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Armstrong: Brownlee’s big idea turning to custard

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, May 1st, 2010 - 18 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, Mining - Tags:

Herald chief political commentator John Armstrong writes why Brownlee’s mining plans are turning a shade of yellow. Some interesting observations – worth a read.

Along with Brownlee’s exceptionally poor performance as Leader of the House, one wonders how much his sub-par handling of the mining issue has damaged his standing in Cabinet.

Minister perhaps bit off more than he could chew with mining policy

Gerry Brownlee’s search for El Dorado in this country’s supposedly mineral-ridden national parks has so far been more akin to King Midas in reverse. The only gold to be seen is the colour of the custard to which the whole exercise has rapidly been turning.

Brownlee’s Cabinet colleagues will surely be asking each other how someone of his seniority and political acumen has lost control of what was his political baby from the start.

Little wonder then that the centre-left – wedded to the state playing a major role in social and economic policy – sees another, less visible agenda operating here.

Brownlee’s plan to lift the ban on mining in national parks and on other parcels of land of high conservation value has become – much to Labour’s and the Greens’ delight – the story which refuses to die. And there is plenty more to come with things still only at the discussion document stage.

In a week dominated by a major report on the liquor laws and a gob-smacking hike in tobacco tax, the continuing melee over mining still barged its way onto the daily political agenda. A confusing press statement and map issued by his officials in the Ministry of Economic Development forced Brownlee to offer further reassurance that Mt Aspiring National Park will remain untouched.

All in all, the privatisation of policy-making is another dagger plunged into a public service already reeling under injurious cost-cutting pressures.

Next up was Jan Wright, Parliament’s official environmental watchdog, who rubbished Brownlee’s discussion document as incoherent.

That report, which has so far drawn more than 14,000 submissions from the public, details the portions of protected land which might be removed from the “Schedule Four” list of areas in the Crown Minerals Act currently off limits to mining operations.

Wright slammed the document as inadequate in assessing the real ecological impact of mining in specific localities, deficient in the way it measures the value of minerals claimed to be underground and unacceptable in recommending additions to Schedule Four as some kind of quid pro quo for taking other land out of that protection.

Her parting shot was to warn she would be back with a far more extensive report on the mining of the Conservation estate around the time the Cabinet would be making final decisions on which areas would be removed from Schedule Four.

If all that was not enough, the Opposition seized on Cabinet papers which revealed Brownlee and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson had originally proposed that significant chunks of the Coromandel and the Mt Aspiring, Kahurangi, and Rakiura national parks be lopped off Schedule Four – close to 470,000ha in total.

That option would have seen almost all Department of Conservation-administered land in the Coromandel – about 30 per cent of the peninsular – wiped from the schedule.

Those sort of figures were clearly way beyond some ministers’ comfort levels. The discussion document was delayed so it could be substantially diluted to just 7000ha. Brownlee then failed to do the necessary sales job once the discussion document had been released.

It was always going to be an almighty task however, convincing people that there is a direct link between inviting the mining industry to burrow into pristine tracts of the Conservation estate and New Zealanders becoming materially better off.

New Zealand is littered with evidence of the boom-bust nature of some mining operations. Mining is a vital industry. But suddenly highlighting it as paving the way to economic nirvana jars with the message force-fed to New Zealanders for more than two decades – that economic salvation lies in developing enterprises based on innovation and adding value, not commodities at the mercy of international price fluctuations.

The lesson other ministers will draw from this shemozzle is not necessarily just the obvious one of political salesmanship, however.

Brownlee’s difficulties will confirm in their minds that when the Government wants policy advice on major and tricky reforms, it should seek that advice from outside the core public service, rather than rely on departmental officials as he did.

Labour began this process with Helen Clark going over the heads of the Justice Department by using Sir Geoffrey Palmer’s quasi-autonomous Law Commission as a policy think-tank on law and order measures.

But National has taken things a whole lot further. Its de facto “privatisation” of policy advice is manifest in the plethora of task forces, working parties and ministerial reference groups comprising experts drawn from outside the public service.

That is where the action is. The bureaucrats are finding themselves sidelined across the whole spectrum of policy development.

A ministerial group chaired by former Treasury boss Murray Horn has driven the restructuring of the Ministry of Health, such that he now chairs the new national health board that he recommended be established to streamline the delivery of health services.

A working group of tax experts laid the foundations for this month’s Budget, while a welfare working group set up by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been tasked with coming up with policies to tackle long-term welfare dependence.

This approach has numerous political advantages which stretch beyond just tailoring the membership to get the recommendations a minister wants.

Inevitably, the ideological make-up of such task forces means the ensuing recommendations may be quite radical. If so, the minister can simply reject them out of hand. Alternatively, he or she can leave them hanging both to gauge public reaction and soften the public up to them being implemented. Crucially, the minister does not have to share ownership of any proposals until it is safe to do so. He or she can keep a healthy distance from any barmy stuff. That is not the case with policies which emanate in the public service. The first the public gets to hear of them is when a minister announces them following what is usually months of behind-the-scenes work by officials.

If the public does not like the policies, then the minister alone takes the rap. That has been Brownlee’s fate. His wish to expand mining on the Conservation estate where a significant amount of New Zealand’s mineral potential is thought to lie was matched if not exceeded by his enthusiastic officials.

In a move which was downright cruel, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Department of Conservation were brought together to form a joint working group of officials to conduct the stocktake of Schedule Four.

By definition of the group’s task, DoC, as the agency advocating for conservation, could at best fight only a rearguard action. It failed to do even that. The result was recommendations which went way beyond what the Prime Minister would have found politically palatable.

The subsequent delays in the discussion document’s release meant media speculation of Cabinet division.

To cap things off, the bureaucratic infighting created a climate for the leaking of the Government’s intentions in order to embarrass Brownlee.

In contrast, a leak from a task force seemingly operating independently is not going to give a minister much angst.

Leaks do nothing for National’s trust of public servants. Leaks will only make it more likely ministers will opt for outside advice, leaving officials as a backstop gauging any potential pitfalls.

It’s been clear since this issue was on the table it was always going to be politically challenging. One wonders why Mr Brownlee should be so surprised when he’s proposing to run bulldozers over our natural heritage.

By the sounds of Armstrong’s article some of Brownlee’s Cabinet colleagues were not surprised.

18 comments on “Armstrong: Brownlee’s big idea turning to custard”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Good Saturday morning, New Zealand.

    It’s May Day.

    Right under your noses, they are stealing your country.

    Wake up !

  2. coolas 2

    High fives to Jan Wright for her gutsy challenge to Brownlee, which seems to’ve given Armstrong the courage to do his job properly. Great stuff John.

    Let’s hope other powerful MSM journalists awake out of their trances and disseminate the ‘real story’ machinations of this incompetent Government.

  3. ianmac 3

    As a resident cynic I wonder if the fuss about mining, which will be sometime in the distant future, is a convenient distraction to say the current sacking of Ecan, and the water extraction from Canterbury and then in…..

  4. NickS 4

    Armstrong’s got a point about the government’s use of what are effectively think tanks to do the dirty work, instead of using the resources in policy R&D in the ministries and links to university researchers built up over time. For as we’ve seen with with the Brash taskforce + the welfare one set up by Bennett, this allows a minister to get the answers they want, instead of an actual critical review of the literature, current policy, and future policy aims to see what changes may be needed. Which as we’ve so far seen, leads to a waste of policy R&D money, but also provides “work” for members of the old boys network.

    It’s a bit laughable considering NACT’s rhetoric over private sector efficiency when they end up scrapping policy R&D that’s cost the tax payer a pretty sum, but as Armstrong notes and other commentators have here, it might just be this is for softening up the public to harsher policies, or gauging public reactions. Although wouldn’t it just be cheaper to hire a polling company to do the ground work? Oh, that’s right, their pet poller DPF doesn’t do mates rates, nor produce useful polling data…

  5. Brownlee’s difficulties will confirm in their minds that when the Government wants policy advice on major and tricky reforms, it should seek that advice from outside the core public service, rather than rely on departmental officials as he did.

    Which is very odd, given that the public service has done its job and given Brownlee exactly the advice he asked for. He asked for a paper proposing opening vast swathes of national parks to mining, he got it. When Cabinet rejected it as too radical, he got a more conservative plan. And when they rejected that, he got the current one. I’m sure he’s also had people telling him its a terrible idea (well, maybe not the loonies in Crown Minerals, who are pretty much a wholly-owned subsidiary of Straterra, but certainly from DoC). If he chose to ignore them and bull on, then its hardly the fault of the public service.

    • zonk 5.1

      yes I did think this was odd.

      though as Mr Campbell at Scoop has reported most of the valuations were from a single industry source.

      It doesn’t seem logical that it was the fault of the public service for what is a terrible idea. Very odd reasoning.

      And as you continue to point out so well on your blog there has been plenty of advice to National ministers about the obvious drawbacks in their ramshackle schemes ie national standards, car crushing, Bill of Rights, etc etc….

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    By the look of that article Armstrong is blaming the public service for the mining proposal failing. He seems to be recommending that the ministries be sidelined and private consultants brought in so that the ministers get the answers that they want.

  7. Tigger 7

    Expect more ‘leaks’ and thus reasons to gut the untrustworthy civil servants.

  8. Jim Nald 8

    Is the Government determined to undermine and decimate the pillars of democratic society, of which the neutral public service has been one and which is gradually being axed, manipulated or silenced?

  9. McRad 9

    Brownlee may have lost control of “his political baby” but Mr Key’s golden touch might uncover the tourism potential of these new mines yet. Here’s the, um, dirt: http://weeklycoitus.co.nz/?p=855

    • lprent 9.1

      That is amusing. You can imagine some blogging woofters like adamsmith or certain others running that spinners line. In fact I think I’ve seen it run here amongst the comments.

      Added your site to the blogroll so I can find it again.

    • frog 9.2

      Wasn’t it once “Daily Coitus”? It’s always been good, but the lack of frequency is disappointing.

      • Jim Nald 9.2.1

        Thanks! On my list of sites to check out regularly.
        Perhaps they need a bit of Viagra to get it going more often?
        🙂

  10. Jenny 10

    Brownlee’s assurances of Sustainable and Keyhole mining are just not credible.

    Not only do things go wrong in the mining and extraction industries, but there is also a culture of cover up and minimising of environmental degradation.

    Northern Territory government has accused miners of cover-ups.

    “It’s a culture of cover-up and it’s not acceptable,” NT Environment Minister Karl Hampton.

    Covered up

    [lprent: Looks like you cut and pasted the link from something odd. It was a bit malformed. Located the link and replaced it. ]

  11. Flatfish 11

    I thought the initial quotes/ideas/wet-dreams of the below ground wealth came from an external thunk-tank not from the public service (PS) or the CRIs. Effectively a lobbyist sticking a digit up.

    Once Brownlee/NACT was hooked, the PS appear to have been dragged in when asked what land to open up.

  12. randal 12

    too many sausage rolls have fuddled his brain.
    he comes on like the last geological survey was only yesterday but all the work was done years ago and anybody who knows about these things knows that most ore bodies in new zealand are pretty miniscule and uneconomic.
    just like the national part really.

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    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
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    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
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    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
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    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
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    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
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    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
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    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
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    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
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    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    12 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    17 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
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    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    20 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
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    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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