Keep the team that’s working

The choice for New Zealanders in this election is to keep the team that’s working or change it for one that won’t:

The National Party has launched a new phase in its election campaign with new television commercials and election billboards highlighting the clear choice facing New Zealand voters.

“On air now is a short 15 second television commercial highlighting the stark difference between the opposition’s spending promises and our own strong economic management,” says National’s Campaign Chair Steven Joyce.

“The simple truth is that to date Labour and the Greens have released reckless spending commitments that total up to $28 billion, and that’s before they add in Dotcom’s party.

“Labour alone has committed to a staggering $18.4 billion, a figure the Greens want independently audited.

“Even in opposition, Labour, the Greens and their mates can’t agree on basic policy, like what the top personal tax rate should be.”

“In contrast, our plan will keep growing the economy and delivering the benefits of that growth to all New Zealanders – like 150,000 more jobs by 2018, free doctors’ visits and prescriptions for children under 13, 18 weeks paid parental leave, Kiwisaver HomeStart grants for first home buyers and no new taxes,” says Steven Joyce. . .

The choice is clear – a strong and stable team with a proven record continuing to steer New Zealand in the right direction or the left at best taking us nowhere good and at worst taking us backwards.






21 Responses to Keep the team that’s working

  1. murray grimwood says:

    interesting lack of cognitive growth being demonstrated.

    You can’t keep growing an economy, not if it’s based on physical stuff. That’s just a fact – not a belief. What you end up with, after the last ‘doubling-time’, is a trashed planet, nothing to buy, and a fistful of worthless electronic digits. Sorry, money.

    Yet you, HP, repeat and repeat that it can be done. Journalism used to be about investigation, not regurgitation. Try it. Then take the Greens on – because they tout ‘growth’ too (better type than yours, but just as flawed – if alleviating ‘child poverty’ means ‘allowing more children to purchase more processed parts of the planet’).

    But we’re probably too late to have the conversation. How long do you think the growth-requiring global fiscal system can maintain the chimera? Who would be in power – anywhere – when that one implodes?


  2. Andrei says:

    Ultimately Murray the civilization of which we are a part will collapse

    And ultimately the human race will become extinct, The former may coincide with the later if the loonies in currently charge get their way.

    These are grim realities much like our own personal mortality is a grim reality.

    And every day when we get out of bed it could be our last, and that too is our condition.

    But we carry on, make plans, build our homes, raise our families with optimism and hope despite knowing that one day all will be dust.

    Really what else can we do?


  3. Willdwan says:

    Piss off Murray. We’re quite happy with our current nut-case.


  4. RBG says:

    Can’t cope with the message Willdwan, so you revert to your default setting of personal abuse. Murray Grimwood is correct, it is not possible to continue to increase GDP on a finite planet. You could try thinking about that fact instead of just shooting the messenger.


  5. murray grimwood says:

    That’s OK – fear does that to folk, it’s a common response.

    The sad thing is that some of us have demonstrated that you can live a low/no impact life, and that it is a lot more fun, a lot less stress.


  6. murray grimwood says:

    Andrei aska a valid question: What else can we do”

    Firstly, limit consumption. Reduce finite resource consumption exponentially to nil (recycling is the variable). Reduce renewable-resource consumption to no more than the renewable rate. ,

    Secondly, limit population. After all, if we don’t, mother nature will. Realise that ‘more resources per head’ is actually ‘more wealthy’, in light of the first ‘limit consumption’ move.

    Laissez-faire doesn’t give you either approach, so is of no use unless you anticipate a ‘survival of the fittest’ show-down, in which case I suggest the posession of weapons might just outrank electronic claims to ‘wealth’.


  7. TraceyS says:

    Mother nature, and the way we live within its bounds, will eventually limit populations in many parts of the world anyway – including New Zealand – according to

    Some see this as a blessing, others a disaster.


  8. Mr E says:

    Murray your point argument is flawed. We use technology to improve the efficiency with which we use resources. That technology is all around us. – some real basic ones include:

    Modern vehicles with low emissions and fuel usage.
    Modern homes that require less resources to heat
    Commercial buildings that are made from stronger and lighter materials

    These things are all about efficiency of using resources. They affect all kiwis every day. They’re basic example of technology that show how efficiency of production can be achieved. Use less, spend less, get more.

    But lets up the conversation to talk about the heart of the issue.

    New Zealand is based on Agriculture. We have a fixed land mass – give or take a little. How do we increase the returns we get?

    The Greens say – turn it to organic. – ALL OF IT (that is their policy)

    A measurable comparison is Dairy which has been surveyed (23 farms)
    The per hectare output of a dairy farm – 982kgmilksolids/ha
    The per hectare output of organic dairy farm – 585kgMS/ha

    Organic dairy produces only 60% of conventional.
    The Greens say – organics achieve a premium price and that more than off sets the lost production. Let me ask you this: If we convert all of NZ to organics and put all of that product on the market will organics products still achieve a premium to offset the 40% reduction in productivity?

    I think the answer is pretty straight forward.

    Looking at rough land productivity –
    Sheep farms produce 250kg product/ha * $6
    Dairy farmers 1000kg product/ha * $6
    Grain farms 6000kg product/ha * $0.4

    Conversion of sheep land to dairy is a nature progression of productivity. Environmental impacts have been highlighted, but to be frank I single it down to one single issue. Nitrogen.

    As far as I am concerned there is no other significant environmental challenges posed by dairy other than nitrogen.

    People say it is a complex thing to control because it is a ‘diffuse’ nutrient. I think it is simple to control.

    Nitrogen outputs are only a problem in NZ because of nitrogen inputs. Studies show – no nitrogen – no problem.

    Any party that sets it’s sights on bag forms of nitrogen with a specific policy to control it, deserves a pat on the back for being clever. I’m definitely not advocating the elimination of nitrogen. Simply the thoughtful control of the real issue facing NZs environment.

    I believe it is a wide enough issue for it to be tackled by Central Government rather than Local Government with the RMA.


  9. “Mother nature”, Tracey?
    You a hippy?


  10. Mr E says:

    As we would expect from Environment Southland Councillor Robert Guyton, a thoughtful, respectful addition to the conversation.


  11. TraceyS says:

    Is this an attempt to irritate, Robert? You know I don’t like labels, name calling etc.


  12. It was a question. Personally, I regard, “hippy” as a term of endearment.
    Touchy today, team!


  13. RBG says:

    Mr E says ‘no other significant environmental challenges posed by dairy other than nitrogen’. Just plain wrong Mr E. Cadmium, phosphorus, e coli in waterways (and it is now possible to differentiate e coli from human or animal sources), to name a few.


  14. How about soil degradation, Mr E?
    How about pathogens, Mr E?
    How about dairy’s creep into hill and high-country, Mr E?
    The game is coming to the point of reveal, Mr E.
    You are on the wrong side of the argument.
    Think fast.
    You are in danger of being revealed for who you are 🙂


  15. Mr E says:

    Cadmium- not significant
    Phosphate- improving for the last decade
    Ecoli – stable or improving for the last decade.

    Wrong again RBG.


  16. Cadmium – a special “Cadmium Response Group” has been established by the Government – not significant? That’s completely wrong, dangerously wrong, Mr E.
    Phosphate? It’s a slow-burner, and you know it. Phosphate binds with soil particles and slowly, relentlessly, enters the system. It hasn’t gone away, it’s just sitting, waiting… Dairy NZ is spinning the same line as Mr E. Phosphate’s still going on, still adding to the load. It doesn’t disappear, Mr E. It’s slowly, slowly building.
    Ecoli – what can I say? It’s merely an indicator to other pathogens, Mr E and you know it. That’s what’s it’s used for, indicating the presence of other more devastating pathogens.
    Those other pathogens? Let’s look at those, shall we? Dairy is providing some lovelies there. Not measured directly, but let’s ask the rural doctors and vets about that, shall we?


  17. RBG – differentiate those ecoli and let tangata whenua know when you find human-sourced ecoli in the rivers. That’s their bottom line. None, that’s how much they’ll allow. Septic tanks, anyone?


  18. RBG says:

    Cadmium IS significant. ‘Stable’ is not good enough. Polluted and ‘stable’ is a problem.


  19. Mr E says:

    The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Cadmium Management Group disagree with you RBG and so do I about cadmium.

    Regarding Ecoli, lucky I said stable and improving then eh?


  20. murray grimwood says:

    Mr E

    Actually, with respect, your argument is the flawed one.

    Efficiencies are my ‘thing. (We’re 10 years down the off-grid track, have a super-efficient house which needs only 1.6 kw/h per day, etc etc.


    Efficiencies can only ever be a theoretical 100%, in whatever genre. Diesel engines, for instance, will never get to 50% efficient – thermodynamics requires temperature differentials which inevitable require – as is usually the case – low-grade heat loss.

    So all efficiencies have an end. Even ‘Moores Law’ has to stop when two molecules have to be separated (insulated) by another.

    Then there’s Jevons Paradox. (google it)

    As far as ‘organic’ is concerned, would it not be better to look a ‘sustainable’? As in: something which can be maintained long term?

    That rules out about 5 billion globally, but in local terms you have to look at agriculture without fossil fuels (transport, fertiliser) and with a closed-loop nutrient circle. We are additive-free and close to closed-loop personally (occasional imports of sheep/horse-poo, seaweed) but you certainly can’t ‘produce’ as much sustainably as you can unsustainably. Surprise, surprise 🙂


  21. Mr E says:

    “Efficiencies are my ‘thing. (We’re 10 years down the off-grid track, have a super-efficient house which needs only 1.6 kw/h per day, etc etc.”
    We share some common interests/ investments

    Efficiencies are not ONLY theoretical. They’re real. There is still so much more that can be squeezed out of todays resources. I think if we maximised our effiencies today – tomorrows population could be a lot larger – Potentially double.

    Will there be limits on some things? Probably, but sometimes those limits are based on our own human minds, and current understandings of science including physics. At the year 1600 if you told people you could use the sun to light a room at night, you’d probably be burnt at a stake.

    Regarding Sustainability – It is such a loosely used term.
    If you zoom right out – Planet earth currently sustains the population. Socially, economically, environmentally. There is an argument to say that is not sustainable because we are changing it. But our planet has been in a constant flux of evolution way before humans became significant. And those fluxes were much much more significant than any current impact humans are having.

    I don’t worry about fuel or fertiliser – As they become scarce, prices will become prohibitive, and humans will find alternatives. We’re a clever lot, and I view we have the ability to overcome hurdles.
    It is happening already – Farmers have found things like plant hormones to offset fertiliser use, and products like DCD which improve the efficiency of fertiliser use.
    Over the last 30 years scientists have improved the understanding of fertiliser testing and placement. Farmers can now use GPS to reduce fertiliser use by over 20%.

    Humans are a clever lot. Have a little faith.


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