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Australian election wipes away an arsehole – still pretty crap though

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Scotty Morrison lost because he was such an arsehole EVEN AUSTRALIANS couldn’t stand him – when a former prison colony gets sick of your authoritarianism while being burnt off the face of a climate crisis planet, you tie your kangaroo down sport.

The convoluted and insane voting system of Australia allows for back door dealings with vast vested interests and when those interests are so entrenched within mining they are always self-interested, that’s why real climate change has been impossible within the Australian system.

This has allowed conservative rural Australian cultural values to endlessly hold the balance of power alongside big mining interests.

For NZ, we need to see if our citizens will continue to be treated like shit in Australia and the ongoing 501 tsunami of criminals who are fuelling the gang war here.

Geo-politically Australia will continue to be America’s Sherif in the Pacific.

The challenge for Labor will be the adoption of an economy less reliant on mining for climate change purposes right at a point when the global economy melts down.

Because of Australia’s vast mineral wealth, the ‘lucky country’ has never experienced a true recession, so how will Australia fair fare when their luck runs out?

There won’t be any prawns left to throw on the barbie once the global depression hits.

How feral can a fallen Australia implode into?

A dingo eating a great white sharks head while 2 snakes fuck – the most Australian photo ever

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GUEST BLOG: Ian Powell – DHBs: “Nice little earners” for EY

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On 5 May Newsroom published a revealing article by investigative journalist David Williams on the rapid increase of income earned by EY business consultants (formerly known as Ernst & Young) from Aotearoa New Zealand’s district health boards: Rise and rise of EY in DHBs.

This conjured up for me an image of the British comedy-drama Minder (11 series from 1979 to 1994) set in the London criminal underworld. It was a send-up of the ‘get rich quick’ culture of Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s. At its peak Minder was one of ITV’s most watched shows.

The quality co-stars were George Cole playing the role of con artist Arthur Daley and the recently deceased Dennis Waterman playing Daley’s minder, Terry McCann. Daley, in particular, had several memorable lines such as “my life is a lobster”.

But arguably his most memorable was “nice little earners” which he spent his ‘career’ chasing.

Arthur Daley’s working life involved chasing “nice little earners”

 

EY’s accelerating DHB earnings

Williams’ article was based on Official Information Act enquiries covering the financial years ended 30 June 2014 to 2021. In 2014 EY received $329,000 for consultancy services. Over the full eight years it received $13,813,193.

Over this period, particularly since August 2015, EY moved from being a relatively small-bit player in DHBs to becoming their ‘business consultants of choice’. One can, however, argue the toss about the extent of choice.

Newsroom investigation journalist David Williams reveals EY’s evolution to becoming the DHBs’ business consultants of ‘choice’

 

EY’s breakthrough began in the 2015-16 financial year when it earned $843,863 (a 191% increase on the previous financial year). This was followed by a huge acceleration in 2017 when EY’s earnings rocketed up to $2,194,970. Its biggest annual earnings from DHBs over the eight years was $3,124,000 in 2019.

Other “nice little earners”

Williams’ data excludes EY’s income from DHBs for its work calculating the remediation of the misapplication of the Holidays to DHB employees working after-hours and on public holidays. This was an economy-wide issue but more pronounced in DHBs because of their need to operate 24/7 for acute and emergency care and they were big employers.

This work began in 2019 and is ongoing. EY’s earnings to date from remediation is unknown but certain to be very lucrative. Engaging external help did make sense. For understandable reasons DHBs lacked the internal capacity to undertake such a massive undertaking as this unprecedented highly technical work.

But it does raise the question why choose EY when there were other alternatives? This work began in the three Auckland DHBs where EY’s influence was greatest and quickly spread nationally.

Did EY senior partner Stephen McKernan’s previous profile or appointment as acting director-general of health from late December 2017 until Ashley Bloomfield assume the role in June 2018 give EY an unconsciousness or conscious advantage? Whether it did or not, remediation is another nice little earner.

But this is not the end of the “nice little earners”. In 2020 the Government established within the Prime Minister’s department a special unit whose purpose was to manage the transition to its new restructured health system on 1 July.

There was desperation to appoint McKernan to lead the unit leading to two direct informal approaches from Jacinda Ardern to him. Consequently he had leverage to require some conditions to be met before accepting the position; they were met.

One was that he report directly to the Prime Minister rather than to Heather Simpson who had chaired the earlier review of the health and disability system. This helps clarify the secretive decision to abolish DHBs announced in April 2021 (Simpson had recommended DHBs continue but reduced numbers).

Another was that he would not be required to temporarily relinquish his position as EY senior partner (he had done this when appointed acting director-general in December 2017). This suggests a surprisingly brazen approach to even the perception of conflict of interest.

Probing parliamentary questions from National Party health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti have revealed that EY was paid or owed $5.7 million by McKernan’s influential transition unit for work to the end of August 2021. It is likely that this amount excluded McKernan’s salary as the unit’s director).

I have critically discussed the performance of McKernan’s unit in my previous Otaihanga Second Opinion post: I’m sorry I haven’t got a clue.

Relationships and connections

Health systems are highly labour intensive which contributes to the importance of relationships and connections. External business consultants depend on them in order to do well in the system. This is more so in a small country like New Zealand.

In understanding EY’s expanding penetration into the health system, including DHBs, one has to go back to its absorption of Health Partners Consulting Ltd (HPC) in August 2015. This proved to be critical for EY’s rapid penetration into consulting for DHBs.

HPC’s managing partner was Stephen McKernan who, until 2009, had been Director-General of Health. Before this he had been chief executive of two DHBs (first Hutt Valley and then Counties Manukau). It is generally recognised that he performed all these roles well.

Stephen McKernan: from DHB chief executive to Director-General to Health Partners managing director to EY senior partner (plus now director of Government’s health restructuring transition unit)

 

But HPC was not just McKernan. Also central to it was his longstanding side-kick Chris Mules. In the mid-1990s, when public hospitals were required to operate as competing businesses, Mules was the chief executive of what was then known as the Midland Regional Health Authority straddling the middle North Island including Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Midland was one of four regional authorities set up in 1993 to competitively purchase health services from the public and private sector. They lasted little over three years before being merged into a new national authority. But Mules’ position helped ensure that he was well connected, including with one Lester Levy who was strongly promoting running hospitals as competing businesses.

Subsequently Mules followed McKernan to Counties Manukau DHB to become an influential second tier senior manager and then into the Health Ministry into another influential role. He then followed McKernan with a lead role in the newly established HPC. HPC was not a big player in Aotearoa’s health system because of its relative small size but, with two well-connected leaders, it still did well financially.

Chris Mules: McKernan’s influential sidekick

Much of HPC’s work was understood to be in Waitemata and Auckland where Lester Levy was now chair of both DHBs. While McKernan was well-known to be dismissive of Levy, Mules’ previous connection with the latter would have been helpful.

Interestingly Counties Manukau DHB resolved not to engage HPC because of perceived conflict of interest given McKernan and Mules’ previous leadership involvement (this about optics rather than a reflection on the individuals).

