Which Deficit?

Written By: - Date published: 4:08 pm, April 12th, 2015 - 64 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

So, the much-touted and long-awaited government surplus looks unlikely to arrive this year. Is that a surprise? No. Does it matter? Not much.

The only reason for sparing much time on the failure to eliminate the government deficit is that it relates to a target that the government itself identified as the crucial test of its ability to manage the economy. In doing so, it exploited the confusion in most people’s minds – and that includes the minds of many media commentators – as to what deficit we are really talking about.

Just a few days ago, in reporting the probability that the government would remain in deficit, Radio NZ news described it as “the country’s deficit” as though the two deficits were the same thing. Sadly, the government deficit, about which so much fuss is made, is only a minor factor in an economy which continues to remain in substantial deficit in its total operations.

Far from running the economy in a prudent fashion, the government presides over a New Zealand economy that continues to chalk up foreign payments deficits, year after year. We continue, in other words, to go on spending well beyond our means. We fill the gap by selling assets to foreigners and by borrowing at high interest rates to overseas lenders – a classic instance of a rake’s progress that makes a day of reckoning eventually inevitable.

That foreign payments deficit is about to get a lot worse, as the overvalued dollar (about which so much jingoistic celebration was enjoyed) makes it more and more difficult for us to pay our way. Those cheaper Aussie holidays today are bought at the cost of Kiwi jobs and living standards tomorrow.

So, let us be clear about the deficit we are talking about – the country’s deficit, the one that matters, the one that is getting worse all the time, or the government’s deficit, that simply defines how much the government takes in tax revenue from the rest of the economy by comparison with how much it spends.

Is there are any link between the two? Yes – the priority given by the government to its own deficit has almost certainly made the country’s deficit worse. This is because, in a recession, which by definition arises when people (that is, households and corporations) are earning and spending and investing less, the slow-down can only deepen if the other major sector – the government – also cuts its spending.

Our recession was longer and deeper than it should have been, in other words, because the government gave priority to balancing its own books, and ignored what was happening to the whole economy. An economy that went backwards for several years was even less able than usual to pay its way in the world when the world economy began to improve.

But surely, many will say, it must be a good thing for the government to tighten its belt when the economy slows down? That would be true if the government were a business, but running an economy is not the same as running a private business. The paradox is that the government’s preoccupation with its own finances has meant a more sluggish economy and reduced tax revenue so that it becomes more and more difficult for the government to balance its books.

This is the lesson taught by both history and recent experience. It is a lesson that has now been painfully learnt all over again by the world’s central banks, some of which – the European Central Bank, in particular – wasted six or seven year insisting on austerity as the proper response to recession. The people who paid the price for that mistake were Europe’s poor and unemployed; we were saved from worse only because our Australian-owned banks remained relatively stable and because our main export markets in Australia and China remained until recently reasonably buoyant.

If the government’s finances are only a small part of the picture, why have they attracted so much attention? It is worth noting in passing that, while the Labour government of 1999-2008 recorded a surplus in eight of its nine years, the current government has now chalked up six successive deficits. So why focus on this particular factor?

The answer is that focusing on the government deficit has been driven by political rather economic considerations. It has served the government very well as the justification for policies that come straight from the neo-liberal handbook. We can be sure that the next round of cuts in the level of public services will be misleadingly explained as “necessary to eliminate the deficit”.

In the end, in any case, facts cannot be denied. As any accountant will tell you, borrowings and lendings must, as a matter of accounting identities, match each other. Our perennial foreign payments deficit – what we need the rest of the world to lend to us – must be matched by the borrowings our economy makes in total. If the focus is entirely on achieving a government surplus, that makes it inevitable that the private sector (households and corporations) must borrow even more.

The truth is that, by looking only at the government deficit and ignoring the country’s deficit, we create an unbalanced and broken-backed economy that will survive only as long as overseas peddlers of “hot money” are willing to go on lending to us.

Bryan Gould

12 April 2015

 

 

 

64 comments on “Which Deficit? ”

  1. Colonial Rawshark 1

    Bryan Gould gets it. This analysis revolves around sectorial money balances. A government gets into “surplus” by taking more from the private sector – companies and households – than it spends back into the nation. Voila – the mysterious and much-sought after “surplus” is created.

    If you think that Government surpluses are a good thing, then you better think that forcing NZ’s private sector (households and businesses) into deficit is also a good thing. Because the two go together hand in glove in an environment where we are in constant deficit as a country overall to the foreign sector.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      If you think that Government surpluses are a good thing, then you better think that forcing NZ’s private sector (households and businesses) into deficit is also a good thing.

      The few people who get rich from these destructive policies think it’s a great idea as they get to buy up a nations assets that it’s spent decades building on the cheap.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1

        Exactly. They cloak their narrow self interest in theoretical goobledegook trying to make out that these policies are in the general interest. Recent history has shown us that nothing could be further from the truth.

    • DH 1.2

      I don’t think you’re on the right track with this argument, you seem to be saying there’s a see-saw effect between private & public sector borrowing. That doesn’t add up for me. Most private sector debt is for capital purchases, ie housing, whereas the present Govt debt is largely to fund operating expenses.

      If the Govt were to pull more tax revenue out of the private sector, and reduce its own deficit & borrowing, that should reduce private sector debt because people would have less disposable income to pay off their loans.

  2. Pat 2

    “….The people who paid the price for that mistake were Europe’s poor and unemployed; we were saved from worse only because our Australian-owned banks remained relatively stable and because our main export markets in Australia and China remained until recently reasonably buoyant.”
    …..and dont forget the huge influx of reinsurance dollars these past 4 years and the economic activity associated with the Christchurch “rebuild”…..an economic stimulus forced on this cut mad administration by circumstance.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Far from running the economy in a prudent fashion, the government presides over a New Zealand economy that continues to chalk up foreign payments deficits, year after year. We continue, in other words, to go on spending well beyond our means.

    And, boy, do the RWNJs really hate it when you point that out and that the NZ$ should be reflective of those accumulated deficits as the present economic free-trade theory calls for.

    The truth is that, by looking only at the government deficit and ignoring the country’s deficit, we create an unbalanced and broken-backed economy that will survive only as long as overseas peddlers of “hot money” are willing to go on lending to us.

    And there’s a hell of a lot of those as the large nations of the world engage in massive amounts of Quantitative Easing.

    • David H 3.1

      NZ is being run like a business. And ALL the valuables are being sold off, and the loose money and spoils are shared around the management. So the Business goes broke and the big wigs piss off overseas with all our money.

      Yep just like a badly run business.

  4. Incognito 4

    I believe that this is one of the “deficits” Brain Gould was referring to:

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/balance_of_payments/BalanceOfPayments_HOTPDec14qtr.aspx

  5. fisiani 5

    I believe that Bill English knows more about economics than Bryan Gould

    • Paul 5.1

      Really…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      I believe that you’re a sycophantic idiot who hasn’t got a clue at all. You certainly don’t know anything about economics or reality.

    • KB 5.3

      You’re a dreamer!
      Unfortunately for New Zealand there’s room for dancing upstairs with regards to English .
      You’ve clearly bought the bullshit !

    • Macro 5.4

      You really are in fine form today fisi! I spilt my coffee on that one. lol

      Tell me Fisi have you been to the ‘Temple of the Hidden Hand’ today? – tell me you are a true believer.

    • les 5.5

      Bill English knows how to run deficits,that much we do know.

      • Weepus beard 5.5.1

        He knows about promoting tobacco lobbyists to parliament too. And he knows about ripping the taxpayer off with housing fraud. He’s a 10 kid farmer, not an economist.

    • In Vino 5.6

      I would have more confidence in Fisiani’s assessment if Bill English did not persistently speak like a plodding, semi-literate mutton-brain. He could not even work out what was fair to claim for his accommodation.

      • McFlock 5.6.1

        Mistaking a slow rural drawl for stupidity is a common mistake, and one that has resulted in many a surprise comeuppance.

        And, like his mismanagement of the economy, I suspect he could indeed work out what was a fair claim for accommodation, and also knew how much in addition to that he could rort and get away with scot-free.

        I reckon English fancies himself in the running for being the next PM when key gets knifed post-sabin revelations. He might well be able to sneak in between the other cabinet ministers whose incompetence has been a bit more obvious. He only needs it for a few months to do a Mike Moore and get a conservative sinecure to sit in for the remainder of his career.

        Basically, “placeholder pm” is about as high as he’ll get, career-wise.

    • b waghorn 5.7

      He might know more about it but it doesn’t mean he’s got it right ,
      When ever I see English on TV and this goes back to the run up to the election I see a man who ether knows he’s failed or has been over ridden and is just seeing his time out .

    • emergency mike 5.8

      “I believe that Bill English knows more about economics than Bryan Gould”

      Well this fizzy assurance certainly trumps any word thingies from Gould. Why dispute points rationally when you can just disagree on faith? Despite the fact that everything this govt has ever touched has turned to shit. They did crush that wrong car pretty good though.

    • Andrea 5.9

      fisiani: Your faith does you credit but it won’t get you credit…

      Mr English may know a little more – yet it is clearly insufficient for the purpose of restoring enough belief in his fellow New Zealanders to get their hands out of their pockets, clutching money, to expand enterprise and paid employment in this country.

    • logie97 5.10

      … Bryan Gould, the Rhodes Scholar and former deputy leader of the British Labour Party? Remind us what English’s pedigree is again Fisiani.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.10.1

        He’s from a farm in Southland, got raised by a private school in Wellington and has rorted the NZ taxpayers.

      • David H 5.10.2

        “He completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Otago University, followed by a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English Literature at Victoria University in Wellington”

        http://www.billenglish.co.nz/pages/about.html

        And he’s in charge of the country’s finances. More like Key tells him what to do And Key is even less skilled.

        He later studied accounting at the University of Canterbury, from which he graduated with a degree in commerce in 1983,

        https://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1375215/John-Key

        All i can think of after looking that up is FFS incompetents everywhere.

    • Is that you Bill ?

  6. Brian Smith 6

    @fisianus- I believe that you believe anything that Bill English (or John Key) says. Moron!

  7. Lanthanide 7

    My only real question is – what is this supposed day of reckoning going to look like?

    Imagine a future which is business as usual, say the current conditions carry on more or less for 50 years. Will the day of reckoning come in those 50 years, and what will it look like?

    Now, lets face reality, where the world is likely to face oil shortages within 5 years and almost certainly within 10. Then throw in climate change and associated food shortages for good measure. Lets not even include a pandemic.

    Is our bad balance of payments history going to come back to haunt us in such a future? I’m not sure that it will.

    • Weepus beard 7.1

      And I’m not sure what you are talking about.

      Are you saying western civilised structure is going to collapse in the next 10 years and all government debt will be wiped?

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        It’s going to look very different in 10 years, but probably not collapsed completely.

        I suspect that pretty much all countries will be in recession / downwards spiral, so historical accounting won’t mean a lot.

        • Sacha 7.1.1.1

          When the global economy collapses, historic genuine willingness and ability to repay debt will count for an awful lot. Joyce, Key and English’s con game will be over. Good luck paying for those oil imports with a smile and a golf handicap.

          • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1

            Oil won’t be traded on the open market, instead trades will be done between countries.

            New Zealand grows more food than it needs to eat…

        • b waghorn 7.1.1.2

          Please excuse my financial illiteracy but what would happen if a govt just decided to cancel there foreign dedt obligations

  8. Weepus beard 8

    The enduring image I have of Bill English is the televised message he gave explaining to the nation that he’d just paid some hick-town SCF investors 700 million of our money in the dead of the night.

    That was a dark day in our history.

  9. Herodotus 9

    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key_graphs/current_account/
    One day NZ will face the consequence of these continual current account deficits.
    Over the last few years the consequence of the cross rate on the nz$ Or interest rates has been reported from the position of winners losers. Such reporting is so short term. In the end 99.9% of kiwis will be losers.
    IMO very few realise what we face, perhaps it is better to be oblivious to it 🙂

  10. Reddelusion 10

    Bryan Gould is a lawyer I had a 33pc chance of guessing that with Bryan been an ex labour mp ( he could have been a teacher or a trade union offical) thus he has no claim to been and expert on economics over bill English. Bryan played a part in some pretty average labour governments in the uk in regard to economic performance thus hardly and oracle on these matters. Bill English in turn is an accountant so he can count ( unlike much of labour) and has led nz though the gfc and chc earthquake, achieved one of the highest growth rates in the oecd, with falling unemployment. I know who I would back and thankfully so did the nz electorates

  11. Nic the NZer 11

    While Brian Gould’s analysis of the government deficit is quite correct, concern about the current account deficit should largely be understood on the same basis.

    The fact that NZ records a current account deficit means that (in excess of our exports on the reverse basis) some overseas enterprise has traded their goods and services for NZ$ and retained those $ saved overseas. It provides no particular concern, or threat to NZ, that people overseas might be willing to trade their produce for our NZ$ and then hold onto them. At some point they might want to use them to buy goods and services from NZ, which will reduce the trade deficit, or might lead to a trade surplus.

    It should also be noted that the ‘borrowing’ NZ does from overseas is simply the by product of the fact people are holding funds overseas. This is like how the bank borrows funds off someone when they deposit them.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    A seventh consecutive deficit is important because it demonstrates Bill English’s gross incompetence unequivocally.

    Six consecutive deficits apparently might be mistaken for bad luck – but seven is a confirmed statistical trend.

    English will NEVER get the books back to black – not even by the bizarrely selective criteria he pretends are meaningful.

    • Nic the NZer 12.1

      I am afraid English and co are far, far too bright for you. The goal of getting the books back in the black is, as Brian Gould says, entirely a political point scoring game it doesn’t have significant consequences for the country in and of itself. Never the less they managed to have this as the only economic game in town, so they can justify all kinds of cuts to the public sector, and sales of assets to bolster government books all in the name of political point scoring contest. And you just keep on asking and demanding it, where’s the surplus you promised, keep on going we want to see the surplus promised, it’s pathetic.

      • Stuart Munro 12.1.1

        Compliments already 🙂 – no, neo-con’s capacity for self delusion seems to be practically infinite – and it is important to remind them and less educated readers that they are not achieving their supposed goals.

        Yes, I want English to produce his promised surplus, but more importantly, journalists need to start asking him “If you’re such an economic rockstar, where the f**k is this surplus you’ve been promising?”

        Until they do Bill gets a free pass with the media. Seems he gets a free pass with you too…

        • b waghorn 12.1.1.1

          Key was on tv1 this morning burbling some shit about how realistically we only missed surplus by $5 if you compare it to Aussie s debt problems and it was all caused by labours unfunded programme’s any way.

          • Stuart Munro 12.1.1.1.1

            Yeah – he lies too easily – and economics actually is fairly important. His government has done nothing sensible, and the world economy is stalled in spite of massive middle eastern subsidies in the form of cheap oil and extra low interest rates. The next big piece of world economic news will be bad because no-one is generating healthy real growth – limits upside potential. If a real crisis develops NZ’s foreign lenders will be gone faster than you can say knife.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.1.1

              The next big piece of world economic news will be bad because no-one is generating healthy real growth

              That might be because a) there’s no such thing and b) we’ve hit physical limits to growth.

              • Stuart Munro

                I can’t agree – there will always be growth in some sectors as it is an expression of change.

                Under Key we’ve had growth in bankruptcy and corruption for example.

                Real measures to improve local economic performance, and a move away from non-contributing sectors like finance, gambling, and real estate would result in growth. We have abundant underemployment in New Zealand even a 1-2% improvement in that area would dwarf Bill English’s much touted air-guitar act.

                There is always a way to improve.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  IMO, the problem is partially, or even mostly, the use of the word ‘growth’. It has the implication of getting bigger and so growth in the economy is measured measured as GDP getting bigger and making more of the same is seen as good.

                  What we really need to do is development, where we, as productivity increases, produce different stuff.

        • Nic the NZer 12.1.1.2

          “Yes, I want English to produce his promised surplus”

          The cutting of government spending in an attempt to achieve surplus is a major causal factor in many of the economic problems NZ faces. These include but are not limited to,
          * Low levels of funding for public sector programs (education, health care, public transport infrastructure).
          * Income inequality (and low paying jobs, with poor rewards).
          * High levels of personal indebtedness (and of course low levels of personal savings, including retirement savings).
          * High levels of unemployment.
          * High house prices.
          Why on earth do you still want him to contribute to these problems?

          “and it is important to remind them and less educated readers that they are not achieving their supposed goals.”

          No, its important to explain to the less educated readers that their goals are destructive, on their own terms.

          “Seems he gets a free pass with you too…”

          Yep, accusing the finance minister of causing harm to the economy in order to engage in political point scoring, that’s obviously what we call a free pass.

          • Stuart Munro 12.1.1.2.1

            My object is not point scoring but removal.

            We’ve seen he doesn’t have a clue. A seven year record of non-performance is something the public can understand. Was Cullen a better finance minister? I’m inclined to think that he was, and that running surpluses did not invalidate his performance.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.3

          Want to know what would be a better question Blinglish and Key? Where’s the 170, 000 jobs that they promised?

  13. ropata 13

    Thank goodness we have luminaries like fisiani and re-delusional to provide informed academic critiques. :eyeroll:
    We need better tr0lls

  14. tricledrown 14

    Fishy and Blue Looney Double Dipper has had the luck of the Irish with record prices for Dairy a CH CH rebuild causing an immigration boom.
    Dairy prices are falling rapidly the property bubble is going to burst .
    Then double dipstick will be exposed.

  15. MrSmith 15

    Very good Brian.

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    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    3 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    3 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    4 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That is the only way to describe an MP "forgetting" to declare $178,000 in donations. The amount of money involved - more than five times the candidate spending cap, and two and a half times the median income - is boggling. How do you just "forget" that amount of money? ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Gaza!
    It finally happened: the International Criminal Court prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza: The chief prosecutor of the international criminal court has said he is seeking arrest warrants for senior Hamas and Israeli officials for war crimes and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the implications of US elections.
    In this week’s “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and spoke about the upcoming US elections and what the possibility of another Trump presidency means for the US role in world affairs. We also spoke about the problems Joe … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Web of Chaos, Secret Dolphins & Monster Truck Madness
    Hi,Two years ago I briefly featured in Justin Pemberton’s Web of Chaos documentary, which touched on things like QAnon during the pandemic.I mostly prattled on about how intertwined conspiracy narratives are with Evangelical Christian thinking, something Webworm’s explored in the past.(The doc is available on TVNZ+, if you’re not in ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • How Government’s road obsession is ruining Auckland’s transport plans
    “TL;DR: The reality is that Central Government’s transport policy and direction makes zero sense for Auckland, and if the draft GPS doesn’t change from its original form, then Auckland will be on a collision course with Wellington.” Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is now out for consultation, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, May 21
    The Government is leaving the entire construction sector and the community housing sector in limbo. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government released the long-awaited Bill English-led review of Kāinga Ora yesterday, but delayed key decisions on its build plan and how to help community housing providers (CHPs) build ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate change is affecting mental health literally everywhere
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons Farmers who can’t sleep, worrying they’ll lose everything amid increasing drought. Youth struggling with depression over a future that feels hopeless. Indigenous people grief-stricken over devastated ecosystems. For all these people and more, climate change is taking a clear toll ...
    5 days ago
  • The Ambassador and Luxon – eye to eye
    New Zealand’s relationship with China is becoming harder to define, and with that comes a worry that a deteriorating political relationship could spill over into the economic relationship. It is about more than whether New Zealand will join Pillar Two of Aukus, though the Chinese Ambassador, more or less, suggested ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Fast track to environmental degradation
    Been hoping we would see something like this from Sir Geoffrey Palmer. This is excellent.The present Bill goes further than the National Development Act 1979  in stripping away procedures designed to ensure that environmental issues are properly considered. The 1979 approach was not acceptable then and this present approach is ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Leading Labour Off The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
    He’s Got The Moxie: Only Willie Jackson possesses the credentials to meld together a new Labour message that is, at one and the same moment, staunchly working-class, union-friendly, and which speaks to the hundreds-of-thousands of urban Māori untethered to the neo-tribal capitalist elites of the Iwi Leaders Forum.IT’S ONE OF THE ...
    6 days ago
  • Priority is given to powerlines – govt strikes another blow for the economy while Jones fends off ...
    Tree-huggers may well accuse the Government of giving them the fingers, after Energy Minister Simeon Brown announced new measures to protect powerlines from trees, rather than measures to protect trees from powerlines. It can be no coincidence, surely, that this has been announced at the same as Fisheries Minister Shane Jones ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The question we need to be asking
    One of National's first actions in government was to dismantle climate change policy, scrapping the clean car discount and overturning the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry, which had given us Aotearoa's biggest-ever emissions reduction. But there's an obvious problem: we needed those emissions reductions to meet our carbon budgets: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper who could take over the Labour ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The Tikanga challenge for law schools, the rule of law – and Parliament
    Barrister Gary Judd KC’s complaint to the Regulatory Review Committee has sparked a fierce debate about the place of tikanga Māori – or Māori customs, values and spiritual beliefs – in the law.Judd opposes the New Zealand Council of Legal Education’s plans to make teaching tikanga compulsory in the legal curriculum.AUT ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  •  The Huge Potential Benefits of Charter Schools
    Alwyn Poole writes –  In New Zealand we have approximately 460 high schools. The gaps between the schools that produce the best results for students and those at the other end of the spectrum are enormous.In terms of the data for their leavers, the top 30 schools have ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago

  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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