7 Time for Jacinda to act on poverty

by Christie on October 25, 2018 at 10:00am

Photoshopped image credit: Technomage

If this government is good at anything, it is talking about what they are going to do. They are going to plant a billion trees. They are going to build 10,000 houses a year. None of these things are showing the slightest signs of happening, but they still talk as if they are in full control of everything.

One News has published an article where poverty advocates are calling on the government to stop talking about fixing poverty, and to actually start to do something. quote.

Auckland Action Against Poverty is calling on the Government to close the gap between rhetoric and reality, and to do something to address the worsening situation for society’s most financially vulnerable.

The group’s coordinator, Ricardo Menendez March, spoke to Breakfast this morning about the increasing number of people needing government assistance.

“Well, over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady increase of the number of people requiring hardship assistance, particularly food grants, but there’s been a really steep jump from last year to this year, and I think it’s showing that we’re reaching crisis levels, where far too many people are requiring food grants to get by,” Mr Menendez March said.

He said over 300,000 people required assistance. end quote.


So this is what ‘bringing kindness back’ looks like? quote.

“Things are getting worse.”

He says rising rent costs are “the biggest driver” in the “jump” in numbers.

“New Zealand reports show that people on the benefit have been the most disproportionately affected by the rising cost of rent, and nothing has been done to address that.

“There’s other stuff, such as petrol, food, etc, but it’s really the cost of rent and housing that’s affecting beneficiaries the most.” end quote.

I don’t think this is just about beneficiaries either. I think there are a lot of working people in the same situation, and that is the really hard part. There was a time when having a job meant you could pay the bills, within reason. There is no guarantee of that any more. quote.

Mr Menendez March says what can be done is for the Government to “raise benefit levels, at the very least”.

“Child Poverty Action Group released a study suggesting that they should at least be doubled, and that would only put them 60 per cent below the poverty line at this point, so it wouldn’t even put them over the poverty line. end quote.

Raising benefits is not the answer. Getting people into work is the answer, even if it means they will still be receiving a benefit in the form of Working for Families. Better to get them working than not working. They have better prospects for themselves and their families if they find work. quote.

“People are going for cash and low-paid work in the regions, and they don’t last for very long, and they go back onto the benefit, so the Government needs to be creating well-paid jobs if they want people to go into work.”

He says, however, that “so far, we’ve seen no clear indication or timelines on when they’re going to be removing benefit sanctions or raising benefit levels”.

“So far, it’s been really disappointing to see Jacinda Ardern at the UN talking about kindness and compassion. Well, we’ve got a really unkind welfare policy that is punishing our most vulnerable. end quote.

This is the problem when all you do is talk the talk. You create expectations that probably can never be met. Jacinda cannot double benefits, even if she wanted to. It would be political suicide. They cannot remove all sanctions on benefits either. That punishes taxpayers and means there is no incentive to go out to work. We might as well all just go on the dole.

There are no easy fixes to these problems and I have more sympathy for workers on low incomes than for beneficiaries because I can’t imagine anything worse than going out to work for 40 hours a week or more and still not being able to pay the bills. That is what is happening in a lot of low-income families, and it is tragic. Most of them vote Labour, and yet fail to see that Labour’s policies will keep them in poverty for their entire lives.

There are things that this government could do to help the situation, but such things are an anathema to their ideology. The first thing is to stop beating up landlords, which would make housing more available and, by default, more affordable. Secondly, they could get on with what they have promised and actually build some of those 10,000 houses a year. Then they could remove the fuel taxes. That would be a start.

Sadly none of these things will happen because all Labour is capable of doing is talking the talk.

NZ heading for gas supply gap

by Christie on October 20, 2018 at 10:00am

I cannot tell you how much I wish National was not going through a meltdown at the moment. The things that are going on in the background are the stuff of nightmares, but there is no cut through – because everyone is talking about Jami-Lee Ross. Since Ross has clearly had instructions to act like a slow release grenade, it will go on for a long time. The damage being done to the country in the meantime is considerable.

A newspaper reports: quote.

New Zealand is heading into a gas supply gap and will need a new discovery to arrest the production decline it is on now, MPs heard yesterday.

The country has just seven years’ firm supply, and production is forecast to start falling away from 2021, according to Patrick Teagle, a New Zealand-based executive for Austrian oil and gas company OMV. Teagle was talking to Parliament’s environment select committee. end quote.


Last week, Energy Minister Megan Woods swatted this information away as scaremongering. Now it seems that it is all absolutely true. quote.

The company, soon to take over operatorship of the Maui and Pohokura gas fields, will work to mitigate the decline in production from those fields as a priority, he said but that will only slow the decline.

What the country needs is a new discovery, just when the government’s proposed ban on new offshore exploration is “discouraging” the potential partners that OMV and other firms will need if they are to explore offshore, he said. end quote.

Now this is awkward. Didn’t the government announce that there were to be no new permits for oil and gas exploration? So, if there is no gas to be found in areas covered by existing permits – there will be no new discovery? quote

“It needs to be understood that demand will outstrip supply and we are heading towards a gas supply gap in New Zealand,” Teagle said.

“We have real concerns about our ability to maintain security of supply over the next decade.” end quote.

This train wreck of a government would have seen this coming if only they had done some basic consultation with the industry, rather than just blindside them because they felt like it. So, you know what will happen? We will end up importing gas, even though we probably have years more of supplies in our own economic zone. That, of course, is no use to us if we are not allowed to go and find it. Let’s just pay a fortune to other countries instead. There is great economic management for you. quote.

The clash of viewpoints among the 12 submitters was stark. Government MPs didn’t appreciate being told the ban would increase emissions rather than reduce them, that the ban had already halted some investment, and that reduced domestic gas supplies would increase electricity costs for all consumers and sacrifice opportunities to reduce coal use and replace higher-emitting imports – like fertiliser – with lower-emission local production. end quote.

If they had done some basic consultation with the industry, all of these scenarios would have become clear. They could then have moved forward with their plans to reduce emissions, fully aware of the economic as well as the environmental impacts of their policies. But no. Only a responsible government, with the best interests of its country at heart, would do that. Nobody in their right mind could describe this bunch of charlatans as ‘responsible’. quote.

The Labour-led government has leaned heavily on its claims that the 100,000 square kilometres of existing exploration acreage is sufficient to ensure on-going gas supplies during a managed, 30-plus-year transition.

Official advice issued last month estimated the potential loss of Crown revenue at $1.2 billion to $23.5 billion out to 2050, and warned of a potential increase in global emissions if locally-made petrochemical production was replaced with product made offshore. end quote.

Particularly as we may end up buying the product from ‘rogue’ countries that have poor human rights records and even worse processing procedures from an environmental perspective. At least if we produce the stuff ourselves we are in control of how it is done, of the treatment of the labour forces and we get revenue from it as well. I cannot see a downside to this.

But this government knows best. It always has. As the Jami-Lee Ross trainwreck rolls on, nobody is paying any attention to some serious issues for our country.

Jacinda’s incompetence shows again

by Christie on October 14, 2018 at 9:00am

The inexperience of this government is something that is constantly on show, even though they have been in power for a year now. They should be getting into their stride by now but it is not happening. Time and time again, they make silly mistakes that would have had the media screaming about incompetence if they had happened under John Key or Bill English. In contrast, this government gets a free ride all the time, although I suspect the free ride will be coming to an end really soon.

That may be just wishful thinking though.

A newspaper  reports that, once again, Jacinda has no head for the numbers. quote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s calculation of how much extra tax Kiwis are paying at the petrol pump on Monday did not include the recent excise tax or Auckland’s Regional Fuel tax.

National Leader Simon Bridges said the Prime Minister has got this “badly wrong,” and has made a “staggering mistake.”

But a spokesman for the Prime Minister said her comments were “based on the most accurate information Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) had compiled at that time.” end quote.


The “most accurate information” that MBIE can come up with does not include recently imposed fuel taxes? Gee, it is not just the politicians that are incompetent then, is it? quote.

Between October 27, 2017 and September 28 this year, petrol prices have risen 39c, according to MBIE data – Ardern said just 6.8c of that increase was due to “taxes and levies.”

That 6.8c increase is made up of a 1.77c increase in Emissions Trading Scheme (EST) taxes and 5.04c of GST over the same period, MBIE data shows.

But the 10c a litre Auckland Regional Fuel Tax and 3.5c a litre fuel excise tax, introduced on September 30, were not included in the “taxes and levies” side of Ardern’s equation. end quote.

This is so seriously incompetent that you cannot help wondering if it was deliberate. With a fawning media, they may have thought they would get away with it. The risk of that strategy is that, if caught out, they would look incompetent.

Nah. I don’t believe that theory. Too clever for this mob by far. They are just plain incompetent. quote.

In a statement to the Herald, an MBIE’s spokeswoman said: “current methodology does not accommodate regional prices or regional fuel taxes” in their fuel price calculations. end quote.

So we are being fleeced at the pump but the Auckland regional fuel tax is not part of the fleecing? Okay. I get it…

No. I don’t. quote.

Our current methodology does not accommodate regional prices or regional fuel taxes. We are developing a new methodology to replace our existing methodology that will include regional retail price differences in its measure.” End quote.

Sounds like something straight out of “Yes, Minister” doesn’t it? Obfuscation on top of inexperience just looks stupid and sneaky. Oh, and explaining is losing, as we all know. quote.

As for the 3.5c excise tax – that came into effect on September 30 and the MBIE data Ardern was referring to was taken from between September 21-28, meaning it was not included in MBIE’s data either. end quote.

I could have sworn she held this press conference, blaming the fuel companies for ‘fleecing’ motorists on Monday, 8th October? So the data was over a week out of date?

John Key would never have got away with this level of sheer ineptitude. I can’t help wondering if the standards have fallen so low in the past year that this level of incompetence is all we expect nowadays. She has misled and misinformed the public and by and large, she has got away with it. Whichever way you look at it, she had either lied deliberately or has no clue what she is talking about. I choose the latter. She simply has no clue.


4 The $22 billion fiscal hole

by Christie on October 13, 2018 at 9:00am

Jacinda Ardern Taxes meme

Many things are not going well for this government, and some of them are beyond their control. They do have control over how much tax they put onto fuel, but they have no control over the international oil price. They did crash business confidence, causing the dollar to start to fall, but the strengthening greenback has caused our dollar to fall further. Now that world stock markets are falling significantly, all managed funds and share portfolios are losing value and the biggest by a long way is the NZ Superannuation  Fund.

Stuff  reports: quote.

A repeat of the global financial crisis could see the New Zealand Superannuation Fund shed more than half of its value.

The scenario was laid out in the fund’s annual report, released on Thursday, explaining that more than $22 billion would evaporate if the events of 2008 and 2009 were repeated now.

By coincidence, it was released on a day when sharemarkets around the world tumbled, with the NZX-50 down 3 per cent, dropping in response to a plunge in technology stocks in New York. end quote.


Okay. First of all, no need to panic. This is not another GFC. Stocks have fallen around 3% in the past week, and certainly, that has been felt in the value of all managed funds and share portfolios. Here in New Zealand, and also in the US, we have enjoyed unprecedented growth in stock values in the last year, and so this is nothing more than a market correction – seen by many to be long overdue. quote.

Rather than signalling a change in approach away from its moderately risky investment strategy, chief executive Matt Whineray said the fund issued the warning to ensure that if markets tumble, the public – and the Government – does not lose confidence.

“The risk is that we don’t have the discipline and capability and that we lose the support of our sponsors [and] broader stakeholders, whether that’s the Government or the public or the media, that people don’t understand the expected range of outcomes.” end quote.

A lot of people do not understand the markets and get spooked when values fall. This can result in both individuals and fund managers selling out prematurely and locking in losses simply because of market jitters. It has to be said that the Fund has a long-term medium to high risk strategy that may result in short term losses but it has been proved in the past that the strategy works long term.

None of this is a significant risk to the government, you might say. Well, actually, that is where you are wrong.

Guess who – or should I say, what – is the biggest taxpayer in New Zealand?

The NZ Super Fund.

The NZ Super fund paid about $1 billion dollars in tax last year. That was more than government contributions into the fund.

So, if they have a tough year – and this year is shaping up to be a little turbulent, with a lot of global uncertainty and trade wars to add into the mix – that not only affects asset values, but it reduces the tax take into government coffers as well.

So don’t panic too much about your share portfolio or managed funds. If you are investing for capital gains, you either have to sit back and wait, or you should have taken your profits already. If you are investing for return, then your dividend yield just got better. In either case, so long as you are not forced to sell out for other reasons, you should be fine in the long term.

However, for the government, there could be a real headache coming. If the tax take from the Super Fund falls, it could be a significant hit to their revenue stream. We all know what that might mean. The way they have been splashing money around everywhere, including the Pacific, they could run out of other people’s money to spend really fast.

James Shaw wants to spend the surplus and James is an Associate Finance Minister. Clearly, we should be very worried.

A government in panic

by Christie on October 10, 2018 at 9:30am

Don’t you just love Judith? While the government fluffs around with unnecessary urgent legislation and yet another working group, this time on fuel prices, Judith just cuts to the chase and she does it so well.

TVNZ News  reports: quote:

Judith Collins says the Government is in a panic about the fuel price crisis and has called for them to cut the regional fuel tax.

On TVNZ1’s Breakfast, Ms Collins said the Government’s plans didn’t go far enough.

“If the Government wants to do something right now, it could cut that tax, say we’re not going to have that regional fuel tax, 11.5 cents a litre in Auckland plus everything else that’s going on,” she said.

“Right now, with the fuel prices so high and the Government saying it’s all so terrible, they’ve just worked that out, at 11.5 cents a litre in Auckland alone plus everything else round the country, right now is the time for the Government to say we’re going to put that on hold while we sort it out.”

Mrs Collins said for every litre of petrol sold, $1.25 went to the Government and 31 cents went to the fuel companies. end quote.


Spot on, Judith. If the government was really concerned about people being ‘fleeced’ over fuel prices, they could actually do something more or less instantaneously. Instead, they are just going to go through the motions of looking concerned, rush through legislation and then wait for about a year for the report to come out. Wow. They are really concerned about motorists being fleeced, aren’t they? quote:

“The dollar has dropped, oil prices internationally have gone up, every time that happens, the Government’s tax take goes up because it’s basically a percentage of the fuel.” end quote.

Another reason why they will do as little as possible. The tax take actually gets bigger because of the GST content. 15% of $2.42 is more than 15% of $2.25. They are laughing all the way to the bank. quote:

“In my electorate Papakura for instance, people have to travel around, don’t have much choice at all and they’re the people paying for it.” end quote.

It is not just individuals, although they are certainly being squeezed at present. I heard a story of a small trucking company today where the monthly fuel bill has increased by $13,000 and, I assume that this is only going to get worse.

Those costs will have to be passed on, and then the price of everything starts to rocket. We will be looking at significant inflation in a very short time, the likes of which we haven’t seen for over a decade.

I feel sorry for the people on low incomes who voted for this government. Yes, you can always argue that it is their own fault. But for reasons known only to themselves, they believe that Labour is the party for the working man, and that they will look after the ordinary guy just trying to make a living.

There was a time when all of that was true but nowadays Labour is the party of the elite. Good on Judith Collins for calling them to account. We need more of this.

Fuel companies hit back

by Christie on October 10, 2018 at 8:30am

Petrol companies  are pushing back on the Prime Minister’s claim that New Zealanders are being “fleeced” at the pump.

In response to petrol prices hitting record highs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government would rush through changes to the Commerce Act to allow the Commerce Commission to investigate the margins on fuel. end quote:

As I said before, this is all just a ploy to make the government look as if they are concerned, when they couldn’t care less. The investigation (for that, read another Working Group) will not produce its report for about a year, by which time we will all have forgotten about the government’s caring face. But it makes them look good – to their media sycophants anyway. quote:

But Gull general manager Dave Bodger told RNZ the market was competitive and its prices were fair.

“From Gull’s point of view, we’re well known for having some of the best prices in the market, so I don’t believe we’re fleecing anybody at all.”end quote.

Gull has generally offered considerably lower prices to consumers, so this is a fair comment on their part. The other oil companies have chimed in too. quote:

In a statement, Z Energy boss Mike Bennetts said it disputed that prices were “unjustifiably high” and disagreed that customers were being fleeced.

“Z believes the fuel market is highly competitive, but the way to satisfactorily demonstrate this and give consumers the confidence they need is to have the level of transparency that a market study can bring.”

Bennetts said Z’s profit margin was not the reason for the price surge.

“Z will release its half year financials in early November. We look forward to sharing an audited, accurate view of our profits with the public then.” end quote.


A little warning for the Princess. If an oil company welcomes the idea of a market study, believe me, you are in trouble.

This could be the reason why she may be in trouble.

Photo credit: Wilson

Yes, it seems the government gets $1.516 from every litre of petrol. This figure includes GST, of course, but that is tax as well.

I was just listening to the radio and heard that the AA says that recent fuel price hikes are the result of product costs and tax – not fuel company margins.

This is why the Princess needs to bury this matter in a study which will take months to report back. She will rush legislation through parliament in a grand gesture to make sure everyone believes she cares. Then the Commerce Commission can take as long as they want over it. She has shown the kind face of her government and now she can walk away, thinking we will all forget about it in a few weeks.

The cost of fuel affects the price of everything. Everything will soon start to go up in price. We could be looking at the highest inflation rate in a decade soon – long before the Commerce Commission’s report comes out.

And once again, it is the poor – you know, the ones who vote for these clowns – who will be affected the most.

Prepare yourself for the backlash, Cindy. This is one situation that fairy dust won’t fix.

The utter stupidity of the Comrade’s Captain’s Call Policy (CCCP)

by WH on October 10, 2018 at 9:00am

Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

As we are all too aware, just before our beloved leader, Comrade Cindy, left for her first foray overseas as the first unmarried pregnant PM to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, she had a brain fart.

Obviously worried that she would not be noticed in the crowd, our comrade felt she needed to establish her bona fides as a big-noting world leader so, without consultation with her party, her caucus, her officials, her coalition ‘partners’ or anyone other than a bunch of hippie Greenpeace wombles on the steps of parliament, our comrade killed the New Zealand petrochemical industry.


Well done, Comrade Cindy!

Those of us who spend more than 30 seconds thinking about the implications of this idiocy would like to know:

How are you intending to deliver Shaw’s impossible renewable utopia without petrochemicals?

Just a little bit of thought would have shown that petrochemicals are used in everyday products, not just evil private vehicles.

Petrochemicals are used to manufacture many parts of the modern energy system, including solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, thermal insulation and electric vehicles.

International Energy Agency Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, is on record saying:Quote:

Our economies are heavily dependent on petrochemicals, but the sector receives far less attention than it deserves. Petrochemicals are one of the key blind spots in the global energy debate, especially given the influence they will exert on future energy trends. In fact, our analysis shows they will have a greater influence on the future of oil demand than cars, trucks and aviation. End of quote.

Unfortunately, in New Zealand, the sector has received far more attention than it deserves – it was taken out and shot at dawn, without a trial.

When a ‘green sustainability’ website says we need petrochemicals then maybe Russel and his Greenpeace thugs, Shaw, Ardern and Woods et al should take notice? Quote.

Petrochemicals—components derived from oil and gas that are used in all sorts of daily products such as plastics, fertilizers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents and tires—are becoming the largest drivers of global oil demand, in front of cars, planes and trucks, according to a major study by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Petrochemicals are set to account for more than a third of the growth in world oil demand to 2030, and nearly half the growth to 2050, adding nearly 7 million barrels of oil a day by then. They are also poised to consume an additional 56 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas by 2030, and 83 bcm by 2050. End of quote.

But it will NOT be Taranaki natural gas, no siree! – We have to save the planet! Quote.

The Future of Petrochemicals is part of a new IEA series focusing on “blind spots” of the global energy system—issues that are critical to the evolution of the energy sector but that receive less attention than they deserve. […]

Petrochemicals are particularly important given how prevalent they are in everyday products. They are also required to manufacture many parts of the modern energy system, including solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, thermal insulation and electric vehicles.

Demand for plastics—the key driver for petrochemicals from an energy perspective—has outpaced all other bulk materials (such as steel, aluminium, or cement), nearly doubling since 2000. Advanced economies currently use up to 20 times more plastic and up to 10 times more fertilizer than developing economies on a per capita basis, underscoring the huge potential for global growth.

The dynamism of the petrochemical industry is also driving new trends around the world. After decades of stagnation and decline, the United States has re-emerged as a low-cost location for chemicals production thanks to the shale gas revolution, and is now home to around 40% of the global ethane-based petrochemical production capacity. Meanwhile, the Middle East remains the lowest‑cost center for many key petrochemicals, with a host of new projects announced across the region. End of quote.

We could have been part of that world; new projects, new technologies, new jobs – but a motley collection of Greenpeace wombles and our compliant comrade killed all that.  Thanks, guys! Quote.

Petrochemical products provide substantial benefits to society, including a growing number of applications in various cutting-edge, clean technologies critical to sustainable energy systems. However, the production, use and disposal of petrochemical-derived products present a variety of climate, air quality and water pollution challenges that need to be addressed.

While substantial increases in recycling and efforts to curb single-use plastics are underway, especially in Europe, Japan and Korea, the impact these efforts can have on demand for petrochemicals is far outweighed by sharply increasing plastic consumption in emerging economies.[…]

Homeless man dies on Auckland street

by Christie on October 8, 2018 at 4:00pm

TVNZ reports: quote:

A homeless man who died alone on the streets of Auckland is understood to have been kicked out of Australia just months before his death.

The Australian Border Force will not confirm his deportation for privacy reasons and New Zealand immigration authorities said they did not hold any information.

But those who knew Gregory Cameron, 57, said Australian Immigration dumped him at Auckland Airport with nothing. end quote.

Once they have boarded the plane, Australia has no further responsibility for deportees to New Zealand. But, in this government of kindness, why is there no state help for people who have recently been sent back here, many of whom have no family or support base in New Zealand? quote:

Police confirmed they attended a sudden death of a 57-year-old man on Tangihua Street on Monday night.

Other homeless people in the area said Mr Cameron had not been living on the street for long and he died of pneumonia. end quote.

Other homeless people? Why are there any homeless people in New Zealand at all?

If you are wondering why I am asking that question, then you need to cast your mind back to May this year.


An extreme far left newspaper  (article published 4 May 2018) reports: quote:

The New Zealand government has promised to get the country’s homeless population off the streets and into shelter in time for winter.

In a joint announcement on Friday, housing minister Phil Twyford and prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced a NZ$100m emergency housing package to tackle the ballooning problem. An estimated 40,000 people live in cars, tents and garages amid a chronic housing shortage in the nation of 4.7 million people.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to support people in need and urgently increase housing supply this winter,” said housing minister Phil Twyford.

I see this policy has worked just about as well as all the others, particularly those that Twyford is involved in. His Kiwibuild programme to build 10,000 houses a year is building ski chalets in Wanaka, and not a single house has been finished yet. The policy to provide at least temporary shelter for all homeless people is clearly working out well too. quote:

New Zealand has the highest rates of homelessness in the OECD, with more than 40,000 people living on the streets, in emergency housing or in substandard conditions. Per capita New Zealand’s homeless population is almost twice as bad as Australia, which is placed third on the list.

More than half of New Zealand’s homeless population live in Auckland but it is also growing in smaller cities such as Rotorua, Tauranga, Queenstown and Wellington.

“We’ve really made a plea today, any marae, any seasonal housing that might be available, please contact us, we’ll work alongside you,” said Ardern. end quote.

I see that this policy has worked out well for Greg Cameron, hasn’t it?

This government is a total disgrace. They make these noble announcements, the media praises them incessantly, then they walk away from the cameras and forget all about it. Because the media fawns over them all the time and writes nothing but fluff pieces, nobody ever bothers to do any investigations into whether or not they actually bother to keep their promises. Clearly they have failed miserably on this one.

This is the government that is supposed to be bringing kindness back but the project to rehouse the homeless had to be put in hold because Jacinda needed a PR group to follow her around New York at the taxpayers’ expense. Oh, and she needed a private plane to fly her to Nauru because she was breastfeeding. You can see what her priorities are and, in spite of what they say, looking after the homeless is clearly not one of them.


Government ‘concerned’ about petrol prices…

by Christie on October 9, 2018 at 8:00am

The government that increased petrol prices significantly by imposing fuel levies in July has decided to rush through legislation to look into petrol price margins… you seriously could not make this stuff up.

Stuff reports: quote:

The Government will rush through changes to the Commerce Act to allow the competition watchdog to investigate the margins on fuel, as the pump price hits a record high.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the move at her post-cabinet press conference, saying consumers were being “fleeced” at the pump. end quote.

Yes. Like the unfortunate sheep that we are, we are being fleeced all right. We are being fleeced by this government – first of all, because of their fuel levies and GST, and secondly by an incompetent government that has caused a fall in business confidence which has flowed on to a dollar that has dropped significantly, causing further hikes in the price of imported fuel.

And don’t forget the decimation of our own oil industry. It may not be directly responsible for this, but it definitely doesn’t help.


They are also a government that hates business, so it must all be the fault of the fuel companies. quote:

The previously-announced legislation will be passed in the first two weeks of sitting in late-October. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will then nominate that the retail fuel industry is the first to be investigated by the Commerce Commission. end quote.

The thing is, we have been here before, it is nothing more than a cynical move by the princess to take the heat off the government by pretending they are going to do something about it. They won’t. quote:

“The study I anticipate will report back next year and I will prioritise a response to it,” Ardern said. end quote.

Next year? Will that be January? July? November? See what I mean? It is months away. quote:

“I am hugely concerned at the level of price that consumers are currently paying at the pump for fuel.” end quote.

Then roll back the petrol taxes. That will make a big difference and do something about the falling dollar because that will make a big difference too. quote:

“In 2008 we had one of the lowest pre-tax costs for fuel in the OECD. Today we have the highest in the OECD.” end quote.

We also have the highest rate of fuel taxes and levies that we have ever had. Funny how that just gets brushed aside. quote:

Ardern said the importer margin on petrol climbed from 7 per cent of the price of petrol in 2008 to 16 per cent in early 2018.

“That increase represents a transfer of wealth from petrol consumers to producers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” Ardern said. end quote.

2008 was the beginning of the GFC. Everything was in freefall. What about the ‘transfer of wealth’ to a government that is robbing us blind? Nothing to see here. Move along.quote:

“Consumers, in my book, are being fleeced.” end quote.

Oh yes, we are, Princess, and it is not just by the fuel companies. quote:

National leader Simon Bridges described the move as “yet another inquiry” and called on the Government to axe its fuel tax increases.

“She’s saying consumers are being ‘fleeced’ while her Government is driving up fuel prices and taking hundreds of dollars from Kiwi households through higher taxes on fuel.”

Bridges added that “National supports another look at the practices of fuel companies”. end quote.

Don’t forget, that as fuel prices rise, so does the GST take on petrol as it is charged at 15% of the final pump price. This all represents an unexpected windfall to the government.

Jacinda is very good at talking the talk, but that is the only thing she can do. She held a press conference, looked concerned, pretended she cared, and then walked away and the results won’t be known for months on end.

This is the government that is bringing kindness back. The trouble is, those on low incomes will never benefit from it.

Maybe she is looking at nationalising the fuel companies. That worked really well in Venezuela, didn’t it?

Mike Hosking slates Ardern for her PR spend up on the taxpayers

by Cameron Slater on October 2, 2018 at 9:00am

Mike Hosking slams Jacinda Ardern’s taxpayer-funded campaign videos: Quote:

How about Jacinda Ardern?

So the trip to New York was a PR exercise, there’s no question about that. And if there was any benefit of her going to the United Nations Leaders Week, it was to fly the flag for the country.

Small nation, we box above our weight, a lot of people are interested, she turns up in American media, that’s all good for the country. There’s no doubt about that.

But what we didn’t realise is she had an ad agency in tow – that you and I are paying for.

A crew of three, from some agency called Augusto, which has a New York office. And basically they just wandered around filming her, and photographing her.

And it’s not unusual for a leader to be photographed, but normally it’s the office staff who do it. You know, get the ol’ phone out and take a few snaps.

She had a whole ad agency with her, and she’s defending it. Because they’re building up library stock and you know what they’re building up library stock for. They’re building it up for the election, and the election campaign.

It will be Ardern and Trudeau. It will be Ardern and Trump. It will be Ardern at the UN. And you and I have paid for all of this. End quote.

And Augusto was a Labour party donor. Remember the fuss over a glass of milk at Oravida? No taxpayer money spent there, but Augusto is a donor and they’ve been paid back handsomely. Quote:

They think, National, this is against the rules. Ardern defends it.

She says it’s paid for out of Labour’s Leader’s Budget. And so you’re supposed to go ‘oh whew, well that’s okay then’.

But who supplies Labour’s Leader’s Budget? We do. It’s all taxpayer money.

You and I have paid for an ad agency of three people, and what do you reckon that costs?

Ardern says it’s not expensive. But she wouldn’t have a clue, because she doesn’t give any numbers.

She says it’s not excessive. But she wouldn’t have a clue.

This is the party that spends $1.6 million on three days to chat about justice.

So three people from an ad agency, wandering around in New York.

And you and I have paid for that. End quote.

And it may well be against the rules. Even if it was then Labour will just do what they did last time and change the rules, retrospectively.