What if all New Zealanders had enough to live on?

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, August 6th, 2021 - 97 comments
Categories: benefits, economy, employment, unemployment, wages, welfare - Tags: , ,

Yesterday Micky put up a post about the good changes happening with employment rates and wage increases: Aotearoa New Zealand approaches full employment.

There are important points in the post and comments, about managing the economy, the EMA’s position of wanting 5% unemployment to help suppress wages, that full employment used to be 2% and few casual jobs, the problems in employment being measured as 1 hour of work per week.

So Labour doing what Labour do well within centre left governance, making important gains, and also leaving some significant gaps.

Then vto said this,

i find it astounding

that so few

give thought

to those 4% required

to be unemployed

shouldnt they be on the average wage?

For perspective, Micky reports that average weekly earnings are now $1,360. Unemployment benefit is $290 (gross, single person, no kids) plus whatever accommodation supplement can be gleaned.

Much of the mainstream sees the 4% as collateral damage, the price we pay for neoliberalism’s gifts I guess. What interests me here is how vto’s comment cuts through all that and opens a door to imagining how it could be different.

What if decided that everyone in New Zealand should have a certain standard of living?

Ad also laid out this vision,

I’m looking forward to an economy in which we never need seasonal workers for orchards (and massive investment in automation has happened), or imported labour for infrastructure projects, or imported fishermen, or imported nurses …

… where it gets so hard to find people to work that we start emptying our jails, even gangs find it hard to recruit to a life of crime…

… where the government and business have to pay so much per hour that arguments over a minimum or living wage become immaterial …

… where it’s so hard to get good people that companies invest thousands to put their prospects through Drivers License courses, Heavy Truck tickets, heavy electrical tickets, supervisor tickets…

… and we start to bring down the long-term unemployed numbers, those coming off ACC, the otherwise damaged and bereft and marginalised.

Maybe start to really lift this country.

And I added,

… where the government no longer feels the need to punish or take a stick to be beneficiaries over working and they remove the abatement process from wages while on a benefit, which frees up a large number of disabled and other people to work part time and flexi time.

To me the issue here isn’t how to manage the economy, but is more fundamentally about values. Do we want to accept the collateral damage, which is significant with its flow on effects into health, child poverty and welfare, the justice system, community resiliency and functionality, climate action? Do we want to consign a chunk of New Zealand to the underclass, a bigger than 4% chunk because we have to also acknowledge the people on 1 hour a week?

Or do we want something different, and what might that be? Here I’m not talking about whether Labour can change how it juggles the economy and the repressive forces in society within a neoliberal system. I”m talking about the values in New Zealand society, and whether we can imagine something better.

What would that look like? And how would a shift in values impact the political landscape?

97 comments on “What if all New Zealanders had enough to live on? ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Values are tricky in a country still dealing with post colonial fall out, and almost 40 years of neo liberal hegemony for both the state and individuals.

    No one should be hungry or homeless in this land of obvious plenty. Fare free public transport, free Wifi nationwide, a basic income paid to all citizens via IRD, with a new special needs agency for disabled etc. could all be done right now. But it will not be done for some rather obvious ideological reasons.

    With a monetarist regime the thinking is not just “me me me”–it is also “why should they get that…” or last place aversion as US studies have called it. Lower paid workers sometimes do not support increasing the minimum wage! People perversely, apparently like to have someone beneath them.

    The Deputy PMs “Implementation Unit” is not worker friendly so far, but certainly acknowledges some within Govt. do feel snookered by the fifth columnists in the public service. With upward pressure on wages now, maybe some changes can be made. But, they will have to be organised for and fought for by the working class and allies.

  2. Incognito 2

    Good post.

    Values are a fickle beast and whose values are we talking about? Values are a bit like vows: you make them with all the conviction you have, with the best intentions, and convinced that you (and your partner) will stick to and with them, at least for some time. But over time, they tend to slip away in the mundanity and banality of (daily) life, they get rusty and dusty, and they lose their meaning and impact. Same applies to friendships, BTW. Do I need to say more?

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      …except the Reserve Bank Act, State Sector Act, Cabinet Manual, and fiscal responsibility are neither rusty nor dusty–they are well oiled processes still assisting finance capital in particular to keep its foot on the throat of the NZ working class.

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        Are we letting our lives be dictated by ‘well-oiled processes’ even when the outcomes and impacts are inconsistent with our values?

        • arkie 2.1.1.1

          For those without power (or capital); how much agency over these processes do we have? Aren't the outcomes and impacts of these processes consistently hitting us hardest regardless of our individual values?

          • weka 2.1.1.1.1

            it doesn't explain what's going on with those that do have agency and wealth.

            • arkie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Perhaps not, however there is much that has been written about our aptitude for self-delusion and knack for rationalising. There is also an inaccurate societal perception of the power of individual and collective action that pervades our thinking and informs our values. Also I think it's evidently possible for people to state their values and at the same time act counter to them, passively or otherwise.

          • Incognito 2.1.1.1.2

            For argument’s sake, we all have some power and we all have some agency, but we still haven’t figured out how to use it in a mutually beneficial way, how to reach our individual let alone our collective potential (whatever that is), rather the opposite, it seems. Think of it as being a child, young, naïve, inexperienced, but unencumbered, full of dreams, wonder, imagination, etc., but when growing up you gain in the former areas but seemingly at the expense [no pun] of the latter attributes, especially imagination, and many of us become a tad (!) cynical and jaded. In any case, there’s strength in numbers; united we stand, divided we fall. Thatcher was wrong.

  3. Sabine 3

    We have been saying that for years now, that the income for beneficiaries and unemployed should be at least min wage. IF that is not possible, they – according to their abilities – should be allowed to find work and top their starvation benefit up to min wage before any reduction in other benefits.

    I guess even that Labour in 2016 was elected on these issues. But that was 2016 and now is 2021 and things have changed forever.

    The beneficiaries should count themselves lucky if they got 7NZD or 15 NZD of the last trickle down from government.

    • Incognito 3.1

      2017

    • arkie 3.2

      100%. What is a 'minimum wage' if not the smallest income that we as a society can countenance? Raising the benefit is ruled out because it may 'disincentivise' working, perhaps we should be framing it as an 'incentive' for employers offer more/better working conditions. Then, at very least we would actually be living up to the values of the 'minimum wage' concept.

  4. pat 4

    Redistribution is vital, but to redistribute you need to ensure there is something to distribute to begin with.

    • weka 4.1

      we're not a poor country. This is why I'm asking about values. How do we redistribute what we've got more fairly? Or do we really believe collateral damage is necessary?

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1

        Increasingly younger and browner is how much of the country is going regarding reconciling colonial history. Small acts of kindness happen all over, little take what you need community food stalls, community gardens, papakainga housing, all sorts of volunteer and NGO agencies.

        But, economically Rogernomics still runs deep because it is embedded in the state sector and legislation and finance capital institutions. Contracting out, managerialism, transactional models, and to be frank–a moralistic ‘war on the poor’ still have much influence on our daily life.

      • pat 4.1.2

        Why are we not a 'poor' country?

        It may seem obvious but to feed, house, educate and provide health care for the 5 or so million who live here requires work…..that is the basis, not money, so the question is who does it and how is it incentivised/implemented?

        Like the world the resources are limited so it is a question of priorities and as we know everyones priorities are different….whos priorities take precedence?

        As RL on TS noted this morning is everyone was offered a comfortable existence without working how many would choose to work?….isnt that what rentiers do?

        Any society can, no matter the system, provide for a percentage of non productive members but that number is limited by what the productive members can provide.

        • weka 4.1.2.1

          It's cruel to say to 5 – 10% of the population: you have to live in poverty, some of you permanently, because we believe that humans are inherently work shy and have to be forced into jobs and we think having a chunk of people live sub par lives is the best way to do that.

          Of course, under neoliberalism this has some truth, because we have so many jobs that are not good for people, they system had to force someone to do them.

          I'm not really interested today in rehashing what to do within neoliberalism. I'm more interested in look at the values at play and seeing where that leads.

          If we start from the premise that everyone deserves and should have a decent standard of living, how might we achieve that?

          • pat 4.1.2.1.1

            Then dont rehash 'neoliberalism' because I didnt mention it.

            I pointed out that work is the basis of what we can provide society…..money is an obfuscation.

            I also stated that redistribution is vital and posed the question who's priorities take precedence?….the workload has to be distributed in the most effective manner possible and until priorities are established that will not occur.

            If the problem is examined with the correct lens then the answer is apparent….for those with insufficient to have sufficient then those with more than sufficient need to provide it……cue politics.

            And all this assumes that sufficient can be provided for all which is (increasingly) by no means a given…..cue conflict.

            • weka 4.1.2.1.1.1

              you posited that to have an economy that gives everyone a certain standard of living, people have to be incentivised to work. I'm suggesting that examining the values in that is useful (before we get to what might or might not be possible).

              How do we know that people won't work without someone standing over them with a stick?

              • pat

                How do we know?….why do so many invest (particularly in property), why do we have pay disparity, why do we have retirement,

                It is not that people wont work without a stick, its that not ENOUGH will work without the incentive to provide the security of output needed….the Amish are one of the few examples I can think of that perhaps succeed in the attempt..how many Amish do you know?..and is that the society you would seek to replicate?

                • weka

                  "It is not that people wont work without a stick, its that not ENOUGH will work without the incentive to provide the security of output needed"

                  How are you measuring the security of output needed?

                  We can look at non-industrialised societies to see that people worked for the common good eg Māori pre-colonisation.

                    • pat

                      I recommend you read the linked paper (systems economics)….it covers what I seek to convey with (i think) greater clarity.

                      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919310067

                      "One barrel of crude oil can perform about 1700 kW h of work. A human laborer can perform about 0.6 kW h in one workday (IIER, 2011). Simple arithmetic reveals it takes over 11 years of human labor to do the same work potential in a barrel of oil. Even if humans are 2.5x more efficient at converting energy to work, the energy in one barrel of oil substitutes approximately 4.5 years of physical human labor."

                      This example lays bare the challenge we face.

                    • RedLogix

                      While we've crossed many times before, I do want to underline this comment. Energy – in particular the ability to concentrate it in high quality, high density forms – lies at the root of all human progress. It's not the whole story, there are many layers of technical, social and political innovation that are part of the whole structure, but the energy story is the prerequisite.

                      Hunter gather humans could rely only on the modest surplus found in the natural world – fruits, nuts, seeds and meat for the most part. For millions of years the total human population barely exceeded 10m.

                      Then about 10,000 yrs ago we learned how to concentrate photosynthesis energy using agriculture, and by around 1800 we had plateaued at around 800m. However the inherently diffuse and intermittent nature of sunshine, and the deeply seasonal nature of agriculture meant that in order to survive all societies were in a constant contest over land, rainfall and slaves. It was essentially an age of empire – driven by the inescapable limits of the energy source available to them.

                      Then we discovered how to burn coal in high temperature boilers, and for the first time we had access to concentrated, reliable high quality energy. On this foundation we transformed the world – and now sustain over 7b humans with a food surplus. And I would argue at least since the end of WW2 the prior form of empire based on overt conquest, occupation and extraction has become largely unecessary – the vast majority of nations able to exist and thrive without the constant pressure to expand their territory.

                      Of course our opportunity to exploit fossil carbon always had a timeline on it – but it enabled us to massively progress our science and technology to the point where we can now move beyond it if we choose. My argument is simply this – we stand at a cross-roads – either we choose to embrace the next stage of our social evolution as enabled by concentrated, reliable, clean and cheap energy OR we revert back to pre-Industrial conditions and ultimately an uncertain path toward virtual extinction.

                      This of course does not preclude the idea that the current phase of human population growth has ended, and along with it the much of the excesses of the past 200 yrs. Stable and ageing populations if they are able to continue to progress toward developed world standards of living will almost certainly tend to consume much less exuberantly. We've transitioned from a species that typically had many children but had short lives, to one with longer lives and fewer children – this being an astonishing change we're still coming to terms with. But maintaining this is critically dependent on pulling all of humanity globally through this transition.

                      Takeaway the energy foundation – as your barrel of oil example very clearly shows – and I personally believe that all of the economic and social changes of the past few hundred years will be undermined and eventually unraveled.

                    • pat

                      @ RedLogix

                      I recommend you also read the attached article (in its entirety) and you will discover that approximate 200 year long exploitation of a one off resource hasn't just enabled a (unsustainable) population explosion, it has concurrently depleted the other resources…..resources also crucial to alternative energy conversion.

                      There is going to be no 'technological' breakthrough that enables this planet to sustain its current population and whatever population equilibrium that eventuates will have a greatly reduced output per capita.

                      So again the question…."And ultimately what do you do if those 100 people cannot provide all of those requirements for 100 people?"

                    • Andre

                      @pat: When the highlighted quote contains such a glaring and simple error as "One barrel of crude oil can perform about 1700 kW h of work.", it makes me wonder what other massive errors they've made.

                      One barrel of crude oil can deliver about 1700kWhr of heat, not work. At very very best, if it's converted to work in some sort of engine, it will deliver about 850kWhr of work. And more likely much much less.

                    • RedLogix

                      While technically correct it scarcely changes the point pat was making. Besides heat in it's own right is used directly in many processes without conversion to work – eg steel and cement making.

                    • pat

                      @Andre

                      I barrel of crude produces 1700kWh of energy…it is an error of description somewhat mitigated by the following qualification… "Even if humans are 2.5x more efficient at converting energy to work, the energy in one barrel of oil substitutes approximately 4.5 years of physical human labor."

                    • weka

                      I recommend you read the linked paper (systems economics)….it covers what I seek to convey with (i think) greater clarity.

                      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919310067

                      "One barrel of crude oil can perform about 1700 kW h of work. A human laborer can perform about 0.6 kW h in one workday (IIER, 2011). Simple arithmetic reveals it takes over 11 years of human labor to do the same work potential in a barrel of oil. Even if humans are 2.5x more efficient at converting energy to work, the energy in one barrel of oil substitutes approximately 4.5 years of physical human labor."

                      This example lays bare the challenge we face.

                      I'm not sure what your point is here exactly Pat.

                      Yes, oil is an incredibly dense energy source. Those millennia of sunlight compacted into a very powerful form. We can't keep using it.

                      I'm sceptical of the maths above. Does it take into account what the synergy that happens when people work together? Does it use something like permaculture design which inherently finds more efficient ways of doing this with less energy? (permaculture was invented in part because of the dilemma I think you are pointing to). Does it accept that we can live functional, meaningful, healthy lives by lowering demand from the systems around us? Or is it counting reductionist and isolated energy in humans outside of context and in support of BAU?

                      I can't see much point in comparing human power to ff power as a starting point unless one is wanting BAU.

                      From a sustainability pov, I'd start with the landscape (specifically, an actual watershed), audit that, see how many people can live there post-carbon and what work/energy is needed to sustain that. Sustain as in actual sustainability (mostly closed loops).

                    • pat

                      "I'm not sure what your point is here exactly Pat."

                      What is the question posed in your OP?

                      "What if all New Zealanders had enough to live on?"

                      The ability to produce outputs in needed quantities is fundamental to that question. Dismissing (or ignoring) the role energy plays in our ability to do that is aptly described in the article……energy blindness.

                      “Ecological economics acknowledges that real economies are completely dependent on energy. However, orthodox economic theory remains blind to this reality. As a result, so do our institutions and our citizenry. The disconnect has massive implications for our future. This is so critical it deserves reiteration.”

                    • weka

                      @Pat

                      "I'm not sure what your point is here exactly Pat."

                      What is the question posed in your OP?

                      "What if all New Zealanders had enough to live on?"

                      Well, that's the title of the post, the post was about the values underpinning that question.

                      The ability to produce outputs in needed quantities is fundamental to that question. Dismissing (or ignoring) the role energy plays in our ability to do that is aptly described in the article……energy blindness.

                      I haven't ignored or dismissed the role energy plays in our ability to make sure everyone has enough, I've said that if you count it in a reductionist way you will miss the important solutions. So I agree with you about the important of energy, and I disagree with you about how to assess that.

                    • pat

                      What happens to values in a triage situation? There are no absolutes.

                      Attempting to seperate values from the environment is reductionist from where i'm sitting.

                    • weka

                      again, I'm not separating values from the environment. I'm saying let's have a conversation about values in context.

                  • pat

                    and non industrialised societies were exactly that….and considerably smaller because of that fact.

                    And I may add they still had hierarchies and slavery.

                    • weka

                      We have hierarchies and slavery too, not sure what your point is.

                      I gave an example of where humans aren't inherently work shy.

                    • pat

                      "We can look at non-industrialised societies to see that people worked for the common good eg Māori pre-colonisation."

                      Not all had a choice about the level of contribution/reward is the point….the non industrialised societies faced the same issues and used similar mechanisms to address them.

                      They are hardly utopian or even necessarily superior in that respect.

                    • weka

                      I'm not talking about utopia though. I'm talking about whether humans are inherently work shy. I don't think they are. If you expect people to do wage slavery in a neoliberal economy then you will get patterns of people not wanting to do that because it's soul destroying and dehumanising. But if we created a different kind of economy, that valued people and looked at how to utilise their skills, then they're more likely to want to take part in the collective needs to get some specific jobs done.

                  • pat

                    How to measure security of output needed

                    Establish what is required

                    Distribute your resources in order to meet those requirements

                    E.g.

                    You have a population of 100

                    You have a potential 100 strong workforce

                    How many are going to be responsible for food production?

                    How many will take care of the ill and elderly?

                    How many will build/maintain the infrastructure?

                    How many will teach/care for the children?

                    How many will organise/administer?

                    And ultimately what do you do if those 100 people cannot provide all of those requirements for 100 people?

                    There is no money/recompense involved in the equation.

          • Tiger Mountain 4.1.2.1.2

            Well it is highly unlikely that those who have managed to accumulate more material wealth than they need for their immediate (or lifetime) needs will agree to share voluntarily! Look at the squeals when a CGT was talked about for multiple property owners.

            So we have an NZ where 50% of the people own 2% of the wealth. Where there is an abrasive split between owners and renters.

            ACT types say state tax is theft (from individuals), marxists say capitalist ownership and appropriation of surplus value is theft (from wider society). That is the major value clash right there. The social democrats like Savage and Kirk’s Labour used to lean to the working class, whereas Douglas/Clark/Ardern Labour were captured by the employing class (cough, market).

            Values not fought for remain aspirations.

            • pat 4.1.2.1.2.1

              How is that wealth disparity measured though?….it is measured by money, not work.

              Owning shitloads of property does nothing to resolve the issue of food production/distribution, nor does it build shelter or staff EDs, or teach future generations the skills they need to continue a functioning society…..as said money is a poor proxy.

      • Populuxe1 4.1.3

        Who says we're not a poor country? The pre-1973 golden age was a very long time ago now, several of our OECD rankings are looking none to flash and economically we're probably comparable to some of the smaller agricultural EU economies without the benefit of a massive trade bloc.

  5. Byd0nz 5

    Nationalise everything then call it Aotearoa inc, dump the money system, we can all then work as we are, but for the wellbeing of the country and inhabitants' needs. Needs then is the question. What do we need for ALL to live in modest comfort.

    • Janet 5.1

      We need UBI.

      We need education to be free and unrestricted again.

      Eg: I know of a 16 yr old , who won,t return to school, who would do well in a trade but can,t get underway because he doesn’t have a school “qualification “ to start to become qualified at something. This is one way we are creating a pool of “poor” people. Then we bring in people from overseas to do the jobs that people like this one could have been trained to do.

  6. Nic the NZer 6

    The political issue is the abandonment of full employment as a political goal. In the absense of a government employer of last resort there will from time to time be insufficient jobs to employ at least some (called involuntary unemployment).

    In theory (but obviously not in practice) the RBNZ can always set an interest rate which achieves full employment and price stability. The assumption they are doing so is the justification for accepting 4 or 5% unemployment and claiming further employment would lead to unbearable inflation. This invariably leaves some at the margins dependent on low level incomes on the welfare system.

  7. vto 7

    fwiw, when looking at the bigger picture things like this I like to think of society as a small village of 100 people living in an isolated place, so they have to get along to survive.

    I find when looking at it like this those values become paramount. For example, John Key in his obscene mansion on the hill above the village wouldn't last long while the bottom 20 villagers are sleeping on dirt floors. And those lazy ones would be given a kick up the butt and not be allowed to slack. And everyone would be given a task – a task useful to the village's survival. And everyone feels valued and useful. And the village survives. Otherwise the village fails – like our world today, where all these values are discounted and lost.

    The isolated village of 100 people quickly highlights the required parameters and values imo

    • weka 7.1

      we could add to that too that it's likely that at least some of the time in some places, humans have lived in situations like that and not had to work themselves to death, that the working together gives an efficiency that allows free time from which innovation and culture evolve.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Yep. I think the small village thing actually went on all over the place through most of human history. The requirement to simply have to get on and support one another by sheer proximity means there is no escape if one is up to no good, and it means the health of the village and all of its people is top of list all the time. It makes for a most healthy community

        I think all government and other policies should be put through the small village test. If the proposed policy would be rejected by that small village then it should be dumped.

        Maybe I'll send Wellington a note…

    • pat 7.2

      And that is the benefit of small scale

      • vto 7.2.1

        it is far more than just that pat

        • pat 7.2.1.1

          "The isolated village of 100 people quickly highlights the required parameters and values imo"

          As I said the other day, theres nowhere to hide in a small community….the scale and overcomplexity of modern large mobile modern population groups facilitates the inequality

          • vto 7.2.1.1.1

            Yes of course, that is one factor. Another is that the expanded scale has also allowed the dregs and the nasty to find a gap to slither through and peddle their evil wares.

    • Janet 7.3

      Multitaskers – as the 3 old tradesmen brothers from Wyndham who featured on Seven Sharp earlier this week are – would largely replace undue specialisation in smaller communities and that 16 yr old I mentioned before would find rewarding pathways.

    • Molly 7.4

      Bigger scale but village concept, real world example:

      Mondragón

      "The town is best known as the birthplace of the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC), the world's largest worker cooperative, whose foundation was inspired in the 1940s by the Catholic priest José María Arizmendiarrieta. In 2002 the MCC contributed 3.7% to the total GDP of the Basque Country and 7.6% to the industrial GDP.

      The valley of the High Deba where the town is located enjoyed a high level of employment in the 1980s while the rest of the Basque industrial areas suffered from the steel crisis.

      Noted poverty expert and sociology professor Barbara J. Peters of Southampton College, Long Island University, has studied the incorporated and entirely resident-owned town of Mondragón. "In Mondragón, I saw no signs of poverty. I saw no signs of extreme wealth," Peters said. "I saw people looking out for each other…..It's a caring form of capitalism.""

      • vto 7.4.1

        Thanks for that Molly – makes total sense.

        This last line is interesting though "It's a caring form of capitalism". Capitalism isn't a form of society. There is only one form of society and that is a socialist society.

        Humans are nothing but social. People come together to achieve an end. It is the only thing we humans do. We achieve nothing, absolutely nothing, without others. All we do is undertake socialist activity. Being on here is social, going to a party is socialism, rugby is a socialist undertaking, it just goes on and on and grabs at every single thing we do. Going to school, raising a family.. and get this… all business is a socialist undertaking too – shareholders coming together to achieve a goal is socialism, owners of farms coming together to supply fertilisier (Ravensdown e.g.) is socialism, New Zealand's two biggest businesses (Fonterra and Foodstuffs) are cooperatives ffs, Federated Farmers is a socialist organisation.

        The only activity humans undertake is socialist activity. There is no other.

        Capitalism is not an equivalent form of structure. Capitalism is merely a bunch of cold hard tools which limpet onto the great mound of socialist human activity, and suck it dry (sound of milking machine…).

        Capitalists are laughing all the way to the bank with this great swindle… latching their milking machine capitalist tools onto our socialist butts and sucking away until we are dry…. all the while taking full advantage of the whole of the socialist structure of the world… it is the world's biggest hypocrisy…

        This understanding must form the basis of everything. But it doesn't. And here we are. So says my 2c..

  8. Patricia Bremner 8

    I may be wrong, but I feel our values have begun to shift back to more community thinking.

    One thing this pandemic has highlighted among many, is our need to cooperate. Those societies who value cooperative efforts have fared better.

    Individual efforts gain praise if they assist the herd goals, those seeking personal betterment at the expense of others are now viewed with disdain.

    The Maori values of 'he tangata he tangata he tangata' (the people the people the people) and the ecological values of working with natural cycles rather than against them appear to be gathering a following.

    In our agricultural sector, in spite of those who feel pressured enough to protest with tractors, regenerative and organic farming is on the increase, as the customers want less pesticides nitrates and ploughing.

    Many in agriculture are facing unexpected scrutiny, which has rocked their fiefdoms and made them aware their cheap labour practices are not in favour.

    Many employers during the pandemic in Aotearoa NZ have reassessed their relationships with employees and customers and government, with a greater scrutiny of safety and fairness.

    Our values come from our experiences and beliefs. Some as we have discovered, push mistaken beliefs in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to their detriment or demise.

    On a personal level, a greater appreciation of face to face contact in person and via technology.

    A greater appreciation of the complexity of the interrelated decisions cabinet have to face to keep us on an even keel.

    Realisation of how tenuous our safety is in a virus ridden world.

    We really do need to work together for better lives for those who are struggling in any way, and live good human values.

    We need to do our best and above all be kind. That is a fundamental to good human relations.

    • Janet 8.1

      "I may be wrong, but I feel our values have begun to shift back to more community thinking."

      Maybe there is a shift . People shifting away from the cities ? The tide that emptied out the rural townships may have turned.

      Centralisation of so many services to the larger towns and cities of NZ has been very detrimental. Starting with schools. Schools were the core of the rural communities I have lived in.

      • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1

        Nah I expect capitalism to fight even harder to maintain the status quo. As soon as things look like switching they dig in deeper with more destruction.

        Think about that CEO who gave up his salary to pay his staff much more – boycotted by business people, lost contracts and so on.

        Think about Obama relaxing the rules on trade and travel with Cuba – bang Trump puts them back on. (I've never understood how people can say communism or socialism doesn't work when it is continually attacked by capitalism) I mean what did the Russians ever do for us for instance (cardiopulmonary bypass technique, first human vaccine, first artificial heart, multi-stage rockets, mobile phones in 1963, nuclear power plants, LED's, underwater welding, microwave ovens, cornea transplants, first programmable computer ……).

        Think Helen Clark's government moving things forward a little – bang John Key with punitive actions against the unwell and sole parents in particular.

        Those with power don't give it up easily and they know time is on their side. They tend to destroy – think railway buildings and workshops pulled down, hospital wards pulled down, state housing pulled down – anything to make it more costly to put back.

  9. Ad 9

    New Zealand is now one of the most unequal societies in the world.

    Our wealth distribution is shocking, our wages are terrible, and our social welfare system is miserable.

    Even at 4% headline unemployed it will take several years to get people out of hard core disability and dependency and into autonomy for their lives.

    This state is reflective of our nationally-held values, because it's what we've enabled to develop over decades from one large majority to the next.

    It makes New Zealand great for about 5% of us, but otherwise we need to face that we are a mean, poor, hard little country for the great majority.

    • Patricia Bremner 9.1

      So Ad, after that negative blast, what are the values we could foster? What would help? We know great damage has been done by our past errors, but which values will shift the dial?

      • Ad 9.1.1

        This is as good as it gets.

        We have the most socially liberal leadership we have ever had, or are likely to ever have.

        We have the most interventionist government we have had in 40 years.

        We are, right now, about as proud as we can be, and as united as a common community.

        We have the least unemployment and most assured welfare system we've had in 30 years.

        Values have shifted as far as they are going to go for some time.

        And with all of that, these are the results we have.

        • Patricia Bremner 9.1.1.1

          Ad, are you saying "that's all there is"? I feel they have just started. I hope for two more terms to lock things in.

          Perhaps some of us could pay locals to carry out jobs or services, as those 4% are allowed to earn more now. ($160 per week before tax before it affects the benefit)

          We have a lady who lost her job, who does the heavier house work for us, a lawn guy, a handyman painter and a hairdresser, most changed from other work or had to find additional pieces of employment.

          At 80 we feel this keeps us connected to those working in joined up patchwork jobs, and we feel we are contributing to their welfare by paying above the going rate. We are part of their community and have found other clients for them.

          Many in this position want trust and an opportunity. It has always worked for us and I wish more who could would do this.

          Perhaps we need to alter the systems to allow people to flourish. Really free health care and education, and provide some workplaces with housing? Value people above profit?

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.2

          The idealist in me posted at 14.0 below – but the realist acknowledges your comment here Ad.

    • Nic the NZer 9.2

      If we leave employment ultimately up to the market then the last percentages of people will never come off the benefit, let alone disability. To correct this the government needs to guarantee enough jobs are available to employ everyone who wants one. Ultimately this allows near universal access to the longer term benefits of employment, those which come in addition to wages, such as career development, positive self perception, sense of belonging and a social network. In the absense of this we have decades of experience to show these outcomes simply won't occur.

  10. Janet 10

    The value of the ability to preceive NEED over the things you think you need. (remember Dr Seuss's The Lorax " )

    The value of getting to know thy neighbour – love thy neighbour, being inclusive not exclusive ….

  11. McFlock 11

    I tend to think we're slowly improving, but our regard for long-term unemployed is still pretty low.

    I think a large chunk of the country hasn't moved on from the idea of people choosing to be poor, and there are others who view it as some sort of Darwinian selection.

    But another reason people bring up why the poor should be punished is that they jealously hate the thought of someone else having a nice life for free. I reckon that's them projecting. Most people want to work, contribute, participate. I know people who would make the world a considerably better place if left to their own devices. Some of them contribute here. Helping some corporate boost sales by 0.3% is regarded as more valuable than advocacy or cleaning up waterways, unfortunately.

    • RP Mcmurphy 11.1

      most people in NZ do have enough money but they all want more. look at the disposable income wasted on overseas travel and unlimited toys for the bombidyboms.

      and besides they resent anybody who needs a handup.

  12. Adrian Thornton 12

    The first step towards a having country where real world 'values' are just a normal part of the fabric of everyday life, is to somehow extract ourselves from the Free Market Neo-Liberal duopoly (National/Labour) that controls our trajectory at this moment…keeping in mind that the Centrist Free Market Liberal political parties that keep us locked single mindedly on this path of endless growth and consumerism in the face of of the Climate disaster that is closing in on us right now, because they (Ardern, Robinson, Collins, Seymour etc) are extremists fundamentalists who are the real defenders at any cost of their pointless, destructive economic ideology, and are in-fact nothing more than leaders of a death cult at this stage.

    No, we need new ways of higher thinking about our economy, our country, our environment, ourselves and our neighbors…like this….

    Manfred Max Neef, Barefoot Economics

    "we need cultured economists again, who know the history, where they come from, how the ideas originated and so on. Second, we need an economics now that understands itself very clearly as a subsystem of a larger system that is finite, the biosphere. Hence economic growth is an impossibility. And third, a system that understands that it cannot function without the seriousness of ecosystems. And economists know nothing about ecosystems. They don’t know anything about thermodynamics, anything about biodiversity. In addition, we must bring consumption closer to production. If you bring consumption closer to production, you will eat better, and you will have better food. You will know where it comes from. You may even know the person who produces it. You humanize this thing. But the way the economists practice today is totally dehumanized."

    https://olbios.org/barefoot-economics/

    • Tiger Mountain 12.1

      Well said Adrian.

      Structurally embedded neo liberalism in the NZ Parliament, State and finance capital, has to be rolled back as a prerequisite to making any real progress for the working class people, of whom 50% of the population own just 2% of the wealth!

      It will happen and the 2023 and 2026 elections will give an indication I guess of how soon.

  13. RP Mcmurphy 13

    some people here believe in the tooth fairy. a friend of mine was in Ethiopia during operation hope. people would be given supplies which they ate on the spot and then destroyed the rest that they could not carry. the millenium is not round the corner when all men are brothers just yet.

    • Adrian Thornton 13.1

      "some people here believe in the tooth fairy" and then goes on the describe some sort of negative human interaction that some friend told them about…you sound like a person who has never has an original thought cross through their cranium during their entire life, so obviously no one will be coming to you for any new or interesting ways of thinking about the dire mess humans have made of our countries and the planet…thanks for clarifying that for everyone.

    • weka 13.2

      "a friend of mine was in Ethiopia during operation hope. people would be given supplies which they ate on the spot and then destroyed the rest that they could not carry"

      Shouldn't be too hard for you to find something online to support that. Otherwise I'm going to take it as out of context rhetoric.

      The post is about values. What are your values here?

      • joe90 13.2.1

        In a region with long standing religious/clan/ethic tensions and rivalries, anecdotes of refugees destroying food lest others prosper are entirely credible.

        • weka 13.2.1.1

          Yes, I'm sure. This is what I meant about context. It's not something we can extrapolate to humans generally. War and starvation turn humans societies into something else.

          But even so, the post was about values. What does it say about us if we believe that humans are inherently selfish and work shy? How does that impact on our politics? On how we expect our government to manage the country's resources?

  14. RedLogix 14

    My sense is that NZ by itself scarcely stand alone in the world. The primary idea I constantly lean on is the unity and solidarity of the human race – regardless of colour, culture or condition. We've moved past the pre-agricultural age of tribe, through the age of empire and are now on the cusp of a highly connected global civilisation – with both common values and purposes.

    The second idea is that each of us is unique, individual and has the right to seek truth independently. In this manner the diversity the human race enables the greatest possible range of talent and capacity to be brought to bear on our future.

    Thirdly uniting of both the material, the philosophic and the spiritual dimensions of our experience in this world. As a species we have an immense legacy in all three of these categories, through science, literature, art and religion – and that ultimately these do not conflict. It is my view that there is but one reality, and while science sees one facet of it – we also know there are many other ways to experience life in all its fullness and mystery. That these ways of looking at reality seem to contradict each other is only the result of our currently limited understanding and vision.

    One of the great moments of our recent history was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – an achievement that deserves revisiting far more often than we do. Within the scope of this declaration are important elements such universal access to education, health care and legal rights and protections. The ability to communicate globally with a common language (and retain of course your cultural one of choice), combined with unfettered communication across all regions of the world must be valued and protected.

    Our long evolutionary history imprints on us echoes of our tribal, communal and nationalistic loyalties, and while these do have a place in our life – all too readily in our past these have been inflamed into irrational prejudice and conflict. A unified global humanity will slowly let these ancient passions go. We will learn to look past the outward and largely immutable characteristics we all have – and value much more the inner capacity, character and potential that we too often lack the insight to see clearly.

    And finally it's my sense that the economic challenge of inequality – as much as we might measure them in material terms – is at root a moral and ethical challenge. The unexamined assumption behind many a debate here is the question of the true nature of human welfare and progress. It clearly has a material dimension, the provision of sufficient food, shelter and access to the basic dignity of life is a bare minimum for all. But equally we are psychological creatures as well, with a deep need for social connection, respect and reciprocity. Nor should we lightly discard our extraordinary capacity for faith, hope and our collective capacity to believe in something much greater than our very limited selves.

    In a post squarely intended to be about values – I trust this is considered relevant. cool

  15. georgecom 15

    "To me the issue here isn’t how to manage the economy, but is more fundamentally about values."

    • pat 15.1

      Our values are reflected in our political economy, not the rhetoric.

      Collectively they are on display….we can make all the individual declarations we like.

    • georgecom 15.2

      whoops, the rest of my post got lost here. For me any discussion about values, when linked to income and work and equality, implicitly includes how we manage the economy. it is of course more than the economy, it is also about the norms and mores we expect and impose within society. It's society and the economy, the political economy.

      "Here I’m not talking about whether Labour can change how it juggles the economy and the repressive forces in society within a neoliberal system. I”m talking about the values in New Zealand society, and whether we can imagine something better."

      "What if decided that everyone in New Zealand should have a certain standard of living?"

      We of course did have a situation like that within the living memory of many. We had it for roughly 40 years – 1945 to 1985 – and it was well formed and served us well for 2 decades or more – roughly 1950 to 1973 or so. You can place a number of labels on that period, depending on what frame you apply – the Long Boom, Golden Age of Capitalism, the Fordist era, The historic Class Compromise, era of Corporatism, era of Keynesian economics etc. It was essentially a period where the needs of Labour and the needs of Capital were more or less balanced to yield a time of prosperity and a certain standard of living for all. Or at least, pakeha and some extent maori and particularly males.

      If you chart a history of this development you will see that it was not constructed like one might construct a house or something from lego blocks. There was not a grand plan from the outset that was simply enacted to yield a final result. It was as much the result of contestation of ideas, seizing opportunities, broad visions and intentions and a degree of luck.

      Industrial Relations for example, you can trace some of the strands back to the 1890s and the introduction of awards and the Conciliation & Arbitration Act. That Act more or less formed the basis of the postwar Industrial Awards system. The Labour government of the 1930s added the idea of a 40 hour week and compulsory unionism. Efforts by both Capital and Labour over decades to shape or break the system ultimately concluded with the 1951 water front dispute and the ascendancy of the corporatist wing of the union movement over the radical wing which still retained ideas of claiming the means of production. Within the system was the notion of a 'family wage' premised on a male wage being sufficient to sustain a wife and 2-3 children and a fairly complex set of wage relativities.

      Alongside this was a strong social wage which was consolidated and expanded by the first Labour government. A commitment to full employment, free public education, a public health system and public housing. Means tested social welfare benefits introduced in the 1930s were replaced with a universal family benefit post war which from the late 195os could be 'cashed in' to provide a deposit on a state built home and a state mortgage. More of less a 'wage earners welfare state' as Fred Castles described it.

      Work was seen as the means to prosperity and well being. This is an adage often trotted out by neoliberals over the past 30 years and it was recently expressed by national party mp Louise Upston and reported in a post on this website. What underpinned that economic pathway to ‘well being’ was of course quite different to what Upston and others would construct.

      • Descendant Of Smith 15.2.1

        Yeah the notion of being able to raise a family on one income was strong.

        In the banking industry where I worked people with families to support got an extra allowance, over and above their salary, until their salary reached a certain level. It wasn't left to the state alone to support people who had children.

        As a single person at the time I along with my colleagues had no problem with this at all. It was seen as normal.

        Then rogernomics came along……

      • georgecom 15.2.2

        All of this of course had to be paid for and our economic settings allowed this to be achieved. We were Britains farm and had preferential access for agricultural exports. Full employment and the countrys balance of payments account was achieved through regulation and controls. The provision of consumers goods was subject to import licenses and later tarrifs. The way around both of these was to base manufacturing of consumer goods within new zealand, domestic and foreign capital could establish manufacturing or final assembly plants within NZ and were given exemptions for placing in regional areas where employment was needs. As examples we had vehicle assembly in places like Thames, Wanganui and Nelson and Pye radios and tv's made in Waihi. The government also embarked on a process of post war import substitution industrialisation with the likes of steel, pulp and paper, aluminium and oil refining. some may also remember the difficulties in taking currency in and out of the country.

        • Descendant Of Smith 15.2.2.1

          The point though was that we accepted that employers should pay people supporting families a sufficient amount to support their family. I never once heard a word against this.

          In some ways it was probably also representative of what was seen as a patriarchal responsibility but it is easy enough to supplant that with parent.

          The value of raising a family was seen as important for the countries future.

          Today's attitude is much more selfish and more along the lines of "don't have children if you can't afford them" which ironically, and not surprisingly given the rise of the conservative religious right, is much more representative of a patriarchal plus class system that treats poor women as whores who can't keep their legs closed.

          • georgecom 15.2.2.1.1

            A point of contrast I have spent some time looking at is Cuba. It has it's own political economy, it's own values but their are common strands. Castro's revolution triumphed in the late 1950s and took a handful of years to reveal its socialist nature. The earlier rhetoric of Castro spoke of a return to fairness and democracy, Cuban for the Cubans, left and nationalistic. Nothing much implied a socialist agenda. Not too long after coming to power Castro decided to nationalise various strands of the Cuban economy which of course upset the US and was met with a ban of cuban sugar imports, their biggest export. A wee matter of an failed invasion and other events lead to the 'socialist aspect' of the revolution being revealed and strong ties with the USSR being formed.

            Over the next 30 years the USSR became the main trading partner with Cuba. The soviets poured 10 of billions of rubles into Cuba, sugar and other agricultural products were exchanged for oil, consumer goods and military supplies. The soviets also contributed significantly to the updating of cuban industry and infrastructure. The economic deal was highly favourable and slanted in Cubas favour, at the peak the soviets pay 10 times the global market price for cuban sugar.

            The generous economic largesse of the USSR provided Cuba with the golden decades of the 1970/80s. Standards of living rose and employment guaranteed, social service were expanded even whilst monthly wages remained relatively low by international standards and quite uniform. A doctor would not be paid excessively more than a labourer of factory worker. A strong social wage substituted for relative low wages.

            The project to create a 'socialist new man' , as I understand it, reached it's zenith during this time. The economic largesse of the USSR underpinned living standards and consolidation of values of collectivism and socialismo. This all started to unravel with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the Special Period in a time of peace and a decade or more of tough economic and social conditions for Cuba. Foreign trade and exchange dropped 80% within the space of months and living standards plummeted. The ability of the cuban state to deliver it's social programme was tied intimately to it's economic fortunes.

            • Tiger Mountain 15.2.2.1.1.1

              To this day Cuba exports teachers, doctors and paramedics to other nations, rather than imperialism one way or another like many larger blocs and US Imperialism in particular do. Cuba has an effective medical research sector which is developing its own COVID vaccines, and various leading edge cancer treatments.

              What I take from your comment is Cuban socialism had to subsidised? Which it clearly was by the USSR. What needs to be taken into account is the US blockade and trade embargo. Cuba was strangled from birth by US Imperialism and whatever supporters it could organise. So it was never a genuine environment for Cuban socialism to prosper or otherwise.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Aye capitalism fears that socialism works and reveals that capitalism has indeed no clothes.

                • RedLogix

                  What is this capitalism that you hate so much? In my view it's much less a political philosophy (although the neo-libs of the 80's attempted fatally to do this) – and rather a set of economic tools that have evolved over time. It's really based on a handful of simple ideas, fractional reserve lending, private property, sanctity of contract, the formalism of double entry bookkeeping, rule of law and the pricing efficiency that arises from competitive markets when applied in the right context.

                  Capitalism never stood on it's own as system, it only ever worked in the context of a wider society. The libertarians and neo-libs who turned this simple set of tools into an ideology were every bit as wrong as the marxists who attempted to turn natural human ideas of reciprocity and solidarity into a totalitarian system.

                  Put quite simply, the system we have at present – while clearly far from what we might imagine as ideal – has nonetheless delivered an unprecedented level of human development and welfare globally. And like all evolved things it's patchwork mix of markets and non-market mechanisms, of innovation and conservation, of personal liberty and collective responses. It’s my sense we should be a lot more cautious about ‘smashing the system’ before we understand what we might replace it with.

                  The challenge I'm thinking about isn't about relitigating the stale battles of the past century. Right now the human race is on the cusp of a demographic tide toward ageing and relatively stable populations. Up to this point in our history we've tried capitalism, socialism and fascism with mixed degrees of success – but crucially it's not at all clear any of these are applicable in this new demography. Re-framing the debate in this light opens up a far more interesting discussion.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    I think we should have a mixed economy with the best aspects of both.

                    The poorer aspects of capitalism are that wealth disproportionately remains and/or moves to the top, that it produces significant excess, builds in obsolescence unnecessarily, and consumes resources exploitatively.

                    Been arguing the demographic changes for a while suggesting that as the baby boomers retire spending will reduce and businesses will notice that. The era of no kids, no mortgage and double income that many of them have enjoyed for the last 30 years are, if not coming to an end, are certainly slowing. The growth off the back of the baby boomers simply won't be there. Have seen very few people talk about housing being freed up as the baby boom population dies off – something I would have thought is more easily forecastable than most things.

                    In NZ capitalism as practiced by the holders of capital is incredibly racist and that is one of New Zealand's big challenges. How to transition the knowledge and skills from an older European workforce to the future Maori work force.

                    Internationally I suspect the biggest challenge will be climate induced dislocation – both internal movement as in Syria as rural crops failed, and external as movement away from war zones and changed climate occurs.

                    The problems with capitalism are not going away any time soon. I see them continuing to bed down – just look at the escalation in house prices that continues.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yup – that's a considered response. Appreciated.

                      Two small points occur to me; one is that capitalism really isn't a white thing, Maori have demonstrated a perfectly good facility with it too.

                      The other is to underline how the ground is shifting under us on multiple fronts. Not just the demographic shift, or even the impacts of climate change. In addition we face a destabilisation of the global rules based trade order as the US pulls back from it's security engagement of the past 70 odd years, and the shifting of supply chains back into configurations that are more localised and defendable.

                      Since the end of WW2 we've lived in a world where virtually every nation could trade with any other – some with more success than others – and everyone had the opportunity to lift their prosperity as a result. What I'm seeing is a reversion to something that looks a lot like the era of empire before the two great wars – siloed trade blocks dominated by a central nation that sets the rules to suit itself. And worse the treatment of competitors as an existential enemy. This is massive step backward in my view.

                      But I still return to my last para above – what might evolve from this position? It won't be just a doubling down on capitalism, socialism or fascism. There needs to be a fresh insight and I'm genuinely curious about this.

                  • Tiger Mountain

                    Is being a tailgunner for capitalist swine everywhere really necessary on the Standard blog given its stated focus? If you support minority ownership and control and private appropriation of socially produced wealth–just say so, please…

                    Capitalism is part of historic development of human society–it is not the end game–though it is getting close with Climate Disaster and tipping points.

              • georgecom

                yup seemingly 3 effective covid vaccines to date, or 2 if you consider Soberana plus as the third dose of Soberana 2, although it was developed apparently as a booster for those who had caught the virus. And yes Cuba sent a large number of medical staff off shore. Hugo Chavez built a health system off the back of this, Cuba got valuable guaranteed oil imports in exchange. That kept the country afloat through the mid 2000's and 2010's. Never replaced the patronage of the Soviets however. Living standards never recovered to pre 1990 levels. So very much Cuban state socialism depended on Soviet largesse. Cuban socialism did prosper, but due to it's integration into the Soviet bloc. Post USSR it has struggled. It did seek to retain vestiges of its social wage, by example the food ration 'libreta' was continued but over time items were gradually whittled away. In more recent years Cuba has focused more attention on liberating some small business/sole traders and freeing up assets for worker run/collective enterprises. It remains to be seen how successful that will be.

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    It's pretty achievable I should think, and our third rate economic shamans have fallen down on the job as usual.

    The 5% unemployment figure is a shibboleth – a number conjured up ad hoc by a bunch of charlatans left unsupervised for too long – so they ceased to check or validate their assertions. They might as easily have chosen 3%, or 10%, and having arbitrarily impoverished a large number of the people they are so massively overpaid to enrich, it really is time they sought more productive employment, commensurate with their skills – dairy farming has plenty of room for entry level workers.

    But I don't see this government doing anything so sensible, unhappily. I have a trade, a post graduate degree, and I'm on the living wage & living in a motor camp. Time was Labour stood for the working people, the strivers. But they cuddled up to the reptilians, swallowed Rogergnomics, and we've been paying the price ever since. Hate speech laws aren’t going to make life better.

    The only reform that would begin to set things right would be to strip the neoliberals out of the public service. They will achieve nothing worthwhile until they do. If they don't understand the consequences of leaving them in place, they need only consider the decline of RNZ – a couple of far-right hacks are wrecking the whole institution.

  17. Michael 17

    It will never happen under a Labour government wedded to neoliberalism. Therefore, I am almost certain it will never happen at all.

  18. RP Mcmurphy 18

    look at the obesity in New Zealands lower socio economic strata and tell me people dont have enough to eat.

    • RedLogix 18.1

      Poverty isn't narrowly defined as 'not enough to eat'. NZ really doesn't have any meaningful level of absolute poverty, except perhaps in a few isolated rural areas or the homeless.

      It's relative poverty that's the challenge we've got. Too many people living hand to mouth, insecure jobs, homes and unstable family lives – people who struggle to stand up and participate in society because the rug keeps getting pulled out from under them.

      Addressing your comment – obesity isn't the result of 'too much food' – it's mostly a question of 'too much bad food' that's cheap and addictive, combined with chronic social stress that causes metabolic imbalances.

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    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    3 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    3 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    3 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    7 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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