web analytics

Democracy under attack in Hawke’s Bay, Nats’ vote at risk

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, November 27th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: local government - Tags:

I heard Duncan Garner on the radio the other day mocking Napierites’ opposition to being forced into a Hawke’s Bay-wide super-council. ‘Why should there be 2 mayors within 21km of each other?’ he asked. Nah. The question is: ‘why not?’ If they want to keep own having their own council, that they pay for, why should someone else get to take it away? It didn’t used to be possible. National made it possible.

See, it used to be that, if councils or the Local Government Commission (a branch of central government) got it into their heads that councils should amalgamate, then the people of each council in question got to vote and if they were opposed, their council wouldn’t be amalgamated.

In 1999, there was a vote on amalgamating Napier and Hastings Councils – Napierites voted against it, so it didn’t happen. A year later, the people of Christchurch voted against amalgamating with Banks Peninsula.

They didn’t want amalgamation. If they wanted to keep having their own council, that they paid for, then fair enough.

Until National came along and changed the law so that there isn’t an automatic referendum on mergers and communities can be forced into amalgamation with their neighbours even if they vote against it.

Delocalising local government is a big part of National’s agenda. Why? Because local governments that are actually local tend to represent local interests and that may mean that a business doesn’t get its resource consent to pollute the local river, or mine a special local place. But make those councils bigger, less local, and two things happen. First, it becomes much more expensive to run for mayor or councilor, meaning you need business donations. Second, the communities you have to represent to win become much more varied, tending towards ‘moderate’ (ie business-friendly) councils.

(You can also see this delocalising agenda in the EPA ans its ‘project of national significance’ process)

Hawke’s Bay is a great example. Urbanites tend to oppose it (they dominate in Napier whereas Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay Councils are dominated by farming interests), as do many down-stream farmers in Napier Council area. Currently, those opponents have a voice. A single council for the whole of Hawke’s Bay will be dominated by the rural interests.

The usual bullshit, unevidenced arguments about having ‘one voice’ and ‘stronger growth’ with a single super-council. The truth is, it’s about weakening local democracy in favour of dominate business interests. In Hawke’s Bay, that’s farming interests.

But it’s not just Napierites who oppose amalgamation. All the region’s mayors, except Hastings’ Lawrence Yule, are opposed.

Now, Garner says ‘look at the Auckland Supercity, nobody would want to go back to what we had before’. Hmm, ask the people of Papakura, Franklin, and Rodney about that. They used to have their own councils, representing their own interests. The new council just sees them as hinterland for the city to sprawl into… when it remembers them at all.

Labour’s Stuart Nash is already running a strong campaign against amalgamation in Napier. The vote is going to happen late next year, right on top of the general election. National could find itself losing not just the Napier electorate seat but a lot of crucial party votes throughout the region if it insists on forcing the councils to merge even if it isn’t supported by the people of each council.

Will National really be so stupid to gift all those votes to Labour?

I reckon they might.

42 comments on “Democracy under attack in Hawke’s Bay, Nats’ vote at risk”

  1. Molly 1

    Agree with your take on the political reasons.

    Joel Cayford, a planning lecturer/consultant in Auckland recently posted on the financial costs of amalgamation, – including a reference to a University of Auckland study in 2003. Worth the read.

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks for the link, Molly.

      This:

      I quietly cheered when David Wilson argued that there was little being done by Auckland Council about social development, and a lot for economic development – this was in the context of comments about ATEED.

      And the economic development has not done anything much for those on low incomes.

      We increasingly have an Auckland with the well off in the central areas, with easiest access to a lot of the cultural and social facilities. meanwhile the less well off are increasingly relegated to the margins of the city, with all the extra costs and hassles of an inadequate (public) transport system.

      With some exceptions re the development of hubs in places like New Lynn, Mangere, etc, the supershitty has result in increasing centralisation, and accompanying diminished of local consultation and democracy.

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    Driving around the bay last week it was heartening to see all the Nash/no to amalgamation hoardings up. In effect, the Nats have given Labour an extra nine months of campaigning and a solid issue to campaign on. No wonder Tremain jumped; better a retirement with some dignity than being turfed out.

    • alwyn 2.1

      No, No. You must not say that Nash is campaigning with his signs.
      There was a story in the Dom/Post yesterday which included the fact that there were complaints about the signs because he did not have a resource consent.
      Nash said, in the story, that he denied he was electioneering and believed the complaints were politically motivated. The latter part is very likely true. If you believe the bit that he was not electioneering I have a bridge that I can sell you.
      Still we must believe him of course and you must not suggest the alternative. That would be to imply the Nash was a liar, wouldn’t it?

  3. Phil 3

    Don’t forget about the recent rejection by the locals of amalgamation in the Nelson /Tasman district. In spite of Nick Smith’s support and a right wing business mayor, Demecio.

    • JK 3.1

      Phil – can you give me some links please to info about the rejection by locals in Nelson/Tasman of amalgamation : we need that sort of info up here in the north, where we also are facing forced amalgamation of a huge geographic district of four councils.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Even that half wit over in Hastings Lawrence Yule has declared himself “dismayed” at the proposal for just ten members for the new council. He wanted at least 16-18. What a dupe he is.

    Only a bunch of centralised bureaucrats (and ignorant morons like Garner with their usual contempt of history) would dream of amalgamating Napier and Hastings. the two cities have a mutual antipathy that stretches way back past the resentment Hasting felt when the Labour goverrnment paid off the crippling earthquake related debts of (the Labour seat) Napier, while leaving the National seat of Hastings to pay it’s debts to Napiers belief Hasting deliberately stabbed them in the back when Napier hospital was closed. The two cities have distinct cultures. As a member of long standing Napier family I can vouch that a proposal for a forced amalgamation will be fought tooth and nail all the way. The current mayor of Napier, Bill Dalton, was an obscure light blue stockbroker who won almost solely on a strong anti-amalgamation platform. National has gifted Napier to Labour over this issue, mark my words.

    • alwyn 4.1

      “Mutual Antipathy”. Yes that is, if anything, an understatement. I also come from Napier and the dislike of one city for the other had to be seen to be believed.
      When the Rugby Union concentrated, back in the ’50s, on McLean Park in Napier Hastings developed an alternative ground and demanded half the games. At one point when the Airport was being developed on almost useless land at Westshore Hastings was demanding that it be sited halfway between the cities. This was going to be at Pakowhai, on what is probably the richest horticultural land in New Zealand. When they settled on a single hospital at Hastings the screams in a scorned Napier had to be seen to be believed.
      At the moment, of course Hastings is slightly bigger and would be dominant. The chances of an amicable merger are nil.
      I wouldn’t bet on National necessarily going ahead with the merger of course, so the gifting to Labour may not happen.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        To add – back in the sixties, Hawke’s Bay was offered the chance to build a university. The site now occupied by EIT was meant to be the compromise location, but Hastings reneged on the deal and pushed for a site in Hastings. The result was Palmerston North’s Massey was developed into a university instead.

        Hasting people are like Orcs – not a good one amongst them.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Yes, in 1999 there was a vote and the outcome was not to merge the CHCH and Banks Peninsula Councils.

    But it happened in 2006 anyway. I’ve just done a brief bit of googling and can’t find anything authoritative, but my BF said that effectively the Banks Peninsula Council voted themselves out of existence, forcing the CHCH council to take on administration of the area.

    Glad to hear if anyone has more information on what actually happened in 2006 (March 6, if anyone is looking to google).

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Auckland used to have a stack of mayors within a 21km radius. Wellington still does. What is Garner talking about?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      It is only 15km from Carterton to Masterton.

      Two mayors there too !

      As usual Garner is just spouting nonsense

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        Yeah .. and it’s about time Carterton paid for and ran it’s own train into Wellington eh?

        The entire Wairarapa barely has 44,000 people … 10,000 households. They should have merged into a single Council back in the last round of amalgamation 25 years ago.

        I’ve no problem with each town in the region having it’s own democratic entity to represent it’s interests, but the idea that 10,000 households can effectively pay for all the modern local govt functions required in this day and age … across such a very large land area … is nuts.

        • Francis 6.1.1.1

          It’s up to the residents of the towns involved. If they’re willing to pay the little bit extra to have a smaller area of governance, so be it. Not like we loose anything through them doing so.

    • Tracey 6.2

      EXACTLY

      Super cities make it easier for government and their CCO appointed patsies to ram through economic advantages for the few…

      So much for central government wanting local government to do its thing and let them do theirs.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Far North could also go the amalgamation rejection way if the available binding referendum is requested by voters and held. Arch capitalist developer and two term, now ex Mayor Wayne Brown turned a long running feud with the Northland Regional Council into a pet plan for two Northland Unitary Authorities. One Brown to rule them all so to speak. Except he got far more than his parochialism desired.

    The local government commission preferred recommendation was for one authority uniting four district councils including in debt Kaipara into one UA for whole of Northland, HQ in Whangarei, while acknowledging other options such as ‘enhanced status quo’. A good kick in the nuts for certain torys hopefully.

  8. vto 8

    Localising democracy is certainly better for the people and worse for business. The fascists are so transparent.

    The problem with small Councils (Banks Peninsula as it was, Westland, for example) is they simply struggle with resources to attend to the huge swathe of obligations that get dumped on them by central government. For example, court action over large scale resource consents – it is ridiculous to expect a few hundred people who pay the rates to underwrite these sorts of obligations.

    There must be a way of maintaining the absolutely essential democratic representation and separate Councils, while combining resources to attend to various of those ridiculous obligations, such as doggie control and chipping, processing of various resource, building etc consents, roading and sewer and other infrastructure.

    But whatever is done, it is most important that one does not listen to the vested interests, such as the National Party. They will lie and distort to achieve their political purposes, which is entirely different to what is in the best interests of the community and the people.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      +1 vto.

      The problem with small Councils (Banks Peninsula as it was, Westland, for example) is they simply struggle with resources to attend to the huge swathe of obligations that get dumped on them by central government.

      Absolutely. And a lot of these obligations are important, someone has to do them. If they were not being done by a local organisation they would be subsumed back into central govt one way or another. Which do you think people would prefer?

      But crucially these small councils struggle to attract and retain the specialist capabilities and caliber of people they really need to function well.

      There must be a way of maintaining the absolutely essential democratic representation and separate Councils, while combining resources to attend to various of those ridiculous obligations, such as doggie control and chipping, processing of various resource, building etc consents, roading and sewer and other infrastructure.

      Infrastructure such as water, public transport, waste management, pest control (the possums really don’t care whose podunk borough they’re in), environmental management … are essentially regional functions. These are not activities that typically impact local democracy all that much and are far more effectively undertaken by large scale organisations.

      We already have them … they are called Regional Councils.

      At the same time there is every reason to retain local democracy at whatever scale people want. I don’t care if it’s right down to a micro-scale at a suburb or even street level. That’s the level where people understand and care about issues that impact them personally. All politics is essentially local.

      We already have these … the are variously called Councils and Wards.

      The core reason why all this is a fuckup is that we have failed to separate out the two groups of functions properly and allocated the correct responsibilities and authorities to each. Specifically we totally fail to intelligently integrate the activities of Central, Regional and Local government … instead they fight like dogs over scraps of bloody meat.

      Personally I’d like to see some significant element of indirect election, from layer to layer. For instance 50% of the Regional Council gets elected by Local Council members … and radically … 50% of Parliament is elected out of the Regional Councils.

  9. Rich 9

    Why should there be 2 mayors within 21km of each other?

    Because there are two cities 21km apart?

    NZ is quite a small place. If all we cared about was financial efficiency, we could abolish local government and have a Ministry of Local Services to do everything. It’d administer less people than many world cities.

    The reason we have local government is that people don’t want that – they want to have control over local issues at a local level.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      “financial efficiency” = lost jobs, lost wages

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        A. “financial efficiency” = slogan
        B..redistribution of ratepayers money to small number of corporate entities including the entity paid a million bucks to outline the financial efficiencies = outcome

        By the time the public realise B, they have already approved (or had imposed) A.

    • gobsmacked 9.2

      ‘Why should there be 2 mayors within 21km of each other?’

      Duncan Garner translated: “I know absolutely nothing about the world. I have never heard of the hundreds of examples of this, in dozens of countries. I know about Me, Me and Me. Anywhere else on the planet – don’t know, don’t give a shit”.

      It is spectacular ignorance, a joke if it was a talkback caller or internet ranter, but … from a “current affairs host”? A former “political editor”? Stupidity squared.

      • Tracey 9.2.1

        Duncan garner translated

        I think it’s a great idea and even though I don’t live there, never have and never will, I will make stuff up to make it seem I have based my view on something real.

    • repateet 9.3

      Yes, get rid of local government. Then the logical conclusion of the bullshit cry I’ve heard here in Northland, to the same one this morning from Hawke’s Bay about a ‘single voice’ will be achieved.

      They want a single voice. The single voice of John Key having listened to the Bill English and Steven Joyce voices in the ear.

      We’ve had the single voice of National MPs in Northland for eternity and been treated like crap.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    hmmm, a storm is brewing. As Sanctuary alludes, the character of the two main cities contrast, hence why as a person raised in Napier until the age of 20, I returned at 38 to settle in Hastings. While I would rather live rurally (no car though) the choice of Hastings is a pragmatic one; all essential services well-provided (sans RWSS), and Hastings will receive cases of windfalls from amalgamation.

  11. ghostrider888 11

    As Devil’s Advocate, let them tear the tar out of each other, can only benefit the flowing of Red.

  12. Crunchtime 12

    NANNY STATE!

  13. Paul 13

    This was on radio this morning, with the RNZ presenters clearly favouring the pro-merger argument.

  14. adam 14

    Ask anybody in west Auckland and they will give you at least 2 reasons why the super city is crap. Most will probably give you more – Duncan lives in lala land – ohhh forgot he works for media works so he’s a complete self absorbed bugger is our Duncan.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Budget ignores vital role of quality ECE
    Last night I watched a fascinating programme about the Otago University 45 year study of 1000 New Zealanders. It concluded that there are ways to intervene and support people who are at risk of becoming violent. One of the key… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    9 hours ago
  • More ice for Radio NZ in Budget
    Budget 2016 once again left our only public broadcaster, Radio NZ (RNZ), worse off. After eight years of funding freezes, you have to wonder if RNZ is being iced-out for ideological reasons. I believe public broadcasting is an important cornerstone… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    15 hours ago
  • Fisheries inquiry must be widened to include Trident
    The Government must widen its inquiry into the Ministry for Primary Industries to include its awarding of a company owned by Sanford and Moana Pacific Fisheries to monitor commercial fishing vessels, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says. The Ministry for… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Government spend up on state house sell off
    The Government has spent $28.9 million and has 129 officials working on its misguided state house sell-off, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “This is a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money on a policy that won’t deliver a single extra… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis has huge impact on education
    The National Government’s failure to get on top of the housing crisis is having a major impact on the quality of education a lot of school kids are getting, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are thousands of kids… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister celebrates while arts organisations face cuts
    Maggie Barry was full of self-congratulations for her small arts announcement in the budget, ignoring the pain that a large number of organisations are facing due to her inaction, says Arts, Culture, Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “The Budget delivered a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Regions miss out again in Joyce’s Koru Lounge Fund
      The regions have missed out yet again with Steven Joyce offering just $10m a year for key regional development projects while trumpeting a bunch of re-heated announcements, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The dairy downturn has put… ...
    3 days ago
  • Children’s Commissioner misses out in Budget
      The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has missed out on a much needed boost in this year’s Budget, meaning they will be forced to continue their reduced monitoring role of CYFs residences, says Labour’s spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern. … ...
    3 days ago
  • Communities miss out in Budget
    Budget 2017 has left community and NGO providers feeling exposed about the services they provide to vulnerable families especially in smaller towns and communities, says Labour’s Whānau Ora Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Approximately $40m will go into Whānau Ora to work… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget2016: Two Worlds
    Sometimes I feel as if I live in two worlds. The world created by the National Government where everything is great and they’re doing a great job and the world as seen through the eyes of child advocates, community workers,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Parekura would be proud – MTS gets boost
    The Labour Party is ecstatic that the Māori Party have shown support for one of Labour’s proudest policies, says Labour’s Māori Broadcasting Spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “The Māori Television Service was launched in 2004 by the late Hon Parekura Horomia. ...
    4 days ago
  • Māori housing in state of emergency
    The Government needs to declare a state of emergency for Māori Housing, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson and Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis. “The extra $3 million a year Māori Housing Network fund will not scratch the surface in… ...
    4 days ago
  • State house sell off in disarray after provider pulls out
     The Government should cancel its planned sell-off of state houses after the second big community housing provider pulled out leaving the process in disarray, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “It is time for the Government to back away from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Nothing in Budget to help police to solve crime
    The Police Minister has failed to make communities safer with virtually no new money in yesterday’s Budget for police to address the appalling burglary resolution rates, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It’s a disgrace there’s no money or aspiration… ...
    4 days ago
  • Blog – Budget 2016: What about ordinary working people?
    Ordinary working New Zealanders don’t fare very well from this Budget. Setting aside the spin from the Government, it contains a lot to be concerned about and a fudging of the numbers. Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche For… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Real wages go backwards for next two years
    New Zealanders’ real wages will fall for the next two years as the cost of living outpaces forecast pay rises, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealanders have been doing it tough for far too long. They expect… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • The give with one hand – take with the other Budget
    The Minister of Health has pumped out media releases to 20 District Health Boards heralding increases in funding for their regions, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “But when you add population growth and inflation into the figures you get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis
    The Budget’s underwhelming housing measures will give New Zealanders no hope that National is capable of fixing the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “There isn’t a scrap of an idea to help desperate young Kiwi families into… ...
    4 days ago
  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    4 days ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    5 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    5 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    5 days ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    5 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    6 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    6 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    6 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere