GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Morality and the Market Place


Well it’s been a week of the bad and the ugly and not much good at the Beehive. A week in which dubious behavior saw two MP’s forced to resign and finished with NZ First Minister Shane Jones (who back in 2010 was caught using his ministerial credit card to buy pornography) raging against Kiwi Bank for taking a moral stand on the type of businesses it was prepared to invest in .

For those of you who missed it the Kiwibank has published a “responsible business banking policy” which it says outlines its commitment to “protecting the best interests of New Zealanders and the environment”.

It said it would withhold banking services from casinos, businesses involved in the extraction, production and manufacturing of coal, oil and gas, military grade weapons, businesses involved in non-medicinal and recreational drugs, palm oil, adult entertainment, predatory lending and tobacco.

To which Jones, the Minister known for Porn, became the Minister of Abject Scorn – and informed RNZ he would tell the Kiwi Bank board: “The bank that goes woke may end up broke so hop down out of your sermonising and join the rest of the world.”

Adding that the bank’s role was not make moral judgements about what was an appropriate industry that could legally survive in New Zealand. “Their job is to lubricate capitalism.”

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So there you go readers. That’s NZ First economic position. “Lubricate capitalism” and to hell with the planet.

Please remember that when you cast your two votes this year

Well, GOOD ON KIWIBANK !! I say for trying to put some morality back into the market place and encouraging us, by example, to use consumer spending and lending as tools for the betterment of society and the planet.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. I think this fits in here. Leaving people to be treated appropriately by the market place is government abandoning morality! Police are anticipating new criminality as people in small business, becoming jobless, and experiencing unemployment turn to managing to live through crime. Fair enough I think that is a reasonable prophecy. So government – I ask you to find where you abandoned morality, go through the rubbish heap and find the tattered remains and regenerate them.

    Set up projects doing things that will be useful for the country, support farmers, business, with projects, ensure there is training – the ‘techs need students. Use this period to sharpen our country’s skills. Do what you only can do; what is government for anyway? For the country and the people in it. And encourage people to wear masks, ad a key control in case, and as a mark of being ‘For a strong, healthy NZ’. Gather us in and teach us not to be just selfish individuals, but smart ones with goodwill, working with other smart ones.

    • …” Set up projects doing things that will be useful for the country, support farmers, business, with projects, ensure there is training – the ‘techs need students. Use this period to sharpen our country’s skills. Do what you only can do; what is government for anyway? For the country and the people in it ”…

      Good stuff.

    • The govt also needs to give assistance and startup support to cooperatives forming, to become small businesses servicing various community needs including manufacturing of goods.
      Imports need scrutinising as much crap ends up in landfills. Polystyrene should be banned and packaging made solely from paper or wood products be incentivised.
      But we do need to revert to trade training using polytechs and not just on the job apprenticeships which do not provide and adequate skill set.

  2. banks should credit socially constructive and life enhancing causes. a start would be not funding house buying to rent out for Capital Gain landlordism abusing a vital necessity in a healthy society of affordable life supporting shelter free of being used, abused and exploited. And artificially inflating house prices beyond the future of our country its young couples from ever buying their own homes
    S J is a capitalist porn whore and proud of it!

    • A goverment that refuses to control the market will be controlled by the market and its vested interests. The market is not a democratic institution its raison d’être is profit, profit people are mere inputs towards that objective. Profit before people.

  3. Of course Kiwibank should determine who and what to invest in. It is a refreshing stance for a bank to be seen to do this. Mr Jones is wrong to encourage the ‘turn a blind eye’ position regards Kiwibank.

  4. If the brutal Nats and ACT get to form a government the public hospital system will be run down. if you get sick the only choice on offer will be euthanasia. Not choice at all really.

    • No the Nats would never offer euthanasia. That would be too progressive a move from them, especially since many of them draw their gravitas from belonging to establishment churches. It would change the status of citizens at present regarded as patsy consumers (old people buying mobility carts and retirement housing etc.) and going from that to independent, free-thinking people planning their demise in a rational way, and the most
      spiritual and satisfactory way for them and their family.

      • Grey Warbler- Yes, there’s big money to be made in tenaciously keeping people alive; the care home industry is a massive money spinner – All Blacks invest in it – in a metaphysically grotesque juxtapositioning; the pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in opposing end-of-life choice and keeping people “alive” for as long as they have veins receptive to having drugs pumped into them, or they can be hooked onto life support, or resuscitated, like it or conscious or not.

        The Nats deliberate running down of the public health system is privatisation by stealth, forcing people who may not be able to afford it into getting health insurance, big bucks for the insurance companies, and to hell with those lacking the resources to provide for their own-well being when unwell. That’s how it is under trickle-down.

        • No, it’s already legal for people to stop or refuse life-prolonging medical treatment. It’s already legal to make a ‘do-not-resuscitate’ order and an advance directive stating that a person doesn’t want to be kept alive on life support.

          The ‘end of life choice’ we are voting on is the administration of a lethal overdose with the intention of ending someone’s life. Under the Act we’re voting on, care home residents won’t be eligible unless they also have a terminal illness likely to end their life within six months.

    • I’m nervous about trusting future governments with a euthanasia system. I don’t think euthanasia would be offered as the only ‘option’, but I agree that there will be a financial incentive to promote euthanasia instead of more expensive treatments.

      The End of Life Choice Act we’re voting on would change the definition of “heath services” to include euthanasia, meaning a doctor or nurse practitioner administering a lethal overdose with the intention of ending a patient’s life.

      The Act would make euthanasia ethically equal to any other medical treatment.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if eligibility for euthanasia would influence the rationing of life-prolonging treatments in the future. Often the last year of a person’s life is the most expensive in terms of healthcare cost. With an ageing population, the State has a vested interest in having legal euthanasia.

      In the US, some terminally ill people heard from their insurance companies that their chemotherapy would not be funded, but that their lethal dose would be instead. It’s different in NZ, because we have a public health system, but there are many treatments that are not funded by Pharmac.

      Euthanasia is not a free choice when a person lacks access to life-sustaining treatments.

      Add to that the fact that the Act we’re voting on lacks safeguards that are standard in overseas assisted dying laws. These were omitted without Parliament even debating them.

      For example, in the US, Canada and Australia two independent witnesses are required when a person signs their euthanasia request. In Victoria, an independent witness is also required when a person confirms that they want to go ahead and then receive the lethal dose. In all these jurisdictions a person has to be mentally competent when receiving the lethal medication.

      Not so in the End of Life Choice Act. mental competency is required when assessed as eligible, but not when receiving the lethal dose.

      No independent witnesses are required at any point. So if a health professional would suggest assisted dying or put pressure on a person to request death, their guilt could be impossible to prove.

      For these and other reasons, the Act we’re voting on is riskier than overseas assisted dying laws.

  5. Kiwibank – setting the standard. A true Aotearoa/ NZ owned bank.

    (and in case anyone things “BNZ” means “NZ owned bank”, it does not. BNZ is NOT NZ owned.)

  6. Good on Kiwi Bank indeed. And good on those Kiwi’s who bank with Kiwi Bank. Good on us.
    And lets spare a thought too for dear old Jim Anderton.

    ‘Jim Anderton revealed in his valedictory speech that after the issue had previously been discussed by cabinet for months, he had spent three hours trying to convince then Finance Minister Michael Cullen, Annette King told Cullen: “Michael, Jim’s beaten back every argument against the bank we’ve ever put up. For God’s sake, give him the bloody bank.” Cullen replied: “Oh, all right then.”[4][5]
    Kiwibank launched in 2002 with 211 branches open nationwide by 30 June.’
    In 2008, one analysis saw Kiwibank as having fostered a new level of competition in banking in New Zealand in terms of lower fees[6] and growth in service[citation needed]. As of 2007, Kiwibank had higher customer-satisfaction ratings than the four large Australian-owned trading-banks.[7] ‘

    And good on Kiwi Bank not banking the proceeds of the sale and purchase of illegal recreational drugs because I take that to mean that they just might be in favour of decriminalising the lot of them.
    Any AO/NZ’er who banks with the foreign banksters; anz, asb, bnz and westpac are committing treason and quite serious treason at that in my opinion. If it were not such a serious matter I’d think it was quite interesting, from a psychological point of view, that those above four banksters are so able to swindle our minds into thinking it’s acceptable for us, to, as if in a state of hypnosis, give those foreign banksters our $6billion dollars in net profits annually while our brothers and sisters and neighbours and whanau and friends are living, and dying, in the streets in a rich country larger than the UK but with a population of only a scant few 5 million. If our farmers, ( All 52 thousand of them ) can produce enough foods to feed 40 million people, so it’s rumoured here, then why do we have hungry kids going to school while younger kids go hungry at home?
    That’s a fancy watch you wear there on your fat little arm @ Shane jones? Is it an automatic? I ask because if that’s your wanking arm you my be over winding it.

