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  • Should the Reserve Bank target unemployment as well as inflation? Will the new government abolish the dual mandate?

    nonaBack in 1989 – near the end of the fourth Labour government – the inflation-busting Reserve Bank Act was passed. Labour has shifted well away from the Rogernomics of that decade, and in 2021 Grant Robertson added maximum sustainable employment to the bank’s mandate - with the support of coalition partner NZ First.

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  • The next three years – the job ahead for Labour, Greens and Te Pāti Māori

    The Fabians had a session on Nov 14th reflecting on the elections. Our panel of Simon Wilson, Senior Writer at NZ Herald, Bridie Witton, Stuff Press Gallery Reporter and Ollie Neas, freelance writer used the election results as a springboard to target some of the key issues for Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori as they head into opposition.

    Coverage can be found here

  • Rob Campbell on Pae Ora Health Reforms

    Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Pae Ora health reforms with you.

    Since I was sacked by the Health Minister I have taken time to reflect on the experience and to make a considered assessment of what I learned in the process. My intention tonight is to share that with you, making the assumption that we share common ground in wanting to have an effective, efficient, excellent and equitable public health service.

    If anyone does not want that, I don’t really have anything useful to share with you.

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  • Interview transcript: Ambassador Wang Xiaolong with NZ Fabian Society

    Hello, my name is Mike Smith, from the New Zealand Fabian Society. It's my great pleasure today to interview Ambassador Wang Xiaolong from the People's Republic of China to talk with us about China's values. I heard Ambassador Wang speak at a meeting convened by the Institute of International RelationsNZIIA last year and in the course of that meeting, he addressed the question of China's values and said, "China's choice for values, social system and path to modernity is made by our own people, based on our own history, culture and realities. All these choices have proven to be suitable and effective to solve China's problems and meet the needs of the Chinese people".

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  • A 'Ministry of Green Works' for Aotearoa New Zealand - Nov 2021

    Earlier this month First Union published “A Ministry of Green Works for Aotearoa New Zealand: An Ambitious Approach to Housing, Infrastructure, and Climate Change” by Max Harris and Jacqueline Paul. The current system for building and delivering housing and infrastructure is not serving the needs of communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. The standard approach for government is to contract-out construction and related services to the private sector. The private sector is at capacity, the approach has drained know-how from the public service, and there is a skills shortage, a lack of innovation, and insufficient coordination to tackle climate change. A new approach is needed. FIRST Union’s Ed Miller will speak to why they commissioned the proposal for public discussion. FIRST Union’s “A Future that Works” campaign has been calling for the re-establishment of the MOW since early 2020 as part of pathway to full employment, including a just transition for workers in climate-stressed industries and expanding/improving our housing stock.

  • A Left Response to the Cost of Living Crisis - Geoff Bertram & Craig Renney - Nov 2022

    After decades of low inflation, prices are rising across the global economy, putting growing pressure on households. The Labour Government has responded in various ways – subsiding transport costs and tackling long-running market power issues in the supermarket and construction sectors. But a growing chorus of voices says the only way forward is for unemployment to rise, pushing the burden of the crisis onto workers. What really is driving this crisis? What should we do about it? And how does the government's response to date stack up? Join us to hear from Dr Geoff Bertram on these issues, with CTU economist Craig Renney responding. Dr Geoff Bertram is an economist from the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington, whose research has included investigations into excess profits and anti-competitive practices in New Zealand. Craig Renney is an economist and policy director with the Council of Trade Unions. The session will be chaired by journalist and barrister Ollie Neas.

  • After Jacinda - Feb 2023

  • Alison Cole Andre de Groot Climate Change -Jul 2020 (video)

    The time has come for public discussion and pressure on political parties for a pro-active government approach to the climate change emergency. The rise of Greenhouse gases has been measured in Wellington for half a century while projections remain scary. The market approach to reducing emissions has been underwhelming, the post Covid world presents an open window for new approaches and the world is looking for inspiration beyond their disappointing leaders. Alison and Andre will present a comprehensive approach with promising potential projects and outline a proposed government structure, along with the severity of the situation and how that corresponds to human rights. Alison Cole is a human rights lawyer who has worked for the UN International Criminal Court as a War Crimes Investigator, was a specialist advisor on Human rights for the Inquiry into Operation Burnham and established the community group www.asiapacificjimai.org focused on building youth partnerships for climate justice in the Asia-Pacific region. Andre de Groot is a structural engineer with a wide variety of experience across New Zealand and Canada. He has wide interests including urban design, sustainability, seismic engineering, religion, organisational form and social democracy and has worked for two successor organisations of the Ministry of Works.

  • Assoc. Prof. Matheson Russell - Reinventing democracy? Global trends and Te Tiriti-based futures - Aug 2022

  • Auckland Local Government Panel Discussion Auckland Local Government Panel Discussion - Oct 2021

  • Better ways to do climate policy - Adrian Macey and David Frame - Dec 2022

  • Bill Mitchell: The case for full employment and the end of austerity economics - August 2020

  • Bill Rosenberg - Tax Reform - March 2019 (video)

    Dr Bill Rosenberg talks about the findings and recommendations of the Tax Working Group in New Zealand, of which he was a member, and their implications for a better tax system and fairer society. Dr Bill Rosenberg is Economist and Policy Director at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi. He has written and spoken on many issues including labour relations, inequality, social security, privatisation, health funding, and globalisation.

  • Building a Better Future - Craig Renney and Diana Russell - Jan 2023

    Economist Craig Renney and policy analyst Diana Russell will present the CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy to our first Fabian meeting of 2023. The Council of Trade Unions are in the middle of consulting with workers and organisations on their strategy. You will find a link to the document here. https://union.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/AES-22-September-FINALweb.pdf “Building a Better Future” is their view of an economy that delivers for workers, and how this might be achieved. This includes making New Zealand the best country in the world to be a worker. NZ is already the best country in the world to be a business. The Prime Minister has said she wants NZ to be the best country to be a child. The CTU argues that in order for that vision to be realised we must first look after our workforce. The key design elements of the report revolve around 5 “missions” that they believe are central to a successful economic development pathway: 1. Economic equity 2. Delivering adequate housing and our infrastructure needs for the 21st Century 3. A Just Transition towards climate resilience 4. Decent work and greater work/life balance 5. Enabling the enduring wellbeing of New Zealand Each of these missions contains a policy proposal that they would like to discuss: 1. A National Investment Bank that delivers our central economic missions & a new state-owned default KiwiSaver provider to hold all default funds. 2. A Ministry of Green Works that delivers adequate housing, climate resilience, economic equity, decent work and a just transition 3. An energy revolution alongside a just transition (Industrial Revolution 5.0) 4. A Decent Work Act – to replace the Employment Relations Act. Pilot a four-day working week and ECE as right, progressively provided over time 5. Working with central government economic agencies to embed and build a genuine wellbeing approach to economic development They have three main questions they want to ask and get feedback: 1. What does a good economy look like for you? 2. What are your thoughts on the vision, direction and specifically the 5 missions? 3. What are your thoughts on their proposed solutions? Craig Renney - economist with the NZ Council of Trade Unions

  • Catherine Knight on De-growth - Resources - April 2023

  • Dealing to Climate Change: Prof Jonathan Boston and climate minister James Shaw - May 2023

  • Dr Siouxsie Wiles & Fa'anānā Efeso Collins on lessons from responding to the pandemic - March 2022

  • Engineers for Social Responsibility - A new Ministry of Works - Andre de Groot - Dec 2021

  • Future of Local Government - June 2021

  • Gary Blick - An economic lens on Auckland - June 2022

  • Geoff Bertram - How do we pay for Covid-19? - May 2020

  • Guy Standing: Rentier Capitalism and the coming precariat revolt - March 2016

  • Indigeneity, Culture and the UN Sustainable Development Goals - Professor Dominic O’Sullivan - April 2023

  • Inflation and incomes - a long term plan - Craig Renney & Diana Russell - March 2023

    The NZ Council of Trade Unions says the root cause of our inflation and cost of living challenge is the lack of a long-term economic plan. The issues New Zealand is facing could be addressed with an Inflation and Incomes Act. Inflation is viewed as a short-term crisis, when in reality, it's a long-term problem associated with New Zealand's present economic model. Economist Craig Renney (in person for this return visit) and policy analyst Diana Russell speak to their proposal on Tuesday 7 March – at 5.30pm at 2/57 Willis Street. Right now the main tool for controlling inflation is increasing the interest rate - that takes money out of working people's pockets disproportionately and increases unemployment - mostly for low income Kiwis. That makes New Zealand's already dire wealth gap worse, and hobbles our long-term economic growth. Every New Zealander is grappling with inflation and the cost of living. We need to be having a new conversation about how we address these issues not just now, but in the long run. We need a new approach that builds greater resilience to inflation and develops a more equitable economy in the process. An Inflation and Incomes Act would create a framework for how New Zealand manages its transition to a longer-term low-inflation environment. It would better marshal our economic development, infrastructure, and public service needs so that we can respond to inevitable economic change. The Act would pave the way for the kinds of investments that we need to tackle inflation in the long-run. Investments in home insulation, electrifying the vehicle fleet, and building the homes we need. Making sure that supply-chains are resilient, and that there is genuine competition in markets. And doing so in a way that manages the cost so that it is simply borne equitably by New Zealanders. Inflation is not a new problem for the poorest in New Zealand. It will continue to be an issue for all Kiwis unless we change how we approach it. We need to look towards alternative measures of curbing inflation that doesn't just call for higher unemployment. Craig Renney - NZCTU economist Diana Russell - NZCTU policy analyst

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