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The Standard

Axe the Copper Tax

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, September 12th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: same old national, telecommunications - Tags: ,

corporate-welfare

Amy Adams is having a bad week.

Today the Axe the Copper Tax campaign is being announced.  The Government is proposing to prevent the cost of copper broadband connections to retail users being reduced to the fair price determined by the Commerce Commission.  It is estimated that around $600 million will be transferred over the next six years to the shareholders of Chorus from the users of copper broadband through this change.  Chorus, which has the contract to build 70% of the new fibre network, paid $95 million to shareholders in the last financial year by way of dividends so this subsidy is significant.

And the reason for this particular episode of corporate welfarism?

Chris Barton in the Herald recently said this:

Deutsche Bank predicted a share price over the next year of $2.29 (significantly lower than Chorus’s listing price of $2.94) and cut its dividend forecasts for Chorus for 2015 to 18 cents per share, down from 25.5 cents previously. Deutsche also noted Chorus was facing some “$500 million of estimated unbudgeted costs associated with the greater than forecast cost of supplying UFB connections between the network and consumers’ premises.

Get that?  In a competitive tender Chorus mucked up the figures and bid too low and the Government is willing to overcharge us so that Chorus’s shareholders do not miss out.  Why don’t the Government get staunch on the issue and tell Chorus it signed a contract, rather than allow us to be overcharged so that Chorus’s shareholders do not miss out.

The coalition behind the campaign is an interesting amalgamation of user groups and commercial entities including InternetNZ, TUANZ, Covec, CallPlus, Slingshot, Orcon, Greypower, NZUSA, Rural Women, the Unite Union, National Urban Maori Authorities, Te Huarahi Tika Trust, and even Kiwiblog. This is probably the first campaign that the Unite Union and Kiwiblog have ever been jointly involved in!

This announcement is on top of earlier bad news about the Government’s proposed RMA changes.

As reported by Eddie these are under threat.  I blogged about these earlier and noted the proposed changes to sections 6 and 7 of the RMA would seriously weaken the protective principles of the Act.  The ethic of stewardship for the environment would be removed, the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values would no longer be a consideration and the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment disappears as a principle.  A new principle is proposed to be added.  If passed the effective functioning of the built environment, including the availability of land to support changes in population and urban development demand, will be a major consideration when making decisions under the RMA.

Amy Adams seems to think that the changes will not harm the environment.  But when legal heavyweights such as Geoffrey Palmer and law firm  DLA Phillips Fox dispute this I know whose opinion I would trust.

Hats off to the Maori Party and to Peter Dunne (did I just say this?) for signaling that they will oppose these changes.

All in all this is a bad week for Amy Adams.  May she have many more like it.

36 comments on “Axe the Copper Tax”

  1. Bunji 1

    There’s a good blog on Public Address from Paul Brislen of Tuanz on the copper tax just gone up too.

  2. Jimbo 2

    Unite often teams up with business on campaigns – particularly ones Matthew Hooton is involved in as McCarten knows him. Drop the Rate Mate, the Carpark tax, now this. It’s nothing new.

  3. Bob 3

    Interesting, InternetNZ and TUANZ for years have complained that NZ’s internet infrastructure is falling behind the rest of the world, then as soon as they hear copper prices have to be held at similar levels (they are still dropping, just not as much as the ComCom asked for) so Chorus can help pay for the fibre roll-out Nationwide, giving us the world class internet infrastructure they asked for, they complain again!!!

    • mickysavage 3.1

      But Bob if this change is not instituted then Chorus will still have to do the roll out. It did enter into a tender where it contracted to do this. The problems with the cost overruns are its problems, not ours.

      The only change that will occur if the Government has its way is that Chorus shareholders will be richer and the rest of us will be poorer.

      Do you think this is fair?

      • Bob 3.1.1

        mickysavage – You have to remember that the Government does not own Chorus, this is just the ComCom saying that they think the copper price is too high based on other market prices worldwide. When Chorus entered into the contract for the UFB roll-out they would have factored in revenue from other areas of the business in the event of budget over-runs, now they are being told by the Government, no you can’t have money from us to cover your over-runs, and we are also going to reduce your Copper revenue, but you still have to hold up your end of the contract.

