When less is less

Written By: - Date published: 5:25 pm, February 12th, 2009 - 46 comments
Categories: articles - Tags:

It appears National are trying to promote the “little and often” approach to economic planning – but commentators are appearing a little skeptical. Take John Armstrong:

The $500 million worth of capital spending on doing up state houses, constructing new roads and bridges, building new classrooms and so forth sounds impressive but will directly create (or save) only around 2000 jobs.  Put that figure against the 68,000 the Treasury expects to join the dole queues by March next year and yesterday’s package is a drop in the reservoir…

Bill English is seeking to lower public expectations of what the Government can do by repeating the line that the Government will take the “sharp edges” off the recession. In other words, don’t count on it being able to do more. It is a tricky message to sell, made more difficult when comparisons are made with other countries which are pump-priming their economies like there is no tomorrow.

And from Gordon Campbell:

We’re still waiting for a coherent overall plan for these various ingredients, commensurate with the scale of the crisis coming over the horizon….it is possible that the government response is both too small, AND too wasteful. Initially though, we need to appreciate why the government is adopting a ‘rolling maul’ approach to crisis planning.

He suggested that most of the jobs have a distinctly “burly” quality:

Well, I can’t see very many jobs for women in this package. Women are taxpayers too, and the number of households headed by single women earners is on the rise. Yet this package seems geared almost entirely towards construction and to creating jobs for plumbers, electricians and tradesmen.

Campbell had some criticisms for Labour too:

So far, Labour has managed to tie itself in knots. All week in the House, it has been asserting that the projects in the stimulus package were mainly its ideas AND that they were inadequate. It was like watching a cranky old mammal fiercely claiming its eggs, and then trying to eat them too. Presumably, Labour’s solution was to have the same set of ideas, only bigger. Supersize me that spending on roads, with a side order of bridge-building fries as well, please !

He got me thinking – why hasn’t Labour made more of National’s weaknesses? They had a plan ready to roll out at the election when they were government. What are the comparative strengths/ weaknesses of each according to Labour’s analysis? Perhaps they are saving themselves for an alternative Budget as Labour have presented in the past. I for one would welcome the addition of some depth to the debate.

46 comments on “When less is less ”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    IMO the reason that labour hasn’t made more of National’s weaknesses, is that they can’t. Labour left National very little room to move after saddling the country with some rather large expenditures. ACC snd cullens train set to name a couple. so any attack on national not spending enough, is really an attack on the last government, and we couldn’t have that could we?

  2. Dancer 2

    i think the “mismanagement” is more of a line than an actual fact. Seems to me that we were in a reasonably strong position prior to the electionEg Cullen last August said: “We not only multiplied infrastructure investment nearly three times over; we did it while reducing gross crown debt from over 35 per cent of GDP to under 20 per cent today. For the first time in our history the Crown is a net positive financial asset position.” That’s given the current government room to move.

    On the other hand Rod Oram cast doubt on both camps prior to the election “Labour has the challenge of demonstrating it knows more than it is saying about the economy, domestic and international, National has the bigger challenge of proving it has any insight at all.” And now is the time for National to prove him wrong.

  3. Jarvis Pink 3

    “…cranky old mammal fiercely claiming its eggs…”

    Eh?

  4. John Dalley 4

    Settle down Dancer it is only the first? week back in the sand box that is Parliament. I have been starting to get the impression that all National is doing is rehash Labour’s figures, then cuts them back and calls it an improvement over Labour.
    Time will tell but National looks like it is going to struggle to put together coherent policy.

  5. Lew 5

    “Little and often” could be code for “micro-management”. Muldoon-style?

    L

  6. burt 6

    Dancer said of Labour;

    They had a plan ready to roll out at the election when they were government.

    Are you talking about the secret mini budget that not one detail of the contents was ever discussed? (aka: The hidden agenda to address the problems of the hidden financial blowouts – breach of the public finance act retrospective validations perhaps?????)

    Perhaps it’s impossible in opposition to raise taxes to pay for hidden ACC blowouts? Whatever else they had planned was clearly not worth talking about or they would have been all over National with it.

    What a limp opposition – they know what National are doing wrong but have no ideas themselves. Sad sad sad.

  7. Billy 7

    B..b..b..but I thought John Armstrong was the mouthpiece of the evil right wing mouthpiece of the vrw dressed up as a newspaper. Are we only to take notice of him when he says something we like? Awaiting further instructions…

  8. vto 8

    No govt will stop this contagion. It must run its course. Sadly.

    As such I think the step by step approach, while a difficult political sell in this mini-era of ‘who can make the biggest splash’, is the prudent one. All any govt can do is soften the goings on. It will not be stopped.

    And it fucks me right off. The pain and damage that human behaviour can do to itself. Unknowingly, unwittingly, lemming-like, …

    Some examples of dumb;

    – govt guarantees. Effectively taxpayers underwriting taxpayers. Duh, how can a manwoman underwite himhersefl?

    – Rudd’s $950 per person handout. Really? Should last about a month.

    So while the maelstrom is unstoppable and now too far advanced, concentrating on softening the landing rather than trying to stop the landing altogether is the right way. Remember, that all this govt action is simply another form of debt. And what caused this in the first place?

  9. Quoth the Raven 9

    Billy – SP once said of John Armstrong: in my estimation, our best print political commentator.
    Can’t someone ban Billy the troll?

  10. Billy 10

    Dare ya.

  11. rainman 11

    Can someone please tell me how upgrading the Kopu bridge and tarting up some schools is going to rescue us from global recession? Pretty much none of this “stimulus package” is building any productive asset that will build sustainable future export income. Once the bridge is built, the low wage jobs to build it will be gone.

    We can’t spend/consume our way out of this recession, irrespective of whether public or private money is being spent.

    vto, I think you’ve nailed it.

  12. I love the way you keep trotting Gordon Campbell out as an independant commenatator – I don’t think so!

    IrishBill: despite the fact you have misspelled both “independent” and “commentator” I am interested to know why you consider Campbell to not be independent? He has no party affiliation as far as I am aware.

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    Infrastructure investment beats doling out $1000 to every bogan and watching it enrich the pokie operators and bookmakers, then trying $950 to everyone and hoping like hell we’ll all want to buy an Akubra and a Drizabone rather than pay the rent or buy a plasma TV.

    But yes, the number of direct jobs created isn’t flash, unless we insist contractors go back to using shovels and wheelbarrows as per the Depression. Of course Armstrong’s figure of 2,000 overlooks indirect and downstream jobs that may be created or saved but even if we quadruple the estimate it’s still a drop in the ocean.

    But what’s the alternative?

    (And yes, vto has nailed it, unless someone can provide a convincing answer to my question).

  14. burt 14

    I’m still thinking that all Labour had planned for their secret mini budget after the election was to pass validations for not disclosing the ACC blowout.

    I’m wondering how that would have helped the country and and I guess the answer to that is that it would have been in Labour’s best interest so what else could possibly be more important than that?

  15. higherstandard 15

    IB

    2006 – 2008 Gordon Campbell was a media and research officer for the Green Party… and fair enough he’s always been very open about which way he leans.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/about

  16. Burt you fuckin absurd retard! I could just as easily say I’m still thinking that if Labour had got in you would have tried to kil the PM and as such you are a dangerous fruit who needs to be locked away…

    Se how that works you stupid cunt? Are you really so delusional and desperate you need to make weird fantasy shit up to justify your strange paranoia??? You’re like a bad 80’s coldwar revenge fantasy movie. Get a life you fruity little creep…

    Oh and I’m sorry to break my ban but someone needed to say that. I’ll see you in three and a half weeks…

  17. burt 17

    Robinsod

    Thanks, I feel great that I have got to you. You represent all that is wrong with the rabbid left and to upset you tells me I have hit the raw “lefty fruit loop” nerve.

    I’m patting myself on the back.

  18. northpaw 18

    Rex,
    Infrastructure investment beats doling out $1000 to every bogan and watching it enrich the pokie operators and bookmakers

    Bravo!

    But the machine tools deal (backstory I’m guessing to the “wheelbarrows” pitch) is not to be made fun of. Crikey these things are debt indemnifiers.. are they not. Since one side sells jobs and wages, and the other deals and debt blah blah..

  19. northpaw 19

    Robinsod,

    re burt if I may.. sees the word ‘country’ and uses it thus as an absolute. Akin to a castle on a hill.. capture, keep, mine(his/hers/whatever)… oblivious to erosion, wear and tear, fate, life’s limitations, external factors etc.

    Like kids with tin soldiers.. best before ten years of age.. after which time most kids realise that only they are moving the parts.. only they are fighting themselves..

    Most move on. Did burt..? So.. why else would I make this comment..?

  20. When your cabinet is overwhelmingly male I can definitely see how jobs for women are getting overlooked. I’m not saying women can’t do these jobs, I’m saying that they are more likely to goto men (for any fuckwit who wants to add “sexist” to the list of things I’ve been called today).

  21. “cranky old mammal fiercely claiming its eggs, and then trying to eat them too”

    bit of a poor metaphor. There are, as it happens five species of egg-laying mammals – monotremes – the most famous being the platypus, but still. And even if it was normal for mammals to lay eggs, the metaphor still doens’t make much sense.

  22. Murray 22

    “why hasn’t Labour made more of National’s weaknesses?” Coz your beloved party is led by a couple of fucking has-beens. And the rest of sitting Labour MP’s don’t look too great either. Being a “pinko” in todays political environment is no longer an advantage.

  23. Redbaiter 23

    “someone needed to say that”

    Nobody needed to say it, least of all an honourless cowardly creep without even the modicum of self respect needed to comply with a week’s ban.

    BTW, lets not get delusional here. Armstrong and Campbell would both be lifetime left voters, and being so, they’re incapable of writing from any other perspective, even if they tried. What they say cannot be considered as objective. What’s needed is balance, but there’s no right wing equivalent because the fucking arsehole editors will not hire anyone who isn’t a NY Times liberal fuckwit. Just so typical of NZ’s politically corrupt mainstream media.

    IrishBill: the ‘sod was banned for five weeks, not one. For behavior not too dissimilar to yours I might add.

  24. Morgan 24

    ‘Sod, Love your work!

    http://robinsod.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/eweugh/

    Redbait, rumour on the street is Armstrong’s in love with John Key. He’s a conservative, you fool.

  25. bobo 25

    Funny how the right refer to public rail as a trainset , the public roading network must be a scaletrix set by their reasoning then. Most of them have probably never travelled outside NZ to see how rail is fundamental to any functioning city.

  26. Redbaiter 26

    “He’s a conservative, you fool.”

    Because an extreme left moron says he is? Get a life bore.

  27. tsmithfield 27

    I think proceeding with caution is in order here for several reasons:

    1. Our recovery is linked more to the success of the recovery packages in other countries since we have a strong export focus to our economy.

    2. Spending hand over fist has to be paid for with future borrowing. Any short term gain through lavish spending could be accompanied with a lot of long term pain later on. Also, we face credit downgrades if we increase government debt too much.

    3. Many commentators are unsure if the stimulus packages around the world will work anyway. Thus, the “rolling maul” style is probably justified as it allows time to assess the effect of previous moves and time to tweak future moves.

    4. It would be nice to have more money to throw around. However, huge ACC blowouts not disclosed in the PREFU have hamstrung what National can do now to an large extent.

  28. Scribe 28

    IT is the only person who has picked up on the comments from Gordon Campbell.

    Try to pretend you didn’t know Gordon wrote this paragraph. Read it with the belief that — I don’t know — Karl du Fresne or Garth George or Bob Clarkson wrote it.

    Well, I can’t see very many jobs for women in this package. Women are taxpayers too, and the number of households headed by single women earners is on the rise. Yet this package seems geared almost entirely towards construction and to creating jobs for plumbers, electricians and tradesmen.

    Changed your mind at all?

    If a Nat MP or right-wing commentator said this, he/she would be burnt at the stake (blog style).

    captcha: Gordon care (probably not about my comment, I mean)

  29. Tane 29

    Sod you’re supposed to be banned. Pull your head in boyo – you don’t want me to add another month do you?

  30. Redbaiter 30

    “Changed your mind at all?”

    About what exactly? The paragraph is whining politically correct Stalinist/ left wing garbage. Typical of NZ’s mainstream media commentators.

  31. Redbaiter 31

    Gawd, the filter again.. !!!

    Don’t tell me “Stalinist” is a bad word.

    [lprent: It looks at the base word “stalin”. The reason that some words are in auto-moderation is because they have been over-used by trolls previously. While there are lots of ways to use those words in context, most trolls just use them for shock or emotional effect. It saves our time if we simply dump people using them into moderation because trolls have a limited vocab, and find that they cannot resist using those words.

    It is an elegant disincentive to trolling because most people will use certain words only when they really really mean them precisely. That sometimes throws up a false positive. But mostly it just catches the hidebound and unthinking…

    Incidentally I picked the words mostly by looking at the style of discussion (usually flaming) after their use.]

  32. Redbaiter 32

    Yep, it is….

    Why for chrissakes???

  33. Felix 33

    Scribe,
    “Changed your mind at all?”

    About what? The paragraph you quoted is, for better or worse, pretty accurate.

    If George had written this, it would be ruing the rise of “households headed by single women earners” but it doesn’t. If it were from a Nat MP it would be full of grammatical errors and if it had been written by Clarkson it would’ve been in crayon.

    I don’t see what’s controversial about the statement though.

    RB,
    Why for chrissakes???

    I expect because it’s a word which is used almost exclusively used by trolls like you.

  34. Tane 34

    Yep, it is .

    Why for chrissakes???

    It’s a troll filter. Abusive idiots with nothing to contribute often come on here accusing us or other lefties of Stalinism or comparing us to Hitler. It’s just simpler to have them go straight to moderation. A few genuine contributors get caught in the net, but on balance it just makes life easier.

  35. @ work 35

    I’d discribe it more as a rational perspective filter than a troll filter…

  36. northpaw 36

    @work,

    would you please be consistent.. that last comment of yours began with a spellchecker need but then, irrationally, stuffed up ‘rational’. Yep, it should have come out like rashional to make that consistent grade.

  37. northpaw 37

    can someone please explain to me how my comment appeared in the encryption ‘box’ – as a malfunction it might account for comment loss which otherwise suggests a ban for no apparent reason..

  38. Redbaiter 38

    “I’d discribe it more as a rational perspective filter than a troll filter ”

    Look, I understand the need to try and keep discussion orderly. Fair enough. However I spit upon those posters who claim it is inappropriate to use words like St*l*n*sm.

    Such attempts to curb discussion are merely another leftist device to cloud truth.

    St*l*n*sm is a legitimate criticism of much of what the left do, especially in the sense that it (to me anyway) means the frequent use of propagandists and propaganda organs to implant false concepts amongst the citizenry.

    In this instance, I used it quite correctly to describe the words of a leftist propagandist (Gordon Campbell) writing leftist propaganda (anti- family M*r*ist rubbish) in an organ of leftist propaganda (Scoop).

    It is not extreme or outlandish to comment on the strategy of the long march, Gramsacianism, or any such concepts. They are out there and should be discussed.

    That so many posters here attack anyone wanting to discuss those concepts as “trolls” is more proof of the correctness of those who know the (long term) game the left are playing.

  39. BLiP 39

    Masturbater said:

    ” . . . That so many posters here attack anyone wanting to discuss those concepts as “trolls’ is more proof of the correctness of those who know the (long term) game the left are playing. . . . ”

    Ascribing the programs of a dictator who murdered 30 million of his citizens to a journalist’s thoughts is scarcely reasoned discussion or comparable allusion. The comparision is wrong and, deliberately so, thus, you are a troll simply abusing your fellow commentators and/or making a statement so outlandish that you get the attention you are obviously seeking.

    You’re not folling anyone with this “oh poor me” argument.

    IrishBill: be careful BLiP, while your argument is fine the use of terms like “masturbater” to describe other commenters is unnecessary. That’s the kind of behaviour that got ‘sod banned.

  40. @ work 40

    northpaw

    would you please be consistent.. that last comment of yours began with a spellchecker need but then, irrationally, stuffed up ‘rational’. Yep, it should have come out like rashional to make that consistent grade.

    Normally I have firefox to check my spelling, how ever at work I am not so lucky. I am not a good speller, so when I’m busy I pick and choose where I put my effort into getting things correct. In almost all cases what I write (except for one time the other day where I managed to leave out a word entirely) is quite clear what I am meaning.

    If you consider the fact that I can’t spell well relevant to the quality of my idea’s, then you can fuck off. If all you have to critisize about my idea’s is my spelling, then please try harder next time.

  41. BLiP 41

    IrishBill: be careful BLiP, while your argument is fine the use of terms like “masturbater’ to describe other commenters is unnecessary. That’s the kind of behaviour that got ‘sod banned.

    Message received and understood.

  42. LGD 42

    a distinctly “burly’ quality
    “Shovel-ready” was the phrase used here.

  43. Redbaiter 43

    “Ascribing the programs of a dictator who murdered 30 million of his citizens to a journalist’s thoughts is scarcely reasoned discussion or comparable allusion.”

    As I wrote above and you apparently missed- That is not to me the essence of St*lin*sm. Sure, St*l*n was a mass murderer. So were many other tot*litari*ns. Mass murder is not peculiar to St*l*n. The real point is the effective use of propaganda in shaping political concepts amongst the citizens. St*l*n is generally regarded as the first to use this strategy and to use it so succesfully. H*tl*r, M*o and many other dictators used it subsequently, and it is used today by the left who seek to make socialism the dominant culture and deny any other political viewpoint a legitimate voice.

  44. Pascal's bookie 44

    Rb, so the American revolutionaries and various other enlightenment thinkers didn’t make “effective use of propaganda in shaping political concepts amongst the citizens.”

    Or was they all dirty steekin followers of the Georgian despot too?

    Or is it only propaganda if you disagree with it?

  45. northpaw 45

    @work,

    tks for telling me of your disability—I can now make allowances.

    Also the obvious directness of your answer reveals a low potential to evade troll filters reliant on correct word spellings.. see what I mean with the someone on this thread using asterisks..

    a hardline response – given here in what I believe your best interests – would be that good ideas need correct expression to gain traction..

    all the best

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    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
    4 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
    5 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    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
    20 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    1 day 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 ...
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    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. ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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