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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.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Fluoridation: One small step sideways?
    Fluoridation. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room – the need to separate scientific review from community consultation. Most health officials and science-minded people welcomed the recent announcement of the government’s plan to transfer decisions on water fluoridation from local… ...
    1 day ago
  • Finding a sense of porpoise
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    1 day ago
  • Member’s Day
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    frogblogBy Metiria Turei
    1 day ago
  • Forcing transparency on Ministerial transport
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Wicklow 2 win unconditional bail
    From éirígí: Great result today as éirígí’s Sean Doyle and Citizens Against Privatisation stalwart Eamonn McGrath were released from Cloverhill prison on unconditional bail. The unexpected outcome came virtue of a “technicality” in committal warrants as papers that were due… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • We shouldn’t just forgive, but pay back odious debt
    Over 9,000 people have signed Action Station's petition calling on the government to forgive odious emergency housing debt. The government's response? Nope:Wiping the debt of people who have been staying in motels for emergency accommodation would not be fair to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Opening up NLTF to all modes
    The Green Party released a new freight policy yesterday. They’re looking at ways to invest to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions: The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail… ...
    2 days ago
  • The American Black Movement in the Sixties: Victories and Lost Opportunities
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
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    2 days ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
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    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
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    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
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    2 days ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    2 days ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
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    2 days ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
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    2 days ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive… ...
    2 days ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
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    2 days ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    2 days ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
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    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    2 days ago

  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 hours ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    9 hours ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
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    11 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    13 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    14 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    14 hours ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    1 day ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    1 day ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 day ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    1 day ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • A great Budget would
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    7 days ago
  • The Price of Water
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
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    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    1 week ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago

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