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Wealth and the wealthy

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, April 22nd, 2014 - 28 comments
Categories: class war, equality - Tags:

Now I’m going to predict we’ll have a few trolls who read the title of this and comment about how this is the politics of envy without bothering to read the actual post. I’m tempted to give a code word somewhere near the bottom and then you can ignore any comment that doesn’t manage to include it…

But here are 2 stories: first, the new head of RBS (one of the UK big banks, now largely owned by the UK taxpayer after bailout) in Britain, but originally from these isles, who intends to live on “only” one million pounds per year.  No massive bonuses, just his salary, which is a cut from the previous CEO.

This is obviously a break from the big willy waving (they’re almost exclusively male) that these CEOs do as they compete for status, and insist on pay packets that have nothing to do with their performance, just about being “better” than the next CEO.  Dollars are divorced from reality, and more and more of the company profit goes to a very select few, not the shareholders (which is how capitalism is meant to work), let alone the workers (who actually make the money…).

There’s a second local example too: the Welshman in charge of the Warehouse has been saying he earns a “ridiculous” amount of money.

These are the examples – as CEO / board salaries grow out of all proportion compared to everyone else – that inspire “maximum wage” ideas.  Be they “no public servant should earn more than the prime minister” (UK), or the French and Swiss proposals to make the highest paid in a company a maximum multiple (15x or 20x) of the lowest paid.

If you’re earning more than half a million each year, the number probably doesn’t affect you that much.  You’re doing it for the challenge (certainly after the first 2 or 3 years after which you don’t need to work…), and the pay is just a status thing of being “better” than others.  Businesses say they have to match salaries to compete, but odds are they don’t.

Meanwhile in the US, 2 professors at Princeton and NorthWestern have gone through lots of research and discovered how much influence various groups have on policy (persimmon). Individuals not in the elite: virtually none.  Pressure groups of large numbers without elite connection: very little.  A few members of the wealthy elite: huge influence.

This is how huge majorities in the US can want gun control – but laws get liberalised, not tightened.

Their conclusion is that the US is not a democracy, but an oligarchy.  You get your vote, but it’s not worth much (and getting less with recent Supreme Court rulings).  You only can get elected with the oligs’ money, and those oligs will want to keep hold of those strings once you’re elected.

It shows how important it is to keep the controls on electoral costs and finances.  So that the people, and not the wealthy, get to keep control of their country.

28 comments on “Wealth and the wealthy”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    And then there’s this:

    Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior.

    Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically … upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.

  2. Mr Interest 2

    Is this the study you refer to: Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior

    That’s the finding of a group of studies by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The research shows that people of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to break traffic laws, lie in negotiations, take valued goods from others, and cheat to increase chances of winning a prize. The resulting paper, “Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior,” [PDF] was published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    http://www.openculture.com/2013/07/are-the-rich-jerks-see-the-science.html

    Funny, we are seeing this behavior in a certain Minister for Injustices behavior and one not so Prime minister.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      I linked to the research in my comment. The word “this” in the first sentence.

      It’s only one paper, but in a way it comes into the category of “things we already knew” – cf: seven deadly sins, rich men, needles and camels, etc. etc.

      Combine that with an unhealthy dose of the “Just World” fallacy and yes, indeed, Judith Collins and her close friends and family positively leap to mind.

  3. karol 3

    There’s an interesting response in NZ Herald today, to ACT’s latest, get-tough-on-burglary-3-strikes-policy.

    Anna Leask reports that prison may not be a big deterrent burglars.. The article ends with this:

    [frequent burglary victim] Gavin said Act’s policy might not be the way to protect the public from burglars.

    “I’m not sure if prison is the ultimate answer, but it could be part of it. They definitely need some sort of decent education, some rehabilitation.”

    He thought the bigger issue politicians should be addressing was the separation of wealth between rich and poor, which he believed was one of the key drivers of burglary.

    Exactly.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      The ACT parties inevitable goal is to throw citizens in jail for stealing their pizza.

      It was not long ago that prisons where universities for criminals, where a burglar needs to learn their trade and so being caught a third time will just be a fail mark from their professors. No Doctorate for them.

      ACT politics is all about distancing itself from active discussion of government, as the neo-liberal scam is all about doing nothing and calling it a winning methodology, this means when their mates in power do actual govern there’s no way for anyone to say they broke with promises to their constituents. And its through this door that the oligarchs get to pick and choose what government does.

      You see its backward and upside down democracy. Governing by deliberating over separate constituencies competing interests is turned into not governing, not discussing governing and declaring how powerful the masses are in being geniuses to follow the ‘free market’. Only the abdication of the voters power to influence, is the ACT party modus of operation, and is key to their continuing to has such a loud voice.

      And the funny thing is Marx warned them, that if they did seize power, which was so easily available to them, they would look like a bunch of fools as the masses would rise up and squash them like the free loading parasites they really are.

  4. Mr Interest 4

    Look at Nationals fat cat attitude to early education and you can see why the Wealthy on that side of the political fence want to keep the status quo…… Who are the real criminals?

    Poor little sausages….. scared of a bit of Darwinian competition:

    http://bigthink.com/think-tank/learning-starts-at-home Quote:

    In a recent interview, the United States’ foremost educational historian Diane Ravitch told Big Think what really matters when it comes to learning, inside schools and out. Contrary to conventional wisdom, she says, it’s not K-12 teachers who are most responsible for kids’ progress — ages 0-5 are some of the most developmentally important, with continued resonance throughout one’s entire life.

    A report analyzing the data explained that prior to learning to read, write, or calculate, “children must acquire rudimentary skills that serve as stepping stones toward mastery of the more advanced and complex skills.” Some kids learn these skills from parents and siblings before entering school, others learn them at daycare. But some children don’t learn them at all. And “children who have mastered these skills in the preschool years are more likely to learn to read, write, and calculate” earlier and more proficiently than those who haven’t.

    The lesson is clear: any program which seriously intends to promote learning for all will have to start early. Children are already forming their understanding of the world and navigating how they will relate to it as toddlers. END Quote

    A poor education system is a bit like the sea, always different, yet always the same ehhh John

  5. johnm 5

    An Oligarchy is a nation run by and on behalf of private interests with privatisation being the main tool of the process.It can have democratic trappings. Seems like NZ to me! We had a referendum against power co. privatisation: ignored. We have 800,000 persons can’t be bothered to vote.

    A Democracy is a nation run by the people for the people and one sensitive to the people’s will.It places people before profit,not profit before people and ideally should have minimal levels of inequality.Important issues would be settled with referendums.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    I wonder if the bloke at the warehouse is going to ask for a salary reduction. Shouldn’t be hard to put a paper to the board on that – and maybe suggest a reallocation to other staff.

  7. Gosh, one would think that in a post drawing such outrageous conclusions that the facts backing up the arguments/ claims would be rock solid.

    Like this one-

    This is how huge majorities in the US can want gun control – but laws get liberalised, not tightened. Their conclusion is that the US is not a democracy, but an oligarchy.

    In fact the majority want less gun control, as reported by the extreme left Huffington Post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/gun-control-polls-aurora-shooting_n_1690169.html

    Kind of blows the whole theory out of the water doesn’t it?

    The US is a Constitutional Republic, not a socialist democracy like most of the West. It has a Constitution that exists primarily to protect the rights of citizens from over powerful govt. That is the force that drives the US situation.

    Shame to see a respected site like The Standard publishing such easily exposed BS.

    • johnm 7.1

      The American Oligarchs control the U$. “An oligarchy is a country that is run for private interests. These private interests–Wall Street, the military/security complex, oil and natural gas, and agribusiness–seek domination, a goal well served by the neoconservative ideology of US hegemony.”

      “Libertarian ideology favors privatization. However, in practice privatization is usually very different in result than libertarian ideology postulates. Almost always, privatization becomes a way for well-connected private interests to loot both the public purse and the general welfare.

      Most privatizations, such as those that have occurred in France and UK during the neoliberal era, and in Greece today and Ukraine tomorrow, are lootings of public assets by politically-connected private interests.

      Another form of privatization is to turn traditional government functions, such as prison operation and many supply functions of the armed services, such as feeding the troops, over to private companies at a large increase in cost to the public. Essentially, the libertarian ideology is used to provide lucrative public contracts to a few favored persons who then reward the politicians. This is called “free enterprise.””

      The U$ is an oligarchy and democratic only in name.

      • johnm 7.1.1


        The wonder is that more Americans are not ticked off about the state of our country than whatever is happening ten thousand miles away. For instance, how come the US Department of Justice is not as avid to prosecute the pervasive racketeering in the US economy as the State Department is for provoking unnecessary wars in foreign lands on the other side of the planet, over matters that have little bearing on life here? This racketeering, by the way, amounts to a war against American citizens.

        I’m speaking especially of the US military racket, the banking and finance rackets, the health care racket and the college loan racket, all of which have evolved insidiously and elegantly to swindle the public in order to support a clique of American oligarchs. In other civilized lands, health care and college are considered the highest priority public goods (i.e. responsibilities of government), and national resources are applied to support them under the theory that bankrupting people for an appendectomy or a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is not in the public interest. In our land, that would be considered “socialism.” Instead, we “socialize” the costs of supporting Too Big To Fail banks — so their employees can drive Beemers to their Hamptons summer house parties — and a military machine that goes around the world wrecking one country after another to support a parasitical class of contractors, lobbyists, and bought-off politicians in their northern Virginia McMansions."

      • Redbaiter 7.1.2

        Why are we suddenly ranting about “Libertarian ideology”?

        Libertarians are only a relatively recent event in political history and have little real influence on what goes down in the US.

        The roots of US freedom ideology lie in the Conservative nature of the men who wrote the Constitution, which came into force in 1787. Long before Ayn Rand was even a gleam in her great great great grandfather’s eye.

        The same kind of men wrote the Magna Carta, and most documents that serve as the foundations of liberty in the West.

        Rand was a refugee from Russian totalitarianism and her followers are really Johnny Come Latelys and too tinged with the ideas of Frankfurt school Progressives to be of interest to me and many other Conservatives.

        The US Constitution was written with one basic underlying motive, and that was to prevent the US falling into the grip of tyranny.

        Most tyrants that have evolved in history have sprung from leftist roots. For example Hitler and his National Socialist Worker’s Party, Joe Stalin and his “Worker’s Revolution, and Mao and his “Cultural” revolution. All have the key identifier in that they believed the quickest way to acceptance of their ideology was to kill everyone who opposed it, and use terror to maintain their grip on power.

        A fact that seems to escape most critics of the US is that so many of the human remnants of those fatal times, once they were able to escape, immigrated to the United States.

        You’d think they’d know better than some tenured high salaried university professor biting the hand that feeds him. Who in his ideas seems closer to those despicable old tyrants Hitler & Mao & Stalin rather than the men who wrote the American Constitution and the Magna Carta.

        • johnm 7.1.2.1

          The U$ is an oligarchic tyranny. The constitution means nothing other than lip service to its tyrants. They’re not traditional tyrants but well dressed and smiling ones dishing out meaningless platitudes to the American sheople while they pursue their ruthless ends.Repression is as bad as any old tyranny: 1.Surveillance state 2. Prisons a plenty for those who revolt. 3.Paramilitary police and swat teams 4.U$ citizens can be assassinated if the president considers them terrorists without due process.5.The military can now be employed to put down civil unrest. 6. A war crime state re the invasion of Iraq Could go on and on. 6. A threat to World Peace

          • Redbaiter 7.1.2.1.1

            Actually I agree with a lot of your points, but you seem to overlook the obvious fact that it is Frankfurt School Progressives that are behind most of the measures you example. Their influence over Obama and the Democrats and the Republicans is what has grown the US police state.

