Beehive salaries versus total costs

A narrow and misleading article on ‘rising salaries’ in ministerial offices plus a kneejerk reaction from a supposed Government spending watchdog, Taxpayers’ Union, who was contradicted by one of their founders.

Sunday Star Times have an article on increasing staff salaries in Ministerial offices in the Beehive – More than a third of officials in the Beehive now take home six figure salaries.

Staff working in the Beehive have pocketed healthy pay increases since National took office, with more than a third now earning six figure salaries.

Official figures show that the average salary of Ministerial Services staff working in the offices of Ministers hit $93,298, an increase if more than 5 per cent over 2014.

They chart the increases:


That looks like rampant increases.

Since coming to Government, National has pledged restraint in the public sector.

However a public sector representative questioned whether the same message was being felt by those doing the bidding of National ministers.

Same message – unrestrained increases.

Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers’ Union said most of the staff in the Beehive were “of a secretarial support” nature.

“It seems extraordinary to us that [they] are remunerating so well, and that the salaries are so top heavy,” Williams said.

“With more than one third of the Beehive support staff earning more than $100,000 it appears being a spin doctor or political advisor is a surefire way to the big bucks without being responsible for the decisions.”

A right wing spending watchdog is also critical.

But David Farrar, who is closely involved with the Taxpayers’ Union, points out at Kiwiblog in Ministerial staff costs:

What I’m interested in, as a taxpayer, is how much more, if any, we are paying for the running of ministerial office. This would have been useful, even vital, information for the story. And it took around 15 minutes to find out from Treasury documents.

The 2015 budget allocated $25.842 million for ministerial support services. In 2008/09 the cost of ministerial support services was $30.375 million. So in fact spending on ministerial offices has dropped 14.9% in seven years. That is what I call restraint.

Also the cost of VIP transport has stayed constant – in fact down 0.1% from 2008/09.

And ministerial travel has gone up just 3.1% over seven years. Well under inflation.

So actually overall, pretty good spending restraint.

So while salaries have risen overall costs of ministerial offices has gone down.

This looks like poor reporting by SST, and the Taxpayers’ Union look likke they have jumped into a kneejerk reaction without considering what should be vital information when comparing cost trends of running Ministerial offices.

Philip Lyth versus Key, Slater and Farrar

I see Philip Lyth on Twitter quite often, he seems to be a prolific tweeter. He describes himself there as “Husband, politics junkie, psephologist. Standing Orders.”

Last night he retweeted to a John Key tweet and responded:

Philip Lyth retweeted John Key
Wow John. You lead the party which includes David Farrar & Cameron Slater who dogwhistle Muslims at every chance?

That’s a silly shot at Key, he can’t be held responsible for what all party members do – and I don’t think Slater is even a member of the National Party.

On the accusation Lyth made – it’s certainly easy to get the impression that Slater is a Muslim dogwhistler although his wife ‘Spanish Bride seems to have been doing more anti-Muslim posts lately.

But I’ve been a close observer of Kiwiblog for years and I don’t recall much if any Muslim dog-whsitling from David Farrar (DPF). A quick search shows that DPF doesn’t post very often about Muslim topics.

His last post was in March: Why are so many Australian muslims radicalised?

Stuff reports:

A nightclub bouncer who reportedly became a terror group leader. A man who tweeted a photo of his young son clutching a severed head. A teenager who is believed to have turned suicide bomber, and others suspected of attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State movement. All of them, Australian.

The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Given Australia’s vast distance from the region and its population of just 24 million, it is a remarkable number. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia.

That’s a huge number.

Experts disagree about why the Islamic State group has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Possible explanations include that some Australian Muslims are poorly integrated with the rest of the country, and that Islamic State recruiters have given Australia particular attention. In addition, the Australian government failed to keep tabs on some citizens who had been radicalized, and moderate Muslims have been put off by some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments about their community.

It’s pathetic to even suggest that Tony Abbott is the reason. I’m not Abbott’s biggest fan, but the hatred and bias from many sections of the Australian media towards him is appalling.

I think the first explanation is the strongest. For well over a decade there has been a significant radical element who have not integrated. Many senior Muslim clerics in Australia have said appalling things, and use incendiary speech. We’re very fortunate that in NZ we’ve never had this problem. That doesn’t mean that there are not some extreme radicals – just that the senior leadership in NZ is not radical, and in fact very well focused on integration.

That seems like realistic comment and not dog whistling.

Sure the comments at Kiwiblog are often thick with anti-Muslim sentiment, as was the case on this post, starting with:



Don’t allow people into your country who despise your culture and don’t want to integrate.


Just ban muslims from coming to NZ.

