Alison Brook finds that there are now more underemployed people in our workforce than those jobless, and that underemployment will continue to climb and may never return to pre-pandemic levels. The implications are large and negative

Alison Brook finds that there are now more underemployed people in our workforce than those jobless, and that underemployment will continue to climb and may never return to pre-pandemic levels. The implications are large and negative
Photo by nrd on Unsplash

New Zealand’s unexpectedly low unemployment rate for the June quarter took almost everyone by surprise. At 4 percent it was well below market and Treasury’s own expectations. But behind the headline unemployment figures was the biggest drop in hours worked since records began 30 years ago.

Globally the collapse in the available hours of work has been a defining feature of the pandemic. Underemployment tends to rise after a recession then gradually recedes. But after the global financial crisis of 2008, underemployment for most developed countries never trended back down to pre-recession levels.

Underemployment represents people who are working fewer hours a week than they want or need, or are in jobs that are below their qualifications. The impact of the coronavirus on underemployment is already being felt:

In the US, the number of involuntary part-time workers was 3.3 million higher in August from February this year.

In the UK, the underemployment rate from April to June was 8.6 percent up from 7.6 percent in the same period last year.

In Australia, the seasonally adjusted underemployment rate in July was at 11.2 percent, up from 8.5 percent in 2019.

In New Zealand, the underemployment numbers grew sharply from 90,000 in December to 125,000 in June and hours worked fell by a record 10.3 percent.

Source: Stats NZ

For the first time in New Zealand, there are now more underemployed people than unemployed, which suggests there is considerably more slack in the labour market than the unemployment rates suggest.

If the experience from the GFC is repeated, underemployment will continue to climb and may never return to pre-pandemic levels. This has big implications for New Zealand’s recovery. When people’s finances are stretched it reduces consumer demand and slows economic growth.

Most of the underemployed are part-time workers and New Zealand already had one of the highest rates of part-time workers in the OECD. By 1999, 20 percent of the available workforce were working part time. Of those people, Stats NZ estimates that one in five of those working part time were not doing so by choice.

Part-time Employment Rate in OECD Countries

Source: OECD

Is the job market shrinking?

The job market was shrinking globally well before the arrival of coronavirus. According to a recent ILO report, not enough new jobs are being created to absorb the growing labour supply with almost a billion people worldwide working fewer hours than they would like. It’s predicted that the reduction in economic output caused by the coronavirus could see a loss of anywhere up to 340 million full-time jobs by the end of 2020.

Who is more likely to be affected?

Underemployment tends to affect those who are also most impacted by the current crisis: women, younger workers and those more likely to be on variable wages, such as hospitality, tourism and retail staff.

Decline in job quality

Low quality jobs (less hours worked for less income) tend to be a by-product of recessions, but job quality has been declining in much of the advanced world since the 1990s.

In addition to the growing numbers of part-time workers, temp, contract and freelance jobs are on the rise. Hays Recruitment suggests these latter short-term jobs now account for 30 percent of New Zealand’s workforce.

While there is no definitive answer as to why underemployment is growing, it seems to be driven by structural economic factors. These include technological advances, skills mismatch for the new jobs being created, and the decline in manufacturing jobs relative to lower-paid service industry roles.

Depressed wage growth

While the persistently low unemployment should be placing an upward pressure on wages, the opposite is occurring. In the search for explanations for the persistently low wage growth in developed countries since the GFC, there is evidence that underemployment has been responsible.

Underemployment effects on mental health

A recent study of underemployed workers in the UK found that involuntary part-time work takes a toll on the individual’s mental health due to:

  • increased financial strain from a drop in income
  • less contact with the workplace and the positive benefits “having a sense of being useful and needed by others, being active, and having a structured experience of time” and
  • lower levels of self-esteem compared to their fully employed contemporaries.

College graduates who are unable to find jobs that match their qualifications are hit particularly hard according to a 2012 Gallup Poll.

So while wage subsidies have so far successfully prevented the unemployment rate from skyrocketing to the levels initially forecast, the levels of underemployment will ultimately give a better indication of the true health and wellbeing of the labour force. The focus now needs to be on creating high-quality, full-time jobs, and crucially, ensuring the workforce is armed with the right skills for the jobs of the future.

*Alison Brook is from the Knowledge Exchange Hub at the Massey University campus at Albany, Auckland. She is on the GDPLive team. This article is a post from the GDPLive blog, and is here with permission. The New Zealand GDPLive resource can also be accessed here.

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The problem in NZ is we have too much government, it makes it a very expensive country and wages don't go very far.


100% agree. Over governance in NZ is crazy for our tin pot population of 5m. The layers of bureaucracy from Central Government to Regional Councils to City Councils etc are joke. If you scrapped half of them the outcomes would be the same but house prices in Wellington would tank.
Economy is in the sh#t but no mention of cuts in the public sector.

Austerity? yes for sure, it will be on 2021-23 soft/hush not to be mentioned agenda - cannot avoid that, but c'mon which parties dares to mention it during this election period? - don't scare the sheeple as they got heaps into RE debt laden wealth scheme.

What an absolute load of rubbish. Where is there any kind of fact or evidence to even remotely back this up? One of the many problems in this country has been the pursuit of the race to the bottom for wages, where the so called gig economy rules all. Like the trickle down myth it was perpetuated that people will be free to move around and have the freedom to choose their careers, and by proxy life.

Which has of course resulted in a race to the bottom for wages, lowering of workers rights, all balanced in the employers favour with no incentive to invest in staff or research.

One guess as to the main instigator - National, led by Key, perpetuated by Collins.


A sore spot. Sounds like you are on the NZ Government gravy chain. haha

Nope. Try again.


Well those in the States sector have not had a race to the bottom for wages. I would like to fire some of the country's council ceo's and then give it a year to see any secured similar compensation in the private sector, I could bet on odds like that.

I have many farming friends paying a shepherds wage in rates each year.

The worst apart is the Councils go on a global search for the next one. ChCh example they got the CEO from Birmingham and gave her a big increase to come to NZ business class flights included. What the hell does someone from Birmingham know about local issues in CHCH? Was there no NZer who could fulfil the the role?

agree totally - the logic behind this sort of recruitment is ridiculous

And who was it who were directed by National to set up some of these council organisations? Oh yes, Rodney Hide from ACT. The right created these monsters.

lots of commonality between the two main parties.


I don't align myself to left or right thinking and only one side must be right. It cabbages up the brain. If something is stupid I call it stupid.
Highly paid civil servants on 500k or 800k is a total joke.
100% agree with what Andrew has said. If they were booted out they would not make that gravy chain money anywhere else.
Some of them are serial public sector CEO's leaping from one position to the next CEO position.

It's also where the dangerous dogma resides. People who have never lived in the real world yet have far to much say on what people who do, can or cannot do.

In my experience those issues are much more pronounced in central government compared to local government.

In my experience local government is as bad or worse.

In my opinion it's the dogma of the Bob Jones, Todd family etc of this world that gets traction in New Zealand.

How so? Do you know either of them? or have you had any experience in dealing with them?

Since individual membership is no longer the primary source of political party funding one has to assume the wealthy chip in at a price. The best democracy money can buy.

My experience as a senior employee at a large G-SIB in London revealed management was totally indifferent to which political party gained power. They were confident pertinent matters of concern were within their reach and control.

The fact that Watercare’s CE resigned quoting his family got uncomfortable with the conversations around his pay, which was exorbitant by any standards, forget the fact that he failed to deliver a sound strategy for population growth and climate patterns, one of the few thing a CE is supposed to bring the table.

FYI his interview with Mike Hosking was the most arrogant debate I’ve come across in a long time - the man had no remorse for the sorry state he was leaving behind the city in and deflected all blame towards the council.

That highlights the problem with our culture of high-paid bureaucrats who believe their only job is to maintain status quo within the organisation and end up slamming the eject button when things start to get tight.

I have many farming friends paying a shepherds wage in rates each year.

How many times has your farm land value doubled since you bought it?

Whatever, government and local council liabilities will have moved up just the same if not more, while a shepherd's wage has hardly risen over the same period.

Yes it's a problem, a lot of farmers have lawnmowers worth more than the average workers car. Unearned untaxed capital gains benefit a few handsomely.

If you are rich
if not so

Foreigners enjoying rich lifestyles at either end of the luxury scale hardly equates with the relative poverty endured by the majority of civil servants seeking shelter for family in this country.

There is a problem with employment contracts, often short term in the state sector. This gives senior managers far too much power. I had a friend who's husband worked for local council, often on one year or even 6 month contract and he had to wait to the wire before knowing if his contract would be renewed. They found it stressful and eventually left for greener pasture. How many state workers in big cities are expected to live on 60k a year?
There are many in New Zealand who must be struggling with high housing rents or crazy asset prices, while on low wages by comparison.

That last article makes me furious. Those poor bastards had zero chance of giving anyone covid. They'd been at sea for months. That was beuracratic iodicy of the first order. German tourists spend millions of their euros in NZ, while we spend millions on advertising trying to get them to come. Wait for the blowback when this hits the German news.

Central and Northern European countries are doing a really crappy job in this area, most of them used to be an example in terms of social and labour rights but obviously not anymore.

What ZIRP hasn't worked? Blowing assets through the roof didn't feed on down to low income earners?

Lots of low paid immigrants and refugess except there its by choice for the former, EU open borders. Here its by policy.

This is not an effect of immigration, countries in Europe with high levels of immigration are not at the top of that list. Often people that should have been retired keep working part time and underqualified jobs in countries like Germany of the Nederlands.

Covid is imposing the Work-Life balance the Corporates had pretended to support.


This has been going on for decades and no one cares. They just spout the spurious unemployment calcs and say we're doing really well, there's only 4% unemployed!

That calculation is called U3 and the way that is measured, if you work one hour a week, or if you haven't been to a job interview in 4 weeks (because you gave up or don't want to work) then you are not counted as unemployed.

U6 is a more honest measure. It would show 10 to 15% unemployed in NZ.

More facts in support of a UBI.

All the facts in the world supporting a UBI are still missing the most important one - who pays and how is it affordable?

Everyone pays - everyone receives.

Equitable distribution - its been around for centuries.

There are many expensive public facilities that are shared to rich and poor equally - the most obvious is roads but also most education, medical services, libraries, law enforcement, etc. In this and many other countries there is some form of child benefit and a universal national pension. All paid for by those who pay taxes.
Extending it to a UBI would not be difficult. Extending it to a generous UBI is more difficult because if you have acceptable accommodation and food provided for nothing why work?
A really generous universal child benefit would be welcome. At present my superannuation is being used to support a daughter with two young children receiving minimal benefit simply because she has declared herself in a 'relationship' with her partner who lives over 200 kilometres away. When my money is exhausted she will have to return to work so she can pay her rent and put the 7 monh old into a nursery. It is not the best for our family or for New Zealand.

Which particular centuries ? Are you referring to the times of slavery , feudalism or Cambodian communism ?

Its the dream of socialist nutters. I just dont know why limit our thinking to small amounts why not $1000 a week or even $2000 a week. Orr can print and give it to Robertson. Robertson can issue everyone a Debit Card even new arrivals or visitors. We can then just buy what we need. Nobody will starve. It will be so awesome. Everyone wins!

Think how much Chinese stuff we could buy

I know The Warehouse could re-hire the people that have been laid off

As opposed to neoliberal fruitcakes? See, I can do it too.

Sounds like this comment has hit sore spot. haha We need people to work for their money not be dependent on state welfare for accommodation, welfare benefits to live, special welfare one off payments for emergencies and even now tampons for their young children who are girls.
Work is optional in NZ. Has to stop. Only socialist nutters believe this should be expanded to a UBI.

Dear OreoContrarian,

Stop spreading falsehoods.

We run an economic model based on inflation targeting which requires a proportion of the population to be unemployed - through no fault of their own (unless you want a slave economy & no minimum wage)

Those lucky enough to have jobs should be grateful they are not one of the unemployed, and stop demonizing them.

Society literally owes the unemployed a full living wage. And, if we are going this far may as well implement it as a UBI for everyone. (No need for absurd social insurance Grant Robertson)

That is the problem in NZ your fruit loop statement that society literally owes the unemployed a full living wage.
Nobody deserves anything.
Personal responsibility stop making excuses.
You obviously think intergenerational welfare dependent people is a good thing as your UBI will just extend this and encourage it.
You may loose your job at some stages in your life. But get any job. People with your mindset would be too good to stack supermarket shelves and round up trolleys in the car park or clean the supermarket and toilets for a living.....that's only for immigrants who have a work ethic!

Hate to tell you this, a UBI actually increases peoples desire to work (see Finlands experiment) as it removes the poverty trap. As a social safety net and simplified benefit system, it is far superior to the crackpot system we have today where over half the country is on a benefit of some sort with massively complicated systems to figure out who gets what and an army of bureaucrat employees to calculate it all and sitting on phones giving people emergency grants and other things just so they can feed their children.

If you want less government, a UBI would see one of the nations biggest gubbmint departments scale down to probably less than half its size while improving people's outcomes and not costing the country anything more.

But instead let's print $100b under GR's plan and give it to banks and property owners right? Because they are more equal than others in society.

Oh the Finland experiment. All the socialist nutters always point to Scandinavian countries where Utopia exists. Have you actually been there to Scandinavian countries to check it out and how they treat there indigenous Sami people? I have. Its not all its cracked up to be. The cost of food is very high. Or is it just a Utopia you have googled?
There is a significant proportion of NZ's welfare dependent who have never worked and more money will not encourage them to work nor will it encourage their offspring to work.
The $100b is going to save the Debt Fueled in society not property owners with no debt or conservative with no debt. You will say but property has gone up but if you are not selling and have no debt the only advantage will increase rates bills next revaluation. If you are truly rich with millions in cash you are not benefiting at all. You are getting zero interest rate, higher inflation coming and a risk of a OBR event in the banking system that will take your cash.
How much money do you want to give per week under your UBI? Is it more than the current super amount?


Well for a start, I am a total capitalist. But unless you realise capitalism has been broken for quite some time and we are actually heading for some type of neo-feudalism with plutocrats running the show, there isn't much point having a "debate" (which appears to be you just yelling at people).

Yes, have visited Sweden and Norway as a tourist, have friends that live there. Never got to Finland. Not sure how that makes me more or less qualified? Lived in China extensively, the UK, Europe, Malaysia, Australia. Is this some type of d**k measuring contest that we should all partake in where you are only qualified to talk about a study if you have lived in the environment where it was conducted? So we can't talk about studies coming from Antarctica because we never lived there? Please argue more rationally.

The $100b will be spent propping up the current debt pile and will flow directly into the pockets of our foreign owned banks. The people benefiting are the shareholders of those banks and current asset holders (mainly older and already wealthy people, mainly property holders), who will see their already overvalued assets inflate some more. If you were really wealthy, you would have your money in income generating assets which also will increase in capital gain, tax free. This might be shares, it might be property. You are completely right though, in the current environment, you are a mug having money in the bank, it's at risk with an OBR event and very low rates of return.

Suggest you read UBI policy if you want to know about it. You can see it here:
Costed here:

NZ needs wholesale changes to it's tax system to turn us into a country that is more productive and invests in it's businesses. Backed by a proper UBI to stop the insanely complex welfare system that causes poverty/welfare traps. Yes, it sounds batty to start with, the more you read though, the less crazy it sounds. Suggest opening your mind before reading.

Fantastic comment

Couldn't agree more. Brilliant comment.

Nice to get a reply with some points not just I want a UBI. But you are not a total capitalist based on what you are proposing with the UBI. A hybrid of ideas is a better description. I am also a hybrid. A strong capitalist leaning person that believes in income earner tax credits to redistribute if you work 37.5 hours a week. Not benefits to sit on your ass.
You need to wake up your UBI is not coming in. I do think all the left wing in NZ scream out that pros of Scandinavian countries but there have never been there. Like all places they have their problems including they way they treat their indigenous Sami people.
The wholesale changes to the tax system are also not coming in.
I want a capital gains tax on everything houses, farms and shares and business sales. But that's not coming either.
The idea the wholesale changes in the tax system will result in changes to investment in productive businesses is fairy dust. Whether you are going to create a successful business or not is not determined by the tax system or R&D credits etc. True investors wont want to put funds in businesses that are start up etc and risk not making returns and loosing capital. That's speculation and no different to what we have with houses now. Not saying it doesn't work for some but that's not investing based on returns. There are angel investors etc but thats not a safe place for Mum and Dad's to have their life savings.

Agree everywhere has it's problems.

If you have 7 digits in bank accounts you're beyond wealthy in New Zealand. You're well into the 1%.

What's your thoughts on the poor wages that are paid in New Zealand? One solution could be to raise the incomes of those working as opposed to extracting tax cuts, which impact services and infrastructure disproportionately against the poor and middle class.

Relative to our comparision countries - US, Australia, Canada, the UK - most industries are paying well below the odds, yet we have much higher real estate and food prices.

These are complex issues. As is being unemployed. It's lazy to tar everyone as sitting on their ass, not to mention ignorant.

Has there been consideration that the rich are not benefiting from the QE. You've already stated you don't need those benefits.

But yes, we have some agreement.

Leave wages as they are. Small businesses cant afford the increases and the resulting society increase in costs.
Income earner tax credit redistribution as then its sharing benefits of capitalism with the proviso that its contingent on you working 37.5 hours a week multiple jobs.
I do think that we need a cultural change that owners are proud to pay their staff good pay days when the businesses are doing well. Supermarket owners making $6m a year and being on the rich list paying all their staff min wage is a disgrace.
The rest comes down to what I call the great New Zealand rip off on all goods.
Wholesale changes that will lower costs in NZ are:
Stop allowing and supporting duopolies in various key industries. ComCom allowed Woolworths to buy Progressive / Countdown and Z to buy Caltex to of the worst decisions in NZ's history. There is no public good test. There is no post mortem of the ComCom decisions.
Government should assist Costco and another to set up in our main centres. Watch the cost of food, fuel and tyres plummit. Its happening in Australia now and will do in Auckland albeit in a few years.
For housing remove the legislation requiring Branz testing on all products and allow imported substitutes with testing in Australia, UK and USA. We pay sometimes 250% over the odds for building materials. If anyone imports you get tarrifs and red tape to use the products.
Here is an example with Gib . Every house in NZ is probably in truth paying twice what the should just to line the walls with gib "Industry sources say Knauf's 10mm standard wallboard and 13mm ceiling board are 5-10 percent cheaper than Fletcher's equivalent product while its pricing for premium line boards such as ultraline is as much as 50 percent cheaper." The list goes on and on. If you did this the per m2 cost of standard houses maybe 40% cheaper. As I have travelled a lot around the world I have regularly looked at local prices and you can just see the rip off everywhere in NZ. The small country reasoning is just propaganda. Huge rebates are paid to group housing companies each year by the suppliers this is not passed onto house owners paying for builds.

Remove councils ability to dictate minimum plot sizes and where new green field developments can happen. With lots of competing developments of new stock watch house prices stop going up as there will be more sections everywhere. See examples of this in Queensland - regularly 1000 plus house developments happening. Queensland average is $650,000 and houses are much better quality than here.

But we have strong barriers to prevent all this as the current monopolies and duopolies have lobbied for years and got legislation in place to keep competitors out and price gouging in.

Thanks OreoC, those are definitely some long hours!

And the major duopolies have existed for decades, under both Labour and National's watch. Again, if you vote for the major parties and want that to change, you are wasting your vote.

Guess what TOP think about this? Their leader is an economist, it pisses him off so much, he said it was one of his major annoyances when he launched the TOP brand again in 2019:

But hey, let's just keep voting for the same people and expect different results?

I suspect your constant vote TOP means you are a party member trying to rustle up votes.
I consider a vote for TOP wasted as they wont win a seat and they wont get 5%.....

I assume you won't vote National or Act or NZ first too because they won't get into power?

A highly contradictory comment:

"The idea the wholesale changes in the tax system will result in changes to investment in productive businesses is fairy dust" followed by "So owners of foreign equities are screwed by the tax system in NZ".


So changes to the tax system won't result in changes to how people invest money in this country. But at the same time the tax system in this country means you keep your 7 digits overseas in foreign equities, who have different tax systems. And then you go on to whinge about how you can't get any money returned on your interest income in banks in NZ (which is highly taxed compared to other asset classes). I don't care how you invest your money, but it is telling. You aren't benefiting from QE or low interest rates, BECAUSE you aren't invested in housing in NZ. If you were smart, you would have been for years and avoided "So owners of foreign equities are screwed by the tax system in NZ. We are taxed on a unrealised basis and you cant get the tax back if you make a loss or you dont get your capital back.".

I think you just lost credibility here. You cannot argue that large changes to the tax system won't result in investors re-evaluating their investment decisions when multiple tax groups have found that people invest mainly in property in this country because it is tax efficient. You especially can't make that comment when you yourself don't invest in NZ because of the NZ tax system. It's exactly this type of dissonant reasoning that get's us to where we are today as it probably goes on in many NZer's heads. When it comes to an election "The tax system is fine", when it comes to investment decisions "Housing/asset speculation because it's tax efficient!".

Been part of multiple start ups before, even one now. Many starved of cash, a few that died because of a lack of investment. Been part of investment organisations before, understand the decisions made by fund managers and their reasoning. Guess what? Much of it is to do with how funds are taxed and in what jurisdictions. Tax havens exist for a reason, they aren't figments of our imagination. That tells us people want to avoid tax as much as possible, they put their capital there for the purpose of tax efficiency. This sentence is especially telling: "True investors wont want to put funds in businesses that are start up etc and risk not making returns and loosing capital. That's speculation and no different to what we have with houses now." Wow, so many things wrong there it's hard to know where to begin. Investments into startups comes with risk, that's why you don't bet everything on them and start with small amounts, working your way up to larger amounts as they prove themselves. That's how investment houses do it the world over. Yes, you lose everything on individual investments more often than not, but the few that make it, make it worth your while. Occasionally big investors bet big on big ideas and they work out well. Xero wouldn't be where it is without a massive investment from Peter Theil on a company with big ideas buy an unsure future. It's these big bets we need, if you don't have the risk appetite for them, don't besmirch those that do by claiming nobody does. History does not agree with you.

But there is a clear difference between housing speculation and investments in businesses when it comes to the outcomes. One results in overpriced assets, the other results in improved productivity, wages and economic growth. Surely you can see this? If we had 30 Xero's we would be one of the richest countries in the world, but if we have 3 million houses that are completely overpriced, starving that productive sector of investment capital, we are worse of economically AND socially. It's not rocket science.

We agree on many points. I suggest you do some work analysing how much money is spent on and how many people are on welfare in this country. Understand what the welfare trap and poverty traps are, try to understand them better as it sounds like you don't get it. Then reflect on how a UBI paid to everyone will actually simplify everything AND provide a strong incentive to work. This would solve much of the issues you have with people not working those 37.5 hours a week you talk of.

What you are proposing is a rebate for people in employment already. This already exists, it's called Working For Families and Accommodation Supplement. They are being done already and continue to destroy the countries productivity rates and increase the welfare trap so many are state dependent.

Claiming policy won't be implemented because people aren't voting for it, therefore don't vote for it because it won't be implemented is a total self defeating loop. By that reckoning nobody should vote for National because they are down in the polls and won't get in. What's the point in voting for opposition at all? What's the point in voting for new ideas?

I think you are so horny for a UBI you cant read clearly anything where one is not in favour of one.

Re the investing in start ups if you or anyone else has a start up dont expect Mums and Dad's to invest in start ups. Its stupid. Most people dont know how to run a business even though they think they have a great idea that's not enough. Sound capital allocation skills and fiscal conservatism are skills needed to run a business. So you say "History does not agree with me".....perhaps read The Intelligent investor, Securities Analysis 1936 edition, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. Then you may know something about capital allocation. Once this is understood try Jack Boogle's Little Book of Investing of Common Sense Investing and Clash of Cultures. Once educated then read Ground Rules and then watch Munger, Buffett, Ichan, Gayner and Russo in long form interviews in you tube. You may then realize how silly your statements above are re investing in start ups and that tax has such a driver in what investors do. I do this full time meaning 40 to 50 hours a week with my own capital (not making calls on other peoples money that's easy) and I consider you just a boy with your comments.

Any equities I invest in are in the US. S&P500 VOO ETF or direct in stocks on NYSE or Nasdaq. Following principles outlined in the suggested readings above and then modified by the thoughts of the names I suggested you watch. Conservatism in investing. Long term with 20 year horizons. Nothing to do with tax - the tax is punitive. One of my favoured stocks is the biggest tax payer in corporate America. I am big believer in getting rich slowly. Not speculating as you suggest on lots of starts up. Given how much is in Vanguard and State Street which is trillions in passive index funds I would say your thinking is by far and away the minority.

I dont consider Xero a good investment or a good company. It never made any profits, never paid tax and hundreds of millions of dollars were made by shareholders when they cashed out and no tax was paid by them either. That doesn't fit my investment criteria or what I consider a good company. Betting the farm on 30 Xero's being created in NZ is a joke. Thats the beauty of investing you dont need to invest unless it meets your criteria.

No Accommodation Supplement is not an income tax earner credit. You don't even need to work to get it. You are obsessed by a UBI but I am totally against money for sitting on your ass. I want people to work 37.5 hours a week and only then get the full income earner tax credit if you do this. I haven't fully decided who I will vote for but it will not be TOP.

The FIF tax regime has not stopped NZers investing in foreign equities. Billions of dollars from Kiwisaver are in there and paying the tax. I just want the tax paid on a realized basis and happy to pay CGT at the end. The NZ Super Fund pays about $500m in FIF tax on dividends of $500m all in foreign equities.

Best advice I can give is to learn your circle of competence and stick to it. Currently capital allocation is not one of these based on your comments. Its very easy to say what should happen to other peoples money but few put there c#ck on the block and fully fund until the business is profitable. If you have a great business start up sell everything to fund it and don't try and push Mum and Dad's to invest there cash in it. They are far better of in an passive index fund with 0.03% fees.

You can invest how you want, I will invest how I want. If you don't invest in startups, that's up to you, but remember most large companies were once startups. Have read many books on investment strategy, including the intelligent investor. Have been investing in startups for decades and made significant capital as a result, but don't show it off by telling strangers on the internet how much money I have.

As you are spoiling for a fight, there isn't any point in continuing. Suggest you find an outlet for your anger as it sounds like you need one. Coming on to internet sights and screaming at people you don't agree with might be your favourite past time, but it bores me.

post of the day

Actually OreoContrarian you're making a lot of assumptions about the people you're replying to, which speaks volumes about yourself, your mindset, and your echo chamber.

We are all big boys and girls. Writer above can defend his position. To have such conviction of the UBI and the greatness of the Scandinavian countries systems and I wanted to know had he or she taken a trip up there to check it out?
I have. The last time was 4 years ago but I don't think anything has changed and its not all its cracked up to be.
The treatment of their indigenous sami people is shocking. The price of food is outrageously expensive perhaps the most expensive in Europe for what you get.....London is cheap compared to the costs there.

Likewise, the same questions apply with the current de-facto pyramid scheme - nicer reply from the top, but not so at the bottom that being put there to sustain the weight. Increase the current salary/wages?.. fill the blank what increases next... (for sure it won't be petrol or grocery bill)

Does UBI replace social-welfare programs or is it in addition to existing welfare schemes
Would a sole-parent with 5 children who receives WWF plus Accommodation Supplement plus emergency benefit plus food parcels also get UBI

UBI would be extra of course. It would be discrimination to take away "WWF plus Accommodation Supplement plus emergency benefit plus food parcels"

WRONG! It would replace most of them, please get your facts right before commenting.

Get my facts straight on a system that there is no legislation for. You and I have no idea what a UBI would entail.
News flash for you any UBI would go through rounds of select committees and horse trading between the parties to get votes in the various stages of reading and if it was the current group of Cindy and the Muppets in charge it would have so many exemptions and add ons you and I literally have NO IDEA what the final version would be. We would have to consult IWI on it even.
Do you just dream this sh#t up or have you brainstormed with others every possibility that may arise and considered what you believe may not be what a group of leaders like Cindy and the Muppets implement.

There is only one party proposing a UBI, they have full policy documents available, but I suppose its just easier for you to shout on the Internet than to actually look for yourself?

Happy to have rationale debate. But what one party proposes that is not even a minority party is lala land.
If parties who are elected implemented it the UBI would not be based on some policies documents on the internet. Legislation just doesn't work that way. There are always trade off and exemptions and add ons to get it over the line.
You did not answer my question on have you been to Scandinavia to see Utopia in action?


The reserve bank is going to issue it. Not the govt.

Like tax systems, every government will implement them differently going forward.

Here's TOP's proposal - it's a replace-type one;

Good article, keeping score of the slow decline of quality and quantity of work for most. I think we'll eventually conclude it was overrated anyway.
We pay and work hard to educate each generation, and retrain the displaced, but the machines only ever get better...

'The focus now needs to be on creating high-quality, full-time jobs" - but this sentence is a typical Gubmint-funded academic's view of the world. Apart from a few key truly public institutions - Defence, Police, Courts, and the provision of services that simply cannot be provided at all without being provided for all - street lighting, lighthouses, public roads, core research (for its own sake, not the competed-for and outcome-or-fad--driven pots of gold which characterise the current 'research' system) are the classic examples - Gubmint is simply not a significant 'creator' of these sorts of jobs. The emergent, private, decentralised-planning typical of SME's through to large firms, driven by end-customer demand, is what Does create most such jobs.

There will be the usual carping about Education, Social Services, The Public Service etc as being 'essential' - but what can be said for most of these non-tradeables is that they are well into diminishing returns, exhibit most signs of advanced Parkinson's Law, are nevertheless useful in mopping up unemployment/making the electoral promises look valid, and are increasingly disdainful of their end customers. They are, in short, Kotkin's Clerisy - local chapter.

The current government more than most, is finding it impossible to position the NZs economic frame for growth.

This is a massive blind spot.
But not unexpected from self identified "tree hugging lefties"...

Tree huggers are more in touch with the current economy than you Henry. The state of the world is due to your neolib ideas now hitting you in the arse. Can you add Trumps condition to your daily updates and how do you rates the comms coming out of the White House compared to beehive?

Henry, your insults prove how much you aren't in touch.


We should stop importing low skill workers to undercut what are already low wages for citizens. Employers would have to 'Meet the Market' - wages would be up and the second rate businesses would go.
Not only that innovation would be encouraged.
Why would we aim to have a low income country - with lots of beneficiaries at the same time.


Alternatively let house prices tank by letting the market be the market and stop the Orr and Robertson manipulation show. Force the cost of goods down by ending the monopoly on building materials, food and fuel - best described as the great New Zealand rip off. Leave wages as they are.....

Initially, I thought the same. But here we're with the market distortion, may be? they aimed for smooth/controlled descend for this unsustainable FIRE economy, until I figure out the possibility that they want to stall this FIRE economy aircraft for drastic measure, shoo out the 4 OZ milking FI companies into RE business - then return Kiwis confident back with the remaining $ resources to what we do best initially.. real productivity.

Agree completely - but if we let house prices fall our entire economy crashes. This is either going to be a process of pulling the bad aid off slowly or quickly and deciding which will be more or less painful.

If they dont do it now the issues it will happen again. When you read this stuff everyone must realise that its gone too far and its out of control.
"Porirua City Councillor and Real Estate agent Euon Murrell in Cannons Creek, where median house prices are now $486,000."
USD325,000 for a slum house


COVID & border restrictions may force universities & tertiary Ed to refocus on training NZ young people for skilled employment rather than their major focus on recruiting international students into invented qualifications.

Previous National led too much by overseas $ signs, I'm afraid you too late on voicing this.. the raft of covid19 grants, wages subsidies are directed to pay back most of this country rental & mortgages straight away, let alone to be creative and channeled to Unis to train peoples which essentially being made redundant by Labour lockdown policy. Don't be surprise as Uni Otago already sell the MBA certification, direct in mainland China (so students don't need to travel to NZ) - but once, they graduated it can be used to migrate here, with local agent support for skilled employment, ball already rolling on this. So, don't be surprised soon we'll hear about 65% MBA's in NZ Haier (FnP), dairy companies & water bottling plants to name a few.

Students rights to work here during study and post study should be removed or restricted and low value/skilled courses made unavailable to foreign students (i.e. remove the "visa mill" approach that was turbo charged by the previous Key led National government). Would assist in weeding out genuine students with proper financial backing from those for whom study is a back door entry to get employment and then residence in NZ.

My anecdotal evidence is that too many foreign students complete their NZ studies with no useful real world skills that should otherwise contribute to an export or high value led economy. The externalities of the current system (low wage labour for the hospitality and horticultural industries, the "jobs for sale"/ sponsorship/expoitation approach of many small immigrant businesses, reliance of certain corporate players on cheap labour, perpetuation of the minimum wage economy, the crowding out of the market for low skilled kiwis, the pressure on housing, importation of family members with no english language or education or skills useful to NZ, or and the long term drag on the NZ economy of population growth on infrastructure) are too substantial to ignore.

Alison Brook unfortunately is an academic who thinks the reason people are unemployed is because they do not have degrees or skills. Many it is true. But thousands of skilled people are losing jobs. Sending them to AUT is not going to solve the situation.

In Japan an entire generation of men who lost their jobs at age 40 during the collapse of the early 90s never worked again.

Clearly Japan just needed to print more money and pay everyone’s wages while allowing mortgage deferrals. What idiots!

Is NZ not on the same path.

If Japan are idiots than what will you call Mr Orr and Jacinda Arden, who are walking the same path.

Large and negative? - don't worry we've got assurances hinted by the current government and also the RBNZ, they'll do more of the current measures. Preventing any real bitter pill economic recovery or Kiwis reaching that No Confidence level - problem is, how real our economic progress since GFC? and what happened to all of our confidence to this country, we just being asked to be kind all the time. For professional couples, young kids. Count to Oct 10th, to get your one way ticket out of this - honestly, it's not worth it.

Not to worry NZ economy housing is booming as far Jacinda Arden is concerned.

Children are happy that they are seeing more of their parents. The Corporates should seize this opportunity to rethink work practices altogether. 4 day weeks might be a good idea to introduce, to take care of the decline in business. Online sales is the way to promote many businesses, like even Big Companies like Nike are doing.
Gradually the work will reshift drastically across different businesses.