EY itself was not a big player in DHBs prior to its takeover of HPC in August 2015. In the financial year ended 30 June 2015, EY earned $290,106. But this increased to $843,863 in 2016 with 2017 the first of the bumper years.

Identifying patterns

Williams identifies a pattern when he states that those “…now steering the revamped health system hail from some of the DHBs that used EY the most.’ Specifically he identifies former Counties Manukau chief executive Fepulea’l Margie Apa (HNZ chief executive), outgoing Counties Manukau chair Vui Mark Gosche (HNZ interim board), and former Bay of Plenty chair Sharon Shea (interim co-chair of the Māori Health Authority.

There are other interesting patterns that can also be identified from the data he collected beginning in the three Auckland DHBs – Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau.

Significantly Lester Levy was Chair of all three DHBs at different but overlapping times, beginning with Waitemata. Being deputy chair of the then powerful Health Benefits Ltd responsible for rationalising so-called back office functions reinforced his influence.

In each of the DHBs, within the first year of Levy’s appointment as Chair, the incumbent chief executives departed. As Chair Levy was instrumental in both the departures and selecting their replacements.

Lester Levy: powerful figure in the three Auckland DHBs where EY’s penetration was the greatest and subsequently crown monitor at Canterbury DHB aligning with EY

 

Under Levy as the DHB’s Chair, and following its absorption of HPC in 2015, EY’s penetration into Waitemata began. For the years 2015 and 2016 EY earned a total of $56,000 from Waitemata. This may have been a carry-over of work by HPC. In 2017 EY received no income. But the cash register really got into overdrive in 2018 with earnings of $319,000. By 30 June 2021 Waitemata had spent a total of $1,041,000 on EY.

Auckland DHB, again with Levy as Chair, was the next to follow earning EY $118,517 in 2017 (compared with zero the previous year) followed by escalating amounts (2019 was the best year for EY earning $425,578). By 30 June 2021 Auckland had spent a total of $978,886 on EY.

Levy was appointed Counties Manukau Chair in November 2016. He vacated the role in early 2018 but his impact continued. EY broke the Counties Manukau drought in the financial year ended 30 June 2017 earning $448,000 followed by $499,000 the following financial year ($53,000 short of a remarkable million dollars in the first two years).

In the following three years EY earned nearly three quarters of a million dollars in each of the first two and over quarter of a million in the third. From 2017 to 2021 the DHB had paid $2,684,000 to EY (averaging over half a million dollars a year); the highest of all the 20 DHBs.

David Williams has highlighted EY’s large earnings in Counties Manukau and the appointment of its chief executive Margie Apa as the new HNZ chief executive. Apa became the DHB’s chief executive in July 2018 so her responsibility would have only impacted on the last three years. Although EY’s earnings were very high during these years, some of these decisions are likely to have been made before she became chief executive.

Nevertheless the correlation is uncomfortable. Apa also has a long respectful professional association with McKernan from when she previously worked for at Counties Manukau in the early 2000s to when she became one of his deputy directors-general leading the health ministry.

On the other hand, I have known her for many years. She has impressed me with both her integrity and capabilities. Had I been making the HNZ chief executive appointment I would have definitely had her on the final shortlist and may well have appointed her.

Further, since becoming HNZ chief executive she has been quite prepared to firmly disagree with McKernan on important matters. To the extent there may be a linkage to her and EY’s later earnings at her DHB, it is more likely to be unconscious familiarity. Nevertheless I retain some discomfort.

Other patterns

Waikato DHB is an interesting revenue stream. Commencing earlier than the other highlighted DHBs in 2015 when EY earned $149,900, by 30 June 2020 $1,056,954 had been paid by the DHB. The peak earning year was 2018 with $375,594, dramatically falling in the subsequent two years and zero in 2021.

Primarily these earnings occurring during the time Nigel Murray was chief executive. He was a controversial appointment in 2014. He also resigned in controversy over his claiming of expenses in October 2017. EY expenditure quickly reduced and then ended following his departure.

There is nothing to suggest a connection between Murray and EY other than he and McKernan (and Mules) would have known each other reasonably well when both worked in the Auckland region. Further, he was Southland DHB chief executive when McKernan was director-general (and Mules in the ministry).

To the extent there was a connection it was more likely the opportunity provided by Murray, who was prone to using business consultants, knowing McKernan’s capabilities. Nevertheless, given the controversy over Murray’s departure, perhaps not the best look. Murray’s successors wound down the revenue stream until it disappeared.

But Waikato has a relevance to another “nice little earner” – Bay of Plenty DHB – where EY, in 2017 had a breakthrough earning $345,541. In 2021 it earned $511,964, the highest in all of the five years (over the five years EY was paid $1,520,819 per year; an annual average of just over $300,000).

Per capita Bay of Plenty was the highest paying DHB. Some of this lucrative engagement levered off earlier EY work done in neighbouring Waikato. McKernan’s profile and Mules’ local connections would have also helped.

Canterbury DHB was also financially beneficial for EY, but in murky circumstances.  EY was, in effect, imposed on the DHB by the Health Ministry (but still requiring the DHB to pay the bill).

The Ministry was seeking to bring Canterbury into line because its senior management’ higher level of engagement with its health professional staff was bringing the DHB into increasing conflict with the Ministry’s top-down leadership culture.

EY’s earnings began in 2017 at $332,336. In 2021 it earned its highest amount ($361,377). Over these five years EY earned $1,096,033 (nearly $220,000 per annum). The turning point was the appointment of Lester Levy as then health minister David Clark’s crown monitor at Canterbury in 2019.

Levy’s appointment was recommended by Director-General Ashley Bloomfield. But McKernan also played an informal key (perhaps dominant) role. At this time Bloomfield and McKernan were close. The former had worked at a senior level in the health ministry when the latter was director-general. Arguably McKernan was a mentor.

In recent times they have fallen out because of McKernan’s involvement in the downsizing of the Ministry by transferring critical functions to the new HNZ (in 2009 McKernan as director-general had successfully opposed a similar initiative).

Levy’s crown monitor appointment was  followed by a new EY report that did a ‘hatchet job’ on the senior management team primarily through the misuse of staffing data, to falsely accuse Canterbury of employing too many nurses. This is discussed further in my article published by the Democracy Project (February 2021): Business consultants commissioned for hatchet jobs.

Correlation or causation

So what does this mean? There is no doubt that since the 2016-17 financial year EY has done extremely well in the health system. The combination of DHBs and the government’s health restructuring have not been “nice little earners”. There has been nothing “little” about them.

In DHBs the Waikato and Bay of Plenty experience is interesting but more due to opportunities and familiarity than anything else. McKernan had been deservedly known as a competent and respected DHB chief executive and director-general.

But connections involving the three Auckland DHBs and subsequently Canterbury raise serious concerns and arguably further investigation.

Correlation and causation

 

The patterns that emerge from the data collected by David Williams raise the interesting relationship between correlation and causation. Correlation describes an association between variables: when one variable changes, so does the other. It is an indicator.

Causation means that changes in one variable brings about changes in the other; there is a cause-and-effect relationship between variables. The two variables are correlated with each other, and there’s also a causal link between them. Correlation does not necessarily involve causation but the latter includes the former.

Has EY’s huge expansion in New Zealand’s health system been a correlation or causation? Probably a bit of both. Has it been lawful? Yes. Is it a good thing or wise? No. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Further conclusions are left to the reader.

Ian Powell was Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, the professional union representing senior doctors and dentists in New Zealand, for over 30 years, until December 2019. He is now a health systems, labour market, and political commentator living in the small river estuary community of Otaihanga (the place by the tide). First published at Otaihanga Second Opinion

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GUEST BLOG: Dave Brownz – WHERE IS AOTEAROA/NZ GOING?

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If we believe the leader of the opposition, Aotearoa/NZ is going “backwards”. Certainly as a neo-colony of China and the USA, Aotearoa is going backwards so long as it remains subservient to the big powers. Both China and the USA are only interested in extracting surplus value from NZ workers and working farmers as part of the global contest between the current hegemon and the challenger, China. The solution is to counter this cataclysmic backwardness by the forward motion of the working class,  all those who produce the value syphoned out of the country by imperialism, and to expropriate that value and use it to build a socialist Aotearoa.

The NZ capitalist class is a comprador class serving as the agents of both the USA and China to manage their respective interests. Both have significant capital invested in the production of value in NZ as a source of surplus-profits/rentexpropriated from productive workers and small farmers that are sucked offshore. As the global economy faces worsening slumps, pandemics and global warming, both competing big powers are forced to pressure NZ to join their camp against the other.

As the cold war ramps up into a hot war in Ukraine and threatens to become a new world war, NZ is in a lose-lose situation. To support one camp is to make an enemy of the other. It cannot maintain any pretence of ‘independence’ since the economic nationalism of the First Labour Government was junked by the Fourth Labour Government. The war in Ukraine is the first big test of NZ loyalty. The US is demanding that NZ become part of the extension of NATO in the Indo-Pacific to meet the “challenge of both Russia and China…”

At a recent NATO meeting the non-NATO countries Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Japan were specially invited. The NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg made it clear why. “Beijing has decided to support Russia and question the right of countries to self-determination and to choose their own path…China must be made to pay the price for supporting Russia”.

Heather Conley, head of the German Marshall Fund think tank, said: “This is now for the U.S. one Eurasian theater. We’re looking at the challenge of both Russia and China long term in similar ways. We’re going to have to have a NATO that prioritizes collective defense for Europe while at the same time being able to build greater partnerships and bridging mechanisms to our Indo-Pacific allies.”

There we have it. A/NZ is caught up on the rush to WW3 for Eurasia that continues the “Great Game” that led to WW1 in 1914. The Ardern Liberal-Labour Government has already made its decision. It has jumped on the warmongers’ bandwagon to impose token sanctions on Russia. It has already signed up to an ‘enlarged NATO’ in the Indo-Pacific that will be used to make make China pay for supporting Russia in the war with NATO in Ukraine.

NZ sucks up to the jingoist Boris Johnson who sends weapons to Ukraine and partners with the US and Australia in AUKUS against China. Meanwhile the working masses in Ukraine, Russia, and increasingly the world over, will be sacrificed in this war and the ones that follow as cannon fodder. We need an international workers United Front that is capable of stopping these wars through direct action against their own ruling classes, putting an end to the rotten capitalist system.

End imperialist war with socialist revolution!

Workers, refuse to fight for your ruling class!

Mutiny against your officers and fraternise with those you are ordered to shoot!

Turn imperialist war into civil war!

Turn you guns against you own ruling class!

For an Independent Socialist Republic of Aotearoa!

Dave Brownz is TDBs Guest Marxist, because every left wing blog should have a guest Marxist.

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Luxon & Willis aren’t very good are they & we wouldn’t need ‘bandaid’ budgets if National didn’t keep chopping off limbs every time they are in power 

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Nicola Willis at the opening of her Covid positive result

Ummmmm. They are not very good are they?

Here’s Nicola Willis’s weird mumblefuck mixed metaphor she endlessly tripped up over in the post-budget coverage…

…what?

Is it a spray and walk away budget or is it a band-aid? Why throw in the trip to Australia?

I feel dinner parties at Nicola’s place would be over egged, have way too much salt and a mix of foods that just never should be together, like peanut-butter and Turkey with spam and kidney bean entrees.

To me, Nicola Willis as Finance spokesperson is a bit like masturbating with a cheese grater, it doesn’t sound like a good idea and gets progressively worse as you go on.

There was a lot of hype about Nicola’s appointment as Finance Spokesperson, but she’s  only there to prop up Luxon’s image with women seeing as he is a Handmaid’s Tale level anti abortionist.

David Seymour is so going to be the Finance Minister.

Let’s move on with Luxon’s latest boofhead fuck up…

Budget 2022: National’s Christopher Luxon would axe property tax, makes wages gaffe

Luxon was also asked a question about comparing growth in the LCI versus CPI.

The acronyms stand for two important measurements in the changing cost of things – LCI is the Labour Cost Index, measuring the cost of work, and the CPI is the Consumers Price Index which measures the changing cost of goods and services in the economy (inflation). It is the main measure of inflation.

The questioner asked Luxon to give his thoughts on LCI versus CPI, because over the longer term the cost of labour had increased more than the cost of goods and services.

The question appeared to stump the moderator Russell Moore, a National Managing Partner at Grant Thornton.

“LCI – local c..?” Moore said.

Luxon was not sure either.

“Sorry, I want to clarify – LCI, what do they mean?” Luxon asked.

“Are they talking about the local cost index,” Moore asked?

“Or are they talking about wages – because there are a couple of acronyms I just want to make sure we’re getting it right,” Luxon said.

…these acronyms mean little to us, but they matter to economists and political leaders. It’s like saying you want to buy a tank of petrol for an EV.

This question follows Luxon telling all media that ‘incomes are only up 3%’, while using the Labour Cost Index as his evidence – the problem is that the LCI doesn’t actually measure incomes.

When he was pushed on this at the post-Budget speech, it turned out that he didn’t even know what the fucking LCI was despite using it as evidence for his wage claims!

He’s fucking hopeless folks and that doesn’t matter, because National aren’t selling his brain power they are selling his self certainty.

Christopher believes in an evangelical prosperity theory where his 7 properties are evidence Jesus loves him and that he’s special.

That’s what National are selling a frightened and uneasy electorate, Christopher’s sense of self certainty.

Christopher is certain God loves him, and he imbues that certainty effortlessly in his 45 second CEO soundbite routine, but beyond that, he has zero intellectual curiosity in anything other than God loving him and allowing him to live his best blessed life.

Christopher cares about the first class passengers and when he wants to be ghetto and working class he talks to the pilots and first class cabin staff.

Christopher considers those who can’t afford to fly as bottom feeders.

Thankfully for National strategists, Christopher’s contempt for the little people doesn’t detract from his certainty, it probably boosts it.

NZers love being bossed around by rich men in suits. It fulfils a lot of suburban fantasies for both bored wives and repressed husbands.

Christopher’s ability to become David Shearer after 45 seconds won’t blunt Christopher’s appeal to frightened and angry voters who hate Jacinda, because Christopher’s certainty is what those voters desperately want and need.

Finally, the whole ‘band-aid budget’ metaphor is funny because we wouldn’t need a bloody band-aid if National didn’t keep chopping off limbs every time they are in power!

Many blokes have walked away from Labour and the Greens and are voting National because they are sick of Jacinda and our ever triggered woke hysterical activists.

There are 2 things everyone flirting with voting National need to recognise right now.

1: His policies will make things far far far worse in this country in terms of housing, inequality and poverty so don’t pretend voting against Jacinda for him makes you radical or edgy, it makes you a fuckwit

2: Luxon is such a boofhead, he’ll let David run rings around him in terms of pushing through crazy ACT Party policy because Luxon isn’t interested in philosophy, he’s interested in God’s love of him being the best he can be. Policy is something the little people do, and Christopher don’t do little people stuff. David Seymour will be able to get everything he wants through.

You vote National, you get ACT Far Right Policy.

If you think shit is bad now, a National/ACT Government will throw the baby, the bathroom, all the fittings, the towels and the toilet out with the bathwater.

Make no mistake, the smart yellow fox will jump over the lazy blue log.

The saddest boy in the world with the loneliest robot

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Will Labour fail us again with the Supermarket Duopoly?

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Labour have started their reform of the obscene Supermarket Duopoly…

Govt Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal – New Zealand Government

Hon Dr David Clark
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said.

The Commerce (Grocery Sector Covenants) Amendment Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986, banning restrictive covenants on land, and exclusive covenants on leases. It also makes existing covenants unenforceable.

“This is a major first step in delivering on our commitment to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the checkout,” David Clark said.

“This legislation stops supermarkets from engaging in the anti-competitive land wars we’ve seen, where they buy up land or dictate the terms of leases to block their competitors from getting a foothold in the area.

“This practice leaves customers without choice and sees suburbs and shopping centres with only one option. An example of this is Ponsonby, in Auckland, which is only serviced by one provider.

“Limiting supermarket options for consumers severely restricts their ability to shop around for a better range of products, and of course, a better price.

“This legislation is a clear signal of how seriously the Government’s is taking this issue. We’re tackling a root cause of the problem that prevents an even playing field for new competitors to enter the market.

“The Commerce Commission’s market study found competition is not working well for consumers in its current state. In fact, it found major grocery retailers are earning excess profits of around $1 million a day. Something needs to change.

“This is just the first part of the Government’s response to the retail grocery sector market study. I expect to release information about further steps the Government is taking to improve competition shortly,” David Clark said.

…like everything with Labour, first great timid baby step followed by fucking nothing.

The most egregious abuse of duopoly power has been this anti-competitive land war they’ve both waged to stamp out competition for pure monopoly rentals.

The cost of living crisis is hurting the very voters Labour promised to be transformative for.

The list of tax wonkery Jacinda descends into when listing the tinkering around the edges Labour has done that seems to believe everyone struggling is a certified tax accountant who are doing their taxes weekly is a farce.

The Left have done sweet fuck all for the material hardships of poverty, housing, inequality and climate change.

$27 a week for 13 weeks is not a fucking solution!

As I have pointed out tirelessly, while Labour saved us from Covid, they haven’t saved us from the ruthlessness of the under regulated free market.

I have argued over and over that we will see double digit inflation this year and that asking kiwis to endure more isn’t a political solution.

They need to hope that their basic costs will come down.

They need to believe a new Supermarket backed by the Government could do that.

Covid taught us food security matters and a Supermarket chain that embeds a cheaper food security while supporting local supplies is a necessity to correct a broken market!

Government should enter into a deal with Iwi to stock a new chain of Government/Iwi Supermarkets that champion local produce at better prices for the consumer and

We need a kiwi subsidy on all local produce to recognize that producers have already used water and created local climate changing gases to create their product and as such consumers have already paid a price just to get the product to their table.

We should feed the 5million here first before boasting about feeding 40million world wide!

Calls to ‘feed the 5 million first’ before exporting NZ food

People are going hungry even though New Zealand produces enough food to feed 40 million – and it’s spurring calls for the country to “feed the five million first”.

Almost 40 percent of New Zealand households experience food insecurity, while 19 percent of children live in households that experience food insecurity.

Poverty researcher Dr Rebekah Graham said while working on her thesis on food insecurity, she interviewed a woman who walked for 90 minutes each day to get a free community meal.

A state owned 3rd supermarket chain would do more for providing a cheaper means of living to all kiwis who have food security issues. It would do more for welfare than any single PM since Savage.

History is calling Labour. To date you have had nothing to show beyond crisis responses. We still have over 200 000 kids in poverty, over 22000 on emergency housing lists, growing inequality and a climate crisis with no real solutions.

A state owned supermarket chain that radically forced competition on base level cost of living for a vast swathe of New Zealanders would be a legacy worthy of Labour.

We need to be kinder to individuals and crueler to corporations.

The people are hurting economically, is the Left so bereft of ideas beyond middle class identity politics virtue signals that we have nothing to offer them?

As I have said time and time again, if you don’t want the poor to have their economic misery manipulated by the Right, then do something about their economic misery!

Let’s be clear, the Ukrainian war on top of the mega drought will send food inflation prices through the roof by December.

Labour need more than $27 a week for 3 months if they want the people to support them.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

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GUEST BLOG: Ben Morgan – What a week; Russian lasers, Mariupol’s defenders surrender, Turkey’s threatens NATO unity and Ukraine may be moving in the south

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The big news this week is not Russia’s claim to be using laser weapons in Ukraine. Instead, it is the surrender of the last defenders of the Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol.  Surrender of this force is politically and militarily significant, the defence of Azovstal is a thorn in the Putin’s side. While fighting continued in Mariupol, it was difficult for Putin claim victory in the important city and with criticism at home growing after recent military mistakes he needs a ‘win’.   The surrender of the last, brave defenders of the steel works is a victory. 

Politically Putin, is likely under significant pressure; indicated by his unwillingness to escalate the war effort on Victory Day, the recent explosion of criticism in the Russian blogosphere and most importantly retired Russian colonel Mikhail Khodaryonok’s statements on state television that made international headlines. Khodaryonok is brave, using his platform on a popular news show to tell the truth. He told Russians that they are losing the war, that Russian soldiers are unprofessional and poorly motivated, that the world is rallied against Russia and finally that Russia needs to look for a way out.  In short, he did what retired senior officers sometimes need to do, he told the truth.

Militarily, the surrender at the Azovstal Steel Works will free some Russian troops to be deployed elsewhere in the campaign.  Most estimates claim that there are 11-12 battalion tactical groups deployed in Mariupol, however this does not mean that this force will be immediately available.  The soldiers in Mariupol will be tired and battered from a hard fight.  Digging tough defenders out of an underground labyrinth is hard work.  

Where these soldiers go will be interesting.  Russia’s main effort appears to have switched from attacking Kramatorsk and Sloviansk via Izyum to attacking Severodonetsk and Lysychansk from the east.  Although, Ukraine’s offensive in the north near Kharkov shows signs of slowing down as it reaches the border in the north and the Severskyi-Donets River in the east, it has probably caused the Russians to stop their attack from Izyum on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.  Russia committed a large force to this area, estimates claim that there are 39-40 battalion tactical groups between Izyum in the south and Belogrod in the north, or about a third of Russia’s total strength in Ukraine.  

The Russian campaign is now threatened significantly, with a third of its force ‘fixed’ in position between Belgorod and Izyum so Russia has less combat power available elsewhere in the battle.  This creates a dilemma for the Russian command, in that they must choose between using the soldiers released from Mariupol to either:

  • Reinforce the advance on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.  An operation that if successful will result in the largest encirclement of Ukrainian territory.
  • Reinforce the advance on Severodonetsk and Lysychansk from the east. A more limited operation, with a better chance of success. 
  • Develop a new attack. Use the forces to either push west from Kherson towards Odessa or north toward Zaporizhzia or to start a strong attack from the south against Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.

Most commentators are predicting that any forces released from Mariupol will be used to support the attack on Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Ukraine’s northern offensive’s impact is likely to be significant, forcing the Russians to reassess their strategic objectives and reduce them again. 

The impacts may be even more significant because in the south there is interesting activity happening. In recent weeks, two towns north of Mariupol have changed hands and are now in Ukrainian control. Vuhledar, a small coal mining town and Volodymyrivka another small town nearby, both are small and sit on the Kashlagach River. From Voldomyrivka, the southernmost of these towns it is about 16km to a town called Volnovakha.

Volnovakha was a small town, the site of significant battles during World War Two and was destroyed in the recent Russian invasion.  However, it is still an important road and rail junction sitting on the H20 motorway, 50km directly north of Mariupol.  The strategic significance of Mariupol is well understood, if this area is controlled by Russia, it creates a corridor or land bridge between Donbas, Crimea and Kherson.  If Ukraine holds the area, then Donbas is ‘cut-off’ from Crimea and Kherson.  

So it is strategically interesting that a Ukrainian offensive is ‘fixing’ a third of Russia’s combat power in the north while a stalwart defence of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk is drawing in a large part of Russia’s remaining combat power. Students of military history will remember how Stalingrad’s defence was used to commit, then attrit German forces before a large counter attack.  The capture of two villages heading towards Volnovakha may be an indicator of future Ukrainian plans. However, don’t expect anything too soon, if I was on the Ukrainian staff I would be watching and waiting letting the Russians drift north and commit to battle around Severodonetsk and Lysychansk before moving on Volnovakha, capturing that town then using the H20 as a main supply route for an offensive against Mariupol.  

Strategically, Putin’s other recent victory is Turkey breaking step with the remainder of NATO over admission of Finland and Sweden.  Putin’s aggression against Ukraine convinced both Nordic nations to ask for NATO membership.  Admission of Sweden and Finland brings considerable military power to the alliance, both countries having large, well-equipped and highly professional militaries.   Unfortunately, admission to the NATO alliance requires unanimous support from existing members and Turkey is refusing to support their admission.

This is a dangerous situation, so far Putin’s war has not escalated either beyond Ukraine’s borders or to using nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.  NATO’s unity and resolve are likely to be significant factors in deterring escalation.  Putin, knows that any escalation leading to war with a united NATO is suicide, deterrence is working. However, deterrence is predicated on NATO’s unity so if there is a split Putin has room to manoeuvre.  

So what is Turkey’s plan?  Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has stated that Turkey does not support Sweden and Finland joining NATO claiming the countries are protecting Kurdish terrorists. However, in these circumstance it is not what is being said that is important but what is not being said. Although Turkey is a NATO member, it has a long history of feeling like an ‘outsider’ in the Western European alliance.  A situation exacerbated by the West’s response to the Syrian Civil War and its support for Kurdish separatist movements in the north of Turkey.  Both Finland and Sweden condemned Turkish attacks on the Kurds, provide sanctuary for refugees from the conflict and in 2019 embargoed weapons exports to Turkey.

The most likely reason for the Turkey’s statements is not exclusion of Sweden and Finland but rather using the applications to highlight these issues and force recognition of them by other members.  We can be sure that NATO diplomats are currently working hard to try and broker a solution and that Turkish diplomats are working equally hard to get every possible concession out of their Western partners.  Perhaps greater recognition of Turkey’s Kurdish separatist movement as a terrorist organisation or access to advanced weapons. 

However, we should not overlook the possibility that Turkey has other more long-term goals.  It has a long history of working closely with Russia in Syria and shares mutual areas of interest.  Although Turkey is a NATO member being seen as ‘reasonable’ by Russia is potentially in Turkey’s long-term interests.  Turkey’s control of the Bosporus, mandated by the Montreux Accord has been exercised with absolute fairness throughout the conflict demonstrating Turkish integrity. Looking towards the future; and managing the peace when this war is over, it may be politically sensible for Turkey to be perceived as fair and reasonable by Russia.  

The issue with Turkey’s position though is that it may signal a weakness in the NATO alliance, one that can be exploited.  A long and protracted fight over Sweden and Finland’s admission into NATO may contribute to making it harder for members to stay focussed on the larger strategic objectives; winning the war and then managing NATO’s long-term relationship with Russia after the war. Any division within NATO can be exploited and weakens the clear message of unity and resolve that is required to deter aggression. It is important that NATO resolves this issue as quickly as possible. 

Finally, what about Russia’s lasers? This statement is interesting only because it demonstrates Putin’s desperation.   History shows plenty of examples of corrupt regimes in their last days sabre-rattling about high tech ‘wonder weapons’, Putin is desperate to maintain the illusion of threatening military power that he spent decades creating.  Unfortunately, this illusion is crumbling fast because of the pathetic performance of the Russian military.  

In summary, we are going to see interesting developments in the next few weeks. It is highly likely that the Turkish veto of Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership will be quickly mediated, probably by a ‘behind closed doors’ American ‘pay off’.  Strategically, a united NATO is vital.  Tactically, expect to see Russian forces drift north towards Severodonetsk and Lysychansk as they are rested after the battle for Mariupol. Russia’s main effort is likely now just the capture of these cities.  It is likely that soon there will lots of politicking in Kherson, Crimea and Donbas for independence or more likely for Russian annexation. It is vital that Ukraine recapture as much territory as possible before this happens because annexation brings Russia’s ‘nuclear card onto the table’.  However, a Ukrainian offensive in the south may already be being planned.   

 

Ben Morgan is a tired Gen X interested in international politics. He is TDB’s Military analyst.

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Israel is planning its largest ethnic cleansing of Palestinians since 1967

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Israel’s racist apartheid regime rolls on with plans for the largest forced removal of Palestinians since 1967.

We’ve written to Nanaia Mahuta about this but the letters go straight to foreign affairs officials who write replies to us by selecting from a fruit salad of stock phrases which are a betrayal of the Palestinian people.

Probably the minister will read the letter here on the Daily Blog first. Here it is:

Kia ora Ms Mahuta,

Israel is planning its largest ethnic cleansing operation against Palestinians since 1967 with an Israeli High Court ruling paving the way for the forced removal of 1,200 Palestinian residents from Masafer Yatta.

This mass eviction of Palestinians has been described by United Nations human rights experts as a breach of international humanitarian and human rights law.

The pretext for the forced removal of these Palestinians, including 500 children, is that the Israeli military want to use the land for military training despite the vast areas of Israel which are virtually uninhabited after former ethnic cleansing operations. This is simply an excuse for this rapacious apartheid regime to intensify its marginalization and oppression of Palestinians.

UN human rights experts have appealed to the international community to act. That means us.

“The international community must not become complicit to this serious violation of international humanitarian and humanitarian laws by remaining silent: it must exert available diplomatic, political and economic measures prescribed by the UN Charter to bring Israeli violations to a halt,” said the experts. 

If 1,200 Jews anywhere in the world were being forcibly removed from their land your government would, quite rightly, speak out loudly in condemnation. You would describe it as anti-semitic and would take action to sanction those responsible.

We expect your government to do the same in the case of the racist persecution of Palestinians as is taking place in Masafer Yatta.

Along with this imminent eviction, the Israeli apartheid regime last week announced its approval for the building of over 4,000 more homes in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

Past National and Labour governments have described such building as a “blatant breach international law”. It’s time to turn our words into actions and put in place accountabilities for Israel’s occupation of Palestine as we have put in place accountabilities for the Russian occupation of Ukraine.

We urge you to act now and not leave these two critical issues to foreign affairs officials who seem to have hypocrisy hard-baked into their responses to human rights abuses.

Please respond quickly to this letter so we know where we stand and in your response please state clearly that you have read this letter rather than just the reply prepared for you.

Ngā mihi.

Nā,

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The Daily Blog Open Mic – 22nd May 2022

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, Qanon lunacy, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics, 5G conspiracy theories, the virus is a bioweapon, some weird bullshit about the UN taking over the world  and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.

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Labour’s BSHIT Budget – Social Credit

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Bank shareholders, speculators, investors, and ticket clippers will be partying for days over the enormous profits they’ll be expecting following Labour’s budget reveal yesterday.

After a 48 percent increase in profits in 2021, banks in particular will see another massive jump in their profits as they crank up the money printing presses to purchase the bonds the government will issue to fund its enormous $25 billion per year borrowing programme for the next three years.

Those money printing presses will also create, out of thin air, the money other investors and speculators will borrow to fund their purchase of government bonds and the Public Private Partnerships and ‘Private Sector Participation’ in infrastructure building.

More than $5 billion each year in interest payments on that government borrowing will come out of money paid by taxpayers and be funnelled straight into the pockets of bank shareholders, speculators, investors, and ticket clippers.

That tax money is being taken away from reducing child poverty, giving nurses, doctors and other health care workers the pay increases they deserve, building state houses to get thousands out of motels, sheds, and garages into decent homes, and boosting Pharmac’s budget so that Kiwis can access life saving drugs.

Instead of letting the commercial banks create that money, the government could have accessed those funds from its own bank – the Reserve Bank.

As Social Credit has been at pains to point out, Reserve Bank financing could provide the funds the government needs at no cost, without saddling Kiwis with massive additional debt and interest, freeing up tax dollars to be spent on health, education, housing and poverty reduction.

That would have provided the government with an additional $5 billion every year.

That view is supported by a report, jointly written by Treasury and the Reserve Bank, presented to Finance Minister Grant Robertson in May 2020.

The aide-memoire, titled “Quantitative Easing and Monetary Financing Compared” lays out the benefits of monetary finance compared with quantitative easing or QE (the Reserve Bank buying bonds previously purchased by the commercial banks).

The report says that Monetary Finance could be used to “meet specific funding needs of the Government at lower cost and with greater certainty than QE”.

It’s also obviously at a lower cost than borrowing ‘fairy dust’ from the commercial banks because that ‘fairy dust’ has to be paid back with interest.

Treasury and the Reserve Bank have confirmed that it’s perfectly possible for the Reserve Bank to fund the government directly saving taxpayers billions – something called for by former BERL chief economist Ganesh Nana in 2020 – “The government can borrow from the Reserve Bank. To be technical, it’s literally borrowing from itself”.

Former Finance Minister Michael Cullen (now deceased) agreed, as did Economist Shamubeel Eaqub – “I don’t see why we don’t jump straight to the RBNZ buying bonds from Treasury direct”.

Former Senior Lecturer at the School of Economics and Finance at Victoria University Dr Geoff Bertram also joined the list of those calling for different financing saying “This is not wild radicalism. It is mainstream, even conservative, economics”.

That call was been echoed by economics commentators Bernard Hickey and former Waikato University Vice-Chancellor, Bryan Gould.

Instead, Labour’s BSHIT Budget, has again thrown a few crumbs to those in poverty, those without housing, those desperately needing health care, those most needy in New Zealand, while backing the wealthy.

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Budget 2022: Crumbs For Te Matatini Again

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Te Pāti Māori are fed up with the second class treatment of Māori arts, after Te Matatini was yet again underfunded in this year’s Budget.

“The Government is trying to bamboozle you by telling you they have invested the biggest boost ever into Te Matatini” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

“Let’s look at the numbers in relative terms so you can see what they aren’t telling you. $4 million is being invested into Te Matatini over 4 years. That is only $1million extra per year. Te Matatini now gets $2.9 million per year. The Royal NZ Ballet also got an extra $1million. They now receive $8.1m per year.

“The Symphony Orchestra was the winner of the Budget with an extra $3million per year. They now get $19.7 million per year.

“We are still no better off than we were last year and in actual fact, we are worse off with the extra boost given to the Symphony Orchestra.

“Still crumbs. Still not good enough. Still happy to exploit tangata whenua for our cultural and intellectual property to boost our international image, and give bugger all in return” said Waititi.

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Green Party Urges Labour To Provide Support To Those Who Need It Most

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The Green Party is calling on Labour to expand the temporary cost of living payment to those most in need.

“The $350 Cost of Living Payment should be available to those who need it the most. Labour can do that today by including people on the benefit as well as under 18’s on Youth Payment and in work,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, Green Spokesperson for Social Welfare.

“Excluding people from the Cost of Living Payment because they already receive government support means more families will be unable to make ends meet through the winter. It is punitive and unfair.

“The Green Party is calling on Labour to reconsider this poorly targeted approach. Additional temporary assistance should be provided to those who need it most.

“The legislation to introduce the Cost of Living Payment, which Parliament has debated today, doesn’t set out the eligibility requirements, so Labour can still decide to broaden it – and that’s what we’re asking them to do.

“In 2020, the Government doubled the Winter Energy Payment to provide extra support. Now, they’re saying that people who get this payment shouldn’t have any top up – despite rising costs of living, and despite slow progress on child poverty targets.”

The Green Party is also calling for investment in long term solutions, including increasing benefits to liveable levels, increasing and expanding Working for Families, and expanding the Income Related Rent Subsidy to local councils.

“Poverty is a political choice. No one should be struggling to pay the power bills or feed their kids in this country. People on the lowest incomes need a government that is committed to liveable incomes for everyone – and with more Green MPs we can make it happen,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

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Govt Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal – New Zealand Government

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Hon Dr David Clark
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said.

The Commerce (Grocery Sector Covenants) Amendment Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986, banning restrictive covenants on land, and exclusive covenants on leases. It also makes existing covenants unenforceable.

“This is a major first step in delivering on our commitment to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the checkout,” David Clark said.

“This legislation stops supermarkets from engaging in the anti-competitive land wars we’ve seen, where they buy up land or dictate the terms of leases to block their competitors from getting a foothold in the area.

“This practice leaves customers without choice and sees suburbs and shopping centres with only one option. An example of this is Ponsonby, in Auckland, which is only serviced by one provider.

“Limiting supermarket options for consumers severely restricts their ability to shop around for a better range of products, and of course, a better price.

“This legislation is a clear signal of how seriously the Government’s is taking this issue. We’re tackling a root cause of the problem that prevents an even playing field for new competitors to enter the market.

“The Commerce Commission’s market study found competition is not working well for consumers in its current state. In fact, it found major grocery retailers are earning excess profits of around $1 million a day. Something needs to change.

“This is just the first part of the Government’s response to the retail grocery sector market study. I expect to release information about further steps the Government is taking to improve competition shortly,” David Clark said.

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Budget 2022 | Government Budget Worse Than Expected, Te Pāti Māori

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Co-leaders of Te Pāti Māori, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi are today calling out Labour’s budget announcement as another bunch of crumbs for Māori.

“Today’s announcement is significantly below what was expected for Māori,” said Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

“Māori will receive less than a percent of a total Government Budget of $157.5 billion dollars on whenua that was 100% ours. It just does not go far enough.

“Today was an opportunity for this Government to put their money where their mouth is and to learn off the success of Māori providers through Covid-19 when it came to protecting our whakapapa. The Government have not learnt off this success and have decided to withhold our unique Māori potential.”

“There is no doubt about the growing inequalities between Māori and Pākehā, and between the rich and the poor in Aotearoa. We were looking for steps in shifting the tax burden to the wealthy, introducing a capital gains tax, a vacant homes tax, and removing GST for kai. These are practical solutions for all whānau,” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

“Whilst two months further relief at the pump is welcomed, this is no solution to curbing the rising costs to live in Aotearoa.”

“Māori Health will receive $257-million in pocket money out of a total $11.1-billion investment into health over four years. In total, we’re looking at 2% budget toward Māori health in which it’s taken 182-years to reach this level of investment,” said Waititi.

“Based on that logic, it will take 1840 years to get to 20%. Our whānau suffer from worse outcomes, we’re dying 7-10 years earlier than the general population. It’s astounding to think the Government think this is suffice,” said the MP for Waiariki.

“There are some things that can be acknowledged including the boost to Whānau Ora and Te Matatini.”

“Whānau Ora however will get a boost of 145-million dollars which is positive and reflects the outstanding mahi by the Whānau Ora network. Te Pāti Māori congratulate Whānau Ora providers up and down the motu for their contributions to the oranga of our whānau.

“Te Matatini will also get 1M investment raising their budget to 2.9M in total. Whilst this is great it still falls short of our policy platform which would boost this to 19M. They are subject to huge scrutiny, and are required to meet certain metrics such as 1-million viewers. There is room for further investment.”

“It is the role of Te Pāti Māori in Parliament, whether on the cross benches, in opposition or in government, to fight to ensure that every budget that is put delivered in this House is a budget that restores power and resources to whānau, hapū and iwi,” said Ngarewa-Packer.

“We will continue to apply pressure, to keep the government accountable, to end disparity, poverty and environmental destruction.”

“We acknowledge the Government for making progress in a few areas, and we are grateful that they have adopted more of our policies. It is however, not a budget that delivers for Māori or honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the way we deserve,” said Waititi

“We are here to be an unapologetic voice for tangata whenua, for our aspirations, our visions, our imperatives, and our dreams,” said Waititi.

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Budget Highlights Underlying Strength Of Economy In Face Of Global Headwinds – New Zealand Government

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· A return to surplus in 2024/2025

· Unemployment rate projected to remain at record lows

· Net debt forecast to peak at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2024, lower than Australia, US, UK and Canada

· Economic growth to hit 4.2 percent in 2023 and average 2.1 percent over the forecast period

A strong economy and successful response to the pandemic has given New Zealand a solid base to accelerate the recovery and create a high wage, low carbon economy.

“New Zealand has come through the 1-in-100 year economic shock from COVID-19 better than almost anywhere else. Our economic growth is above average among developed nations while we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the OECD,” Grant Robertson said.

“Our debt is well below the likes of Australia and other countries we compare ourselves to. We are among only a handful of countries with a triple A credit rating from the two leading rating agencies.

“The Government’s health and economic response has delivered one of the strongest economies in the world, ensuring we are well positioned to respond to both current and future challenges and build a more secure economy.

“The economy is expected to strengthen from the second half of this year with annual growth peaking at 4.2 percent in the year to June 2023, showing our reopening and reconnecting plan is set to pay dividends with the return of tourists and even higher levels of economic activity.

“The unemployment rate is forecast to drop to 3 percent. Wage growth again rises faster than inflation from 2023 onwards, leaving more money in Kiwi’s pockets.

“The inflation spike is expected to peak in the first half of 2022, before falling back inside the Reserve Bank’s target band of 1 to 3 percent in the latter part of the forecast period.

“The Government’s accounts are forecast to return to surplus in 2024/2025. This is a year earlier than the return to surplus after the GFC. Net debt will peak at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2024, before reducing to 15 percent of GDP at the end of the forecast period.

“The whole world will continue to face a volatile and uncertain global environment for some time. Budget 2022 will continue New Zealand’s balanced approach to target support where it is needed most and tackle long standing social and infrastructure deficits alongside careful fiscal management to pay down debt.

“The operating allowance for Budget 2022 is slightly smaller than previously indicated at $5.9 billion this year following savings and the reprioritisation of existing spending. The Budget 2023 operating allowance has been increased to $4.5 billion to reflect the higher costs of delivering core services, while those for Budget 2024 and Budget 2025 are unchanged.

“Budget 2022 includes a $4.7 billion capital package, leaving $5.1 billion for allocation from the multi-year capital allowance in future Budgets.

“We have a strong base to build upon. We are investing to support New Zealanders through cost of living pressures. We are investing to provide a health system that treats all equally regardless of their postcode. We are investing in a low carbon future that will reduce our reliance on volatile oil markets and deliver better jobs, higher wage jobs and a cleaner economy. Our new fiscal rules mean there is security to continue investing in the infrastructure needed to keep our economy moving.

“As I’ve said before, we can’t meet all our long-term commitments in one Budget. But this will help build our resilience in a volatile world and build the secure future that New Zealanders deserve,” Grant Robertson said.

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Government Delivers Timely Support For Whānau – New Zealand Government

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· Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives.

· More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives

· Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education

· Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua Māori owners reduce their agricultural emissions

· More support for our Treaty partners in building their data collection and analysis capability for and with Iwi, Hāpū and Māori

Budget 2022’s investment in whānau Māori will lead to economic security for all of Aotearoa.

This year’s Māori Budget package builds on the Government’s previous investments in areas like health, education, employment, economic development, tamariki, and whānau wellbeing. Our proven track record in delivering for Māori is underscored by this year’s Māori Budget, which once again exceeds $1 billion.

“COVID-19 is still with us, and many of our people are struggling. Responding to the pressing issues our communities are facing is a priority,” Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson said.

“This Budget will deliver more economic security for our people. Making sure Māori have economic and employment opportunities, a healthcare system that is responsive to whānau needs, access to education that empowers them, and a thriving natural environment is an investment in our future.”

Māori economy and employment

“Māori businesses will play a vital role to help lift whānau Māori aspirations and dreams for a better life, while reinforcing New Zealand’s economic security,” Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson said.

“Today’s funding announcement follows on from the Government’s announcement last week of $66 million funding to continue the Māori Trades and Training Fund, to build on support for Māori entities delivering training and employment for Māori.

“Also included is $13 million for initiatives in the construction sector which include improving Māori workplace diversity, $3 million for marae connectivity, $5 million for iwi/Māori teacher workforce support package, $25 million Cadetships to improve and extend Māori Employment outcomes in the Cadetships Programmes, and $10 million for Te Ringa Hāpai Whenua Fund.

“We are also extending support for Progressive Procurement with a further $26 million over the next two years, as part of a wider $155 million investment into the Māori economy and employment.

“The new funding will help us deliver targeted capability services for 100 Māori businesses per year.

“The investment enables a scale up of the action underway since 2020, to further build Māori business capability and shift government agency buying practices to be more inclusive,” Willie Jackson said.

Māori Health and wellbeing

“This Government is investing $579.9 million for initiatives to support Māori health and wellbeing. We have already shown we achieve remarkable things when we have services designed by Māori for Māori. This is about putting whānau first and supporting new and different approaches that work for our hapori,” Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Peeni Henare said.

“What Māori have always wanted is a health system that takes care of them. Māori deserve to live longer and healthier lives, and that is why this Government is reforming our healthcare system, and why we established a new Māori Health Authority as part of the reform.

“To ensure our healthcare system can provide better health services to whānau, Budget 2022 invests $188.1 million over four years to the Māori Health Authority. This is for direct commissioning of services and more support for Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards and to ensure the voice of iwi and whānau is strongly represented across our new Māori healthcare system.

“In addition this Budget rightly acknowledges the critical role Māori Providers and health workers played in our response to COVID 19 and are central to ensuring we can implement new models of care through our reformed health system. We are providing $30 million to provide support to providers and sustain capital infrastructure.

Budget 2022 also invests $166 million in Whānau Ora commissioning activities to continue supporting approximately 40,000 whānau. This includes whānau who will be provided more intensive support through Ngā Tini Whetū, a joint agency support programme with ACC and Oranga Tamariki.

“We are also investing $39 million to provide the Māori health workforce with additional access to training and development to support them within the new health system,” Peeni Henare said.

Māori Education

The Government will continue to deliver on its commitment to support Maori education, by providing over $200 million in this Budget, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis said.

“We will continue to invest in growing a strong and capable workforce for our Māori-medium and Kaupapa Māori sector in partnership with iwi and Māori.

“Our support includes $47 million for the Māori Language Programme funding at its highest level of immersion (Level 1), with funding given directly to kura to address the needs of their ākonga and whānau.

“We are also increasing operational and capital funding for Māori-medium education to ensure Māori-medium continue to strive and to allow kura to have good quality classrooms and the ability to purchase new sites for kura.

“There is more work to do to meet our expectations for te reo, but this investment provides a strong platform for growth,” Kelvin Davis said.

Māori Language, Culture and Identity

“Unlocking the significant economic and cultural benefits for Aotearoa through intellectual property, genetic resources and international form is a focus for this Government. That is why Budget 2022 will allocate $28 million over four years towards Te Pae Tawhiti,” Associate Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Protecting mātauranga Māori and taonga is key in preserving the uniqueness of Aotearoa. The focus of this funding will be through intellectual property, genetic resources and international forums.

“We want to enable Māori businesses to use mātauranga Māori to deliver distinctive and specialised products with a powerful advantage overseas,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Government investment into culture and heritage will ensure the sector continues to flourish with a focus on resilience, sustainability, and mātauranga Māori, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan said.

“This includes boosting support for Te Matatini to develop their aspirations above and beyond the Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata Festival. Along with delivering the world leading indigenous performing arts Festival, the investment will support Te Matatini to develop a regional kapa haka model, ultimately encouraging more people to get involved in kapa haka throughout regions, enhancing social, cultural, te reo and kapa haka expertise throughout Aotearoa, and providing a further point of connection to Te Ao Māori.

“I’m especially pleased that, through this budget, we have been able to build on the great work done to introduce Matariki as our first uniquely te ao Māori public holiday. This means that every New Zealander will have the opportunity to learn about Matariki, and fully appreciate the significance of this holiday.

“We’ve lifted investment in the Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund so more communities can learn about Te Tiriti o Waitangi through local iwi Māori-led events.

“This Budget contributes to the Government’s ongoing mahi to safeguard and uplift our cultural taonga. Ultimately, our unique culture and heritage is what defines us as a nation – we have to nourish that to see it grow,” Kiri Allan said.

Natural environment and climate change

The Government has committed $162 million to whenua Māori entities to transition to a lower emissions land uses, reduce biological emissions and develop a Māori Climate Action Plan.

Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri welcomed the $35 million Agriculture Emissions Reduction funding to support more sustainable and productive land-use practices. This initiative includes a specific component providing funding for Māori agribusiness.

“Māori play a vital role moving forward as they make the most of traditional knowledge to protect our whenua and taiao and help drive productivity. It’s about determining the most appropriate uses for our whenua, adopting new technology to reduce emissions, and provide on the ground support to make the changes.”

The package also includes $36 million to strengthen mātauranga-based approaches to reducing biological emissions. Also included is $16.3 million for an Equitable Transitions Programme, $30.5 million Māori Climate Action and $11.6 for the Takutai Moana – Implementation of Engagement Strategy.

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