"Yes, they’re expecting $30,000,000 a year in profit from South Auckland Wiri prison"
I think that's revenue not profit.
The disappointing thing about the performance of Serco is that it is all too similar to the work of the Department of Corrections. They were supposed to be better.
"....his endless editorials are inevitably full of mistakes and misapprehensions, especially on any economic matter."
That's how I feel about Dita De Boni, I'm afraid.
"Du Fresne is a puzzle. His feature writing is generally excellent. His columns, or worse, his blog posts, are often weird and cranky"
My test is whether I read them to the end and can enjoy them on the way.
For me, Dave Armstrong and Karl are very similar on that criterion, irrespective of the views they express in reaching the end.
".......it'd be forgotten by the next election, and all their mouthpieces would be long gone."
And so would the media platforms for any opinion outside of state broadcasting.
Look, as someone who enjoys well expressed opinion from any part of the left/right continuum, I don't find any difference whatsoever between Mike Hosking and Dita De Boni. Both appear to express themselves wholly in cliches and are long on unsupported assertion and short on penetrating analysis.
Media companies are not so well off, including the radio outlets, that they can afford to take strong political stances irrespective of their commercial underpinnings. If they could make money from a left wing version of Mike Hosking they would so. In fact, long ago and not so far away there was a left wing version of Mike Hosking. Her name was Pam Corkery. Her outlet, Radio Pacific, staffed mostly by hosts in or heading towards their haemorrhoid years and aimed at a comparable audience, was a power in the land.
Dave Armstrong writes an explicitly left wing column in the Dom Post that is entirely readable. His liberal counterpart, former Dominion Editor Karl Du Fresne is also a much better writer than either Hosking or De Boni. Both spend time on the particular before going to the general which gives their writing texture and lowers the ranting ratio in each column. Maybe there is something in the Wellington and Wairarapa water?
Its not based on an assumption but my observation of this post and his inglorious excursion into racial politics.
"All that is because Tim Groser spent the last 20 years getting naked before stepping out to play strip poker, said Groser has been negotiating badly for 20 years,"
Including, presumably, the 6 or so years he was the Labour government's chief trade negotiator?
"That’s what is going to happen. Groser’s going to cave on our behalf, and New Zealand’s going to suffer as a result"
Translated into what you really mean,
"Please, please Tim, sell us out so we can have some basis on which to attack the government"
A more important question, why can't Labour attract quality advisors?
Never had that problem with Southern Cross, including for oral surgery that could just as easily be done by a dentist.
In NZ you do best with both the public and the private system. My folks got medical insurance in the 70s when they discovered they had no hope a getting a routine operation in the public system for my mother's condition that caused considerable discomfort. They had to pay to get it done in one of Hamilton's private hospitals to get relief. Since then our family has always had private insurance sometimes funded by us and sometimes by our employers - including at one stage, Wellington Newspapers, a subsidiary of INL when it was owned by Rupert Murdoch.
No, that makes no sense at all. The debt is falling because the amount being paid off is greater than the sum being borrowed.
To your third point, the preceding sentences in the summary also say,
"New Zealand has an average annual disposable household income above the OECD average, and the poverty rate is somewhat lower than the OECD average. Poverty rates among older people fell by 11 percentage points from 2007 to 2010, while the poverty rates for children increased by 1 percentage point."
To your first two points, While the GFC had an impact the increase was significantly higher than for the rest of the OECD most of which had tougher time than NZ. In the GFC our recession lasted 6 quarters and unemployment stayed significantly lower than other countries. Christchurch also had an impact but once again the impact on social spending was relatively short with unemployment falling because of the demand for workers. If you look at the Treasury graphs on social spending - health, education, welfare - the trend is up and steady over time. I think my original point stands. The idea that National has somehow gutted social spending is wrong.
"Our Govt. is now borrowing at unprecedented levels...."
That's not true and our gross foreign government debt is going to start to fall in 2016/17 because of debt maturing exceeding projected additional debt. Check out the fiscal and economic update on the Treasury website. The changes to the surplus/deficit announced today will make the debt outlook even better.