You’ve got to know to understand (and be able to talk about it)

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, March 1st, 2009 - 58 comments
Categories: economy, Media, national/act government - Tags: , ,

In the greatest economic crisis in a lifetime, we remain the only country in the world whose government has done nothing to try to stimulate the economy. In fact, the net effect of National’s policies is de-stimulatory, taking money out of the economy when it most needs an injection of spending. And I blame the media. You might think that’s unfair, after all National’s in charge but National is just following its ‘put your head in the sand and cut spending’ instincts (the same instincts that aggravated and prolonged the early 1990s and Asian crisis recessions). The only way we could force the Government to act (rather than hold Jobs Summits, which is merely a mask for inaction) is by having an informed national debate on how to handle the crisis. But we can’t do it because the conduit of that debate, the media, isn’t up to the task.

We are so ludicrously under-equipped to hold proper national debates on important issues that when Bill English says he will bring forward spending that is seen as countering the recession and when he says he will cut spending, that is also seen as countering the recession. Not one journo seems to go ‘hey, how can both increasing and cutting spending be tackling the recession?’ or ‘hey, isn’t every other country in the bloody world injecting stimulus into their economy? Why the hell are we cutting spending?’ If you want to see any good commentary on the Government’s recession policies, you have to go to the business sections of the papers, and it’s not favourable reading. The political journos seem unable to sit down and think about macroeconomic situation we are in and what the Government’s actions mean in that context. Many are so economically illiterate that they think running an economy is like running a household budget, and, even then, show they don’t understand the microeconomics of how households budget (John Roughan, don’t you realise that households and businesses borrow to acquire long-term investments all the time? What do you think a mortgage is?).

Look at this cycleway idea. It would be great for me, I could cycle the length of NZ like I’ve cycled through Europe but will it make a blind jot of difference to the economy? Fuck no. $50 million over 2 years. $25 million a year? That’s 0.015% of GDP. It’s like if every man woman and child bought one extra Big Mac a year. It’s supposedly meant to employ 4000 people but what the journos miss is that they would only be employed for a few months each. Even if half the money went to employing workers the number of work hours it would buy is only 1 million over two years, and we lost 17 million work hours from the economy in the December quarter alone. It’s less than a pittance, smaller than an irrelevancy.

Let’s have some context: Obama’s stimulus package is $1.1 trillion – 8% of GDP! He’s talking investment to not only give a mammoth dose of confidence to the economy but also to revolutionise it by building useful infrastructure. He’s delivered a true Green New Deal to not only help the US recover but also to begin to future-proof it against peak oil and work to mitigate climate change. The US and other countries are not spending these vast sums lightly, they are doing it because it is necessary to stop the recessionary spiral before it gets much, much worse. All we’re going to get is a cycleway that no bugger will use and provide no measurable stimulus and yet the media reports it like the Government represents it, as some recession-busting move.

It’s a lack of sophistication in our media analysis that is crippling our politics, preventing any serious discussion over whether the Government is doing anything meaningful to counter the recession, and whether what they are doing are the right things to be doing. If your analysis is no more sophisticated than ‘the Nats say this, Labour says this, and I reckon this’, it’s useless. I can get ‘I dunno, but I reckon’ from any joker in the street. I’m looking for analysis that arises from journos sitting down and thinking about the substantive impacts of policies, that is based on what the research says, what the studies say, what the experts say (the real experts, not the stalking horses like Michael Littlewood); analysis that comes to wise, nuanced conclusions. Informed commentary implicitly recognises the value of knowing what you’re talking about before spouting off. Unfortunately, we rarely get it. Vernon Small’s piece on the Cullen Fund was an oasis that shows the desert around it; the guy actually wrote about the economics of long-term investment, it was informative (well, informative to those who hadn’t already read the same points two days earlier on The Standard). The tragedy is that Small’s piece stands out so much in its exceptionalism. Not one of the other journos has got beyond ‘they say this but the others say this, and the public will feel (ie. I guess) this’.

While our fourth estate remains for all practical intents and purposes incapable of understanding complex issues, explaining them to the public, and challenging our leaders on them, our nation will suffer from poor policy decisions. While the foreign owners of our print media continue to slash and burn our stock of journos and the capable TV journos like Campbell continue to favour entertainment over information, things aren’t going to change.

58 comments on “You’ve got to know to understand (and be able to talk about it) ”

  1. coge 1

    Ditto the proposed cycleway. It’s just an very expensive sideshow. It would just take money out of the economy, for uncertain return. Plus big money to maintain. With very dubious preliminary costings.
    Whoever came up with with that idea I wonder?

  2. SP You say a lot by what you leave out.

    For a start, NZ doesn’t have the same economic or finanicial problems in the US or UK or other areas ie on terms of cause. We haven’t had threats to our trading banks nor sub prime issues in particular.

    I’ve see you blame the Nats for lengthening the early 90’s recession. Yet looking at the GDP stats, NZ was 3 and no more than 6 months behind Oz who in turn mirrored the upturn in the US – in other words, our recovery was consistent with our trading partners and our reliance on trade.

    Not once have you mentioned that there is a massive downside to the spending in the US which will take debt to GDP close to our over 100%.

    On the one hand you preach that we should invest in our long term (Cullen Fund) but you are equally happy to gift future taxpayers significant debt.

    To a large extent, NZ’s recession is linked to the success of the spending in other countries, not NZ’s.

  3. oob 3

    Can you can imagine the response if the Greens has suggested the the Route 1 Cycleway ?

  4. RedLogix 4

    On the one hand you preach that we should invest in our long term (Cullen Fund) but you are equally happy to gift future taxpayers significant debt.

    Well of course you leave out the obvious alternative, defer or cancel the planned tax cuts. NZ already has one of the lower total tax takes in the world, and by lowering it even further at this critical juncture, all Bill English would achieve is to further restrict the ability of his govt to respond to the crisis.

    Yes I can hear the objection already, that in difficult times tax cuts would help individual budgets, but try and bear in mind that a tax cut means absolutely nothing to an individual without a job. Once someone has lost their job, they don’t give a rat’s patui about tax cuts, all they want is to see some action from their govt to get things moving again.

  5. What about the multiplier effect of the cycleway: wayside tyre air filling stations, cafe stops (non fast food), shower heads (solar powered), bunk rooms, restrooms, rain shelters, support transport services (so you don’t have to cycle with a backpack) etc.
    I’m surprised the National Government didn’t suggest to uproot the railways, as those tracks would make excellent cycling roadways (cfr Central Otago former rail tracks). And that’d save on future Kiwirail investments too.

    • There is no going to be any tourists other than some lost Kiwi’s. The entire global economy is collapsing that means nobody has any money to go anywhere let alone to New Zealand.
      That whole project is going to be some monumental waste of time

    • the sprout 5.2

      “I’m surprised the National Government didn’t suggest to uproot the railways, as those tracks would make…”

      those sleepers would make lovely raised pottager beds for Parnell gardens too.

  6. sdm 6

    So you would rather the government do as Obama seems to be – debt laden the cousntry for generations to come. How does he pay for the “stimulus” (pork) bill?

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      That would be the same way the shrub paid for his stupid fucking wars sdm. Future taxes. He’s been quite open about it. In fact, he’s finally moved the US towards a proper accounting for how their government spends money.

  7. gingercrush 7

    In the greatest economic crisis in a lifetime, we remain the only country in the world whose government has done nothing to try to stimulate the economy.

    That is the most stupid thing I’ve ever read. I love how the left attack the media. You don’t want a critical media. You want media that agrees with your viewpoint. But perhaps its your viewpoint that is incorrect. And that the huge stimulus packages other countries are delivering will only put those countries further and further into debt. And when Obama is talking about cutting the US deficit in half. One can only assume there is going to be plenty of cutting to public services. Something I would have thought you would disagree with.

    As for borrowing for the super fund. Its rather surprising that the Greens the party which aligns closest to you, also agrees with the suspension of funding the Cullen fund. It makes no sense to borrow money to invest largely in sharemarkets at a time when those sharemarkets are going down, down and down.

    And its pleasing to see, The Standard is quickly going down the same route as Tumeke. It looks so professional to see swearing in an analysis piece.

  8. Ianmac 8

    The cycleway gets a great deal of debate BUT I can find no mention of it in the official report on the official Govt Summit website nor on Tracey Watkin’s front page Dominion. (Wouldn’t it be Wonderful to be able to bike the lengh of NZ safely. Wow! Loved the Otago bike trail.)

  9. Ianmac 9

    Cullen Fund: Doesn’t it make sense to invest when the value is low so it is ready for the long-term recovery

  10. gingercrush 10

    Ianmac – No. It is generally advised that you never borrow money to invest in liquid stocks. And the best time to invest in stocks is when you’re starting to see a recovery. That insures that your stock doesn’t drop too low. Of course we could always borrow 20 billion dollars + but the only thing that will do is make the Cullen Fund irrelevant in 20 years or so since the country will paying for all it takes to pay off debt. That is why it is the best interest of this country, to ensure that government debt remains low. So a fund that is suppose to pay for future Super isn’t used to pay off Government debt. If we’re indeed looking at a future where a large number of people are retired. Then surely by anyone’s thinking its best to ensure government debt remains low? Or do you people really think a fund of lets say 20 billion dollars but a debt of 30%+ of GDP is going to ease financial constraints?

  11. spot 11

    “He’s delivered a true Green New Deal to not only help the US recover but also to begin to future-proof it against peak oil and work to mitigate climate change….”

    That has to be worthy of a post on its own, quite some claim when you look at the category breakdown of that package.

  12. Daveski 12

    RedLogix

    Isn’t SP clamouring for what they’re doing? So doesn’t that mean tax cuts (cause that’s what they are doing)?

    The philosophical point is that you and SP want to see the Govt spend and make the decisions … even tho govts have a terrible success rate. Likewise the enthusiasm for the Cullen fund.

    Wouldn’t it make sense for the Govt to give this money back to taxpayers and only have to worry about supporting those in genuine need. FFS social welfare for families earning $100K +!!!

    • Ari 12.1

      The reason tax cuts don’t work well as stimulus is twofold:

      1) They’re inefficient- you have to spend an enormous amount on them for a relatively small stimulus, because tax cuts go to everyone in the economy.
      2) They’re poorly targeted- tax cuts also give money to the wealthy and those secure in their jobs, and often it’s a lot more money than for everyone else. These people are almost guaranteed to bank the extra cash rather than invest it, which is about the worst possible use of money if your goal is to get out of the recession.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      If families with an income over 100k need social welfare then it’s most likely that they don’t have a high enough income. Now, it would be nice to see businesses actually paying enough for the families to thrive but I really can’t see it happening. WfF – just another business subsidy courtesy of the taxpayer.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    “FFS social welfare for families earning $100K +!!!”

    Daveski.

    I think it’s fair to say that, of late, many of your comments here have been along the lines of;

    ” Goodness me (Standard writer), your comment “x” is rather partisan, and is hardly an objective statement that could be accepted as true by everyone, and your credibility is in grave jeopardy.”

    Given your above quote, please desist with the concern trolling.

    • Daveski 13.1

      I got riled when I pointed out comments that had been trotted out as fact were proved to be wrong and banged on about it for a while. Even I got bored so I desisted.

      Ironically, Ari’s comments are along the same lines as the point I’m making – a lot of the current transfer payments aren’t well targetted at all.

      I’ve moved on from the boring line of attack – point taken – but the comment about targeting welfare payments is a first for me and not trolling action.

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    I couldn’t agree more with the main thrust of your post, SP – the media in NZ aren’t equipped for a national debate of any depth. But then you go on to say:

    capable TV journos like Campbell continue to favour entertainment over information

    Sorry, but it’s journalists like Campbell who are equally responsible, along with the owners, for the malaise that infects our media. Certainly the jobbing journo in the Herald newsroom whose value to the company is measured in column centimetres, not the quality of the words therein, can’t do much to change things. They’re not given the time or resources for any analysis.

    But when one reaches the exalted heights of being handed 30 or 60 minutes of prime time TV a night, or a bylined column, or is promoted to head of news or whatever, then one wields considerable influence.

    If you’re so wrapped up in your own celebrity you’re bereft of a decent idea, then there are plenty of good overseas examples you’d do well to copy.

    It’s easy to blame the media owners, and they certainly don’t make it easy. But once a program is allocated a budget, then the decision on whether to spend that budget on recipes, interviews with aging rockstars and lightweight “lifestyle” pieces, or serious current affairs, is in the hands of the program makers.

    And they’ve consistently let us down.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      spot on. (now there was a show. never mind the top-town, re-make that for the kiddies)

    • Ag 14.2

      The internet has exposed how useless most journalists are. To be a journalist one has to be able to package either the conventional wisdom, or something close to it, in a non-threatening package. Now anyone with an internet connection can fact check and publish objections immediately, and the journalists don’t like it. But why on earth would someone take a journalist’s opinion on any subject when there are any number of blogs by real experts that anyone can read?

      No wonder newspapers are going out of business.

    • the sprout 14.3

      True RW, Campbell disappeared up his own arse a long time ago. No amount of carefully staged Everyday Johno marketing eating fish and chips on the couch is going to change that.

  15. mike 15

    “The entire global economy is collapsing that means nobody has any money to go anywhere let alone to New Zealand.”

    Yes and we’ll all be wearing goat skins huddled around the camp fire… just what the country needs at this time – more paranoid freaks like eve

    • Mike,

      You might not like what I’m saying but to date 50 million people lost their jobs in the last six months and it’s only just beginning.
      Every major city in Europe has riots and strikes, government are falling and the people are angry. The way this is going to go down you might be lucky to have a goat skin and a fire. Asshole.

      • TC 15.1.1

        @Travellerev,

        Every major city in Europe has riots and strikes??

        Which Governments are falling??

        Maybe the sky is falling!!

        • Travellerev 15.1.1.1

          TC,

          This is about Eastern Europe.

          This one is about Europe

          Iceland”s and Latvia’s governments have fallen, Greece’s government is under severe pressure.
          Germany is facing huge strikes

          For details about the collapsing banking system check the bank implodometer

          Yep, the sky may be falling and ignorance is an ugly thing in these times. TC, you might want to educate yourself because the only country in the world which was dumb enough to vote an actual banker in, instead of throwing him in front of a car is little old really, really dumb New Zealand and my guess is you’re one of those dumb fucks who actually voted for him.

  16. Rex. oh, I totally agree with you. It is a personal as well as institutional failing that people like Campbell have wasted their potential.

    Daveski. Only very large families (6 kids) get any WFF on incomes over $100K, and the payments are small. It came out a while back that the government was spending only a million a year on WFF for these families, $1000 each. Do the maths and stop being a dick, the only way your can avoid having small payments into high incomes is a greater abatement rate or lower rates at low incomes. Remember Bill English’s secret tape? He said Key didn’t understand that simple fact but there’s no getting around it.

    • Daveski 16.1

      My comment has been taken somewhat out of context. The point I was trying to make is that the “safety net” provision of social security which I completely support has been replaced by a complex web of transfer payments that will never be efficient. The broader point I obviously failed to make was around better targetting of govt payments rather than the Government throwing money at every problem in the short term – it hasn’t worked in the past.

  17. Walt 17

    According to this ODT article the proposal is to spend $6 million finishing Te Araroa which is a walkway from Cape Reinga to Bluff due to be completed in 2010 and then build a mountain biking trail alongside of it for a cost of $50 million.

    I know that at (at least) parts of Te Araroa are accessible by mountain bikers: the parts of the trail near Twizel have been mentioned in the last two editions of the Kennett Brother’s Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides guide book (i.e. since 2005) and I found this information about sections of the trail in the Auckland area.

  18. tsmithfield 18

    SP “when Bill English says he will bring forward spending that is seen as countering the recession and when he says he will cut spending, that is also seen as countering the recession”

    Yip. We need to spend on useful things and cut spending on stupid things. So, it is possible to be increasing spending and cutting spending at the same time.

    Think about it. It as actually cheaper for taxpayers to be paying former government employees the dole than to have them paid high salaries from the public purse. So, cutting the fat at of the public service, as National is doing at the moment, is actually good for taxpayers as a whole.

  19. the sprout 19

    Good commentary SP. agreed on all points.

    Our ‘Fourth Estate’ is a bad joke if you think what that’s supposed to mean – a citizens’ watchdog on the powerful interest of the State. Only the conglomerates that now own our media are more powerful than probably our state, definitely more powerful than any political party or bloc.

    Our print media in the past have pretty much always been owned by wealthy families, but at least they lived in the same country and had to wear some of the consequences of theri decisions. Now the offshore owners of our private media couldn’t give a toss about what happens in the far off Antipodes.

    The NZ msm were desperate to downplay the seriousness of the Global Crisis during the election because they didn’t want to risk the public getting cold feet about trading a competent government on a whim for a change. With that level of concern for the democratic interests of New Zealanders it’s hardly surprising they’re not going to bother too much about hiring staff that are sufficiently competent to provide adequate journalism.

  20. rave 20

    The reason that there is no stimulus package in NZ is that National are not Keynesians. They are not interested in boosting consumption to increase demand and hence supply. They are supply siders. They will take their tax cuts and subsidies and only invest if labour and other costs of production are cut to the bone via the 90 days fire at will, gut the RMA, dispense with ETS blah blah and suck Cullen’s fund dry.

    Obama’s so-called stimulus is a mixed package and it barely qualifies as a New New Deal. Most of the public spending is a direct subsidy into the pockets of the bosses (no guarantee of stimulus) much less goes into increasing consumption. Mind you that was true of the original New Deal anyway.

    What Key and Obama have in common in a concern that if they don’t present their package as pro-jobs first then popular unrest will mount and destablise actual pro-boss policies. As I pointed out on another thread, the 9 day fortnight is not pro-worker but pro-boss because it is in fact a form of creeping dole paid for by the labour and taxes of workers. But Key hopes that it will cool out the union heads and keep the lid on worker discontent more than 1000s of unemployed queuing up at WINZ.

    I thought the The Standard contributors really believed that Key’s centrist posing was designed to mask a real right wing hidden agenda. Why question that conclusion when the evidence is piling up in its favour?

    Sooner or later you’ll get it that this is a capitalist crisis that they want workers to pay by cutting wages and cutting all unproductive and unprofitable investment.

    I think its a bit weak to blame the corporate media who have been sold out for years, bullshitted us before the election and are playing Key’s little game consistently now.

    • This is what the man had to say about the financial collapse at APEC

      So now the party is over and the taxpayers of the world are left to underwrite in one form or another the liabilities and obligations of banks and, by extension, their hedge-fund clientele.

  21. rave 21

    How Obama plans to rescue Citibank without nationalising it.
    http://doughenwood.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/obama-coddling-bankers-indeed/

  22. deemac 22

    top stuff Steve, thanks. Can you remind us of the percentage of GDP that various govts are devoting to rebooting economies? then we can see how truly clueless our sorry lot are.

  23. vto 23

    rave you almosy made compleye sense again.

  24. sweeetdisorder 24

    Deemac

    “Australia’s stimulus spending announced since September 2008 now totals A$78 billion and adds to a raft of packages developed in major economies, including $819 billion in the United States and $586 billion by China.”
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/28985020

    ****
    Hon David Cunliffe

    Has the Minister seen any reports on the comparative size of the stimulus injected by the so-called rolling maul of announcements, of which today’s infrastructure package was one; if so, can he confirm that although the Australian Government has introduced stimulus initiatives of about 4.5 percent of GDP, and the US of about 5.5 percent of GDP, this Government’s stimulus initiative in this package makes up less than 1 percent of GDP?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH

    As the member will know, New Zealand has a significant fiscal stimulus—at least in comparison with the Australian and the US Governments—of around 4 percent of GDP over the next couple of years. The difference is that New Zealand went into recession 12 months earlier than those Governments, under the previous Government. The 2008 Budget cut taxes increased spending significantly, which means that by now, when the recession is deepening, the New Zealand Government unfortunately has a lot fewer options than those Governments.
    http://theyworkforyou.co.nz/portfolios/infrastructure/2009/feb/11/economic_challenges
    ****

    NZ’s is reported to be around $NZ9bil, about 4% of GDP
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4844707a6160.html

  25. oob 25

    Merrill Lynch CEO Thain Spent $1.22 Million On Office
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/28793892/site/14081545

    unbelievable

  26. Tim Ellis 26

    I don’t know what National’s tax cut programme is, if it isn’t a stimulus package. You know, the same tax cut programmes that Labour said was only marginally larger than their own, but Labour have since said they would scrap and are proposing that National scraps theirs.

  27. Pascal's bookie 27

    Jeez Tim. National have been banging on about tax cuts for nearly a decade. It’s ideological for them.

    When there is a surplus, National wants tax cuts to ‘pay it back’.

    If there is recession, tax cuts become stimulus.

    If there is a govt deficit, but no recession, supply side laffer curve nonsense about ‘cutting taxes to increase revenue’ gets trotted out.

    IOW ‘what National’s tax cut programme is’, depends on what they are justifying it by this week.

    As you yourself once said, but couldn’t really explain, it’s about ‘believing in tax cuts’.

    • Felix 27.1

      As you yourself once said, but couldn’t really explain, it’s about ‘believing in tax cuts’.

      Oh come now Pb, you can’t hold him to that – it was before the election!

  28. Chrisburger 28

    Hang a tick.

    Didn’t right-wing, neo-liberal parties win a majority of the vote at the 2008 election? Forgive my ignorance, but I think that kinda translates into the majority of New Zealanders choosing an ideological approach geared towards fiscal restraint, even in the hard times (we had been in a recession for almost a year at the time of the 2008 election).

    So to bang on now about our government not spending up large like other countries is a little like refighting the last election, which the Left lost. It’s pointless – Kiwis made their decision.

    What’s impressive about the reaction by the government so far has been its remarkable restraint amid the temptation (primarily for electoral gain) to lavish money here, there and everywhere, further burdening future generations with an enormous load of debt just when they are supposed to be funding the boomer’s retirement (not to mention pay off their student loans).

    I do, however, beleive that contributions should continue to the Cullen Fund. Money going in now will be purhcasing shares aborad at much lower prices than the money put in 3 years ago (terrible timing by Cullen, again – is this guy really that bright?), illustrating the wisdom of the mantra of buying in a bear market.

    • Felix 28.1

      Didn’t right-wing, neo-liberal parties win a majority of the vote at the 2008 election?

      Yes, by promising not to be right-wing neoliberals.

      …but I think that kinda translates into the majority of New Zealanders choosing an ideological approach geared towards fiscal restraint, even in the hard times…

      No. See above.

      Forgive my ignorance…

      You are forgiven.

  29. Tim Ellis 29

    That’s not the point though, is it, PB? The point is that tax cuts are stimulatory (and one of Cullen’s excuses for not pursuing with tax cuts earlier was that it would provide too much stimulation in a hot market), and should be considered as part of National’s stimulatory package. National’s tax cuts are more aggressive than what Labour promised. Given Goff has now said that National should cancel tax cuts, what he’s saying is that the stimulatory effects of the tax cuts should be removed, which is the very opposite of what Steve is advocating here. If you’re going to consider the stimulatory package then that includes both tax cuts and additional spending.

    Goff has called for super contributions to remain. That also removes stimulus from the economy.

    [The NZSF contributions are not destimulatory because they’re not coming at the cost of spending in the economy. Removing the tax cuts would be destimulatory but I’m adovating using the moeny on spending instead, whcih would be more stimulatory than tax cuts for the rich. SP]

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    It’s often hard to tell what your point is though Tim. As far as I can make out, it’s “Tax cuts are good, National believes this, therefore vote National”. Everything else seems to be sophistry in service of that claim.

    (and one of Cullen’s excuses for not pursuing with tax cuts earlier was that it would provide too much stimulation in a hot market)

    And he was right. Now that you are lauding the keynesian effects of tax cuts, I’m sure you’ll be happy to admit as much.

    National’s tax cuts are more aggressive than what Labour promised.

    They are slightly bigger, and differently targetted. Whether or not they are more stimulatory than Labour’s depends at least as much on the latter as the former. Which is the point.

    I don’t really care what Goff is saying.

  31. RedLogix 31

    The point is that tax cuts are stimulatory

    Only if they are spent. But in the current environment, with asset values collapsing, the highest priority for most people will be to reduce debt. Which has no stimulatory value at all. The rest of your train of thought falls apart after that.

    We are at the beginning of a massive debt deflationary period. These things are rare, occuring only once ever 70-80 years or so. Most of what we know from our recent past will prove misleading or wrong in the next decade.

    Goff has called for super contributions to remain.

    I never thought I would say this, but increasing debt by borrowing expensive money to buy depreciating assets is probably counterproductive at this point in time. National could get away with suspending the Fund (as the legislation explcitly allows), if it also laid out acceptable conditions that had to be met in order to restart them. Simply suspending the Fund with open-endedly would be widely perceived as killing the political accord around Super, and added to their already long list of reprenhesible moves in this area.

  32. Tim Ellis 32

    SP wrote:

    The NZSF contributions are not destimulatory because they’re not coming at the cost of spending in the economy.

    That isn’t true SP. Governments have three options: adjust tax, adjust spending, and adjust savings/debt levels. Increasing savings levels as the super contribution does removes spending on the economy.

    PB, I’m not strictly speaking a Keynesian, but I take your point. Yet I’ve never said that the only positive effect of tax cuts, or that the only time to do it, is when there are large surpluses. I would argue that one of the positive effects of tax cuts is that they stimulate the economy in a downturn. Yes that’s a Keynesian argument but it’s not the only one. Labour claimed that the main motivation for its tax cuts were that surpluses were “structural”. That’s turned out to be patently wrong.

    I should clarify I’m not asking you to justify Labour’s policy. My point is though that the electorate has two broad political options in Labour or National. We don’t have a lot of an idea of what Labour would do in the current climate, except for the statements made by Phil Goff: cancelling tax cuts and maintaining super contributions, both of which probably have a more destimulating effect on the economy than anything else. I haven’t heard much of what positively stimulating policies Labour might have pursued, but given the options it seems to me that National’s plan has a more stimulating effect than Labour’s.

  33. Chrisburger – National got 45%, ACT 3.65%. Not a majority, a plurality.

    Anyway, just because the majority of people back something does not mean it is correct or above question. I’m certain you have views that the majority disagree with but that doesn’t stop you making your arguments.

  34. Snail d' silver trail 34

    some bright remarks in there, rave.. like “supplyside”.. bang on before election, government and recession responsbilities at any rate.. a reagan coining as you’ll know.

    Media deficiency.. insuffociency..? The solution to which lies in how they can be made to think about and write sensible, sensitive and intelligent copy for folks to take up..

    Well, here’;s something. I’ll relate it as a start: a way of figuring things.. of stating a progessive line.. futures.. sustainable and not fall-overs..

    Governing Labor (Labour) has a name of being control freaks. National need a different mindset. Control… what?

    The new National – whether they like it or not, know it or not – operate twixt price and risk. Best risk is the priced risk. No price = uncertainty. Uncertainty is too much risk. Recession is risk!

    Yep, do more than just think about this.

    ps: once was northpaw, but I was ‘touched’ the other day and henceforth until further notice my monicker here shall be Snail.. One thing is for sure.. folks will always know where I have been nights by following the silver trail by day. 🙂

    pps: has anyone else noticed how the enzed bonds market is shaping out..

    .

  35. The really sad thing about this debate is that Barack has set aside US$100b on green measures. China has decided to put a third of its stimulus package in sustainable energy projects. And our wise leadership has chosen to reverse the ban on energy inefficient lightbulbs…

    It really feels like the stupid members of your third form class have taken over and are deciding what in intellectual terms is right and wrong ..

  36. MsMac 36

    “…a true Green New Deal to not only help the US recover but also to begin to future-proof it against peak oil and work to mitigate climate change.”

    Yeah, right. For example, our lovely stimulus package has $1.7 million dollars for pig odor research in Iowa. Everyone knows that stinky pigs are absolutely prohibitive to a US recovery!

    This is only a very small example of all the great stuff (AKA PORK!) in the US stimulus package.

    I’m moving to Canada!

    • Ianmac 36.1

      Isn’t that part of the urgent need to deal with the huge problems associated with the mammoth USA pig farms? A decade or so the 1000s of pig farms were small family type concerns. Vast pig farms, I think about 50 now, have the entire production wiping out all the small units. But the environmental impact; smell, effluent pigshit, heavily poluted rivers downstrea, was catastrophic for many miles around. imagine a pigfar the size of entire Auckland city! (The Bush Admin removed environmental restrictions and hey! Here we have the reform of the RMA????) .

      • MsMac 36.1.1

        The project is truly about reducing the odor, not the environmental impact. Non stinky pig poo is just as bad on the environment. This isn’t some much-needed project that’s going to fix the nation or even the environment. It’s a wasteful pet project aimed at getting some Democratic in Iowa re-elected. That is what the US Stimulus package is all about keeping the Democrats in power.

  37. expat 37

    [lprent: deleted – troll comment]

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    3 hours ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    9 hours ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    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
    15 hours ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 day ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 day ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    3 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    4 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

  • 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-06-15T10:23:50+00:00