Our increase in prison numbers – ‘average’ numbers of incarcerated offenders have more than doubled over the last twenty years – is not because New Zealanders are becoming more lawless or because the crime rate is increasing (they aren’t, and it isn’t).
Did cutting the top tax rate in 2010 (to better align it with the trust and company tax rates) eliminate the widespread tax avoidance occurring around the top tax threshold?
On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by firms on average, either overall or into employment that lasted beyond the trial period” – which is what National said it would do. It also had no effect on the number of “disadvantaged jobseekers” being hired. In short, 90-day trials have failed to do what National said they would do.
The National Government surprised almost everyone this week by announcing that NZ Post, which owns 100 percent of Kiwibank, is likely to sell 25 percent of its Kiwibank shares to the Superannuation Fund and 20 percent to the ACC Fund. This comes shortly after the Green Party launched a new policy to strengthen Kiwibank so […]
This Easter I’m at home reading papers on urban development and social development, in between trying to catch up on Masterchef and make up time away from my partner. It’s a peaceful time, but I know many people are spending this Easter waiting in trepidation to find out if they’ll have a job in a […]
Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the facts about the advice he’s received on a capital gains tax. IRD produced advice for […]
Treasury papers released under the Official Information Act show that it is providing advice on short-term measures the Government can employ to help it post a surplus this year. The advice includes possible savings from delaying the rebuild of Canterbury; delaying foreign aid expenditure; holding back ACC savings; and new taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and […]
The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it means to be New Zealanders; who we are, what we stand for, and what we […]
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 […]
Yesterday Changemakers Refugee Forum released a report highlighting the denial of support to convention refugees. I am stoked they’ve done this. They’ve explained the issue in a way that is so easy to understand and makes the injustice and nonsense of it so clear. Almost all refugees start out as asylum seekers, but some find […]
I have just sent a letter to the Speaker of Parliament to complain about the apparent disregard with which the Minister of Health, Tony Ryall, has been treating his democratic obligations. Here’s the main gist of my complaint: Every single one of the 101 Questions for Written Answer I have asked the Minister this year […]
At the moment when New Zealand is the focus of international attention over Fonterra’s botulism scare, the National Party seems intent on sabotaging our economy and environment by weakening our environmental laws attacking the Resource Management Act (RMA). National’s changes will make the RMA an economic development act at the expense of nature and local […]
Picking up from Part I of this blog post, I had occasion to question Minister Tim Groser yesterday about climate change and his Government’s policy. This followed from Russel Norman questioning him 30 minutes earlier. Given that he has declined to come to my conference in Parliament today for a cross-party dialogue on climate change, […]
Why is it that this country continues to adopt failed models from elsewhere instead of strengthening our own structures based on our own experience? The schools and communities of South Auckland and Eastern Christchurch are being used to justify ideological experimentation. After all there are many good schools doing their best in these regions and […]
Last Sunday Russel gave the annual State of the Planet speech to a packed and excited crowd at Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland. It was a great and powerful speech that clearly defined the Green vision for Aotearoa. Russel also attacked National and Labour for bludging off our grandchildren and pulling the ladder of opportunity […]
Make your submission on the draft Energy Strategy by 5pm on 2 September
For all the indignation at the response to his speech , what did Goff expect whanau and hapu would hear in it? He starts with a criticism of Hone, he attacks the Maori Party, he promotes unjust treaty settlements and he defends the discriminatory foreshore legislation. And all delivered to a predominately Pakeha audience. How […]
In Parliament today, the Green Party’s Questions for Oral Answer (number 3) is from Russel Norman to the Minister of Finance, Bill English: Does he stand by his statement that “water assets will not be privatised as a result of the restructuring” of local government; and if so, how does he reconcile it with Cabinet’s […]
Chalking the opinion of many on the streets of Nelson this morning and challenging Nick Smith, who welcomed Schedule 4 thus: “This Bill at long last puts some pegs in the sand in some very significant areas of New Zealand and says to the mining industries of New Zealand: “These are no-go areas.”…”
National has now openly revealed its plans to privatise ACC – clearly, the Government has been softening the public up for this for a while.
“National will have policies that reflect the fact that living on a diet of carbon will be increasingly bad – bad for the world and bad for our economy. We will have policy that encourages ‘climate friendly’ choices like windmills, hydro power and tree planting, and reduces the desire for ‘climate unfriendly’ behaviours, like burning […]
Nick has been surprisingly silent on the decision of Ministers Brownlee and Groser to do a stock-take of our premiere conservation land for its mining potential. Was he consulted? We know he was given a copy of Brownlee’s speech prior, but did he read it? Does he support it? What’s up, Nick?
