The cost of living is on the rise due largely to the record prices that New Zealanders are now paying at the petrol pump. Petrol hit $2.40 and more for the first-time last week, but over the weekend, the “no new taxes” Labour Government imposed a new petrol excise tax adding another 3.5 cents per litre – plus GST - onto the cost of fuel.
Ever since Meremere power station was commissioned in the 1950s, New Zealand has relied on coal-fired power stations supplemented by gas and oil to provide the 10% of annual energy needed in a 1:20 dry year to replace the shortfall in hydropower generation. To make up for the shortfall we need to have an energy store that can be converted into electricity over a four month dry period.
At the Electricity Engineers Association annual conference a few weeks ago many of the speakers seemed to have forgotten that, as technological advisers to the government, it is their duty to tell the government what it needs to know rather than what they think it wants to hear.
The Economic Development Minister recently dismissed surveys showing business confidence is at its lowest level in a decade, as "junk”. In doing so, he revealed the deep seated anti-business sentiment that pervades the Labour-led Government - along with an alarming ignorance over what makes a country prosper.
There is growing concern that local government is becoming more ‘activist’. Unfortunately ratepayers are not at the heart of their motivations. Before looking at examples, let’s examine how the new Labour-led Government is dealing with some of the constraints being faced by local authorities.
There are just over 20 days left to send the Government a message that you are not prepared to accept the economic consequences of their Zero Carbon Bill, which comes at a very high economic cost to all New Zealanders, reducing jobs, growth and living standards.
Has any government anywhere ever consulted on policy objectives that, if seriously pursued could cut future GDP per capita by anything from 10 to 22 percent? If so, I can’t imagine when. It is a huge price to propose for what seems to be mostly a moral crusade.
In the lead up to the last election, Labour’s policy manifesto signalled a dramatic change in direction for the country if they became the Government. The broad signs are already there that the new coalition’s unusual cocktail of radicalism and popularism is the greatest risk that this country has faced in years.