        Do you think THIS is fair?

        • jps 3.1.1.1

          well I certainly think its fair. Everyone (even Chorus) knew that the 2011 amendments required that the copper prices would be set on cost-based terms from 2014.

          • Barry 3.1.1.1.1

            The reason given for keeping the copper price high is that if it is too low then nobody will go for fibre and the UFB will look like a white elephant.

            OTOH perhaps this means that the UFB prices are too high too. Perhaps we are paying too much for internet in NZ?

        • mickysavage 3.1.1.2

          Bob

          The Deutsche bank report suggests that the problem is not with the Com Com decision but with the installation costs being higher than they thought they would be. Is this a reason for Comcom to be told to back away from the costing model which is cost plus?

          I don’t have any sympathy for Chorus and its plight. And besides the extra expenses will only reduce the dividend income paid out.

          Basically the rest of us pay more so the Chorus shareholders lose less.

          • Bob 3.1.1.2.1

            mickysavage – According to this article “It is estimated that around $600 million will be transferred over the next six years to the shareholders of Chorus from the users of copper broadband through this change”, Chorus’ profit in the last year was $171M with a dividend of 15.5c (representing about a 6% return on investment), so you are saying it is fine to rip 60% of this profit out per year? I understand that companies shouldn’t be making excessive profits on the backs of the general public, especially in a monopoly position like Chorus holds, but 6% is hardly excessive!
            If you don’t have sympathy for Chorus wanting to hold their return to investor over 2.5% then please let me know if you are a board member of any companies because I want to stay well clear of them!

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Chorus will want to return as much as they can to their investors, obviously. But that’s not an entitlement. Why should it be 6%, given the contract they signed?

              The most they should be handed is what investors would have recieved on bank deposit.

            • mickysavage 3.1.1.2.1.2

              you are saying it is fine to rip 60% of this profit out per year?

              No I am not. I am saying that it appears because of the tender that Chorus lodged its profitability may not be as high as it hoped. Please explain why the general public and not the shareholders should bear the cost of this.

              • Bob

                Chorus isn’t currently making any profit out of UFB, it is entirely out of the copper network so in effect you ARE saying it is fine to rip 60% profit out per year.
                Let’s not forget, the proposal is to cut up to $7.50 off the cost off copper connections, so either way Chorus is going to have it’s profits cut (from the rediculous 6% they currently make, oh the horror), it is just not being cut up to the $12 that the ComCom originally proposed in their DRAFT report and are currently reviewing.

                • mickysavage

                  But Bob this is the consequence of the Government’s reforms. The charging of the copper network was meant to go to a “cost plus” basis and Chorus knew this.

                  It was then given an interest free loan of a billion dollars to do the work and it tendered in a competitive tender which it won at an agreed price.

                  It is losing money because it appears to have not appreciated the cost of installation of UFB. Read the Deutsche Bank report and then tell me why it is not correct.

                  You have not addressed this point despite being given the opportunity to do so on a few occasions.

    • stever 3.2

      “so Chorus can help pay for the fibre roll-out ”

      What? Chorus bid for and won a contract to do this. They clearly bid low in order to get the contract. The projections are that this will lower their share price and dividends. So, they have to answer to their shareholders, which should mean, in a fair world and a world where things work according to the “rules” that we are often told have to prevail, that whoever put the bid together has to stand up and take the flak.

      However, since they are clearly corporate scroungers, not mere members of the public, now they are being offered something to keep their share price up by the Govt, paid for by members of the public!

      Another win for the high-calibre business people in NZ…working in about the easiest place to do business in the world, and they still fail. And still they “benchmark” their salaries against people in the rest of the world who have a far harder job to do.

      Whatever happened to “survival of the fittest”????

      • framu 3.2.1

        +100

        bob, this is not to pay for the fibre rollout. It is because they are worried that with copper charges dropping that people wont move over to fibre

        they are trying to use an artificial price to influence the market – i thought that was considered bad

      • Bob 3.2.2

        See my reply to mickeysavage above, you can’t have survival of the fittest when one company is having a leg cut off by the government!

        • framu 3.2.2.1

          your completely ignoring known realities of the NZ telco market

          shit bob – its not like the idea that copper prices are too high, should be lower and if they dont go down the govt will force it down, is any big surprise to the telco industry. Its been on the cards for years

          Your trying to say that despite knowing that copper prices were too high, chorus still under quoted and we should pay for their mistakes.

          The real issue is that people arent taking up fibre even though its in the street outside. Why? because its expensive. The copper pricing issue is totally to do with this. They want to keep the price artificially high (when its already too high and should be dropping) to drive people to the fibre network. Chorus and the govt have pretty much stated that this is the issue

          I still fail to see why your sticking up for over charging customers on one network to pay for something they arent using

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.2.1.1

            It’s because he lives his life on his knees.

            Get off your knees, Bob.

          • Bob 3.2.2.1.2

            framu – according to mickeysavages own numbers above, Chorus paid “$95 million to shareholders in the last financial year by way of dividends” and yet “$600 million will be transferred over the next six years to the shareholders of Chorus from the users of copper broadband through this change”………THIS CHANGE IS A REDUCTION IN CURRENT RATES! So the whole fuss is these people want Chorus to take all the risk, do all the work, and make $0 profit! This is rediculous even by left wing standards!
            It doesn’t take much nous to realise, if you remove $100M a year from a company paying $100M per year in dividends, that company isn’t going to last very long, what happens then? The Government steps in and has to bail them out?

            • Crunchtime 3.2.2.1.2.1

              You make no sense. They made $171 million last year in profit. Due to their own decision they will be making $100m less per year for the next 6 years. The government, by holding Chorus to this contract, is not “taking” Chorus’ profit.

            • framu 3.2.2.1.2.2

              answer one very simple question – when chorus put in their bid were they unaware of what was going to happen to copper charges?

              your sticking up for a large, essentially monopoly corporate deliberately manipulating prices in order to maintain dividends and cover their own shortfall on an unrelated project when they were aware of the signaled changes from day 1

              they knew what was happening to copper prices and they new what that would mean to their profit etc before they made the bid – please explain how any of that is anyone fault but the board of chorus?

              the decisions the board made around dividends were their decisions, not the consumers or the com com’s

              perhaps step back from the profit/dividend issue and address known running costs first – after all those do come out before you can put a figure on the profit

        • jps 3.2.2.2

          see my reply to you above: Chorus knew, at the time they were bidding for UFB, that the UBA price would go to a cost-basis.

        • tc 3.2.2.3

          sounds like chorus PR spin to me, innovate with wickedly fast fibre services that copper can never replicate, lay them faster in areas outside the bluechip suburbs and all should be fine.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.2.2.4

          This isn’t about surviving though is it Bob.

          Chorus made a profit. Instead of putting that profit into the cost of meeting the contract they bid on they paid it out to shareholders.

          It’s about maintaining the capital value of the shares and the revenue stream for those who invested in them.

          The world would not end if they made no profit for a couple of years and paid no dividends would it.

          Plenty of companies actually make losses while they invest in infrastructure.

          Let’s also not forget that as Telecom they took massive amounts of profit that should have been used for future investment. Those same shareholders took those profits in dividends – they should now take the losses by way of no dividends and reduced share-price.

  4. Sable 4

    Keys and co screw up, as usual we all pay….”National the parasites party of New Zealand”…

  5. mikesh 5

    I think it would be appropriate in this situation to extract Chorus’s excess profits from this through the application of a windfall tax.

  6. Herodotus 6

    For the household to switch over to fibre will result in a one off cost: this cost will cover hook up for the fibre “line” to be blown down a duct to the boundary of the property, then connection from the boundary to the house, a station or box that will then distribute the connection thru the house. So the house will require some re wiring to swap from copper to fibre.
    And there are many instances whereby households are incurring every increasing costs, some as a consequence of govt policies, when we finally have an opportunity for some respite what happens ??? Protection of shareholder wealth at the expenses of the household budget by “our” govt.
    Even a blog site not 100% behind the left is against this protectionism
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/09/why_the_price_of_copper_boradband_should_be_lower.html\
    And from AA
    https://twitter.com/amyadamsMP
    “Under all options presented consumers will be paying less than they are now” – dear Amy its not about paying less its about paying a fair and commercial rate. Does she not understand ?? ;-(

    • Greywarbler 6.1

      Government is keen to get broadband rolled out to all households so they can then withdraw many services carried out by people who communicate and interact people to people, and will then be replaced by disembodied voices repeating in a loop that the phone lines are busy, there is a heavy demand on the system today, try ringing before 6 a.m. tomorrow. Or the computer system will break down with perhaps server after server going out in a cascade effect.

      Just another boys-own love of technology and the new. It will lead us to hopelessly overbaked pipe-dreams policy that will make us more vulnerable and most of us worse off.

  7. MrSmith 7

    National cut the Commerce Commission off at the knees early on, (some would say drowned it), now we only hear from them now and then, when they do speck up National shout them down.

    Starving the watch dog or removing it’s teeth, call it what you like, all the while increasing surveillance and control of the peasants.

    The Commerce Commission needs to be beefed up, but more importantly further insulated from political influence, after Labour/Green take the next election.

    • tc 7.1

      Agree mr smith, and it needs top people mandated to nail such slimy practices. The commcomm has been an abject failure in the last decade and a half removing many areas of limited competition.
      The rubber stamp on voda getting TClear being relevant in this discussion.

  8. tracey 8

    This pm knows more than comcom, law society. Former pm/writer of rma, leading qc, human rights commission… all of them are confuddled. Not our pm.

  9. Greywarbler 9

    Minny the Moocher says that it doesn’t seem fair that government acceptance of a tender as a contract can later be sliced and extra clauses inserted to suit the tenderee. Like gaining another $600,000 by over riding the Commerce Commission. She says that government doesn’t seem to understand what a tender is. She thinks they have an idea that it some fine and sensitive fabric that can be reinforced when required to make it firm and rigid and hard-wearing. Or perhaps they think it is an agreement after which the parties shake hands and kiss each other on the cheeks, French style – mwa, mwa. Tenderly.

    We manage to lose a lot of money in this country through fraud, other criminality, mismanagement – think IT and Novopay,and don’t forget police Incis, and all the others yet to be shown up as dodoes), then there is the time wasted in trying to find reasonable and appropriate rules and guidelines to contain the policies in an appropriate pipe with inspection hatches. And finally there is government itself fretting and pettishly throwing out considered policy and saying Poof! we don’t like that – we have looked at our principles and found better ones.

    I’m mooching off for a glass of water instead of the coffee I would like (and yes I’m lucky to be able to find some nice clean water accessable to me). I can’t afford coffee in this developed country full of the best pollies and policy and financial advisors in this best of All Possible Worlds.

  10. hellonearthis 10

    Areas where there is an alternative copper network (competition) those areas will be getting the cheaper rate. Disgusting behaviour.

  11. Gashead 11

    So consumers are told New Zealand’s high power prices are a result of global (upward) price pressures. Yet our internet prices are not subject to the same (downward) global pressures.

    Yet more double standards and double talk from this despicable National government.

    • lprent 11.1

      Ridiculous. There is no ability to transport power over thousands of km to the nearest external market. That means that overseas prices are irrelevant. Do you have a link?

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  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too
    Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is an… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ban junk food marketing to kids
    One in three Kiwi kids are overweight or obese. They face a life where they are 3-10 times more likely to be obese, and this weight will be harder for them to shift than it is for others. Long term,… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Tauranga Eastern Link complete
    Yesterday the Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially opened just the second Roads of National Significance to be completed – the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link. All up the project is 21km long from Te Maunga… ...
    2 days ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Guild interested to learn more about TPPA details
    Press Release – Pharmacy Guild The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is keen to learn more about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will impact New Zealands health sector if it is accepted by the Government.Guild interested to… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
    Press Release – ASMS Thank you for the opportunity to address you again. As always my comments are personal observations, although in broad terms at least I believe they are consistent with the Associations view on the matters discussed. In… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    3 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    5 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    6 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    6 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    2 weeks ago

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