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$3 Billion

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, July 31st, 2012 - 21 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, disaster - Tags: ,

The government unveiled their blueprint for Christchurch last night – beautifully in time for the 6 o’clock news, making it difficult for the media to organise covering the protests outside as they covered the story inside.  3 land owners who were positive about the plan were put up earlier to brief the media – those less positive, like Richard Peebles were still taking it in.

But in the TV coverage they were able to reveal that the government still has $3 billion on standby to purchase large amounts of land around the CBD.  $3 billion left out of the $5.5 billion that had been allocated to the rebuild.

That’s more than half the money spent while 30,000 people are desperate for housing.

That’s half the $6 billion Bill English ‘guesses’ we’ll get for Asset Sales (we’ll see if we get that much, particularly after costs & incentives…).

Are we selling off the family silver to buy a green strip around Christchurch?

Realistically we’re a low government debt (high personal debt…) country, we could fund proper housing and a green strip around Christchurch through a little extra debt and fix the structural deficit with a CGT, but this sends a terrible message about this government’s priorities.

I’m all for taking advantage of the rebuild to make Christchurch the world’s most liveable city, but this just shows National’s ideology up.

Even more so when they’re already pushing Christchurch City Council to sell their assets to pay for their share of the government’s grand plan – convention centre and all.

And if Christchurch are getting a big convention centre without socially-disastrous pokies, surely we should scrap the Auckland one?  Unless they want us to compete: cutting each other’s throats and wages to foreign corporates’ advantage like we do with our ports…

21 comments on “$3 Billion”

  1. Herodotus 1

    Bunji – you like many others believe that a CGT is the savor of this country. “round Christchurch through a little extra debt and fix the structural deficit with a CGT” you are misguided at best. The CGT that Labour were promoting (without any details because Labour had None!!) at the last election had more holes than swiss cheese.
    How can so many here on one hand decry that housing is over price (Which I agree) and then on the other hand expect to gain so much extra tax from this over priced housing to increase even more (which I question how property can increase given the macro environment that underpin NZ) ??
    http://www.interest.co.nz/property/54374/labour-run-capital-gains-tax-39-top-income-tax-rate-gst-fresh-fruit-and-vegetables-ta
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1107/S00170/labour-is-history-not-economists.htm
    Or have I missed something on how a CGT could fund this ?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      (without any details because Labour had None!!)

      Actually, they did. If they didn’t you wouldn’t be able to say the next bit had more holes than swiss cheese.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        I was referring to that there was to be post election “An expert’s panel would advise on the final design of the system, ”
        Yet there were already exemptions specified e.g. those poor blue collar family trusts that hold a bach/crib “The family bach would be caught by the tax, but only if it was sold. If it was handed down, no CGT would be paid.” Thus giving anyone with some sense to sell the crib to a family member at inflated/market price then selling to a 3rd party exempting themselves from paying any tax.
        So even Labour promoting a policy it did not have the system worked out, yet were able to produce what tax was to be collected !!!
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/5284934/Labour-reveals-its-capital-gains-tax-policy
        So tell me how Bunji is to fund his commitments by following a 2011 election pledge and how he/NZ is to fund this whilst we wait to collect this windfall?

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          Interesting. 
          “Sold to a family member” doesn’t mean “sold”? How does Australia deal with this denotational conundrum?
           

          • Herodotus 1.1.1.1.1

            Just following from the comment that was linked. There are some very smart accountants and lawyers that are paid extremely well to “protect” their clients. That is partially why the super rich increase their wealth at a far greater rate than you or I.
            So why were such exemptions catered for in the release of the policy? And I agree totally with you in that your example does mean SOLD !!!!!
            But I am digressing- I was wondering how Bunji was to fund this idea of his?
            Also why the insurance boys are not paying up on those in need. Should you or I miss a payment or 2 on our insurance they do not pay up, yet when an event that we are insured for happens that it could take over 5 yrs to be paid out
            http://www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz/blog/2012/7/3news-co-nz-insurers-deny-dragging-feet-in-canterbury

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So why were such exemptions catered for in the release of the policy? And I agree totally with you in that your example does mean SOLD !!!!!

               

              Actually, Australia has an exemption for death where the bequest is not taxed, but the property is valued at market rates at time of handover for if the inheritors subsequently sell (if I read my link correctly).
                   
              Doesn’t seem to hurt them too much. But then the semantics would be sorted out by the expert panel mentioned in your link. And loopholes that are subsequently found could be addressed as and when they come to prominence. 
                       
              Your protests of “full of holes” seem a bit highly strung. 
                   
              Agree about insurance companies, though. Same breed as bankers and exchange dealers.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2

          Better that a political party say they will get an expert panel to formulate their policy post-election, compared to National who just blunder on through with their financial plans that don’t make sense which have been roundly criticised by almost all financial commentators.

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.3

          “Yet there were already exemptions specified e.g. those poor blue collar family trusts that hold a bach/crib “The family bach would be caught by the tax, but only if it was sold. If it was handed down, no CGT would be paid.” Thus giving anyone with some sense to sell the crib to a family member at inflated/market price then selling to a 3rd party exempting themselves from paying any tax.
          So even Labour promoting a policy it did not have the system worked out, yet were able to produce what tax was to be collected !!!”

          Herodotus – what you’re describing is a tax-dodge.

          What do you think governments do with tax dodges? They close them down.

          So your “swiss cheese” argument is, well… it’s full of holes.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.4

          I didn’t say that it was a good policy but they did have details.

  2. Augustus 2

    I’d been wondering how they were going to get around the $100k limit for land value from EQC for high value properties.
    Eureka! We buy them out for a green strip. Sheer genius.

    • Herodotus 2.1

      http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/christchurch-properties-earmarked-acquisition-–-doubts-raised-ch-124760
      “Prices will be based on market values at the date the land is acquired rather than on rateable valuations, which was the formula used for residential red-zoned properties” Not sure how this can be manipulated to help those high value properties. Given past experiences when MOE acquired land I had some connection with. The added cost that had been incurred regarding obtaining consents were not taken into consideration as to the value attached to the land. SHould be a test for valuers to work out market value with no sales history !!!!

  3. fabregas4 3

    What ever happened to the donations (including my family and school community) made? I had imagined this would be used for folks in need. – not a convention centre and stadium for the rich.

  4. Steve 4

    yes it was…lovely…. the choreography on-top of the questionable geography…on-top of the still functioning geology. Warwick Issac the demolition guy has replaced the high vis vest and blue hard hat, for a sensible CERA (Ballentynes?)grey suit, he’s now putting it all back together. Like those blocks that roll backwards in the psychology experiment or the film run backwards as described in Slaughterhouse Five. Even more brilliant was good old Pete Townsend, who thinks we could have the best city in Australasia, although for a moment I thought I was back on old Manchester Street walking out of the new life church, incidentally, an old picture theatre, oh the rapture, he’s actually planning to live in the “new CDB” he’s so excited, by the new vision: the new vision…. a “blue print” that means “working drawings”, from a couple of centuries ago. Folks drew up boats, on blue paper in the 1800’s, but as with most things, now replaced by faster means and differing colours. The million dollar cost of the blue print included CGG as we flew overhead the new vision on the sex news with peter and psymon and blonde dolly, that’s not a blue print—that is a computer file. The covered stadium, looked like a Portuguese man of War, washed up on some hapless beach. Someone in the room piped up “who is going to keep that clean”…”how will the grass grow”..the shiny roof reflected sun rays thru and back, right to the CORE vision. Why, a blue print? We know it’s sad, but don’t you mean “Christchurch, Hard Disc Dreams”. We have all played Sim City, in that CGI world you make your own city with slim resources, pipes and water. You can even manage your emergency precinct. It was always not working when the fire, hospital, police and justice were all placed in the same precinct…hell yeah, when that CG earthquake rolled thru the game, all the roads broke, fires broke out and all services were caught in the Avon Loop. Terrible idea, look at Manukau, the cop station is right over the road from the Court, right beside Rainbows End.

  5. aerobubble 5

    weird radio interview, a business representative, in reply to the
    argument that productivity and wages are related so minimum
    wages should increase, counted that even the kids of the rich
    would get paid more when earning minimum wage. #!@#@@

    This when most managers argue they’ve
    earn their high bonuses despite not returning a stable national
    economy, without the necessary productivity growth!!!

    Is NZ business lobby deluded?? Do they continue to produce
    neo-liberal dogma, or what, off the cuff. Its a basic
    fact that higher wages nations increases demand and so grows
    the economy through multipliers, but lower wage nations where a
    few take huge bonuses
    actively reduces demand and the buying power of the masses.

    Chch new plan. Top down, super rushed committee, has put business
    before people. Sorry, but aren’t all great cities led by the people,
    how the people move through, how the people demand, builds the living
    city. That profit driven decisions are arse backwards, because
    say we over charge so much for seats in mega domes sport arenas, that
    somehow mega sports arenas ‘are’ us as a community. That because
    we are over charged, under paid, we somehow consent to our being
    over charged and under paid, and so consent to more of the same??

    Now don’t me wrong, I don’t want a top down socialist solution
    either, I would like a rational basis for ChCh rebuild. That
    ChCh re-building goes where the people are now, how the people
    are now, how the people demand now, how the people build the
    city now, despite all the calamity around them. That the central
    district should not be rewarded for producing so many shoddy
    buildings, that the same council processes that led to the CTV
    building collapse, even the same owners taking the cheapest
    design they could buy from the shameless building designers…

    ChCh rebuild plan, denies CHCh the opportunity to integrate
    the earthquake into itself. Do cities have rights like people,
    to grow organically and in response to their surroundings and
    their set backs?

    The Chch plan, is like the NZ plan, the reality of kiwis living
    in NZ is ignored, and a few get to play God, take charge.

    If the CBD wants the cash to rebuild, surely it should build
    cycleway, tram lines, light rail, to bring the passing trade
    and then, and only then has it justification for building
    and investing in public goods, like council and government
    under written stadiums. Its summed up for me, by a owner
    rebuilding of a heritage building only to find out it needs
    to be demolished as the high almighty have designed a new
    solution. where’s the invisible hand, where’s the market
    solutions (people demand), where’s the people’s city?

    This problem goes to the heart of the global crisis, a lot
    of balding fat men in committees seizing the invisible hand
    of the market as theirs, and then crushing that very hand.

    Markets are made from the masses of people, not some
    propaganda piece from a few media outlets choosing who gets
    to manufacture the consent. What’s wrong with CHCh becoming
    a number of towns for a few decades, and then growing a center,
    what’s the rush, I mean CHCh growth spread out over decades
    is better for all?
    i.e. should ChCh grow exponentially or organically?
    The plan on the table suggest a burst of activity that will create
    a ‘developer’ designed CBD while the people of CHCh have
    little say, since their collective effort, their habits, their
    needs, their demands, are dictated to them.

    And to another crisis of mismanagement, the housing sector,
    rewarding property speculators with tax free capital gains.
    Someone proposed a warranty for homes, why not, some
    naysayer suggested that home buyers did not have perfect knowledge
    about the homes they buy so would still be conned into taking
    the cheapest home package, and that builders like him who do
    a great job would not only be charging more for the warrenty
    but also be under cut by the cowboys. which is arse backwards,
    since it assumes that he isn’t a cowboy!! That NZ builders
    have perfect knowledge, leaky homes anyone!!! Like so many
    investment companies, big business elites who think bonuses
    work for the top end of town but not the bottom tail of society.
    when I buy a electronics device I get a instruction book.
    But when I buy a home, there’s nothing. How do you best care for
    your roof, or your timber framing home???? Sorry but our
    nation is designed by developers, for developers, and of developers
    only democracy, and why? because developers take their tax free
    representation to the bank, again and again, and then politicians
    declare that developers are making all the money despite decade
    on decade statistic showing we are failing to grow as much as
    we should, get the high wages our educated should be seeing…

    A CGT might won’t stop bubbles, or fraud, but at least when we
    do get bubbles they will be much much bigger, and when we do
    get fraud there will be masses more losses. Who said there
    wasn’t some silver lining in the low wage, damp leaky homes,
    poor investment opportunity economy, that it could have been
    so much worse, that we now are benefiting because we weren’t
    able to use neo-liberalism to decimate the NZ economy,
    despite all the trying of the business and media elites.
    There’s the core rub surely, that our home grown neo-liberals
    aren’t just stupid like all neo-liberals, they just more
    incapable than the average global neo-liberal. Stupid
    twats, they have to build a world class economy before they
    can trash it with their moronic economic visions.

    welcome to Nz, where bad governance is equally matched by its incapable
    weak uber neo-liberals. Is that why we accept Key’s far right policies,
    because he’s so damn pathetic it keeps us from harming ourselves
    overly. NZ the corp-pocracy.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    Screw the people . . . again.
     
    People need housing, not public monuments which can only be built by large construction companies (i.e., wealthy companies).
     
    The poor pay the taxes and live in the streets.  The wealthy take the tax money to build non-essential public monuments.
     
    People of Christchurch, take to the streets!  Block all downtown construction until the government provides you with homes.  Stand in front of the bulldozers.

  7. Carol 7

    And it seems that selling Christchurch assets are on the table for funding Gerry’s manic plan:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/0/6/2/50HansQ_20120801_00000006-6-Christchurch-Recovery-Potential-for-Sale.htm

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/canterbury-earthquake/112137/brownlee-admits-he-received-advice-on-christchurch-asset-sales

    The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister has been forced to concede he has received official advice on Christchurch City Council selling some of its assets to help pay for rebuilding the city.

    Gerry Brownlee has also indicated he supports the idea of selling the assets, saying the council has built up a strong set of books to provide for a rainy day.

    Mr Brownlee initially skirted around a parliamentary question from Green MP Eugenie Sage about whether he had received advice on the potential sale of council assets.

    But after being forced to concede he had, he then went on to suggest there would be discussions with the council about the matter.

    [SIGH] when will this nightmare of a government end?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      And it seems that selling Christchurch assets are on the table for funding Gerry’s manic plan:

      That was always going to be the case. The question that needs to be asked is Why aren’t the insurance companies paying for it? That is, after all, why insurance exists.

      The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister has been forced to concede he has received official advice on Christchurch City Council selling some of its assets to help pay for rebuilding the city.

      Those officials need to be fired for being too stupid to do their job with any competence.

      • ropata 7.1.1

        the earthquake was a bonanza for landlords with overvalued shitty old buildings in the CBD
        they don’t care about rebuilding; they took the money and pissed off to the GC
        (the skilled workforce was gravitating west towards the tech hub / university anyway)

        Bob Jones writes in the NZ Listener:

        Cities have many components – libraries, art galleries, council offices, theatres, halls and other public facilities. These comprise the indulgent element, paid for from the public purse. But they cannot exist in isolation and alone constitute a city. Rather, they emanate from the steady organic growth of a city centre’s commercial activities in the form of shops and offices. Christchurch’s retail heart was clearly in trouble, with empty shops abounding, while the remainder lived off office workers, who are now gone. The emergence of large suburban shopping centres killed off the CBD as a retail location, as has occurred in many cities throughout the Western world. New Zealand examples include Lower Hutt and, increasingly, Hamilton.

        For most CBD building owners, the devastation has proven a windfall. They have taken their insurance money and sensibly reinvested it in Auckland and Australia, as real-estate agents will readily confirm. Who can blame them?

        Furthermore, if the anecdotal evidence is accepted, most have received payouts based on replacement costs, which have been far in excess of their now-demolished buildings’ former market value. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee expressed concern at this capital flight in mid-April, but the owners are simply acting rationally. The rebuilding of Europe’s bomb destroyed cities after World War II took two decades, but even then it was only possible because those cities had sizeable populations, which meant an instant market for new offices and shops. That is not the case in Christchurch, aside from the financing and insuring difficulties.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    Are any of you from Christchurch?

    I am not and am not intimately acquainted with the details of this earthquake fiasco.

    Are there any community organizers working the streets of Christchurch? They would be the ones to help people organize protests for housing and the needs of the people (as opposed to the needs of the rich and their politicians).

    If you are from Christchurch and know of community leaders and organizers working with the citizens, please post here information about how we can help.

    It is one issue nationwide: Centralize decisions in the hands of the Parliamentary Dictatorship. Ignore the needs of the people but make sure the wealthy are secure. Raise regressive taxes on the masses. Cut taxes for the wealthy. Cut jobs, especially for workers and the middle class.

    Christchurch, your problems are the same as ours but the Dictatorship’s failure in your city is in the media spotlight and more graphic. If we can help you, you might start to turn the tide and thereby help all New Zealanders.

  9. Kevyn Miller 9

    If a catastrophic natural disaster of this scale (per capita) was to happen in Australia, USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, France or Germany their laws would compel federal/state governments to pay for almost the entire replacement cost for public buildings and infrastructure so that their would be a 50/50 cost split between taxpayers and ratepayers per capita. New Zealand law leaves it to the discretion of Cabinet whether to pay more than 60% of the costs. Since there are 20 taxpayers for Christchurch ratepayer that 60/40 split is costing ratepayers over $10,000 (GST inclusive), Canterburys insurers $4.5 in GST and costing non-Canterbury taxpayers just a few hundred dollars. Using that $3bn the way it would be in civilised countries would avoid sinking the City and its ratepayers in an ocean of debt at no cost to other taxpayers.

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    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    17 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    18 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    18 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    19 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    20 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    20 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    20 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    20 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    21 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    21 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    21 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    21 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    22 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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