Why do dummies lead our national debates?

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, February 16th, 2009 - 31 comments
Categories: economy - Tags: , ,

gift-for-rogerWhy does the Business Roundtable employ an economic illiterate to represent them to the public and argue their corner on macroeconomics? Here’s some of what Roger Kerr has to say in his op-ed in Granny Herald today:

“What seems to be overlooked is that the huge rises in core Crown spending in recent years – some $25 billion since 2000 – saw New Zealand “lead the world” into recession.” – He’s implying causation when there is none. The causes of New Zealand entering recession were lack of spare capacity in labour and capital for growth, record oil prices, the end of the housing boom, and a major drought. Show me a causative link between the increase in nominal government spending between 1999 and 2008 (the figure Roger is quoting) and I’ll eat my hat.

He mocks the idea conept of economic “stimulus” (his punctuation). I love the quotation marks used to throw into doubt the entire notion that higher spending by the government (or anyone for that matter) is stimulatory, flying in the face of not only the near universal economic consensus by the very names of economic terms like ‘fiscal stimulus’.

“Hundreds of economists in the United States are saying the Obama Administration’s so-called “stimulus” package is reckless” Yeah but there are tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of economists in the US. So a small minority who think the stimulus package is reckless, so what?

“High levels of Government spending, already projected to be 45 per cent of GDP on the OECD’s measure (which includes local government), contributed to the balance of payments problem by driving up domestic costs” – bullshit. The balance of payments problem was exacerbated by cheap foreign credit and the wealth effect from the housing boom and full employment but it is a structural problem arising from us not having enough domestic manufacturing and too much of the profits from domestic production flowing overseas, or to sum it up, too much of our economy being based around foreign-owned companies exercising rentier behaviour, milking us rather than building us.

“[Singapore and Hong Kong] are able to ensure the provision of high-quality public goods and maintain strong social spending programmes with Government spending at far lower levels than NZ.” Great, all we have to do is move New Zealand to one of the world’s largest shipping choke-points and live under one form of dictatorship or another. At least the taxes will be lower. And, for the record: Singapore’s health system is nearly entirely private and our health is better despite much lower GDP per capita. Singapore has the 6th highest level of public debt in the world, ours is 86th. Singapore has a larger gap between rich and poor, and higher inflation.

“Improvements of this kind in fiscal policy are a key element”, – ‘are key elements’, more than one improvement = more than one element.

Maybe it’s just me but if I were the Business Roundtable, I would prefer to employ someone who knows what they’re talking about than someone who is ‘politically correct’ and just says what I want to hear. Better to be told the unpalatable truth than a wonderful fairytale. Maybe it’s just me.

On a related note, the organisers of the Jobs Summit have relented and decided to invite Roger Kerr after all. Well, there goes any hope (not that I had any) of that event being more than a platform for voicing extreme anti-worker ideology.

On a further related note, Anti-dismal has a list of 14 things that most US economists agree on (which reminds me of the joke of my first economics teacher, ask 20 economists a question and you’ll get 30 answers). I agree with them all but point out that the minimum wage question deals in the absolute question of its existence, not marginal increases, and that no-one said ensuring a basic living wage for hundreds of thousands of families was completely cost-free. Negative income tax is attractive but not when, as usually, it is tied to flat tax.

31 comments on “Why do dummies lead our national debates? ”

  1. Quoth the Raven 1

    or to sum it up, too much of our economy being based around foreign-owned companies exercising rentier behaviour, milking us rather than building us.

    Excellent. Absolutely agree.

  2. burt 2

    Steve P.

    You have argued why we managed to lead the world into recession but you have no argument that we did exactly that.

    Leading the world into recession is pretty shabby for a govt that claimed to be prudent financial managers irrespective of why it happened.

    [yeah, they should have prevented the collapse of the housing bubble, made it rain, brought down oil prices.. SP]

  3. bobo 3

    I found Kerr contradicted himself in the article and made reference to Japans recession in the 90s with no mention of NZ decade long Gov induced recession, comparing NZ to Singapore or Hong Kong was pointless being major trade routes for China with up till now a guaranteed income. This is the same Kerr that moans during the good times that they can’t find skilled workers because they go overseas for more money and he still wants to a low wage economy model.

  4. IrishBill 4

    burt, we had a small domestic recession that had nothing to do with the subprime crisis. If anything our position was a result of our failed monetarist model of inflation control.

    Our economy was geared for investment in property, there was heaps of cheap credit available and as a consequence we got a property bubble.

    Using our stupid monetarist system the inflation caused by that bubble was dealt with by raising the official cash rate.

