Blog

Petulance & Policy Paralysis

One can only hope Sir John was out hitting golf balls and Mr. English stomping round in the mud. Such was the embarrassing nature of Simon Bridges’ speech on budget day, the former leaders would have been shocked to see the extent the leadership capabilities of their former party had fallen. Bridges was supported of course by a cast of sneering MP’s just as culpable in behavior that would not be tolerated in a primary school class room.  While the Prime Minister, relentlessly positive as always, managed to retain the moral high ground, in the most part, the scenes of red and blue in their trenches jeering across the room left no surprise as to why the faith and engagement in our democracy is dwindling.

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Spending Our Way Out Of Trouble

The recent funding model proposed for the new Auckland rail developments, along with last week’s budget announcement shows the impacts of the Budget Responsibility Rules committed to by Labour before the election.  

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Weak Analyses Plus Political Bias: Failure Inevitable for the Tax Working Group?

The TWG has been set an impossible mission – improve the tax regime, make it more efficient and fair, but don’t recommend any changes to the tax treatment of owner occupied housing. And another – make the tax system fairer but don’t deal with the interface between tax rates and welfare (which is just negative tax after all).

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Cannabis use and Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine and cannabis are illegal drugs that have their supply chains controlled by gangs. While both cause harm, they exist at separate ends of the spectrum. The stigma surrounding the use of cannabis is steadily eroding, and while there are laggards, namely of the political kind, the general consensus is that we should overhaul the current laws that govern its use. They are after all, almost half a century old and with 40% of adults having used the drug, have demonstrably failed.

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Hats Off To David Parker

One of the biggest frustrations with partisan politics is that very rarely do we see good ideas acknowledged as good ideas. Every now and then we get a policy announcement that simply makes sense. Environment Minister David Parker’s recent comments regarding changes to the RMA, specifically relating to the amount of nutrient that can be lost from a farm is one such policy.

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New Zealand: A living breathing example of Dr Seuss's The Lorax

Our land 2018, a recent report released  by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, has found we are damaging and losing our soils and our native plants and animals.

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A Critique of "Cutting with both arms of the scissors.

The economic and political case for restrictive supply-side climate policies". Fergus Green & Richard Denniss, Climatic Change*

Gareth Morgan, April 2018

Greenpeace New Zealand CEO Russell Norman has kindly sent me an academic paper that supports the implementation of supply reducing policies on fossil fuels, as an effective weapon for combating climate change. I thank Russell for that, the following is my critique of that paper and why the conclusions it draws are simply wrong, except in the most unlikely scenario where significant global supply of fossil fuels is withdrawn.

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Oil & Gas Policy - What to expect from Drips

We all want carbon emissions reduced and fast – well all of us apart from the few Neanderthals that have an ideological opposition to the science of human-induced climate change.

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Winners and Loser: The New Zealand Tax System

Taxation has very much been in the limelight in recent weeks. We have the seen the government chastised for a plan to implement increased taxes on fuel by around 10c per litre over the next few years. There has been the constant spectre of the Tax Working Group hanging over us, and over the weekend, the appointment of Marama Davidson as Co-leader of the Greens gave rise to the discussion of new and higher taxes, including higher income tax, for which she is a supporter.

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Labour's Transport Policy: Half right or half cocked?

The government is set to break its pre-election promise not to introduce any new taxes till 2020 . It proposes to increase in fuel tax of between 9 to 12 cents per litre over the next three years. This is on top of the 10 cents per litre regional fuel levy that Aucklanders will pay from July 1. Regardless of Labour’s political posturing that higher excise tax isn’t “new”, and that anyway National increased it while they were in power – what the tax rise means is that we will all pay more for our fuel in order to fund investment in light rail, rail infrastructure, and safety improvements for our roads.

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