Solving child poverty in New Zealand

Fair-society-BLOGFEATURE

The Green Party has announced plans to raise the top tax rate on any income earned over $140,000 to 40 percent. This will have an impact on 3 percent of all taxpayers. We will redirect all new revenues raised into measures that will directly alleviate the causes of child poverty in New Zealand. We don’t believe […]

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Exports continue to simplify under National

Export data released today from Statistics New Zealand shows a continuing and disturbing trend in the New Zealand economy — we are exporting less high-valued manufactured goods (down 12.5 percent) and less high-valued manufactured goods as a proportion of total exports. The chart says it all: Compared to other small, developed economies — some of […]

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National’s innovation policy in three charts

If Steven Joyce is such a believer in innovation, why is he planning to cut his investment in innovation so dramatically? Here, in three charts, is what National’s long-term commitment to innovation looks like: 1. National will cut their investment in science and innovation by 21 percent, in real terms, out to 2023/24. 2. The […]

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Double win for Greens in economics this week

National has finally relented to years of Green Party pressure to put the Government’s banking contract to competitive tender. This banking contract – the largest, most lucrative banking contract in the country – has been held by Australian-owned Westpac Bank since 1989 and has never been retendered since then. In 2010, we disclosed this cosy […]

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Green bonds set to help finance green economy

Twenty-five of the world’s largest banks – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley – recently released the governance framework for a green bond market which is seeing billions of dollars flow into green economic opportunities around the world. While there are still some concerns with […]

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Why are we investing in coal?

The World Wildlife Fund have today revealed that over $1 billion of New Zealanders’ pension and accident insurance money is invested in companies directly mining for coal, oil, and gas — companies who’s future profitability depends on burning fossil fuels that have to stay in the ground if we are to avoid runaway climate change. […]

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National Provident Fund divests from cluster munitions

The Government guaranteed National Provident Fund has divested from companies producing cluster weapons, more than two years after the Cluster Munitions Prohibition Act became law making such investment illegal. The decision to divest from Lockheed Martin came after a letter from me asking them to do so. The NPF Fund Manager, Simon Tyler, said in […]

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Will Auckland’s housing price bubble be different this time round?

Maybe. Yesterday, the Reserve Bank signalled enough concern about rising house prices in Auckland that they spooked commentators with the possibility of early rises in the Official Cash Rate (OCR) and a more certain resolve to use complementary tools, like loan-to-value ratios. I have more hope following this statement that the Reserve Bank has learned […]

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Is Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English a climate change denier?

Is the Deputy Prime Minister of our country a climate change denier? It may well be the case. During question time in Parliament yesterday I wanted to get into the lack of focus and inaction from this Government on climate change which is starkly highlighted by the suffering our drought-stricken farmers are going through. I […]

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Latest overseas investment decision ABBAsolutely stink

The Overseas Investment Office has just approved the sale of eight Waikato dairy farms comprising 3,205 hectares of land to a Swedish consortium. This decision follows last year’s contentious decision to allow Chinese Company Shanghai Pengxin to purchase the Crafar farms.  The 16 Crafar farms comprised nearly 8000 hectares of farmland. An overseas purchaser must […]

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The green economy: It’s the Green Party versus National, but where is Labour?

(Op-ed published in the Herald on 3 December 2012) Green development and green jobs provide a clear vision and economic direction for our nation. We can have good jobs without destroying the environment, and we can take advantage of the huge green economic opportunities overseas to supply exports with a premium. That’s what smart green […]

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The US experience of QE

The United States began their programme of quantitative easing (QE) late in 2008 as a response to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Since that time, the US Federal Reserve has purchased $1.9 trillion of assets, keeping their financial markets afloat and lowering the US exchange rate. A lower exchange rate helps exporters. I asked the […]

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Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Annual Reports

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Annual Reports are hard to find and don’t seem to be available online, so we’ve uploaded them. Here they are: 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Will post 2012 once available. Russel UPDATE 29/08/13: Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Annual Report […]

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Australian Budget introduces new eco-taxes

The Australian Budget yesterday was remarkable for a number of reasons, not only for the fact that they’re one of the first Western countries to return their Government’s books to surplus. The 2012 Australian Budget institutes a raft of new measures to raise revenues, especially revenues from activities that damage the environment. These new eco-taxes […]

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Our high exchange rate is killing exporters

The high kiwi dollar is preventing the long overdue rebalancing of our economy according to Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Alan Bollard. Dr Bollard made those comments in June 2009 to his Board when the kiwi dollar was worth US$0.63 and the Trade Weighted Index (TWI) was at 60. Since this time, the kiwi dollar has […]

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Will privatising energy companies improve the Govt’s debt and deficit position? No.

The National Government has used the government deficit and debt to justify the privatisation of assets. As I pointed out in an earlier blog, the deficit and debt problem has been made much worse as a result of this Government’s very poor revenue and spending decisions. But does privatising the assets really help the deficit […]

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Creating debt to justify privatisation

The National Government has consistently used the argument of government debt and the budget deficit as the primary reason for partially privatising our state-owned energy companies: Genesis, Mighty River Power, Meridian, and Solid Energy. Yet the debt and deficit have been made much worse as a result of the decisions of this Government. Our debt […]

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