How does the NZ Left rebuild & reimagine the post pandemic economic structures while China vs America?


I am very excited that TDB will live stream the Alternative Aotearoa Election 2020 hui listening to the best progressive voices articulate policy ideas we want to see in the first 100 days of a second Labour Government.

Here is some blue sky thinking that I have been considering that could be in the first 100 days of a possible second term Labour Government.

There are two Jacinda’s, Cautious Jacinda who isn’t transformative and Crisis Jacinda when she staggers us all with her incredible leadership.

The unprecedented pandemic however has forced her hand and demanded ideas and policy that openly challenge the fractured foundations of neoliberalism. Jacinda & Grant have been struggling to keep the country’s head above water, so they haven’t had the time to even begin to consider how we get the hell out of here.

Jacinda & Grant can save us from dystopia but they can’t build the Utopia on their own.

Plus, this is the exact re-ordering of the economy and culture we would be requiring to seriously contemplate if were to combat the climate crisis which behind the pandemic, is a threat far more damaging than Covid 19.

Before we even attempt to reimagine our economy, we must be cognitive of the rapidly deteriorating geopolitical situation in our part of the world.

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The battle between China and America has every possibility to go hot as tensions rise…

Hong Kong security law: Life sentences for breaking China-imposed law

People in Hong Kong could face life in jail for breaking a controversial and sweeping new security law imposed by China.

The legislation came into force on Tuesday but the full text was only revealed hours afterwards.

It was brought in by Beijing following increasing unrest and a widening pro-democracy movement.

Critics say the new law effectively curtails protest and undermines Hong Kong’s freedoms.

South China Sea: Beijing warns of ‘countermeasures’ after US Navy deploys three aircraft carriers into Pacific Ocean

Three US Navy aircraft carriers have been deployed in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in three years, in a show of force that’s prompted a backlash from China.

The Trump administration deployed the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Nimitz to the region, with each containing more than 60 aircraft.

The Chinese government, which has also increased its military presence in the region, responded swiftly, warning that “countermeasures” could be taken against the US.

While the US said its move was part of efforts to safeguard against the possibility of another coronavirus outbreak in the region, experts say it was also intended to send a symbolic message of strength to China.

State government can’t help Australian Karm Gillespie on Chinese death row

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says there is little his state government can do to help an Australian actor sentenced to death in China.

Karm Gillespie, who featured on popular television series Blue Heelers and The Man from Snowy River, was arrested in 2013 at an airport in Guangzhou busted with 7.5 kilograms of the drug ice in his luggage.

The 56-year-old from Melbourne was sentenced to death by firing squad on Saturday which sparked questions over the timing of the decision given the increasingly bitter geopolitical tensions between Australia and its biggest trading partner.

The relationship between the two began to sour after the Morrison Government led calls for an inquiry into China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, which in turn imposed tariffs on exports and slapped a travel warning on Australia saying students are subjected to racism.

South China Sea: Chinese Coast Guard rams Vietnamse fishing boat

A Chinese Coast Guard vessel has rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea, prompting fears Beijing is preparing to enforce its illegal claims to the territory.

Vietnamese state media reported a Chinese ship bearing the hull number 4006 had rammed a fishing boat near Lincoln Island in the Paracel Islands. Beijing seized the island chain during its 1974 war with Hanoi. Both nations continue to claim sovereignty.

The fishing boat’s captain says all 16 of his crew leapt overboard after the hull was breached.

Chinese sailors then allegedly boarded the wallowing vessel, seized fish and navigation equipment, and beat and kicked rescued fishermen ordered to pump water out of the damaged vessel.

…and it doesn’t help when suspicion grows at the real story of the virus in China and its release…

Coronavirus: Crematorium data indicates China was lying about Covid-19

Discrepancies in Beijing’s Covid-19 reporting have been raising suspicions since January. Now a new study of Chinese medical, media and bureaucratic reports points to a massive cover-up of the outbreak’s severity.

A new study accuses Beijing’s reported number of infections and deaths from the pandemic of lacking any credibility. And that will have had a severe impact on how the world responded to the outbreak.

as Professor Anne-Marie Brady points out, economically we are very vulnerable to China…

New Zealand agricultural exports will help keep our economy going during this crisis. New Zealand has enough dairy to feed 100 million people and a cornucopia of other great food and wine. New Zealand also has an innovative services sector and small manufacturing base. We are an export- focused economy, and the standard wisdom of our trade negotiators is that we must not become dependent on any one market—no matter what incentives are offered. The recognised definition of trade dependency is when a nation is 50 percent dependent on one market.

New Zealand is now dangerously dependent on the China market. 50 percent of New Zealand imports are from China. New Zealand is strategically dependent on China for 513 categories of goods; and 144 of them have applications in critical national infrastructure.5 New Zealand is the most dependent on China for strategic goods of all the Five Eyes states. Meanwhile, 33 percent of New Zealand’s dairy exports, 41.9 percent of meat exports, 58.3 percent of logs and timber exports, 37.5 percent of seafood exports, 46.5 percent of wool exp

…the problem isn’t just economic. NZ secretly signed itself up as a military target when we agreed to allow RocketLab to be a launch site for CIA satellites.

We are buying those 4 new sub hunting planes with the torpedoes because we have to protect ourselves from Chinese and Russian subs sitting off the East coast.

So we are economically tied to China but militarily America’s target in this neck of the woods.

Great – so with tense geopolitical tensions all over the South Pacific, NZ needs to turn inwards.


Here are some thoughts I have had as to how we keep the country afloat until a vaccine is found (3 years-5 years away).

The new Artistic State – 200 000 Artists:

We used to have an artists benefit, time to bring it back until there’s a vaccine. $490 a week for making art. You would have to bring Art to apply for it and monthly you would need to show what art you’ve made, be it poetry, short stories, painting, music, dancing let’s bring a tsunami of artists into our culture. We know the never ending growth model isn’t sustainable, wouldn’t 200 000 artists be the kind of counter to that zero sum game?

The Artisan economy – tax penalties and tax amnesty:

Allow for domestic manufacturing and design. Allow people to become artisans in the product they are selling. Lower tax penalties and provide a tax amnesty as entrepreneurs get out of their current business model and take the risks to build something new. Glass blowing, Flax weaving, Jewellery, farmers markets – things that will need to get manufactured here because plastic junk in a 2$ shop isn’t sustainable.

Boutique Tourism:

We urgently need to consider a boutique tourism model rather than  hyper tourism. Wealthy tourists who can afford 14 days in mandatory quarantine will pay any price to holiday somewhere there is no plague. We urgently need Government to invest in quarantine venues now.

Free Public Transport:

this would be the single largest reduction we could give poor people while incentivising more Aucklanders to get out of their cars.

200 000 new State Services Jobs:

We currently have 300 000 State service workers, one of the problems of the 35 year neoliberal experiment is no one stopped to reflect on it. Maybe, as has been highlighted by Covid, we need another 200 000 state servants. That’s more teachers, nurses, general staff, seeing as the State will be one of the few employers, we need them to step up.

Amnesty for migrant workers and international students CURRENTLY HERE!

We can’t invite people here under the illusion of citizenship and exploit them and then tell them to bugger off, everyone should have amnesty.

No immigration outside returning citizens and permeant residents:

We should give amnesty to those migrant workers and international students already here, but for everyone else the border remains locked and only brings in Citizens, permanent residents and boutique tourists.

Boutique High Tech Migrant Workers:

We need to see the opportunity of large data companies wanting to move here and actively pursue that.

4 day week & Living Wage:

We have to make all state sector jobs a living wage as well as 4 day working weeks.

Universal Union Membership:

Unions have shown to be the only protection essential workers have, they have proven themselves time and time again as the only protection workers have. It is time to demand universal union membership, no ifs, not buts.

Debt Cancellation from the state:

The beneficiaries locked into debt or the working poor getting fines then can’t pay, or getting loans from State agencies you can’t pay back – that all needs to stop right now.

Enormous increase in prisoner housing for prisoners leaving prison with wrap around services: 

The biggest problem for prisoners is that there is usually no housing for them on release and there isn’t anywhere near enough support when they are first released. We need better housing and better wrap around support services.

GST off fruit and vegetables: 

Just do it already and give poor people some space to breathe.

Free condoms and contraception:

In every Family Planning clinic, high school, local Doctors and Universities.

Free sanitary pads and tampons:

These should be free in every school, uni, doctors or Family Planning Clinic. They should also be free at every workplace.

Lower the voting age to 16:

For God’s sake, they are the ones facing the worst parts of climate change! Alongside a civics course – allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote and watch how quickly Politicians start listening.

Inheritance Tax:

Have to pay for all of this somehow and a 30% inheritance tax is the way to go.

Financial Transaction Tax: 

Need to punish the fast money traders and tax .01 cent on every financial transaction.

State Houses:

Build em, let communities grow roots and allow these people to buy the house themselves from the Government via their welfare payment.

30 000 new State Houses built by a new Ministry of Works Department that can build State Houses.

We allow State Houses for Life so those people can grow deep roots into their community and enjoy stability.

The desperation Landlords use is created by the homeless and the over crowded state housing, if we remove that demand from the bottom the market will have to treat tenants respectfully rather than exploit them.

This election could produce the most progressive Government NZ has ever seen, the time for ideas and how we can reimagine ourselves is crucial work and we have a short period of time to influence.

If you want more information on the Alternative Aoteaora hui, find it here.

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  1. So then how do we account for the closeness between China, America and New Zealand because China is growing so much faster than America and New Zealand they are economically superior.

    The comfortable answers for Chinas staggering economic superiority is that private capital was invited into China. This argument betrays how smart Beijing is in recognizing the bankruptcy of socialism. But these are warming stories, the kind that capitalists tell themselves but its wrong, and is common place, because critical perspectives are not allowed in.

    Let’s grant the grain of truth in the capitalist’s argument which is private capital was allowed into China. And here’s this word “transformation,” China went from a backwards 3rd world population in the 70’s after amine desease and war to an industrailzed food producing nation capabale of meeting the diet and nutrition of the Chinese peope which is the first of many, stunning transformations, the railroads, the bridges, the houses, the education, the housing, the jobs, roads, cities, museums, science, the transformation, absolutely stunning. China provided real on time medical care to a peasantry that had never seen it, EVER before. A first rate education system from kindergarten up training massive numbers of people particularly scientists and engineers.

    I could go on but this is more than enough to establish a simple irrefutable fact, that the conditions for rapid economic that growth-were established by the socialist government under the communist party in the first 50 years of China’s existence. With out that there is no rapid capitalist economic growth model that is achievable.

  2. Like most of the ideas here, in particular supporting artists in NZ because that will actually not only create jobs and community, but also decrease mental health and crime.

    Also like “No immigration outside returning citizens and permeant residents” but also feel that the status of permanent residents should be removed from NZ law as most countries don’t have it. The only exception being the wind rush generation of NZ that have been in NZ for 35 years+.

    Too many migrants get NZ PR and then leave and it’s laughable that any foreign resident can vote in NZ after 1 year and get NZ benefits in 2 years. No wonder we need to give out free Condoms now. You clearly are not much of a tax payer or believe in democracy if you think that is ok!

    Migrants who rushed here during Rogernomics but have contributed poorly should be gone by lunchtime aka rich drug runners who never put in a NZ tax return in 26 years types and anyone who gets involved in a crime here especially frauds and sexual crimes which seem to be exploding in NZ. Our justice system does not seem interested in deporting foreign criminals and even if they try it years to do so. The solution is not to let people into NZ on mass hundreds of thousands as a time. Clearly NZ is a paradise for criminals and freeloaders and the whole world wants in on it now.

    Anyone who got PR and Citizenship in the last 30 years but not been resident here for more than 50% of the time, should lose their residency and citzenship here. It is crazy to allow people to come to NZ for a few years, then give them PR and citizenship, then never see them apart from when they want to retire here, get freebies on our free public health and social services systems, and don’t actually provide the skills to this country, that they presumably got in on.

    Should take 20 years to become a NZ citizen (or PR if they don’t ban it). It should not be used as an incentive for a flakey masters that is undermining NZ’s ability to property educate it’s own citizens to an acceptable standard for skills and creating a despicable culture of greed and poor decisions from our university heads.

    Also government urgently need to remove the ability for one resident visa to piggyback more visas for love interests and relatives off a resident visa and then before you know it there are 10 people dependant on one student visa and flakey gig job and needing more and more NZ welfare to stay here.

    We have a tsunami of jobless in NZ and a flood gate of future local beneficiaries – time to actually bother to put locals first, stop the migrant scams, which has not happened since Rogernomics.

    Coronavirus: Up to 120,000 Kiwis predicted to lose jobs – economist

    • totally agree SaveNZ, as usual. More thought needs to be given to how we practically throw passports at migrants as this is a great way to ‘passport wash’ for spies like those Israeli Mossad scum who stole babies passports, and you can bet China has been directing loads of spies to get passports through legit citizenship processes for years, as an NZ passport doesn’t trigger security flags in most countries

  3. As for this one,

    Boutique High Tech Migrant Workers:

    If the data companies come and bring foreign tech chop shops with them, then they will do to IT, what they have done to many industries in NZ, aka drop wages into scam territory and make our IT ability substandard and increase NZ brain drain in favour of Ponzi’s that introduce much poorer skills and scams into NZ.

    We have tech as the third highest export in NZ, so now is not the time to drive it into the ground by creating a government visa Ponzi, that has plagued construction, bus drivers etc, where it is removed local players who are displaced by scams, it becomes highly expensive to get anything done, and nothing now works as well as it used to.

    Tech makes losing money easy. Now is not the time to allow the ability for more IT fraud to foster here.

    Colour drained from real estate agent’s face as he realised he’d been defrauded of $120k in ‘sim hijacking’ scam

    Fraud probe rocks Team NZ reeling from America’s Cup spy claims

    The High Court was told Malakapa obtained bank PIN numbers from customers when they applied for loans, using ATMs to steal from customer accounts. Credit union customers were predominately Maori and Pasifika.

    • Inclined to agree strongly,… we bemoan the fact we are not diversifying enough, that our primary industry’s are all tied up in one basket ie : China…

      Years ago there was a working group that was charged with being a ‘think tank’ for the development of local industry’s , – one of which was the IT industry. Well, that’s a big field, but one aspect we could be developing is IT componentry. That’s the factory floor aspect… but why not our own home grown data company’s… does China and India and California have exclusive rights to that aspect?

      I think not.

      If the same energy that was put into developing our infrastructure during the 1930’s and 1940’s was put into these types of industry’s,…we would be hitting all bases.

      So why are we not doing it?

      Whose vested interests are being protected here?

  4. If you can’t get to Wellington on the 25th of this month, the entire event will be live streamed here on The Daily Blog.

    Calendar marking. Best news in a long time.

  5. Here are my main concerns for the future of Aotearoa:

    1. STOP selling our land to overseas entities! China now OWN vast tracts of the body of Aotearoa. Organ harvesting at its finest.

    2. STOP selling/ gifting our water! WHY is that vampire nation allowed to suck our underground aquifers dry, when the future (as well as the present) is one of ever increasing DROUGHT.

    3. STOP the mad planting of exotic “forests” in displacement of the natural flora, the natural “skin” of Aotearoa. (More organ harvesting/ transplants in evidence.) At least stop the madness until full and comprehensive studies are undertaken of the actual environmental effects, of the extent of the harm being done, now and into the future.

    4. Stop poisoning this land and the water!

    5. Consider the possibility of a new Treaty. This would not be one between different people, but between all people who live here, and the land of Aotearoa itself. It would need to be based on RESPECT for the land and the water, the flora and fauna. …And on an understanding that we are the guardians, the caretakers, now and into the future, not the exploiters, not the abusers.

  6. Great ideas-getting the collective back together. Wide support could make them a reality and finally roll back neo liberalism.

    and one more thing…lets rebuild a fighting central Labour Organisation-with a class analysis and working class focus. It should be the workers leaders putting up progressive policy, not leaving it to the Greens by default.

      • OK, you can joke about them WK, but they make a life-or-death difference for many.
        Their use can significantly reduce – the transmission of STDs and HIV in a community
        – the number of abortions and related trauma
        – the number of unwanted pregnancies,
        – and of children born into situations of high risk for harm and serious neglect.

  7. Ministry of Works. Train some of those who need housing and pay them to build houses. No brainer. Look at alternative housing – prefabs, tiny houses, earth block houses etc. This is still our most pressing need, even over jobs and welfare in cash

  8. Also if unpaid work was considered more important in NZ, then we might have a lot less problems with aged care, disabled and child care in NZ. People are doing unpaid work for those groups all the time and considered bludgers or their work meaningless because it is generally not paid.

  9. If we move to plan B which is to open our borders soon, not now but soon there will be plenty of jobs for everyone. More people here equals more opportunities. Lets start with planning for people from low risk countries to come here and then work on a plan for people from high risks countries. We already have NZers who are coming from high risk countries. We will manage those high risks different from those from low risks and we can work out a system with the other countries to achieve this. And while we are working our way through this keeping the public well informed. Lets do this!

  10. If we move to plan B which is to open our borders soon, not now but soon there will be plenty of jobs for everyone. More people here equals more opportunities. Lets start with planning for people from low risk countries to come here and then work on a plan for people from high risks countries. We already have NZers who are coming from high risk countries. We will manage those high risks different from those from low risks and we can work out a system with the other countries to achieve this. And while we are working our way through this keeping the public well informed. Lets do this!

  11. Bring back local manufacturing because NZ is losing the actual labour skills needed to survive as well as the facilities in this country, as shown by Covid.

    Also shown is that NZ can increase exports without China. What we need to do, is decrease crappy imports doomed to landfill in NZ from places like China.

    NZ increased exports in February with Covid, even though our China exports had dropped.

    “Imports during the week fell in value to $1 billion while exports increased to $1.32 billion, despite a drop in trade with China, that saw both Chinese imports and exports fall by 14 to 15 per cent.”

    In NZ apparently our 2nd biggest export is actually profits flowing out of our country (mostly from banking – need for financial services tax) so our raw import export figures hide the reality of who is profiting from the exchange of our exports aka a NZ based foreign company for the most part – who now doesn’t necessarily employ NZ workers, is closing down it’s NZ branches, and have the NZ taxpayers prop up their low wages with benefits!

    NZ’s supply chain also need to lose the imports into NZ of cheap breakable items (Meth a bonus, sarcasm) and then have foreign companies from China, buy up NZ’s waste management businesses to profit from the burgeoning waste issues from their own broken products and plastic waste! Genius in the age of capitalism!

    Chinese companies can somehow get Auckland ratepayers to pay them a bonus not to export the waste back to China where it mostly comes from!

    Many other former superpower economies that have destroyed their manufacturing bases by deciding to rely on practically all overseas manufacturing and overseas skills to prop them up like the UK.

    UK exports to China £22.6 billion
    UK imports from China £44.7 billion
    AH OH!

    Even getting a hospital gown in a once major manufacturing country has become very difficult.
    Hospital leaders hit out at government as PPE shortage row escalates

    What happens when a lazy government can’t be bothered supporting their own experts and engineers and power industry innovation anymore and imports more and more into their country?
    Mysterious factory break-in raises suspicions about Chinese visit
    A burglary at an innovative Scottish wave-power company went forgotten, until a very similar project appeared in China

    Brits are now getting China to build the world’s most expensive nuclear power for them guaranteeing the UK taxpayer to pay for some of the world’s most expensive power…. (when power is actually becoming cheaper everywhere due to solar power….)

    China’s long game to dominate nuclear power relies on the UK

    By relying on China you risk retaliation on other strategic issues and losing ability to make independent decisions…

    Hong Kong: China threatens retaliation against UK for offer to Hongkongers

    What is Apple gonna do if they fall out with China, because that is a huge market risk for them! CEO’s are driven by greed and not risk control which is why suddenly large companies are increasingly suddenly going bankrupt if they don’t have a plan B but they are caught by putting all their eggs in one basket and not having anything in place to train local workers, anymore.

    Opinion: How likely are reports of Apple moving production out of China?

  12. . The CCP is an evil totalitarian regime responsible for numerous unspeakable crimes against humanity. Worse still, it has global ambitions. Not the global ambitions we want to see.
    We need to get with the current evolving movement. It’s time to CHEXIT

  13. GST off fruit and vegetables:

    Just do it already and give poor people some space to breathe.

    In particular, all fruit and veggies grown here in AO/ NZ. That would help many local businesses and local small enterprises as well. It would help us to “Buy Local”.

    Removing the GST from homegrown fruit and vegs would help us all in many ways. It would help reduce the numbers of people needing food parcels – presently in the thousands. It would help foodbanks and charity orgs to stock healthier food more easily. It would contribute to improved health of many, particularly children. It would make it easier for local growers to employ more workers. Similarly for local food processors, who would also be ‘buying local’ instead of buying cheaper imported items. Cafes, restaurants and other hospitality food outlets, knocked back by the tourism $ loss, would also benefit.

    It seems like a small thing, to remove that GST (15% !!) from our own fruit and veggies, but the follow on effects for us all as a nation would be significant across many sectors.

    (Also of note, other countries with GST or equivalent, including Aus and UK, exempt food across the board. Why do we in NZ have to be the mean ones, the stingy ones, the grab-crumbs-from-the-poorest ones. Not good. Not good at all.)

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