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Bugger the polls!

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, April 6th, 2014 - 83 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, election 2014, Left, news, paula bennett, poverty, spin, Steven Joyce, sustainability, workers' rights - Tags:

An article on a Stuff web page, written by Laura Walters and published last night, shows some interesting contrasts.  It’s a report on the protest last night by the Auckland Action Against Poverty, outside the Young Nats ball.  Some extracts, highlighting the socio-economic divisions in NZ:

AAAP protest young nats ball 2014

AAAP protest Young Nats ball

Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) held a block party outside the Young Nationals ball at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel in Auckland this evening in protest to the treatment of New Zealand’s poor.

[…]

Bennett was MC for the ball for the youth political organisation.

Activist and former MP Sue Bradford led the anti-National chants at the protest.

Bradford said the Government was intimidating the poor.

“We’re letting the Young Nats, Paula Bennett and John Key know how we feel about what they are doing for beneficiaries.”

[…]

AAAP spokeswoman Nadia Abu-Shanab said the objective of the party was to show National’s policies did affect people.

The AAAP event included live music from Auckland and Wellington bands.

Abu-Shanab said tickets to the ball cost $100.

“The sad fact is, that’s more than many of us in New Zealand have left after paying rent and power. This is the harsh reality of being a low-paid worker or beneficiary living under National.”

Next to the article is a very slanted poll.  The question implies various contestable assumptions.  The question:

Can Labour turn its poll results around?

Yes

No

VOTE

Related story: Cunliffe upbeat despite sliding polls

The linked article is from 2 April 2014, and doesn’t cite the latest Roy Morgan Poll.

The placement next to the AAAP protest about income inequalities, also could influence people’s understanding of the poll: i.e. that the election is to be understood in First Past the Post terms, and that the election is more about personality politics and the “horse race” than about issues, policies and values important to the lives of all Kiwis.

Add to this, the report of Steven Joyce’s cynical take on the polls, as quoted by micky savage this morning on Open Mike:

In the 2011 election I think there were quite a few people that thought, certainly erroneously, because of the nature of the polls the election was a foregone conclusion.”

The election shouldn’t be about poll watching.  And for the Left especially, it should be about communicating directly with voters about issues that affect their lives now and in the future.

paula bennett inequality

 

83 comments on “Bugger the polls!”

  1. vto 1

    I saw a beneficiary with new shoes the other day. Paula must stamp down on these people. If they can afford new shoes then they have got it too easy.

    Paula Bennett must ban new shoes for beneficiaries.

    I also saw one driving a car and I even saw one walking around Fendalton.

    • Naki Man 1.1

      Did you also see that twenty one thousand beneficiaries forgot to tell Winz that they were having an overseas holiday. And we still hear this poverty peddling bullshit, what a joke.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        You don’t know many beneficiaries do you Naki Man.

      • weka 1.1.2

        “Did you also see that twenty one thousand beneficiaries forgot to tell Winz that they were having an overseas holiday.”

        No, because 21,000 beneficiaries didn’t have an overseas holiday. They went overseas. There is a difference that you seem clueless enough to not understand (makes sense, given you are clueless enough to be spoonfed Bennett’s propaganda).

        Went overseas allegedly, because the figure seems high to me and why the fuck anyone would trust figures coming from this govt is beyond me.

        Fact check that PG.

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          My brother who is deaf/blind was one of them. Came and visited us for a few weeks. It’s the first time in his life he’s been out of the country and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

          If you are visiting family, and line up a cheap webjet fare to Aus, then all up it’s not an expensive trip at all. Arguably cheaper than living at home for the same period.

          Now if this concerns you so much, and you’d like to be in his position permanently I’d cheerfully arrange for it naki.

          • Naki Man 1.1.2.1.1

            Calm down RedLogix
            It sounds like he is one of the 1% that is not ripping off the system then.
            You should listen to the facts instead of getting all bent out of shape

            http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/listen-on-demand/audio/587562624-paula-bennett-and-sue-moroney–beneficiaries-traveling

            • RedLogix 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Nah – we are on completely different pages here.

              In my world these so-called benefits are a right. As a human being you have a right to not only to access a basic level of shelter, food and clothing, but to participate meaningfully in the life of your family and community.

              In a pre-industrial world there was no need for this because most people with a few hours work a day could provide the basics of life off the common land and resources wherever they lived. While this life lacked the material sophistication and security of modern times, it nonetheless had it’s own dignity.

              In the modern world most of these commons have turned into private property, for private profit – and this closes the door to a simple, self-sustaining life for most of us. In all the industrialised nations, some form of social welfare is essential for this reason.

              The only big industrial nation without a social welfare system is China, and this notably because most people still have links to their rural peasant family to fall back upon if all else fails in the big city. When those links finally break, China too will inevitably adopt some form of social welfare.

              No-one expects living on a benefit to be a flash or generous life-style. If you want more from life then it is fair to expect someone to make the effort to earn it – but neither does receiving one make you a chattel or prisoner of the state.

              It is the obligation of the modern state to provide an adequate base level of life for it’s citizens, an obligation that arises in exchange for the privatisation of the commons. This obligation does not run the other way around..

              It does not give the state the right to tell you where you should live, what clothes you can wear, what food you eat, who you are allowed to have sex with – or whether if you can arrange for it, you are allowed to travel to another country. These things are none of the state’s fucking business. In modern nations ‘welfare’ is something you can access as a fundamental human right – it does not turn you into a kind of third-class zombie to be sneered at, demeaned and treated as dirt whenever possible.

              • In a pre-industrial world there was no need for this because most people with a few hours work a day could provide the basics of life off the common land and resources wherever they lived. While this life lacked the material sophistication and security of modern times, it nonetheless had it’s own dignity…

                …and for many people severe hardships with very little freedom and appalling life expectancy.

                Why should everyone have a no obligation comfortable (basic) lifestyle? People have different circumstances and different needs – should they nominate how much they need to manage?

                If someone on a benefit leaves the country for four weeks should they have a right to continued payments and no obligations?

                Four months?
                Four years?
                Forty years?

                • RedLogix

                  …and for many people severe hardships with very little freedom and appalling life expectancy.

                  Ah the old ‘short, brutish and nasty’ myth. That’s a very old and simplistic idea – in all likelihood most pre-industrial humans, and especially the pre-agricultural hunter-gathers, lived reasonably tranquil lives and if they survived infancy, and managed to avoid a crippling accident would have every chance of living long and relatively healthy lives.

                  And life expectancy is only an average number – it doesn’t tell you much about individuals. A relatively high infant mortality rate might easily obscure a significant number of individuals living well into their fifties or sixties.

                  For much of human history there were barely several million of us on the whole planet. Small bands of people just moved to where the food and climate was best, and rarely had any reason to be in conflict with others. By extrapolation from the very few hunter-gathers left on Earth like the Kalihari Bushmen (who live in one of the most inhospitable parts of the planet) most people would need to ‘work’ less than 5-10 hours a week to sustain themselves.

                  The big thing missing was modern medical care. Accidents and infancy would have been particularly dangerous times. But all of that is beside the point.

                  My argument is that the modern state usurps the possibility for most people to live self-sustainably from the commons, and while granting property rights to some individuals, it robs everyone else of opportunity. Universal welfare can be thought of as the inherent cost of ubiquitous property rights.

                  Why should everyone have a no obligation comfortable (basic) lifestyle? People have different circumstances and different needs – should they nominate how much they need to manage?

                  Certainly we have more than enough wealth and resources to provide everyone a decent standard of life; it’s just politics that prevents us.

                  If someone on a benefit leaves the country for four weeks should they have a right to continued payments and no obligations?

                  As long as they remain NZ citizens on valid travel visas, and do not take up residency or work permits in other countries, then I see no particular problem in a right to continued payments.

                  After all I’d guess that the vast majority of the 21,000 being frothed about here have merely hopped over the Tasman to visit relies for a few weeks. The whole thing is self-limiting.

                  • Good comment RedLogix.

                    Here’s an interesting summary of the state of the debate over the ‘warlike’ nature – or otherwise – of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

                    A bit of an antidote to Steven Pinker’s take on this – though, to be fair to him, he also emphasises the environmental structures that lead to inter-group violence (on a kind of cost-benefit situational analysis – ‘to fight or not to fight’).

                    • RedLogix

                      Thanks for the link. I was aware that I was making a sweeping assertion without evidence – but that is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been reading as well.

                      There is of course the opposite and equally invalid myth of the ‘noble savage’. That isn’t much supported by the evidence either. Reality was probably something more complex than either of these myths imply.

                      After all it’s only a very modern conceit to imagine we are somehow smarter and superior to our deep ancestors. While the material circumstances of their lives were unrecognisably different to ours, it is entirely wrong to think that they lacked insight, wisdom and compassion, or did not experience the same creativity, joys and tragedies that we do.

                      Actually I’d like to add one more personal note. I’ve done a number of extended solo tramps over the years. I accept that these wilderness experiences, however remote and challenging, could never be the same as experienced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors – but I can say this – it is a mode entirely different to ‘normal’ modern life.

                      I found myself in a very calm, meditative, highly observant and cautious state of mind. I was very aware that I was only one false step, or mistake away from causing myself a problem. It wasn’t anxiety, rather a heightened awareness, and it occurs to me that this may well be how humans normally survive, indeed thrive in a such a world.

                      We’ve just become so entangled with modern life and all it’s distractions we’ve largely forgotten, perhaps fearful, of how any other kind of is possible.

                    • Molly

                      Interesting book to read on the ability of indigenous cultures to work within environmental constraints and provide as well as create strong community and inter-tribal links is Treading Lightly. Made more interesting by the fact that part of its audience was intended to be business practitioners.

                      As the culture before colonisation lasted 50,000 years they had a lot of time to get it right.

                      One practice that I recall from the book, is when a tribe had excess supplies they would leave in a designated trading spot for the neighbouring tribe to find. The receiving tribe would then leave their surplus in the same area, and both would be attempting to estimate that the goods were of the same value.

                      Environmentally, morally and socially this concept leaves the current form of “value-added” goods and services in the dust.

                      And I believe that studies show that most tribes only worked a couple of hours a day to provide the sustenance they needed – the remainder of their lives could be spent upskilling in crafts, spending time in nature, socialising, making art, telling stories etc.

                      The “myth” of the lazy natives which was strong in Australia, is logical.
                      Why would you work for someone for 10-12 hours a day in order to provide yourself with money that could barely support you? Similar to the meme we are being served now with low wages.

                  • Populuxe1

                    There may be a slight disconnect between Kalihari Bushmen being able to “sustain themselves” and maintaining an existence that stimulates and offers contentment to late modern humans. Given that history suggests that less developed cultures readily embrace the opportunities and comforts of more developed cultures – Britons and hot Roman baths for example – your argument reeks of a reductive and paternalistic romanticisation of the “primitive” life, but feel free to become a hunter gatherer any time you like. I shall miss your posts.

                    • felix

                      Willfully or otherwise, you miss the point entirely.

                      To live off the commons is an inherent natural right.

                • Murray Olsen

                  That’s not fact checking, Mr George. That’s just repeating Tory spin. I am beginning to doubt your objectivity.
                  Given the eagerness with which WINZ cuts benefits by “mistake”, the true number of beneficiaries travelling overseas could be as low as 37. I’d be surprised if it were half of the 21,000.

              • felix

                Well said RL.

                Pete (as most people probably do) starts from the assumption that the private ownership of damn near everything is some sort of natural order.

                I consider that assumption to be the single greatest stumbling block to widespread social enlightenment.

              • Saarbo

                +1 RedLogix

            • karol 1.1.2.1.1.2

              As I recall, 4,500 had their benefits cut because they didn’t inform WINZ they had returned to NZ.

            • Weepu's beard 1.1.2.1.1.3

              Those aren’t facts. Those are sound-bites.

        • Salsy 1.1.2.2

          Does anyone remember this?

          Paula Bennett, has confirmed the Transition to Work Grant, aimed at helping people get work in New Zealand, has been used to pay for one-way flights to Australia.

          http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/winz-pays-jobless-fly-australia-work-5261001

      • Mary 1.1.3

        The 21,000 is the total number produced by the data-match between MSD and Customs. Its says nothing more than that. Out of that number many people would have told Work and Income but nothing was actioned to remove the person from the data-match. The 21,000 also says nothing about poverty because many would have had their fares paid for by relatives. Many also would have remained entitled to the payments because going overseas does not necessarily prevent eligibility. It’s whether a person remains entitled to receive the benefit while overseas that’s important. So, for example, a person receiving the supported living payment (formerly the invalid’s benefit) may very well be able to leave the country for four weeks without their benefit being affected. The same applies to those caring for children. For those receiving a work-tested benefit again the same applies – if a person goes to Australia to look for work or attend a job interview then entitlement to the benefit remains. But because the MSD/Customs data-match is a “cut the benefit now, ask questions later” mechanism the statistics cannot reflect the reality of what’s going on. This then allows the likes of Bennett, Key, Collins, Shane Jones et al to spout off about how “if people can afford overseas trips then benefits are too high…” and “if people go overseas they deserve to have the payments stop…” and so on. Even people from the community sector like the national budgeting federation head was pretty quick to throw some scathing remarks about beneficiaries around without thinking about things properly and as a result playing into the Bennett/Key/Jones agenda. When people from the community sector start buying into this sort of rot you know we’re in trouble.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.1

          An inevitable consequence of exempting welfare legislation from the NZBoRA is that beneficiaries will be treated as though they are subhuman.

          The parties that respect human rights need to prosecute the scum that promote and enable this violence.

          • RedLogix 1.1.3.1.1

            +1.

            You’ve concisely said in one sentence what I took several paras above to try and say. There are very many good reasons why I have long been a very strong supporter of the UBI.

            But this is the best one of all.

        • andrew murray 1.1.3.2

          Hi Mary,

          I’m interested in your comment on the national budgeting federation, scathing comments.
          Can you advise a link or any other detail

          Thanks

      • Graeme Stanley 1.1.4

        Given the propensity to muddy the figures of John Key and Paula Bennett I do not trust her assumptions in election year More Benny bashing a hallmark of an oppressive regime.methinks

      • Princess 1.1.5

        No holiday mate. I have two relatives who go specifically to spend a little quality time with their Mum and Dad whom work in Sydney (By the way, Mum and Dad pay for their air fares).

      • Grace Miller 1.1.6

        Yeah, Naki Man, my attendance at a funeral last year was a GREAT HOLIDAY. Ticket paid for by my brother. Told MSD, even before the rule came into play.

        Couldn’t stop laughing. Had a ball. Yeah, nah.

  2. Whether polls are a good thing or not in a democracy can be debated but it won’t change the fact that we will continue to get plenty of them.

    The solution is to educate journalists how to understand and interpret polls and report on them accurately and fairly. And to help inform the voters what polls mean (and what they don’t mean).

    We will keep getting them, they will continue to influence our democracy, so we should learn to understand and use them better.

    • Paul 2.1

      Of course Pete….
      We have to have polls…..
      Governments have no power to regulate them…..
      Please….Pete. this is a blog site for grown ups.

    • Tracey 2.2

      do you really believe the reason for the type of reporting on polls is the journalists ignorance of how polls work?

  3. RedbaronCV 3

    Ther are at least 8 policeman in the limited photo above. Why don’t the nats have to pay for their own security? The crowd is peaceful and it’s by the police station. Wouldn’t one officer with a radio if there is real trouble be enough. Stop wasting taxpayer money.

    • amirite 3.1

      1000

      That’s an ugly picture saying to the masses “Police – we’re serving and protecting the privileged”.

    • Anne 3.2

      I’m fairly sure John Key was present.

      I went to a Labour annual conference during the Clark years and there was a protest led by John Minto outside the venue. A lot of noise but no threats of any kind. What turned it into a drama (so loved by the media) was the heavy police presence. It gave an aura of danger about the scene as if the protesters were all armed and known to be dangerous criminals. It simply wasn’t true. Quite an eye-opener.

      I can’t remember what the protest was about now but I do recall the irony of knowing most of the delegates would have agreed with them.

      • Roy 3.2.1

        Yes, Key was present. An acquiantance posted a photo from the event on Facebook and Key was in it.

    • Why don’t the nats have to pay for their own security?

      For the same reason everybody else doesn’t have to pay for their own security. I would have thought leftists would grasp that concept.

  4. captain hook 4

    the Nats are running scared. all the polls pretend that they will win but deep in their black hearts they know they are walking on a knife edge and they are about to be exposed for the grasping, lowbrow thugs that they are.

  5. Philj 5

    xox
    I remember a Muldoon election meeting in Richmond with mega police. Down the road in Motueka there was elderly ladies with tea and scones for Bill Rowlings election speech.

  6. fisiani 6

    The polls will go up and down and most people will cast their vote in September based on their voting intentions now no matter what the polls indicate. In all probability the election results in September will be approx. National 46% Labour 31% Greens 11%. ie 46 % to 42%. We can all vote for who we want but Winston Peters will choose who is PM. That’s one man one vote democracy. Move the figures up and down a bit but Winston still gets to pick the winner.

    • amirite 6.1

      John Key has to do a lot of arse kissing in the next few months.

      • BM 6.1.1

        I disagree, Key won’t suck up to the Maori gnome.

        He’ll make him an offer, either Peters will accept it or he doesn’t, if he doesn’t like the offer, Key will tell him he can take his chance with the coalition of the fuckwits.

        • marty mars 6.1.1.1

          Why do you call him, “the Maori gnome” ? Seems like a pathetic attempt at insulting because it is nonsensical.

          • BM 6.1.1.1.1

            Because he’s supposed to be really short, I’ve never seen the man, but speaking to others they say he’s tiny..

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ve seen him speak on a couple of occasions – didn’t seem that short.
              But any snide nickname, whether it’s true or not, eh?

            • Murray Olsen 6.1.1.1.1.2

              He’s at least 5’10”. He is significantly taller than John Banks, John Tamihere, or John Key. You should really talk to more informed people.

          • Disraeli Gladstone 6.1.1.1.2

            And I agree with this. Quite pathetic indeed.

        • Disraeli Gladstone 6.1.1.2

          I’m not sure he will.

          Key wants to retire as an unbeaten Prime Minister. Key succeeds. This is his life history. He came out of his childhood well. He went overseas and became rich. He doesn’t want to lose.

          What’s more likely is that Key will offer Peters what he wants, “win” the election and then very quickly announce his retirement as New Zealand’s most popular prime minister.

          Leave someone else to deal with Winston.

          • BM 6.1.1.2.1

            Key’s only doing politics because he thinks he can make a difference and make NZ a better place.

            If he can’t create a coalition that allows him to achieve that he’ll pull the pin, it’s not like he needs the money or has no other options available to him.

            If Peters thinks he can play games with Key, the old tosser’s in for a rude awakening when Key calls his bluff.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.2.1.1

              i have a bridge id like to sell you, BM

              • BM

                Key’s apparently worth 100 million, the PM salary package really isn’t a motivating factor for him to keep doing the job.

                So the question for you is, why does John Key want to be PM?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  ego

                • Tracey

                  the question for you is why do you think you know what motivates john key or anyone else?

                  he wanted to finish the sell off of nz, cos that would be best for the people he has associated with for thege last twenty years. he seems to enjoy meeting famous people, actors, sports people and celebrities, and the royals, almost giddily so.

                  like many people who becomevery wealthy their peer group shrinks to very particular types and they misguidedly think that making lots of money means you do know whats best for people, including people you have known nothing about for over 30 years when you were determined to get away from those people and their lives.

                  your turn?

                  • Disraeli Gladstone

                    I think you and BM are both wrong.

                    Pascal’s Bookie more on the money. Key isn’t PM to make a great difference to the country. He’s also not PM to sell the country down the river and run away.

                    He’s PM because he decided being PM makes a good status symbol. Money can’t quite buy you that. Being Prime Minister can.

                    It’s why Key is actually quite pragmatic (compared to say a Collins). He doesn’t really believe in much.

                    • Tracey

                      I actually agree with you. I thought I was being too harsh stating what I really believe motivates him… so I only touched on it regardig his celebrity obsession.

                • Tracey

                  dont forget the knighthood, which he wont receive in nz, the country you say he wants the best for, but in london, at a palace.

            • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.2.1.2

              Key’s only doing politics because he thinks he can make a difference and make NZ a better place.

              He’s said himself he’s doing politics because it’s always been his ambition to be Prime Minister.

              • Tracey

                which makes it even more unlikely that he cant recall his pro tour stance in 1981

            • felix 6.1.1.2.1.3

              Bahahaha!

              By the way BM, when Key arrived in NZ with his 70 million or 90 million (or whatever) was it in $NZD?

          • Tracey 6.1.1.2.2

            if he is polling under 50% in popularity now, doesnt that mean he was formerly nz most popular pm?

        • Tracey 6.1.1.3

          you prefer your monsters four-headed BM?

          • felix 6.1.1.3.1

            Key, Banks, Dunne, Turia, Sharples. How many heads is that?

            Or perhaps he’s looking at the potential future arrangement: Key, Dunne, Unclecousin, Craig, Flavel and his +1.

            Jeez what a monster.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.3.1.1

              You can tell alot about Bm, HootOn et al, by when they stop answering, and which questions they ignore.

  7. captain hook 7

    polls, molls trolls.

  8. lurgee 8

    So the demo was reported on Stuff. Let’s have less complaining about media bias, eh?

    The first half of the opening post was fine. People should be reminded, continually, about the failure of the government to deal with poverty, inequality, lack of social mobility and the declining standard of living and security faced by most New Zealanders.

    Who cares about an uncontrolled opt-in poll on the stuff website, with a profoundly stupid question? (Can Labour do it? Of course they can. Are they likely to? Hmmmm. If they do, at whose expense?)

    Realistically (Not a word we like on the left) the election has to be understood as a sort-of FPTP election. The government will either be led by Labour or National. Something so strange would have to happen to change that it isn’t really worth talking about. In 10 years time, perhaps we’ll be able to imagine a Green led government, but I suspect not. And I certainly hope we won’t be entertaining the possibility of an NZ led government.

    And if Labour can’t turn its poll fortunes, then it will likely be a National government. No numbers, no government.

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      It’s a concern because it forms part of the pattern of anti-left bias. As professional journalists Stuff staff know perfectly well how to avoid ‘wife beater’ questions like this. They should avoid the bias, or lose their journalistic privileges.

      • Populuxe1 8.1.1

        They really don’t. Have you seen what comes out of journalism school these days?

    • karol 8.2

      The article wasn’t easy to find on Stuff. It was already buried beyond the front page, when I accessed it. It was not front page news. That’s part of the way the bias works.

      Too many polls are a turn off for many voters, one way or another. There is too much focus in the media on politics as a horse race, rather than on in depth coverage of the issues and policies that impact on people’s lives.

  9. The 3News coverage was funny – shots of Young Nats in their finery viewing the protesting hoi polloi from a balcony, looking like Tory chinless wonders from some Ben Elton comedy. It was the most effective part of the whole thing.

    • BM 9.1

      Yeah, the whole thing looked a bit ridiculous to be honest.

      I was hoping some of the young nats had poured boiling crayfish jus from the top balcony onto the heads of the protesters below.

    • Jono 9.2

      I agree looked like two totally different worlds colliding. Classic footage… Ben Elton could not have staged it as good as tonight…

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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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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, ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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

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