The ones already here will eventually outbreed us all anyway so lets delay the inevitable .

It is too bad we cannot eject the more troublesome ones already here — or can we?

David Garrett:

DPF: How on earth can you say we are very fortunate not have this problem here ? How do you know what is being preached in the several mosques around the country? The little that does leak out is far from reassuring…just yesterday there was a report of some radical being trespassed from the mosque in Avondale, and that person going to the head sharing’s house and telling him “Jihad will start here”…

All that can safely be said is we have seen little outward manifestations of Islamic radicalism here…so far. I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time.

But I think it’s unfair to blame DPF for dog whistling, this is more a result of his very liberal moderation and the fact that a number of extreme right leaning commenters have made Kiwiblog their pulpit.

Muslim bashing occurs on Kiwiblog far more frequently than DPF posts anything related to Islam. There’s virtually a daily dose from Manolo, like yesterday where he posted the first comment on General Debate:

Manolo (16,656 comments) says: 

The daily dose of Islamic love and peace:

Manolo started calling me the Mullah of Dunedin a while ago because I didn’t agree with his extreme views.

But this isn’t due to DPF dog whistling, it is due to the principle of free speech exercised at Kiwiblog.

John Drinnan had responded to Lyth’s tweet:

John Drinnan retweeted Philip Lyth

“wogs” is the term du jour.

That’s correct for Whale Oil, try a search their on ‘wog’ and there’s ample evidence.

But Drinnan is not correct regarding Farrar, his last ‘Wog’ post was in 2013 – Wogistan – that was comment on Richard Proctor’s bizarre comments. And that’s it from Kiwiblog.

So I challenged Lyth on his accusation.

Philip Lyth ‏@philiplyth 11h11 hours ago

Philip Lyth retweeted Pete George

Where’s your evidence Pete George is not a troll?

That’s a lame way of avoiding responsibility for a serious accusation against Farrar and directed at Key and National by association.

It looks like Lyth is the dog whistler here.

Philip – if you can make a case that Farrar is a Muslim dog whistler I’ll post it. Otherwise I think a retraction is in order.

Herald story on poll changes

Newspaper stories aren’t always like the used to be, fixed in print once the presses roll.

David Farrar pointed out in A Labour member complains:

First let’s deal with the headline of the story:

Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

The headline writer should be shot.

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

So 90% of the poll was before the release. So the headline is trying to manufacture a story.

However NZ Herald currently has this headline with the story:

Poll boost for Labour

By David Fisher, Claire Trevett

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

What Farrar probably doesn’t know is that the story has changed since the headline was written, and then the headline was changed.  I saw the original version, as did Keith Ng who pointed out:

Oi . I mathed it for you.

The data was released by Labour with substantial help by NZ Herald six days prior, not a week.

One of the article authors responded:

ha! I was so busy trying to find it in the fine print I didn’t look at the top bit!

Since then the headline and story have now been edited:


Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

However it us unclear how much of the poll was taken before Labour released it’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate agent data, which was a week ago.


Poll boost for Labour

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

Farrar must have copy pasted after the story was edited, but before the headline was edited.

Kiwiblog commentariat on summary justice and “shoot on sight”

David Farrar tries to laugh about dwarf throwing in a Herald profile of NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell in Profile of two NZ First MPs.

But that’s minor compared to comments where  there seems more serious intent, with the applauding of chasing and beating up, and the promotion of a shoot on sight police force or army.

These aren’t Farrar’s views but they are enabled through his liberal freedom to speak policy.

The Herald article details what started the discussion:

First-term MP reveals fight with gang member after threats to his life

An MP received a suspended sentence following a fight with a gang member who attacked him after being refused entry to a bar.

First-term NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell, 43, has reluctantly spoken about the incident, which occurred 18 years ago.

“The reality is, everyone has a past and I have got one, too. I have been involved in hospitality for 25 years and so, because you run bars and you stand on the front door, you do have, and I certainly have had, over the years, a lot of situations where you get put into very perilous situations.”

Mr Mitchell was in charge of the city’s Straight Shooters Bar in 1997, when a gang member with facial tattoos was refused entry.

“It turned into a confrontation, a physical one, he was a lot bigger than me, he was a very intimidating individual. I got a black eye and swollen face out of it.”

“He picked me up above his head and tried to throw me across the front entranceway, but I held on to his belt and got myself to the ground.”

Mr Mitchell, who went on to get a black-belt in judo and has taught boxing and women’s self-defence classes, said the man then told him he was going to get a gun and would return to finish him off. He now realises he crossed a line in following the gang member, he said, but at the time was in fear for his life.

“I followed him. I told the staff that were there to call the police, which they did, the police arrived, and by the time they had arrived I’d run up and gave him a beating, basically, gave him a bit of a boxing lesson.

“Had I just repelled him at the front door and left it, then he would have been arrested and there would be no charges against me.”

It’s hard to imagine what it would be like being caught up in a violent situation like this, but Mitchell concedes in retrospect that he crossed a line.

Not so some of the Kiwiblog commentariat.

Chuck Bird:

I am impressed by Clayton Mitchell. It is an outrage he has a record albeit a suspended sentence for what he did to a gang member who attacked him when other people with better connection get discharged without conviction and permanent name suppression for much more serious offenses.

Julian spoke against the summary justice tide:

Clayton Mitchell sounds like the sort of thug who should be locked up. He chased a retreating person down the street and beat him up. Scumbag.

BananaLama wasn’t having that:

Threatening to come back with a gun and shoot you isn’t retreating the gang member is lucky he only got a smack in the head to be honest.

David Garrett (the ex-ACT three strikes MP one):

Julian: We frown on “trolling” over here almost as much as at your spiritual home…If you had read the full story you couldn’t possibly have written anything so silly…

That starts with a false assumption. Julian quoted from the Herald story but Garrett responded:

Julian: what you are missing inter alia is: 1) who began the fight; 2) that one protagandist was a gang member; 3) what threats were made (in the hearing of witnesses); and 4) the disparity of size between the two…The prick ran away only because Mitchell had martial arts training, and wasn’t the pushover he had assumed him to be…

More assumptions, plus trying to justify chasing someone and beating them up.


Really? I am just reading the story at face value. If correct the “thug” should have received a commendation.

Are you serious, or simply trolling for attention?

Is Syrlands serious or just jumping on the bashwagon?

The ticks were leaning well in favour of the right to chase and bash but Julian persisted in challenging:

I’m happy to be in the minority, but I don’t agree that this thug should be congratulated for dispensing his version of street justice.

I presume the sentencing judge was well aware of all of Mitchell’s whiny excuses, namely: ‘he started it’, ‘but but but he’s in a gaaaaanngg’, ‘he threatened [threatened being the operative word] to get a gun’, and ‘he’s bigger than me’ (seriously!).

Boris Piscina:

Good on him. Good to see an MP with balls and the willingness to use them. In all honesty I can only think of half a dozen National members who wouldn’t shy from the spineless “don’t take the law into your own hands” doctrine beloved of our pro-criminal Police force and it’s wishy washy PC liberal apologists in Government (and yes I do mean the current Government).

RRM widened the discussion to dealing with all gang members:

Patched gang members should be rounded up and exterminated by the army.
Just lifetime criminals who have declared war on civilised society.

Gangs are a major problem. So is RRM’s solution, which came in to Garrett support:

RRM: A man after my own heart! I could never say such a thing when I was an MP, but that is actually how I think…I prefer to describe them as outlaws in the true sense; people who don’t believe society’s rules apply to them…That is the reason I understood where JC was coming from when she recently disagreed with the Judge in the Nelson drugs trial case… You don’t obey Queensberry rules in a street fight…

If they introduced a “shoot on sight” policy for patched gang members they would disappear overnight…as would most of the problem: they are just gutless scum without the patch…

I joined in:

If chase and beat the crap out of and shoot on sight were allowed and encouraged as some here wish then with 3 strikes we’d probably end up with a rapidly expanding prison population and increasing collateral damage of innocent people.

The problem with sanctioned thuggery, summary justice and vigilantism is you end up with an uncivilised society that adversely affects everyone.

Escalated violence in society can’t be ring-fenced.

Garrett qualifies his advocating for ‘shoot on sight’:

PG: I am not advocating – even half seriously – “shoot on sight” for the general public…that would lead to mayhem, and war on the streets…but I quite seriously regard gangs as behind the worse things in our society, starting with P manufacture…there are no “independent” P manufacturers, they are all controlled by gangs.

If, as RRM suggests, the army was tasked with eliminating them, how long to you think they would last? A week?

Of course it’s never going to happen, but one can fantasise…Do you disagree that the country would be a much better place without organized gangs?

Allowing the army to shoot on sight to eliminate anyone deemed a gang member from a distance is as stupid a thing I have seen you support.

I agree there are some lowlife criminal scum around, far too many of them. But lowering justice to their level (that is zero judicial process) is a terrible way to deal with it.

Of course the country would be a much better place without organized gangs – but you don’t realistically think they could be eliminated without collateral damage do you?

Despite the problems we have I like New Zealand because it’s like New Zealand, and not like Syria or Mogadishu.

I asked Garrett: DG – you’ve researched justice in different parts of the world – can you give some good examples of countries where an army has been used to successfully eliminate all gangs? Where it took longer than a week would suffice.

He hasn’t responded yet, but Dave Mann joined in:

I don’t think we need shoot on sight policy for gangs. I would propose that as they put themselves outside the law all gang members should be considered fair game and there should be no legal consequences for any action against them. Not everybody has a firearm, so we need to consider other solutions to the problem, such as running them off the road on their bikes or bulldozing their properties. Of course this doesn’t preclude shooting, but there are many ways to skin a cat.

It’s hard to know how serious those suggestions are. No one has ticked it up or down yet.

Then Alan Wilkinson introduced some common sense:

The best way to eliminate gangs is to cut off their money. The best way to cut off their money is to treat drug use as a medical problem (when it is even that) instead of a crime.

That wouldn’t eliminate gangs, the criminally inclined will always find ways of selfishly shitting on society, but it would substantially limit their income opportunities and their adverse influence on society. It would also be far more likely to retain a relatively decent society and maintain reasonable standards of justice.

Conservative brand badly damaged

In response to the latest news in the ongoing Conservative Party train wreck – a dispute over who has been suspended, Colin Craig or John Stringer – David Farrar comments in Still fighting over a dead party:

So both Stringer and Craig want to be leader. I don’t think they realise how much damage the fight has caused to the Conservatve brand. Before this happened, I would have given them a reasonable chance of making 5% next time. Now I think they would struggle to get even 2%.

Conservative Party election results:

  • 2011 – 2.65% (59,237 votes)
  • 2014 – 3.97% (95,5985 votes)

Even if they eventually sort their mess out a bit looks almost certain they will fail to maintain their 2014 level of support and while there will be some loyal support remaining 2% looks generous.

Shawn Herles suggests what they need:

A conservative party that wants to be successful needs a leader who is young, photogenic, a damn good speaker, above reproach ethically, and, like John Key, comes across as a pretty normal bloke, the kind of guy (or girl) you would want at a BBQ.

Naska offers a reality check:

Quite a tall order. Finding some hip young go getter with a magnetic personality who coincidentally wants to regress NZ socially by about a 100 years is not going to be easy.

That’s harsh on the party but it reflects more on where some of the Conservative supporters want to go, backwards – Redbaiter comes to mind.

Deadrightkev remains staunchly optimistic:

Its not over yet DPF.

My money is on the Conservatives getting over 5% at the next election and with Colin Craig at the top to boot. He will be kicked around by the MSM, Slater and his dads army but Craig will climb back on top IMHO.

While Craig keeps piling money and effort into his political project it won’t be over as an attempt, but as a credible party it has gone backwards big time recently.

Peter J partially gets back to reality:

They have (or had) some good policies, but even the best policy wont carry a party through a disaster like that which we have seen unfold.

But what policies? They still has very few published policies, and those they have are sparsely detailed. Here is the whole of the Conservative Party’s published policies (‘Issues’) under the banner ‘Conservatives – Stand for Something’.


Call us crazy, but the way we see it a politician’s job is to follow the instructions voters give them.

If we’re elected it’ll be because you wanted us to give the Government a backbone, to insist they reform the justice system as you instructed. We want justice for victims of crime and harsher penalties for those who do the crime.
How loony is that?

Criminals will be made to do hard work; there’ll be no time to moan about being hard done by.

But it’s not just us calling for tougher sentencing; over 90% of you instructed the Government – via a referendum – to harden up on criminals. You were ignored.

If you’ve had enough of this arrogant and toxic behaviour from politicians – it’s time to show them the yellow card.
On our watch referendums will be binding, justice will prevail.
Anything else is just crazy talk.


In Wellington they’ve always got some hairbrained scheme in mind to spend your money. Seems like only yesterday that the honourable member for Wainuiomata thought it might be a top idea to reincarnate the Moa.

The only other reason we need to pay so much tax is to fund the Government’s vote buying programme; which clearly is proving to be more expensive than first thought. This is where they try and turn as many hardworking kiwi families as possible into beneficiaries.
It doesn’t get any more cynical.

Bit of a tip – it’d be cheaper, not to mention more transparent, to just tax us all less in the first place. If for example you were earning $20,000 per year, you’d pay no tax, and be $2520 better off. That’s nearly $50 a week in your back pocket. After that everyone pays a flat tax.
So that’s our plan.

Don’t let anyone tell you we can’t afford a tax cut. Especially if they’re from Wellington. It’s not their money. The Government just needs to stop spending our wages and salaries like drunken sailors.
We’ll put real money in the hands of those that need it and know what to do with it. Letting anyone else spend it for you is just lunacy.


At the heart of the democratic system is the principle of the citizens initiated referendum. It’s when a single issue is thought to be so important, all voters are asked to make their opinion heard.
Pure democracy.

Getting it and keeping it – it’s why wars get started.
In New Zealand since MMP started five such referendums have been held. Each and every time the wishes of the people were crystal clear. Each and every time the results were ignored by successive Labour and National Governments.

They’ve ignored what you think on anti-smacking; on tougher penalties for criminals, and asset sales.

When an overwhelming majority of us voted to have less politicians, guess what happened? That’s right. They ignored that too. Call us old fashioned, but this sort of arrogance needs to stop.

What really worries us is this: what else are they looking to ignore?
To think they won’t is madness.


The fact that in this day and age Maori are treated as 2nd class citizens and victims drives us nuts.

Since 1867 Maori have been segregated by special laws and separate seats in Parliament, and how’s that worked out do you think?
Exactly. No good has, or will come from using a race based system to govern. Nor incidentally, does it come from repeating mistakes.

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same old thing over and over, but expecting a different result.
Our wild and crazy thought?
Try something new.

It’s time to bring closure to the claims process and look to the future.
We stand for equal rights and representation for all New Zealanders, plain and simple.
Let’s change a broken system.
Nothing loony about that.

That’s it. There’s very little to stand for, apart from a lot of looniness.

Kiwiblog tops Open Parachute mess

Kiwiblog tops the blog rankings for this month but the numbers look very unreliable, highlighting the difficulties in measuring blog popularity.

Lynn Prentice foretold this two weeks ago in Kiwiblip!

Either Kiwiblog had a very large social media blip starting on the 19th, going into the 20th, and still running today in the early hours of the 21st. Or  something is really wrong with Sitemeter, or there is a irritating bug somewhere bloating the numbers.

David Farrar commented:

My ISP mentioned to me on the 19th there was a fairly serious DDOS attack from China. They blocked a dozen or so IP addresses. Looks like it has been ongoing.

Ironically Whale Oil numbers look ‘normal’ for them but some of the others look like nonsense.

Rank Blog Visits/month Page Views/month
1 Kiwiblog 1548697 3577649
2 Whale Oil 1330186 2800038
3 The Standard 238368 501340
4 The Daily Blog 174442 288345
5 No Right Turn 101646 532892
6 OracleNZ by Francisco Munoz Alvarez 61225 71566
7 Liberation 35155 191265
8 Sciblogs 34619 230987
9 Liturgy 21606 34118
10 No Minister 17655 23198

The last two look about what I’d expect, and The Standard and The Daily Blog look about where they would normally be, but other numbers are huge compared to past months.

Here is the May top ten:

Rank Blog Visits/month Page Views/month
1 Whale Oil 1295015 2760736
2 Kiwiblog 337504 606379
3 The Standard 253030 537315
4 The Daily Blog 189390 315321
5 Auckland Transport Blog 44076 45167
6 The Dim-Post 42253 56863
7 Sciblogs 36117 46908
8 NewZeal 25167 32534
9 Liturgy 24819 40495
10 No Right Turn 22717 30555

The Open Parachute blog rankings for June are nonsense, as they acknowledge.

Big problems with Sitemeter

The problems with SiteMeter are even worse this month. No data could be obtained for about 50 blogs using SiteMeter. People have also reported strange results. So if you wish to query the information in the table I suggest you check out the data in the SiteMeter pages.

So blog rankings look more unreliable than usual.

Your NZ has had a record month according to the internal stats:

YourNZAug-June2015The actual numbers are hard to compare so I usually just watch movements.

Thanks for your interest and support.

Unequal posts on inequality

Anthony Robins has posted an unusually detailed economic analysis in Inequality – Treasury reportnot his usual style at all.

Last week Treasury came out with a detailed and interesting report, Inequality in New Zealand 1983/84 to 2013/14. The web page is here, and the full document (pdf)here. From the summary:

The results indicate an increase in the inequality of market and disposable income per adult equivalent person (using the individual as the unit of analysis) from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Subsequently, inequality has – with some variability – remained either constant or has fallen slightly.

It wasn’t widely reported. What coverage there was repeated the message of the The New Zealand institute, that inequality is supposedly not rising.

Dig beneath the surface however.

Someone has certainly done some digging.

One could almost suspect he could have help from his local MP, who happens to be the Opposition spokesperson for economic development and small business. But they say at The Standard that authors only ever post their own personal opinions without any party or Parliamentary input.

As we all know inequality increased sharply with the neoliberal reforms of the late 80’s – early 90’s. From the report:

It appears that the 1980s reforms – involving cuts in the top income tax rate along with benefit cuts and the ending of centralised wage setting [i.e. the ECA] – are associated with increasing inequality.

The measures level out (damage done) during the late 90’s. They begin to fall with Labour’s increase to the top tax rate in 2001, and Working for Families in 2004. The momentum of this fall continues until 2010, when there is another sharp upturn in inequality following National’s reduction of the top rate and increase in GST.

In short, the last Labour government acted to reduce inequality, the current National government has acted to increase it. Because of the slow (but cumulative) nature of such changes, it is almost certain that the full effect of National’s changes have not yet been measured.

In short, Labour good, National bad.

But there’s an unequal post by David Farrar at Kiwiblog – Despite the rhetoric, inequality not increasing in NZ – this looks at the Stuff article that Robins tried to refute.

New Zealand needs to “change its tune” on , think tank The New Zealand institute says.

The group, which is supported by many leading business people, made the call following the publication of a Treasury paper which found inequality in this country has, with some variability, largely remained constant for the past 20 years. …

The new Treasury report acknowledged inequality in this country did rise from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. But it said that since then inequality had – with some variability – remained either constant or had fallen slightly. (Read the report in full here)

In a statement on Friday, NZ Initiative head of research Eric Crampton said “New Zealand simply has no problem of rising inequality”.

In contrast, income inequality had risen in may parts of the world and New Zealand seemed to have imported the narrative that the gap between rich and poor in this country had been widening to the same degree.

“The most striking finding in the latest Treasury work is that inequality in consumption is lower than it was before the reforms of the 1980s. While salary-based measures of income inequality have not declined as dramatically, a lot of work ignore the fact that the tax and transfer system already works to equalise incomes,” Crampton said.

“In the end, it’s consumption-based measures that give us a better picture of real differences in how people live.”

Farrar concludes:

So when you take account of the tax and welfare system, there is less inequality in NZ than the early 1980s when for some bizarre reason socialists hark back to as a golden era.

There’s lies, damn lies, statistics, economic analysis, bloggers and political proxies.

“Israel is run by evil people”

Comments at Kiwiblog include some extreme views at times. Like this:

On Israel Reid thinks it’s a Satanic creation using a Satanic symbol on it’s flag, and that Israel is behind all the world’s problems and behind all the world’s terrorism, including Islamic terrorism.

Israel is run by evil people. It was founded by evil people. The evil people deliberately allowed Hitler to do what he did to the European Jews in order to encourage them to populate Israel after the war. The evil people set Israel up because they are going to destroy it. Then they can turn to the people of the world and say: look, your God doesn’t exist, or if He does, He’s obviously not very good at being God, because He just stood aside and let his own people be destroyed. Now here is our lovely peacemaker, who some wicked people call the anti-Christ, but he’s really not that at all, and look at how he brought world peace, after all that conflict, during which, in part, Israel was destroyed.

And the evil people are doing this because they are working for their king, who happens to be Satan.

None of this makes Jews evil. It makes the people who commit evil acts in their name, evil.

This is a clear and obvious distinction no-one but a moron would have trouble understanding.

That expression is enabled by David Farrar’s very liberal approach to allowing free speech. While it’s on his blog I’m fairly sure it in no way represents his views given his Jewish background.

The comment is currently on 1 up tick and 13 down ticks, and there has been substantial comment, mostly criticism, of it in the thread that follows.

Manolo Pedreschi – recidivist liar and blog bully

‘Manolo’ is a frequent commenter at Kiwiblog, although ‘comment’ might be a bit generous, he rarely comments other than to lie and abuse. He also abuses the generous free speech policy at Kiwiblog, seeming to think he can smear people with impunity.

He doesn’t seem to understand that with freedom of speech there are responsibilities. And if you abuse those responsibilities there can be consequences.

Yesterday he refused to take responsibility when challenged on a repeat of lies. He initially tried to pass it off as ‘humour’, and then he flaunted what he thought was his impunity.

I can only laugh at the overflowing pomposity and faux outrage. Long live KB’s GD!

I’m not outraged. I just stand up to blog bullies from time to time. And Manolo is a resident troll, a blog bully who thinks he can get away with it without consequence.

But this post is a consequence – and being a post it will be a more prominent record of Manolo’s recidivist abuse than a few comments in Kiwiblogs free-for-all General Debate.

As always here Manolo will have a right of reply, where he can correct any facts if I’ve got any wrong, and he still has a chance to retract.

Manolo has a small number of targets – most of his attacks are against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Muslims and Maori, plus he smears and abuses a number of other Kiwiblog regulars. And he criticises just about every New Zealand politician and party, including National – this 2010 comment is typical of that:

Good to see DPF recognising (at least once) that his beloved Labour-lite is nothing but a transmogrification of the old and tired socialist Labour Party. Two sides of the same devalued red coin.

So Manolo seems unhappy with a lot of politics, but he should be grateful for what we have in New Zealand. He is from Peru, arriving here in 1989. He retired from his work in 2007 and lives in Wellington.

He appears to have commented at Kiwiblog since 2005 (David Farrar started KB started in 2003).

While Manolo acts as if he’s untouchable he has run foul of Kiwiblog’s ‘strike’ moderation policy twice now so next time he will cop a ban.

1st strike 11/3/15

The sad reality for you, corrupt-to-the-bone Miss Dim, is that nobody pays any attention to the litany of stupidities you spout here (polluting KB on a daily basis). So, do us a favor and fuck off!

[DPF: And that is Strike 1. Unacceptable to call a commenter corrupt or tell any other commenter to eff off]

2nd strike – 15/5/15

Dear Miss Dim, pay your rates first and speak later. Bludgers (and corrupt individuals) like you do not deserve a voice.

[DPF: That’s Strike 2- don’t call people corrupt]

That illustrates his repeat offending – and one of his responses to me would also appear to be a repeat offence, he told me to put up with his abuse or “bugger off”.

He has targeted me for some time. I’ve confronted him occasionally but I’ve never seen him retract, apologise or seem to care about his serial abuse and dishonesty.

His first comment yesterday was a typical general smear targeting Maori.

The brown elites in NZ are experts doing this:

A prominent civil rights campaigner is being investigated after it was claimed she had falsely portrayed herself as black for almost a decade.

President of the Spokane, Washington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rachel Dolezal reportedly identified herself as part African-American upon applying for her post on the city’s citizen police ombudsman commission.

His second abuse was directed at one of his frequent targets:

Addled Griff not only supports the Paris talkfest, but he is dying to fly to it (first class, of course). It is called AGW dedication.

And soon after he turned on me:

P.G. is on commission. Dunne and UnitedFuture fund him based on traffic to his worldwide-known blog.

Manolo well knows that I’m not associated with UnitedFuture, but chooses to keep making things up and repeating what are deliberate lies intended to smear.

I often ignore him but had some time yesterday so chose to challenge him.

Manolo totally making things up again. Deliberately blatantly lying.

I fully fund Your NZ myself. I’ve never received any money from anyone else for it. I’ve never received any money from United Future for anything (I self funded my election campaign – UF don’t have money to dish out). I’ve had had no involvement with UF for over a year.

The issue raised (above) has nothing to do with Uf as far as I can see, so it’s just ignorant dirty politics from Manolo.


Manolo – a test of your integrity.

Have you got any evidence to support your claim at 8.28 am? If not will you retract and apologise for making a false statement?

His response:

@P.G.: Have you lost your sense of humour these days? Lighten up or bugger off.

So he tried to excuse his repeat lying as ‘humour’. He may think it’s funny within his Kiwiblog bubble.

Another of his targets is someone familiar here, Ugly Truth, who commented:

For as long as I’ve been posting at KiwiBlog Manolo has been full of shit, Pete.


“But I was only joking…” – Could you get any sleazier, Manolo?

Manolo’s final retort:

I can only laugh at the overflowing pomposity and faux outrage. Long live KB’s GD!

So apparently he thinks he can abuse and smear with impunity at Kiwiblog.

And obviously has no integrity, believing the repeating lies is acceptable. I disagree, and sometimes I’ll make a point.

Social media isn’t confined to protected bubbles. Putting this post on record is a consequence. If Manolo googles his name he’s as likely to find this as his pissy comments amongst the noise at Kiwiblog.

If there is anything inaccurate in this public record of Manolo’s serial behaviour I’ll correct it.

If Manolo wants a right of reply he’ll get it. I believe in free speech here.

And the responsibilities that go with it.

Ignorance of recent political history

It political forums it’s common to see ignorance of recent political history in New Zealand. There are often comments about how damaging the supposed neo-liberal revolution has been to the country but scant knowledge of what came before (Muldoon) and with ‘Rogernomics’/

There was a typical discussion in This is deliberate on Kiwiblog yesterday.

The first comment was from Harriet:

I cannot understand why a party like Labour – that has always been for the ‘working man’ – puts so much of it’s time, money and effort into defending those who don’t, but could, work.

No wonder they are seen as being irrelevent to the working classes.

Newcomer ‘Fatsworth’ responded:

But not post Roger Douglas (ACT)

Labour been not been able to rid itself of the stench and actually return to the working class representative Party ideology that it was founded on.

Too many factions have been involved in the Labour Party over the years, and imo, the worst faction, the faction doing the most damage, was that of the Right, starting with Roger Douglas and Prebblisation – at the 1984 General Election.

This election was not David Lange’s to win – this election was always Roger Douglas’s to win.

I experienced what preceded this, the Muldoon era of price and wage freezes, farm subsidies, car-less days, mortgage interest of 20%, budget lurches and the country on the brink of going broke.

David Garrett:

Mr Fatsworth: Please list the reforms of the Lange-Douglas government which in ur view didnt need to happen.


I consider that you are well aware of what the Douglas reforms were about and what the results of such were/are.
They certainly were not for the benefit of the country as a whole – the so called free market industry ‘competition’ barely exists and the New Zealand consumer majority ended up paying the going rate of industry price fixing.
Example: Retail electricity provision.

I thought the electricity reforms came under the following National government, not Lange/Douglas and Labour.


In other words you can’t name ANY of the major Lange- Douglas reforms that didn’t need to happen…I didn’t expect you to pick “removing all subsidies for farmers” or even “removing all subsidies for manufacturers” but I did expect, perhaps, “restructuring the railways from a giant make work scheme” or even “floating the dollar”

Your answer suggests you actually haven’t a clue what was done in the Lange-Douglas era…you just don’t like it.


Subsidies removal? No – these still remain – WFF being the most costly today and that props up what?

Working for Families was introduced this century and is nothing like the Muldoon era subsidies.

The failure of Rogernomics.

I don’t think the trade off stacks up – thousands of NZ businesses going to the wall – hundreds of thousands of job losses – increased welfare expenditure – hundreds of thousands leaving NZ for Australia that became the true back bone of NZ – the ECA sold as an employee bargaining chip but never was – redirected disposable income into living costs – easy access to credit to make it look good – the selling of the electricity assets that rendered the majority into a servitude to the private investment sector.

Now – David Garrett – Name the benefits (apart from welfare and easy access to consumables) that this so called ‘miracle economic plan had/has for the New Zealand majority.

PaulL joins in:

Consider how many of those reforms were inevitable if we weren’t to go the way of Soviet Russia. Those NZ businesses were selling goods at a price that was higher than the market price. In other words, they were ripping off poor NZers (by and large). The Warehouse is one of the biggest forces for giving poorer NZers a better standard of living, and the bulk of their product comes from offshore.

The Rogernomics reforms just reflected reality. They haven’t been reversed for that reason.

Taking your points in order (since I have nothing better to do):

Subsidy removal. WFF is not a subsidy, it is a benefit. Subsidies generally refer to corporate welfare. Removing corporate welfare is generally a good thing. Remember the TVs that were manufactured in Japan, then disassembled by Japanese labour, then shipped to NZ, then reassembled using NZ labour? That was productive how?

Thousands of NZ business going to the wall. I think the word you’re missing in there is “unprofitable”. Those businesses only existed due to subsidies or protectionism. They were destroying value, driving NZ bankrupt, and making NZ citizens poorer whilst they did it. Remember NZ’s car industry? Any idea how in hell NZ was big enough to support a car factory? Remember the Toyota Camry with the Commodore 4 engine in it, courtesy of govt industrial policy? Crappy car with a crappy engine, putting the two together didn’t make it any better. Govt sucks at business.

ECA. A great way to get the unions under control, unions that were destroying NZ’s productivity. Remember the ports?

Redirected disposable income into living costs. Where would you suggest it go instead? Seems like disposable income should most go into living costs to me.

Easy access to credit. What, you’re objecting to the ability to get a mortgage (not to mention the ability to get foreign currency so you can travel overseas. Remember when the govt controlled who could get foreign currency? Should things still be like that?)

Selling of electricity assets to organisations that ran them at a fraction of the cost, reducing the wholesale price of power substantially. Keeping the lines companies as monopolies, however, not such a great idea – that’s now where half your power bill goes. Logically enough, the Labour party thinks the answer is to turn the productive part of the power sector back into a monopoly. As for servitude – remember the Labour govt that as a matter of policy wanted higher power prices so that people would use less energy? Ever consider that maybe power prices going up is actually an intention of Labour/Green policies?

The benefits are manifold:
– ability to travel internationally
– ability to buy products from international markets – including from Amazon in the US (in the old system importing these would have been illegal)
– ability to get a mortgage
– ability to start a business and set wages and prices without govt approval (remember wage and price freezes?)

That’s just a start. I think you’ve forgotten (or never knew) just how bad NZ was before Roger Douglas.

That was last night. Fatsworth hasn’t responded. I’ll update here if he/she does.


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