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A fair waka-jumping law?

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 pm, December 6th, 2012 - 37 comments
Categories: political parties - Tags:

It’s back in the news with Brendan Horan, but what to do in a party-based system like MMP with an MP who is no longer in their party?

Many feel it is a problem for List MPs, but in truth most electorate MPs are there because of party rather than individual support as well.  If they leave their party, there is usually a feeling they should have a by-election to renew their mandate – and that option is open to them (as Hone and Tariana did).  Their mandate is local, so those locals can be polled again.

But a List MP’s mandate is national.  It’s often misinterpreted to be for the party they were elected with, but MPs are meant to represent all New Zealanders, not just those who voted for their party (even electorate MPs are meant to put the national interest over local desires, thus avoiding pork-barrel politics).

I doubt many of us desire a nationwide referendum on any MP who has a party dispute – and I’m sure the MP and the party would hate it…

One point I’d like to make that it is the party – not the caucus of a party – that gets MPs elected.  They select them for their electorates or the list.  So if an MP gets ejected from their caucus, that shouldn’t be seen as waka-jumping – when they leave or get ejected from their party that’s when any new law should be triggered.  If a caucus is running roughshod over party principles and one MP stands up for them, they should never be ejected from parliament for that.

Of course that could give the intriguing situation where the party ejects MPs it feels aren’t doing the job, even if caucus has no problem with them…  Which might be great, but as turkeys rarely vote for Christmas any waka-jumping law probably needs to be on ejection from both caucus and party.

And it should be for both list and electorate MPs.  Electorate MPs of course would have the chance to come back on a by-election.

The Herald has the idea of the Speaker deciding on a party’s application to have the MP removed.  I quite like that.

Except I’d have it that once a party (and okay, maybe caucus as well) ejects an MP they are out, unless they wish to appeal to the Speaker – who could then act as a judge, taking both sides case.

Does that seem a fair law?  It might cause an inconvenient by-election, but it treats all MPs equally, as MMP is meant to.  It provides an appeal for fair justice, and it keeps a party’s representation in the normal case.

37 comments on “A fair waka-jumping law?”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    I think people are over thinking this.

    MP gets elected.

    They are an elected mp, who holds their seat until

    i) the next election, or

    ii) they are found to be ineligible to be an mp.

    Shoehorning political disputes into ‘ii’, which is what people are talking about, isn’t something I would support.

    • Policy Parrot 1.1

      I have to agree with PB here. There is so much potential for misuse here. Party-hopping is obviously something that is not good as it runs counter to our party based system. However, once someone is in parliament, they are the representative, and the party name is but a moniker. People like Marilyn Waring or John A Lee would have been cast out of Parliament if they were list MPs because they stood up for their beliefs – is that really what we want?

      Note: None of the MPs who left their party because of a caucus dispute (other than ideological), or other self-indulgence (i.e. Frank Grover) have been reelected to parliament. Only those who have stood on a point of principle (i.e. Jim, Winston, Tari, Hone) have been reelected.

    • felix 1.2

      Yep to both Pb & PP above.

      When you vote for a list you’re voting for the people on that list.

      It’s really that simple.

      • Te Reo Putake 1.2.1

        Yep, though most people don’t know the names on the list beyond the party leader.

        • felix 1.2.1.1

          I don’t really see that as a flaw to be fixed in the electoral system.

          • Te Reo Putake 1.2.1.1.1

            Me neither. If voters really cared about the make up of the list they’d join the party they vote for and help determine the rankings.

      • Populuxe1 1.2.2

        I suspect that’s bullshit and most people vote out of tradition or on policy, particularly for the party vote. They may vote differently for their local MP, but you seem to have forgotten we have a two vote system.

        • felixviper 1.2.2.1

          People probably do, and that’s peoples’ own problem. If people won’t read a list/don’t care who’s on it then they can shut the fuck up about the MPs they get to represent them.

    • ianmac 1.3

      Pascal: I think people are over-thinking this.
      So true. What is wrong with us that the moment there is an oddity, we want to rush through a new law to “fix” the problem? Neither Mr Horan nor NZF benefit from the problem. It happens maybe once each term so there are more important issues to settle.

    • Ben Clark 1.4

      Between you and Andrew Geddis, I’m partly convinced we don’t want a law.

      It’s not ideal to have MPs who turn out not to be worthy of the privilege, and I’m trying to propose a law that can get rid of them without causing other (worse) side effects. Hence the necessity to alienate both party and caucus, and an appeal to the Speaker – who could see natural justice over a point of principle vs bringing parliament into disrepute and rule appropriately.

      It’s a line call for me if you can get the right law. And probably not a priority.

      • Crimson Nile 1.4.1

        Perhaps some issues could be avoided straight up by better vetting of list candidates before an election?

        • aerobubble 1.4.1.1

          I would disagree with any moves to introduce powers to remove MPs just because of alledged wrong doing. Surely the problem is that list MPs should have stood in a electorate and so gone through the character testing process. So just link list MPs to the vote they received. If Horan gets the most NZF votes then his standing in the NZF party might mean Peters getting the kick not the other way round. The list system keeps producing, due to the allure of list MPs for single seater parties, a line of parliamentary disrepute. Garrant, Banks, Hide. Even Dunne is a hollow figure in the parliament. So many small parties, such a fragmented electorate has insured that Dunne says a minister for over a ?decade?, that’s just wrong. List MP should be selected on the basis of their ability to get votes from voters, and that means standing in constituencies and their position being selected in the list of their party on that basis.

          If we want specialists in parliament then that’s called an upper chamber.

  2. Others oppose it but my experience as an activist causes me to believe there should be some way of making an MP leave if they go rogue.  Electorate MPs can force a by election and stand again’  List MPs should just go.  Activists did not work their butts off to provide rogue MPs with privilege.

    I appreciate the threshold should be difficult.  I thought a unanimous vote by the caucus should be required.  Ben’s suggestion that the Speaker sit as an appeal body has some attraction although I wonder what criteria he should apply. 

    • Ejection if they ‘go rogue’ from a Party? Absolutely not.

      MPs should agree to a code of conduct that generally lays out what they can be removed from parliament for, but that ought to have nothing to do with their party.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        If an MP gets kicked from a party for whatever reason then they no longer represent that party. If they’re a list MP then that party no longer has it’s proportion that it was voted on the party vote. This would indicate to me that they should leave so that the next member on the party list can take over so that that party maintains their proportionality.

        Now, an electorate MP is different as technically they were elected and not the party. This would mean that getting them thrown out of the party can’t get them thrown out of parliament. To me this would indicate that we need the electorate to have the power of recall so that the electorate can get rid of an under-performing MP.

        If an MP is found guilty in any court action they should be removed from parliament. In fact, I’m pretty sure that they are.

        • Tiresias 2.1.1.1

          I agree with DTB’s view that members on a party list are not directly elected. They have and hold their seats only to comprise in Parliament a refelection of the percentage of the national vote for that party. If they cease to represent that Party then Parliament no-longer properly reflects that national vote until they vacate the seat and is replaced by someone who does. That is the very essence of Proporional Representation. To leave or to be kicked out of the Party without resigning cocks a snook at the spirit of PR and the entire electorate who casts a perhaps carefully weighed tactical vote under its rules.

          However PR works at a Party level. Hence expulsion merely from a caucus or the withdrawal of a whip does not disturb that proportionality while the MP remains a member of the Party for which they stood. Indeed this is a useful limit on the power of a party leader (such as WP) who might not agree with the views or stance of a member who nevertheless retains sufficient support from the grass-roots of the party to avoid being expelled, thus preventing party leadership from devolving into a dictatorship.

          More problematic is the case of the elected MP expelled from his party, or who Waka-jumps. The spirit of PR is offended in exactly the same way yet the elected MP’s mandate is from the voters of his electorate and not any national proportionality. Can there be any other conclusion in such a situation under a Parliament mandated to represent the people on a proportional basis based on a tri-annual vote that the list members of the parties affected must be adjusted, with the party to which the MP jumps losing a list member and the party from which he jumps gaining one? I don’t see any alternative – it’s just an unforeseen consequence of PR. If individual MPs decide they can jump ship or be pushed out yet retain their seats the whole basis of Proportional Representation becomes yet another constitutional fiction to get up the peoples noses and discredit Parliament.

      • aerobubble 2.1.2

        List MP have no standing, no votes from voters and so are put into this invidious position.

        One seater parties have a real problem bring in new blood, Anderson, Banks, Dunne, Peters, all rely in some way or other on the list to get them oodles of unrepresentative power. Peters has essentially seven votes to his name, his other MPs are dutiful to his party dictatorship. Dunne has been minister in far to many governments to be independent or fearful of voter backlash. And let’s not even get started on the mess that is ACT. And then Anderson, his party disappeared the moment he did, emphasizing the fact that the current list regime provides to much unassailable power to single individuals.

        Horan is just another victim of the list.

  3. Skinny 3

    I agree with the Bookies sentiments.

     Some of us who were discontented with Goff’s Labour. When the tea cup saga unfolded NZF looked viable to get across the 5% threshold, adding punch to the opposition benches which is what Labour lacked last term. The deciding factor was Horan’s proactive stanch on a picket line in the early hours of a bloody freezing winters day. He did register a high party vote, so to a certain extent ‘he pulled votes’ the party may not have received. So stay on he can till proved guilty of a crime. 

    I don’t trust Peters for the next election so will actively slag him off when ever possible. 5% is going to be a tough ask next time Dimston.

  4. QoT 4

    It’s a tricky one, and I totally have sympathy with the idea that most electorate MPs are voted in for their party identity rather than purely for themselves … but on the other hand, when (say) Peter Dunne gets elected in Ohariu, people have ticked a box next to the name “Peter Dunne”. So you can wager that at least they don’t object to him personally enough to vote for someone else.

    Now someone (*cough*) may party-vote a certain way because there’s a particular person on the list who they really want to see in Parliament. It’s just a lot harder to measure or estimate that, so the safer bet, if we have to make one, is that they are there because they lucked out being high enough on their party’s list to be there.

    So personally, I’d prefer electorate MPs have the option to stay as independents, but list MPs don’t. It’s really just a gut feeling for me.

    • felix 4.1

      Hmmm. I’m not really comfortable with the idea that when we vote for a list of people we’re not actually voting for that list of people.

      • QoT 4.1.1

        The idea is that some people, sure, are voting for a list containing specific people. But a lot more are voting for a list with a specific title.

        I know that my 1 electorate vote will absolutely go to [insert candidate here]. But while I may hope that my 1 party vote contributes to #13 on [insert party here] getting into Parliament, I am not voting for #13, my vote does not go specifically towards person #13, my vote doesn’t get cancelled and re-assigned if only #12 gets into Parliament, etc.

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          Agree QoT.  I check the party list, then vote for them as a group, not any individual.  If one individual lets the side down, I am happy with the next person on the list replacing them.  That next person could also possibly have got in at the election, if the party had more votes.

        • felix 4.1.1.2

          The fact that there are people who are using the system badly – and probably against their own interests – doesn’t necessarily mean the system is broken. It might just mean there are people who need to learn more about how it’s supposed to work.

          Or to put it another way, if you only like one person on the list then maybe you want to think about whether that’s the right party for you.

          • QoT 4.1.1.2.1

            if you only like one person on the list then maybe you want to think about whether that’s the right party for you.

            … I’m not sure how that’s relevant to what I wrote. Yes, I may have a particular liking for a particular candidate, but I’m obviously not voting for a party on the basis of one candidate down the list. Or, if I were, it would be because all other options had been eliminated.

            • felix 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah that’s kinda what I mean. You’re voting for all the people on the list.

              I don’t see why just because one of them gets booted from their party that means you didn’t vote for them anymore.

              • QoT

                … but you didn’t vote for them. That’s my point. Your vote may have been influenced by individuals, but you didn’t vote for the individuals, because (unless as TRP says above you’ve joined the party and helped influence the list makeup) the list is at the whims of the party.

                Yes, I personally have been influenced by individuals. If those individuals left their party while in Parliament, I would still not think they had a right to claim a mandate, because their entrance to Parliament is literally contingent on membership of a specific party.

                Yes, this gets confusing because we can all name electorates which would elect a turnip if it wore the correct colour of rosette. But those individuals are still elected specifically under their own name. That’s the difference.

                • felix

                  “the list is at the whims of the party.”

                  Well yeah, it’s for the party to choose the list and it’s for voters to vote for the list that contains the people they most want representing them.

                  Otherwise what would be the point of publishing them before the election?

                  • QoT

                    But those people are united most simply on the basis of party affiliation. Yes, I am absolutely sure there are voters out there who vet every member of every list likely to get into Parliament, but on the other hand you’ve got Alamein Kopu, Gordon “what was I meant to be voting on again?” Copeland, and now Brendan Horan. All of whom the vast majority of people probably assumed were in Parliament because we haven’t perfected the technology of cloning Anderton/Dunne/Peters.

  5. Skinny 5

    Pretty much from the get go of MMP it’s been abused. 

    One example that really grates me is when a party candidate gets a shoe in ranking on the party list. Stands in a winnable electorate, puts in a half arse campaign, lose, don’t really care knowing full well they were in parliament win lose or draw.  Meanwhile someone who was prepared to put the work in to win that seat, gets given a hospital pass of a seat to stand in. 
    At first blush, maybe to circumvent this a party should be able to decide the List order of unsuccessful electorate candidates after the final count of votes?

  6. Matthew Hooton 6

    This is a difficult one.

    In theory, parties win party votes partly or largely because voters carefully analyse the party lists and choose the group of people they think are best to represent them in parliament. That is, in theory, National won a few extra party votes because Cam Calder was number 51 on the list and his contribution to the strength of the National Party list is a reason why John Key is prime minister.

    So, arguably, constitutionally, John Key or the National Party authorities shouldn’t be able to say we don’t like Mr Calder anymore and he is expelled from our caucus, knowing that would mean Mr Calder will be deemed to have resigned from parliament. The List MP does have, and should have, some independent identity from the party.

    This would particularly be the case in the event of broken promises. A case can be made that Winston Peters’ expulsion from the National caucus in the 1990s was because was trying to uphold the party manifesto and it was the leadership which had behaved badly by breaking manifesto commitments. Peters was protected because he was MP for Tauranga, but if MMP had been in place and Peters had been a list MP, it should have been difficult for Bolger, Birch and Richardson to get rid of him.

    Similarly, Anderton left Labour in the 1980s, also because he believed there had been broken promises. Had he been a list MP, waka-jumping legislation would have forced him out of parliament when, arguably, he was the only Labour MP at that time standing up for Labour values.

    So I wouldn’t want to see waka-jumping legislation introduced that would hand too much power to party bosses.

    Of course, the other side to this is the disgraceful behaviour of some of the NZ First MPs in 1998 and Kopu, so I can see why people are attracted to waka-jumping legislation.

    I don’t know which side of the argument I would ultimately come down on …. but my point is there is an argument to be had, so that it is not totally obvious Horan should have to go.

    • QoT 6.1

      This is a difficult one.

      Meaning no one’s currently paying you to express an opinion one way or the other?

  7. “Except I’d have it that once a party (and okay, maybe caucus as well) ejects an MP they are out, unless they wish to appeal to the Speaker – who could then act as a judge, taking both sides case.”

    I’m willing to bet a year’s salary that the Speaker (and the Clerk of the House) would oppose this suggestion with every fibre of his being. Giving the Speaker the power to determine whether or not a party has properly decided that one of its MPs has breached its own internal rules – or, more particularly, the power to tell a party that it has misapplied its own internal rules – would unavoidably politicise the role in a deeply undesirable way.

    Put it this way … imagine the proposed rule was in place last parliamentary term, and Chris Carter had gone to the Speaker (Lockwood Smith, a National Party MP) and said “Labour’s decision to kick me out was wrong”, and the Speaker (Lockwood Smith, a NATIONAL PARTY MP) had said “quite right – the Labour Party has overreacted here to your quite reasonable concerns about Phil Goff’s leadership, and so you get to stay on as an MP”, how happy would commentators on this site be that Labour is required to (in effect) lose an MP in the House ON THE SAY SO OF A NATIONAL PARTY MP?

    • Rich 7.1

      Which of course is a good argument to have an independent Speaker as in the UK?

    • aerobubble 7.2

      List Mps are second class MPs, they need a stronger mandate, and so should be selected on their party list on the basis of how many votes they get. Would Peters have still been the leader of NZF had the opportunity been available to other party members to beat him out of the biggest vote?
      Would Horan be so ineffectual had he had to garner a real mandate. Essentially all we are seeing is how, once again, NZ society locks in discriminatory marginalizing apartheid practices which significantly place some individuals in under privileged positions, and then we all get to cackle
      about how delinquent and talk about removing their basic rights as citizens. Horan just another NZ created bitch to be harasses by the caring law abiding majority?

      hey, what a surprise Geddis again not disputing the system inequities but rather pushing for new Geddis law ego trip.

      • Rich 7.2.1

        Getting a high number of electorate votes, in most parties, depends on where you stand.

        If the party favours a candidate, they’ll get Mangere (Lab) or Helensville (Nat). If not, it’ll be the other way round.

        And those of us who live in marginal seats will be represented by a string of mediocrities as nobody but first-timers without much clout will want to run.

  8. Rich 8

    If parties don’t want to have a problem with ‘rogue’ MPs, they should be more careful about how they select their list (and electorate) candidates. Most of the problem candidates have been ones that have been either nonentity proxies for their leader (like Horan) or because they were thought to bring a bag of money or votes.

    Elect the best people to the list, and the problem lessens.

  9. Descendant Of Smith 9

    One of the benefits of MMP was that it allowed you to vote for your best local MP and also vote for the party you wished based on their list.

    I know many who split their votes.

    In the first MMP election it was obvious most parties has people high up on their list to “attract” certain groups. Equally they put people high on the list who sat in safe seats who had a sense of well shit I’m there, campaigned half-heartedly and promptly lost some previously safe seats. Labour in particular did this.

    It was always going to end up with a few tears.

    Parties got a little wiser next time round but still need to get a little wiser.

    The parties should reap what they sow and jumping ship or being booted out of the party shouldn’t be a factor.

    If Horan has done wrong-doing and stolen money – which is really what the issue is – existing processes will deal with that if he is convicted of such.

    I see no good reason for Winston’s Peters decision to expel him from the party for whatever his reasons were to change the election result.

    Existing processes will work fine if he has done wrong.

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  • "Shoulder-tapping" vs public service values
    Another angle to the Shane Jones resignation: Mr Jones said he would leave Parliament next month after he was shoulder tapped by Foreign Minister Murray McCully for a new role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific. This is...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good news, but enemies remain within the party
    Shane Jones’ decision to leave Labour is to be celebrated. But we must be on our guard, because others within the party hold similar views. Now is not the time to be complacent!...
    Imperator Fish | 22-04
  • Some "democracy"
    The UK calls itself a democracy. But if you try and present a petition to your local representative, their constituency staff will call the police on you:David Cameron’s constituency office has come under fire for calling the police on the...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good riddance
    Last night, Shane Jones dropped the bombshell that he would be quitting Parliament and the Labour party to work as a "roving ambassador" for Murray McCully. Good riddance. While pegged from the beginning as a "future leader" and "high performer",...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves
    Like John Tamihere before him, Shane Jones entered Parliament burdened with the promise that he might be first Maori Prime Minister. That promise had probably left him before it emerged yesterday evening that he was walking away from politics, but...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the Shane Jones departure
    Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-04
  • Exit Jones, stage north
    I will miss having Shane Jones in the Labour tent. That isn't because I agree with him on everything. Disagreeing with people is part and parcel of party politics, especially in a party that aspires to be a broad church...
    Polity | 22-04
  • World News Brief, Wednesday April 23
    Top of the AgendaObama Begins Asia Trip to Reassert Pivot...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • Herald confirms our electric trains are quiet
    The Herald yesterday ran a story on just how quiet the new electric trains are. In a polar opposite there was a lot of noise on twitter about how the article was initially presented but after getting past that it...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • ‘I told ya so’ of the day, Shane Jones edition
    I got a bit of stick during the Labour leadership contest for my criticism of Shane Jones, so I have to indulge myself a little here. Now that we know this contender for the leadership of the Labour Party was...
    DimPost | 22-04
  • Warning to Labour; the heretic hunters are driving people away
    And Labour cannot keep Shane Jones and the people who support him unless it looks like a party capable of winning, and that means a party that is inclusive, focused on jobs, better pay, and on celebrating opportunities for all...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Coalitionally speaking – a look at scenarios on the right
    Back on my previous post, Alex Coleman asked me to stop looking at potential government variants on the left and look at what a National-led government would look like, especially (at least this is what I took him to mean)...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Here we may see what Men for Stealth and Robbing must endure …
    It seems a bit odd to be devoting a post to a policy proposal coming from a party with just 0.5% support in the opinion polls - a bit like taking seriously United Future's crowing over the victory it has just...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Keeping up with the Joneses pretty damn hard actually
    28/3/2014: Editorial: can Shane Jones save the Labour Party? 13 hours ago: Nat man co-funded Jones’ Labour bid 6 hours ago: Shane Jones’ loyalties questioned 19s: Shane Jones quitting – National creating role for him ‘Pacific Economic Ambassador’ Seriously, the...
    The little pakeha | 22-04
  • John Key Aspires to Mediocrity
    The Prime Ministers of New Zealand who have had lasting respect are the ones who have stood up on the global stage on points of principle. While we may be a small country and almost insignificant in a population sense,...
    Local Bodies | 22-04
  • Honouring our Pacific soldiers
    Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson and MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio, will pay a special tribute to the many Pacific Islanders who fought in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the First World War in a speech he is giving...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04