Monday, 22 April 2013

NZ's best Current Affairs

Native Affairs is a current affairs programme presented by Maori Television has without doubt now taken centre stage for current affairs broadcasting in NZ, the demise of TV One is now complete, and its turned into an ad machine that makes it almost unwatchable. Only TV’s 3 Campbell Live comes anywhere near the meaning of current affairs as I and many thousands of others understand…

I started to write a review of the last Native Affairs programme, I got partially into the task and decided on a break and had a quick look at NZ’s latest and most progressive blog site: The Daily Blog, and there was Bomber’s blog on the same subject. His review was so precise that I quickly realised that you the reader are entitled to the best, so here is Bomber Blog…    

“Once again Native Affairs manages to lift the threshold for current affairs with Mihingarangi Forbes hosting Annette Sykes, Metiria Turei, Winston Peters, Shane Jones, Tau Henare and Pita Sharples in an open panel debate on systemic racism, free trade, welfare reforms and reparation to the Nepata brothers for the terrible manner in which the NZDF treated them.

Native Affairs have quickly become the gold standard of news and current affairs in NZ and last nights show managed to generate new ideas and answers in a format Mihingarangi controls with the cool charm of someone researched well enough to front foot any attempt at spin by her guests.
It’s great TV.

On systemic racism in our corrections and prison system, Winston admits there is institutional racism, Annette points out that many brown youth are being racially profiled; Metiria points out the Greens want to fight for reform. Interestingly Tau admits racial profiling and Pita acknowledges that he hasn’t done enough while Shane Jones manages to sound more sensible than he has in about 2 years.

Mihingarangi asks what Susan Devoy’s appointment, meant. Metiria starts by claiming that it shows that the role isn’t important under National. Pita at the time said the appointment was ‘fantastic’ but he is backpedaling and has to be rescued by Tau who defends Pita. Tau say’s it’s not fair to criticize the appointment until Devoy is up to speed but Annette points out that for $200k she should already be qualified.
Winston states that Devoy is a great sportsperson and to give her a fair go and then he goes off into a weird rant that doesn’t seem to go anywhere.
Everyone on the panel just grins at Winston’s wild ride off to nowhere and wait politely for him to come back.

The next issue is free trade and neoliberalism. It’s so refreshing to watch a news show in NZ that does’t treat their audience like they are idiots and manages to debate issues of economic ideology.
Pita says he’s keen for foreign investment but against the TPPA. He’s asked if we should invest when it hurts other indigenous groups, and extraordinarily Pita says we should.
Annette points out that the market has not served Maori and she goes to the mountain top in what is one of the best tirades against free trade neoliberalism you will ever see on TV,
Annette passes off to Winston by noting MANA has more in common with NZ First economic protectionism and Winston launches into his strong national economic sovereignty argument.
Importantly Shane Jones questions inward investment, which gives an indication that Labour’s sudden lurch to the left isn’t just a new coat of left wing paint.
Tau is asked if free trade will see us become tenants in our own country, he sarcastically answers, “I think it’s happened already”. He says our safety net is that the world will need food and that tourism should drive a cultural rejuvenation.

They touch on Welfare reforms and the bashing of beneficiaries. This leads to debate about Labour/Green electricity reforms. Tau says its economic treason; Shane Jones throws some punches while Winston rounds on Tau saying that the treason is National flogging off of assets.

Annette says that MANA hopes Tau will cross the floor to vote for the first reading of the ‘Feed the kids’ Bill which has Tau looking surprised and mildly interested.

Interesting discussion on marriage equality and it’s at this point that Shane starts looking bored, and Annette smacks down Winston over his attempt to limit the Treaty as a political identity.

All comment about the Nepata brothers hurt while in service to the NZDF and there seems to be consensus that everyone has failed them.

All are very damning of Afghanistan engagement which leads to a preview teaser of a damning doco on NZ’s engagement of Afghanistan this Wednesday 8.30pm.

Another 5 star show”


Gerald Tait said...

When people talk about foreign investment or any sort of investment for that matter, what do they really mean?
Classical economics says that production needs three inputs, Land (includes land and all other natural resources), Labour (human endeavour, both brawn and brain), and Capital ( The tools and machinery that help Labour to make and grow things).

Capital with a capital C should not be confused with money which is only a medium of exchange.
The title to a natural resource like land, water or minerals enables the title holder to claim rent. It is an unearned income. In economics it is called "Economic rent."
When someone 'Rents' a house, shop or factory building, they are really paying economic rent for access to the land and leasing the building which is someone's capital.
Capital gives interest. Here again there can be confusion as people tend to think of interest as something a bank gives them for using the money invested with them.
Labour is the easiest to explain as the rewards to Labour are wages.

Neo-Classical economics (Thatcherism, Reganomics and Rogernomics) conflates or lumps Land and Capital together calling the reward "Interest." No recognition is given to the unearned income from the monopoly holding of a natural resource.

For example the Singapore superannuation fund owns some office buildings next to Wellington's Beehive. They quite rightly derive a legitimate income from the buildings that need to be maintained by them. It is interest on their Capital.
However the locational value of the site is there because of the community in Wellington who provide the infrastructure, electricity, water, schools, the airport, the port, all that makes a city thrive. This economic rent really belongs to the community, but under modern taxation very little of this rent finds its way back to the community. Instead, Labour is taxed very heavily and so is Capital with the ever increasing GST.
The best way to give a signal to foreign investors is for governments to take the economic rent for revenue, and remove the disincentives to production like GST and taxes on wages. The economic rent can be up to 5% of land value, and could be brought in with 0.5% per year for ten years with corresponding reductions in GST and income taxes to balance the government's budget.

This way we would have sovereignty over our country. The unearned income from control of a natural resource would morally and rightfully belong to us.

Gerald Tait Masterton

Wheeler's Corner NZ said...

Thanks Gerald thanks for that clear and concise explanation of the process...its just a pity that governments are too thick or unwilling to accept it.