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Conference 2012 – Labour

Written By: - Date published: 1:54 pm, November 16th, 2012 - 148 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Well, I’m at the Labour conference – as media.

Feels somewhat weird after many delegate years. I figure that The Standard needs to start sending someone along to the conferences. So I will ground-break at each of the major ones over the next year.

The remit book looks like the main focus for this year. I haven’t been to many conferences over the last few years.  But there is a noticeably larger group in the crucial age groups that have been lacking – the 30’s. A lot less of the grey heads like myself who have increasingly dominated the heads.

 

148 comments on “Conference 2012 – Labour”

  1. Huginn 1

    Thanks for this, Lynn. I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

    • lprent 1.1

      They will take a while to come out. I am writing notes, but as people are probably aware, I am not a disciplined writer of text (code is a completely different story).

  2. Pete 2

    Are you tweeting the conference? Is there a feed I can follow?

    • lprent 2.1

      Afraid not. I was thinking about it, but work and house hunting ran me out of time to think and practice.

    • Trevor Mallard 2.2

      #Labour2012

      • QoT 2.2.1

        But don’t use any naughty words!

      • xtasy 2.2.2

        Je suis “malade”, I’d say.

        Trevor, what do you want here? Have you any cheap, scarce tickets for sale, or what? I thought you used to be a bit witty and smart, but like many others I am totally turned off your style and personality. Make room for fresh blood, please, Labour needs it, more than you!!!

  3. lprent 4

    In the working group on economic.

    Interesting seeing how well the economic MP’s are working with each other. 3 David’s in particular. Clark, Parker, and Cunliffe – Cunliffe speaking on behalf of Parker. Practicality rather than ideological, but for me – untainted by the TINA of the first conferences I attended.

    Buying back assets, and IFFT IFTT. Interesting that at least one speaker confused a IFFT IFTT with a foreign exchange tax. I think we need to start a education rogramme here.

    • One Tāne Huna 4.1

      Should that be IFTT? If not please explain IFFT – google returns nothing relevant :)

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Yes. Typo on a iPad.

        • geoff 4.1.1.1

          And IFTT stands for?…

          • WhereAboutsUnknown 4.1.1.1.1

            Isolated Fallopian Tube Torsion

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.2

            Yeah, tell me about it.

            IFTT doesn’t even come up on google either. My guess is International Financial Transaction Tax.

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes. I am afraid I had never heard of it either.

              http://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2012-Policy-Remits-Final.pdf

              Remit 3. I suspect it is to prevent a FTT locally. I can think of many objections. First is that it is unenforceable.

              • AmaKiwi

                It can be enforced. Any money going through a NZ bank pays a small tax, the same way GST is automatically added.

                It is primarily an isolationist strategy. It makes it more expensive for foreigners to buy NZ assets and for locals to buy or invest overseas.

                It will mostly net the small fries. You and I will pay a little more when we buy on-line from overseas, send money to relations, buy and sell Australian shares, etc.

                One problem the Labour leaders are trying to tackle is the huge trade in our currency. The NZ dollar is the tenth most heavily traded currency in the world. They think if they can slow down the trade the currency will come down in price. John Key would reply that you can’t successfully alter currency prices in global markets where trillions of dollars change hands every DAY in markets all over the world.

                I am loathe to agree with John Key about anything, but on this he is right.

                • McFlock

                  Depends on the level.
                  If it’s 30%, then yeah it’d hit personal transactions. Not so sure about isolationist – nothing’s stopping an international from making a local holding company so it’s an IFTT-free asset on their international books. They pay IFTT on reconciling with the overseas suppliers, but not too bad.

                  If it’s 0.05%, then it wouldn’t be noticed for personal transactions, but it would still be a filter on speculative cashflows.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  John Key would reply that you can’t successfully alter currency prices in global markets where trillions of dollars change hands every DAY in markets all over the world.

                  I’m pretty sure he would say something like that despite the fact that he’s worked to influence the exchange rate of currencies.

  4. Freedom 5

    Would it not be worth starting a tag to confirm the independance of The Standard?

  5. quartz 6

    Great to see you reporting the conference Lynn. You should put “#Labour2012” in the title of each post so they get picked up when they’re tweeted.

  6. lprent 7

    The TPPA is interestingly contentious. Phil Goff speaking against the remit. Not in detail. But that the making the bottom line mandatory. I will blog on this later.

    Interesting, the mandatory part of the remit was voted out. Be interesting what happens on the foor.

  7. lprent 8

    At the justice workshop.

    Who really cares about a republic? Or not?

    • Never turn your back on good civilised thinking ….

    • lprent 8.2

      A distinct age division. Grey against putting a move towards a republic forward.

    • xtasy 8.3

      I care a bloody great deal about a REPUBLIC Lynn!

      A republic is just the “people’s system and state”, not some aged, pre senile royals, travelling on tax payers’ expense and deliver bloody nothing of substance at all, neither to where he comes from, nor to the ones he visits.

      I HATE BLUDGERS, especially the ones at the top!

      • lprent 8.3.1

        Apparently the room I was in agreed with you. They voted for it. And it was pretty much a younger vs older split (and I would have been on the older side).

        • karol 8.3.1.1

          Glad to hear there’s a lot of young/new blood making their voices heard.  I  am an older person for a Republic & anti-royal bludgers.

  8. pete 9

    Labour proposing yet more taxes.

    There’s a surprise…..

  9. just saying 10

    Good on you LPrent.
    I hope you are in full ceremonial costume : a blackened curtain with an unreadable name tag 😀

    • lprent 10.2

      No problems. I may have mentioned before that I am quite antisocial under the best of circumstances. What I am interested in is the mood of the conference and some information on a few topics. So far when I have asked I have gotten access. Was asking Phil Goff about his view on the TPPA

      Looks like Gower is discussing Cameron Slater and Tamihere not being allowed to attend as media.. That could be worth a post. Sounds like a dumbarse beat up.

      • gobsmacked 10.2.1

        It was a beat-up, but Tamihere certainly demonstrated why he’d be a walking time-bomb if he was a Labour candidate/MP.

        He wouldn’t last five minutes.

        • Jim Nald 10.2.1.1

          Tami who? You mean the one who was yesterday’s old story?

          • prism 10.2.1.1.1

            I guess he’s Tamiwhere.

            • Jim Nald 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Very good. I could not have bettered that. Maybe because I could only think about the stockpile of Tamiflu that the Ministry of Health accumulated in anticipation of swine flu. Roche made a tidy sum out of that?

              • prism

                The intention was good. Inaction could have had disastrous consequences. Whether John T can be compared? His medicine would be of variable quality.
                There’s a word I’ll check on google.- picaresque. It’s a bit strong but I think can be applied now to a number of people, perhaps JT.

                Of or relating to a genre of usually satiric prose fiction originating in Spain and depicting in realistic, often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero of low social degree living by his or her wits in a corrupt society.

      • karol 10.2.2

        News was promising something on Tamihere wanting back into Labour, on tonights 6pm news.  I just had a shower, so I don’t know if I missed it.

        So they want to stir things up over Tamihere? 

        • karol 10.2.2.1

          It’s here

          Tamihere is complaining about being excluded from the Labour Party – not just the conference. Ar least, his membership still hasn’t been approved.

          I’m pleased to see that Shearer failed to support him today when asked.  Tamihere didn’t do himself any favours by saying the Labour Party is a close knit gang like the Headhunters.

          The report did include something about Shearer – but, really, there are far more significant things going on at the Conference than Tamihere issues.

          • lprent 10.2.2.1.1

            Yes.

            Looks like the 40-40-20 is the only thing left on the table for leadership from what I hear despite some ardent opposition. The result of the 1980’s TINA. Has to go past the floor, but I gather that it is now either go for that or nothing.

            Somehow I think that the affiliates and members will go for it.

            • karol 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Does that men a challenge to a current leader won’t require – what was it? 65% of caucus?

              • karol

                mean – not men (no edit button).

              • Separate issue Karol.  

                The 40:40:20 is the proportion of votes for MPs:members:affiliates during a leadership contest.

                The trigger for a contest will require either the leader stepping down or a petition by caucus.  The original proposal of 2/3 was too high.  A significant majority of Caucus could have no faith in the leader and it would not happen.

                NZ Council is suggesting that it be 55% of caucus but I am sure it will be no more than 50%.  It may go as low as 40% of caucus having the power to start a leadership contest. 

                • AmaKiwi

                  UK Labour requires 20%. That’s ample.

                  The 20% of caucus who sign the petition know if the leader is not ousted they are dead meat. The leader will relegate them to Siberia.

                  If you can get 20% to sign a challenge, the leader is probably finished. You will NEVER get 40% to sign.

                  Tokenism. It preserves those in power and blunts future attempts at meaningful change.

                  The supposed change to 40:40:20 is also tokenism. The caucus and unions together will have 60%.

                • xtasy

                  Well, then, Shearer do the dirty deed now, thanks! That is if he has the dignity, sincerity and guts to admit defeat. Or rather live in lala land, pretending all is “sweet”, which is a bit like the ruler that lost touch with his people. I am waiting!!!!!!!!!

                  This conference will just be another big disappointment, I fear.

  10. lprent 11

    Sitting watching Patrick Gower do a remote Q&A. Might have to do an ondemand to see what he is saying.

  11. fisiani 12

    The word on the street is that John Tamihere has been banned from attending the Labour party conference.
    Please let it be true.

    • gobsmacked 12.1

      I love how Fis says “street” instead of the actual source, which is in fact his favourite blog.

      Like, only Fisiani has the internets.

    • lprent 12.2

      Looks like there was a good reason. Seems like Tamihere was more interested in raising his ratings than he was in the party. But that is no more than I suspected.

      He was neither a delegate nor was he accepted as media. He was merely a useless gatecrasher.

      • karol 12.2.1

        That sounds about right – he was stirring up the gay issue.  And the problem with our news media is they tend to go for drama and sensationalism over substance.

      • Mickysavage 12.2.2

        Tamihere is not a member or a delegate so has no right to be here. Strange he thinks he does…

        • karol 12.2.2.1

          Sounds like he was just out to sabotage, and get attention – that Headhunters comment: he surely wouldn’t have said that if he really wanted to be a candidate again?

      • xtasy 12.2.3

        “Corporate Maori” or what? Waipareira Trust or what? Self promotion or what? I am seeking answers, if there are any.

  12. geoff 13

    The comments on National Radio from caucus members, like Phil Goff and Andrew Little, about the questioning of Shearer leadership, were kinda surreal. They effectively said the whole thing was probably coming from anonymous right wing bloggers!

    • karol 13.1

      *sigh*  I guess it’s the convenient thing to say when they don’t want to talk about it.

      But this “anonymous” meme makes them look so out of touch with the internet – speaking as someone who has been around Internet forums since about 95/6.

      They don’t seem to realise how attached we can become to our online handles – it’s part of our identity.  So dismissing that without responding to the criticisms, seems to me a bit like an ad hominin.

    • xtasy 13.2

      Yeah, I have always been inclined to be “right wing”!?

  13. KhandallaMan 14

    What is the problem with grey?  

    I spent years of hard learning, working, talking, loving, drinking et al to get them. Grey is to be valued.  I do not see any negative elements inherent in grey.

    Some people are visionless, conservative, inflexible or whatever from their youth.  

    As that great Dubliner GBS said: Youth is wasted on the Young.  

    • geoff 14.1

      There is nothing intrinsically wrong with ‘Grey’ except that, statistically speaking, they are much more likely to represent capitalist interests rather than the interests of…..well actual people.

      • prism 14.1.1

        Grey. And I think conservative. And often not interested in debating it. Too old to change what beliefs have got concreted in.

    • Dr Terry 14.2

      KH. Yes, it is all too easy to slip into ageism. Many older people have learned an awful lot about life (and politics).

    • lprent 14.3

      Hey I am quite Grey.

      But I have been always amazed at how each year for the last 20 years how the conference got steadily greyer. There were always the mayflies of young labour, but few persisted.

      This looks like a generational transition is taking place. People I saw in young labour years ago have reappeared.

      • Huginn 14.3.1

        That’s wonderful news.

        This is the generation that has grown up with a Neo-Liberal ideology that deliberately isolates the individual and forces them to act self-interestedly. I’ve always been anxious that it would turn them off political engagement.

  14. lprent 15

    Moira is up on stage.

    “Making important decisions about being a modern party”
    Largest conference since 1988

    • Jim Nald 15.1

      Yes, I too want to vote Labour (again).
      But the current leadership is making it so difficult.
      I would have been at the conference if it wasn’t for personal matters to attend to this weekend.

      I hope the Labour Party will rediscover and reconnect its soul, head and heart again this weekend.

      The country needs them to before the current lot in government continue to undermine our society and economy.

      • Dr Terry 15.1.1

        Going by Shearer’s latest, we might just as well leave Key in office (which I certainly do not want!) Shearer wishes to take on Key concerning the economy. He is not particularly interested in social sorrows. If the problems of society are properly addressed, the economy will soon be looking up.

  15. lprent 16

    Jacinda Arden is up.

    She is attempting bribery. Everyone who says something nice to the media will get one less letter from the head office asking for money.

    Hey what do I get?

  16. the sprout 17

    Glad you’re there lynn. Hope you don’t get any aggravation directed at ts

  17. lprent 18

    David Shearer up.

    “Becoming a more transparent democratic party.”

    The emphasis in the speech is definitely on the reform of the party so far.

    The organisation of the Obama campaign has obviously made a real impact on thinking. I will (cynically) believe it when I see that attitude express into actual organisation.

  18. karol 19

    Were there details about party reform, or is that to come?

  19. lprent 20

    Len Brown up.

    He was at the 1988 conference. Points out that the numbers were there for quite a different reason.

  20. KhandallaMan 21

    Higlights of David Shearer’s Speech:

    New Zealand is better under Labour.
    The Democrats won last week by organising from the bottom up.  We will take their ideas. 
    We will also take ideas from the Australian Labour Party.
    1,000 a week leaving for Australia.  Many people feel that under national things are going backwards.
    The shine is coming off National.
    A common theme do disappointment. A sense of being let down by National.

     
    • lprent 21.1

      Good précis. I’m afraid that I am far more interested in the organizational stuff. Shades of being a organizer activist for decades.

      Damn I need to turn prediction off. Keeps rewriting my typing.

      • hush minx 21.1.1

        Do you think they realise that organising from the ground up often requires blogging? they may want to rethink the dark rooms and generally disparaging comments then…

        • AmaKiwi 21.1.1.1

          David Shearer CANNOT organize the way Obama did because he is an elitist.

          In his guts he hates the idea that the party and country should be run by anyone other than “the right sort of people.”

          If he was not an elitist, he would have the leader elected ONLY by the members. He would support binding referendums. He would not have taken the leadership last year when he saw Cunliffe was the people’s favorite.

        • QoT 21.1.1.2

          I do wonder if it’s sunk in to Labour’s thinking that there are a lot of different ways to be grassroots, and the kind of grassroots movement you get from engaging young/disengaged/marginalized groups online is very different from engaging low-paid workers in union halls.

          It’s pretty basic audience/channel/message planning.

      • xtasy 21.1.2

        lprent: I am starting to feel sorry for you there, being “media” now. So the agenda is “wait until the gloss and paint drops off National and Key” to win the next election?!

        What a bloody cheapskate, useless cop-out! If that is a “strategy” and “organisation”, I will organise the next coup d’etat in Mainland China tomorrow!

  21. mikey 22

    [deleted]

    Hey a new name for this outfit. “The Double Standard.”

    [lprent: bye. Troll. ]

  22. KhandallaMan 23

    Len Brown: 

    A cracker. An understandable focus on Auckland: but makes it relevant to wider domestic concerns and world issues. 

    Kids are asking for hope. We need leadership that will give them that hope.

    Auckland Council strategies are delivering a great city.  

    The Rail strategy is critical and Len is grateful for Labour support.

    2m population by 2030. We need 30,000 houses a year.  

    Len wants to know what the Abour Policy is for Housing.

    More Pools, Libraries and Parks.

    And NOT selling Assets like Airport and Port. 

    • lprent 23.1

      Yep. That last one was particularly great.

      • Bob 23.1.1

        Isn’t the Airport already a mixed ownership model? In fact, from what I can see, the Auckland City Council only own 22.5% of the Airport, so isn’t this worse than what National are proposing for the power companies?

    • gnomic 23.2

      Libraries, no surely not, they are so yesterday. Only the other day a letter to the editor of the Waikato Times pointed out they need to be scrapped.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/letters/7931657/Letter-Get-rid-of-libraries

      ‘Public libraries are becoming the repository of deadbeats and the dispossessed.

      Why should homeowners (read ratepayers) cater for them.

      Libraries are no longer a needed public service. Time has moved on. Access to knowledge has changed and it now costs a fraction of what it used to.’

      All you need to know is on Google. Any questions?

      Just as well a library for the sprawl suburbs in the north of Hamilton is on hold more or less indefinitely.

  23. mikey 24

    [deleted]
    [lprent: bye. Troll. ]

  24. karol 25

    Whitney Houston song?  Is that meant to be inspirational?

    And Mariah Carey?

    • Jim Nald 25.1

      Not a duet. Not ‘When You Believe’ from the Prince of Egypt? Haahaa.

      • karol 25.1.1

        It seems it is a duet! 

        • Jim Nald 25.1.1.1

          (Hah, I am good. Blowing my own trumpet)

          Oh that Disney stuff.
          Labour praying for a miracle now ..

          Here are the lyrics after the Youtube clip ..

          Many nights we prayed
          With no proof anyone could hear
          In our hearts a hope for a song
          We barely understood
          Now we are not afraid
          Although we know there’s much to fear
          We were moving mountains
          Long before we knew we could, whoa, yes
          There can be miracles
          When you believe
          Though hope is frail
          It’s hard to kill
          Who knows what miracles
          You can achieve
          When you believe somehow you will
          You will when you believe
          [Mmmmmmmmmyeah]
          Mmmyeah
          In this time of fear
          When prayer so often proves in vain
          Hope seems like the summer bird
          Too swiftly flown away
          Yet now I’m standing here
          My hearts so full, I can’t explain
          Seeking faith and speakin words
          I never thought I’d say
          There can be miracles
          When you believe (When you believe)
          Though hope is frail
          It’s hard to kill (Mmm)
          Who knows what miracles
          You can achieve (You can achieve)
          When you believe somehow you will
          You will when you believe
          [Hey]
          [Ooh]
          They don’t always happen when you ask
          And it’s easy to give in to your fears
          But when you’re blinded by your pain
          Can’t see the way, get through the rain
          A small but still, resilient voice
          Says love is very near, oh [Oh]
          There can be miracles (Miracles)
          When you believe (Boy, when you believe, yeah) [Though hope is frail]
          Though hope is frail [Its hard]
          It’s hard to kill (Hard to kill, oh, yeah)
          Who knows what miracles
          You can achieve (You can achieve, oh)
          When you believe somehow you will (Somehow, somehow, somehow)
          Somehow you will (I know, I know, know)
          You will when you believe [When you]
          (Ohoh)
          [You will when you]
          (You will when you believe)
          [Oohoohooh]
          [Oh… oh]
          [When you believe]
          [When you believe]

          • Jim Nald 25.1.1.1.1

            So will the Shearer leadership team’s slogan for 2014 General Elections be:

            Leap of Faith – Vote for Labour!

            • AmaKiwi 25.1.1.1.1.1

              Cunliffe’s recent speeches have stressed the need for us to work together (business, labor, government) to develop modern industries for the green technology age.

              Building more houses won’t do it. Nor will the Nat’s more milk and mines.

  25. karol 26

    Well, I hope they are serious about transformation and organising from the bottom up.  Does that mean they HAVE been listening to the members?  And maybe one or two Standartisa Labour members?

    • mikey 26.1

      [deleted]
      [lprent: bye. Troll. ]

    • AmaKiwi 26.2

      No, they have NOT been listening.

      That’s why they came up with 40% members; 40% caucus; and 20% affiliates to elect the leader.

      Under that formula a caucus vote is worth 1,647 more than my vote.

      Supposedly a central Labour party policy is democracy. There is only ONE definition of democracy:

      “One person, one vote.”

      To David Shearer and Grant Robertson and the policy council: What part of that sentence do you NOT understand?

  26. KhandallaMan 27

    A very immediate, relevant and inspirational speech by Nigel Haworth.

    Here is his profile fom Auckland Uni. 

    http://staff.business.auckland.ac.nz/5337.aspx
     

  27. KhandallaMan 28

    Prof Haworth says National are “A do nothing, sit on their backside government”

    He says “Benign neglect can no longe be tolerated”

    (I wish some of his points had been up on PowerPoint. I hope his speech is posted up on Red Alert and the Standard?) 

     

  28. KhandallaMan 29

    Dr Judy McGregor giving a smart entertaining and serious speech on women in our society.  

    https://alumnionline.massey.ac.nz/NetCommunity/SSLPage.aspx?pid=440
     

    Extract: 
     Since 2003 she has been the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission, focusing on pay equity, ageism in the workplace and extending equal employment opportunities in the public and private sectors.

     
    She has worked with human rights institutions in Jordan, Palestine, Malaysia and with journalists in the Pacific Rim to develop media and communications strategies around human rights issues. In 2006 she was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to journalism.
    • karol 29.1

      Sounds good!  Partly on the topic  I posted on today?  Gender and political representation – also equal pay.

  29. ianmac 30

    Silent observer I am. Interesting stuff. Thanks Iprent.

  30. KhandallaMan 31

    A good opening evening, followed by a few drinks accompanied by some Top-class jazz. 

    I heard the Affiliates session went well today: plenty of good speeches in favour of more open democracy: Tolich and the two usual suspects from the leadership spoke against! And the usual suspects did not win…

    The two special guests, Judy McGregor and Nigel Haworth, were fantastic.  Inspired guest selection HO!

    The Mayor of Auckland, the hosting city, is an old school mate of Shearer’s.  As a De La Salle Club player, Len played against Shearer and Shearer says Len was a full-on mouthy competitor. 
    Tonight Len out-played and out-mouthed Shearer again. Len went well beyond normal local government and Super-city scope to sharply highlight housing, employment and youth issues very very effectively. 

    Len upstaged “my mate” David! 

    Naughty Len. 
     

  31. xtasy 32

    It is “amazing”, how guys like Len Brown come out with the “people talk” every time there is an election or a conference going. Does he really mean what he says, or does he think we are all thick as planks?

    His silence on the Ports of Auckland industrial dispute is NOT forgotten by me, nor have I heard him say anything about the new looming industrial dispute there.

    Len, I would have thought more of you a few years back, but to me, you are as hollow as a disemboweled animal stuffed for decoration for a dedicated, habitual, old fashioned hunter.

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    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… ...
    5 days 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… ...
    5 days 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… ...
    5 days 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… ...
    5 days 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… ...
    5 days 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… ...
    6 days 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… ...
    6 days 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… ...
    6 days 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… ...
    6 days 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… ...
    6 days 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. ...
    7 days 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… ...
    7 days 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… ...
    7 days 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago

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