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Another broken promise from our con-man PM

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 pm, May 11th, 2012 - 68 comments
Categories: slippery - Tags:

Key looked the Pike River families in the eye and promised to get their mens bodies out. It was a promise he never should have made. But he did to make people like him. He wouldn’t even talk about it today. Coward. And what of his promise to make things right for Christchurch? Or his promise of an aggressive recovery? Or his promise to help the underclass? Or that brighter future?

And don’t get me started on his “not being against” marriage equality. This is the guy who voted against civil unions (he bravely blames that on his electorate). Now wants to jump on the Obama bandwagon. But can’t actually do it for fear of losing the rednecks. Pathetic. Guess it’s a step up from “wait till my book”.

68 comments on “Another broken promise from our con-man PM”

  1. Fiji Bill 1

    Somewhere deep inside something’s got a hold of me. And its making me want to spew, like a pool in the desert.

  2. Pike River is going to burn Key’s support and reputation off.

    He made all the good noises when the tragedy happened but he milked it for political advantage.  He has not delivered.  A Crown entity has bought the mine but is not promising to get the bodies out because of the possible effect on the bottom line.  So it is time for some moral outrage to be heaped on him for his cynical political posturing.

    You can fool all of the people some of the time … 

    • Yep, I don’t have any problem with politicians benefitting from tragedy, if they actually serve the people involved well. I imagine the rest of the voting public is just as unimpressed as I am about how National has handled Pike River.

    • Well Balanced: a Chip on Both Shoulders 2.2

      +1, Well said Micky. This is an issue that touches the core of NZ values and the origins of the Labour Party. It also exposes the damage of the campaigns run by the right and supported by Media in the past 6 years: attacking OSH and work-place safety; attacking organised labour; attacking any type of regulation; the whole anti PC thing. The 29 died because so many of the good practices, regulations, behaviours and learnings of the past 100 years were dismissed by a “non PC” mindlessness.

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        Oh, of course, the Government’s role in promoting good practices, regulations, behaviours and learnings was also condemned by the Natz, while in opposition, as being “Nanny State.”

    • freedom 2.3

      February 2011 the Pike River Miners’ Relief Fund stood at 7 million dollars and was still growing, i imagine i am not alone wondering just where it all went?
      http://www.pikeriverdonations.org.nz/donation-update/
      and it is not hard to notice the page has not been updated in over a year

      Shonkey seems so keen on getting the US to decide our future, why not ask some of the US Marine Specialists that are heading to our shores to offer their advice? The Marines do know a fair bit about never leaving a man behind. They have been involved in enough loss of life to know how important retrieval can be to the propoganda machine.

    • Reagan Cline 2.4

      Those bodies still in there will be hard on the miners and families working for the new owner.

      There needs to be closure.

      It would be in all interests to either seal it off and declare it a mass grave.

      Or get the bodies out – might cost in the medium term, but long term people are no longer haunted by the sense of something unfinished and therein lies intergenerational grievance – not just for the families directly involved.

      Present government is not factorinhg in peoples deeper feelings and passions – too superficial.

  3. tc 3

    Not only was it brazenly opportunistic but also just plain stupid given it was an inferno in an underground unknown situation.

    Cautionary statements about recovery would be appropriate but the ‘whatever it takes’ line was the type of BS that is second nature to Sideshow John and flows without hesitation whenever he’s rattled.

  4. Blue 4

    I couldn’t believe what I was reading this morning when I clicked on an article and read that the recovery of the bodies hinges on….profitable commercial mining operations? I’m sorry, what?

    I had to read it again and again for it to sink in that I was actually reading that.

    In all seriousness, that is the situation at Pike River. The bodies will not be recovered unless someone is making some dollars.

    I know this is the new and improved NZ where we only care about money and not people, but fucking hell. This is really the limit.

    There is supposed to be something called a Government. Whose job it is to do the things private corporations will not do because there’s no money in it for them.

    Recovering the bodies from Pike River, or at least doing everything that is possible to try to recover them, is a job for the GOVERNMENT not for some fucking corporate trying to make a fast buck from a tragedy.

    If anyone wonders when we truly lost our souls here in NZ, mark it down as now.

    • Janice 4.1

      Yes but soon 49% of Solid Energy will be sold and the “mums and dads” will want a return on their investment and not have profits spent on body recovery. They will have the votes to stop it and Shonkey will be able to say he can’t interfere in the market.

      • Reagan Cline 4.1.1

        Janice, as one of the “Mums and Dads” I would not sleep easy if I thought some of my income should have been spent on recovering the bodies- if that is what it takes to heal all this.

        I would not invest in the first place, sell existing investment, speak up at the Annual Meeting.

        “Mum” investors are like you, trying to get through life in a capitalist system.

        Profit taking is only part of the story – the other is contributing a small part of the capital required to sustain businesses that are good employers, obey regulations and produce useful and non-harmfull products.

        Maybe coal products are harmfull – they are certainly useful until a substitute is found.

    • Kiore 4.2

      Blue, you are completely right of course, but hey heres a thought, they could have used the money they spent cooking up terrorism charges and legal fees for Tuhoe on something that would actually mean something to the public…

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    It is the job of any responsible government to at least regulate the market, so that corner-cutting by corporates doesn’t happen and cause tragedy. Pike River is a prime example, so was the leaky homes. All this hatred against regulations from vested interests, is actually what protects people/employees/consumers from the vagarities of unscrupulous operators.

    • Reagan Cline 5.1

      Regulations have to be enforced.

      Need trained inspectors independant of the building and mining firms.

      The “she’ll be right” “It’s who you know” “suck it up” attitudes don’t help.

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Really good and caring comments here. It is, I suppose, a matter of when the pot will boil over for the Government and its grasping allies. This is taking such a long time, and might take more yet. People hate to see their idols crash down to the earth. Eventually, they become angry. As hard as this is, we do well to remain patient a while yet. Hang in there, good friends.

    • LynW 6.1

      Totally agree Dr Terry re all the caring and thoughtful comments here but just hoping karma comes sooner rather than later, before too much irreparable damage occurs.

  7. vto 7

    Attack building regulations and get a leaky homes disaster.

    Attack banking regulations and get a global financial crisis.

    Attack mine safety regulations and get 29 dead men at Pike River.

    Attack bio-security regulations and get a fruit fly disaster.

    Someone a while ago (Stephen Franks?) suggested that a charge of corporate manslauighter be introduced similar to other nations. I suggest that is a good idea but must also include a charge of political manslaughter. After all, those 29 men died as a direct result of the attack on mine safety regulations (among other things) and the so-called leaders must be held to a level of responsibility higher than that of the people they ‘rule’. So if it is good enough to have personal manslaughter and corporate manslaughter then political manslaughter must follow.

  8. vto 8

    The families of the Pike River men epitomise the anti-Key feeling which is now rife among the population. Yesterday they referred to his lies. His inaction. His clear bullshit. If there is one thing coasters can spot it is bullshit – and Key has just been called on it.

    The only reason the anti-Key feeling hasn’t showed up too much yet is because the dawning has just risen and people are cautious to change tunes too quickly. But they see Key. They see his twitches. They see his lies. His lies. His lies. His lies. They see him making things up as he goes. They see him doing deals rather than governing. They see him laughing and not caring about everything. They see a little boy who has now had enough.

    It is over for Key.

    • mike e 8.1

      ConMankey takes all the publicity when the going is good no where to be seen when the shit hits the fan!

  9. lefty 9

    Slack mining safety regulations are only part of the reason Pike River was able to operate a dangerous mine.

    Company law that allows shareholders to go into receivership and swan off into the sunset when things go wrong was also a big contributer to the tragedy because it provides an incentive to act irresponsibly.

    Wealthy companies that were major shareholders in Pike River are unashamedly still operating their profitable businesses while the families of the miners continue to suffer and unsecured creditors go unpaid.

    And this sort of behaviour is the norm rather than unusual.

    If capitalists refuse to act responsibly why should the state continue to provide a legal framework that protects them when things go wrong. Maybe its time to withdraw limited liability and other legal barriers to holding shareholders accountable for their actions.

    After all the pricks are all for personal responsibility and encouraging the right choices.

    • mike e 9.1

      Corporate crime in this country is higher than any other OECD country.
      Its time corporates face up to their responsibilities just like their political allies demand of the public.

      • The Baron 9.1.1

        Bold call – I’m not aware of the OECD corporate crime index. Would you please educate me a bit on this?

        • mike e 9.1.1.1

          while we have one of the lowest public service corruption rates our corporate rate is amongst the highest!

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.2

        Corporate crime in this country is higher than any other OECD country.

        I really don’t think that corporate crime is higher in NZ than in the US or Ireland. The whole western business world seems to have gotten rotten to the core.

        Even Japan is not immune (look up the Olympus fraud scandal).

  10. DH 10

    I’m struggling to understand why they’re doing this. The costs of recovering the bodies wouldn’t be that great in the scheme of things and surely Solid Energy would want to inspect the mine to see what can be done to recover it. Dept of Labour should also be dead keen on a recovery effort so they can get the mine forensics people in to try & discover what caused the explosion. Waiting won’t make it any easier or cheaper.

    The risk argument doesn’t seem to weigh up. There’s apparently no longer any risk of explosion so the risks can be managed just like the risks of deep sea diving are managed.

    This is huge failure of government IMO, can’t help but wonder if it’s really about bureaucratic arse covering.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I’m struggling to understand why they’re doing this. The costs of recovering the bodies wouldn’t be that great in the scheme of things and surely Solid Energy would want to inspect the mine to see what can be done to recover it. Dept of Labour should also be dead keen on a recovery effort so they can get the mine forensics people in to try & discover what caused the explosion

      1) Of course the costs aren’t that great; individual development stages of the Pike River coal mine were priced at $50M or $100M apiece. The programme to recover the bodies would cost maybe $2M to $3M. No much more than David Bain’s legal aid costs.

      2) Do they REALLY want to discover what caused the explosion? Does the Government REALLY want this saga to to be headline news again for another month or two?

      3) The West Coast electorate has to be punished for going back to Labour.

      This country is quietly going to the dog house, from the top down.

      • DH 10.1.1

        “1) Of course the costs aren’t that great; individual development stages of the Pike River coal mine were priced at $50M or $100M apiece. The programme to recover the bodies would cost maybe $2M to $3M. No much more than David Bain’s legal aid costs.”

        I think it would cost more than $2-3m, there’s a lot of risk elimination involved and that doesn’t come cheap these days. $5-10m would likely be more realistic but if all the reasons for entering the mine were consolidated that’s still not big sums & fully justified IMO.

        If they put it to tender I have no doubt there would be plenty of offers from parties prepared to do it, what’s risky for some people is meat & drink for others.

        “..2) Do they REALLY want to discover what caused the explosion? Does the Government REALLY want this saga to to be headline news again for another month or two?”

        I think that’s a factor, too many high-up bureaucratic careers at stake

        ..3) The West Coast electorate has to be punished for going back to Labour.

        Could be, this mob in power do seem a pretty spiteful bunch

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          I think it would cost more than $2-3m, there’s a lot of risk elimination involved and that doesn’t come cheap these days. $5-10m would likely be more realistic but if all the reasons for entering the mine were consolidated that’s still not big sums & fully justified IMO.

          I do wonder where is the feasibility study? The shortlist of recovery options to be investigated? The preliminary plans and budget estimates?

          Its totally weird that the Government has declared this a no-go and yet have released zero justification behind it. I wish we had a real media in this country.

    • Reagan Cline 10.2

      Cynically – maybe the announcement that the bodies will be recovered is being saved for a more politically opportune moment.

  11. Kevin 11

    I can empathise with the families of the miners who are probably feeling betrayed at this moment by John Key who has broken a solemn promise to them. That broken promise will finish the political careers of any National candidate on the Coast because they won’t be trusted again. The folks of the West Coast are straight up and down on their word, a man’s word is his word, if you can’t keep it, you are s..t.
    Personally I think the mine should be closed and sealed because now it is a grave.

  12. Gruntie 12

    I see Audrey Sycophantic Young is spinning the crap for Donkey in the Herald again – please … Fuckng possers

  13. Gruntie 13

    I see Fran Sycophantic O’Sullivan is spinning the crap for Donkey in the Herald again – please … Fuckng possers

  14. ghostwhowalksnz 14

    Its a game of bluff- Key is daring the media to say hes a liar- and they darent to do it.

    Fancy Pants Hoskings last night was saying to the PR families , surely he meant he would do anything ‘reasonable’.

    Just how he gets that version , not having been at the personal meetings, is fairly obvious- Keys spin doctors have had a chat before he goes on air.

    • vto 14.1

      You are right it is a game of bluff. But it is clear which bluff will prevail.

      (Hosking and his ego, political views and silly hair just get in the way. He should get out of the way)

      quicksand comes to mind

  15. captain hook 15

    its obvious that keys word is not his bond.

  16. Key looked the Pike River families in the eye and promised to get their mens bodies out.

    It’s unclear because there’s no link to what he actually said, but if Key said something like “I promise to get the bodies out as soon as possible no matter what the cost” he’ was a fool and no one should have taken him seriously, it would have been impossible to make a solid promise like that.

    Does anyone know what he actually promised?

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Fuck you’re horrendous and inhumane, PG.

    • felix 16.2

      I seem to recall the words “whatever it takes”, I expect someone will have a link.

      I agree it was (if that’s what he said) a foolish thing to say, but I totally disagree that it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      When the PM speaks to the nation, or to any group of citizens, we absolutely must be able to take his words at face value as true and correct.

      We have the absolute right to expect the PM to say exactly what he means, and the onus is entirely on him to meet that standard.

      The blame for any failure of communication in this regard can never be sheeted back to the people who quite rightly expect him to tell the truth at all times.

      In a crisis or the aftermath of a crisis this is especially crucial. This is the job.

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.1

        The thing is felix, the Key Govt has not even tried to demonstraste to the NZ people (let alone the Pike River families) that everything which should have been done, has been done.

        I mean, where are the studies, the investigation results and the data which show how truly difficult, dangerous and possibly impractical a recovery operation would be?

        If this analysis exists, why not hand it over to the families?

      • Pascal's bookie 16.2.2

        Yep. And his speech writers did a lot of good work, for which he rightly got a lot of credit.

        One of the lines he used to express committment to the miners’ families was this one:

        “New Zealand is a small country. A country where we are our all our brother’s keeper.”

        The government is the only entity that can put practice to that. the recievers have their job, the commission of enquiry has its job; but those jobs don’t necessarily look after the interests of those families, and they will sometimes conflict with those interests.

        It’s up to the PM to put substance to his pretty words. No one else.

        • Shaz 16.2.2.1

          Here I have found the speech from 2010. Pretty words indeed

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/8155813/New-Zealand-mine-explosion-John-Keys-speech-in-full.html

          24/11/2010 “New Zealand is a small country. A country where we are our all our brothers keeper. …..” “We are a tough and resilient country. We care deeply for our fellow countrymen and women. We are a series of communities knitted together by a set of values and principles that have guided us together through good times and bad.”

          and for May 2012 ?? “and it is these values, these principles and this aspect of our deep inter-connectedness which have determined why my government has paid $7m of your taxes to the mine’s owners. It speaks to of our national characteristics of toughness and resilience when I say that we will be putting in place a plan to retrieve the bodies of the victims of this tragedy when and if it becomes economically viable”

        • Reagan Cline 16.2.2.2

          That’s right “our brothers keeper” even if a lot of those brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents live outside NZ – let alone the foreign shareholders and bankers people complain about.

      • Pete George 16.2.3

        I seem to recall the words “whatever it takes”, I expect someone will have a link.

        I agree the the PM has a responsibility to only imply or promise something that he is able to make sure can be done. And if communication isn’t adequate he and his advisers are the ones to blame.

        But that doesn’t exclude us from healthy skepticism of anything that’s said.

        I wonder what people expect? Remove the bodies at any expense? At what risk to those doing the recovery? Only remove those bodies of families that want them removed?

        Not all bodies are recovered from all disasters. People who have drowned are often not found. Bodies on mountains are sometimes left in inaccessible places.

        • McFlock 16.2.3.1

          Like Erebus? oh, wait…

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.2

          OMG PG is such a sad sack apologist. He’s not even asking for all the feasibility studies and investigations conducted of potential body recovery operations to be released to the families.

          Why is that information not being released to the families?

    • mike e 16.3

      puerile git making excuses again

      • Pete George 16.3.1

        Do you think we shouldn’t bother about the facts? I’ll condemn if the facts show that’s appropriate, but I don’t know what are the facts, and I don’t know what is PM spin, nor critical spin.

    • This is all I can find on it so far:

      Shortly after the tragic coal mine explosions last year, he visited the miners’ families in Greymouth. They told him their main focus was to retrieve their loved ones from the mine and Key apparently assured them the government would do everything possible to achieve that.

      Months later, early in the new year, Key effectively scuppered their hopes, saying he thought the mine would be sealed even though, he acknowledged, that was a decision for the receivers.

      “The government was fully committed to doing everything we could to making sure the bodies were removed and that full closure could be achieved for those families but that’s just not possible and it’s not an issue of money or time or commitment,” he said at the time.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/john-hartevelt/5680326/PMs-Pike-River-response-a-rare-error-of-judgement

      That seems to fit with what I remember. The “promise” was never recorded. The only reports of what he said were as heard and repeated by family who were at the meeting. That can’t be relied on as accurate, they could have intepreted to fit with what they desperately wanted.

      • felix 16.4.1

        “I wonder what people expect? Remove the bodies at any expense?”

        If he said “anything possible” then yes. Because it’s possible, and he said it. If said “anything we can budget for without dislodging our other priorities” I’d give you a different answer, but no-one’s suggesting he said that.

        Essentially there are two possibilities:

        1. He didn’t really say “anything possible”, but people thought he did.

        2. He did say it.

        Assuming for a moment that he did say “the govt would do anything possible” to retrieve the bodies, then there are broadly speaking two possible responses.

        Mine is that he absolutely has to do it. Because it is possible, and he said he would, to a bunch of grieving families.

        Yours, if I understand you correctly, is that he doesn’t really have to because we should expect him to be bullshitting a bit, and we’re a bit silly if we don’t think he’s bullshitting a bit.

        Essentially (assuming 2, remember) your argument is that he lies, to a bunch of grieving widows, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and kids, and because we’re smart enough to know he’s lying we have to let him get away with it.

        • Pete George 16.4.1.1

          I’m not saying that at all. I don’t know what Key said. I haven’t seen anyone say with any certainty what he said. Unless that can be known, and it may never be possible to be sure, it’s a bit of a pointless argument.

          • felix 16.4.1.1.1

            Yes you are Pete. I don’t know for sure what Key said either but you’re not arguing that he didn’t say “anything possible”, you’re arguing that even if he did, what did people expect?

            Your statement “I wonder what people expect?” doesn’t make sense interpreted any other way.

            At least not as long as we’re presuming that people can expect to believe the PM, that is.

      • Socialist Paddy 16.4.2

        Yeah that is a great defence Pete.  

        The grieving families did not get their lawyers to check out the fecking statements of the Prime Minister to make sure that he did not have any wriggle room.  Therefore the Government can tell the grieving families to flock off.

        The good thing about politics sometimes is that it does not matter what you said, it matters what people think you said.  I hope the people of the West Coast and of New Zealand give the PM the middle finger for being a duplicitous arrogant prick.

        • felix 16.4.2.1

          Bang on Paddy.

          If he made an ambiguous statement to let people hear what they wanted to hear it’s even more damning, not less.

          • Pete George 16.4.2.1.1

            There’s a lot of “ifs” and no substantiable facts.

            It’s quite possible some of the people at the meeting would tend to hear what they wanted to hear no matter how precisely he worded it. That’s very common.

            In politics even precise words can be interpreted different ways, depending on if the “listener” is naturally for or against the speaker.

            And another possibility, without anything to substantiate it but as likely as the PM blatantly lying which has been claimed here – the family member interviewed after the meeting may have put a deliberate slant on the PM’s comment to try and pressure towards the outcome they wanted. And it’s also possible the PM didn’t dispute this so as not to create further upset for the families.

            If we ever get a recording of what Key said then we can make more definite judgement.

            • felix 16.4.2.1.1.1

              “There’s a lot of “ifs” and no substantiable facts.”

              Not really.

              As we agreed earlier, it’s entirely the PM’s responsibility to make sure his statements around such a delicate matter were crystal clear. So if there’s any misinterpretation it’s entirely his fault.

              It doesn’t really matter whether he used loose weasel words to deliberately mislead, or used loose and poorly thought out language because he sucks at doing important things.

            • vto 16.4.2.1.1.2

              Pete George – the used nappy always voluntarily wrapping himself around the politicians arses to soak up their shit.

  17. Jim Nald 17

    I can’t see what the issue is – he promised himself a media opportunity then and got himself that.

    /sarc

  18. G CAssidy 18

    One quote I found on a tv news website.. “For a sale to take place there has to be a transfer of the mining licence, the Government’s made it clear that a credible plan needs to be established before that sale can take place,” Key said.

  19. The worse betrayal in recent history.

  20. jack 20

    “it’s not an issue of money or time or commitment,” he said at the time. ”

    This is what John Key said to the families a year ago after the Pike River Mind said they couldn’t get them out.
    Key tried to reassure the family. But yesterday Key made the following statement:

    “”Solid Energy is expected to take all reasonable steps to recover the men in the Pike River mine, along with any commercial mining there in the future, as long as that recovery operation is safe, financially credible and technically feasible.”

    Financially credible??? Where as before he said money is not the issue. Key is disgusting. Profit
    over everything. The government is suppose to protect but Key is looking at the government as
    a 67 billion dollar commodity and he wants his mates and him to get some of that. He has no morals.
    Typical derivative trader. Just wants to collect his commision.

    I read this in the Herald. I am extremely upset for the family and sick to my stomach what Key is doing. Like some of you mentioned, where are the reports? Why haven’t the bodies been retrieved?? Nothing.. It sounds like the families know about as much as us.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10805355

    He didn’t have the guts to tell the family personally, he had to have his secretary write the above statement.

  21. captain hook 21

    somebody should ring him up and ask him.
    oh sorry.
    he’s in a meeting!

  22. Psychopathic caracteristics:

    The twenty traits assessed by the PCL-R score are:

    glib and superficial charm
    grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
    need for stimulation
    pathological lying
    cunning and manipulativeness
    lack of remorse or guilt
    shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
    callousness and lack of empathy
    parasitic lifestyle
    poor behavioral controls
    sexual promiscuity
    early behavior problems
    lack of realistic long-term goals
    impulsivity
    irresponsibility
    failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    many short-term marital relationships
    juvenile delinquency
    revocation of conditional release
    criminal versatility

    How many of these traits does John Key possess? I easily count 14 including criminal versatility (Being a bankster predator and politician seeling of NZ’s assets and happily lying about shares, getting bodies out of mines, conflict of interest with his shares in Bank of America)

    • Jackal 22.1

      Obviously juvenile delinquency doesn’t currently fit the bill and his early life seems to be a secret hidden behind a fabrication so we don’t know about any early behavioral problems. But I think most of the other descriptive terms can arguable be used. Of course revocation of conditional release doesn’t apply… yet.

  23. Terry 23

    Would you buy a used car from this man?
    Not me!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9YDiHx8Ob8

  24. Jan 24

    Yes, there seem to be a lot of things Mr Key says that he then somehow retracts or claims to be misquoted on or argues the semantics. Used car dealer (or financial market wheeler/dealer) springs to mind.
    I can just hear the conversation between National and Solid Energy over the Pike River purchase:
    SE: So John / Gerry, why would we want to buy Pike River, when it’s too dangerous to go in?
    JK: Well, I’ll tell you what. Buy the place, don’t worry, we’ll give you a good price, the small creditors don’t need paying, then pretend to do a bit of investigative work for a year or so and just hold on. I know the land is DOC land, but we’re working on opening that all up to mining and I know we can swing you turning that place into an open cast mine, no worries. We’ll soften up the punters by concentrating on the Coromandel first, you know, distract them with a couple of small ones to get upset about, then forget them again,before we quietly change the rules on Pike River and you can get all the coal you want from there. Right Gerry?
    GB: yep, John, that’s normally how we do and I can’t see a reason why we wouldn’t do it here.

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    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    2 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    5 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    6 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    6 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    6 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    7 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    7 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    7 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    1 week ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    1 week ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    1 week ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago

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