Bernard Hickey explains why the NZ Political Economy is doomed and why I love listening to low wage exploiting businesses cry


Bernard Hickey is one of the most important political economists in game, his ability to use research to explain complex economic processes while explaining it’s political dimensions makes him one of the most public economists we have in NZ.

Here he explains the fundamental problem of the NZ Economy…

…the issue isn’t high migration, the issue is that neither National or Labour spent enough on infrastructure to keep up with the huge migration game.

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It creates fake growth which in turn causes social friction as the domestic working class are pitted against cheaper migrant labour.

We are not an over taxed, over regulated economy!

Our top tax rate is the 39th highest in the world behind all the Scandinavian countries plus Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and South Africa!

Australia’s top tax rate is 47cents!

Our GST rate doesn’t even get us into the top 50 and our corporate tax rate is 40th while Government spending against GDP ranks 56th!

And we are voted easiest to do business by the World Bank!

I’m not looking for socialism here folks, just basic garden variety regulated capitalism!

We are addicted to a low wage economy because 30 years of neoliberalism has gutted the union movement.

That’s why I love listening to those who have exploited that low wage economy screaming in agony now…

Rotorua hospitality businesses shut down in protest of immigration constraints, warn of ‘catastrophic’ consequences

Rotorua hospitality businesses shut down on Monday in protest at not being able to get the workers they need.

One says it will be catastrophic for the tourist town if they can’t get staff before summer.

…unfortunately, Labour have given up and singled they will open the immigration floodgates and start the same dynamics that have gridlocked Auckland into stand still…

Government immigration announcement sees skilled migrant, parent categories reopen

The Government is opening up two more categories for migrants to become residents as it seeks to reconnect with the world after the pandemic and fill major workforce shortages.

Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced today the skilled migrant visa category, that was paused during the height of Covid-19 and border closures, will reopen along with the parents category from mid-November.

Consultation is also going to begin on a new uncapped and “simplified” points system for migrants that fall outside existing programmes.

This follows the Green List, which provided pathways to residency for the 85 most-needed professions.

…yay, more International Student Scams, more exploited migrant workers and more hyper tourism – all the things that fucked us last time around.


We are so addicted to a low wage economy that we will risk triggering a spike in unemployment to capitulate to big industry who are reliant on cheap labour.

This will see unemployment rise as big industry dump Kiwi workers for their cheaper imports and we will see the impact of this next year as the recession kicks off.

To inoculate the country against these dynamics, we urgently need the Fair Pay Agreements to ensure the imported workforce are unionised.

It’s a hell of a juggling act, but if anyone can do it, it’s Michael Wood.

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  1. When National are in government they cut taxes and reduce the ability of the state to borrow and invest for the future. When Labour are in government they attempt to make do rather then make the case for higher taxation. Rinse and repeat – eventually the state does not have sufficient revenue to borrow to engage and invest in the economy and infrastructure for future generations. Over time the economy gets weaker and the private sector has neither the will or capital to do anything about it.
    This is exactly what’s happened in the UK – 12 years of tax cuts and austerity have resulted in weak growth and low productivity. But this is democracy at work – no-one will ever vote for a political party that advocates raising taxes so taxes can only ever keep going down.

    • I will vote for any party that brings in capital gains tax and shifts the lower 3 tax bands in favour of the poor and middle classes. Easily.

  2. So we need to limit immigration into NZ — and National and Labour both reject this option. But, wait, isn’t limiting immigration NZ First’s long stated position? So Hickey MUST be wrong because we know Martyn hates NZ First and Winston above all else, at least that’s what recent articles and comments at this site seem to show. But please do correct me if I’m wrong…

    • We don’t need to cut immigration, we just need to offset skilled immigration by exporting the section of the population deemed useless (no skills/education, lazy & drug-addled) by Neo-liberal parameters (instead of what we currently do, losing our own high skilled citizens). I hear there is an urgent requirement for unskilled labour in Russia at the moment, with lots of vacancies to fill.

      Overseas adoption could also be a major earner (healthy babies sell for over $50k depending on race & condition and we could reduce child poverty at the same time. Win, win!

      See, we just need to think outside the box to solve our problems. Here, have some lemonade 😉

  3. national-labour-act-green-@maoriparty-nzfirst= same thing. Fascist-capitalist neoliberals = mafia.
    Mafia=four foreign owned banks strong-arming our money into their control. The result of that? = Nine multi billionaire Kiwi-As, Old Boys Club mafia members. AO/NZ’s economy is under the control of the mafia.
    Now. Your job, dear reader, is to prove me wrong.

    • If I claim there are pixies at the bottom of the garden it’s my job to prove it, not your job to disprove it.

      • True enough badge… I reckon you are right about the pixies. What I would say is that if you keep putting up straw men, eventually one will stand.
        I mean it’s not like the pixies you assert the existence of have drained billions out of our economy right? No hands in all our pockets, robbing us on the daily? No fake systems that mean farmers can’t farm without taking on millions in debt in a land so fertile if you drop a potato on the ground and come back in a year you will have a feed (pro tip, the pixies love it when you are dependent on the broken model that enriches them) so really nothing wrong at all??
        Fuck I’m relieved to hear you say it, I thought we were in a power of shit…

        This should help…

        The pixies
        Gouge away

      • Which one applies to you?
        a heavily built omnivorous nocturnal mammal of the weasel family, typically having a grey and black coat.
        a native of Wisconsin.

        verb: badger; 3rd person present: badgers; past tense: badgered; past participle: badgered; gerund or present participle: badgering

        repeatedly ask (someone) to do something; pester.
        “Tom had finally badgered her into going”

      • I have “pixies” in my garden. Don’t give a fat rats arse if you believe it or not. I’ve got nothing to prove nor care what your particular belief system is. It is a bit astounding how blind humanity can be though. We do normally only see a very small fraction of the light spectrum, but we are not all the same all of the time in that regard. Truth really is stranger than fiction. But anyone’s truth is only relative to their unique experience doing human. FWIW

  4. Too much immigration it’s the same the world over.. Winston Peters was right and FOR YEARS. Talk about turning a country into a cesspool, look at Britain FFS.

  5. The problem with immigration is you can’t just turn it on and off. Subtle change to get the right balance takes years. Labour has found this out recently and because of their actions business of all sorts are short of staff. The low wage problem for the horticultural area is really difficult to fix if using locals because paying workers thirty dollars an hour doesn’t solve the issue because local still don’t want to work at those jobs regardless. Also it makes our produce too expensive to export and is then uncompetitive when the grower’s add that cost. We pay more shipping than anyone else because of the country’s position. Nothing is simple. Training more nurses should be increased but that takes years to organise and so in the meantime we need immigrant nurses. It’s easy for an economist bean counter to point at the solution but the reality isn’t so simple.

    • @New

      Sigh. The problem with poorly managed immigration is precisely that it has a direct downward pressure on local wages and conditions. The real problem in the horticulture industry isn’t going to be solved by having indentured workers shipped directly to site in a nonstop pipeline of degradation to support production levels set to 18th century robber baron standards of morality because you know, exports. That is the rotten truth at the core of our horticulture industry, softcore slavery. Interestingly if you suggested that those indentured workers should instead immigrate more perminantly the same farm owners would baulk at the idea. I bet there might even be a movement to protest, some kind of swelling in the ground perhaps. The loser will continue to be the workers, as locals are demonised for “not wanting to work” for the unfair conditions and uneconomic outcomes that those mighty benevolent farmistocrats (yes I know, not a word) deign to offer, thus providing the internal logic to justify more indentured workers.
      Moving on, I think we can all agree that the health system has suffered quite badly from successive governments of every stripe; blue,red, traitor: they’ve all not given a single fuck whilst merrily sailing into the rocks, so maybe it’s a little shrill to say might take time to fix. The reality is that things remain broken if there is no will to repair.

      The issue is that the bosses have been allowed to assume a place that allows the basic setting to be “fuck the worker”
      … Personally I would like to see this moved to “Tax the rich” but I would settle for “basic garden variety regulated capitalism” as proposed by comrade Bomber.

      Will the sensible adult left please, please stand up.

      • L. My point was quick changes to immigration, as this government has done, is poor management. Changes have to be thought through. Something this government is incapable of.

    • Not sure if that’s meant for me castro. Whether it’s political or just the mechanics of changing any economy, us armchair critics believe it’s just a cabinet decision but every little tweak has huge unknown repercussions.

  6. I conclude Mr Hickey is 100% correct. And I really don’t know where this faith in Michael Wood comes from. Especially in relation to the climate/rail protest in Wellington, he’s demonstrated just how myopic he can be!

    However, on transport infrastructure spending deficits – stating suburbia is all double cab Ute driving is not helpful, actually its wrong and a standard from the anti car pro bike lobby. It’s unhelpful because the alternative offered to the traveling public, buses, is so interior it simply doesn’t rate.

    The spend required for real alternatives is massive and neither major party has the vision or will to commit to any such course of action. The protests in Wellington regarding rail demonstrate just how disinterested Labour Greens are in anything meaningful but talk and distraction.

    So if nothing else what Bernard Hickey tells us is Labour and National are impossible to distinguish, same shit different bucket of unimaginative dweebs, stuck in the past! He’s right!

  7. more people
    = more shit(literally)
    _ infrasructure spending
    =we all get to live in a sewer…’s not difficult

    and what is ‘growth’ anyway – asset inflation, cos we certainly don’t produce more actual physical ‘widgets’ year on year.

    • How conditioned we’ve all been to think of “growth” as good. A necessary part of the Capitalistic propaganda drummed into us from primary school. Otherwise, we wouldn’t ‘accept’ all the shit that system has wrought.
      But growth, when resources are finite and not replenished, is as we now understand it, bad. Very bad.

      Prof Albert Bartlett from the University of Colorado provides insight in this classic, but highly informative lecture from quite a few years ago.
      Pollies who mindlessly mouth the growth mantra need to be slapped for their ignorance.

  8. Mr Hickey is indeed one of the few pundits with half a brain at least. His podcast is one well worth listening to. He makes a definite left wing analysis, without waving a partisan red flag. His work on the massive COVID bonus to the propertied sector was impactful, and ignored by most of the media, and renters I guess.

    And he has drawn attention to the generational roadblock known as the Parliamentary Monetarist Consensus. Which means whether there is a Nashnull or Labour led Govt. we are still stuck with contracting out, Reserve Bank Act, State Sector Act, rampant Public Sector fifth columnists, punitive MSD, multi agency unaccountability and all the rest of the mile high shit stack that is neo liberalism.

    NZ has crumbling infrastructure, not enough of “this” or “that” like so many countries.
    It needs a popular political campaign, some fighting unions and new gen votes to finally sink Rogernomics.
    Won’t happen in 2023 so that is another reason for a Labour/Green/Māori Govt.–buy time to organise against them all.

  9. Martyn, while I am in principle against the excess immigration we have experienced over the last 20 years, the reality is that Boomers and Gen Xers did not have enough kids, so if you look at the population by age cohorts we are short in the 10-20, 21-30 and 31-40 and very heavy on the 40-50, 50-60 etc and the structural shortfall will only get worse. We can encourage people to have bigger families now, but that won’t make a difference for 20+ years. Till then we have a shortage of people at the early/ lower end of their careers. We should of course encourage older workers and those out of the workforce to meet the shortfall. That has already been done. It’s a rock and a hard place.

  10. Bernard Hickey also points out that the NZ economy is a housing market with a few bits tacked on.

    His analysis here focuses on the low debt/low tax consensus between the two main parties, but he can equally apply an analysis that most of the government’s (and local governments’) economic policies are to maintain a strong growth rate in suburban house prices.

    That house price gain makes most Kiwis feel wealthier, in particular the low income because their house makes more each year than they do.

  11. Bernard Hickey, while I enjoy his musings, is almost always wrong about everything (especially economic policy). Governments in democratic countries always take the path of least resistance (since they do not want to get voted out). This generally means doing nothing which, remarkably, 9/10 times works out better than deliberately messing with economic systems no-one really understands. Labour’s fiscal policy has always been better than National’s on balance (at least in my lifetime). Unfortunately, just about everything else to do with this current Government is a trainwreck. Jacinda resigning would be an excellent start to “fixing” Labour.

  12. Certainly there is an infrastructure deficit in terms of a useful national rail system but surely the real problem is the rail system needed to be reduced to a modern 1200 (2000km ) rail passenger and freight system which might run fast multiple unit diesel trains 6 x a day between Wellington and Wanganui, Christchurch and Dunedin and Auckland and National Park and Auckland Tokoroa. I am sceptical if the cost of keeping the Ch PIcton route open since 2003 is justified or the new rail ferries. THe South Island in many ways would be better off if it had remained a seperate county and the post earthquake restructured governance in Christchurch, Three Waters and the recent health restructurre are all mechanisms for imposing a centralised model on NZ whcih is unfair and retrogade for the South Island which is distant, largely white and was not in the twentieth century aritificially stuctured on protected manufacturing industries, protected industry so far as it existed in the South Island, eg Taits, Fisher and Paykell and Lane Walker Rudkin generally ran on rather more commercial lines.
    Instead of spending on the Auckland loop and the west line electrification, which is not much patronised since covid and was always essentially a local service and school train function. That money could easily have financed full electrification of the NIMT and with the modernisation of the Wellington system 10-15ys ago surely the Paraparamu- Wellington section could have been converted from DC to AC current with the rest of the NIMT. Only the Tauranga – Auckland line seems really justified from a freight point of view and the maintenance of the NIMT is more as a strategic reserve so maybe a new route from Te Kuiti to Eltham and Marton to Levin could be constructed to provide a faster, smoother more sustainable system- given the earthquake risk. The Hawkes Bay and Masterton North and south of Mosgiel , Southland lines should probably be sold to a private short line operator or two.

      • The slab seating in the 56 feet second carriages of the type built by the Labour government between 1937 and 1945 with 56 seat in carriages 56ft feet long and toilets at each end the drain and deposit, dunny dropped straight onto the track were the chief source of rails unpopularity with post 1970 decisions. Those who travelled second class overnight on the pre 1970s Express or Limited taking 12 – 16 hours usually did not repeat the experience. Most who travelled on the NIMT limited travelled first class but most NZ travellers except on the NIMT could only afford the cramped second class seats. In the pre turbo prop and jet age the NZR passenge services were designed to carry politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen first class or sleeper and the general public were expected to travel only on holidays and endure slab seating, unedurable for more than 3 hours Once the prospect of jet air travel loomed into politician, councillors and businessmen eyes in the mid 1950s, it was essentially decided to phase out public transport and any sort of quality rail passenger serices to make a better case for quality air services Trams were abandoned in Christchurch and Auckland in 1954-56 and fast limited and mail expresses on the SIMT were simply abandoned in 1956 being replaced with an inconvenient all stops CH- INVERCARGILL train timetabled purely for ferry passengers, mail and political interest.These decision, Rongatai airport etc were essentially made by the Queensland style cabal of cigar smoking politicians centering around Sidney Holland’s Christchurch cabal

    • Robert. From what I understand the narrow gage of the railways in NZ is the reason fast trains aren’t an option. If we’re serious about railway that’s where you start.

      • Not Really. 3ft 6 track can provide perfectly stable ride up to 160-170 kmh and Queensland Rails 3/6 track trains do run at that speed on some sections between Brisbane Townsville and Rockhampton. Most of the SIMT between Christchurch and Invercargill was actually more suitable than Queensland Rail for introducing something like French turbo trains used by Amtrak in the 1980s or British Rail HST sets also used by NSW and Australian railways.The UK rail loading gauge the width of carriages and trainsets that can run on their 4/8 track really allows carriages and trainsets no wider than can run on the NZR 3/6 system so BR stock can be modified on our railways as the ex British rail carriages have been modified to run on current Wellington Masterton trains, the Capitals committee express to Palmerston North and indeed the pre electrification sets used in Auckland in 1998-20I3.
        Japan JNR replaced it’s 3/6 services from the 1960s for the same reason Germany replaced it’s 4/8 services with high speed lines They envisaged like the French in the 21C that trains would operate at 200 mph not the 100 mph of the first Tokaido trains which was possible on 3/6 track except that as in Germany the rail main lines were clogged with steam powered trains pulling half mile trains of coal wagons every 3O seconds. The French also concluded that a completely new Electric HST system replacing the existing railways with a new railway after the Mistral trials running up to 205mph on existing track at which point the wires ripped off. The French concluded the possible max on existing 4/8 track was limited to 145mph the same as was possible at max with diesel or steam.
        In the NZ context operating at 90-100mp , 60-70 min commuting is quite possible between Hamilton and Auckland or Palmerston Nort or Wellington and problem is that with far more low standard drivers on the road it is now necessary for the rail lines to be sealed off with much more comprehensive, barriers, overvbridges, underpasses etc much more foreign expertise and labour would now be required in the construction. There is also the issue of competing use of the tracks by slow commuter trains and freight as far as it exists on NZ Railways today

  13. You’re right in that we are addicted to a low wage economy, but the reason is not what you might think.

    OK, so do we want to be successful like Sweden? Because I’d sign up for that!

    The Swedes certainly have high income taxes to pay for their expensive social programs, but they have very low corporate taxes which encourages business to set up shop there. Those businesses generate high paying jobs and upskill locals.

    Unlike us, they have a highly educated workforce, so they don’t need to import skills like we do. The main reason for this is their high performing education system, which is driven by their education voucher system, where every child gets an education voucher that can be redeemed at the school of their choice, private or state. Schools that deliver poor results don’t get revenue so must sharpen their act to avoid eventual closure. Would Labour swallow that dead rat? Or would they back the teachers’ unions in preference to furnishing our children with the best possible education?

    The choice is ours

    • Andrew. Mmm can you imagine the left in NZ thinking low corporate tax is a good idea. We’re not progressive enough for that thinking. The word corporate just means rich pricks to them.

      • Well, New+view rather than stick to a 150-year-old playbook, maybe the left should do proper and rational analysis and then simply implement what works.

        Look around to other countries and investigate how they achieved their successes. Sweden is just one of many examples we could follow: For example, how did Singapore elevate itself from a dengue ridden colonial port & swamp with zero natural resources in 1965 to the marvellous place it is now? Why is their education system better than ours? Why is there virtually zero street crime there? How did they house everyone? How did they solve their previously terrible racial divisions?

    • also they have a functioning education system that prepares swedes to take up high paying jobs….

      finland got rid of homelessness in a few years by following the ‘housing first approach’ ie you give someone a home THEN work on their ‘issues’ we follow the ‘you must improve yourself(addiction/mental health whatever) then we might house you…the former method works the latter generates a middle class buraucracy so you know which way NZ is going to go.

      on a sidebar—how the fuck do you fix your mental health when you’re sleeping on the streets?

      • Fixing mental health – basic tips – I think sip on whisky if you can afford it, as you lie on dry cardboard with your coat thrown over you – put on back to front so your front is warmed, and if you are moved on it doesn’t get left behind – so you get warm and disassociated from your present circumstances which seem impossible to improve. There that is the unwritten guide of the government and their ‘soshal yoikers’ for treatment of the down and out.

    • Can you imagine the unintended consequence schools competing to just “rort pass” every student to gain more revenue! This is NZ not Sweden, it would be Wananga golf studies all over again.

  14. That lack of infrastructure is mostly inconvenience for the middle class. It is a survival threat to the working class. It includes the fragments of the ‘social contract’ a deal about our basic obligations to those at the bottom. Our fellow people. Human beings.

    Jobs, resources, homes, education, apprenticeships, medical and hospital treatment, transport – all the means to survive. And this includes the means to procure the means to survive.

    I don’t think people want to give up the pleasure of scapegoating those at the bottom, and won’t even listen until it is about their own survival. And it will be for many.

    As the squeeze continues more and more people will find themselves on that same scrapheap via brutal attrition increasing in degree and consequence across time.

  15. I have heard that a South African business here in NZ is bringing in black people from that area as carers for the elderly. I am told ‘that there are no good workers from NZ able to fill the positions.’ If so, it points to NZ society having lost its ability to nurture and advance its own people.

    Once we took steps to help the South African black people get agency in their own country, and change the power imbalance. Even after the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre (deaths 69, injured 180) and the suffering of leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko, it seems that black people in South Africa still retained personal integrity, commitment and determination to be a cohesive, co-operating people despite it having become quite crime-ridden. Now perhaps the blacks and coloureds (descriptions in common usage and explanation) there can reach out a hand to us whites and browns over here who lack their indomitable spirit. It seems we need you. They are still struggling about race though.
    A 2021 BBC piece looks at what we may have to face if we aren’t wise.

    A bit of orientation – Womad style:
    the Zulu
    The largest ethnic group in South Africa is the Zulu and the majority of them live in KwaZulu Natal Province and Gauteng Province.
    The second largest is the Xhosa group; they are located in the Eastern Cape Province and Western Cape Province.27/08/2019
    Race and ethnicity in South Africa | South African History Online › article › race-and-ethnicity-.

    Miriam Makeba sings ‘Baxabene Oxamu’ in Xhosa –
    Learn Xhosa and be happy

  16. One example of what countryboy describes could be Fay Richwhite fleecing us of our state assets ,,,, and in return temporarily giving us a rich boys yacht racing trophy ,,, plus shit red socks, made in China ,,, which we had to buy/pay for….. What a sad joke.

    Secondly if our figure-head like Jacinda ,,, or some other political ‘made man’, ever decided to meaningfully tackle the problems Nz faces ,,,,, then the capo Banksters would tell us ‘that’s risky’ , while increasing our interest rates to 12% or something ,,,, crashing our economy and removing the Govt in double quick time.

    The banksters/financial system is a parasite sucking the blood out of real productive activities ,,,,,,, like farming.

    Just like the mafia is a corrupting parasite in whatever society’s it is entrenched.

    • Oh now. Lloyds Bank had their bum pulled out of the GFC fire by the taxpayers, and now they’re increasingly refusing to back fossil fuel projects. Taxpayer money well spent then – in the end, amirite?

  17. Why is the government opening the parent visa category again? (The only reason I can think of is a desperate grab for a few more votes in next year’s election). We constantly hear that New Zealand has an aging population with less young people than we need to pay for our current pension requirements, yet now we’re inviting more old people who never paid a dime in tax in New Zealand to make full use of our single-payer health and welfare systems??!! That sounds like the definition of madness to me.

    • But hold on another view is that having got the advantage of these great social security systems they are going to try and vote and keep them in; it could have a good effect on the country’s welfare systems. I say that hopefully.

    • Agree Simonm. From a social perspective it encourages young immigrants if they can also bring their parents, keeps families together for the shift to a new country. It’s just not practical for those already here. We can’t afford it. It’s a “nice to have” for the immigrants, but not the way to dig ourselves out of the mess we are in. Our collective ideals around priorities needs to change and it will. It will take time and the boomer death spiral will help hurry it along. Along with the caziness that will be for the next few years. Humanity has fractured and must be reassembled better, letting go of old paradigms ingrained into us that are not our own. Jmo

  18. If Three Waters isn’t “really about co-governance”, as Bernard asserts, Ardern and Mahuta would have ditched that aspect long ago given its widespread unpopularity. (Ardern, in particular, has ditched policies dear to her heart (such as a CGT) just as soon as the polls arrived on her desk. She has also shelved others (such as hate-speech laws) quickly once stiff opposition has become apparent.)
    Co-governance is the most bitterly resented aspect of 3W yet the fact Ardern is still backing 3W and Mahuta and won’t change course tells you everything you need to know about the importance of co-government.
    It was also a non-negotiable bottom line when the Working Group was formed late last year to “improve” 3w.
    Bernard is right, in one limited sense, about 3W not being about “co-governance”. If he read (and understood) the scope of Section 140 of the WSE Bill, he would click that the real purpose of 3W is to hand iwi direct and comprehensive governance below the strategic levels of the (co-governed) Regional Representative Groups. This will be achieved through the Te Mana o Te Wai statements outlined in S140 and which only iwi and hapu can issue. They are binding on the WSEs.
    That virtually no public commentators — with the notable exception of Thomas Cranmer — still do not understand this is both extraordinary and depressing. The TMoTW statements are key to understanding the whole point of 3W.
    And guess who oversees them? Tipa Mahuta, as chair of Te Puna-The Maori Advisory Group that controls the water regulator, Taumata Arowai.
    The choke-hold is complete.

  19. It seems everything the govt touches just turns to shit for most of us. Labour is all but right wing now, they ignore poverty while saying everything is fine, its not fine, the country is run down and its going to stay that way.
    Political donations is why. Us poor people cant afford to donate to politicians so they dont help us, they spend all their time pandering to the whims of the rich.
    I dont see a point in voting anymore, none of them want to help.

  20. Apologies… the sentence in my comment should have read:

    That virtually no public commentators — with the notable exception of Thomas Cranmer — understand this is both extraordinary and depressing.

  21. All such a joke. The OECD studied the NZ labour market and concluded NZ actually has high skills levels – except in management. This is our problem – shit managers running businesses into the ground screaming for more slaves to keep the ponzi going.

    • Indeed nukefacts. One only needs the gift of the gab and/or popular to be hired as a manager etc (a lot of the time). Some bosses are shite at selectingand retaining staff. If the boss doesn’t like you, no amount of skill will see you given any control, especially within SME businesses. Plus there’s heaps of shifty narcissistic manager types that make the working day an absolute grind in what would “normally” be an enjoyable role

  22. This seems a matter of concern in the political economy:
    New Zealand children born to parents who are citizens of the United States face a difficult KiwiSaver choice: Give up your US citizenship, or face a KiwiSaver tax compliance bill of $750​ or more a year courtesy of the US taxman.
    A petition has been started at Parliament asking MPs to change the KiwiSaver Act to allow people with KiwiSaver accounts facing the unreasonable demands from US tax authorities to close their KiwiSaver accounts.

    The issue surfaced as a result of the plight of Auckland dual national Kira Bacal and her four New Zealand-born children, Harper, 13, Rowan, 10 and twins Malachi and Elias, 8.

    Are the parents trying to have a bob both ways? I have seen USA people come here and utilise our economy but the pull of the USA has won, and sometimes they have left businesses with a lot of debt borne by NZs on the ground, and further dug in after the visitors have turned tail.

    • NZ Govts need to start being soverign again and stop enforcing US laws and red tape. Why does kiwi bank have to every year send out a USA tax compliance form to its customers – red tape and cost to its customers for what? The idea that other soverign countries apply US laws is appalling as Julian Assange can attest.

  23. Supply side economic immigration.

    Trickle Down Migration.

    If you supply a fuckload of migrants labour prices will come down, Accommodation & Housing Costs, Realestate prices skyrocket and everything else will be kapai. Ay?

  24. “The rule of thumb long used by real estate agents and homebuyers is that you can afford a house if its price is equivalent to roughly 2.6 years of your household income” .May 2018 Bloomberg while The United Nations reckons the housing affordibility ratio should be 3.0.

    NZ median wage is $61,000 ($1189 per week StatsNZ Jun22)

    NZ median house price $956,000 (QV Sep22)

    Which is a housing affodability ratio of 15.0. The median NZ wage needs to rise to $300,000 or the median house price needs to fall to $180,000 to make housing affordibilty good or “normal” here.

    Increased migration only exerbates this problem. Its a dampener on wages which need to rise by a factor of 5, its a disincentive to paying more to low skill kiwis, its a disincentive to training both high and low skill kiwis, its a disincentive to retaining high skill kiwis in NZ, its a disincentive to business to incease capital investment to attain higher labour productivity, its a disincentive to investors and banks to loan to business and banks rather than on housing.

    The covid immigration halt has been great for the economy wages have risen house prices have fallen. Housing supply has had a chance to catch up. A flood of immigration will not see NZ return to being a high wage economy.

    Winston says he wants a high wage economy and is against immigration but when he has been in power he never used an immigration handbrake.

    Labour giving into the hospo/horticulture sectors is crazy when there are 140,000 poverty stricken unemployed kiwis who need some training, a decent wage and a stake in society.

  25. Funny how not one comment suggests raising taxes on the wealthy and investing in the stuff we need to support wider society and immigration. It’s as though this is, not just forbidden, but has been physically removed from the collective memory.
    I live in a country of very small minded people who have been given the right to vote in elections – I can’t actually handle following politics anymore because voters are so economically ignorant and ill informed that they’d vote to close a public hospital if it meant a load of immigrants get deported.
    This is what happened in the UK over Brexit – it’s a kind of manipulated psychological sickness and has devastating long term economic and social consequences as people in the UK are now finding out.
    If you aren’t prepared to tax and recycle wealth back into your economy you can only get collectively poorer – that is what Bernard is trying to say you fucking morons.

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