Photo credit Matt Lamers
LETTERS TO EDITOR | LATEST
Photo credit Matt Lamers
Northern Advocate 17 Dec 2019
I believe your cartoon on this subject (17 Dec.) was a bit harsh. Many of
the people who wish to ban it entirely have genuine concerns. They just have
no understanding of the difficulty, in some remote areas complete
impossibility, of preventing collapse of our native vegetation by any means
other than aerial drops of poison.
At its recent Annual Conference, the Social Credit Party considered this in
Under no circumstances should 1080 be dropped anywhere close to
farmland, human habitation or water catchments.
An organization should be developed, and its members adequately paid, to
carry out control by trapping etc. in more accessible areas.
The personnel and thousands of kilometers of tracks and trap-lines needed
for this purpose would be expensive. If anyone believes that action of this
type can happen when both Government and Local Bodies have to borrow
the money needed at commercial rates, they are dreaming.
Only reforms such as those proposed by Social Credit can make this sort of
John G Rawson - Whangarei
Mountains of plastic waste should be major focus
Otago Daily Times 12 Dec 2019
Environmental issues are a problem for New Zealand as well as the globe.
My struggle is with climate change caused by fossil fuels, due to the fact that over long geological periods of time, the earth's environment has changed.
That is not to say the human race has no impact. We are going through an important time of transition, and New Zealand, under Labour, has made some small changes. However, there are schemes like an impressive charitable one in the US called the One Million Waves Project which is turning plastics into prosthetics and medical equipment.
Its website states that, every year, 28 billion pounds of plastic end up in the oceans and that 40 million people in poor, developing nations are in need of prosthetic limbs yet only 5% of these people have any prosthetic options.
For me, plastic is more of a concern that fossil fuels "causing" climate change.
Tom McAlpine - North East Valley
Alarming signs as more New Zealand assets sold off by Government
Otago Daily Times 23 Nov 2019
(Link to media cutting Otago Daily Times 23 Nov 2019)
The party that sold off BNZ, NZ Rail, Petrocorp, Post Bank, the Shipping Corporation, Air New Zealand, the State Insurance Office, the Tourist Hotel Corporation and a host of other New Zealand assets is at it again - with the assistance of its coalition partners, NZ First and the Greens.
Despite a commitment in its policy to "keep forestry in New Zealand hands by requiring the sale of logging rights on land over 50 hectares to be approved by the overseas investment office for overseas purchases", Labour is facilitiating the sale of thousands of hectares of farmland to overseas forestry companies and bypassing the overseas investment office in the process.
To meet its billion trees programme and climate change targets, Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage has given approval for the sale of New Zealand farmland. Was this the process this Government campaigned on in 2017?
A Social Credit government would put an immediate stop to the sale of farmland to overseas buyers, progressively return to New Zealand ownership land already sold, and radically rewrite the Overseas Investment Office rules.
Instead of penalising our wealth producers we will make Reserve Bank credit available to assist businesses, territorial authorities and other groups in making the transition towards a carbon neutral New Zealand.
Bob Warren - Social Credit Dunedin Chairman
Bridges' blind spot
NZ Herald 19 Nov 2019
Calling a donkey an ass doesn’t absolve one of the necessity to feed it and house it. The writer of yesterday's editorial under the heading "Bridges finds map on election path" apparently thinks so.
Building infrastructure by raising private capital either through Public Private Partnerships or Special Purpose Vehicles still requires money to be borrowed.
Those are simply an underhand method of the government borrowing money without it appearing on the official books.
Taxpayers will still be paying the interest and the loan principal but at a substantially higher interest rate than if the government had borrowed the money directly itself.
The suppliers of that private capital would have to borrow it in the first place from the privately-owned banks, so will be costing in the banks' profit and their own profit, all of which will come out of taxpayers' pockets, resulting in taxpayers spending vastly more on the projects as a result of this funding method.
Doing so would be a "blunt admission the government couldn't manage its books properly" if Amy Adams ever became finance minister, and clear evidence of "tax, spend, borrow, hope" as Bridges described it.
Anyone who thinks that those fancy funding schemes are not "taking the country further into the red" and suggests that it "could be a genuine draw card at next year's polling booths" needs to explain to voters how paying more for infrastructure will make them feel good about voting National.
Chris Leitch - Northland
MMP, STV, ACT, choose your abbreviation
Northern Advocate 29 Nov 2019
The Representation Commission has announced proposed new electorate boundaries for the next two elections.
This is an appropriate time to discuss revamping our whole electoral system.
It is clear MMP is not delivering real proportional representation, and current trends might see a sort of undemocratic First Past the Post result by default if some of the smaller parties exit parliament.
Demand for proportional representation came about after Social Credit gained 21% of the vote, but only two MPs, and a string of broken promises by both National and Labour.
New Zealand First and the Greens and can barely clear the oppressive 5% threshold and ACT only survives because of its electorate deal with National. Oh how they’d love to get Social Credit’s 1981 result.
Without minor party influence, National and Labour basically amount to the same thing.
So it's time to do away with MMP and replace it with the Single Transferable Vote system.
STV, already used by eleven local authorities, would deliver true proportional representation and ensure every vote counts towards electing an MP.
Under STV, the unaccountable list MP's would be abolished.
Electorates would be larger but have more than one MP elected from each one.
Independents would have a greater chance for being elected too – something desperately needed in our current hyper-partisan parliament.
Callan Neylan - Waipu
Otago Daily Times 26 Nov 2019
YET again we read of another taxpayer gift to a private Australian bank (ODT, 5.11.19) increasing its already excessive profits and, on the same page, we learn this increase leads to a concomitant increase in the already obscene salary earned by the chief executive.
Private banks earn a substantial proportion of their profits by charging interest and fees on the loans they make from the money they create.
It is our Government which permits them to create this money rather than reserving this privilege to the publicly owned Reserve Bank. In this way, they are giving a gift of this profit to private banks and the New Zealand taxpayer loses out.
Indeed, in 1978, an amendment to the Reserve Bank Act was proposed by Bruce Beetham which, together with his proposed New Currency Act, would have enacted changes which would have retained these profits for the public good.
The opportunity cost of not effecting these changes must run into billions of dollars lost to the New Zealand tax payer.
Also, in other times and in other places, governments have reserved the right to create money to themselves at considerable benefit to their economies and their taxpayers - for example, Alberta from 1935 to 1971.
It is time to end the wealth transfer to private banks and for New Zealand to follow the ideas underlying Social Credit in order to actually do something about income and wealth inequality in our country rather than just talking about it.
A. MacGregor - Mosgiel
Whanganui Chronicle 5 Nov 2019
“Learn to pronounce te reo correctly” urges Jane Trask (Chron.1st Nov.) Agreed that’s a courteous thing to do allowing, though, for regional dialects. But to claim that wrong pronunciation is “murdering the very essence” of Maori culture implies that an inadvertent mistake is the equivalent of manslaughter !
What really needs to be recognised as the essence of Maori culture, though currently obscured by fraudulent neo-liberal mantra, is the traditional gift economy whereby available resources were shared equitably with infrastructures inherited by the mokopuna without the burden of debt finance. What a contrast to the latest news headlines – Mike King’s charity now penniless while Health Minister Clark bemoans the fact that the health sector is well over $1 billion in deficit.
This nonsense must stop – and stop now ! The gift economy paradigm could be easily applied to our New Zealand financial system today. We have a sovereign Reserve Bank equipped to credit-fund public health, education, railways etc. Budget deficits or surpluses thus become obsolete allowing regressive taxes like the GST to be scrapped, so increasing household disposable income. This is putea pai (good/ethical funding). Now, please Mr Editor, place a macron over the letter “u” before I am accused of wrong spelling.....
Heather Marion Smith - Whanganui
Nelson Evening Mail 05 Oct 2019
There have been many articles recently on the dire predictions of climate change. I agree that we cannot continue as we have in the recent past, with our throwaway culture polluting the Earth - but compared with climate change, the effects of our debt "money system" which is compounding exponentially will have far greater disastrous consequences.
Most of the human effect of climate change is directly caused by the inflationary effect of money driving the necessity to expand growth each year just to stand still. New Zealanders have to exist on half of what we earn as a nation (our GNP), as the other half goes to the bankers to pay interest and principal. Half of world trade is just to pay the banks interest and principal. the interest component of 30 to 50 per cent is built into everything we buy.
Taxation could be slashed.
Today, we are slaves to the privatised money system which affects every facet of human life worldwide. Solution - use the Reserve Bank to create all finance needed to run the nation as a grant, interest-free, as we did from 1936 until the 1960s. Let money become a servant instead of the master.
Ian Davey - Motueka
Gift economy no more
Gisborne Herald 27 Sept 2019
What a pity that Marise Lant sees Government support for the berthing of the Endeavour replica as an insult to Maori when a far, far greater insult is represented by the "big four" Australian banks - which the same Government and Opposition parties insist on having sovereignty over our financial system.
Nowhere in Te Tiriti o Waitangi is there space for a third partner, yet even Maori businesses are cheerfully becoming clients of foreign-owned banks - while Parliament refuses to make our sovereign Reserve Bank the source of the nation's money supply.
The pre-colonial economic paradigm was a gift economy, not one which heaps billions of dollars of debt on this nation's mokopuna. This paradigm is central to Social Credit policy, but we don't have a patent on it. Indeed, the laws of our land could be invoked immediately to stop the shocking waste of resources needed to back our crippling debt.
Heather Marion Smith - Whanganui
Helicopters are good for the economy
Dominion Post 25 July 2019
It’s great to see helicopter money considered in “What to do if the economy tanks” (23 Jul) by economist Brad Olsen. Money thrown out of a metaphorical helicopter would do well to stimulate an economy that has a sub-optimal money supply relative to its potential productivity.
Specifically, this should be “Quantitative easing for the people” where the helicopter money originates from the Reserve Bank. Then we don’t rack up more debt to overseas financial institutions. Otherwise, we’ll have the same old conundrum we do now which is well described by Positive Money NZ who say “If we want more money, we have to have more debt, and if we want less debt we have to have less money in the economy”.
By using our own Reserve Bank, the helicopter could deliver enough money into the real economy without any associated debt. If we don’t use the Reserve Bank, the helicopter concept is not progressive at all, it’s just the status quo, debt-backed monetary system with a fancily named unorthodox delivery system.
Dollars and Cents
NZ Listener 20 July 2019
Dollars and cents” (article - July 6) refers to the new, private, alternative currency Libra raising accountability and transparency fears. It is causing Joanne Black to tighten her tin foil hat and rightly so. However, there is nothing more to fear than there is with our present currency, the New Zealand Dollar NZD. 98% of New Zealand’s money is also privately issued electronic currency issued by profit-seeking corporations (The remaining 2% is issued by RBNZ as notes and coins).
It’s all just smoke and mirrors though. We are alarmed at one but quite content with, or perhaps ignorant about, the other. Yet, to all intents and purposes their characteristics are very similar. What we will have is one privately issued electronic currency backed by another privately issued electronic currency – which in turn is ultimately backed by the debt on which it was issued (See the Bank of England paper Money Creation in the Modern Economy which says “whenever a bank makes a loan, it simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money”)
The extra layer of corporate currency just adds to the real problem which is that our money is created by private banks for profit now and yet there is not one tin foil hat in sight. $20 Billion in new money on average is pumped into our economy every year – some of it (perhaps more than half) is going into non-productive investment (including the housing market) – and we wonder why kiwis cumulatively owe $571 Billion dollars. If instead, Government issued our currency via the RBNZ, it could have first use of new money which would have hugely beneficial repercussions on the economy. Also, taxpayers would not be paying $6 Billion a year as interest to those same private institutions who conjured up the electronic money in the first place.
Milksops captive to banks
Whanganui Chronicle 11th July 2019
(LINK to media cutting Whanganui Chronicle 11th July 2019)
We’re big on trumpeting our mainly grass-fed dairy herds – the most efficient
in the world, and all that - leaving aside for the moment the wee matter of
serious downstream water and soil degradation.
Dairying rolls us in the clover when it comes to export sales: it’s our
champion, our dollar machine, our sugar daddy. Yet we have the flagship of
one of our major dairy producing areas on the verge of being flogged off into
foreign ownership - overwhelmingly voted for by the farmers themselves!
Westland Milk Products has apparently turned sour. A cash cow gone
terminal. How so?
Well, it’s complicated, but successive management regimes seemed to be a
sandwich short of a picnic when it came to certain strategic decisions.
But a constant factor in the mix was the highly expensive cost of borrowing
from off-shore banks to finance company operations. Bank executives
naturally wish to be maintained in the manner to which they’ve accustomed
themselves. But what the heck was Westland Milk Products doing borrowing
off them in the first place?
NZ First’s Winston Peters and Shane Jones and Labour’s Damien O’Connor
have tut-tutted about ownership of this key infrastructure going off-shore, but
the only intelligent take I’ve heard on the whole affair has come from Chris
Leitch, Social Credit Party leader.
Social Credit. Remember? Under Bruce Beetham, neighbouring Rangitikei
was a stronghold. In 1978 the party pulled nearly a quarter of the national
vote. If MMP had applied, SoCred would have had about thirty game-
changing seats in parliament, instead of the miserly two FPP consigned them
Leitch asks why Government didn’t offer Westland Milk the 1% Reserve Bank
overdraft arrangment available to the Dairy Board from 1936 to the mid 80's,
under both Labour and National governments.
This would have replaced expensive commercial bank created debt with much
cheaper Reserve Bank debt, allowing the company’s income to benefit West
Coast farmers rather than Australian owned banks.
Gee! Such a simple expedient to keep Westland Milk viable. Why wouldn’t we
There’s a very sad answer. Recent governments have become milksops to
the private banks.
There was a time when a government with guts and vision took the bull by the
horns and used resources at its disposal to promote national prosperity and
equity. The 1935 Labour Government harnessed the newly created sovereign
Reserve Bank to serve national well-being above private interest avarice.
That’s how all those houses got built, as well as a swag of highly beneficial
public infrastructure. That’s how 1% overdrafts were made available to the
dairy industry to help build and diversify.
As Leitch also points out, why exactly is Government widely borrowing
through expensive private off-shore banks, anyway, when the Reserve Bank
can often perform precisely the same function at nominal rates, such as major
nations like China and Japan already do, and we ourselves used to. Instead,
we fork out over six billion dollars – six billion! - in interest costs alone per
annum, instead of it going towards our own needs. Why, indeed!
For starters, ask Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance. Good luck on getting a
As a nation we’ve been suckered into hanging off the Big Banking teat - the
same shysters who gave us the gratuitous greed-fest of the sub-prime
mortgage debacle and a Global Financial Crisis. Our four major banks are
Australian owned, which in turn are controlled by major UK and American
banks. That includes ANZ, who last financial year sucked out more profit from
Kiwis than the six largest companies on the NZSX combined, all while being
in breach of regulatory requirements.
Government doesn’t even conduct core business through our own bank –
Kiwibank. It prefers Australia’s Westpac, which naturally gratefully shovels up
the attendant handsome fees.
Milksops. Sad, but true.
What use a Webb Ellis Cup on the mantelpiece, when we continue to be
lickspittles with our own key livelihoods?
A capital Ripoff
Waikato Times - July 7th
The $66 million being predicted as Waikato DHB’s coming deficit, prompted me to do a bit of sleuthing as what the 2017-18 Annual Report had to disclose. Odd ! Very Odd ! I found that the ridiculous 8% capital charge for that financial year ($37,124,000) almost matched the long lamented deficit ($37,150,000). Basically: no capital charge - no deficit ! Tells us there is something seriously amiss with the Crown Health Funding system – something newly appointed Commissioner Putasi is duty-bound to examine.
To save her the time and trouble I should inform her that public sector funding can and should be publicly provided by our sovereign central Reserve Bank, eliminating the iniquitous practice of selling of government securities on the debt markets to raise money. Nothing in our legislation requires Government to keep the capital markets buoyant. Thought the WDHB is supposed to uphold the principle of “manaaki” – people centred services – not the welfare of the mainly foreign investors in public debt.
Heather Marion Smith - Whanganui
Taxpayers will be back stop for bank’s deposit insurance scheme
Otago Daily Times 5th July 2019
Taxpayers and bank customers will end up footing the bill for the new scheme as banks will pass on their additional costs in their lending rates and taxpayers will be the final backstop for any bad bank decisions.
Banks already have the right to take money out of depositors accounts to bale themselves out, should they get themselves into financial trouble.
Last year the big four Australian based banks pulled six billion dollars in profits out of the pockets of New Zealanders; those profits increase every year.
Taxpayers in New Zealand are already among the highest paying, per capita in the world, with as much as 70 cents in every dollar being taken in taxes, levies and local government charges.
The idea that somehow the average kiwi should be contributing over $1,000 each, (as seen when spread across our economy) to foreign bank margins, means that we need to regain control of the credit creation source.
The lost opportunities for investment and debt reduction caused by this corporate theft, is creating most of the socio economic distortions and widening the inequality gap.
The very idea that any government would further enable the interests of off shore banks to supercede those of the taxpaying public, only re-enforces the fact that the banks actually dictate government policy.
The Bank of England, the German Central Bank and our own Reserve Bank, confirm that our money supply is created by banks, out of thin air, when they lend to customers.
The Reserve Bank (the country’s central bank) should take over the money supply
creation and use those funds for government and local body projects.
These measures would mean that a taxpayer funded retail deposit scheme is not
Bob Warren - Dunedin