Radio NZ: Nine To Noon – Election year interviews – John Key

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On  Nine To Noon, Kathyrn Ryan interviewed John Key – a rare occasion, as Key has always avoided fronting on Radio NZ like it was political kryptonite. It must be election year.

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Click to Listen: Election year interviews (29′ 50″ )

Blogger’s Commentary

Key began by focusing on his government’s track record (Key’s interview statements in bold blue),

“… [Our] track record’s a good one. Government’s often don’t want to necessarily point to what they’ve done over the course  of the time they’ve been in office…

We’re now one of the very few OECD countries that’s back in surplus this year. Unemployment rate’s falling. We’re growing rapidly.

It’s not just the economy, I mean you got a crime rate that’s on a 30 year low…”

Only a minute and 15 seconds into the interview, and Key was already claiming credit for “successes” that his government had very little to do with, or was mis-representing (as is his style);

1. “We’re now one of the very few OECD countries that’s back in surplus this year.”

National may well be back in “surplus” this year. But they still have accumulated a debt of  $61 billion (net). That debt has been  rising at $27 million per day, since John  Key was elected into office in November 2008. Part of that debt was fueled by generous tax cuts, in 2009 and 2010, for the top 10% wealthiest people in this country.

2. “Unemployment rate’s falling.”

A dubious claim for success. Under-employment is rising according to Roy Morgan, as well as the Household Labour Force Survey, and the Jobless rate is still 257,100.

3. “We’re growing rapidly.”

Much of which is due to the Chjristchurch re-build and  global recovery – not because of any proactive policy from National.

4. “I mean you got a crime rate that’s on a 30 year low”

Correct. Literally.  The rate of recorded offences has been steady or  trending downward since 1996 (except for a short ‘spike’ post-2008, when unemployment skyrocketed,

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Even right-wing blogger and National Party apparatchik, David Farrar on  Kiwiblog,  made a similar analysis.

So can Key really claim credit for a pattern that has either held steady or trended down? In which case, will he also claim credit for those areas where crime has been rising?

“…A lot of good gains in education…”

Really?! One and a half minutes into the interview, and Key is beginning to bullshit the audience already. In fact, New Zealand has dropped down in the OECD PISA rankings, as Sathya Mithra Ashok  wrote last December,

OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey for 2012 has moved New Zealand’s performance downwards in maths, reading and science.

The country continues to score above OECD average in mean PISA scores across mathematics, reading and science (at 500, 512 and 516 respectively), even though the annualised score points have dropped by 2.5 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent for each of the subject areas.

In the global rankings, New Zealand currently stands 18th in science, and 23rd in maths, a drop from previous 7th and 12th placements. Countries like Singapore, Poland and Germany rank above New Zealand and have positively increased their position since the last survey. Australia, Ireland and Denmark, despite also moving backwards, still outrank New Zealand.

Key continued,

“The second thing is, any incumbent government or any political party that wants to become the government gets elected on what they’re going to do, not always what they have done…”

That’s convenient. And yet, at every opportunity, Key, English, and other National Ministers continue to lie about Labour’s “poor economic track record”…

“And I think the last thing is just to continue to demonstrate that you’re in touch with people…”

Key certainly demonstrated how “in touch with people” he was when he arrogantly dismissed the anti-asset sales petition last year,

“Well, the numbers don’t look like they’re that significant. I mean at the moment it’s sitting at around about 40 per cent. That’s not absolutely amazing, it’s not overwhelmingly opposed. But the people who are motivated to vote will be those who are going to vote against.”

Yeah. That’s showing the peasants just who’s in charge – I mean, in touch!

“…It is always a challenge when you’re there in the Beehive and life is a little easier than for people on “struggle street”. It’s easy to get divorced from that.”

Very easy.

For example, giving $30 million to an aluminium smelter  as  a taxpayer handout – whilst denying the lowest paid workers (paid $14.61 an hour) in rest-homes a wage increase because, according to Key, the money isn’t there;

“Travel is one of those areas where we are looking at what we can do,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast programme.

However, the Government could not afford to give DHBs the $140 million required to enable rest homes to pay their staff more.

It’s one of those things we’d love to do if we had the cash. As the country moves back to surplus it’s one of the areas we can look at but I think most people would accept this isn’t the time we have lots of extra cash.”

Other taxpayer-funded subsidies;

$1 Rugby$200 million to subsidise the Rugby World Cup.

$2 Movies – $67 million paid to Warner Bros to keep “ The Hobbit” in New Zealand and $300 million in subsidies for “ Lord of the Rings

$3 Consultants – After sacking almost 3,000  public sector workers,  National seemed unphased at clocking up a mind-boggling $1 billion paid to “consultants”.

Indeed, one can see how easily a Prime Minister can get divorced from those living on “struggle street”…

Kathryn Ryan then moved the interview on to potential “governing arrangements”. Key offered his assessment that he did not believe that Peters would support National and that “at best he is likely to abstain”.  Key said it was “time to move on” from events six years ago.

Yet, it was only three years ago that Key was quite adamant,

“I don’t see a place for a Winston Peters-led New Zealand First in a government that I lead.”

It is unclear what has changed with Key’s ‘principles’ that a man not fit to be one of his ministers only three years ago would suddenly be welcomed  as a potential coalition partner. Does “moving on” entail a 180 degree change in principles? That’s more than “moving on” – that’s a quantum paradigm shift. Not bad for 36 months.

When Key stated that “I am less convinced than others [that] he’ll [Peters] get back…”  to Parliament later this year, it was hard to tell if that was a shrewd guess on his part; wishful thinking; or a “coded instruction” to National  voters not to vote for Peters as a potential coalition partner for the Nats. Key was quite specific,

“…Nearer the time I am actually personally  keener to be a little more transparent. Now in the past we’ve been effectively transparent. I think we’ve been fairly clear about what we wanted voters to do with their electorate vote in Epsom, in Ohariu. Um, we haven’t faced the sort of Conservative issue. But my sense is, you know, we’ll be quite clear.”

Indeed, though Key seemed emphatic that there would be a “zero chance” of Peters entering a formal coalition with National,  he did not close off the possibility, with this invitation for the NZ First leader,

We’ll have those discussions with him, but, you know, we’ll wait and see.”

Kathryn Ryan then broached the subject of a co-Prime Ministerial role between Key and Peters. She asked if Key “could rule out” the idea, and Key replied emphatically,

“Yeah, I can rule that out now.”

Key referred to the proposal as “mickey mouse”, and though he has flip-flopped on other issues in the past, he gave sound reasons why he seemed sincerely  dismissive of what he referred to as a “barking idea“.

Key did, however admit that  “a decent slug of the population, probably 80%” of voters supported  National or  Labour(/Greens), that a further 20% were the voting bloc that actually decided the election. As Key said,

“It’s very difficult on polling to date to predict what might happen in nine months time.”

It seems that Dear Leader is not quite so confident of winning the election as some might believe.

Key revealed that he has had no conversations with Conservative Party leader, Colin Craig.

On the issue of MMP reform and eliminating the “coat tailing provision”, Key waffled and then lamely gave his excuse why the Electoral Commission’s reform recommendations were not passed,

“In the end, there was no real concensus.”

Kathryn Ryan immediatly jumped on Key called him on that BS,

“The concensus wasn’t there because National didn’t want it! It was darn close to a concensus apart from  your Party, which is most advantaged by it!”

Key tried to weasel out of it, but he was clearly shown up as self-serving on that issue. He was defensive.

Kathryn Ryan followed up by pressing other recent issues with Key; his willingness to over-look scandals surrounding John Banks and Peter Dunne.

Kathryn Ryan asked why Key had not read the police report surrounding John Banks.

Key attempted to excuse his over-looking of the  report  by referring to the Local Body Act as being “extremely vague”. Though why he would refuse to read a report simply because a law is supposedly “vague” is a bizarre excuse. It simply makes no sense.

After all, Key called the GCSB Act “not fit for purpose”. Does that mean he did not read the Kitteridge Report that flowed from  illegal surveillance by the Bureau – because the GCSB Act was “vague”? That makes no sense.

It was a weak excuse and not one that will wash if he tries to repeat it at up-coming public election meetings. Key will be laughed at if that is the best he can come up with.

The issue of “Working for Families” was raised – and Key made a startling admission as to why it was necessary for this country to have a system that he once referred to as “communism by stealth”.

The admission he made should give all thinking New Zealanders pause for thought.

But you can bet it won’t be picked up by the msm.

Overall, it is little wonder that Key has shied away from Radio NZ. This was a serious interview and one suspects that he gave away more than he had planned.

This was not “The Edge” – but edgy it certainly was.

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References

NZ Treasury: Debt 2013

Fairfax media: Public debt climbs by $27m a day

Roy Morgan:  New Zealand real unemployment steady at 8.5% and a further 11.3% (up 2.7%) of workforce are under-employed

Statistics NZ: Household Labour Force Survey: December 2013 quarter

Statistics NZ: The numbers of justice

Kiwiblog: 2012 Crime stats

Computerworld:  OECD’s PISA survey moves NZ’s performance downwards

Fairfax media: Two-thirds of voters oppose asset sales

Fairfax media: PM: No money for aged care workers

NZ Herald: Blowouts push public Rugby World Cup spending well over $200m

NZ Herald: The Hobbit: should we have paid?

Fairfax media: Hobbit ‘better deal than Lord of the Rings’ – Key

Fairfax media: 555 jobs gone from public sector

NZ Herald: Govt depts clock up $1bn in consultant fees

NZ Herald: PM rules out any NZ First deal

Previous related blogpost

Letter to the Editor: Key responds to the asset referendum voter turnout

“It’s one of those things we’d love to do if we had the cash”

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108 COMMENTS

  1. Great article. The reason why National are ?ahead in the polls and have a chance of re-election is because msm let Key etc get away with their lying bull s..t.

    The crime rate will be down due to demographics i.e. the number of young males between the age of 18 – 24 years is down. This is what accounted for the crime rate going down in New York.

    Sorry guys, no offence meant here.

    • “msm let Key etc get away with their lying bull s..t”

      ive lost track of the number of times ive yelled at the tv or radio regarding this

      if a listener can spot the lie why the f**k cant the people whos job it is spot it?

      Some times its even as bad as the lie being proven a lie in the same piece

      I dont care who they are talking to – theyve got a job and the damn well arent doing it

    • Have you any evidence that the proportion of males between 18-24 fell dramatically between 2008 and now? If you don’t then you are essentially making gross assumptions.

  2. An excellent summary of an interview that I immediately turned off in anticipated disgust (after struggling against all odds to listen to the first 30 seconds of it.)

    I want a leader that I can look up to and respect, not one that makes me cringe every time he opens his mouth with yet another glib, dismissive, fatuous one-liner.

    Nevertheless, I suppose about 50% of the country thought it was quite a good interview, and that, unfortunately, is the 50% that will bother to vote!

    Thank you for your excellent summary. It confirms my initial supposition that Key’s answers to Ryan’s usually well-thought out questions would have been too “one-eyed” and mendacious to be worth listening to.

  3. Let’s deconstruct your leftist spin step by step shall we.

    Your first claims:

    “National may well be back in “surplus” this year. But they still have accumulated a debt of $61 billion (net). That debt has been rising at $27 million per day, since John Key was elected into office in November 2008. Part of that debt was fueled by generous tax cuts, in 2009 and 2010, for the top 10% wealthiest people in this country. ”

    As you have been advised by IV and myself on numerous times the debt is as a result of the structural deficit left by the last Labour Government in 2008. This was predicted to be in place till 2017/18 which means without National doing a single thing there was already a large rise in Government debt that was predicted. Of the tax cuts you mention, the first was introduced by Labour when they were in office and the second was designed by Treasury to be fiscally neutral. Even if it wasn’t it certainly did not make the deficit much larger as you imply.

    • Absolute rubbish, Gosman.

      How pathetic that after five years, you right wingers are still blaming Labour for National’s mis-management.

      Tell me this; at what point do you start taking responsibility? Six years? Ten years? Twenty? Never?

      If National is not prepared to take responsibility, then it might as well not be government at all.

  4. Your second claim

    ““Unemployment rate’s falling.” A dubious claim for success. Under-employment is rising according to Roy Morgan, as well as the Household Labour Force Survey, and the Jobless rate is still 257,100.”

    Under internationally recognized measures (i.e. those that pretty much all developed nations use) unemployment in NZ is falling and is also lower than the majority of nations in the OECD. There is no evidence I have seen that our rates of underemployment are any higher than other nations either including your precious Scandinavian countries you like to bang on about. This is an example of where lefties like to use international comparisons only when it suits them.

      • Is that figure better or worse than other developed nations Frank? Take Sweden or France for example. These nations have a far more activist government (read left wing) in the economy. How is their overall unemployment and underemployment statistics?

  5. Your third claim

    ““We’re growing rapidly.”

    Much of which is due to the Chjristchurch re-build and global recovery – not because of any proactive policy from National.”

    This shows your general lack of understanding of economics. The recovery is quite broad based in terms of sectors of the economy impacted and is not just restricted geographically to Christchurch. If you were correct in your assumption then the recovery would be mainly focused on certain sectors like construction and consumer spending and not on areas of the economy that seem to be doing well at the moment like Exporting industries.

    As for the Global recovery would you care to explain why Australia is doing so badly at the moment then?

      • http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/531305/20131220/gdp-new-zealand-australia-economy-manufacturing.htm#.UwXcOUKSxuA

        “New Zealand’s economic growth is faster than most countries including Australia. According to Finance Minister Bill English, the latest statistics revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) growth of New Zealand was 3.5 per cent in Sept compared to 2.3 per cent of Australia’s GDP.

        Economic growth in the United States in the same period was 1.8 per cent, Britain with 1.5 per cent, Canada with 1.9 per cent and Japan with 2.4 per cent.

        Mr English said New Zealand is one of the countries with the fastest growing developed economies in the world despite experiencing the worst drought in decades earlier in 2013. The finance minister also said ANZ Bank has confirmed that business confidence in New Zealand is up in its highest level since 1999 with the most confidence in the manufacturing industry.”

        • http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11137643

          “New Zealand will rank among the strongest-growing of the advanced economies this year and next year, according to the International Monetary Fund’s annual World Economic Outlook.

          It forecasts New Zealand’s growth rate this year to be 2.5 per cent, bettered among the 35 advanced economies only by Israel, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea. The average for advanced economies in 2013 is just 1.2 per cent.

          The IMF expected the growth rate to pick up to 2.9 per cent next year, exceeded only by the same four and Taiwan, and outperforming the advanced economy average of 2 per cent.

          New Zealand also looked relatively good on the fiscal front, with a general government deficit of 0.4 per cent of gross domestic product over 2014, compared with an average deficit of 3.5 per cent for the advanced economies as a whole.

          Next year’s unemployment rate of 5.3 per cent was not as bad as the 12.2 per cent projected for the euro area, 7.4 per cent for the United States or even Australia’s 6 per cent.”

      • I’m not ignoring the impact of the Christchurch rebuild. I pointed out the flaq in your view that it is THE major factor in the economy doing well. This is something you haven’t disputed.

        New Zealand is generally doing much better economically than the majority of developed nations. That would suggest we have something in the economy that allows us to grow faster than most regardless of the conditions of the global economy. Australia on the other hand lacks this certains something hence why they are doing so bad at the moment.

      • “You’re the only one who is ignoring Christchurch as one of the main drivers in the recovery. ”

        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/gdp-growth
        “New Zealand’s most developed industries are focused on tourism and exports of agricultural products and are the main source of growth.”

        “Like most OECD countries, New Zealand’s economy experienced an economic slow-down following the global financial crisis in September 2008. As in other advanced economies, business and consumer confidence declined. Unlike most OECD countries however, after a 2% decline in 2009, the economy pulled out of recession. It achieved 1.7% growth in 2010, 2% in 2011 and 3% in 2012. That compared with 0.3% growth in the UK and negative 0.9% in the euro area; 0.4% in Japan; 1.1% in Canada; and 1.6% in the USA.”

        http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/investing-in-nz/opportunities-outlook/economic-overview
        “Recovery has been led by exports, with strong demand from our major trading partners Australia and China, who have been less affected by the crisis. Relatively strong Government accounts and a well-capitalised banking system have provided a stable base for the economy.”

  6. Your fourth claim

    ““I mean you got a crime rate that’s on a 30 year low”

    Correct. Literally. The rate of recorded offences has been steady or trending downward since 1996 (except for a short ‘spike’ post-2008, when unemployment skyrocketed,

    Even right-wing blogger and National Party apparatchik, David Farrar on Kiwiblog, made a similar analysis.

    So can Key really claim credit for a pattern that has either held steady or trended down? In which case, will he also claim credit for those areas where crime has been rising?”

    Even your own graph betrays your spin. The Crime rate is trending slowly down till just before 2008. It then takes a dramatic drop after the blip in 2008. If you are going to blame National for the deficit and associated government debt increase post 2008 it seems a double standard to state that the dramatic fall in crime during the same time has nothing to do with them. It is also at odds with leftists claims that increases in poverty and inequality (that supposedly have occurred under the current government) lead to increased crime.

      • I didn’t discount anything. I stated that the downward trend became more pronounced post 2008. Do you disagree and if so why?

      • The question, Frank is this. The left generally blames increased crime on increasing inequality. We have reducing crime rates, yet you claim we have increasing inequality. So, which of these is true:

        1. The claims of increasing inequality are bollocks.
        2. The link made by the left is bollocks.

        • Or 3. Police have a top down order not to record certain crimes so there appears to be an overall lower crime rate.

          This quite clearly has to be the case. It’s the only way I can figure it out. Wealth inequality does lead to more crime. And we currently do have very bad wealth inequality. These are facts. The statistics are being tampered with somehow. Wouldn’t be the first time the Police tampered with something.

          • Evidence for this please. It should be easy enough to prove. If Crime was rising but Police are not reporting it then the frontline Police would be screaming blue murder (pardon the pun) over this. I don’t see that happening at all which suggests it is just wishful leftist thinking on your part.

  7. Gosman sounds like a lot of hogwash to me can you please explain the structural deficit left over from the previous Labour Administration, my understanding is Cullen left the books in prity good shape even Bill English stated this. At the time National took hold of the reins the debt was $12 Billion since National has been in power in has risen to $61 Billion.

    I am confused what is the “Structural Deficit” Labour left the country?

    • I think “structural deficit” means that the economy was still vulnerable to an incompetent Tory finance minister, and not enough of the surplus had been saved for corporate welfare. Of course, Gooseman wouldn’t know. He just cuts and pastes from Kiwibog and NAct press releases.

    • Typical. Both IV and myself spent an age presenting evidence on this in one thread and it is all lost on some people. I will give you the benefit of the doubt though as you might be new here or might have missed the details from the previous thread.

      To recap, before every election Treasury opens the country’s books so that any potential incoming government is not presented with an unplesent surprise as National was in 1990. This is called the PRe-Election Fiscal Update or PREFU.

      Here is a section on the medium to long term fiscal outlook for NZ from the PREFU from 2008 (i.e. before the current National led government got in to power).

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/prefu2008/027.htm

      Please note figure 2.12 which shows the predictions for the OBEGAL or the budget surplus/deficit. Note how the line plunges in to deficit and stays there till 2018. This is the predicted decade of deficits that was left as a result of Labour.

      This Deficit is a structural rather than a cyclical deficit. The difference is that a structural deficit stays regardless of if the economic cycle. Therefore the GFC cannot be blamed for the predicted decade of deficits. This was as a result of the revenue and expenditure arrangement that was put in place by the Labour led government.

      As a result of the deficit of course the level of government debt would be expected to increase. This is also shown in the PREFU.

      National has bucked the trend in these predictions and is on course to return to surplus three years before Treasury predicted. This is the sort of achievement that you would expect the Prime Minister to crow about.

      • That’s because you and IV manipulate facts to suit yourself; cherry-pick data; and ignore that which doesn’t suit you. Then, to top it of, you both repeat your manipulated bullshit-facts ad nauseum until you manage to convince yourselves – but no one else.

        Gosman, the facts remain the same;

        * Labour posted nine budget surpluses,

        * Labour paid down sovereign debt

        * Plus a direct tax cut in 2008

        * Plus an indirect tax-cut through Working for Families

        I’m unsure why you keep referring to older documents when more up-to-date information is available. I can only surmise it’s because it’s the only cherry-picked data you’ve found to back up your bogus claims. (But even your 2008 Treasury document is bogus, as I’ll point out to you shortly.)

        Not very honest of you, is it?

        To quote a more UP-TO-DATE document from Treasury, from 2011,

        “4.3.1 Issue

        New Zealand ran fiscal surpluses for about 15 years from 1994 to 2008. These surpluses strengthened the government balance sheet allowing net debt to fall from 1993, and net worth to rise through the period. This helped counter the growing private sector domestic and external indebtedness.

        The government’s operating balance went into structural deficit[9] in 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015. The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]”

        Note that the 2011 Treasury report refers to STRUCTURAL DEFICIT.

        Gosman, there is NO REFERENCE to structural deficits in the link you gave to the 2008 PREFU.

        None.

        Nada.

        Nothing.

        This is your link: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/prefu2008/027.htm#sthash.9VSq6Fny.dpuf

        NO. REFERENCE. TO. STRUCTURAL. DEFICITS.

        You made it up, for godsakes!

    • …”my understanding is Cullen left the books in prity good shape even Bill English stated this.”

      Cullen left the ‘books’ in reasonable shape, but he left the economy in a shambles. Despite 8 years of some of the best terms of trade in history, the economy National inherited was heading into recession before the full effect of the GFC, and with an imbalance of Govt, spending to the level where the country faced an indefinite period of deficits. That is what National inherited, and that is what national have had to fix, while also dealing with the GFC and rebuilding Christchurch.

      • Cullen left the ‘books’ in reasonable shape, but he left the economy in a shambles.

        * Labour posted nine budget surpluses,

        * Labour paid down sovereign debt

        * Plus a direct tax cut in 2008

        * Plus an indirect tax-cut through Working for Families

        Only someone as closed-minded and a loyal National supporter would ignore Labour’s successes.

        But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your prejuduce, IV.

        Your loyalty to your One Percent masters is unwavering, it seems.

        😉

        • 1. After my cites above, are you still standing by your claims about Christchurch being the driver of economic growth in NZ?

          2. “Cullen left the ‘books’ in reasonable shape, but he left the economy in a shambles.”
          “In the five months since the Budget Update was finalised, we have witnessed a number of significant domestic and international developments: in particular, the deepening of the international financial crisis, the slowing housing market, and growing pressure on households and businesses. These developments are key factors in our updated view of the economy and the government’s finances set out in this Pre-election Update.

          We are now expecting weaker economic growth over the next few years, resulting in slower growth in tax revenue and higher government expenditure. Combined with increases in the costs of some existing policies, these factors lead to sustained operating balance deficits and higher debt-to-GDP ratios.”
          2008 PREFU, as quoted at https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/prefu/.

          Note:
          “we have witnessed a number of significant DOMESTIC and international developments…”
          “Combined with increases in the costs of some EXISTING policies…”

          Further from https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/prefu/
          “Imbalances have built up during nearly a decade of sustained growth, including inflation pressures, an OVERVALUED HOUSING MARKET, HIGH HOUSEHOLD DEBT and a LARGE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT, with implications for interest rates and the exchange rate. With the economy slowing, THESE IMBALANCES ARE STARTING TO UNWIND – as are imbalances in the global economy – but there is a long way to go.”

          • Annual GDP Growth
            2008 (4 quarters to Sep 2008) (1.7%)
            2013 (4 quarters to Sep 2013) 3.5%

            Current Account as % of GDP
            2008 (8.8%)
            2013 (4.3%)

            Household Debt as % of disposable income:
            2008 151.9%
            2013 147.6%

              • The economy was munted when Cullen left office Frank, and your own post admitted it!.

                But your loyalty to your socialist masters is admirable.

                • “The cupboard is almost bare and that is the way Michael Cullen planned the 2008 Budget.

                  He has delivered a Budget that offers a little of something for almost everyone but his biggest gift is to National – an election-year headache.

                  There is so little cash left to play with, $1.75 billion, that National will have little headroom to make attractive tax promises without saying what funding commitments Labour has made it will scrap.

                  That is what Michael Cullen promised and that is what he has delivered. The $1.75 billion isn’t real either because $750 million of it was earmarked for health long ago.

                  Phil Goff’s revealing comments this week showed that Labour is into legacy politics and this is a legacy Budget – a legacy to National. It will make it harder for National to win and if it does win, it will make it harder to govern.”

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10511832

          • @ IV: “OVERVALUED HOUSING MARKET, HIGH HOUSEHOLD DEBT and a LARGE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT ”

            -those are all PRIVATE DEBT you fool!!

            But you did also state, ” a decade of sustained growth”, during which Labour governed. Interesting! A DECADE OF SUSTAINED GROWTH, eh?

            As for the rest,

            Are you suggesting that Labour should have controlled the price of private house sales?!

            Are you saying that Labour should have controlled private debt levels?

            Are you saying that Labour should have returned to Muldoon-style control on outflow of capital?

            Because that is what you are suggesting!

            Well, well, well… you’re a bit of a closet communist, there, IV?!

            Otherwise, you’re mixing various causes-and-effects and trying to prove your case.

            But you don’t have a case. You’re expert at bullshitting but not much else.

          • Yes, the Christchurch re-build is a major economic driver. As I said. And as Treasury stated, in 2012,

            The Canterbury rebuild is expected to be a significant driver of economic growth over the next five to ten years. The timing and speed of the rebuild is uncertain, in part due to ongoing aftershocks, but the New Zealand Treasury expects it to commence around mid-to-late 2012.

            http://www.treasury.govt.nz/economy/overview/2012/09.htm

            Don’t like it?

            Go argue it with the Treasury boffins.

            Prat.

        • “Labour posted nine budget surpluses,”

          Labour wasted about 1 billion dollars on Kiwi Rail.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/2850079/KiwiRail-mired-in-Labour-ideology

          “Consider the following facts: KiwiRail was bought for $665 million. That figure then turned out to be $690m, plus other spending commitments, and ongoing preferential treatment for Toll’s trucking business at the expense of New Zealand- owned competitors (so much for supporting local business). This failed policy has already cost the taxpayer about a billion dollars.

          KiwiRail has been subsequently valued at $369m. This was an upfront loss to the taxpayer of $321m – a loss of almost a million dollars a day for a year after the purchase. Put another way, $320m of taxpayers’ money was spent for value that never existed.

          Further, this valuation is an optimised depreciation valuation, a public service entity costing. In other words, KiwiRail is worthless as a business.

          In order for rail to come close to commercial equilibrium (to break even), the network has to shrink from 4000 kilometres to 2300km. The government was repeatedly advised of this by the Treasury before the purchase.”

          Sheer and utter incompetence.

            • Yes, we all know that Frank.

              And he spent $1b on a train set worth nothing. And $860m on a bank that has never paid a dividend. And he left the country with a decade of deficits…

              Need we go on?

            • “Still doesn’t change the truth…”

              The truth is Michael Cullen’s decisions applied almost $2bn of taxpayers money to projects that have returned NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH. Given the mess he left the country in, that money could have been well used elsewhere.

          • Labour set up a bank that has sucked up $860m of taxpayers money, and never paid a dividend.

            Kiwibank wasn’t set up to make massive profits. It was set up to provide New Zealanders with an alternative to the Australian-owned banks; one who’s primary motive was to serve the people (Since National got in, it’s motive has gradually turned away from service and into profit, but the same can be said for practically all Government-owned entities).

            In addition, my understanding is that while it hasn’t delivered a divined to the Government, it is making a profit. The profits are being reinvested into Kiwibank, and are also being used to even out the losses that the NZ Post group is making (overall, the group is making a very small profit).

            • Quite correct, Francis.

              The emergence of Kiwibank sent shockwaves through the banking industry, and forced the “Big Four” to re-evaluate their customer-services and fee structure.

              At the time I changed from ANZ to Kiwibank, I was offered a fees-free savings account by the ANZ manager if I stayed with them.

              I asked two very simple questions;

              1. When did this new fees-free service come about?

              Answer: it’s recent (ie; since Kiwibank was set up)

              2. Why wasn’t this service offered to me in the past?

              Answer: silence.

              The Big Four have operated a nice little cartel since Rogernomics destroyed Postbank (subsumed by the ANZ) and privatised the BNZ (now Aussie owned). Kiwibank levelled the playing field and gave citizens a real choice.

              Right wing nuts like Intrinsic, who spout the ACT Party-line without bothering to think the issues through, don’t like real choice and competition. It hurts Big Business.

  8. Don’t forget while spewing out the vitriol, that a certain amount of the debt incurred has been to protect jobs which we should all be happy about. How many jobs could have been lost at Tiwai Point and in the film industry. We can argue and question the common sense of doing these things, and they are indeed somewhat questionable, but at the end of the day we want people gainfully employed, do we not?

    • In a region as chronically low on jobs as Southland there are a lot of ways to spend $30 million besides gifting it to one of the world’s richest companies. Bill was too lazy to investigate them.

      Suppose instead of a cash bribe a development fund of low interest commercial loans were made available to small businesses. $30 mill would be worth several hundred mill at government rates of 3-4%.

      Should be worth about the same – except that Comalco shuts down in a few years and it’s all gone. We’ll wish Bill had bothered with a bit of development then. Too much work of course, to make our region or our country prosper. No backhanders or retirement sinecures either.

  9. One further point Frank. It was Labour who committed NZ to spending tens of millions on the RWC not National. If National had not spent this money then the IRB (you know what that means don’t you?) would have been mightly peeved. It is unlikely the All Blacks would have been allowed to play against any IRB affiliated country for a long time.

    • Tell me, Gosman. It’s “Labour this” and “Labour that”.

      What was the point of changing governments?

      I mean, really, you’re full of apologetic bullshit for the Nats so much that they can never take responsibility.

      We might as well have stuck with Labour.

      • “What was the point of changing governments?”

        To get us out of the economic mess we were in. It seems to be working quite well.

    • “One further point Frank. It was Labour who committed NZ to spending tens of millions on the RWC not National. ”

      So, if the Rugby World Cup was good for the economy, are you saying that the credit belongs to Labour?

      • Yes, Trevor Mallard and Helen Clark can take a lot of credit for the 2011 RWC. Will this mean you will now stop using how much the government spent on this in your attacks on National?

          • You are quite correct I am against subsidies as a matter of principle. However I am also a pragmatist and realise that the reality is if you want certain things there may be a need for government support. In the case of the RWC 2011 in NZ there was no way NZ was going to get the hosting rights without that sort of support. Should we have hosted the cup? Maybe, maybe not but it became a moot point once they won the hosting rights.

            As for the costs, you really have no idea. That 20 million cost was purely the guarantee the NZ government promised the IRB for the revenue that the IRB would receive. It didn’t take in to account all the additional expenditure that the NZ government would have to pick up that they also signed up for such as the infrastructure costs. That is what led to the 200 million eventual bill.

              • No, Frank, you have no idea.

                http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/NationalAccounts/impact-of-rugby-world-cup.aspx

                “The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) estimates a net increase in spending resulting from RWC visitors alone of between $220 million and $340 million.”

                “Activity in the retail, accommodation, and restaurants industry increased 2.6 percent and 2.2 percent in the September and December 2011 quarters, respectively. In the December quarter, retail, accommodation, and restaurant activity was at its highest quarterly level since the series began in June 1986.
                Combined retail trade activity for the September and December 2011 quarters was 5.7 percent higher compared with the same period in 2010. Retail trade includes goods sold by supermarkets, grocery stores, and other goods retailers.
                Accommodation and restaurants activity also increased over the September (up 4.7 percent) and December (up 1.9 percent) 2011 quarters. These increases reflect increased numbers of domestic and international RWC spectators and participants who needed places to sleep and eat during the tournament.”

                • In summary, the RWC contributed more to the economy that the Govt spent on it, and that was before any consideration of the value of promoting NZ to the rugby world.

                  You really have absolutely no idea what you are talking about most of the time Frank.

    • The All Blacks are a corporation, just like Warner Bros or Rio Tinto.

      I couldn’t give a stuff if they never played again. 200 mil would have been better in our school budgets.

      • You push for those policies then. I doubt any party that adopts then would get very close to winning the Treasury benches in my lifetime though.

      • Mmmmm, lets see. Spend 200m and get more than that back into the local economy while also getting a huge amount of advertising in the process, OR throw it the education system.

        Not a difficult decision really , is it.

        GO THE AB’s.

  10. For once Kathryn Ryan did a good interview, and she dug into Key, and that is not what we always get from National Radio staff.

    She did a great job by challenging Key on the electoral reform issues, where it was National that did insist on no change to the present electoral law, not just keeping the 5 percent threshold, but also allowing parties to get representation in Parliament by getting an electorate seat without getting 5 per cent of the vote, and then even carry other members in.

    Coat tailing and arrangements of that sort were what Key did not want to discuss with here. He claimed there was a “wider consensus”, which is total bullshit. There was much more made up stuff coming from Key, but sadly only a small percentage of New Zealanders listen to Radio NZ National, so most will not have heard all his hypocrisy and twisting of the truth.

    • She did indeed, March. I think he was taken aback that he was challenged on that point. The rest of the MSM don’t seem to have picked up on that point.

      It’s almost as if the MSM will only challenge Key if they can pick up on an easy, definable point.

      If one of Key’s mendacities involves deeper analysis by the media, the issue doesn’t seem to attract the same attention.

      Hence why Key prefers goofing around on commercial crap radio stations like “The Edge”, or on light, superficial TV programme like TV1’s “Breakfast”.

    • I did a Gosman.

      Apparently structural and cyclical go hand in hand.

      “Structural and cyclical deficits are two components of deficit spending. These terms are especially applied to public sector spending which contributes to the budget balance of the overall economy of a country. Deficit spending, or simply deficit, is defined as over-spending: the amount by which spending exceeds revenue over a particular period of time. The total budget deficit, or headline deficit, is equal to the sum of the structural deficit and the cyclical deficit (or surplus/es).”

      So it is plain to see that after SIX years it is still Cullens fault.

      • Well sussed, F DX.

        Anyone can uncover Gosman’s (and IV’s) bullshit. Just dig a little, and you come up with the truth. Or inconvenient bits they’ve left out of their anti-Labour diatribes.

      • No, the decade of deficits predicted by Treasury in 2008 and the recession in the productive sector from 2007 through to 2010 was Cullen’s fault. The booming economy and the predicted budget surplus three years before schedule is Bill English’s fault. Now you can understand the Right’s meme. One which is getting good airing in the media it must be stated.

      • What is still Cullens fault? There will be NO deficit (in the context of this discussion) from 2015. None. But when National came to power in 2008 the outlook was for deficits indefinitely into the future.

      • Basically, F DX, yes. National inherited deficits projected to run for a minimum of 10 years. They will have returned the country to surplus in around 6. Unfortunately when a Govt. spends as irresponsibly as the last Labour Govt. (on worthless train sets and ideological folly’s like banks that never pay a dividend) it takes time to fix.

  11. So the Structural Deficit was hidden by Cullen and the Labour Party when National came to power and was only discovered by John Key and Bill English once they took hold of the country’s reins.

    The $61 Billion is a Structural Deficit left over from the Labour Party 6 years ago when National came to power. Now I understand where the Structural Deficit came from.

    • No Jack, it is worse than that. Cullen thought the economy was in a structural SURPLUS, which of course we know was just plain alice in wonderland stuff.

      The $61b is the countries external debt position, something different altogether. The bulk of that is the result of buffering the country from the recession, and rebuilding Christchurch. Which of those would you suggest we omitted?

  12. Compare your post here, IV;

    Intrinsicvalue says:
    February 20, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    […]

    “Like most OECD countries, New Zealand’s economy experienced an economic slow-down following the global financial crisis in September 2008. As in other advanced economies, business and consumer confidence declined.

    with this one here,

    Intrinsicvalue says:
    February 21, 2014 at 12:12 am

    […]

    Cullen left the ‘books’ in reasonable shape, but he left the economy in a shambles. Despite 8 years of some of the best terms of trade in history, the economy National inherited was heading into recession before the full effect of the GFC

    So…

    Which was it?

    Did New Zealand enter the GFC following the global financial crisis or before the full effect of the GFC.

    Those are your statements.

    You’ve contradicted yourself.

    Which goes to show that cherry-picking your “facts” and “factoids” will ultimately become a confusing exercise for you, IV.

    This is a prime example of how, in your obsessive haste to smear Labour, you don’t bother to check what you’re posting.

    Bloody hopeless, you rightwingers. *shakes head*

    • No, the economy is a multifaceted beast Frank. There are many different but interrelated parts to it. The part that had entered in to recession in NZ before the rest of the world did, as a result of the GFC, was the productive sector. The rest of the economy followed after the effects of the GFC hit. Does that make sense now?

    • Where’s the contradiction? The former statement refers to the impact of the GFC from September 2008. The economy was already slowing before that Frank.

      It’s not that hard, really it isn’t.

      • Bullshit! You’re squirming, IV!

        You got caught out because once again, you didn’t bother to read and comprehend what you were posting!

        You’ve posted statements which you were desperate to prove your point and instead ended up contradicting yourself!

        As usual, you’re full of it and you’re struggling to prove that your fantasy is real.

        • Fantasy?

          “Through the past decade the government and its advisers thought that increases in revenue each year signified a structural surplus (i.e., a positive fiscal balance on average over the economic cycle). Hence money was available that could be spent or returned to taxpayers as tax cuts. This indeed happened – spending ratcheted up and then taxes were cut in 2008 and 2009. But the “structural” assumption was wrong and when GDP growth slowed with the recession and the GFC, revenue fell from a decade peak of 34.5% of GDP in 2006 to 32.2% in 2009.”
          http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/finalreport/21.htm

    • This might help you understand Frank.

      “Through the past decade the government and its advisers thought that increases in revenue each year signified a structural surplus (i.e., a positive fiscal balance on average over the economic cycle). Hence money was available that could be spent or returned to taxpayers as tax cuts. This indeed happened – spending ratcheted up and then taxes were cut in 2008 and 2009. But the “structural” assumption was wrong and when GDP growth slowed with the recession and the GFC, revenue fell from a decade peak of 34.5% of GDP in 2006 to 32.2% in 2009.”

      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/finalreport/21.htm

      I repeat…”when GDP growth slowed with the recession AND the GFC…”

      Note the AND…

      • Oh, now you’re jumping forward to 2011?! (Beats 1933 , I guess… LMAO!!)

        By the way, re the link you posted? http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/finalreport/21.htm#sthash.B0CNQDu7.dpuf

        It begins with this;

        4.3 Fiscal situation
        4.3.1 Issue

        New Zealand ran fiscal surpluses for about 15 years from 1994 to 2008. These surpluses strengthened the government balance sheet allowing net debt to fall from 1993, and net worth to rise through the period. This helped counter the growing private sector domestic and external indebtedness.

        The statement then continues,

        The government’s operating balance went into structural deficit[9] in 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015.

        By the end of 2009 (remember, this Treasury document was penned in 2011), there had been TWO tax cuts. By the end of 2010, there had been THREE tax cuts.

        Which nicely leads on to the next part of the Treasury statement,

        The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]

        Does your tiny, wizened, neo-liberal-poisoned brain begin to comprehend what Treasury is getting at? Think about it for a day or two before you rush to reply (and I make a right twat of you again).

        But your reference here;

        ”when GDP growth slowed with the recession AND the GFC…”

        – now that is truly laughable.

        I mean, really?!

        That’s it?!

        Two words that may or may not have been written in correct sequence?!

        Fuck me, IV, you’re a joke. If that’s the best you can offer as “evidence”, then you’re a miserable failure.

        Because as usual, sunshine, you didn’t read the whole fucking piece, did you?! If you had, you’d have noticed this bit;

        Part of this rise was cyclical as the 2008/09 recession drove up unemployment expenses and slowed the growth of nominal GDP, but this probably accounted for only about 1 percentage point of the rise.

        This is what I wrote for Gosman, above (and which he hasn’t replied to, by the way). It shows the level of pure bullshitry that you rightwing morons will stoop to to prove your masters’ case;

        Frank Macskasy says:
        February 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm

        That’s because you and IV manipulate facts to suit yourself; cherry-pick data; and ignore that which doesn’t suit you. Then, to top it of, you both repeat your manipulated bullshit-facts ad nauseum until you manage to convince yourselves – but no one else.

        Gosman, the facts remain the same;

        * Labour posted nine budget surpluses,

        * Labour paid down sovereign debt

        * Plus a direct tax cut in 2008

        * Plus an indirect tax-cut through Working for Families

        I’m unsure why you keep referring to older documents when more up-to-date information is available. I can only surmise it’s because it’s the only cherry-picked data you’ve found to back up your bogus claims. (But even your 2008 Treasury document is bogus, as I’ll point out to you shortly.)

        Not very honest of you, is it?

        To quote a more UP-TO-DATE document from Treasury, from 2011,

        “4.3.1 Issue

        New Zealand ran fiscal surpluses for about 15 years from 1994 to 2008. These surpluses strengthened the government balance sheet allowing net debt to fall from 1993, and net worth to rise through the period. This helped counter the growing private sector domestic and external indebtedness.

        The government’s operating balance went into structural deficit[9] in 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015. The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]“

        Note that the 2011 Treasury report refers to STRUCTURAL DEFICIT.

        Gosman, there is NO REFERENCE to structural deficits in the link you gave to the 2008 PREFU.

        None.

        Nada.

        Nothing.

        This is your link: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/prefu2008/027.htm#sthash.9VSq6Fny.dpuf

        NO. REFERENCE. TO. STRUCTURAL. DEFICITS.

        You made it up, for godsakes!

        • “Oh, now you’re jumping forward to 2011?!”

          Ah, no. Read for comprehension, Frank.

          “Through the past decade the government and its advisers thought that increases in revenue each year signified a structural surplus (i.e., a positive fiscal balance on average over the economic cycle). Hence money was available that could be spent or returned to taxpayers as tax cuts. This indeed happened – spending ratcheted up and then taxes were cut in 2008 and 2009. But the “structural” assumption was wrong and when GDP growth slowed with the recession and the GFC, revenue fell from a decade peak of 34.5% of GDP in 2006 to 32.2% in 2009.”
          http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/finalreport/21.htm

          2008, Frank, not 2011.

        • “The PREFU is far worse than anyone could imagine. Thank God St Ruth and National changed the law in 1994 to force the Government to open the books up before an election – otherwise it would be a repeat of the last time a Labour Government left office – a fiscal mess for the incoming Government.

          The Secretary of the Treasury, John Whitehead, did a presentation before we got the books. The room was silent as he wound out the bad news. The problem isn’t our financial markets – they are much better structured than in the US. It is the flow on effects of lower GDP growth and increased spending. So we don’t have a crisis, but we do have a very bleak fiscal situation.

          The Crown accounts are going into deficit, and will remain in deficit until 2018 – yes – a decade of deficits on the medium term projections. The deficit is forecast to be $31 million this year and up to $3.2 billion in 2012/13 – returning to surplus only in 2017/18. This is the OBEGAL excluding Super Fund Revenue.

          Dr Cullen and Helen Clark are going to be very red faced over debt. Do you recall how they attacked National’s plan to borrow 2% more of GDP for infrastructure as an economic calamity and reckless as it would push debt up to 22% of GDP – 2% in excess of Dr Cullen’s ceiling of 20%

          Debt is forecast to peak at 30.1%!!! It will be 24.3% by 2012/13 and 30.1% by 2018/19. After wailing about how the world would end if debt went to 22% of GDP, Dr Cullen is leaving NZ with a forecast rise to 30%.

          The cash deficit next year is now forecast to be $6 billion and over five years a cash deficit of 31.7 billion.”

          http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/10/prefu_ten_years_of_deficits.html

        • “Note that the 2011 Treasury report refers to STRUCTURAL DEFICIT. ”

          …and the rest? From your own cite…

          “The government’s operating balance went into structural deficit[9] in 2009 and is projected to remain in deficit until around 2015. The government is spending more than it is receiving in revenue and net public debt is projected to rise from 14% of GDP in 2010 to around 28% by 2015 and then fall back to 10% in 2025.[10]“

          EMPHASIS FOR FRANK —– “In 2009.”

          You aren’t seriously suggesting that a structural deficit in 2009 had anything to do with a Govt that had only just been elected? As opposed to one who had been munting the economy for 9 years?

          • “Dr Cullen and Helen Clark are going to be very red faced over debt.”

            Red faced? They ought to be tried for economic sabotage.

          • You aren’t seriously suggesting that a structural deficit in 2009 had anything to do with a Govt that had only just been elected? As opposed to one who had been munting the economy for 9 years?

            Oh, I see what your problem is, IV…

            You’re assuming that, like a tax cut or government service-charge that takes effect on 1 April or 1 October, that the Recession and GFC was like an economic “light switch” that took effect over-night.

            Nope. No such thing. It was a slow process, which according to various sources, started back in 2007 (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/aug/07/credit-crunch-boom-bust-timeline)

            Clueless, as always.

            You should do more research. Prejudice is a poor substitute for information.

            • No Frank, we are talking about the word ‘structural’. A structural recession is one that is not as sensitive to cyclical factors. It is one that has as it’s source enduring Government policies.

              When NZ went into structural recession in 2009, it was the result of enduring Govt. policies. Those of the Labour Govt. Thankfully, much of those policy settings has been reversed, and we are back on the right track.

        • “New Zealand ran fiscal surpluses for about 15 years from 1994 to 2008. ”

          So Labour inherited surpluses from National in 1999?

          Yet what did Cullen leave National in 2008?

          10 Years of deficits.

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