It’s about the stupid economy stupid


In focus group meetings, the sleepy hobbits of NZ by a staggering amount all believe that National are better economic stewards of the country than Labour, that’s why, instead of answering questions about blackmailing MPs, trawling brothels for dirt on political enemies, hacking Labour’s computer, rigging candidate selections and crucifying public servants, all you will hear from National is lots of economic jargon to cash in on that public misperception.

Thanks 6 years of uncritical right wing mainstream media.

Despite borrowing billions for tax cuts, despite selling off our assets, despite only propping up Dairy and Casinos with crony capitalism and despite only relying on the Christchurch rebuild for economic activity, the sleepy Hobbits of NZ think Key’s vacant optimism is steering the good ship NZ towards better economic times.

The truth however is far less glowing.  Firstly their new housing package will actually drive up prices

The problem is not primarily one of supply. People are housed. The problem is that so many are trapped in rented houses because it has become so much harder to buy one.

The rate of home ownership in New Zealand has declined because so many established home owners have bought two, three, four or 10 houses. They are remortgaging their home to buy rental property, not so much for the rent but for the capital gain when they sell. Rent in Auckland has not been rising at a rate that would be occurring if there really was a housing shortage.

The central problem is not supply, it is the demand for investment property. But National is tackling only the supply side with its efforts to have councils zone more land for housing, and the increased first home subsidy it announced at its campaign launch. These steps will do nothing to limit our appetite for investment property and may simply feed it.

…secondly inequality is far worse than most appreciate

Economic inequality is one of the election themes, with Labour and the Greens promising to lift the minimum wage and tax the top 2-3 per cent more in a bid to build a more equal society (see sidebar).

Skilling’s research indicates that debate is taking place against widespread voter ignorance about just how unequal our society has become.

The richest 20% of us in NZ own 70% of the wealth, with 18% in the hands of the second richest quintile, and 10% in the hands of the middle quintile. Just 2 per cent was owned by people in the fourth quintile, while the bottom 20% of NZ owns nothing! Yet the mainstream media decided Pam Corkery swearing at them was more newsworthy than free education, full employment and feeding hungry children.

THIS is why we need a public broadcaster!

and thirdly, the lack of an actual economic plan beyond rebuilding from earthquakes means the economy is in deep trouble

TDB Recommends

New Zealand’s booming economy is at risk of a hard landing once temporary factors ramping up growth wear off, economists say.

Our economy is the envy of the world with an annual GDP growth rate of 3.3 per cent and unemployment of 5.6 per cent, both near the top in the OECD.

But the current rate of growth is unsustainable, a panel of some of New Zealand’s top economists told a briefing in Auckland today.

And they said many New Zealanders are not aware how much our economy is relying on one-off boosts like the Christchurch rebuild, or how quickly it could slow down when they come to an end.

Finally, let’s remind NZers of this graph…


…most NZers will be horrified with the reality of that graph because the spin for the last 6 years has been National are wonderful with the economy and Labour incompetent. The sooner Labour start to focus on this illusion of Key as the great economic master, the better.

The reality is that Labour are best for the economy while National are best for the monopolies and corporates.


  1. “But the current rate of growth is unsustainable, a panel of some of New Zealand’s top economists told a briefing in Auckland today”

    Permanent growth is ALWAYS unsustainable, because we live in a country of finite size on a planet of finite size. It’s incredible that you sometimes have to explain that. Find out why over 5,000,000 people have watched a super boring old guy talk about mathematics if you want to fully understand this concept in detail:
    Compounding “economic growth” is 100% neoliberal/capitalist bullshit.

    • oh wow, yeah, Al Bartlett rocks doesn’t he!

      who would’ve thought, an old physics professor, could be so amazingly entertaining in such a droll way

      I agree. politicians and economists don’t understand how exponential growth works. I can have zero respect for a field of study, economics, which does not get that very simple math. and they call it a “science”. thats offensive to all scientists!

      • “I agree. politicians and economists don’t understand how exponential growth works.” Says Lara.
        I’m more inclined to believe people refuse to understand how this works. I and others have tried to explain this point a myriad of times to various people on this site to no avail.

  2. Massive debt and a massive democratic deficit… I’ve read more NZ corporate media in the last two weeks than I have in the nine years since I first came to this country, and you are so right about the absence of criticism of this government. Some of the Herald’s anti-IMP and Dotcom crucifixion pieces put it on a par with Britain’s shoddy tabloids. Looking at the opinion polls (which leave a lot to be desired) I fear that we will have to endure another three years of increasing poverty, unaffordable housing, unnecessary new roads, with the continuing defunding of public transport and increasing carbon emissions. Following the election, the cyclical slowdown of the economy – which National have done nothing to avoid – will start to impact on those million or so New Zealanders that are currently feeling okay, and will finally begin to chip away at National’s ludicrous poll numbers. Hopefully, some of the Labour old guard will announce their resignations from politics and allow the party to build a solid narrative around cohesion which is currently sadly lacking. Depressing times. I only hope I’m wrong.

  3. Fully preaching to the mostly converted on TDB. Need to get this information to the rest of the sheeple so they can SEE the facts.
    It might change a few minds, come the 20th…

    • I think calling them “sheeple” really puts people off.

      you’re not gonna convince them of anything if you call them that. they won’t listen to you.

    • And international factors have no influence on NZ’s economy? Since Labour were last in office we have experienced the Global Financial Crisis. The options were to borrow or implement austere restrictions on government spending.

  4. And yet the myth persists that somehow National are better managers of the economy than Labour. That myth persists because those who benefit from a boom/bust economy with high debt, a narrow-based economy and high risk investment have got a willing bunch of disciples in the NZ MSM who want to spread the good word, even when the good word is false.

  5. John Key worked in the industry ( the financial sector), which through deceit, greed and mismanagement gave the world the GFC.

    It was an industry where 1+1 was presented as equaling 3.

    Now I’m no conspiracy theorist ……… but is it just coincidence that after working his way to the top of the national party and wielding his Wall Street Banker type methods on them that they now face their own GNPC?.

    Giant National Party Crisis .


  6. The problem with all this is ‘politician’ in this country is just a person who is good at brown nosing, they don’t have to have any skills or qualifications to do that job, just the ability to get your vote when the time is right.

    Take a look at China, sure its communist but their leaders are all scientists, doctors, engineers ect – people qualified to make the right decisions.

    If this were you or I in this country, we are expected to be qualified to get certain jobs, why are politicians exempt?

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