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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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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    2 days ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    2 days ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
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  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    2 days ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
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    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
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    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
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    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
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  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    17 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    2 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    2 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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