web analytics
The Standard

Changing minds; changing lives

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, March 26th, 2013 - 14 comments
Categories: child welfare, cost of living, Environment, families, greens, housing, Metiria Turei, poverty, public services - Tags: , , , , ,

Last night I went to a Green Party public meeting in West Auckland, on their Home for Life, Affordable Housing policy. The speakers were Metiria Turei, Holly Walker and Alan Johnson (of the Child Poverty Action Group and Salvation Army).  It gave me a better understanding of the policy and the Green Party approach to it.

Holly Walker

Holly Walker

The GP aim to start small and with the achievable, working with the available resources, their degree of political leverage, selected priorities and given the dominant Kiwi attitudes on housing. Their first and most immediate priority is children and the need to ensure that none live in poverty or with the enduring impact of growing up in sub-standard housing.  The long term aim is to make housing and related community facilities, services and provisions accessible to all: from birth to retirement.

Turei harked back to the 1940s, when Labour’s policies resulted in the state intervening to provide secure housing for working families, and people on low incomes. She said their vision is of a community where a mother can easily walk with her children to an early childhood centre, and all the other facilities, services and activities that contribute to a good quality of life.

Selwyn Manning interviews Alan Johnson

Selwyn Manning interviews Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson talked of the negative impact of Rogernomics, that resulted in leaky homes (one of the reasons that the amalgamation of Auckland councils became necessary).  Both argued that the market has failed to provide affordable housing.  Only the government can ensure this is achieved through “hands on” provisions (yes Turei used the “hands on” concept).

Throughout people referred to a need for a change of mindset in order for these aims to be achieved for all.  The necessary changes of mindset that were mentioned included:

  • the shift from seeing housing as an investment opportunity which distorts the economy, to seeing it as part of the country’s core infrastructure;
  • from a focus on  individuals and nuclear families in isolation, to families as part of strong communities;
  • from a focus on money and moving up the housing ladder, to housing as a place of health and security, with a good quality of life;
  • from a strong focus on owning property in a way that encourages below standard rentals, to security of tenure in healthy and well-maintained rental accommodation;
  • from social distinctions between owning and renting, to neighbourhoods where visitors cannot tell which homes are owner-occupied, which are HNZ or housing association properties and which ones are privately rented.
Denise Roche (centre), who joined the Qu & A

Denise Roche (centre), who joined the Qu & A

Some of the issues the Qu & A session threw up were largely around the home for life policy that enables families to begin renting properties and gradually paying into owning it themselves:

What happens when the family moves on and sells the house?  The homes will not be sold on to the private market, but back to the original sellers: HNZ or the housing association, etc.

Won’t this mean that people who enter into the Home for Life programme, will never be able to move up the housing ladder?  Possibly, this is where a change of mindset is required.  However, Turei also said Green Policies aim to work on “the other end” of the issue, to stop house price inflation with things like a Capital Gains Tax.

What about large families (eg with 10 children)?  Will there be homes for life for them? Turei answered first saying that, the programme initially would be providing homes for smaller families. However, Holly Walker added that it might be possible to cater to such families with a bit of innovative, out-of-the-box building designs: e.g. a group of houses with a shared/communal spaces/rooms/buildings available to more than one house.

Would the Green Party provide significant support to housing associations, unlike the current NAct government?  Yes.  The Greens would push for more support for housing associations  e.g. when HNZ needs to sell houses in a specific area, they should be sold to housing associations and not on the open market.

How can strong communities be encouraged: eg ones that include “time banking ” and shared facilities and activities?  To some extent communities can do things themselves.  Roche said that last weekend, her neighbourhood had organised a BBQ that involved closing off the road.  However, government policies can help encourage community interactions through housing an neighbourhood designs.  When people walk or cycle they are more likely to interact with others than when they are travelling about shut up in their cars.

At the end Turei said that Denise Roche was preparing something (I got distracted) – I think a response to the Auckland Unitary Plan, to be posted online some time after Easter.  Earlier Turei had expressed some reservations about the Plan, because it could encourage urban sprawl.  (Yesterday I was a bit taken aback at Sandra Coney’s exposure of Auckland Council’s continuing membership of the Property Council).

The Greens are the reaching out to communities with such meetings.  Nevertheless, in my (superficial visual) judgement, the people attending were mainly, but not exclusively, Pakeha.  For instance, the guy who thanked the speakers on behalf of the west Auckland Green Party, and a woman who expressed concerns about housing for her retirement were Pasifika people.  Those who asked questions from the floor appeared to be largely from the middle-classes, albeit while expressing concerns for those on low incomes. More needs to be done to directly engage with the people most in need of affordable housing, as the Mana Party does.

This policy is going in the right (meaning left) direction.  I like the openness to debate, and the acknowledgement of the need for new kinds of thinking, a shift towards engaged communities with a good quality of life.  Turei said that they have published their Home for Life policy so they could get some feedback.  They welcom submissions, ideas, input, suggestions, etc, on it from anyone.

14 comments on “Changing minds; changing lives”

  1. Colonial Weka 1

    Great write up Karol, thanks.

    The GP website says that submissions on the housing policy closed on the March 1st. I wonder if someone can clarify.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/housing

    They’re doing the same meeting in Wellington on April 3

    http://www.greens.org.nz/events/giving-our-kids-home-life-public-meeting-better-housing-wellington-holly-walker-mp-and-metiri

  2. karol 2

    Good point, weka.

    And on my point about the Greens needing to reach out more to low income people, I have just seen GP notices of meetings in Kaitaia (2nd April) and Sth Auckland (3rd April) on the destructive impact of low incomes.

    False Economy: The high cost of a low wage economy with Jan Logie and Denise Roche

    How the Government’s drive for a low-wage
    economy affects us all with Green Party
    MPs Jan Logie and Denise Roche. With
    speakers from a range of organisations
    including those representing unions, women,
    people with disabilities, youth, migrant and
    refugee communities, Maori and Pasifika
    communities, and more…

    Though the Mana Party’s approach is more being on the streets actively participating in struggles alongside low income groups.

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    Greens have to achieve the political power afirst
    (not surprised to read of middle-class capture; oh well, many will become the “struggling” class, given time.)

    • karol 3.1

      Actually, Turei did say that over half a million families in NZ now rent, and that the biggest decline in home ownership is for middle income families.

      I do think middle-class people are more likely to go to public meetings and to stand up and contribute. Thus I think the Mana strategy is a good one, struggling alongside the least powerful people on the streets.

      But, meetings of relevant groups in low income areas may be a step towards engaging more with low income people.

  4. just saying 4

    Excellent as always Karol.

    It did my heart good to hear some good news for a change.

    But this is something that been on my mind for ages regarding a number of political and community issues:

    Nevertheless, in my (superficial visual) judgement, the people attending were mainly, but not exclusively, Pakeha. For instance, the guy who thanked the speakers on behalf of the west Auckland Green Party, and a woman who expressed concerns about housing for her retirement were Pasifika people. Those who asked questions from the floor appeared to be largely from the middle-classes*, albeit while expressing concerns for those on low incomes. More needs to be done to directly engage with the people most in need of affordable housing, as the Mana Party does.

    What do we do about this everybody? Te Mana has limited resources and we can’t expect them to do all the heavy lifting here. Maybe we could brainstorm ideas.

    We have a responsibility here imo. People have been excluded, ignored and discriminated against, often for their lifetimes.

    *I think some who appear middle-class may not be. I often go out wearing my best middle class disguise (which isn’t even that flash) because I prefer to no be treated like dog vomit.

    • karol 4.1

      A good point, js. My visually-based judgements were more on ethnicity. The class judgements were more based on style and content of speaking. In my experience, many middle-class people, especially lefties, tend to dress down for such occasions.

      e.g. One guy talked about the community centred around his children’s school in glen Eden. he identified himself as middle-class, but also talked about the diversity of income levels and ethnicity in the community, and their differeing needs. Others mentioned their roles or group affiliations.

      But, I agree my judgements were pretty superficial. Even that still indicated a certain amount of diversity at the meeting.

      However, I do think there is a lot of evidence that many on low incomes have become politically disengaged, and this is an on-going challenge. (I also think the Labour caucus has become more engaged with the middle-classes than they were originally (in the 1930s).

      I think the beneficiary advocacy event by Auckland Action Against poverty indicates the kind of active and creative ways to engage the disenfranchised.

  5. just saying 5

    I wasn’t meaning to criticise your description, Karol. I’m sure your judgement is astute.

  6. Leopold the Viper 6

    Not knowing anything about Auckland let alone Waitakere, what is the Wha Room at the Hub? The poor can be more easily intimidated from attending if the venue is an overtly middleclass one , set up miles from where they live, is in the richer area of of Waitakere, thus entailing a waste of petrol to get there,, and do the poor really want to waste their scanty leisure listening to suits pontificate, with no obvious action at the end of it? I speak as one who has done a fair share of attending such meetings. And as I have said, have never been to Waitakere, so I could be wrong

    • karol 6.1

      It’s a fairly unimposing hall, with the entrance open to the street.

      It’s not too far from Henderson and amongst a pretty diverse community. Maybe slightly off the main transport lines, but not very far.

    • karol 6.2

      Late Last night, I realised I hadn’t paid enough attention at the meeting to something that is pretty crucial to reaching out to more low income people. The meeting organisers asked for a show of hands on how people found out about the meeting. My recollection was that most of the options were electronic sources: email, Facebook, etc.

      I don’t recall being asked about learning of the meeting from flyers etc. (The meeting organisers were probably recording the results.)

      Anyway, most people seem to have learned about the meeting through emails and facebook, as I recall. This would only be tapping into the existing Green Party networks.

      Reaching more low income (non)voters might require more footwork and tapping in to more offline networks.

      • BM 6.2.1

        Reaching more low income (non)voters might require more footwork and tapping in to more offline networks.

        Don’t be ridiculous, that would actually involve meeting and talking to poor people.
        You might find they’re not all all interested in what you propose which would rather ruin your buzz.

  7. Raymond a Francis 7

    Well reported Karol with some ideas that make sense and should give positive results

    Maybe a capitals gain tax on ALL capital gains might be the way to get on top of the housing for gain
    Not necessary a level tax, lower for people trying to climb the housing ladder but higher for those in the game for profit with more than one house available for their use including those they have an interest in to gather in those with Trusts

    • KJT 7.1

      I’ve always said we should have a CGT on housing, starting at zero for houses in, say, the lowest percentile. I.E. Under 250k at the moment. Rising to maximum in houses over 500k.

      To get those who are speculating, If someone has say two 250k houses then they should be taxed as if it was one 500k house.

      Exempting the family home, as the Greens propose, is too hard to police and implement.
      I can see too many million dollar family homes suddenly appearing, owned by teenage, and young adult, children of millionaires.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • After Vietnam: changes in imperialist strategy
    by Sean Bresnahan Forty years from the liberation of South Vietnam, to those of us with an interest in the ongoing situation in our world at present, a reflection on events leading up to the American evacuation, in the final… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 hours ago
  • Bike Rave – May 2015
    Last night the first official Auckland Bike Rave was held (the earlier one was just a trial). It had been delayed a week after rain the week before and thankfully the weather held out this time. Around 300 people young… ...
    4 hours ago
  • The Budget and the Benefit
    In the 2015 Budget the Māori Party negotiated and secured around $1 billion worth of funding directed toward Māori initiatives and the countries most vulnerable whānau.  The most significant gain being the increase in the core benefit rate of $25… ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 hours ago
  • Two Dollars A Day, is All They Pay, for Helping with Povertay
    This is based on a presentation to a Child Poverty Action Group Post-budget Breakfast. read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 hours ago
  • ‘Dirty Politics’ revisited: More evidence of deceit and covering tracks
    It’s funny how the brain works. Earlier this week, I passed a copy of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics on to a new workmate after he’d expressed a harshly negative opinion of Hager — but when I asked him if he’d read… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: A clever patch-up job, but stitched together by broken promise...
    A closer look at Budget 2015 shows a government making it up as it goes along. While it's a clever political document, it shows National is trying to plug a lot of political holes with a diminishing amount of capital… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 hours ago
  • Funding the Basin Flyover Fight
    Yesterday the Architectural Centre in Wellington have launched a fund raising campaign to fight NZTA’s continued waste of our money on expensive lawyers for their hopelessly unimaginative and retrogressively conceived Basin flyover project. Here’s the Give-A-Little site with a recap of… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    11 hours ago
  • If The SIS Director Wants To Tell Us The Truth, She Should Commission Ficti...
    Memorable Presentation: Rebecca Kitteridge, the first woman Director of the SIS, laments the fact that the necessarily secret work of her agents cannot become the subject of a reality TV series - as it has for Police and Custom Officers. For… ...
    11 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Let Them Eat Scraps: Bill English’s Budget Outflanks The Left By Moll...
    Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Love! Bill English's seventh Budget may be weak in terms of economic effectiveness, but politically it's a genuine sand-kicker. Labour's Andrew Little is still rubbing his eyes. IT’S BEEN 43 YEARS since a National… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Bloody marvelous
    For years now the comment sections of our nation’s online newspapers, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have been packed with commentators declaring the ‘Campbell Live’ show and it’s watchers were ‘everything that was wrong with the country’ – somewhat ironically… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    14 hours ago
  • Congratulations #CanonMediaAwards 2015 winners…
    ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    14 hours ago
  • National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!
    . . It’s not often that Ministers of this increasingly desperate and inept government make a statement that is unerringly accurate – but on Friday 15 May, on Radio  NZ’s Morning Report, GCSB Minister, Chris Finlayson did just that. Minister… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    14 hours ago
  • Truly Depressing
    Yesterday a thought crossed my mind that was so appalling that I decided not to mention it to anyone for at least 24 hours so I could b sure it was a real notion and not just an emanation from… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Document Shows Elizabeth Warren Is Right About TPP
    Article – Zaid Jilani As opponents and advocates of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue to battle it out, the debate over the agreement has largely focused on the issue of trade whether jobs will be lost or gained, what the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    23 hours ago
  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    1 day ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

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

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere