Goff said he could make life easier for residents by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and cutting GST from fruit and vegetables if he was elected.

''I can't promise a lot this time because this Government has turned a surplus into a $16.7 billion deficit which means it will take time to make things right.''


So in just over 2.5 years in power the Key govt has racked up a $16 billion deficit. Nothing to do with the previous Labour govt who were in power for nine years. Or the fact the Nats have retained all of Labours policies in some form. That's some achievement.

Goff's solution is to remove GST off veges & raise the minimum wage.

Goff should start predicting apocalypses - he'd actually be more believable.

In this post at The Standard, they're complaining about John Key's budget speech in parliament.   

 John tears Goff a new one.  

Now, as a political junkie I actually don't like budget day because political spin machines on both sides of the house go into over drive.  They cloud what are hugely important issues with BS.  Especially when you have Goff claim it's the worst budget he's heard in this 27 years of parliament (really Mr Goff?).  But I recognise this is a reality created by the extra media attention.   

For nine years of a Labour govt we had to put up with Clark'n Cullen slapping down National on budget day.  And Goff is known for his 'vein popping' speeches. 

 So The Standard's complaint not only highlights their hypocrisy, but how much of an effective performer John Key is becoming (otherwise they wouldn't be complaining).  

Just listened to Phil's presser.   I challenge anyone to listen to both pressers linked below & come to your own conclusion on who comes out on top.  

 John Key's answers are frank & very well informed.  And you actually learn stuff. 

Phil Goff's answers are mostly slogans.  Seriously.  For a guy who's been in parliament for over 27 years, who's read countless reports and has been in numerous ministerial posts, his answers were surprisingly shallow. 

"We don't live in some magical little world" JK referring to Labour's policy on the ETS.

From JK's post cabinet press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho7JYodHRaE&feature=player_embedded

John often uses the word magical, or magic when describing Labour's policy.  Always makes me smile.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Labour Hates Farmer

The title of this post is over simplified hyperbole.  Rather like the story Labour is pushing that Farmers don't pay their share of tax. 

Labour have made this accusation based on comparing the amount of tax collected compared with reported turn-over NOT profits like they should have.

Many on the right have launched into mocking Labour for not understanding what turn-over is.  I would never assume Labour are so stupid, but instead allege Labour chose to ignore this technically to make a cheap political shot to grab headlines & appeal to the lowest common dominator (i.e. Labour's bread and butter voters). 

Labour MPs should hold their heads in shame. 

If farming was really such a lucrative business, you'd see more young people going into it.  The fact is farms are hugely expensive to buy, and maintain.  The hours are long, & the returns for the hours are rather crap.  
At the end of the day, it's a lifestyle choice.  It is not a 9-5 job.

And to top it off, farming is still the major back-bone of our country's economy. 

I wish Labour were more focused on trying to win farmers over rather than pull them down. 

Unless you're a taxation accountant, tax rates are hard to remember.  

So as of May 2011 here are the tax rates for Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand:
$0 - $14,000 10.50 %
$14,001 - $48,000 17.50 %
$48,001 - $70,000 30 %
Over $70,000 33 %
GST = 15%

$0 – $6,000 Nil
$6,001 – $37,000 15 %
$37,001 – $80,000 30 %
$80,001 – $180,000 37 %
Over $180,000 45 %
GST = 10%

Of course this is a basic rate comparison that doesn't include things like Medicare, ACC deductions, & any number of things Australians can claim back. 

Also, for comparison, here's the New Zealand Labour govt's tax rates (1999 to 2008):

$0 - $17,500 15%
$17,501 to $40,000 21%
$40,001 to $75,000 33%
$75,001 + 39%
GST = 12.5%

Monday, May 16, 2011

Winston 1st vs Hone

"Peters told TV ONE's Marae Investigates that his party will not be taking part in the by-election"

The only political leader in New Zealand who is liked even less than Winston Peters is probably Hone Harawira.  

This represents an opportunity for Peters.  If he were to stand in Te Tai Tokerau with the stated intent not to win, but to split the vote and help the Labour candidate get over the line, he would gain a lot of kudos from the public & lots of free publicity.  

Plus, Winston may actually do quite well in the electorate given his Maori ancestry.

The fact that I prefer Winnie over Hone shows the low regard I have for the leader of the Mofo Party. 

I wonder if Winston even considered this option?  With the raise of the Mofo Party & the return of Dr Brash, I suspect Winnie been caught on the hop, and perhaps the greatest indication yet that the old master of political trickery has past his time. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Interview: Don Brash on Perigo

YouTube:  Don Brash on Perigo Part 1
Interesting to watch Dr Brash being interviewed by a hardened libertarian rather than the usual left-leaning rabble.
Due to poor sound engineering Perigo's volume was louder than Brash's which drove me nuts. 
Climate change - he's a skeptic
Civil Union - Expressed regret for voting against the second reading
YouTube:  Don Brash on Perigo Part 2
Yay, they fixed the sound issue (note the position of the microphones) .  Can actually listen to the interview.
Addresses the issue of age.  Don Brash is a role model for people wanting to have a long career.
Brash's Dad was a leftie - as was Don when he was young.
DB:  It's not true that christians have to be socialist.
DB:  Expresses anger that the left characterise the right as uncaring of the poor.
DB:  Is on the libertarian spectrum, but does not classify himself as libertarian (as do I).
Addresses the issue of John Bank's claimed 'social conservatism'.  In my opinion (IMO), if Banks is a social conservative then he's not a good fit for ACT. 
DB:  Can't guarantee he won't do something equally as silly in the future as climbing into a go-cart & walking a plank (heh ;) ).
DB:  Would be disappointed if the Brash lead ACT party doesn't get more than ten percent at the general election.
DB:  Wants to end interest free student loans.  While I agree it's a stupid policy, it happens to benefit me.  But I won't vote to keep it because what's the point in having an interest free loan is the country is going to crap & there's no good jobs.

After watching Part 1 and Part 2, of all the party leaders in NZ politics, Dr Brash probably most closely reflects my political beliefs.  Though John Key isn't to far off.  What I most like about Don Brash is that he's a conviction politician & his quiet asurring style. 
As far as my vote is concerned, this election is a battle between Key and Brash.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Labour's economic legacy

The Dom Post editorial:

The $10 billion deficit for the first nine months of this year confirms, if confirmation was needed, that the last government made bad choices. At a time of plenty it chose to buy popularity rather than to save and invest for the future. Worse still, it created an expectation that the bounty would continue to flow in bad times as well as good.

The passage above pretty much exactly articulates my problem with the last government's economic policies.  

Michael Cullen suppose to be this big time economic historian with mega brain power.  When Cullen introduced his complex web of government entitlements my primary concern at the time was the difficulty with rolling them back when the proverbial hit the fan. 

Well, it did hit the fan, & the entitlements are New Zealand equivalent of lead shoes. 

Surely there must have been a more simple way to distribute the spoils of the booming economy?

Regardless, the Labour opposition needs to be reminded of this & held to account for their economic policies so that future Labour governments, or any government, don't make the same mistakes.

The previous Labour government was a Machiavellian genius.  

In order to snap National receiving a donation from a BMW owner & to imply corruption, they had to replace the entire Ministerial fleet with BMW cars when in govt.  Insert a renewal clause in the contract.  Then, loss the election and wait patiently from the opposition benches until an unsuspecting BMW owner donates to National.  

Then - BAM!  Got 'em. 

You've got to admire Labour's cunning. 



More political irony.  Hone Harawira complained loudly that Dr Brash's take over of the Act Party was somehow undemocratic, yet at the same time he doesn't want the Maori Party to put up a candidate against him in the Te Tai Tokerau by election. 
It's great that people in the Maori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau will now have some choice.

Phil Goff is a reassembly active tweeter. He didn't tweet once about the Royal Wedding. He is a known republican, but given the number of New Zealanders who watched the ceremony, he could've at least acknowledged it was on let alone wish the couple well.

He managed to find the time to tweet about Osama bin Laden & Dr Brash's take over of the Act party.

Helen Clark demonstrated that you can be an avid republican while maintaining a cordial relationship with the monarchy.

Phil Goff's aggressive republicanism further demonstrates he is not a statesman and therefore an unsuitable candidate for Prime Minister of New Zealand.


"But the toughest call of all would have been to try to capture bin Laden no matter what the political downside.
It is a supreme irony that Mr Bush was vilified around the world as a war criminal and condemned for his bellicose rhetoric. But it is Mr Obama, armed with a silky tongue, a Nobel Peace Prize and an education in hardball Chicago politics, who took the Wild West adage a stage further. He decided that he wanted bin Laden "dead or dead"."

As John Ansell said "In politics as in life, things are often the opposite of the way they seem."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dr Brash vs Hone

Yeah, the TVNZ debate.  Dr Brash did pretty well. In his typical style, Don just stuck to his well reasoned arguments rather than aggressively going after Hone - something many would've preferred.
Part of Don's appeal is being the unlikely hero. 

What struck me was Hone's arrogant body language while Don was talking.  

For my two cents - who does Hone exactly represent?  Maori make up roughly 14% of the population and there's no way he's going to get anywhere near that percentage of the vote.  So like pakeha, most Maori think Hone is a dick & won't vote for him.  So who does he represent?  The answer is himself and the Harawira tribe.  And that's pretty much the extent of it. If Hone was really an advocate for the Maori he would've stuck with the Maori party. 

So many potential blogging topics lately.

Osama - is finally swimming with the fishes.  Why no photos or video of his corpse?  The conspiracy nut bars are going into overtime.  Surely the Obama team should have anticipated this and had a plastic surgeon on standby to do some quick reconstruction work on Osama to make him presentable.  They did something similar for saddam Hussain's dead sons.  Plus the story around the events keeps changing, which just fuels conspiracy theory loonies. For one, I don't need to see the evidence.  I believe the white House.

Obama's address to the nation was a bit of a mixed-bag of themes.  From G.W. Bush type rhetoric, to sensitive diplomatic speak, with some ego stroking in between. I thought it was crap to be honest and reckon David Cameron would've been far more convincing.  

I wonder if the Americans would've been so jubilant if the British Royal Marines or the SAS were the ones to pop off Osama rather than the US Navy Seal...?