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

  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    22 hours ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    24 hours ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    24 hours ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    1 day ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    1 day ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    2 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    2 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    2 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    2 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    3 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    3 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    3 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    4 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    1 week ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    3 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere