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What I want from a 4th term Labour-led Govt

Written By: - Date published: 1:59 pm, September 8th, 2008 - 140 comments
Categories: election 2008 - Tags:

With the election fast approaching, here’s a non-exhaustive list of policies I would like to see from a 4th term Labour-led Government. Hopefully, other Standardistas will have time to make their own wish-lists too:

– Serious investment in low-oil/low-carbon infrastructure. If we’re not to let peak oil catch us unprepared, we have to get serious now. I would like to see a fourth term government set sustainability rules for new housing developments, switch far more money into public transport, and subsidise sustainable building techniques.

– Deepen democracy. We need to rebuild people’s interest in politics and empower them to believe they can make a difference. Citizen assemblies should be used to tackle tricky policy issues – like electoral funding and euthanasia. Citizen assemblies have popular legitimacy because the policy is developed by ordinary people and put to the people in referenda. Overseas experience shows that when ordinary people are asked to learn about an issue and develop a policy response they come up with leftwing answers. There needs to be a new emphasis on teaching democratic participation in schools. And the parties of the Left need to focus on rebuilding themselves as the mass parties they once were. This helps to protect social democracy from the Crosby/Textor, ‘me, me, me’, false popularism of the new Right.

– A sovereign wealth fund run along the lines of the Cullen fund with a mandate to bring into public ownership assets of importance (both in NZ and abroad) to the New Zealand economy. Economic conditions globally are undoubtedly going to get more difficult in coming years. We need to act to ensure that important assets are run in the interests of New Zealand, not foreign owners. The fund could receive its investment money from an annual injection by the Government, by offering bonds through Kiwibank, and/or by setting up a Kiwisaver fund for the purpose.

– A review of the Reserve Bank Act to find better ways to keep the lid on inflation than strangling the export sector.

– Lifting the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, improving the bargaining power of workers through MECAs, preventing passing on of union-won benefits to other workers (a union-busting practice).

– Re-nationalise Contact and reunite the power companies to get rid of this ridiculous system we have now.

140 comments on “What I want from a 4th term Labour-led Govt”

  1. In no particular order:

    – Initiatives to get uni fees down. As a student who is facing graduation with 10k of debt on his head I’m getting a bit tired of being talked down to on issues of student debt by those who got their education for free.

    – Lessons on politics and citizenship in schools as advocated by Sue Bradford. It was depressing to hear a previous co-worker declare New Zealand to be one of the states of America. Obviously that was an extreme example but there is a huge lack of awarenss among young people in this country.

    – A crackdown on employers who exploit youth. The practices employed by some are a downright disgrace. Split shifts, casual contracts for genuinely part-time workers, stingy managers, unfair dismissals. I think it’s about time the young in this country were treated with a bit of dignity when it comes to work and if it requires legislation then so be it.

    – A genuinely independent foreign policy. Helen Clark was wise to not drag us into the Iraq quagmire but what the fuck happened when the Butcher of Qana strode into town? A bench warrant was issued for this scumbags arrest for war crimes but Michael Cullen overruled it!

  2. Joe Blogger 2

    – Increased front line police officers in high crime areas like South Auckland.

    – The setting up of a government fund to immediately pay out court fines/compensation to the victims of crime and for debt to be paid back by the offender to the Government instead.

    – A directive issued to all judges that offenders involved in multiple crimes should receive consecutive sentences not cumulative.

    – An overhaul of the Welfare system to allow easier access to assistance to those in genuine need and easier administration by those involved in the process.

  3. lprent 3

    Oh darn I’ll have to find some time for this.

    I have to say that I’m such a centerist / business orientated compared to to the youthful exuberance Steve or IT displays. I’m interested in really boring parts of government that make a difference over the long term.

    For instance in the area that Joe Blogger is taking about, I actually see one crying need. We have to be able to move cases through the court in a more timely manner. At present the main constraint seems to be the actual capacity of courts in NZ. It is ridiculous that it can take 14 months to get a trial in a criminal case at district court level.

    I’m not even going to talk about the delays in a civil trial at the High Court.

    Those things are more fundemental to having an equitable system of justice than the quick-fixes/soundbites that Joe Blogger is talking about in his first 3 points. It is also a lot harder to achieve.

  4. Bill 4

    Within the current social democratic framework….

    Raising benefits to pre 1991 levels.
    Reverse their scrapping of special benefits.
    Scrap the ERA
    Promote meaningful expressions of democracy in the workplace.
    Free health care and education.
    Get back control of the reserve bank.
    An unequivocal abandonment of neo-liberal economic policies.
    Take important industry and infra-structure out of private hands

    Going beyond the current social democratic framework….

    1) Developing substantive dialogue and exchange (trade and cultural)with Venezuela. Learning from and implementing variations of processes successfully developed through the Bolivarian Revolution.

    2)Standing up on the world stage as supporters of a multi polar world.

    3)Devolving power and decision making to the local level.

    Guess I better not be holding my breath then?

  5. principessa 5

    Free Public Transport.

  6. Muldoon Magic 6

    [deleted]
    [lprent: goodbye Rob. He was almost sounding rational there…]

  7. Bill 7

    Muldoon Magic… “Then we can have in a Centre right Government that is Business friendly with an economic vision to grow the Economy…”

    Where the fuck you been lad? What you think you’ve had for the past 9 years? A centre left government? Wow!

  8. Just a few one liners:

    More support for Asian language teaching in New Zealand schools.

    Reintroduce overtime and penalty rates.

    A tax bottom free bracket.

    Remove the secondary income tax (which hurts those trying to pull an income from two part time jobs).

    Remove the two week stand-down for benefits (two weeks is a long time to survive without money).

    Greater support for peace building initiatives internationally.

    Reduce the amount of tied aid.

    Riparian planting along all waterways.

  9. whoops, should be – a bottom tax free bracket (up to $6k, perhaps?)

  10. Billy 10

    To be left alone.

  11. Chuck_NZ 11

    A recount

  12. Vanilla Eis 12

    George: The secondary tax rate is there to protect you from being hit with a tax bill if your combined income exceeds 38k (soon to be 48k?).

    You can still apply for a rebate at the end of the financial year for all the extra money you paid in tax. It’s not perfect (admittedly, those working two jobs are least likely to be able to give up a few dollars extra a week in exchange for a lump-sum once a year) but it’s not over-taxation.

  13. Tane 13

    Now Billy, you don’t want that. Your wealth is built on legally codified power relationships. Remove that legal protection and you can wave goodbye to your fancy fennel and pork rolls.

  14. IrishBill 14

    Tane has a point, Billy. But apart from the minor stuff like laws to make theft and murder illegal and a bit of taxation (which is low by international standards), can you tell me exactly how the government has intruded on your life in the last three years?

  15. Vanilla Eis, thanks for clarifying that. I’m also not sure what effect the recent tax cuts will have on this situation (if any).

  16. You want to have trade with Venezuela? why not come out and say what you really want, you want us to be socialist.

    [um, Brett, you’ve been asked not to post while stoned. There’s no embargo on trade with Venezuela at present. We probably do a little trade with them. I am a socialist but my post is on practical policies next term, I don’t expect a Labour-led govt to overthrow capitalism and institute socialism next term. SP]

  17. Billy 17

    IrishBill, by way of example, it has stopped me and Tane enjoying a tab in the boozer.

  18. burt 18

    1) put the best interests of the public ahead of the best interests of the Labour party.

    Too much to ask?

  19. randal 19

    A JOB

  20. Billy 20

    Ooh, nice. Can we please organise randal a job in the PM’s office?

  21. Can you organise one for me too? I’m finishing this degree sometime next year.

  22. Anita 22

    I’m going to restrict myself to only four points (the list would be endless otherwise).

    – end poverty in New Zealand. End child poverty in 3 years, all poverty in 6. This means increasing both financial assistance to our poorest and access to all services

    – health and education are rights. No-one in NZ should pay to access core health or education services – no “optional” fees; free all the way.

    – dismantle the capitalist market-based economy. Let’s be a country focussed on people not stuff.

    – honour, accept and include diversity in all its forms. This means sorting out genuine gender equality, real equity for people with disabilities, repealing legislation designed to enforce conformity (eg the Terrorism Suppression Act), and addressing political participation to name only a few.

    Wow – four isn’t many, I didn’t even have room for climate change 🙂

  23. IrishBill 23

    Billy, what’s a tab?

  24. Bill 24

    Brett.

    I don’t want either of ‘you’ to be anything in particular. Or did the ‘us’ refer to some constituency you represent? Or some entity you over empathise with? Whatever. Same answer.

    Meanwhile, there is trade with Venezuela. What’s your problem? Socialism? Like Freddie and Mae getting nationalised to save the sorry collective arse of private institutional investors?

  25. Billy 25

    Cigarette.

  26. Billy 26

    dismantle the capitalist market-based economy

    With what do you propose to replace it, Anita?

  27. Billy 27

    I don’t expect a Labour-led govt to overthrow capitalism and institute socialism next term.

    Me neither. Seems to be Anita’s humble goal though.

  28. Bill 28

    Reading through the comments here, it strikes me that most of what is wished for, can only, maybe, be associated with Labour in a ‘once upon a time’ fairy story way.

    So any such changes will come about in a Labour led government only very much in spite of Labour.

    Still want to see them done for misleading advertising/branding. In fact, put that to the top of my wish list.

  29. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left 29

    Heres what Big Bruv of Kiwiblog “expects” from a 4th Term Labour Govt
    * 24 hour state funded child care
    * Gay adoption
    * One social worker per child
    * Late term abortion
    * Changes to rape laws that put the onus on the accused to prove his innocence
    * Hate speech legislation
    * Mandatory race, gender and sexuality quotas in senior business appointments
    * Massive increases in DPB and unemployment benefits for single mothers

    so what I want from a 4th term Labour Govt is simple

    keep up the Working for Families (no increases needed)

    Extend the FREE ECE to two year olds

    And most importantly free anti-paranoia drugs for Big Bruv and his buddies
    we have let them suffer needlessly for too long

  30. Tane 30

    Meanwhile, Matthew Hooton well and truly jumps the shark over at policy.net with:

    Would a 4th term Clark Government abolish the free press?

  31. Sarah 31

    1/ Lower the first two tax brackets and raise significantly the third (to around 47%). Allow more individuals to take more control of their lives and shape their own destinies.

    2/ Substantially increase spending within Education. If New Zealand wants to be prosperous in the future then we need to work on education and we need to increase human-investment.Add ten grand straight away to the pay packets of all teachers. These are the people who will build and nourish our next generation. Bring in initiatives to lower university fees. Get rid of zoning and increase competition between our children within the education sector.

    3/ Remove beauracacy within health and ensure that the output of operations and doctors services match the money which goes in.

    4/ The disenstablishment of the Standard.

    5/ Wait. A 1st term National-led Govt instead.

  32. Bill 32

    dismantle the capitalist market-based economy

    With what do you propose to replace it, Anita?

    Sorry for crashing in. Here you go Billy, and Magic Muldoon…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_economics. No market. People and socially useful production only. Have a read.

  33. Muldoon Magic 33

    [deleted]
    [lprent: goodbye Rob.]

  34. What I want from the Next Government who ever they may be.

    Policies based on stats and hard data not bad science.

    Acknowledgment that Taggers are criminals and not artists

    More Police, and more rights for the Police.

    Business studies to be compulsory at schools.

    A Flat tax.

    GST to be taken off of all food.

    More money on Health.

    Any policy that is not based on race.

    Try to mend relations with our traditional allies.

    Any party that wont ask you where you are from or what your religion is if you want to immigrate here.

    A party that would make any immigrate sign a contract that they wont go on welfare.

    A party that stands up for people saying what they like, how they like.

    A party that will try to have as little as impact on people’s daily life as possible.

    A party that believes in personal responsibility.

    [lprent: Taggers are definitely not artists around here. Anyone starts trolling to leave their mark and I terminate their access with prejudice and a few well chosen words – usually when they boast of their self-inflicted martyrdom. Taggers take all kinds of forms, I think you should widen your scope.

    Actually I tell a lie – there are some taggers who are tolerated here. I find that I have a morbid fascination… ]

  35. george 35

    free public transport

  36. I have to say agree with Anita on her four points, particularly a determination to end child poverty in this country. I can’t say I think Labour have any intention of abolishing the current order however. Their modus operandi is very much ‘strong market based economy, with Government intervention for gaps and failures, in order to pay for a high level of social services’. Classic ‘social democrat’ style Government.

    What is needed is the Government using better ways of measuring wellbeing than GDP, such as the tools Marilyn Waring has developed.

  37. Patrick 37

    I really wish the righties actually had something to contribute, but it seems their minds are as vacuous as the National party policy platform.

    Anyway, here are some thoughts from me:

    – Massive spending on public transport. Electrify Auckland’s railways, extend it to the North Shore and Airport. More, better, trains for Wellington. Look at electrifying the main trunk line between Dunedin and Chch, and if feasible, reintroducing a passenger service on that.

    – End child poverty. This is huge, and while I have some ideas on how to achieve it, I don’t think any of them alone could do it.

    – Increase funding for state owned schools to a level where they don’t have to ask for donations from parents. Then ban it.

    – Continue to increase the minimum wage, also look at increasing benefits.

    – Alter the certification system for builders and construction works to a tiered system.

    – George, I love your riparian planting planting idea, that’s going on my list.

    – Encourage more “brown field” housing developments, ensuring maximum access to public transport.

    – Reform of the DHB system. I have no idea how or why, but make sure that health professionals and community health people are well included in this.

    I think I should stop before I get carried away…

  38. Ben R 38

    WINZ to offer food/health/clothing vouchers for essential childhood items rather than money.

  39. BENR

    Excellent policy.

  40. Brett, seriously, not while you’re stoned. I mean look at your wish list:

    Policies based on stats and hard data not bad science. – which polices are based on bad science now? this better not be some retarded anti-climate chance rants.

    Acknowledgment that Taggers are criminals and not artists – um,tagging is crime, that seems to be acknowledgment.

    More Police, and more rights for the Police. Police have powers, not rights, and any particular powers you want them to have? arbitrary arrest? and how are you going to pay for them when you’re cutting taxes?

    Business studies to be compulsory at schools. dumb on so many levels.

    A Flat tax. 27% flat tax? I didn’t think so. So what would you cut?

    GST to be taken off of all food. And where would lost revenue be cut?

    More money on Health. This after you’ve slashed taxes.

    Any policy that is not based on race. which are now?

    Try to mend relations with our traditional allies. They are mended

    Any party that wont ask you where you are from or what your religion is if you want to immigrate here. – they have to ask where you are from and they don’t ask your religion.

    A party that would make any immigrate sign a contract that they wont go on welfare. – so a tax paying citizen wouldn’t be allowed to get a benefit if they need it just because they immigrated here? Racist.

    A party that stands up for people saying what they like, how they like. people are allowed to, they can even spend huge amounts trying to influence people’s votes, they just need to be honest enough to say who they are.

    A party that will try to have as little as impact on people’s daily life as possible – this is the same party you want to give more powers to the Police?

    A party that believes in personal responsibility. – If you believe in personal responsiblity then why do you want a more powerful State that has more powerful Police to force people to behave in certain ways? Surely, demanding the State do more to control people’s behaviour is the antithesis of personal responsiblity.

  41. Patrick, you know how to end child poverty?

    Please tell us, because no one on the face of the planet has been able to figure it out.

  42. Steve:

    Why is making business studies compulsory at school dumb?

  43. Wish it would stop raining 43

    The list could be endless but here is something that would give me more incentive to stay with labour and not party vote green

    more investment in adult literacy and numeracy issues. Many people have difficulty gaining better skills for better jobs, however it is so under resourced the waiting lists are huge (and often relies on volunteers

    Decent training programmes for the long term UE/SB and IB. It was so annoying to be almost placing a long-term UE client and then boom they were off on another course to keep them off the UE books and would have to plead with case manager to be able to keep working with them because you were almost at the point of them being work ready to go into a course. Many of my clients had been on heaps of the same type of course, were cynical and costs tax payers a lot

    The public sector acting as good role models and walking the talk by giving people opportunities and second chances to work there. Especially ESOL migrants and people with criminal records.

    Treating tertiary students like adults when they hit 20 years old so they are not at the mercy of mummy’s and/or daddy’s income. Think of it as an investment if they get the same as someone on the dole to get decent skills to put back into the community.

    Recognising that the voluntary sector is dwindling, yet society has relied on the unpaid labour of many. Give incentives to people who do want to volunteer such as recognised time off work

    If someone is working two part-time jobs because that is all they can get, stop penalising them with secondary tax.

    Bring back studentships and bonds for people to pay their way back from their studies by going to less popular areas

    Cut back on Public Sector head offices (especially middle management) and employ more people in the service centres or regional centres so these centres don’t have to be told they have to save $5 a day per person etc or a completely understaffed while head office employs another policy analyst

    Don’t ever ever ever have a go at solo parents again especially single mothers to try and satisfy employers’ needs to have cheap labour but try and fob it off that it was a positive way to get women back into the workforce – Helen you almost blew it for me there!!

  44. Crank 44

    End child poverty…lasting world peace.

    This post is starting to resemble a Miss World pageant.

    [lprent: A pathetic attempt at satire. F. Why did you bother to write]
    [lprent: As crank pointed out – observational comedy, not an attempt at satire. I’d say a B- for observational comedy]

  45. insider 45

    – Free money

    – The right to take money off other people to spend it on projects I think are best

    – The right to take assets off people and companies I don’t favour and to give to those I do, or to run them myself because I am far smarter than anyone who actually does it for a living

    – more free money

    [lprent: An poor attempt at satire. D-]

  46. Personal responsibility is making sure people understand that the Government is not responsible for where you are in life, that the Government is not there to offer you cradle to the grave support, the Government is not there to pay your bills, you are and you alone.

  47. Matthew Pilott 47

    Brett Dale, how does compulsory business studies fit in with your concept of personal responsibility?

    And incidentally, given that humans are societal animals (that looks wrong, but I’m sure the concept is discernable), why do you want to undo the work of our civilisation thus far? Do you, for example, seriously thing society is regressing in every way (and how can you determine that accurately enough to be sure you’re correct)?

  48. sean 48

    * more hospital and health board management staff so we can work out where all the money is being misspent
    * fart tax on greedy farmers
    * raise the top tax rate to 45% so that more income can be redistributed to more deserving Kiwis who do the real work (like supermarket workers)
    * free public transport for people struggling on benefits
    * free university for Maori people
    * compulsory KiwiSaver
    * tax foreign owned banks so they don’t rip off hard working Kiwis as much
    * abolish the ability to claim interest payments on property investments as expenses, so the greedy investment property owners stop ripping off hardworking Kiwis

    [lprent: An interesting attempt at satire. C-]

  49. The PC Avenger 49

    Brett, it’s a pity those countries that do take responsibility for their citizens, do offer cradle to the grave support, and do assist in paying bills tend to be the best countries to live in, with the highest standards of living, high per capita GPD, low crime, and high generational mobility. Otherwise your “I GOT MINE” world view might have some merit.

  50. Matthew:

    I believe that children should go to school, I just think what we are focusing on the wrong subjects.

  51. PCavenger:

    Name the countries please.

  52. Brett, you’ll hate the answer. Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland.

    And before you go “but they’re rich” (indeed they are), these policies were begun well before their prosperity. And it’ll probably surprise you that these “nanny states” rank as some of the happiest on earth.

    I believe in personal responsibility. But I also believe that the policies of the right trap people in poverty, where a swing of bad luck can wipe out all that hard work and responsibility you’ve taken.

  53. Crank 53

    lprent,

    I think my comment fell into the realm of observational comedy rather than satire.

    Can I please be re-marked.

    [lprent: Sorry – I thought it was in the stream of satirical right derived estimates on left wish-lists (there must be a useful thesis in there for someone – if only for questions about the distribution of anti-paranoia drugs as someone earlier pointed out.).
    But you are correct. Your comment appears to not be from that sequence. This is what happens when I document code all day. ]

  54. Crank 54

    George Darroch,

    ‘And it’ll probably surprise you that these “nanny states’ rank as some of the happiest on earth’

    Interestingly these countries you mention have the highest suicide rates in the OECD. Perhaps Not the socialist utopia that they appear.

  55. Bill 55

    Is it a case that

    a)right wing commentators on this blog are so privileged as to not require government policy to improve aspects of their life?

    or

    b)right wing commentators on this blog are numpties?

    or

    c) a combination of a) and b) applies?

  56. Anita 56

    Crank,

    Interestingly these countries you mention have the highest suicide rates in the OECD.

    Reference?

    The first <a href=”http://www.oecdobserver.org/images//1792.photo.jpg”ref I found (OECD 2005 using 2002 stats, so you might have something newer) shows Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland well in the lowest half of the OECD and all better than NZ.

  57. Your using Denmark is an example?????

    Just dont become a cartoonist there.

  58. Draco TB 58

    1.) 0% interest home loans for the home that you live in and would cover up to 100% of the value of the home. These would be funded from the reserve bank by the simple expedient of printing the money. Any registered financial “person” would be able to administer these mortgages for a fee which must be a fixed sum/year. Repayments would be set as a percentage of weekly income (there will be strict income testing on these loans). There would be strict conditions on the loan such as not being able to get one more than once every 5 years. These would be first extended to those most in need then, over time, extended to everyone.

    2.) Legislation supporting the concept of a Self Owned Enterprise. Strict rules to be govern these such as not being able to sell shares, employees of the business are the controllers and a minimum reinvestment from profit.

    3.) Full funding of schools and universities and a universal student allowance that can actually be lived on.

    4.) Free biannual physical checkups for everyone. This is both to encourage better eating habits and to try and catch cancers in the early stage of the disease.

  59. Crank 59

    Anita,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_OECD_countries_by_suicide_rate

    According to this they all higher than NZ, Aus, US, UK (all the evil capitalist bastards).

  60. Felix 60

    Ok Brett, I wasn’t planning on it anyway but please do tell me why I shouldn’t become a cartoonist in Denmark.

    Apart from my appalling sense of humour and lack of artistic ability of course.

  61. Anita 61

    Crank,

    Nope. According to your reference Norway and Iceland both have lower suicide rates than NZ, Sweden has the same rate, and Denmark’s is higher.

    Anyhow that reference’s stats are a bit bogus because they don’t match year-on-year, so even if they did show what you said they do (and they don’t) they’d still be dubious. You could try to OECD figures I put in, or the MoH ones.

  62. leftie 62

    I heard the rumours of a universal student allowance a while back. I think a livable one is a great idea. It would be very useful to those that have a mortgage, but want to change career or even get a career. Any attempt to reduce students racking up debt has got to be a good thing.

    A genuine attempt to lift wages, tax cuts don’t cut the mustard with me, especially under a National Government (heres your tax cut, now screw you with employment law or increased costs for public services). Keeping unemployment low is a good start, now other steps need to be taken. Lets give the Right something to really cry about, and stop their empty harping about the NZ/Aus wage gap, plus Kiwis taking flight overseas.

  63. higherstandard 63

    After reading the wish lists above it appears whoever gets into parliament isn’t going to please many of those making comments.

  64. higherstandard 64

    Some kind of odd illusion to the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy I think Felix.

  65. Lord Hyperbole 65

    By jolly golly the mere thought of another round of Miss Clark’s regime will make me rather irate. Suicide and outta here rates are going to triple at the hideous prospect.
    [lprent: You’re looking to me like a troll. Lift your Standard or leave. So far I haven’t seen anything useful in any of your comments. ]

  66. Bill 66

    Draco TB

    you number 2.) Legislation supporting the concept of a Self Owned Enterprise. Strict rules to be govern these such as not being able to sell shares, employees of the business are the controllers and a minimum reinvestment from profit

    already exits. Its the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908. Workers own nominal (cant trade or accrue in value) shares. The workers are the owners.

  67. vto 67

    Draco, your number 1 (at 6.35pm) would be a dream come true for all those wide-boys you no doubt have little time for. Make lotsa rules and distortions, make lotsa loopholes and contortions…

    And as for Bill who said;

    “Is it a case that
    a)right wing commentators on this blog are so privileged as to not require government policy to improve aspects of their life?”

    That statement would have to illustrate one of the most profoundly disturbed outlooks on life on planet earth I have ever heard.

    You sound like you play accidental tricks on yourself.

    Crank said it best when he compared the wish lists on here to some Miss World pagaent.

  68. Anita 68

    hs,

    After reading the wish lists above it appears whoever gets into parliament isn’t going to please many of those making comments.

    Sad but true.

    Why do we have governments that are so much less courageous than the voters?

  69. mike 69

    “A JOB” randell – if you have been unemployed for a while you would surely have made it onto the sickness benifit with the rest of them by now?

  70. higherstandard 70

    Anita

    “Why do we have governments that are so much less courageous than the voters”

    Possibly because they have to live in the real world and not the bizarre fantasy land inhabited by some of those commenting.

  71. Tougher law enabling registration of companies and greater powers to the courts to intervene and impose liabities on directors and shareholders.
    Mandatory abitration in industrial disputes which dispupt public services, such as health and education. Centralised industry bargaining.
    Certain end to cruel farming practices such as battery hen farming. Increase funding for science and reseach and mechanisms which ensure scientific independance.
    More genuine power sharing with Maori.
    I agree most with others of the need to end poverty by not providing tax cuts and investing that money and more into communites.

  72. Bill 72

    HS

    “Possibly because they have to live in the real world and not the bizarre fantasy land inhabited by some of those commenting”

    What? Governments exist to facilitate the functioning of the market. And the market is a construction which could be termed as delusional with ‘nice’ psychotic side effects.

  73. vto 73

    alexandra;
    “Tougher law enabling registration of companies and greater powers to the courts to intervene and impose liabities on directors and shareholders.”

    That is the whole point of the limited liability company. The limited liability. The legal structure more responsible for the creation of today’s wealthy society than almost any other.

    It would be a fooooolish fool who effectively got rid of that. It allows people to tke risks they would otherwise never at all in their wildest dreams entertain. Ever used one?

    If people do not wish to take up the risk of dealing with such a legal beast then best not take up that risk.

  74. lprent 74

    mike:

    …if you have been unemployed for a while you would surely have made it onto the sickness benifit with the rest of them by now?

    Oh a reader of urban myths… How disappointing. Either that or you have no ability to do basic maths just like Judith Collins.

    Tell me Mike, what happens to population percentages when you have an increasing population? For instance if you have say 1.5% of 2 million, and then have 1.5% of 2.5 million? The absolute numbers go up right.

    Then if you’re a mathematical moron like Judith Collins you start claiming that the number of sickness benefits is spiraling out of control.

    Steve did a post on the inability of some Nay’s MP’s to understand maths..

  75. Pascal's bookie 75

    Tane Meanwhile, Matthew Hooton well and truly jumps the shark

    Don’t he but, and you see he ends up giving props to dear old Bryce, who supports him in comments. Sheesh.

  76. No kidding Vto! Thats one side of the argument. However the prinicple of limited liability has come at a huge price of the many who have been abused and just plain ripped off. Protection of the unconcionalbe is not the role of the law. It is not the role of the law to put above all else, economic interests of a few at the expense of what is right and decent. Whats more what I think is fooooolish, is your patronising and misrepresentation of what I said. I was not calling for the end of limited liability, but a strengthening of the legistlation to enable the judiciary to do what they ought to.

  77. rave 77

    Self-owning businesses? Do you mean like farmers co-ops? Did you notice that while we are making wish lists, the co-ops are being bought up by listed companies one of which is part-owned but not self-owned by John Key?

    The semi-nationalisation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Fay by the US federal reserve gives the lie to all the profiteers that they owe their profits to the market. The market only exists because the public subsidises the private losses.

    Since this fictional nationalisation does not actually mean that ordinary people as workers and taxpayers can now self-own FM and FF we need real public shareholding.

    Steve’s proposal that more state investment based on a Sovereign Fund is one model of actually putting public property rights in the hands of ordinary people, as opposed to using their meagre wages to keep paying rents and taxes to bale out the billionaires until they take back control.

    Hand in hand with this Steve is right to say we need more education and participation in politics so that the majority can actively take control over that public shareholding. That is, the ‘sovereign’ is not the bosses’ state masquerading as ‘public’, but the people who produce the wealth and now own it.

  78. vto 78

    and a more positive post… if labour gets a fourth term (heaven has forbid it btw) and continue along their recent direction then how about this to aim towards a fifth term;

    1. further easing of tax rates (remember when taxes are cut the money doesnt leave the system, it continues in a faster spin cycle and the multitude of other taxes hoover up extra through the extra spinnage).

    2. back off the nannyisms and trust in your fellow manwoman.

    3. do not rush laws through parliament.

    4. get Cullen to say something nice about rich people.

    5. take your hands off the electoral system. that is for the people, not the government.

    6. continue to be brave in foreign policy.

    7. etc

  79. “Why do we have governments that are so much less courageous than the voters’

    That’s because parties that want to please 35-50% of the voters are by nature conservative, trying to please everyone and not take any unnecessary risks (even ones with potentially great payoffs). If you want spice, in the MMP environment, you’re best to vote for a minor party like NZF, the Maori Party or the Greens, who only have to please their limited 3-10% constituency. Of course, the larger party is likely to resist their attempts to make things interesting, as we saw in 1996-1999 and 1999-2002, when two parties with opposing philosophies were paired. Weren’t those years fun?

    Wait for the next round of fireworks, and see another test of wills. Clark vs Norman/Fitzsimons? I hope they’re not going to be lambs to the slaughter, should their side carry the election.

  80. vto 80

    oh alexandra, who’s the patronising one? I responded to the simplistic nature of your comment in kind.

    Either way though – if you weaken that limited liability then you will reduce the risks people are prepared to take, with consequent consequentiality. Who wants to be a director of a company today? Ask Bryers – even he didn’t want to know, and he is a true crook.

    There are plenty of laws available to punish the naughty amongst us. The problem imo arises in enforcement and in caveat emptor.

  81. Paul Robeson 81

    Gee

    there was some interesting stuff there before that degenerated.

    Is Sarah (bless her cottonsofts) John Key? she seems to have some severe conflicts…She wants to be nice, but she wants to hate the left wing.

    She wants wages to be raised for teachers- the PPTA being one of the few surviving unions during the ECA – but she imagines a first term National government will do this. Perhaps.

    Very JK- cut taxes significantly, slash bureacracy and increase spending.

    I am more than a mite concerned that all these worthy social ideas are being put forth without some serious discussion of investment in public transport. The systems in our cities are sub-par.

    Apologies Patrick- somehow missed that.

    But are petrol prices likely to be lower, the same or much higher in 30 years? If we have a significant increase in no-car or recreation-car families will our infrastructure be able to cope?

  82. Janet 82

    I would like the new government to do some real thinking about promoting democracy, inclusion and participation for all citizens. Maybe a serious discussion about lowering the voting age to 16 or younger, and more use of citizens’ juries. It would be great to see all three NZ official languages taught from year 1 (that means te reo and NZ Sign) and the teaching of other languages encouraged. More emphasis on citizenship studies in and out of school (eg through TV discussions). The promotion of equity (that would include getting rid of child poverty and inequities in health, education etc). And discrimination of all kinds banned so eventually it becomes such an uncommon concept that legislation won’t be needed. That’s a start/

  83. Anita 83

    Janet,

    Thanks-you, I want to come live in your world! 🙂

  84. Owen Glenn 84

    [deleted – identity theft]
    [lprent: Just another idiot]

  85. Draco TB 85

    Bill:

    already exits. Its the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908. Workers own nominal (cant trade or accrue in value) shares. The workers are the owners.

    A quick read of that legislation indicates that it is not quite what I’m after. It’s also a great example of legislation that needs updating.

    VTO:

    Draco, your number 1 (at 6.35pm) would be a dream come true for all those wide-boys you no doubt have little time for. Make lotsa rules and distortions, make lotsa loopholes and contortions

    Would you clarify please?

    That is the whole point of the limited liability company. The limited liability. The legal structure more responsible for the creation of today’s wealthy society than almost any other.

    True, but we really need to question if we wish to continue that way considering that people are causing huge amounts of damage, making millions doing so and aren’t held responsible in any way. There are also other forms of investment available – not just the capitalist one.

    Rave:

    Self-owning businesses? Do you mean like farmers co-ops?

    Not really. Co-ops are reasonably good but they are owned by those in the co-op. A self-owned business is by itself but the control of that business would fall to it’s employees. Any profits after reinvestment would also go to the employees.

  86. r0b 86

    Free education.

    Proper public transport (as part of a range of measures to address climate change).

    State funding of political parties – every cent visible and publicly accountable (get private funding and influence out of the political process).

    A fifth term. Heh.

  87. vto 87

    Draco, I wondered whether that may have a little confusing. What I meant was that your suggestion was too riddled with potential problems. And the old truism that complications increase exponentially – make a rule, double the complexity, make two rules and multiply it by four, three rules and multiply it by nine.

    Too complex. Too many rules = too many loopholes.

    Th thought behind the idea is good but human nature being what it is it would get abused to high heaven and create distortions from here to contortionland.

    Re limited liability companies and the occasional damage – is it really that bad? Sure there are problems but perhaps some sort of measure would be appropriate first. I consider the benefits of the system as it is today outweigh any downsides. It would take serious and long deliberations before adjusting that particular setting imo, given the potential downside resulting from such interference.

  88. vto 88

    Owen Glenn is that really you?

    Good luck for tomorrow and give ’em heaps

  89. Owen Glenn 89

    [deleted – identity theft]
    [lprent: Just another idiot]

  90. Lew 90

    I guess, by the lack of punctuation and general incoherence, that `Owen Glenn’ here is in fact Rob.

    L

    [lprent: could be – now moderated to hell]

  91. vto 91

    excellent. all eyes will be on you.

    Did you sail your boat down?

  92. Owen Glenn 92

    [deleted – identity theft]
    [lprent: Just another idiot]

  93. vto 93

    oh dear. You can borrow mine – its an old beauty from the 1930’s but its survived afloat through every storm since. You may need such a proven rider on the storm while you’re here!

  94. jaymam 94

    Owen Glenn, if that’s really you, on what occasion did you first meet Helen Clark and not know who she was? I have the meeting recorded on tape.

  95. Dean 95

    Draco:

    “1.) 0% interest home loans for the home that you live in and would cover up to 100% of the value of the home. These would be funded from the reserve bank by the simple expedient of printing the money.”

    You do understand the concept of inflation, don’t you?

    Actually, I think this quote should be repeated back at you every time you post.

  96. Dan 96

    SP, congratulations on a great thread. The substance of peoples’ replies suggest the Nats mistake of being slow with policy is a bigger negative than they anticipated. With the exception of the bovver boys on the right, a whole raft of policies have been raised from across the political spectrum, most of them centre/ centre left with very little to frighten any NZ citizen. The idealism and humanity implied is great. Maybe that is the difference between the Nats and the rest: the Nats looking after self, those of the centre and left looking after community as well as self.

  97. Proctor 97

    While I’d love for student debt to be forgiven I’m thinking that this is one of those sweet fantasies that won’t actually be realistic.

    To be honest – I’d be pretty happy with a continuation of L/P/G’s current policy path, with perhaps more emphasis on sustainability.

    And the idea of raising teacher’s salaries by $10K – brilliant. Do it. I couldn’t be one but fully respect those that are mad enough to be a teacher.

  98. burt 98

    Dan

    That is complete poppycock. “the Nats looking after self, those of the centre and left looking after community as well as self.”

    Which part of driving productive, entrepreneurial people out of the country is good for the community? This so called ‘good for the community’ stated above is a pile of “wish list” BS. It’s like someone sitting down at home on Wed night with their ‘Big Wednesday’ ticket in hand saying ‘Then I’d buy this, then I’d buy that…’

    I ask one thing;

    1) Put the best interests of the public ahead of the best interests of the Labour party.

    Too much to ask?

  99. mondograss 99

    Progressively fund a teacher aide for each classroom, beginning with the decile 1 schools and going forward from there. Up to the schools whether the aide spends their time in a specific room, or working with certain specialist programmes or kids, but it would alleviate a huge drain on school operations grants\parents donations and would substantially improve the quality of primary school education by the simple expedient of allowing the teacher to spend more time teaching and less time having to manage the kids\keep them on task etc.

  100. Draco TB 100

    VTO:

    Too complex. Too many rules = too many loopholes.

    Th thought behind the idea is good but human nature being what it is it would get abused to high heaven and create distortions from here to contortionland.

    The problem with truisms is that they’re only partially true 😛
    Such a scheme could be kept extremely simple especially once it’s in place and available to everybody. I did consider that it would be open to abuse which is why I suggested the 5 year cool down and that it can only be applied to the house that you’re living in. These should effectively prevent speculation and everybody trying to buy up hundreds of houses to rent out.

    We do needs rules though and do have them so arguing that having some to do with home finance is going to be too complex is a little disingenuous.

    Re limited liability companies and the occasional damage – is it really that bad?

    Considering all the collapsing finance companies over the last couple of years can we say that it’s occasional?
    It’s not that simple of course but such systems are put there simply to protect people from taking full responsibility of their actions. If a person buys shares in a company that knowingly poisons a stream means that that person is responsible for that action even if they didn’t make that decision or even know that the decision had been made. That’s the nature of supporting actions by a company and by buying shares you are supporting those actions.

    I do find it amusing that people always go on about personal responsibility but then come up with lots of ways (limited liability, trusts, externalities etc) to avoid that responsibility.

    Dean:

    You do understand the concept of inflation, don’t you?

    Yes, I do. Any money printed by the reserve bank needs to be removed from the economy so that it remains inflation neutral. This, amazingly enough, is how the present banking system works. Ergo, this system really won’t make any significant difference to inflation if it’s introduced slowly which I said would be the case in the original post.

  101. Jared 101

    What I would like to see from the next government, not necessarily a labour led coalition.

    -Increased funding for Schools. The education system is severely under funded with unrealistic development programmes in place that schools cannot achieve under current funding levels without additional support. People chastise schools for asking for a donation, but many rely on donations for the developments that the government love to wank on about. If people want education to be truely free, then schools need more funding.

    -Lower taxes at the bottom. In many ways I envy the Australian Tax system where income up to $6000 isn’t taxed. Lower taxes would be nice overall, and I think there is certainly room to move further than Cullen is letting on. Borrowing to support tax cuts aren’t necessarily a bad thing either, considering the impact increased income would have on consumer spending and saving.

    -Renationalise public transport operators so that subsidised routes are not out to provide a profit to operators, but to only break even. Free public transport would be nice, but I would prefer a nominal fare that covers costs only.

    On that same note, I think there is far too much of a focus on rail within Auckland. Rail reaches primarily West and South only, and even then only those close to the rail feed onto the routes. Far more of the population cannot utilise rail efficiently, and a more effective option than Buses and rail needs to be looked at.

  102. Dean 102

    “Yes, I do. Any money printed by the reserve bank needs to be removed from the economy so that it remains inflation neutral. This, amazingly enough, is how the present banking system works. Ergo, this system really won’t make any significant difference to inflation if it’s introduced slowly which I said would be the case in the original post.”

    No Draco, I really don’t think you have thought your cunning plan through.

    What will happen to house prices?

    I can’t believe im debating “print more money!” with someone who believes it’s a good idea.

  103. John McCain 103

    [deleted – identity theft]
    [lprent: another idiot]

  104. John McCain 104

    [deleted – identity theft]
    [lprent: another idiot]

  105. Mausist 105

    I would like to see a programme to properly insulate every house that needs it. As George Darroch pointed out on PA system, this would help reduce energy use and lower the burden on the health system. It would also maintain the construction industry after the end of the housing boom, at least for a while, in the Keynesian stylee.

    There is no reason why anyone should be able to see their breath inside, during the day, in a home in New Zealand (unless they’re playing silly buggers with the freezer).

  106. RedLogix 106

    I can’t believe im debating “print more money!’ with someone who believes it’s a good idea.

    errmm…’printing money’ is exactly what the commercial ‘fractional reserve’ banking system does everytime it creates a mortgage.

    All Draco is suggesting is that perhaps the creation of money supply could be a public sector function, operating to benefit New Zealand rather than a privatised function that currently enriches the owners of several large Australian banks.

  107. Dan 107

    Burt, back your “poppycock” claim with some data. I am sure some are disallusioned businessmen, but the majority in my experience tend to be retirees, the young with a sense of adventure, and young married couples, all attracted by the advantages of the larger and more diverse economy in Australia. All are motivated by individual betterment. The prospect of higher wages in Australia also encourages individuals, but higher wages are not on National’s wish list.
    NZ still rates very highly for the ease of doing business. As many have already pointed out, there are a series of taxes and fees in Australia that mean apparent tax advantages are not so crash hot.

  108. vto 108

    Draco, re limited liability companies and the occasional fallout, you referred to the losses by many finance companies of late. Your implication is that these companies have been criminally run, leading to their failure.

    wrong wrong wrong. Sure there are one or two which appear to have been at the hands of rogues. But these rogues would be operating in business no matter the legal structures available to them. So the argument you make I dont think solves the problem.

    But further – there is some myth circulating out there in sillyland that these companies failed because of bad people at the helm. I tell you what they actually failed of (from very close personal experience).

    They failed because the punters all decided to pull their money out at once. It is called a run. Few financial insitutions ever survive them.

    So quite frankly the problem rests at the feet of the depositers. Their own greed saw them get excited at the prospect at the thought of an extra 2% per annum over a bank (who cares about the risk ay?), and then now their own fear (other end of the spectrum from greed) sees them acting like lemmings in taking all their money out.

    That is what has happenned.

    It is of course very sad when people lose their savings. But they should take responsibililty (or their advisers). The info on the business these finance companies transacted was all there for the checking.

    Anyway, there are mullions of companies operating in NZ. What is the proportion that cause problems or are rogues? And once you have that answer, ask yourself whether anything would change with whatever new structure is put in in replacement.

    You would do considerably more damage than good by sheeting home excessive liability, especially to the shareholders.

  109. vto 109

    So Draco, it logically follows (re finance company failures) from the facts of the situation and your line of reasoning that liability for the losses should be sheeted home to those responsible, namely the depositors. Not just for their own losses, but those of the finance companies and those of fellow depositors. Can’t have you cake and eat it too…

  110. Lampie 110

    Correct me if I’m wrong. National now supporting “anti-smacking” bill unless evidence suggests otherwise. I thought they were against it? Any case, another “me too” and “cover my ass” no leadership example from John Key.

    Mr Key, for God sake, actually show what you stand for, grow some balls!!

  111. Bill 111

    All this talk of company structure leading to potential rip off scenarios; of externalising (socialising )costs while privatising profits…simple solution.

    A production and distribution system sans market.

    Anita wished for it and many others have implied it with their wish to end child poverty and other inequities.

    If you go here http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/topics/parecon and actually read through it, you’ll see that almost everything on the various wish lists is achievable.

    The cause of inequity and impoverishment and the one common underlying factor in all those things people wish to see changed, eradicated or improved is the market.

  112. A Republic Advisory Committee 2008 – 2010, election of the Governor-General by public nominations in 2011, commitment to a referendum on a republic by the year 2015, prompting the debate on the issue, entrenchment of the existing statutory constitutional framework…

  113. Janet 113

    I see that John Key is now going to take money away from the Families Commission which is doing some world leading social research on the nature of families and give it to Christian parenting groups!!!!

    Let’s get back to some idealism and hope for humanity.

  114. Bill 114

    Christian parenting groups? For real? So Maori and a ‘million and one’ other kinship arrangements are…what? Oh dear.

    Actually, what precisely the fuck IS a ‘christian parenting group’ when it’s at home?

  115. vto 115

    it’s where you teach christians how to behave properly

  116. Bill 116

    vto

    and proselytise those who are not Christian; instil in them a ‘proper’ morality; have them ‘adopt’ Christian norms of behaviour…sounds very ‘lost generation-ish’ to me; very ‘civilising’.

    Janet

    you have a source?

  117. Pascal's bookie 118

    “it’s where you teach christians how to behave properly”

    lolz

  118. Felix 119

    And Key may well be kissing Peter Dunne’s support goodbye with that ill-advised bit of sucking up to the chrissos.

    If I were a Key supporter I’d be so disappointed with his performance.

  119. Bill 120

    What the hell is Key on about when he says “The current Government won’t touch them because they’ve got a Christian-based perspective?”

    According to the website :- The Families Commission undertakes research, provides policy advice, consults the public and provides information to families and those who work with them

    Parents Inc runs programmes.

    Besides,Parents inc are certainly not short of money. They have a pile of sponsors… After the major corporate sponsors AMI, Toyota etc it has 50 organisations giving it grants

  120. Bill 121

    “The current Government won’t touch them because they’ve got a Christian-based perspective?’

    During the year ended 31 March 2008,
    $75,524 was received from Community Organisation Grants Scheme,
    $261,455 from Aoraki Polytechnic (Community Education Funding) and $100,000 from the Lotteries Grants

    (https://www.parentsinc.org.nz/assets/PDFs/Annual-Report-2008.pdf)

    Wish the government wouldn’t touch me to the same degree!

  121. RedLogix 122

    It’s all very easy being cynical about religion, the history of all of them is an extraordinary thing… but an honest appraisal also reveals an enduring core of those ancient bulwarks, love, hope and charity.

    Yes those words do sound very old fashioned, redundant even in this modern age… but let me for a moment indulge in some broad hand waving. All human society has three deep roots, the material (science/technology/commerce), the philosophical (the political/legal dimension) and the spiritual (religion/arts) entwined together.

    Science without faith becomes cold and dehumanised.

    Politics without faith descends into tyranny.

    Faith without science is mere superstition.

    To my mind, a just and healthy society happens when these three forces act in a mutual, synergistic balance, each evolving as civilisation progresses. From the material and philosophic perspective the modern world has experienced massive upheaval and change over the last few centuries, we have abandoned many old ideas and institutions that we once taken as unquestioned givens by our ancestors (eg the divine right of kings, feudalism, a physical heaven and hell). Modern science has given us a wholly different view of material reality and our modern notions of human rights and justice drive our political systems in ways quite unimaginable to the kings and emperors of old.

    Equally the old churches and institutions of religion have fallen away, and I suggest, are yet to be replaced with a form that is both intellectually and ethically robust to minds and hearts of future generations.

  122. higherstandard 123

    Bill

    “Parents Inc. receives no direct government funding although a portion of our funding revenue comes from Aoraki Polytechnic (community education grants) as well as from New Zealand Lottery Grants and Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS).

    From their report it appears this accounts for 7% of their funding.

    Regardless of this I’m not sure from the comments above whether commenters are arguing that money diverted from the parents commission to groups such as Parents Inc is a good thing or a bad thing.

    In my opinion they appear to do a very fine job and would merit direct government funding.

  123. Draco TB 124

    VTO:

    Your implication is that these companies have been criminally run, leading to their failure.

    That was not my intention. I was trying to show that when you support the actions of a company by buying shares in that company that you should take the bad (losses) with the good (profits). Limited liability prevents this allowing people to have their cake and eat it to. Depositer runs have been a fact of banking since the fractional reserve banking system was introduced.

    Like I said earlier – the present system has got us here but is it the system that we need to go into the future with? I’m saying that it isn’t due to the fact that it collapses regularly (due to peoples greed and stupidity as you pointed out) and is failed system due to requiring poverty to work as well as it does.

  124. r0b 125

    Good stuff RL – thanks for that.

  125. higherstandard 126

    RedLogix

    I hope you don’t take this as being too patronising but that’s a brilliant comment well done.

  126. outofbed 127

    So Key abolishes family commission, bye bye United future
    so Key abolishes Maori seats, bye bye Maori Party
    So Key won’t work with Douglas, bye bye Act
    So Key won’t work with Peters, bye bye NZF
    Just the Greens and Progressive left then eh ?

  127. Vanilla Eis 128

    oob: You forgot the possibility of a grand coalition of Labour and National – but who gets to be PM?

  128. higherstandard 129

    Elvis

  129. vto 130

    Draco, acknowledged to some extent but to sheet home losses and liabililty to shareholders is completely contrary to the whole purpose of limied liability companies. It has some downside, as you poiint out, but it is responsible for ridiculously more good than bad. Just look at how the (naughty) capitalist system has developed since its invention, and the increased wealth, across the board, since then.

  130. Bill 131

    HS
    I don’t quite know how direct government funding would work. Isn’t that the function of COGS etc…to funnel funding and attempt to create a spread of such funding?

    Do any community groups get direct government funding, faith based or otherwise?

    I ask because I don’t know. I’d be surprised if that was the case.

    Parent inc have access to tax payers money and, I’d assume, have access to the Families Commission same as any other orgs based around family issues.

    JK was being disingenuous….again.

  131. bill brown 132

    “Science without faith becomes cold and dehumanised.”

    Science with faith is not science.

  132. rave 133

    I would like the members of the Labour led government and all its supporters to read this moving statement by the Cuban Celia Hart who was killed in a car crash not long after she wrote it.
    It is about how global warming is visiting the ‘demon’ onto the Caribbean and how Cuba’s revolution gives it at least some basis for human resistance.

    http://www.marxmail.org/msg48175.html

  133. Roger 134

    Just four things:

    Extend ECE to Playcentres so that all NZQA-approved ECE providers have access to 20 hours free pre-school education

    Make kiwisaver compulsory and use more of the savings here in NZ to reduce reliance on overseas capital

    Optional Income Splitting for tax purposes to provide greater flexibility for parents and

    End Child Poverty by 2017.

  134. Robinsod 135

    Make kiwisaver compulsory and use more of the savings here in NZ to reduce reliance on overseas capital

    Agreed but also make the rate variable under the reserve bank act and use it as one of the levers to control inflation.

  135. Nedyah Hsan 136

    A bounty for those frakking possums. $10 a skin. Possum fur is warm, well regarded, and they’re a complete pest. Screw PETA.

    Abolishment of Family Trusts being exempt from bankruptcy proceedings. The assets in the trust would have to have got there somehow.

    Set minimum jail terms. No parole at all. Manslaughter = 15 years minimum.

    No extras in prison – no tv, no sky, basic food. Basically make prison as unattractive as possible, while still treating prisoners like humans.

    Education: Graded pay scales for teachers 1 -3 years $50,000 4- 7 years $70,000 8 – 12 years $100,000. Every four years in teaching, the pay increases by $10,000
    Increase state funding to schools.

    Disestablish PHARMAC and set up a new drug approval authority with a specific mandate to test new drugs in NZ and not wait for overseas testing.

    Bring back the NZ Safety Authority. Our safety standards used to be the envy of the world. When it was disestablished , the quality of products sold to us dropped drastically. E.g. an egg beater that was bought in 1975 still goes perfectly. An EB bought in 2007 fell apart after 6 months.

    Drop personal tax to 29% maximum.
    Remove LAQC tax advantage. Allow people to be eligible for rebate of up to 30% of interest charged on a personal mortgage (must be in personal names, not in trust or other)

    Of course, it’s all just a pipedream

  136. Anita 137

    Nedyah Hsan,

    Disestablish PHARMAC and set up a new drug approval authority with a specific mandate to test new drugs in NZ and not wait for overseas testing.

    Pharmac is the funding agency, Medsafe is the approval authority. I think you’re saying you want to replace Medsafe.

  137. jbc 138

    Nedyah Hsan – an eclectic wish-list. Interesting.

    Education: Graded pay scales for teachers 1 -3 years $50,000 4- 7 years $70,000 8 – 12 years $100,000. Every four years in teaching, the pay increases by $10,000
    Increase state funding to schools.

    I’ll agree that many teachers should be paid as the valued professionals that they are (ie: a whole lot more) – but I think that pay increases for seat-warming longevity is not a good recipe for educational outcomes (or for retaining good staff in any organisation for that matter). The smart/keen ones will be lured/pushed away long before.

    I think that an excellent teacher (no matter what their age or experience) who motivates their students and lifts their attainment year after year is worth more than 10 stale old cranks. At least that’s what I’d want for my kids anyway.

  138. Bill 139

    Somewhere up this thread there were comments about JK intentions on the family commission.

    So, after flip flopping he says:-

    “Some of the advocacy undertaken by the Families Commission has been important, but some in our view has also been unnecessary and I would like to see more spent on the coalface,” he told reporters.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4686768a6160.html

    Except the Families Commission does not ‘do’ advocacy. From their site…

    “Under the Act, we are mandated to focus on families generally, and cannot advocate on behalf of individual families or cases.”

  139. Most of the items on the (sane) wishlists above are already Alliance policy, and fully budgeted too. So why not give your support to a party that wants the same things you do, instead of futilely hoping Labour will change?

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  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 hours ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 hours ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    9 hours ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    11 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    11 hours ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    11 hours ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    15 hours ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    15 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 day ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs 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 unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    2 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    2 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    7 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    7 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago