web analytics
The Standard

Conflicted decisions

Written By: - Date published: 5:28 pm, February 2nd, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: accountability, national - Tags:

Another day, another example of some unseemly looking stuff from the Nats. This time it’s Judith Collins choosing Robert Kee – a friend of her husband – for a $200,000 a year taxpayer funded job.

According to Fisher’s article in the Herald:

Mrs Collins appointed Mr Kee mid-2012 after personally nominating him for the post. She then chose Mr Kee for the job out of two final candidates against the advice of officials

And.

When the Weekend Herald asked her office again about her husband’s friendship with Mr Kee, a spokeswoman refused to answer. She said: “I don’t think that’s relevant.”

She said no conflict of interest declaration was filed by the minister because it was believed there was no conflict.

Now I’m no big city laywer (although considering how well they’re paid perhaps I made a mistake not becoming one!), but it seems to me that there should have been some kind of flag raised around this and, at the very least, Collins should have removed herself from the decision. I may be naive but I also find it surprising that there’s a process whereby a Minister can both nominate someone for a position and then be the one that makes the decision on the appointment.

One would have thought that Collins might have had a bit more nous than this – especially as she saw firsthand the trouble Nick Smith got himself over his conflict of interest in ACC.

I also can’t help but wonder if the release of this story isn’t somehow connected to the Collins/Joyce cold war that has been raging for the last two years.

48 comments on “Conflicted decisions”

  1. Ad 1

    No, this is connected to an epic contest between a legal profession that engages with the values of the world (for example Chief Justice Sean Elias), and those who see it as a mere route to reward and sustain law as the tool to enforce privilege of the ruling classes both old and new.

    To make it plain, the evaluating panel knew that the Human Rights Commission needs a Rights Proceedings prosecutor who defends the Good, because it is the right thing to do.

    Collins needed to shore up her base, and chose a Human Rights defender accordingly.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    That’s a clear conflict of interest. She knows him, she’s a friend of his (yes, generally speaking I don’t go for the line about him being a friend of her husband) and she both nominated him and then appointed him. It’s obvious that the nomination itself was just pro-forma procedure.

    • Foreign Waka 2.1

      100% right. But it seems that the standards have now truly fallen below those of developed nations. How can such appointment be sanctioned by the PM office is unclear.

  3. fatty 3

    The problem with cronyism today is that it is gradually being seen as something natural, and also no longer unethical.
    This is due to individualism. We are all supposed to be responsible for ourselves, so that means we depend on our friends and family, rather than society. As a result, knowing someone is not only better than knowing something…knowing someone is also now perceived as being evidence of success.
    I’d be surprised if the public even care about this.

    • karol 3.1

      The problem with cronyism today is that it is gradually being seen as something natural, and also no longer unethical.

      Actually, I think cronyism was seen as pretty normal for a long while – it was rife in the 19th century and early 20th century. It wasn’t until the 60s or early 70s that it was considered more important to have transparent recruiting processes. However, many still continued to try to manipulate processes to get a favoured person into a position.

      • fatty 3.1.1

        True, it has been with us for a long time, but prior to the 60s I think the main driver (and subtle justification) behind cronyism was the sexism and racism. Old boys club…
        I consider the rise of individualism as being the reason why inequality is accepted, probably the same with cronyism.

  4. sukieDamson 4

    Funny name. Mr Kee!
    Could cause some confusion to those who are only half listening.

  5. Bill 5

    Nah. Sorry, not seeing it. Conflict of interest how? He wanted the job. She wanted him to have the job. He got the job. Everybody’s happy, right? And even better, she and hubby were able to ‘pop round’ to help celebrate the new found success. Which should be held up as blazing beacon example to be followed for the sake of developing a healthy environment of co-operation and partnership between employers and employees, no?

    I think the whole thing is wonderful and conducive to building a fluffy and fuzzy future we should all want to be a part of.

  6. Nick K 6

    Would someone please explain what the conflict is.

    • chris73 6.1

      The conflict is Labours polls are flat lining and they’re making no headway on National so they’re trying anything to discredit National in hopes it will raise Labours popularity

      • The Al1en 6.1.1

        Despite the obvious diversion attempt, some here would argue that not enough discrediting is going on, hence Labour flat lining and national scummers getting away with all sorts of dodgy shit like this.

        Diversionary fail.

        • Nick K 6.1.1.1

          What’s dodgy about this? Every government minister has appointed a friend to a position. And yes, that includes Labour ministers. I presume all of those were dodgy also.

          • handle 6.1.1.1.1

            What is dodgy is the Minister evading the question when asked. That might be all, but it’s not the sort of behaviour that encourages trust.

          • mickysavage 6.1.1.1.2

            But Nick this is no normal Board position appointment.

            The position, Director of Human Rights Proceedings, has a vital constitutional role and the position holder has to be brave enough to take action that will be challenging of the Government.

            Appointing your husband’s mate over the advice of the public service has a real stench about it. The decision is as dodgy as hell.

            • just saying 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Theoretically, one of the jobs of the Human Rights Commision is to challenge governments when they contravene, or are about to contravene, the human rights of citizens.

              With our current legislation and commission though, it probably wouldn’t make a lot of difference if they replaced it all with a panel made up of Paula Bennett, Pol Pot, John Ansell, Cameron Slater, and the director of the FBI….

    • Ad 6.2

      The question to answer is whether the extent of the prior relationship, as outlined in the NZHerald this morning, should have been included on the Minister’s disclosure form before making the appointment decision. There you go.

      • Nick K 6.2.1

        How is that a conflict? The post is alluding to a “conflicted decision”? How is Minister Collins conflicted here.

        • Ad 6.2.1.1

          That will be determined by the subsequent inquiry. Which will come, either in parliament or in the media.

    • handle 6.3

      There may be a perceived conflict of interest in appointing someone to a public position without disclosing a relationship with them. Standard corporate ethics and state sector guidelines address that.

      • Nick K 6.3.1

        That’s not a conflict. Do any of you understand what a conflict is?

        • The Al1en 6.3.1.1

          Do you understand what dodgy shit is?

        • handle 6.3.1.2

          Seems I’m not the one struggling to grasp conflicts of interest and ethics. Perhaps do some study Nick.

          • Nick K 6.3.1.2.1

            I did. I studied very hard. And I know what a conflict is. Perhaps you’d like to explain what the conflict of interest is here, because I’ve re-read this a few times and I can’t see one.

            • handle 6.3.1.2.1.1

              I suppose we should not be surprised an Act party functionary is light on this topic. Try the Auditor General’s guidelines: http://www.oag.govt.nz/2007/conflicts-public-entities

              • Nick K

                Who’s the Act functionary? Ain’t me.

                And those rules of the AG arise when there *are* conflicts of interest. What was Minister Collins interest in the Human Rights Office that meant she was conflicted regarding the appointment of Mr Kee?

                Why is it so hard for all you bright sparks here to explain that?

                • handle

                  It is a fundamental that a _potential_ conflict is enough. From the first paragraph on the page I suggested: “The existence of a conflict of interest does not necessarily mean that someone has done something wrong, and it need not cause problems. It just needs to be identified and managed carefully.”

                  Hard to do that where someone denies one exists. There is probably no actual conflict in this case, but that is what the standard process is designed to establish and manage. From that same brief page:

                  “When making decisions about conflicts of interest, public entities need to be guided by the concepts of integrity, honesty, transparency, openness, independence, good faith, and service to the public. They also need to consider the risk of how an outside observer may reasonably perceive the situation.”

                  Go and read the material before you make a bigger fool of yourself.

                • Tiresias

                  From the New Zealand Cabinet Manual 2008:

                  “Interests of family, whānau, and close associates

                  2.62 A conflict may arise if people close to a Minister, such as a Minister’s family, whānau, or close associates, might derive, or be perceived as deriving, some personal, financial, or other benefit from a decision or action by the Minister or the government. Ministers must therefore be careful not to use information they access in the course of their official activities in a way that might provide some special benefit to family members, whānau, or close associates. Passing on commercially sensitive information, or encouraging others to trade on the basis of that information, may also breach the insider trading regime. (See paragraphs 8.10 – 8.12.) Such a breach may result in a significant fine or term of imprisonment.

                  2.63 Similarly, it may not be appropriate for Ministers to participate in decision making on matters affecting family members, whānau, or close associates; for example, by:

                  attempting to intercede on their behalf on some official matter;
                  proposing family members for appointments;
                  participating in decisions that will affect the financial position of a family member.

                  2.64 Public perception is a very important factor. If a conflict arises in relation to the interests of family, whānau, or close associates, Ministers should take appropriate action. (See paragraph 2.70.)”

                  http://cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/node/89#2.60

                  Of course the question begged is what constitutes ‘close associate’, but it seems to me that section 2.64 might be relevant here. It ain’t what the words say that matters but what it looks like to ordinary folk.

                • McFlock

                  And those rules of the AG arise when there *are* conflicts of interest. What was Minister Collins interest in the Human Rights Office that meant she was conflicted regarding the appointment of Mr Kee?

                  lol
                  So your defense of Collins is not that there was no relationship with Kee, but that she has no interest in human rights? Tend to agree, there.

                  But of course the interest in HRO was that her role as minister required her to choose the best person to fill the position, to best serve HRO. She overruled advice on whom the best person is in order to give the job to a personal associate.

                  That, at the very least, is an apparent conflict of interest.

    • NickS 6.4

      :roll:

      Clueless thou art, especially given the rather obvious conflict of interest that exists and has been explained to you, and worse yet brought to light by the Herald, a paper hardly renowned as pro-Labour.

  7. Nick K 7

    Oh. Labour’s internal conflicts. Of course. Thanx.

  8. fenderviper 8

    Even if Dr. Martin Luther King was the other candidate for the job Collins would have still chosen her friend because this is the National Party norm, complete with the usual “against official advice”.

  9. irascible 9

    Key appointed his electorate secretary, Stephen McElrea, to NZOA board, didn’t he without a “conflict of interest”.
    The new Families Commissioner apparently used to work for Paula Bennet and then for Hekia Parrota and is the sister of Amy Adams also appointed without a “conflict of interest”.
    Yeap. Key and his cronies can certainly read the Cabinet Manual with complete integrity.

  10. North 10

    Ah ha !

    Mr Kee is no longer affected by the disastrous changes made to legal aid by Collins’ predecessor Simon Power – changes supported, maintained, and advanced by Collins as incumbent Minister of “Justice”.

    Disastrous changes ? Ask any District Court judge north of Auckland.

    Not compelling enough ? Not authoritative enough ?

    Google “Justice Tipping Retirement” for the Stuff account of Justice Tipping’s valedictory speech in the Supreme Court in August 2012.

    The Stuff article: “The country’s longest-serving senior judge has hit out at changes to legal aid, saying they have delivered a system that seriously risks compromising justice.

    Retiring after 26 years as a judge, Justice Andrew Tipping told a packed Supreme Court – including Attorney General Chris Finlayson – that the solution for genuine problems in the legal aid system had ‘resembled the use of a sledgehammer to crack a nut’.

    ‘The scope of legal aid and the rates of remuneration are now, according to information I have received, at a level that seriously risks compromising the delivery of justice, at least in some fields’ “.

    In the same Stuff article is quoted then Law Society president Jonathan Temm as saying that an extensive audit of 3100 legal aid lawyers resulted in disciplinary proceedings against 20. “You have torn the whole system to pieces for this”.

    Hang on – legal aid’s all about the burdensome poor isn’t it ? – oh well…….never mind then.

  11. barry 11

    Ad @5.57pm – where did you get this crazy idea?….”No, this is connected to an epic contest between a legal profession that engages with the values of the world (for example Chief Justice Sean Elias)”

    Sean Elias is an activist judge who thinks its her duty to convert the country to her way of thinking. Shes swallowed the activist view of the treaty – ie: its living and has to encompass something new all the time – and Ill bet when the verdict re the water claim comes out – she will be ruling for the Maori view of things. In other words she thinks maori own the water – yes even the water that falls on your back yard – so get your wallet out and get ready to start paying……

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      We’re already paying mate. And when disloyal, disinterested foreigners who have never been to NZ buy up our heritage, we’ll be paying out to them.

      Answer me this smartass: why do you think those foreign investors should PROFIT from OUR WATER?

    • bad12 11.2

      That’s a f**king idiots point of view and it also slanders the Cjhief Justice of the Supreme Court and by insinuation the Maori currently at that Court seeking a ruling that they have prior rights to the waters that flow through the Waikato river,

      Please provide us a shred of evidence that (a)that Justice Elias considers that the case She is presiding over has anything to do with the water that falls from the Sky onto peoples backyards, or that the Maori at the center of the current case befor the Supreme Court are claiming any such thing,

      You don’t even know what the substantive hearing is claiming, Maori are simply claiming that they have prior claim to the waters of the Waikato river, something the National Government does not dispute,

      Maori are claiming that until the issue of the customary claim over having existing rights to the use of the Waikato river have been fully defined and agreed upon the Government selling the Mighty River Power Company will seriously disadvantage those Maori in any future negotiation over exactly what those existing rights that the National Government agrees they have entail…

    • Fortran 11.3

      +1

  12. barry 12

    Colonial Viper – brain in gear before opening mouth please.

    I totally disagree with selling any of the family silver – but thats a different issue to the question of ethnic ownership of anything that falls from the sky.

    The profits that went – and still goes – overseas from the sale of Telecom could have paid for all the student loans – but no , stupid politicians decided to sell the outfit. Nothing to do with ethnic ownership involved in Telecom. They are different issues.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      So you are against the selling off of key infrastructure assets to foreign investors?

      Good to hear.

      Now I don’t give a fuck if Chief Justice Elias finds her rationale in the Magna Carta to stop energy asset sales, as long as that is what happens.

      but thats a different issue to the question of ethnic ownership of anything that falls from the sky.

      That water is a treasure of this country, belonging to this country. The Treaty recognises that. You should too.

      • framu 12.1.1

        also maori arent trying to claim the water that falls form the sky – they are claiming a customary right of the use of the water that flows through tribal areas.

        a small difference maybe to barry – but a huge difference in legal terms. And one that people (barry) really need to wrap their heads around

        also barry – it helps if you use the reply button – see? like i just did

  13. Huginn 13

    This labelling of Chief Justice Sean Elias as ‘an activist judge’, mixing up ”judicial activism’ with ‘Maori activism'; it’s ugly, but revealing.

    This government really struggled with an independent judiciary last year. Now they want to shop around to get a judge who will tell them what they want to hear.

    And if they have to undermine public confidence in the judiciary by smearing the Chief Justice to get what they want . . .

    Now that’s a real conflict of interest.

  14. One Tāne Huna 14

    I think the main problem here is for Kee. How corrupt do you have to be to have Judith Collins as a personal friend?

  15. Murray Olsen 15

    We’re becoming like a cheap third world kumara republic, when judges who find against the government are slandered as “activist judges”, a term imported from the American right. We’re becoming even more like one when politicians put their friends into powerful oversight positions, especially when this is done against official advice. It’s the sort of thing I saw in Brazil, but with one major and worrying difference. No Brazilians tried to seriously defend any of it as ethical.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 day ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 day ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 day ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    3 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    3 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    5 days ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    5 days ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    1 week ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    1 week ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    1 week ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to do his homework
    Nathan Guy needs to do his homework, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Answering questions in Parliament today on the dairy sector, the Primary Industries Minister denied John Key wants to float Fonterra. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to put the kibosh on dirty diesel
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay has to get a grip on the KiwiRail board and put the kibosh on its crazy plan for dirty diesel on the main trunk line, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. It has been revealed… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Louise Nicholas Day: Work still to do
    This is a summary of a speech I gave in honour of Louise Nicholas Day on March 31 The IPCA report showed us basic mistakes are still able to be made within a specialist unit. The Police Commissioner said there… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The meanness and pettiness of Nats in power
    Last night, Parliament debated NZ First MP Tracey Martin’s Bill to ensure children in the long term care of family members were able to access a clothing allowance currently only available to children in foster care. Many of these children… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Force’s Hotshots given cold shoulder
    The latest victim of the Government’s cost-cutting drive looks set to be an organisation that has provided vital services and support to defence force staff and their families for 67 years, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Labour understands Gerry… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere