Steven Joyce: 'Our government is currently rearranging, often negatively, not one or two but nearly every aspect of microeconomic policy'

Steven Joyce: 'Our government is currently rearranging, often negatively, not one or two but nearly every aspect of microeconomic policy'
Cartoon of Steven Joyce by Jacky Carpenter

By Steven Joyce*

Low business confidence in New Zealand is definitely a thing. Lots of people are debating how real it is, but surely the important question is what is causing it.

The argument of those seeking to play down business confidence surveys goes something like, “the world is growing strongly, the fiscal parameters are good, monetary policy is good, so businesses need to get over themselves.”

The first point is correct. While there is lots of foreboding going on about bad things that could happen in the world, almost none of it has happened to date, and the world is growing faster than it was predicted to back when New Zealand was expected to be now growing at 3-4%. 

Given we were growing at that rate from late 2014 to mid 2017 when the world was growing much more slowly, all things being equal we should if anything be growing faster now, not more slowly.

The second and third points about fiscal and monetary policy are also mostly correct, but it is the constant focus on them as if they were the whole economic story and sufficient on their own that reveals the true elephant in the room.

Economic policy is in fact a three-legged stool, fiscal policy, monetary policy, and microeconomic policy. You can’t successfully operate an economy, especially a small one like New Zealand, without all three working together.

Microeconomics is everything that operates at the firm level in the economy – all the regulations and policy settings that impact directly on businesses. These are things like employment law, immigration settings, competition law, resource allocation, innovation settings, tax policy and the government’s investment in infrastructure.

It is microeconomics that drives much of firms' actual operating conditions. Along with interest rates and exchanges rates, it is access to capital, skilled people, resources, markets, the necessary infrastructure and importantly the consistency of those settings, that tell the owners of businesses that it is a good time to invest and grow their business.

If you start playing with those settings in an arbitrary way while ignoring the economic consequences of those changes, then firms will simply stop investing. They’ll either wait until there is more certainty, or not invest at all.

Politicians as a species are often quite poor at handling microeconomic policy. It’s complicated, and it is prone to populist sound bite decisions that don’t achieve their objectives and have bad economic consequences (think of the oil and gas ban). There are also plenty of strong single interest lobby groups in favour of changes that ignore or play down any negative consequences.

Yet microeconomic policy arguably has a bigger effect in New Zealand than in larger countries. We are a small country far away from the rest of the world. Our businesses are smaller and margins here are much tighter than in the US or Europe, so policy changes that get shrugged off in bigger countries really hurt our nation of small businesses.

Our government is currently rearranging, often negatively, not one or two but nearly every aspect of microeconomic policy. Employment law, resource law, company taxes, innovation settings, immigration settings, the infrastructure plan, it’s all being thrown up in the air at once, and not surprisingly kiwi firms are taking fright.

It’s like casually saying to a sports team as it heads out onto the field that some laws of the game have been changed, others are up in the air, we can’t tell you where they will land, but those are the rules you are playing under today. So good luck and play the game positively!

New Zealand doesn’t have this microeconomic blindness on its own. Governments all over the world, in their response to the GFC, leant far too heavily on fiscal and particularly macroeconomic policy to cure the ills in their economies. They exhorted their central banks to “do more” while avoiding positively addressing problems like stifling regulation, calcified labour market settings, and rampant nimbyism. As a result the world ended up with quantitative easing, an asset price bubble and whole generations of young people in places like southern Europe on the unemployment queues.

For a while here we had the three policy legs of our economic stool broadly synchronised. With the help of coordinating tools like the business growth agenda, all three were working to provide a steady platform for New Zealand businesses to take on all comers and win, both at home and around the world. After a lot of hard work from kiwi companies we became the third fastest growing economy in the developed world. Sadly now we are going backwards towards the pack. 

There are all sorts of reasons why politicians want to change policy and that’s politics. But that doesn’t absolve decision makers of the consequences of those policy changes. You can’t saw off one leg of the economic stool and then blame businesses for reacting to the unbalanced platform they have been left with.

And you can’t pretend to everyone else that all these decisions are costless. They add up over time to things like lower growth, lower wages, and less money for social services like health and education. That's just economic reality.

Business confidence - General

Select chart tabs »

The 'All sectors %' chart will be drawn here.
prospects for the economy
Source: ANZ
The 'Retail sector %' chart will be drawn here.
prospects for the economy
Source: ANZ
The 'Manufacture sector %' chart will be drawn here.
prospects for the economy
Source: ANZ
The ' Agriculture sector %' chart will be drawn here.
prospects for the economy
Source: ANZ
The ' Construction sector %' chart will be drawn here.
prospects for the economy
Source: ANZ
The ' Services sector %' chart will be drawn here.
prospects for the economy
Source: ANZ

*Steven Joyce is a former MP who held a number of ministerial portfolios, including Finance Minister, in the previous National-led Government. He is now an independent adviser to boards of directors and CEOs. This article was first published by Joyce on LinkedIn and is used with permission. 

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.



Good piece.


If I was a right wing fanatic without the ability to think critically about what Joyce is saying I would think it a great piece also. I can see they will really resonate with the already converted.

You could probably draw a stronger link to the price of energy than anything Joyce proposes.

If I was a giant cry-baby that had no understanding of how businesses worked, I would agree with you.


If people who thought they knew how business works knew how business really works, they're realise that Joyce is the voice of yesterday.

This is the Anthropocene - just in case you hadn't noticed. The neo-liberal bubble was a stage on the way, an attempt to continue the uncontinuable. It would be funny if the consequences weren't so tragic

Hi powerdown. Why equate neo lib to the bubble rather than our money creation model? It’s debt not trade which has lead us to where we are as far as I can see (correct me of I’m wrong).

Withay - as I said I see them as a stage. There have never been unlimited opportunities, but about 1970 the squeeze started to come on. Nixon dropped the hook on gold, Kissinger linked oil to the USD. Before then an oil shock could be ridden-out. after that it couldn't - witness 1973. And until then growth was assumed to be unlimited.

I think them that could see were of two types - the altruistic (environmental movement, left) and the self-centred. Cue the elite selfish, write a plausible story (trickle-down, lift all boats, free market) and take over what can be taken over. I'm sure those behind Reagan knew exactly who they intended to disenfranchise - I think the same about the Clinton repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

But I see them as temporary - the approach is unsustainable :) You're right in that fiat-issued debt and interest-charging are the driving the long-game problem.

As usual you have lost focus of common sense. A well written article that has summed up why business confidence is going down the tubes. Powerdownkiwi

Neo liberalism free trade doesn’t inherently imply infinite growth at all. And as for a rising tide lifting all boats, the rate of absolute poverty in the world halved between 2000 and 2012, three years before the UN’s optimistic estimate thanks to free trade. So yeah, free trade is good.

You talk a lot about finite planet and infinite growth a lot but you then try relate it to things it doesn’t really have much if anything to do with. In fact if you wanted to see the most efficient use of resources and more efficient innovations maybe you should be more liberal and free trade yourself.

Sorry, quoting rates of poverty but avoiding absolutes, is always a problem. There are more people in 'poverty' now, than the total population of the planet in Dicken's time. Anyone who quotes percentages is always hiding something.

And 'free trade' is an exponentially increasing extraction, consumption and ejection of processed planetary parts (there's no other source of anything) it's the 'making of money' which doesn't have much to do with reality. As we're seeing.

And you incorrectly identify the problem - see my two recent articles. Real poverty is lack of access to resources, if it wasn't we could just print up more dollars. Logic tells us that we have increased our extraction, our unmitigated dumping and the size of the population wanting a share - all done in recent decades of neo-lib/free trade ethos. Logic tells us it hasn't worked, is indeed heading to kill us all off if left unchecked.

Do a bit of reading, perhaps. Start with Wright's 'Short History of Progress'. Move on the Diamond's 'Guns, Germs and Steel and his 'Collapse'. Then Tainter's 'Collapse of complex societies'. Then Catton's magisterial 'Overshoot'. Then the Limits to Growth (all the ten-year updates and Dr Turner's peer-review). Then peruse the amusing slant from Dr Albert Bartlett, re the exponential function.

But just remember, there are more in 'poverty' now, than the total planetary population of 1850. Depending on how you measure it (and the UN you so confidently quote shifted the goal-posts - read Jason Hickel's 'Divide') I suggest 2 billion is a reasonable figure for 'curtailment of access to resources' (and that's still a cut-off well below NZ's homeless level) which means the same number as the global population as of 1930.

Efficient use and efficient innovations, still result in draw-down. Read up on the Jevons Paradox for why - he worked it out a year or two back...... I'm all for them, live that way myself (one year on a 20-watt solar panel only, five years on 50-watts, even now only on 200) but without curtailing drawdown (and inevitably, population) efficiencies are inadequate.

And a the end of the day, it's money that is having trouble trying to relate. Pity we worship it, but it seems we always do. The Romans clipped the ticket but it didn't solve their EROEI problem.

Gonna be an interesting decade........

Well that was a tone deaf monologue of a response. It’s as if you were replying to a carachature in your head as opposed to what I wrote, you’ve prescribed so many views and assumptions to me that I don’t have it’s hard to comprehend.
Regarding poverty, please see graph:
Free trade doesn’t doesn’t exponentially increase or decrease anything necessarily, it provides a mechanism to prioritise and value different goods and services.
Printing dollars has nothing to do with neo Lib which at its core is free market capitalisation.

I agree things are finite which is why we need to best mechanism to value things as our world changes hence why I like the free market. I also agree (I’m assuming you agree from your link) money shouldn’t be debased hence why I said debt is the problem not free market.

In the end your issue is with population growth, not the systems that are in place during population growth. I think you might relate quite well to Thanos in the latest avengers movie?


Unfortunately few people will change their views, much less values, when presented with new information.

Unfortunately many will resort to ad hominem instead of addressing points and engaging in rational debate.

Keep on writing powerdownkiwi, I enjoy reading your comments.

Did I hit a sore point? Actually I am in business, a start up venture starved of capital because the national party had no other idea on how to grow the economy than a mass immigration fueled asset bubble. Too easy to put your snout in the capital gains gravy train (that I have no doubt you are on and probably think it is a business) rather than invest in productive business. But it is an energy saving invention that will do well in the coming depression.

Hold on, this is the 21 sentry,
How come you havent beem flooded with capital by crowdfunding?

Have you attempted crowd funding? It is a marketing campaign in its own right that would take six months of preparation.

Because his start up venture did not have a viable business case. Bring out the Hankie

How many startups have you done with a new technology? I bet you don't have the faintest idea what you are talking about. Business is growing, and not just in New Zealand.

Development and marketing, sold one set of patents.
A long time ago, crowdfunding and the internet has changed every thing except the effort required.

Respect from me for that. I have known from the start that I am the product development guy and would have to find partners good at the marketing & business side. It pays to be honest about your own capabilities IMO. But I have done enough to have business partners in Canada, the USA, and Chile. Chilean guy is on his first road trip right now, having got my product government approval last year. My US guy is yet to kick off, but has previously build a $40m USD company (with 3 other guys). I finally have a New Zealand company already in the same market evaluating/developing it to match with their products. It has taken a while, but the ducks are being recruited and aligned slowly.

What I say about crowd funding must ring true with you then. I had someone working around me on a successful crowdfunding campaign. Despite him being well skilled (MBA on top of engineering and science degrees) and well informed it only met the target in the last 3 days. Then in the final hours it went 60% over. There was months of preparation, and a lot of lows along the way. 80% of the money came from his existing network, I don't have a big network so my chance of success is always going to be marginal. He only met with success by personally canvassing people by email.

Pretty sad comment henry....we need more scarfies.....if you've been following this site for some time you might have worked out the sarfie is indeed a sharpie!

I feel for ya, Scarfie.
This is exactly why we have that toxic epidemic of highly productive people like yourself either leaving the country or selling their products to overseas interests.

Perhaps stories such as yours are exactly what Simon Bridge's new PR campaign need.

Thanks Nymad. I have worked with my MP, who went on to become a minister in the National Government. There was no real help, so I am more inclined to canvas labour for help. I may not need it mind you, Early days, but I hope to have someone in the industry batting on my behalf. For now my guy in Chile is in the lead, and New Zealand will lose it to that country if something doesn't happen soon. If I take it where I want it to go it would mean electricity generation at a utility level, and could get to 5% of NZ's GDP over 10-20 years. It is more than SME capable. .

Post how much dosh you need....Scarfie..

.Ya never know....there are some very rich people on this site looking for alternative energy....besides....a .Musk......rat.

Start ups are jump start our economy. If out of my price bracket........there is always another .....alternative......Join the Interest Free .......

(Yet to be determined...if needed)

Come on ya whingers...See what gives...I am fed up about hearing about just houses....David.

There must be an alternative prospect.....don't ya thunk.

Haha, thanks mate. I do need to do a bit more work, and I am doing it, developing some new products that fall less into the technology adoption curve. Plan is to have half a dozen to validate in the market. Should take another six months of making stuff and I have a 3D plastic printer on its way from China to help this process. This will give my business partners more to work with.

The person with the right business acumen and with half a mil to drop into it could do very well. There would be two years of jumping through some bureaucratic hoops, but after that the government would be paying to put this product into homes. $200 net profit per unit, at least 100K homes over say ten years. Total market more like 500K homes just in NZ. You know that I beleive the current financial systems days are numbered, in such a crash this low cost solution will do well and it would be a safe place to have your capital parked.

There is an NZ company in the game already working on it though. I have to see that one through as it will be a perfect match. Bureaucratic interference (creation of rules and tests) has actually created that opportunity, so a certain amount of luck involved. The same rules and tests are a barrier to entry for the smaller player!

I'm interested in what your product might be and its application to energy efficiency. As the owner of NZ's most energy efficient house and advocate for better building, we might find some common ground here. Is there anything you are happy to share here?

I try to keep my sometime provocative discussions here separate from my business activity, but I am sure David will connect us if you flick him a private message :-)

Post how much dosh you need....Scarfie....Oooops....DP......mind elsewhere.


Investors are probably put off by your personality. My sensors detect wingnuttery.

And I make no apologies for it :-)

When someone suggested I was on the spectrum I thought it worth investigating. I have an open mind about these things. Not even close mate, right at the other end of the scale and as logical as they come. I do miss Cowboy on this forum though, a certified nutter. But he was bright, and made some good contributions.

TL;DR: Macaroninomics consists of all the things that have no effect on business. The government is handling macaroninomic policy badly. Business needs the tools to be able to exploit workers better. Cue GPS tracker immobiliser

Just checking that you are aware that Macro is the diametric opposite of Micro?

Indubitably. The real question is, what is the opposite of macaroni?

long round empty spaces?


There are all sorts of reasons why politicians want to change policy and that’s politics. But that doesn’t absolve decision makers of the consequences of those policy changes. You can’t saw off one leg of the economic stool and then blame businesses for reacting to the unbalanced platform they have been left with.

And you can’t pretend to everyone else that all these decisions are costless. They add up over time to things like lower growth, lower wages, and less money for social services like health and education. That's just economic reality.

Well...seems like Stephen Joyce has written an indictment on National's accelerating reliance on importing large numbers of cheap, exploitable workers at one end, and cash-heavy foreign house buyers at the other.


@Rick Strauss , this is simply not true , the Auckland housing crisis is 100% the making of the LEFT-WING councils who simply dont want development , and have dragged the ball for decades


Despite economists claiming otherwise, wage growth has stalled across the board due to greater competition in the labour market from an ever-increasing number of migrants.
We received applications from several Indian migrants for a semi-skilled job opening at our warehouse. Many of them hold uni degrees in mech engineering and are gladly willing to work for $18-20 /hour. It makes no business sense to hire one of the less-qualified Kiwi applicants who expect respectable wages.

The Nats did a pretty good job keeping our markets flooded with overqualified, vulnerable migrants. The fear of this undue favourable position being taken away by the incumbents is a major reason for plummeting business confidence.



Spot on there, Advisor.


No Boatiedude, this is simply not true. The Auckland housing crisis is 100% the making of the RIGHT-WING governments who try to increase GDP through immigration and prefer to show surpluses rather than invest in PLANNING & INFRASTRUCTURE.

Btw - don't yell in capitals. It makes you look old & angry.

Can’t we just blame them both. They’ve both had a big part to play.

I agree, I think we are just arguing over which party is tweedle-dum and which is tweedle-dumber at this stage.

I do find the partisan sniping quite amusing. A decade ago, National used the housing price increases that occurred during the prior Labour reign as a call to action. Of course, once they went from opposition to government, they did very little to address the primary causes of house price escalation, but continued the same policies as the prior Labour government. Labour this time made a campaign claim to throttle immigration, but once they transitioned from opposition to government, they have done nothing here. As to making housing affordable, we shall see if Labour will do anything substantive. So far, what we have seen is just the tail-end of a cycle playing out. Blaming the entirety of the housing mess on one party while absolving the inactions of the other party during their prior stint shows who are partisans that do not think but just react via a red or blue litmus test. Better to understand the full picture than just the part that matches ones preconceptions.

The partisan sniping on the comments has been increasing in the past few weeks.

Agreed Yankiwi. Only a few of the smaller parties actually hit the nail on the head with the problems and had solutions for our housing - see David Seymour in the debates leading up to the election. Unfortunately however, they get dismissed as I feel people take the attitude of the devil you know/don’t like change.
I wonder what will actually awaken the masses to judge our politicians on their ideas rather than whether they are red or blue.

your comment has nothing to do what Joyce wrote about? immigration is just one component. Open your eyes


I know it's one component. I watched Bill English a year before the election site two components for why the economy was doing well: immigration volumes being high, and house prices going up.


"Our government is currently rearranging, often negatively, not one or two but nearly every aspect of microeconomic policy. Employment law, resource law, company taxes, innovation settings, immigration settings, the infrastructure plan, it’s all being thrown up in the air at once, and not surprisingly kiwi firms are taking fright"
Maybe National could have rearranged these aspects slowly over their 9 years rather than doing nothing?

they did. what's your point?

Im pretty sure i was awake for some of those 9 years. Rose tinted glasses perhaps ?


Does Mr Joyce, get paid still....for all he is worth.....with his hand out......or are we really in the mire.


i think you will find Joyce is a self made millionaire. I would take his business acumen over Robertson any day AE.


A-hem. He made his money from the privatisation of (radio network) infrastructure that was created by decades of investment by NZ taxpayers.

He’s certainly got a face for radio.

Every man and his dog is a self made millionaire these days. You really want self made multi-millionaires (such as Joyce or Key) to be finance minister, the measly millionaires can’t hold a candle to them ;p


In other words, Mr Joyce asks for a PM with some genuine business experiences to lead the country.

Preposterous! If someone with genuine business and commercial acumen ran the country we might end up going from a destitute nation of fishing villages with no natural resources to a world leading economy within a generation! (Much like Singapore)

I wish we had fishing villages.


Or even a convenient geographic location in the Straits of Malacca!

We should up and move our country immediately - it might help enliven our housing market if we located ourselves outside Raffles.

There were and still are other ports in the straits. How did Singapore make everyone want to use theirs? Perhaps they increased taxes and instituted a dole whilst simultaneously increasing minimum wage and destroying market certainty so that their ports became more competetive?

Many modern services do not require any particular geographic location to be viable. In fact many service providers move countries when more favourable conditions arise!

Sad to hear he would have been against the idea of Bill English running the country, in that case.

I hadn't realised that rural accountancy practices and collecting properties were such hot beds of economic nous and wonder.

Too bad we had that currency trader last time - but he could smile and wave and shake 3 hands at once!

AE. The significant reduction in bank lending to business revealed in DC's article yesterday makes it very clear the mire is heading our way.

The main pillar of economic growth in NZ is household consumption. As consumer credit level stagnates, net migration drops and average wage growth has been perennially stuck between 1.5-2%, how does one expect economic growth to remain at previous elevated levels.

Selling “value add” and services internationally

By selling more residency visas.


Steven Joyce , thank goodness there is at least someone out there willing to call it as it is .

This Government is hell bent on making it hard to stay afloat in business . New or increased Taxes and levies , at every turn , new staff rules and labour laws to name just a few .

Its socialist rhetoric is grounded in 1970's thinking , and we have moved way past that today , its gone and will never return , but they seem to believe otherwise

The fuel levy is now really starting to bite

Petrol now costs nearly $2,50 a litre in Auckland ( its $1,34 in Brisbane,,,,,,,) How on earth can we compete with Australia in any industry that uses fuel such as transport or tractors or earthmoving ?

We have a client who runs earthmoving equipment and diggers in Auckland ( his brother does the same in QLD ) Its a 50 year old business started in Auckland and expanded to Oz in the 1990s' .

The Aussie operation is contracted to build roads and drains for new subdivisions where the land and house packages are on-sold for circa AU$450k .

The Kiwi company is working at Hobsonville, Westgate and in Millwater

The Aussie operation charge -out rate per day is lower than the Auckland rate , and the Aussie operation makes 34% more in GP than the NZ operation .............. same type equipment , same type of staff , same cost of capital , same funding costs , but higher wage rates , higher extra taxes and levies, higher compliance costs , higher rents and a massive fuel bill in Auckland , and this equipment really burns diesel at a staggering rate per hour .

They are now looking to buy a tanker to bring diesel up from the Waikato ........... more costs , more outlay on a tanker .

This housing fiasco called Kiwibuild was never going to fly , as long as Auckland council has its sticky fingers in the pie ............. a water meter costs up to $20,000 in Auckland and for new houses in Brisbane its $500 for the exact same water meter.

The cartel of 3 has a stranglehold on Building materials to the point that you could import a flat-pack home from Germany for way less than it costs here.................... but you simply cant .

Fletchers ( which owns Placemakers) have seen to it that it cannot be done . The argument being that the German house does not comply with our building codes ( which building -codes are, to put it bluntly, a cock-up anyway )

I have been to Germany and its way colder and wetter than here , and just as windy , so the argument about quality holds no water

We have had a spate of strikes not seen since I was in my youth ( I am a Baby -boomer ) , and this implies that labour relations are shambolic within Government .

Tax on interest is a disincentive to saving , so the net result is we dont have strong capital markets to fund ourselves , and hence many of our most successful businesses are owned offshore or by the Aussies who have a strong culture of capital formation and wealth creation .

The ban on oil and gas has sent a clear message ..................... WE ARE NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS ........ SO PISS OFF !

WA on the other hand intends to exploit its GAS and has last week launched an initiaitve to bring LNG companies from Norway and its worth AU$130,000,000 000 (yes thats Billion ) to the local economy .

What we we done ?

Flipped a bird at the world telling everyone WE ARE NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS .

We will simply stay a low wage economy of fruit pickers and cow milkers with this type of mentality


What numbers are you using for your construction company example? It does not seem to resemble the data out there.

Average wage for a construction labourer (

Brisbane: AU$22.23 per hour
NZ: NZ$18.61 per hour

Average wage for a builder

Brisbane: AU$46.26 per hour
NZ: NZ$25.39 per hour (range up to $38)

Labour costs: Seems like your basic facts are off. This should be elemental - people are leaving NZ to work in similar jobs in Australia because wages are often higher and living costs lower. NOT because they receive less in wages.

Cost of materials: the cartel-like behaviour you've identified is likely highly significant. Sources I know in the industry suggest materials can cost up to 30% more than in Australia, because of this. They despise Fletchers in particulr.

Fuel costs: Were almost certainly going to go up the same or very similar under National (per cost and funding analyses for both parties' transport plans), and Soimon has already confirmed National will not reverse the fuel tax increases. Gotta be realistic here.

At the end of the day, much of the industrial action is occurring because Schrodinger's Housing Crisis (does or does not exist, depending on when National holds power) has been horribly mismanaged. Pressure is on wages because people's basic ability to make a living and carve out a life has been reduced through this mismanagement. Assets have gone up in price massively through this mismanagement, but middle class earning power has not kept pace.

Fuel costs have gone up mostly because the Coalition have tanked the NZD, down 11% since election and nearing it's lowest point since the GFC. That is more than 20c per litre. The added taxes are just adding insult to injury.

Bit ambitious to lay all the blame for currency movement on the new government, and none on the factors even St John of Key cited.

The added taxes would've been put in no matter who one, realistically. Both parties' transport costings required more fuel tax.

Nope. In this buoyant global economy this is all on the Coalition govt and their policy choices and the impact it is having on business confidence and growth. Previous low in 2015 was due to low global milk prices.

And no, National would not have needed higher fuel taxes - Business confidence and growth would have both been much higher, income tax would have been down - helping to pump the consumer economy and they would not have wasted 3 billion on NZF bribe fund or 2.8 billion on pointless student bribes or a billion on Embassies or..... Coalition have been incredibly wasteful in their spending choices and incredibly destructive of confidence with their regressive policy signalling.

In this buoyant global economy...

Ohhh...right. Err...yeah...of course.

And no, National would not have needed higher fuel taxes

Incorrect, their transport plan costings were showing 20 cents per litre would be needed to fund them. Of course, Soimon (and you) can now pretend "Nah, but, but it woulda come from amazing surplus" but based on National's track record of increasing fuel taxes...well, you'd either be incredibly naive or incredibly ideologically driven to run with that.

No...this is a rant....

JK spent years flying around the World at our expense....JA has copied the practice to a T.........

Seems we can only dig deeper......but not for our own oil, ....

Youse silly people, need to get with the program.....

Skype would be a much cheaper way to go to a argue a point..............and spend our dosh on things we desperately need.......

Even with fly-buys, 80,000 dollars, plus expenses, plus overhauls, over-alls and what not for our NZAF must be a bit daunting, you could pay someones rental mental accounts for many a year.......if things were done to favour the Tax payer, not the tax dodger.

I think we have all our thinking at cross purposes.......and getting crosser by the minute.

Waste not want not.......was always my way of thinking......I think I must have my wires crossed........I talk daily to overseas people.....never had to move an inch......and a lot of dough.

Try Skype....Picture me, picture you, picture as many as you like......for Nowt.

Free as a such damn thing.


Orr on the other was intentional........they screw it up...they screw it down......Either way, someone is screwed....All done this time to enlarge the Farmers.... (Note Fonterrors........Milk Run....from going down the drain.

Actually, Foyle, not one of those litres can ever be burnt again, ever. Not one member of any future generation will ever get the chance.

And we didn't mitigate (permanently sequester or equivalent) the results of the burning of those never-to-be-had litres.

If you were pricing them on behalf of, say, a grandchild, several hundred dollars a litre would not be unreasonable.

You're just arguing for one-time selfishness. Some of us are a wee bit further down the civilisation track than that.

Geez, rant over for the day? Stop yelling and go and watch TV in the quiet room with the other oldies.

BRANZ, Fletchers, Winstone Wallboards, Tasman Insulation and all their mates will have you know that they make the best building materials in the world.

Boatman thank you to you and Steven Joyce. Some on this Web site cannot see the wood for the trees.
National did not get things 100% right . BUT at least they dealt effectively with the cards of Globalisation. It will take more than NINE years to clean up the mess of COL GVNMENT


At the macroeconomic level, Joyce is a fraud or an amateur. Perfect example is his constant reference to "fiscal sustainablity", which anyone will know is pure nonsense as it suggests that govts are constrained by income (tax and budgets). The general population sucks it up based on their heuristic understanding of a how a household budget works. It is completely wrong and is pure neoliberal myopia.

Grant Roberston and the majority of the ruling elite are no better.

If Joyce cannot understand sectoral balances, how can be be expected to understand microeconomics beyond pure ideology? Throw him to the lions.

Govt spending in the absence of income causes the type of asset inflation which pushes everyone into tangible assets such as real estate. If taken too far it will drive inflation such as is seen in Venezuela.

You mean like Japan? Do some homework.

You mean like Japan? Do some homework.

Exactly like Japan after the Second World War. Modern Japan has structural deflation which is able to absorb a certain amount of inflationary pressure

Rubbish. And nothing to do with a govt with a fiat currency being constrained by how much it can spend.

I lean left but I despair of this government. The on-the-hoof oil and gas "ban" was incredibly silly and would terrify any company looking to invest long term in mining, forestry, agriculture etc. We have some numpty ministers, and a core policy which is stupid - Kiwibuild. The young rich can already afford to buy homes if they set their sights accordingly. It's the low-income people who need help through social housing. I have to agree, for once, with Miserable Mike in today's NZH. Winston Peters is the voice of reason, sanity and experience in this government.

The ill thought out oil and gas exploration ban might have sent all the right virtue signals to the UN for Cindy’s next job but it spooked business.

For businesses to invest they need certainty and that doesn’t mean pulling the rug out from underneath their industry.

delboy. Meantime the 490K owners of NZ's SME's await Cullen's announcement that the government will be looting through a CG tax, some of the value they have built up in their businesses . If they are already feeling spooked they'll be needing an exorcist soon.

That's a vote winner, not. Bring it on for a vote in 2020.

Spot on. The committee for more tax's recommendations will be the icing on the cake, or should it be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The only effective taxes are income tax, GST and property rates. Our income tax is way too high for low income earners, and way too low for big earners. CGT might be worthy but it's a Pandora's Box for rorts and evasion, little more than a token gesture. And what happens when a loss is incurred? Land tax on all property anyone? Only a bunch of numpties intent on being booted out at the next election would buy into that. Oh....

A beautiful example of rhetoric, but not so good that he will become PM.

I think Steven Joyce is just a ultracrepidarian

You got me in one word :)

Ultracrepidarian. Definition: one who is presumptuous and offers advice or opinions beyond one's sphere of knowledge.


What a dildo :)

Assault: it's OK when the left do it.


You can't expect New Zealanders to think like that. This is far too mature for most 'serious' discussions on just about anything in this country. When I first got to the UK in the mid 1970's I was told on more than one occasion that Kiwi's are very naive. I took offense, but have since learned this to be true statement. Sadly it still is. We're great on dreaming but not so hot on doing what's best for us. The nation needs a complete reset, from top to bottom. You're heard me on this before so I won't go into detail, suffice to say...c'mon kiwis, grow up!

He makes it sound like he wasn't part of a government that oversaw exactly what he is complaining about, asset bubbles, leaving it to the RBNZ to lower interest rates because the government wouldn't stimulate the economy, uncontrolled immigration etc. While the Nats were steady at the helm so to speak they actively encouraged distortions in the markets to boost headline GDP and now society is left with the hangover and cleanup.
Labour will never get business confidence because they are dismantling the mechanisms which supported capital gains and threatened (but haven't yet delivered) on reducing access to cheaper labour which has been undercutting wage inflation. Both are necessary evils unfortunately unless we wish to be tenants in our own country, while sitting on the dole because the third worlders have all our jobs. Lucky the dole will include a accommodation supplement or we'd be evicted completely!

I think he has highlighted the reality that business rightly or wrongly is spooked and the drivers are predominantly coming from the COL. What happens from here I don't know but I would imagine if the standoff continues the economy will suffer further and the next elections may well produce a change in the Government.

Business may be spooked, but only a vested-interest segment are attempting to blame the fear on this Govt.

That includes Joyce and a few hereabouts. Aided and abetted by a lame excuse for Public Broadcasting called RNZ, I might add.

Any nana-brain can look around the world and realise what is happening - the debt-can 10 years further down the road, the QE pidgies coming home (actually, they did come to homes, didn't they?) to roost, refugees pouring everywhere and walls going up. It's not rocket science. Not that this Govt is on the right track, mind, but they're closer to it that the neo-libs.

Well the business world that I am part of really really don't want any part of industry based wage bargaining, and are also in a tough place due to the progressive lift of the min wage by 25% which in its self is not that bad but everyone above that also want 25% increase, what business can sustain such increases. The concerns are real and their only option is to be came more efficient which is also good but that will be achieved by reduction in employees atleast in the short term.

Key outcomes:
About 14 % of jobs in OECD are highly automatable. Another 32% of jobs could face substancial change in how they are carried out.
Unequal distribution of the risk of automation
Automation mostly affects the manufacturing industry and agriculture, but some service sector jobs are highly automatable, too.

A graph of Chinese GDP?

Interesting the movements before and after Dotcom bust and GFC.

But is that still the situation?
I saw something that indicated the China GDP is now 60% internal which is similar to the US?
Ok, supported with funny money in some views, but who can tell?

Jacinda now has a massive Carbon Footrprint all those tons of jet A1 fuel that was burnt on a junket to see some criminals masquerading as refugees

You got grandchildren, Boatman?

Just ask'n.