178 thoughts on “General debate, February 10, 2013

  1. Trevor asks “Is that figure of less than 100 jobs including the jobs of the companies that support the Hillside workshop?”

    Even if they 100% supported several more jobs for every one Hillside worker – it would STILL be better just to hand them ALL a few hundred thousand taxpayer dollars EACH.

    The point being, people are so blinkered about keeping the work at Hillside that they have no upper limit of subsidy.

    It doesn’t matter if we use $10,000, $100,000, $1 million or $5m PER WORKER – they still argue it’s worthwhile.

    Do YOU have an upper limit of what you would spend to save each job?

  2. Is that figure of less than 100 jobs including the jobs of the companies that support the Hillside workshop?

    What is it costing New Zealand to get the new rolling stock repaired? Don’t forget transport costs, loss of opportunity costs, etc.

    Trevor.

  3. BJ – There are times (and amounts) when it makes sense to spend a bit more to support NZ industry.

    And there are amounts that are so great that it’s totally insane to spend the extra to keep the work here.

    When you don’t take any notice of what makes sense and what doesn’t, then your ideals become cult-like.

  4. to save less than 100 jobs.

    Are you so entirely logic bereft that you think this was solely about the JOBS? We’ve done this before, you were wrong then too.

    Here is why:

    It is also about where the money spent GOES… which isn’t the delta in price between the foreign and domestic production, but pretty much the ENTIRE price of the wagons becoming foreign exchange rather than locally spent money. Every dime had to be milked out of a cow and many weren’t, so were instead borrowed from an Aussie banker.

    I know YOU don’t think it makes a difference because we aren’t supposed to control our own money or exhange rates either. Being a sovereign state we can’t be trusted with our own finances in the RWNJ universe.

    But it makes a difference in all the economies that actually work… which is a group that sadly has excluded NZ for pretty much the last 30 some odd years. How long it will be before you lot figure out that this religion of yours isn’t working for the country itself?

  5. Kerry,

    If you are spending hours on the phone to the IRD you are not running a very smart business.

    Pay an accountant to do the IRD stuff, while you spent those hours concentrating on how to grow the business.

    Only time I contact the IRD is to pay GST and that is facelessly done on the internet. Accountant does all the IRD interacting.

    Productivity can’t be great if you have time to sit on a phone and wait for the IRD to personally answer your quesry.

    If you have a good accountant they will be up to speed with the IRD protocols and guidelines and can sort out problems far faster then you can directly with the IRD.

    Work smart not hard.

  6. BJ says “Instead of making ….railcars here to reduce imports, ”

    The cost to make wagons here, was $125m more than imported ones – to save less than 100 jobs.

    It would have been cheaper to pay out the workers $1m each in early retirement or dole, than to have them build the wagons here.

    That’s a great example of how stupid the argeument has become for supporting NZ jobs.

    Many people supporting that ideal have no limits on how much should be spent to support NZ jobs.

    They supported a million dollars subsidy PER JOB, when (if you are going to subsidise jobs) that sort of money spent better could subsidise 20 or 100 or 200 jobs.

  7. Kerry says “Not to mention all the other sneaky reductions in education funding, ”

    Yeah right – Education spending has gone from $9b under Labour to over $12b this year – a $3b or 30% increase.

    Kerry says ““Free trade” So far NZ has lost much more than we have gained.”

    It took over a decade to increase trade to China by a billion dollars. After the FTA we increase by several billion in just months.

    Your problem Kerry, is that when overwhelming facts don’t agree with your predetermined ideals of a rose tinted past, you just make up nonsense.

  8. - mining – the Greens don’t weant that.
    – oil and gas exploration – the Greens don’t want that.

    Correct Photonz, we do not. The CO2 emitting and extractive industries destroy the future even more certainly than your voodoo economics do.

    Our comparative advantage IS in Agriculture, anything else we sell has to be supported, and decisions of WHAT to support have to be made.

    What criteria are you using?

    Instead of making furniture, whiteware and railcars here to reduce imports, you want to rape the landscape and screw future generations for the good of foreign corporations. Self abuse is a habit that National party voters have by definition, they vote National.

    Why would I be surprised that a scarred landscape buried under a rising sea is your goal. Cover-ups are a specialty of the RWNJ.

  9. Talking of compliance costs. National has re-introduced a fee for yearly company registration, and increased many other fees, and largely abandoned Labour’s initiatives to make compliance easier for small business.
    IRD was even pleasant to deal with, for a while..

  10. Yeah right Photo.

    More help to get exporters started. Granted, but, Need a local market to nurture startups before they get big enough to export. All our successful export industries have or had a high level of State involvement. Which means some form of trade barriers or protection. Photo! Opposes that.

    More apprenticeship training. National took 145 million from apprenticeship training, and loudly returned 40 odd million.
    I hope you will lobby for apprenticeship funding to be returned to pre National Government levels.
    Not to mention all the other sneaky reductions in education funding, including that for Labour’s trade academies in high schools.

    Investment in more efficient infrastructure. Photo wants to give it to private buyers to run down, overcharge and asset strip.

    Reducing compliance costs. Ah the endless mantra against “red tape’. The one that has cost NZ billions in leaky buildings alone. Not to mention one of the highest rates of work accidents in the OECD. More successful countries have much MORE stringent regulation of business, including making owners and managers responsible for their actions.

    “Free trade” So far NZ has lost much more than we have gained. If you think Japan would not have bought our timber and China our coal without “free trade” deals you live in La La land.

    Film industry. I had no problem with giving them some encouragement, but removing some of the few protections workers had left was criminal. They had contractual certainty. It has now been taken away from film workers. And why pay to keep a short term film and not help out Hillside, which would have given greater long term gains. The same logic applies.

    Mining. Is not the answer except short term. What happens when it runs out and we still do not have a sustainable economy. Something Nauru had to face and the Gulf States are very worried about.

    Oil and gas. I’ve worked mostly in this industry. The fact is the available reserves in NZ are too expensive to use at present. If you are looking from a pure economic benefit view (leaving out AGW and other considerations) they are better left in the ground until it is very scarce. Instead of paying the industry to take it away now..

    Dairying. Last I saw Greens were fine with it, so long as on communities and the environment are not sacrificed. Dairying on marginal land does not have a future past the present bubble.

    IT. It is the commercial monopoly setup which guarantees telecom profits, at the expense of the IT industry, which we object to. And the industry killing rules, such as patents for US companies, to stifle innovation. We support infrastructure which makes NZ more efficient, and industries such as IT..

  11. bj says “The problem is that in NZ, both the Left and the Right have it as an article of faith that the government should do nothing to encourage industry and cannot control our money.”

    They are trying to encourange all sorts of industries, like
    – mining – the Greens don’t weant that.
    – oil and gas exploration – the Greens don’t want that.
    – dairying – the Greens don’t want that.
    – IT, by putting billions into ultra fast broad band
    – ALL exporters – by doing free trade deals – the Greens don’t like those.
    – film industry, by giving movie makers more contractual certainty with workers – the Greens opposed that
    – more help to get exporters started
    – more apprentiship training
    – investment into more efficient infrastructure
    – reducing compliance costs.
    etc etc.

  12. Kerry says “And their rich were world champion tax dodgers.”

    The Greek tax take went up 30% from 2004 to 2009.

    But a bloated government couldn’t stick to their budgets and spending went up a massive 90% over the same period.

    Year after year they spent way more than they collected, until they were in debt over 120% of gdp – a point of no return for a country.

  13. The other lot can’t see beyond wealth redistribution

    No mate… that may be YOUR notion, but it isn’t the problem.

    The problem is that in NZ, both the Left and the Right have it as an article of faith that the government should do nothing to encourage industry and cannot control our money.

    This is a peculiarly NZ form of idiocy. Not found in any other country.

  14. But that report [that rates NZ as the easiest place to start a business] rates New Zealand very poorly at running a business.

    Lack of access to capital, invoice collecting time way over the standard, lack of skilled workers, state compliance rules and costs, high taxation, etc.

    Yet despite the issues you list, the report (On this website: Doing Business 2013) overall rated New Zealand as the fourth best place to do busienss, after Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and China, with the USA just behind us.

    There are impediments to running a business here, sure, but they are mostly the problem of the business community itself, the issue of getting credit being an example. If we had American attitudes towards business success (and failure) here this place would rock so hard…

  15. Kerry berating Photo’s comment about Australia mining with:

    How do you explain, Singapore, South Korea, Finland? No mining?

    There’s a bigger picture here.

    All those countries are in a better position than we are because some group of people got their fingers out and made change to the benefit of the country. Its not a one size fits all, but change was made somehow.

    Here in Godzone we can’t get beyond the LWNJs namecalling the RWNJs and vice versa over several decades and doing absolutely bugger all whilst we continue to descend.

    The current mob are in the pocket of the farming lobby, and as long as farming works there wont be any boat rocking there. The farm lobby have no desire to see any group ascend in importance above them, and as long as they keep doing what they are doing, they will succeed in ther aim.

    The other lot can’t see beyond wealth redistribution, and although they might like to increase the size of the pie, they can’t figure out what to do.

    So whilst the nut-jobs rearrange the deckchairs on their respective sides of the boat, they are failing to address that fucking big gash below the waterline. You’ve seen the movie, you know the ending.

  16. There was also a report that said New Zealand’s margins for skills (real ones) was one of the lowest in the OECD. Can’t find that link again either.

    If by “margins for skills” you mean “earning premium from tertiary education” then I can help you with that: OECD Question A8, What Are the Earnings Premiums from Education?

    From Education at a glance, but just that question, rather than the full 500+ page report.

  17. Gerrit. I was being sarcastic.

    As I said. Doesn’t help us much.

    And i agree about lack of access to capital. Even with 100’s of k in signed up supply contracts you still cannot get capital for business.

    But. Our taxes are not high for business, nor is the degree of regulation.

    You would be surprised by the restrictions Singapore has. Much of it would be considered draconian here.

    Demand is a problem. New Zealander’s are not paid enough to support local business.

    Lack of skilled labour is a self inflicted injury. New Zealand has low pay for skills or qualifications. (One of the reasons Kiwis take law or accounting instead of IT, science or engineering) Currently I can double my pay in Singapore, for example.

  18. Kerry,

    You are selecting from the report (the link to which I cant find at the moment) the good points.

    Very easy to set up a business, $350.00 and ten minutes on the net.

    But that report rates New Zealand very poorly at running a business.

    Lack of access to capital, invoice collecting time way over the standard, lack of skilled workers, state compliance rules and costs, high taxation, etc.

    Take of the rose tinted glasses. If it was that easy to run a business in New Zealand why are we not lining up to start one?

    Why are the unions not running their own businesses with their access to labour force resources?

    You have the link to the report? Be interesting to discuss further.

  19. New Zealand is also considered one of the freeist and easiest economies to do business. Doesn’t help us much though does it.

    Because, unlike us, Singapore puts strict conditions on resident business. They have to operate to the advantage of Singapore.

    Singapore can afford low taxes because the State owns, and rents out, almost all the land.

    And they have tax breaks, exchange rate controls and other support for business that stays in Singapore and contributes to their economy. Something our economic purists will not contemplate.

  20. Singapore is always around the top of the list of the world freest economies.

    It has one of the lowest tax rates of any developed economy.

    It encourages large scale foreign investment – there are over 3000 major foreign companies operating in Singapore, accounting for over 60% of the total production and exports.

  21. Kerry says “Or will you have yet another excuse why the RWNJ Neo-liberal prescription has failed. In …., Greece…., to name but a few.”

    Greece was known for it’s bloated and ineffcient government.

    That’s why it went so far into debt.

    It had the LOWEST rating in all of Europe for economic freedom.

    It had the LOWEST rating in all of Europe for economic competitiveness.

  22. Singapore. Where the State has a hand in almost everything.

    And a level of State support for their resident businesses that exists, in New Zealand, for farming only..

  23. Kerry says “Photo. How do you explain, Singapore, South Korea, Finland? No mining?”

    Your arguement is totally pointless – that is unless somebody, somewhere, has argued that mining is the ONLY way you can have a successful economy.

    Kerry says “Or will you have yet another excuse why the RWNJ Neo-liberal prescription has failed. In New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Greece, to name but a few.”

    You destroyed that arguement by your previous sentence. You held up one of the most open economies in the world – Singapore – as an economic success.

  24. Arana. Spoken like a true RWNJ.

    In the 70’s we used to fail! half of all students.
    Teachers would love to bring our education into the 21’st century. That is what the new curriculum is all about.
    We already know how to solve the tail. Which is 12%, not 20% (It improved until National returned, surprise surprise). Your figures are well out of date.
    Alleviating poverty, giving children hope for the future that education will actually lead to something and widening the scope of already tested, successful initiatives teachers have started, such as remedial reading, will improve outcomes. Not copying things which have not worked elsewhere.
    It is unthinking twits like you, and the National Government, who want to set it back to the 20’s, copying overseas failures, which even their former advocates are having to admit are not working..

    It is funny that RWNJ’s insist we have to pay hundreds of thousands to get good executives who will do their jobs, but expect excellent results from Teachers for miserable pay and almost intolerable working conditions.
    It says a lot for our Teachers, that, despite the constant attacks from the ignorant, they still turn out one of the worlds best education systems. At a quarter the price of Sweden’s.

    Charter schools are nothing to do with education and everything to do with private business who cannot start their own so the want to grab ours.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/10/why-do-they-want-our-schools.html
    “As usual the private sector are so poor at doing the thing they claim is their strength, starting viable businesses, that they want to steal “the socialists” successes. Ours!”

  25. Photo. How do you explain, Singapore, South Korea, Finland? No mining?

    Or will you have yet another excuse why the RWNJ Neo-liberal prescription has failed. In New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Greece, to name but a few.

  26. Yes. Australian business were not allowed to extract more profit by squeezing workers, or making capital gains on land, so they actually had to invest in productive capacity.

  27. “We’ve got serious work to do and changes to make in that sector. It needs to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the 1970s.”

    RWNJ right there!

  28. Australia is wealthy for a whole lot of reasons, not just mining and not just because of high levels of unionism.
    To reduce that county’s success to either effect is stupid.

  29. Kerry says “Australia started the 80′s in a similar position to us, they lost their guaranteed commodity markets at the same time, but did not follow the same course. ”

    Unlike us, they started mining. It’s now worth equivalent to over half ALL other exports combined, and has increased about 700% in the last decade.

    They have individual mining companies worth more than the combined total of every company on the NZ stock exchange.

    If we did a similar thing and increased our total exports by 50% just from mining, I’m sure we’d be in a similar positon.

    The other thing they did differently to NZ is they invested in the productive sector.

    Based on a percentage of GDP, we had the same sized stock market as Australia two decades ago.

    They have invested and grown their productive sector, and we have done the opposite. Their stock market is now nearly 400% bigger than us based on % of gdp.

  30. The fact is, under our current policy settings, it would not matter how much mineral wealth we mined. Unlike Australia we would see very little of it.

    Economic. Multiplier. Effects.

  31. Teachers are perfectly capable.

    So long as the RWNJ’s get out of the way and let us use best practice and get on with the job.

    We can go back to having one of the worlds best education systems, instead of trying to emulate the worst.

  32. The RW always has excuses why we are not doing as well as comparable countries.
    Anything but admit the obvious. “Free markets”, ‘free trade, small Government, cutting taxes and wages and making people work more for less is the road to the bottom.

    The fact is, under our current policy settings, it would not matter how much mineral wealth we mined. Unlike Australia we would see very little of it.

  33. Not to mention even more lost since as a manufacturing is killed off, wages are dropped even more and we head for the third world while,like Greece, working some of the longest hours for the least wages in the OECD.

    We’re a small country, far from markets, and we’re not particularly smart. Hard working, but not smart. We don’t apply ourselves in areas where wealth can be generated by a country with these geographic and scale disadvantages.

    Most kids should get their heads down and study maths, engineering and science. But first we’d need teachers capable of teaching it, as opposed to “pretending to be a tree”. We’d also need an education system geared towards opportunities, not maintaining tenure.

    It’s something I agree with the Greens on – there is a lot of potential for NZ in technology and IP.

  34. Don’t you remember Richardson managing to have a recession in NZ even when the rest of the world did not.

    Doing the same tax cuts and spending cuts as National are now.

  35. Don’t you remember the billions lost from asset sales, sharemarket crashes, lack of regulation of currency markets and speculation as the economy was “freed up”.

    Don’t you recall that happened worldwide at the time?

  36. Australia started the 80′s in a similar position to us, they lost their guaranteed commodity markets at the same time, but did not follow the same course. Which has the highest GDP per capita, now?
    One of the main reasons they are doing better is that strong unions meant money stayed in Australia, as wages, instead of being removed offshore.

    Australia is strong DESPITE Unions. Australia is wealthy because they scratch a few feet below the sand and money appears in the form of minerals.

    Do we do that here?

    No.

    A snail might get upset.

  37. Not to mention even more lost since as a manufacturing is killed off, wages are dropped even more and we head for the third world while,like Greece, working some of the longest hours for the least wages in the OECD.

  38. No way did Douglas slow a decline. He accelerated it. As you can see from the figures comparing us with other OECD countries since.

    Don’t you remember the billions lost from asset sales, sharemarket crashes, lack of regulation of currency markets and speculation as the economy was “freed up”.

  39. You didn’t mention that in the decade since Sweden was captured by Neo-Liberalism, like us they have dropped in almost every indicator. Including RW ones like GDP growth.

    Australia started the 80’s in a similar position to us, they lost their guaranteed commodity markets at the same time, but did not follow the same course. Which has the highest GDP per capita, now?

    One of the main reasons they are doing better is that strong unions meant money stayed in Australia, as wages, instead of being removed offshore.

  40. I think the changes in the 80’s were poorly executed. The change was too fast.

    I understand politically why it was done that way – Douglas was meeting so much opposition from the entrenched rent-seekers, like Unions, that he needed to deluge them on multiple fronts so they wouldn’t know what to oppose first.

    We were falling against indicators, regardless. Douglas slowed the decline. Labour (Clark) certainly thought so, as they kept almost everything intact.

    Greece engaged in big-state borrow and spend. For a good analysis on where that path can lead, read this:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010

    The current reforms in Sweden and other Nordic states are interesting:

    http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21570840-nordic-countries-are-reinventing-their-model-capitalism-says-adrian

    “Sweden has also donned the golden straitjacket of fiscal orthodoxy with its pledge to produce a fiscal surplus over the economic cycle. Its public debt fell from 70% of GDP in 1993 to 37% in 2010, and its budget moved from an 11% deficit to a surplus of 0.3% over the same period. This allowed a country with a small, open economy to recover quickly from the financial storm of 2007-08. Sweden has also put its pension system on a sound foundation, replacing a defined-benefit system with a defined-contribution one and making automatic adjustments for longer life expectancy.

    Most daringly, it has introduced a universal system of school vouchers and invited private schools to compete with public ones. Private companies also vie with each other to provide state-funded health services and care for the elderly.”

  41. The main thrust of 1984 Labour’s “reforms” was simply a transfer of wealth from workers and small business to finance, speculation and other parasites. And the totally strange belief that if we opened up our markets totally, other countries would be foolish enough to follow.

    They had the right question, but their religious belief in Neo-Liberal economics meant the answer was wrong.

  42. Some change was necessary. Borrowing for social welfare for sheep was never a goer. But selling assets which are now making good incomes for their private owners was totally stupid, as was opening up our markets to be fucked over to a greater extent than anyone else except Ireland. We all know how well that worked.

    Swapping commodity exports for shoddy English manufactured goods was never that good a deal.

    It stopped us from developing a viable modern, mostly self sustained, economy earlier, for one. The same problem the oil producing States are worried about now.

    Then a bunch of idealoges bought the whole Chicago school crap and threw out the baby, the bathwater and the house.
    As for us. We have dropped back in almost all indicators compared to countries which either refrained from going down the Neo-liberal road, to the same extent, or have reversed them.

    As for Greece. They went down the same road of reducing taxes and services and throwing their economy wide open. Germany did not.

  43. Who is blaming it all on National? Many Greens, including me, left Labour because they are just as much of a fuckup as National.

    Our man Jackal seems obsessed with National. I agree that there is very little difference between Labour and National.

    The changes in the 80s were necessary. We no longer had the locked-in high export income from Britain on which modern NZ society was based. Greece never made these changes, never tried to be more competitive, and look how that turned out.

    What do you propose, exactly?

  44. Jackal, you linked a consumption tax-rate to poverty, then blamed National for the resulting “poverty”, presumably because they moved it from 12.5% to 15%.

    It strikes me as a partisan political argument that doesn’t make any sense. Was there no “poverty” (your definition) with GST at 12.5%? If there was, then you should blame National and Labour equally for having a consumption tax that – according to you – makes “poverty” worse.

    I think the problem of “not having enough” has little to do with tax rates and a lot to do with opportunity, better decision making, less dependence, and more initiative. There does need to be more jobs, there does need to be better training and upskilling, there does need to be a path from dependence, so the question is how to solve that problem.

  45. Who is blaming it all on National?
    Many Greens, including me, left Labour because they are just as much of a fuckup as National.

    Neo-liberal fuckups were started by 1984 Labour. It is doubtful if National would have been prepared to stuff up New Zealand for a semi-religious dogma, to the same extent, without Labour’s lead.

  46. You had a number of choices there Arana… You could have kept saying that it’s not true because you haven’t bothered to look for the statistics. You could keep saying that poverty in New Zealand isn’t as bad as other countries as so it therefore doesn’t matter, or you could have continued to blame the increase in poverty on anyone but your beloved National party… But you chose to argue about the meaning of the word poverty? Pathetic!

  47. Because “poverty” is such an emotive, loaded term.

    Having a three bedroom state house, a TV, a school close by, food, power, entertainment and the occasional McDonalds is all affordable within your definition.

    “Poverty”? Really?

    Not well off. Yes. Struggling. Yes. In need of a hand up. Yes.

    But “poverty”?

  48. So your definition is below $2.50 a day?
    Fair enough I guess, though not that useful in a NZ context.

    Personally, I think any measure other than relative purchasing power within an economy is pointless – it doesn’t matter if I can afford to by bread in Bangladesh if I can’t put it my table here.

  49. Poverty is pretty well defined.

    Yes, there are many definitions. A UN definition, a World Bank definition, a relative definition, and absolute definition, and so on.

    My definition is an absolute definition. By this definition, there is no poverty in New Zealand.

    You definition is relative and linked to median income. The problem I have with this definition is that “poverty” will always be with us no matter how high median incomes rise. If we found the worlds largest oil field beneath our feet, and the income distributed evenly, we’d still have “poverty”.

    I can understand why socialists like Jackal would favour such a definition, of course. It’s really a lead-in to income inequality.

    By that definition, if that is the definition Jackal is using, Labour policies were also the cause of “poverty”, so I can’t see why Jackal blames it all on National.

    Just another one of his many logic fails, I guess.

  50. Poverty is pretty well defined.

    The relative poverty measure (that is, within any given state social context) used by the OECD is below 60% of the median household income. It should be noted though that NZ does to recognise this measure, for reasons unknown.

    According to MSD 2012 Household Income Report;

    1. Median HH incomes rose steadily from the mid 90s to 2008/9 at roughly 3% p/a
    2. Slowed to 1% 2009/10 the declined 3% 2010/11 – this is attributed to the GFC
    3. Incomes fell for the lower-mid deciles but rose rapidly for the top decile – income inequality is now at its highest recorded level
    4. 21% of children live in poverty using the AHC fixed line measure, 25% on the moving AHC measure
    5. Hardship rates for children rose from 15% in 2007 to 21% in 2011 reflecting the falling incomes in the mid deciles – hardship is recognised in a precarious financial position but above relative poverty

  51. Poverty is already defined… Learn to use google search.

    If you used Google, you’d realize there are many definitions of poverty. According to the UN definition, there is no poverty in NZ.

    he fact that 25% of New Zealand children live in poverty is a well known fact.

    You assert it but fail to reference it, so can only assume you made it up.

    Are you trying to waste my time with such questions? I’ve already provided the statistic for 2009. If you want further data, find it yourself.

    My question is what level of poverty existed in NZ prior to National being elected. What was the poverty level under Labour? Did it go from 0% to 25% in the first term? If it existed under Labour, then it’s clearly a lie to assert that National policies are solely responsible for “poverty” in NZ.

    Because you’re defending right wing policies.

    That doesn’t tell you how I voted. One does not follow the other.

    Your ability to reason is appalling. You cannot provide evidence, only assertions.

    How old are you? What does it matter?

  52. Arana

    Define poverty.

    Poverty is already defined… Learn to use google search.

    When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

    The debate is not decided by you Arana. I have not defamed you in any way because I simply don’t know who you are. You seem to have a problem with thinking logically Arana, which is why you support Nationals policies I suppose.

    Evidence and references please, not assertions.

    Your only reference was a link to Kiwibog, so it’s a bit hypocritical to demand evidence in the form of links from me. The fact that 25% of New Zealand children live in poverty is a well known fact.

    Again, learn to use google search… If you cannot do that simple task, then you obviously have issues that you should try to resolve before pestering people on blogs.

    What percentage of children were “living in poverty” prior to National being elected?

    Are you trying to waste my time with such questions? I’ve already provided the statistic for 2009. If you want further data, find it yourself.

    Children not being fed in NZ is about child abuse, not income.

    If people don’t have enough money, they cannot feed their children properly. It’s often not the fault of the parent that their incomes are not adequate. There are many other ways poverty inflicts harm on Kiwi kids other than malnourishment Arana. Why have you focused on that?

    You seem to think you know how I vote. How can you claim this?

    Because you’re defending right wing policies. But since you obviously want to inform us, who do you vote for?

    It’s all in the thread. You provided baseless allegations – I proved them wrong, using evidence.

    That’s all in your head… I provided evidence based arguments that you don’t accept… That however doesn’t make them any less factual. You are clearly a deluded individual who is merely trying to be annoying.

    How old are you btw Arana?

  53. The data that shows 25% of children now live in poverty is an internationally recognized way of gathering statistics Arana. It’s the same way other countries quantify data.

    Evidence and references please, not assertions.

    New Zealand has 25% of its children living in poverty mainly because of the failures of your National government.

    What percentage of children were “living in poverty” prior to National being elected?

    Poverty is not about bad parenting, its about incomes.

    Children not being fed in NZ is about child abuse, not income.

    You seem to think you know how I vote. How can you claim this?

    You have supplied no evidence

    It’s all in the thread. You provided baseless allegations – I proved them wrong, using evidence.

    You have yet to provide evidence of anything, merely your assertions.

  54. Define poverty.

    Go back to the sewer where you belong.

    When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

  55. It’s interesting that you think there’s no childhood poverty in New Zealand, considering you live in an ivory tower. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

    The data that shows 25% of children now live in poverty is an internationally recognized way of gathering statistics Arana. It’s the same way other countries quantify data.

    New Zealand has 25% of its children living in poverty mainly because of the failures of your National government. Poverty is not about bad parenting, its about incomes. National is ensuring many children are neglected by keeping incomes low.

    You have supplied no evidence, just ludicrous assumptions based on promoting the National parties defunct policies. Again, you’re on the wrong website Arana. This is a left wing blog… Go back to the sewer where you belong.

  56. Otago University needs to get out of their cosy middle class tower and go talk to my working-class Dad – who still grows most of my parents eat, just as he did when we were growing up.

    $278?!? Where on earth do they get that figure from?

  57. Talking crap again Arana.

    Work it out for yourself. Otago university has worked out a healthy diet for a family of 4 in New Zealand costs $278 minimum a week. Many families have a lot less than that to spend on food.

    Welfare and the minimum wage ARE NOT ENOUGH TO LIVE ON IN NEW ZEALAND. Of course you don’t really care so long as you can have tax cuts.

  58. You don’t know what childhood poverty is if you think it exists in New Zealand. Visit India. You’ll see what childhood poverty really looks like.

    In NZ, we have a lot of childhood neglect. That has nothing to do with tax rates, is partly driven by bad “welfare” policy, and is almost entirely due to bad parenting. I grew up poor but I was loved – that was the difference.

    I have refuted your “arguments” with evidence. You display all the hallmarks of a religious fanatic.

  59. Arana, if you spend all your money on living, the GST you pay on goods and services as a percentage of your income is more that somebody who only spends 50% say of their income on living.

    That’s why we have more childhood poverty… That’s why inequality has increased faster than ever before and is now at the worse rate ever seen.

    Being that you are a right winger, I can see why you would view such dysfunction as not being a disaster, because it obviously doesn’t effect you Arana.

    Your evidence is a joke, and it’s obvious that you’re deluded Arana… You clearly display all the hallmarks of a RWNJ.

  60. The tax cuts weren’t neutral Arana, the GST increase made sure of that. Why do you think child poverty rates have increased by 5%?

    GST captures everyone. Labour implemented, increased it, and didn’t revoke it. Clearly, Labour thinks GST is a fair tax.

    Also, the unemployment rate has only gone down slightly because the participation rate also decreased. You obviously don’t understand how such statistics work.Now I realise you’re trying to stick up for Nationals failures, but really all you’re doing is looking foolish!

    I have provided you evidence. You ignore it. Then you change the argument.

    Again:

    Up to $14K – tax rate goes from 12.5% to 10.5%
    $14K to $48K – tax rate goes from 21.0% to 17.5%
    $48K to $70K – tax rate goes from 33.0% to 30.0%
    $70K+ – tax rate goes from 38.0% to 33.0%
    Workers earning around the average full-time wage ($40K to $48k) will, over 18 months, have had their top marginal tax rate go from 33% to 17.5% – almost halved.

    So, taxes were cut across the board.

    Economic indicators are reasonably good, compared to our trading partners. The unemployment rate is 6.90. The number of full-time jobs has returned to a similar level to that at December 2007. UK is sitting on 7.8%, Greece 26.8%, Australia 5.40, US 7.8%. Retail confidence is up, the economy is growing faster than expected, and house prices are rising.

    So, no economic “disaster” as you claim, just partisan nonsense.

  61. There is no evidence we are facing catastrophic global warming due to mans c02 output. It’s conjecture.

    Believe it, if you want. Belief is what drives religion.

  62. The tax cuts weren’t neutral Arana, the GST increase made sure of that. Why do you think child poverty rates have increased by 5%?

    Also, the unemployment rate has only gone down slightly because the participation rate also decreased. You obviously don’t understand how such statistics work.

    Now I realise you’re trying to stick up for Nationals failures, but really all you’re doing is looking foolish!

  63. I am afraid that the evidence for AGW is conclusive, I wish it were not. Conclusive enough that we need to take action. It is fine to be sceptical. I am myself of most things, but when the evidence is occurring all around you denying it becomes idiocy.

    I understand your position but the evidence does not support it.

  64. If I was personally abusing you I would chose different words.

    RWNJ (an abbreviation for Right-Wing-Nut-Job, I believe) is not exactly a term of endearment. I have “outed” (curious term) myself as a RWNJ?

  65. Yet increasing the money supply using QE will have no effect on house prices? How odd.

    That’s why it is called QE rather than just jamming interest rates.

    There is some effort made to control where the fnck the money goes.

    Which is inherent in our policies. It is also inherent in National’s policies, the difference is in the destination. Their rich owners and mates vs regular people in this country who actually NEED it.

    Championing the status quo can’t work Arana… we already have excellent evidence that it doesn’t. The only question is what actually needs to change.

    Attitudes about the sovereignty of the Nation vs the primacy of the Bankers is one of them.

  66. If I was personally abusing you I would chose different words.

    I am afraid that the evidence for AGW is conclusive, I wish it were not. Conclusive enough that we need to take action.

    It is fine to be sceptical. I am myself of most things, but when the evidence is occurring all around you denying it becomes idiocy.

  67. Again, that’s just personal abuse.

    Label me however you like, but my point is that doing so is really just an excuse to evade the arguments.

    As for AGW, that debate is endless. Let’s just skip right to the end – my position is skeptical. I do not “deny” man *might* be causing *some* warming, but, like many scientists, I question whether the degree of warming caused by man is something to get excited about. It’s the right thing to do to keep asking questions.

  68. Arana. You have already outed yourself as yet another RWNJ.

    I was wondering if you were our resident paid neo-liberal apologist, astro-turfer during Photo’s absence? As you can be relied on to spout the usual BS we hear so often.

    Like most RWNJ’s Evidence does not seem to bother you. Including ignoring all the evidcne for AGW.

  69. Hey, I thought you’d fessed up to being a Classic Liberal!

    You may recall it was others wishing to put a label on me :) Classic Liberal, I guess.

    Jackal is using the term “right wing” pejoratively. It’s the “Holden vs Ford”, “Protestant vs Catholic” approach, but doesn’t do much to illuminate the issue.

    I want him to take an evidence-based approach, as opposed to a religious one.

  70. Two words: Housing Prices

    Yet increasing the money supply using QE will have no effect on house prices? How odd.

  71. Another nonsense statement from the wantabe (and very simplistic) rightwing within the National Party voter base.

    Why is it a “nonsense statement”?

    Do you run a business Arana? Surely you must run a business or be a above average earner to vote National, right?

    Yes, I run a business. It doesn’t follow that those who run a business or those on above the average wage vote National, else Helen Clark would vote National, as would the head of the BSC.

    Would you still hold this opinion if your biggest client reduced their expenditure with you? Or your boss cut your wages?

    Yes.

    With that in mind – who do you think the biggest corporation is in New Zealand?

    Pyne Gould? Iwi?

  72. My argument is based on current statistics Arana, the ones you obviously want to ignore.

    I *provided* the statistics above. I’m not sure why you’re pretending you can’t see them.

    A youth unemployment rate of 24% for instance, up from 16% in December 2008, which was the height of the recession btw.

    So now you’re changed the argument to youth unemployment rates. I’m not surprised youth unemployment has risen due to Labour abolishing youth rates and National not reversing that policy.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/02/youth_rates_and_youth_unemployment.html

    Now if you can get your head around that total National failure

    There has not been a “total National failure”. The economy is growing, retail activity is increasing, house prices are up, unemployment is in range of our partners – all this against two significant events a) the ChCh earthquake and b) the GFC. I have provided the evidence, yet you ignore it.

    National appear to be managing the economy reasonably well.

    could you tell me how well did cutting taxes for the rich work out last time to “grow the economy” Arana? Hint: it didn’t.

    They cut the taxes across the board.

    The tax rate changes from 1 October 2010 are:

    Up to $14K – tax rate goes from 12.5% to 10.5%
    $14K to $48K – tax rate goes from 21.0% to 17.5%
    $48K to $70K – tax rate goes from 33.0% to 30.0%
    $70K+ – tax rate goes from 38.0% to 33.0%
    Workers earning around the average full-time wage ($40K to $48k) will, over 18 months, have had their top marginal tax rate go from 33% to 17.5% – almost halved.

    Two thirds of the “cost” of tax cuts goes to reducing bottom two rates and 73% of income earners will have a top tax rate of 17.5%. You keep 82.5% of every extra hour you work”.

    As I say, economic indicators are looking positive, so I’m not sure how you can say it “hasn’t worked”.

    Please learn to use google search, you simply look foolish asking stupid questions all the time.

    I know how to use Google search. I have provided evidence in support of my position and in answer to your questions, but for whatever reason, you ignore it.

  73. and cut needless state expenditure, for starters.

    Another nonsense statement from the wantabe (and very simplistic) rightwing within the National Party voter base.

    Do you run a business Arana? Surely you must run a business or be a above average earner to vote National, right?

    Would you still hold this opinion if your biggest client reduced their expenditure with you? Or your boss cut your wages?

    With that in mind – who do you think the biggest corporation is in New Zealand?

  74. why would you adopt QE before you’d taken numerous other measures, including reducing interest rates?

    Two words: Housing Prices

  75. My argument is based on current statistics Arana, the ones you obviously want to ignore.

    A youth unemployment rate of 24% for instance, up from 16% in December 2008, which was the height of the recession btw.

    Now if you can get your head around that total National failure, could you tell me how well did cutting taxes for the rich work out last time to “grow the economy” Arana? Hint: it didn’t.

    Please learn to use google search, you simply look foolish asking stupid questions all the time.

  76. The unemployment rate is 6.90. The number of full-time jobs has returned to a similar level to that at December 2007.

    UK is sitting on 7.8%, Greece 26.8%, Australia 5.40, US 7.8%.

    I think you’re deluding yourself, Jackal. Your decision making doesn’t appear to based on evidence.

    You obviously don’t support the Greens Arana, which begs the question why you’re on frogblog and not Kiwibog or FailOil?

    I wasn’t aware I had to support any party to post here, nor seek your permission.

    Personally, I think National could do a lot more to grow the economy, but they seem trapped in a centerist-left position. They need to reduce taxes and free up land, reform welfare and cut needless state expenditure, for starters.

    So despite nearly every other developed country in the world using quantitative easing and it working for them

    Which country is it working for? And why would you adopt QE before you’d taken numerous other measures, including reducing interest rates?

    Your inane drivel is largely meaningless Arana, which is why your a right winger in the first place I guess.

    You’re.

    What’s a right winger?

  77. Arana

    What political party do I support?

    You obviously don’t support the Greens Arana, which begs the question why you’re on frogblog and not Kiwibog or FailOil?

    Just a rambling string of soundbites, really.

    A soundbite is something you listen to, not something you read.

    NZ unemployment is favourable compared to many trading partners.

    You’re clearly deluding yourself Arana… New Zealands NEET statistics are comparable to those of Greece and Spain because of Nationals destructive policies and our unemployment rate has more than doubled since John Key became Prime Minister. Come down from your ivory tower.

    Our growth rate is picking up faster than expected.

    That’s a prediction by RBNZ Arana not a development. I thought you put little stock in future projections anyway? But here you are claiming that things are getting better under a National government, when they clearly aren’t. New Zealand has averaged a stagnant 0.1% economic growth over the last year, all projections fell well short under the current National government.

    All against a backdrop of a major global recession. Where’s this “disaster” of which you speak?

    The recession has ended in most other countries, so why is National still using it as an excuse? The disaster is in a 190% increase in government debt since the 2008 election and things like an increase in child poverty from 20% in 2009 to 25% in 2012 etc etc.

    I have seen nothing on the economic front from the Greens that is workable. I’ve seen numerous uncosted wishlists and fanciful reports. Let’s not even start on silly suggestions of QE.

    So despite nearly every other developed country in the world using quantitative easing and it working for them, you still think it’s silly Arana. You also provide no evidence to back up your beliefs… Pathetic!

    You obviously haven’t even bothered to look at the Greens economic plan before rinsing and repeating Nationals tired old rhetoric.

    This approach won’t cut it in the real world. They’ll need something more concrete for election debates.

    Says the person who thinks Key will be Prime Minister after the next election despite the polling trend showing there will be a Labour/Greens coalition after then next election… Your inane drivel is largely meaningless Arana, which is why your a right winger in the first place I guess.

  78. The Greens economic plans are far more workable than the neoliberal disaster we currently have under National. Look at how much worse New Zealand has become because of the right wings woeful economic performance. They simply have no answers and are flailing in the dark

    Just a rambling string of soundbites, really.

    NZ unemployment is favourable compared to many trading partners. Our growth rate is picking up faster than expected.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/63155/economists-suggest-strong-economic-data-may-push-bank-hike-interest-rates-earlier-planned

    All against a backdrop of a major global recession. Where’s this “disaster” of which you speak?

    I have seen nothing on the economic front from the Greens that is workable. I’ve seen numerous uncosted wishlists and fanciful reports. Let’s not even start on silly suggestions of QE.

    This approach won’t cut it in the real world. They’ll need something more concrete for election debates.

  79. So photon, (who’s usually an intelligent person) has tried to mislead people into believing Labour and the Greens wouldn’t be able to form a government based on those poll results, and you also argue vehemently that the poll is meaningless because there’s no election today.

    It would seem that you both care a lot about what the polling is showing, and according to the Roy Morgan poll the political parties you support no longer have a mandate to govern. They certainly don’t have any moral authority to make any major changes.

    ‘If an election were held today National would win’ is something the right wing were happy to rub in the faces of the left wing when the polls were going their way, but now they apparently don’t mean anything because they show that the left wing will win.

    You say that Shearer mumbles Arana, but apparently Shearer’s communication skills aren’t an issue because the polls indicate that support for Labour has increased while Shearer has been leader. In my opinion he communicates perfectly well, John Key on the other hand not so much.

    The Greens economic plans are far more workable than the neoliberal disaster we currently have under National. Look at how much worse New Zealand has become because of the right wings woeful economic performance. They simply have no answers and are flailing in the dark.

    Just because Key is good at selling snake oil isn’t going to change the fact that people are waking up to Nationals failure and looking towards political parties that offer actual solutions. Nationals only solution was to make the rich richer and build roads of little significance, and look at how much more government debt there is because of such defunct policy.

    If John Key rants any harder in the house of representatives, his wig is likely to fall off and he’ll become the laughing stock of the entire nation. The joke that is the National government is catching on, and they will soon be laughed out of office.

    Next election: Labour/Greens government.

  80. Like many others, I enjoy the level of debate here.

    Perhaps your comment is trolling me? I answered you politely and on-topic, did I not?

  81. What’s a right winger?

    I didn’t say polling was irrelevant. What is irrelevant is taking a poll result, pretending there is an election today, and deciding the government have no moral authority to govern as a result.

    Here’s you problem: the election debates.

    Shearer mumbles, bumbles and fumbles. He can barely make a point when the pressure is off. Key will make mincemeat of him and the nation will bear witness. What will that do to polling?

    Secondly, Key will eviserate Norman’s economic “plans”. Norman is better than Shearer, but his weakness is that his economic plans are unworkable, and Key will take great delight informing the nation of the true costs.

    Then the swing-votin’ members of the public will have to consider whether they want that unknown twosome vs Key.

    That’s why your poll today is near meaningless in terms of election result.

  82. Arana

    But there isn’t one, so it’s irrelevant.

    Polling isn’t irrelevant, and the current polling shows that the National government has lost support… Such things usually matter in politics.

    I was wondering, being an obvious right winger, why are you here commenting on a left wing blog Arana?

    Andrew Atkin

    If Labour and Greens get into power this coming election, and they do not change their positions on land development, then this country is totally screwed.

    Why’s that? There’s ample room to build on in urban areas… We simply don’t need further sprawl to meet our housing requirements. We just need to utilize the space we have better.

    Let us all pray it doesn’t happen.

    What’s religion got to do with it?

  83. If Labour and Greens get into power this coming election, and they do not change their positions on land development, then this country is totally screwed.

    Let us all pray it doesn’t happen.

  84. I’m saying that going by the the Roy Morgan results, and if an election was held today, Labour and the Greens would likely be able to govern alone… Capish? Find something else to do or discuss if the debate isn’t exciting enough for you photon.

  85. Jackal – with all due respect, trying to predict election results nearly two years away from a current poll is not the most exciting debate subject.

  86. photon

    Besides which, last time I looked 48% (the Labour/Green total) isn’t a majority.

    I really shouldn’t have to explain this to you photon…

    The numbers required to form a majority government is more than half (i.e. 50 percent + 1). The majority is taken from how many MPs each party has, not the percentage of the vote they gained.

    According to the Roy Morgan statistics and the expectation that 3 electoral seats would change, Labour and the Greens would easily be able to form a majority government if an election was held today.

    The election ISN’T being held today – it’s nearly two years away.

    Thankfully the trend will continue in the left wings favour because National has no solutions, and the election might be closer than you think if there’s a vote of no confidence in the government.

    There’s clearly a case to be made for no-confidence in Key’s National government on the basis of the continued funding of Government expenditure.

  87. Jackal says “Using the current data shows that if an election was held today and Winston wanted to go with National, they still wouldn’t have enough of a majority to form a government… Whereas Labour and the Greens would. Capish?”

    Which as I said, is pointless navel-gazing, as the election ISN’T being held today – it’s nearly two years away.

    Besides which, last time I looked 48% (the Labour/Green total) isn’t a majority.

  88. photon

    I merely pointed out the the levels of support for Labour and National that some say would mean a win to the left, are pretty much the same that had the opposite result in 2008.

    Which is clearly wrong because you’re not considering the increase in support of the Greens and the demise of Nationals coalition partners within that timeframe.

    Using the current data shows that if an election was held today and Winston wanted to go with National, they still wouldn’t have enough of a majority to form a government… Whereas Labour and the Greens would. Capish?

  89. Jackal say “You implied that National would win because their support has remained static since 2008..”

    I didn’t imply anyone would win – just the opposite – that the result could hinge on a roll of the dice by NZ First.

    I merely pointed out the the levels of support for Labour and National that some say would mean a win to the left, are pretty much the same that had the opposite result in 2008.

    Jackal says “So the (biased towards the rightwing) polling and what it’s indicating now doesn’t matter because it no longer shows that National would win”

    I’ve never claimed they DO matter.

  90. photon

    Whoopee – that’s 00.93 of a percent different.

    I put that data in to show that you were correct… I put the data in concerning the Greens increase in support to show that you were incorrect. You implied that National would win because their support has remained static since 2008… Even Roy Morgan thinks you’re wrong photon.

    Speculating in detail on election results based on polling half way through the term is little more than navel gazing.

    Right! So the (biased towards the rightwing) polling and what it’s indicating now doesn’t matter because it no longer shows that National would win… Are you familiar with the Ostridge effect perhaps photon?

    We’ve still got a numerous scandals, failures, stupid racist remarks, probably a few resignations etc, to work our way through before the next election.

    All things the Greens seem remarkably free of I might add. It would also seem that the recent controversy within Labour concerning David Shearer hasn’t reduced their support either.

    Also, a historical comparison of major scandals within our political parties shows that National has had more than twice as many as Labour… But you just keep crossing those fingers and wishing upon a star photon.

    Arana

    The government is voted in for three year terms and have a mandate to govern for three years, irrespective of opinion poll results.

    So the fact that the voting public no longer supports the government doesn’t matter and we should just accept National even though they have no legitimacy?

    In my opinion, the fact that National has totally failed New Zealand, which has degraded drastically under their administration, should result in a vote of no confidence in their governance.

    John Key simply doesn’t have a mandate to make any changes that only benefits their right wing agenda.

    What’s a neo-liberal?

    As an obvious supporter of right wing philosophies Arana, I would have thought you’d be aware of such things?

    From wikipedia:

    Neoliberalism is a political philosophy whose advocates support economic liberalization, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, decreasing the size of the public sector and increasing the role of the private sector in modern society.

    Sums up the current government quite well if you ask me.

  91. My point is that their slim majority means National doesn’t have the moral authority to make any sweeping changes, and with their support dwindling even further, they have even less of a mandate to govern.

    Based on polls estimating what people *might* do *if* they voted today.

    The government is voted in for three year terms and have a mandate to govern for three years, irrespective of opinion poll results.

    What’s a neo-liberal?

  92. Latest Roy Morgan poll: Nat 44%, Lab 34.5%”

    photonz1 “That’s the same as the 2008 election (which National won).”

    Jackal says “Nice try photonz1… In 2008, National had 44.93% while Labour had 33.99%.”

    Whoopee – that’s 00.93 of a percent different.

    Speculating in detail on election results based on polling half way through the term is little more than navel gazing – we’ve still got a numerous scandals, failures, stupid racist remarks, probably a few resignations etc, to work our way through before the next election.

  93. Arana

    Last time I looked, we elected for three year terms.

    Perhaps we should have shorter electoral cycles then.

    My point is that their slim majority means National doesn’t have the moral authority to make any sweeping changes, and with their support dwindling even further, they have even less of a mandate to govern.

    If you account for the non-vote, National only gained 34.47% at the last election, which hardly indicates that a majority of New Zealanders agree with their neoliberal policies.

    Here’s what the Salvation Army says in their recent State of the Nation report (PDF):

    The problem that Mr Key and any other Prime Ministers elected with such a limited mandate have is not about power, but about legitimacy. They simply do not have the moral authority to exercise sweeping changes because the majority of people—either by dissent or by absence—have not given this to them.

    Of course National has used their single vote majority to ram through many detrimental policies, basically because they don’t really give a damn about democracy. Their policies have further marginalized the poor and made it more unlikely that they will vote because it suits their objectives.

    It’s likely there will be even more non-voters at the next election.

  94. Not likely… Although there are undoubtedly many racists in New Zealand, most will be able to comprehend just how stupendously stupid Richard Prosser looks.

    I wouldn’t bet on it, myself. They haven’t been able to see through Winston all these years.

    I don’t like it, either.

  95. If you group the parties together in terms of government and opposition, then it’s clear that a National coalition wouldn’t win if an election was held today… In effect they now have no moral authority to govern or sell our assets and should call an early election.

    WTF?

    Last time I looked, we elected for three year terms.

  96. photon

    If NZ First get over the line it’s quite likely they could decide whether we have a left or right govt – I’m sure that scenario scares both the left and right.

    If the current trend continues, Labour and the Greens will not need the support of NZ First to form a coalition government… In fact my only real concern is that Labour won’t need the Greens support either.

    toad says “Latest Roy Morgan poll: Nat 44%, Lab 34.5%”

    That’s the same as the 2008 election (which National won).

    Nice try photonz1… In 2008, National had 44.93% while Labour had 33.99%. However the main change has been from the Greens, who have increased their support from 6.72% at the 2008 election to 13.5% in the latest Roy Morgan poll. That’s a pretty amazing increase in support in just over four years.

    If you group the parties together in terms of government and opposition, then it’s clear that a National coalition wouldn’t win if an election was held today… In effect they now have no moral authority to govern or sell our assets and should call an early election.

    The National coalition won in 2008 with the slimmest of majorities on 51.84%, the opposition parties had 48.16%. The latest Roy Morgan poll shows that has shifted with 52.5% now supporting opposition parties, with only 45% in support of the right wing coalition government.

    Factor in that the Maori party will be lucky to retain even one electorate seat and that Peter Dunne is goneburgers, and things are looking decided up for the left.

    Arana

    Unfortunately, it might do the opposite. If 5% of NZ is racist, they could pick up MORE votes.

    Not likely… Although there are undoubtedly many racists in New Zealand, most will be able to comprehend just how stupendously stupid Richard Prosser looks. He has been completely vilified within blogs and the media alike, and there’s no way such a dressing down will gain any support for NZ First.

    Now if Winston had come out strongly against such bigotry and ensured Prosser was properly chastised and disciplined by removing him from the party, then NZ First may have picked up some votes form the majority of principled and non-racist New Zealanders out there. But presently Winston has condoned Prosser’s bigotry by his inaction.

    Although I think there will likely be some formal complaints made… To paraphrase photonz1:

    The comments were so ignorant and stupid that it’s unlikely there’s anyone anywhere who would agree with them.

    You do realise that I hate it when I agree with you photonz1?

  97. How many Jobs have been lost because of greedy merchant bankers and money traders like our own self serving prime minister??.

    I’d suggest a tiny, tiny proportion of the jobs lost this decade are due to the causes you ascribe them to. A chunk more are people who in reality should have been made redundant years ago, but their employers kept them on through employer incompetence or slackness, and the GFC made them actually look hard at the costs part of their business.

  98. If Helen Clarke has 9 houses she can afford a capital gains tax too, but greedy John will ensure this does not happen under his watch.
    How many Jobs have been lost because of greedy merchant bankers and money traders like our own self serving prime minister??.

    Just a rambling string of cliches.

    Your logic is as sound as Prossers. Some merchant bankers are dodgy, so all of them are? Does it not occur to you that banking does perform a necessary function? For example, what happens if you’re an exporter and you can’t hedge currency?

    Please demonstrate how capital gains impacts the seller, because it hasn’t in other countries. It impacts the buyer by driving up house prices.

  99. Which is why, despite it making me want to puke, I am also quietly delighted by the Prosser *Wogistan” debacle this week, as it will make NZF unelectable as long as they keep him on

    I can see it increasing their vote, sadly. I’m guessing the racist vote is somewhat higher than 5%.

  100. I always thought our prime minister was ShonKey …. ;)

    If Helen Clarke has 9 houses she can afford a capital gains tax too, but greedy John will ensure this does not happen under his watch.

    How many Jobs have been lost because of greedy merchant bankers and money traders like our own self serving prime minister??.

    Rather a lot I’d say ….. its a world wide thing .

  101. toad says “Which is why, despite it making me want to puke, I am also quietly delighted by the Prosser *Wogistan” debacle this week, as it will make NZF unelectable as long as they keep him on.”

    Unfortunately, it might do the opposite. If 5% of NZ is racist, they could pick up MORE votes.

    See that complaints against his remarks are unlikely to be followed up by the Race Relations Conciliator because (to paraphrase) the comments were so ignorant and stupid that it’s unlikely there’s anyone anywhere who would take them seriously.

  102. @photonz1 11:04 PM

    If NZ First get over the line it’s quite likely they could decide whether we have a left or right govt

    Which is why, despite it making me want to puke, I am also quietly delighted by the Prosser *Wogistan” debacle this week, as it will make NZF unelectable as long as they keep him on.

  103. toad says “Latest Roy Morgan poll: Nat 44%, Lab 34.5%”

    That’s the same as the 2008 election (which National won).

    If NZ First get over the line it’s quite likely they could decide whether we have a left or right govt – I’m sure that scenario scares both the left and right.

  104. I’m sure they have, but millions have not.

    I don’t find it acceptable. I find it an abuse of the intent of *citizen* initiated referendum. It is intended for citizens to send a message *to* politicians, not for politicians who already have a powerful voice in parliament to use as de-facto electioneering – in effect, sending a message to themselves.

    The fact some MPs think they’re being “clever” with parliamentary rules lowers their standing in my eyes, and those of many others, I’m sure.

    Not that it was particularly high to start with…

  105. Thousands and thousands of New Zealanders have enthusiastically signed the petition for this referendum. Their interest in the issue is very high and their opposition to it, clearly apparent.
    “and it is unbelievable that parliamentary funds can be used towards the collection of signatures”
    Believe it, Arana. It happened, there was challenge from the panicked righties, but the practice was cleared as perfectly acceptable. The rules won’t be “tighted”, as they weren’t even stretched by the perfectly acceptable use they were put to. I smell sour grapes.

  106. Just like they were out last time we had a referendum on the part-float issue, where Labour staked the election on it, and received their second worst result ever.

    Your phrasing indicates to me you see this referendum as little more than pre-election campaigning.

    If they are out next election, it won’t be over this issue. New Zealanders simply haven’t shown much interest in it, as you’ll note it’s taken you a very long time to collect the necessary signatures. Those signatures are a fraction of the total Lab/Green vote, indicating you can’t even convince a high percentage of your own side to sign it.

    A waste of taxpayer money, and it is unbelievable that parliamentary funds can be used towards the collection of signatures. I do hope the rules are tighted to avoid such behavior from our MPs and political parties in future.

  107. photonz1 – your’e firing off half-c*cked and willy-nilly – seems you haven’t changed at all following your wee break!

    No referendum is ever ignored. some though, are worded so badly that they are worthless. The question on the asset sales referendum however, is as clear as a bell and when gathered back in will tell the Government NO. What they do with that information will be critical. Dismiss it and they are out at the next election. Yippee-ki-ay!

  108. DaddyO suffering from a spate of envy.

    Mr John Keys may have 9 houses. How many does John Key the PM have?

    If you are going to hate someone, at least get the name right!!

    And can you recall how many Helen Clark (the former Labour party leader) owned?

    Hint: No more nor less then the anonymous Mr John Keys.

    How many good hard working New Zealanders lost their jobs so John Keys could make 50 million + dollars for himself while conducting raids on our dollar ????.

    Cant you conduct research into your own questions and inform us of your findings? The anonymous Mr John Keys has a lot to answer for!!

    Could it be none, 1 or 2? For without your research my answer is as good as yours.

  109. Are they? I’m a thief and a wrecker? Are the poor thieves and wreckers? If not, given I was born into a poor family, at what level of savings did I become a thief and a wrecker?

    The dollar is traded. Loss of jobs are due to many factors. The main factor is lack of productivity.

    Investors pushed prices high? Really? So, nothing to do with smart growth policies and council ticket clicking, then?

    Key is not causing damage. The most damage in NZ is caused by people – of any income level – demanding a lot more from the taxpayer than they contribute. It is unsustainable.

    I’m an exporter. Whilst it would be nice for me if the dollar was lower, I’m not sure why every other New Zealander should pay higher costs so I can make more profit. If a manufacturer can’t compete at a 20% discount to the Australian dollar, then they should get out of the game and let someone more capable use those labour resources.

  110. The rich are the best thieves and wreckers around Arana.

    How many good hard working New Zealanders lost their jobs so John Keys could make 50 million + dollars for himself while conducting raids on our dollar ????.

    And investors have pushed house prices beyond what my and many other peoples children can afford.

    So greedy types like john keys with his 9 houses should certainly be taxed for the damage he’s causing …..

    Im sure the high dollar is also helping john keys personal wealth while hurting manufacturers ……. Its all about personal greed with these national leaders we have ..

  111. The facts are National cut taxes heavily for the rich. The tax cuts to the rich should be reversed and a capital gains tax should be introduced

    They didn’t, but what is the moral basis for taxing successful people more and more?

    Do you want capital gains tax because you feel the increase in value of a property should be classed as earnings?

  112. photonz1 – your’e firing off half-cocked and willy-nilly – seems you haven’t changed at all following your wee break!

    No referendum is ever ignored. some though, are worded so badly that they are worthless. The question on the asset sales referendum however, is as clear as a bell and when gathered back in will tell the Government NO. What they do with that information will be critical. Dismiss it and they are out at the next election. Yippee-ki-ay!

  113. The facts are National cut taxes heavily for the rich. The tax cuts to the rich should be reversed and a capital gains tax should be introduced.

    A capital gains tax increases the tax base but people like john keys with his 9 houses would hate it ,,,,

  114. Kerry say “As the majority of them, apart from the long term handicapped or long term mentally ill, pay more in tax into the scheme than they receive, it is an entitlement!”

    Actually the average spent per person per year on all govt services is $18,500. Only a very small percentage of New Zealanders pay more than that in tax.

    And with WFF 40% of all workers have an effective tax rate of zero.

    When we hear calls from the left that we need a wider tax base, what they really mean is a narrower one.

  115. Greenfly says “Who said pragmatism was immoral?
    Having a floating ideology is.”

    You mean like a floating position on citizens referendums saying they can’t be ignored, after previously ignoring them?

  116. Unfortunately as you state dbuck, incompetence is not a firing offence.

    It can and should get you into the cycle of performance management though, which should ultimately lead to a sacking if the behaviour is not rectified.

    The trouble is performance management requires a deal of effort from line management and HR, both of which tend to be reluctant to follow through in my experience – all a bit hard apparently.

  117. 3. If as the anonymous ‘author’ states it’s impossible to be fired from the council short of murder…

    Well, it certainly isn’t possible to be fired for doing a poor job.

    ACC has managed 543 privacy breaches in seven months, causing Green MP Kevin Hague to note “I was astounded by the high number of breaches”.

    Every one of those breaches is a rank-and-file civil servant that by now should not have a job.

    The article notes that “ACC chief executive Ralph Stewart, board chairman John Judge and two board members, among others” have been removed over the failures, but that isn’t going to help matters one iota, these people don’t do any casework and thus don’t scatter people’s private data to the winds.

    People need to be sacked to stop the rot.

  118. Flipping back to Andrews post, while amusing, I suspect it’s bollocks for three reasons;

    1. It came from the Daily Mail, not exactly a paper of record

    2. It reads like a conglomeration of council ‘urban legends’ – probably based on fact but embellished for humorous effect and unlikely to all be from the same office

    3. If as the anonymous ‘author’ states it’s impossible to be fired from the council short of murder, why write it anonymously when there can be no possible reprisal?

  119. Well. In reality most welfare recipients are receiving the benefits of the Government run social insurance scheme.
    As the majority of them, apart from the long term handicapped or long term mentally ill, pay more in tax into the scheme than they receive, it is an entitlement!
    Very few, until recently, with Nationals, and neo-liberal labour’s, job loss policies, were unemployed for more than a short term. In other words the majority of those who receive welfare/social insurance are the tax payers who pay for it.

    Really we should be attacking Government for their blatant misuse of the funds to prop up their own, often already wealthy, cronies, and reducing taxes too much for those who take the most from our society, leaving too little for infrastructure, social insurance and supporting the next generation.

  120. Who said pragmatism was immoral?
    Having a floating ideology is.
    At least one that floats to the extent that Key’s does.
    Whatever he believes the people want to hear, he believes.
    Immoral.

  121. It depends of what you mean by pragmatism really.

    Pragmatism form a philosophical standpoint should be regarded as amoral rather than immoral as it holds that all moral judgements are inherently mutable – possibly appropriate for any given society at any given point in time, but liable to constant revision.

  122. dbuckley – the disadvantaged are entitled to support from those who can afford to give it. That’s the bedrock of the society we have forged here in New Zealand

    “entitled” and “forged” are different.

    We have “forged” a society where we believe that the disadvantaged should be supported by those who can afford to give it. Its something “we” (well, our forefathers) made happen.

    It is not an entitlement “by right” because several someones in years gone by had to stick their necks out to make it happen. By declaring it an entitlement you are sweeping away recognition that it had to be made to happen. It suggests that it was always that way, and it wasn’t. We weren’t there, but you have to guess that the idea of a welfare state was not universally agreed to be a good thing and was only made to happen after something of a struggle.

    Worse, the welfare state could be dismantled at any time by a government. There are many voices forever shouting about the “bludgers”. These are the forces that would discard what you call an “entitlement”.

  123. So, we already pour a ton of welfare money into regional towns.

    Instead of doing that, work out the amount we already subsidise the unemployed – and other social problems caused by unemployment and lack of hope – and provide that as a tax incentive to business to locate in that town and employ X number of people.

    So, the business pays a lot less tax if they locate in the small town than if they located in Auckland. The money filters out into the community, thus having economic multiplier effects. Once the town is humming, do the same for the next town, and so on.

    You’ll also solve your manufactured housing “crisis”.

  124. “Why is it unreasonable to apply one “ideology” to one problem, and another to a different problem?”
    Because then you are John Key – a man with no moral compass. Great at politics, but moral-compass-less. That’s a very unfortunate man to have in such a position of power. Can’t remember what side he supported during the Springbok tour? No surprise there.

  125. “Should these “unreasonable men” be allowed unfettered access to the world and its resources? Of course not, and thats why we have government and regulation.”

    And that’s why we have Lucy Lawless.

  126. This is the problem I have with these ideological definitions and boxes, which is what I was trying to get across to Greenfly the other day. Why is it unreasonable to apply one “ideology” to one problem, and another to a different problem?

    Pragmatism, perhaps.

    It could also be argued that Auckland is subsidised in a number of ways. Rail, for example. There is considerable state intervention at a number of levels, not least of which by council.

  127. dbuckley – the disadvantaged are entitled to support from those who can afford to give it. That’s the bedrock of the society we have forged here in New Zealand, presumably the society you were born into. There will always be those who seek to shirk that responsibility and they primarily come from the sector that has more than enough for themselves. It’s called selfishness, maybe greed with some fear thrown in as seasoning.

  128. It a bit more than regulation and oversight though.
    It’s direct intervention by the State. It’s picking winners.

    That’s why I am – happily – surprised by your sentiment.

  129. There is no housing crisis in our regions. Houses are cheap. They have a work crisis. Doesn’t it make more sense to incentivise business away from Auckland and into the regions? Or, at very least, satellite regions?

    Holy crap Arana! Are you suggesting state intervention for the provinces?! :)

    FWIW, I think this is an excellent idea. It’s way cheaper to incentivise local economic prosperity than subsidise urbanised housing, not to mention the additional benefits of increased localised expenditure and tax base.

  130. Everyone is entitled to enough to survive.

    Well, no they’re not. Not “entitled”.

    We, as a society, provide a safety net to try and help those who have fallen onto hard times, because we believe it is the right thing to do, but that is a huge distance from “entitled”.

    Some, in society, realise they can improve their lot by profiting from the work of others. These are the people who make everything from progress, to the safety net, for me not to have to go and hunt for food possible. These people are heros. Without them, we’d be fucked.

    It is also the nature of the beast that these are not nice people; no less a luminary than George Bernard Shaw noted that “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

    Should these “unreasonable men” be allowed unfettered access to the world and its resources? Of course not, and thats why we have government and regulation.

    And this is why we (as in society) should ensure that a rising tide lifts all boats. And that is where we’ve gone very wrong. A pathetic minimum wage is a part of that.

  131. Do you count children, the unemployed, old people and the sick as parasites? Arana.

    No, it wasn’t my definition. I have issues with your definition. I’m a parasite because my house has increased in value?

    I think fake money is part of the problem. It makes me wonder why Norman is in favour of this route when it has caused such strife everywhere else? The worst use of derivatives was by Greek governments disguising state debt, but we seldom hear about it. Personally, I think a more Germanic approach of saving, thrift and long term re-investment in business is the answer.

    There is no housing crisis in our regions. Houses are cheap. They have a work crisis. Doesn’t it make more sense to incentivise business away from Auckland and into the regions? Or, at very least, satellite regions?

  132. Do you count children, the unemployed, old people and the sick as parasites? Arana.

    Everyone is entitled to enough to survive. Especially when the system is rigged to a minimum level of unemployment.
    No one is entitled to take millions from our society without contributing.

    If you read back through my writing you will know that I do blame politicians for high house prices.

    Difficult to do much though when banks are making their profits on artificially forcing up prices, most peoples retirement income depends on selling their house, the health of the economy is dependent on the, false, perception of prosperity a high exchange rate and high house prices give and Government use immigration, and foreign ownership, to keep wages low and house prices high.

  133. If your definition of a parasite is someone who does nothing to earn their money, then shouldn’t you be damning all who match that criteria?

    It seems odd that some people blame everyone but the politicians for high house (land) prices. The politicians made it that way by design. Smart growth planning constrains land supply. In a city where you have demand building faster than supply, then prices can only go one way. The underlying fundamentals are not favourable to new entrants.

  134. The “free market” with regulation, so that cheats and parasites do not prosper, works fine at the level of the corner store, local builder and small grower.

    For large infrastructure, natural monopolies and essential infrastructure it has always required State intervention.

    State intervention, or revolution, has also been required, in every economy, to prevent the economically dysfunctional accumulation of wealth into too few hands.

    The dysfunctional state of our economy shows that there has been too little of a brake on accumulation of wealth, cheats and parasites.
    And I am not talking about the few million that goes to social welfare. I am talking about the billions that goes to those at the top who do absolutely nothing to earn it.

  135. Moreover, the market can NEVER operate without oversight and regulation except in the trivial

    As Hayek said, we don’t expect them to run without oversight and regulation. The question is the degree of regulation and oversight required.

  136. How well does it work in the presence of IMPERFECT information (including future costs)?
    How well does it work when costs are applied across generations but benefits are current?
    How well does it work when value is distorted by the suppliers of the money it uses?

    It works better than any alternative we’ve come up with.

  137. Competition in the free market, when working properly, is the best tool we have to keep people and prices in check – and to drive progress.

    You have definitely got the religion. The question is whether you understand the limits to and of its application. It would not seem so.

    How well does it work in the presence of IMPERFECT information (including future costs)?

    How well does it work when costs are applied across generations but benefits are current?

    How well does it work when value is distorted by the suppliers of the money it uses?

    How well does it work between national economies where scale and distance advantages make the most EFFICIENT allocation destructive to one of those nations? … or indeed in any situation where greater efficiency is not the best overall result? or when that efficiency provides one-sided benefits.

    What happens when it is applied to services that the SOCIETY wants to provide to individuals such as medical care and schooling?

    What happens when it is applied to the Labor market but society’s underlying assumption of human labor being required to produce, is broken by automation?

    Market “FAILURE” isn’t rare, or unusual, or at this point even unexpected. The market works when A sells widgets to B who sells thing-a-mabobs to C who sells oobleck to A who uses it to make widgets.

    It is highly efficient at setting prices and allocating resources in the presence of known and predictable costs. When something is uncosted, incorrectly understood and not properly costed, or incorrectly understood and valued… it turns to custard. The market has neither eyes nor brain, it is an invisible hand that reacts immediately and accurately to what it feels and touches at any given moment… but is sluggish and inaccurate when there is any substantial lag between action and consequence.

    There IS a place for the market. Moreover, I personally would readily agree that its application replacing some of the British model of “council responsibility for everything” is not only possible but a darned good idea ( Why should COUNCIL run the inspections and certify the house is fit for use? It isn’t as though they have a dog in the fight. The BANK has an interest. The BUYER has an interest. The SELLER has an interest. The INSUROR has an interest… and an independent inspector is paid to have an interest and competes with other inspectors where Council operates a monopoly).

    However, I would NEVER make any blanket or automatic assumption about “the market”. It is ONE tool. Sometimes useful, not always the best one and, given our deranged scheme of money, ALWAYS suspect.

    Moreover, the market can NEVER operate without oversight and regulation except in the trivial cases. When complexity arrives the knowledge needed to ascertain value departs and the protection of the market participants from it and from one another (humans being what they are) becomes an issue.

  138. You can find abuses anywhere that oversight isn’t. Gas Fracking Fields. Farm waste. CO2. Security Agencies. Union Officials. Local Governments. Public Servants. Private Contractors…. all that is required is the lack of oversight and some people will eventually take advantage of the situation.

    Government is SUPPOSED to be subject to public oversight, and is in its turn, supposed to oversee the various departments that serve us. Clearly failing if the story is to be believed. It is however, a Murdoch publication.

    “Local government” or “local council” doesn’t get held accountable as a rule. Not here either. Worse, the “British Heritage” building inspections and approvals model is involved.

    Which has to be the most severe and egregious weak spot in any system that has the British model of self-governance in its genome.

    … but it all has precious little to do with “competition”. I have never seen anything but flat out working as hard as possible in any government office in Wellington. They didn’t have “competition”. Didn’t see it in the service either. I have however, seen work environments where “competition” turned into vicious counter productive backstabbing.

    Identifying the problem you WANT to see instead of the problem that actually exists is one of the ways we mislead ourselves… the blind faith in free market fundamentalism isn’t any smarter than a blind faith in the state.

    I see no reason to trust or even look at the Mail… It is a thoroughly inaccurate source of information.

  139. As they are effectively run as pretend privatized companies, even when they are state owned, you are being forced to fund their overpaid executives, fake competition and subsidise their competing for large accounts, at the expense of small retail customers, unless you do not use power or anything produced with electricity, of course!
    As you are with any private monopoly providing essential services.

  140. So long as I’m not forced to fund them, I couldn’t care less what a private sector company pays their workers to do nothing.

    When it comes to the state, I have no choice.

    What privatised power companies? Remind me what that petition is about?

  141. “”Here is a wonderful, heart warming article demonstrating the value of competition:””

    Yeah right.

    Dosn’t explain the run around we, and far too many Christchurch residents, are getting from private insurance companies, which make those council workers look extremely efficient.

    Or private sector managers, I have had the misfortune to work with, who get 300 k a year to play patience on the computer all day.

    I can tell similar horror stories from private sector bureaucracies, including the managers and board, who cost their shareholder 34 million in Auckland recently, who still keep their jobs. Or the finance industry which, in the UK, cost the economy 7 pounds for every one they earn. Hanover finance, anyone.

    Or our pirateavised power companies who are raising prices three times faster than comparable countries, despite having one of lowest sunk costs of renewable supply.

  142. If you could pull that off, that is a great safety-net for investors, as they know they can’t lose on the deal. Expect it to be oversubscribed.

    Good point, Arana.

    Another option would be to telegraph a compulsory purchase below sale price, signalling risk to investors.

    However as you state, this would be challenged in the courts regardless and might well be legally questionable / in breach of WTO standards in light of any enforced FTA where foreign interests own any of the shares.

  143. Party policy should include a promise to repurchase, at the sale price, our renewable energy assets if sold by the National Party

    Two things.

    If you could pull that off, that is a great safety-net for investors, as they know they can’t lose on the deal. Expect it to be oversubscribed.

    Secondly, you couldn’t pull it off. A forced sale would hardly be legal and easily challenged through the courts. It would also be highly unpopular with shareholders if the market value is higher than the offer price. Think Iwi and Kiwisaver funds and Kiwisavers being “a lot less than impressed”.

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