Must read

In ‘a significant change in policy’ Ardern is stopping the boats

Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Ardern’s government budget has given a $25 million dollar funding boost to stop boats full of refugees from landing in New Zealand. This is embarassing for her as she wants to be seen as the kind and compassionate face of New Zealand welcoming refugees in to enjoy our ‘free’ housing, welfare and education.

Indeed she has made quite a big deal about it, complaining that our Australian cousins are refusing to send to us their unwanted illegal migrants on Manus Island. Actions, however, speak louder than words, and Ardern no doubt hoped that the funding boost to stop the boats would go unnoticed.

[…] Efforts to prevent boats of asylum seekers heading to New Zealand received $25 million funding boost in Budget 2019.
The heat has been on New Zealand from the other side of the Tasman for years.

[…] People smuggling was put back in the spotlight last year when intelligence leaks from across the ditch claimed there were new boat arrivals of asylum seekers, blaming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. This was followed by a public spat between Justice Minister Andrew Little and Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, over New Zealand’s contributions to the region’s security.

It seems Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have not been not on the same page about how much of a threat people smuggling poses. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the extra funding to prevent people smuggling would be used to boost New Zealand intelligence at home and offshore in the Asia Pacific region.

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What always follows a bad week for the government?

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

Last week was a terrible week for the government, and deservedly so. From Trevor Mallard claiming that a man effectively raped a woman because he hugged her, to a criminal hack that turned out to be a relatively normal web search, to a transformational budget that wasn’t… and then, to help everyone with their wellbeing, they hiked petrol prices under urgency. The government were made to look like the fools that they are, and calls for resignations or even apologies fell on deaf ears, as somehow they always do with this government.

Twitter was awash with comments on Friday that there will be another puff piece on Jacinda, or someone will wheel out the baby… and guess what? The princess and her cohorts, the media, really are that predictable.

First of all, on Saturday, our favourite Newspaper reported that Jacinda had been the victim of ‘baby poo’, as she changed Neve’s nappy. I really don’t know what to say to this. So the ‘First Baby’ defecates? Really? How amazing is that?

Why is a leading media outlet in this country reporting on this?

We all know why. The government had a tough week. We have to make Jacinda look wonderful, human and kind… even though all she is doing is what literally millions of parents around the world do several times every day. But if Jacinda does it, she is special, and that is it.

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Hot on the heels of the Wellbeing Budget…

The leaked document had been read out. Members of the government had all raped hugged each other in congratulation. The opposition had pulled the document to pieces. It was all over bar the shouting…

… and then the government put the House into urgency to add another 3.5 cents tax to the cost of fuel.

The Government has passed under urgency a law implementing the second of three annual increases in fuel tax – adding another 3.5 cents per litre to the cost.

The increase kicks in on July 1, the same day as road user charges also increase.

The increase comes at a time when petrol prices at the pump are creeping up.

As at yesterday, a litre of 91 octane was an average of $2.28 according to AA Petrolwatch, while 95 octane was $2.37 and diesel was at $1.68.

What a slap in the face for hard working New Zealanders. Having just handed billions to those who do nothing for a living, including index linking welfare benefits to wage growth, the government then immediately increased taxes on those that pay their way.

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NZ Speaker of the House accuses a guy of rape

A classic welfare-spending, rail-worshipping, Michael Cullen-style budget.

Joe Ascroft
Economist
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

Our team has just returned from the Beehive, where we attended the media and analysts’ lock-up event for the government’s new “Wellbeing Budget”. This year’s Budget was accompanied by some level of turmoil, with leaks, alleged hacks, and a (very brief) police investigation all entering the headlines throughout the week.

We’ve had two and a half hours to file through the fiscal documents and spending announcements. We now want to give you an insider’s look, before the spin on the 6pm news.

Our overall impression of this Budget is, glossy marketing aside, it is a classic welfare-spending, rail-worshipping, Michael Cullen-style budget.

You can read Jordan’s headline media statement here.

The government is holding up its big spend on mental health services as evidence of a fresh new “wellbeing” approach, but the figures tell a different story. The government is spending almost three times as much on rail ($2.14 billion / $1,175 per household) – including KiwiRail, regional rail and the Auckland City Rail Link – than on direct mental health spending ($823 million / $452 per household).

The “wellbeing” focus appears to be nothing more than a communications strategy from the government. Budget 2019 is indistinguishable from any other normal Labour Budget, with more money for welfare recipients and no room for tax relief.

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Would the real Labour leader please stand up?

We have been waiting impatiently for the Wellbeing Budget, the one that is going to make us world leaders. The one that will make the rest of the world follow in our footsteps. The one that puts a value not on productivity, but on talking to a neighbour over going to see a doctor. Personally, I have been waiting with bated breath for months to ridicule it. I fully expected it to be chock with touchy-feely rubbish, along with a huge amount of taxpayers money that will disappear into the stratosphere.

Well, 2 days out, it looks as if I am set to be disappointed. Simon Bridges has gone public today with a supposedly leaked version of Thursday’s budget, and we are all very surprised. Either someone is playing some very elaborate tricks on Simon, or he has just leaked the fact that the Wellbeing Budget is… not really very concerned with wellbeing at all. It is much more like the kind of budget that National would – or maybe should – be proposing.

He can’t possibly have read the document. If what he is saying is right, he is going to have egg on his face big time.

National has claimed it’s got the goods on the Government’s Budget, detailing spending promises the Opposition understands Labour has made to NZ First. 


Among the biggest apparent gains for NZ First’s ministers is $1.3 billion for defence assets, and the doubling of “Vote Forestry” – the total budget for nearly all forestry initiatives being funded by the Government. 

“The Government will announce a total of $1.3 billion for the purchase of assets in Vote Defence Force in 2019/2020, up from $641 million last year. This has nothing to do with the Government’s wellbeing priorities. It shows the Prime Minister has yet again had to throw her principles out the window to buy off Winston.

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Teaching Grandma how to suck eggs

I am sure you are all familiar with the old saying, teaching your Grandma to suck eggs. It refers to a person giving advice to another person about a subject that the other person is already familiar with (and probably more so than the first person).

In New Zealand, Generation Zero and the young climate strikers are teaming up to tell their elders how to suck eggs. The little so and so’s have the temerity to lecture their grandparents on how to save the planet as they prance around adorned with various technology and gadgets created with precious metals and containing toxic batteries while being ferried hither and yon inside Mum’s Remuera tractor.

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Simon Wilson on Jacinda and her little friends

I am not sure if any of you have come across Simon Wilson, but in my opinion, the best thing about him is that most of his articles are behind a paywall. As I have no intention of paying for content which is generally free elsewhere, it means I don’t have to read his insufferable sycophancy towards our ‘Dear Leader’. I recommend that you don’t read it either.

Some of the things he has to say, however, are worth pointing out, either as a warning about how far our media has sunk, or alternatively, as a source of a good laugh. You make the choice. Let’s start with this one. quote.

WHO’D WANT to be prime minister in a centre-left government?

Your problem is not the Opposition.


Your problem is your politically “like-minded” friends, standing shoulder to shoulder with you and complaining about every single thing you do, because it isn’t good enough.


Also to be contended with: a Cabinet with almost no prior cabinet experience. And a caucus with too many party hacks who’ve been in opposition too long and a lot of newbies doing everything for the first time. end quote.

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It’s not OK to be white

Trade Me has recently started selling T-shirts with the message – “It’s OK to be white” on them. Trade Me are not selling them themselves, of course. A local seller is making the T-shirts available on Trade Me, and apparently they are selling like hot cakes.

Enter the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. Yes, that’s right. quote.

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission says that the message “it’s okay to be white” has “no place” in the country.

The ‘controversy’ began when “it’s okay to be white” t-shirts and stickers were sold on a New Zealand auction site called Trade Me.

“Wear this shirt as a white person to troll your local Communists, or wear this shirt as a brown person to troll stuck-up middle-class urbanites. Either way it’s funny!” read the description to the products.

The Human Rights Commission said they don’t see the funny side and that the message “it’s okay to be white” has “no place” in New Zealand because it conveys “a message of intolerance, racism and division”. end quote.

But… a T-shirt saying – “It’s OK to be black” would be perfectly OK, wouldn’t it? quote.

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Steven Joyce’s $11.7 billion hole is now an open cast mine

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

Steven Joyce was villified when he pointed out that the government’s proposed new spending would leave them with an $11.7 billion hole. Everyone called him out for it. Media people from everywhere ridiculed him. Even business writers refused to give him any credit. He was dismissed as being guilty of political mischief even though, at the time, he was the current minister of finance and probably had more idea of the true situation regarding government spending than just about everyone else.

But everyone else was infected at the time by stardust, and that included economists such as Cameron Bagrie. Here is quote from Bagrie in September 2017. quote.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie

Bagrie told Newshub there’s no hole.

“But [Labour] don’t have a lot of money to play with in the 2019 and 2020 budgets. They’ve basically computed up front to what they are going to do for three years. That’s fine but the wheels of government still need to turn and be funded.” end quote.

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