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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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    On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • John Key: where is your conscience?
    The Prime Minister’s refusal to raise the refugee quota in the face of an international humanitarian crisis shows a lack of empathy and moral leadership, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “There are times in politics when you are faced with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Report highlights National’s poor funding decisions
    The Government’s poor coordination between its transport strategy and the needs of the regions has been highlighted in a new report by Local Government New Zealand, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Local Government was forced to write its Mobilising… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government wakes up to Opotiki Harbour
    John Key is expected to finally announce Government support next week for the Opotiki Harbour development, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. "While it is astonishing that it has taken seven years for the Government to commit to this… ...
    4 days ago
  • New figures show speculators rampant
    New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank data shows mortgage lending was up 6 per… ...
    4 days ago
  • Spring is here – not pollen your leg
    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    5 days ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    5 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    6 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    6 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    1 week ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    1 week ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    1 week ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    1 week ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    2 weeks ago

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