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Democracy is not the problem

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, November 23rd, 2012 - 47 comments
Categories: democratic participation, labour - Tags:

During the Labour conference, Armstrong patronisingly wrote “delegates were so blinded and so intoxicated by the prospect of securing a say in the election of future leaders that they did not think through the consequences”. Old Tories hate democracy. But it’s disappointing that Garner made the same mistakes. Democracy doesn’t weaken, it strengthens – ask the Greens.

Every year, every single year, the Greens co-leaders face a vote on their leadership from party delegates. It doesn’t require a caucus trigger, it doesn’t just happen once every three years. And it isn’t destabilising. In fact, it’s stabilising because any leadership challenger has one legitimate time a year to make that challenge. No stab in the back coups in the Greens. Actually, no coups at all. The Greens’ leaders have been putting their leadership on the line year after year for 22 years without a leadership spill.

In fact, that’s how any society you might be part of works. You go along to the AGM and the office-holders are voted on. Occasionally, there’s a challenge and its resolved one way or the other. If the chairmanship of the Waikikimaukau Golfers Association can be decided thusly, why can’t the leadership of the organisations at the heart of our democracy?

As for the claim that a newly elected Prime Minister could be spilled – please, get real. A leader who leads you to victory is like a minor deity. Are all those newly-minted ministers and first time MPs who have their jobs mainly thanks to the success of one person going to turn around and sack that person? In reality, the vote would be another chance for the new PM to bask in success as the caucus and party cheer them.

Launching a coup is a very, very serious thing that MPs don’t do lightly. If you can’t get a definite 40% in caucus against Labour’s weakest leader since Palmer (and at least Palmer was authoritative on constitutional stuff), how are you going to get 40% against a newly victorious PM? Can you name me a time, ever, when the caucus, let alone the party, of a newly elected PM would have voted them out within 3 months of winning? … except Bolger?

The problem with Labour’s reforms isn’t that they are too democratic, it’s that they’re not democratic enough. They’ve gone with a model where caucus is a gatekeeper and then over-powered in the actual vote. This will be used by the old guard to shield Shearer and themselves from the views of their own party. The Green co-leaders have no such protection, and it means they can never turn their backs on their members.

If Shearer has turned over a new leaf and is now strong and dynamic, then he will give the party the opportunity to vote on his leadership in February. But I bet the anti-democratic old guard won’t let him. And isn’t that more destabilising in the long-run?

47 comments on “Democracy is not the problem”

  1. MikeD 1

    “Caucus must control its own destiny.”

    What a bunch of authoritarian crap. No wonder the gallery could only view the outpouring of democracy on Saturday through the usual frame of the caucus leadership spill. Party democracy is entirely foreign to them.

  2. Craig Glen Eden 2

    So true James the labour members should get a vote every year in my view. This February we should just have a vote Members caucus unions all have a vote for who we want as leader. The events of the last few days show exactly why its needed, who ever wins gets my support until the membership vote at the next conference.

  3. mike 3

    You’ll note that the author has pointed out that ‘Greens co-leaders face a vote on their leadership from party delegates.” That’s right, delegates. You’re saying ‘we should just…all have a vote for who we want as leader’. A sort of talkback forum which drives people into warring factions and inevitably makes for sore losers who needle constantly. Yeah just what we need.

    • weka 3.1

      I was under the impression that when people talk about the members having a vote, they’re talking about delegates, not the whole membership having a vote each.

      • Craig Glen Eden 3.1.1

        Why should it be just delegates. If its good enough for every Joe citizen to have a vote on who the Government should be or who the Mayor should be why shouldn’t every member have a say? Oh hang on dont tell me, the delegates know more than the party members, surely not.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Actually I think it might be all the members in the new Labour system – ts commenters were talking about a postal vote the other day. Maybe someone could clarify.

          In the Greens it’s delegates that vote. I’d rather not have the party leader decided by a popularity contest, which I think is what happens with ‘everyone’ having a vote (it’s how we choose govts and look how that works). I’m sure this is mitigated by the fact that people bothering to vote in a political party leadership vote will most likely be well informed of the issues and people involved. Maybe.

          Using regional delegates means that members need to get involved in their region, and take part in the decision making processes there. It makes it more robust IMO. But then teh Greens highly value democracy and so we don’t see the same degree of skuldugery that you get in Labour.

          • Craig Glen Eden 3.1.1.1.1

            Do you want democracy or not if you are arguing that Democracy is floored fine but you cant argue that delegates should vote and that some how thats a better form of democracy than one person one vote with out giving a logical reason. If we want to be an engaging social democratic Party we need to make sure every one has a say not just the special people with special powers.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2

            In the Greens it’s delegates that vote. I’d rather not have the party leader decided by a popularity contest, which I think is what happens with ‘everyone’ having a vote (it’s how we choose govts and look how that works)

            Hang on a sec.

            The way I understand it, the Green party delegates MUST vote as their electorate membership tells them, and must declare the vote they cast to that membership so that they are accountable.

            That means you don’t get this bullshit which happened with Labour in Dec – members clearly telling their MPs to vote one way or another, and the MPs just going off on their merry way doing whatever they like, never having to explain to their membership what they actually did do.

            Secondly, people who become members of a political party are people who are interested enough in NZ democracy to get involved with how it works, and to participate at a level that 95% of people do not bother with these days. So members should have a real say, unless of course the party leans towards a more authoritarian perspective where only a selected elite within the party numbering less than 100 essentially have all the say.

            Now you might like that better, but consider how well its worked for Labour so far.

        • toad 3.1.1.2

          The Green electorate organisations select their delegates at electorate meetings which every member in the electorate is entitled to attend and vote a few weeks before the Conference. Delegates are not usually free to vote according to their personal preference. Most electorates bind their delegates to vote for a particular candidate when the leadership is contested (subject to something extraordinary happening, like their preferred candidate withdrawing or making an absolute arse of himself or herself between the electorate meeting and the Conference).

          • alex 3.1.1.2.1

            And a good system it is too. Members are enfranchised and have a real say, but its also efficient and manageable on the Conference floor.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.2

      A sort of talkback forum which drives people into warring factions and inevitably makes for sore losers who needle constantly.

      Quoted for Iron.

  4. ad 4

    Shearer is 2 votes away from the magic block of 22. And he will get it within 2 weeks. There will be no vote in February for the members.

    “If Shearer has turned over a new leaf and is now strong and dynamic, then he will give the party the opportunity to vote on his leadership in February.”

    There is no locial progression in this sentence. They are not related clauses. Shearer has been rewarded for being “strong and dynamic” by unnecessarily ruining the career of one of his best MPs. The accumulation and exercise of power is far more attractive and rewarding than the instability of democracy.

    • Tom Gould 4.1

      It was more of a ‘career hari kari’ than a ‘ruining’ and 100 per cent of the Caucus seems to agree.

    • Slartibartfast 4.2

      ” The accumulation and exercise of power is far more attractive and rewarding than the instability of democracy.”

      And yet this is exactly what he accused Cunliffe of!

      “Mr Shearer was asked what Mr Cunliffe had done specifically. He responded that Mr Cunliffe had attempted to promote his own interests above those of the party. ” – Press statement.

      Classic tactics.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Shearer is 2 votes away from the magic block of 22. And he will get it within 2 weeks. There will be no vote in February for the members.

      That’s an awesome crystal ball you have there.

      I’m glad none of the MPs at the caucus meeting were upset with how this whole affair has been stage (mis)managed. And that none of the MPs had any concerns with being expected to simple be “Yes Men” and “Yes Women” under Shearer’s leadership. And that none of the MPs were miffed at being required to swear fealty and reveal their “secret” (LOL) caucus vote 3 months ahead of time or be considered “traitors”.

      Because if any of those things had happened, well, MPs might have more questions over Shearer’s leadership style, not less.

      • the sprout 4.3.1

        Exactly. Shearer’s mammoth stuff up in his handing of Cunliffe, which saw him go from hero to zero in less than 24hrs, will be giving most of the caucus even more doubts about Shearer.

        • David H 4.3.1.1

          Speech ? What leaders speech, was help over the weekend? And I’ll bet most people can’t remember what he said. and the 2012 conference will now be known for Shearer’s folly, and demise?

  5. Tom Gould 5

    “Ask the Greens”? Why ask a fringe minority single issue party how to govern a country? They have had MPs in Parliament for 16 years now and have nothing to show for it, unless you count the number of ‘meetings’ they have held to talk about what someone else should do, or the number of press releases also talking about what someone else should do?

    • weka 5.1

      :roll:
      “Ask the Greens”? Why ask the third biggest, and now mainstream, political party in NZ on how to govern a country? They’ve had MPs in Parliament for 16 years now and have developed policy around many important issues, not just environmental ones. They have achieved many things, not least of which is keeping environmental issues on the table and in the public view. They’ve also influenced environmental and social policy within other parties and thus government. This year they’ve been core in the movement to assets in public ownership.
      http://www.greens.org.nz/policy
       

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      Surely the presence of Green MPs has reduced the other parties’ share of the seats that they might have otherwise won, so the Green MPs have directly influenced the government?

      What if National in the last election and this election didn’t need a coalition? What if Labour didn’t need to string along Dunne / Peters because they had larger numbers themselves?

      Incredibly naive and blinkered view you take, Tom.

    • Tracey 5.3

      Have you just woken up Mr Van Winkle? What an absurd summary of Greens impact on politics and society.

    • alex 5.4

      Well they managed to push a National government into acting on home insulation, especially in low income houses. Yes, thats right, thanks to pressure from the Greens a National government did something for poor people. That is a pretty fantastic achievement I would say.

    • Dr Terry 5.5

      TG. How “green” you are!

  6. Just more of the rightwing establishment leaping to the defence of Shearer.
    No suprises there mate.

  7. David H 7

    Just a thought here.

    Everyone here has seen Shearer in a press conference. But has anyone noticed the jolly looking rotund man with a bland smile on his face???? No, it’s not DPF. It’s Grant Robertson mentally killing him self laughing, and waiting (in vain) to fill Shearers shoes. But Robertson who I saw described by one journalist as a “Dullard” has I feel all the appeal of an un`lanced boil on the rear.

  8. Bill 8

    Because I don’t want to cross post, I’ll link to this argument on what I’ll just state here – healthy democracy cannot ever exist in an environment that is fundamentally anti-democratic.

    Damn. I think weka might be right about linking two pages over on a thread. Anyway, I was trying to link to comment 23.1 on the ‘A Good Time to Join Labour’ post

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Old Tories hate democracy.

    Actually, traditional Tory voters very much like democracy. Tht’s why they always vote. The neoliberals and crony capitalists however are another question – they love cartel behaviour.

  10. Tracey 10

    I was concerned at how disinterested our leader appeared at meeting one of the most inspiring supporters of democracy in the last century. I thought his animation while talking to business people spoke volumes compared to his apparent boredom at meeting aung san suu kyi. Never too tired to be excited about money.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Anyone for evidence?

    Let’s do what Duncan Garner apparently can’t. Look beyond these shores, to what really happens, instead of making stuff up.

    All around the world, political parties in dozens of democracies have to address this basic issue. And all around the world, parties have developed a variety of internal systems which don’t leave everything in the hands of a few MPs. And yet, they still manage to run governments.

    Except Australia. Is that a model to follow? A faction-ridden ALP and Tony Abbott. Hmmm.

    I suppose the rest of the World is Foreign and Doesn’t Count. They don’t understand politics like we do. David Cameron and Ed Milliband should bow down to the Political Editor of TV3 … he understands their jobs so much better.

    Duncan must be getting ready for his new job as talkback host. Bugger the facts, just rant.

  12. John Chapman 12

    In response to Mike. The Greens have branch debates before their annual AGM and usually mandate the delegate to vote for the branch choice. There is also a voting option of ‘Non of the above’. Its a matter for the membership not the caucus or delegates who makes up the Co-leadership.

    • weka 12.1

      Do Labour delegates get to vote for what they want rather than their constituency?

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        usually the delegates will be instructed on how to vote by their LEC or branch. Certain votes delegates will be given discretion on…”get to Conference, talk to the people involved, vote the way you think best”.

      • Te Reo Putake 12.1.2

        I went representing the views of my LEC and I voted accordingly. I trust all the other delegates did the same.

  13. Why 13

    I thought democracy was based on 1 person equals 1 vote. Why should a democratic party be different than the democratic government it hopes to rule?

    If the Leader cannot convince the members that they are up for the job, then they are not.

  14. Ron 14

    I dislike the delegates voting and watching how the Greens managed to elect the current incumbents would much prefer all members having a say in the election of a leader.
    In addition I think that party list is very important and should be open to all members to vote on.
    That would do more with one stroke to being democracy into NZ Politics than anything else I can think of.

    • George D 14.1

      In the Greens the electoral list is party member ranked, rather than delegate ranked. Though the list is then adjusted (in a fairly transparent fashion) to ensure that gender equity is maintained (50%), and that no region, age group, or other demographic is overly represented. This occasionally means bumping someone up or down one. There’s healthy internal debate about this process, and no question that if the membership wanted it differently, they’d vote on it at the next AGM and make it happen differently.

  15. Jenny 15

    The Greens’ leaders have been putting their leadership on the line year after year for 22 years without a leadership spill.

    JAMES HENDERSON

    Maybe it’s time they started.

    With a current leadership that seems set on continuing the policy of Climate Change Ignoring that they pursued in the last elections. The Green Party deliberately traded principal for electoral advantage.

    Will they do so again?

  16. Here’s the thing.
    Ken Livingstone first came to power because London Labour did a similar thing. A change in rules saw him roll somebody who spearheaded the campaign, who was palatable to the electorate. This happened within days of Labour taking charge of Brent council, a similar event occurred in the same decade in Liverpool.
    Whilst I applaud the new found enthusiasm amongst Labour grass root activism I fully expect Labour to do the same thing.
    If Labour ever win another election it will be with a non offensive leader and then the nutters on the fringes will roll him in short order and place somebody with no chance of actually fronting and winning a campaign into the captains seat.
    A recruitment drive for membership is pointless unless more than half the membership have a grasp on reality and then you will only get 40% of the vote.
    Competence and popularity become secondary to dirty deals and scheming. Something the Caucus and union bosses have masters degrees in.
    You would be better off all joining the greens and trying to bring the commies and hippies in that party to heel.

    • Polish Pride 16.1

      “You would be better off all joining the greens and trying to bring the commies and hippies in that party to heel.”

      Especially those hippies eh. I mean seriously, imagine wanting to live in a world without War….
      They must really be a bunch of raving loons!

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    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
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    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
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    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    12 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    17 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    19 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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