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A New Zealand for 100% of New Zealanders

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, April 26th, 2014 - 74 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

LEC CUnliffe January 27 2014 speech-4

The text of a very personal straight from the heart speech given by David Cunliffe today to Labour Youth.

You know, becoming the leader of a political party is a bit like becoming a first-time parent.

Children are like pirated software: they don’t come with a manual. Neither do political parties.

As a parent, nothing can prepare you for it. There is so much to learn. Like – How many times a day do you feed or change your baby? How hot do you make your baby’s bottle? How many blankets do babies need on a cold day? What do you do when your baby gets sick, cries, laughs?

As leader of a political party, you also learn on-the-job – and that sometimes occurs on TV! You don’t get everything right; you don’t know it all; you have to deal with random events that occur with little warning and over which you have limited control.

Both roles are hard work and have enormous challenges. But in the end, what really matters is your passion and commitment and love for what you are doing and who you are doing it for. That is what sustains you and remains unwavering regardless.

In this room, we have a common passion and commitment for the New Zealand Labour Party.

It is strong and unwavering and resolute.

Despite the knockers and the critics, the pundits and the commentators, and all those people who try to pull us apart and try to bring us down.

The Labour movement is founded on great values and a sense of history.

Our party is a broad church, but we are one church.

We are diverse, but we are one team with one mission and one unity of purpose.

We speak to the vulnerable, and to hard working middle New Zealand, because we are passsionate about people. All our people.

That is clearly demonstrated in the difference between Young Labour and the Young Nats.

The Young Nats are happy for 10 percent of the population to control 90 percent of the wealth. They don’t mind because they’re mostly part of that 10 percent – or don’t care.

We have seen them watch from the balcony in their tuxedoes and ball gowns, while protestors outside voice the anger of people who are suffering. The Young Nats don’t understand or care.

Young Labour, all of you in this room, embody the values of 100 years of a Labour movement. You believe that opportunity should apply to 100% of Kiwis. You care when people are hurting. You are there to serve.

It is an important distinction because we are five months out from an election that will define New Zealand’s future. And, importantly, an election that will define your future.

When I ran for the leadership of the Labour Party I said: “I refuse to stand by and let this generation of young New Zealanders become part of the first generation to do worse than their parents in this country.”

But that is the reality in New Zealand today. Unless we change things, you will be worse off than your parents.

I am ashamed of that. And I will continue to be ashamed of it until we are on the Government benches and we can do something to fix it.

That is why it is so important we win this September’s election.

That is why I am not going to muck around.

There will be strong words, and I make no apology for that.

Because we are five months out from an election that will define our people’s future: Your future.

Building on our Labour Values

The Labour Party is built on New Zealand’s values of fairness, decency and inclusiveness.

Yesterday was ANZAC day – a day when, no matter who you are or how long you have been here, our nation commemorates the values that generations of New Zealanders have fought for.

At my local RSA, I spoke of my Grandfather Bob Tuke, who fought in World War One.

Although his letters home understated it, he lived in constant fear; he lived with lice, damp and dysentery. He watched his friends die in France, Egypt and Gallipoli.

He was awarded a Military Medal for valour, but hardly mentioned it to his family.

When he went to war, he was younger than most of the people in this room. He was barely old enough to vote. The decision to send him to war was made by others. He wasn’t consulted.

And yet, my grandfather came back from war with the absolute determination that future generations would never have to suffer the way he and his friends suffered.

World War One was supposed to make the world a better place, but our soldiers came back to a country where there were few jobs and little support from the Government.

It was a different world from today – where we have an expectation that if you break your leg, the Government will provide an ambulance and a hospital. And where we have an expectation that if there is no job, the Government will be there to provide a safety net and a hand up.

My grandfather’s generation had no such security. If they couldn’t work, they effectively starved. People often died young of preventable diseases. Women died in childbirth simply because they didn’t get basic medical care.

That is why many returned servicemen joined the original Labour Party.

They came from lots of different backgrounds and viewpoints but they understood that when the least fortunate do better, all of New Zealand does better.

Most the great things we take for granted today were won by the Labour Party.

The eight-hour day. Comprehensive, state-funded medical care. A decent education. Decent, affordable homes.

Fairness for 100 percent of New Zealanders. Not just a small proportion.

In 2014, we are fighting for the same values and the same vision that my grandfather’s generation came back from war to fight for nearly 100 years ago.

I find that sobering.

Fairness for 100 percent of New Zealanders

Fairness for 100 percent of New Zealanders. Not just a small proportion.

That is why I threw my hat in the ring to become the leader of the Labour Party.

I am in politics because I have a passionate belief that every single person matters.

That we are all worth the same.

I believe that our people are a community, not a commodity.

I believe that when the least fortunate of us does better, we all do better.

I believe that in this great country no-one should be left out or left behind.

That we should be judged by how we treat the most vulnerable.

Since becoming leader, I have travelled around New Zealand a lot and found that everything we, as Labour people believe in, everything we’ve fought for over the past 100 years is being threatened by a Government that has turned its back on hard working New Zealanders and has stopped listening.

The National Party is intent on cutting deals for its big business mates and kowtowing to powerful foreign interests. Because of all that, we have a Government that it is not only willing but actively working to sacrifice so much of what we hold dear.

That is not Labour’s vision and as leader I can tell you it is not acceptable to me.

All over our country, I find New Zealanders living lives of quiet courage: grinding on a treadmill where they can barely make ends meet and can never get ahead.

Like the nurse aid I met who earns $525 a week in the hand, pays $400 a week renting a two-bedroom house in Auckland; and feeds, clothes and supports herself and her two teenage sons on the $125 a week she has left.

She cried when she told me how worried she was, because if she works more hours she doesn’t see her kids and they’d go off the rails.

So she grinds on, toughing it out. That is guts. That is valour. Every week.

Or the family in Kelston I visited living in a garage. Mum, Dad and two high school age girls. Mum had part-time work, Dad had none. My electorate team helped him find a job. They were able to move into their own modest rented home (the state housing stock had been decimated).

The kids did well at school. The elder sister got a scholarship to Auckland University, where she had to pay foreign student fees. She lost a year. She will have a mountain of debt. The same debt mountain many of you will have. If you can get a loan at all, especially as a postgrad – and we are going to fix that!

We have too many children who are getting sick because they live in cold, damp, cramped houses with black mould growing up the walls. Sometimes owned by speculators who just push the rent up while getting rich on tax-free capital gains.

Is that ok?

And at the same time, we have shoddy state houses that go unrepaired while the Government rips a fortune out of Housing NZ off the back of the Christchurch rebuild.

We are becoming two New Zealands – a country of ghettos and a country of gated communities.

Is that ok?

This is not a “Brighter Future”; this is a powder keg.

A “rock star economy” where a few live like stars (until the bubble bursts), but most just eat rocks.

What is fair or decent or Kiwi about that?

Is it any wonder that in the last election a million of our people did not even bother to vote?

Where is their “recovery”?

Changing Our Future

Think of the people I have just described. Think of your own family and friends that are doing it tough.

Why should they care when politicians score political points in a beltway game that looks and smells like politics-as-usual?

I believe that politics-as-usual has failed New Zealanders. And we have to change that.

That a prosperous future for New Zealand won’t be built the same way as the past.

That it is not enough to work for our people, we have to work with them.

And that the only way for us to transform our future is to first transform ourselves.
Everyone in the New Zealand Labour Party has a shared vision to rebuild our society so that everybody – not just a lucky few – get the chance to succeed and make the best of their potential.

After September, we will make New Zealand a fairer place by strengthening and supporting the most vulnerable members of our society and by giving every young Kiwi a fair chance.

By strengthening, not shrinking, the right of every New Zealander to have a warm, comfortable home.

By strengthening, not shrinking, support for our Universities, schools and hospitals.

And, above all, by strengthening a high-value, high knowledge, sustainable economy that will create the jobs for our graduates and value in our economy that we can all share.

Your Labour Party is going to protect all New Zealanders and reclaim the future for your generation.

I said at conference last year that it was going to be hard work. We have to work harder this election than we have ever fought before.

We have to fight the National Party’s millions of dollars with our thousands of voices. And we have to win.

I promise you that I am here to fight for change. I did not get elected leader to just worry about the polls or who is saying what down the road in Parliament.

But change is not a spectator sport.

Our opponents are counting on young people like you, your classmates, friends and flatmates to stay home in September.

They are betting on the apathy of young people like you. They are counting on your silence. We need to prove them wrong.

We need to fight for a future you are proud to be part of.

Because our future is not written for us, it is written by us. And power to shape that future is in your hands.

I want to congratulate Young Labour on the leading role you are already playing in helping to build our largest, most grassroots campaign ever.

This afternoon I know everyone in this room is getting on a bus for an afternoon of door-knocking and getting Labour’s vision out there.

The conversations you will have today are part of hundreds and thousands of personal contacts we are having all around the country.

But we need your ongoing help to win this election.

We need you to commit to vote.

We need you to continue to make phone calls and to knock on doors and talk to neighbours and share your passion and energy and enthusiasm.

That is how we are going to win this election. That is how we are going to change New Zealand

A grassroots movement for change, built on the progressive values that New Zealanders hold dear.

This election is not about what we have done, it is about what we have yet to do.

Together, we will build the fairest, most decent society in the world.

74 comments on “A New Zealand for 100% of New Zealanders”

  1. karol 1

    That’s inspiring stuff. I hope Labour does roll out some policies that will achieve the aims of working for the most vulnerable, the need for more state housing, etc.

    But, meanwhile, this:

    We have to fight the National Party’s millions of dollars with our thousands of voices. And we have to win.
    […]
    A grassroots movement for change, built on the progressive values that New Zealanders hold dear.

    This election is not about what we have done, it is about what we have yet to do.

    Together, we will build the fairest, most decent society in the world.

    • Olwyn 1.1

      I agree, it is an inspiring speech. And I also agree that significant change can only come from grass roots engagement. The right wing shills are constantly pushing for a neutralised or non-existent left, and it is up to us to make sure that their endeavour fails. We need to do what we can, wherever we live, to get potential left-leaning voters to come out and vote.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        But Labour is still going to make all these young people work more years (or stay unemployed more years) than their parents by raising the retirement age, right? Great.

        • Ant 1.1.1.1

          Is raising the super age actually a big deal to many young people? I’m not convinced…However, it seems to activate the knee jerk reaction for older people where super is a political ‘no fly zone’.

          • lurgee 1.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think it is such a big deal. how about …

            Over 50 – 65
            40-49 – 66 (me)
            30-39 – 67
            20-29 – 68
            11-20 – TBC

            that’s obviously spurious, but it has the advantage of being simple.

            I think people understand that people will have to work longer and would quite like to have things sorted out now, rather than left until the last minute and botched.

        • anker 1.1.1.2

          CV……….if us Boomers are working till 67 years, that means those young people will be paying less for our super.

          One thing is this age of retirement debate that often gets left out, is it is the young who will have to fund those extra two years if we don’t shift the age to 67 years.

          Don’t get me wrong I am not necessarily saying I agree with raising the retirement age.

          But the people least likely to benefit from it staying at 65 are young people. Most people I know heading towards 65 years are going to stay on in their jobs a while as well as collecting the pension

          • karol 1.1.1.2.1

            If people continue in full time work and collect super, they’ll most likely lose most of the income gain in taxes.

            • jcuknz 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I have always said that Karol but without any facts to support my gut feeeling on the matter.

              In view of the employment situation facing somebody made redundant shortly before sixty … pretty grim as I found out myself … I think it should be accepted that people want to work for the empowering aspects of it and enable those who for whatever reason cannot work retire from the age of fifty.

              It is completely inhuman to expect somebody worn out by a life of hard manual work to work another two or more years before they get the pension …. some are advocating 70 as the retirement age.

          • Ergo Robertina 1.1.1.2.2

            It’s only late boomers who are affected anker, so the generational fairness argument doesn’t apply.
            The policy will end up being more expensive than retaining universality, because of all the exemptions needed.

          • blue leopard 1.1.1.2.3

            @ Anker,

            I wouldn’t worry about the younger having to pay for our retirement – a large amount of them don’t have jobs, so perhaps that matter ought to be sorted out first.

            Generally when there are less workers around, wages [are supposed to] go up. Perhaps that is why there is such a ‘concern’ re the amounts of oldies – less concern re oldies, more a genuine concern about having to pay higher wages coming from those who want to keep all the profits in their own grubby little hands.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.3.1

              +1

              That would be the main concern I suspect. We all know that all that really needs to happen so as to be able to afford Super is a slight rise in taxes.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.4

            Most people I know heading towards 65 years are going to stay on in their jobs a while as well as collecting the pension

            And that is why a Universal Income works. People will ‘retire’ pretty much when they feel like it. Most people, I suspect, would just continue working as long as they could.

        • Olwyn 1.1.1.3

          I am not too happy with the raising of the pension age, nor was I happy to see Labour supporting the recent two social welfare amendments. At the same time, I am reminded of Roosevelt’s “Make me do it” call. If the left block does not succeed in this election, the claim will be that Labour tried left and NZ didn’t like it, and we will be back to square one. For this reason, if for no other, we must do what we can to get the left voters out in droves. With Cunliffe as leader, at least the door is ajar for moving further left. It is up to us to push it open.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.3.1

            +100

          • Mary 1.1.1.3.2

            I’d really like to share your optimism, but how do you do that or expect that to happen when Labour keeps crapping on people, such as with the two social welfare amendments you refer to that Labour voted for? (By the way, I know about the Bill that extends criminality to partners of beneficiaries without the need for knowledge of the offending and that also removes the power not to recover debt, but what was the other one?)

            I’m more of the view that the rot is too deep and that if Labour is ever going to come right it needs to be destroyed at this election in the same way the nats were in 2002. It’s the only way we can try to regain some semblance of a true left party. I’d like to see Labour get trounced so badly it’s reduced to being regarded as a minor party. It is time to convey nothing but complete and utter disdain for Labour because nothing less has the slimmest chance of making them understand. That’s how bad Labour’s become.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.3.2.1

              The ‘we had to bomb the village in order to save it’ theory of political philosophy.

            • Ant 1.1.1.3.2.2

              The democratic measures that have been introduced seem to be doing the trick, the party will be sorted out over the next few years, it is already doing a lot better.

            • Olwyn 1.1.1.3.2.3

              Hi Mary – sorry, I took the two aspects of the one amendment you mention to be two. If you think Labour is irredeemable (and for myself I am not ready to surrender to that thought at this stage), then there are the Greens or Mana to support. If the left is allowed to be destroyed, it will take a long time and a lot more social harm for it to be rebuilt to an effective level. Hence I think it is better to maintain the structures we still have. Which is a long winded way of saying what Red Logix has said.

              • Mary

                It’s not about destroying the Left, it’s about abandoning hope that Labour is still part of the Left. This is very different to what RedLogix was suggesting. Nobody’s saying the Left should be destroyed, far from it.

                • Olwyn

                  Well, Red Logix mentioned the “burn the village to save the village theory,” though he did not go on to say whether or not he thought it a good idea. As I see it, Labour is still a part of the left’s structure. You seem to think it is no longer part of the left at all – that it has effectively gone the way of the Liberals already – that all that is needed is a grand coalition with National to keep the Green/Mana riff-raff out, for their true status to be there for all to see. On one hand I am a bit more optimistic than you – I still think Labour can be pushed leftward with enough people pushing. On the other hand, I am more pessimistic about a new left party gaining traction quickly enough.

                  • Mary

                    “I still think Labour can be pushed leftward with enough people pushing.”

                    Labour is at the moment smug in its belief that those on the Left will not abandon it. They think that the Left will always be there regardless of what they do. And Labour is correct about that at the moment. People joke about how John Key could eat a baby and people would still vote for him. Well Labour’s doing precisely that now. It’s eating the poor but the Left just keep on hanging in there saying things like “at least they’re better than the alternative”. Really? Are they? You say above that if “the left is allowed to be destroyed, it will take a long time and a lot more social harm for it to be rebuilt to an effective level.” While I’m not talking about destroying the Left, what less harm has Labour’s policies done to the marginalised and disenfranchised? While in government from 1999 Labour introduced a whole stack of anti-poor legislation before it handed the baton to National to continue its handy work. When in opposition Labour does not stand up against the Key/Bennett/Collins bashing machine which just gives the right-wing a free pass. Labour even gives it a hand along the way like what we’ve seen recently which is just astounding. There’s no evidence that Labour will change which together with history says that currently they have no intention of changing. There’s now even hard evidence that they will not change because they’re quite happy to support Key/Bennett et al pass appallingly anti-beneficiary-anti-citizen-hatred of the poor-driven legislation. That’s why it’s time the Left needs to tell Labour not to rely on its support because it’s only with that support that it feels confident continuing to crap on the most vulnerable.

              • greywarbler

                You and RL Olwyn are being appropriately pragmatic. And your reasons are utterly sound, that’s the only way to look at the matter. In the past I’ve got irritated or angry at something that has been changed, and found it not for the better.

                ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ is a sad song we don’t want to sing. Just have to keep firing little love darts at Labour. The little pricks will get it going in the Left direction.

        • David H 1.1.1.4

          @ CV And here’s you supposed to be a Labour Candidate. You are starting to sound like all the other nay sayers. So like Shane bloody Jones, if you don’t like it. Leave.!

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.4.1

            Meh. I’m a Labour Party member, not a Labour Party follower. Learn the difference.

            Secondly, do you support increasing the labour pool even further by increasing the retirement age, even when there are already no where near enough full time jobs to go around?

            Thirdly Maori and Pasifika men are the ones who will be most descriminated against by the increase in Super eligibility age. Just look at Parekura Horomia – died at 62 years of age before collecting a single cent of NZ super. Are you OK with that.

            • David H 1.1.1.4.1.1

              It’s nothing to do with that at all
              the FACTS are these

              1 Haven’t You have accepted the chance to be a be a Labour Party politician in the 2014 Labour Govt.

              2 Then this, like it or not is policy. made by the higher ups.

              3 Ans as a politician like it or not you will have to campaign on it.

              Now as I am at the age 58 I will get caught up in the Later dates I think, and I accept that as part of having a Labour Government.

              I am not happy that Maori, or anyone else dying before they are 65, 66, 67, or what ever. But mainly that is Medical or Accident neither is wanted, but there is very little that can be done if people don’t change their habits. Now I don’t want to get into an argument over weight issues that the polynesian people have. (And the damage that Ryall and the Nats have done to our medical system.) As people make bad choices, there is very little that can be done to force people to change. You have to educate people and if they don’t want to listen, then that’s up to them.

              “Just look at Parekura Horomia – died at 62 years of age before collecting a single cent of NZ super. Are you OK with that.”

              No I am not. But lets be honest here and I am not denigrating his memory in any way, but Parekura was way over weight, and he knew it.

              Now as for increasing the Labour pool. I have said before on (this site) that when people are close to retirement they should be given an apprentice, that they can train in not only the job, but in vital life skills. And as a hell of a lot of our young are from single parent (mother) households, then they would benefit from having someone older to talk to, who could offer advice on the millions of things they know, and that he kids are just getting into.

              So right or wrong there you go that’s the way I am looking at things

        • poem 1.1.1.5

          Colonial Viper, a 2 year increase over a 20 year period, is not earth shattering, there’s a certain amount of flexibility built in to it and it allows plenty of time for adjustment. Arent people having to work longer, or have found themselves in a position where they have had to return back to work now?

    • Bill 1.2

      Oh dear.

      The thing about hierarchical institutions or structures talking about grassroots movements is that they have not a clue about grassroots movements (hint: it isn’t door knocking) or how to initiate them and can never be an integral part of them if and when they do form. But maybe I’ve missed something and there’s actually a groundswell of grassroots activity talking about and acting on these somewhat nebulous values that are mentioned?

      The really sad bit is that I suspect Labour needed to tap into a groundswell of grassroots sentiments. But the notion that thousands and thousands of people will magically appear over the next few months on the back of a politicians pleas (no matter how honourable) is, well…it just ain’t going to be happening.

  2. Disraeli Gladstone 2

    “I’m talking to young people. I best make a reference to internet piracy straight away!”

    • Phil 2.1

      Children are like pirated software: they don’t come with a manual. Neither do political parties.

      In my experience, it’s MUCH easier to download the manual than to download the software.
      I’m sure there’s a metaphor for raising children in that as well .

  3. finbar 3

    Speaking to fire up the youth converts is a easy thing to do,not saying that his words had no care and social conection of fairness,however, Kennedy leaning.
    Seen Kelvin Davis, this morning,a green new skin to politic and its skill,under the spot light and rambling,like also Labours present leader, has been guilty of,not understanding ,that at times, less is more.

    The marathon is in its training stage,the race, ten days toward the final result.Lets hope we are registerd to participtate.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Seen Kelvin Davis, this morning,a green new skin to politic

      Kelvin Davis has served a full term as MP in Parliament and has run for Te Tai Tokerau 3 times (unsuccessfully) against Hone.

      Although not a veteran politician he is not new to politics in the slightest.

  4. The Left’s oft expressed opinion that the Nats (or for that matter anyone who is not a leftist ) don’t care about “the poor” is nothing but a stark example of the immaturity that characterises their political thinking.

    Nobody on the so called right wants to see anyone locked into poverty. We want everyone to have equal opportunity to develop their own destiny.

    We are also able to face reality. That reality being that wealth redistribution by government decree fosters dependancy and white ants the work ethic.

    In fact it is misguided left wing polices that trap people in poverty. See USA. See Democrats. See ghettos. See Barack Obama. See more poor people in US than ever before.

    See Venezuela.

    See Cuba.

    See Nth Korea.

    See Sweden in the future.

    See Norway when the oil runs out.

    Believing that the left are the only political group with the welfare of others at heart is childish, and that the left consistently think like this demonstrates why their actions are also consistently counter productive. They just have no grasp on reality and they cannot think like grown ups.

    Quite surprising of Cunliffe to hint that he understands this truth.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      So RB how about those 280,000 kids in poverty. What is the Government doing about them? And your mention of scandinavian countries is somewhat cute. Because they are doing very well despite your wish that they crash and burn.

      • Redbaiter 4.1.1

        Mick, at the moment all Norway is doing well, including children, because of oil drilling.

        Pity the coalition partner you are going to give Ministries to won’t allow it.

        That’s the real question you need to deal with. How will partnering with the job and investment killing Greens help in bringing those kids out of poverty?

        Not in Green la la land mate, but in reality?

        • blue leopard 4.1.1.1

          Nope, the real question in this conversation is how does one such as yourself manage to draw such bizarre conclusions about a party that aims to keep our environment healthy.

        • Jackal 4.1.1.2

          Perhaps you mean they don’t want any new drilling for oil in deep waters because there are safety issues?

          You might not be aware that renewable energy industries such as solar and wind power create around five times as many jobs as fossil fuel industries for the same amount of investment. That’s the reality you seem to be at pains to ignore Redbaiter.

          I think the Greens want to reduce New Zealand’s dependency on polluting forms of energy in favour of the gradual implementation of a clean and green economy. Quite frankly I don’t understand why you would be against such a progressive policy direction?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.3

          Mick, at the moment all Norway is doing well, including children, because of oil drilling.

          So you would advocate for all oil ventures in NZ to be majority Government owned, just like in Norway?

          That’s very socialist of you mate.

          • Redbaiter 4.1.1.3.1

            You know the old saying about socialism and other people’s money don’t you Viper? Norway is “doing well” in the short term but read a bit about it. Killing the work ethic and other serious downsides. The excrement will hit the fan there when the oil runs dry.

            • georgecom 4.1.1.3.1.1

              Britain under a succession of neo-liberal economic governments. They are doing well eh redbait. Oh, they are not? Their oil running out is it?

            • georgecom 4.1.1.3.1.2

              Britain under a succession of neo-liberal economic governments. They are doing well eh redbait. Oh, they are not? Their oil running out is it?

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.3.1.3

              Killing the work ethic and other serious downsides. The excrement will hit the fan there when the oil runs dry.

              Huh?

              Norway took the advice of Iraqi oil expert Farouk Al-kasim in the 1970’s and hence managed their North Sea oil wealth completely different to the UK.

              The Government kept a tight ownership of how that oil was used and where the funds were applied. Whereas the UK fields are just about all over, Norway has many years of extraction left ahead of it.

              And the resulting Sovereign wealth fund, now roughly a trillion dollars worth, ensures that Norway will be sweet when the oil runs out – because it’s already all been planned and prepared for by the state.

            • greywarbler 4.1.1.3.1.4

              The work ethic. I think that was first cited in scrolls of Egyptian scribes when describing the worth of various slaves on the pyramids wasn’t it.

    • Of course you have to say ‘Sweden in the future’ and ‘Norway when the oil runs out’ to inoculate your ridiculous argument against the obvious rebuttals.

    • See Sweden in the future.

      Is it the voices in your head that tell you Sweden’s future, or do you have some equipment (entrails, crystal ball etc)?

    • Jackal 4.4

      If the right wing care so much about the poor ReBaiter, why do the statistics show such a broad range of worsening conditions for the poor under right wing governments?

      You might not be aware that childhood poverty has increased under this National government so that 265,000 children are now being deprived of the basic necessities of life. But instead of actually doing anything about it, people like yourself prefer to blame the victims of a failed system that locks people into poverty. It’s all their fault you say, when the issue is far more complex.

      The reality is that the system creates dependency by removing opportunities for people to become self-sufficient. This societal dysfunction can be as inhumane as restricting a child’s ability to learn because they’re suffering from respiratory and infectious diseases associated with living in damp and overcrowded houses. It can be as insidious as artificially maintaining a certain percentage of unemployed just to keep wages low.

      In my opinion, the only thing white anting the work ethic in New Zealand is a lack of proper remuneration for workers. We as a nation are overworked and underpaid, mainly because of the right wings failed neoliberal agenda.

      Increasing equal opportunity for everybody irrespective of their or their families wealth is the only way to reduce the amount of redistribution required. To reduce wealth redistribution without first ensuring there is an even playing field will simply cause further widespread social harm. Anybody who believes themselves immune to increasing social dysfunction because of the right wings war on the poor is a fool…which pretty much sums up RedBaiter.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.4.1

        Good points Jackal,

        I have a feeling that when Red Baiter referred to ‘not wanting to lock anyone into poverty’ the ‘anyone’ in that sentence was referring to ‘those who have wealth’ because I get the impression that the people really without much resources are considered sub-human – almost beneath contempt* by such types as Red Baiter appears to be representing (*but not quite, because bashing such types is one of their sports)

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      In fact it is misguided left wing polices that trap people in poverty. See USA. See Democrats. See ghettos. See Barack Obama. See more poor people in US than ever before.

      Yeah, that would be because of all the RWNJ policies that they enact.

    • georgecom 4.6

      Yes redbait, more poor people in the US. 2008 took care of any hopes for the future those people had eh. Your deregulated markets and neo-liberal mantra did real well for them, didnt it.

      Cuba & North Korea followed a state socialist model that was riddled with contradictions.

  5. Ad 5

    The Chamber of Commerce speech was way better.

    This youth one, like the childcare one 3 months back starts with a most awkward metaphor that does not resolve into an actual point later on. The childcare one started with an extended riff about he and his son going up a Nelson mountain. This one had a bizarre “being a party leader is like raising a child” thing which was poorly chosen for a youth audience, and was similarly pointless.

    They felt like trademark last-minute Cunliffe drop-ins.

    Also, no repeatable quotes for the news, no jokes, no set-ups, very brief anecdotes that barely mentioned the kind of aufience in front of him, and only inviting his audience in 4/5 of the way through. And then begging for more work from them. Needs to be subtler than that. And continue eradicating that patrician instinct.

    Hope his speechwriter vastly decreases the number of polishing hands involved, keeps the freshness, and unleashes more quotable zingers.

  6. Tanz 6

    I have read articles that Sweden will be a third world country in just over a decade. They have trashed their traditions, just as NZ is doing…slipperly slope is getting faster.

    • Articles? Cool! You’ll be able to link to some of them, won’t you?

      • Redbaiter 6.1.1

        You people are always asking for links to commonly know information.

        Why don’t you read something besides left wing propaganda now and again.

        FFS, children who know nothing unless it is pointed out to them by adults.

        Here’s a clue. Just type “Sweden a future third world nation” into any search engine. Its a UN report.

        So lazy and always expecting so much from others while contributing so little themselves.

        • Hamish 6.1.1.1

          Hey Redbaiter, it’s common knowledge that you’re a stupid piece of shit but even so, I’ll still provide a link for you.

          Here you go:
          http://thestandard.org.nz/a-new-zealand-for-100-of-new-zealanders/#comment-804851

          Now go learn some fucking manners, shit-for-brains.

          • jcuknz 6.1.1.1.1

            Hamish … I am reminded of the saying “It takes one to know one”
            One of the problems of expressing one’s quite justified anger in intemperate ways.

            Of the 286,000 children in poverty one should ask the previous Labour government what they did to stop the slide starting becuase I am sure it didn’t happen under the current government and unlike Labour they have largely maintained our system through a global financial crisis I believe and am thankful to them for not following the extreme rightwing policy of austerity found in europe.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The Oravida government is too busy following the US model to imitate Europe.

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.2

          Well I’ve read the UN report you link refer to. Which is possibly more than you have been bothered to do.

          It’s titled A Hypothetical Cohort Model of Human Development.

          Searching on the word “Sweden” in the document gives just two hits. Neither give any detail or justification for the data given. If you are looking for any understanding of why Sweden has this anomalous result you won’t find it here.

          A very thin foundation for the elaborate structure you are attempting to raise on it RB.

          • miravox 6.1.1.2.1

            Thanks for finding the report, RL, I won’t be looking at any of the other links that come up in that google search. All white supremacist, or close to it.

            The funniest thing though, is that Sweden has left progressive social democratic principles behind in favour of the neoliberal doctrine. So if Rb and co are correct that Sweden is predicted to be a third world nation is not for the reasons they think.

        • Mary 6.1.1.3

          Okay, now you type in “free market poverty”.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.4

          You people are always asking for links to commonly know information.

          That’s because we know that the RWNJs make shit up more than actually state truth or facts and when called on it whinge and call people names. Oh, that would be what you just did.

      • miravox 6.1.2

        Tanz may just be correct seeing as Sweden drank the neoliberal Koolaid quite some time ago.

        …In the 1990s, neoliberal policies were expanded. Another round of currency devaluation boosted the export sector, whose share of the GDP increased from 29.8% in 1990 to 51.3% in 2006. Following the speculative attacks on the krona, the Swedish government floated the currency in November 1992 (Jonung 2011). The government also embarked on austerity measures to reduce the debt that had been incurred as a result of helping out the banks and fighting the recession. The social democratic government cut 134 billion krona in spending in 1994. The social programs were not spared. A pension reform reduced pension payouts and tied the plans to the stock market, i.e. defined contribution plans (Westerlund 2008). Benefits critical to immigrants such as social assistance, family benefits, pensions and housing allowances were cut, though some of the cuts were restored by 1998 (Sainsbury 2012, 88).Social security spending as percentage of GDP declined from 16.5% in 1980 to 15.4% in 2006. At the same time taxes have been reduced. The state income tax was reduced from 7.92% of GDP in 1990 to 2.14% in 2005 (Ankarloo 2009, 37-40). Sweden reduced public spending from 67% of GDP in 1993 to 49% of GDP in 2013. The top marginal tax rate was reduced from 84% in 1983 to 57% in 2013. In 2013, the Swedish government cut the corporate-tax rate from 26.3% to 22%. The public debt is consolidated from 70%of GDP during the height of the recession in 1993 to 37% in 2010 (Economist 2013c). The current account deficit turned into a surplus, and reached $29 billion in 2010.
        11
        The government deregulated and privatized the energy, telecom and postal services (Westerlund 2008). The privatizations resulted in a loss of public-sector jobs. Public sector employment declined from 423,000 in 1985 to 240,000 in 1996 (Ergungor 2013), affirming that the government would not be the employer of last resort to maintain full employment. The central government’s control over the education system was transferred to municipalities (Lindvall 2006, 266). Housing policy was dismantled with the shutdown of the housing ministry in the early 1990s (ibid. 267).Health care has become increasingly privatized. 250 privately-run but publicly-funded clinics operate in the country, representing 24% of the country’s health centers. That’s up from 146 private clinics representing 14% of overall health centres in 2000. In addition, the country has 9 fully private, fee-for-service hospitals that operate parallel to the public system (Mason 2008).

        … and so on… sounds drearily familiar. Sweden now has one of the fastest growing rate of inequality in the developed world. It’s not one of the most unequal, yet, thanks to an egalitarian past. http://www.oecd.org/sweden/49564868.pdf

      • Murray Olsen 6.1.3

        I think he means Anders Brevik’s prison blog. He even got the country wrong.
        Actually in Sweden, the website Info-14 is one known for publishing articles saying Sweden is turning into a 3rd world country. Specifically, an Islamo-Communist one.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Info-14

  7. Mary 7

    Yeah, like voting for the latest benefit fraud Bill. Fucking lying wankers. Labour can fuck off and die.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      That was pretty much my reaction.

      The explanation being that there were submissions to the select committee regarding DPB fraud, where one partner had simply skipped town and left the other to face the music. I’m sure you can see how that can reward bullies.

      In that context I get it.

      • Mary 7.1.1

        But the Bill (now passed so it’s law) criminalises the partner without the need for that partner to know of the offending. Even the right-wing should be up in arms about what this means for our criminal justice system. The issue people were complaining about was that only one partner, usually women, would be lumbered with the debt. Well if that’s the problem fix it by splitting the civil liability for the debt, but don’t extend the criminal law in a way where people can be convicted of an offence involving fraud without even knowing they’ve committed the offence. Borrows is supposed to be a lawyer. He’s either a very stupid lawyer, or subscribes to the view that beneficiaries are sub-human therefore usual laws and legal principles that apply to most citizens should not apply to beneficiaries. My guess it’s both. Labour voting for this law change is extremely significant.

  8. Richard McGrath 8

    Interesting that one of the New Zealanders from Kelston he mentions has to pay foreign student fees at university…

  9. Blokeinauckland 9

    I see the lie about the Military Medal is still there. What does this say about an an aspiring Prime Minister who wraps himself in some one else’s deeds for his own gain, through telling a lie. His venality besmirches the the valour of his great Uncle and the service of his great grand dad. This is disgraceful and cannot be explained as a “family mix-up”. Families know who got what. These are not mistakes. And anyway it takes only 5 mins to check the war record. Why does Cunliffe lie every time he tries to talk about personal matters?

    • mickysavage 9.1

      I have let this comment through because BIA is obviously part of the right wing goon squad that pop up and run predetermined lines. FFS both Cunliffe’s grandfather and great uncle were decorated heroes. So he got a slight detail wrong. No doubt the story was passed down from decade to decade and the story became slightly wrong. Do you think that DC should get someone to research everything that his grandmother or grandfather told him?

      • Pete George 9.1.1

        “Do you think that DC should get someone to research everything that his grandmother or grandfather told him?”

        No, but if he puts in a speech, yes, he should research it shouldn’t he?

        “So he got a slight detail wrong. ”

        In the military a medal for valour is significantly different to a medal for service. Cunliffe shouldn’t get details like that wrong in his speeches.

      • Blokeinauckland 9.1.2

        His Grandfather gave great service – no question. He was not however a “decorated hero” (and yes, his brother was) – he received campaign medals recording his service and recognising a nation’s gratitude. NZ had thousands in that camp – my Grand dad among them.

        Cunliffe besmirches his Grandfather’s service and the valour of his Great Uncle with his (at best clumsy) attempt to wrap himself in their glorious service with an obvious lie. Families know exactly what happened and who got what.

        You suggest Cunliffe got a small fact wrong. However he managed to remember “…he lived with lice, damp and dysentery…” but didn’t remember it was his brother that got the gong.

        BTW, the war record shows the grand dad didn’t serve in France – another oversight?

        To your question “… Do you think that DC should get someone to research everything that his grandmother or grandfather told him?…”

        Yes when Cunliffe is making a speech someone should check every fact. He has shown his CV was (at best) embellished and said it was a mistake and wouldn’t happen again. He said the use of secret trusts was a mistake and would not happen again. …

        Every utterance about Cunliffe the person by the person is now regarded with suspicion and invites the, as you call them, RWNJ to fact check. Remarkably and astonishingly every time Cunliffe is found to have lied – as proven by his abject apologies each time.

        Like the VRWC, the RWNJ is no organised conspiracy we just see it as it is and unfortunately for you your fearless leader is a sham and keeps proving it day in and day out. If it vwasn’t so serious it would be hilarious.

        As to you as moderator letting my comment/post through – why not? My commentary is civil and the grammar is OK. Are you suggesting you need to sanitise the blog to a single line of think?

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    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… ...
    3 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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
    5 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    2 weeks 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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