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Cunliffe attacks Nats’ crony capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, June 14th, 2012 - 79 comments
Categories: capitalism, david cunliffe, national - Tags:

David Cunliffe went to the lion’s den yesterday with a speech telling a meeting of Kensington Swan’s receivership and liquidation lawyers that there would be a lot less work for them under Labour but saying “the Labour Party is not your enemy. Your enemy is inefficiency, corruption, and the wastage of both public and private wealth. Your enemy is a cosy corruption that helps a few friends of the government get very rich at the expense of the community.”

It’s worth having a read of the full speech, where Cunliffe addresses not only National’s crony capitalism but also its economic management, comparing it to the failed policies of the Hoover Administration during the Great Depression.

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Speech to annual Kensington Swan insolvency function, Auckland, 11 June 2012

David Cunliffe, Labour Economic Development and Associate Finance Spokesperson

Tēnā Koutou

Thank you for inviting me into the lion’s den.

As this is a group of insolvency and receivership lawyers and accountants, it’s a fair guess that your businesses will be booming right now.

If I was speaking to a group of exporters and manufacturers, it’s a fair bet the opposite would be true.

And if this was a group of blue collar workers from my electorate in west Auckland, you can bet your boots the mood would be grim.

So many Kiwis are really struggling to make ends meet.  After the 2008 crash they were just getting along. A year later this had turned to anger, a year later to despair. This year, many of them are heading for the departure gate: 50,000 a year in the last year alone. A quarter of New Zealanders no longer live here.

So for their sake, and everyone’s sake, let’s begin this conversation by being frank and up-front.

We all know that much of the business community generally favours National.

Unfortunately, New Zealand is still a democracy, so Labour gets voted back in from time to time. That’s “tiresome”! I know, but that’s the way it is.

So, what “evil plans” does Labour have in store for the business community this time?  The answer might be welcome news for all but the insolvency team

Anyone who seriously believes that the economy can somehow heal itself by being left alone, hasn’t read a newspaper for the last 12 months.

Looking at world markets over the last few months, I would have to agree that we are “back at the precipice – with a frayed rope” (Brian Fallow, NZ Herald).

Greece may still reject its bailout package; Spanish banks are still in deep trouble; and Italy is too big to bail, or to let fail.

The Beehive spin doctors are all too ready to blame anyone but themselves for New Zealand’s repeated undershooting of growth forecasts.  None of it washes.

The Canterbury earthquake rebuild should by now be a source of positive growth – but it is well behind schedule and the government is squarely to blame.

Commodity prices can’t be the problem.  They have only just come off record highs, reminding us that putting all our cows in one basket is way too risky.

The results under the Key Government make depressing reading.

No one these days seriously believes that a totally unregulated economy will work. Just as important, no one seriously believes that a totally regulated economy will work. It’s a question of getting the balance right.

Do I want to return to the days when you needed a letter from your doctor before you could buy margarine? Absolutely not. Do I want to return to the days when people had a sense of security and trusted their leaders? Absolutely.

LESSONS FROM THE LAST GREAT DEPRESSION

It is said that “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” (George Santayana); or in plain language… “History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time.”

One of the things that gets me up in the morning is the sentiment expressed in the media and in the current government that “nothing can be done so we may as well take it.”

That we may as well accept appalling emigration levels, high unemployment and record high youth unemployment, an accelerating increase in poverty, and debt that leads to regular international credit downgrades.

We should expect more from each other than that.

There is absolutely no inevitability about economic decline.

We do face utterly fundamental choices about our economic future. Effective change will occur when tens of thousands of us behave differently in our firms and unions, boardrooms and Ministries, classrooms and farm sheds.

Of course it is easier to say what we should not do, than what we should do.  So in these remarks I want to draw some lessons for what we should do differently:

1. Regulate Financial Markets

The Great Depression, for those who haven’t studied history, was caused by a lack of government regulation. Then, just like now, the vast majority of businessmen strongly resisted any attempt at government regulation.

Then, after the banks sent themselves bankrupt through unregulated speculation with their clients’ funds, the bankers tried to pretend that it wasn’t their fault.

The 1929 stock market crash triggered an economic tsunami that all but flattened America. Just like now, it was the ordinary people that bore the brunt of the crash and the depression that followed it.

And, as if the crash itself wasn’t bad enough, the government still refused to intervene, so the situation got worse. Bank after bank collapsed, along with the millions of families who had entrusted those bankers with their life savings.

By 1933, 11,000 of the United States’ 25,000 banks had failed. That’s nearly half.

People had no money, so they couldn’t buy manufactured goods. Because people stopped buying manufactured goods, factories closed down. Because factories closed down, workers got fired. Because workers got fired, they couldn’t buy manufactured goods.

And so it went on, and on, and on, until, by 1933, nearly 13 million Americans were unemployed. That was a quarter of the total workforce.

And what was the government’s response: <u>nothing</u>. Why?  Because the government was intensely opposed to any kind of regulation of big business – the same view as many of the people in this room.

The then US Secretary of the Treasury was Andrew W. Mellon, who was, by curious coincidence, one of the wealthiest men in America.

Mellon strongly opposed government regulation of the banking sector. However, he strongly pushed for austerity measures to balance the budget. Does this sound familiar?

Mellon advised President Herbert Hoover to:

“liquidate labour, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate… it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people.”

Alas, no. What happened in America was exactly the same as is currently happening in Europe. The austerity measures, which were supposed to turn the economy around, instead sent it into a nosedive.

You know, one of the wonderful things about democracy, is that voters sometimes show a good deal more sanity than the politicians or the vested interests.

In America’s case, the voters threw out Herbert Hoover and voted in Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt heavily intervened in the economy, regulated the banks and the stockbrokers, and set America on the path of its longest period of economic growth in history.

I mention all this, because we are currently looking over the economic precipice once more. The world’s three largest economic zones: America, the European Union and Japan/China are already in decline.

And, amazingly, the economic purists in the West are still advocating exactly the same policies as the ones that caused the Great Depression. Really? Have we learned nothing from history?

Who carried the can when the whole house of cards came tumbling down? Certainly not the bankers that set up the house of cards in the first place. As usual, it’s the ordinary people, who pay taxes and naively expect politicians to look after their interests, who are paying the price.

Despite all the promises that the European economic austerity measures would turn this tragic situation around, the opposite is occurring.

When you start firing all your workers and closing down your government departments, those people have no money to spend.  Because the workers have no money to spend, the local businesses suffer. So they start firing staff. So the economy goes into deep recession, with no easy way out.

The Labour team believes this is lunacy. If New Zealand goes into a recessionary spiral, what we are close to, we will have to be expansive too.

An increasing number of journalists and politicians are saying what ordinary people already know: that many of the economic policies of the last 30 years have ended in disaster.

You hear the National government taking about the need to sell assets because we have so little money in this country. Do you know why we have so little money in this country? It’s because a large percentage of our economic assets are overseas-owned.

For example, when the Australian-owned banks make billions in profits here, that money isn’t returned to New Zealanders. The money goes straight back overseas.

That financial drain is one of the main reasons we are not paying our way in the world – our external deficit is getting bigger and bigger.

2. Keep and build our assets

And, as if that were not bad enough, the government now wants to sell our major state assets, which is simply going to mean higher power prices for ordinary New Zealanders and still more profits disappearing overseas.

