you’ll get a week’s ban.

    • snoozer 13.1

      man. you’re a bit of a dick eh Baron? demanding that someone who provides you with material to read and a forum to discuss in for free does the posts you want on exactly what you want within a timeframe decided by you.

      I’m enjoying commenting on these series of posts, Marty. Keep it up. In your own time.

      • The Baron 13.1.1

        Sorry Snoozer, I guess I objected to Marty having enough time to berate his objectors, but still not pose a reasonable alternative.

        If it makes me a dick for asking for a reasonable debate on this, rather than “my corner your corner” crap, then I apologise – this really isn’t the “discussion” site I thought it was trying to be, and really is the “fan boi” club it has always seemed to be.

        Keep it up snoozer – don’t think about what is at stake here, just stick to your favourite colour. Everyone loves the passionate idiot.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Monetarism doesn’t have those in its favour at all as it based upon false assumptions.

      • The Baron 13.2.1

        Again, I’ve never said its perfect. But its fighting a phantom at the moment!

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.2.1.1

          I’d stick to playing the ball not the man. If you want phD standard analyses talk to Auckland Uni.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.2

          It’s far less than perfect – it doesn’t relate to reality at all as it assumes it away. If it was as good as Friedman and the others said it was we wouldn’t have gone through a housing bubble in the first place, have that collapse into a recession and having it replaced by another housing bubble (which is what’s happening ATM BTW). In a few more months I’m expecting another collapse because the underlying BS that is monetarism hasn’t been addressed.

    • Daniel J Miles 13.3

      Well, to be fair, while it wasn’t the politest way of doing it, it is legitimate to say that someone who puts forward the proposition that the system is broken should be able to give some specifics as to a superior alternative…

      You can then, of course, ignore that call, but it doesn’t do your argument any favours.

      • Daveo 13.3.1

        To be fair, the guy writes these posts in his spare time and is clearly starting a series on this topic. Coming on like The Baron and throwing a tantrum because Marty hasn’t written about everything you want is just plain rude.

        • The Baron 13.3.1.1

          Good point Daveo,

          I unreservedly apologise to Marty for my impatient and intemperate comment. I will await your alternatives with interest.

          One further comment though – regardless of the pros or cons of monetarism, the one big benefit is that we have been able to have a cross party consensus on our monetary policy for 20 years. This has given our economy stability and a degree of certainty, which I hope you will all agree is desirable.

          I hope that Goff, and all of us really, will be motivated to achieve the same degree of consensus on any alternative. To have monetary policy lurch on 6-9 year cycles could be far worse than any individual policy perscription.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.3.1.1.1

            This has given our economy stability and a degree of certainty, which I hope you will all agree is desirable.

            Not against the suffering that it’s brought with it.

  14. Herodotus 14

    I am fully supportive of a CGT.
    Agree with an earlier post re price of housing re price differential new vs existing. In my experience an existing 4 bm 220m2 house is somewhere $50-$100k cheaper than building (In Jafaland). To limit the housing bubble we have to make the build cost cheaper. There is little scope with this re land prices, regulation and materials, also not to allow prices JUST to esculate as they did 2003-5. Cent Govt has to have an input into town planing, not by default with Transit as the only submitter.
    Where was/is govt re Flatbush, Stonefields,Longbay, Silverdale & others re plan changes?

  15. Rich 15

    I want lower interest rates for productive investment (ie in business), a lower OCR in line with other countries to kill the carry trade, and higher interest rates on mortgages in relation to the OCR.

    That could be achieved with a tax on mortgage interest. If that and other measures were taken to control house price inflation, the Reserve Bank could set the OCR lower.

  16. mikesh 16

    I’ve always believed Milton Friedman advocated a 100% reserve ratio, effectively preventing banks from creating money altogether.

    As far as our situation is concerned I think I would like to interest rates determined by market forces with the money supply controlled. The current setup where banks create money ad infinitum, backed up by overseas currencies seems to me a recipe for inflation and instability.

  17. BLiP 17

    Remind me – what was wrong with the gold standard and, really, has anything improved since money started growing on trees?

    • sk 17.1

      BLiP,

      What was wrong with the Gold Standard was the deep depressions that resulted from it in the 1870’s and 1890’s. In the latter’s case, Australia’s GDP dropped by 30%

  18. sk 18

    Good post Marty, and interesting thread.

    This is a debate that must be joined. Going back to the 1990’s no one imagined the global financial system would evolve in the way it has, with system-wide currency speculation – either by deposit-taking institutions and investment banks / hedge funds in the West, or by Central Banks in the East. This has left NZ, with 100% of GDP in external liabilities and a free floating currency with virtually no foreign exchange reserves to back it, exceedingly vulnerable. The reason neoliberals do not defend it, is at some level they know it is broke. But no one has a clear idea what to do about it.

    Wholesale change is probably beyond us, as you imply Marty. But there is scope for a Baldrick approach, a series of cunning plans. Note how Goff’s speech had an immediate impact on the NZD.

    A number of possible ideas have been mentioned here, but we need a package of measures that address both external and internal speculation.

    On external measures one alternative would be for the Treasury to conduct FX intervention. This is what should have happened when Cullen proposed FX intervention, but the RBNZ under Bollard and Orr fought a brillant rear-guard action, where they kept the powers for themselves, which they have used only sparingly, and with the NZ$ back in the 70’s have now shot their wad.

    One idea I like, which has not been proposed, is for the Minister of Finance to be able to allocate the Super Fund between a NZD hedged fund and a USD unhedged fund. This would effectively allow the super fund to sell NZ$ above 70 cents say, and buy it back lower down. The current fully hedged strategy does not make sense.

    We should also be pressuring the Asian central banks to limit their exposure to the NZ$. It is unfair that countries like China and Singapore resist pressure for their currencies to appreciate by buying US$, and then recycle it into an appreciating NZ$.

    And then there are the internal measures CGT and mortgage levy would add to the armoury, but other measures could include adjusting the loan to value ratio as Singapore and Hong Kong have done.

    As Goff has said, it is time for a new approach. Doing nothing, as Key prefers, is not a good option.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Election 2019 – The Legendary Liveblog
    Legendary in my own mind, I mean.  All times are NZ, which is an hour10.00am (NZ) There's about an hour to go until the exit poll is released.  At that point, half of the British voting public will devastated, and the other half celebrating wildly.  Unless everyone is simply confused.Turnout seems ...
    32 mins ago
  • Some Thoughts On Socialism As Jeremy Corbyn Loses The UK General Election.
    Forlorn Hope: When the call came down to make Corbyn unelectable, the Establishment's journalists and columnists rose to the challenge. Antisemitism was only the most imaginative of the charges levelled against the old democratic-socialist. There were many more and, sadly, they appear to have worked. Boris Johnson may not be much ...
    3 hours ago
  • Cartoonist David Low’s Radical Sympathy.
    "Rendezvous" by David Low, September 1939.DUNEDIN IS THE BIRTHPLACE of, for my money, the world’s greatest cartoonist, David Low. At the height of his powers, in 1930s London, Low’s cartoons represented the visual conscience of the civilised world. His most famous cartoon, “Rendezvous”, penned a few weeks into the Second ...
    5 hours ago
  • The UK has a choice as to whether it chooses to be manipulated… or not.
    If you want to study propagandist techniques, you are typically told to study Dictatorships. Not unfair, but what’s always been more interesting to me is so-called “democratic” countries and their broader information systems. Why? Because people opt for it, even as they decry “totalitarian regimes!”.. It’s quite an eye ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    18 hours ago
  • Today’s secrecy legislation
    Introducing legislation which shits on the public's right to know seems to have become a daily occurrence for this government. Today's example is the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The bill establishes a framework for the establishment of "special purpose vehicles" (SPVs) to hide debt from local government balance sheets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Time to vote!
    Below is the longlist of words and phrases generated in the korero phase of Public Address Word of the Year 2019, with some editorial moderation. Now it's time to vote. As you'll doubtless be able to see, you get three ranked choices. Use your power wisely. Or frivolously, whatever.As usual, ...
    21 hours ago
  • Encryption, passwords, and self-incrimination
    The University of Waikato and New Zealand Law Foundation have released a report today on the law around encryption in New Zealand. There's stuff in there about principles and values, and how proposed government policies to provide for "lawful access" by creating backdoors would destroy the trust which makes encryption ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Insurance (Prompt Settlement of Claims for Uninhabitable Residential Property) Bill (Stuart Smith) Social Security (Exemption for Ex Gratia and Compensation Payments) Amendment Bill (Willow-Jean Prime) Neither bill seems likely to be particularly controversial. This is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Bougainville votes for independence
    Earlier in the month, Bougainvilleans went to the polls in a landmark referendum to decide on whether they would remain part of Papua New Guinea or become independent. Yesterday, the results came in, with over 97% support for independence. The referendum wasn't binding - instead it means negotiations with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Bus strikes, suspensions and solidarity
    by Daphna Whitmore This week 800 unionised bus drivers in Auckland were suspended from work after they refused to collect fares as part of a campaign of industrial action. Drivers working for Auckland’s largest bus company NZ Bus are asking for more pay and better working conditions after being offered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • How to support after the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption
    As details emerge about what unfolded on Whakaari / White Island two days ago, my thoughts go out to all the families affected by this terrible event. My thoughts are also with the first responders who worked in perilous circumstances to assist and protect those affected. Both local and ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarb Johal
    1 day ago
  • Final BMG poll – nothing to see here
    BMG research have unleashed their final poll of the 2019 campaign:Westminster voting intention: CON: 41% (-)LAB: 32% (-)LDEM: 14% (-)GRN: 4% (-)BREX: 3% (-1)via @BMGResearch , 06 - 11 Dec Chgs. w/ 06 Dec That's a bit of a "Dunno why we bothered" sort of poll. "Phillip, I'm afraid I've been a ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    1 day ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    1 day ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    2 days ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    2 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    3 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    3 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    3 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago