BusinessDesk: Treasury puts out feelers for good ideas to cut government costs

BusinessDesk: Treasury puts out feelers for good ideas to cut government costs

The Treasury’s Cross Agency Programme Management Office is asking for good ideas from the private sector to cut the government’s costs and lift the public service’s effectiveness.

The government department is “testing the market for innovative ideas” in a bid to make cash savings and improve the public sector’s efficiency by improving collaboration across different agencies, according to a tender document. The registration of interest (ROI) is seeking ideas to “improve the way government works” without asking for anything in specific.

“Submissions should indicate the agencies that would most benefit from adoption of the idea or would be natural leads to management implementation,” the document said.

“The primary purpose of this ROI is to seek general information that will assist the Treasury in identifying ideas with potential for government to improve efficiency and effectiveness through cross-agency or all-of-government initiatives.”

The tender is part of the government’s crackdown on spending under the National-led administration, with Finance Minister Bill English completely rethinking the size and scope of the public services. Last year’s Budget allocated NZ$3 million to brainstorm ways to meet the government’s ‘Better Services for Less’ agenda. Back-office functions, such as administration and IT, have been targeted for the biggest cuts with increased all-of-government procurement process set up, and Treasury has flagged big savings could be made by amalgamating those back-room services.

The tender will assess ideas on whether they address an obvious existing problem, create scalable cross-agency solutions, benefit multiple agencies, show a strong return on investment, indicate improved services, and complements or coordinates with existing government projects. The Treasury won’t consider information and communication technology unless it enables a broader idea.

Shortlisted ideas may be invited to participate in a closed tender process, though any unique ideas may see the Treasury negotiate directly for work to develop into a business case. Other ideas may be kept for future consideration, or may be incorporated into existing work.

The ROI is open until Feb. 8.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Oh you might try cutting Treasury staff by 20% and salaries by 10%....just a thought...

Good idea Wolly, but just tinkering. How about getting rid of Treasury altogether. Or at least making them compete for all their budget against other government agencies and the private sector.

Treasury would be happy to carry out a study and to report on the productivity or otherwise of Treasury....but can they be trusted?

They will do the usual Sir Humphrey 'delay and destroy' mission on any Cabinet suggestion that a private entity complete such a study on just would not be cricket old boy...might expose the blubber and the waste...

but can they be trusted?

Wolly, all Ministries of Truth are, by definition, above reproach. Until ....

There are two entities in this world immune to financial pain Colin...the bankers we know about....Treasury staff we often forget, are the second. Nothing can touch them...they have the keys to whatever incomes they want.

Wolly, I am not disagreeing, but which entity has done the most damage? I.e. who do you string up first?

Buy Kia cars instead of 7 Series BMWs.  If the minister can't fit into a Kia car because of his/her weight then join Jenny Craig - Small saving but it's a start!

Better yet, they can provide their own cars, just like millions of New Zealanders.

elminate the cost to the taxpayer of providing tax credits to negatively geared property and share investors.

@Jimmy:  Ha ha!

I think you will find that there will be some "core" functions, such as WFF boondoggle, retirement age staying at 65, and tax refunds to negatively geared investment coupled with lack of a CGT that will definitely not be up for discussion!



Seriously though this is just another job opening for some mates.  Come over to parliment, and live it up on the taxpayer dollar, while pretending to save money.  Thats a job for management, and if they can't do that, they need the sack, and employ someone that can.  Wasteing more money, behind the optics of saving money, what a rort.

Well said, couldn't have said it better.

Get rid of Don Brash and all the other hangers on with stupid perks like compatability with Ausi wages, get a real job Don.

Yeh, and David Caygil's been bludgin for years on ACC, on Electricity Commision, on ECAN, etc, etc,etc, all paying huge salaries.

I could go on but we all know the greedy and incompetent ones who can't make it in the private sector

Hah -  will we ever get the chance to choose the escalation rate for compounded forward costs and then the discount factor to present cost values.

Like hell!

Smells like a privatisation ploy - such shallow fellows .

Can smell the stink a mile away.

They're putting out a tender , spending money , to find ways to cut spending ...

... am I the only one who can see the supreme stupidity in that ?

Almost the only one Gummy...they know most Kiwi are too dumb to think let along figure out their make work scam game....Treasury blow through how many billion each year just pissing out rubbish reports...any proper govt would chop the ministry in half and slash the salaries...but we don't have proper govt...we have a bunch of idiots.

Wolly - How about chopping off whole programs:

Antarctic program - How did that program ever change our well being ?

Geophysics - We have 60 people studying the Alpine Fault - Fascinating !!!!  Didn't do CHCH much good.

Sport & Recreation - would a family borrow money to play sport ?

Womens Affairs -  they can be content with the just ordinary affairs ( Much more fun )

Families Comission

Hillary Commission - etc etc ...

The list is endless - but we all know nothing will happen - the only winners will be the management gurus called in to evaluate and retain / amalganate / review further  blah blah blah ....

Let's put Treasury staff on US $ salaries indexed to National Govt  Nov 2008 - what could be fairer than that they feel the same pain as exporters -  Remember we borrowed 9 % of GDP offshore for the last 90 days so we are going to need a bit of offshore income going forward.

Switzerland intervened in their FX markets  and the world did not come to an end - except for the head of their Reserve Bank. Maybe we should be too.

Meanwhile more borrowed money on borrowed time as we spend up on our grossly overvalued FX rates.



As you say JB "the list is endless" and the intention is to BS the public into believing Treasury is a productive and necessary use of taxpayer billions....and because it's so critical the salaries have to be up there with the best of bloated...

I have no failth in them or the govt...I worked within the state sector long enough to come out the hole smelling something awful...and the PMs office was one of the worst!

Well, it's known as "an investment".   I expect there are fuller explanations of the term available elsewhere, but basically the idea is that you put in some money - that's a cost to you, at first, so you have less money in the short term - but then it earns (or saves) money later, so over a longer time period you end up with more money (or spending less money), you see, than you would have if you had not made the initial outlay.


Correction, they are spinning it as an investment.  It's an expense.  Where would it sit on a financial report?  Assets?  Liabilities?  Income?  Or expenses?

I seem to remember you run a business skudiv.  Suppose you were to purchase and install an energy saving device on your premises, how would that appear in your financial reports?

General purchases.  Like servicing a vehical, or repairs and maintainence.  Or if I paid a consultant, these are expenses.  Govt is run by incompetent people who can't even work out where they are wasting money, so they pay money to find out.

An investment eh? are we borrowing more or less money now than 20 years ago? are we more in debt now or 20 years ago?

And MdM, do you really believe that because of this enquiry, we are going to be spending less money in the next 3-10 years?

Edit: I do believe good ideas will come out of it, I just don't believe anyone in power will have the guts or self-sacrificial morals to make any meaningful change :)

What relevance does your question - about how we are doing now compared to how we were doing in the past - have to the question of whether money spent now with a view to improving the position in the future can be regarded as an investment?

If you don't believe anyone in power wants to make meaningful changes - why do you think they are inviting ideas as to how to do so?

How could there be a "good idea" which politicians did not have the guts to implement it?  If taking a certain action requires political guts, that must be because lots of voters don't think it is a good idea.   And the fact is that in a democracy politicians' incentives are clearly to encourage them to do what voters want, even if it's not what they(or you)  think best.  How could it be otherwise?  

As for self-sacrificial morals - Can you give examples of other kinds of activities whose success depends on people routinely acting against their personal interest, against what their jobs depend on and against what their terms of employment incentivise them to do?


"And the fact is that in a democracy politicians' incentives are clearly to encourage them to do what voters want"

Do you really believe that? Politicians are motivated to stay in power and will do whatever necessary to do so. If that happens to coincide with what voters want then lucky for the voters, but that is where what the voters want ends. Politics is purely about convincing the voters that what the politicians want is really what the voters want, it has always been since the original Greek democracy. Look at the debate between Demothenes and Aeschines on truth in rhetoric.

Your fatuous humour is a welcome break from the drudgery of our debt encumbering civil servants and their paid acolytes

I used to work for a govt department and another one that provide accident insurance.  The number of independent contractors they have is amazing, even the help desk guys are contractor at $80- $100/hr.  And they are still there after so many years. The mind boggles!

Seriously - if we're staring down the barrel of reduced 'incomes' per head, then just pay our public servants less.

If we indulged in proper accounting, privately and publicly, we'd acknowledge that we are indeed getting poorer.

Real accounting, of course, values resources at more than opportunity cost, and pollution at the real mitigation cost.

Fat chance the Treasury types ever getting around to understanding that. Having to deal with the limitations of a real world - imagine that....

They can match government and local politicians pay to that of state sector workers like teachers, police, nurses etc (or the increase in the median income). Should see some sudden giving a s**t about what the average person earns all of a sudden.

It was actually done but guess what, the politicians never abided by it.

In the early 1980's there was a tacit agreement with the government that a back bench MP would earn the same as a Senior Sergeant in the Police. Salary upon promotion for the Policeman would be in the range of $65-75K depending up their career length and path up until that time. What does a back bench MP get? The ratio is of course to about the same degree as our real estate market.

Treasury puts out feelers for good ideas to cut government costs

Sounds like a bankrupt carpenter asking a gas fitter how to make furniture ?

Nothing lost in the translation there Walter:-)

As long as government remains orange boy for 'the market', it doesn't matter what you do. Better then to save your powder until someone who believes in getting elected and making the hard calls, solo, occupies the big chair. That is why we have elections, isn't it? To elect a government?

That's a Doctor Feelgood idea.

If you want to save some real money and get a few things moving here's what I would do.

Get JohnKey, EQC, CCC, CERA, Parker, Marryatt, CEOs of all the insurance companies, and Wolly and PDK all together in a room with their sleeping bags, and dont let them out until some sensible decisions are made to eliminate the conflicting overlaps. 

..end of the day, Brownlee would sit on all of them – sweltering and saying - "We do it my way !"

I thought Gummy should have been included on Iconoclast's list, along with Paula Bennet, oh wait.....


Get rid off Housing NZ and let the private sector, private individuals provide all rental accomodations..

or households with less than 30K yearly income - ship them to Australia ;o)

Yeah, that'll work.

More landlords sucking off the taxpayer through negative gearing, untaxed capital gains, family trusts and a $300/wk cherry on top because it's not a scam unless you can make heaps (oops: for cherry on top, read Accomodation Supplement).