And I’m not the only one who thinks this is nuts. The economic consultants BERL, concluded that the asset sales programme would leave the public accounts looking worse, not better.

BERL’s chief economist, Dr Ganesh Nana, concluded the effect of asset sales on the wider economy would be even worse because the dividends lost to the state would quite likely go to foreign shareholders, adding to the country’s external deficit and national debt.

So why is National proceeding? Is it partly because of its promises to big business? It is partly because many National Party politicians may have links to the very people who will profit from these asset sales? Or partly because the National Party is simply blind?

No matter how many independent analysts report that the asset sales will be an economic disaster that will further increase our national debt, John Key simply looks the other way.

For how much longer, I’m not so sure. I think it’s increasingly obvious that the National government will be dog tucker at the next election. National is hoping that by then, the assets will have been sold and there’ll be nothing we can do about it.

Be that as it may, don’t get me started on the risks of selling off a major stake in our energy system at a time when the world is entering unparalleled energy scarcity and skyrocketing fossil fuel prices – that is the subject of another speech!

3. Get people back to work

If the last Great Depression provides some chilling lessons of what went wrong, it also provides hope for what can be done better.

Much of New Zealand’s response to the Depression in the 1930s and early 40’s is still working for us:

•    Around 50% of the state houses still around now were built in the 1930s and 1940s

•    Around 40% of all schools still in use were built in this era

•    Almost all the North Island dams, and the same of the pylons and substations

•    Thousands of rural bridges

•    Most of Auckland’s water supply dams and systems

•    The core of the Crown Research Agencies, in the form of the DSIR

•    Around half of New Zealand’s still-existing hospitals,

•    The great North Island pine forests, and

•    Most of our government departments now existing were formed, all in that era

Eighty years ago we saw an economic development plan rolled out that turned us all from Depression to development.  Like the United States New Deal, the Savage government’s plan altered the course of the country.

For at least 30 years after the end of World War II until the oil shocks of the 1970s, the Government response to the Great Depression still dominated political and commercial life.

In the 1960s, business and the public sector continued this partnership with the great Kinleith Mill near Taupo, and New Zealand Steel at Glenbrook.

Private capital was making money at the same time as the public sector achieved its policy goals.

By the 1980s, the whole system was in need of reform. However, in place of reform, we got a system that closed down productive industries, encouraged energy wastage, created massive unemployment and, above all handed most of  the wealth and power to a small elite who the so-called ‘free’ market.

It was this unregulated market that lead to the twin meltdowns; first the 1987 stock market crash, then the 2008 meltdown. Since 2008, the scale of our decline has been substantial.

Throughout the world, pro-business governments have imposed austerity measures and throughout the world, these austerity measures have been an unmitigated disaster.

We need to think with that degree of boldness and clarity, while carefully managing our financial resources, to truly turn back the degree of risk and decline that we now face.

4. Rewrite the invisible plan

By contrast, National is nothing if not predictable in its policies and in its results. From 1990 to 1999, and from 2008 to 2012, the same economic leadership and same result:

•    Almost no economic growth

•    Public sector cost-cutting that drove recession ever-deeper

•    A state that is weaker year after year, and

•    A country where wealth transferred from the many to the few, to the point where law firms find it harder and harder to get clients,  except in the Receivership Team.

Business is bad. And it was bad the last time National was in, and it’s no coincidence.

Let’s project the same policies after another three years. Here’s how it runs. Treasury again over-predicts GDP growth and hence tax-base income. Private debt remains high and focused on rental housing. The population stagnates and starts to decline even in Auckland.

Respectfully, a buoyant insolvency and mortgagee sector is not the economic sign we want. On the track we are on, it’s what we will get.

When the credit ratings agencies downgraded New Zealand last year, they told us that our biggest problem was not public debt, which is relatively small by world standards, but total private debt and our inability to pay our way in the world.

A new direction is needed.

Let’s not fool ourselves that just doing a little more or a little less of what we have been doing before will save us

LESSONS FROM SMALL SMART COUNTRIES

Small smart countries around the world are grappling with the same issues – how to sustainably grow jobs and incomes in an open, export-oriented economy amid a turbulent world market.

As part of my Economic Development portfolio work, I have commissioned a study of six such countries: Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Taiwan, Ireland and Israel.

The most obvious conclusion of this study so far is that none of them leave their future to chance.  The weakest, Ireland, was the one that lowered taxes, opened up to unrestrained foreign investment, and trusted the invisible hand of the market to bring future prosperity.

But whether they have governments of the centre-left or centre-right, all these countries have set a clear vision for where they want to get to, what they want to be, and how they will get there.  All set policy targets and timetables and measure their progress.

Take Denmark.  It wants to be among the top 10 richest, most innovative countries in the world.  It wants to be top 10 for quality labour supply and top three for renewable energy.

They have a 10 year plan to achieve that.

They manage their interest rates, control their housing market, and peg their exchange rate to the Euro.

They manage productivity growth by setting hard targets for education, research and innovation performance, for example:

They invest 3% of their national income in research and development: 2% from the private sector and 1% from the public.  That is still dwarfed by neighbour Finland with nearly 4%. New Zealand’s total is less than 1%.

Their innovation strategy is led by the Danish Economic Council, a broad-based top level group including key government agencies, business and labour representatives, and labour experts.

They are careful with their money, and they understand the value of investment.

They invest in research and development, they invest in their infrastructure, they invest in their forests and their environment, but most of all they invest in their people.

To the Danes, investing in education, innovation and infrastructure, is not a liability but an asset. Because without all three, their economy cannot survive.

Is it working?  You be the judge – they have fewer natural resources than us, higher population density, and a rubbish climate.

But their income per person is US$40,169 compared to our US$29,882.

Even more importantly, their exports per person are around NZ$ 26,000, compared to our NZ$9,000.

They gain about the same amount from agriculture as us, but many times more from niche manufacturing, environmental services and high technology.

Let’s acknowledge that Denmark is a member of the largest economic union on the planet and has the captive market that comes with that.

Labour under the leadership of both Phil Goff and Helen Clark had a proud record of responsibly improving our trade access. Labour also pushed for environment and labour standards in trade agreements, something we will need to continue to advocate in future.

INVESTMENT, INNOVATION, AND  EDUCATION

We need to learn from small smart economies like Denmark.  We cannot just leave it to chance, or to the market forces that have got us into this mess.

So Labour went into the last election campaigning for new and better ways to grow our economy.

At the core of our economy-wide measures were big changes to boost capital for business investment, technology and skills.  These are the fundamental drivers of productivity.

Our Leader, David Shearer, and Finance Spokesperson, David Parker, have both recently reaffirmed the importance of these changes.

While John Key was hard at work lining his own pockets, David Shearer was getting his hands dirty, feeding and sheltering the people in some of the most depressing and dangerous places on earth.  He managed billions of dollars of tax-payers funds with consummate skill, fought corruption and faced down warlords.

Which party leader do you think is better suited to lead us through this time of crisis?

So what will Labour do that shows we have learned the lessons of history?

Number one, we will have to stop the sort of speculation that got us into this mess in the first place.

We have to get investment flowing where it can do the most good – into productive businesses and exports, rather than unproductive financial or property speculation. Like both Treasury and the Reserve Bank, Labour supports a capital gains tax.

Now, nobody in this room, myself included, likes paying tax.  And nobody in this room, myself included, likes seeing their hard-earned tax revenue wasted.

I think we all agree that the tax system has to be simple, transparent and achievable.

For example France and Germany are now looking at simplified  forms of indirect taxation, such as a financial transactions levy.

It would be so small that most bank users would never even notice it, would be simple to collect, and would raise enough revenue to fund lowering other taxes while fully funding infrastructure development without incurring further public debt.  I am delighted that our revenue Spokesperson, David Clark, is keeping a weather eye on these developments.

Another tragic result of the so-called free market is that, the country is now saddled with the multibillion dollar liability of supporting the casualties of this economic religion – the long term unemployed, the single parent families, the pensioners who can no longer afford to warm their houses.

Any economic policy that does not put the unemployed back to work, rebuild the productive sector and help us to pay our way in the world is doomed to failure, and very expensive failure at that.

The current government said they wanted New Zealand  to catch up to Australia.

Well it’s working: every week, thousands of Kiwis leave the country in search of a better life across the Tasman.

Why? Because they get paid so much more in Australia.  Why are wages higher in Australia? Because the Australian government sees it’s working people as an asset, not a liability.

What’s the National Government’s solution to this – to lower wages still further while doing nothing to improve productivity.  Genius.

Clearly no-one told Steven Joyce that Germany, one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, has both high wages and high productivity.

National has again walked away from common sense.  One of the key ingredients to Australia’s success has been its compulsory, employment based savings scheme.

Because New Zealand’s workers don’t earn enough to save, the country’s vital savings pool is alarmingly small.

So our second major policy is  to lift sustainable local savings and investment is a universal Kiwisaver scheme. This would hike our savings rate four times faster than National’s pallid plan  and give every working Kiwi a huge nest egg for their retirement.

To make matters worse, National’s approach to superannuation resembles a man on an iceberg in the sun. He thinks he is on solid ground, but he has built his future on some tragically false assumptions.

The third big policy change from Labour is getting our innovation engine revving.  At the moment it is hardly even idling.  Total research and development investment in NZ is less than 1% .  In Denmark it is 3%.  In Finland they are targeting 4% .

Our innovators deserve a break – there are huge public benefits from a vibrant innovation system, and our proposed R and D tax credits reflect that.

By supporting research and development in our business community, we invest in the pillars of economic growth, innovation, education and innovation.

As Economic Development spokesperson, I will be pushing for much higher levels of investment in research and development in both the public and private sector and for a serious overhaul of our innovation ecosystem.

Remember that infrastructure is not just bricks and mortar.  Our future depends on having a world class information backbone.

It is a crying shame that it took the current government nearly three years to even begin rolling out its so-called ultra-fast broadband plan.  If three years delay is ultra-fast, I’d hate to see ultra-slow.

Fourth, we never forget that our best resource is our people.  Education and skills must be a top priority and it must be for all – not just those who can afford them.  These three pillars of skills are education skills, physical skills and life skills.

It disgusts me that the National cabinet was prepared to maintain subsidies for their own private schools while firing teachers in everyone else’s schools.

How would Labour fund further investment in education?   The answer is simple: stop investing in failure.  It is social and economic insanity to be paying people the dole while there are forests to be planted and infrastructure to be built.

Labour will get school leavers off the dole by ensuring a seamless transition into work.  We will fund thousands of new apprenticeships by redirecting dole money to job creation with real skills. We will ensure that every young New Zealander under 20 is either earning or learning.

In the twenty first century no-one should expect to be in one job for their whole working life.  That’s why learning must be life-long.  Denmark invests bullions each year into adult and community education, in New Zealand we invest pocket money.

LESSONS FROM THE GRASS ROOTS

Our economy, under National, is like an oil tanker with the captain asleep at the wheel.

Robert Wade, a New Zealand professor at The London School of Economics, summed up how governments should work with their economies. I’ve paraphrased his views:

When the economy is working well, leave it alone.

When the economy has problems or failures that can be fixed, fix them.

And when an economic policy fails altogether, do something else.

Sounds like common sense to me.

A key lesson of the Great Depression is that unregulated financial markets invariably suffer catastrophic failure.  The recent Global Financial Crisis is a classic example.

From New Zealand’s economic development perspective, we can turn around the failed policies of the past.

So that means working with individual industries, regions, businesses and communities to help make good things happen.

You have a build a wall one brick at a time.

You have to build a business one customer at a time.

We have to build our economy one region and one industry at a time.

And we must rebuild our community one family at a time.

So we could have all the fine ideas in the world about economic growth, but if it does not put one unemployed worker into a job, or put one more high value product into an export market, then it will not turn our economic boat around.

Renewing our commitment to industry sectors, regions and communities, will be a key part of Labour’s economic development agenda…

I know it’s trendy to talk about recycling. But we’ve overlooked something here. What about “recycling” human beings?  There isn’t a person in this room that isn’t deeply concerned at the numbers of young people, especially young Māori and Pasifika  who are not only unemployed, but in some cases, currently considered by some to be “unemployable”.

We also have vast tracts of public and private land that is currently badly under-utilised.

Can we please, please, learn some lessons from history. Where did New Zealand’s great commercial forests come from? Where did America’s great commercial forests come from? They were both planted in the Great Depression by the unemployed.

The American Civilian Conservation Corps is a textbook case of turning the economy around by turning people’s lives around.

Throughout America, these groups planted trees, built roads and improved both their lives and the lives of their descendants.

Labour embraced the Conservation Corp idea in our last manifesto. For Labour, the Conservation Corp has always been about skills and training, with the community benefitting. I’ll bet someone will claim that National’s already proposed this. Nonsense. What National wants is to punish the poor and prepare them for a life of dead-end jobs as lowly servants of the rich and powerful.

Instead of merely paying the dole to fit young people, Labour’s Conservation Corps plan includes education and training that will take them on to sustainable employment. I’d like to see them earning a living wage in return for a fair day’s work.

They could learn structure, discipline and life skills. They could then be sent out to do the work that’s currently not being done, from planting trees to disaster relief. Imagine, for example, the difference it would have made if we had had 5000 fit young people available for disaster relief after the Christchurch quake.

New Zealanders loved the Student Volunteer Army and the Farmy Army that helped clean up Christchurch.  However, the famers and the students soon had to go back to work. Imagine the difference a full time group would have made?

It’s not just the country that would have benefited, either. Hard work is a great healer for unemployed lives.  With training, this same army could now be rebuilding the houses that the Christchurch people so desperately need.

But for now, New Zealand needs more forests. If we could replant some of our unproductive land into forests, we could create one of the world’s greatest carbon sinks. We could create thousands of jobs planting trees, and thousands more processing the timber in a few years.

These new forests could be placed in trust for the benefit of future generations, and New Zealand could be on its way towards becoming carbon neutral.

However, there’s a deeper problem with our current forestry sector: most of the timber simply gets shipped overseas for processing. This robs New Zealanders of jobs and export revenue.

Because many of our best forests are overseas owned, by companies that have absolutely no interest in New Zealand jobs.

Labour  is keen to see higher levels of value added in our primary sector, and as Economic Development Spokesperson I am going to be pushing to get New Zealand logs processed in New Zealand mills.

CONCLUSION

While politicians squabble about balancing the government’s books, our ship is in dangerous waters.

The Labour Party is not your enemy.

Your enemy is inefficiency, corruption, and the wastage of both public and private wealth.

Your enemy is a cosy corruption that helps a few friends of the government get very rich at the expense of the community, including most of the business community.

The three pillars of our survival are investment, innovation and education.

An educated population that earns decent wages will work in your factories and offices, will buy your products, and invest in your shares.

Even as we speak, the global crisis deepens. We cannot solve the crisis of the present by repeating the failures of the past.

New Zealand rose to the challenge of the Great Depression and emerged as a prosperous and functional democracy that was the envy of the world.

There are no winning sides on a sinking ship. While we squabble on the deck, our situation grows graver every day.

Our ship cannot sail itself. We can’t wait for the crisis to overwhelm us before we respond.

A global economic tsunami could sink us. We have to work as a team; rather, we have to work as a crew, remembering that we’re all in this together. We all prosper together or we all sink together.

Thank you.

79 comments on “Cunliffe attacks Nats’ crony capitalism”

  1. Socialist Paddy 1

    I just posted this in open mike and may as well post it here.

    Wow, a politician actually analyzing things and saying it the way it is.  And no sugar coating.

    Brave speech.

    Cunliffe wants to regulate financial markets, he wants us to keep and build our assets, he wants to provide work for everyone, and he wants the state to be smart and to invest in education and research. 

    He is even talking about a Tobin tax.

    He definately does not want to leave our future to the market and he makes a pretty compelling case against doing so.

    No wonder the right wing hate him so much.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      And I’m going to say the same thing that I said in Open Mike. Cunliffe makes all the right noises but the underlying message is still more growth, more over production, more exports – none of which is sustainable. Yes, build up our capabilities but only to such an extent that we can provide for ourselves and keep it within the limits set by the environment.

      • Socialist Paddy 1.1.1

        I don’t disagree Bastard.
         
        If the growth is of the right kind it may be sustainable but persuading the human race of this is a big ask.
         
        At least Cunliffe is talking about a Tobin Tax.  For a senior member of a mainstream to do so is pretty unusual.

    • Georgecom 1.2

      Agreed that it is good to see discussion about a Financial Services Tax. More is needed however Cunliffe is leading the Labour debate about building a new system of economy. Its not the end but is a good start.

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        I think it is the biggest start.  If you want a financial system that starts to address the excessive wealth that the top 1% has then you need to start clipping the ticket every time they send their wealth around.

        • darkhorse 1.2.1.1

          It would have a far wider and more beneficial effect than that – a 1% financial transaction tax creates “friction” that kills profit in parasitic economic activity like ultra-highspeed margin trading and also will hit currency speculators as well.  Interestingly enough Bill English commented on this as being a good idea a year or so back (every now and then Bill seems to have a spark of insight – it soon dies but at least it sparks)

          The taxation system needs to be spread across all “factors” of the economy.  At present labour is heavily taxed while capital land and resources escape from contributing to the cost overhead of running society.  Effectively this is a tariff on the cost of labour and a subsidy on the cost of capital.

          Cunliffe is taking the first brave and intelligent step in the direction that will haul our carcases out of the train wreck that is about to happen.   

      • Peter 1.2.2

        Cunliffe is one of the few who knows how to address complicated issues in a way that non-experts can understand. A rare gift!

  2. vto 2

    it is indeed refreshing to see a spade being called a spade

    more

    • Herodotus 2.1

      Funny how this dpeack was phrased levelling the caused by asdociation St national. The demise of finance coys was due to poor governance that was the responsibility of a govt agency, the cost to nz for leaky homes, emigration. We should learn from history, then how come the untaxed wealth that was created in 84-87 and in the 2000-07 was under which party?
      How can we believe that such rhetoric is matched by action ?
      The worker has seen much of the rewards of their labour be sifened off refer to graph of the workers share of GDP.
      No ownership of the past, so how can we learn if we don’t take ownership of being the cause.

      • Chris 2.1.1

        What does your first sentence mean? I really can’t follow it sorry

      • Dr Terry 2.1.2

        Herodotus, I am not sure what is your natural language, which makes it harder to comprehend exactly what you are talking about. I hope YOU know what you are talking about, for the brilliant Cunliffe sure knows his stuff! You complain of rhetoric? If I have got that right, then you certainly must despise John Key! However, I might have got you wrong, I am badly in need of a translator.
        I imagine such a sensational speech could not be improved upon in these comments, but answered conceivably by mumbo jumbo from those not intelligent enough to understand it.

      • bbfloyd 2.1.3

        wow… that speech really rattled your fantasies heroless….. that has to be the most incoherent rant you’ve put up for weeks!!

        • Herodotus 2.1.3.1

          Sure the speech reads well yet given labours past performances one must question the sincerity. As many of these issued that are referred to we issues when labour was last in power e.g emigration, unaffodabilty of housing, untaxed wealth. Pre last election we were told to wait for labour policy keeping powder dry, yet there were no answers or real depth of policy just Gst off f&v etc.
          And BBF I have little reason to support nationals response to nz problems.
          And I still require help bring able to review before sending using a phone instead of computer.

      • Labour has its problems, but they are vanishing small compared to National’s. We can talk about fair trade, sustainable job creation, zero-sum economics, and insufficient rollback of National policies if you want, but none of those are a reason to vote any further to the right than Labour.

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.4.1

          I can see plenty of reasons to not vote as far right as Labour. I think they’ll gag Cunliffe sooner rather than later and keep trying to dress Shearer as leadership material of National Lite.

          • Ad 2.1.4.1.1

            Unless we stop them. I don’t like it but without Cunliffe speaking like this, or indeed without Cunliffe, Labour really would struggle to govern with a spine.

            • Herodotus 2.1.4.1.1.1

              Taken from above “It’s because a large percentage of our economic assets are overseas-owned.
              For example, when the Australian-owned banks make billions in profits here, that money isn’t returned to New Zealanders. The money goes straight back overseas.”
              And why are our assets foreign owned? Because we have trading and current account deficits. We borrow to pay for our life style. So how does anyone suggest we reverse this trend? Spend less which will result in net savings (but reduced living stds), increase our international trade or a mixture of both. And should we go along achieving this it will result in increased inflation = increased interest rates to temper activity, or to cut spending which will result in reduced domestic activity.
              So how do we do this?
              http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/balance-of-trade
              http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/current-account

              • Colonial Viper

                And why are our assets foreign owned? Because we have trading and current account deficits. We borrow to pay for our life style.

                You’ve put the cart before the horse here.

                Our current account deficit is fueled by the likes of Telecom, Contact and Westpac sending their earnings offshore, not the other way around.

                • Herodotus

                  Yet I take it that you accept the reverse our coys, pension funds EQC doing the same?
                  Everyone wants us to be net savers but are incapable on giving us the means to do so, and as long as we expect to maintain our standard of living and what joys consumerism brings we will continue to be dependent on borrowing offshore.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And why are our assets foreign owned?

                Because the government at the time sold the bloody things when they didn’t have to, shouldn’t have and certainly shouldn’t have opened up NZ to foreign ownership.

                So how does anyone suggest we reverse this trend?

                By doing what the Treasury type economists tell us not to – building our own economy up through the use of our resources, by building up our people’s skills and trading only in completed products.

                Spend less which will result in net savings (but reduced living stds), increase our international trade or a mixture of both.

                How about neither. Monetary savings are delusional and increasing exports will only make us poor as we lose the resources we need to maintain ourselves.