An avid frog reader has sent in this photo of the Minister of Energy and Resources, Gerry Brownlee, mining inspiration from a quality resource.
I know we keep banging on about climate change a lot over here, but this is just amazing so I had to post it! From No Right Turn: So, having set itself an utterly pathetic climate change target of 10% – 20%, and derided all talk of going for 40%, guess what target the New […]
There was a recurring riff behind National’s opposition to two very different Bills on Members’ Day Wednesday. One commonality was that both Bills were voted down by National, Act and United Future, and supported by Greens, Labour, Progressives and Maori Parties. But the riff I want to highlight is the idea that the problem is […]
Today’s Herald editorial seems keen on the new working relationship between the Greens and National. But their positive assessment comes at the very end, while much of the piece discusses a supposed change in attitude by the Greens. This agreement, under which the Greens and ministers will work together in several policy areas, clearly owes a great deal […]
On Tuesday I got to ask my first proper Question in the House. Unsurprisingly Hone Harawira asked more or less the same question. Will the Government follow the lead of Australia and change their position to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People? The Prime Minister did a good imitation of saying […]
Image crafted by Lyndon Hood New Zealand’s chances of turning into North Körea got a little bit slimmer thanks to the current Government’s plan to cancel the TVNZ charter. In 2003 when the then Labour government introduced the TVNZ Charter aimed at bolstering our national identity I thought yippee. National identity bolstering is good stuff. […]
Last night the parliament debated the first reading of the Corrections (Contract Management of Prisons) Bil. I have blogged about this issue frequently, but not yet addressed the key argument of National – that private prisons are cheaper. So I used my speech last night to refer to both Australian and US research that showed […]
The Tertiary Education Union reports today that some universities are under great pressure to keep the wages and salaries of university staff as low as possible. The government’s document Expectations for Pay and Employment Conditions in the State Sector seems to be placing pressure on many tertiary-education institutions to depress wages rather than face explaining […]
Todays performance in the House has confirmed that the Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples is being locked out by the National Government from answering serious questions concerning Maori. My question today directly concerning Maori and their loss of rights under the RMA reforms was transferred by the government from the Maori Affairs Minister to […]
Jeanette and Russel talk about insulation, energy efficiency, the Electoral Finance Act and their meeting with the Nats.
We look forward to more announcements from this very busy government that schools will buy chalk this year, trains will refuel, nurses worn out uniforms will be replaced and the harbour bridge repainted. The press secretaries will be working overtime. It is, of course, entirely a good thing that Transpower will do essential maintenance on […]
While our government prevaricates and even cancels our shovel ready Green Homes Insulation fund, the Australians and the Irish have announced ambitious plans of their own. The Irish Times reported today: HOW TO cut heating bills, reduce carbon emissions and create thousands of jobs in the construction sector in the process? The Government, through its […]
Very conveniently, at 4pm on the eve of parliament re-convening, the government has tried to quietly announce that they will raise the minimum wage by 50 cents, in line with inflation. It’s not good enough, given that the current minimum wage is not a living wage. Our lowest paid citizens, already up to their gunwales […]
That is the title of a very thought provoking post over at OpenLeft. The author, Paul Rosenburg, takes data from Moody’s economy.com and combines it with research from the Center for Economic Policy and Research to create the following chart: It lends credence to Treasury’s call for tax cut’s to be delayed or reduced if […]
Yesterday the government announced its proposed reforms for the Resource Management Act (RMA). Personally, I was unimpressed, as it seemed to me that many of the so called reforms were mechanisms that already existed in the current legislation. It looked like a re-branding exercise. Most of the changes were actually tweaks to the existing regime, […]
I laughed out loud as I read the National Business Review’s article about how keen National is to fast track the development of a single market. Apparently Gerry Brownlee didn’t get the memo, as he has summarily torn up a long standing, well developed standards agreement with Australia in his first few weeks. The article, […]
Many thanks to John Armstrong for a bit of coverage in today’s Herald, but really he should know better than to say we have changed our tune. John says: Having slammed the door shut to working with National a mere three months ago, the Greens now want to reopen it. The Greens’ co-leader’s language in […]
Nats yesterday introduced their tax bill. They dropped the bill on parliament without giving anyone a chance to read it before it hit the house and are pushing it through under urgency without giving a select committee or anyone else a chance to examine it properly. Even the Regulatory Impact Assessment stated that they hadn’t […]