    ” Adding that the bank’s role was not make moral judgements about what was an appropriate industry that could legally survive in New Zealand. “Their job is to lubricate capitalism.”
    Shane has certainly done his bit to lubricate capitalism. We have the bank statements to prove it.
    We pay that mope wanker six figures plus lubricants to brain fart that gibberish. No wonder we’re fucked.

  7. I agree with Kiwibanks’ initial position to not engage with brothels as harm-causing operations. Of course, sleazy slug Jones would disagree with that. People’s bodies are not commodities for trade. The prostitution and trafficking industry is exploitative, dehumanising – and prostituted persons need all of our support to help get them out of that situation. That means not supporting their business operations be it legal or illegal. Unpopular opinion maybe but I don’t care. It’s the truth

    • What about those humans who decide to work in the sex industry because it works
      for them? They are not entitled to a bank, yet kiwibank will happily do business
      with the turds currently enriching themselves via the deliberately contrived
      residential property shortage? Tell me how does that work?
      Get real, if Kiwibank really wants to make value judgements about customers, they should at the very least put some effort into the task. Do that before the bank makes desperately subjective value judgements about Those kiwis whose lifestyle doesn’t gel with lowest common denominator, “we’re correct – you’re wrong” indoctrinated prejudices.

      This sort of one size fits all morality is precisely what brought the old Labour Party OGs pronouncing “Aotearoa agrarian socialism can’t be beat” attitudes of the 1970’s, totally undone.

      Community ownership of key assets can’t be beat – unless control freak fools steal the power which such ownership can enable, for stupid politicians self aggrandizement, allowing them to force their worldview upon the rest of us.

      If you imagine for one moment that the prevarications around “recreational drug sales” by Kiwibank, will not be maneuvered by NZF puritans to create a situation analogous to the US, where independent pot growers and sellers are denied access to banks meanwhile the arseholes who poisoned us with nicotine & lies for hundreds of years and despite having moved into the cannabis game themselves, are provided with a full banking ‘service’, I reckon you have not been paying attention.

  8. KiwiBank should be free to invest or NOT invest in companies.

    KiwiBank should NOT be free to withhold banking services from legal companies.

    Would you accept supermarkets refusing to sell food to miners or casino stuff? No you would not.

    However I’d accept a supermarket refusing to invest excess money in coal .. it’s their money.

    • I wouldn’t trust soopermarkits to know shot from clue if they didn’t take note of their spilling bitter thin yu.

  9. Permaculture ( localised, sustainable food production) and Powerdown (progressively using less energy) … are the only sane responses to our collective predicament!

    They won’t ‘save the planet’. Nor will they save society (too late for that). But they will stop humans -especially those connected with corporations and overseas-owned banks- from making everything that matters worse faster.

    Well done Kiwibank.

    As for Shane Jones, I hope he loses his seat to someone who isn’t a selfish, ignorant exploiter. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  10. Greywarbler: why “encourage people to wear masks”? What data have you used to support your position?
    Suggestion: read
    As a (retd.) NZRN I’ve known from the beginning of Covid-19 to have zero to do with mask-wearing. It is dangerous to the mask-wearer’s health! Wearing a mask for successive hours throughout the day enables CO2 to build up in one’s blood. The “authorities” obviously know less than they should if they claim to have an interest in the people’s health!

  11. I think the Govt should be forced to bank with Kiwibank!!!!
    They bank with an Australian Bank – outrageous!

  12. All govt departments and other Govt owned or partly owned entities should use Kiwibank and NZ Post.

  13. Very informative Brian, impressive stance by Kiwibank. You’ve provided me with the impetus to stop dragging my feet, stop using Aussie banks, and commit to Kiwibank.

    • Great Janio, become a Kiwi.
      Jim Anderton’s contribution to undoing neoliberalism.
      Jim objected seeing profits and dividends expatriated off shore plus he followed the thinking of the early Labour party who nationalizes the BNZ.
      A state owned bank is a centre pin od sovereignty.

  14. So much for Winston’s lets end neoliberalisim. What a fraud Jones is. He really is only interested in riding on the pigs back and these types of comments expose him for what he is. I hope they don’t make it back to parliament.

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