The Wellington Professional Managerial Class, Consultants and Lobbyists protect themselves

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The Wellington Professional Managerial Class look after their interests over and above the public workers they manage…

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…no wonder so many Kiwis have lost trust in a Public service that underfunds the front line service to look after their Professional Managerial Class…

Poll: Majority agree with public sector job cuts

…the Lobbyists and Consultants flooding Parliament with their donor interests are also protecting their interests as well…

The Govt’s lobbying reforms are at a crossroads

Corporate lobbying in New Zealand politics involves some very serious money. In my research on the lobbying process, I’ve discovered that one lobbyist tells new clients that anything a government wants to do can be stopped for $250,000, whether that’s a new tax, a spending cut or a regulatory change. That lobbyist says that making governments back new ideas is harder and can never be guaranteed – it usually costs a seven-figure sum, including fees and other expenses.

I was also told by someone in the industry that their annual “personal profit” of about $400,000 meant they earned more than a Cabinet Minister but not quite as much as a prime minister. And, of course, their influence is sometimes on a similar level.

…dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

Let’s not forget the impact of Atlas in the background of this…

Understanding Atlas: how a right-wing network is building global influence

The Atlas Network has started entering in political discussions after being linked in the
media to right-wing political movements in Aotearoa and overseas. But what actually is
it? And what can we learn from understanding how it works?

…The real power struggle in NZ isn’t Left vs Right, it’s between the Professional Managerial Class Corporate Consultants who influence policy to maintain their dominance and profit margins vs the self serving Public Service wanting to spend taxpayer money on their latest glass palace.

The Politicians are merely a masquerade of democracy to ensure participation that generates legitimacy, but the real power is between the Corporate Consultants who influence all policy to keep NZ deregulated and the self serving Public Service who are in it for their own fiefdoms.

The only chance any truly progressive movement gets in NZ politics is to ram your changes through in the first 100 days of any new Government.

That stops the self serving Public Service from stymieing your agenda and it stops the corporates from influencing it.

Our Political System is riddled with Wellington Professional Managerial Class, Consultant and Lobbyist elites who are all working in their interests, not yours.

If we want true progressive policy to tax the rich and remove costs from peoples lives, it needs to be rammed through in the first 100 days or it won’t happen.

That’s why Labour wereso feckless and useless, they had no 100 day plan in 2017 and they didn’t expect to win an MMP majority in 2020.

They effectively became captured by the self serving Public Service and the Corporate Consultants.

A Labour/Green minority Government with Supply and Confidence from the Māori Party with a clear legislative agenda for the first 100 days is the only way we will see the State gain the revenue to fund the social and physical infrastructure we desperately need.

The Professional Managerial Class Consultants push to ensure corporate interests like their profit margins and dominant market share are always protected and woven into any watered down regulation while the self serving Public Service fight for more money to fund their latest glass palace.

We face an existential crisis in the form of the climate and the demand to radically morph into adaptation mode is far greater than any political party is currently envisaging.

Your anger, cynicism and fury at the political failures is legitimate but let’s be clear, a National/ACT Government is no solution to the problems we face, they will only exacerbate them!

Dear Kiwis – your debt and under regulated capitalism is what’s killing you, not co-governance, not bilingual signs, not alienating Trans activists!

Short term the Government has to be focused on deflationary spending, mid term economically we need radical climate change adaptation, long term they need to start navigating  a post growth economy.

The best way to start those values is via the Public Service Culture and processes.

For essential state service workers like teachers, like police, like Drs, like nurses, like ambulance and Firefighter services, we can match the rising inflation in wages, but the focus needs to be on expanding capacity, expanding State responsibility and expanding quality of work experience.

It is insane that our Ambulance Service is privatised, and the State should nationalise it immediately. As first responders, their obligations and responsibilities will only climb as society continues to rock from the shockwaves of Covid.

Professional Firefighters must be expanded to acknowledge the danger we are under from climate change and fire seasons.

Rather than compete with inflationary wage rises, focus on better conditions, 12 weeks paid holiday each year, 4 day weeks plus housing projects where subsidised rentals are available for houses has to be the solution.

We can’t out-bid Australia on wages, let’s provide a better quality of work life then.

We also need to start bonding Teachers, Drs and nurses with free education in exchange for  bonded work around NZ.

We shouldn’t be looking to slash public servants, we need more!

ACT want to amputate 5 Ministry’s while Luxon is promising to slash 14 000 jobs!

