Who Is Craig Renney, And What Is He Advising Grant Robertson To Do?

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Coverage of LivingStandardsNZ workshop at Treasury Wednesday 4 December 2013 + Thursday 5 December 2013. Photo by Mark Tantrum | www.marktantrum.com
Coverage of LivingStandardsNZ workshop at Treasury Wednesday 4 December 2013 + Thursday 5 December 2013.
Photo by Mark Tantrum | www.marktantrum.com

VERY FEW NEW ZEALANDERS would have the slightest idea who Doug Andrew was or is. And yet, in his role as an economic advisor to the then Leader of the Opposition, David Lange, Andrew was one of the people who helped prepare the way for “Rogernomics” – the introduction of neoliberalism to New Zealand. Seconded in the early 1980s from Treasury – then a hotbed of “Chicago School” free market economics – Andrew was one of the principal conduits through which the economic ideas animating the governments of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan found their way into the policy-making forums of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Thirty-four years later, another economist, also with a Treasury (and Reserve Bank!) background, is proffering policy advice to another Labour Finance Minister. Craig Renney, identified by Stuff’s Vernon Small as one of the key “back room players” in Jacinda Ardern’s new Labour-NZ First-Green Government, has become Grant Robertson’s “economics adviser”; “the man who did the grunt-work on the Alternative Budget – and disproved National’s claim of a ‘fiscal hole’.”

And, that’s it. To find out any more about the person behind the person controlling New Zealand’s purse-strings, it is necessary to go hunting in the forests of the Internet.

Fortunately, Mr Renney is a pretty easy quarry to track down.

He appears to be a citizen of the United Kingdom, aged in his late 30s, who embarked on his professional career by enrolling in the University of Stirling as a student of Economics and Politics in 1997. After an intriguing stint in Prague (2000-2001) Renney undertook post-graduate study at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, from which he received a Masters in Urban Policy and Sustainable Regeneration, and another, in Public Administration.

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Upon leaving university, Renney worked, variously, in local government, the UK Audit Commission, and as a public-sector consultant. In 2012 he emigrated to New Zealand to take up an analyst’s position in the NZ Treasury. Between 2014 and 2016 he was a Senior Policy Adviser in Steven Joyce’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – from whence he was seconded to the Reserve Bank. In January of last year, he took on the job of Senior Economic Advisor in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.

It’s an impressive CV. But, it tells us virtually nothing about the political leanings of its subject. The north-east of England, where Renney spent his university years, is generally regarded as the British Labour Party’s heartland. So, it is tempting to paint the advisor to our new Minister of Finance as a Geordie with traditional Labour sympathies. Certainly, the work he undertook for local governments in the north-east has the whiff of progressivism about it. On the other hand, Renney’s student years coincide with those of Tony Blair’s “New Labour” Government. So, it’s just as easy to see him as an eager follower of Anthony Gidden’s “Third Way” economic and social project.

The point is, we don’t know anything like enough about Craig Renney, let alone the direction in which he is steering our new Minister of Finance. And, dammit, we should know! Thirty-four years ago, advice was being tended to Roger Douglas that led directly to the radical restructuring of the entire economy and society of New Zealand – and we knew nothing about it!

This is what the New Zealand historian, High Oliver, had to say about what was happening to Roger Douglas all those years ago:

“Clearly an enormous shift had taken place in Douglas’s positions on economic policy and it appears that most of this shift occurred in the latter half of 1983. It is also apparent that the shift was towards the kind of free market economics that were espoused by the Treasury. It cannot be proved that the shift in ideas resulted from the influence of Treasury officials; however, it can be shown that it coincided in time with the presence in the Opposition Leader’s Office of Doug Andrew, a Treasury adviser with whom Douglas developed close links … During his time with the Labour Opposition Andrew produced papers on a range of economic policy topics and debated with existing opinions in the Caucus Economic Committee. Andrew argued for lower levels of trade protection as the key economic policy instrument. He argued for floating the currency as a matter of course.”

Similarly, it is possible to show that Labour’s adoption of its radically self-limiting “Budget Responsibility Rules” coincided in time with the presence in the Leader of the Opposition’s Office of an economic adviser from the UK called Craig Renney. The same Craig Renney identified by Vernon Small as the person who did the “grunt work” on Labour’s Alternative Budget.

