Ardern announces Cabinet positions: Robertson gets Finance, Twyford housing, urban development and transport; Jones, Shaw and Parker get Assoc. Finance

Ardern announces Cabinet positions: Robertson gets Finance, Twyford housing, urban development and transport; Jones, Shaw and Parker get Assoc. Finance

Jacinda Ardern has announced her Cabinet line-up. Read her statement below. The Cabinet positions are further below:

Portfolio responsibilities for the incoming Labour-led Government underline our commitment to chart a new course for New Zealand, says Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern.
 
“I’m excited by how my executive will tackle the challenges this country faces. The allocation of portfolios shows how the government I lead will be focused on making a difference for all New Zealanders, no matter where they live.
 
“New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters will be my Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He brings a wealth of experience to both roles and I look forward to working closely with him.
 
“Labour Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis takes on the new portfolio of Crown/Māori Relations as we transition to the post-Treaty environment. 
 
“Grant Robertson will be the Minister of Finance. We are a government of change, and will be one that makes fiscal responsibility a priority as we take action on our critical challenges.
 
“My government will have a key focus on reducing child poverty. To underline the importance of this, I am taking a new portfolio as Minister for Child Poverty Reduction. As Prime Minister I want to see urgent progress in this area. That is why we will be introducing measures and targets to ensure our policies across government are making a difference to the lives of children.
 
“We are making restoring the Kiwi dream of owning your own home a priority through our KiwiBuild strategy. This requires a concerted and coordinated effort across our cities, working closely with councils. That is why there will be a Minister responsible for Housing and Urban Development, who will also have responsibility for our commitment to state housing.
 
“We said during the campaign that many of our regions have been left behind and that we needed a new approach to ensure all of New Zealand shares in our economic prosperity.
 
“This is also a priority for my government. To that end, I have appointed a Minister of Regional Development to drive our strategy to create jobs in the regions. The Minister will be responsible for the new Regional Development Fund.
 
“In addition, the same Minister will have responsibility for both Infrastructure and Forestry which are also pivotal to providing opportunities for regions.
 
“Consequently, I am dividing the Primary Industries portfolio along its traditional lines of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
 
“We also promised during the campaign to help the families of Pike River get justice for the men they lost. A Minister responsible for Pike River Re-Entry will make re-entering the drift a priority, and will work closely with the Pike River Families and the Deputy Prime Minister on this work.
 
“I am proud of my Ministers. The team well knows the responsibilities they are taking on. We are all ready and determined to make a difference as we govern for all New Zealanders,” says Jacinda Ardern.

Opposition leader Bill English said the announcement showed a bloated executive:

Today’s announcement that there will be 31 ministers, ministers outside Cabinet and under-secretaries in the new executive shows the incoming government intends to use taxpayer money to solve political problems, National Party Leader Bill English says.

“There is no justification for such a bloated executive. National and its partners have run effective governments for nine years with no more than 28 ministers and under-secretaries.

“Even the big-spending Helen Clark government never had more than a 28 member executive,” Mr English says.

“This is simply a make-work scheme for Labour, NZ First and Green politicians.

“If the new government takes the same approach with other areas of government spending, it will not be long before Deputy Prime Minister-elect Winston Peters’ gloomy prophecy of an economic decline becomes true,” Mr English says.

Read the new Cabinet list below:

1 Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Minister for National Security and Intelligence
Minister for Child Poverty Reduction

2 Rt Hon Winston Peters
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister for State Owned Enterprises
Minister for Racing

3 Kelvin Davis
Minister for Crown/Māori Relations
Minister of Corrections
Minister of Tourism
Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education)

4 Grant Robertson
Minister of Finance (1)
Minister for Sport and Recreation
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

5 Phil Twyford
Minister of Housing and Urban Development (2)
Minister of Transport

6 Dr Megan Woods
Minister of Energy and Resources
Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration
Minister of Research, Science and Innovation
Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission

7 Chris Hipkins
Minister of Education (3)
Minister of State Services
Leader of the House
Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services

8 Andrew Little
Minister of Justice
Minister for Courts
Minister Responsible for the GCSB
Minister Responsible for the NZSIS
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry

9 Carmel Sepuloni
Minister for Social Development (4)
Minister for Disability Issues
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples

10 Dr David Clark
Minister of Health
Associate Minister of Finance

11 Hon David Parker
Attorney-General
Minister for Economic Development
Minister for the Environment
Minister for Trade and Export Growth
Associate Minister of Finance

12 Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister for Māori Development
Minister of Local Government
Associate Minister for the Environment

13 Stuart Nash
Minister of Police
Minister of Fisheries
Minister of Revenue
Minister for Small Business

14 Iain Lees-Galloway
Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety
Minister of Immigration
Minister for ACC
Deputy Leader of the House

15 Jenny Salesa
Minister for Building and Construction
Minister for Ethnic Communities
Associate Minister of Education
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development

16 Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Biosecurity
Minister for Food Safety
Minister for Rural Communities
Associate Minister of Trade and Export Growth

17 Clare Curran
Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media
Minister for Government Digital Services
Associate Minister for ACC
Associate Minister of State Services (Open Government)

Ron Mark
Minister of Defence
Minister for Veterans

Tracey Martin
Minister for Children
Minister of Internal Affairs
Minister for Seniors
Associate Minister of Education

Hon Shane Jones
Minister of Forestry
Minister for Infrastructure
Minister for Regional Economic Development
Associate Minister of Finance
Associate Minister of Transport

Kris Faafoi
Minister of Civil Defence
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Associate Minister of Immigration

Peeni Henare
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
Minister for Whānau Ora
Minister for Youth
Associate Minister for Social
Development

Willie Jackson
Minister of Employment (5)
Associate Minister for Māori Development

Aupito William Sio
Minister for Pacific Peoples Associate Minister for Courts
Associate Minister of Justice

Meka Whaitiri
Minister of Customs Associate Minister of Agriculture
Associate Minister for Crown/Māori Relations
Associate Minister of Local Government

James Shaw
Minister for Climate Change
Minister of Statistics
Associate Minister of Finance

Julie Anne Genter
Minister for Women
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister of Transport

Eugenie Sage
Minister of Conservation
Minister for Land Information
Associate Minister for the Environment

PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARIES

Michael Wood
Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities

Fletcher Tabuteau
Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister for Regional Economic Development

Jan Logie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the
Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues)

Notes

1 The Finance portfolio includes the responsibilities formerly included within the Regulatory Reform portfolio.

2 The Housing and Urban Development portfolio includes all housing-related matters (other than regulation of the
building and construction sector) and incorporates the responsibilities formerly included within the Social Housing and
HCNZ portfolios.

3 The Education portfolio also incorporates responsibility for the tertiary education and skills components formerly
included within the Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment portfolio.

4 The Social Development portfolio includes responsibility for the Social Investment Agency and Board.

5 The Employment portfolio includes employment components of the Social Development portfolio and the former
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment portfolio.

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.

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91 Comments

Surprised Peters didn't get Pike River.

I'm even more surprised Damien O'Conner didn't get it, it is in his electorate after all.

That is so that when they don't go in. Peter's can still happily bluster about how he would have got it done.

With regard to housing Phil Twyford will show Nick Smith what a real housing minister does:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1193...

I just read that and all I can think is that if I was an off the plan developer, I would be rubbing my hands together.
This is a much bigger gravy train than any National govt. would have gifted!

The target is impossible to achieve using the existing private sector.
The materials/supply sector is at capacity already. Failing to address this will result in the plan being a non starter.

The line up looks credible, no worse for instance than the appearance of the incoming lot with Key. But these new ministers will all have to quickly learn the difference between yapping in opposition, as opposed to having the ultimate responsibility themselves, for whatever the issue is. It's now money where the mouth is time, sort of. No reason why any of them shouldn't make the transition, let's hope they do.

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This comment will cause a storm

Lets not be too taken in by the hysterics of the pot and pan banging brigade W.R.T. child poverty in NZ . Jacinda is being disingenous over this supposed major issue ........... children are NOT starving in our country on anything like the scale suggested .

We have NO recorded cases kwashiorkor or other terrible malnutrition diseaes here in recent years .

Child poverty measurements are subjective and the point of poverty differs from country to country , even Switzerland has child poverty using the recognized measure

Child Poverty is not poverty as we see in India , Bangladesh , South Sudan or Somalia ,its a measure taken where it reckons the estimated the number of children living in families earning within the 6th decile of the average wage , or less, are living in 'poverty" .

By that definition , millions in the US are living in abject poverty .

New Zealand has some poor people , and we know that since Bibilical times the poor have always been with us , and they always will be .

The issue of people in relative poverty here is neither new nor is it anywhere as serious as elsewhere , and the systems we have in place with the Welfare State are quite adequate to mitigate to problem.

The problem is exacerbated by a breakdown in family structures, lack of cohesive families , lack of a father figure , lack of the skills to earn a decent wage , lack of direction in career planning , poor financial management , substance abuse , and a host of other social ills .

Just when I thought your comments couldn't get more perverse or misinformed.

http://www.childpoverty.co.nz/

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@nymad ......... thank you for the link , it simply reinforces what I have said

According the measure NOT HAVING HOME CONTENTS INSURANCE is a "material hardship" .

That is utter BS

Well , well , well my daughter who has a degree and works at a school cannot afford home contents insurance , so is she regarded as living in poverty ?

She could also not afford a sudden $500 bill without borrowing it from me , but that my friend , is not poverty.

Does anybody have any NZ figures on what sort of indebtedness the average adult identity classified as being in poverty, would have. There is a universal problem within society nowadays not able to comprehend the difference between money earned and money borrowed. So my question is really asking is the ease by which illsuited and inexpert people, can access credit, contributing and/or resulting in them ending up in poverty??

It would be interesting, do they factor in debt? If so who is more impoverished?

Someone with massive debt but good earnings
- A person earning $200k a Year, Spending $200k a year, with a $500k Mortgage

Someone with excess cash but no assets
- A person earning $100k a year, spending $50k, but renting (i.e. no mortgage).

Someone with assets, but short on cash
- A person earning $50k a year, spending $60k, but own their own home outright.

You could argue all/none of them are in Poverty.

I don't see it as acceptable that anyone working in a full time job would find themselves in the situation your daughter finds herself in - and even more disconcerting that someone with a higher education finds themselves in that position. If you were not there to borrow money from - what would her alternate be? Usury. It's crazy when adult children. post-tertiary education, with full time work can't make ends meet where the bare essentials are concerned.

Your comment is meaningless without some insight into how she manages her money.

Is insurance a bare essential?

I would imagine it is not that important for a younger person. I remember in my early post-uni days, I didn't actually have much stuff. An old bed, some clothes, a playstation, and a few personal items of zero monetary value.

I had insurance (at dad's insistence), but looking back, I probably would have been better getting a loan and replacing the few things I did have myself.

I paid about $250 a year for $10k cover? Had it for 4 years, got burgled, and they paid out a solid $350 to replace a grands worth of electronics. So all up I spent $1,650 to replace $1,000 worth of stuff. Even a dodgy loan would have probably only set me back $1,200 - $1,500.

I assume it is only mentioned because she has home contents to a value of something worth insuring but cannot afford whatever the premium associated with insuring the value of those goods.

Doesnt contents insurance also give a public liability cover (could be wrong)?

Yes it usually does and this is the main reason people, especially renters, should have it. If you accidentally burn the rental house down the landlord will get paid out by the insurance company and the bill will be sent to the tenant. They often get off but it must be stressful.

Boatman - does your daughter own a home?

Most NZ'ers would have grown up in NZ defined poverty in NZ if you applied the same measures to each generation.

The major difference is in health issues and is likely to be attributed directly to the banning of fires, log burners etc which kept houses far warmer and drier than current homes so children didn't get the same illness and respiratory issues as now from the damp homes.

I also think that electricity prices prior to privatisation might also have been much more affordable - as those electric bar heaters were everywhere.

Families with extra cash to put into mighty river power receive dividends partly paid for by those who don’t have extra cash.

When the govt steps in to do mums and dads' deed, what would be left for mums and dads to do then?

Have even more children? It's a never ending cycle and unless the government makes sure the money is going to the kids instead of just throwing even more free money to the parents it will never end.

"Child Poverty is not poverty as we see in India , Bangladesh , South Sudan or Somalia"

If that makes it easy for you to sleep and make spurious arguments, using the old "lets" compare NZ to 3rd world countries so NZers are not in poverty line.

As someone who come from a single mother with 3 kids who lived in a state house. I think you should walk in the shoes before you can claim no poverty in NZ. See how it is.

I suppose your not in poverty when you cant afford clothes or food, and all you get are hand me downs, 2nd hand clothes, and food from food banks. All we would live on were Chips as potatoes and oil were cheap, eggs, pancakes as flour and milk make this up, and jam sandwiches for lunch.

My mum ended up working two jobs, one at Heards the local chocolate factory during the day, and then behind a bar at night. I had to look after the two kids younger then me and I was only 12. We were a bit better off when mum worked, but not by much. We lived in a garage with 3 kids for over a year. We lived in a caravan for 3 years and then a state house for a longer period of time.

I thought I had a great life though, not until you get older do you recognise yourself as poor, and how hard my mum had it.

I think it is much worse now, and I wouldnt begrudge kids living in Mangere & Otara. We lived in a rural country town which is great.

But its only privledge people can trot out those lines who have never gone hungry. It makes me sad for you to be honest that you have lost your humanity to such a degree.

Sorry you didn't get the champagne breakfasts like the rest of us had, I know you deserve them. Which is why when I am voted King all children will receive free Heards lollies, and nobody will have to work, especially not parents. Everyone will get a house with double glazing and a heat-pump, and when you have children you get an extra house for each child so everyone can be wealthy. It is governments fault your Mum was poor and my first job as King will be to destroy those responsible for your misery!

Boatman well summarised.

I agree, NZ has a great social safety net, it is monkey brains breeding that create child poverty by having children they are incapable of caring for. Rewarding the parents for poor decision making can only exacerbate the situation!

What about your parents?

My only knowledge of the "having two many children" scenario is from occasional news articles, thus I have no idea if it is very common. However, the belief that it is a major social problem in NZ, is very common among my boomer and older cohorts. It is a reason cited why they choose not to vote for a progressive party. Perhaps it is time to encourage sterilisation with perhaps a cash incentive and no more increases in social welfare payments for anyone having more than perhaps three children. However, It would require a very brave and pragmatic party to do so. And of course certain religions would be frightened of the possible loss to their future memberships.

Let's see what the least popular parties can do togehter for NZ in the next 3 yrs.

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Together they are THE most popular.

This is a common piece of BS. Taking a group of unpopular parties together does not make them a popular group.
What happened to the National party represents a case of MMP system's limitation. Any system has its limits, and when those limits are reached, you get unintended consequences.

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Alex. I didn't vote for any of the Labour/NZFirst/Greens. But you have to face the fact that the New Zealand public voted for them the most. Viva democracy.

The NZ public voted more for Labour/NZ First/Greens than for National alone or National + ACT, but that doesn't mean they voted for them "the most". There are other combinations of parties that between them got more votes.

No, this outcome has practically nothing to do with what the NZ public voted for. It has to do with the subsequent competition as to who was most willing to sell their soul to Winston in exchange for power. Labour and Green supporters may be happy to have won that competition, but I don't think I would be.

Presumably in the interests of democracy, the ideal coalition would be Labour/Nats to represent as many voters as possible. However, that's not how it works. Labour NZF and Greens were able to group together a majority of MPs who agree on the future direction of the country. National were unable to string enough MPs together with a common direction.

The parties in power commanded more votes and a higher number of MPs than the parties in opposition, which is how it should be. That is not always the case with first past the post systems, which I lived with in the UK for most of my life. Over there for the vast majority of people it was completely pointless to even show up at the polling station because they were in safe seats - extremely discouraging and voting rates were correspondingly low. Be careful what you wish for.

Ah but MdM. Labour/NZF/Greens were able to negotiate something to go forward on. And other combinations couldn't. Negotiation and agreeing are an essential component to make it work. It can also be illustrated internally within a party, where the members and the MPs sure do have different individual views, but are able to negotiate enough to come up with a common platform. (And sometimes can't so the thing falls apart)
Yes there are other combinations that add up with more votes. But they couldn't get it together to agree which is an essential component to move forward. Maybe a Nat/Labour might make more mathematical sense, but it would be a very odd and unproductive thing.
I didn't vote for any of the new government parties. But viva democracy.

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Ms de Meanour you spin it well however...
Nat+Act+maori_party+… = Neoliberal status quo
Labour + NZF + Green = non-neoliberal alternative
It’s pretty simple. More people voted for the non-neoliberal alternative that for the neoliberal status quo. Quite something considering how biased the media has become. It probably has something to do with the deteriorating quality of life under National.

fat pat. You hit the nail right on the head. Indeed, we may be seeing the start of the complete demise of parties that persist with neoliberalism.

Is it your contention that all of those who voted NZF wanted a Labour-led Government?

"All" is pretty broad, but if someone wanted the status quo there were much more obvious ways to get it than to vote NZF.

True dat, but there's more than one alternative to the previous status quo; and I do not think the outcome we've got, is the change to the status quo that many NZF voters were expecting or hoping for.

They wanted a government including NZF which reflected their interests. They have got what they voted for. Our system is that you vote a representative and they do their best to represent you, you are welcome to write to them when you disagree but we don't have much ongoing power except at election time.

As has been well covered here the policy overlap between NZF and Labour was much stronger than the NZF/National match. They may also have been able to extract more concessions from Labour. I'd be surprised if most of their voters were upset by the outcome.

Yeah, nah. Colmar Brunton polling showed 65% of NZ First voters preferring a coalition with Labour, and NZ First ran on policies and messaging that aligned more with Labour - and people voted on those.

Claire Trevett actually sums it up reasonably in the Herald:

It might also pay for National MPs to stop blaming Peters' decision for the plight they are in.

The coalition agreement between NZ First and Labour highlights just how improbable a New Zealand First - National coalition ever was.

Most elements of the agreement are Labour policies dressed up to make it look like NZ First was getting its way. That is more because Labour has changed over the last nine years than because NZ First has.

That includes on immigration, foreign buyers, economic reforms and even the regional development fund...

Hardly a soul-selling.

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1981!

Back when Bill was a Young Nat on the University of Otago campus he helped Muldoon retain power under the former "FPP" system. Although the Nats only got 39.8% of the total vote it still got 55.4% of the seats on offer.

By contrast Labour out-polled National with 40.4% of the vote but it only delivered them 43.5% of the seats.

It's rank hypocrisy on BE's part to complain about the party that gets the most votes not getting power.

He hasn't complained at all. Many of his supporters have, but he himself has accepted the outcome of the "selling your soul to Winston" competition with grace and courtesy.

If the price of getting Winston on board was a soul, well that explains it.

Too easy?

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vs one semi popular party and a bunch of others almost no one voted for?...I love the fact that National supporters are now completely against MMP when for the last 9 years there hasn't even been a whisper.

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Yeah I don't remember a lot of Nats squealing about ACT and Hairdo Dunne.

WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON WITH FLETCHERS SHARE PRICE ?

Yeah, am I missing it or does Interest really not have a story on Fletchers?

My architect quite a few months ago, maybe back in March did not want me to use Fletcher's windows as he thought (or word on the street) was that trouble was on the horizon.

What's the bet they are going to angle for a Govt. bailout?
Stop work on the quarter finished convention centre and hold them to ransom.

Pretty hard to believe a company that runs every stage of the building process in NZ has got itself into such big trouble.

If the Government bails out Fletchers, I will organise a rally down Queen Street.

I'll join you.
However, an unfinished national convention center would be a disastrous signal.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Fletchers will be trying to squeeze some tax payer handout to mitigate their losses.

I thought mitigation was actually doing some work yourself not having a Government bailout, I say let them go into liquidation and allow other companies the opportunity to take up the rein without having a massive company holding the country to ransom under a monopoly.

I was very disappointed that the government intend to rely on the likes of Fletchers to solve the housing crisis. The sad fact is that Fletchers can barely run it's-self. It is a lazy monopolistic company that tries cornering the market by it's-self or in concert with an other duopolist. Then they are free to jack up prices and are a big part of why building materials are so expensive and why we have a building crisis. In markets that have become competitive they struggle to survive because their whole history is one where they milked the favour of the government. They barely know how to compete.
So handing our housing problem to Fletchers will yet again just prop them up, perpetuate the monopolistic situation that is a big part of the problem and do very little for creating a competitive efficient building industry. What the government also needs to do, is invite a very large and highly efficient overseas house producer into the country and dismantle the artificial building regulation trade restraints that make it difficult to import good and far cheaper overseas materials. If Fletchers can learn to survive and prosper in that world we will be doing them and ourselves a big favour.

Agree - any limited liability company should have its shareholders take the losses. The Government can step in like any party and pick up the pieces if it decides there is a national interest. I know a number of ex Fletchers employees. Sounds like its run by a pack of tribal dinosaurs. Certainly I find Placemakers woeful for my DIY.

It's a $160m impairment that will hurt the bottom line but still leave the company on track for a profit of $550m - $600m. In a setting where the governing coalition is about to embark on a housing spending splurge. The market thinks the news is worth a 27 cent discount to Fletchers share price. Clearly it does not agree with the bizarre speculation on this site about liquidation or bailouts.

What's the corporate structure, though?
Is Building and Interiors a limited liability subsidiary of Fletcher Construction?

Even if it is, seperate liquidation would be a desperation move by the Fletcher Group. If that is really where it is at, as commentators here seem to believe, Norris is either seriously misinformed as to the real extent of losses or is deceiving the market. Neither is credible.

dp - too impatient.

With their (effectively) monopolistic powers they got arrogant and lazy.
Serves them right

Notice how all the older ministries use the word "of", while the newer ones use "for". Curious.

Nanaia Mahuta, reviled as lazy by Pita Sharples amongst others is to be Minister for local govt.
Given horrible state of local govt in NZ this is pretty sad news.

Rewards for loyalty have to be found somewhere.

Godspeed, Jacinda and the cabinet.

A glorious result for NZ! I like all 3 parties policies and they obviously didn't like Nationals. My generation is also the PM. Very very happy.

Who's the Speaker?

Trevor Mallard could become Speaker.

how long before david carter retires, he was a terrible speaker, made Margaret Wilson look a moderate when it came to being a neutral speaker.
lockwood smith would have been one of the best speakers i have seen, was very impartial and held both sides to account

Trevor Mallard as Speaker, such important role and he might get some freebie concert and other events tickets.. So keep an eye out on Trademe

Regarding poverty, my opinion will be about as popular as boatman's but here goes.

If you want to reduce poverty then reduce the cost of tobacco! (then work on food)

The reasoning for having an extremely high tobacco tax in NZ is based on the false premise “Increase the cost of tobacco, and people will respond rationally by reducing their tobacco consumption.” That’s false! the reality is lots of people just spend more on feeding their habit instead of their kids.

People often don’t think or act rationally, either because they're stupid and habitually make poor decisions in life, or because they're mentally ill and incapable of making rational decisions. The latter is scientific fact with many peer reviewed articles showing the very high correlation between smoking and schizophrenia.

The question is, how do we deal with these people? Is it a good idea to have a system which drives them into abject poverty? You know in Germany the price of 40g of tobacco from Lidl is 4.5 euros, that’s $7.68 NZD. Compare that to the cost of 40g in NZ a whopping ~$65 NZD. You know the Germans aren’t stupid, they make strategic long term decisions. They have a booming economy, less poverty, and a minimum wage slightly lower than NZ’s. Go figure.

Or wait until Cannabis possession is legal and just grow your own.

I would not at all advocate legalizing cannabis. You're right though, it's logical to assume that a high tobacco excise encourages an unproductive tobacco growing industry.

So is it better to leave control (and profits) in the hands of the gangs?

I think there' sufficient scientific evidence linking cannabis with the onset of mental illness to warrant caution. If it was legalised then the population as a whole would likely consume more than it currently does.

You attitudes towards ( control of ) tobacco on on side and cannabis on the other side seem inconsistent to me ...
Tobacco is harmful and yet you essentially say "let them have if they want it , without having to pay a punitive tax on it " ( I do not necessary disagree .. ) .
Cannabis is harmful ( although there is plenty of room for an argument whether it is more or less harmful compared to tobacco ) - and you say "keep ti banned ".

Do you believe cannabis is dramatically more harmful than tobacco ?

As to your reference to the German model I note that in the Netherlands they have both somewhat cheaper tobacco and decriminalized cannabis without too many issues.

I think my opinions are consistent with maximizing the social and economic well-being of New Zealanders. “Do you believe cannabis is dramatically more harmful than tobacco ?” yes for some individuals I think so, but they’re complex issues involving genetics, and susceptible sub-populations. The Netherlands could be used as test data I suppose, perhaps Jan Wright could look into it. IMHO even a small increase in the incidence of adolescent mental illness would be an intolerable cost from a law change given the long term social and economic impact of such an illness. Not to say that it couldn’t be approved for the terminally ill, I just don’t think it’s a good idea for teenagers to be given the green light.

unfortunately, i think you are correct, that it is the children going without.That is the nature of addiction, wether it be to tobacco, alcohol, or currently illegal drugs, and/or gambling. it overides everything else.

And it seems to have had a far more detrimental effect on colonized, indigenous people. It is like there is a pall of depression settles over a people in these circumstances, I think it might have something to do with a culture being overridden and racism.

There is a fantastic TED Talk about some long term studies from childhood to maturity in Britain which covered all stratas of society. The common denominator for less successful outcomes for adults was childhood poverty.
Sorry, but I could not find the link.

get with it pat - vaping juice is the new tobacco - the cost is on a par with German tobacco without 90% of the bad health effects. Alas the entry point for vaping equipment will see it bypass the people who could do with it the most.

yes great products but you have to be relatively intelligent to use them. I was referring to a disadvantaged population cohort. Of course there are well to do smart people who chose to smoke and can give up or switch to e-cigs if they choose. Those people aren't the problem.

oh dear - Ralph Norris might need lessons but screwing a tank and battery pack together then pushing a button is probably within the skill levels of most people who can operate a cigarette lighter. Whilst the up front cost for the equipment may be a barrier its not much more than a packet of 50g rolling tobacco.

And for a 20 pack in Germany = NZD $9.36 vs $22.00+ here;

https://www.statista.com/statistics/415034/cigarette-prices-across-europe/

lots of black market smokes in Cornwall. In California I used to bring tobacco home for a worker, it was $12 for a large pack of rollies I think $100 here. They all complain about the price in the States big move to Vapor ,
State taxes taking a hithttps://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/28/us-cigarette-volumes-take-hit-in-q2-as-c...

The price hike does create a barrier to entry though.

Agreed. But why not instead just raise the purchase age by one year annually (with stiff fines for supplying those under age). By 2050, you'd need to be 51 years old to legally purchase tobacco.

Lack of money is not the sole cause of poverty and social distress. Look out the stories by the South Auckland midwife who got into big trouble for telling the truth how terrible it is there.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11924968
You can't tell me some of that horror is completely the result of the lack of money.

Funny how many people seized on smoking, but missed Fat Pats point. That Germans make strategic long term decisions. And us ? - less so.

I am disappointed that there are two glaring omissions in my view.

There is no mention of anybody taking responsibility for improving the very lack lustre productivity of the country. It should be made one of our highest priorities as it is the only way to meaningfully lift the well-being of our whole country. All the rest is pretty much shuffling the deck chairs and redistribution of an inadequate pie. Get productivity right and we would have no excuse for mass importation of cheap labour and the consequences that they bring.

Secondly, I would have liked to see a minister made responsible to completely overhaul the Commerce Commission as they are totally ineffective at addressing matters of monopoly, meaningful competition, collusion, Eg
The near monopoly position of AIG in the insurance sector
The grossly over price building and construction materials due to cosy duopolies
Our over priced petrol prices
Our overpriced food
etc

If this government wants to really help the people that they claim to care about, it would put a lot more effort into maximising the real value of their labour output and purchasing power of what the earn. Otherwise they are just going to end up throwing money at the problems, which will only lead to waste, inflation and a worsening of the national wellbeing

Actually when you think about the ACT party, it's genesis came out of the 1980 reforms that tried to address these issues. They seem to have lost their way as they should have been championing these issues with vigour. They have been completely emasculated by siding with National, who have presently and historically fudged and distorted the efficient functioning of our economy to protect the cosy and lazy position of their wealthy mates. An Act party that was true to it's roots should find itself more at home in a Labour led government. David Seymour for the minister of Competition and Productivity??