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New Zealand Deprioritizes Growth, Improves Health and Wellbeing

New Zealand Deprioritizes Growth, Improves Health and Wellbeing

Last May, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released a budget to improve the “wellbeing” of its citizens rather than focusing on productivity and GDP growth. And not so coincidentally, New Zealand has one of the best coronavirus outcomes of any democracy in the world. Perhaps this provides a model for the world to make economic health cohere with health for all life.

To improve wellbeing, Ardern emphasized goals that focus on care for people and planet. Goals included community and cultural connection as well as intergenerational equity. Under the policy, new spending had to focus on one of five priorities: improving mental health, reducing child poverty, addressing inequalities of Indigenous peoples, thriving in a digital age, and transitioning to a low-emission economy.

While New Zealand isn’t the only country to float the idea of wellbeing over income, it is the first country to make it a reality. Guided by this philosophy, New Zealand is not in a rush to open its economy even as headlines swirl decrying a “stock market crash,” or a “recession worse than 2008-09.” Is Ardern’s example wise? Can we build upon it to further improve life after COVID?

Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has deprioritized “growth” as an economic goal in favour of improving wellbeing. Her compatriots seem to like it: her personal approval rating is 65%. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Health and the economy

In the postwar capitalist framework, economic “health” became equated to income growth, price stability and full employment. There are increasingly serious pitfalls to thinking of “health” as a capitalist metaphor rather than a desirable end goal. Using GDP and stock market values as measures of overall economic health made sense in the postwar era, when growth was necessary to improve human wellbeing by raising material living standards.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

3 Central Bank Shocks Unleash Overnight Yield Crash, With Yuan On Verge Of Collapse

3 Central Bank Shocks Unleash Overnight Yield Crash, With Yuan On Verge Of Collapse

There is just one way to describe the plunge in bond yields overnight and the events behind it: the global race to the currency bottom is rapidly accelerating in its final lap with a global deflationary Ice Age (take a bow Albert Edwards) waiting on the other side.

The main event, of course, was the latest yuan fixing with the PBOC showing a clear sense of humor when it set the currency at 6.9996laughably not to be confused with 7.0000 (for at least another 24 hours that is), but just a fraction of a percent away from the critical threshold, and weaker than the 6.9977 expected. The result was a resumption in the offshore yuan selloff, a hit to US equity futures and a drop in Treasury yields. Of course, once the PBOC does finally fix the yuan on the wrong side of 7, all bets are off and watch as the CNH crashes… as far as 7.70 according to SocGen, especially once Trump hikes tariffs to 25%.

But there was much more in today’s iteration of the global race to the currency bottom, when first New Zealand, then India and finally Thailand shocked investors by being far more dovish than analysts expected. Indeed, the three Asian central banks delivered surprise interest-rate decisions on Wednesday as central bankers not only took aggressive action to counter a worsening global economy, but are now frontrunning each other – and the Fed – in doing so.

As noted last night, New Zealand’s central bank on Wednesday stunned investors by dropping its benchmark rate by 50 basis points, double the expected reduction and sending the kiwi tumbling. Thailand also surprised all but two in a survey of economists, cutting by 25 basis points. Finally, India’s central bank lowered its rate by an unconventional 35 basis points.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change Triggers Hysteria As Ireland Declares A ‘Climate Emergency’

Climate Change Triggers Hysteria As Ireland Declares A ‘Climate Emergency’

Pollution

Ireland has declared a climate emergency, with Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton calling climate change the greatest challenge mankind is facing.

ITV quoted the minister as saying, “We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration. Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.”

The move, which followed cross-party support to amendments to a climate action report drafted by the country’s parliament, made Ireland the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency after the UK. In the latter, the declaration followed crippling environmentalist protests in London that paralyzed parts of the city.

In its wake, an independent, government-appointed Committee on Climate Change recommended to the government such measures as reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products, changing the way farms do business, and making electric cars the only cars that people can buy starting in 2035. By 2050, according to the panel, the country should be greenhouse gas emission-free.

It looks like climate emergency declarations could become a trend: hours after media reported the Irish parliament’s vote for an emergency, the New Zealand Vegan Society issued a call for the government to declare a climate emergency.

“New Zealand is woeful in its protection of the environment, with many rivers and waterways polluted, in part due to excess dairying in particular regions. It shows that we are simply not doing enough to protect our part of the world,” the call read

“It is the next biggest inconvenient truth… eating animals is causing habitat loss, driving climate change and the 6th mass extinction wave. What can we do? The answer is simple: go vegan and plant trees!” said a Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand representative, Claire Insley.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark

Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark

According to CNN Business, “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter struggle to deal with New Zealand shooting video.”

“Deal with” is code for “censor on demand by governments and activist organizations who oppose public access to information that hasn’t first been thoroughly vetted for conformity to their preferred narrative.”

Do you really need to see first-person video footage of an attacker murdering 49 worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand?

Maybe not. Chances are pretty good you didn’t even want to. I suspect that many of us who did (I viewed what appeared to be a partial copy before YouTube deleted it) would rather we could un-see it.

But whether or not we watch it should be up to us, not those governments and activists. Social media companies should enable our choices, not suppress our choices at the censors’ every whim.

If Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube had been primary news sources in 1915, would they have permitted us to view footage  (rare, as film was in its early days)  of New Zealanders’ desperate fight at Gallipoli?

How about the attack on Pearl Harbor?

The assassination of president John F. Kennedy?

The second plane hitting the World Trade Center.

Lucinda Creighton of the Counter Extremism Project complains to CNN that the big social media firms aren’t really “cooperating and acting in the best interest of citizens to remove this content.”

The CEP claims that it “counter[s] the narrative of extremists” and  works to “reveal the extremist threat.”  How does demanding that something be kept hidden “counter” or “reveal” it? How is it in “the best of interest of citizens” to only let those citizens see what Lucinda Creighton thinks they should be allowed to see?

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Exclusive: They Spy With Their Little Eye

Exclusive: They Spy With Their Little Eye

The Five Eyes, a part of what the NSA calls internally its “global network,” have their dirty fingerprints all over the latest spying scandal engulfing New Zealand, writes exiled Kiwi journalist and activist Suzie Dawson.

NZ Spy Scandal:  Elephants In The Room; US Used NZ Spies to Spy on Third Countries, Including France; US Army Ready for Unrest


I’ve spent six years alternately begging major NZ journalists to investigate state-sponsored spying on activists including me, and, out of sheer necessity, reporting extensively on it myself from within the vacuum created by their inaction. So it is somewhat bemusing to now observe the belated unfolding of what ex-Member of Parliament and Greenpeace NZ Executive Director Russel Norman is describing as New Zealand’s “Watergate moment“.

In the wake of the bombshell release of a State Services Commission report into the affair, Norman wrote: “My key takeaway is that under the previous government, no one was safe from being spied on if they disagreed with government policy.”

This is a remarkable statement from Norman, who once sat on the very government committee tasked with oversight of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies. The futility of that lofty position was reflected in my 2014 piece “Glenn Greenwald and the Irrelevance of Electoral Politics“ which quoted Greenwald, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks, saying of Norman:

“You had the Green Party leader here in New Zealand say in an interview that I watched that he was on the committee that oversees the GCSB [ Government Communications Security Bureau – NZ’s electronic spying agency] and yet he learned far more about what the agency does by reading our stories than he did in briefings. They really have insulated themselves from the political process and have a lot of tools to ensure that they continue to grow and their power is never questioned.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Australia Turning Really Authoritative? Is this How a Dark Age Begins?

The greed of governments in their pursuit of money is the single greatest threat to creating a Dark Age. With New Zealand imposing a $5,000 fine for just landing there and you refuse to hand over your pen and passwords to your phone for them to search, now we have Australia going really nuts to the point that they risk tech companies simply banning the sale of their products in the country. The Assistance and Access Bill 2018 in Australia will force Google, Apple, Facebook, and other technology groups to help Australian authorities decode certain forms of encrypted communications on their systems, or face fines of up to AU$10 million. The government says the legislation will help protect against terrorism, fraud and child abuse crimes, claiming it aims to ensure criminals “have no place to hide.”

The problem that arises that failure to pay taxes they also call criminal. Hence, the hunt for money is greatly aided by this type of legislation far more than any other pretend criminal activity. While the government has stopped short of demanding backdoor access to tech companies’ systems that would allow the government to tap into end-to-end encryption services such as WhatsApp, it doesdemand access to data at “points where it is not encrypted.”

Apple, FOR INSTANCE,  would not be made to create a backdoor for their iMessage where every user’s encryption key is different. But the government could request access to the single encryption key for its iCloud services. When you send a message to a friend, it’s encrypted as it travels between the two devices, and when it arrives, it’s decrypted for your friend to read, which is when the government should get to read it. The Australian government is cleverly demanding not a backdoor, but a “side door” to gain access to whatever people are sending.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NATO Coordinates Information War on Russia

NATO Coordinates Information War on Russia

NATO Coordinates Information War on Russia

The US, Britain and other NATO allies upped the ante this week with a coordinated campaign of information war to criminalize Russia. Moscow dismissed the wide-ranging claims as “spy mania”. But the implications amount to a grave assault recklessly escalating international tensions with Russia.

The accusations that the Kremlin is running a global cyberattack operation are tantamount to accusing Russia of “acts of war”. That, in turn, is creating a pretext for NATO powers to carry out “defensive” actions on Moscow, including increased economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia, as well as “counter” cyberattacks on Russian territory.

This is a highly dangerous dynamic that could ultimately lead to military confrontation between nuclear-armed states.

There are notably suspicious signs that the latest accusations against Russia are a coordinated effort to contrive false charges.

First, there is the concerted nature of the claims. British state intelligence initiated the latest phase of information war by claiming that Russian military intelligence, GRU, was conducting cyberattacks on infrastructure and industries in various countries, costing national economies “millions of pounds” in damages.

Then, within hours of the British claims, the United States and Canada, as well as NATO partners Australia and New Zealand followed up with similar highly publicized accusations against Russia. It is significant that those Anglophone countries, known as the “Five Eyes”, have a long history of intelligence collaboration going back to the Cold War years against the Soviet Union.

The Netherlands, another NATO member, added to the “spy mania” by claiming it had expelled four members of Russian state intelligence earlier this year for allegedly trying to hack into the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Forget New Zealand – You Must Give Your Password & Pin to your Phone So Customs Can Search it When you Land

Ever since the Socialists took over New Zealand, it demonstrates how they presume everyone is guilty and they might be hiding money that they can confiscate all because rich bastards are not entitled to what they earn – it belongs to them always. If you refuse, the fine is $5,000. New Zealand has become the first country to fine passengers who refuse to hand over their phone passwords at the border. Obviously, forget New Zealand. The New Zealand Customs and Excise Act 2018, which went into effect this week, allows customs officials to demand passwords, PINs and encryption keys to unlock devices for “digital strip searches” of anyone traveling to New Zealand.

Unfortunately, some other countries are watching closely. They will let you in if you pay the $5,000 find and you cannot refuse and get on the next plane without paying the $5,000 fine. This is what lies in store when socialists grab control. Freedom of the individual NO LONGER exists!!!! The state comes before God, family, or human rights.

When you travel, you should get a burner phone. You cannot have anything private on your person. Welcome to 1984 – it was just a little late!

The 11th Hour: 8 Examples Of Mainstream Media Sources Warning Us Of Imminent Economic Disaster

The 11th Hour: 8 Examples Of Mainstream Media Sources Warning Us Of Imminent Economic Disaster

Are we on the verge of another great financial crisis, a devastating recession and a horrific implosion of the global debt bubble?  On my website I have been relentlessly warning my readers about the inevitable consequences of our very foolish actions, but now the mainstream media is beginning to sound just like The Economic Collapse Blog.  The coming crisis is so close now that a lot of them are starting to see it, and of course economic disaster is already a reality for much of the rest of the planet.  For years, the mainstream media told us that things would get better, and in a lot of ways we did see some improvement.  But now the tone of the mainstream media has become quite ominous, and that is definitely not a positive sign.  The following are 8 examples of mainstream media sources warning us of imminent economic disaster…

#1 Forbes: “Disaster Is Inevitable When America’s Stock Market Bubble Bursts”

As shown in this report, the U.S. stock market is currently trading at extremely precarious levels and it won’t take much to topple the whole house of cards. Once again, the Federal Reserve, which was responsible for creating the disastrous Dot-com bubble and housing bubble, has inflated yet another extremely dangerous bubble in its attempt to force the economy to grow after the Great Recession. History has proven time and time again that market meddling by central banks leads to massive market distortions and eventual crises. As a society, we have not learned the lessons that we were supposed to learn from 1999 and 2008, therefore we are doomed to repeat them.

The purpose of this report is to warn society of the path that we are on and the risks that we are facing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The 11th Hour: 8 Examples Of Mainstream Media Sources Warning Us Of Imminent Economic Disaster

The 11th Hour: 8 Examples Of Mainstream Media Sources Warning Us Of Imminent Economic Disaster

Are we on the verge of another great financial crisis, a devastating recession and a horrific implosion of the global debt bubble?  On my website I have been relentlessly warning my readers about the inevitable consequences of our very foolish actions, but now the mainstream media is beginning to sound just like The Economic Collapse Blog.  The coming crisis is so close now that a lot of them are starting to see it, and of course economic disaster is already a reality for much of the rest of the planet.  For years, the mainstream media told us that things would get better, and in a lot of ways we did see some improvement.  But now the tone of the mainstream media has become quite ominous, and that is definitely not a positive sign.  The following are 8 examples of mainstream media sources warning us of imminent economic disaster…

#1 Forbes: “Disaster Is Inevitable When America’s Stock Market Bubble Bursts”

As shown in this report, the U.S. stock market is currently trading at extremely precarious levels and it won’t take much to topple the whole house of cards. Once again, the Federal Reserve, which was responsible for creating the disastrous Dot-com bubble and housing bubble, has inflated yet another extremely dangerous bubble in its attempt to force the economy to grow after the Great Recession. History has proven time and time again that market meddling by central banks leads to massive market distortions and eventual crises. As a society, we have not learned the lessons that we were supposed to learn from 1999 and 2008, therefore we are doomed to repeat them.

The purpose of this report is to warn society of the path that we are on and the risks that we are facing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bankers And Tech Executives Know The Collapse Of Society Is Coming And Are Feverishly Prepping For It

Bankers And Tech Executives Know The Collapse Of Society Is Coming And Are Feverishly Prepping For It

While most of the general population has been lulled into a false sense of security, bankers and tech executives are spending millions upon millions of dollars to prepare for the collapse of society.  Do they know something that the rest of us do not?  Apparently talk of doomsday scenarios has become very popular at Silicon Valley dinner parties, and as you will see below, having a plan to escape to New Zealand appears to be a very popular “Plan B” among the tech elite.  Of course this is not just a west coast phenomenon.  Many bankers on the east coast have similar concerns and have also been developing contingency plans.  Ladies and gentlemen, they know what is coming and they are feverishly getting prepared for it.  In fact, J.P. Morgan Chase’s head quant just publicly declared that the next financial crisis is going to result in “social unrest not seen in the U.S. in half a century”.  The following comes from CNBC

Sudden, severe stock sell-offs sparked by lightning-fast machines. Unprecedented actions by central banks to shore up asset prices. Social unrest not seen in the U.S. in half a century.

That’s how J.P. Morgan Chase‘s head quant, Marko Kolanovic, envisions the next financial crisis. The forces that have transformed markets in the last decade, namely the rise of computerized trading and passive investing, are setting up conditions for potentially violent moves once the current bull market ends, according to a report from Kolanovic sent to the bank’s clients on Tuesday. His note is part of a 168-page mega-report, written for the 10th anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis, with perspectives from 48 of the bank’s analysts and economists.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

City Officials Struggle To Fend Off “Unstoppable Juggernaut” Of Chinese Homebuyers

As we’ve pointed out time and time again, foreign – mainly Chinese – buyers seeking to park their ill-gotten gains beyond the reach of the Communist Party have – in addition to global capitals like New York City and London – favored a handful of cities in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Many of these cities – for example, Vancouver – have seen property values rise to levels that are unaffordable for local buyers.

While the influx of capital helped fuel an economic recovery in the aftermath of the crisis, home values soon reached crisis levels that demanded action by local officials. Some places have tried to use taxes to deter foreign buyers. In some instances, the taxes worked – at least temporarily.

But with the flow of buyers refusing to slow despite efforts by the Chinese government to stop money moving offshore, many of these cities are getting desperate. And after years of occasional headlines, it appears the crisis has finally become dire enough for the mainstream press to start paying attention.

Vancouver

To wit, government officials in Canada and Australia who spoke with the Wall Street Journal for a story about how Chinese homebuyers expressed concern that widespread foreign ownership has created bubbles in local real-estate markets. Even as Australia and New Zealand and some Canadian cities have raised taxes on foreign buyers, many are worried that home values will continue to climb, foiling policy makers best efforts to control them. Since it passed an 8% foreign buyers tax last summer, Sydney says foreign buying hasn’t let up.

Jon Ellis, chief executive of Investorist, an online portal for cross-border property transactions, said Chinese property buyers are an “unstoppable juggernaut”. In some markets with large Mandarin-speaking populations, locals can spot real-estate ads in Mandarin at bus stations and benches in the surrounding area.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Collapse of NZ “Guarantor” Puts $300M Deposits for 10K Homes at Risk

Guaranteeing things is an excellent business until it fails suddenly and completely.

In the Great Financial Crisis guarantors were wiped out. It’s happening now down under where 10,000 Property Buyers are Caught in the Collapse of Deposit Power.

A leading national property finance company has collapsed potentially leaving an estimated 10,000 residential, commercial and property investors in the lurch about the fate of nearly $300 million worth of deposits.

Deposit Power, which provided interim finance to property buyers, has closed its doors after the collapse of New Zealand’s CBL’s insurance, which was an issuer and guarantor of deposit bonds.

Sale Complications

Worried mortgage brokers, who recommended the products to clients, are seeking advice on whether clients need to buy other cover, or secure additional or replacement financial risk bonds. It could mean unspecified risks, uncertainty and deal delays for tens of thousands of counter parties, financiers and their representatives, including lawyers and other brokers.

Mortgage brokers, who act as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders, are being warned the status of existing loan guarantees is unknown, pending applications will not be processed and no payments have been taken.

Investors calling the Sydney-based office are being answered by a recorded message the company is facing “external issues” and that it is unable to process any deals.

Deposit Power’s bonds were sold to individuals, first time buyers, retirees, self-employed borrowers, trusts, corporate entities, or self managed super funds purchasing commercial or residential property. It was established in 2012 and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

They were also heavily marketed to first time and off the plan property investors. A deposit guarantee is an alternative method of placing a deposit on a property.

CBL in Interim Liquidation

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is New Zealand A Doomsday Preppers’ Paradise?

Earlier today, we reported that Peter Thiel, the Bay Area’s most prominent conservative and one of President Trump’s most outspoken supporters from the LGBT community, announced that he was relocating to Los Angeles – and taking his investment firm with him – because of the famously intolerant culture in Silicon Valley.

The announcement of the move conjured up images of street harassment for Thiel, who is loathed in Silicon Valley and by the mainstream media because of his role in bringing down Gawker as part of a nearly decade-long revenge plot…

Interestingly, the Guardian also happened to publish today a profile about Thiel’s decision to build another potential domicile much, much further south: In New Zealand, where it was reported last year that he had become a citizen in 2011, and later that he purchased a large tract of land nearly the size of Manhattan that used to be a sheep station on New Zealand’s southern island.

Of course, the wealthy have many options for doomsday preparedness, as we’ve noted time and time again – from personal bunkers to memberships to luxury post-apocalyptic communities.

But New Zealand represents something different: A sparsely populated island with plenty of resources – essentially clay for wealthy capitalists to mold a new society from the ashes of the old after the collapse sets in…

But while Thiel’s New Zealand investment was more of a novelty news story in the US, in New Zealand, it has become a major scandal, sparking a national debate over how much leeway wealthy individuals should be given to become citizens and provide property.

And Thiel isn’t the only one: The Guardian points out that several other wealthy Silicon Valley figures have also taken an interest in the country…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fault Line Wakes Up: New Zealand Could Be DESTROYED By Massive 9.0 Earthquake

Fault Line Wakes Up: New Zealand Could Be DESTROYED By Massive 9.0 Earthquake

hikurangi-subduction-zone

A 2016 earthquake has awoken a fault line that was thought to be dormant. Now that it’s becoming active, fears have arisen that New Zealand could be destroyed by a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

The devastating Kaikura earthquake in 2016 has resurrected the Hikurangi subductionzone where two tectonic plates clash and one is pushed down. Geologists are now warning that this trench could cause a massive earthquake on the ocean floor, and could trigger other 9.0 magnitude earthquakes and tsunamis that will reach the western coast of the islands in just seven minutes.

The Australian plate is heading north while the Pacific plate is heading west, and the combination of these motions means that the Pacific plate, which includes much of the South Island, is moving relative to the Australian plate at a rate of about 40millimeterss each year in a southwesterly direction.

Ursula Cochran, from the science firm GNS, told The Marlborough Express: “We need to think Japan 2011 basically, because if our whole plate boundary ruptured it would be a magnitude-9 earthquake.” The Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami smashed through the country’s north-eastern coast killing almost 16,000 people and destroying the lives of thousands more. It also triggered a major ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

“One of the biggest hazards of that kind of earthquake is the tsunami that is triggered by a fault rupture offshore.,” Cochran added. “We know from tsunami modeling from a hypothetical earthquake from the Hikurangi subduction zone that the travel times could be very short to the coast, so seven minutes for some of the south Wairarapa coast.”

One year after it struck, scientists are also warning that the Kaikoura quake was not the “big one” for the Hikurangi subduction zone. The quake on the Hikurangi subduction zone was

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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Olduvai II: Exodus
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