Do some work and look into the relative costs of each policy. Accomodation Supplement vs State Housing. 

But go on - tell me how the private sector always does it better. What a joke.



Merge with Australia

Consider this:

The XXX Navy, wanted to cut costs.

They told their suppliers to make a frigate that did this job: A,B,C,D,E.

The Frigate had to be crewed by no more than X sailors.

The Frigate was to be rented for a cost of XXX per year.

The Supplier had to maintain the frigate at their OWN cost with HUGE penalties for breakdowns etc.

The suppliers were stumped by this (end of the gray train!).

Eventually; the next generation of frigate was produced with NO ENGINES... they came out with the same pulse modules used on massive cruise liners...

Why did it take so long for this to happen?

   "We don't have money so we have to think"...

Stop telling people HOW and start being what a government SHOULD BE; the people that say what they want and leave it to industry to deliver on a level playing field.

And while you are at it... Grow some balls and stop pampering to whiners, wingers and wasters; you will never please all the people all of the time.

For example:

Get more dams built so we don't have to buy/burn oil and gas and coal; water power is more sustainable, cheaper and builds an asset for NZ (tincluding tourism and leisure if managed well); let alone saves the planet and when power is SPARE you can pump water BACK UP into the hills to provide a store of water for when it IS needed.

Not rocket science... or perhaps it is...

In the off season , we could rent the frigates to Iran ..... they can park 'em up in the Gulf of Humus .....

...... and if the Yanks sink them , we'll enact the " if its broken , consider it sold " clause in the rental contract .....

Can't lose !

Shoot all the economists?


The management of Housing New Zealand all get large Salaries plus Bonuses, complements of the little old Tax Payer, what a joke, they don't seem to be accountable to anybody, there should be a Comission of enquiry into their Salaries, what great money just for turning up to work, no real responsibility,  no consequences, all run for cover when things go wrong, just appearance money.




  • Wonder if any of those bonuses come from this?:
  • The bonds collected are paid into the Residential Tenancies Trust account which is an account at the Westpac bank
  • Yes, the bond account is collecting interest which is used to help fund the Department of Building and Housing's day to day running
  • The rules about the interest collected and the use of the money is governed by section 127(7) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 which states:


 127 (7) All interest, dividends, and other gains (whether in the nature of income or capital, and whether in money or otherwise, and whether realised or not) arising from any investment of money in the Residential Tenancies Trust Account shall belong to the Crown and be treated as departmental revenue.



There are also two new subsection in section 127 (7A and 7B) which state:


7A) All money paid into the Residential Tenancies Trust Account as bond money belongs to the Crown and must be paid into a Crown Bank Account if the money—

·        (a) is not claimed within 6 years of the end of the tenancy to which the bond relates; or

·        (b) is to be refunded under an approval given by the chief executive, but has not been collected within 6 years of the date of that approval.

(7B) Despite subsection (7A), during the first year after the commencement of this section, payment of money into a Crown Bank Account may be delayed to enable the chief executive to exercise the powers under section 22D.


You can locate the legislation as above from the following link:



People need to research what 'the crown' represents. It certainly isn't government and it isn't the monarchy.

Here's and Idea for Treasury. GET THE @$#% MONEY BACK FROM YOUR SCF ERROR! and once you have ALL RESIGN! 

It is my understanding that Treasury supported the Deposit Guarantee scheme for banks but OPPOSED it being extended to include non-bank financial instructions such as finance companies.
If only Cullen etc had listened…

Limit all mortgages in NZ to 3xHighest Earner in the family.

No Booms! and people will have to actually invest in something productive... as apposed to selling each other houses with foreign money...

Might even have a parent at home when the kids come home, instead of being a mortgage slave, and have some balanced kids for the future!

Nice thought Tony but we here, all concluded long ago that "property speculation and bubbles forever" is the chant to heard in the Beehive and the RBNZ and in every bank in the country.

The RBNZ and govt will never apply laws to prevent banks lending whatever % they want...and they will protect the rights of the banks to enforce Mortgage contract law to the hilt.

I think thats most likely a very sensible suggestion. This will only cover residential property however, the more general idea of full reserve banking should have the same effect over every asset class in the economy.

This won't eliminate bubbles either (even in property) there would still be bubbles but they will be much smaller, and I expect at 3x you could not get an economy threatening property bubble.

The main reason that full reserve banking will do the same thing is two fold, first in order to keep pushing up property prices you need to keep finding more and more fools (people oblivious to a bubble) and eventually you will run out of fools. Without full reserve banking you can increase the bubble by finding an existing fool with access to more credit. Also the feedback loop of leverage directly into property prices would reduce the number of speculators in the property markets, this is because asset speculation is a zero sum game under full reserve banking. Financial institutions will realise this very quickly and stop creating new classes of financial asset speculation which is also a massive improvement.


They could end the Remuneration Authority? That would save millions 

You bloody radical are no longer welcome in The Old Boys Club and don't expect a xmas card from Sir Humphrey...

1. Get ride of the department of womens affairs (we don't have one for mens affairs)

2. Ring fence investment property losses, people will only invest to in the end make aprofit, not to pay less tax.

3. Lift the retirement age to gradually to 67 (but keep access to kiwisaver accounts at 65).

4. Open up the 0.7% of conservation land that has over 100 billion of minerals sitting in it for mining, average mining salary 80-90,000, average retail salary $30-$38,000.

5. Cut the amount of MPs back to 99 (we are only a country of 4 million).

6. Get rid of the first home grant in KS, it was brought in when prices where going up and up - now its just another pointless subsidy....

... that will save billions at a start....

Great ideas - I agree with all of them except #6.

#6 That Kiwisaver subsidy saves us money. To qualify, they are already receiving the accommodation supplement - which is probably costing @15k/yr and going straight into the landlords pocket from ours. That's the real subsidy. I'd rather see it used to get families into their own homes so they can live with dignity and pride in their own country. As opposed to being serfs for the landed gentry. The final indignity is when the Gentry have the cheek to tell the serfs they should be grateful because they're just doing it as a public service . . .

Hi gnomey,

If you are correct then I withdraw my #6 point then. Good point. I'll replace it with restrict land sales to NZ residents only then. Aslo I'll add:

7. Abolish income tax for the first $12,000 for everyone (now thats a fair tax cut as every worker gets the same) and increase the stand down time for the benefit - that will encourage people to save.

But saving costs isn't really going to make the country richer as a whole (unless you count borrowing less offshore). The government also needs to increase the money coming into people's pockets not just cut their tax expenses.... how about abolishing the ETS (which does nothing but add costs) and replacing it with new tough emission standards phased in over several years...

Funny that the 'economist' doesn't think there is anything to redress with the financial system after a financial crisis. Maybe we should also abolish the weekend so the economy can perform better? Child labour laws, new income earners would do a lot for the economy?

Maybe the best suggestion, put all the people calling themselves economists into real work and repeat until we find people who are willing to shape the economy around the country rather than the country around the economy.


Hi Nic,

1. Actually I do have a real job, economics is just my hobby, I take it must be yours also - otherwise you wouldn't follow a website like this.

2. Actually I do agree that our finacial system needs major reform and my only other posts on proof that...But exactly what do you refer to when you say 'after a financial crisis'? The only financial crisis I know of is still going.... infact the worst is yet to come... at present its just being papered over with trillions of $$ created from nothing, the most recent example being the trillion dollar swap the FED did with the ECB just before Christmas to save Europe. So I do think it needs major reform - like returning to gold as money, until that happens the government will keep stealing through inflation (which is bascically an unjust tax on the poor and middle class) as all governments do with fiat paper money. If we don't totally reform our financial system we will eventually end up slaves - suggest you read Howard Buffet's (Warren's dad) article for an intro to gold redeemable money protects human freedom (infact Bill if you do read this then as this was written by an honest politician I strongly suggest you find the time to read it and think about it too):

A total reform and return to sound honest money is too radical to be generally accepted at present but as things get worse this decade and many governments default and wipe out pension savings its going to be the issue.

My question is how did the whole world get into this mess? Well this comes from a number of completely incorrect ideas which are coming from an ignorant community of 'economists' and their perpetual state of telling countries how to structure themselves around the needs of their economies. For example

1) Growth is always a mandate. Every country must grow? Is there not some way the economy could be structured to function with natural population decline? Apparantly not.

2) Here is another mistake, the government causes inflation. No it doesn't. Not the majority of inflation (which happened prior to 2008 when it should have been discouraged).

3) A gold standard will fix the crisis, we need to return to sound money? This won't fix the financial crisis, its been tried before. Several different gold standards have proved to be equally unstable. Well at least this is focusing on finance, not absolutely everything else.

the big injustice, which economists keep making (appart from all their stupid incorrect ideas) is that public policy should be shaped around economics. In fact economic policy should be shaped around democratic mandates for almost everything and these 'economists' should go back to the drawing board and figure out the actual consequences of the alternatives (something they have failed to do).

It is obvious that all the policies implemented without democratic mandates have been terrible and unpopular, e.g the general public knows whats good for them and the idiots who implemented these policies don't care.

Hi Nic,

You bring up some good points. I could write many comments to reply to it but briefly;

1. The world got into this mess because it was preplanned deliberately many years ago, including a system where the tax payer bails out the major bank losses. It was preplanned to bring the US and Europe to their knees financially so they would accept a one world government as the answer to their troubles. It gets complecated on just how the banking powers that be are attempting to do this, but basically its through hundreds of trillions of derivative financial instruments.

2. In our current debt based monetary system all money comes into being via debt issuance. The total amount of debt can never be repaid as this would remove all money from circulation (reduce the money supply to zero). All new money is 'borrowed' into being. The economy must grow to keep expanding the debt and pay the interest.

3. Inflation is caused because the money and credit in the system is greater than the goods and services offered. In a sense inflation in real terms is just the devaluation on a monetary unit. Governments cause inflation by spending more than they take in taxes (as ours currently is spending more than NZers are saving), the central bank can then be relied upon to create the money in whatever quantities the government wants or requires. This is what is at the root of inflation as it eventually devalues each dollar the common person holds, riping off savers. All commodities generally are in USD, NZs imports and exports (we are a heavily trading nation) are in USD, the US Federal reserve creates more money and the price of everything, including oil goes up over time....

4. Actually I didn't say 'a gold standard'. I said gold as money, which is not quite the same thing.... but anyway... what gold standard are you referring to? Was it when the US via Nixon in 1971 came off the international gold standard - this was because they had created more paper money than they had gold to back it and France called their bluff... Thats not a failure of gold it just showed up the fraudulant paper printing the US had done...

5. A gold as money system will fix the crisis as gold would have to revalue way higher enabling the US and European nations to repay all their debt from their gold reserves. It would also do away with inflation, which means stablised interest rates (at much lower levels) and many other advantages - but it would mean the bankers could not create money from nothing which is a big part of the problem and why fiat money in history always fails... most don't know it yet as no one living has lived though what is about to happen before...

Economics is really only the study of peoples financial choices and behaviour so what you are saying doesn't make sense... there are different economic theories though and I think you are referring to just one of these streams of thought? Just like in psychology - there are different theories to explain human behaviour.. 

You sound like someone from the conservative party.... not that thats a bad thing...

 But gold as money would create a non-inflationary asset based moneytary system, that would champion the cause for human freedom and remove distortions and misallocations of capital caused by inflation, it would also remove monetary power from banks and governments and give it to the people....

Words like conservative have lost much of their value and have too many meanings. It doesn't matter what label is attributed anyway, its a mistake to select our leaders on their 'values'. We should select our leaders based on who they represent, and no not every politician represents their constituants.

It would be a mistake to think that you can stabilize the economy and financial system without doing away with fractional reserve banking. The expansion of credit and money (which also happened in gold standard prior to 1913, causing its collapse) was not and is not well restricted by any forms of the fractional reserve system. The banking system is also the cause of most inflation, far in excess of the amount caused by the government. I am not just saying that its clear from every paper where economists have actually looked at how a real financial system works.

I don't think a full reserve gold standard, which seems to be your suggestion, is possible because the rich already have most of the gold so no support (and no economic relief) will go to people without gold. You just get a new set of Oligarchs. Also you can't have any currency without a peg and a peg means a fiat value, what ever you are proposing be the monetary system I clearly don't understand it. I think conceptually you are suggestion to get rid of all money and to use gold instead. Thats not going to fix anything, in fact its not even a monetary system its barter. Any system with currency is and will always be fiat money because the money gets the value through fiat, whether backed by gold or not backed at all.

The reason I go on about these arse about tit economic ideas is that so called economists have no more right to tell countries if their populations must expand than they have to tell climate scientists whether or not global warming is occuring. Tell us about the economic consequences of this sure, but the framing should always be, if the population grows then the economy will succeed, if the population shrinks then the economy will falter. The economists who actually understand this, don't like to dwell on why this need for growth exists. A rational person on realising this would probably suggest there is something deeply troubling about the economic system.

Here is a list of economists who disagree strongly, but not about the need for growth.

P.Krugman - to get economic growth we should pick a fight with some space aliens.

J.Stiglitz - to get economic growth we should expand social spending and tax.

P.Schiff - to get economic growth we should cut government spending and tax.

I.Schiff - to get economic growth we should pay no tax (because government tax is illegal).

M.Friedman - to get economic growth we should reduce taxs and expand corporations.

A.Greenspan - to get economic growth we should reduce regulations.

And fundamentally no, it was not pre-planned, or wanted. The last thing the NWO would ever want is the possiblity of being voted out, and this is becoming a real possibility because of the economic problems caused by the system. Look at what is happening with Ron Paul in the republican party, the other guys have absolutely no idea why he is even there, why anybody would vote for him. Its like the entire political system in the US (including the democrats) is in a completely different political spectrum to the population. There are like zero politicians who actually share the beliefs of their constituents. But so much propaganda goes into the political system in the US (including economics propaganda) that you get people on Medicaid protesting that Medicare is a socialist government conspiracy to steal his money. It's not even a hatred of poor people doing this, the guy is not wealthy or class consious. Literally everything he has ever been told about Midcaid is its socialist (which is a very dirty word in the US), your paying for it, were going to have to raise your taxes because of it. But he uses medicare and he likes it, and he doesn't even realise he is paying for it. It would even be a bit of a stretch to just call him stupid, just that every single 'fact' about the medicare program he has ever been told has a political spin and doesn't convey any information about how the program actually works. But the other program which he uses well he understands that one because he uses it.


1. I would rather have politicians in power that share my values and the values of their electrate. But as Obama said last mid term elections when a bunch of newbees got elected... once they get to Washington they will learn their job is to govern, not to represent the views of voters.... I agree thats not the system I would prefer but typically describes the attitude of many policians esp in the US.
2. My reference to the conservative party was in regard to their policy of binding referena...
3. I hate to be the one to point this out but in a fiat system the rich have most of the fiat. The problem isn't whether there is rich and poor (some will work hard, save, sacrifice, innovate, invest while other spend and consume) but the monetary debt based system itself.
4. Totally disagree about gold money. Everyone would benefit (maybe not those making wealth off inflation though) Money redeemable fully in gold would solve the problem (or any suitable commodity - its just that gold, for a whole host of reasons fits more perfectly than anything else - food, oil, etc). Inflation ends - no need for a capital gains tax on property - most of the capital gains wouldn't happen anyway as most of it is just inflation.... much lower interest rates... not need for the accomodation supplement....savings would mantain there value.... governments couldn't borrow more money than actually exists... most wars would end due to lack of funds.... the government could introduce emergency transition arrangement where the same day as all interest rates have the inflation component removed all rental contracts reset to say 70% of previous rental....therefore removing the accomodation supplement harmlessly... the system then doesn't need more debt to grow and increases represent real increases in value/productivity/inovation... there would be no need to get raises every year and the purchasing power would not continue to be eroded... no need for a central bank to manipulate markets.... the list goes on and on.... Gold works as real money - everything else is credit. Fiat systems are a fraud - likewise fractional reserve banking....where an elect few get greedily rich with more wealth than they can spend in a lifetime.... and central bankers have more power than governments....It is debt that gives fiat money value, and specifically the debt of taxes.... I totally agree with Hon Howard Buffet - congressman from Nebraska... the future of human freedom ultimately depends on at least gold redeemable money....(see article in previous link) and if you check history you'll find gold didn't fail - the bakers were allowed to get away with fraud - (the problem being they didn't have a gold money system which allowed the over expansion of credit in the first place - that doesn't show gold money failed by that fiat failed which is my point all along) and everybody else paid for it... gee a bit like today....
6. Economic growth in itself is not a bad goal to have. It is not the only goal in life nor probably the most important - but it is a goal - at least for the vast majority of us.
7. Anyway - we can at least agree we need a new system.... and while any new system is years away properly understanding the real issues is a giant leap forward for when that day does come and the current system crashes like every fiat system in history has done before it...

1. That is the system, what he said was clear including its meaning. It's just not a democratic system, and over values the votes of the wealthy.
2. If thats a more democratic system I would support it. But it needs to be better at translating the views of the public into policy than a representative system. There are many ways that the representative system could be improved without this however.
3. Sure, the problem is money being based on debt, but the accounting side is the money not the gold or any other base. Currency is not money either.
4. I agree with all the advantages, but the only way this can happen is if all money is made of gold and there is no accounting system which creates money like fractional reserve banking. I can't see how such a system can be implemented, you would need to re-distribute the countries gold to make this politically even thought about. I also think a flexible money supply is more sensible than an inflexible commodity based one. 
6. To say its a natural goal for the vast majority would be a massive overstatement. Its considered so important because national scale economics is considered overly important. Most people would clearly settle for a steady job, and economic conditions to raise a family. The two are conflated by economists as virtually the same thing.

1. Technically the US isn't supposed to be a democracy but a republic.... everyone still gets one vote... but once they get in they get a huge salary for life and sell out to special interests.... wall street controls washington anyway, (wall street don't trade on inside info - they create the inside info) so the real power rests in New York who control both sides of the house... I bet you will read in the papers the need for the US taxpayer to tighten their belt - but what you don't read is about the trillion in taxes owing by big corporations sitting offshore (its only taxed when brought back into the country). Right now they want Obama to give them a sweet deal and they promise to bring the money back to create jobs - which is the same promise they made last time... then just bought their own shares and paid out fat bonuses linked to share performance and created no jobs but got huge discounts off their taxes... oh I could go on and on...
2. Yes there are... but you have to start somewhere.
3. All currencies are derivatives of the USD. All currencies are in trouble thus are declining against gold - which is the real reserve currency (and actually always has been) and the canary in the mine so to speak. The central banks work together with the big bullion banks to supress the price so that their fiat paper can last longer. They also use gold leases and derivatives to help keep interest rates where they want them, thats why the gold market turnover is in the trillions just on the LBMA alone.
4. There are books written on how such a system can be implemented. Try 'The case for Gold' by Ron Paul for starters, the specifics to say are too long and involved for this blog, but it can and eventually will be done in some form or another. You don't need to redistribute any gold - anymore than you would have to confiscate all personal property and redistribute it - but would need to confiscate the assets of those responsible for this mess (to date no one is in jail) and their ill gotten gains, something that OWS wants. In one sense it doesn't matter if you believe it was preplanned or not anymore than if you believe the Titanic was driven into the iceberg on purpose (which I don't of course) or by accident - the fact remains either way that its sinking and the outcome is the same. However if in the captains diary you find that he planned to cause just such a disaster at his own admission so his family could collect the insurance so to speak then that does change things. If you study real economic history you'll find the same banking cartel and co - funding both sides of wars, controlling governments, controlling who gets funds and who doesn't ....
The whole idea of a money supply is that it is not flexible, thats why people can trust it. About 2% of the gold stock is mined each year - which is about the same as the world's population growth funnily enough....which is one of the many reasons gold works as money. My parents bought a house in Howick for $14,000 and sold it for $285,000 now some years ago - it wasn't because they were bright investors - it was because we have a 'flexible' money supply. I am a landlord and have one rental. Whether landlords admit it or not - property investment over the long term is a bet that more money will be printed and that long term savings are safer in housing than in a bank deposit (take off with holding tax) and you are lucky if the net return covers even inflation - so what's the point of saving in the bank? The real interest rate is often negative....and that's because we have a flexible money supply. No central bank (which we don't need) or government have ever proven themselves able to 'manage' a flexible money supply - the temptation to create money from nothing is just too great for any human institution. Gold as money takes away this power from them.
5. Yes, most people would settle for that, and should receive the just reward for their labour. I guess the point I was making was that most people want to grow their income to be able to do just that - and own a place they can call home. Yet most of the middle class is finding thing tougher and tougher. plays mostly around with the deck chairs on the Titanic - capital gains tax or not? what rate can you borrow money? what rate can you lend it? finacial news from around the world.... yet it never properly examines the issues around the monetary system itself and alternatives... Its the system itself thats the problem, most other things are trying to deal with the consequenes of the system.... in the end the trigger has been pulled and now its only a matter of time ... the plan was to use carbon credits as a backing for a new world reserve currency but like everything based on a fraud it falls apart.... the Euro was to be the forerunner for a new world currency but it too is failing (and will fall apart)... really the market has already chosen the reserve currency - its gold, most people just don't relise it as yet. I think China has already worked this out and its funny that all the countries in the Shanghai Co-operation agreement are buying gold - and I'll bet you lunch for a week that China is buying more than it reports though HK - it will be buying though numerous proxies so as not to tip off the market... maybe when it has enough to back its currency it will and that will be the end of the USD.... or maybe the US will bring out a new gold backed dollar... who knows its too early in the game to tell just yet... but my point is the transition it will happen anyway...
The IMF bans member countries from attaching their currencies to gold... you may want to give some thought as to what is behind their motive for such a ban...? I mean why should they care?

How about we sell the Beehive and all it's contents then bulk fund the polies. Out of their bulk funding they can pay their own salaries, pay their own pensions, pay all their own travel, all their own phone bills, pay for their own office space. Let them pay for eveything out of their bulk funding then we will all know exactly what it costs us per polly.

And let the polies pay all of their PR, advisors, speach writters, secretaries, and consultants out of their bulk funding.

Some good ideas coming thru here ,Bill - and you get them for free !

  • Get rid of the Accomodation supplement. It's become a huge albatross around our necks. Replace it with something else. Gee, I don't know, how about State Housing? If the landlords want to sell up after that - let them. The houses don't vanish. Home ownership in NZ should never have become the unaffordable dream.
  • I agree with Winston on 1 thing only, ever. Use Kiwibank as the Government banker. How stupid is it to keep paying Australian banks to pay ourselves.
  • Go digital. You name it, digitise it. Use open source if it's not Top Secret. If you want paper - you pay for it.
  • I work in education. What a farce. Thousands of schools spending tiny amounts, individually. Often different parts of a school purchase the same things - but seperately in smaller amounts. Q: Where is the head guiding all of this spending? A: Nowhere. Economies of scale: None. Schools (taxpayers) being ripped off: Endless. Don't get me started on ICT spending and schools . . .I guess what I mean is make some kind of central puchasing department and use govt buying power to lower costs.
  • Means test Government Super and make Kiwisaver compulsory. Sorry oldies - you didn't pay for your Super, I am. And I don't care if it's not fair Joe Bloggs down the road, round the corner and over the hill didn't put anything away, so why should he get it and I don't blah blah. Why does that make it Ok for you to sponge as well? It's called double dipping and it's not right. If you were on the benefit, we'd see you in court as a bludger.

If govt was forced to stop borrowing to keep this farce going, you would see cost effiencies everywhere.  Raising taxes is not a vote winning stratagy, so cut off the easy money, and watch what happens.  I Guarantee they would find the savings without paying for the privilege.

Somehow I doubt that your opinion is likely to be seen by govt as worth squat skudiv, especially when the borrowing is from friends of the RBNZ and best mates of all the fat bankers.

Stop thinking of this as a country belonging to the's a farm owned by the bankers and they have their very own farm managers on call in the Beehive...and all the  bureaucratic service support they could possibly need.


What about an investigation into the construction cost and effectiveness of a guillotine? Delivery times we would need to know, and maintenance requirements. Then there would be operators to train (+ve for GDP as it is providing jobs). A comprehensive survey would need to be carried out to determine suitable public spaces in which to operate such a device and then a transport feasibility study carried out on how to facilitate trouble free public transport to said public spaces (unlike the dramas at a recent event). We would of course need to know when such a plan could be executed.


Salary cut 5% and freeze for the current and next term.

Loose the BMW's and replace with Ford Falcons.

Government staff expenses to be publised on line with receipts.

Government staff allowances to be published online.

Building maintance contracts,office equipment suppliers, telecommunication providers to be tendered.

Government departments to look at economies of scale, staff... that could be shared between.

So that's inhouse.


Capital gains tax on second homes.

Lower the accomodation suppliment by $3 a month per household for a year. This is a strange system where it should be state housing not private housing for families in need. It distorts the housing market increasing house prices. You can't take it away all in one hit though but you can slowly lower the allowance. The providers or the renters take / share the change.

Retirement super start age increase.

Tax on land bank holders.

Road tax increase for petrol cars over 3000cc



"Road tax increase for petrol cars over 3000cc"

I agree, but why stop there?  Why not have a graduated increase for all larger cars over (say) 1300 cc?  It could be taken out at the Registration stage. 

A useful little money-earner, plus would encourage NZers to decreases the size of their vehicles from the current behemoths you see on the road.  & therefore decrease the imports of oil, & thus decrease our chronic current account deficit.  We have a Corolla, I use it for towing trailerloads of broken concrete & firewood everywhere, & take it on holiday to the South Island.  In our road I see mum's taking their kids to school in SUVs.

Plus of course the govt should increase the tax on fuel, from levels that are among the lowest in the OECD.  Would have the same effects as above.  Why is this tax so insanely low when the govt is borrowing hundreds of millions of $ per week?

You can see from all  the suggestions above that the savings are self-evident; its just that the political will isn't there.




We're playing a game of " spot the Kiwis " while driving on Australian roads ..... all the locals drive big Holden cars , the immigrant  Filippino families all own a black SUV , and the Kiwi's are in Toyota Corollas !

....... we picked up our Corolla yesterday !

If you don't mind me asking, why did you move to Oz (of all countries!)? You'd only just come back to NZ from the Philipines, hadn't you? Disillusioned with NZ? My sister is arriving from France tomorrow for a visit - she may have picked a Peugeot rental over the Corolla!

The little Boss's choice . I'd prefer to stay and get on with the re-build of Chch . But a year or three here in SA will be fine , that'll satisfy her itch for Australiana   ... We got Mummy Gummie's house repaired first , then off to Oz ...

.... and  I'm in line for a job that pays more than double what it would in NZ . There's plenty of work around ......

.....   the prices of goods and petrol are so much cheaper than NZ , too .

Oh right, I hope you have a good time. My daughters made me laugh the other day: they were singing that song that they'd been practicing during the phonics lessons at school and it is all about how there were snakes, spiders and crocodiles in Australia. With the latest statistics showing record numbers of Kiwis jumping the ditch, there are obviously orders from above to try and do something to put the remaining ones off doing that...and they're starting the programme at an early age! Seems to be working - when I mentioned a friend had moved to Australia with her daughter they went "Oh, no, poor her, I hope she'll be all right" :)

Our year in the Philippines was an amazing experience , as were our travels around other Asian countries . The 6 y.o. now  speaks illongo , Tagalog and some English ! .... I'm still struggling just with English .....

..... as are many Australians ! ..

.... this should be fun . Already laid the law down , I'm an All Black supporter 100 % , no exceptions ....

The seafood pizzas are brilliant here , but the fish & chips are substandard .......

That's OK, I'm struggling with English too ;) Sadly, the kids all seem to enjoy reminding me of it with comments like "Mummy, why is it that you speak English funny?" on a regular basis. Or worse - I overheard one of them saying to a friend "oh, no, my parents can't really say any word in English."

I thought "Geez, thanks! So much for my efforts to get the grammar right!" Seems I am doomed to remain well and truly stuck with my French accent (oh la la).

Even better update the Road User Charge system to eliminate the disincentive for small diesel passenger cars which are far more fuel efficient than petrol. Therefore reducing oil imports.

Reduce the RUC and collect the tax at the pump. The more efficient the vehicle, the less you pay.

Oh that's too simple Rdee.....100% efficiency is not an acceptable goal for this govt.

I suspect the silly sods are only too well aware of the inventiveness of Kiwi...that there are ways to produce fuel and avoid the tax by way of the pump. Best one at the moment is the farmer who collects and uses natural gas, while others are into wood alcohol production.

I'm surprised the odd boffin DIY bloke hasn't recognised the potential for a seashore skimming hovercraft to belt along the beaches between Kapiti and wgtn....or some of the west Auckland beaches. No tax there. No license theft. No reg theft.

And how about this article in the Herald today, regarding touting NZ properties in Singapore?

"Reapfield Property Consultants in Singapore's Goldhill Plaza is marketing the Auckland units. Bianco was also promoted at an exhibition at the Singapore Marriott Hotel last weekend, units offered fully furnished.

"No capital gains tax, no stamp duty, no restrictions on resale," Reapfield says."

So NZ is being offered as a banana republic type tax haven.  With Kiwi wage-earners carrying the can! 

& Treasury is wondering where savings could possibly be made!  D'ooohh!





I've got a great idea for John Key and Bill English. 

Start with a blank piece of paper.  Work out what your total annual tax revenue and income is.  Then list all your current annual expenses and outgoings.

Now build a spending/investment programme that matches the income.  If outgoings exceeds income, well, you have to start over.  Do it again, until the numbers match. 

Every household has to do it, every business has to do it, why don't governments seem to do it?

They all SAY that they're doing it, but the borrowing never seems to end....


Because 'taxpayers' are seen as a bottomless pit of money! Apply your quite straight forward math to local councils for example.....

Governments don't do it as spending money buys votes, taxes don't... and they can borrow unlimited amounts of it.... unlike households....

Ask Phil, David, David and David for some ideas!

Get rid of working for familes tax credit and rent subsidies.


get rid or parole boards.let the crims do their time.


The policy of being harsher on crime has cost the country a whole heap of money without really acheiving anything.

Let's see if we have learned anything on this thread.

Treasury are full of it. tick

Treasury blow through biilions every year but are accountable to nobody. tick

Treasury have no intention of paying any attention to public comment on this matter. tick

Nor on any other matter. tick


Remove ACC fees from vehicle licence fees, and collect it at the pump instead. Ramp up the price of petrol and diesel to suit.  I haven't put rego on a motorbike for years now, because this tax is completely avoidable. I also object to having to pay $400 odd bucks to ride the 1000km I travel a year.  Haven't had a fine yet either. Makes it a 'user pays' system, and unless you're willing to poison yourself on homemade methanol from grass clippings, you must pay.