web analytics
The Standard

Colin James on the asset sales referendum & Nats’ economic record

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, September 10th, 2013 - 17 comments
Categories: assets, Economy, national, privatisation - Tags:

Colin James takes on Key over the asset sales referendum, savaging the economic argument for sales. Then he turns to National’s other big financial markets call – suspending contributions to the Cullen Fund James discovers its cost us a lot of money. What James doesn’t recognise is that asset sales and suspending the Cullen Fund payments were never about what’s best for NZ.

[this article isn’t online yet, I think it goes up on the ODT at some point]

….Key has been underestimating, too: understating the democratic place of the asset sales referendum. He said last Monday: “We have held a referendum. It is called a general election”. That is, in Key’s mind, voters approved selling assets because he said he would and that promise was a high-profile campaign issue.

Actually, Key got a mandate to govern, not specifically sell assets. Opinion polls consistently found big majorities against selling. Key’s mandate was despite asset sales, not for them.

Key’s impatience reflects a discomfort in the public sphere. Deals (in private) get things done. Democracy (by definition public) is messy: the referendum will be a “waste of money”. When Key’s party legislated citizens referendums in 1993 it made them non-binding.

Democracy does waste money and time. A byproduct, Key neglects to add, is liberty.

Key said asset sales opponents will be more likely to vote than supporters. Not necessarily, if he campaigned hard for his case. But he could validly argue that asset sales are no longer a “third-rail” issue, one that kills a government. People disagree with much a government does but still agree it should govern. Asset sales are in this class.

But are they good policy? Are they good business? Do they tell us English — idolised by Australian business even more than Key — has business and finance acumen?

When it came to the point this year the government had three arguments: that sales would deepen the sharemarket and entice some small investors in (yes, to a limited extent), that private ownership would toughen up the management (marginal at most because the electricity companies have been well run) and that raising money for capital projects by selling assets is better than borrowing on global markets (actually, so far global interest rates have been low and the electricity companies have been paying good dividends).

So far, not a pass mark for English.

James is right – the referendum will be our chance to give National a mark on its asset sales to date and a warning of the electoral consequences if they continue.

How has he gone on investment? He suspended contributions (till 2020) to the Superannuation Fund, arguing it was silly to borrow to invest.

That’s not how it has turned out. In the past five years, which includes the global financial and Eurozone crises, the super fund earned an average 7.4 per cent a year, well above the 3.16 per cent average Treasury bill rate and above the 6 per cent coupon interest on 2021 10-year government bonds. In the past three years the fund averaged 16.8 per cent (Treasury bills 2.6 per cent) and in the 2012-13 year it earned a stunning 25.8 per cent.

Also, the fund paid English $1.6 billion tax over the past three years. Had he gone on investing $2.5 billion or so a year he would have got even more tax. And the fund would have added to the $1 billion it has so far put into the local sharemarket, providing capital for business.

In December aiCIO magazine called it the world’s most innovative sovereign wealth fund.

There is an irony here: English’s wrong investment call (so far) on the super fund fits the National adage that politicians (and bureaucrats) should not play at business.

Moreover, the fund is a public, not a private, entity. Its success challenges the “private good/public bad” theorem which underlines one of the asset sales rationales. In fact, the public and private spheres are inextricably mixed. Voters know that. And they want the electricity companies kept public…

The fact is, National didn’t choke the Cullen Fund or go ahead with asset sales because those moves make economic sense. It is and was about ideology. Unlike voters, who are sensible, National has a hard and fast belief that the government shouldn’t be involved in the economy, and that’s why they do dumb things.

17 comments on “Colin James on the asset sales referendum & Nats’ economic record”

  1. tricledrown 1

    If not for thr cullen fund nationals books would mean they would be very unpopular .
    If contributions had continued NZs future would be brighter lowers taxes in the future.
    Now with no divedends from assets and prefunding the baby boom.
    We now have higher health and retirement funding required.
    So something has got to be cut only the very wealthy will have a
    Decent retirement.
    As the cult of greed will be pushed on to the younger generations who won’t to pay higher taxes to cover the shortfall that national are deliberatly leaving!
    All Nactional are interested in is stealing our future!
    By taking away our longterm investments handing them cheaply to their mates!

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    I completley agree.

    We often critique Natioanl’s performance against our own values and rationale belief system. The fact that they fail every time on those measures is of absolutley no concern or consequence to them.

    They never came in hoping to better this country for New Zealanders.

    They came in to do exactly what they have. Sell us down the river to their rich mates.

    I would give them 9.8 out of 10 for doing exactly what they were put in government to do by their pay masters.

    The left should learn from the Nats about how to serve one’s key supporters. When we return to goverment we should tell big business to go and go jump in the lake. Just like National has to the workers.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    National have a hard and fast belief that they and their rich mates should own everything so that they and their rich mates can live as parasites on everyone else while also commanding what what everyone else does. Government ownership and democracy takes that away from them and they don’t like that and will do everything in their power to keep such a paradigm in place. They really do want to take us back to feudalism with them as the aristocrats.

  4. Craig Glen viper 5

    The sad thing JH you have hit the nail on the head taking more of the pie for them and their mates is the agenda. Its interesting that those in big business are the ones that cheer them on even though they show time and time agaian that National damage the economy, but when you see the big chunks of capital National throw their way its no wonder.

    • Akldnut 5.1

      It’s little wonder Aussies treasurer in waiting Richard Cranium is using Blinglish as a role model saying “You’re heading in the right direction, and we’re heading in the wrong direction at the moment.” and praising the NZ economy

      • Barry 5.1.1

        Key promised to have NZ wages catch up to Australia. Then did nothing to make it happen.

        He knew that all he would have to do is wait a bit then they would get a government that would use the same policy and their wages would come back to ours.

        Look for Australia’s unemployment to go up and wages stagnate and the Liberals will blame Labor.

  5. Tracey 6

    as a trader key always knew that you dont stop investing when the price drops… you buy regularly so as to even out the highs and lows. he ignored this simple premise relied upon by all brokers and traders.

    my kiwisaver fund is up well over the bank dep rate since 2008. average of 12% a year.

    given people laud the pms ability as a trader this seems a rookie mistake.

  6. swan 7

    The whole argument around opinion polls being against asset sales is, I think, a red herring. I wonder what the result would be of a poll asking “do you support GST at 12.5% or 15%” or “Do you support income tax rates of x or y? Or “Would you support a cut to petrol tax”? Or “Are you in favour of higher or lower rates?” Or “Are you in favour of 12 months paid parental leave”. Or “Are you in favour of free public transport”?

    All such questions (including asset sales question) are meaningless on their own without a broader discussion of revenue, govt spending, the govt balance sheet, etcetera.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      A good point which is, of course, why the facts need to be made available – oh, that’s right, they have been – they show that selling our state assets makes us worse off.

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      Aww swan, the government regularly asks the obscenity which has replaced the Business Round Table what they think of the rates of GST and income tax. What you wanted to say is that only the very rich should have a say. Be honest.

  7. swan 8

    I find the comments on the Cullen fund interesting. It is very easy to look at things ex post facto. The fact is NZ has come through the GFC very well. It is better to be safe that sorry.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      And that’s got to be one of the most thoughtless comments yet:

      It is very easy to look at things ex post facto.

      even at the time that National cut funding for the Cullen Fund it was pointed out that the return from it exceeded the costs of government borrowing.

      The fact is NZ has come through the GFC very well.

      Actually we haven’t and we would have done a hell of a lot better if this government hadn’t gone round cutting taxes, cutting investment and then rewarding the rich with taxpayers money for being rich.

      It is better to be safe that sorry.

      Cliche is meaningless drivel.

  8. swan 9

    “even at the time that National cut funding for the Cullen Fund it was pointed out that the return from it exceeded the costs of government borrowing.”

    Always would except maybe at the height of a bull market. The issue is one of risk.

    “Actually we haven’t”

    Relative to which OECD country has NZ done so badly against?

    “Cliche is meaningless drivel.”

    Pardon? Got any manners? I am referring to risk. That is the issue here.

    • GregJ 9.1

      Quite a lot – we continue to be in the lower third for GDP per Capita & GDP Growth & in quite a lot of the other measures put out by the OECD. In 2011 Growth was below the OECD Average (1/1% vs 1.9%). You can find lots of the details here.

      Yes we survived the first few years of the Global Depression in better shape than many, mainly because the fundamentals of the New Zealand Economy inherited by National were relatively sound. However since then the economy has languished and is being out-paced. National’s laissez-faire economic management & increase in public debt (principally to fund tax cuts as opposed to fund significant long term infrastructure & other economic activity) have continued to drag on the economy.

      From the Summary of the 2013 OECD Report

      “The New Zealand economy is beginning to gain some momentum, with post‑earthquake reconstruction, business investment and household spending gathering pace. Risks to growth remain, however, stemming from high private debt levels, weak foreign demand, large external imbalances, volatile terms of trade, a severe drought and an exchange rate that appears overvalued. The main structural challenge will be to create the conditions that encourage resources to shift towards more sustainable sources of prosperity. Incomes per head are well below the OECD average, and productivity growth has been sluggish for a long time. Lifting living standards sustainably and equitably will require structural reforms to improve productivity performance and the quality of human capital.”

      So even the OECD is “lukewarm” on NZ. At best we are “treading water” – it wouldn’t take much to drown as any bouyancy from Labour’s economic management has long since disappeared.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Got any manners?

      It’s not my fault you’re so stupid as to write a comment that made absolutely no sense and then finish it with a cliche.

      I am referring to risk.

      And this government is running a far higher risk than any other country in the OECD as shown by state asset sales and cutting taxes for the rich which is putting NZ in much greater debt.

  9. Sable 10

    We’ve held a referendum, its called an election. That pretty much characterises the arrogance of NZ politician’s (not that they are alone in this). Get voted in and then do what you like. Guess what shithead it doesn’t work like that as you may find out this coming election with any luck.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • July ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Rachel Knowles – Successful blogging workshop Big problems with Sitemeter The problems with SiteMeter are still bad  this month. No data could be obtained for about 50 blogs using SiteMeter. People have also reported strange results. So if… ...
    16 mins ago
  • NO DEAL IN MAUI!
    The post-Maui Ministerial Press Conference is just wrapping up, where Ministers yet again were unable to conclude a deal. The Press Conference was heavy on platitudes but light on detail of actual progress, with Ministers trailing out the oft-repeated mantras around… ...
    Its our futureBy Edward Miller
    48 mins ago
  • Time for a car free Domain?
    If New York can make most of Central Park car free, then why can’t we do the same with the Domain. That was my thought when watching this video from Streetfilms. Last week, people walking and biking on the Central… ...
    54 mins ago
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: What If The Government Rejects The TPPA?
    Grim Faces And Patriotic Words: With a few, well-chosen, words, Key could place the 2017 General Election beyond the Opposition’s grasp. The Left has been clamouring for New Zealand’s negotiators to reject the TPPA in its current form. But… ...
    5 hours ago
  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    8 hours ago
  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    8 hours ago
  • Tova O’Brien interviews Murray McCully
    Press Release – The Nation Headlines: With sanctions being lifted on Iran, McCully says there are big opportunities for New Zealand businesses in Iran and some have been giving the market a lot of thought. the opportunities are significant… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    17 hours ago
  • Affordable medicines at risk in trade deal
    Press Release – Doctors for Healthy Trade Once again the pharmaceutical industry is pumping out misleading information, suggesting that theres no need to worry about price hikes to New Zealand medicines under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) says… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    17 hours ago
  • Today’s awful politicians
    by Redliners “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”… ...
    RedlineBy daphna
    22 hours ago
  • Not as much as it sounds
    According to TV3, the police are being inundated with OIA requests:Police are struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of Official Information Act (OIA) requests which flood their offices every day, and some of their time-saving measures are now prompting… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Taxpayers condemned to a life sentence with Serco
    Public Service Association/Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) national secretary Erin Polaczuk and organisers Willie Cochrane & Nerinda Cropp will attend the privatisation protest outside Mt Eden Prison this Saturday, 1 August at 11am. ...
    24 hours ago
  • Journalism isn’t treason
    Back in February, German news website Netzpolitik.org published stories based on leaked documents showing that the domestic intelligence agency BfV was seeking additional funding to increase online surveillance and monitor social media. The German government's response? Investigate them for treason:Germany… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Questions in the House this week on TPPA.
    A busy time in the House this week with a lot of questions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. James Shaw asking John Key about the benefits to the ICT sector and the risks of investor-state dispute settlement and Andrew Little… ...
    Its our futureBy Edward Miller
    1 day ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    1 day ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    1 day ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    1 day ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • The end of the unarmed police force
    Since forever, the New Zealand police have been arguing for more and better weapons with which to intimidate the public. And once again, they've got what they want:New Zealand police will now routinely carry Tasers, it has been announced. Police… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    1 day ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    1 day ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    1 day ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Navel Gazing with Toni Street – a lesson in trust.
    They should rename this cross: Navel Gazing with Toni Street A diet requires a variety of food groups.  Yet whenever healthy eating is discussed in the context of legislating for better food sources in our supermarkets, or a new study… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    1 day ago
  • The Impotence Of Purity
    "Certainly, The Impotent Are Pure": Gough Whitlam struggled to make the left of his party understand that purity at the expense of power is a poor bargain. “It is true that some parties can exist only as pressure groups… ...
    1 day ago
  • Target Tokyo – Docs Show NSA Targets Japan Over Trade Deal
    Press Release – Wikileaks Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes “Target Tokyo”, 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • K-pop’s loyal New Zealand fanbase
    Ahead of the Wellington K-Pop World Festival competition we talk to some of the stand out contestants.   K-pop is music at its pop-iest with ultra polished dance sequences, catchy melodies, and elaborate outfits. While it may be some… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too
    Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is an… ...
    1 day ago
  • Ban junk food marketing to kids
    One in three Kiwi kids are overweight or obese. They face a life where they are 3-10 times more likely to be obese, and this weight will be harder for them to shift than it is for others. Long term,… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Tauranga Eastern Link complete
    Yesterday the Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially opened just the second Roads of National Significance to be completed – the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link. All up the project is 21km long from Te Maunga… ...
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Guild interested to learn more about TPPA details
    Press Release – Pharmacy Guild The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is keen to learn more about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will impact New Zealands health sector if it is accepted by the Government.Guild interested to… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
    Press Release – ASMS Thank you for the opportunity to address you again. As always my comments are personal observations, although in broad terms at least I believe they are consistent with the Associations view on the matters discussed. In… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Government Tilts the Playing Fields
    The most shocking example of Government bias can be seen when comparing the treatment of the Problem Gambling Foundation and Relationships Aotearoa with how they bail out failing private and Charter Schools.Wanganui Collegiate is an elite Private School of around… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    While rapid change is always possible in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui won’t improve much beyond the “appallingly bad” level currently being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Hone Harawira’s Open Letter to Barack Obama
    Press Release – Hone Harawira Heard you were able to get back to your dads turangawaewae last week. Mean hope you had a good catch up with the whanau. I also hear youre getting ready to endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo-Stalinist Regime)
    Read into this what you will. ...
    2 days ago
  • Top 10 stories of the month – July 2015
    In case you missed something, here are our most read stories for the month.   1 - THE PENCILSWORD: WHO'S AFRAID OF THE TPPA? Laws are made to serve people, not profits, says Toby Morris. So what does… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago

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

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere