Economy

Playing Santa Claus

A guest post.

I once played the role of Father Christmas at a large playcentre. It was great fun with a never-ending run of kids’ hilarious claims and reactions. It was also very satisfying to be giving out gifts to some very low income families. It didn’t seem to matter at the time that it wasn’t me who paid for the presents – I was able to grab the kudos and good feelings from handing out the goodies.

The money for the gifts had come from a small group of hard-working, enterprising mums – some didn’t even have kids at the playcentre. Through their initiative everyone gained.

I recalled this event yesterday listening to the finance minister dishing out goodies left, right and centre. The kids around him loved it. They enjoyed the kudos and good feelings from the role.

They didn’t stop to think about the hard-working, enterprising people who earned the money creating the goodies that the minister was able to give away. It was possible to even believe that he was thinking he had actually created all the goodies, all by himself, such was the glow of satisfaction and smugness.    Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

Budget 2018: The ghost of Bill English

 

You might be forgiven for thinking that Bill English had already written the 2018 budget before he left office, and Grant Robertson simply read it out today. While it is tempting to describe Grant Robertson as Bill English in drag, we all know this is not the case. Tracey Watkins described it as a National-lite budget. As this government could never be described as National-lite, I can only assume that this was a lacklustre budget, deliberately designed not to frighten the horses, and possibly to gain a bit of credibility with the business sector. It won’t work, of course.

The biggest surprise was the size of the surplus, at $3.1 billion. Labour may constantly bang on about “nine years of neglect”, but no one can say the previous government didn’t leave things in good order.

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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

Do Labour even understand basic economics?

Matthew Hooton correctly points out the obvious flaws in the Labour government’s idea for shared equity schemes to enable broken-arses to “buy” houses: Quote:

People struggling to buy a home could soon be given the opportunity to co-own a property with a bank or government agency to make it more affordable.

A shared equity scheme, which is being considered by the Government, could save first-home buyers up to $100 a week compared to a commercial mortgage.

Officials have begun work on the policy, though it is not expected to be in Thursday’s Budget.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

A science reporter who does not understand science

Jamie Morton is the “science reporter” for A Newspaper but in a recent column Jamie shows a woeful lack of understanding of even the most basic concepts.  (The word “mug” came with the photo.)

Jamie Morton, staff, mugshot. Photo Sam Ackland.

Buildings could be belching out 20 percent of New Zealand’s carbon pollution – and much more needs to be done to make them greener.

My science teacher told me that carbon could exist in three forms, diamonds, graphite and buckminster fullerene (or ‘buckyballs’).  If Jamie could post the address of the buildings belching out diamonds, I would be most grateful.  (Not so interested in buildings belching out the other two – although I suspect they are few and far between!) Quote:

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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old, white, male. WH enjoys exercising the white male privilege, that Whaleoil provides for him, to write the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing.  WH also enjoys his MG.

The elephant in the business chamber

A lot of people refer to Jacinda Ardern as a student politician. Some may think this unfair, but it has never been so obvious when you look at the way she treats business.

Business confidence fell immediately after the current government were appointed. This is hardly surprising as Labour, and particularly the Greens, have long been known as no friend to business. The Greens are notable for policies that can be fairly described as anti-business.

Jacinda, however, thinks that this attitude is unfair, and has referred to it as “the elephant in the room”. This from Newsroom:  Quote:

In a pre-Budget speech Jacinda Ardern took her critics head on, telling the crowd of business leaders that flagging business confidence didn’t match reality, Thomas Coughlan reports.

Businesses should feel better about the economy and align their perceptions with the positive reality says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Delivering the now traditional pre-Budget speech to the Business New Zealand audience, Ardern said business confidence was “the elephant in the room”.

Business confidence has been low since the Government took office. One of the leading business confidence surveys conducted by NZIER found businesses had turned pessimistic about economic outlook for the first time in two years after Labour assumed office.

On Monday ANZ’s monthly business confidence survey reported pessimism grew in April. 23 percent of businesses were pessimistic about the economy, up from 20 percent in March.

Ardern said businesses should look at other metrics of confidence in the economy, which have been positive. End of quote.

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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

Incite Politics

Knowing what you’re going to get

THE LIFE of the NewLabour Party was a relatively short one. Launched by Jim Anderton on May Day 1989, it contested the 1990 election in its own right (receiving a creditable 5.16 percent of the popular vote) but was then absorbed into Anderton’s broad-based political coalition of anti-National parties, the Alliance, in 1991. The NLP soldiered on for nearly a decade within the larger grouping, until finally winding itself up in 2000.

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of the NLP was its insistence on producing a comprehensive election manifesto setting forth the party programme with considerable . . .

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Face of the day

Finance minister Grant Robertson. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Today’s face of the day Finance Minister Grant Robertson has promised that his second budget will be abnormal. Quote:

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Contribution via Whaleoil staff and interns

No cost benefit analysis, just virtue signalling on oil and gas exploration ban

Oh dear, the government really is in the kack with the revelation that there was no cost benefit analysis done on the prime minister’s decision to ban oil and gas exploration.

Jenna Lynch at Newshub reports:

The decision to ban future oil and gas exploration was made without a cost benefit analysis to back it up, Newshub can reveal.

It’s one of a number of admissions revealed in parliamentary written questions pointing to a lack of evidence behind the decision.

I am not aware of a cost-benefit analysis using the Treasury’s CBAx tool being undertaken in relation to the decision to grant no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits,” Megan Woods said.

Treasury developed the CBAx tool as a common way to assess the pros and cons of policies across government agencies.

Dr Woods’ office told Newshub officials did not think it was appropriate to use the Treasury tool in this case as there were too many unknowns about how much gas and oil was actually out there.

“Searching for petroleum offshore is a low probability of success event but high impact if found, so trying to model the costs and benefits in a traditional option analysis spreadsheet would have required substantial assumptions to be made,” a spokesperson for the minister said. End quote.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

Bite-sized political nuggets

chicken nuggets

Inspired by the ACT party bulletin, here are some bite-sized political nuggets, to sum up, the latest evidence of the government putting PR ahead of good policy.

Soundbites without substance:

At a dinner hosted by the Queen on Friday, Prime Minister Ardern used a Maori proverb, “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, the people, the people.” She begged the other leaders at the dinner to remember that their role was to serve and improve the lives of their people. I don’t know which people she was referring to but it certainly wasn’t all the Maori students and high priority learners in New Zealand and their families who are desperate for their charter schools where they thrive to stay open.

Rather than serving and improving the lives of these students’ lives Education minister Chris Hipkins has said that charter schools are a blight on our educational system and that there is no place for them.

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If you agree with me that’s nice but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo. Look between the lines, do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

You’d think they would have done the visit before they screwed their business over

Megan Woods has been to see Methanex, New Zealand’s single biggest user of gas, and a massive export earner for New Zealand. You’d have thought the minister would have bothered to go see Methanex before making a decision that will root their business in New Zealand. Quote:

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods is off to Taranaki to meet Methanex, a major gas user potentially affected by the Government’s decision not to offer any new offshore exploration permits.

The Canadian-owned company converts gas to methanol and consumes about 46 percent of New Zealand’s gas.

The Government’s decision not offer any new offshore exploration permits in an annual tender process has raised questions about the future supply of gas but ministers have said existing permits still allow exploration.

Dr Woods told TVNZ’s Q+A programme on Sunday that she was visiting Methanex in Taranaki on Monday.

She said one of the things that Methanex was heavily dependent on was the extension of an existing gas permit in Taranaki next year.   

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.