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The Standard

By the book

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, August 2nd, 2012 - 60 comments
Categories: accountability, john banks, john key - Tags:

“In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.” – The Cabinet Manual. John Banks lied to reporters, and the public, while a minister. That’s not upholding the highest ethical standards. When will John Key hold him to account?

Never, if Key can help it. The Banks-Key Government may fall if Key tries to hold Banks to account and Banks resigns from Parliament. At the very least, it would put the Government’s rightwing legislation on pause for at least three months.

Key came to office promising higher standards than he said we had seen from Labour. He started well, sacking Richard Worth for something that, like Banks’ actions, saw a police investigation but no prosecution. But how his standards have slipped. Since then, the ministerial resignations have been in spite of Key’s wishes, not because of them.

We just need to look to the last Labour government to see how the Banks affair would have been handled by a government with higher standards of accountability.

Helen Clark sacked Lianne Dalziel over the ‘lie in unison’ affair – just like Banks, it was about a minister lying to the press and Clark acted. Clark stood down Winston Peters over his donations row – just like Banks, it was a the leader of a support party and a donations scandal but Clark acted.

It’s pretty sad that, after four short years, far from setting higher standards of accountability than Clark, Key is plumbing new depths.

60 comments on “By the book”

  1. Kotahi Tāne Huna 1

    Key has lied and lied and lied: he embodies deceit. How on Earth can he expect higher standards of John Banks than he displays himself?

    We’re still waiting for the academics to show us a counterview, for an explanation of this money-grubbing wretch’s “seeing eye” trust arrangements. His denials of involvement in an illegal election broadcast were a tissue of lies.

    He is under investigation by the Auditor General for his corrupt sale of New Zealand legislation, his “self-advice”.

    Key is in no position to act.

    • Akldnut 1.1

      My theory is Banksie has some wood on Key and the Keysta don’t want no skeletons jumping outa the beehive closets before his pilfering is complete. (Purely my thoughts – no evidence at all)

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I’m not sure why Banks would resign from parliament if he was stood down or sacked as a minister. That smacks of supreme childishness.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Well, actually, it would be an act of honour, an admission that he wasn’t of the required character – something that we won’t see from either John Banks, Key or this government.

  3. vto 3

    Well you see, if a Fair Trading (Politics) Act was introduced to ensure that politicians acted to the same standards required of others then there would be no problem.

    “misleading and deceptive conduct in politics”, just like the current Fair Trading Act.

    So, why not?

  4. Anne 4

    John Key is the most dishonest, corrupt prime minister we have seen in a 100 years. Yet a sycophantic MSM continue to fawn over him. You have to wonder why? What is his hold over them? Are they scared of him? Are they so shallow and vain themselves, they perceive something of themselves in him?

    Or – as is most likely – he bought his popularity with the MSM by tossing ‘baubles and beads’ in their direction from time to time. Just like Turia and Sharples.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      You got it Anne. This Government has far wider latitude to move because the MSM gives it to them. Media company and news editorial relationships are something that National has right, and National has strong.

      I think its a shame that Labour didn’t beat down the system of corporate media while it had a chance and go with tory proofed full public broadcasting options.

    • BillODrees 4.2

      Anne, Are you letting Jenny Shipley off the hook?  
      She had a very low standard of integrity while PM.  And the associations she and her hubby have made, since becomming ” Consulants”,  have had dodgy odours surrounding them.  She even became an immigration consultant! 

  5. Banks was a naive fool – all he had to do was, like Len Brown’s $499,000 unknown donations, set up a Trust.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      And not get caught on camera accepting donations from Kim Dotcom at fancy parties, and then lying, again on camera, about it afterwards when asked.

      You have to face it – Len Brown is simply smarter than John Banks. That’s why Banks lost and that’s why Banks is a loser.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.2

      Fortran are you that desperate? Remind me how Brown lied and broke the law the way John “for sale” Banks did – you see the difference? Banks is a criminal who gets off on technicalities, and Brown isn’t.

      • Fortran 5.2.1

        Kotahi

        I did not say or imply that Len broke the law – I said that he was more clever than Banks in soliciting donations.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1

          Who said he solicited any donations that went to his trust?

          We know he declared the skycity ones. Why didn’t he tell them to give to the trust? Because the trust was for anon donations. derp derp.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.2.1.2

          Fortran are you being deliberately disingenuous, or are you just a bit thick? If Brown solicited donations he claimed were anonymous, he broke the law too. It’s just that you’ve got fuck all evidence he did anything of the sort.

          Are these feeble smears the best you can do?

    • Craig Glen Eden 5.3

      you obviously havent heard of the waitamata trust Fortran? no thought not.

    • tracey 5.4

      i dont think he was naieve. I think he was arrogant and truly believed he could bend and breaK RULES no one would find out. He didnt reckon on an angry millionaire chucking his toys out of the cot, even tho he had owen glen to learn from. Banks believes he can buy or barter his way in and out of everything.

  6. ad 6

    Not entirely sure this site can have it both ways:

    Complaining about an opposition apparently hamstrung by high ethical standards in one story, and then complaining that the Government’s ethical standards in carrying out government appear too low.

    I don’t support Key or Banks. Equally it’s pretty rich for Trevor Mallard to preach ethics to John Banks. John Banks takes fat donations, Trevor Mallard screws the staff. etc etc.

    It’s a downward vortex: a standard game to bring the whole of Parliament into gradual disrepute and hope that most of the stink hangs around those in power, in order that the rulers receive a more negative impact in the public than the opposition.

    But it’s absolutely the wrong way to win.

    “…until even the fruits of war are ashes in our mouths”, to take Kennedy out of context.

    • tracey 6.1

      agreed. People in glasshouses.

    • Carol 6.2

      Not entirely sure this site can have it both ways:

      Complaining about an opposition apparently hamstrung by high ethical standards in one story, and then complaining that the Government’s ethical standards in carrying out government appear too low.

      Ermmmm… this site doesn’t represent just one view. it has posts by various people and discussion ensues. The 2 posts you refer to were written by different people.

      • ad 6.2.1

        I’m all for dialogical contests, played by well armed opponents. But it’s eerie to see two authors on the same day argue against each other on the same site, over the same ground, not acknowledging each other, both effectively mirroring what they are complaining about without reflexiveness or irony.

        Not even sure that ethics and politics are that easy to sustain in space without matter cancelling antimatter.

        I guess that would be the first point. The second point, with a minor note of Frank Capra and Mr Smith Goes to Washington, is that it’s a lot more fun and a lot more hopeful to win by saying not merely what you stand against, but what you stand for. That would go not only for parties, but for us.

        • Carol 6.2.1.1

          :roll:

          That’s a lot of words, ad, creating more heat than light – I get no idea from that of what YOU stand for apart from having a dig at the site.

          Congratulations on being able to use some big words and pop culture references.

          • ad 6.2.1.1.1

            Should I be given the opportunity, I would happily stretch the legs on the site. Most would figure it out from what I’ve commented previously. Meantime, I’ll take the compliment.

            • Carol 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Most would figure it out from what I’ve commented previously.

              Ditto for the post you criticise above.
              But you were asking for people to state their positions:

              is that it’s a lot more fun and a lot more hopeful to win by saying not merely what you stand against, but what you stand for.

              And yet, when you are challenged on it, when all you have done is state what you are against, you say, in effect, work it out for yourself

      • Pascal's bookie 6.2.2

        In any case. there is no contradiction in saying that Labour won’t stoop to the race baiting lies that National whole heartedly used in opposition, and saying that that National isn’t ethical in government.

        God knows what the ‘Mallard screws his staff’ comment has to do with anything, but it’s hilarious that ad throws it out there in a comment pretending toi be about keeping plitics wholesome.

        Another weak effort really. more complicated than tighty righty’s but still just a pile of hypocritical nasty gobshite at the end of the day. par for the course, and a pretty good example of what the post is talking about.

        • ad 6.2.2.1

          Probably you need to track more carefully how Banks and Mallard have been exchanging in Parliament over the last 48 hours.

          What if we held Labour to high standards:
          – Labour would whip the vote for gay marriage rather than make it a “conscience” issue. Didn’t. Greens did. Even the Prime Minister has been clearer than Labour on this.

          – Labour would have made a clear and strong stand about the Treaty of Waitangi and water rights, rather than parsing it off. Didn’t.

          – Labour would tell Mallard to sit down and shut up and give the attack over to someone who isn’t an appalling hypocrite on any ethical standards one could think of, particularly personal ones.

          – Labour would not not propose the unions as an exception to the lobbying register bill. Indifensible and dumb.

          But we don’t get that. We get weak opposition being blamed in one article for having too much conscience to be effective, and then something else for the Nats.

          Trying to defend one standard of ethics for government and another for opposition is rank hypocrisy of the worst order.

          • Pascal's bookie 6.2.2.1.1

            -Why is whipping vs conscience vote on marriage equality a matter of ethics?

            The bill is a private members bill, (from a Labour mp incidently). Shearer has said he will support it at every reading, and most Labour mps have done likewise. As far as I’m aware Key has said only that he will support it at first reading so I’m not sure what you are talking about in that comparison. The greens are whipping it because marriage equality is party policy.

            So again, I’m not sure why you think there are ethical issues at play here.

            -Again, I’m not sure why you think this the water rights issue is an ethical one. It’s a policy matter. Their position on policy is not one of ethics. The rhetoric they use could be described as a matter of ethics, but I think they have been fairly restrained. If you have an example of something they have said that is out of order, please be mentioning it.

            -The union exemption thing is stupid, I agree.

            -Whether or not Mallard leads an attack or whether or not he is a hypocrite is perhaps an issue, though more of a tctical one than an ethical one. But again, you need to provide details. If mallard has been breaking laws and telling lies to NZ about it, then again, please be mentioning it. To be a hypocrite you need to be doing what you accuse your opponents of.

            And there is no “complaint” about Labour being too ethical in r0b’s post. That’s just your weird interpretation of it. All I see is a statement that Labour isn’t as feral as National was, and that National is lucky on that score. If you disagree with that, I’d like to hear why.

            • ad 6.2.2.1.1.1

              -conscience votes are called that for a reason.
              -waitangi tribanal reconciles history property and ethics into justice
              – the whole house knew they were trading their ethical history and roared.
              Yout guys don’t have to get the point ; the rest of the media have today.

              • Pascal's bookie

                -conscience votes are called that for a reason.

                Yes they are. You implied there was something dubious about them, and that whipping was ethically superior. Apparently you can’t explain why. I’m not surpised by that, because the claim makes no sense.

                -waitangi tribanal reconciles history property and ethics into justice

                I’ve no idea what this means or how it relates to the discussion, so I’ll just note that you’ve not been able to come up with anything Labour has said that could be described as unethical. An example would be like the falsehoods National was spreading about beaches after the F&S ruling.

                – the whole house knew they were trading their ethical history and roared.
                Yout guys don’t have to get the point ; the rest of the media have today.

                Again, so what exactly? Political theatre doesn’t establish ethics, and it’s telling that you can’t actually make a case. The house roared. Pfft. National barracked in defense of the indefensible.

                Here’s ‘the media’ today:

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10823961

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/vernon-small/7394708/Banks-off-the-hook-for-now

                • Draco T Bastard

                  From the NZHearld link quoting Banks:

                  “I’m determined to stay on and there’s been a police inquiry. I told you from day one I did nothing wrong, worked within the law. The police have had an extensive investigation and I have been totally cleared.”

                  So, in Tory world the police saying that the criminal couldn’t be charged due to time limitations is “totally cleared”. Tui Moment

              • Pascal's bookie

                And here’s how the NZ Herald editorial of yesterday mentions Labour in regard to the matter;

                Labour leader David Shearer put it succinctly: “This is a guy that has gone to a donor, asked for money and in one case received a cheque in his hand, then turned around and said he cannot remember receiving it. Police can’t prove it, but everyone in New Zealand knows what is going on here.”

                • xtasy

                  Tell you, time Shearer grows up and names a shame what it is: A shame!

                  He should not be the kind, humble and meek leader of sorts, he should go all out on an assault on Key and the rest. Nothing else works. Also I heard and saw the overly disciplined chanting on recent marches of protest.

                  Let me tell you: You will not scare a chicken by whispering meek sounds!

                  It is bloody time for OPPOSITION, but I see too little of it. If Labour wants to make waves, better have a brain storming session right now!

                  I am inclined to support MANA, but there are some issues there. So get your bloody shit together, Labour, if you ever will!

  7. The wording of the following petition has just been double-checked with Parliamentary staff, and can be downloaded NOW if folks want to start collecting signatures!

    Hope to have this petition presented when Parliament next sits on Tuesday 14 August 2012.

    This should help get the LAW tightened up here – although I cannot for the life of me understand how the signature of John Banks is so meaningless – given that he is the Leader of the ACT Party – which – as I understood it – was purported to be the Party which believed in ‘personal responsibility’???

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/JOHN-BANKS-POSSUM.jpg

    To the House of Representatives

    The petition of Penelope Mary Bright of 86A School Road Kingsland Auckland, Ph (09) 846 9825 and others:

    ”Respectfully requests:

    ”That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the findings of the Police investigation into the allegations that the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO, submitted a false donation return in respect to the Auckland Council Mayoral election 2010 – that it was not unlawful for the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO to sign and transmit his candidate’s declaration of expenses without first personally checking and verifying that the information provided (by another party) was accurate.”

    There are questions to be asked.

    Such as Banks was at a meeting in Sky City and was handed a sealed envelope:

    1.What did he think it was?
    2. What would he have thought it was?
    3. How did he know to give it to who ever opened the envelope?
    4. What were the words which were spoken at the time of the exchange?
    5.Why did the administration person for Bank who processed the check write ‘anonymous’ on the register when the cheque would quite clearly have shown who it came from.
    6. How did Sky City deal with this payment as part of their tax obligations?
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    • xtasy 7.1

      Penny, you are so very “honourable” an dignified, I sometimes despair.

      What about the “old fashioned” French way?

      I makes for “great theatre performance” too, ideally on Aotea Square!?

      We have baskets ready to “collect” the “refuse”!

    • AmaKiwi 7.2

      To Penny Bright
       
      You had a superior posting about consumers changing energy companies.  I did not copy down the details.  Now I cannot find it on The Standard.  Can you direct me to it or repeat it again.
       
      You are absolutely correct.  If enough of the public play havoc with Mighty River’s profits by switching to another company, it is no longer an attractive investment.  This is a brilliant tactic!
       
      Please re-post that here.

    • xtasy 8.1

      This Libor hype is of course a scandal of sorts, but it must be put into perspectives. It actually did little harm, as the banks engaged in manipulative activities that kept interest rates in check, so to say. That means it may in some ways actually have been in the interest of the banking customers, businesses and so lending money.

      The issue is of course the fact of manipulating the fiscal regime. Now that raises again questions like, when the trading and investment banks can do it and get away with it, why can then the states not set monetary standards and influence fiscal policies in setting interest rates to also control the currency rate, to assist trade and whatever?

      This is all a very tricky and complex field of activity though, and even if you favour socialist policies, you will always need to be mindful of fiscal and exchange rate policies that inevitably will be looked at and interacted with globally.

      Yet this government could and should have done more, eg. introduce even more profound saving incentives to keep money in the country, follow similar agendas as Singapore, Norway, and other smartly investing countries. If that is not done, and if we follow the laissez faire nonsense of the past two to three decades even further, inevitably, one day we may have to take measures to become a country like North Korea.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        This Libor hype is of course a scandal of sorts, but it must be put into perspectives. It actually did little harm, as the banks engaged in manipulative activities that kept interest rates in check, so to say. That means it may in some ways actually have been in the interest of the banking customers, businesses and so lending money.

        This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The bankers took interest rate positions which scammed huge amounts of capital from the financial system and put it in their own pockets. Investors, pension funds, savers, borrowers, all lost in turn. Here, educate yourself:

        Suppose the bankers are manipulating the interest rate so they can place bets with the money you lend or repay them – bets that will pay off big for them because they have inside information on what the market is really predicting, which they’re not sharing with you.

        That would be a mammoth violation of public trust. And it would amount to a rip-off of almost cosmic proportion – trillions of dollars that you and I and other average people would otherwise have received or saved on our lending and borrowing that have been going instead to the bankers.

        http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-08/libor-largest-insider-trading-scandal-ever

        • xtasy 8.1.1.1

          Come on VP, that “money” was never ever existing, it never was material and never went into retail circulation that much at all!

          It was just an artificial bull shit arrangement between banks, to pretend things were not as bad as they were. If they had followed the market interest regime, many would have had losses by the billions, and write offs would have resulted, affecting all the ones “down the line”.

          In reality , all this is just a side show of the greater picture and scenario.

          And you have not seen the end of it, not even the beginning, I am afraid. Learn to grow veges, keep your own chickens, learn to barter, get a basic trade to survive and wake up, man, because this shit society is going to hit the fan very, very soon!

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            Dude just because you didn’t feel the money leave your pocket didn’t mean they didn’t steal from you. Fair point that a lot of this was financial system gaming, but that gaming meant that money which could have gone into the real economy never made it there.

            It meant that big investors like the Cullen Fund, ACC, the NZ Super fund will all have lost money to the banking system.

            And yes, I back everything you say about learning practical real skills, and also, keeping fit and healthy. That’s the only insurance for the future now.

            • xtasy 8.1.1.1.1.1

              VP – get it please –

              THE MONEY DOES NOT EVEN EXIST!!!

              “Dude just because you didn’t feel the money leave your pocket didn’t mean they didn’t steal from you.”

              It is paper saying that you have some “credit”, which is under so many conditions, it means only so much (fiat money). YOU must have heard of inflation, not flagellation or whatever? So it is there on paper or on some metal piece, tomorrow you may rather melt it down.

              • Colonial Viper

                THE MONEY DOES NOT EVEN EXIST!!!

                I know what you are trying to say at one level, but we live in a bank driven capitalist political economy. And these losses from main st and from local and central governments around the world have real world consequences to peoples lives my friend.

        • xtasy 8.1.1.2

          What we are facing is a scenario, where we have countries live like an individual having three or more credit cards. Now I know the bloody scenario from own life experience. You end up in the lurch with one, so you use the other one to balance the books for that first one. Then the second one gets into deficit, so you use the third one to balance that. You end up shifting debt around, taking a bit out here and there, to fill the other gap. That is the fucking thing happening in Europe, the US, Japan and all over!

          You may not like the bloody truth, but I read a hell of a lot about it recently!

          The fact is, for too many years the western economies and peoples were lied to, cunned and sold out, by making them believe they will maintain their living standards by allowing their large manufacturing companies outsource to cheap labour countries, so they produce cheaper goods at the expense of others, while the residents in those western countries were made to believe they could maintain their life styles and balanced books by still enjoying those products now imported cheaply, but by paying for them with supposedly “hard” currency earned by selling pizzas and hair cuts to each other.

          Y ou have to be an economic IDIOT to believe such a scheme works!

          That is the crap that people were sold by governments wanting to keep inpower and keep their ignorant voters happy, left and right.

          So maybe look up some basic economics and learn this basic reality. We have now gone way beyond that, being as western countries, some more, some less, highly indebted to the new workshop countries selling us all the stuff we need. We no longer know and are interested in producing the stuff ourselves, so we sell milk powder, logs and sheep skins to pay for it. Regrettably too many under developed economies do the same (also tourism), so we compete with the Greeces of the world.

          That is what Roger Douglas, Prepple, Shipley, Richardson and now Key have sold us.

          Do you not bloody get it? I understand economics is not your forte!

          • xtasy 8.1.1.2.1

            The above was meant for CV – but clicked the wrong button.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Do you not bloody get it? I understand economics is not your forte!

              Relax a bit dude: Max Keiser (+ Stacy Herbert), Steve Keen, William Black, Richard Wolff, Nassim Taleb, Kyle Bass, Jeremy Grantham, Tyler Durden, Bill Still, Michael Burry, Robert Reich, Dmitri Orlov, Richard Heinberg, JM Greer and many many others enlightened me a year or three ago.

              • xtasy

                I am a bit relieved, some may make sense, but never narrow your horison, it is – like much else – an evolutionary discipline of science and understanding!

        • xtasy 8.1.1.3

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libor

          LIBOR explained by the way. I hate all this, but it is real world stuff, we are all exposed to!

      • Cnut 8.1.2

        LIBOR manipulation did little harm? Sure, a tenth of one per cent might have little impact on your mortgage but on financial instruments dealing with millions if not billions over five years or more it does a lot of harm – and these instruments are not limited to financial high-rollers playing the casino. It’s stolen money from pension funds and, in the States where local authorities were hoodwinked and defrauded with complex financial instruments were based on them, has brought many to the point of bankruptcy, and bankrupted some.

        For a more informed opinion than xtasy’s I recommend:

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/yes-virginia-the-real-action-in-the-libor-scandal-was-in-the-derivatives.html

  8. xtasy 9

    Never forget:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CvRSZxqk_I

    Ahem, nothing to fear, nothing to hide!

  9. xtasy 10

    http://www.gaynz.net.nz/history/BillPasses.html

    So this should “nail” Banksie for voting on gay marriage, for sure.

    How does that fit in with ACT Party principles though? See: http://www.act.org.nz/

    All I see is pics of Banksie all over their front page and a Gary Mallett from Hamilton at the bottom of the website.

    Now was this not once a “liberal” party? Where are the voices of gone by ACT pollies like Coddington, Hide, Prebble, Douglas, Franks and so forth? I see NO mention of them or any policy they may resemble! May the ACT (dead body) party has been seized by a desperado vote giver, here there and wherever the “client” National takes him? What is next to prostitution, I ask? Sell your body or your mind, or your vote for that sake?

  10. gnomic 11

    How many times do I have to explain this? In my humble opinion Key is an amoral weasel with no respect for any principle but political power for the National government. The mission of this regime is to auction off any remaining assets not in the control of private capital at the cheapest possible price. Meanwhile the questionably sane and more than likely corrupt Banksie finally destroys that teacher’s union the Nats hate so much. How much better can it get?

    As for the cabinet, what a shower. Even the somewhat lamentable Labour was superior on the whole.

  11. tracey 12

    Agreed. Sell assets mix with all blaclks, collect a knighthood, tick off cv.

  12. AmaKiwi 13

    To Penny Bright
     
    Penny, you had a superior posting about consumers changing energy companies.  I did not copy down the details.  Now I cannot find it on The Standard.  Can you direct me to it or repeat it again.
     
    Penny Bright is correct.  If enough of the public play havoc with Mighty River’s profits by switching to another company, it is no longer an attractive investment.  This is a brilliant tactic!
     
    Penny, please re-post your suggestion here.  Thank you very much.
     
     

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    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
    4 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
    4 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… ...
    5 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
    5 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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
    7 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… ...
    7 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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

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