                And should we go along achieving this it will result in increased inflation = increased interest rates to temper activity, or to cut spending which will result in reduced domestic activity.

                Ban interest rates, they’re useless at the job that they’re supposed to do – limiting the use of scarce resources – and end up only transferring the wealth of the country to the rich.

                As for spending, we spend* only enough to keep the population at a reasonable living standard.

                * Spend = use of limited resources

                • Herodotus

                  So your solution is to expect a dramatic decrease in our living standard a decrease in
                  Life expectancy as we are forced to live on less than we earn internationally. Less as we have to service our debt and live on the residual ?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Nope, maintaining living standard doesn’t require us to produce as much as we can, only as much as we need.

                  • KJT

                    There is no need for most New Zealanders to drop their living standards.

                    In case you havn’t noticed they are not that high for most.
                    Median wage almost half that of Denmark’s.

                    We need to stop subsidising the living standards of the wealth stealers.
                    Most of whom reside offshore, anyway.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There is no need for most New Zealanders to drop their living standards.

                      A lot of NZers will have to give up a lot of their consumption of material shit.

                      – 12L/100km Holdens and Falcons.
                      – Honda and Toyota hybrid vehicles
                      – 46″ flat screen TVs
                      – Holiday flights overseas
                      – iPhones replaced every 18 months
                      – anything using Italian marble
                      – meals containing ingredients from more than 500km away.
                      – the list goes on.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, yeah but they don’t actually make a difference to living standards no matter what the advertisers say.

              • KJT

                Bullshit.

                Our trade balance in real goods and services is positive. It always has been.

                Profits, from infrastructure sold offshore, off shoring almost all our jobs, and financial borrowing is the reason for the deficit.

                First answer is to stop borrowing offshore to buy assets wholly produced in the internal economy. The banks pushing up local house prices for instance.

                Second. Own our own essential infrastructure.

                Third. Stop killing internal manufacturing for the sake of wholly illusory “free trade” benefits for the primary sector. We killed our local productive businesses with the stupid idea that if we freed up our markets totally the countries we trade with would follow suit. Unfortunately for us, they are not that thick.

                Fourth. Cut subsidies for fossil fuel and other polluters. Giving the sustainable energy and production sectors room to grow. Cut some of the billion a year paid for fuel imports. One thing where Muldoon had the right idea. He was just 30 years too soon. And got unfortunately, conned by the IMF into offshore borrowing.

                Fith. Tax profits, capital gains and financial services in proportion to their share of the economy.

                Sixth. Bring back trade unions, so New Zealanders have enough wages to save and invest.

                • KJT

                  Seventh. Have a plan. Instead of “leave it to the market”.
                  A business manager who left it to the market would be sacked. Why do we accept this garbage from our Government?

                  It will probably mean Government finance for sustainable energy, housing and other investment for the future where the private sector has failed.

                  Tax and spend, and printing money, to lend to ourselves, is exactly what we need to do. Worked in the 30’s.

                  • KJT

                    In fact. Just ask for treasuries advice, and do the opposite!

                    • Herotodus

                      Very amusing, then following you advice we still can extract value out of treasury.
                      KJT sure we may have a real goods surplus, yet as $ leave nz we are still being bleed dry. We still need to pay to service our debt and pay off the principle = spending less than we earn. So how do we achieve this ? Everyone can see the problem but no real solutions that can be implemented, or the effects on NZ. That is my issue with david’s speech here.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We still need to pay to service our debt and pay off the principle

                      Actually, we don’t.

                      The risk when loaning out money is that it won’t be returned.

                      We can, and probably should, default.

                    • KJT

                      Just given you some solutions. If you read them.

                      Stop selling income earning assets is another. Like a builder selling his tools, to the opposition, to pay this weeks groceries.

  3. deuto 3

    Thanks James. I was hoping that we would have a post on the speech, but when this hadn’t happened, I posted a link to the speech in Open Mike.

    From my quick read (need/want to reread it to take it all in), I thought it was an excellent speech, particularly courageous in the lion’s den, and offers a lot of thought to a way forward. Just hoping that others in the Labour camp will take it up. But, unfortunately, not holding my breath.

  4. fatty 4

    I see this as just a cynical slight of hand from Labour. Why do they choose an incompetent noddy as their leader when they could have chosen Cunliffe?
    This kind of talk from Cunliffe does not inspire me at all, it does the opposite, it pisses me off.
    Labour have failed NZ since 1984 and they should be held accountable. What Cunliffe has stated should only be the beginning, Labour needs to do so much more.
    Currently, Labour has a detached leader strumming his way around the country and being nothing more than a bumbling fool…Cunliffe’s words are nothing special, nothing revolutionary…all they do is expose what a pathetic party Labour has now become. Shearer needs to do NZ a favour and step down. Then Cunliffe can build on these statements and make Labour useful again.
    Labour’s current good-cop vs bad-cop routine is an insult to our intelligence, either Cunliffe needs to walk-the-walk by leaving the party, or STFU…or Shearer could go back to his charity work…this current Labour circus is a joke…and we are the punchline.

    • Pete 4.1

      Cunliffe’s words are nothing special, nothing revolutionary

      If you want a revolution, maybe parliamentary democracy isn’t for you. Perhaps you can set yourself up as the Robespierre of what is and what isn’t left enough. I’m going to stick with what Michael Joseph Savage said when Labour won in 1935:

      “We have no desire to raise ourselves at your expense. Our object in life is to cooperate with you. To find out what you think, and to go on to do the work of building a prosperous nation. A free nation, or a nation of free peoples in these southern seas.”

      • Shona 4.1.1

        Hmmmm….. Robespierre was a brilliant man before his meltdown when it all got too bloody.
        The guillotine is a very attractive looking piece of equipment these days with thieving scum like National running the country into slavery and despair.

      • We got a revolution from 1984-88. It can happen. =/

        • ad 4.1.2.1

          Probably an unhelpful term.
          As would be anything ending with “…Spring”.
          Or “Great leap Forward”, “Masterplan”, “Vision”, “10 Year Plan”, or “Bloated series of abstract nouns like Obama would deliver”

          It’s simply the scale of what must happen to get this country upright again.

          • fatty 4.1.2.1.1

            “Probably an unhelpful term.”

            You can thank Pete for that unhelpful term…he twisted my post around to make it seem as through I was talking about a ‘revolution’.
            Nobody was talking about a revolution…I said “Cunliffe’s words are nothing special, nothing revolutionary”. I was obviously talking about a change of direction, not a revolution…it was a misread from Pete that should never have been acknowledged.
            As usual, DTB has it right: http://thestandard.org.nz/cunliffe-attacks-nats-crony-capitalism/comment-page-1/#comment-482687

    • tc 4.2

      Patience Fatty Shearer can’t be challenged until Sept and if he fails to capitalise on sideshow John’s imploding bunch of corrupt cronies then Cunliffe should challenge him but till then he’ll toe the line.

      If he fails I reckon defect to the greens as an electorate MP as he’s not appreciated or valued by mallard and the muppets who probably fear him as he’s zoomed past them in terms of ability and achievement (telecom unbundling).

      • bbfloyd 4.2.1

        I’m assuming the fat one knows david shearer personally?? otherwise that was just an ignorant, childish rant that he should be embarrassed by……

        we still don’t seem to get it, do we boys and girls…… the ability to talk for hours without saying anything, and having no scruples when it comes to misrepresenting reality to gain “political” advantage are NOT traits that qualify anyone for leadership….

        i suggest reading the WHOLE speech….. in particular, the paragraph dealing with david’s assessment of shearers skill set in relation to what is going to be required to drag us back from the escalation descent into the third world this govt is leading us down….

        it seems that david cunliffe is smart enough to see that having a blowass as leader doesn’t “fix” anything….. so he is using his undoubted oratory skills to best effect as a member of the party that he knows will have the job of, once more cleaning up the pile of dog shit left by this cabal of asset strippers….

        future leader? certainly….. but shearer has the right track record for the times…. cunliffe will make a great leader one day…. but there’s a job to do now… and he has the right job to be a major part of the recovery process……..what the future holds for him is best left to the future….

        we need to stop whining about irrelevancies , and get back to the important stuff….

        • ad 4.2.1.1

          Right with you there bbfloyd. Not a leadership speeech or anything to do with it.

          It’s stating in the sharpest possible terms for Labour’s current ideological spectrum that (to join the dots) we’ve done this before in response to the Depression, we are close to one again, and the comparable countries that survive this like Denmark are spectacularly focussed on what they are doing.

          I do think he will continue to push and solidify the progressive side of Labour, which is where any tension might be if there is any. That’s not unreasonable to have this debate 2.5 years out from election.

          It didn’t go down too badly with the audience, but no raptures either. More jokes next time I think.

          We still need more.

        • fatty 4.2.1.2

          “I’m assuming the fat one knows david shearer personally??”

          Oh, I see, since I don’t know god’s gift to boredom, that means I can’t have an opinion on him? Almost zero percent of voters will know politicians personally.

          “but shearer has the right track record for the times”

          What track record is that? Please don’t give me a rundown on his UN humanitarian ‘achievements’ …the UN might be seen as something special to the average Kiwi, but for most people in this world they are seen as the dodgy world police who perpetuate neo-colonialism and suffering.

          Labour needs to decide what it wants to be, this neoliberal, nonsensical, thirdway drivel is a bit worn out…and Cunliffe on the side, trying to seduce the disenfranchised is a bit condescending, don’t you think?

          • Carol 4.2.1.2.1

            Labour needs to decide what it wants to be, this neoliberal, nonsensical, thirdway drivel is a bit worn out…and Cunliffe on the side, trying to seduce the disenfranchised is a bit condescending, don’t you think?

            Yes, I agree Labour should be taking a strong left wing position and ditching the centre-right compromises with monetarism etc I’m glad Cunliffe’s putting his speeches out there for discussion.

            I’m not sure how things lie between Cunliffe and Shearer right now. Didn’t he get some flack in caucus for his first speech? I’m not sure whether his speeches are OK with Shearer or if Cunliffe is testing the water to see how far he can go in his own direction?

            • Georgecom 4.2.1.2.1.1

              I think we are seeing signs of a repudiation of at least some of the third way economics by Labour if you class the third way as neo-liberal economics tied to a mildly progressive social policy. The unfettered nature of financial capital and markets is being questioned, by Cunliffe at least.

              Any change of that magnitude won’t happen quickly in a political party unless the agenda is hijacked as it was with the neo-liberals in 1984. In that instance there was an upswell of neo-liberal alchemists all clamouring for change after years of a Muldoon dam holding back the flow. We don’t have the clamour yet as the mice are still running the cheese factory (into the ground). Popular support for the type of change Cunliffe is espousing is around but it isn’t yet, it seems to me, the dominant narrative.

              It is really good to see talk about an FST starting alongside a capital gains tax. Those conversations need to continue and shape policy. Where Shearer exactly stands is important but it doesn’t stop other forces within the Labour party shaping policy. A successful left party is big enough to allow other persons to shape policy other than the leader.

              One big fly in this ointment is time. Does the Labour Party have enough time to shape its policy and get the public on board before the economic-social-enviro crap really hits the fan. I think we are still not at the point of it really hitting, how far away though I won’t say.

              When it does we need thinking of the left to be far enough along to have a saleable narrative that the nation can see and embrace with some hope. Thats Labour but also the Greens, Mana and whatever other parties can paddle the waka of creating something better. We pull down the rotten national-ACT-neo-liberal edifice but need a compelling alternative to put up in its place.

              That doesn’t mean I necessarily think where Cunliffe is positioning himself is actually the full answer or goes far enough to create the proper society we will need. But, his thinking is headed in the right direction that will hopefully allow some logical progression to the economic-social-enviro framework we will need.

              So I am glad that Cunliffe is raising some of the progressive things we need for NZ. Whether he is leader or not is not such a concern for me as his ability to get some meaningful progressive policy set up by Labour.

              • Ad

                To me that policy contest looks pretty finely balanced within Caucus. Very interesting that Cosgrove this week seemed to support all the measures in the Trans Pacific Partnership. I honestly think that the political economy of Parker and Cunliffe is actually pretty similar. I think there definitely is time to solidify policy, but it really is a task that needs doing.

                The interesting task will be reconciling an economic direction between Labour and the Greens, and I would be strongly in favour of that happening before the next campaign, not during a coalition negotiation. Hopefully that’s in 2014. Not 2017.

    • Dr Terry 4.3

      Fatty, do you actually know some intelligent people? May I respectfully suggest that you change your pseudonym to “Fat Headed”?

      • fatty 4.3.1

        “Fatty, do you actually know some intelligent people?”

        Um…I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

        “May I respectfully suggest that you change your pseudonym to “Fat Headed”?”

        You can call me whatever you like…
        You put up some good posts here Dr Terry…so I ask you, are you not insulted by they way Labour is portraying itself at the moment? Do you not see Cunliffe as a tease for us who want real change? I fail to see the point of these Cunliffe speeches when Shearer is in charge and leading down another path. If we don’t critique Labour then we can expect more of the same.
        Shearer is trying to seduce the centre and Cunliffe is flirting with those to the left. This is hardly a hint of change, it appears to be just tokenism…I don’t buy it…do you?
        We have had neo-liberal/third-way/big society politics since 1999, and its time we started getting angry over this failure. We should call Cunliffe’s bluff…does he really believe this, or as Tom says below…is he just a pawn of Shearer?

        • ad 4.3.1.1

          If you want to call his bluff on anything, go and do it. He’s usually in his electorate on Friday’s. Check his reality out.

          But just to flag there will be another speech coming up on June 23rd. And it’s straight into Green Party territory: “The Dolphin and the Dole Queue”

          Don’t put the acid on Cunliffe unless you want a straight answer back, because you will get one.

      • Pink postman 4.3.2

        I would suggest “Thick Head” DR.T. I would assume that Fatty has no idea what makes a good leader. For a start he/she must have the caucus’s full support ,which Shearer has . They must be the main voice on policy which Shearer does . I think Shearer will prove to, be an excellent leader in the same mould as Bill Rowling ,which is rather interesting because the political right used exactly the same methods to attack Rowling as they are now with Shearer ( sow seeds of doubt ) this time they will not succeed so expect plan B the personal attacks simular to Muldoons filthy personal attacks on Bill Rowling and Helen Clark. Be ready fellow Lefties
        the second year of the election term is approaching and the personal attack on Labour will be full on. It would also be interesting to know
        what position Thick head Fatty holds in the National party or ACT.

        • fatty 4.3.2.1

          “I would assume that Fatty has no idea what makes a good leader”

          One that is different from the opposition

        • ad 4.3.2.2

          You know it’s odd but Shearer is growing on me slowly. A slow growth, but it could be contagious.

          Mind you, I see Cunliffe finally crept into the Preferred Prime Minister poll from TV3 this week.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    Clever of Shearer to give Cunliffe the job of running up the flag on this stuff. See who salutes it. See who spits on it. Very clever indeed.

    • ad 5.1

      Can you really detect that degree of sophistication or cynicism from this lot? I can’t.

      I think Labour broadly speaking are just happy to watch each successive tree in National’s forest fall.

    • LOL. Labour has never been at risk of running too far to the left. This is perfectly centrist stuff, as always, and more sensible than sensational.

  6. bbfloyd 6

    tom.. that presupposes an approach the nats would take….. do you know just what shearers motivations are for a fact? Or is this just another reactionary assumption based on a narrow world view?

  7. insider 7

    So what was new and concrete in there? He seemed mainly have a rather rosy view of the US response to the depression and to rehash the policies that were rejected at the last election, and he said there needed to be more regulation of the finance sector -couldn’t bring himself to say exactly what that regulation might be and what it might achieve, but he seems pretty sure we need more of it. He’s also very keen on the conservation corps and planting lots and lots of trees.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Planting lots of trees is needed as we need riparian planting and fencing on every water way in NZ. Especially the ones going through farms so that we can start on the necessary clean up of the pollution caused by excess farming.

      He’s also talking about building up infrastructure and boosting R&D. All sensible policies and my only gripe is that he’s talking about growth as if it’s sustainable when it’s not.

      There was a hell of a lot in the speech and yet you seem to have focussed down on one aspect of it. I have noticed that you do this quite often when critiquing anything. Is that because you’re incapable of having more than one thought at a time?

      • insider 7.1.1

        Nice that you pay so much attention. I’m flattered.

        I focused on the one concrete idea he seemed to be offering. and that’s the point: everything you mentioned was general wish list or existing labour policy. That doesn’t make a great speech in my book, even if he called key a rich prick and called unnamed people cronies.

        Where’s the detail about what infrastructure he wants to invest in,? How much is he wanting to spend on r&d? How’s he going to fund it? Not even a hint on them or when that detail wll be forthcoming.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          Nice that you pay so much attention.

          Actually, I pay very little attention but repeat behaviour even gets through to me eventually.

          Where’s the detail about what infrastructure he wants to invest in,?

          It was a speech setting vision and direction you moron, not a detailed economic blueprint.

          • insider 7.1.1.1.1

            I don’t consider it paticularly visionary or brave or great speechifying to restate policy they went into the last election with (much of it also national’s btw). he couldn’t even bring himself to say they would do more state houses -something youd think was core labour policy – even though he says that was a key depression fighting policy. But he did commit to more trees.

            • ad 7.1.1.1.1.1

              You have admirably high standards for a visionary speech.

              Pull out any of the best from Lange, Bolger or even TW Roosevelt. Compare. He’s not reaching for oratory, sure. But he’s saying he’s ready to organise the New Zealand economy and stating how to do it.

              That’s reasonably fresh compared to say any speech from any New Zealand politiciain in the last five years I will warrant you.

        • tracey 7.1.1.2

          yu must hate reading or lgistening to nation if you r looking for actual plans

        • tracey 7.1.1.3

          you must hate reading or listening to national if you ar looking for actual plans

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      He seemed mainly have a rather rosy view of the US response to the depression

      Rosier than bleeding out an accident victim at least, which is what austerity and forcing more debt on to sovereigns are doing for Europe.

      • KJT 7.2.1

        Well. The new deal worked, as did our response at the time.

        I am still waiting for someone to provide an example of austerity working?

        • Murray Olsen 7.2.1.1

          Austerity works at what it’s designed to do – move a greater proportion of wealth to the already rich.

    • ad 7.3

      Naturally he can’t announce new policy, 2.5 years out from an election. That wasn’t its purpose nor the place for it. The job was to show that he and Labour are ready to reorganise the economy, they know how bad it is and what has worked in the past, and open the door on 2014 they have a framework to do it.

      As for describing the Depression, the point was to show the severity of it in the US like so …:

      “By 1933, 11,000 of the United States’ 25,000 banks had failed. That’s nearly half.

      People had no money, so they couldn’t buy manufactured goods. Because people stopped buying manufactured goods, factories closed down. Because factories closed down, workers got fired. Because workers got fired, they couldn’t buy manufactured goods.

      And so it went on, and on, and on, until, by 1933, nearly 13 million Americans were unemployed. That was a quarter of the total workforce.”

      …and then show New Zealand’s similarly strong New Deal response had actually altered our economic destiny here, for decades.

      Since it was 40 minutes long, there wasn’t room to go into more detail. It packed enough in by itself don’t you agree?

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Bright new fad theories expounded by academics wanting their PhDs and their publications.

  8. jack 9

    I agree with Cunliffe about regulating banks. Reagan destroyed the US, probably one of the worst presidents, by deragulating banks and then banks taking the risks with investors money and giving themselves billion dollar bonuses. First started off with savings and loans in the 80’s and then derivative trader (Wasn’t Key the head of derivatives in Europe for Merril Lynch? Yes) in the 90’s and finally collapsed in 2007. Of all people running the country at the worse time….. a derivatives trader.. Kiwi’s need to wake up and fast.

  9. Dan 10

    Great stuff. Get that idealism and pragmatic solutions out to the voting and (last election) non-voting public.

  10. KhandallahMan 11

    I have it on good authority that Trevor Mallard actually wrote this speech but is too shy to give it in public himself.   Trevor is a bit worried that his “bloke” image would be ruined if it got out that he has read a history book. Cunliffe should fess up and give Mallard the credit. 

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    David is over-egging the amount of infrastructure that was built in the 30s and 40s’
    It was the 50s and 60s that the most of the North Island hydro and electricity infrastructure was built. Same for Aucklands water supply.

  12. tracey 13

    The problm with pref pm polls is you dont get to choose yours but one from the pollsters list

  13. Richard McGrath 14

    Cunliffe trots out the same tired myths about the Great Depression. Roosevelt was elected on promises of reversing the high taxes and massive spending policies of Hoover (who, for some reason, Cunliffe et al regard as “non-interventionist”). Roosevelt then broke all his promises and upped the level of government regulation and control over the American people, with predictable results.

    A very telling quote came from Roosevelt’s Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau in 1939, after eight years of socialist policies:

    “[W]e have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. …I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!”

    A good example of a relatively laissez-faire U.S. President was Warren Harding, who cut taxes and government spending in the face of a depression in 1920 greater than that of 1929, allowing the economy to recover in less than a year.

    The problem with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money.

  14. Max Moss 15

    This was an outstanding speech by David Cunliffe.  He covered all the issues and articulated clear proposals for a saner, more prosperous, more equal society.  This Saturday (June 23, 1 pm,) he takes on the Greens at the Titirangi War Memorial Hall.  I’ve wondered if Labour is “green” enough for my tastes.  I’ll be there to hear Cunliffe.  Saturday’s speech is “The Dolphin and the Dole Que, What would Labour do on the Economy and the Environment?”

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    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • Manufacturing Terrorism
    Domestic Terror: Police constables and detectives outside the Wellington Trades Hall, 27 March 1984. After 33 years of vilification directed at trade unionists, at least one of their enemies finally made the leap from words to deeds, and an innocent caretaker,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-10
  • NZ hikes terrorism threat to “low”, ignores US military warning of “...
    So, the threat of a terrorist attack on New Zealand is upon us has risen from “very low” to “low” — second to lowest in a ranking that has six levels. Cabinet is now urgently reviewing our security laws to...
    Hot Topic | 19-10
  • Improving AT’s Patronage Reports
    This week we should learn about the patronage results for September and with this post I want to explore whether Auckland Transport are delivering the results to the public in the best way that they can. Currently we get patronage results a...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume
    Press Release – AFTINET Mps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in CanberraMps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in Canberra When: 11 AM Monday, October 20Where: Parliament...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Press Release – iPredict Andrew Littles probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • Secrets, Lies and Revelations
    There is a lot this National Government doesn't want us to know. They have made it clear that we shouldn't measure child poverty, that we don't need independent environmental reporting and any official information requests are delayed indefinitely, especially if...
    Local Bodies | 19-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #42
    SkS Highlights Another "lightening rod" article by Dana, Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert, drew the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. If you have not already done so, be...
    Skeptical Science | 19-10
  • Putting people at the centre of policy
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Leftist politics puts people at the centre of...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – Episode 67
    For the rest of Alpaca Metropolitan, check out the tumblr comic....
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Meaningful compassion
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) My mum sometimes tells the story of when...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • If you didn’t vote, please complain!
    This image from youth voter turnout group RockEnrol (who did some great work), while humourous, is an excellent example of the problem. There’s a particular refrain commonly heard around election time – both in the buildup, as an exhortation towards...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • We have lift-off!
    Welcome to On The Left! We’re happy to be here. OTL was born when a couple of lefty comms people got together for coffee and decided that the NZ blogosphere was lacking an accessible, well-written, interesting and above all fun group...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • DEALING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS
    How can foreign investors in New Zealand be sure that we will treat them fairly? If they are not sure perhaps they will not invest here, even though their investment may be valuable to us. (I do not believe all...
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Cunliffe and Labour
    I didn't cover the election, long story short; the country is still being run by a banker and someone who was in charge of the National Party got its lowest percentage in recent history. Although if Cunliffe gets finance we...
    Topical | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • AT’s Get on Board with Jerome Campaign
    Auckland Transport recently launched a new campaign featuring Jerome Kaino encouraging people to use PT and HOP. It seems to be primarily an online campaign focused on the videos below however I’ve also seen a few ads on the backs of buses...
    Transport Blog | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42B
    As deaths mount in Nepal disasters, questions about climate change raised Churches go Green by shedding fossil fuel holdings Climate change: it’s only human to exaggerate, but science itself does not Cutting global warming pollution just business as usual at some...
    Skeptical Science | 18-10
  • Dunno what to say about this, really
    Donald Trump and Russell Brand are having a spat on twitter.  It puts me in mind of Oscar Wilde's quip about fox hunting - "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable."  Though in this case, more a matter of the...
    Left hand palm | 18-10
  • We must join the fight against Islamic State
    We are being confronted with an evil of a kind we have not seen before. An evil we can barely even name. Islamic State? ISIS? IS? ISIL? What the hell do we even call these people?...
    Imperator Fish | 18-10
  • The Splits: Epsom / Ohariu Split Vote
    Epsom voteAct 2011 Party-Vote 3% (939 votes),   Candidate-Vote 44% (15,835)       2014 Party-Vote 3% (1,023),         Candidate-Vote 43% (15,966)Nat 2011 Party-Vote 65% (23,725),     Candidate-Vote 38% (13,574)       2014 Party-Vote 64% (23,904),      Candidate-Vote 32% (11,716)Lab 2011 Party-Vote 16% (5,716),      ...
    Sub zero politics | 17-10
  • Blinding Flash of the Obvious re composing encrypted emails – Avoid auto-...
    I recently reviewed Edward Snowden’s instructions for setting up and using PGP/encrypted email available on Vimeo: GPG for Journalists – Windows edition | Encryption for Journalists | Anonymous 2013. It’s a good tutorial. One of the points it makes about...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • An Auckland Urban Redevelopment Agency?
    Details are starting to emerge from the Council’s review of its Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to see if any changes need to be made to them. The CCOs were set up in 2010 by the government as part of the super city...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • What A Real Labour Party Member Sounds Like.
     HARRY SMITH, 92 years old, describes the world in which he was raised. A world of poverty in which the ravages of ill health simply could not be resisted by ordinary working-class families. Harry lost his sister to tuberculosis and...
    Bowalley Road | 17-10
  • Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come
    This article was originally published on The Conversation [UK] on Sep 26, 2014. Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean....
    Skeptical Science | 17-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #45: What if Renters….
    #45: What if Renters had the choice to have Rights and Responsibilities like Commercial Tenants? Home ownership is of course a daily debate in this city of Auckland. In the absence of anything else, the New Zealand Herald will always...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Enjoying the unexpected – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa is looking forward to bringing her wide-ranging experience, including in education and public healthcare, to her new role as an MP. That’s coupled with her determination to achieve better outcomes for the people of Manukau East....
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Walking in the footsteps of the greats
    Introducing Peeni Henare Peeni Henare, new MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, grew up surrounded by inspirational leaders. From his grandfather, soldier and kōhanga reo pioneer Sir James Henare, to David Lange, who was “like a quirky uncle who popped by every...
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Treasury cherry-picks its data
    Yesterday we learned that Treasury didn't like food-in-schools. And now we know why: because they cherry-picked their data to support their preferred conclusion of leaving the poor to starve:A report behind Treasury advice that said school breakfast programmes did not...
    No Right Turn | 17-10
  • Read Nicky Hager’s search warrant
    How we want it to be: How it sometimes is (click to read documents): Documents from New Zealand cops raided home of reporter working on Snowden documents by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher (The Intercept). Worth reading to see how...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • TPPA would criminalise journalism
    Wikileaks leaked the latest version of the TPPA intellectual property chapter last night. There's some nasty surprises from the US, including its efforts to revive the defunct Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement by the backdoor and its efforts to ensure poor countries...
    No Right Turn | 17-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – shifting focus: towards building an effective ...
    It has now been three weeks since the election, and we on the left are still in the phase of trying to figure out what went wrong.  That can be a useful exercise depending on how it’s done, especially if...
    The Daily Blog | 11-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Support from Production, Recreation and Environment.
    When it comes to water quality not many organisations can claim to have the support of major bodies representing production, recreation and the environment, yet this is exactly what NZ Landcare Trust has achieved. The Trust's upcoming 'Communities...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Law Society supports Malaysian Bar Peace and Freedom Walk
    The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its support for a planned Walk for Peace and Freedom by Malaysian lawyers protesting against continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Malaysian government....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Bunnies Offered Protection With New Technology
    SAFE is announcing the spring launch of its “bunny protector” – a new mobile phone app that will help shoppers on the go avoid animal-tested cosmetics products. Suitable for both iPhone and android, the ‘SAFEshopper Cruelty-free NZ’ app will...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Maori Wellbeing – Defying the Oxymoron
    When Mother Teresa was asked how do you achieve world peace, she said, go home and love your family....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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