Who wins and who loses from tax reforms

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, January 22nd, 2010 - 65 comments
Categories: tax - Tags:

You’re probably up to your ears in this tax reform issue by now, but just one more. It’s a good ‘un, promise. I’ve made a pretty graphic of who would lose and who would gain, and how, from the tax working groups’ proposals:

The huge tax breaks for the few people on very large incomes are paid for by the middle class and poor.

Distribution of income source.
Factors: TWG proposals all adopted. ie. 38% and 33% income tax rates replaced by 30% rate kicking in at $48,000. GST increased to 15%. Benefits and superannuation increased by 2.2% to cover GST increase. Proposed land and property tax changes adopted – cost split between lower returns and higher rents as per
Treasury modelling by Arthur Grimes (or Grimey as he liked to be called). People spend 66% of gross income on products subject to GST – based on Stats average household income and spending figures (will be lower for higher incomes, so net tax cuts actually larger than given)

65 comments on “Who wins and who loses from tax reforms”

  1. gitmo 1

    Where’s the third graph on percentage of tax take paid by each of those groups………. or are you no better than David Farrar and selectively choosing only to show those items that make a dubious point ?

    • Michael Foxglove 1.1

      You’re missing the point gitmo. Marty is showing that by far most people in NZ will suffer, while Key’s rich mates get a tax break.

    • snoozer 1.2

      gitmo. It’s aobut a change from the status quo and who wins and who loses from that change. Come on, you get that, eh?

      • Tigger 1.2.1

        Actually, I get a big tax break under this but I am certainly not one of Key’s ‘mates’. Just as with the last tax break NACT handed me I’ll be pouring the money into the Labour Party…

    • Daveosaurus 1.3

      The graph in question is here.

      (Security word: “AUTHORITYS”. Is someone around here trying to discourage good spelling and grammar?)

  2. Michael Foxglove 2

    Great graph Marty. I think it speaks volumes about who would suffer under the tax changes John Key is considering.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    So easy to understand and a fact that has, from what I can make out, been purposefully hidden. You’ll note that in the MSM nobody talks about incomes greater than $100k.

  4. Well all I can say is that after 9 years of “closing the gap” Clark it is pathetic to think that so many New Zealanders are earning so little.

    • Clarke 4.1

      So you think John “I’d love to see wages drop” Key is going to improve matters? Remember, he’s the guy who ruled out a rise in the minimum wage to $15/hr ….

    • Bright Red 4.2

      would you like to see how it looked before Labour, dm? because I’m sure that can be done. actually, if you follow the source link marty has given, you can see what it was like in 2001 when labour had just got to power.

      By my reckoning, the median (that’s the point where half the population is above, half is below) is up 55% between 2001 and 2008, even taking into account inflation of about 25%, that’s a 30% increase. pretty damn good in 7 years.

    • Sam 4.3

      Yes, let’s completely ignore the actions of the Fourth National Government that entrenched our low-wage economy so deeply that the Fifth Labour had to use tax payer dollars to make up the difference (WFF).

  5. Zaphod Beeblebrox 5

    The above graph highlights another thing- the appallingly low incomes of NZers. As an Australian living in NZ its stunning that NZ has virtually no middle class.

    This is what really should be concerning NZ governments, not a few cents in the dollar tax rates. A prosperous, educated, hard working middle class with enough time and energy to contribute to society is what separates third from the first world countries. Have a look at the dsintegration of U.S. society and poltical discourse as their middle classes shrink.

  6. roger nome 6

    DM:

    Come again? This time try writing a coherent statement that’s punctuated properly, if that’s not beyond you….

  7. Lew 7

    Marty, not to quibble (!) but is the y axis supposed to have intervals which go $4001-$5000, $9001-$10000, or shoudl all those nines be fives?

    L

  8. So 2.5 million of us will be made actively worse off to enrich a tenth of that number who will come out ahead, while 1% – the top 25,000 taxpayers, including all Government Ministers and John Key himself – will make out like bandits. How is this “fair”?

  9. snoozer 9

    That really puts this whole argument to bed I think. You’ve got 3.2 million taxpayers getting worse off so that a few tend of thousands can have huge tax cuts.

    • indiana 9.1

      any merit to the the 250k of tax payers that may be creating jobs for the 3.2M tax payers to exist?

      • Idiot/Savant 9.1.1

        None. If they do that (and I do not believe the rich are indispensible supermen; if they move, someone else will fill their niche and make that money), then they’re already doing it, so clearly the present incentives are sufficient. So why do we need to fuck over 2.5 million to give them a windfall?

      • Bright Red 9.1.2

        indiana, put down the Ayn Rand. That stuff rots the brain.

        Jobs are not created by the rich. They are the result of the application of labour and capital to create supply to meet demand. We don’t need mutli-millionaries for that to happen. And we certainly don’t need to give them tax cuts.

        • Watermelon 9.1.2.1

          Increasing spending in Education and R&D would be a far better way to create jobs than giving the “rich pricks” another tax cut.

          Captcha: schemes

          • Tigger 9.1.2.1.1

            And how is giving someone a personal tax cut going to enable them to ‘create jobs’? To do this they would need to (a) own businesses that employ people and (b) put their tax cut into hiring more staff in the business. Likely?

  10. vto 10

    This is such a dumb argument.

    If all income taxes were able to be wiped altogether then those that pay the most would get the biggest saving. What is the problem with that? It is just simple maths. The rich pay more, so it makes total sense they also get the biggest reduction. Just like when taxes go up they end up paying more.

    out

    • Bright Red 10.1

      no vto. because we’re not talking about wiping the taxes out altogether. These are fiscally neutral tax changes.. We’re talking about tax changes that specifically only benefit the rich and impose more cost on everyone else.

      This is about a proposed change from what we have now and who gets the gain from that change and who bears the cost.

  11. Good to see the Standard continuing to do the job and the analysis that the MSM should be doing.

  12. vidiot 12

    “1.2 million taxpayers (19,001 to 45,000), no compensation for GST, higher rents and or/falling property returns. No income tax cut”

    Eh wtf ?

    Read the piece by Bernard Hickey – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10621483&pnum=0 it has a great summary of how things could play out.

    Or is he just another wing-nut ?

    • Bright Red 12.1

      vidiot. Some people in that group rent. Some people in that group have investment properties. The TWG report says that the cost of the changes to property tax will probalby be split between renters and landlords.

      What do you do for a living? I hope it doesn’t involve simple deduction, or even reading the notes at the end of things.

    • IrishBill 12.2

      I have some sympathy for Hickey’s argument but in his last para he states:

      They [landlords] need to get back down to the business of making sustainable yields on rental properties with real people in them.

      I don’t know how he expects landlords to make sustainable profits when he also expects house prices to remain stable after a land-tax is introduced and tax breaks are removed.

      At the moment rental returns (excluding capital gain and tax breaks) are averaging around 4% (or at least I recall that’s the figure).

      You can do better than than with a term deposit.

      Of course some people may shift their capital to the markets but given the regulatory failure we’ve seen over the last few years and the lack of the current government to fix this failure I’d suggest that few will be in any hurry to liquidate their property portfolios and plunge into financial investments.

      Which doesn’t leave much for landlords to do to maintain profit other than raise rents.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.2.1

        Its quite possible that it could become more economical to leave your rental property empty and not even let tell IRD about it. Thats if they are going to expect you eran 6% pa on it.

        You’d expect a reversion to cash in hand blacket market rentals as why would any property owner want to subject themselves to thousands dollars of assessable income which they would never be able to earn anyway.

        A Land Tax and a CGT would be much more practicable.

  13. burt 13

    So the current tax system isn’t fair that’s OK, it’s popular with enough people to win an election. What else matters?

    Everything that was wrong with Labour can be seen in Dr Cullen’s approach to taxation it’s not about getting it right it’s about enough people believing you have it right to hold onto the treasury benches. No more no less.

    Bleat about tax rorts as much as you like, the Labour govt policies created whole industries based on working the angles and you had nothing but praise for the policies when Labour were in govt it is very sad it took a change of govt for you to wake up to what was really happening and what inequities the policies of envy marketing campaign created. But still you want status quo . Unbelievable.

    • Bright Red 13.1

      who says its not fair for those who benefit most from our capitalist economic system to pay the most for the cost of maintaining and moderating that system?

      Ceterus paribus, the cost has to be paid by someone. You would rather put more of the cost on the poor and middle class?

      • burt 13.1.1

        The people who benefit the most should pay, I have no issue with that. But when under Labour 75% of high school teachers had slipped into paying the top tax rate and about half of the 100 most wealthy people in NZ were not – I need to take a whole jar of “Labour good’ pills to agree with you Cullen had it right.

        But hey, Cullen only had 9 budgets to dodge the unpopular changes, the McLeod report to ignore and the constant drone of treasury & economists to denigrate he plucked the goose and the duct tape over it’s beak stopped it’s hissing from being heard pity it died of cold as soon as the black clouds of economic trouble appeared on the horizon.

  14. Zaphod Beeblebrox 14

    Burt- right about Cullen, free student loans and WFF two cases in point.

    However, listening to Goff and Cunliffe for the past year, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to keep the staus quo.

    Every side seems to agree the tax system is stuffed, but no two people will agree on how to achieve the desired outcome.

    You accuse Cullen (rightly) of kowtowing to political opportunism, do you trust Key not to do the same?

    Why, for instance is he entrenching WFF and has already ruled out a CGT?

  15. TightyRighty 15

    Lolz on the grimey call in the footnotes. one of the bet ever simpsons episodes

  16. RedLogix 16

    Proposed land and property tax changes adopted cost split between lower returns and higher rents

    Brilliant as usual Marty, but Grimey is being highly optimistic here. Most landlords are already putting cash into the business in order to cover costs. ie the extra cash from their LAQC tax break, is cycled straight back to pay the mortgage, rates, maintenance, insurance, etc. Effectively it is being used to subsidise low rents.

    Take the tax break away and the loss of cash flow will have to be fully passed on to the tenant. With returns around the 3-5% mark anyway, there really isn’t room for most landlords go lower without making a total loss.

    I’ve done my numbers. Most of my tenants are currently paying about $300pw. If all three proposals go through, the Land Tax, the RFRM tax on equity and the dismantling of the LAQC cash flow smoothing mechanism… I’m going to be fronting up to my tenants with an increase to $375pw.

    The conversation at the door will start like this, “You know that tax cut ‘north of $50pw’ that nice Mr Key promised you… this isn’t it”.

  17. BLiP 17

    The promise:

    My Government is today tabling a Bill to reduce personal taxes from 1 April 2009.     Its intention is to pass this new tax legislation by Christmas and it  believes this tax reduction will equip New Zealanders with some much needed extra cash in tough economic times.

    Personal taxes will be further reduced from 1 April 2010 and from 1 April 2011.  As a result, by 1 April 2011 around 80% of New Zealand taxpayers will end up paying no more than 20c in tax for every additional dollar that they earn.

    This programme of tax reduction is a central part of the economic plan of my Government, because it believes in encouraging New Zealanders to get ahead under their own steam, and it views personal tax reductions as an essential step in ensuring that can happen.

    John Key 09/12/08

    The reality:

    The rich get richer, the poor get poorer

    Thanks National Ltd® – I’m lovin’ it.

  18. Uroskin 18

    How much would the 38% to 30% alignment be worth in the lower tax bracket, i.e. how much of everybody’s income could be tax-free (or the lowest tax threshold reduced for everybody)? That way the tax cut could be for everybody on their first tranche of taxable income and much fairer.

    • burt 18.1

      Uroskin

      I’ve never understood why both Labour & National are so anti a tax free bottom bracket for income. I guess it is just too simple and provides no opportunity to play god with winners and losers.

  19. tsmithfield 19

    Has anyone got any idea of what the true rate of taxation is when all the various forms of taxation are taken into account: e.g.

    Income Tax
    GST
    Various other consumption taxes (ciggies, booze, petrol etc)
    Rates
    Indirect ways of taxing such as dividends on government-owned electricity companies etc.

    Income tax is only one component of the tax system afterall.

    • snoozer 19.1

      ts. easy. go to the treasury website. look the the budget documents. find the amount of tax revenue raised and the gdp. divide first by second.

      tell us what you come up with

      • rainman 19.1.1

        If I’m reading the numbers right (big if), for 2008 that was apparently 30.8%.

        captcha: collection 🙂

  20. Herodotus 20

    It is not a given that rentals would increase, pure speculation, as when interest rates move rentals tonot follow this trend. Also there is not as I am aware not a surplus of tennants out there, there is a cost to both parties in a change of tenancy, and depending on the time e.g. tennat vacates in Dec a potential of many weeks of the rental property being vacant, and 1 weeks vacancy equate to a 2% rise in new rental to compensate for this lose in cash for that financial year, and many land lords subsidies rentals for good tennants. I know what poor tennants are like chasing arears in rent, property maintenance and the general hassel.

    • RedLogix 20.1

      It is not a given that rentals would increase, pure speculation, as when interest rates move rentals tonot follow this trend.

      Most mortgages are for fixed rates at fixed terms, so they do not all expire for all landlords at the same time even when variable rates increase. Moreover the interest portion of the mortgage is a deductible cost, so the landlord is not under immediate pressure to recover it and can usually wait until the tenant leaves before raising the rent. (The average tenancy is around 12-18 months, and many landlords find it the most painless way of dealing with the issue.) Therefore the link between interest rates and rents is not so very obvious.

      But if Land Tax, an RFRM equity tax, and depreciation is cut from the LAQC model, then this will directly hit the cash flow of most landlords more or less in the same time frame, and most will react to cover the increased costs.

      A minority, those with very cash flow positive properties that they have held onto for a decade or more, will be able to absorb the extra costs and not increase rents, but their fortunate tenants will be much less inclined to move … and the landlord can only rent the place once.

      • Herodotus 20.1.1

        So they have in hindsight if these new reforms go ahead paid to much for the property and their gearings are not manageable, (Similar to forestry and tradable Carbon credits.) If the properties were brought on -ve equity, there is a case that it was not brought for rental incomes BUT capital gains. Thus the onwers should be subject on disposal of paying Cap Gains (As if anyone would own up to that). Many property investment coys will not openly state this but there is a strong inferral at the presentations I have been to as the motivation and business case on purchasing is in on Capital Gains.

        • RedLogix 20.1.1.1

          Well if you want to apply a GGT go right ahead.. but apply it across the board to ALL instances where something is purchased with an intent to resell for a profit. Like shares, commercial, industrial and farm property…why just pick on residential rental investors?

          The fact is that if you hold onto a property long enough.. 8-12yrs these days it should become cash flow positive.

          • Herodotus 20.1.1.1.1

            It does apply to shares if you are trading in them. But yet people who trade daily also do not disclose any of their success to the IRD, the same should apply to those who trade inthe other avenues you have mentioned.
            IMy comments do not just pick on residential rental “investors” according to the wording of the law their income should be disclosed as taxable.

            • RedLogix 20.1.1.1.1.1

              So all this begs the distinction between a trader and an investor.

              If I’m trading in cabbages/shares/whatever on a daily basis, then I pay tax on my profit, ie income after costs.

              If I’m trading in my labour then I pay tax on my income before costs, ie the food, shelter and transport that are essential to my existence.

              If I’m a farmer who sells his property when he retires (after decades of relatively low cash flow and re-investing heavily in adding value to the place) … should I pay tax on the ‘capital gain’? And how is that ‘gain’ calculated, before or after costs, and in real, nominal or market adjusted dollars?

              These distinctions are long-standing and real, but they rather hurt my head when I start thinking about where they all come from.

              • SPC

                I am a fan of a CGT paid by farmers when they sell up.

                There would need to be another arrangement for farms owned by Trusts who would avoid a CGT liability sale.

                Much of the “investment” by farmers is in maintaining the business and this accounts for low tax on their after cost income. The rising value is not the result of such “maitenance”. No more than maintaining the condition of a rental property is the reason the land around it goes up in value.

                As for a CGT itself – that could be done on the basis of no inflation adjustment (in which case a lower tax rate should apply instead). Note that we tax interest income despite much of this being compensation for annual inflation – meaning there is a case for a reduced tax on interest for the same reason.

                PS

                A farmland CGT could fund CRI’s – Agriculture Research, and Fast Forward and provide funding for environment work – water resources and clean waterways.

    • snoozer 20.2

      “It is not a given that rentals would increase, pure speculation,”

      Take it up with Grimey

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.3

      Hard to see how that won’t happen. Remember we are about to enter a housing crisis as nothing is being built at present. The property investment market is likely to be hit so thats unlikely to change.

      Housing NZ are being starved for funds so no help from them.

      Same number of tenants looking for less houses/apartments with landlords and/or property company getting reduced income = higher rents.

      If interest rates go up expect these effects to be compunded.

      • burt 20.3.1

        Zaphod

        Perhaps you missed this a few days ago;

        Stuff: 14/01/2010 – Building consents hit 18-month high

        Building consents for new homes rose 3.1 per cent in November to reach their highest level since May 2008, according to Statistics NZ.

        The number, which excluded consents for new apartments, follows an 11 per cent jump in October, but remains some way off the highs experienced in mid-2007.

        “Although the trend for new housing units has been increasing since March 2009, it is still considerably lower than the levels seen before mid-2007, “said business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver.

        Sure it’s not all boom times again, but it is a long way from nothing is being built at present.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.3.1.1

          Fair enough, things have improved slightly of late. Still 42 apartments for the whole of NZ does not sound a lot to me.

          Given what the budget is likely to do to landlord profitability you’d have to admit things are looking grim for the residential construction business over the next couple of years.

          • burt 20.3.1.1.1

            Zaphod

            No argument that things will change if tax is added to the property equation. The issue is investment will move to the vehicle with the best return and if tax takes away the current advantages of bricks and mortar over other classes of investment then its guess work as to what impact that will have.

            Arguably the top end of the property market will fall as the holding cost goes up, that might have some unexpected consequences on lower value property.

            Personally I think there is an element of breaking eggs to make an omelet in this situation because I think the tax base is far too dependent on individual income tax. However I don’t claim to know what will happen given;

            a) We don’t know which parts of the report will be implemented – if any.

            and;

            b) we don’t know for sure what response property owners and renters will have to the changes.

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.3.1.1.1.1

              True, we won’t know the details until the budget, but you can see that the options for paying for the tax cuts which we need have been significantly reduced already.

              If they decide they can’t sell a GST rise politically (Maori Party are likely to oppose and ACT will want their pound of flesh so may be tricky), the only remaining three options involve property owners and renters footing the bill. No matter which combination of the three are decided it would be hard not to see a capital outflow from the the property investment/construction market.

              In the long term, this will be a good thing- but where will that leave their housing policy? Rising rents and accomodation shortages probably won’t be the best thing if you want to attract skilled workers.

              If they do embark upon this course, the government really need to reconsider their housing/development policies- hopefully RMA changes will allow shorter consent times than 2 years, public/private development opportunities, Housing NZ doing more probably all need to be considered.

              • Herodotus

                It takes 9+ years for a plan change to proceed if you are lucky if not like Long Bay a Generation !!!
                Subdivision consent can take 3+ years then you have local body consents etc.
                And no involvement by Cent Govt within the process unless Transit motorways are affected then you can build ramps, widen approaches etc to solve their problems.
                Then yuo have councils wanting all the infrastructure changes paid for. In some cases $50k per lot of Development cont, double glazing etc how do yuo then a make property available in a timely fascion and b make it affordable?
                Everyonee gives this lipservice support but when asked for action go missing!!!

  21. garethw 21

    There are some very good points to made about the possible changes in tax burden depending on the mixture/choice of options. But this is such appalling selective picking of the numbers to make your case that you lose any credibility to do so.

    The TWG made it very very clear that the changes in personal income tax would have to be made up from alternatives – the increase in GST wasn’t really one of these as the recommended cut in lower tax rates to compensate for it made it relatively neutral (+$200m I believe it was). For example, given the HUGE concentration of capital wealth amongst the rich, a CGT to offset the personal income tax changes would be very much progressive and in certain scenarios could see zero change to tax paid across the board; just the mixture of types of tax would change. Similarly land wealth is heavily concentrated amongst the rich, so a tax on land would hit them to offset the personal income tax changes. Alignment of rates would see the rich currently sheltering earnings in trusts and businesses actually make no gain as they’re currently being taxed at the lower rate anyway through their chicanery.

    NONE of which you mention. Your focus on only personal income tax is borderline ridiculous – what matters is what total percentage of all tax is paid for by the wealthiest vs the poorest. Their are permutations of the TWG’s options that could end up even more progressive and certainly stop the rich being able to shelter income or make out like bandits because they control capital, land and property but instead you spin the numbers in a bald-faced partisan bid to discredit something your party didn’t author.

    • RedLogix 21.1

      You make some reasonable points, but the scenario you paint ain’t necessarily so.

      It is true that CGT’s potentially hit the wealthy more than the poor, but as has been pointed out many times, CGT’s are complex (read expensive) to administer and not especially efficient.

      It is also true that aligning the top PAYE and Company tax rate superficially seems like a good idea… but you forget that just making the two rates the same won’t result in any more total tax being paid. In fact it’s unlikely to change anything, because even with the two tax rates the same, there are still advantages to having income sheltered in a company or trust.

      And I agree that superficially a Land Tax is a respectable idea, but it’s been suggested that will be exemptions for farm land, forests, Maori land and large trust holdings, i.e. land that falls below a certain $/Hecatare threshold. So again there will be many very wealthy for whom this will change nothing.

      As Matt McCarten puts it today in the Herald… the one idea that would reliably and efficiently tax the very wealthy, a financial transfer tax …. has gone completely unmetioned by the TWG. So much for their credibility.

  22. garethw 22

    Now see RedLogix those are all valid points worthy of analysis – you can explore the real affects of the different taxation methods across wealth “classes”, even if it is a little difficult.
    I just wish I had seen more such thought and honesty from those who oppose the Govt. Instead we get selective number and stat usage that would make the Republican Party proud!

    And I’m not advocating for or against any of the options presented in that report here (or options they may have missed), just trying to ensure we get a reasonable and honest debate about those options from all sides.

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    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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