But what, exactly, does that mean? Is Craig merely putting flesh on the bones of Grant’s, and the Labour Policy Council’s, ideas? Or, are Grant and Labour merely repeating ideas and policy positions fed to them by Craig? And, if it’s the latter, then what are the ideas and policies our new government is being asked to swallow?

It is a question that has always intrigued me: “Who is more powerful? The person with a loaded rifle? Or the person who supplies the ammunition, places the rifle in another’s hands – and tells them who to shoot?”

39 COMMENTS

  1. Gawd! Yet another case of “we’ll all find out in due course”.

    What is it about the Kiwi that makes this hi-jacking shit acceptable?

    • Perhaps the common ‘casual’, easy going attitude of most Kiwis, shying away from the too hard yarns, the too complex, too complicated matters, is reason for this, and that the study of certain academic subjects or disciplines requiring great attention to detail, deep analysis and also an ability to still see the greater picture may have something to do with it.

      Of any human group of people, any nationality, or whatsoever social grouping, that is not something the ordinary folks are well able to, and few so in New Zealand. That is also, besides of having a smaller population with a limited pool of suitably trained, skilled and educated persons, why there has over the whole history of New Zealand been a habit of importing certain specially, and even less specially skilled and qualified people, good or bad, nice or nasty, left or right, able to integrate or lesser so, to do certain types of work here.

      And the UK is one traditional source of getting ‘experts’ from, as usual immigrants, or as those sought as ‘high calibre’ professionals, and commissioned by government or business to come here and then do their stuff.

      Sadly some of them are not always screened and scrutinised enough, some have mainly their own benefits and greed on mind, and few truly identify and commit to the well being of the people as a whole.

      This is just another such individual, who Chris has identified, who needs a bit more light shone onto him, so we can assess and judge, what is he made of, who and what does he stand for, and does he really want to create a society for the benefit of New Zealanders as a whole?

      • … ” And the UK is one traditional source of getting ‘experts’ from, as usual immigrants, or as those sought as ‘high calibre’ professionals, and commissioned by government or business to come here and then do their stuff ” …

        Yes exactly , – as we remember Harold Titter who was brought over here from England as an ‘ advisers’ and a ‘consultant’ to dismantle our public health system during the Lange /Bolger years.

        Ironic that we footed the bill for that foreign subversive bastard to come over here and dismantle OUR tax paid for public health system.

        Isn’t it.

      • … ” Sadly some of them are not always screened and scrutinised enough, some have mainly their own benefits and greed on mind, and few truly identify and commit to the well being of the people as a whole ” …

        Yes , – it was only a few years back that we recruited and employed foreigners toting fake CV’s to fill the position of heads of both the Immigration and SIS .

        That’s how stupid and gullible we are.

        Did we ever want proof of an ‘OLD BOYS NETWORK ‘ in NZ ?

        Look no further than Ian Fletcher being employed in his role by John Key for the job as head of the GSCB , – the same John Key who stated ‘ I’d never met him before’… when he was in fact , a childhood friend….

        From Wikipedia :

        ………………………………..

        Ian Fletcher (diplomat)

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Ian Raymond Fletcher (born 25 August 1959) is a New Zealand former diplomat and UK public servant, who in February 2012 was appointed head of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) for five years. Fletcher resigned as head of the GCSB position in January 2015. His appointment to the GCSB by the Prime Minister John Key caused controversy when it was revealed Fletcher and Key had known each other professionally when Fletcher had headed the Queensland state government’s trade department, and that thirty years before they were childhood acquaintances: At Primary school Key had been a friend of Fletcher’s younger brother. [1] [2] [3]

        ……………………………….

        Ian Fletcher (diplomat) – Wikipedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Fletcher_(diplomat)

        AND NOW , … we have a potential Chinese spy in the National party as an MP.

        This country has a long way to go to grow up.

        A long , long way.

      • WE’RE A CARGO CULT COUNTRY – back in the mid eighties I wrote a political song called a ‘national anthem’. In this song I referred to NZ as being a ‘cargo cult country’. The irony is, this song was partially inspired by a classic American song called ‘this land is your land’, that was written by Woody Guthrie. There is something lurking deep within our collective consciousness, that has allowed the destiny of our nation since its inception; to be influenced, swayed & controlled by foreign individuals, ideas, markets & powers. This cargo cult condition I alluded too in my lyrics that were penned before the Rogernomics revolution, has since then, after thirty years of globalisation; become a crippling disease which has permeated every aspect of our society, & all but ruined our chances of ever becoming masters of our own destiny. Footnote; ammunition is the real power behind throne. Until our government stops relying on foreign consultants, & our civil service is cleansed of the old globalisation guard, it will be business as usual & real change will remain a distant dream. There is hope though, as it’s becoming obvious that the globalisation juggernaut is running out of steam. The future will be shaped by secessionist & localisation movements, so I believe here in Godzone we should be saying, ‘stop the world I want to get off’, so we can go our own unique, trail blazing way.

        • Planet Earth is still being bombarded by roughly the same amount of radiation that’s always hit it. Problem is the planet can’t absorb it like it use to mainly because we, and I mean civilisation keep digging up and burning everything essential to maintaining the delicate biosphere. And what is the meaning of life any way. Is it live with as diverse a life as possible or is it something else?

          There are 3 prerequisites for a complex civilisation to emerge.

          First you need an energy source. For Rome it was food. A lot of people argue about what energy inputs agrarian cultures used as energy sources. Some say it was slaves although I’m yet to be convinced that slaves can create energy. So food it is, exploited from the free energy stored in olives, plant and protein mater and all that. Until Great Britian who used coal and a little bit latter America with its Texas Crude. All natural resources with in its geography is largely inert now. Except for maybe Itally who is still exploiting the free energy stored in food, and Mediterranea still has one of the best food cultures and traditions on the planet.

          Second is you need a mode of travel. For Rome it was its roads. For Great Britian it was her sailing ships. And for America it was the rail road. Rome’s roads crumbled under the weight of the empire, it was the shear weight of stone and manipulating that by hand and the need to extend those roads in order to claim the resources just to maintain the roads behind them as they crumbled. So did Great Britian crumble under weighted management style I.e couldn’t be stuffed beating people up. And now America is unable to pay its debts to finance the wars that control the oil supply.

          The third thing civilisation requires is a language. Because with out language you can’t communicate with others in order to collect enough leaders and form a system of control and transmit the orders over a nations resources. For Rome it was Christianity during the reign of Constitine the Great. For Britian it was the printing press. And for America it was the telegraph.

          So what does lay ahead for us. Today we have Renewable energy, E-transport modes, and the Internet is the Language that connects us in order to bring about a bit more leadership and due diligence. But unlike empires of old that needed to dig up and burn resources or just burn people. Renewables provide for almost limitless energy harvester from the free energy stored in our star. Until maybe when sun blows up in about 4 billion years. Let’s just assume 1 billion just in case. At which point I hope humanity has sufficiently advanced its brain power in order to hop over to the next star (Sun) and try to take over those worlds.

          I haven’t mentioned anything dumb like nuclear war interrupting the maximum potential of humanities brain power. Stuff like that present different engineering challenges like maybe blotting out the sun and burning a lot of people. But the alternate fork in the road starts with renewables. And that fork just got a little bit brighter since the inclusion of The Green Party of New Zealand into government. Just maybe New Zealand can now create one of the best, if not the best (for a time) food cultures in the world.

          And I reserve the right to eat Asian style BBQ steak.

          • Sam I concur with a larger picture as being the basic understanding we need to adopt.

            But at present the consumption of energy harvested from other than biological outcomes is in need of much greater scrutiny.
            Wood was a major source of energy extracted from the environment and it was also a major material used on constructing shelters, technologies such as wagons, ships and weapons plus led to the early implementation of use of metals.

            In many parts of the old world forests were plundered over generations as populations grew. The woodland of Britain were largely denuded. an environmentally unsustainable culture at that point and is still so today. Along came coal and things escalated dramatically.

            Your analysis misses on the state of global Non Renewable Natural Resources which we plunder at an increasing rate. Presently we have left less than one quarter of the of the total available stock of Non Renewable Natural Resources ( NRNR ) that were available in 1800. The easy stuff has gone.

            Our so called renewable energy sources all depend on harvesting devices that consume NRNRs so long term they are not renewable. Global food is at its peak and soil built up over hundreds of thousands of years is in steep decline as is fertility of soils. Oceans are virtually stuffed and cornucopia abounds.

            Look forward to our consumerist economy declining as we are no longer able to sustain the network of extraction and consumption of NRNRs, both environmentally and mineral wise.

            NRNRs are the big one ignored by most. By 2030 our consumption of NRNRs will have entered well into steep decline. The graph shows by 2080 less than 1% of today’s residual stock of NRNRs will be extractable. The crash will have happened long before then. The longer human population reduction is delayed the less there will be left to sustain the residual population.

            Energy harvesting is generally very consumptive of NRNRs.

            The basic biological harvesting of energy relies on food for the animals used, including humans. If human numbers are diminished to about 1800 levels then we may limp onward in a very depleted planet that may not be able to support human population at 1800 level.

            The figures and graphs have been well researched over decades with the latest reviews being published by the CSIRO and Melbourne University in 2014.

            Economist and business blithely ignore what the future holds as a consequence of man’s short sighted ignorance.

            As humans have deployed energy harvesting we have increased NRNR consumption. The two lock together. As NRNRs are consumed pollution increases. Double the rate of NRNR consumption and we near quadruple pollution.

            We do not have an escape route nor bail out provision.

            A taste of the limited publicity given / allowed.

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

              • Tesla is the purest form of vertical integration in the western world. Meaning there closed loop recycling system at any given time 95% of material reusable. Except for glues, adhesives, laminates. But those numbers are coming down as well. Elon set himself the target of 97% reusable materials. That blows away even the Greens target of a million tons carbon reduction per year. By a long, long, long way.

                If you get the energy inputs right at the beginning. And be honest in accessing the energy requirements. You should be able to care of the entire community needs, shelter, water, sustenance, transport, entertainment. All that, far longer than sunset power generation that is energy negative.

        • Spot on with respect to the cargo cult. The level of thinking (stupidity) in the ‘corridors of power’ is on a par with the natives of the Pacific islands who believed that building a runway would cause planes carrying goodies to arrive.

          However, there in no hope because NO ONE in power is addressing our fundamental predicament….that imported oil -which is the primary energy driver for the bizarre set of living arrangements we see around us- is rapidly depleting globally and there is NO REPLACEMENT.

          Interestingly, the price of benchmark Brent oil has been rising for 3 months while the NZ dollar has been falling, and the cost of doing anything in NZ is rising commensurately.

  2. Hopefully he doesn’t have “political leanings” but simply recommends what works, based on the available evidence.

  3. “Find out in due course”.

    What do we do then? When any new Government comes in we have inquisitions to shine the light on all of those who are to be advisors to ministers? What then, have a vote to see if we find them acceptable?

    Or those who are up for such roles are only to come from a pool of possibilities who have been schooled and vetted along the way to make them suitable according to the way we think.

    What is it about our state of mind and levels of suspicion that sees us analyse what every breathe of wind means or could mean and what everyone’s intent is?

  4. He’s a public servant and should be left alone. Grant Robertson is accountable for the the advice and decisions he takes.

      • Yes and even after Ireland. They always move out just as the …. hits the fan.

        Those two encouraged BNZ staff to buy BNZ shares with BNZ loans, knowing the shares would be useless and people would have to find other equity to back the shares when the bank fell over.

        Taxpayers bailed the bank out courtesy of Ruth Richardson!! They are crooks imo.

    • It’s fair enough that he be left alone JPO73. And that Grant is who is accountable. The reason for wanting to to know his credentials is that no one is sure where this new administration stands on economic policy. The rhetoric has been encouraging for the left in the last week, but knowing the ideology of the chosen adviser, through knowing his history would be the best guide to where Grant’s intentions really lie.
      D J S

    • I would be worried at what JPO73 says and what he/she infers as we voted for a prome from a Labour government who said they would be “transparent” and nothing about this guy is resembling “transparent at all JPO73 so who are you and who do you work for?

  5. Well, you know. Treasury and the Reserve bank are closely linked with a small network or corporations made up of banks, accountants and a handful of law firms. This is the same group of people who own the media. So naturally they share same interests which effectively owns the private economy and staff the crown executive. At the top level they all share a perception of the world. Then you get down to the editorial level, the reporters level. At that point a young journo will quickly learn that things are reportable and other things aren’t. So you can say things in a certain way, and say things in other ways. And you learn this from your editions who are right above you who learnt it from the people who are right above them.

    Remember corporations are the private equivalent of fascism in the politicool realm. Remember the decision making matrix in corporations are top down so CEO’s give orders that go down the pipe and so on and the orders ultimately come from the owners, mostly made up of a cartel of banking interests with a little bit for the public so they can say we tried. And the media has a market made up of other corporations and that market is advertising. Remember the media do not make there money on sales to you and me. The media make there money from advertising. In fact of the media was to make money selling to you and me they’d go bankrupt almost immediately. I mean who on gods earth would actually purchase those fluff pieces about Max Key. And that’s another restraint that wants to maintain a relationship with the state. You know because they’re all friends and they want independence so there friends can flow up and down the state and cooperate structures. So they all benefit from the same structure from the media to corporate elites and politics and elite academics who play the game by the rulz and don’t step out of line and so on. They all belong to the same privileged elite. They all benefit the same way. The all perceive the world in the same way. If any of them get out of line you’re excluded and that can happen at very high level. Metiria Turie is a prime example of that. In fact top Herald reporters (John Cambell, most here should be familiar with the list) over the years have simply been thrown out because they began to deviate a little bit.

    And the mechanisms are clear. You get reports in the business section of the Herald and other business stuff. You’ll notice reports of stock market decline. And you can quote any number of Herald articles saying if the government remains there won’t be any business any longer. You know if they don’t replace the direction of a government with the ideas of top editors and producers of news and so on. And this is the state under control by exactly the same mechanisms that control what people buy. By only showing you what executives want you to buy, executives want you to buy the stuff that make them richer.

    Let’s suppose Ardern started to enact policy that devotes a little bit and doesn’t conform to the investments of the elites that own all the capital. What does happen is investment decisions by those who own everything begin to take flight. Just a little bit but enough to say if you continue the deviation the country is going to go down the tubes unless it’s brought back to what Adam Smith described as the main course, the executives.

    The true power is in private hands. The political system is marginal. And the ideological institutions are limited.

    Getting back to the reporter they just have to snap up or they’re out. And that goes on in universities too. And you, the youngsters will learn this as you go through the system.

    Now it’s not 100%. The system is willing to tolerate statistical errors. But it’s got to be enough so there isn’t any significant deviation. And you will come under all sorts of pressure to conform to find out what elites need to get richer if you don’t know already.

    What happens if you decide to conform a little is lose your independence of mind. As sone as you do that you are lost. Because what happens is you begin to conform, you begin to grasp the privilege of conform. And you gradually believe what elites say because it’s useful to believe it by making rich elite executives even richer. And then yup Ve internalised this system of indoctrination and distortions of perception and then you’re a willing member of the privileged elite and can control others thoughts and indoctrination.

    This happens all the time. All the way to the top. And it’s very rear a person can tolerate all this cognitive decadence. So saying one thing and believing in others. It takes a very rear person to do that. And it’s impossible once you conform.

    No where in the world where there are atrocities that the perpetrators haven’t justified the acts as highly moral. That includes tying dead people to NZDF armoured vehicles and dumping the bodies at the foot of innocents because they might one day commit a crime. And all full of high Nobel it is and how much strength and fortitude is required.

    Colonisation was and still is justified with moral arguments. And there the same arguments as the elite establishment present them today. That you must only buy the stuff that make elites richer. Never mind the cost to future generations. Hopefully I don’t have to illustrate those costs for you. You should be able to see it on your pay slip if your lucky enough to conform.

    And this ends up being a very effective system ultimately rooted in the control of resources. And some people talk about all this as a conspiracy. It’s not, there are examples. If the board of Fontera decides to maximise profit that’s not a conspiracy. In fact if they didn’t do that they’re get thrown out of the institutional role they have to play.

    And the politicool class has a role to play and if they don’t play the role that you, the youngster, sets for them then they well be thrown out too.

  6. “It’s an impressive CV.”

    So he left university c.2003/2004(?) and applied for an analyst role at Treasury in 2012.

    Not much that is impressive about being in the workforce for 8-9 years before applying for what is, ostensibly, a graduate role.

  7. … ” It is a question that has always intrigued me: “Who is more powerful? The person with a loaded rifle? Or the person who supplies the ammunition, places the rifle in another’s hands – and tells them who to shoot?”…

    We all know that it is more often those who we dont see that truly wield the power of influence. As they say ,… there is more of the iceberg underwater than floats above…and unlike some comments here I say we DO have a right to know just who are advising our leaders and what they are advising them…

    A typical example was the cadre of subversives advising both Langes Labour then Bolgers National.

    And we all know how that turned out.

    And lest we make the same mistake in blindly trusting these advisers as we did 33 years ago ,… we recall the 1980’s and 1990’s as being the age of the ‘consultants’ and ‘advisers’… and how curiously they all advised our elected leaders to dismantle our social democracy for their and others of their ilks advantage…

    Labour have stated they are going to look into just how the Reserve Bank and Treasury is being run. They recognize that this is one of the key positions to effect the changes they want .

    Here is an example of just how important knowledge of these people really are :

    ………………………………..

    The Business Roundtable

    In the fourth Labour Government, real power lay in the hands of Douglas and his two closest associates in the cabinet, Richard Prebble and David Caygill. Prime Minister David Lange was just a figurehead, as New Zealand News financial columnist Warick Berryman told a journalist from the Executive Intelligence Review at the time, “As far as the business community goes, Lange is basically irrelevant. Roger Douglas is running the place. Make no mistake about that. He is doing anything in this country that has any real meaning… Lange’s more of a sideshow. He keeps the rabble amused, while Douglas, Prebble and Caygill get on with actually running the place.”

    To help implement Douglas’ programme, the Labour government called an “economic summit” in 1985, chaired by Sir Ron Trotter, chairman of the Fletcher Challenge corporation. By early the following year, Trotter revamped an existing business group which he chaired, known as the *Business Roundtable, to become a high-power lobby for “free market” reforms. And high power it was: firms associated with the Roundtable had a total capitalisation of $15.4 billion, representing 64% of the value of the New Zealand share market! Directors of the Roundtable companies sat on the boards of over 100 other New Zealand corporations.

    As the New Zealand Herald of 12 Nov. 1986 observed, about the Roundtables clout: “Among them, these men help control 76% of the country’s newspaper circulation, the bulk of the private radio stations, the biggest bank, the biggest exporters of meat and horticultural produce, the biggest rural servicing conglomerate, the three biggest forestry companies, the two biggest supermarket chains, both brewery companies, and a sizeable chunk of the rest of the manufacturing, finance and other sectors.” Very shortly, Roundtable members involved in manufacturing quit in disgust, and the group became a puppet of the finance sector.

    Trotter was its chairman, but the real engine of the Business Roundtable was the former Treasury official who had drafted all the proposed “reforms” in the first place: Roger Kerr. Trotter picked Kerr as the Roundtable’s new executive director and installed him in Fletcher Challenge House in Wellington, right across the hall from Trotter’s own office.

    Regarding the significance of Kerr’s appointment, Prime minister David Lange told the New Zealand Sunday times on 18 January, 1987, that the Roundtable had played down Kerr’s appointment because “they’re cunning. There is now a well researched, well presented effective business group calling itself the Roundtable and it was an event of some significance that it moved beyond an informal coalition of interests to a structured organization with the appointment of that director, which was a really significant move.”

    It certainly was: Roger Kerr was one of only three New Zealand members of the Mont Pelerin Society!

    Through the unceasing torrent of “studies” it commissioned from one Mont Pelerin think tank or another, each of which called for an utter dismantling of the New Zealand economy, including its healthcare and educational systems, Kerr’s Business Roundtable quickly became the Mont Pelerin Society’s most powerful front group in New Zealand.

    And, though it proclaimed its altruism, the Roundtable’s individual and corporate members were the overwhelming beneficiaries of the destruction of the economy which they so ferociously advocated. Firms associated with the Business Roundtable ended up with $12.542 billion of the $15.233 billion in privatised former state assets!

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    * Business Roundtable , – now renamed as the ‘ New Zealand Initiative’.
    ………………………………..

    So we see, how it IS important to know just who is influencing our leaders. We have every right to know just what they are advocating. We should no longer be subject to these nameless faceless relative unknowns. No more should we wonder and become baffled at the changes taking place that may not be in our best interests and that we did not vote for. And that openness applies to ALL govts , – be they left , or right .

    • And that’s the thing about bad stuff happening. You can never really tell when a mother comits fantasied, or a father comits sideways. Statistically we can give probabilities of it emerging in a particular area at any given time. But you can’t really say this is going to happen at this particular time. And that’s a mistake I see so often from policiticians and academics who rely so hard on empirical data. The budget well be this much, by this date. And are almost wrong every time except for maybe when the data is made to fit the model I.e lie through your teeth and prey to God Grant Robertson makes the $11 billion physical whole for them. I mean that’s a lunatic way to do things. Robertson can just borrow abit more and say it was only $10 billion, or something. Not saying he’ll do that but saying something will happen and then waiting for the data to appear is fools gold and I hope this mentality stops with Robertson. And Minister for Statistics James Shaw will play a crucial role in collecting the data so I am not as pesemistic as some. And I agree with stamens made by the Minister of statistics that statistics is the most important linch pin of the government. More important than even the finance portfolio.

      (When something is funny but you don’t won’t any one to see you laugh because it might reveal your true intentions)

    • Bloody good work Chris,

      Wild katipo has indentified the link that may uindermine the new Government if Jacinda is not asute here.

      Craig must come clean and Grant both must step up and make us aware of from coupling as we have every right to know what these “un-elected ‘advisors’ are doing and needed for by our duly elected Government.

      This is called “TRANSPERANCY” YES THE SAME TRANSPARENCY THAT JACINDA PROMISED SHE WOULD PROVIDE.

      Those casts doubt so we want to remove any doubt now please Labour.

      My advise for labour and NZF is to go through every financial report and budget National ever conducted and they now must find alll the wate and ‘port belly’ giving of bussiness contracts to those close to National Party people. I believe there are many shoddy shady deals went on within the national adminisrtration during the last nine years so get the the likes of Ganesh Nana from BERL into those books pronto and catch these slimy national party types.

      See what Master Slimeball Steven Joyce wildly sent us today, it shows he still lies as he falsely claims we are “member or supporters of the National Party”!!! This a bald faced lie as bald as his head.

      Somone should charge him with public mischief.
      Ha ha Steven Joyce wants a donation!!!!!!!!

      After he lied to our community he can take a hike he tried to destroy our rail the creep.

      From: Steven Joyce [mailto:hq@national.org.nz]
      Sent: Tuesday, 31 October 2017 2:03 PM
      To: ————
      Subject: Fighting fund

      j———–,
      As we prepare to return to the new Parliament next week, National’s 56 MPs will make up the largest opposition in New Zealand’s history. We will be working hard to hold the new government to account, and ensure they don’t squander the progress that New Zealanders have worked so hard to achieve.

      Donate to our Fighting Fund today.
      Labour and its coalition partners are planning a huge number of policy changes, and there are very few details available. However it is clear that many of them would take New Zealand backwards from our strong economic position which is currently the envy of much of the western world.
      They also haven’t been upfront on the costs for their coalition agreements – these are the bills that hardworking taxpayers, like you, will have to cover out of your collective back pockets.
      In the last week the coalition has also announced a Regional Fuel Tax, a potential Sugar Tax, removing standards and accountability in our schools, and scrapping the tax threshold changes due from April 1 in our Family Incomes Package.
      The new government is already bloated, with an executive of 31 Ministers and Undersecretaries.
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  8. Scary stuff. Uk is a basket case in every measure, socially divided, over populated, land and buildings sold off to non resident foreigners and corporations, poorly functioning public services grinding to a halt with poor decision making and over populated usage and unequal society and social unease. Not a good time to be taking advice from a Brit, especially one that has been advising Joyce, who is trying to replicate the UK experiences in NZ.

  9. I know a young man who is an economist at Treasury who intellectually would wipe the floor with Mr Renney. He is NZ educated though, andas a protege of Tim Hazeldene he would scare the shit out of Robertson.Leave him for dead in terms of future thinking and economic direction. Guess that’s why he’s not an advisor. He would have to go overseas to have any credibility in NZ. Because NZ has no faith in it’s own people.

    • hear hear. NZ government loves to take advice from people who were not born here and have little loyalty or true understanding of the culture here.

      WE have some smart people around in NZ, Geoffrey Palmer for example, pity the government likes to get ideological seconds to follow, rather than people who understand the culture and are loyal to NZ people.

      The world is full of diversity of culture and people. We don’t have to blend all cultures up to some neoliberal mould that doesn’t even work.

      Nothing wrong with immigration, but when true power, decisions and wealth are more in the hands of newbies to the country or offshore business who try to replicate their own countries failed (in most cases or why leave) processes. We start having big problems. We don’t have the money to have continual fuck ups in our public services that are normal overseas. We need honest people.

      The Brits also seem rampant in our transport – again a basket case. Auckland Transport is in love with French offshore companies (for example) who deliver little and at poor quality. The British woman now in jail after embezzling $700k from NZ Transport under the nose of the CEO. It goes on and on. The reality is that for the last 25 years anybody who can fake a few docs have come into this country and are now residents and citizens mingled with the honest ones. There were little checks and balances by government to tell the differences .

  10. I wonder where Mr Peters sits with regards to the shadows in the background.

    He did great work on the winebox and must know how much power is held by unelected figureheads and the influence they exert.

    If he wants to make changes to capitalism, real changes then he has to start with the truly powerful.

    The direction he takes with this will be the real test for this coalition and its survival and the National party is biding its time waiting for the first smell of blood and the media will provide the kill.

  11. ‘a citizen of the United Kingdom, aged in his late 30s, who embarked on his professional career by enrolling in the University of Stirling as a student of Economics and Politics in 1997.’

    The so-called economics that is taught in schools and universities is pure bollocks and has zero credibility, since it is founded on ludicrous concepts such infinite growth on a finite planet and the stupid notion that and price mechanisms will make resources available when resources are depleted.

    Another idiotic notion promoted by economists is that consumption is good and the more consumption we engage in the better off we are; economists use the ridiculous GDP system as a measure of progress when in fact GDP is arguably the most dysfunctional and destructive system possible and has been a major cause of the predicament we are now in (atmospheric CO2 a record high and rising at a record rate = death by global overheating and acidification of the oceans).

    What is all amounts to is that economics and economists have zero credibility. Yet, for some peculiar reason -very likely linked to the banking sector and its Ponzi money system- economists are elevated to godlike status in the dysfunctional society we live in.

    Sadly, the bizarre and dysfunctional economic theories that have been promoted over many decades now have a stranglehold on western societies; that is why there in no hope for the next generation unless all economists are thrown out. And no politician has the spine to do that. In fact, all the evidence indicates politicians are arguably so uninformed and stupid they don’t even recognize the inherently dysfunctional nature of the systems they have foisted on us.

  12. if Mr Renney is not a “third wayer” it would be close to miraculous

    a number of Daily Blog contributors would be way better advisors to the new govt. than these types of people, who are usually captured by finance capital at their university stage of development

    well done Chris-everyone else–keep on this guys case till we get some answers!

  13. The sad thing is it looks like Robertson may not be his own man on economic issues. Cullen was, which made him the best finance minister NZ had in the last fifty years – no compliment – most of them have been hopeless incompetent bums who dreamed they were rockstars.

    • I am not surprised, connect the dots, Winston wants lower corporate tax, and a higher minimum wage, thus creating incentives. NZ First also talked about work for the dole, during the campaign, I am not sure what their coalition agreement says on that.

      Labour wants to pay employers the equivalent of the dole to put unemployed (youth) into apprenticeships and on the job training.

      Look at Labour’s line on welfare since 2005/2006, and they want to have a stronger work focus, offering people incentives, in the form of carrot and stick to move off benefits into work.

      Put NZ First and Labour together, and with regional development agendas they have put into place, we will get incentives for businesses in the regions, and incentives and pressures for unemployed and low skilled, to get trained, and to move into jobs. \

      The rest will be pretty much more of the same of what we have already, here and there maybe some PPPs, to get things moving in infrastructure and housing.

      It will be a bit more hands on, but the medium to longer term is to be built on growth, of business of course, of employment, resource usage and GDP (to be defined a bit differently to show outcomes), to lift living standards.

      The belief is all this works, the rest of the world will continue buying our goods and services, and we continue driving cars to malls, to milk cows, to export logs and also more value added, processed stuff, and we hope for the best.

  14. Joy more of this right wing crap. We get a nice smile, and few words to express our pain, but it’s business as usual.

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