That is ideological vandalism, that’s not an actual plan!

Covid showed us the need for a strong State with capacity to step in and with the climate crisis here, we will continue to need a strong State with capacity!

The Right’s never ending march to amputate and slice down the State is so that the people don’t get used to a well functioning public service and so will politically agree to starve it of funds via tax cuts.

Global free market capitalism is dead, hyper regionalism is here. We need a bigger State with actual capacity rather than the threadbare barely regulated joke that it currently is.

We shouldn’t agree to cutting public services, we should fund their capacity and infrastructure rebuild while making the working conditions for those there a better quality!

Where should we get that money? Windfall taxes on the corporations and banks!

We need better conditions for those workers and the values of working 4 day weeks, extra holidays and housing solutions are aimed at making better working conditions as opposed to never ending inflationary wage pressures.

We need a sustainable bureaucracy rather than 7 figure technocrats who see their own fiefdoms and glass palaces as the measure of incremental public policy achievements.

The enormity of the political gravity climate change adaptation and infrastructure resilience has created alongside the solidarity of a shared universal experience is materialising politically in a State that has to do things itself.

The 40 year neoliberal experiment in NZ cut the State back to the bone and the political project of the Right ever since is to tax-cut starve off revenue for the State so it can’t redistribute it in the first place.

What we saw with Covid and this latest weather event disaster is that you desperately need a State with capacity. So many of the problems we encountered was the shear slowness of an underfunded, under capacity public service.

With the economic recession, the geopolitical shockwaves and catastrophic climate change upon us, we must have a debate about the capacity of the State!

That is how the Left have to re frame 2023 – vote for the Right and get an amputation of the State, vote for the Left and build new capacity for the challenges ahead.

We need more Drs, more nurses, more teachers, more Police, more State houses, more infrastructure NOT LESS!

We need to debate for a bigger capacity State using the example Covid just gave us.

We need more Scientists, Drs, nurses, teachers, Police, more State houses and more infrastructure alongside policy that directly subsidises the cost of living like removing gst off food, free dental, free public transport, free food in schools and we will fund that extra increase through targeted new taxes to rebuild the capacity of the State.

The obviousness of our need for a Ministry of Works that actually builds shit is painfully clear to everyone by now.

Take Police in NZ, we have a pathetic 203 police per 100 000 NZers!

Compare that with 212 in England, 264 in Australia, 318 in Scotland, 349 in Germany, 422 in France, hell even Fiji at 227 has more Police per 100 000 than we do!

We don’t have the capacity to create a functioning State that lives up to our expectations in a liberal progressive democracy because we won’t tax the rich to fund that infrastructure!

We need to actually sell the 2026 election in those explicit terms – vote Right and amputate the State, vote Left and rebuild the capacity to actually face the challenges ahead.

These new taxes will be a sugar tax for free dental, a financial transaction tax to lower GST on everything, a bank windfall profit tax to build more State houses, a social media journalism tax.

Taxes aimed at speculators and the wealthy to fund services for the egalitarian country we want NZ to be.

Let’s have the courage to actually argue and win over our fellow citizens for solution based policy that actually builds the capacity to have the extra drs, nurses, firemen, police, and teachers.

Let’s champion policies that subsidise people’s cost of living by redistributing from the few to the many.

The voters of NZ are still waiting for the Transformative change we promised them in 2017.

We need a Ministry of Works that actually builds the infrastructure we desperately need.

We need the State to do this because the Free Market has failed.

There has already been amazing work on the creation of a new Ministry of Green Works

Rising To The Challenge: A Ministry Of Green Works For Aotearoa

Two of the biggest crises of our times – housing and climate change – could be the target of a new Ministry of Green Works that would integrate important responsibilities related to safeguarding Aotearoa’s future, according to a report released today by FIRST Union.

A Ministry of Green Works for Aotearoa New Zealand: An Ambitious Approach to Housing, Infrastructure, and Climate Change is a policy report commissioned by FIRST Union from co-authors Max Harris and Jacqueline Paul that considers Aotearoa’s systemic infrastructural problems and how they could be addressed by a new governmental entity that builds on the former Ministry of Works and integrates several key departmental responsibilities to future-proof the country for significant challenges to come.

“From our experience in workplaces, we know that contracting is a broken model that has driven down wages and led to massive inefficiencies in construction and infrastructure,” said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.

“As the report describes, the private sector doesn’t have the capacity to deliver on large-scale housing projects and inevitably there are now worker shortages due to poor conditions in the sector.”

“Finally there is insufficient coordination to tackle climate change under the current model – the public sector has limited powers to ensure green building standards in housing and infrastructure, and it’s not equipped to respond to other unexpected challenges, like quickly building managed isolation facilities, for example.”

The report argues that the right response to these problems will be consistent with seven values: honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi; manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata; Indigenous innovation; collaboration and coordination; creativity; safety and accessibility; and transformation of our economic model. The authors note that any new Ministry of Green Works must learn from its historic namesake and considers twelve risks related to its establishment.

The report contains feedback and interviews with experts including Ganesh Nana, John Tookey, Rosslyn Noonan, Len Cook, Andre Brett, Matthew Scobie, Syd Keepa, Judith Aitken, Susan Krumdieck, Alexis Harris, Murray Parrish, Jen McArthur, Troy Brockbank, Brendon Harre, Joe Gallagher, Ben Schrader, James Muir, Patrick Cummuskey, Andre de Groot, Ben Ross, Huhana Hickey and Nick Collins.

The report is being launched as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) begins in the United Kingdom over the upcoming weekend.

“Even with our best intentions to fix our housing, infrastructure and climate problems individually, we will miss the boat if we don’t consider their interrelatedness and set firm goals that integrate core functions of all agencies – this is where a Ministry of Green Works comes in,” said Mr Abbott.

“When the last Ministry of Works was cut up and sold off during the extreme ‘reforms’ of the 80s, we ended up a decade later with the leaky homes scandal and a lot of pressing questions – we can’t afford to wait for the consequences of climate change to set in before we act.”

…we have better solutions and we need a bigger State.

It is time to go beyond the neoliberal 30% GDP debt straitjacket and build a new State to build the infrastructure that a allows adaptation and resilience.

Bernard Hickey argues that even if we agree to the neoliberal Wellington Consensus of 30% GDP debt, we could still borrow $60Billion and remain within that absurd ideological economic straight jacket so where should that $60billion be spent on resilience and adaptation?

We need future proofing ideas, we need a Ministry of Works to do it, we need big ideas and we need big new taxes to fund those big ideas, we need to build in self sufficiency, we need mitigation and adaptation.

Unlike Covid, whose worst was avoided, this Cyclone damage is real world and physical. The magnitude of what is required from the State politically resets National and ACT’s small Government agenda.

No one wants to hear about amputating the State when they are running to the State for protection.

This was the exact same mistake the Right made last time with Covid.

The Rights usual slash and burn of the State simply isn’t sustainable in face of how invested the State is going to have to be in the rebuild.

Let’s ensure taxation is targeted at the corporates and the wealthy while subsidising the costs of the poorest.

I present the 12 point Left wing Economic Justice Plan for Aotearoa New Zealand.

1: Feed every kid in NZ a free nutritious and healthy breakfast and lunch at every school using local product and school gardens with parents paid to come in and help.

2: 50 000 State Homes for life built using the best environmental and social architecture standards using the public works act to seize land and immediately start building satellite towns using upgraded public transport hubs.

3: Free public transport plus vast infrastructure upgrade for climate crisis.

4: Nationalise ECE

5: Legal Cannabis Market that creates 5000 jobs.

6: Increasing welfare payments and student allowances minus any bullshit claw backs from MSD plus Living Wage universally adopted as minimum working wage plus implementation of all WEAG recommendations.  

7: GST off food and essentials like tampons, toilet paper, condoms, oral health.

8: Free Dental services for everyone through public health.

9: Debt cancellation – student loans, welfare overpayments, beneficiary debt, easier debt cancellation.

10: Renter Rights – (rent freezes, end accomodation payments, long term tenancy arrangements) 

11: Buy out houses that can’t be saved, look at universal insurance for climate change events to cover those with no insurance, survival packs in every home, solar panels on every roof, vast increase in Civil Defence equipment, social licence of essential service resilience.

12: Properly regulate capitalism and ensure duopolies, oligopolies and monopolies don’t form.

Don’t tell me we can’t afford any of this because we can if the wealthy are taxed!

There are 14 Billionaires in NZ, and 3118 ultra-high net worth individuals, let’s start with them, then move onto the Banks, then the Property Speculators, the Climate Change polluters and big industry.

There’s no point making workers pay more to rebuild our resilience, tax the rich!

-Sugar Tax

-Inheritance Tax

-Wealth Tax

-Financial Transactions Tax

-New top tax rate on people earning over $3000 000 per year.

-Capital Gains Tax

-Windfall profit taxes

-First $10 000 tax free

The Reserve Bank Governor is clearly telling us to raise taxes to pay for the rebuild, if Chippy’s Bread and Butter politics is to mean anything, he has to tax the rich to pay for the rebuild.

The reality is that climate change will force us to adapt whether we want it our not.

This racist hard right climate denying beneficiary bashing Government has responded to these challenges by implementing an anti-Māori agenda that has already cost over a million dollars in legal costs, throwing 50 000 beneficiaries off welfare, attacking worker rights, attacking renter rights, attacking the disabled community, taking $3billion out of climate change funds and giving $2.9billion to the richest landlords while pimping for big tobacco, big real estate and big money!

When Labour borrowed it was to save us from Covid, when National borrowed it was for tax cuts to their rich mates.

Brothers and Sisters, it’s the neoliberal state, alienating identity politics and incremental centrism that’s failing you, not Universal Class Left!

10 COMMENTS

  1. 100% There is no hope for young kiwis! House prices are impossible except you take on a lifetime of mortgage slavery; how can you start a family on that basis???
    When we bought our first house in 1981 We had a $10,000 deposit on a $32,000 house in central Johnsonville. Paying off the balance was easy peasy. New Zealand then was PARADISE!. NOW under the Roger the Dodger”s Neoliberal greed is the great social good living here for young people is SHIT!

  2. ” if Chippy’s Bread and Butter politics is to mean anything, he has to tax the rich to pay for the rebuild. ”

    Well he and his colleagues had plenty of opportunity to address the issue of tax but Hipkins ruled it out.

    I think if he read your economic justice plan he would laugh and ask if you were serious.

    The current Labour party simply don’t advocate for any of this stuff because the ” market ” and established power bases decide what they are going to do.

    I listened intently when Hipkins became PM and was interviewed about tax and other alternative progressive ideas. He never supported any of it and talked like a National lite leader using the same free market language we have been hearing for 40 years. Even in addressing the many neo liberal created crisis we are confronting nowhwere did he talk about a different approach just the same old medicine with a catchy new name to help treat the same diseases.

    That is another reason why so many kiwis are leaving. There is absolutely no current political and economic alternative to the problems we have that continue to worsen. The disillusionment and the reality that their country can never provide the things they were once provided and the desire for something , anything better than this will continue to drive them away.

    Identity politics has created the perfect diversion to any real serious debate and many out here are desperately trying to survive for another week while our entitled leadership, MP’s and plutocracy continue to destroy the country for the rest of us.

    Bomber there has to be a real progressive alternative with the things on your list as urgent priorities for any new political arrangement resembling anything ” left ”

    Labour and Hipkins will never do what they need to do in Roger Douglas’s famous words ” we were about dismantling privilege ” and take the country back from the billionaires and millionaires and their enablers.

    • I, and quite a few others having held relatively senior PS positions and fearing ever becoming part of the PMC, must be outliers in your mind @ Ada
      You must be Megan Main’s bit on the side. Do mus a favour will you. See if she can be tempted with a position on the next New Year’s Honours List, and we can hopefully shuffle Her off to obscurity.

  3. Ah, but if we cut salaries and force executives to fly economy – or even premium economy – no one with any talent will want to do the jobs will they? After all, pay peanuts get monkeys. /S just in case.

    Incidentally, just seen a chart that shows teachers’ salaries from all over the world. It’s interesting the number of countries that pay teachers much more than in NZ. South Africa for one. A friend of mine was the head of the science department and a high school, and his daughter worked in the Wellington bureaucracy – not a tremendously high position but … I was amazed when I found out how much she was making – almost twice as much as her father.

  4. I have been sorting through some of my books and settled down to reading about Dean Swift author of Gullivers Travels. The Introduction to the book gives a precis of his early life and the society. It is the 1700s and so much is similar to today’s approaches and happenings, the political; moves etc.

    I will quote a few things if I have time. But it is horrid to read all this and know that we have more deadly methods for everything plus climate change, and a tendency to follow some atavistic force in each new or second generation which wants to revert to a venal or mendacious default after initial efforts to start on a new track.

  5. Just move Public Service/ Parliament out of Wellington to some where less glamorous and less earthquake prone. Like Palmy or Hamilton.

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