web analytics
The Standard

Auckland Council’s next 100 days

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, January 14th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, len brown, local government - Tags:

Auckland

Let me tell you the consequences of Auckland’s leadership remaining at a standstill.

Unless Council’s 2014 budget is drafted by February Auckland could have the same kind of Government shut down that occurred in the United States recently.

Unless a Unitary Plan Hearings Panel is set up and running within the next year, every house owner and house builder will have not one but seven sets of Council rules to deal with and the Auckland Plan vision will go out the window.

Unless Auckland Council nails a funding plan in 2014 there will be no City Rail Link in the future.  We will remain a motorway dominated car dominated mess as far as the eye can see.

If fresh leadership fails to rise soon, the ratepayers of Auckland will remain Auckland’s primary source of budget funding.  There will be no alternative funding plan for Auckland, just more rates bills.

If Council’s new Chief Executive remains as trapped by political scandal as the previous one, Council’s CCOs will continue to frustrate citizens and each other rather than be Auckland’s growth engine.

If Councillors continue to cannibalise each other with investigations, Auckland will start to represent the permanent revolution of France after 1789, when the old order was deposed but no one cared what a replacement good Government looked like.  Instead they swam in their own self-righteous gore.

Unless there is a great re-start in 2014, the urban decay of suburbs will continue.  There will be no revived Otahuhu, no grand plan for Avondale, no street upgrade for Takapuna, no transit cohesion for Manukau, no new mainstreet for Papakura, no nothing for Ponsonby Road, no chance ever of electric trains to Pukekohe, no busway to Pakuranga or Botany Downs, nothing except a few millionaire enclaves and the rest of the city in quickly deepening inequality.

Unless Councillors stop fighting each other there is a real risk that Central Government agencies will start doing Auckland Council’s job for them.  This will start with the Audit Office, then NZTA and the Ministry of Transport, then potentially a Commissioner appointed to replace a consistently dysfunctional Council.  Pretty soon the last few years of reforms are replaced with a Government Department,  The people of Christchurch can tell you what that feels like.  Government may well ask if Auckland’s Council would run better without any democracy and simply have a Ministry for Auckland if this mess continues.

If there is no strong leadership in 2014, the days of Auckland hosting another Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup, Masters Games or Americas Cup are over.  Would you believe a bid now from Toronto?

If the chaos at the top table continues, the smart money will close their chequebooks and go elsewhere.  In just three short years, Auckland’s film industry has gone from flourishing to failure and this will get worse.

Citizens, central Government and business can all see what is at stake if Auckland Council continues without strong leadership.  This is no moment for “forgive and forget” platitudes.  But the great momentum of last term has been halted dead.  Council’s easy road is to start the perpetual guillotine of inquiry and mire in the spectacle of destruction.  We will then look back by November 2016 and weep at what could have been.

The Council was elected just months ago to lead one third of New Zealanders into a confident future backed by Government, by sound financial plans, by a fresh Unitary Plan, and with a single unified vision.

They have 100 days to restart Auckland and unite Cabinet, Council and citizens again.  After that, the national mind turns once more to Central Government elections.  By April 2014  the people are back on side for this electoral term or they are done with you.

46 comments on “Auckland Council’s next 100 days”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    The “chaos at the top table” is political. Party political. Ideological. Just like their tea party fellow travellers in the US, the rabid right Tories here in Auckland are donkey deep in rendering the city ungovernable. Their only solution is complete capitulation to them and their agenda. So this is actually now a test of the left, not the right. Unless the left get in behind Brown and his agenda for the city, and confront the politics for what they are, the right will get it all. Including selling the city’s assets to their mates, and regressive high universal charges, and a rates cut, and the rest of the neo-con play book. So it’s now up to the left. Maybe they actually want the rabid right to win, to feed their righteous indignation and moral superiority?

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      + 1,000,000

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 1.2

      Unless the left get in behind Brown and his agenda for the city, and confront the politics for what they are, the right will get it all.

      Brown’s toxic now. No-one will go near him, and in an election year that’s a disaster for Auckland.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      So it’s now up to the left.

      Yep, we have to let the people know that the rabid right are doing exactly what the Tea Party in the US is doing and that it will cost them far more and not just in money but in loss of democracy as well.

    • Pete 1.4

      This is the problem of viewing an ethical and fiduciary issue in left/right terms. Brown has lost the confidence of most Aucklanders (left and right). ‘Getting in behind Brown’ as you put it just digs the hole deeper. Until he goes this wound is going to fester. There is no point banging on about the right in this issue – it merely deflects from the real problem. When he goes everyone can get on with the job – not just the left (or the right).

  2. The Baron 2

    Mickey, what a sensible set of comments. Credit where credit is due etc etc.

    Regardless of what you think of the scandal that caused all of this, the problem remains that crucial momentum is lost and now nothing appears to be happening. I read in the paper today that some initial funding plan for the city rail link was due from Brown before year end – now not done due to the obvious distractions.

    Either our councillors need to unify, let bygones be bygones and move on to the work that needs done; or Brown needs to step down. This do nothing no mans land risks exactly what you outline above. That would be a great shame.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      No. The Tea Party loons need to pull their heads in and accept that they lost the election, probably because the majority of electors can see that they are Tea-Party loons. Brown has plenty of power and should use it to ignore them, or if they continue to get in Auckland’s way, drive over them inflicting maximum damage.

      Force them to justify playing their panty-sniffing games with Auckland’s future and don’t blink. This is another opportunity to expose the Right for the scum they are.

  3. Will@Welly 3

    Len’s got three years to redeem himself. First, he has to confront his demons. Instead of hunkering down, hiding away, he needs to prove he is the “man of steel”. He needs to galvanize the left around him and carry the fight to the right, and long-term, he needs to help find a successor.
    Rodney Hide set up the Super City to flog off Auckland’s assets, that is what National wants. Greed.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Since when is he hiding away ?

      Is the PM and the Cabinet ‘keeping a low profile’ too ?

      of course not. Its the bloody holidays.

      Did Rodney Hide face such a wringing of hands when he took up with a ‘coach’ at the Remuera Racqets Club, ditching his wife and family some time later ?

      Oh no the ‘rules’ were different then , nothing was said as he was from the’ right side’ of the marital bed.

      Later when Hide took his paramour on a taxpayer funded global tour to her brothers wedding, it was all smoothed over, his views on ‘ his entitlements’ were forgotten once he ‘paid it back’

      The hard side of politics is nice for some, when they have the right wing noise machine on their side

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 3.1.2

        Since when is he hiding away ?

        Is the PM … ‘keeping a low profile’ too ?

        Yep, playing golf with Barack Obama is pretty damn invisible. Good point.

        Later when Hide took his paramour on a taxpayer funded global tour to her brothers wedding, it was all smoothed over, his views on ‘ his entitlements’ were forgotten once he ‘paid it back’

        The fuck? It ended his political career.

  4. rich the other 4

    Good ,
    now you know how the rest of the country feels when the greens oppose almost every development around the rest of the country.

    (. There will be no revived Otahuhu, no grand plan for Avondale, no street upgrade for Takapuna, no transit cohesion for Manukau, no new mainstreet for Papakura, no nothing for Ponsonby Road, no chance ever of electric trains to Pukekohe, no busway to Pakuranga or Botany Downs, nothing except a few millionaire enclaves and the rest of the city in quickly deepening inequality.) Poor you.

    These are the type of thing the greens perpetually oppose in many parts of the country.
    Wgtn/Kapiti coast motor way development , wgtn airport extention , Taranaki , Dunedin , Hawkes Bay oil exploration , west coast mining , etc etc .

    It’s hard to be sympathetic when the rest of the country is paralyzed by factions , perhaps in the future Labour will stand up for the rest of NZ , something that’s well overdue.

    Auckland’s solution is easy ,get rid of len , problem solved.

    • karol 4.1

      Hmmm… the kinds of development the Greens support are many of the ones in line for Auckland – the rail network for instance. The Greens are not opposed to everything – just those things that are counter-productive.

      So you think “the rest of NZ”, are for oil explortaion that doesn’t have environmental safe guards?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1

        He thinks? Citation needed.

      • rich the other 4.1.2

        The point is , the rest of NZ is happy for AK to have it’s rail link and are in fact paying plenty towards it.
        It’s the roading projects around the lower NI that have been delayed for two years by the greens or their associates , the irrigation schemes in canterbury, the dam in HBay which is very hard to understand especially when the green zealots continue to preach global warming and then stall water conservation.

        These projects cannot possibly be described as counter productive , the rest of NZ is entitled to be developed to ensure prosperity for all.

        Labour’s lack of clear support for these projects is a no brainer and will ensure defeat at the polls .
        Once again , get rid of len and move on.

        • Paul 4.1.2.1

          “Preach global warming”.
          We’re discussing Science here, not religion.
          Flatearthers like yourself are the ones who rely on a belief system without evidence.
          Your mate David Cameron even acknowledges it. Is he a green zealot?

        • karol 4.1.2.2

          The point is , the rest of NZ is happy for AK to have it’s rail link and are in fact paying plenty towards it.

          Citations needed, especially re- the rest of NZ are paying plenty towards Auckland’s rail system.

          Edit: Or I could just help you out with this.

          • Paul 4.1.2.2.1

            Wasting your time Karol. Rich and like minded folk don’t rely on evidence for the arguments.
            As is clear from their ignorance of the science of climate change.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.3

          These projects cannot possibly be described as counter productive

          Actually, they can be and are.

        • millsy 4.1.2.4

          Some of us actually like to have clean water and air. You sir, are not one of them.

          I look forward to the day when company managers who gave the OK to pollution are led away to prison in handcuffs.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2

      The best solution to delay is an election? No wonder they say right wingers have below average IQ.

      You lost the election. Then your boys Slater and Wewege made you look like scum (not that they had to try too hard). You had a shit candidate who just managed to tell enough lies to get plausible doubt.

      I think it’s great: Aucklanders are getting a good look at the New Zealand Tea Party, whereas the only career Len Brown damaged was his own.

      Are you sure you should be calling for an election so soon after demonstrating that you are a bunch of unelectable partisan panty-sniffers?

    • Ad 4.3

      This is an unhelpful misdirection.

      Do you have any comment about Auckland Council?

  5. captain hook 5

    No he doesn’t. He is a trouble maker and a fomentor of dissent.
    Its still holidays and Len Brown is still the mayor and the sky is still blue and it is not going to fall on anyones head.

  6. tinfoilhat 6

    The Auckland council and Mayor are a total shambles.

    We were sold the need for the amalgamation so as to gain increased efficiencies, lower cost, and presumably lower rates.

    None of this has happened, under the current and provious council and Mayor Brown we have got the no real movement in much needed projects the previous councils had set in progress.

    More costs for the residents of Auckland in every sense of the word. Rates have risen exponentially in the past few years to the stage that many people are on the tipping edge. We are having to sell much loved homes/units/town houses because we can’t absorb the huge rate hikes on our limited incomes. Added into this the water rates: the biggest rort ever inflicted on Aucklanders. Whereas once we paid them twice a year – averaging around $100 each time, I now pay once a month averaging $60 to $70 per month. An increase from $200 to $700 plus per annum. Multiply that for families with small children and I don’t know how many of them manage to cope.

    Local boards are hamstrung and aucklanders don’t seem to be able to have any contact with the mayor or his council

  7. Paul 8

    And there was me hoping this thread might not be hijacked by the dullards and those desperate to distract.

  8. Paul 9

    Auckland is currently one of the world’s most desirable cities. Why? Because all of those who claim it to be so, state that it is because has lots of space, big houses on full sections, parks, green spaces, ability to drive to beaches etc.

    So Len Brown wants to eliminate every single thing that the world loves about Auckland, and then claim that people will like it even more when all of that is taken away? Lets destroy all of the heritage buildings, pave over all of the parks, create terraced housing that the world hates. For god’s sake, if people love something, who in any normal rational mind, would create the exact opposite, and claim that they will like that even more? Len Brown, sink to the bottom of the ocean, along with your morals.

  9. Adam Michaels 10

    It is a very sad situation, indeed to have the focus on the Mayor’s personal failings instead of the important things that need to be done in Auckland.
    With each passing day, Len Brown’s position seems more untenable and the pressing issues that face our largest city receive less attention than they are due.
    Aucklanders do not benefit from this regime, and in the long run, neither does the rest of the country.
    Leaders must be able to demonstrate that they have a vision and a means to take people along with the implementation of that vision.
    Local government needs to be able to bargain strongly with central government.
    That means the Mayor and the councillors working together.
    Time is running out for the Auckland Council. Even if Len Brown resigns- and he should, to put us all out of our misery-what a mess the city is left with.
    And who, on the Council is going to clean it up?

    • lprent 10.1

      Adam. FYI and in response to your comment amongst the mostly mindless short comments that I saw it amongst.

      Being polite doesn’t matter, nor generally does your opinion. Being able to argue intelligently and without silly slogans does matter. One of us has to release any new commenter to this site. I merely scanned (without reading) your comment because it didn’t fall into one of the moronic troll patterns.

      Read the policy if you are uncertain.

  10. RedBaronCV 11

    Well Len could sack the CEO for unauthorised spending on the witch hunt , collapse the CCO’s, hand a junk of the rates to the local boards to spend on their own areas needs (central back office perhaps) and do the regional council thing of only the really big framework issues with the council but the local boards get to oversee this. Should create a grassroots system that would be locally responsive and difficult for the RWNJ’s to unpick. BTW I don’t live there.

    Let each area set it’s own plans, height limits etc but maybe not building regs. That’ll keep everyone happy.

  11. Tanz 12

    could we just have Penny Hulse in charge instead? She would make a much better fist of it, and how can Len show his face in public now? Aaron Gilmore resigned for far far less, as did poor old John Banks. Len just is so stubborn.

    • Ad 12.1

      She has all the influence she could want, without any of the grief.
      Why change?

    • Lonnie 12.2

      Google Narcissistic personality disorder. They have NO shame and many other bad attributes because they totally believe that they are so fabulous. God’s gift to the world and any haters must have some sort of problem themselves, never them. Sure, Lenny knows he’s stuffed up but he still believes that his “fabulousness” will see him through. “They” love attention, even bad attention which just reinforces to them how special they are.

  12. Penny Bright 13

    FYI.

    The NZ Serious Fraud Office choose NOT to investigate our bribery and corruption complaint against Mayor Len Brown and Sky City.

    Private Prosecution will be filed in Auckland District Court as soon as Graham McCready’s documents arrive – should be Wednesday 15 January 2014:

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/nz-serious-fraud-office-choose-not-to-re-evaluate-our-bribery-and-corruption-complaint/

    Remember how the Police corruption scandals rocked NSW in the 1980’s and were the impetus for their anti-corruption legislation, which set up their Independent Commission Against Corruption?

    In my considered opinion, 2014 is going to be the year of scandals about corrupt corporate cronyism, particularly of the casino variety, and this is just the start…………

    Why do you think PM John Key has not come out calling for the resignation of Mayor Len Brown?

    This is NOT ‘left’ vs ‘right’.

    That went out 30 years ago when the 1984 -87 Labour Government introduced the neo-liberal Rogernomics ‘reforms’.

    This is the corporate minority vs the public majority and those who serve their interests.

    Beware the smiley faces and the ‘personable’ manner of the treacherous SELLOUTS.

    Penny Bright

    • RedBaronCV 13.1

      Personally Penny I think there should be a lot more questions asked about how the CEO managed to spend $100,000 of ratepayer money on what amouts to a witch hunt. Who authorised that?

      • Pete 13.1.1

        The council authorised it. The CEO merely acts on their instruction. Thats how these things normally work. No CEO would authorise a review of the mayors behaviour without council sign off. You are flogging a dead horse here. If it is only $100k I will eat my hat (to coin a phrase). At that level it would be pretty good value if you think of the time, resources and advice obtained.

        • RedBaronCV 13.1.1.1

          Don’t think so Pete.
          “that’s how these things normally work” I agree but:
          – last meeting of old council 26 September 2013
          – local body election day 12th October 2013
          -Inquiry announced on 21 October 2013 by the CEO
          -Inaugural meeting of the new Council 29 October 2013

          Nothing that I can find in the minutes of the governing body from 29 October refers to any authorising of the inquiry. Nothing in the inquiry terms of reference refers to the council authorising it.
          The CEO probably has some powers over the transition period but he still has to follow the rules. (Otherwise he could give a contract to his mates to build a new harbour bridge). See Penny below

          Was he ever entitled to spend the funds?
          Can a CEO in this position hands out a “job for the boys” no tender etc?
          Why did he usurp the incoming council on this matter?
          Why did the terms of reference include finding the security guard – there is no financial issue for the ratepayers there, that was just purient.

          Yes it will be more than $100,000 probably closer to $250,000 for a question mark over a couple of hundred dollars. That’s just waste.
          If I was a ratepayer I’d be looking for some personal liabilty from the CEO.

  13. Penny Bright 14

    FYI – there is a LOT more to come out about the Ernst and Young ‘inquiry’.

    In my considered opinion, as an anti-corruption campaigner, who recently spent $870 (Aust) to attend a full-day workshop at the 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference on how to conduct an ‘internal investigation’ on alleged ‘misconduct’ – that there is NO WAY that the Ernst and Young inquiry / report was done in a proper way.

    Just check out for yourselves – the Auckland Council Code of Conduct, section 8 “Compliance”, and read for yourself the process which SHOULD have been followed …..

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/governingbody/codeofconductelectedmembers.pdf

    8.5. Conduct Review Independent Panel

    The governing body shall constitute a Conduct Review Independent Panel. The members
    of the Panel will be selected from a list of persons with appropriate skills and knowledge, to
    be recommended by the Chief Executive. The Independent Panel is not a Committee of the
    governing body and its sole function is to investigate those matters referred to it and to
    make recommendations on those matters to the governing body/local board. Up to three
    members on the list will be deemed to be ‘convenors’ who will be the Council’s primary
    contact in relation to convening a panel when required. ‘Convening’ a panel includes
    chairing that panel. A convenor may appoint other convenors to a panel.

    8.6. Procedures of the Conduct Review Independent Panel

    The Independent Panel will establish and notify standard procedures, fair to both
    complainants and respondents, which it will apply to the investigation and consideration of
    all complaints referred to it.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Seems that former Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay effectively made up his own process and appointed his own people?

    Having been to an expert workshop, and studied this matter, it appears very clear to me that the ‘Terms of Reference’ weren’t ‘scoped’ in a proper way either …………

    (More on this later ………………)

    Penny Bright

  14. HtD 15

    Len Brown was voted in under false pretences. He got the religious people by pretending to be a Catholic and the poor(er) by pretending to care, whilst he was on the take from Sky City and other big business. On voting day, we didn’t know that, but wed do now. Brown’s wife can’t trust him and he takes backhanders…why should anyone trust him?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    1 day ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    2 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    2 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    2 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    3 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere