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Yet more dodgy Nat numbers

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 pm, July 18th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: benefits, bill english, dpf, making shit up, national, tax - Tags:

If you’re a blogosphere regular, you’ll have noticed that recently every monkey with a copy of The Fountainhead and a crush on John Key has been spouting the line that the top 10% of taxpayers pay 71% of net tax. Sounds incredible, eh? That’s because it’s not credible. It’s more cheap numbers tricks from the Nats.

Over at Pundit, Rob Salmond has explained the trick. I’ll take the highlights of his post.

It all starts with Bill English’s table, let’s assume these basic numbers are right, although English hasn’t released his source data:

Net tax is the tax people pay minus benefits and tax credits like Working For Families that they get. This is where the 71% figure comes from. The top 9.7% paying $7.8 billion of net tax, which is 70.7% of the $11 billion total net tax. But wait:

Families earning over $150,000 paid net $7.8 billion. English and Farrar say that is 71% of the total. But when you use the same table and add up the amounts paid by families that earn above $80,000 but below $150,000, you find that those families also contribute a further net $7.6 billion, which is also around 70% of the total net tax.

What?! How the hell can two separate groups of families each pay 70% of the net tax?

The way English and Farrar put together this illusion is to assume that most of the “net tax paid” by middle-income families is not actually paid into “net tax.” Instead, it is put in a separate pool – “money for paying welfare transfers to net tax recipients.” Why use only middle class net taxes for this pool? Never mind why! Only when the “money for paying welfare transfers to net tax recipients” pool is full does “net tax paid” actually start paying towards “net tax.”

So, this is the trick: English and Farrar have offset the benefit transfers that the poorest families get against the net tax that middle income families pay. If you look it in graphical form, they’ve used the little black bars to fill in the red hole leaving the big black bar untouched:

Conveniently, that leaves nearly all the remaining tax being paid by the wealthy. But why do it that way, shouldn’t you just spread the cost of the transfers equally? Of course you should. Salmond points out one of the stupid results of English/Farrar’s magic numbers:

The list of silly conclusions that flow from their calculations is long. For example, under the English/Farrar counting rules, high-income families contribute absolutely nothing, not one cent, towards helping the needy with Working for Families payments, the DPB, or unemployment benefits. This is because their $7.8 billion goes into the “net tax” pool rather than the “paying for welfare transfers to net tax recipients” pool. That is, of course, an idiotic conclusion that is unfair to top-income earners, whose taxes do a great deal to support welfare programs.

It doesn’t make any sense to put all the benefit payments on to the middle incomes. If you and me pay $1000 each in tax and education is 10% of the budget, and we want to know what percentage of your tax went on defence spending, we wouldn’t pretend all my money had paid for other stuff, and say that you are paying for 100% of the education budget.

Salmond corrects English/Farrar’s numbers:

The correct way to calculate the percentage is to divide a group’s net contribution by the total of all net contributions. Correcting for this error in arithmetic, the net income tax contribution of $150,000+ households falls from 71% to 46%.

Salmond then points out that benefits aren’t funded entirely by income tax, there’s also other taxes like GST, which is regressive:

 

Using these more complete figures, the proportion of net tax paid by $150,000+ households drops further to 43%, a far cry from the 71% touted by English and Farrar.

But isn’t it still unfair that 10% of people by 43% of net tax?

To answer that, we need to remember that this is not some random slice of New Zealand families. This is the 10% with the highest incomes. That slice of New Zealand also has a lot in common with the richest 10% in terms of net wealth. What do we know about them?

  • The 10% of top income-earning families earn 30% of the income. (Estimate from Stats NZ’s Household Economic Survey 2010)
  • The wealthiest 10% of New Zealand families control roughly 50-60% of the wealth (Estimates from New Zealand Institute’s The Wealth of a Nation 2004)

This group earns 30% of the income, has 50% or more of the wealth, and pays 43% of the net tax. Is that an outrage?

I don’t think so. Even under a libertarian flat tax regime, this group would pay 30% of the tax. And our country is not a bunch of flat tax libertarians. We have always embraced progressive taxation, and been willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

We have always known that when you help out people in need, other people pay more than their income share to fund it all.

The fortunate few paying 1.4 times their income share in tax is worthy of everyone’s gratitude. But it does not seem at all an unreasonable burden.

So, there we have it. More dodgy Nat numbers comprehensively demolished.

But I think we need to remember what is behind the dodgy numbers in the first place.

The Nats are desperately looking for an excuse as to why the highest 2% of earners shouldn’t have to go back to paying the 39% rate that they managed to pay for 9 years on income over the “stratospheric” threshold of $150,000 and why people making tax-free capital gains should still be subsidised by the rest of us. And the best they can come up with is ‘pity the poor rich guy’ and some drummed up numbers. Pitiful.

61 comments on “Yet more dodgy Nat numbers”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    This group earns 30% of the income, has 50% or more of the wealth, and pays 43% of the net tax. Is that an outrage?

    And yet only pays 43% of the taxes. Yep, seriously under taxed.

    • Chris 1.1

      As Colonial Viper alluded to the 10% who earn the highest income are not the same group as the wealthiest 10%.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Oh and by the way, a fuckload of NZ’s richest people (including many farmers) have an “annual taxable household income” of less than $50,000 p.a.

    They are hidden in the table above, they are in essence our wealthy upperclass bludgers with community services cards, who receive WFF and whose kids get student allowances no questions asked.

    These truly wealthy upperclass bludgers who have structured their affairs to be maximally ‘tax efficient’ should be the ones slammed by a significant CGT and asset tax.

    • How many of them are there CV?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I’ll take a look and let you know.

        • Secret Squirrel 2.1.1.1

          Do you think there are as many as all the benefit bludgers out there? They should be as easy for you to count.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Dude, what makes you think that the group consisting of wealthy upperclass bludgers and the group consisting of benefit bludgers are completely different people?

            You’re a frakking amoral ACT astroturfer.

          • bbfloyd 2.1.1.1.2

            i’d bet my house that there’s more well off bludgers out there than than the ones you so enjoy insulting squirrel. i’ve known a quite a few in my time.

            you already know all the justifications used. chances are. you’ve used one or two yourself no doubt, so i won’t waste time explaining them.

          • Deadly_NZ 2.1.1.1.3

            Listen SS Pete or what ever. It has just been pointed out to you in NO uncertain terms that the biggest benefit bludgers are the wankers that hide all their wealth and collect WWF and have a community card, all whilst getting record payments from Fonterra. And these thieving fucking bludgers are so proud of the fact, and even boast that they rip off the system for millions by hiding assets and cash. So, SS, Pete or what ever you are. I’ll just name you BLUDGER just like your fucking mates. .

          • Secret Squirrel 2.1.1.1.4

            The point being, over a few conclusion jumping heads here, is that no one will quantify how many tax avoiders or dole bludgers or or GST avoiders or “sickness” loafers there are, so they exaggerate the hell out it.

            Claiming fuckloads of anything is meaningless unless you can back it up with facts. But facts would get in the way of blanket abuse.

            • Lazy Susan 2.1.1.1.4.1

              The facts of Eddie’s post are that the English has used dodgy numbers and is lieing again. Are you concerned about that SS?

              • You can choose Eddie’s post as gospel if you like, I’m not. Depends on what religion you belong to.

                The fact is that those numbers and calculations are being disputed all over the internet, and I suspect Eddie’s post is potentially as dodgy as everyone else’s. Confusing arguments over confusing numbers.

                I’m not jumping on anyone’s side, I’ll wait and see a bit more impartial analysis. Keith Ng seems to have a reasonable idea of it, and he’s clarified a few things for me.

                • Lazy Susan

                  I see a squirrel sitting on the fence again. Could you post a link to Keith Ng’s analysis?

                  • You mean not jumping to partisan conclusions.

                    http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/easy-as-1-2-228-billion/

                    More analysis, argumenmts and followup by Keith here:
                    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/07/joyce_v_cunliffes_numbers.html

                    • Lazy Susan

                      Keith Ng’s blog does not refer to English’s numbers – it’s about comparing Joyce’s and Cunliffe’s debt repayment figures. A relevant link would be more useful.

                      Did you even read Eddie’s post? They are English’s own figures he is using – not Eddie’s!

                    • lprent []

                      Did you even read Eddie’s post? They are English’s own figures he is using – not Eddie’s!

                      Precisely…

                      And he assumed that English used accurate figures – which I think is a rather generous assumption – in particular confluting household incomes when all tax is collected as individuals is very very suspect.

                      Effectively he was saying that households with more than one person working pay more tax in total – well duh! That could be a household with 6 flatmates on low wages to my household with 2 people on good salaries to a single person earning quite a lot.

                      Pete of course tends to suck these bullshit figures up without engaging his brain, and relies on other “authorities” to refute them. The kind of person you really want to not go on jury duty….

                    • felix

                      Distract, derail, lie, squirm, ignore, deny, run away.

                      Just another morning in the life of Pete George, apologist.

                    • Ok, sorry, wrong table of numbers, there’s a few being argued over that the moment. The English table points to the problem Rob and Eddie have with maths.

                      What?! How the hell can two separate groups of families each pay 70% of the net tax?

                      That’s quite easy and is the crux of this argument.

                      Take Nett Tax of $100m:
                      Group A pays $70m which is 70% of nett tax.
                      Group B pays $70m which is 70% of nett tax.
                      The total they pay is $140m which is gross tax, A and B pay 50% each.
                      Group C gets $40m in tax credits, leaving $100m nett tax.

                      If you accept that maths then what’s the problem?

                    • Lazy Susan

                      Group A and B both both pay 70% of net tax and you still can’t see a problem with English’s figures?

                    • felix

                      If you accept that maths then you’re a liar or a moron Pete. Or in your case possibly both.

                    • LS – are you talking about something else about English’s figures?
                      Or are you referring to both paying 70% of nett tax?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      s.s. you don’t recognise when someone is playing you for a fool with a numbers shifting game?

                      OR are you being deliberately obtuse and helping them?

                    • Who’s playing the numbers game? Who’s post?

                      You can keep arguing about numbers like this as much as you like, but it’s a sideshow trying to prove the otther side wrong and incompetent. It’s as pathetic as felix.

                      It doesn’t change the facts – a relatively few people pay the bulk of income tax, and quite a lot of people pay no nett tax, many of whom are nett recipients of tax.

                      That makes “paying a fair amount of tax” a nonsense claim. We should accept that some people need state/tax money, but shouldn’t fool ourselves that it’s everyone paying their fair share of tax.

                    • lprent []

                      The point of the post was that Bill English and DPF were deliberately lying about their numbers to get a nice sounding meme “10% of taxpayers pay 71% of tax” – which is obvious bullshit.

                      There were a pile of dumb-arses (you maybe) who were stupid enough to believe that crap. Even a brief scan of this site sees this idiotic crap being swallowed whole at the sewer and regurgitated here. Eventually a number of people got around to pointing out to the idiots how stupid they are.

                      The biggest group not paying their “fair share” is in fact in the group with the highest incomes because they have the highest ability to hide form taxes. That is what the CGT and other tax changes will eventually get around to fixing. Eventually that will reduce the tax load on PAYE and GST over the decades.

                      And of course we’ll lose a few parasites offshore – I’ll wave them goodbye. It has been a pain over the past decades looking at them stuffing assets into family trusts and property speculation to avoid paying their fair share, whilst I’m trying to run a productive business. You’re going to be amazed how many people in the productive sectors of the economy are going to be happy to see them disappear…

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      100% of the country pays 100% of the Net tax, whoopdedoop.

                      The whole way of looking at it is mentalism, which would be the point of the post ss.

                    • Lazy Susan

                      Who’s playing the numbers game? Who’s post?

                      Wake up – the post was in response to English’s fucked up numbers. You accuse me of being partisan and then proceed to defend his stupid maths. In the context of a debate about fair taxation English’s analysis is a piece of shit and if you can’t see it I can’t help you.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        A fuckload. That’s a unit of measurement approximately 1 “a bit off” to the power of 5, also roughly equivalent to 1/16 of a “No. Fucking. Way.” 
         
        True, a qualitative measurement, but communicative nonetheless.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        Too many.

  3. Ianupnorth 3

    To SS – Troll, troll go away, never comeback another day!

  4. djg 4

    How will the CGT as proposed change this?
    Aren’t these same people the art owners/traders, the boat owners, but these are all excluded.

    Why has Labour made these exclusions?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      It’s the practice in other countries, and with good reason.

      Boats, like cars, are depreciating assets. Covering them with cgt would mean every boat owner could claim a tax credit when selling.

      collectibles aren’t covered because of the complexity of covering them.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Boats, like cars, are depreciating assets. Covering them with cgt would mean every boat owner could claim a tax credit when selling.

        Sounds exactly like the kind of CGT National would bring in. Seriously.

      • Dan 4.1.2

        “collectibles aren’t covered because of the complexity of covering them.”

        and because the champagne socialist, liberal art crowd largely vote Labour

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          Yeah, so? Who asked you to pitch your tent in with a bunch of over-hyped uncultured commerce and finance grads?

          • lprent 4.1.2.1.1

            Hey. Your host is a MBA grad, admitably with almost zero interest in the arts (apart from programming). But I did have the good taste to partner up with an arts grad who does. We argue functionality vs asthetics often (and I do that at work a lot as well).

            She isn’t particularly into politics and votes on a basis that I find ‘interesting’ but largely arises out of direct harsh experience of being in her 20’s in the 90’s. I am into politics – and it has nothing to do with liberal arts – but a hell of a lot to do with business theory as well as practice. Almost the reverse of the stereotypes you two are sprouting.

            Based on his comment (can’t remember noticing him before) Dan can best described as a ignorant troll who depends rather too much on stereotypes – probably because his brain can’t handle anything more complicated. Eventually he will attract my attention whilst moderating. But feeding the trolls with similar stereotypes is also stupid IMHO – perhaps you should desist….

            But BR is exactly correct about both types of asset. I can just taste the scams that would be possible with a CGT on collectibles.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    This 71% number never really passed the sniff test, I don’t think.

    Good to see a nice demonstration on why it’s so off.

    The graph showing taxes paid in both income and GST, is missing some other regressive taxes: tobacco, alcohol and fuel excise. I’m sure there are some others, too.

    • jackal 5.1

      Certainly makes David Farrar and Bill English look dodgy. It will be interesting to see if they can trick enough people into believing false information, or if it will backfire.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        It’ll definitely work. That’s the problem with these stats, they can simply put them out there and the useful idiots will lap them up.

        Even when presented with the real numbers and why the original ones were wrong, very few will be distrustful of those that lied to them in the first place; some will continue to believe the fake numbers and the rest will just shake it off like water on a ducks back and forget about it.

  6. Policy Parrot 6

    Is it fair to say that “fisk” is now considered a proper word? Have to ask Oxford Dictionary.

    fisk (adj). “A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual..

    UPDATE: HT Wikipedia.

  7. tc 7

    I think it’s a badge of honor that the standard should wear with pride to have so many NACT trolls doing their idols bidding in varied attemps to derail the fact driven arguments.

    Love the way sideshow explains the bad inflation numbers as not really bad as he reckons GST rise doesn’t count……pity about those who didn’t get a fax tax break curtesy of more overseas loans. Ah banker logic….a brighter foreign owned future.

  8. Peter 8

    I’m looking forward to Mr Farrar’s response to this post.

      • crashcart 8.1.1

        The fact you are linking to a post where someone claims that NAT don’t plan asset sales but asset renewals because aparently power companies are “Old worn out assets”. Holy jesus I have never seen anything dumber. With the increasing energy needs he thinks that an energy company is old and worn out.

        Kiwi blog is candy for your brain…it will rot it.

      • felix 8.1.2

        Pete George posts links to discussions on a completely irrelevant topic. Twice.

        He really, really, really, doesn’t want anyone to discuss the topic of the post.

        • Secret Squirrel 8.1.2.1

          What have you discussed about the topic felix? As usual nothing but niggle.

          • felix 8.1.2.1.1

            I accept the premise of the post. The numbers prove the assertions.

            English and Farrar are full of shit.

            I surmise that you also accept the premise of the post and that’s why you’re so desperate not to mention it.

            Would you consider I’d made more of a contribution if I were to post some pictures of my cats? Or some other random link perhaps?

          • Pascal's bookie 8.1.2.1.2

            SS, even though your links are completely off topic, I had a look. This tells you pretty much all you need to know about farahrah’s analysis:

            Anti-avoidance. Labour have just invented a figure of $300m a year from greater anti-avoidance work. Now this is pie in the sky. If Labour announced actual law changes to reduce avoidance, then maybe you can estimate revenue changes. But this is the equivalent of “I hope it happens”. Keith Ng is right that it is probably not realistic to say Labour will not be able to get any extra revenue at all, but when you consider most experts are saying their tax package will make the tax system more complicated, I think avoidance will increase not decrease. In the absence of any specifics around anti-avoidance measures, I think you go with zero.

            To show that labour will raise zero from clamping down on tax avoidence, Farahrah says that there will be much more avoidance and we should assume labour won’t do anything about it. Even though they said they will be aggressively going after it. That’s the sort of number crunching you think evryone should treat with respect and scratych their beards about and fail to draw any conclusions from.

            He explicitly says that it is not realistic to assume labour will get zero, then, in the very next sentence, says ‘go with zero’.

            Off you fuck.

  9. Peter 9

    Time for a dumb question, no doubt at my expense.

    How is it that the households earning 160000 plus go from paying 37% of the gross tax to 70.7% of the net tax?

    • Dan 9.1

      It depends on where you offset the negative net taxpayers, basically.

      The only way to effectively evaluate this data is to then break down these income brackets by the contributions they make in each tax bracket, until you’re left with zeroed net total taxation, and each dollar taxed after that point results in a marginal tax gain. These tables are effectively useless.

      • Peter 9.1.1

        Thanks, so is it possible to get the data you would need? I believe it’s important for people to understand how this all works.

      • lprent 9.1.2

        Yep, I’d agree.Talk to Bill English – those are his tables.

        The thing I really dislike is looking at household incomes when that could be everything from villa full of burger flippers to a household with one income earner. Aggregating tax paid as individuals to a household level without further breakdown is moronic.

        But I have come to expect that from Bill English when he feeds junk numbers out through DPF.

    • Bright Red 9.2

      they don’t.

      what English/Farrar have done is pretend that all the benefit and tax credits are paid for out of income tax, and then got a net (income tax minus benefits/tax credtis) number, which is $10,970m. Then they’ve said, what is the income tax minus benefits/tax credits just for the richest 9.7%, and the answer is $7,758m. Then they’ve said what’s $7,758m as a percentage of $10,970m – it’s 70.7%, and concluded that the richest 10% pay 71% of net tax.

      They don’t though because you’ll notice that incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 pay a total of 83.8% of net tax. Obviously that can’t be right. You can’t have more than 100% of net tax.

      The explanation is that households with incomes alone below $50,000 pay negative net tax, equal to 54.5% of the total net tax for all incomes.

      English/Farrar have offset that 54.5% against the net tax contribution of the middle incomes reducing their net tax contribution to 29.3% and leaving the richest 10% apparently paying 70.3% of net tax but not paying a cent towards the social welfare system.

      It’s just trickery, deceptive numbers games from a party that has nothing better to offer.

      • Peter 9.2.1

        Appreciate the time you have taken, I now understand.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.2

        Now I hope that every economist, bank executive and financial commentator in this country, reads your post.

        Because it will put another hole in the credibility of this National led Govt.

  10. mik e 10

    They are looking for a lot of new talent at fox right now Farrar ,Hootton and Joyce would be prime candidates as Mc Cully is getting past it .The news media manipulation in this country needs to be examined closely as well .When you see TV3 radio works getting a $48million rescue and their radio stations giving John Key a free platform and most of the interviews are just party political propaganda patsy question asking by sympathetic broadcasters I wouldn,t call them Journalists. The last election ordinary DJs were particularly brutal on Labour and Clark in other words a dirty campaign this must not happen or be aloud to happen we need to expose these Nixon Murdoch under hand style tactics

  11. randal 11

    ayn rand is a flaming nuisance. another person who has no idea how the goods of the world are made nor who does it. just another greedy wanting to accumulate money so they can go out and get noticed by the amount of things they possess. similar to most tories.

  12. wawot 12

    Well done – I pointed this out days ago in the DPF blog and wondered how long it would take yous to figure it out.

    They simply called 97 out of 154.5 etc. a percentage etc. whereas a percentage is by definition out of 100. 97 as a percentage of 154.5 is 63%.

  13. Ed 13

    It should be reasonably easy to give a table (and bar charts) that exclude none, one or both of benefit payments and WFF tax rebates – there are different arguments for the inclusion or exclusion of each. GST may be difficult to apportion between income groups, but it should be possible to use some reasonable assumptions regarding the proportion of income used for GST liable purchases.

    Benefits are of course paid wholly from corporate taxes (it is at least as logical as apportioning it to income bands), but WFF is clearly a tax rebate. The net tax should obviously include company taxes, but perhaps there is an argument that most other taxes are fairly attributable to other government expenditure – eg taxes on alcohol and cigarettes are ‘allocated’ to health spending, etc. There seems little reason not to include corporate taxes as a separate bar though – they are taxpaying entities whose tax supports our social welfare payments. Where do taxes paid by trusts appear?

    Any tables released by government should have attached to them the sources of any data, and any significant assumptions made. It would be good if The Standard set an example by doing that as well – while that has been done in this cae it would also be good if someone has written an OIA request for the source.

    • Peter 13.1

      Here is a late night attempt to provide a different ballpark perspective. Apologies for the rough presentation and the mix of budgeted and actual data. Information comes from:

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2011/taxpayers/01.htm#_crownrev
      http://statistical-report-2010.msd.govt.nz/overall+trends/expenditure+on+financial+assistance/historic+expenditure%2C+1940%962010#tableot5
      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2011/taxpayers/02.htm#_whopaystax

      Ministry of Social Development payments – 2010 ($ millions)

      Unemployment Benefits 1,063,884
      Independent Youth Benefit 20,095
      Sickness Benefits 837,330
      Invalid’s Benefit 1,396,520
      Domestic Purposes Benefits 1,961,841
      Widow’s Benefit 76,899
      Unsupport-ed Child’s Benefit and Orphan’s Benefits 101,434
      NZ Super-annuation 8,544,678
      Veteran’s Pension 161,957
      Total MSD payments 14,164,638 ($Billion 14.16)

      To get a perspective of income flowing into government here are the indicative Treasury Budget 2012 Income figures in is $Billions.

      Income Tax 24.3
      GST 15
      Company Tax 8.1
      Other Direct tax 1.9
      Other Indirect Tax 5.4
      Interest, Dividends 2.1
      Other Income 4.2
      Total 61 ($Billion)

      Assuming all Budgeted Income is available for all MSD payments (including Superannuation which is excluded by Mr Farrar) we might expect 40% of income tax to contribute towards MSD payments on the basis that total income tax collected is 40% ( 24.3/61) of all Budgeted Income. 40% of the 24.3 billion of income tax is 5.66 billion.

      Treasury point out that 17% of all expected income tax collected is from individuals ( not households ) earning more than $150,000. So the tax collected from the highest earning individuals to contribute would be 0.17 * 5.66 billion which is 0.96 billion.

      So, 0.96 billion coming from the taxpayers earning over $150,000 represents 4% of the total tax collected, that is 4 cents in every dollar. In comparison those earning $90,000 and above would pay 8 cents in the dollar towards MSD payments. Those earning $60,000 – $70000 contribute 2 cents in the dollar.

      While these figures are a mixture of actual and budget they don’t suggest that higher earning taxpayers are contributing alarmingly large amounts to MSD. Using data for individual taxpayers and not households, as well as not assuming that all tax goes to pay for MSD, we get a very different picture.

  14. Richard 14

    Id question Bill English’s sources, even if he said a cloudless night sky is black… it was laughable when Bill English was interviewed by 3 news and tried to claim that not having to pay CGT was morally fair, when he himself benefit’s from no CGT

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    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    3 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    6 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    7 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    3 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
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    4 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    4 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    4 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
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    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
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    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
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    5 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
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    5 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
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    5 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
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    5 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
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    5 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
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    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
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    6 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
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    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
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    1 week ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
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    1 week ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago