Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern outlines 'blueprint' setting out the Coalition Government's priorities and steps 'to build a more modern and fairer New Zealand'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern outlines 'blueprint' setting out the Coalition Government's priorities and steps 'to build a more modern and fairer New Zealand'
Jacinda Ardern by Jacky Carpenter

In a major speech on Sunday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced 12 priorities in a government plan she describes as a blueprint setting out priorities and detailing the steps being taken to "build a more modern and fairer New Zealand."

Below is Ardern's speech in full.

Our Plan for a modern and prosperous New Zealand

Te whare e tu nei

Te marae e takoto ana

Tena korua

E nga mate maha

Haere, haere, haere

Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Tāmaki Makaurau, tena koutou

Tatou nga kanohi ora e hui mai ana

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa

After seeing a busy ‘show reel’ like that, I have a couple of observations.

First, I really do hug people a lot.

But secondly, and much more importantly, that collection of achievements makes me feel incredibly proud.

Next month marks the first anniversary of this Government. Not only have we achieved a huge amount, we’ve done it as the most pure form of MMP government New Zealand has ever had.

And perhaps it’s because we have never had a government quite like ours that we cause a little bit of chat.

It should come as no surprise though, that as three distinct parties, we will have different opinions and ideas. Those didn’t begin and nor did they end at the negotiating table.

But ultimately, we make those differences work as much as we make our consensus drive us forward.

Today, I’m here not just to recap on what we’ve done as a government in the short time we’ve been in office, but also to share with you what we’ll keep doing, what’s driving us as a government, and what you can expect.

Today I’m here to share our plan.

That in itself is pretty unique. Other MMP governments have had coalition agreements and confidence and supply agreements that set out specific policies they will progress. But rarely does that capture the big picture. It’s a bit like a road trip that tells you who’s in the car, where you’ll be stopping, but doesn’t tell you where you’re going.

I can tell you, that as the person driving that car, that wasn’t enough for me.

That’s why as our 100 Day Plan started to draw to a close, I started to look for phase two. A road map that we, as three distinct parties all agreed on, wanted to track our progress against, and could share with you, the people who put us here and said ‘make it work’.

And today, that’s exactly what we are doing.

But first – context matters. And as far as context goes, here in New Zealand we are not immune to the challenges that other economies and countries are facing. But nor are we destined to face them in the same way.

After all, we have always been inclined to do things differently. Or to do them first.

Whether it’s Kate Sheppard championing the right to vote, Michael Joseph Savage designing the welfare state, or Sir Edmund Hilary reaching brave new heights - we don’t mind if no one else has done something before we do.

But we do mind being left behind.

And we do mind when others are left behind too.

That has been a big motivation for this Government. As you will have heard someone say quite recently, for us, the modified status quo wouldn’t do. Especially when there were a set of challenges on the horizon that we can’t ignore.

It’s a whole new world we're moving into, everyone knows that.  Digital transformation, the future of work, climate change, social isolation and the long term impacts of poverty.

When you elected us, you didn’t just tell us to govern, you asked us to fix existing problems, anticipate emerging ones, and to make sure we weren’t caught off guard because we had done neither.

You asked us to make sure New Zealand wasn’t left behind.

But there are things that were also a bit unspoken. An undercurrent if you will. Perhaps I picked it up from the next generation of voters, or perhaps it was just the vibe of the thing. But we also decided that we would do things differently.

We decided that there was a place in government for concepts like compassion and kindness. That being active and intervening from time to time was a good thing. And that if there was ever a time to be bold and to use our voice on the world stage, it was now.

In summary we are a government of change.

And people may well say that this is just an expression of good intentions. Where are the specifics?

I think this is the bit where I say hold my beer.

Or, perhaps slightly more realistically these days, hold my lukewarm cup of tea.

Today, I want to share with you Our Plan.

Let me be clear. This is not just something I’ve generated for a speech. This is our Cabinet mandated, Coalition Government work plan.

This plan represents our shared vision and priorities; Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens.

In February of this year, we started with a first cut of the priorities that we, as three parties, collectively shared. 

We designed our cabinet committee structures, the different groups of Ministers who sit under Cabinet, so that they each had an area of responsibility within the plan. They debated it, added and subtracted as only committees can, and came up with a list of what we wanted to achieve, how we would do it, and what kinds of measures would tell us we had succeeded.

What I am sharing with you today, is a shortened version of that work. And an insight into the way we operate, and what is now guiding us as a coalition government.

This is our blueprint for New Zealand.

Our work is split into three key themes.

Firstly, building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Secondly, improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families

And thirdly, ensuring new leadership by government.

Let me start with our economic theme, after all, so much of what we want to achieve hangs on having a strong economy, and for that, a lot needs to change.

We cannot continue to rely on an economy built on population growth, an overheated housing market and volatile commodity markets. It’s not sustainable, and it risks wasting our potential, 

That’s why our first priority is to grow and share more fairly New Zealand’s prosperity.

That means being smarter in how we work. It means an economy that produces and exports higher value goods, and one that makes sure that all New Zealanders share in the rewards of economic growth.

So what will we do?

First, we need a concerted effort to lift the prosperity side of the ledger. Working alongside business, we will encourage innovation, productivity and build a skilled workforce better equipped for the 21st century.

We are doing that by bringing back significant support for businesses to expand their investment in research and development through the R&D tax incentive, a key component of building a new innovative economy.

Earning more from what we sell to the world will be key to our economic success. We are supporting exporters through progressive free trade agreements like the CPTPP. And we are committed to pursuing and signing new trade deals with the EU and the UK post Brexit.

We’re modernising the Reserve Bank so that it works to keep both inflation and unemployment low, and we’ll create a better balanced and fairer tax system.

We will face the challenges of rapidly changing technology in the workplace together with business and unions through our Future of Work Tripartite Forum.

But we also need to do better at lifting the incomes of New Zealanders and sharing the gains of economic growth.

We are extending pay equity to new groups of workers, taking the pressure off families by extending paid parental leave, closing the gender pay gap and raising the minimum wage.

And we will also enhance the SuperGold Card.

When fully rolled out our Families Package - which includes changes to Working for Families - will boost the incomes of 384,000 families and lift thousands of children out of poverty.

But we also recognise that people do well, when their town or their region does well. We want our regions to thrive, as much as our cities.

That’s why our second economic priority is supporting thriving and sustainable regions.

We will help to boost regional economies through the Provincial Growth Fund’s $3 billion investment in new jobs and opportunities.  So far we have committed more than a quarter of a billion dollars to projects around the country. I know from visits to the likes of Gisborne and Northland that the difference this investment will make is huge – because the people there told me it would be.

The One Billion Trees programme is another way that we are generating jobs and environmental benefits, and comes with the added benefit of creating an actual live online tree counter.

We’re also building critical infrastructure for our regions, and the rest of the country.

Modern transport networks, safer roads and efficient public transport are essential.

We are investing a record $42 billion in net capital spending over the next five years in rebuilding New Zealand’s infrastructure and critical public services.

But none of this matters unless we are also modernising our economy, and preparing for the future. That’s why our third priority is transitioning to a clean, green carbon neutral New Zealand.

That means making the transition to a net zero carbon economy, and we want to do that by 2050. Our $100 million Green Innovation Fund will help business to tap opportunities in smart, low carbon industries.

We also need to bring back some authenticity to our clean green image by better managing the waste we produce, investing to protect our unique biodiversity and ensuring our rivers are swimmable for future generations. We have plans in each of these areas.

Our fourth priority is doing all of this, while delivering responsible government with a broader measure of success.

We will carefully manage the government books, running surpluses, and being prudent with debt so we can cope with future challenges.

We will also measure success, but first we have to ask, what is success?

We don’t believe progress as a country should be measured simply by narrow headline economic numbers. For example, we’ve enjoyed enviable GDP growth in recent years, but what sort of success is that when we have the worst homelessness in the OECD?

That’s why we are developing broader measures to better reflect New Zealanders’ lives. And we will use these measures to guide our policy work.

The Wellbeing Budget in 2019 will underscore our commitment to this new approach, and will be a world first. It will properly frame the purpose of this Government which is to change the way we view success and look at it through the lens of the wellbeing of all our people today and in the future.

Which takes me to our second key theme:

The wellbeing of all New Zealanders and their families.

This theme sits at the core of this Government – it’s a space we all feel motivated by.  We want every New Zealander to have access to world-class education and healthcare, live in a home that’s healthy and in a community that is safe, and to realise their potential.

That’s why our first priority is to ensure that everyone is either earning, learning, caring or volunteering.

Everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to their community in a way that is meaningful for them. And if you’re not, we’re probably all losing out.

Removing fees for post school education and training gets rid of a significant barrier for many, and not just for the young. We are entering into a time where digital transformation means a huge number of jobs will be replaced or disappear – our answer is access to training and world class education. 

We are modernising our education system, improving the quality of our schools and strengthening NCEA. We have also already provided the first across the board funding increase for early childhood education in a decade and tripled new funding for learning support.

We are investing in innovative training schemes like Mana in Mahi/Strength in Work where employers are supported with the costs of taking on apprentices, and other schemes to tackle youth unemployment.

But we also recognise that study or work isn’t the only contribution we make in the communities we live in. That’s why we’re looking for ways to better value our volunteers and our careers.

None of that counts though if you don’t have your basic needs met.

Our second priority is to support healthier, safer and more connected communities.

We are improving New Zealanders’ access to affordable, quality healthcare, and investing in better health outcomes.  That’s why we’re rebuilding rundown hospitals, expanding our nurse workforce and reducing the cost of doctor visits.

We are also overhauling mental health services. Placing nurses and mental health workers in schools is one step in our plan to intervene early.

We are committed to reducing crime, especially re-offending so there are fewer victims of crime and a smaller prison population. That’s why we are recruiting 1800 more police and investing in crime prevention and rehabilitation.

We are also tackling organised crime and working hard to reduce family and sexual violence.

That sense of security though, also needs to extend to the place you call home. Feeling connected to your community is inextricably linked to your ability to put down roots. Which means hanging onto your home.  That’s why our third priority area under this theme is ensuring everyone has a warm, dry home.

That’s why we’re restoring the Kiwi dream of home ownership through the KiwiBuild programme for affordable homes for first home buyers. And I cannot tell you how exciting it was to open the ballot for those first homes this week, and to know that people will be moving into them before Christmas this year.

But not everyone wants to own, or can right now. That’s why we are strengthening the rights of renters and ensuring landlords provide adequate insulation, heating and ventilation through the Healthy Homes Guarantee.

And it’s why we are committed to building 6400 more public houses and are working to end homelessness by boosting Housing First and other programmes.

Our fourth priority when it comes to the well-being of New Zealanders is one that I feel quite personally connected to. It’s our government’s ambition to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.

I am the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.

I took that portfolio because of the importance we place on lifting tens of thousands of children out of poverty.

We are determined to make a difference. This year we will pass into law the Child Poverty Reduction Bill so governments can be measured by their progress towards specific targets.  But we also know that it’s not just about family incomes, but whether a child has all of their needs met, including good health, a roof over their head, a great education, and perhaps the thing that we are too quick to place last on the list – time with their parents or caregivers.

But all of that is the what. We can’t ignore the how.

Our third key theme is all about the type of leadership this Government is committed to providing.

By default, it is going to be different.

We have come in with a commitment to deliver transparent, transformative, and compassionate government. That means talking openly about the challenges we have like criminal justice and learning from the mistakes of the past, through actions like an inquiry into historic abuse of children in state care and re-entering the Pike River drift.

Another key priority is that, as government, we must build closer partnerships with Maori as we transition to a post-settlement environment. That’s why we have a new portfolio dedicated to the closer relationships we are forging with tangata whenua beyond Treaty negotiations, and into a future where we deliver on our Treaty obligations in all what we do.

Our third area, is valuing who we are as a country. It’s easy to take for granted the recognition and preservation of our nation’s history and heritage, until we don’t. That’s why we are creating more opportunities for New Zealanders to tell their stories, celebrating our history, and working to secure the future of Te Reo.

That brings me to our final priority area- creating an international reputation we can be proud of.

In this uncertain world, where long accepted positions have been met with fresh challenge – our response lies in the approach that we have historically taken.  Speaking up for what we believe in, pitching in when our values are challenged and working tirelessly to draw in partners with shared views.

This Government’s view is that we can pursue this with more vigor - across the Pacific through the Pacific reset, in disarmament and in climate change, and in our defence of important institutions.

Ultimately though, my hope is that New Zealanders recognise themselves in the approach this

Government takes.

We want an international reputation New Zealanders can be proud of.  And while we are navigating a level of global uncertainty not seen for some time, I believe in the importance of New Zealand’s place in the world.

I also believe in this plan.

It looks beyond the three year electoral cycle and plans for the next 30 years and longer.  It will, I hope, prove to be the kind of agenda that out lasts any of us as individual parties and politicians. Because that’s the kind of approach some of the big challenges we face, actually need.

Ultimately though, governments are held to account for their successes at every election. That is fair. But that’s not quite enough anymore. You need to know how we are tracking, and we do too.

That is why we are changing the way government works. Many of you will never see or hear the way our Cabinet and cabinet committee structure works. You lucky devils.  Essentially they are demand driven. Ministers generate papers on their own policy areas and take them to cabinet committees for a decision. They then go up to cabinet. It can be reactionary at worst, and siloed at best. Hardly the way to deal with the difficult challenges in this modern environment.

That’s why we have split up this Government plan across our cabinet committees. Each has a new job. They will help make sure budget bids meet our priorities, that our programmes are being delivered, and that we are making a difference. Cabinet will remain however, the ultimate guardian of the priorities.

Some of the measures we will be using already exist, and some are still being developed. Whether it’s the gap between rich and poor, the number children lifted out of poverty or the waterways that are now swimmable, over time the measures will be a powerful incentive for us as a government to ensure our policies and work streams are effective. And you will be able to track them with us.

But if you ask me to sum up, overall, what we are trying to collectively achieve with this agenda it is simple.

We want to be the country that we are already pretty proud of. The one that is clean and green, that is fair minded and looks after one another, that is innovative and gives just about anything a go.  Including a coalition blueprint.

But if you’ll finally indulge me, I want to end where I began.

One year on from entering into government, I wanted to remind myself of what happened the moment this Government started.

The night that I stood in my office and waited as the whole nation did, for the now Deputy Prime Minister to make the announcement as to who New Zealand First would form a government with.

Clarke filmed my face.

It’s not the most flattering piece of footage. It’s fair to say I’m looking a bit anxious. Almost a bit sweaty.

I’m standing near the couch in the opposition lounge watching the television. There are a group of MPs and staff around me. You can hear on the television the speech that the Deputy Prime Minister is making, as the camera stays fixated on my face. There is a sudden moment of realisation in my expression. It’s not the moment where the government is announced, it’s before that. It’s the moment Winston talks about the things that I believe in too. I smile, and realise that we are going to have the chance to change everything.

We are three parties who agree on fundamental principles. We agree on what has to change, and what we can do better.

We have big goals, but that doesn't make them unachievable.

I know everyone in this room believes in the potential of this country.

None more so than this Coalition Government.

That’s why, with this plan, we are going to keep doing this.

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They have had nearly a year to come up with a plan.
9 Years of National and this government is barely better. They are not interested in making the necessary changes. They are scared of not being re elected.
We can't keep having an economy relying on Dairy, China and cheap labor immigrants and Real estate. It only makes a small group of people rich and not the rest of New Zealand.
There is a lot of small countries out there that are at the forefront of innovation, and are doing just fine without cheap labor. Example Switzerland, and Nordic Countries.
$600 000 appartement, how is that affordable!?
I don't see any bright future with this government or with any other existing political parties. Still the same status quo to keep the older generation happy, short term gains and greed.

We are too small and too distant to be anything other than a primary industry supported economy. We do not have, nor can we hope to create and hold onto the talent required for NZ to be a competitive tech innovation hub. Network effects will always pull the major talent and successes to base themselves in other places. We can only survive on scraps that others don't care sufficiently to take from us. Agriculture, mining, fishing/aquaculture and a couple of minor niches are it for NZ.


What a load of defeatist crap.



Don't confuse defeatist with reality. NZ is a tin pot country at the bottom of the world thats been going backwards for the majority of people since the 1970's. If we were ever going to be a major player we would have been on the up and up long ago. I have been called "Negative" all my life but I just ignored that and got on with creating my own success, sorry no time for people wearing rose tinted glasses, too many dreamers in this country and that is the problem, all dreams and no action.

Am I the only one finding the right-winger hypocrisy on this one spectacular?

When it's the country we can't pull ourselves up by the bootstraps because we are too small, too far away, too [insert excuse here]. But when it's a person from South auckland getting a benefit.....


"We are too small .." Fake News, stupid statement. This is an argument trotted out regularly by people who let others do their thinking for them

You should be ashamed of yourself. There are many benefits to being a smaller Nation. If anything we should be getting the most out of all our citizens and valuing them.

Sounds like you only value the golden eggs and in your impatience for more golden eggs, killed the goose that lays them, hoping to find more inside - only to be met with disappointment.

You have to take care of the means of production (people), not just value what's produced. More brainwashed, sleepy Hobbits on here than I can shake a stick at.

Read a book!

Switzerland is small too. Denmark is small. Even some of the ex-iron curtain countries that have caught us up economically are small.

""You have to take care of the means of production (people), not just value what's produced."" Agree with every word but it does sound rather like 'NZ First' - hopefully the concept not the dubious political party.

I agree with you Zack Brando and Lapun. It is actually good to be a small country. When you hear that people are being replaced by automatism and robotic. We should and especially the government, embrace and foster that. We wouldn't have to rely on immigration and their would be some high tech jobs "future industries" for our children.

Yes indeed. Small but specialized workforce seems to be the right mix for the industrial revolution 4.0. There's research evidence out there to suggest that nations with advanced infrastructure and skilled workforce are well-positioned to bring back thousands of jobs and witness greater product and knowledge export opportunities with the advancement in automation technologies.

A fine example:
ABB recently installed a highly-automated facility in Switzerland to manufacture choc malt drinks. The advanced machinery allows 15 well-qualified Swiss employees to achieve similar output levels as 60 workers at a production facility in Mexico.
A greater presence in Switzerland allows the company to achieve cost efficiencies similar to low-wage countries but with the added benefit of keeping operations closer to its headquarters and major research locations.

Switzerland is a hard -working Capitalist society ............ no BS they just get on with it .

Our biggest budget expense is Social Welfare and handouts ..............

I agree boatman. An overextended social safety net tends to add a sense of complacency into people's minds.
Our entitlement mindset is evident in the fact that the general public sympathises with a 30-year old McDonald's server who blames the system for being priced out of the Auckland housing market.

It is surely time to make the utmost use of our advantages. Distance actually being a prime example. We are largely protected from the migration of those not able to work in an advanced economy. Our migration policies must be based on ability not far leftist wishful thinking.
Modern communications make distance of little concern in IT industries. Value adding can be done as has been shown so well by Iceland and its fishing/immense value adding industries. Value adding in examples where the volume of goods is immensely reduced so that distance/freight etc have little cost/fuel effects. Our safety from war should also be utilized much more. With adequate protection from our tectonic risks we should promote NZ as a repository of scientific etc., knowledge that might be lost in a major nuclear war. I suggest International funding for massive data bases to be built here. We become a very very neutral country to protect our worlds knowledge.
Australia will continue to have increasing drought problems. We WILL have an ever growing market there for our food.

You need IQ for successful software businesses. That IQ is flying over to Australia where living standards are higher. Everything in NZ is a ripoff. Food, clothing, housing, energy etc.
The productive people are sick of paying for other boomers' retirements, breeders' welfare babies and oligopolists' super yachts.

How can NZ compete with countries like Poland where the people are smart and the cost of living is low. Or San Francisco where the cost of living is similar to Auckland but the network effect attracts the best minds from around the world.

If NZ wants to keep it's intellectual capital it must get living costs and taxes down.That's not going to happen in our dumb-o-cracy where the only people left here continue vote with their snouts in the trough until thoroughly dry.

Spot on with the how the middle gets ripped off by both the rich and poor end of society. I also love your example of Poland and how people forget that your can be a decent nation without bending to the EU club New world order agendas. They shut out all those invaders in disguise and still can make triple A games (intellectual assets) like the witcher series and the up coming cypher punk 2077. Go Poland!!!

Yes we are small (Geographically and Population) like Switzerland and Denmark.

But our issue is we are also remote. We have 2-3 hours time difference to our nearest neighbours, and if you flew 5,000km from Auckland you still wouldn't even reach Perth, let alone Asia, USA, etc...

Compare us to Iceland (also small and remote), but within 5,000km they have most of the Eastern Seaboard and all of Europe in range. They are also on a compatible timezone.

Put bluntly, the difference with Switzerland is that:
1) the lower end of education is much better in CH than NZ
2) by nature Swiss people are harder working than Kiwis (it's a mentality thing, very hard to change)

Easier to identify the vision from this bullet list:

Build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy

• Grow & share New Zealand's prosperity

• Deliver responsible governance with a broader measure of success

• Support thriving & sustainable regions

• Transition to a clean, green and carbon-neutral New Zealand

Improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families

• Ensure everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering

• Support healthier, safer, & more connected communities

• Ensure everyone has a warm, dry home

• Make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child

Providing new leadership by Government

• Deliver transparent, transformative and compassionate Government

• Build closer partnerships with Māori

• Value who we are as a country

• Create an international reputation we can be proud of

Kate, great list filled with lovey words but how can the government ensure for example that "everyone is volunteering"?

There is an "or" in that list - so your comment/interpretation is nonsensical.

Oh for goodness sake Kate , we are a country trying to compete in the world , not a charity, for goodness sake .

The list you have summarized is a whole lot of nice-to -haves , and frankly half of them are basic expectations of any administration .

The other half range between what we would call socialist claptrap or wishful thinking , that has no place in a modern society , in fact much of what is suggested is only going to make us all poorer .

People need to work hard, pay tax, get off and stay off welfare, save , behave and stay out of jail .

Government needs to enable us to do these things .....Nothing else .


It's in the text above, Jacinda said she's gonna make EVERYTHING better in NZ

There is NO VISION , they , like Donald Trump were utterly surprised at finding themselves in power , and their policies are incoherent and not thought through in any way at all

Labour cant even organize a piss-up at a Labour Camp , without breaking under-age drinking laws

How on earth do we expect them to run a modern economy ?

Kiwibuild their flagship policy is a joke

They ban oil and gas while across the Tasman the Aussies are going full on in Gas exploration feting the world's big gas companies to invest expecting $130 , 0000 ,000, 000 ( thats Billion ) in the WA economy .

We are telling them we dont want the money or the jobs or the growth that comes from such a sector .

The fuel levy is hammering ordinary families who now spend $130 to 150 a week on a tank of petrol

We need to rid ourselves of this ragtag mob masquerading as a Government as soon as possible .

Boatman - NOBODY can run a modern economy any more - they're all about to fall over. They were all growth-based, all extraction-based, all mitigation-avoiding. Translation: Short term stupidity.

Why is it that folk don't see what they don't want to see?

Tova O'Brien summed all this up in three words on 3 :

Explaining is Losing.


The only people I've heard use that expression are irrelevant NZ media hacks. Who the hell is Tova O'Brien?

Go read read a book! Sounds like you're filling your head with the garbage network TV serves up. I haven't owned a TV aerial in years.

Garbage in, garbage out - stop listening to these mindless twits. If they had anything to say worth listening to, they would have a YouTube channel funded by Adsense.

My fellow Kiwis have gotten very thick - PAthetic!

Zack I don't know who Tova is but she is correct. Explaining is putting yourself on the defensive and it's a losing strategy.

Use your brain for a minute - we are talking about a conference setting, not a 10 second sound-bite. Apply your statement to the teaching profession .. what the hell is wrong with you people.

Assumptions, assumptions. Sure made an Ass outta U.

Here's the excavated nightstand Book Stack: read probably over the last 3 months. I've missed several library books, too.

Y'all may notice some threads in here, and predilections....

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
Razor Girl - Carl Hiassen
Belonging: the story of the Jews 1492-1900 Simon Schama
Atlantic Monthly (4 issues, 5/18, 6/18, 9/17, 10/17)
All that Follows - Jim Crace
Ripped Apart - Bob Parker
Cross Channel - Julian Barnes
Genetics in the Madhouse - Theodore Porter
Factfulness - Dr Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund
The subtle art of not giving a f*ck - Mark Manson
Mediations - Marcus Aurelius
The accidental further adventures of the Hundred Year Old Man - Jonas Jonasson
The Nordic Theory of Everything - Anu Partanen
Norwegian Wood - Chopping, stacking and drying wood the Norwegian Way - Lars Mytting
Back to Blood - Tom Wolfe
Behave - Robert Sapolsky
The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion
The sixteen Trees of the Somme - Lars Mytting
She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity - Carl Zimmer
Coming to it - Sam Hunt

Edit - my bad, had shelved a couple in one of the three big bookcases:

A Barry Brickell Reader - ed. Gregory O'Brien
Enlightenment Now - Steven Pinker

Edit#2. Perils of technology...forgot the Kobo

Early Riser - Jasper Fforde (Welsh sci-fi - extremely funny)
Geography of Nowhere - James Howard Kunstler (3rd read - this is a classic)

lol - explaining is losing?


Our blueprint for New Zealand is to talk a lot of gibberish.

Pious claptrap the expression that comes to mind

“We have never had a government quite like ours”
Never a truer sentence has been said by a Prime Minister!
They truly are a rabble of a government that has got no idea how to run a country!
What really have they done to grow the country in the year they have been buggering around?
KiwiBuild a few boxes that were already in the pipeline!
Immigration no change!
Pike a River, money down the drain and just BS talk and people getting fat for no action.
Tree growing, yeah right!
Regional money being given to mates.
Business going to struggle due to the minimum wage going up.
Medical system no better
School system far worse off and teachers striking!!!
Yeah you have got a great coalition government here!!!!!! !
Only 2 years to go and then they are OUT, it is just a matter of how bad they make NZ!

Not a bad rant but you are not letting facts get in your way. Immigration is down and especially the permanent residency. OK mainly because of changes National implemented just before they lost power and of course it is still wildly out of control with immigrants per capita still ahead of rational countries.

I just hope Winston doesn’t let them do anything too nuts.

I like what Phil Twyford is doing in the housing and transportation spaces, with the exception of some aspects of the potential Residential Tenancies Act changes. I hope he gets traction with what he’s doing. But the likes of Grant Robertson, David Parker and Marama Davidson have some truly loony, radical ideas that are a real worry. I hope the things they get their way on are limited to token/symbolic changes that are essentially inconsequential.

I could kick Winston Peters backside for getting us into this mess

Taxinda has proven today that she is nothing more than a bag full of bumper sticker sayings.

Let’s get real. She made a ‘captains call’ that caused Jones to chew on a dead rat. Since then, Winstone has been getting revenge by knobbling her. This COL is a dark comedy.

Coalition of Lunatics

hmmm, Taxinda is actually a very good speaker and she has a lovely smile. These two rather shallow attributes could very well earn her another term or two, yes I do believe most voters are that naive.

Shallow attributes have been known to serve well in the past, most of last government, the most obvious.


geez, the National stallwarts are out in full force today

And clearly at the top of their intellectual game.


First of all NZ needs to look at Australia, they have a high minimum wage, Labour is putting up the minimum wage to catch up with Australia. Something the National government promised to catch up with Australia and DID NOT. Australia has time and a halve paid for all weekend work. NZ used to have this for many years until the Bolger National government stop this in the early 90s. Many NZ families suffered from this,. Australia provides the means for their people to better themselves . NZ does not. National talks economic theory that money trickles down. IT DOES NOT and proven NOT TO BE TRUE

Australia can just dig money out of the ground, with low extraction costs, to subsidise their otherwise inefficient economy. They are also bigger, have a better climate for growing stuff and are closer to their major markets and tourists. NZ has none of those luxuries.

* have a better climate for growing stuff *

The country is 90% uninhabitable desert.. they have the Eastern seaboard then dirt, more dirt, roos, and dingos.

And EVER increasing heat and drought.

No long term increase in drought:

Average temperatures appear to have increased in Australia by about 0.8°C in the last 100 years. A difference that most humans could not even perceive. Most Australian temperature records are many decades old. In fact with the rise of air conditioning high temperatures are less of a problem now than they used to be.

And yet at 28x NZ's land area they still have vastly more land suitable for agriculture than NZ, and warmer temperatures that lead to faster growth. They have 3.6million km² farmed, 170000km² growing cereals 461000km² Arable land. Compare to 111000km² farmed and 1300km² growing cereals, 5900km² Arable land in NZ. NZ is an afterthought to Australia in agricultural capacity.

Cereal yield (kg per hectare) in Australia was reported at 2074 in 2016,
Cereal yield (kg per hectare) in New Zealand was reported at 8384 in 2016

Need to look at more than just acreage.

AU: Agriculture value added per worker (constant 2000 US$)
391538 USD
NZ: Agriculture value added per worker (constant 2000 US$)
590894 USD

Sorry to cloud your airy assertion about Oz with Inconvenient Facts.

WA alone has the Wheat belt - 154K sq km's, with 4-5m ha farmed for wheat alone. Take a drive through it sometime - grain elevators everywhere, 3 and 4-trailer road trains carting the product. Dodge the road trains - they take no prisoners. Take yer lunch - WA is a big state....

Little NZ has 448,777 ha in grain crop in 2016, That's around 10% of WA's wheat acreage....

Unless you've been there and roamed a bit, it's hard to grasp the yugeness of Oz. And, clearly, in your case, to appreciate the incredible variety of land forms, soil types, climates, flora and fauna, rainfall belts and the other determinants of Production.

Take a trip. Edumicate yerself. Take a brolly and a warm jacket. SW WA can be extremely wet, windy and cold near the coast, and the rain belt extends hundreds of clicks inland.

I was replying to statement that Australia has " a better climate for growing stuff"

Depending on what "stuff" you are trying to grow, that is patently false. It just has a lot more of not so great climate, and that climate is likely to get worse as the climate warms..

It might be said that a fine example of "good government" involves three things:
1) An organiser and manager of the party/government system. 2) An analyst who assesses the climate and then frames policy 3) Someone who can then harness those management skills and policy framing, take it to the public, and connect and resonate with the public. Theoretically, New Zealand once had that "dream team" with Jim Anderton, Sir Roger Douglas and David Lange respectively holding the skills outlined in 1-3. MMP grew out of that configuration not really going as it should. One held fast to Labour principles and objectives, another presented a post-1987 share market crash economic package, the "lead vocalist" called for a Royal Commission on Social Policy. We then ended up with each link in the chain leading/belonging to a separate political party. Prime Minister Ardern's "Pure" MMP Government may very well restore balance to the philosophical - economic - social blend by fusing compassion, fair play, goodwill and HUMOUR into the glue that holds it all together. Don't forget to laugh. I miss the public displays of humour, especially from the Lange-era. We've become quite grim and dour over the years.

Anything that gets addresses the poor productivity of the business sector in this country will be warmly welcomed. NZ Inc must do better or we are all going to Australia.

We are never going to "Catch up" with Australia. They have the land mass and the have surpassed the population critical mass to make larger projects happen. Their industry is not so reliant on agriculture and they have the balls to make the hard decisions. You have to take your hat off to them in terms of attitude.


thats the downside of the employment contracts act, it has led to poor upper and middle management who time and again take the easy way to control costs, ie lower the wages for those at the bottom of most companies, where has the innovation gone, the thinking now has moved from how can we do this better, improve our processes, to how can we lower the wage bill at the bottom.
ie only now fletchers are looking at building house modules in a factory and erecting onsite, something Europeans have been doing for decades

How about sorting out your Ministers and MPs first before talking about all this change.

Start with addressing and repairing the damage Claire Curran has done.

Interesting idea. How many would she be left with though? Remember when Auntie Helen and Uncle Michael were in charge, they had to give a written script to the other ministers so they didn't stuff up? Cabinet meetings were presumably used for practising what to say in "repeat after me" sessions. She is a bit short on capable candidates.

I recall this year a National Party MP being asked for a personal opinion on current topic, and responding "I'll have to check with Simon what we think about that." Bit awkward, the lack of freedom to hold a personal opinion.

A sign of our modern PR-infested world, perhaps.

Nothing tops Gareth Hughes and his "Hey, Clint – are we pleased?" clanger.

Sometimes one does wonder why we need some many MPs when only those handful in minister position can do something. Most MP's like the back benchers just put up their hand or make noise when their leader says so. Might as well just get bots to do that at a fraction of tax payer money.

Just remember NZ's population is slight more than Sydney or Melbourne. unlike any small European countries, we are at least 20 hours from Europe and the nearest mass economy is 12 hours away north. Is selling houses to non residents sustainable in the long run, or should we look at another alternative?

If business confidence wasn't low enough already, this speech will break the record for low confidence.

The only words that popped out for me in her gibberish were "we are a Govt of change". What changes and how will they impact businesses?

Best for businesses to batten the hatches until the COL storm passes.

More papering over the cracks as this coalition self destructs. Very different agendas big egos and the de facto pm Winston are just a recipe for collapse.
Little achieved but much money thrown away on tertiary education regions pacific islands and the list goes on
We deserve so much better !

In some respects this coalition is a Govt of Change.I think we can thank our lucky stars that Winnie is there to stop a lot of it.If it were a coalition of the Greens and Labour,then we would have a lot more to worry about.

Could be the next term...

ng - if you're foolish enough to think that right/left boss/worker yin/yang is the most important think happening now, I feel sorry for you.

Not even the Greens, in current iteration, are within a bull's roar of addressing what is happening on the planet. And you are clearly on another one. I appreciate that we paint ourselves into peer-group corners - you clearly have - and feel the need to make peer-approvable noises, but can we look a bit further out, please?

I'm with Orr on this - short termism ends so quickly. And National are even more short-termist that the current lot.

pdk, go easy on the weed

I didn't know he/she was thin. Sorry :)

I read the article and cannot find the plan for immigration settings. Can someone enlighten me on it or do I have to read between the lines? Immigration very much touches on all aspects from housing, health, education, employment, law and order and so on... so I do think we need to talk about it.

The coalition has dialed down their tone considerably on immigration. At an interview last month, Peters seemed to dodge the migration question instead quibbling on the mechanics of a coalition government on such pre-election commitments.
Lees-Galloway insists that the government is in no hurry to lower migration numbers, contrary to their pre-election stance, and will target each visa category individually to reduce stakeholder impact.
You are right, no proper plan or dialogue for smaller, targeted immigration; just a lot of talks and tweaks.

"When fully rolled out our Families Package - which includes changes to Working for Families - will boost the incomes of 384,000 families and lift thousands of children out of poverty."

In a 1st world country, children do not live in poverty because of government policies, children live in poverty because of their parent's mismanagement of their money.

Thank you Yvil ............. you should set up a website called :


The families package is a handout , plain and simple , and we , the productive sector are paying for it .

There should be no need for this type of handout , just lower taxes , its a zero sum game

'will boost the incomes of 384,000 families' She clearly doesn't understand the definition of an 'income'.

Working for Families is also silly and counterproductive, and John Key was supposed to deal to it. After all, it was he who called it "communism by stealth". It's only subsidisation of company wage bills.

Unfortunately, both National and Labour ran on increasing WFF coming up to the last election.

"I am the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction. I took that portfolio because of the importance we place on lifting tens of thousands of children out of poverty"

You will not reduce child poverty by giving their parents money, the only way is to give the parents some basic financial education. The kids are poor, not because of the amount the parents earn but because of where the parents choose to spend the money (unpaid credit cards and other unpaid bills like power leading to penalties, cigarettes, pokies, lotto & booze)

Waffle and nonsense ....... she is running a country , not the Benevolent Society

haha, you sure bout that? One of her points is to "ensure everyone is volunteering"

No , we are putting in 12 hour days at something called WORK ......... I wish I had time to volunteer more than I am able to do

...Just code speak for communism. Everyone works for the state and the state supersedes the individual and the family. A grand recipe for countless wars through the ages.

Er, is regression change? Does our First Woman want to recreate the seventies, I wonder?

Hmmm, less than 4 billion planetary inhabitants, and in light of the graphs here:

I'd rather be back in the Seventies. Then maybe we could have trod a more intelligent path.

Hmm, there was that ever present threat of nuclear annihilation if you lived in the Northern hemisphere. It was a crazy time, much, much crazier than the present. Oil was running out next week, everyone was ready to strike or on strike, blackouts were frequent, governments lasted a year. Maybe it was better down under.

Having said, that I keep coming across people quoting Yeats, which is a worry:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Bertrand Russell also said something similar but zingier:

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."

Then go back to the seventies pdk and stop posting on the internet and stop using a mobile phone

Lets just get something straight ................Jacinda


Bluntly its a handout , which should never have been taxed in the first place

Its one of two things :-

1) Its the Government taking tax money away from you in taxation , and then being 'oh so kind " and giving some of that tax back to you on a selective basis , for which you should be ever-so thankful


2) Its money taken from the productive sector and given as a handout .

It would be far simpler to just reduce taxes for everyone with kids and give them a child rebate , because after all it costs the same to provide the basics to feed and clothe a child irrespective of what you are earning

It's not the country that's let down the people. It's the people who have let down the country.
We are all responsible whether we like it or not. Either work hard or work smart or get out. Go. To Australia. To anywhere. The real issue is that we have all become a bit lazy. It happens with wealth. And the people who are the laziest are not the same people who create the wealth, they are the people who have personally missed out on the wealth. So, what do they do. Moan & breed. And get angry. Bloody angry.
We create poverty through our welfare system. The very system designed to look after the people is actually the very same system that creates our own poverty.

Correct. We are witnessing the decline of socialism in the west and the selfish culture that it has bred into people over many decades. The hate comes next and then civil unrest. The playbook is very clear when one studies the history of these sad cycles.