Why Jacinda & Grant’s words on poverty and inequality are so empty & hollow 


Mike Treen wrote a devastating blog last week on the horror of the economic impacts of Labour & National on the working classes…

Principally, this is the consequence of the anti-working class (and anti-Maori) policies of the late 1980s and early 1990s that destroyed collective working class organisations and drove a large proportion of the working class (and again disproportionately Maori) into poverty wages and insecure work.

Prior to this recession, Maori and Pacifica had higher labour force participation rates than did Pakeha.

New Zealand went through a period of economic restructuring that radically transformed the way we worked during a six-year period starting with the second-term of the Labour Government following the sharemarket crash of 1987 and then continued in the first term of the National government until 1993. This embedded a so-called free-market orthodoxy that said the market was always right and the pursuit of profit a god-given endeavour we would all benefit from – eventually.

Unemployment went from 4% to 11% overall and was 25-30% for Maori and Pacifica communities. Unemployment was the weapon the bosses deliberately used to break workers willingness to resist. Wages were cut, welfare benefits were cut, health care and education were being turned into commodities to buy and sell. The country was encouraged to become debt slaves as well as wage slaves.

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Full-time employment collapsed. In March 1986 the first year of the Household Labour Force Survey there were 1, 369,600 full-time jobs in the economy. This represented 54.1% of the working age population. By the September quarter of 1992 there were 1,174,500 full-time jobs representing 43.8% of the working age population – a loss of nearly 200,000 full-time jobs which was equivalent to 10% of the working age population.

It was worse for men. Male full-time employment fell from 73.1% of the male working age population to 57.4%. In absolute terms male full-time employment didn’t pass the 1986 number until the December quarter 2001 when it reached 909,000 but at 63% of the male working-age population it was still 10 percent below the numbers for 1986. At the end of 2020 it was only 64%.

Families were forced apart as it became impossible for men or women to support families on a single income. Both partners needed to work in multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. Many made the practical choice to live apart and one claim the sole-parent benefit and live in a separate household. Loving parents had to avoid the spying eyes of the government-paid or volunteer peeping-toms who watched out for too many overnight stays than was permissible. Special “hotlines” were created which allowed anonymous complaints to be made which were then aggressively investigated by WINZ.

The reactionary moral crusaders against the growth in the numbers of solo-parents in the community were precisely the same people supporting the reactionary economic and social policies creating the unemployment that led to the breakdown in family life that fed the rise in numbers on benefits.

Employers used the fear of unemployment to go after the wages and conditions or workers and break the unions that stood in their way. Real wages were cut by about 25% and there was the additional loss of overtime rates and allowances for most workers.

Instead of secure work on union-negotiated agreements we had the flexibility we all wanted to choose the zero-hour contracts that mushroomed and became the dominant form of employment agreement in whole industries.

By far the biggest impact of the assault on full-time work was borne by Maori and Pacifica families.

Of course, to hide the crime that was being perpetrated Maori and Pacifica families were demonised for “choosing” to go on a benefit.

It was claimed the benefits were “too generous” and were cut by the 1990 National government from around 40% of the average wage to around 33% for the adult unemployment benefit. Their value compared to the average wage has been allowed to steadily decline for two decades since because it was only ever increased by the consumer price index rather than average wages like superannuation has been.

The 1992 benefit cuts were worth approximately $1.3 billion – about the same size of each of the tax cuts handed out in 1996 and 1998.

An explosion of poverty was an inevitable and foreseeable consequence. Prior to the cuts in 1991 around 25% of children in beneficiary families were identified as poor in the Household Economic Survey. That rose to 75% post cuts and hasn’t changed much since.

Since the current Labour government was formed three years ago there has been a $25 a week one-off increase and two annual increases matching inflation rather than the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The value of a main unemployment benefit is still only 19% of the average wage – under half its value from before the cuts by National in 1990 and then maintained by labour because it kept the National policy of only increasing benefits by the CPI during the 1999-2008 Labour government.

…this is why Grant and Jacinda’s words on poverty and inequality are so meaningless, because the tiny handicapped baby steps of progress that every middle class Wellington Union so breathlessly celebrates in press releases are pathetic when you consider Labour were the Party responsible for the neoliberal revolution that doomed so many in the working classes.

There’s a point when you have to acknowledge that all those baby steps are really just jogging on the spot.

Sadly there isn’t any other political force that can pull Labour up on their sophistry and hypocrisy.

Unfortunately the Identity Politics Left in NZ are too lost with meaningless and divisive ‘social justice’ cancel culture as opposed to economic justice to counter the neoliberal hegemony.

The Greens are too busy gerrymandering the law to ensure all men accused of sexual assault are found guilty, they are trying to criminalise Christians with a ban on Gay Conversions (despite not being able to tell NZ how many Gay conversions are actually happening in NZ annually) and pass virtue signalling climate emergency announcements that don’t actually trigger any emergency powers.

