Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: What I saw at the step change.

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  • Paul Campbell,

    .

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Paul: are on you Metafilter, perchance?

    Anyway, protest is futile theatre -- organisation is where it's at. I just broke a vow of years and joined the Labour party...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I feel the same way, Paul.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Methinks the reference to the forthcoming war against students is a sweetener for the supporters. Some mainstream New Zealanders might realise that their economic interests are not being served by this budget, that only the rich will benefit; but they will be diverted from this stray thought by the shiny things that Key has mixed in to this mess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    People! Fear not! Wise words from Your Views will soothe and comfort us. Eric Draven, my compatriot from Waitakere City, says:

    Man all these people crying is getting me down. Oh boo hoo poor us, not enough tax back too much going out. One reason why this country will not catch up to Aussie is it full of gripping moaning tall poppy beheaders sitting on there asses doing bugger all. If you dont like it you can always move on.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    The GST increase would have been not-terrible if it had come bundled with genuinely sweeping tax reform (most particularly property and capital gains taxes) and smarter income tax (universal no-tax thresholds and so on.) Instead it just looks hopelessly weak and uninteresting.

    And did Key really think about the implications of using the "It's too hard" excuse for the reason why they're not including property/capital gains taxes?

    The whole thing's such a huge letdown. I got the sense that most people had an appetite for some pretty significant change, so to let that slip past us is just depressing.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I read mefi - don't post - the "." for "I decided I shouldn't post that here after all and the silly thing wont let me post an empty screen" is also a convention elsewhere ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    On MeFi, "." is a convention in obituary threads, signifying general deep sadness without wasting a lot of bits on platitude.

    But it read well that way here too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Now pardon me, I'm off to check ticket prices...

    I'll miss you, and don't forget to throw a going away party. Sorry, but I've seen too many people threaten to flounce out of the country and never get around to leaving in the past not to be somewhat cynical.

    It would be fair to say that Bernard is fucking furious with him.

    I'm not being entirely snarky in saying that when the country starts to look like the Herald op-ed page, then I'll start checking out the job market and property prices in Melbourne.

    Sorry, guys, but I'm just not buying the squeeing over a column that, frankly, was more theatre than substance. (Which is sad because I actually agree with his more substantive and measured critiques of the Rentier Welfare State.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    The GST increase would have been not-terrible if it had come bundled with genuinely sweeping tax reform (most particularly property and capital gains taxes) and smarter income tax (universal no-tax thresholds and so on.)

    Why would they want to do that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Is this our Obambi moment?

    Of course it is, Russell -- because the only reason I supported Key and Obama is because they're 1) really hawt, 2) speak real pretty, and 3) promised to descend from their ice cream castles on a cloud of perfumed unicorn farts and pixie dust to make every thing groovy.

    No messy political realities here...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Craig, the "everyone is as bad as each other, I'm a sensible tory that can see both sides" stuff is getting just a little old. You've been doing it for 5 years - do you have any other tricks? You're too often all meta and no content

    Instead of attacking:
    - Bernard Hickey's column
    - People liking Bernard Hickey's column
    - Russell's flippant rhetorical question
    - People threatening to move

    Why don't you tell us what you think of the vague wishy washy policy prescriptions Key served up yesterday?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, the "everyone is as bad as each other, I'm a sensible tory that can see both sides" stuff is getting just a little old. You've been doing it for 5 years - do you have any other tricks? You're too often all meta and no content

    Eddie: You're right. "Waah, the entire world doesn't revolve around me! Anyone who disagrees with me is stupid and evil! If everything doesn't arrange itself according to my ideological preferences, I'm flouncing out of this piece of shit country -- AND I'LL DO IT THIS TIME JUST YOU WATCH!"

    There, was it good for you too?

    Why don't you tell us what you think of the vague wishy washy policy prescriptions Key served up yesterday?

    Well, I've said that I'd have liked to see a property and capital gains tax introduced but was never naive enough to think that it would get the numbers to pass through the House. I never thought Clark -- who is every bit as temperamentally cautious as Key -- would either.

    It's really easy to put the world to rights in a 800 word column, but it doesn't hurt to at least acknowledge the reality that people like Key and Obama have to operate in the real world and passing legislation is a little more complex and messy than hitting a POST button.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Why would they want to do that?

    I'm only on coffee number one, so my rhetorical question detector is still a bit wonky. But I'll answer seriously anyway: the last thing National wants is to be known as the government that increased the tax burden on low income families disproportionately. That's the sort of tag that loses elections.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    they will be diverted from this stray thought by the shiny things that Key has mixed in to this mess

    Don't forget the bennie-bashing - went down a treat right away in the Heraldic comments.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So no right thread for this question -

    Do folks think that mining our reserves will capture the imagination of the public enough to bring the government down?

    I kind of think that it is so blatantly greedy that most kiwis will hate it. But most importantly it is the kind of issue that regardless of any realities* it can be presented as an act of evil.





    *While not suggesting mining native forests is in any way justifiable it may turn out to be technically possible to extract minerals from public lands without doing harm. Note I believe that even if it was possible to mine without harm the companies doing it would fuck it up and do plenty of harm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I never thought Clark -- who is every bit as temperamentally cautious as Key -- would either.

    Me neither, it's way too large a problem for one party to solve. It would need to be bi-partisan, and over a decade, or more.

    Strikes me that the GST vs income tax move might actually help, though. Most of the tax avoided in property investment is income tax.

    That doesn't change the fact that it's going to hit lower income groups harder. If they got a decent income tax drop then it could be balanced.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    BTW, Eddie, if you want to talk about 'meta without content', I have to smile at the commentariat bitching Key for not being "brave" or 'radical" enough. How soon we forget when the narrative was that he was just Ruth Richardson in drag, and the "secret agenda" would make the Ruth-inator herself shrink in horror. (Just as Helen Clark was going to turn New Zealand into a Feminazi-Stalinist reich. That didn't happen either.)

    But, hey, let's put Roger Douglas back in the hot seat -- he was radical and brave as all get out. You've just got to ask yourself why his party is struggling to out-poll the margin of error, if New Zealanders have such an appetite for "radical reform."

    Obviously, it's my bad that I'm trying to keep my criticisms (reasonably) temperate and reality-based. I'll still sleep at night, and leave the pants-wetting hysterics to the usual suspects elsewhere.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Craig - fair enough...

    If you can go a week without a "but X did Y as well, so its not like we should only criticise Z" post, then I'll be truly impressed :P.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I can't see how Key doesn't have the numbers. National plus one of the Maori Party or Act would have got it through, and if Key can't buy off one of those two he's a lot less competent than I thought.

    If National are worried they won't get important tax bills through the House, that's a bit embarrassing.

    Key had the chance to show leadership & he didn't. He doesn't get to say: oh, it's too hard. He's the Prime Minister ffs.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    It's really easy to put the world to rights in a 800 word column, but it doesn't hurt to at least acknowledge the reality that people like Key and Obama have to operate in the real world and passing legislation is a little more complex and messy than hitting a POST button.

    So opinion writers shouldn't say anything unless they personally have a working, politically viable solution written up and ready to be submitted to a select committee?

    This hyperbole stuff is fun!

    Hickey's justifiably underlining the fact that the changes announced so far are not encouraging for the young, the poor, and those who don't own property-closing current tax loopholes has no impact whatsoever on people who didn't benefit from it previously, but who will now pay more for the necessities of life. The fact that it might be hard to make stuff happen is immaterial- politics is hard , and using that complaint as an excuse to half-arse tax reform should result in a thousand thousand Hickeys all calling Key out.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    While not suggesting mining native forests is in any way justifiable it may turn out to be technically possible to extract minerals from public lands without doing harm.

    Agreed, quite possibly. But the benefits to NEW ZEALAND are negligible. The mining company does all the mining, makes all the money, and pays a token percentage (read: pittance) to the Crown for the privilege. So Brownlee should stop shooting his fat mouth off about all this mineral wealth just waiting for us to dig it up and reap the financial benefits from it; he's lying.

    So as far as bringing the Govt down: a strong message needs to be out there in order to counter the nasty propaganda around this.

    Note I believe that even if it was possible to mine without harm the companies doing it would fuck it up and do plenty of harm.

    Rather. In fact, I'm sure it will turn out to be far too expensive to mine without harm, and we'll end up with the Coromandel being surface-mined and "mountaintop-removalled" rather like the horrors currently being afflicted on the Appalachians in the US.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So opinion writers shouldn't say anything unless they personally have a working, politically viable solution written up and ready to be submitted to a select committee?

    This hyperbole stuff is fun!

    No, Andre -- if nothing else, it would be blatantly hypocritical given that I derive a fairly large chunk of my income from a commentary piece (not a policy paper) on PA Radio.

    The fact that it might be hard to make stuff happen is immaterial- politics is hard , and using that complaint as an excuse to half-arse tax reform should result in a thousand thousand Hickeys all calling Key out.

    And around these parts, I remember when Key and his predecessors used to get called out for hysterical (and arguably flat out dishonest) claims that the evil Liarbore Dykeocracy was driving Kiwis across the ditch. As Russell himself has pointed out in some detail -- and more than once -- the facts didn't quite line up with the rhetoric.

    And I think that it's entirely fair comment to say that any "whole-arsed" tax reform package that would have Bernard Hickey's unqualified approval would also go down here like a yard glass of cold, chunky sick. Seriously.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Do folks think that mining our reserves will capture the imagination of the public enough to bring the government down?

    Nope. See, it's not THOSE bits of the national parks. Nobody's going to be suddenly running across an open cast mine right under Aoraki or next to Tane Mahuta. What you have to understand is that there are lots of silly ugly bits in national parks that don't have kiwis or rimu on them, where nobody ever goes anyway. Those bits. Don't worry about it, you're never going to notice.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I really would like to know how on earth Key doesn't have the numbers. A tax is a supply issue. Key has confidence and supply agreements with two parties, either of which would get him a majority.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

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