    That had two main effects:

    1. Our dollar was kept artificially high which meant our exporters and especially our exporting manufacturers were hit.

    2. Our interest rates were artificially increased which meant we were an even more attractive population to lend to.

    The result of this was lost jobs and decreased productive capital as our exporters went under and even more money to finance property speculation. Which in turn increased inflation and the OCR. Until we got to a little recession.

    If Labour can be blamed for anything regarding the current recession it would be their failure to remove incentives for property speculation and the fact they didn’t change the reserve bank act. Both of these failures are classic non-interventionist, free market behaviours.

    What would really have done us in would have been tax cuts in 2005 which would have produced nothing but more inflation, intensified the OCR problem and left teh government with nothing to spend now. Not that the government is spending anything now as it seems the bulk of spending was already done in advance by the last government. What really concerns me is what happens when National/Act have to stand on their own two feet.

  5. burt 5

    IrishBill

    What really concerns me is what happens when National/Act have to stand on their own two feet.

    Given Labour pulled the rug out from under the incoming govt by creating the domestic recession and spending all reserves on unproductive “assets” (read: liabilities requiring more investment) I’m also worried about how “the country” can stand on it’s own two feet. National or Labour govt is not really the issue after the damage Labour did in an effort to remain popular for a 4th term.

  6. Jum 6

    It doesn’t matter what Kerr says or what The Standard says about him. He gets into print. He sounds important. People who are even stupider than him will believe him. There is no written word that people see to prove Kerr is lying. Until that happens, people won’t know that he is lying.

    Reporting Kerr is as bad as having bank economists, with conflicts of interest, on television to tell us how bad it is and NZers have to accept Mexican wages. Workers need to create a partnership with breaking businesses and make them work. Then NZ wins instead of the NZ Business Rotundtable/smash and grab merchants.

    On their website, these cretins used small print in the title of the Prime Minister Helen Clark. This shows the lack of respect they have for the office of the Prime Minister of any Labour Government, more especially if it is a woman, and offers more proof of the extent of their hatred towards working Kiwis.They have no credibility when it comes to New Zealand’s financial health and future.

    They are working against New Zealanders and need to be shown up. Their manifesto matches that of Act and National and international conservatives.

    The NZ Business Roundtable are dangerous, especially to women with independent thought.

  7. IrishBill 7

    Burt, the domestic recession was minor and the result of the freemarket policies that Labour kept in place. They also spent the surpluses on paying down debt, encouraging kiwisaver and building up the super fund.

    We have one of the lowest debt to gdp ratios in the western world and as a consequence we are in a reasonably good position to deal with the recession. For a small country and assuming we are able to capitalise on the debt space we have available.

    Despite your greatest wishes the last government made a bloody good job of looking after the economy and would be making a better job of looking after it now than the current hacks.

    I get the feeling that fact that the economic facts don’t fit your “labour-bad” view of the world won’t stop your mindless mouthing of hollow spin. Which is funny because even the nats don’t try those patently fraudulent lines anymore.

  8. northpaw 8

    To answer your blog title’s question.. it is likely because the ego involved has been encouraged.. by folks who many of us thought knew better. I’m referring to a public on-air platform at Te Papa quite recently. Yeah, we know as it were that operations cost money and sponsors likely provide it.. a pony has many tails..

    But after reading through your link to Granny’s op-ed I’d have to say how the rubber is not on road for this guy. He likely knows it — the call is for distraction. Excuses. When what is needed are solutions..

    An example of that is how the House-Senate conference recovery bill supplies $8.4 billion for transit projects, and an additional $8 billion for high-speed rail. These would put Americans back to work to the tune of nearly 20,000 jobs for every $1 billion invested in mass transit.

    Needs brains and application, not dummies with excuses and money that some folks would call status-seeking bribes..

    Else the stuff this wise owl
    ps: in case you start wandering the blavatar has a French name and one tiny segment of enzed lit for a signature.

  9. northpaw 9

    Wiseowl (above link) just pulled an updater from Nick Stern, economist of sig note. Here’s a snip:—

    The report, co-authored by many of the same economists who contributed to the influential Stern Review, calls on governments to include $400 billion in green spending in their stimulus plans. That’s 20 percent of the estimated $2 trillion that nations are likely to spend on economic packages in total, or four percent of global GDP.

    Be nice to think that kiwis are aware of new satellite technology which measures atmospheric carbon dioxide and, importantly, says where it is and is coming from.. thinking positively, you understand, in relation to so-called trade protectionism and its underpinning arguments

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    So when did we go into recession? In the US it was dec 07.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/01/business/02econ-web.php

    So if we led them, it wasn’t by much, and as alluded had more to do with our RB not spending drunken sailor wise to keep the bubble expanding.

    The argument seems to be that Labour sux because we didnae have helicopter Ben delaying the pimple bursting on some arses. Well, that’s what the argument would be if it were intended to make sense beyond sophistry.

  11. vto 11

    P’s b, in my experience, for NZ it was August 2007. That is when reverse sentiment became apparent. And its since been reflected in stats – growth started to severely slow until eventually the slowing growth became negative.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    When did that slowing growth become negative?

    I know you don’t like the official stats and things, preferring your gut and anecdotal subjective looking about, and that’s fine. But folks all over the shop are making the specific technical claim that we were in recession before the US. I’m not denying that, I’m just asking if it’s you know, true.

    edit, more snarky than intended. Frustrated that I can’t source this as quickly as the us stat, and that as a meme it may well be pants, yet unstoppable. Thanx stupid journalists!

    more edit, on the google it appears to be a US/NZ tie, not looked at other economies. Myth busted.

  13. vto 13

    he he, yes I know, I do have an aversion to things authoritorial. But stats are good – lordy knows how to find them. Would take me ages. Thought that question of when things turned negative should have been answered.

    Wasn’t it early/mid 2008? I seem to recall Cullen finally admitting such in the early part of last year. Much to his pre-election disgust.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Treas’ reported thusly:

    Tuesday, 05 August 2008 16:30

    In its review of economic statistics for July, the Treasury says it believes that when official data is released, it will show the economy shrank in the three months to the end of June.

    A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The previous quarter, to the end of March, showed negative growth.

    Quarter to the end of march o8 was the first neg quarter, which makes a photo finnish with the US, and a liar out of a few folks hereabouts. Or igonarantses. Or just bullshitters with a purpose. Depending on how one interprets their wrongness.

    edit. heh, I bet it did piss the Cullen off a bit. But on t’other hand it gave him a non psychological dissonance causing reason for tax cuts. I hope that bugger writes a nice long book to be honest. He’ll be more readable than most of similar efforts I think.

  15. vto 15

    Good work Mr P’s b.

    I enjoy relying on my anecdoppled gut instinct and seeing how close I can get to the actual.

    Next one will be picking the bottom. My current pick is mid/end next year…

    I’ll put 2c on it… any takers?

    captcha: “symptoms 1974” ffs

  16. Ari 16

    Given Labour pulled the rug out from under the incoming govt by creating the domestic recession and spending all reserves on unproductive “assets’ (read: liabilities requiring more investment) I’m also worried about how “the country’ can stand on it’s own two feet. National or Labour govt is not really the issue after the damage Labour did in an effort to remain popular for a 4th term.

    Establish for me that Labour was the primary cause of the recession, then we can talk about labour “damaging” the country’s finances.

  17. Pascal's bookie 17

    Your gut does forecasts vto? That’s an impressive organ. I had thought it was just a real time digester that got its analysis out there quicker than the number crunchers.

    In any case I’m not betting against it.

    Macroeconomics is not much better than voodoo for predicting actual economic events, as far as I can tell. The mother of my child takes exception to the chicken blood, leaving me a blind man for my guess work.

    I think the forecasters get it so never right because of something similar to quantum. And the abused cat in the box that may not be alive if we care to look. What they say effects what we do, which effects the result. They can’t win, it’s a muggs game,and should stick to looking backwards, and telling us what happened. But everyone wants to know the future, so there’s better money it.

    edit, / Some of the above is very like the sub-header on that wiseowl’s blog Northpaw linked to. Weird. Must be quantum.

  18. the sprout 18

    “gut instinct” = no evidence, no argument, no ideas

  19. vto 19

    Mrs Sprout, instinct is one of the most crucial tools in the armoury of any beast on the planet. Evidence, arguments and ideas will be found to naturally exist around instinct due to its reliability over the millenia. Hence its use to the animal world (including us).

    No wonder you don’t make sense sometimes.

  20. Lew 20

    vto,

    Mrs Sprout, instinct is one of the most crucial tools in the armoury of any beast on the planet.

    I think the folks here are arguing that it’s a tool of last, rather than first resort.

    L

  21. ghostwhowalks 21

    Kerr seems to use the OECDs figures for government expenditure to GDP ratio which arent a valid comparison.

    Australia’s government spending is higher than the 30% or so figure he uses because for some strange reason The OECD doesnt count GST revenue that is spent on local services.

    As we know the Australian states divide up the GST for their local services, such as schools hospitals police roads. Since we dont have a federal system this is government expenditure in NZ

  22. vto,

    In response to your challenge the following:

    Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money .

    That was Josiah Charles Stamp the director of the bank of England speaking in Texas in 1920.

    It seems that we have continued to allow the banksters to use that pen and flicking they did.

    There is no way the economy will survive the mayhem they created in the last 20 years. Mid next year we will only begin to realise how bad it’s really going to get.

    Count on anywhere between 15 to 25 years, revolutions in the US, China, Russia and all over Europe and perhaps that will come closer to the reality we are facing.

    Sorry but there you have it. No quick fix, no Magic repair of our inherently fraudulent banking system. It’s broken. End of story.

  23. vto 23

    Travellerev, you could be right. If there is complete and utter metldown, which is a possibility. I’ve got fingers crossed for something in between – living in hope!!

    Lew, instinct should be first as it is a time proven pointer to the correct direction. Subsequent analysis fine tunes. But then again, human advancement has not been possible without those ‘going against the grain’, if you like … (nothing like having a bob each way)

  24. vto,

    About the hope thing? You and me both, from the bottom of my heart. I don’t think I ever wanted to be more wrong in my life then I want to be now.

  25. r0b 25

    “New Zealand lead the world into recession’ – great sound bite, simply not true:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_crisis_of_2008 (see the section “Countries in economic recession”)

    http://www.thetreeofliberty.com/vb/showthread.php?p=394863

  26. northpaw 26

    A liitle more informed economics from Eric Pooley @ Slate’s BigMoney — It says it, and pointedly, for the mainstream media’s shortcomings which individuals with ego and others can still pay for (one way and another)..

    It just so happens that while here I happened note EV pump a friend of mine’s past family opponent. Yeah, no matter how well intentioned some Treasury officials have been in their nations’ pre and postwar interests life can deal them harshly.

    Related: Anyone spot another Stamp – British actor Terence Stamp – in the Wall Street movie..? Yeah, you find them here, you find them there, these stamp types are for finding every where 🙂

  27. vto :
    > instinct should be first as it is a time proven pointer to the correct direction

    Not too sure about this. When a kiwi senses a predator, it follows it’s well honed instinct and keeps absolutely still & relies on camoflague. As they say, biology only makes sense in light of evolution. This approach works fine if your predators are entirely avian, and don’t have a sense of smell, but useless vs dogs, ferrets, and (depending on the kiwi) cats.

    Evolution is as much about failed traits, as about those that survive. Not only that, but that a trait has so far survived is no indicator of future success.

  28. oh y god, tres embarrasing!

    its well honed instinct

    & an excuse to post a captcha ‘Boston couldn’t’

  29. northpaw 29

    rOb, ghost—

    Did we hear the Kerr gambit finally outed on Morning Report(RNZ) when Wodney attempted work over Mr Cunliffe on air. With a kiwi political B-and-S-see sense 2 around Kerr’s ‘lead (the world) into recession’ = bait.

    As with RB(elsewhere here), the bait expression is provocative, designed to elicit response/s and indeed as much as possible. [ in commercial terms, OTOH, the jetstar dollar deal illustrates incentive ]. In politics, however, argument, debate, discourse is all. Here, for instance, commenters have adopted a reasonable take them at their word/s response.

    In Kerr’s case: why? To sell a bill of goods. Namely ACT’s taxcuts = the answer to everything.. for all businesses.. small and large.. and everywhere. Regardless of whether the strategy works or not, of which there is so very little in the way of proof though a great deal in the bluster and bumptiousness of its proponents.

    The switch..? Would be the buying by more persons of this bluster and bumptiouness, howsoever it is served up.. smooth per le kerr – rough (aka cratered cranial) a la RB or combatively OUTED to the nation on broadcast media by wodney por favor. And undoubtedly delivering a very much more expensive product.

    Of course for those paid by percentage such an eventuality amounts to a BOB BOTH WAYS and NOT a bob each way (per the example hoped by a commenter above..

    No apols for shouted since patently clear is a bait and switch style of politics from the above parties. In unison or with others..

    IMO Beware—try not be used or victimised by what wikipedia refers to as bordering on fraudulent behavior

  30. Nickc 30

    “Why do dummies lead our national debates?”

    Dont kid yourself Clinton, you dont lead our national debates!

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    Fuckinell Nick.

    5 bloody days after the post, 3 days after the thread died and that’s it?

    For.Fucking.Shame.

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  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    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). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
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