EU aims for net-zero emissions by 2050

This looks similar to New Zealand’s net-zero emissions by 2050 goal.

If they are going to reduce energy imports by 70% they will need to make significant progress towards alternative energy, if they don’t ramp up nuclear power.

Net-zero emissions a big goal but a long way out – 2050 is over thirty years away.

I wonder if they would be better having shorter term goals – five year and ten year targets – with realistic plans (that can be explained and sold to the public) to attain them.


The costs of being poor

The social costs of being poor get a lot of coverage, especially a popular topical issue generally labelled as ‘child poverty’. But there are tangible financial costs of being poor, and these contribute to keeping many people stuck in a poor rut.

David Cormack raises this in Poorness charges interest:

A few jobs ago I had Koru Club membership as part of my remuneration package. I used to sit in Koru Clubs at various airports eating my free scrambled eggs, and drinking my free booze. As I enjoyed the trappings of my corporate bourgeois life, I’d think to myself that those who had more money got free food and drink, while those with much less would have to pay exorbitant airport costs for a soggy sandwich.

Another example I’ve already mentioned is how much cheaper a monthly pass is for public transport. If you can’t afford that then you get stuck on the more expensive daily fare – all because you’re already short of money.

Being poor is compounding. We built a system where so much opportunity is around money. And the opportunity to get more money is dependent on having a lot of money to start with. By design, this system entrenches elitism while if you have the misfortune of being born into a poorer household then you’re odds on to stay poor throughout your life.

Many people do manage to do better financially than their parents during their childhood. I grew up in an at times very poor household but both my parents ended up doing ok financially.

I struggled financially for years when raising a family – we were certainly a ‘poor’ family for periods. But while I’m not ‘rich’ I don’t think I’m what would be regarded as poor either. And all my children and step-children are doing at least reasonably well financially.

But there are many people who seem to get stuck in a generational cycle of poorness poverty.

There are many examples of how you can get stuck in a poorness rut.

You might be short of money and then get a slight toothache. But dentists are expensive so you hold off doing anything about it, hoping it’ll just get better of its own accord. Except it doesn’t. So next year you’re in the can for what could be a thousand dollar root-canal.

Or your power bill is paid by automatic payment, except this month there wasn’t quite enough so your bank charges you a fee for being overdrawn. Who do you think is most likely to fall into overdraft? People who can easily afford overdraft fees, or those struggling?

Got a 20 year old car? It’s probably cheaper to keep doing those $600 repairs than it is to buy a new one that’s less likely to break down.

The same can apply to house maintenance – deferring small repairs that end up growing into big repairs.

And poorer people are more likely to rent accommodation – and that is often older lower quality that costs more to heat than a new house. Unhealthy houses can also lead to higher health costs and lower productivity and earning power.

The way society is structured around money and assets means that your margin for error when you’re poor is tiny, but that same margin for error when you’re wealthy is much bigger. You might be earning enough to just scrape by, but if a surprise medical issue occurs, or a car breaks down, or your washing machine dies, then that can throw your entire budget out.

Even the smell of an oily rag can run out of odour.

We should definitely reward excellence. But let’s also do it at the same time as ensuring that nobody is struggling. Because the person struggling needs our help far more than the person who’s already thriving.

But what can be done about it?

 It’s time to remind them that we are a community of many, and they are a Koru Lounge of few.

A good quote but not likely to tug on the heartstrings and purse strings of many of the better off.

Let’s stop being ruled by a system that constantly rewards the very top while routinely stamps on the bottom. It’s not fair that a booming stock market means the rich get richer but a plummeting one means the poor lose their jobs. It’s time for everyone to get a decent lifestyle. It’s time to not accept a rigged system.

At least it’s not as badly rigged here. My brother recently died in Texas – it appears that he couldn’t afford decent health care there. That can be a vicious circle in the US – illness reduces earnings, which reduces the ability to pay for health care. My youngest brother didn’t survive a difficult predicament.

Perhaps in his next column Cormack will suggest what a non-rigged system in New Zealand might look like to him. And importantly, how that revolutionised system might be achieved. So far there is little sign of major changes from the current Government. Greens talk of wanting major societal and financial restructuring, but Labour and NZ First have shown scant signs of delivering on campaign claims and rhetoric.

I remember a time when the budget was very tight (a large mortgage and high interest rates were tough). We had a mature student boarding with us. I told her once I didn’t think I would ever be rich because making money wasn’t my priority in life.

She said ‘Look around you, look at your children, your family. I see a richness there’. I still have that sort of richness.

Money isn’t everything, but a decent amount sure as hell helps. Financial stress can be hard on relationships, and that’s something that cost me a marriage. Things have worked out since then but it was very tough at the time.

Labour leaks targeting Bridges

There have been a series of leaks of internal information obviously designed to damage Simon Bridges and National.

This began with the odd expenses leak just a few days before the information was due for public release, followed by the onslaught from Jami-Lee Ross as the now ex-National MP self destructed. There have been further anonymous leaks of historical information that look suspiciously like a continuation of that attack.

There has also been what looks like a Labour campaign to discredit Bridges and destabilise National heading into the holiday period.

Leaked UMR polling information has progressed from whispers to journalists to drip feeing of poll graphics. I posted on this one yesterday –UMR polling history – which notably was monthly polling with the last result from October, so without the latest poll. One could presume someone is only able to get old data, or the November poll didn’t fit the hit.

There is also a word cloud floating around – Stuff reported on it here How public view Simon Bridges – that was purportedly ‘sent to corporate clients in late November’ and has just popped up. This also indicates it is October data – from the time of the Jami-lee Ross saga, so an out of date targeted hit on Bridges.

Ex Labour staffer Neale Jones, now working for a ‘public affairs company, specialising in Government Relations, Strategic Communications and Campaigns’, keeps tweeting a stream of criticisms of Bridges and National. Whether that is personal or part of Strategic Communications and Campaigns is not clear.

And The Standard has a steady diet of anti-Bridges/National posts. Over the past week:

Mostly this is preaching to the converted, and several authors are involved, but it looks like they have more interested in damaging the Opposition than promoting the Government.

Over the same period there are three posts on Labour/Government bills.

Will all of this have any overall effect? It’s hard to say, but even though there has been a string of media ‘opinions’ from political journalists dumping on Bridges the consensus is that a leadership challenge would be unlikely with National polling higher than Labour (apart from the leaks of cherry picked UMR polls.

In the meantime Jacinda Ardern and Labour keep polling reasonably well – but news of Government progress has not been prominent. Perhaps that’s why there is more focus on attacking National.

May’s UK play in disarray

Developments with Theresa May and Brexit suggest a growing degree  of disarray in the UK.

RNZ: British PM Theresa May pulls vote on Brexit deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May has postponed a crucial parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal because she said it “would be rejected by a significant margin”.

She said MPs backed much of the deal she has struck with the EU but there was concern over the Northern Ireland backstop plan.

Mrs May said she believed she could still get the deal through if she addressed MPs’ concerns and that what she intended to do in the next few days.

However, Speaker John Bercow – who chairs debates in the House of Commons – called on the government to give MPs a vote on whether Tuesday’s vote should be cancelled, saying it was the “right and obvious” thing to do given how angry some MPs were about the cancellation.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the government was in “complete chaos” and urged Mrs May to stand down.

The pound fell sharply in response to the reports earlier of a likely delay.

The deputy leader of the DUP – the Northern Ireland party whose backing Theresa May needs to win key votes – Nigel Dodds, said the situation was “quite frankly a bit of a shambles” and the PM was paying the price for crossing her “red lines” when it came to Northern Ireland.

And it appears to be affecting more than the UK:  Dow slides 500 points on Brexit drama, bank selloff

Brexit chaos and sinking bank stocks are combining to deal the stock market another blow.

The Dow fell 500 points, or 1.9%, on Monday. The index tumbled below the 24,000 level. The S&P 500 retreated 1.7%, while the Nasdaq lost 1%.

US stocks hit session lows after Prime Minister Theresa May said she would delay a crucial vote on her Brexit deal. The British pound extended its losses, plunging 1.6% against the US dollar. Sterling is on track for its worst close since April 2017.

“We seem to have taken a turn for the worse because of the Brexit news,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Capital. “Any news that isn’t good is immediately treated as terrible.”

The Brexit chaos reinforces one of Wall Street’s biggest fears: slowing global growth. Germany and Japan are already in economic contraction, while China’s economy has suffered from a wave of tariffs.



Media watch – Tuesday

11 December 2018


Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

Open Forum – Tuesday

11 December 2018


This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.Comments from other forums can be repeated here, cut and paste is fine.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.

FIRST TIME COMMENTERS: Due to abuse by a few, first comments under any ID will park in moderation until released (as soon as possible but it can sometimes take a while).

Sometimes comments will go into moderation or spam automatically due to mistyped ID, too many links (>4), or trigger text or other at risk criteria.

World view – Tuesday

Monday GMT


For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

UMR polling history

Reasons why it is necessary to be very sceptical of one off ‘leaks’ of internal party polling are that there are no details, no polling method, no margin of error, and no history – one off results give no indication of ongoing accuracy or history.

We can get some idea of UMR polling history now because Bryce Edwards has tweeted

UMR’s most recently-leaked internal poll for the Labour Party has National plummeting to 9 points behind:

The latest result here is a markedly different result to the latest Colmar Brunton poll BUT it was done about a month earlier (the exact polling period isn’t given) so the UMR poll was done in the heat of the Jami-Lee Ross upheaval for National. And it is often claimed that UMR tends to favour Labour over National (unverified).

The previous Colmar Brunton poll was done at a similar time (15-10 October) to the last UMR result here (late October). Comparisons:

  • Labour – UMR 46%, Colmar 45%
  • National – UMR 37%, Colmar 43%
  • Greens – UMR 7%, Colmar 7%
  • NZ First – UMR 7%, Colmar 5%

So Labour is virtually the same, Greens are exactly the same (albeit rounded to a whole number), NZ First are a bit different, and National are quite different – 6%

This could be explained by the timing being slightly different, a week over the Ross story could have had a big temporary impact. Or it could be that either UMR or Colmar (or both) are less accurate with national, or even that one struck an outlier poll (statistically this can happen in 1 out of 20 polls).

Going back to the Colmar July poll (28 Jul-1 Aug) and the UMR polls on either side of that (when the political scene was less volatile):

  • Labour – UMR July 45% August 43%, Colmar 42%
  • National – UMR July 39% August 43%, Colmar 45%
  • Greens – UMR July 7% August 7% , Colmar 6%
  • NZ First – UMR July 6% August 4%, Colmar 5%

Greens and NZ First are very similar.

UMR has Labour higher than Colmar, and has National lower and fluctuating more.

UMR had National 39% in July and 37% in late October, and otherwise in the 41-43% range over the year. Colmar had national in the 43-46% range through the year.

In January Colmar had Labour at 48% and in the 42-45% range.

In January UMR had Labour markedly different at 40% and in the 41-46% range since then.

I think January could be the most unreliable month due to many people being on holiday then.

Polls are of interest to those interested in politics, but are a temporary and inexact measure of party support.

2018 Child Poverty Monitor

When becoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that dealing with child poverty would be a priority for her and her Government.  However there are no easy or quick fixes – yet at least.


Click here for the Child Poverty Monitor: 2018 Technical Report