web analytics
The Standard

Crowd-sourcin': asset sales question

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, February 21st, 2012 - 47 comments
Categories: democratic participation, privatisation, referendum - Tags:

Phil Goff must be feeling slightly odd right now. He campaigned relentless on the ‘own our future’ message for six months and, suddenly, everyone’s talking about it – 3 months too late. Economic sovereignty is suddenly the hot issue with the vast majority of Kiwis opposed to more foreign ownership and asset sales. If an election were held today, there would be no way in hell that asset sales would be able to win a majority in the new Parliament (it still oughtn’t win a majority now if its opponents focus on Peter Dunne and his vulnerable Ohariu seat).

The Nats are in a spin: Key is desperately trying to upgrade English’s numbers on the fiscal impact of asset sales, which he said “is not our best guess – it’s just a guess”, to a “best estimate”. Strange best estimate: you sell parts of five differently sized companies over four years and somehow bring in precisely $1,500 million ($200 million over book value) each year for a nice round total of $6 billion, and the foregone dividend flow is a nice, even 3.3%, which bears no relation to the actual historical dividend flow from these companies. The actual best estimate of asset sales revenue is the one in the PREFU: $3.86 billion – but you can see why Key would want a number more than 50% higher than that, eh?

It’s time for that asset sales referendum petition. There’s still chatter about it happening but nothing definite. It’s hard to understand why – it would be a fantastic mobilising opportunity for political parties, unions, and other activist groups. And a chance for MPs to knock on doors with a 75% chance the person will be on the same side of the issue as them – not often they get that kind of chance to build bonds.

Could be they need a little help. Maybe you can help draft the question.

Here’s the constraints:

  • The wording should be unambiguous but also simple enough to be understood by all
  • The wording in the petition becomes the words of the referendum, so it has to work for both
  • The answer to the referendum that is anti-asset sales should ideally be ‘yes’.

At Standard HQ, also known as The Kingslander, we’ve kicked it around a bit and come up with:

We the undersigned petition the House of Representatives that a referendum be held on the question: Should it be illegal for the government to sell or part sell any state-owned enterprise or any other publicly owned company unless it wins majority support for that sale in a referendum?

I’m sure you can improve on that…

47 comments on “Crowd-sourcin': asset sales question”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    That’s a really dumb question, because you’re not asking whether the assets should be sold, you’re asking whether a hypothetical future referendum that asked that question should be obeyed or not.

    I also think trying to construct a question to which the answer “yes” means you’re against asset sales is going to make the wording confusing.

    KISS:
    Do you support the government selling or part-selling any state owned power generation assets in the current fiscal climate?
    Answer: no.

    • Blighty 1.1

      That’s a good question.

      I guess there’s a quesiton of whether the referendum should be seeking a law chagne to stop asset sales, or merely expressing dissent against the policy of asset sales.

      • Blighty 1.1.1

        Problem is your wording doesn’t cover Solid Energy and Air NZ and ‘current fiscal climate’ is pretty loose.

        You can’t say state-owned enterpeises because all they have to do is remove the comapny from schedule 1 of the SOE Act then (which they need to do anyway to sell them. At the same time, you can’t just say ‘assets’ because that includes schools, statehouses, ) and things that governments regularly sell and buy.

        How about;

        Do you support the sale or part-sale of state owned companies by the Government?

        Or

        Should the Government cease its policy of selling shares in state owned companies?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          Yes, I deliberately said state-owned power generation assets simply to cut the scope, in particular I don’t mind too much about the sale of Air NZ shares and I would support the sale of TVNZ.

          I went with “current fiscal climate” as a way to highlight that the only reason the government is trying to sell these assets is the excuse of paying back debt etc and also point out that we really aren’t so bad as to desperately need the fire-sale of assets that they’re proposing – alternatives such as a fairer tax system are entirely feasible. I would be in favour of asset sales if it is what we had to do to avoid ‘default’ or some other nasty scenario, so answering “no” to the simple question of “do you support the sale of state assets by the government” wouldn’t be true.

      • Jackal 1.1.2

        Exactly! We already know that the majority of New Zealander’s don’t want National’s MOM asset sales… so a question that is designed to confirm that information is somewhat irrelevant.

        A question designed to achieve a referendum is required. Good luck getting the government to pass enabling legislation on the referendum for it to be binding though. The Clerk will have control on the wording of the referendum, which (as history has shown) could also be problematic.

        Firstly you need a petition with the signatures from 10% of all registered electors within 12 months… which considering public sentiment, shouldn’t be all that hard to achieve. Keep it simple:

        Do you support a referendum on the government’s policy to sell or partly sell state owned assets?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1

          “We already know that the majority of New Zealander’s don’t want National’s MOM asset sales”

          Officially, we don’t know that, and could never know, unless it was on the census.

          The government is using their electoral win, and strong campaigning on asset sales (and the oppositions strong campaigning against assets sales) as evidence that the majority of NZers do want asset sales. The fact that this is specious logic doesn’t matter, simply because there is no official alternative measurement of this idea.

          Therefore having a referendum just on this opinion is sufficient and removes National’s “mandate” argument. Of course they’ll simply ignore the results, much as they ignored the anti-smacking referendum, but it’s the political point that is the goal here.

          • Jackal 1.1.2.1.1

            The goal is to stop asset sales. If there is no financial benefit and selling our assets will actually cost us as a country more money than it makes, the public will soon wake up to the con. The political goal will be scored by stopping the asset sales, which a referendum is more likely to achieve. A petition to get a referendum is also a default gauge of the publics wishes… because only those opposed to asset sales would sign it.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Only a binding referendum could stop asset sales. It is parliament that gets to decide whether a particular referendum is binding or not. With 61 votes, they would choose not.

              It is therefore (practically) impossible for a referendum to stop asset sales.

              • Jackal

                The thing is that a petition either against asset sales or seeking a referendum that gains the required level (around 280,000 signatures) of public support can be worded either way. An indicative petition would also show how many people are against asset sales.

                National might bang on about their minute majority giving them a mandate to sell our future, but they cannot simply ignore a referendum. If they did, the John Key party would take a huge political hit, and be even more likely to lose the next election.

                • Lanthanide

                  I’m not entirely sure where you’re going with this, because you seem to be agreeing with exactly what I’m saying, but acting like you don’t.

                  • Jackal

                    ? I think an indicative petition and then referendum would be more effective at potentially stopping asset sales than just a petition. So no! I’m not agreeing with you.

                    A referendum would give us an official public yes or no to asset sales. It is my educated guess that it will be a very big NO!

  2. ianmac 2

    Do you support the sale of Government Assets? Yes/No.

    Yes. Phil Goff did a great job of raising awareness and good ideas take time to seep into consciousness. Sort of wonder about that flurry of attention over the tea-tape and whether it just prevented a final push of support for Labour/anti Asset Sales. Joyce clever by far?

    • McFlock 2.1

      Do you support the sale of Government Assets, even in part? Yes/No.

      Given that the tossers are already arguing the distinction between whole and partial asset sales.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1

        So Air New Zealand could not sell a seat on one of its flights to a Chinese person?

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          If by “sell a seat” you mean the occupancy of a seat, then that is not an asset, it’s a service.

          If you mean sell the physical seat, then no, they shouldn’t do that. I’m not aware of any airlines that do sell individual seats to the public anyway.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1.1.1

            OK, so the use of the seat is fine. No in-flight peanuts for Chinese people though, I guess.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              How about we continue this conversation when your personal flight returns to earth orbit, okay?

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Every peanut is a partial asset sale. Before you know it, we will be tenants in our own country.

                • Colonial Viper

                  They can have our production of peanuts, just not the land the peanuts are produced from. See the difference?

                • McFlock

                  reductio ad insanitas

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    They can have our production of peanuts, just not the land the peanuts are produced from.

                    OK, so by this criteria, selling the shares in Air NZ is fine.

                • Mike

                  The peanuts are not an asset, they are a part of a service if they’re free, or stock on the balance sheet if they charge for them.

                  What have Chinese people got to do with anything? Oh, of course, you’re confusing the Crafar farms sale with State owned asset sales. Let me guess, you think the high court is racist and based it’s decision on the fact that the bidder in question was a Chinese consortium. Of course the judge didn’t simply apply the law, nope he’s a racist.

        • thatguynz 2.1.1.2

          Where the fuck did your “a Chinese person?” meme come from?  i can’t see any reference to it in any posts above yours so assume you are trying to make a point?  Pretty damned poorly however I surmise.

          • QoT 2.1.1.2.1

            I’m guessing the memo has gone out about trying to paint all people who are anti-foreign ownership of land etc are Meanie Racist Heads Who Just Hate Innocent Chinese Individuals For No Reason.

            I mean, I’m sure plenty of people actually are xenophobic racists and wouldn’t be so upset if it were white Brits buying the Crafar farms, but it’s still a silly line to try to run against all opponents of the sale in the face of clear evidence it isn’t in line with existing law.

    • tc 2.2

      Joyce very clever and sinister with MSM lackeys in tow doing as asked.

      Anyone checked on how the hard done by Ambrose is doing these days or is he off shore now.

      Who paid his high court bills….not saying there’s anything suss but just how does a camerman pay all those bills.

    • mikesh 2.3

      The referendum question would have to include the words “or partial sale”.

  3. Ron 3

    I now that those poposed to assett sales would win this one hands down no matter what the question but referenda are a shitty way to run the country.
    You only have took at recent election results to see that most people don’t have the information or the interest to answer these questtions.
    I could rephrase that: most issues that could go to a referendum are complex and require adequate information and require voters to seriously think about that information to make sensible decisions. We’re simply not up to that in New Zealand.

  4. we the undersigned petition the parliament of new zealand to implement law changes that will restrict the sale of new zealand land to citizens and permanent residents only..
    non-citizens and non-permanent residents will still be able to lease land for commercial development..

    (i wd submit that if we do not do this now..that sooner or later..and probably sooner…

    ..we will become those tenants in our own land…

    ..we must retain that sovereignty over our own land..

    ..the alternative would be calamitous..

    ..and we are so small…and so constantly exposed..

    ..that we must close off the possibility of that ever happening..

    ..a lease-only/no-sale policy would provide that guarantee..

    ..forever..

    ..also..we would not have to endure the groundhog day option..

    ..of fighting this bullshit case by case..)

    phil-at-whoar.

  5. Details of requirements for a referendum here.

    You can’t have a referendum “about the way a referendum was held.” But I suppose a referendum about their being a future referendum should be fine.

    I’d still prefer a simpler question along Blighty’s line wrt support for asset sales. Mixing up requests for referenda amongst that blurs things. But the main thing is we need some sort of petition for a referendum at any rate.

    (Edit: oh, and happy to contribute to $604 cost)

  6. Frank 6

    On a slight detour…

    Phil Goff must be feeling slightly odd right now. He campaigned relentless on the ‘own our future’ message for six months and, suddenly, everyone’s talking about it – 3 months too late

    Of course.

    Because the last thing National would have wanted was a decision on the Crafar Farms made before the elections. Key and English knew full well what would have happened had this issue exploded in their faces prior to November 26.

    We’d be looking at a Labour-led government by now.

  7. duncan garner 7

    3 News Poll tonight.

    Q: Do you support partial asset sales?

    Results at 6.

    Cheers
    Duncan

    • lprent 7.1

      Will be interesting…

      • Herodotus 7.1.1

        What’s the point of a referendum we have had 3 others:no of mp’s, s59 and tougher penalties re law and not one was listened to by the mp’s so why is this different. We all know like in 08 the next election will result in a change on govt so the govt will put in place all those nasty policies just like the previous govt, stuff what the people think they want. In 2014 the irrevocable damage will have already been done

      • 62% against..34% for..3% braindead..

        phil-at-whoar.

  8. Jan 8

    taking the manipulative wording of the pro-smacking referendum as our model would give us:… 😉

    Should the sale or part sale of New Zealand’s publicly owned infrastructure and assets into private ownership, as part of New Zealander’s “owning their own future”, be legal in New Zealand?

    Or for a yes response.

    Should all New Zealanders, as part of the sound management of New Zealand’s economy, continue in full ownership of own our State Owned Enterprises.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Considering that we’ll be worse off if the government sells our assets, as the figures show, should the government sell them?

  10. Mike 10

    A referendum, as much as I wished otherwise is a waste of time as Key et al wouldn’t care less about what the public thought on this issue. They’re committed to this path. It would be better for United Future Voters (all 13,000 of them) who oppose asset sales (assuming that would be more than 6,500 of them to pile the pressure on Peter Dunne big time, as should National voters who oppose asset sales.

    Alternatively, take the seats electorate seats National won by the smallest majorities and try and find some factual and serious dirt on the National electorate MP in question to try and get a resignation and force a bi-election. Nasty I know but legitimate.

  11. The huge difference between the asset sales of the past is that power and dams are strategic
    assets,the life blood of nz and just should not be hocked off to those who can pay top dollar,
    or afford to dabble in the sharemarket.
    In a town in the uk their power assets were sold to a german company and now those
    town folk cant even afford to boil a jug,once lost,gone forever.
    Partially or fully selling strategic assets should not be allowed by any in-comming govt
    and should be written into law,they are hands off.
    Perhaps a citizens appeal to the high court would stop these assets being partially or fully
    sold.
    If key and english were genuine about reducing debt they would introduce a capital gains
    tax,this tax touted by labour was the right path to go down and yet the key govt
    dismisses this,why? because he does not want to offend his mates and corporate
    friends who are pillaging nz for personal gain.
    When you consider $14-$20billion,(this is a soft estimate) tax riches from un-taxed\
    profit would be like striking gold for the economy and our assets would still be
    producing $1b a year for the tax payers.
    Just where is the logic,where is the economic nouse,from key and english?
    No where to be found is the answer.

  12. The daily mail uk,has a story on the selling off of their power assets.

  13. Further to my previous post it isn’t difficult to find that goldman sachs had a hand
    in greeces debt problem.
    A search ‘Goldman Sachs involved with greece debt problem’

  14. locus 14

    Do you agree – yes or no: “The government has no right to sell shares held on behalf of the NZ public without the majority of the NZ public showing their approval in a referendum”

  15. Geoffrey Robert Burns 15

    Most people are opposed to state asset sales. Therefore National does not have a mandate for even a partial sale of state assets. Nothing short of a change of government will stop National doing what it likes.
    If there is a clause in the legislation which only binds the crown to consider the Treaty of Waitangi private share holders can do what they like.
    All share holders should be bound by the Treaty of Waitangi because the Treaty covers the rights and responsibilities of all New Zealand citizens.
    If no one wants to be buy shares because they think such clause might restrict what they can do with their share well good.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere