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“As slippery as a snake in wet grass”

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 59 comments
Categories: budget 2008, john key - Tags: , ,

John Campbell interviews John Key on the budget, refusing to let him get away with merely repeating his focus-grouped lines.

At about the 3 minute mark Campbell challenges Key’s evasiveness directly: “I think you are as slippery as a snake in wet grass”.

It’s not just the media that are starting to get frustrated with Key and National’s refusal to come clean on the details. It happened with a family who were interviewed on Close Up too, I’ll post that video shortly.

59 comments on ““As slippery as a snake in wet grass””

  1. Stephen 1

    I know what you’re getting at, but your conclusion seems to be that it’s not fair enough for National to wait for the budget to come out so they can cost their own policies?

  2. IrishBill 2

    Thanks AYB, I missed this last night. I’m amazed at how much Key has changed his tune between this clip last night and his “Tax cuts are not the only priority” line he was running on morning report today. It’s starting to seem less like spin bingo and more like spin wheel of fortune. What will he say next? Let’s spin the wheel and see!

  3. Monty 3

    Stephen is correct – National can now work their policies on what is known. How could National possibly release their tax package without knowledge of Cullen’s desperate lolly scramble.

    [How then, can Key promise more cuts? SP]

    Cambel showed his true leftist colours by that dispicable comment. I imagine the howls of anguish if Paul Henry said similar to Helen Clark – and God knows she deserves the title of cunning – she never answers a question with a straight and direct answer if there is a little difficulty. – I hope to hell the bosses at TV3 haul that prick over the coals for such disrespect.

  4. Lew 4

    Monty: Holding leaders to account is what reporters do, and I think that it was fair comment.

    Key handled it very well, though – didn’t retaliate, didn’t get angry, just calmly repeated his message. He looked bullet-proof.

    I’ll be interested to see a bit more policy, now. I think if National keeps with the generalisations for much longer the electorate will start to get suspicious.

    L

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    GG John Campbell. Called it like it was.

  6. big bruv 6

    Campbell is a disgrace, he is just another in the long line of Labour luvvies who masquerade as journalists.

    [lprent: I see that bruv is still acting like a machine. I wonder where the spam engine picked up that line from. Pity the machine can’t spell]

  7. all_your_base 7

    Campbell wasn’t the only one frustrated with Key’s fluffing. I’ll post the other vids in a sec.

  8. Stephen 8

    Paul Henry had a bit of a go at Key this morning too, though in the end seemed to accept that now National had access to a budget they could get down to the nitty-gritty…cutting (*sigh*) ‘pork’ I suppose. They HAVE to wait so they can ‘beat’ Labour (political reasons) while at the same time costing their policies for making everyone ‘rich, richer than astronauts!’ (I’m sceptical about National policies making THAT much of a difference – but still, hopefully they can think of something)

  9. big bruv 9

    Iprent

    Would it kill you to be even a tiny bit objective?

    There is nothing wrong with being a supporter of one side or the other but this place does nothing more than recycle Labour party propaganda and lies.

    [lprent: Stephen just made my point. This is a site for discussion. I’m very harsh on using it as place to drop soundbites. They don’t enhance discussion. So I track people who do it as their major form of comment and steadily get harsher over time. From past experience, that includes you]

  10. Stephen 10

    BB, would it have killed you to make the first comment vaguely constructive or even present an argument? (with ‘evidence’)

  11. Stephen. Great Simpsons reference.

    I don’t know how Key gets away with saying his cuts will be bigger and he’ll magically be able to cut waste that Labour can’t

    When he made that comment that there’s been no review of the $60 billion the Govt spends for ten years, the Laobur Ministers cracked up – their jobs are about trying to get more for less, they want to be able to deliver more public services cheaper, not have embarrassing stories of waste or waiting lists, and be able to free money for popular tax cuts. They’re all about trying to cut waste – to think Key can come in and magically do better is dreaming.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Even the rather blue rinse Kathryn Ryan got peeved with JK just a few moments ago, saying “how do we assess your credibility” when Key refused to explain the gap between the $0.5b of cuts he could identify, and the fact that he was promising tax cuts costing MUCH more than the $2.5b Labour have committed to.

    Repeatedly he stated “we will not borrow for tax cuts”, but then went on to say that he would “increase borrowing for infrastructure”… an absurd evasion. Ryan challenged him on this three times, “but you only have one Budget and the numbers all have to add up”, and three times Key just waffled with how complex govt was and by how re-jigging “priorities” he was certain that huge savings could be made.

    In the end Ryan just blew him off, letting the news run over him.

  13. Stephen 13

    A whole generation will be using Simpsons references for a while now, which is good, cos I haven’t had that much Monty Python exposure.

    Steve, their job should of course *always* be to get more for less, but I have never been sure about the incentive to do so, especially when ‘bracket creep’ was providing the government with more tax dollars every year (yes, they spent money on programs). Do you have a view on the Rudd government commanding the public service to make savings of 5%?

    Redlogix, Key said on Breakfast this morning that capping public servant numbers would save a lot of money, but that would very much have to be over the long-term, and would not make a difference if it took effect next year, thats for sure.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    RedLogix

    That was quite a revealing interview, and I recommend people listen when it comes up on the Radio NZ website.

    National’s basic problem (not just for winning an election, but for governing) is that they need a Skyhawk … well, not literally, but their equivalent of Labour coming into office in 1999 and cancelling a big ticket spending item. You get attacked for it, but you have to accept that if you’re going to have credibility. Promising to keep everything that costs money (except that embassy in Sweden!) is just storing up a whole heap of trouble for themselves – not least with their own supporters.

  15. If a Journo said “I think you are as slippery as a snake in wet grass’, to Aunty Helen, you guys would start up a petition to get them fired.

    What a low standard the media has.

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    Key tried that line on Live last night (and Close-Up I think) – he’s not going to borrow for tax cuts, only infrastructure.

    I’m going to blow all my pay on turps, and then borrow money to pay the bills. This means I’m borrowing to pay for essential serviced, not to get plastered from here to the Horowhenua, right?

    Irish – last night, tax cuts were National’s main, one and only priority. Has he changed his tune overnight?

    I guess the commonplace ceases to be noteworthy but I’d like to know if he’s still at it.

    I also liked the fact that there will be no cuts to the public service, only a cap. Yet Key mentioned ‘natural attrition’ repeatedly last night – that’s certainly a good way to ensure something becomed overworked and inefficient, but what does that matter if your only priority is tax cuts. I don’t care if prison escapes jump 70% or it takes me four months to get a passport!

  17. Stephen 17

    Is there a problem with borrowing for infrastructure i.e. getting future generations to pay too?

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Stephen – well yes. Borrowing costs a lot of money. If they’re improvements that are needed now or should have been completed some time ago it’s not good practice to saddle future generations with debt (and the cost of servicing debt) because people aren’t willing to stump up now.

    And it’s still borrowing for tax cuts in this context.

  19. ghostwhowalks 19

    The reason the government should be getting out of increasing borrowing is that the public is doing it for them. Plus the SOEs have their own debt, plus the future railways which will borrow/lease new rolling stock
    Check out what has happened to Iceland in the last 6 months as the debt for transformation came back to bite
    Some bloody long link

    previously there was not a high level of personal borrowing but that has all changed in the last 10 years, with homes, cars , credit cards, houshold items and even student debt making it normal to have large amounts of personal debt

    [lprent: fixed link with appropiate text]

  20. Stephen 20

    Well ideally the need for big infrastructure investments do not just appear out of nowhere (“needed now”), they are planned many years in advance. I’m not aware of any urgent needs in that sense except for WEANING US OFF OIL! ahem.

  21. Lew 21

    Brett Dale: Plenty of journos have said worse to Helen Clark, and I for one am not calling for the banning of anything – bring on this sort of thing. Where I draw the line is with the `Feminazi’ line and similar symbolic attacks of an offensive or obscene nature, though mostly it just marks the commentator out as impervious to reason.

    L

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Stephen, often they are planned for many years in advance, and delayed for even longer! That’s what happened in the 1990s – and why Labour has had to spend so much to ‘catch up’. I’ve gone up SH1 from Wellington pretty much yearly for a good part of the last three decades – and the improvements over the last decade astound me, in comparison to the one prior.

    Yes, there can’t be enough investment in public transport, trains and renewable energy sources.

    However other factors make an investment requirement urgent – an unexpected increase in the use of any piece of infrastructure can make it obsolete decades before expected.

  23. LEW:

    I cannot ever remember a Journo on a main network calling Helen Clark a snake or something wrose, there would be an outcry if they did.

    Could you please provide a quote from TVNZ or TV3.

    [lprent: I’m thinking that you are missing the point of a blog. It isn’t a news site, it is an opinion site. The posters express their opinion, and then try to back it up.

    In the msm, the only rough equivalent are meant to be clearly marked as opinion peices and editorials.In the latter the media source isn’t responsible for content apart from defamation and libel.

    Even those aren’t equivalent to this site. This is run by amateurs not professionals and doesn’t charge anything to either advertisers or ‘subscribers’.

    But I’d be interested in where this discussion goes.]

    [lprent: my apologies – I read the discussion in my usual backwards order. I see that I was incorrect. It triggered my ‘site attack’ responses. I’ve now read the comment stream in correct order.
    Sorry Brett]

  24. RedLogix 24

    The old argument about borrowing is simple. Govt really has to make the same fundamental choice as does any family or small business.

    1. In general borrowing for groceries or the wage bill is completely wrong. (Except to cover very specific short-term requirements.)

    2. Borrowing for unproductive assets, like cars and wide-screen TV’s is generally a recipe for endemic poverty.

    3. Borrowing is acceptable on assets that produce a direct benefit or positive cash flow, eg a home to live in, or plant and machinery that generates income. In this sense all govts (including this one) do borrow to fund infrastructure.

    4. But borrowing is conditional on two main factors, security and ability to service the loan.

    5. Loan servicing is generally limited to a percentage of income. Generally a loan over a certain multiple of annual income becomes “stressful”. If I have a household income of say $60k, a mortgage of about $200-250k is about as much as I can sensibly borrow. But Government lending is not done in isolation; as far as NZ Inc is concerned public and private sector debt are one and the same thing. At the moment NZ Inc has over $350b of private sector debt, any increase in public sector debt is in additional to that.

    JK’s proposals to massively increase borrowing to fund his tax cuts must be seen in this context. More public sector debt means a total higher risk for NZ and higher interest rates for ALL of us. Where is the authoritative analysis and debate on this?

    6. Loan security is the other major factor. Security is what you have to give up when everything turns to custard. For a household, it may be their home, for a business it means bankrupcy… for a nation it means their future. We’ve been through this once before when we sold off assets at firesale prices in order stave off the receivers.

    Far too much of New Zealand is already owned or controlled by overseas interests. JK’s proposal to mortgage off our future means that we are risking what we do have left onto the slaughtering block of big global money. Recall for a moment Rio Tinto’s threats over the Bluff smelter just last week… this is what happens when other people own your country.

  25. Ari 25

    Stephen- borrowing for infrastructure is fine, if you’re not running an ever-increasing debt. Because debts cost interest, paying off debts is an even more stable way of increasing your available cash later than investing is. I have no problem with borrowing to spend on infrastructure, if that borrowing meets a few criteria:

    a) The return from the infrastructure goes directly to either the public or the government.
    b) Failing that, the private companies or individuals who benefit invest even more in the infrastructure than the government does, and make commitments to fair service for the public.
    c) We’re borrowing for something that we couldn’t realistically cut other expenditures/save for in the time we need it.
    d) We run a level of debt that we can pay off during economic highs.

    The problem is essentially that National is promising you both the having and the eating of the cake at the same time, in response to having already eaten all the cake themselves ten years ago. They want to give you excessive tax cuts, but they’re also pointing out we’re lacking in infrastructure- that’s because they let our infrastructure fall behind in the ’90s.

    Essentially, if you take spending on infrastructure as a given, (which it is this election) you have a classic dichotomy:

    Infrastructure and other public spending funded through tax burden in the good economic years and relief of the national debt funds tax relief in bad years, and with constant expenditure on infrastructure, cost reliefs are noticable.

    OR

    Infrastructure and minimal spending funded through debt, tax cuts stimulating spending, but demand fueling higher costs meaning that there’s no real relief during economic lows.

    Personally, I much prefer the first choice.

  26. Stephen 26

    Hmm, what about this from Bernard Hickey?!:

    Buried in the budget is a line about unspecified spending cuts totalling NZ$1 billion over the next four years that Labour will have to find to help pay for the tax cuts. Dr Cullen flat out refused to answer my question in the lockup about what type of spending cuts they would be. The only answer he could have given is that he hasn’t dreamt them up yet. We can be sure he won’t enlighten us before the election.

    http://tinyurl.com/466xzm

  27. Ari 27

    Hah… apparently that chat on wednesday has had us channeling each other, Red. 😉

  28. To start with I don’t trust Hickey as he has repeately shown himself to be both partisan and not very good with numbers. But (and this a big “but”) if he is correct that means finding $250m a year which could mean reducing Public Service growth to $250m a year. That would be a shitty way to do it though. In reality I’d say it’s margin of error stuff as there is not tax cut forecast for 2009 and $250m could easily be picked up by a small (think second or third decimal place) increase in growth.

  29. AncientGeek 29

    Stephen: Interesting.

    That provides a minimum basis for judging whatever the Nat’s come up with. They have to start with at least $1 billion of cuts before they can even start to get bigger taxcuts.

    I wish I had time to follow this at present.

    recaptcha: furor the
    Yes, and I’m missing out

  30. Lew 30

    Brett Dale: So only TV counts, then? Bollocks.

    Although it’s on the subject of radio, I invite you to read my research paper on the topic of attacks on Helen Clark – email me, lewis%feayn;org for a copy. There’s no shortage of such matter out there: Clark is one of the world’s most reviled politicians, by a particular segment of NZ society.

    L

  31. Ari 31

    I’ll have a check with the actual economist in the household tonight and see what he has to say on Hickey’s take, Stephen. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised, and frankly, all that means is that what National would need to offer to trump Labour would be very scary indeed.

    Can Labour afford to do that? Absolutely. This is a tight time in the market and it’s in for some volatility, so whether it’s cuts or big social spending, SOMETHING was called for, and planning for that has been Cullen’s big strategy.

  32. IrishBill 32

    Hey Matt, Key went on and on about how tax cuts are not the only policy that matters when he was on morning report this morning. The link to the podcast is

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    .

  33. Matthew Pilott 33

    Buried in the budget is a line about unspecified spending cuts totalling NZ$1 billion over the next four years that Labour will have to find to help pay for the tax cuts.

    Stephen – that was a cut out of future spending – i.e. Cullen keeps a portion of projected tax take free for vital discretionary future spending. Previously, $1bn was allocated. Now, it’s $750m.

    If Hickey tried to ask Cullen what future, unallocated (and presumably unknown, at this stage) spending Cullen was going to cut, I’d be unsurpirsed if Cullen was laughing too much to answer the idiot!!!

    Irish – cheers, I’ll take a look. Might make for an interesting transcript to contrast with last night’s effort on Campbell Live.

  34. RedLogix 34

    Of course tax cuts are not the only policy that matters, but the hell of it is that National have spent five years MAKING it so in the mind of the public.

    To now claim otherwise is pitiful.

    Here are some things I really think matter:

    1. Weaning NZ off oil and taking our place in a legitimate global effort to transform our economies toward sustainable technologies.

    2. Addressing the poverty of values now endemic in our communities that have for several generations been alienated from the traditional bedrock institution of the churches. Little to nothing has taken their place for many.

    3. As Nandor spoke to on Wed night, the de-centralisation of power away from the nation state, developing a newer model with seamless regional/cultural/national/global layers in which ordinary people can both have meaningful participation and hold authority to account.

    4. Rebuilding a sense of vision for people that involves more than just making money. It is an old truth that the one and only thing that actually makes us happy is being deeply connected to community around us and being of SERVICE to them. Our current political leadership (both National and Labour) have failed to articulate an authentic leadership that ordinary people can connect with, and this more than anything else is I suspect the reason why politicians are generally held in such low regard.

    I would much rather we could talk about these things, how to build a momentum to some real change … not this fiddling with deck chairs agenda that National insists on.

  35. Stephen 35

    This matter is a little opaque Matthew, thanks.

  36. Stephen 36

    Yes Redlogix, on 3, I’ve always been very keen to see how the Greens mean to articulate the ‘anarchist’ branch of their ideology/s. They got 4 million for the Citizen’s Forum-thing on the EFB, and 10 million more for the ‘Community Organisation Grants Scheme’ (not really anarchist i spose, but very much community-based), but I *really* wish Nandor had been able to do more on this, or at the very least provoke some sort of DEBATE based on some sort of anarchist-grounded idea.

    from http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech11849.html, with the other stuff they secured in the budget

  37. Policy Parrot 37

    When JK said “no.1 priority” with regard to tax cuts – did this ring a few bells in similarity to Jim Bolger about “unemployment” in 1990?

  38. DS 38

    “When JK said “no.1 priority’ with regard to tax cuts – did this ring a few bells in similarity to Jim Bolger about “unemployment’ in 1990?”

    Now we just need Key to start making promises with “no ifs, no buts, not maybes.”

  39. Does anybody here know were money comes from, how it’s made?
    This is a sincere invitation on the subject and not something smarty pants, I’m just interested if anybody has ever wondered about this and done some research?

  40. Lew 40

    Ev: See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System for a case study of the US Federal Reserve. Most countries with elastic currencies have some similar central bank mechanism.

    L

  41. Lew:

    I agree, that Aunty Helen is not liked by certain members of society, those members being people who believe in choice and personal responsibility, people who believe the Government isn’t there to bail you out if you make bad choices, people who believe it doesnt matter what your gender/religion or race is, but everybody is EQUAL.

    Yep us common decent folk who pay our bills on time, dont like Aunty Helen.

  42. Lew 42

    Brett: Fire your speech writers, they’re too obvious.

    L

  43. gobsmacked 43

    Brett, I thought you were claiming to be a “lifelong Labour voter”?

    So you have voted for Aunty Helen four elections in a row. A strange way to show her how you feel.

  44. Matthew Pilott 44

    Brett Dale – is it easier to think you’re right when you think in such childish black and white terms?

    Is everything more clear cut when you can stereotype and imagine your opponents away, into a subsection of society that smokes, drinks, gambles and eats bad food?

    Is it easier to be obnoxious when you’re positive that you’re better than everyone else?

    I’m on the verge of retracting my earlier retraction with a rant like that. Here’s a question for you:

    In 1999, do you think that 38.74% of the population were not “common decent folk who pay [their] bills on time”, people who don’t “believe in choice and personal responsibility”, people who don’t “believe the Government isn’t there to bail you out if you make bad choices”, people who believe it does “matter what your gender/religion or race is” and people who don’t think that “everybody is EQUAL”.

    Do you think the same applied to 41.26% of New Zealand’s population in 2002?

    Do you think the same applied to 41.1% of the population on 2005?

    You, champ, have a f%#&ing low opinion of a whole lot of your fellow New Zealanders. Tell you what – I reciprocate.

  45. I use to vote Labour, but never voted for Aunty Helen four times.

    With all she has done in the last few years, I will NEVER vote for her party again.

  46. Matthew Pilott 46

    And on that little rant of my own, good weekend all!

  47. We who want to know 47

    On a complete tangent…

    WTF is going on with John Key’s hair? Is he dying it? Is it plugs? Glued on?

    It’s the receding hairline, the odd denseness, the brown-on-the-top grey-on-the-bottom… what are his imagemeisters thinking?

    [lprent: Please don’t go there. I hate the discussions that tend to hang off the physical attributes. They tend to be completely meaningless. I’ll tolerate remarks but not full blown discussions. They’re soooooooo boring.]

  48. Yeah – business tax cuts, family tax cuts, personal tax cuts, more money for health, education etc.

    I can see why you wouldn’t vote for her Brett. Not enough for the environment. You’ll be doing two ticks Green come the big day, eh?

  49. IrishBill 49

    I think Brett is concerned that the benefit cuts haven’t been reversed. Me too, Brett. Me too.

  50. QoT 50

    Just to totally lower the tone of the conversation, between this and the CloseUp vid linked I’m rather tempted to create a John Key drinking game – 1 shot for “What I CAN tell you is”, 1 shot “I BELIEVE National will” and finish the vessel for that single solitary “We WILL do xyz”.

    In the interests of bipartisan pissing-up, there will of course be other party-leader drinking games: finish the vessel when Helen Clark horrifically pwns her own Party President, a tiny sip for Peters questioning John Campbell’s journalistic integrity, some kind of sliding scale for the wackiness of Dunne’s bowties …

  51. IrishBill 51

    Nice idea Qot but I doubt even I would make it past the first two interviews without passing out if the rules were that loose. There’s about 10 shots in the five minute Campbell interview alone!

  52. QoT 52

    IB – I know I personally would prefer to spend most of this election campaign happily comatose!

  53. gobsmacked 53

    Brett: “I use to vote Labour, but never voted for Aunty Helen four times.”

    Therefore you did not vote Labour at the last election, and therefore you have not switched your vote since. Thanks for finally clearing that up, after you tried several times on this blog to give a different impression. It took a while, but we got there in the end.

  54. r0b 54

    Does anybody here know were money comes from, how it’s made?
    This is a sincere invitation on the subject and not something smarty pants, I’m just interested if anybody has ever wondered about this and done some research?

    Hi Eve

    You can find lots of pages on this, e.g.:
    http://economics.about.com/cs/studentresources/f/money.htm
    http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/03/061303.asp

    But I think that you might particularly enjoy the description in this sequence of five videos (“Money as Debt”):
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sanOXoWl0kc
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kTv1fo6sKmo
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=3qicabStQkc

  55. gobsmacked:

    The other blogs I write to got it straight away. I guess you guys on the left are a little slow.
    ,
    [lprent: guess you’re going to have to explain, embellish and give explanation. Otherwise we’ll have to consider that you don’t know.]

  56. r0b,

    I was given the Money as debt DVD by the guy who made the film because I got in touch with him after seeing the movie on line. He is a really nice guy.

    I just wanted to know how many people actually thought about how money is made.

    Not a lot it seems.

    Have you seen the “Money Masters”
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936
    It is a really good documentary about the history of the money cartel.

    I also really like Edward D. Griffin when I met him in Sidney. He wrote an extensive analysis about the the true nature of the Federal reserve. The creature from Jekyll island.

    So if money is made out of thin air, as the Money as Debt clearly shows, then why are we paying through the nose for it?

    We are made to believe that banks ought to be paid interest because they take a risk in lending us “their money”, but they don’t, they just create a negative on their balance and a positive on the balance to whom they are lending too. And then they cash in on the interest.
    9% in return for nothing, quit a good scam if you ask me.

    So if banks don’t have to take risks to create money then why are we borrowing from them in the first place? Why can’t “the people” just take back the right to make their own money and do it interest free?

    If, as this documentary clearly shows, private banking is a monumental scam then why don’t we break away from it and take our lives back into our own hands.

    And lastly if, as this documentary clearly shows, the big international reserve system is owned by private Bankers and supported by the government as a system to enforce the repayment of loans made out of nothing why do we still obey it like mice in a tread mill?

    So if we can determine that the Federal Reserve system has nothing to do with the Federal government and is just a name to keep the people from really understanding how money comes into being, than why are we even remotely considering John Key as a contender, knowing he has been working as an advisor to the very top people in this privately owned cartel.

    For god sakes he even talks about borrowing more money. If you understand the Money as Debt system you know that that is the road to debt hell. if he had come home to do some good here he would have said,”Right people, I know how the system works and it’s not good, we are going of the international money grid.

    The fact that he doesn’t tells me all I need to know.

    Why does nobody question this system?

  57. By the way have you seen the documentary the corporation:
    Very scary
    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3969792790081230711 part 1
    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7365345393244917682 part 2

  58. Jum 58

    Re comment byRedLogix
    May 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Good point
    On No 4
    I hope you will be asking this of the Prime Minister and Labour with their election pledges. They are the best party to govern, but could certainly bring some more community to decision making.

    although
    ‘Labour’ “have failed to articulate an authentic leadership that ordinary people can connect with”
    I have a problem with. I’m ordinary and I connect very strongly to the PM’s leadership of the last 8+ years. The best things she has done is recognise the hole that business left in wages and with Michael Cullen is filling that need, to Business’ shame. The social changes for gays and the safety of prostitutes, who fill the demand from male society, were great. The microchipping was an own goal.

    But
    On No 2
    If your idea of that, with the ‘church’ influence and the ‘values’ includes forcing women and men back into roleplays of the 50s and back, you can keep that idea.

    Speaking of the shame of business – I just opened a box of Sultana bran and there is 3 inches height of wasted cardboard packaging, all designed to trick me into thinking size matched price. Disgraceful, on so many levels including the environmental one.

  59. Lew 59

    Jum: “I’m ordinary and I connect very strongly to the PM’s leadership of the last 8+ years. ”

    You and an apparently-shrinking proportion of the electorate. This is the sort of self-centred `makes sense to me so the rest of yous must just be stupid’ attitude which has fed the `arrogant’ and `out of touch’ memes.

    “Disgraceful, on so many levels including the environmental one.”

    But it worked, didn’t it? End of story. If you don’t want this sort of strategy to be commercially viable, don’t condone its use by purchasing those products.

    L

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    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    1 day ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    2 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    4 days ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    4 days ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    4 days ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    5 days ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    5 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    5 days ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    5 days ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    6 days ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    7 days ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    7 days ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    1 week ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    1 week ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    1 week ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    1 week ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Massey East houses a start but Nick Smith should think bigger
    The Massey East 196-home development is a start but the Government must think bigger if it is to end the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “It is great the Government is finally realising it needs to build ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More changes needed to ensure fewer cases like Teina Pora’s
    Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Labour sends condolences to UK
    The New Zealand Labour Party is sickened and saddened by the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Ms Cox was killed in cold blood while simply doing her job as a constituent MP. She ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list
    Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota by 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Paula Bennett as a victim hard to swallow
    The National Party spin machine has gone into overdrive to try and present Paula Bennett as the victim in the Te Puea Marae smear saga, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Bill English in Parliament today tried valiantly to paint ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Voters to have the final veto on paid parental leave
    New Zealanders will have the final right of veto on a Government that has ignored democracy and is out of touch with the pressures and demands on families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Today’s decision by National to veto 26 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Collins should put Kiwis’ money where her mouth is
    Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash is calling on anyone who has received a speeding ticket for going up to 5km/h over the 100km/hr open road speed limit to write to him and he will take it up on their behalf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the leadership on equal pay for work of equal value?
    The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year
    New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pora case a case to learn from
    Conformation that Teina Pora will receive $2.5million from the Crown for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment does not fix the flaws in our system that led to this miscarriage of justice, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to start again with RMA changes
    The National Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act have attracted more than 800 submissions, many of them critical of key aspects of the Resource Legislation Bill. There has been much criticism of the new regulation making powers given ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago

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