For them it seems Dr. Seuss, Mr Potato head and old tweets are the true enemy!

Christ knows how feral the woke Green activist base online will turn when the Hate speech madness begins. Trying to explain why blasphemy laws and criminalising the misuse of pronouns is a response to a white supremacy terror attack is going to be fun.

All the while Grant and Jacinda speak empty words about poverty and inequality on a melting planet.

As long as Jacinda & Grant keep the house prices high and the Covid out, Middle Class NZ will support them as viciously as they supported Key for 3 terms  because the commodification of housing is the quintessential ‘Kiwi way of life’.

The ‘Kiwi way of life’ is a low imagination horizon anti intellectualism based on exploitation of confiscated indigenous resources where ignorance & malice is celebrated by the rural volk while middle class attention is engulfed between social media virtue signalling, school rankings & being ‘present’.

A rich country with hundreds of thousands in poverty, tens of thousands homeless, 668 suicides per year , an appalling domestic violence rate; a country with generations locked out of home ownership and job security on deunionised wage levels that lock us into insecurity, desperation and subservience; a country undermined by exploited migrant labour and speculation where primary industries get to pollute and rape the environment without remorse or punishment ; a country that refused to feed the kids because it was ‘the parents fault’ and who re-lected Key despite dirty politics, abuse of political power and mass surveillance lies; a country that could only apologise for the atrocity at Parihaka 140 years after it happened; a country with social services who chase and hound beneficiaries to death and persecute them; a country whose bloated private prison complex locks up as many people as America and we release men back into the community more damaged than when they went in;  a country whose politics are owned by vested big business interests and petty corruptions; this is a country where The Project and Seven Sharp are considered current affairs with all the intellectual power of the ZM and Edge Breakfast shows.

Whatever noble lineage that existed within our egalitarian roots has long been killed off by the 35 year neoliberal experiment and you can see that by the passionate intensity those who have profited by exploiting capital gains tax scream their hatred at the mere mention they might have to pay money on a gain they haven’t even realised yet.

We are a juvenile country with all the cultural maturity of a can of day old coke.

This is what we are. This is who we is.

In 2010, the 388 richest individuals owned more wealth than half of the entire human population on Earth

By 2015, this number was reduced to only 62 individuals

In 2018, it was 42

In 2019, it was down to only 26 individuals who own more wealth than 3.8 billion people.

This isn’t a democracy, it’s fast becoming a feudal plutocracy on a burning Earth.

Every aspect of our existence is monetarised for big data to sell us more stuff we can’t afford. We are alienated and anesthetized by a consumer culture that keeps us neurotic and disconnected. Our work, our existence, every move we make are all built to suck money to a minority class that sits above us while under neoliberalism, globalization, financialization, and automation, our existence as individuals has only become more disposable.

The intellectual response and solutions from the Identity Politics Left to these challenges are all white people are racist, all men are rapists and anyone supporting free speech is a uniform wearing Nazi.


An election changes a Government.

A revolution changes the State.

We need a democratic revolution, not neokindess.


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  1. But, but, but the Blairite responded to a Irish 12yr old’s letter. All is right in the world.

  2. Although I am unapologetically right wing and conservative, I actually quite respect you Martyn, as well as Mr Trotter, particularly your recognition of the worst excesses of the zealous ideological insanity behind many of the present Left’s policy prescriptions.

    However, I think it is no coincidence that, all across the West, it is the establishment of the now near-ubiquitous dominant moral and social paradigm, the “liberal consensus” (that you apparently subscribe to) that sees us in the mess we are in now. More of it will only exacerbate the problems. There is definite causality.

    I don’t want to return to say, the 1950s, but there is a good case to be made that, at the moment when we threw away the broadly conservative paradigm that existed then and had for centuries, the trouble began. Really, the liberal enterprise as we know it kicked off with the French Revolution (with all of the ultra-rationalistic denial of human nature, the desire to “make it so” just by “thinking it so,” and the associated and inevitable failed attempts at progression in this regard). The subversion of all that made the West so great over the previous 2,000 or so years began in earnest in the 60s, to be replaced by something that was deliberately designed to destroy that, mostly out of the personal failure and the attendant bitterness and spite possessed by, as some prime examples, the “intellectuals” of the Frankfurt School or the incoherently rambling radicals exemplified by French degenerates like Derrida and Foucalt. A bad tree will always bear bad fruit.

    • That’s the problem – we on the right or conservative side are so eager to blow raspberries at the “intellectuals” of the Frankfurt School or the ramblings of the French philosophers like Derrida and Foucalt,
      that we forgot or ignored our intellectual heritage like Scruton, Oakshott or even Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.
      As much as I hare to admit it the Left has the courage to ridicule itself- we on the Right are happy to walk about in our self-righteous patheticness and deserve to be pelted with cabbages.

    • Born in UK 1948 I have seen many changes and while there are problems these days for some unfortunately there will always be winners and losers and I am happy for my children and grandchildren to grow up in the World today. We are more open to those that are different wether that be due to race sexual choice religious choice or medical condition.

      • Did you see the ‘burning earth’ mention? This ok business of the moment for the top 20 % of the world can’t go on. And it is ok.

  3. “A rich country with hundreds of thousands in poverty, tens of thousands homeless, 668 suicides per year , an appalling domestic violence rate; a country with generations locked out of home ownership…..”

    NZ is not a rich country, it has per-capita GDP well below the OECD average. It is well-developed but not rich.

    Our labour productivity (per worker) is sitting around the same level as Greece and Mexico.

    As a country we focus on lifestyle, not economic gain. So we don’t have much wealth – as a country – for helping those who don’t already have a nice life.

    • @ada. Yadda, yadda, yadda… the same old guff from the terminally manipulative who will always look to someone else to financially exploit.
      AO/NZ had the third highest standard of living in the world in 1970’s but it was swindled away by lazy money fetishists with a talent for fiddling with other people’s money.
      The rise of pig muldoon after he betrayed Jack Marshall started the ball rolling towards neoliberalism.

      • You mean the 1970’s, before the UK joined the Common Market?

        The world has changed a lot since then, and other nations have simply grown faster for longer than us.

        • When the UK joined the Common Market NZ had to get out and start selling stuff in a way that we had not had to do before, and the govt entities spearheading this were not always very good at the job, and sometimes, eg with the honey marketing authority, I think that they let the producers down.

      • I think you’ll find that ‘wealth’ is our housing.

        So higher prices makes us individually wealthier on paper because our major asset has gone up, BUT housing is unproductive and doesn’t contribute much once it is built.

        • @Ada, Tell that to the government pouring all our taxes into roading and construction industries…. more schools, more hospitals, kiwibuild…. the quality of everything to the end user has much to be desired (poor quality) , but plenty of government money going into the construction industry and from government taxes. Maybe it’s not counted by the neoliberals when the construction benefits those overseas owners like Fletchers…

    • Thank you for stating the fact that New Zealand is asset poor. Is it any wonder that New Zealand’s competitiveness is so low when maori can be so easily derived as racists in there own land. As a consequence New Zealand has missed the elebratly transformed manufacturing boat.

      These Muppets in parliament have literally no idea what to do with the place. Continuing growth in exports for 30 years and still have no idea what to do.

      • It is a myth that NZ is one of the great exporting nations. Might have been true once, but now many comparable nations export a greater percentage of their goods and services.

        Fully agree about the Muppets in Parliament. I call them our political morons.

        • We import nearly as much from China as we import to China. The whole free trade myth exposed as being about lowering standards and aiding big business and bigger governments to exploit smaller governments.

  4. Too many people of undesirable character are coming to NZ on work and student visas. Too many cash workers and too many cash industries popping up everywhere.

    AKA Tarrant, now has a 3 million dollar abode to live his prison sentence in.

    Meanwhile you can order your drugs faster than an Uber in NZ.

    The chat app young Kiwis are buying and selling drugs on

    no need to pay tax on cigarettes

    Cigarette smuggling case: Defendants keep names secret to protect children, employees

    Gang membership up 13%

    Don’t bother getting a work visa, having building or work standards or paying tax – cash workers are the best! ACC will pay out, don’t worry.


    Cash work in the trades, is a good way to home ownership in NZ.

    Another ‘quality’ visitor going to NZ prison. This guy murdered a baby. At the time of the offending, Mehrok’s visa had expired. He was a boarder in the Tauranga household where Baby Royal and Winiata stayed and was in a relationship with Winiata. Mehrok, who also had had prior convictions for assaults on other children. .https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/cyfs-report-social-workers-should-have-checked-richard-royal-uddin-within-24-to-48-hours-after-concerns-raised-just-weeks-before-baby-was-killed-by-surender-mehrok-in-tauranga/RPYRJR75JPOTPCX4KXQFBOSKMY/

    Yep, looking at the lack of action and lack of censor of the above, you can see Why Jacinda & Grant’s words on poverty and inequality are so empty & hollow.

    But if you want to get your friends Mother’s boomer Kenyan boyfriend into NZ – ‘Bro I have a plan’. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/bro-i-have-a-plan-kris-faafoi-offered-to-help-in-friends-immigration-case/EOQLU5JLQVZQNKLACQITRQYMJY/ or give NZ residency to jailed drugs smugglers and drunk drivers. no problem! https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/10/exclusive-immigration-minister-grants-residency-to-another-convicted-criminal-after-karel-sroubek.html

  5. I must agree with practically everything you have written, though this:

    ‘The ‘Kiwi way of life’ is a low imagination horizon anti intellectualism…’ could be extended to this:

    ‘The ‘Kiwi way of life’ is a low imagination horizon anti-intellectualism and anti-intelligence…

    because what passes for analysis and the so-called analysis that is morphed into policy is at the level of an intermediate school playground. Indeed, it could be argued that many 11/12-year-olds demonstrate far more intelligence than the average politician or bureaucrat.

    And this

    ‘We are a juvenile country with all the cultural maturity of a can of day old coke.’

    is hyperbole.

    We are a juvenile country with all the cultural maturity of three-year-olds. I want, gimme! Oooooh look, smoke! Can you make more by spinning your tyres faster?

    The fact it, the professional liars of the looters-and-and-polluters club that have constituted governments and bureaucracies over recent decades, and who constitute the present so-called government, are SO STUPID they cannot work out that the system is rapidly approaching the point of collapse, and that their lies are getting THEM into deeper and deeper shit by the day.

    Ponzi finance meets energy depletion meets environmental meltdown meets insect apocalypse meets ocean acidification meets planetary overheating meets population overshoot…..

    Can’t wait for the treason trials to commence.

    I know, the politicians have removed treason from the list of offences, and have replaced it with thought-crime…using one’s brain properly. Double-plus-bad, as Orwell would have said.

    We can always re-introduce treason as a crime when this thing goes down….this year, next year?

    • Actually NZ used to have one of the higher educational standards in the world but phew, we are dropping like a stone, thank goodness for cheap labour! We need cheap labour when Maori and Pacific Islanders and Pakeha labour is too expensive, aka those chefs, aged care assistants, retail managers, fruit pickers, bus drivers and labourers… why increase wages when you can import cheaper people into NZ and make the state give them benefits so employers and corporations can make higher profits?

      NZ dropping like a stone for education. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tertiary_education_attainment Domestic education has been dropping. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/341114/tertiary-enrolments-fall-as-cost-of-living-rises Why bother taking out debt when there are less and less jobs, just join a gang, go on a benefit or work for cash – those are the industries and people who seem to be making the most money. Eric Watson didn’t go to uni, but has bags of money and a little stint in prison is fine for our top corporates to look up to!

      • The RNZ report is from 2017 so 4 years ago now.

        “Education Ministry figures show 353,000 domestic students – or 9.4 percent of the population aged 15 years and over – were enrolled in tertiary education last year. That followed a steady decline from 423,030 people – or 12.5 percent of over-15s – in 2009”.

        So between 2009 and 2017 participation in tertiary education decreased, especially in the over 40’s.

        In NZ tertiary education covers a huge area, including “foundation courses” in polys, vocational education and training, apprenticeship schemes, bridging courses to higher level quals, and above Level 5 on the NZQA framework, higher education.

        Its not clear where in the tertiary system participation decreased 2009-2017, or indeed in the past 4 years or so if it has increased (but I suspect not for the over 40’s). And Covid 19 no doubt has thrown a spanner in the works.

        Participation rates as reported by the RNZ piece by the way are not the same as “higher educational standards”.

        • Well one thing is sure our neoliberal led tertiary institutions only care about foreign money because they never bother worrying about recruiting domestic students anymore. It’s pretty much absent, while weekly the MSM deplore and lobby the government to led foreign students into NZ to keep their immigration Ponzi going.

  6. Why when a kiwi mutates from a renter to an owner why do they suddenly become such arrogant pigs? The comments on this fluff article about how young kiwis “can” buy a home makes me despair. The commenters all say how it was just as hard for them 50 years ago to buy a house and how the young need to get off their backsides and stop eating avo on toast and buying iphones.

    • People should go and check out that young woman’s profile on Facebook.
      She was proposed to under the olive trees at Stoneyridge Vineyard after a day of activities on Waiheke.
      These are privileged people and I would guarantee their story is BS.
      Who commissions these stories anyway. Who gets paid?
      I would put money on the fact they got paid to spin this tripe.

  7. Because they’re neo-liberal members of the propertied class who believe that renters and the homeless are subhuman? *crickets chirping*

  8. AO/NZ was an easy target. And the reason for that was that [it] was far too advanced in many areas for its own good. More on that further down. Bear with sweetie- dahlings, bear with…
    Contrary to what some of you write here, I’ll argue that the opposite is true, or certainly was.
    Some of you argue that AO/NZ is juvenile and naive or we that we are somehow those who failed the audition for the film ’Idiocracy’ because we were too idiotic .
    We are not. We’re, in fact, a bit brilliant.
    After I moved to the ‘big awesome city’ of Christchurch with the girls, pot and the fellows I would soon call friends I lived in Merivale and learned that the lovely bloke next door had pioneered kidney transplants.
    You women…? Yes you.
    Timeline of women’s suffrage
    New Zealand was the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in, but not to stand for, parliamentary elections in 1893.[2]
    That Timaru guy just down the road?
    Colin Murdoch?
    “New Zealand pharmacist
    Colin Albert Murdoch ONZM was a New Zealand pharmacist and veterinarian who made a number of significant inventions, in particular the tranquilliser gun, the disposable hypodermic syringe and the child-proof medicine container. He had a total of 46 patents registered in his name.”
    Burt munro still holds a world land speed record on a motorbike he modified to rocket ship status in a shed. My dad knew him and I met him once. I even worked on the film as a scout. I know. I’m quite flash.
    Go to Invercargill and marvel at the fabulous houses in the older suburbs. ( Actually, all of Invercargill is a bit older-suburb. ) Edwardian, Neauveu, Post Modern, Mid Century. All beautifully ornate and superbly built. And expensive for the day, it should be noted. Aye Boys?
    How about that bloke Hamilton? Or Sir Charles William Feilden Hamilton OBE
    if you prefer.
    He built the first jet boat. He claimed he didn’t, but he did, poor wee lamb.
    Sir Charles William Feilden Hamilton OBE was a New Zealand engineer who developed the modern jetboat, and founded the water jet manufacturing company, CWF Hamilton Ltd. Hamilton never claimed to have invented the jet boat. He once said “I do not claim to have invented marine jet propulsion.
    The literal problem with AO/NZ, not the trumped up one that’s nothing more than a logical-fallacy control mechanism and I’m being brutally sincere here is that our economy is two primary things.
    [It’s] derived SOLEY from our agrarian enterprises.
    Wool, flesh, milk, fruits and vegetables, wines, timber, fushes etc and soon to be, one would hope, cannabis, opium etc. ( Dear me!? That last one just slipped out.)
    #2 Thing.
    All those lovely agrarian raw materials and in minor cases finished product must be exported to make our money. And it’s in that foreigners-buying-our-goods-to fuel-our-export/import systems that the terrible lies and misinformation are hidden.
    In there. Deep within the wool stores during auctions, deep within the trade deals struck up… It was, and certainly still is, where the rats lurk. Stuffing their lazy worthless pocketsesssss…Is that not so Boys?
    Your big bulging arseholes pressing down on leather office chairs, your fancy, skinny ankled, botox babies swanning along Ponsonby Road, popping into boutique bra strapperies as farmers suicide because your all bought and paid for reserve bankster governor just hiked up the retail interest rates, again?
    A neighbour of ours, a third generation southland farmer was set to lose everything his family had worked for as double digit interest rates beset him so in desperation he bet on a more lucrative after life and shot himself in the chest with a .22. A .22 is a bit shit on large game like humans and unless you go for a head shot you’ll have to wait to bleed out over a few hours or so, give or take. But instead of waiting that long for a promising after-life he popped himself head first into the concrete, house water tank for a spot of drowning and that’s where his wee daughter found him floating about face-down. Hangings and car gassings were also all the rage.
    The very last thing that creatures like @ ada would have us reacquaint ourselves with is that we AO/NZ’ers are more awesome than I’m telling you, you are. We, and our dedicated farmers are about to take on a global roll unlike anything we could begin to imagine previously.
    But first we must know our enemy. And our enemy lies within.
    The foreign bankers, money lenders, the MSM and certainly our out of our control politics are the enemy.
    labour’s adern and national’s odious collins are one and the same thing. We have no political representation at all. We simply have managers who act A-politically outside our influence. We AO/NZ’ers are in free fall and that’s mighty dangerous in these heady times.
    Here’s what we MUST do and I don’t give one FUCK if you think I’m arrogant, or not.
    We AO/NZ’ers absolutely MUST vote. Voting must be made mandatory. If you don’t vote? You don’t deserve to live out your life span on beautiful AO/NZ. So fuck off!
    Once we’re voting as naturally as breathing we must create a Ministry of Retail Banking. We must have our own personal Bank that caters to our domestic spending and lending and keep the foreign fuckers ( And our traitorous home grown locals ) out of our pockets.
    [We] must develop a division of the Ministry of Health to educate people with regard to how vulnerable our psychology is. If you’re reading this and you don’t know the difference between ‘psychology’ and ‘psychiatry’ then you’d better look it up because whether you know it or not you’re getting head-fucked without the kissing on a daily basis.
    You think you’re making indescribably vitally important decisions about yourself and your neighbours and whanau as critically and as informed as possible based upon the information at hand?
    What many people don’t realise is that I own the Auckland Harbour Bridge. True story.
    So? Devonport and The North Shore? If each of you who use it pays me a $1000.00 a day for five working days a week I’ll chuck in the week ends for $500 per day. And I’m being generous. Or? You can buy the bridge off me for $ 90 billiontrillionthousand ? Better hurry? This deal won’t last long.
    People? Seriously? Everywhere you look, everything you read that has an ad on it, everything you’re told by the commercial msm is bullshit. And you don’t know it so you need to be protected and that needs to be done by educating your exhausted minds.
    Or? A diet of Sasha Baron Cohen movies should do the trick. His cousin is quite the clinical psychologist . Meet Simon Baron-Cohen courtesy Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Baron-Cohen
    So there we go?
    #1 Mandatory voting.
    #2 A division of the Ministry of Health educating us on the dangers of thinking we’re in control of our thinking and reasoning when, in fact, we’re not. StatefundedAdfreeAO/NZmedia.com? Is there one of those?
    #3 Our own retail banking infrastructure at a Ministry level to keep us safe from the exploitative manipulators who lurk behind our MSM advertising.
    God, now I need a cup of tea with just slosh of Chardonnay dahlings.

  9. Does anyone remember a series of Listener articles in the 1980s where the fore runners of MSD admitted that welfare benefits were estimated on what it cost to feed a person in prison?
    This is significant because it put beneficaries and criminals together as people whose behaviour needed to be ‘corrected’.
    It is also inaccurate because the Prison Service can buy food, bedding, clothing in bulk at reduced prices which beneficiaries cannot.
    I well remember the massive unemployment that followed cost-cutting and asset sales.

    Antoine Forbes-Hamilton should read ‘Standing at Armaggedon’ by Nell Painter( respected black, woman historian – which I realise is a horror to conservatives).
    This shows conservatives made concessions to the poor and disadvantaged because of fear of revolution and the destruction of capitalism. Such concessions as recognising trade unions, enfranchising non-property holders and women, fairer wages and working conditions enabled Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Ford to maintain their positions as masters of industry.
    John Milton Keynes can up with an economic theory that would save capitalism because he rightly saw there was a world wide movement to destroy it and if it succeeded people like him and John Key would not be able to get rich by playing monopoly in the share market ( the bastards would have to get real jobs and dirty hands).
    I am old enough to remember the benign conservatism of the 1950s and 1960s and it was because the Welfare state put in place by Labour was so popular that no-one dared dismantle it.
    It was not because people with double-barrelled names tossed an extra groat to local beggars.

    • Great comments. It would be interesting to hear why you think society has changed from one of tolerance of the poor and disadvantaged some 60-70 years ago into one where they are maligned, and our benevolent dictatorship governments have morphed into malevolent dictatorships.
      It is an area I am interested in. I would posit that philosophy is a dead art, overtaken by advances in psychology and neuroscience which the best economists understand.
      Play the human mind and reap the rewards. Promote the greed is good self interest of humans that no other animal displays.
      We also have technology and policy which is making the chance of revolution smaller and smaller, everything from mass surveillance to the destrcution of the “local” through drink driving rules.
      And of course the destruction of our planet and fighting for limited resources will become more intense, so at some stage there must be a fight to the death.
      Government is now lead by technocrat experts who design everything governments do, but the benevolence has disappeared and by stealth they are trying to eliminate the disadvantaged who no longer have any use in a world where robots can perform everything but the most challenging tasks.

  10. We came back home from Australia 7 months ago. We were going to buy a house but every home we have put an offer in went for at least a hundred thousand more than we offered, and we always offered at least 50k over CV. Anyhow we have decided that we have to move back to Australia for our mental health. We are getting very depressed. We have been living in air bnb’s for the whole time we have been here constantly moving to find cheaper buying areas. We have been all over NZ. What has shocked us is the most is how rich many of the Airbnb owners are. We have stayed at many multi million dollar properties where we end up in a dishevelled shack hidden in the corner and we have to pay handsomely for the privilege. These sheds are barely habitable and would in no way pass any healthy homes regulations. Most have no insulation, heating, cooking facilities, several have had outside washing facilities and many have had long drops (which are definitely not council approved). It is obvious that the owners do not need the money but they have just seen another method of exploiting the desperate and jumped all over it. We have also stayed in shacks were the main, large, significant house is empty and is purely there to make capital gains whilst the owner lives next door in a totally separate 2 million dollar home. I have spoken to a few of the owners and they just do not have a clue about how hard the housing situation has become. They say that it was hard for them when they bought too, when reality shows that it was nothing like it is now. A few of the owners had other houses on their land that were long term rentals. I had one owner tell me how she had a lazy woman with four kids in one home. She said that the lazy woman gets the benefit to pay her housing. I said to her but you are the person who is actually receiving the benefit and she was horrified and said that she is providing a place to live which is different? So many of the owners where handed down the land and homes via inheritance. They do not ever have to work, they just get richer and richer thanks to previous governments and now even more so with this government. The wealth in NZ is so polarized (in favour of the lucky few). They are the privileged few who’s wealth cannot be touched… only added to. The wealth divide is just so in your face and it is sickening. New Zealand is in trouble if people think that this is normal, it is not. We absolutely love NZ but NZ does not love us because we are not wealthy. It is with such a sad heart that we have to say Goodbye.

    • Go, and good luck. You are not the first person to comment here about how unpleasant it is to live here. After working and living a number of years overseas, I hate it. My husband said that if I didn’t settle after a couple of years we could return to the northern hemisphere. I have since met other women who were told the same thing, and I have decided that these are just the lies which men tell when manipulating us. I recently advised one of my adult children domiciled in the UK, not to contemplate living here again, it is too asphyxiating.

      I regret not taking an opportunity to leave several years ago, but was engaged in a strung-out employment dispute which I won, but in the big scheme of things, wasn’t worth winning. I am probably too old now, but you’re not, so go for it – there’s much more to life than avoiding viruses.

      NZ’ers are dumb, and I’m not sure how that has come about, but am open to suggestion that it has been deliberately engineered. Our anti-intellectualism has crept up quite insidiously, is a tragedy, and in itself is good enough reason to jump ship. The fact that we can have a national debate about men wearing ties, while so many children share their shoes and clothes, and dine off saveloy water soup, is obscene. If this is the acceptable status quo for parliamentarians, then they are grubs – and karma may yet catch them. Kia kaha.

    • My advice to young people (when they ask, LOL) is to move to Australia as soon as possible.

      It has serious environmental problems, so does NZ. But they will have a better chance of buying a house in Australia, and better wages and more opportunity overall.

    • You can watch the civil war in No Zealand from Oz 😉 Some of us are going to stay and fight 😉

  11. After reading the above article and comments showing the utterly depressing hopeless situation we’re in now led by a glorified Prefect after the Shonky 3 card trick con I’m feeling like ending it all! 🙁 🙁 🙁
    Bye f*cked up country of THE HAVES and the have nots.
    Why O Why are we paying these useless Labour MPs who will do absolutely nothing! NOTHING! except make things worse?

    • hang around and enjoy the ‘show’. It’s just getting to the really interesting stage, at which all the lies are exposed and the counterproductive polices unravel.

      Till it all collapses, be consoled by the fact that most other countries are in a similar or worse mess, as a consequence of their worse-than-useless politicians.

    • @ jay11.
      Ending one thing simply starts another thing. We should probably sort this thing out first. It has a kind of resonance if you get my meaning. It’s like turning up at sports day ( Which I hated because I feared because I was always the white, freckly thus sunburned kid quivering in the merciful shadows. I was literally translucent. I was the only veiny blue kid there. Damn you @ Maori with your awesome brown skin. )
      What ‘They’ hope we’ll never realise is that it’s the ‘we’ who have control. Not the Them. One person never has, can never have, actual, literal control over the many. It’s a myth the one or two perpetuate for their $-gain. At our expense, it should be said/written. That, and where the fuck’s the remote?

  12. Just in case you are having trouble digesting your Sunday dinner and feel the need to throw up. Here is our Teddy saving, pen pal writing woke harmlessness promoter in chief. Busy sorting out rising inequality….. Nope….. just celebrating herself again.

  13. I cannot help but feel it’s not the elected government who are running NZ, it’s the nameless faceless bureaucrats who do. We remain far too consistent between political parties for the continuing status quo to be a coincidence.

    I am not convinced the caucus do not care or even want change but for whatever reason they are impotent. And Labour’s leadership appear powerless or too feckless to resist.

    There either needs to be an internal rebellion or the leadership need to grow some nuts and start running the government for ALL New Zealanders, to borrow someone’s empty pledge, not the well offs!

  14. I listened to Martin Devlin today and, being a sport guy, he said he really doesn’t care who is in Govt, as long as the poorest and most needy have lives improved by any govt. He challenged Jacinda to come forward with some hard facts as to how she achieved that in the last 4 years. Like him, I know she won’t have anything to show. Nothing. Except spin and meaningless bullshit like how was on the phone to Macron perhaps.
    It’s piss poor. Piss poor. More so because that is JACINDA’S PET PORTFOLIO.

  15. “Christ knows how feral the woke Green activist base online will turn when the Hate speech madness begins.”

    They have painted a big target on your back, Bomber.

    “because the commodification of housing is the quintessential ‘Kiwi way of life’.”

    No, there is no other option, if and when property bubble bursts then it is economic Armageddon.

    Deflating house prices is political suicide for any sitting NZ government.

    ZIRP and NIRP 4eva!

  16. I emailed Team Jacinda (it was faster than post) more than a year ago to see if the government would support me, with my couple of degrees and unemployment, into a cadetship or really any employment at my local council. I didn’t hear back from Team Jacinda, they must still be getting around to replying with their transformational recommendation and their penpal love. I can’t wait to hear back and know that soon, with the team’s aroha, and the council’s equal opportunity, I will start on $200k like the others and be happy with my lot and contribute to society for ever more 🙂

  17. Bad as matters are here, anyone thinking of jumping ship needs to be wary. Most other ‘developed’ nations have housing bubbles and unsustainable economies propped up by central banks ‘printing money’.

    ‘And staying in Australia, the NSW government is to end its COVID-19 eviction moratorium very soon and there are concerns it could force low-income renters into homelessness if they are not given money grants to pay their rent.’


    Meanwhile, I read a week ago that in Canada ‘the authorities’ have found it necessary to come down hard on a philanthropic builder who has been providing low-cost housing to homeless people because the structures did not comply with building regulations. ‘Better to have people living on the streets than in dwellings.’

    Anyone who doesn’t think the world has been thoroughly fucked over by neoliberal sociopaths and that it is all about the get a lot worse really is severely deluded/uninformed.

  18. “An election changes a Government. A revolution changes the State. We need a democratic revolution, not neokindess”.

    I have to agree Martyn, in part. But revolutions are hard to come by these days. Marx predicted that the proletariat would lead the revolution but that hasn’t happened. By proletariat Marx meant those exploited under capitalism, forced to accept meager wages in return for operating the means of production. The poor and the working poor still surely exist but the trouble is that a good many ordinary folk are these days part of the problem: capitalism has been kind to them and they have become middle class and protective of their own interests. And I may add, a good many working people have done well also. I suspect it was this well-off working class and a good number of ‘wealthy’ middle class, along with many of their proletariat brothers and sisters, who re-elected Labour (although distracted by a global pandemic). The irony of course is most of us are still exploited, but not in exactly the same way as Marx’s proletariat.

    So what does a democratic revolution look like may I ask? Who is going to lead it? And will there be sufficient support? Perhaps we don’t need to worry about the politics of it all since there’s a good chance of global meltdown in the next decade or so. That might be the catalyst if we all survive.

    • ‘Marx predicted that the proletariat would lead the revolution’

      On the other hand, in 1948 Gorge Orwell predicted that the proles would keep hanging out washing, singing old songs and concerning themselves with lottery numbers. And that the government would have a Ministry of Truth that fabricated the official lies, and a Ministry of Love, where people who challenge the status quo would go for re-education via torture. There would be perpetual war and increasing austerity, whilst the propagandists declared increasing productivity and wealth.

      In 1931 Aldous Huxley predicted the masses would come to love their abusers whilst demanding a recreational drug that gave them brief highs. And he wrote of a layered society in which the Alphas enjoyed a life of unending luxury and pleasure, whilst the Betas organised everything and the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons did all the work.

      I go with Orwell and Huxley, rather than Marx.

      But none of them predicted an energy depletion crisis accompanied by environmental collapse. You have to look at Meadows et al ‘Limits to Growth’ (1972) for the actual world we live in and where we are headed.


  19. “The ‘Kiwi way of life’ is a low imagination horizon anti intellectualism based on exploitation of confiscated indigenous resources where ignorance & malice is celebrated by the rural volk while middle class attention is engulfed between social media virtue signalling, school rankings & being ‘present’.” Excellent writing, outstanding column. Go, Bro.

  20. I still don’t understand ‘woke’, or identity politics as an opponent of social democracy. But I do understand the only way for the people is for a party of the people to lead. Versus Labour’s endless back-stepping reaction. Versus the US Democrats captured by their rich donors.

    But it started in 1935. And in Scandi for some reason the people had their way and they are much much happier.

  21. Trez amusing, Grant’s comments about his true love of social democracy on the pub programme on TV prior to power. Exactly equivalent to Clarke’s criticism of Rogernomics just prior to every election. Why I voted for Andrew Little for leader and enjoyed Jacinda’s aghast face, as so it was her right, a natural CV progression. I saw Grant’s last minute ads to farmers prior to the last election. And I was disgusted. ‘Ruling for all’!

    The establishment , yes, the Left establishment as well, pretend the truth is irrelevant. But it’s the only thing that matters.

  22. I just want to criticise the present holder of RNZ’s 4 pm chat programme, who also hosted the TV pub programme. No snot off his nose the suffering of the neediest as expressed clearly by Sue Bradshaw and Bernard Hickey on one episode. A perfect example of the present media people — their privilege, that small chance that pushed them into the house-buying minority matters more to them than the reality. Determined ‘not to go on their travels again’ like Charles ii. Versus all the greats who sacrificed themselves for reality from 1984 on, and they all sacrificed their careers and money in red blood. Chris Trotter, Bryan Easton, WP Reeves etc.

  23. Feudal plutocracy on a burning earth. Truth like this has as much a role as the guise and guile that is the present Left establishment. ‘As much’?!

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