Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

38 years of offending

September 28th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

With one final flourish – a one fingered gesture to the sentencing judge – Allan Ivo Greer began a sentence of preventive detention for sexual offending against teenagers.

The sentencing in the High Court in Wellington today was marked by Greer, 52, interrupting, laughing at his victim’s trauma and insults to the judge.

A lovely man, who sounds like an ideal choice for pveventive detention.

The judge said Greer had 153 previous convictions, beginning when he was 14 in the Youth Court, and had been to prison for seven years for sexual violation in 2004.

Justice MacKenzie said those offences showed disturbing similarities to the current charges.

Again, he should have been locked up for good well before now.

He said there was a high risk of Greer reoffending and he had come to the belief the only sentence was preventive detention.

He also imposed a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

A non parole period of 20 years would be better, but I suspect he will not get out at 10 years, which is good.

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Drink driving rate well down

September 27th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The number of breath-tests done by police has rocketed in the past six years.

Figures provided to The Dominion Post show that the number of breath tests increased steadily from 1,713,438 in 2008 to 3,027,347 last year.

The figures suggest that a substantial drop in the number of drink-driving convictions over the same period can be attributed to a reduction in motorists choosing to drink and drive, rather than to any drop in police resourcing.

Last week it was revealed that the number of convictions for driving with excess breath alcohol, excess blood alcohol or refusing to provide a sample had dropped from 30,976 in 2009 to 23,024 last year.

They don’t use the same base year but if we assume 2008 and 2009 are the same, then the number of tests is up 77% and the number of convictions are down 26%. The conviction rate has gone from one in 55 people tested to one in 131. That’s an excellent trend.

Perhaps it is an indication that we can shift some resources from breath tests, to other areas?


Most complaints were about FemSoc not EnSoc

September 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The University of Canterbury has fielded 57 complaints since a student car event that campus feminists say poked fun at women, Islam, Malaysia Airlines and the Ebola crisis. 

The Engineering Society (Ensoc) encouraged members to theme their RoUndie 500 cars and costumes ”the more inappropriate the better” at the weekend, sparking complaints from the Feminists’ Society (FemSoc).

But 47 of those complaints were actually made against the feminists, a university spokesman said.

”A small number of [complaints] are from members of the public and alumni, but most are from students.”

The complaints about FemSoc related to the ”perceived approach” used to draw attention to the issue, including commenting to the media before making a formal complaint to the university, and alleged provision of information to the media without the approval of the students featured, he said.

The complaints received about Ensoc related to the perceived offensive nature of some of the vehicles published on social media.

Would be a great own goal if it is the complaints about FemSoc that are upheld. Having said that I think it is silly that the university is involved at all. Each club is entitled to their own point of view.


An Unseasonable Fall of Snow

September 26th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

An Unseasonable Fall of Snow, at Circa, is one of those plays that grips you from the first minute and never lets go. It is a play full of mystery. Who is Arthur the interrogator? Is he a police officer? A lawyer? And what exactly is it that young Liam has done?

It is a who dun it, but not in the usual way. For 90 minutes you are intrigued and guessing, and then somewhat stunned and moved as it all comes together.

The play is a fest of Brophys. Well known Geraldine Brophy is the director. The other three Brophys are not related to Geraldine but are father Jed, mother Yolande and son Riley.

Jed and Riley play Arthur and Liam respectively, and both excel. They portray their characters with conviction and you the tension between them is excellent.

Yolande plays Toni, a brief but important character, and she is also the production manager.

For me to enjoy a play, I have to get an emotional connection, and this play not only made the connection but sustained it for 90 minutes. The sense of mystery, the tension between the two leads, the slow revealing of clues, and the, shall we call it,  moment of truth. A simple yet effective set supported by sympathetic lighting all contributed to a great experience.

It’s one of those rare plays I’d quite like to go back and see a second time, to see what clues I didn’t pick up early on.

The play is set in Wellington, which also adds to the enjoyment and familiarity. It is on until Saturday 4 October.

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NZ 2nd most competitive tax system in OECD

September 26th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Tax Foundation assesses the tax systems of OECD countries. They note:

Many countries have been working hard to improve their tax codes. New Zealand is a good example of one of those countries. In a 2010 presentation, the chief economist of the New Zealand Treasury stated, “Global trends in corporate and personal taxes are making New Zealand’s system less internationally competitive.”

In response to these global trends, New Zealand cut its top marginal income tax rate from 38 percent to 33 percent, shifted to a greater reliance on the goods and services tax, and cut their corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 30 percent. This followed a shift to a territorial tax system in 2009. New Zealand added these changes to a tax system that already had multiple competitive features, including no inheritance tax, no general capital gains tax, and no
payroll taxes.

In a world where businesses, people, and money can move with relative ease, having a competitive tax code has become even more important to economic success. The example set by New Zealand and other reformist countries shows the many ways countries can improve their uncompetitive tax codes.

In the digital age, capital and labour are highly mobile. Companies can choose which countries to base themselves in, to sell to the world from.

The top 10 countries are:

  1. Estonia 100
  2. NZ 88
  3. Switzerland 82
  4. Sweden 80
  5. Australia 78
  6. Luxembourg 77
  7. Netherlands 77
  8. Slovak Republic 74
  9. Turkey 70

They also note:

Under this measure, no country has a perfect VAT or sales tax base. New Zealand has the broadest base with a ratio of 0.99

We have the simplest and broadest GST in the world. We should resist exemptions that complicate it.

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VUWSA pulls out of NZUSA

September 26th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Salient reports:

VUWSA has unanimously voted to withdraw from NZUSA, citing the union’s failure to reform and general poor performance.

The withdrawal could be the death knell for NZUSA, which has narrowly clung on to disillusioned students’ associations for the past few years.

NZUSA is the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, with 14 students’-association members. Each students’ association pays an annual fee to NZUSA which is based on the size and financial viability of the association. This year, VUWSA’s contribution was $45,000.

“Students gave us the mandate to stay if there were significant reforms. There haven’t been. Now what’s important is having the conversation to make sure there’s a strong national voice on student issues, in a more effective use of $45,000 student dollars. We take our fiduciary responsibility with students’ money seriously.”

I think it is important students have strong voices. Of course there is no one universal view among students. I suspect more students voted National than any other party, yet NZUSA has never been a voice for those students. They are almost part of the Labour-Greens machine.

So how to have effective representation for students at the national level?

What I would do if I was VUWSA, is get together with the saner student associations such as OUSA, UCSA and the like and put say $15,000 in each to a Wellington based professional company such as Education Directions, Saunders Unsworth, Ideas Shop, Senate SHL etc and hire them to advocate for the interests of tertiary students. They won’t organise petitions against asset sales, but they would do high quality submissions to Ministers, departments and select committees – and would be able to advise and implement effective strategy.

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Anti-fluoride ad misleading

September 26th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An anti-fluoridation website ad has been removed after it was found to have “unjustifiably played on fear”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint about an advertisement on the Fluoride Free New Zealand website that stated doctors and dentists believed fluoride caused harm.

But in its written decision, released today, the ASA found the Fluoride Free New Zealand advertisement was likely to be misleading.

It said the claims were presented as facts but were not substantiated, and the advertisement “unjustifiably played on fear”.

The ASA ordered the ad to removed from the website.

The decision is here.

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Another candidate for three strikes

September 25th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The demolition worker who choked a Dunedin man to death in a bar toilet was a “parasite” who showed no remorse in court yesterday, a grieving uncle says.

Stephen Anthony Fernyhough, 26, snapped at the victim’s supporters as he was sentenced in the High Court at Dunedin to five years in prison for the manslaughter of Ryan Court, 35, in the Craft Bar on April 27.

Details of Mr Court’s death prompted gasps and several outbursts from a packed and tense public gallery, with Fernyhough, flanked by two guards, responding “f…wits”.

“Shut up, you weren’t there.”

Earlier, the court heard how Fernyhough, who had 76 previous convictions over a nine-year period, used a choker hold on Mr Court for between 20 and 40 seconds, following a disagreement in the men’s toilet.

“Don’t mess with the wee man,” Fernyhough said as he left the unconscious man and fled the scene with his associates.

If three strikes was in earlier, and two of his 76 previous convictions were strike offences, he’d be in for 20 years, not potentially out in two years

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New high for trade surplus

September 25th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar


This shows the current balance of trade, or value of exports over imports. It has just hit a new high.

Stats NZ reports:

Goods exports rose $227 million in August 2014 compared with August 2013, to $3.5 billion, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Live animals led the rise in exports, due to live cattle. Milk powder, butter, and cheese exports also contributed to the increase, led by higher quantities. The 16-percent rise in milk powder, butter, and cheese was led by milk fat and cheese.

“Cattle, milk fat, and cheese contributed to the rise in exports,” international statistics manager Jason Attewell said. “It is the first time in three years that a rise in dairy was not led by milk powder.”

The value of imported goods fell $536 million to $4.0 billion, compared with August 2013. The fall was influenced by the one-off import of a drilling platform in August last year. The monthly trade balance for August was a deficit of $472 million (13 percent of exports) – the smallest for an August month since 2010.

Seasonally adjusted exports rose 15 percent, led by increases in crude oil, dairy, and meat exports. Seasonally adjusted imports fell 2.8 percent.

There is going to be volatility withe the diary price, but overall our trade position is still strong. If we want to make it stronger we need to keep pushing for free trade agreements.

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Are students really starving?

September 25th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The headline:

Students starve to pay their bills

The story continues:

The number of hardship grant applications were increasing as more students were finding themselves in “dire situations”, Association of Students at UCOL (AS@U) president Miranda Orpin said.

It is the least surprising thing in the world that every year more and more students say yes to free cash. Students are not stupid.

Massey linguistics student Lauren Gennills and agri-commerce student Karn Dhaliwal, both 21, said sacrifices had to be made, including cutting back in things like fresh fruit and veges, to cover other costs, like rent and bills.

“You have days where you’ve got maybe $2 to feed yourself for that day and you learn to live off that, but at the end of it you’ve still got this massive student loan to pay off, and you’re stuck in that cycle for ages,” Gennills said.

On the general issue I wish media would never run stories on cost of living without asking for a detailed break down of income and expenditure, so readers can judge for themselves the situation.

On the specific issue, Lauren herself has noted on her Facebook:

hahaha oh dear, a lot of what we said was more about most students in general, not actually about ourselves, but they really made it seem like i was referring to my own financial situation! have had family members all day texting me horrified that i am now the new face of hunger in palmy!

So Lauren herself says the article is misleading.

I’ve had a look through the Facebook pages of Lauren and Karn. They both seem very cool friendly people, and in no way are they political activists for a cause. They seem very typical students. I would note however that contrary to the perception in the article of starving students (and I am not blaming them, but the story) they seem to have pretty good social lives judging by the photos, and references to Big Day Out etc.

I have no doubt that it is as tough today living on a student allowance or loan, as it was in my day. But it is not starvation.

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He would not have got out under three strikes

September 22nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A gang member with an extensive history of violence has avoided a sentence of preventive detention for the second time.

Robert Winterburn, 47, has spent most of his adult life in jail, with convictions for manslaughter and attempted murder.

When he appeared before Justice Potter in 1997, she warned him that if he ever appeared in court again there would be no option but a sentence of preventive detention.

But when the Waipukurau Mongrel Mob member appeared for sentencing on his latest raft of offences before Justice Joe Williams in the High Court at Napier yesterday, he was instead jailed for 11 years and four months, with a non-parole period of five years and four months.

The offences included rape and threatening to kill, after he drove his girlfriend to Pukehou cemetery, near Waipawa, last year, telling her she was “never going home again”. He forced her to undress because he thought she was wearing a police bug, and raped her.

If three strikes had been in place previously he would have got a life sentence with no parole for the manslaughter in 1997.  As well as the manslaughter he also stabbed another prisoner five times. I doubt he will ever not be a danger to the community and he should have got preventive detention. Three strikes means that on your third serious violent or sexual offence you get the maximum sentence without parole.

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Is drink driving down?

September 20th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

The number of us prepared to drink and drive has plummeted in the past five years, but there are still pockets of the country bucking the trend.

Convictions for drink-driving, or refusing to supply a sample, decreased in all but five of the country’s 64 district courts between 2009 and 2013, the latest available Ministry of Justice figures show.

The only courts to enter more convictions last year than in 2009 were Waipukurau, Ruatoria, Thames, Oamaru and Westport.

Waipukurau and Ruatoria saw the biggest increases, of 33 per cent and 54 per cent respectively, and while the other three had marginal increases, they were a long way from the national decrease of 25 per cent, the figures, released to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act, show.

I’m not sure you can conclude on this data that drink driving has plummeted. It may have, but the number of convictions will be dependent on how much time is spent on checking motorists. I presume it has not decreased, but we don’t know.

The better measure would be the detection rate – what proportion of motorists stopped, are found to have excess blood alcohol?


Smallest net migration to Australia since 1995!

September 19th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stats NZ reports:

“New Zealand had its highest-ever net gain of 43,500 migrants in the August 2014 year,” population statistics project manager Susan Hollows said. “The previous high of 42,500 migrants was in the May 2003 year.”

The new net migration record was driven by more arrivals and fewer departures of permanent and long-term migrants.

Migrant arrivals reached a new high of 103,900 in the August 2014 year. The increase in arrivals compared with the August 2013 year was led by more students, particularly from India, and more New Zealand citizens arriving from Australia.

The fall in migrant departures was primarily due to fewer departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia (down 15,100), compared with the August 2013 year. The net loss of 6,500 people to Australia in the August 2014 year was the smallest since the January 1995 year (6,200).

Here’s a graph of it:


It’s great to both see the number of Kiwis leaving to Australia almost halve, but also greater numbers of people coming here from Australia. Let’s keep New Zealand a place people want to move to, and stay in.


Time for Police to uphold the law

September 19th, 2014 at 6:55 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

It has been the subject of legal wrangling for seven years but, despite a court order, nobody seems to know what to do about the body of James Takamore.

The Christchurch man died in 2007, and his family spirited his body away against the wishes of partner Denise Clarke and buried it at Kutarere Marae, near Opotiki, in the Bay of Plenty.

In 2012 the Supreme Court ruled in Clarke’s favour, but last month an attempt to disinter the body backfired after angry protesters blocked funeral directors and police from the cemetery.

The Dominion Post can reveal the case has now been passed to the office of the solicitor-general for it to figure out the next step.

The family have had seven years to obey the law. They are not above the law. The Supreme  Court has ruled on this issue. The Police have tried the low key approach, and the family have rejected that. The only way left is for the Police to again go in to allow the body to be moved, and to arrest anyone who tries to interfere.

Tuhoe spokesman Tamati Kruger said police storming on to private land to dig up the body would be the worst-case scenario.

He knew the family well and understood the rift that had formed between them and Clarke and her children was upsetting.

“They’re very, very unhappy about the breakdown in the relationship between them, Denise and the children, and welcome anything that may go towards repairing the relationship.”

However, the Crown had no place in Maori tikanga and should back away to give the family time to sort through the problem itself.

“The worst-case scenario is nobody will talk with each other and . . . we have the police invading a private cemetery and taking away James’ body.”

With respect they’ve had seven years, and two years since the final court ruling. The family have had lots of time to sort through it. If the Police have to use force, it is entirely the family’s fault.

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A 110 km/hr speed limit?

September 18th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

Open-road speed limits could vary by up to 50km/h under a new classification system signalled to traffic engineers in Auckland.

Transport Agency safety manager Helen Climo told the Traffic Institute at its annual conference yesterday that a new rule should be finalised by the end of next year allowing speeds of up to 110km/h on a small number of well-engineered highways and motorways.

The Government has made no decisions on this, but I hope they do increase the limit on roads with good enough engineering to allow a higher limit.


Why does a convicted killer get name suppression?

September 18th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An Auckland grandmother who beat a 77-year-old man unconscious before setting him on fire will spend at least the next 15 years in prison.

The 48-year-old woman, whose name is suppressed, previously admitted the murder of Peter Lance Dixon, who was found dead in his South Auckland home after a fire in February 2012.

The High Court at Auckland yesterday heard the horrifying details of the killing, which Crown prosecutor Warren Cathcart called “calculated and callous in the extreme”.

The woman, who whimpered throughout, was jailed for life and Justice Rebecca Ellis imposed a minimum non-parole period of 15 years.

She’s been convicted and sentenced. Why does she have name suppression?


Let’s ban bottle openers!

September 17th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Christ’s College is perpetuating New Zealand’s heavy drinking culture by giving senior pupils a bottle-opener keyring at the school ball, an alcohol reform campaigner says.

The keyring, inscribed with “CC Ball 2014″, was given to the boys, mostly aged 17 or 18, at the ball on Saturday night. Girls were given lip balm.

National Addiction Centre director Professor Doug Sellman said the school was facilitating “the normalisation and glamourisation of heavy drinking” by presenting a collectable bottle opener.

“For the bottle opener to also be a keyring, which directly promotes a permissive attitude towards drink driving, raises the stakes of inappropriateness to top-shelf,” he said.

Christ’s College headmaster Simon Leese defended the gift, saying it was “almost laughable” someone would make an issue of it.

“Anybody can go into Briscoes, and anywhere else, and buy a bottle opener at any age. Frankly, this is a nonsense line of inquiry.”

I agree. I also point out that youth drinking rates have been falling for many years.


Should we keep juries for rape trials?

September 17th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Rape myths do the most damage when they show up among jurors – and for that reason, juries should not be part of sexual assault trials, Louise Nicholas says.

The anti-rape advocate believes jurors in such trials often bring their own biases and trauma about the crime into the courtroom.

“People go in with their own thinking. They may have been a victim of sex violence in their lifetime, and a lot of those people have their judgments, like I didn’t need a counsellor, I didn’t need to go through this.

“To take jurors out of the process is a huge step forward to abolishing rape myths.”

I’m massively against Labour’s policy to make people who have sex prove they are innocent of rape. Reversing the burden of proof is an horrific idea.

But I think there are more balanced arguments over whether rape trials should be with Judges only.

Nicholas was in Wellington to talk to Victoria University students about sexual assault and the justice system, days after Wellington police dropped a sexual assault inquiry into an incident outside Massey University last month.

Nicholas said false allegations of rape make it harder for victims. “We certainly do have women, in particular, who come forward because they’re pissed off about their boyfriend shagging their mate.”

The danger was that the public then started to assume all claims were false, she said. “It does put a stigma on other victims.”

Good to see Nicholas talk about the damage caused by false allegations. They harm actual rape victims.

The removal of jurors from rape trials was recommended by the Law Commission in 2012, but was rejected by the Government.

Acting Justice Minister Chris Finlayson said that the right to a jury trial was a fundamental part of the criminal justice system, but the re-traumatising of victims should not be.

“The Ministry of Justice is working on legislation to tighten the rules about questioning a complainant about previous sexual experiences, and establishing a presumption that child witnesses give their evidence via the video of their police interview.”

Which seem reasonable steps.


NZ 6th for education efficiency

September 15th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

A report assessing 30 OECD countries for their educational efficiency (results vs money spent) has New Zealand as 6th best. The top 10 are:

  1. Finland 87.8%
  2. Korea 86.7%
  3. Czech Republic 84.4%
  4. Hungary 84.1%
  5. Japan 83.9%
  6. New Zealand 83.3%
  7. Slovenia 83.3%
  8. Australia 81.2%
  9. Sweden 80.6%
  10. Iceland 79.4%

Of interest the two most efficient systems have relatively large class sizes. Finland averages 1:16.5 and NZ 1:13.5.  Greece by the way has a 1:9.7 ratio!

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The NBR paywall

September 12th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

NBR has given some details around its paywall, as the Herald confirms they will introduce one in early 2015. Some details:

  • 3,000 individual subscriptions (at $230 each = $690,000)
  • 300 business subscriptions
  • NBR gets 55,000 visitors and 300,000 pageviews a day
  • Total revenune for NBR Online around $1 million a year
  • Print circulation revenue around $2,850,000

I’ve often cited NBR as a rare paywall model that works. They get the mix of free and non free stuff right, and they provide analysis and news you can get elsewhere. People won’t pay for news stories that are covered on a dozen other sites, but they will for quality analysis.



Former Salient staff now journalists

September 12th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Salient interviewed over Twitter a number of former staff who are still in journalism, and the q+a are quite interesting. Those who responded include Patrick Gower (3 News), Elle Hunt (Radio NZ/The Wireless), Laura McQuillan (NewstalkZB), Matt Nippert (Fairfax), John Campbell (Campbell Live), Simon WIlson (Metro) and Toby Manhire (Listener et al).


A great small business story

September 10th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

When the Christchurch earthquake left hairdresser Michele Robertson and her friends short of a workplace, she decided to open her own.

Few 23-year-olds saw opportunity in the destruction of their city. But Robertson, who has worked in salons since she was 16, had always wanted to own her own.

“I was naive enough to think it could work,” she says.

“And it did.”

But Robertson was not without her naysayers.

“The first meeting I had with the bank manager – the earthquake had just happened, he might have been having a bad day – but the way he spoke to me was so degrading,” she says. “I went home and nearly gave up.”

Even reality television show host Tabatha Coffey, of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, said Robertson was “crazy” when she met her at a hairdressing event at the Sky Tower.

But Robertson figured, “If I failed, I had the rest of my life to fix it. If I succeeded, I’d set myself up for a really good career.”

She opened Balayage, in Addington, five months after the earthquake in July 2011, thanks to $15,000 loan from her parents via the bank.

Mentors such as former boss Sonya Mbonyinshuti and uncle Jon Weir, who owns a construction company in Christchurch, encouraged Robertson to learn from their failures, as well as their successes.

Their main advice?

“Not seeing money that comes into your bank account as yours. It’s not,” Robertson says.

Following this, she paid herself about $200 a week for the first seven months and put most of salon’s revenue into a tax and GST account. She worked six days out of seven, and lived at home.

After one year, Robertson owned Balayage freehold and had a $2000 surplus, which she gave to local charity Te Mapua Child and Youth Trust.

That’s a great story. We need more people like Michelle willing to give it a go. Her experience of very low incomes for the initial year is not unique. I know of an advertising agency where the owners were paying themselves less than the receptionist, in a bid to keep it going.

This is one of the reasons why we should be very wary of employment law changes that will impose extra costs on small businesses. Many of them start off on the verge of failure, and it would not take much to push them over the edge.


Issues that matter – the Economy

September 9th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

I think the economy matters and should be a much bigger issue in this election so I’ve put together almost a dozen graphs showing the difference between National and Labour’s record on 11 important economic indicators. These are issues that matter to families and businesses.



Food prices increased 18.6% in Labour’s last term. Food prices have increased only 1.3% in National’s last three years.



Labour left office with the current account deficit at 7.9% of GDP. It is now at 2.8%.



Power prices went up 22.9% in Labour’s last three years. The rate has halved to 12.1% in National’s last three years.



There was a net loss of 35,830 people to Australia in Labour’s last year of office. In the last 12 months only 7,150 net departures – and in recent months under 100 a month.



The overall cost of living increases or inflation totalled 9.5% in Labour’s last three years. A third of that now at 3.3% over the last three years of National.



Labour left office with an annual balance of trade deficit of $5.3 billion. In the last 12 months it has been a surplus of $1.3 billion



Remember Labour wanting to remove GST off fruit and vegetables. Under the last three years of Labour their prices went up 33.2%! Total increase in the last three years is a mere 1.4%.



The deficit in 2008/09 (on the fiscal settings left by Labour, and the impact of the GFC) was a massive $10.5 billion. Labour have opposed every piece of spending restraint since, but despite their opposition we are on track to a small $300 million surplus this year.



In June 2008 the median after tax income for a full time worker was $38,600 (in 2013 dollars). That has increased to $42,100 by June 2013, meaning the median FT worker has an extra $3,500 income to spend – and this during the worst recession the world has seen since the Great Depression.



Unemployment went up by 27,000 in Labour’s last year in office. It has declined by 17.000 in the last 12 months, and is projected to keep declining.

You are welcome to share any or all of these graphs. All data is directly from Stats NZ Infoshare except the income data where I have used the IRD website to calculate the tax impact and the Reserve Bank website to adjust them for inflation.

New Zealanders have a clear choice. Remaining on our present course which is surplus, falling unemployment, low prices, fewer Kiwis leaving, growing after tax incomes and affordable food – or a radical change of policy which would see many more taxes, less competition, a massively expanded state and an unstable alternate Government.

It is only through a healthy economy do we get to have the money to fund our health and education systems. And that brings me to my final graph.


That is economic growth for Labour’s last year in office, and National’s last 12 months.

Government do not directly control many of these economic measures. But they can and do impact them with their economic policies. The difference between where we are today and where we were in the mid to late 2000s is stark.

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The best ever bail decision by a Judge

September 8th, 2014 at 5:35 pm by David Farrar

Bail Judgment

I love this bail decision by Judge Roy Wade. He has included in the court note, the comments of the defendant as he refused bail!


A cool school app

September 6th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Keeping up with the kids’ school activities just got easier for some Hamilton parents thanks to a mobile phone app.

Parents can notify absences, check upcoming events and get notices and more through Southwell School’s app.

It has been up and running for around two weeks and is so far on about 500 phones.

The free app runs on iPhone and Android and was developed by Snapp Mobile in about six weeks, Helm said.

Southwell would have spent less than $5000 on the app, which came with a “back end” website so the school can make minor modifications.

Snapp Mobile director Joshua Woodham said more and more schools were choosing to communicate with parents through apps.

School parents were on the go and found it helpful to receive updates and alerts on their mobile devices wherever they were, he said.

Functions of the Southwell app include checking out upcoming events and copying them to personal calendars, linking parents to ticket purchasing, quick access to staff contact details, and alerts straight to mobile.

That’s a very worthwhile investment. Good initiative.