            The Constitutionalists in the Tea Party are the only really influential group objecting.

            The militarization of the bureaucracy is a breach in spirit anyway of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1897 (?) passed to prevent the US armed forces being used against its citizens. Proving once again it is the Post Modernists behind the growth of the US Police State.

  8. Phil 8

    Your comments on the US ‘oligarchy’, and the underlying media reporting, are misleading. The paper does not look at the political preferences of ‘oligarchs’ and the super-wealthy specifically, but instead uses the top 10% of income earners as a proxy for this group.

    The top 10%, in US terms, corresponds to an average household income of just under $150,000 p.a. Is this wealthy? Yes. Is this the average income of ‘Oligarchs’? No, nowhere near it.

    I’ve also seen the point made recently that the key battlegrounds of recent presidential elections have been those where voters are by-and-large affluent, well educated, and suburban. These would be the people in the top (or near to top) percentiles, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see politicians tailor their messages to the preferences of these battleground/swing voters.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Yep.

      The “oligarchs” are not the top 10%; they are the top 0.1% in the USA, and probably just the top 0.01%. The Forbes 500 list typifies the US oligarchy.

      The top 10% are certainly quite well off, but in the main they are merely moderately recompensed minions of the oligarchs.

      • blue leopard 8.1.1

        …so if the only policies being represented are those held by the ‘minions of Oligarchs’…doesn’t this mean that it is only views that are in Oligarchs interests that are being represented….or do ‘minions’ get to promote separate views from their masters these day?

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Their conclusion is that the US is not a democracy, but an oligarchy.

    Hate to say it, but what the hell are these two “professors” on about? The US has ALWAYS been a republic, not a democracy.

    From the very outset, the “Founding Fathers” set up their republic to stymie direct democracy and protect the privilege of white property owning, slave holding men. Which is why originally, only 10% or so of the adult US population was eligible to vote. Woman? No vote. Black? No vote. White and poor? No vote.

    Put in this context, the recent disenfranchisement of the US poor and disappearing middle class is nothing more than a reversion to mean.

    • aerobubble 9.1

      The Americian experiment has always been about pushing a free people to give up their liberty to fools, whether religious, political, criminal or monied. The only real shock is so many Americians know it, yet still pander to the prevailing politics just to stay out of the way. i.e. avoid risk rather than adapt, or worse, target the causes.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        US mass media is now based on a corporate spun culture of lies and disinformation. It’s very hard for ordinary Americans to even know which way is up any more.

        • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1.1

          up to smile at the camera, down to receive food stamps.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            Indeed. I suspect that a lot of people in the US are picking up on some major incongruities between what they have been told and promised, and what they see happening to themselves and their local neighbourhoods.

        • Paul 9.1.1.2

          NZ media is the same.

          • aerobubble 9.1.1.2.1

            What a beat down on Q&A. The poor old analyst was expose right royally for not having a clue about all the voters who don’t vote but who are getting real hurt by this governments policies. Promise, Keys popularity, its Keys popularity that matters. Shakes head.

    • blue leopard 9.2

      “Put in this context, the recent disenfranchisement of the US poor and disappearing middle class is nothing more than a reversion to mean.”

      I don’t know why you are doing this, CV, but all you are doing is a distraction from the good and potentially good effects a study such as this one cited represents/can lead to. Are you confusing yourself with details? I suspect so.

      It doesn’t matter whether this is a ‘reversion to the mean’ or not – this study asserts that the democratic system in America is not representing the majority of people who vote. These people vote with the view that their interests or political approaches will be represented. This study is informing them otherwise. A lot probably know that already, however it is more than slightly heart-warming to see that an American University is prepared (and funded) to do such research and come up with something that doesn’t sound like propaganda from the elite.

      In my view this is a big step in a good direction.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    22 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    22 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    23 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    50 mins ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
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