web analytics
The Standard

Doing what works

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, November 4th, 2013 - 88 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Keynes, labour - Tags:

One of Steven Joyce’s favourite refrains is that Labour is trying to take us back to the 1970s. You know, those dark days when unemployment was near non-existent, wages were high, growth was strong despite external shocks, we had nearly no foreign debt, profits stayed here, were we one of the richest and most egalitarian countries. He’s not far wrong.

A lot of what Labour and the Greens are promising, and, for that matter, a lot of the 5th Labour Government’s greatest achievements were about restoring what was lost to neoliberalism. That doesn’t mean nationalising stuff, it means the state stepping in when the market doesn’t work.

Kiwisaver and the Cullen Fund resurrect the national savings fund concept that the 3rd Labour Government established and Muldoon recklessly destroyed.

Kiwibank has brought a government-owned player to the banking market with a ‘keep ’em honest’ mandate. BNZ was once that government-owned player.

KiwiBuild is a government programme of building good, affordable houses for young families – ie just what state housing used to be before the neolibs turned it into just last resort housing for the poor. The Greens’ Progressive Ownership is effectively an updated State Advances to make buying those houses more affordable.

NZ Power restores the single buyer model that the Electricity Department used internally to set prices before the neoliberals got their dirty mitts on it and prices started rising at twice inflation, year after year.

Kiwiassure is another ‘keep the market honest’ business. It was common before neoliberalism for the government to have a player in markets that were otherwise oligopolistic to ensure the public wasn’t ripped off. State Insurance used to do that job, before it was sold.

Of course Joyce is opposed to this. He is the classic neoliberal, a mini Fay Richwaite who made his money by buying a public asset (radio spectrum) at firesale prices under the previous National government. Neoliberalism has been good for him and his 1% – they swooped in on the public wealth that had been built up over a century and privatised it for themselves. But it has failed the rest of us.

Labour and the Greens are offering an updated, modern version of policies that worked in the past, before the Joyces of the world tore it down.

88 comments on “Doing what works”

  1. Ad 1

    The smaller the economy, the more important the state.

    Compared to our greatest competitor – Australia – we remain significantly under-governed and under-regulated.

    But hopefully the point learned from the decline of the Clark administration, is that progressive policies also have to be popular. I would hope that a Cunliffe administration avoids tokenistic social engineering policies that piss people off and corrode Labour’s popularity, and stick to policies that people can see fast and real benefits in their daily lives.

    To me that has to be the difference between National and Labour next time: National can continue to divide New Zealand and set up the dream that is attainable for only the glamourous and gated few, whereas Labour concentrates its efforts on direct and indirect forms of material redistribution.

  2. Philgwellington Wellington 2

    Xox
    Yup. The current ‘administration’ is not a government in my book. It’s Corporate Giant, NZ Inc. beneath a diaphanous ghostly shroud with a stencil ‘government’ sprayed on. I think the disenchanted and dispossessed , unconsciously know this in their bones. I wonder if some Nats are waking up, at last, to realise that they don’t want to be spied on, or their kids to get sick from swimming in the river, or their school leavers have to emigrate for a furure. I lol when Luigi asks for his privacy to be respected! He says he wasn’t in a ‘relationship ‘ with her, and she says he was. Maybe they are both right, or…. Palino seems to have disappeared.
    Is this the best we can do in our largest SUPERCITY in NZ!? Looks like we are being run by crooks. Our academics and intellectuals are, to a large degree, quiet. Except for Dame Anne Salmond and some judges. Are there any intellectuals in NZ? When did you last hear, or see the word used? Is it a dirty word? Like romance?

  3. greywarbler 3

    Eddie Really good points.
    Ad
    I don’t know what you consider to be tokenistic social engineering. I usually agree with what Labour does in this line except the tendency to be OTT. And to get distracted from other matters. The unsatisfactory reality, that providing poor people with housing isn’t in itself going to stop domestic violence, parents’ drinking, children not being sent to school, or being neglected.

    Often improvements like housing get talked about as if they will solve all the problems once provided. Instead, they will lessen the stresses and lead to better health and comfort, then lead to increased well-being through opportunities for better health messages. Then a chance for school nutrition help and education coaching so the children will be helped. Then with assistance to parents and some incentives, they will be able to cope better.

    Crime rates will go down, then more diversion, and work and alternative leisure options can be made available for offenders. If we could use the prison vote to provide more out of prison assistance, we could reduce offending, recidivism, and create some positivity with no extra spending.

    And come down hard on prison providers like Serco with every legal point measured and monitored and recompense demanded for any failure. Ride the company hard, they are capable of shitty outcomes, they need to be kept up to the mark or the out clauses in the contract will be actioned.

    • Ad 3.1

      Won’t catch me imputing causality of much to better housing other than proximity diseases.

      Otherwise your views are perplexing. Yet housing poverty is up, inequality is up, unemployment high, underemployment high, suicide rates still high, drug trade steady.
      Prison population only just peaking now, at momenumental levels.

      And yet NZ crime levels are down on close to every measure.

      Looks like the old causality is at least temporarily suspended.

      • greywarbler 3.1.1

        Ad
        Crime levels are not the only measure of anything. What’s your point. I am perplexed also.

        I started off thinking about your remark about social engineering by Labour. Then I went on to housing as a way that people can expect too much from such improvements.

        Perhaps I shouldn’t have put your name as I don’t want a useless discussion about meaning. There are social problems that need looking at and there are ways of improving them, so that’s what I am interested in, not having discussions about the exact meaning of something written on a blog.
        And whether stats that can be produced don’t support what is in plain view.

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        And yet NZ crime levels are down on close to every measure.

        Looks like the old causality is at least temporarily suspended.

        Option B is that the measure of crime is becoming less reflective of the occurrence of crime.
        Interesting that the resolved rate is falling faster than the crime rate.

      • ann kerr 3.1.3

        Crime rates go down in part cause of demographics changes. National is claiming victory for this, but it is most likely to do with proportion of young men aged between 18 -24 being down.

        Sorry guys and please if anyone has better info on this feel free to put it into the mix.

          • greywarbler 3.1.3.1.1

            Naturesong – Thanks for link. This is interesting – that the stats are being aligned with the Australian approach. We are losing our autonomy to Australia, yet thinking of signing up with TPPA.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10799480
            Police removed family violence as a category in the latest round of national crime statistics.
            Deputy commissioner Mike Bush last night said the move was shifting focus to realign police with Australia….
            “The new reporting system is much more focused on capturing information about the relationship between the offender and the victim.”

            Women’s Refuge spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin said….
            “A cynic would say it’s in the Government’s interest to have crime statistics going down.
            “It’s just democracy to have statistics. It’s part of the democratic process to have access to these statistics.”…

            Acting police minister Chester Borrows..
            “the police now include in the category of domestic violence a much wider range of crimes than the previous narrow focus on physical assaults. These changes follow international best practice –
            Police callouts to domestic violence ..That went up to 86,710 callouts in 2011 – an increase of 9.25 per cent, he said. Mana Party Hone Harawira produced stats.

            So how will the stats be drawn up? Will it be man attack on woman or vice versa rather than domestic violence? Changing the meaning of domestic violence to include anything is a way of inflating the figures so that they are less meaningful anyway. Now
            they are going to call the misdemeanour something different. How confusing.

            It’s Through the Looking Glass time for quotes:
            “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
            “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
            “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”

            Is there a NACT polly out there that is worth his salt?
            “I see nobody on the road,” said Alice.
            “I only wish I had such eyes,” the King remarked in a fretful tone. “To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance, too! Why, it’s as much as I can do to see real people, by this light!”

  4. weka 4

    The 1970s… but you couldn’t buy margarine here then! Terrible time.

  5. joe90 5

    Keynes:

    The difficulty is that the Capitalist leaders in the City and in Parliament are incapable of distinguishing novel measures for safeguarding Capitalism from what they call Bolshevism.

  6. James Thrace 6

    Joyce got the spectrum under claytons bidding rules. Party A bid $10, 000, Joyce bid $1, 000, 000 Joyce won and only had to pay the price offered by the second highest bidder.. in this case $10, 000. All rigged up and jacksoed by the then Minister of Communications, one Maurice Williamson.
    Scum!

  7. Don't worry. Be happy 7

    Got invited to be in a focus group at the Southern Cross Hotel in Dunners. $80 for the one session. Had to be the one paying the power bills…and under 30. So, yep on the first and way no on the second. But who’s asking this question? Someone unsettled by the way Labour’s power policy is polling?

    • Tat Loo (CV) 7.1

      And it was a politically oriented focus group?

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      And a supplemental: is your ph no. registered in the Dunedin North electorate, or the Dunedin South elctorate?

      • Chooky 7.2.1

        what has happened to you Tat Loo….. or is it CV?…..have you undergone cell division and are you now two?……..or are you sometimes one and not the other? ….and sometimes combined?…..metamorphosis?…chemistry labs?….viruses?

  8. It’s time to ROLL BACK ‘Rogernomics’.

    Arguably, the root cause of corruption is the ‘commercialise. corporatatise – PRIVATISE ‘ Rogernomics neo-liberal model.

    How is it decided who gets the contracts?

    Where are the cost-benefit analyses which prove the ‘public is bad – private is good’ Rogernomics mantra?

    By ‘opening the books’ and ‘cutting out the contractors’ – how much public money could be used for social instead of corporate welfare?

    Which of the following policies on this ACTION PLAN against ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’ will the Labour Party ( Green Party, NZ First and Mana) support?

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ANTI-CORRUPTION-WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME-CORPORATE-WELFARE-ACTION-PLAN-Ak-Mayoral-campaign-19-July-2013-2.pdf

    ‘Anti-corruption whistleblowers’, like myself, have thrown this ball into the air, and there is an increasing crowd of members of the public, who are not only watching, but voting for those of us who have picked it up and are running with it……

    Mark my words.

    This National/ACT government is VERY vulnerable on these issues…….

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  9. ABS 9

    Yeah the 70s were great.

    Rolling strikes crippling the ports over Christmas.

    Carless days because no one wanted our money because it wasn’t worth anything anywhere.

    Anything bought from overseas was too expensive only the elite could afford colour TVs unless they were made locally.

    There’s plenty more that they could take us back to as well. Rubs hands together oh what fun! On the bright side the weather was better, if Cunny promises to bring back the weather, I for one would believe him.

    • Rogue Trooper 9.1

      plenty of 70’s music played across the entire FM spectrum 😀

    • Tat Loo 9.2

      Near full employment.

      Strong trades and apprenticeships participation.

      Affordable housing.

      Raise a family and pay the mortage on a single income.

      No uni fees.

      40 hour weeks.

      A nation which believed in itself.

      Anything bought from overseas was too expensive only the elite could afford colour TVs unless they were made locally.

      yeah, fuck those NZ workers, and who needs NZ made.

      Carless days because no one wanted our money because it wasn’t worth anything anywhere.

      Did you happen to forget the OPEC oil crisis?

    • Te Reo Putake 9.3

      Your somewhat innacurate list of miseries is missing the obvious link; the National Government of Robert Muldoon. The answer to bad times is obvious, elect a Labour Government.

      • McFlock 9.3.1

        Actually, between muldoon and lab4/act1, I’d probably go with muldoon.

      • weka 9.3.2

        “The answer to bad times is obvious, elect a Labour Government.”

        The answer to bad times is obvious, elect a Labour/Green government.

        fify.

        • Te Reo Putake 9.3.2.1

          Or elect a Lab/NZF government with support on c&s from the Greens? That Kiwisure/KiwiAssure twin policy announcement might be a sign of things to come, weka 😉

          • bad12 9.3.2.1.1

            You might think so Te reo, the membership of the Green Party tho have other ideas should Labour continue to think of the Green Party as their compliant lapdog,

            How about the Green Party sit outside of the Government offering NOTHING and trading their vote in support of Every piece of Government Legislation for the support and Legislation of a piece of Green Party policy every time they give Labour a supporting vote,

            That’s actually my preferred option for the Green Party considering it is usually the smaller of the coalition Parties that get burned by being in a coalition…

            • Te Reo Putake 9.3.2.1.1.1

              To be fair, nobody in Labour sees the Greens as a compliant lapdog. You’re pretty much alone in thinking of the GP in that way. And, happily, the leadership of the Greens are way more on to it than you, so your recipe for turning them into the Tea Party is never going to happen.

              They’re going to be in Government in 12 months and actually achieving some of their goals. But, as Russel Norman has noted, their influence and numbers in cabinet will depend on their party vote. At at third of Labour’s, they will get about a quarter of the seats round the table. If Winnie’s on board as well, a couple of spots less.

              Like it or not, all three parties know the tail won’t be wagging the dog.

              • Naturesong

                Winston Peters for speaker?
                That’d sort them out. Bit of discipline in the house.

                Greens provincial discussion on political positioning coming up soon, with AGM next year to finalise the party position re: coalition / confidance and supply.

                I’m with bad12 on playing hardball, but I suspect most Greens will go for real politik.

                I also have a sneaking suspician that Cunliffe is probably a frighteningly good negotiator.

                The Green party is democratic to a fault, so who knows which way it will go

    • KJT 9.4

      Haven’t you noticed that the ports of Auckland just lost several months work., not days, and 34 million and counting, because of an ideological anti Union crusade and lockout.

      Because the rabid right think that all workers should wait by the phone 365 days a year, for their guaranteed 6 hours, or less, a week.

      To gain less than they could have by talking to their staff.
      Not to mention the slower cargo rates and gear breakages caused by employing wallies of the street.

      Cost much more than any wharfie strike did in the 70’s.

      And the cause of the loss continue with their 700k salaries and directorships.

      Being able to afford to go ski-ing and sailing on an apprentices wage in the 70’s was rather good also.

      I don’t think flat screen TV’s and a coffee shop on every corner is a good swap.

      Especially as, unlike then, so many people now cannot afford any of these.

      • Wayne 9.4.1

        Actually the strike was not that disruptive because a significant percentage of the people working at the Port are not unionised. Not like the 1970’s when there was compulsory unionism, so the strikes then were far more disruptive.

        In any event I don’t actually think a David Cunliffe govt would take NZ back to the 1970’s. His statements over the weekend were a lot about reassuring NZ’ers that he is reasonable. But of course the Greens may have other ideas.

        In any event this election is shaping up to be a contest.

        I note that David Cunliffe looks like he is trying to avoid having policy positions that can be turned into scary caricatures. For instance he will not want to let the Nats brand him as having compulsory unionism by stealth, or nationalisation without compensation, or having an ETS that puts petrol up to $2.50 a litre.

        The question is, will he succeed, because being careful could infuriate Labour’s left wing.

        • KJT 9.4.1.1

          Yeah right Wayne. The LOCKOUT by Ports of Auckland management to transfer the costs of having labour standing by 24/7 to workers, for uncertain work was “not disruptive”. A few shipping companies, shippers and the people who paid for the managerial fuckup, informed ratepayers in Auckland, would differ.

          Meanwhile National continues with Fascism by stealth. A position I would expect a principled conservative, like many past National people, would also be uncomfortable with.

        • Naturesong 9.4.1.2

          I note that David Cunliffe looks like he is trying to avoid having policy positions that can be turned into scary caricatures

          This is how I see it also, with Tracy Watkins, John Armstrong and Paddy Gower becoming increasingly hysterical, and other journalists really digging in (Corin Dann) and asking both hard and leading questions (see Q&A yesterday) he knows the press is looking for a sensationalist front page banner; see last years Labour AGM.

          compulsory unionism by stealth, or nationalisation without compensation, or having an ETS that puts petrol up to $2.50 a litre

          So … National are going to lie about Labour and Green party policies?
          No change then.

          NB. National just upped the petrol tax.

          • Wayne 9.4.1.2.1

            Naturesong,

            I was suggesting that if Labour has policies like compulsory awards, that would lead to an allegation by your opponents of “compulsory unionism by stealth”, or an ETS at say a minimum of $30 per tonne, that will lead to higher petrol prices which can in fact be calculated (that is, the ETS impact on existing prices).

            Not sure I would describe Tracy Watkins, John Armstrong, Corrin Dann or Paddy Gower as hysterical, though Paddy does have an interesting style (probably influenced by bloggers). Any new policy announced by Labour is going to be critiqued by the media. Just get used to it.

            In fact Standardista’s should stop complaining that the entire media from TV3, NZ Herald to RNZ are all part of a giant right wing conspiracy. You have to expect that divisions, radical remits, and new policy announcements will be critically examined. In some cases they will provide a useful reality check.

            • Tat Loo (CV) 9.4.1.2.1.1

              Always appreciate your reasoned engagement here, Wayne.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.4.1.2.1.2

              or an ETS at say a minimum of $30 per tonne, that will lead to higher petrol prices which can in fact be calculated (that is, the ETS impact on existing prices).

              AGW is proof that petrol and other fossil fuels have never been priced correctly. It’s obvious now that they should have been priced to preclude private motor vehicles at the very least. The RWNJs are complaining that an ETS or carbon tax will make fuel too expensive and thus will see a decrease in motor vehicle use. Interestingly enough, this means that they’re complaining about “the market” working.

              You have to expect that divisions, radical remits, and new policy announcements will be critically examined. In some cases they will provide a useful reality check.

              That’s what I’d like to happen. Unfortunately, it never does. All we see from the jonolists are scaremongering about Labour and other left wing policies and absolutely no analysis of RWNJ bullet points.

              • KJT

                “That’s what I’d like to happen. Unfortunately, it never does. All we see from the jonolists are scaremongering about Labour and other left wing policies and absolutely no analysis of RWNJ bullet points.”

                The MSM expects Labour and the Greens to have policies costed to the last dollar while National’s phantasies and voodoo economics are pushed by “true believing”, so called Journalists, without investigation.

    • Plan B 9.5

      Classic comment,
      Yes the 1970s in New Zealand were rubbish. There were no iphones, no internet, no broadband, many people hand black and white TVs The place was a dump. The health system was a mess,no CT scans etc, It was like living 40 years ago before these technologies were developed.
      The idea when comparing things is use the apples and oranges rule.

      Also this bit:
      no one wanted our money because it wasn’t worth anything anywhere.
      Does not make any sense at all, I do not think we had a floating exchange rate at the time, also no one wants our money now- you cannot buy anything outside of New Zealnd and I think ‘The Cooks’ using NZD

      In 1975 1 USD would get you around 76 cents in New Zealand, mind you it was kind of impossible to get any foreign currency but that was true of most places at that time

      • Francis 9.5.1

        Going back to the time nobody wanted our money might be a good thing. It’s currency speculators that are responsible for the very high NZ Dollar atm, which is what’s killing our export industry.

        • Tat Loo (CV) 9.5.1.1

          But a lowe NZD means Plan B might have to pay a little more for his Swiss hotel stay during his New Years European ski trip to Stadt. Unacceptable!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 9.6

      Rolling strikes crippling the ports over Christmas.

      That’s what happens when you go round ripping off a large body of people as the capitalists do.

      Carless days because no one wanted our money because it wasn’t worth anything anywhere.

      Ah, no. Carless days was because the OPEC group cut oil production.

      Anything bought from overseas was too expensive only the elite could afford colour TVs unless they were made locally.

      Good job they were made locally then so that pretty much everyone could afford one.

  10. Clement Pinto 10

    The Labour party should concentrate on winning the election by attracting voters and focusing on the issues that matter and affect most people. Issues such as : the housing crises, Kiwi Build, Kiwi Assure, the Development of the regions, Jobs, Industries, True competition in the market, Control of monopolies and Big business, Exports, Manufacture etc and not rush into social engineering stuff until there is a strong support for such social engineering causes and better support the party. There isn’t yet now.

    Initiating distracting controversial social engineering stuff such as the revisited man ban quota system for party MP selection at this stage is plain dumb.

    This gender quota policy is not only very stupid, discriminatory but ill thought out. The candidates should be chosen purely on MERIT and selected not based on gender, race, colour, creed, sex orientation, disability etc. It should not matter if 100% of the elected candidates are male or 100% are indeed female or gay (or Maori or Pakeha), as long as they are voted in based on merit. This sort of gender quota proposed is a downward unfair slippery stupid slope. I would have thought that the majority of party members would have taken a saner decision and drop this crap PC system. What will happen if in the future the nations population ratio of men to women happens to be 40% to 60%? or, what will they do if they find themselves with 75% female MPs and 25% others? Change the rules again to bring the so called ‘balance’?

    Ah, by the way, the teaching and nursing government jobs are overwhelmingly held by women now. Based on this Labour party philosophy, when is the QUOTA system coming to those professions?

    Revolutionary social changes should be primarily a reflection of the nation’s voice, not just those of the party activists.

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      “The candidates should be chosen purely on MERIT and selected not based on gender, race, colour, creed, sex orientation, disability etc.”

      Heh? Candidates should be chosen on the basis of merit AND representation. The latter still has some way to go to being realised.

      • Clement Pinto 10.1.1

        Sure, but why have a QUOTA system attached to this aspiration? 41% now, 45% in 2914 and 50% in 2017. Why PRESCRIBE a QUOTA? Why is it a big problem if the % of female MPS in one election is 39% and 66% in some other election when selection is based primarily on merit? What happens if the demographics of Men:Women in population changes to 35: 65? What then? And how about QUOTA for the disabled, gays, youth, lesbians, refugees, obese, pensioners, whites, blacks, rich, the poor, beneficiaries, ex crims etc? Why not? Fair isn’t it? Why not QUOTA representation here? Why only for male and female?

        Why don’t you ask for such representation in ALL jobs and professions?

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    That doesn’t mean nationalising stuff, it means the state stepping in when the market doesn’t work.

    Which should end up as nationalisation as the government is the most efficient provider and so will out compete the private sector causing them to close down. The only reason why this wouldn’t happen is if rules are put in place preventing it.

    Neoliberalism has been good for him and his 1% – they swooped in on the public wealth that had been built up over a century and privatised it for themselves. But it has failed the rest of us.

    And that is why we need to be stepping in with renationalisation rather than just stepping into the market.

  12. Plan B 12

    Trouble is change seems to come initially from a few and then to the many – if everything waits for the many to catch up we would still have slavery. Sometimes it seems we must forge ahead progress does not seem to come from the inaction of the meek.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Trouble is change seems to come initially from a few and then to the many – if everything waits for the many to catch up we would still have slavery.

      Actually, it seems to be the other way around. It wasn’t the few who pushed to get rid of slavery but the many. It just took awhile before the few in government realised that they would have to relent and get rid of it. Same goes for universal suffrage which a few want to get rid of and have it so that only those who pay net taxes (translated as “the rich”) get to vote.

  13. Martin 13

    Steven Joyce is one of the Hollow Men.

    ’nuff said.

  14. Stephen 14

    Nice to see this — as a child of the 70s, I look back on those years fondly. We forget it was very much a decade of two halves, and cries of O NOES THE 1970S tend to focus on the conditions at the end of that decade, not the beginning.

  15. BrucetheMoose 15

    As a kid, one my fond memories of the 70’s as a sign of how good those times were, was at Christmas the sack was consistently big and full. From the 80’s on, things progressively became leaner in the presents department, eventually until all it consisted of was a one piece gift. Even dear Santa got clobbered by the gradual erosion of government economic polices. As for an argument for the need for a Kiwi owned insurance entity, just shine the spotlight on the on going insurance debacle in Christchurch. End of story.

  16. Rednex 16

    Well said Eddie

  17. geoff 17

    Can anyone give an example of a major policy that National has implemented that wasn’t for the benefit of the very wealthy/big business?

    • idlegus 17.1

      the left turn rule, thats all i can think of.

    • Naturesong 17.2

      GCSB bill to legalise previous illegal activities
      TICS bill to hamstring the domenstic IT industry, and specifically cloud offerings in New Zealand

      Both of these are major changes in themselves and combined are a threat to democracy in New Zealand (I know that sounds hysterical, but seriously, read the bills)

    • Northshoreguynz 17.3

      Big panel beating companies?

  18. red blooded 18

    Getting back to your comment, Pinto:
    “This gender quota policy is not only very stupid, discriminatory but ill thought out. The candidates should be chosen purely on MERIT and selected not based on gender, race, colour, creed, sex orientation, disability etc. It should not matter if 100% of the elected candidates are male or 100% are indeed female or gay (or Maori or Pakeha), as long as they are voted in based on merit. This sort of gender quota proposed is a downward unfair slippery stupid slope.”
    … Why not consider that one of a person’s MERITS may be that they have a different life experience, are likely to offer a different perspective, help to provide representation of people from a specific identity group and help people from that group to see parliament as being in touch with and open to them and their issues?

    I don’t know if you’re serious when you say it shouldn’t matter if our parliament is 100% male (or female). Frankly, it would matter a lot to the group being excluded. How many female leaders do you see in world politics? Do you assume that women simply don’t merit leadership positions? Judgements of merit are never entirely neutral and gender perspectives influence these judgements.

    I’ve spoken about gender because that’s the issue that is most relevant to me, but I do think all parties (not just those on the left) should examine their record and look at how they can open up and become more representative.

    • Clement Pinto 18.1

      I am serious when I state that I don’t mind if 100% af MPs are men or 100% are women or 100% gay as long as their selection was entirely due to their MERIT such as their intelligence, principles, ability, integrity, leadership qualities, electability etc and not based on one of their body parts.

      If they are good, inspiring and work well in their community, electorate and with party members, they WILL get chosen anyway. They don’t need an extra crutch and unfair special provision based on their gender. I put it to you that some, if not many, of the women selected will be unelectable without this crutch, not because they are female but because they lack real quality or support.

      I think this gender based nanny state selection process is a backward, unenlightened step and will make Labour a laughing stock, scaring many voters off. Not me. I will still vote Labour based on their other socio-economic policies. But I stand by my view re this gender based selection crap.

      Why don’t you advocate the PM position should alternate between a man and a woman?

    • Francis 18.2

      Personally, I think it’s not really necessary, as there is already a provision one line down which says “The Moderating Committee shall examine the Regional lists and consider the representation across all lists of tangata whenua, gender, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, age and youth, sexual orientations, and the geographical spread and range of skills. ” (not sure whether they refer to the same list, but that’s the kind of thing that they need). Quotas are probably not the best way to get the desired result.

      None the less, we’re only talking about an increase from 41% to 45% (then 50% in 2017), and only in the way the list is structured. Labour will almost certainly gain more seats in the next election, so presumably, the quota could be met by simply adding more females without the need to drop any males. There are much more important issues in this election than list quota, and I really hope that Labour supporters don’t get hung up over silly issues like that…

      • Clement Pinto 18.2.1

        Labour should show better sense than bringing in such silly crap issues to the fore and thus take away the spotlight from the MAIN and IMPORTANT policies. Idiots!

        • Northshoreguynz 18.2.1.1

          They didn’t bring them to the fore, the media did. And I fail to see how trying to make your party representative of the electorate is a bad thing.

  19. millsy 19

    The music was better in the 1970’s too…

    But seriously, no one had any issue with state owned banks, insurance firms, etc back then. I bet Joyce as a kid did school banking with the old Post Office Savings Bank…

  20. Emma 20

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on sex show.
    Regards

  21. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  22. Beneficial details. Lucky me I uncovered your website inadvertently, using this program . stunned precisely why this particular chance did not transpired ahead of time! I actually saved as a favorite the item.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    1 day ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    2 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    2 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    2 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    3 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere