web analytics
The Standard

Alcohol distraction

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, August 30th, 2012 - 68 comments
Categories: alcohol - Tags: , ,

Today MPs will have a conscience vote on the drinking age.

That’s all well and good, but it is mainly a distraction from the fact that National will not be reforming where it matters.

National say they’re acting on the vast majority of the Law Commission’s recommendations, but they’re missing the ones that the Law Commission – and relevant academics – say matter.

Number one is price.  A minimum price for alcohol ($1/unit?) would be best, but if not, then at least some increase in the excise.  If it works for tobacco, it will work for alcohol (as it has in the past).

Number 2 is advertising – and there will be no added restrictions.  The alcohol industry will continue to make drinking look cool and sexy and then throw up their hands “blame-free” as to why young impressionable people over-consume their product.

Number 3 is availability.  There is some tinkering here, but nothing to scare the alcohol industry too much.  National’s policy is to not hurt the alcohol industry by reducing the amount that’s drunk, but to somehow magically reduce the harm that’s done by that drinking.  Alcohol doesn’t work that way.

The government even decided that the alcohol industry could “self-regulate” over RTDs.  Their idea of not having more than 2 standard drinks per beverage (even if all companies comply) will only result in super strong shots, encouraging even faster drinking…  A maximum strength needs imposing: all around the world the alcohol industry has cried “self-regulation” to get their way.

So yeah, I don’t think 2 years of “training wheels” in bars is a bad idea.  But the focus on 18- and 19-year-olds’ drinking is a sideshow to avoid the main event, when our society has the drinking problem.

[stuff for a good chunk of yesterday had only Labour MPs would have a conscious vote on the whole bill… it seems a bit harsh to suggest that all the other parties aren’t conscious…]

Update: And remain at 18 it is. Graeme Edgeler’s Alcohol Game Theory turned out to be a good prediction: the compromise got eliminated and MPs chose between 18 & 20, despite neither having majority support.

68 comments on “Alcohol distraction”

  1. Carol 1

    Yes I heard someone on RNZ a week or 2 ago, speaking on behalf of the alcohol industry, arguing that it was the responsibility of drinkers not to drink in a way that was harmful to themselves.

    Yeah, right!

    Especially young teenage drinkers – I can remember not always being “responsible” at that age.

  2. tc 2

    I’m expecting a few more controversial mumbles from Shonkey as a further distraction from their flogging off of public assets to enrich their mates.

    Doesn’t he have shares in alcohol interests, this is just another sham about caring when they don’t give a F about anything but their wallets.

    The RTD issue is alot more serious than folk realise, the alcohol content aside they are among some of the most nasty substances one can drink with the alcohol often not even coming from the alleged ‘spirit’.

    Fosters got done a few years back for using the brewing process to manufacture the alcohol they then ‘flavoured’ in RTD ‘spirit mixes’.

  3. Julian 3

    They, they, they……. all their fault eh!
    Take ownership adults of NZ, you set the example for your young, not the alcohol companies and our government!
    Geez, lets raise the price of food to get those fat obese kiwis to slim down. Alcohol is not the issue. The issue is whether you can teach and lead by example the youth of our country. Enjoy a beverage with food, enjoy the company with you, enjoy the beverage, enjoy!
    When the adults of our society continue to get plastered i.e. Zac Guilford, yet we still receive them with open arms and praise them, turning the blind eye to their disgraceful excess consumption.
    Grow up and enjoy a ‘good’ wine.

    • Carol 3.1

      Mate, I don’t drink, but I don’t see many young people following my example. Not that I want others to give up drinking alcohol altogether.

      They are more influenced by the advertising, marketing, and their peers.

      Get a clue about how consumer behaviour is influence!. The (alcohol and other) corporates know this, which is why they spend so much on marketing and advertising, drawing on research that shows how behaviour can be manipulated….. hypocritical of them to then say that the subsequent behaviour is all the responsibility of the consumer.

      The culture that is most damaging, resulting in problem drinking, is consumer culture.

    • Tracey 3.2

      alcohol doesn’t get drunk, people do… And who pays for all the back up services that are required? The alcohol companies with their offshore companies in tax havens or those of us who don’t drink or only drink responsibly, as adults?

      At 18 the young person’s brain is still developing, including the consequences part… still let’s put them and their long suffering parents up against

      cheap prices
      billions spent on advertising to surrepticiously move them to buy
      have it on every street corner

      I suppose you also think that advertising doesn’t “work”?

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I’m in favour of the minimum price change, since I don’t buy the cheap stuff anyway…

    • Augustus 4.1

      Yeah, me too. I like the $1 bit per unit. That would bring us in line with Scotland, where it’s 50p. In Labour they have been talking about $ 2 per unit, twice as much as the Scots. “We”‘re not twice as bad as them, are we?

    • felix 4.2

      Lanth, that makes sense as a reason to not be opposed, but in no way is it an argument in favour.

      It’s a bit like saying ‘I’m in favour of increasing speed limits on motorways to 200kph because I don’t drive on motorways.’

      • Lanthanide 4.2.1

        If they’re going to make changes to the pricing of alcohol, then:
        1. I’m in favour of the minimum pricing change, since I don’t buy the cheap stuff.
        2. I’m against changing the excise tax, because it will affect what I do buy.

        So that’s an argument in favour, however venal and self-serving.

        • felix 4.2.1.1

          Ah, so if it were a choice between those two options, you’d be expressing a preference for option one, which is not really the same thing as saying you support option one as opposed to the status quo.

          Why are we talking about it as if those are the only two possible options?

          • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1.1

            I refer you to the original article:

            “Number one is price. A minimum price for alcohol ($1/unit?) would be best, but if not, then at least some increase in the excise.”

  5. King Kong 5

    Anglo Saxons have been getting on the stitch for ever and in NZ the natives have shown quite an aptitude for it as well.

    The reality is that forever people have liked getting out of their box and there has always been those that tut tut and point to the social cost and there have always been those who say get fucked.

    Throughout the ages attempts have been made to put a lid on overt alcohol consumption and it has always failed. I do admire those who so stridently believe that their ideas will be succesful though.

    • mike e 5.1

      Primitive urges explained by primitive primate.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      And yet other countries don’t have the same sort of drinking culture as we do.

      The question is, how do we move our culture to be more like theirs. Minimum pricing is a great way to moderate the fringe behaviour, and curtailing advertisement goes a long way in fighting the glamorisation of drinking.

    • Tracey 5.3

      Of course in the olden days it was because the water would kill you…

    • fnjckg 5.4

      learning. adaptation. teachable.

  6. belladonna 6

    Those who dont buy the cheap wine are more fortunate than those who have no choice but to buy the cheap version. Most people drink responsibly so why would you yet again hit the poor who enjoy a glass of wine at night. There are other ways to curb excess drinking, especially in the young. Raising the price of alcohol and a minimum price is just yet another tax.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “than those who have no choice but to buy the cheap version”

      You can choose not to buy alcohol.

      • felix 6.1.1

        Is there some other form of self-medication you’d recommend? Because essentially you’re advocating for plugging up the stress-relief valve of a whole sector of our community.

        • higherstandard 6.1.1.1

          Kava.

          • felix 6.1.1.1.1

            What about khat leaves?

            • higherstandard 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Although it is fairly benign toxicologically there are still too many possible deleterious health effects for my liking in comparison to Kava.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2

          belladonna’s comment implies people are forced to buy alcohol. They’re not.

          • felix 6.1.1.2.1

            Of course not, but people drink for a number of reasons. Let’s not ignore those reasons.

            Otherwise this entire effort is a massive waste of time at best.

      • vto 6.1.2

        “You can choose not to buy alcohol.”

        Oh so you do endorse free grown up adult decision-making rather than do-gooder interference from on high. Could have fooled me ..

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Those who dont buy the cheap wine are more fortunate than those who have no choice but to buy the cheap version.

      They still have a choice – buy or don’t buy.

      Most people drink responsibly so why would you yet again hit the poor who enjoy a glass of wine at night.

      I really doubt if it will hit responsible drinkers that hard – even the poor ones.

      There are other ways to curb excess drinking, especially in the young.

      No, there isn’t. The young are looking for most alcohol content at the cheapest price so that they can drink lots.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    A minimum price will punish the poor and have no affect on the binge drinking rich.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      A minimum price means that the $6 wine that no one would buy if it actually cost $16, will stop being produced because they won’t be able to sell it at the minimum price. Similarly all of the other low-end grog will stop being produced as there’ll be no (legal) market for it.

      I don’t see this as ‘punishing’ the poor: I suspect ‘poor’ people wouldn’t really ‘enjoy’ drinking this sort of alcohol because by and large it isn’t actually nice. They drink it because it’s all they can afford.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        No, that $6 bottle of wine will still sell – it’s just that it won’t be bought by the case load for binge drinking.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Not entirely understanding your point here. Have you actually tried $6 wine? It’s not really wine. No one would voluntarily pay $16 for it (hence why it’s priced at $6).

          • mike e 7.1.1.1.1

            Lanthe wine snob blind tastes have proved expensive wines can not be detinguished from cheap wines.Besides wine isn’t the problem its cheap RTD’s and beer thats the problem and the price hike your trying to put foreward is ridiculus.
            maybe you should try the dog whistle brand of whine and start moaning .
            Alcohol is $6billion a year problem user pays is the only way.
            So i don’t like subsidising alcoholism and our binge drinking to the tune of $6 billion a year You are obviously happy to have 75% of police time wasted on alcohol related crime!
            Have our under funded A&E depts ambulances mental health etc using up valuable resouces on Drunks!
            Work place loss of productivity and Accidents caused by alcohol.
            NZed has a major problem with alcohol and is in major denial as with any addictive substance time to do something about it as we are borrowing billions while subsidizing alcohol .
            Yes I drink ocasionally now I was a binge drinker and not proud of it.

            • Augustus 7.1.1.1.1.1

              You do have a real thing about these $6b. Have you read this?

              • Carol

                I don’t have much faith in the way conventional economists measure (or don’t) social costs of anything – especially not after having attended some talks by Marilyn Waring.

            • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes, I know that expensive wines can’t be distinguished from cheap wines by wine experts.

              I repeat what I said: “It’s not really wine”. As in, it is not fermented grapes. It might be scum off the top of fermented grapes, made up with grape juice and some pure ethanol mixed in for the alcohol content.

      • Rich 7.1.2

        Did you know that a lot of the wine that we pay $6 for gets foisted on ignorant foreigners (Brits, mostly) at maybe $16. There’s an “understanding” in the NZ wine industry that sets a floor on our export product.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Binge drinking will be effected the most as the people who engage in it won’t be able to afford to do it any more.

  8. captain hook 8

    hey we are a nation of sophisticates now.
    we can self regulate the amount of booze we drink.
    the tories have created a really civil society.
    haven’t they?

  9. Roy 9

    A couple of things that seemed to work quite well when I lived in the US were (1) making public drunkenness illegal and (2) requiring recidivist DUIs to have orange number plates that marked them as recidivist DUIs.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      #2 sounds really good. A hell of a lot cheaper than the alcohol breath locks they’re talking about putting into cars. There was a ridiculous figure that they would charge people $100/month to have them fitted in their cars, and then talking about the government having to step in because most of the drink-drivers wouldn’t be able to afford that.

      • Roy 9.1.1

        Problem here is that the number plate goes with the car rather than with the registration to a given driver. Still, maybe orange number-plate surrounds, clear orange number-plate covers, or something like that? There is something quite comforting about putting a large distance between your own car and a car with orange plates, and hopefully there is a shaming effect for recidivists who see people avoiding their vehicle. If they are capable of feeling shame, that is.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          Good point.

          We’d have to make sure OCR numberplate readers, more frequently being used for traffic and toll management, were compatible as well.

  10. vto 10

    The whole minimum pricing thing can fu@k off.

    Bloody school teacher / nosybody / do-gooder approach.

    Why punish those who have nothing to do with the issue? Wankers

    • felix 10.1

      Totally agree v.

      If they were really concerned about people getting fucked up all the time then they’d be trying to create a society where people didn’t feel like getting fucked up all the time.

      Instead it’s just more of the same, blaming the victim, attacking the symptom, and amputating the foot because they can’t figure out how to trim a toenail.

      • fatty 10.1.1

        “If they were really concerned about people getting fucked up all the time then they’d be trying to create a society where people didn’t feel like getting fucked up all the time.”

        True…the binge drinkers I know are the people (of all ages) who are on minimum wage, and who have about $10-20 left per week after all bills are paid. So saving money, other entertainment, or investing in other interests are out stupid options. Come the weekend they make the most of their meagre spare change by getting munted, and trying to forget that they have to go back to their underpaid, dead-end, temporary job

        • felix 10.1.1.1

          Yep, stress relief. Or maybe stress avoidance, but either way getting munted is a big safety valve for a lot of people in our increasingly stress-inducing society.

          Now I’m not saying it’s the best way of dealing with stress, or even that it’s not creating more stress in the long run, but nonetheless it’s how people are dealing with their shit right now and it seems to me it would be really dumb to remove that option without some sort of plan to address the underlying problem. Cos it won’t just go away.

  11. vto 11

    The pricing thing is a complete jip. It is well known in Chch that the “rich” schools and housegholds are the ones with the out of control drug and alcohol problems.

    So how will minimum pricing solve that, mr big brains?

    • Enough is Enough 11.1

      Not just a Christchurch problem.

      Look at the issues that repugnant breeding ground of elitism Kings College has had over the past 10 years with the booze. Or the recent Sacred Heart College Saint Kents rugby semi final.

      It is about leadership. Punishing the poor is not the answer.

    • mike e 11.2

      A combination of measures such as raising the drinking age acessability reducing outlets what the alcohol advisory group recommendedafter years of research.
      We have a $6 billion dollar ayear problem here I’m not a wowser but Alcohol is a very Dangerous Drug.
      Doing nothing is not a solution.

      • vto 11.2.1

        “A combination of measures such as raising the drinking age acessability reducing outlets what the alcohol advisory group recommendedafter years of research.”

        Well its a bit of research that has clearly not examined the issue of the acceptability of such stupid blunt instruments that discriminate so indiscriminately. And surely research into the effect of pricing shouldn’t have taken years to work out. Any goose knows that. The research sounds like it was looking in some wrong directions and a bit lacking.

        “Doing nothing is not a solution.”

        Neither is the minimum pricing component.

        And notwithstanding all of that, in most parts of NZ the youth drinking culture is concentrated around the upper income levels. How does this component become a solution to that?

  12. Julian 12

    “it was the responsibility of drinkers not to drink in a way that was harmful to themselves”.

    So true. We must take responsibility for our actions in life. Stop the culture of blame and look in the mirror. What we need is strong leaders!

    “Especially young teenage drinkers – I can remember not always being ‘responsible’ at that age”.
    That is because teenagers brains are in the developmental stage of decision/risk taking assessment. It is us, society and families to reaffirm values and provide boundaries to keep safe.

    Raising taxes/prices does not solve the ‘real’ issue.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      “Raising taxes/prices does not solve the ‘real’ issue.”

      Alcohol is cheaper now (and in the last couple of decades) than it has been at any other point in human history.

  13. captain hook 13

    every addiction has as its primary goal to prevent the addict feeling their true thoughts and feelings.
    Ann Wilson Shaeff
    Alcholism is a defense against paranoia which is itself a defense against passsive unconscious homosexuality.
    Dictionary Of Psychoanalysis.
    chew on that.

  14. BM 14

    I’m enjoying all the cheap wine you get these days.
    Long may it continue.

  15. captain hook 15

    another cheap drunk.

  16. Wychbych 16

    As long as piss is the sacred cow of NZ, nothing will change. It’s the elephant in the room, shitting everywhere, yet nobody wants to talk about the elephant, just play in the crap… Three things need to happen, imo:

    Raising the drinking age to 20 right across the board, and educating people that drinking is an ‘adult’ flavour (as I do with my son, he can’t stand the taste of the sips I’ve let him have!) and a bit of a privilege. Not a rite of passage at 16, 17, 18.

    Education about alcohol, in that it’s not normal to ‘relax’ every night with a glass/bottle in front of you. It simply isn’t! Yet in NZ, that’s what happens. Thousands of kiwis ‘relax’ every night with it. And remember, kids don’t do what you SAY, they watch you very carefully, and do what you DO. The normalisation of piss as a daily occurrence is one of our biggest problems, and can tip regular drinkers over into booze hounds.

    Take it out of supermarkets, local stores, and place it back into bottle stores. Make it difficult to get a hold of, coupled with a slam on advertising it.

    Like any of THAT’s going to happen with Shonkey Johnkey in charge. The piss lobby has deep pockets, and vehement lobbyists.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Education about alcohol, in that it’s not normal to ‘relax’ every night with a glass/bottle in front of you.

      Actually, the societies that do have this as a norm don’t have the same binge drinking culture that we have. In other words, the children grow up with responsible drinking as the example rather than the going out and getting drunk once or twice a week example that we have in NZ.

      • SHG 16.1.1

        “Actually, the societies that do have this as a norm don’t have the same binge drinking culture that we have.”

        Bingo.

        • wychbych 16.1.1.1

          Yes, yes, French, Italian society has the normalisation of piss as a way of life. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a drinking problem.

          It’s simply a different type of alcoholism to our binge culture! 😉

  17. RedLogix 17

    Sure we know that binge and abusive drinking results in an absurd amount of harm. And we also know that wowser-ism and prohibitions are not very useful responses either. We all know this, so lets quit rehashing the obvious. We won’t have an intelligent conversation about this until we openly face the question of WHY people use these drugs.

    The ONLY useful way to address this is for us to clearly understand the root causes, because once you have a rational grasp of why you have the emotional need to get smashed, it then becomes possible to direct the conscious self-discipline to avoid the harm.

    It is also true that most adolescents have yet to develop this ability to self-regulate their behaviour and need protecting from booze baron predators who profit from this.

    • weka 17.1

      What are the reasons exactly?

      I think getting out of it is a fairly normal human activity, whatever the substance used. It is fun after all.  It’s the degree to which we do it in NZ, and how we do it, that is the problem.

      I agree with your last sentence, and lowering the age from 20 to 18 was adults who should have known better abandoning young people instead of protecting them.

      • SHG 17.1.1

        The only human society not known to have a cultural history of “getting out of it” from time to time is that of the Inuit (Eskimo) people. It’s hard to grow hops and grapes to ferment when you live above the Arctic Circle.

  18. xtasy 18

    Well the best friend is at the top, aye? I wish more responsibility, but until this country grows up and gets some really needed checking up to do with cultural, social and other improvements, and instead all being run like a PC right-wing, controlling dictatorship, I see NO hope to improve things.

    You may “control” alcohol, but other substances and drugs will replace it, as they already are. NZ is not a cultivated, educated society, that only applies to an “elite” few, many fall down and through the net, so this is the problem. You are NOT adressing the bloody problems, only trying to address the bloody “symptoms”. That makes for a bloody poor doctor, aye.

    No hope no trust and f off is my answer to this discussion!

  19. xtasy 19

    LET us NOT forget, according to Bennett’s top Principal Health Advisor, many of us are also BENEFIT ADDICTS, as benefit dependency is the same as “drug dependency”. So while alcohol is a legal drug, we must be aware of the whole, complex picture of “addiction”. Many that may feel they have no issue with, nor ever “met” addiction, they will now learn, that they themselves are highly “addicted”, simply due to depend on “a benefit”. Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor to MSD and Bennett proves this:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too – June 2012.pdf or

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf

    See page 3, 16 and 33 for enlightenment about “addiction” and “drug addiction” that benes have!

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Dr+David+Bratt+ppt&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CE0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgpn.org.nz%2FNetwork%2Fmedia%2Fdocuments%2FConference2011%2FD-Bratt.ppt&ei=pOMqUNyqF–QiQee4oGgBQ&usg=AFQjCNFEdYN_dDW9BAZvZo_cQpC2rFyelg&cad=rja

    So you may try to be so bloody smart to judge about alcohol and related issues, maybe you yourself are a bloody addict (in hiding)?

    But who cares? I am still waiting on feedback from Labour and the Greens on this kind of propaganda. Maybe the public words we get from them are just to get votes, but in secret, they go along with this crap? Let us know, please, I am thus far not convinced.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    8 hours ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    8 hours ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    11 hours ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 day ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    1 day ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    1 day ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    2 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    3 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    3 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    3 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    4 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    6 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    6 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    6 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    6 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago
  • Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed
    Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “There is a huge disconnect… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • If it’s good enough for Lake Taupō…
    Nick Smith supports helping farmers transition away from dairying and agrees we must set nitrogen caps that limit the number of animals on farms. He says this strategy is “world leading”. However we need action and pressure from him, on to… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere