web analytics
The Standard

Contempt for democracy

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 am, September 17th, 2009 - 45 comments
Categories: national/act government, Parliament - Tags: ,

Gerry Brownlee in Question Time yesterday. He’s asked a question, just sits there and refuses to answer. Doesn’t even open his mouth, just sits there with a smug look on his face.

Lockwood, out of his depth like always, just ignores the rules to cover Brownlee’s arse.

Only ten months in and this Government is abusing or ignoring democratic checks and balances as it suits them. The arrogance and contempt for democracy are astounding.

45 comments on “Contempt for democracy”

  1. SeaJay 1

    Heh, just mentioned @ Tumucky, the GerBil was taught by his mum not to talk while chewing, and he was obviously chewing it over!

    captcha- answer!

  2. lprent 2

    The speaker is wrong. The question was valid (albeit couched in the usual politically weighted terms). Effectively Brownlee has disrespected the voters that put that MP in the house to ask that question. That is unacceptable in an MP and a trend that needs to be stopped now.

    I’d suggest that MP’s shun and deliberately disrespect Brownlee.

    Talk during his speeches in the house and during his appearances at select committee. Continuously reschedule any appointments that they have with him. Filibuster during any legislation he is associated with. Announce that ANY legislation he is associated with will be rolled back without compensation to affected parties taking advantage of it.

    • Graeme 2.1

      I agree that the Speaker was incorrect, but Eddie’s suggestions that the Speaker ignored the rules and was “out of his depth as always” is laughable.

      Speaker’s Ruling 162/5 states: “It is not obligatory on a Minister to answer a question. It is certainly customary but there is no sufficient reason to say it is binding.”

      However, Lockwood has turned previous rulings on S.O. 377(1) on their head. I doubt that the above Speaker’s Ruling survives. When S.O. 377(1) says “An answer must be given ‘ it should now mean exactly that.

      • Marty G 2.1.1

        So…. Lockwood got it wrong by relying on an outdated rule.

        Also, as you know, there’s a difference in Parliament’s rules between addressing a question and answering it. Brownlee was surely obliged to address the question.

        Can you think of a single example of a minister refusing to say anything before?

        • Graeme 2.1.1.1

          There is a difference between addressing a question and answering one. That difference is irrelevant here. If one accepts that Brownlee was able to refuse to answer the question, he is also able to refuse to address the question.

          As for your second question – not in relation to an oral question. Ministers do often refuse to answer questions put to them in the course of a committee of the whole stage, but that is rather different.

          • Marty G 2.1.1.1.1

            I’m obviously only talking about QT, Graeme.

            And I’m not sure why you think that addressing and answering are synonymous in this case when they aren’t normally in the House.

            Stop making excuses for Brownlee and Lockwood. You know that ministers have to give a response unless they believe it’s not in the public interest to do so (and even then, surely. they have to say it’s not in the public interest as they have in the past). Otherwise, ministers could just sit there whenever they like.

            • Graeme 2.1.1.1.1.1

              What excuse have I made for Brownlee?

              Indeed, what excuse have a made for Lockwood?

              As best as I can figure it, I’m the first person to suggest that the Speaker’s Ruling on which Lockwood (and David Parker and others) were basing their discussion is no longer valid.

              And I don’t think the two are synonymous in this case. I think the acknowledged difference between the two is immaterial in this case. This is different.

              Of course I accept that ministers have to give a response. That’s why I commented here that Lockwood was wrong when he accepted they didn’t have to.

              And this obviously has happened before – not least on the occasion in which Speaker’s Ruling 162/5 was made. I don’t remember that occasion because it was some time ago. I was not closely following the House at the time, and it was some 12 years before I was born.

      • roger nome 2.1.2

        oh that’s just grand then Graeme – who needs accountability in a representitve democracy when you’ve got smarmy plutocrats to treat us like idiots. The arrogance of the right will be their undoing.

  3. Ron 3

    It’s going to be his style isn’t it? I made a comment about his way of dealing with media questions recently. Unelievable arrogance. And once again not a peep fro the timid, Britney obsessed, teenage media. Brownlie’s attitude i AT LEAST as intesting as mp dozing off in thehouse which ued up three or four days of my news space as I recall.

  4. britney 4

    oh puh-lease

    “Brownlee has disrespected the voters that put that MP in the house”

    wake me up when it gets important.

    • Marty G 4.1

      yeah, I agree Britney, f*ck democracy, f* respect for the process and the people who put you there, I love John Key, whatever he and his monkeys do is fine by me because he has a nice grin and make funnies on the telly

  5. britney 5

    yawn, minor spat amongst the monkies in the zoo.

    “disrespected the votas” – gangsta

  6. lukas 6

    It is a bad look from Gerry, I agree, but I would not call it arrogance and would put it down to a series of dense questions. I imagine Gerry was sick of answering the same question put a different way five times, perhaps Turei needs to listen to the “questions” she puts to ministers?

    It is within standing orders for him to not take the call, that is pretty clear. Perhaps standing orders need to change to make members answer questions. Even Eddie would have to admit that Lockwood has been better at getting ministers to answer questions than Speaker Wilson!

    • Marty G 6.1

      surely not the ‘Labour did it too, I railed against it when they did it but because they did it, it’s OK for National to do it’ argument?

      I don’t think the standing orders are at all clear. No other minister has ever just sat there before that anyone can remember, which strongly suggests the rules as used don’t allow for it.

      It doesn’t matter whether the minister judges the question dumb or not, if they think it’s dumb they should just say so. If ministers can choose not to answer a question based on that then they will just not answer any difficult questions.

      • lukas 6.1.1

        “surely not the ‘Labour did it too, I railed against it when they did it but because they did it, it’s OK for National to do it’ argument?”

        No, not at all. I think standing orders need to change to make it compulsory for members to answer (not just address) questions. Gerry, was still within standing orders to not take the call, that is clear. Just because you can not remember it happening before, or because it is an old standing order is irrelevant.

        “It doesn’t matter whether the minister judges the question dumb or not, if they think it’s dumb they should just say so. If ministers can choose not to answer a question based on that then they will just not answer any difficult questions.”

        Sure, for the first four questions you can do that, when it gets to five questions you start getting a bit bored of the alarmist crap that Turei is spouting out.

        • felix 6.1.1.1

          Presumably you know of a standing order or speaker’s ruling which specifies that 4 answers are required but a 5th is not necessary.

          Could you point to it please?

  7. britney 7

    Gerry and Metira up a tree…they’ll be at it like rabbits after a few gins at the backbencher.

    shudder. picture this if you will….

  8. coge 8

    Brownlee did the absolutely right thing. Why on earth should he respond to an emotionally charged diatribe punctuated with third-rate patronizing rhetoric. No answer was his stern reply & good on him. Looked completely honest & sincere to most Kiwis.

    [don’t laugh, you guys, coge actually went around and asked most Kiwis last night. It was a big job, give him some credit]

  9. tc 9

    No surprises at all with GB’s performance and the fact the media ignore all these changes to house rules and the ill deserved protection that govt MP’s get as a result of the ‘rules’ and the powderpuff speaker who couldn’t enforce a booze up in a brewery.
    NACT isn’t operating a democratic process it’s running a corporate spin/PR process where the rules aren’t there as more than a nice coffee table book for those downtime moments.
    It’s 21st century muldoonism…..crosby textor styles…..change the rules, threaten and breach confidence if need be, repeat the slogans, smirk when all else fails as we’re in control so cop it sweet NZ.

  10. toad 10

    The most recent Speaker’s Ruling on this was 162/4 from Speaker Wilson:

    A Minister must give an answer “if it can be given consistently with the public interest’. The Minister is instructed under Standing Order 377(1) to consider the public interest in framing a reply. In considering consistency with the public interest, the Minister may address such principles as privacy, commercial sensitivity, or national security. But, ultimately, the judgment of whether a particular reply is consistent with the public interest is for the Minister to make. It is not a matter for the Speaker to judge. Nor is it a matter for the member asking the question to suggest that because that member considers the matter to be a matter of public interest, the question should be answered in a particular way.

    Note: “A Minister must give an answer…

    Lockwood appears to have overturned that in relying on the much earlier ruling by 162/5 from Speaker Jack:

    It is not obligatory on a Minister to answer a question. It is certainly customary but there is no sufficient reason for saying it is binding.

    and 163/1 from Speaker Harrison:

    A Minister is not obliged to seek the call in answer to a question if the Minister does not intend to answer it. In these circumstances the Minister is treated as having refused to answer. There is no obligation to give reasons for a refusal to answer although it is preferable to do so. To avoid a series of supplementary questions it may be preferable to indicate the refusal to answer on a point of order.

    Of course it is within any Speaker’s prerogative to overturn a previous Speaker’s ruling, as Speaker Wilson did with 162/4. But I would have thought Lockwood should at least have addressed 162/4 in making his ruling or given a reason why he considered the earlier rulings should take precedence.

    • Tigger 10.1

      Thanks Toad. I suspect if Lockwood had any idea what he was doing he would have given an answer but alas, he does not.

  11. britney 11

    Crosby textor, yeah right on, theyll be blackberrying Gerry during question time, not.
    (maybe updating him on big ben pie stocks at the regional shell stations granted)

  12. coge 12

    Where is the groundswell of outrage over this? I would suggest the silent majority of Kiwis either don’t care, or tacitly approve of Brownless response. Maybe Meteria should re-calibrate her questions, as is befitting a party co-leader. With respect, she brought in on herself. However I do accept that she hasn’t been in the co-leaders job long & naturally there will be teething problems.

  13. graham 13

    it was a stupid question and got the correct responce

    • snoozer 13.1

      No, the correct response, as Chris Hipkins says below, is to say ‘that’s a stupid question and I disagree with the premise’. Ministers don’t just get to ignore questions in question time. We might as not have it if they can.

  14. I think in Question Time the general rule should be that ministers give as good as they get. Ask a loaded political question, get a loaded political answer. Ask a straight question, get a straight answer. This seems to be what Lockwood is saying he wants, and I think that’s a fair call.

    Where I have a problem is where opposition MPs ask a straight question with no ‘political’ charge and the minister then answers that, but includes a long rant about the person asking the question. Key tends to do this a lot. That leads to a very one-sided question time.

    I have seen Lockwood shut down ministers when they attack the questioner rather than answer a straight question, but his willingness to do so seems to depend very much on who the minister being questioned is.

    As for Brownlee, he could have avoided all of this simply by standing up and saying “I don’t agree with the assertion put forward in the question’. That would have been that!

  15. felix 15

    Has anyone considered the possibility that he’s still thinking about it?

  16. Daveski 16

    It’s a little odd that anyone would find anything strange about the theatre of parliament.

    As for Brownlee, clearly he could have handled it differently.

    I’m most intrigued as to why Eddie made no mention of the question. Perhaps this explains it:

    But Turei’s questions – which might more accurately be described as political statements masquerading as questions – just kept on coming.

    I think most unbiased people would see the whole political process as a contempt for democracy.

    • felix 16.1

      “Political statements masquerading as questions” are hardly unusual though. The usual response to such is a political statement masquerading as an answer.

      I’m guessing Brownlee wins a bit of a boost from the hardcore Nats who hold the Greens beneath contempt and are still pissed about the MoU.

      • Daveski 16.1.1

        I don’t see Brownlee’s actions as laudable in any way nor should they be celebrated. Just pointing out that it’s hardly the contempt for democracy Eddie is claiming nor does the normal theatre of the absurb that passes for parliamentary process do much for democracy.

  17. burt 17

    A more partisan speaker would have said; The member has answered the question…

  18. ben 18

    Only ten months in and this Government is abusing or ignoring democratic checks and balances as it suits them. The arrogance and contempt for democracy are astounding.

    Oh PLEASE.

    How about we compare National’s not answering the sixth question on some inane topic to Labour’s third term anti-democratic antics?

    It is a horribly unfair comparison, of course.

    Sean Plunkett tore Hodgson a new one on Labour’s treatment of Peters just this morning.

    Yes, Standard folks, the readers of this blog CAN remember 10 months ago, and beyond, and we know rank hypocrisy when we see it.

    No defender of Labour can EVER call anybody else anti-democratic after their despicable behaviour last term. When you do, I’ll be here to remind you.

    • lprent 18.1

      Well I’d disagree about Labour’s last term. More spin from NACT than reality – as I said at the time. The perception of arrogance was more from a siege mentality than actuality.

      But this government is already the most un-democratic and autocratic one that I’ve seen since Douglas and Richardson

      Labour’s bills went through select committees and they didn’t push government legislation through under urgency. This one pushes virtually every government bill of any national importance through urgency and often skips select committees.

      Labour spent long periods of time on consultation on bills (usually too much). This one seems to think that merely asking their paymasters will surfice.

      This government thinks that breaking their election promises is normal. Labour went to great efforts to honour theirs.

      Labour went a long way to ensuring transparency in the political process. This government avoids listening – just look at the attendance of government MP’s at select committees. Explains why their reports from select committee bear no relationship to the submissions.

      This governments ministers don’t front to question time. They send patsy’s instead.. Too gutless to front up.

      etc etc….

      That is the difference between reality and spin.. Unfortunately you cannot distinguish the difference – what kind of a fantasy world does your head live in? Do you see flying pigs as well?

    • felix 18.2

      “anti-democratic antics”

      “despicable behaviour”

      Care to back up those big brave words with some real life examples? Ones that are so horribly, horribly despicable and anti-democratic that “no defender of Labour can EVER call anybody else anti-democratic” once you’ve given them?

      Otherwise it seems like you’re just, you know, talking shit really.

      • George D 18.2.1

        Every time Margaret Wilson ruled that members need only “address” the question, rather than answer it, I was appalled. You’d hardly ever get a straight answer from a minister. I am equally appalled by the same behaviour in this Parliament, it is no better or no worse.

        At least this is obviously not answering the question.

        • felix 18.2.1.1

          As opposed to now, where we get straight answers all the time. Ok then…

        • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.2

          From what I read, Wilson ruled that ministers needed to answer the question unless they had a damn good reason not to such as Not in the public interest which is quite reasonable. The Speaker now has ruled that ministers don’t need to answer at all.

          • Graeme Edgeler 18.2.1.2.1

            I’m not sure that’s correct. Wilson’s ruling was to essentially restate S.O. 377(1). It was also given in circumstances where a minister had sought to answer a question, so it was directed more at the content of replies rather than whether they needed to be made at all.

            I do believe that given recent re-interpretations of S.O. 377(1) Ministers are required to seek to call to answer all questions, but I’m not sure that Wilson’s ruling assists in reaching this conclusion.

  19. I read on another forum, that in fact he did answer the question over and over again, and got sick of answering the same question, so he stopped.

    • felix 19.1

      If only there were some way of knowing for sure what is said in the house – some sort of official record. And imagine if such a record did exist, it would be even more awesomer to have video and audio recordings to check it against.

      But I’m such a dreamer. I suppose we’ll never know.

  20. Felix:

    I think it is recorded, well most of it, Labour tried to pass a bill that you couldn’t use certain images or sounds or something, which was one of the reasons people got sick and tried of their George W Bush type ignorance.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    17 hours ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    19 hours ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    22 hours ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    2 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    2 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    3 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    3 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    3 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    5 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    6 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    6 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    6 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    7 days ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    7 days ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    7 days ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    7 days ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago
  • Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed
    Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “There is a huge disconnect… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • If it’s good enough for Lake Taupō…
    Nick Smith supports helping farmers transition away from dairying and agrees we must set nitrogen caps that limit the number of animals on farms. He says this strategy is “world leading”. However we need action and pressure from him, on to… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers at sea over overseas buyers register
    The Prime Minister and three of his ministers are at odds over the collection of information about offshore speculators buying our houses and seem to be making things up as they go, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “John Key… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for Key to ditch the King Canute routine
    With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy… ...
    1 week ago
  • Botched contract leads to charter school rort
    A botched Government contract has allowed an Auckland charter school to double dip by getting funding for students it has accommodated for free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Information received by Labour through written Parliamentary questions show the Ministry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Flawed system costs $3 million and counting
    New figures obtained* by Labour show the Government’s shambolic ACC car registration levy system has cost more than $3 million to implement and the costs are set to escalate, Labour's ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “That’s $3 million that could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Radio NZ facing death by 1000 cuts
    The National Government’s seven year funding freeze on Radio New Zealand has put its vital public broadcasting services in serious jeopardy, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says. "The axing of 20 jobs at our only publicly funded broadcaster shows the… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere