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The Standard

Game on

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 2nd, 2011 - 56 comments
Categories: economy, election 2011, john key, national - Tags: , ,

The weeks of the RWC were supposed to be a politics-free zone. Bread and circuses, maybe even an ABs win to take the rugby-loving part of the country into the election in an up-beat sort of mood. All of which was electoral gold for the incumbent Nats.

It didn’t turn out that way. Right out of the gate, with the chaos of the opening night, politics was forced to the front and centre. Then Murray McCully shafted Len Brown, and gave free reign to the Nats’ inner despot, “taking control” of Auckland.

And now, one of the biggest possible political bombs has been dropped in the middle of the RWC. After all their boasting, posturing and dire warnings, the Nats’ “management of the economy” has copped the big thumbs down from two international credit rating agencies.  Suddenly the National ediface is looking a bit shaky. You don’t need to take my word for it – the weekend papers are full of it. Here’s John Armstrong:

It’s game on for election as credit ratings cut

As much as Bill English downplayed yesterday’s downgrades of New Zealand’s credit rating, the double whammy from Standard & Poor’s and the Fitch ratings agency inevitably casts a big shadow over National’s claim to be the most competent manager of the economy.

Labour has been arguing – with some justification – that National has not made the hard decisions needed to address imbalances in the economy such as the mountain of private debt. On that score, the chickens have certainly come home to roost for National in the form of the rating downgrades.

John Key’s unfortunate talk of “muddling through” the fallout from the international debt crisis has come back to bite him, big time.

Labour is right.

While National has remodelled the tax system, it has refused to confront issues such as raising the age of eligibility for superannuation – something Standard & Poor’s tacitly noted.

National has instead weakened savings mechanisms such as KiwiSaver and the Cullen superannuation fund. National might argue otherwise, but selling chunks of state-owned companies and chopping back the public service do not add up to be solutions to New Zealand’s economic woes.

In contrast, Labour is walking its talk. With its capital gains tax and a yet-to-be-announced savings policy which may well contain some stick – in the form of compulsion – as well as some carrot, Labour is at least addressing the areas where the hard decisions will have to be made. …

The blowtorch is now on National. It can no longer cruise through the election campaign. It is going to have to come up with answers to satisfy the ratings agencies. And they are not answers which are going to be all that popular.

I think John is wrong about that last point. The Nats will definitely try and muddle through to the election without making tough decisions. The downgrade damage is unavoidable, but they won’t want to add to it. Anyway, Fran O’Sullivan:

Downgrade gives Key’s foes great ammunition

Putting off campaigning until after Cup no longer an option for Nats

Our admirably happy-clappy Prime Minister will not want to pass up the chance to cheer on the Vodafone Warriors at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney tomorrow night. … But what Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have done with their separate decisions to drop New Zealand by one credit rating notch is hand Key’s political opponents a useful weapon to challenge his Government’s economic management. …

But this [RWC] wonderful six-week interlude of bread and circuses does not disguise the fact that New Zealand is now facing some very big challenges which cry out for concerted Government leadership.

The Key Government is doing very little in a concerted way to tackle youth unemployment, which is back at the heights which shamefully damaged the confidence of an earlier generation in the early 1990s.

The Government remains in stalemate with the international insurers while Christchurch business leaders such as Peter Townsend warn they are getting increasingly worried about the risk of capital and talent flying out of the stricken city. There is little real urgency.

And it is too pussy-footed to make the harder policy choices that will get the country’s finances back into the black faster, raise national savings at a faster clip and shore up New Zealand for the longer term.

Even Bill English – who stressed yesterday that ratings downgrades demonstrated New Zealand is not immune to the global backdrop – has a difficult time puncturing Key’s Pollyanna-ish armour. …

It is now increasingly important that public focus does go on both National and Labour not to try to sugar-coat the fiscal realities as they each did before the 2008 election. … Three years on, and the world is on the verge of a double-dip recession. But this time round Key can’t duck shove Governmental responsibility for our finances on to Clark.

Like Armstrong, I think O’Sullivan is way too optimistic in expecting action from the Nats. Muddling through has worked brilliantly for them by the only criteria that they care about – poll ratings. Why change a winning strategy? As long as the media keep portraying Key as a “great bloke”, everything will be fine. For the Nats. Not for the country.

56 comments on “Game on”

  1. r0b 1

    “free reign” – I think I’ll leave it in and pretend the pun was deliberate. 

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    The game is indeed on. There is much more bad news for National coming up in the next 8 weeks.

    • mik e 2.1

      Dan carter out of world cup watch Keys rhetoric change to prepare us for disappointment he an expert at that. He has been conning us for three years about this brighter future all talk and no delivery.last words in parliament and we are going to win the world cup as well will have him worrying !Ipredict

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    While the masses were being distracted with bread and circuses some REALLY NASTY stuff was being done.

    I received another alert today with respect to the sneaky tactics the government is using to widen the scope of the control their neofascist state has over the people.

    Subject: Fw: food bill

    Hi Everyone,

    This is really important – remember the Therapeutic Medicines Bill that caused a riot when the government wanted to restrict and/or delete valuable herbal remedies and alternative medicines.

    Well if you thought that was bad – this is horrendous.

    This is an urgent call to action, this will affect every living person.
    How are the lemons looking in your neighbourhood? Good? How about the smell of that birthday cake someone baked for you? Mmmmm, delicious, can’t wait till they give it to you?

    Feeling thirsty, for water perhaps? Soup kitchens? Food not bombs? Community gardens? How about all those cheap bagged fruits at roadside stalls, or that bread the op shop was giving away that the bakery didn’t want at the end of the day? You like saving seeds from your garden and sharing them with other gardeners or seed banks? food co-ops?

    How about having a wee bake sale for the community group fundraiser? You like food to be free, cheap, and accessable from a variety of sources? How about a bit of variety in the types of plants you can grow and consume? Might use Natural medicines? If you answered YES to any of the above then the Food Bill 160-2 (2010), Government Bill could have a major impact on your life.

    This is a Bill before parliament that has already passed through one reading and recommendations of the assigned committee have been made to parliament..
    This means it is due to go for its second reading at parliament with the recommendations integrated into it. It could easily be mistaken for a Bill designed with public safety in mind, but a closer look reveals that in fact this Bill would put an end to a basic right: that of freely sharing our food, seeds, and natural remedies and an end to the lemonade stand?.

    Furthermore, anyone selling their own produce would be required to gain legal authorisation to do so, at a cost of course,
    and heres the clincher : small growers and sellers at say, farmers markets, will be hit with increased costs of compliance, that would of course push up food prices hurting the growers, sellers, and buyers of produce.

    Not being legally allowed to share seeds without authorisation will discourage diversity of seeds, pushing heirloom varietys already rare into the too expensive basket, thus encouraging homogenisation of seed stock. This of course will provide massive market advantage? to multinational seed corporations such as Monsanto who not only can afford the costs of compliance but whose aims include narrowing and controlling the plants grown for consumption through Genetic Engineering, and controlling available seed stock by supplying seed for plants that will not self seed, thus enforcing our dependence on them. Basically it reinforces the capitalist anti-people mantra of profit over people in a very serious manner.

    Now, you may wonder why the NZ government would want to do such a thing, there are many reasons, but the reason being presented is that we (the state and thus its citizens) must comply with the the rules set out for us in an agreement with the World Trade Organisation the the NZ government is a signatory to.
    If all this seems somewhat surreal or overwhelming to you, you are not alone. This Bill is not yet law, and despite formal public submissions being closed, it is not too late for those opposed to the Bill to make our voices heard and have a very real impact on parliament as they consider its merits.

    What can we do? Well, there is plenty we can do to deal with this attack on these, our fundamental rights to sustenance. And while there is very narrow provision within the law to opt out of this proposed law being enforced upon individuals this simply is not enough, it must be stopped! This is a call out to everyone to get ready to take action.

    Sign the petition on line: http://www.petitiononline.co.nz/petition/oppose-the-new-zealand-government-food-bill-160-2/1301

    We wholeheartedly encourage everyone with the means to communicate to call a community meeting or get together with friends to discuss what you are willing to do to protect our food from their greed. Remember, the more of us that stand together, the harder we are to ignore or push around.We must take action!
    There is some helpful analysis and other useful information available here: http://nzfoodsecurity.org/

    • AAMC 3.1

      “Not being legally allowed to share seeds without authorisation will discourage diversity of seeds, pushing heirloom varietys already rare into the too expensive basket”

      Which is why we should all be buying and storing organic seeds, growing them and saving them, so we can ignore this law and distribute seeds if it is policed at it’s full potential.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      Signing now…

  4. AAMC 4

    English made it very clear on Q&A that he was going to do nothing in response to downgrade as they were already on the right track.

    The Narrative now sits with you Labour, don’t drop the ball. As Seumas Milne wrote in the Guardian -‘Those who grasp that the crisis is transforming politics will shape its future’

  5. Ianupnorth 5

    Remember the power of social networking – get succinct, factual and acceptable messages out there!!

  6. That’s ’cause you can’t have all circus and no bread.

  7. Anthony 7

    Labour caucus just need to keep their discipline (or get some) and not give the Nats any more free passes in the media.

  8. U 4 United 8

    Why didn’t your lot tell Demonic Fenton that there isn’t supposed to be politics during the RWC? Why does Labour have that absurd black sign endorsing the ABs?

    • thejackal 8.1

      You mean the sign that says; WHEN THINGS LOOK BLACK, WE’RE AT OUR BEST. GO THE BOYS… OMG! Labour supports the All Blacks… Time for you RWNJ’s to fully freak right out. I guess National’s equivalent would read: WHEN THINGS LOOK RED, WE PASS THE BUCK.

  9. Cloaca 9

    Can somebody tell me that Standard & Poors got the Credit Rating right for AMI ? Why should we take any notice of an American Agency who only do things the American way – and what a stuff up American is, with no room to improve. “God Help America” should be their national anthem. Nobody else will.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      All the credit rating agencies are corrupt lackeys of the bankster occupation.

      They gave the toxic/false assets of securitized subprime mortgages (mortgages which the owners woud never be able to repay) AAA ratings: higher than NZ.

      Fuck them all.

  10. fender 10

    I thought at the time it was an odd suggestion to make RWC duration a political free time, I was rapt when Goff told phoney Key to get real, the running of the country outweighs a sporting event even if PM had ambush marketing plans.

  11. felix 11

    Key is in Australia with his new mate Peter Leech for the NRL grand final.

    He managed to find 20 minutes in his oh-so-busy schedule to chat to his other mate Murray Deaker on the radio today about how he’s a league expert now as well as an honorary all black.

    Your tax dollars hard at work.

    • queenstfarmer 11.1

      Yeah, it’s not like Helen Clark ever attended an NRL grand final featuring the Warriors.

      Oh wait, not only did she do just that, she also took 3 ministers with her:

      Prime Minister Helen Clark and three Ministers will cheer the Warriors at Sydney’s National Rugby League (NRL) grand final.

      Ms Clark confirmed yesterday she would be at Sunday’s game, with Sports Minister Trevor Mallard, Transport Minister Paul Swain, and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche.

      So that leaves the only salient part of your comment as the deliberate childish misspelling of Peter Leitch’s name, which seems appropriate for your level of discourse.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Let’s ignore the whole rest of the comment about Key appearing on the radio and putting on airs, then.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          Airs is right. He even said “one of the boys” (implying an all black in the context) had texted him to let him know about Dan Carter’s injury.

          Because sure, the first concern of the all black squad is letting Johnny pisshead know what they’re up to.

          The guy is a joke.

        • queenstfarmer 11.1.1.2

          Appearing on radio? Well that’s a fair point then – after all it’s not like Helen Clark ever appeared on the radio.

          And of course Helen Clark was never “matey” with the Mad Butcher, or associated with league. I guess it was another Helen Clark who launched Peter Leitch’s autobiography, and another Helen Clark who was the honorary patron of the NZRL for 6 years while PM.

          My advice to Felix would be to stick to childish name-calling.

          • felix 11.1.1.2.1

            It’s all Key does, framer.

            I explained that below but the sentences were a bit long and you probably got distracted by a the trip-tropping of hooves.

            My advice to you is to take a course in basic reading comprehension. If you vote Labour (actually anyone but National) you might be able to take a night school class next year.

            Helen Clark is a big league fan and a long time Warriors supporter.

            Key is a tourist.

            Keep up the comparisons, they’re always enlightening.

          • AAMC 11.1.1.2.2

            It’s got nothing to do with Helen Clark this Helen Clark that, it’s about whether Key is doing an adequate job.

      • felix 11.1.2

        queenstframer, there’s plenty more in the comment but you’re too dense to absorb it.

        The comparison to Helen Clark is indeed worth looking at. Her colleagues and adversaries alike recognise and admire her tireless work ethic, attention to detail, and inside-out first-hand understanding of everything her govt did.

        In Key’s case, by contrast, these celebrity appearances are all he ever fucking does.

  12. Pro_Rata 12

    I was amused to see Key (‘Le Clef’) hosting a radio show with upbeat patter as economic rating downgrades were announced. He sounded well-coached, not surprising as Nat president Joyce is a former disk jockey.

    It gets worse .. Dan Carter is out of the world Cup.

    Nothing is inevitable, but the last time our ‘tout negres’ lost the cup, rape crisis centres were overwhelmed in the South Island and other parts of the country reported abnormally high rates of sexual assault.

    Who would wish to be a working girl, keeping the economy ticking over, in such an environment ?

  13. Leopold 13

    RWC?

    Nous dansons sur un volcan! as le Comte de Salvandy observed in 1830

  14. fender 14

    OMG is TVNZ Keys propaganda machine? First hes in news item holding stolen baby at Sydney stadium talking crap then its revealed new poll has him running away with election, how can this be? Dont those polled have a clue about this governments poor results? No of course they dont TVNZ dont report relevant information, they too busy acting as Shonkeys propaganda machine.

    • Puddleglum 14.1

      The poll shows National’s support hasn’t changed – 56%.

      Labour down 1% to 29%, Greens up 3% to 9% (so Labour-Greens up 2%). Confidence in the economy has reduced – 45% say they expect it to be better in 12 months compared with 49% saying the same in August.  35% now think it will get worse compared with 31% in August.

      Key is up 6 points to 59% Preferred PM. Goff steady on 8%. 

      Edit: Oh, and ACT is on 1% (down 1 point)

      • mickysavage 14.1.1

        Confidence is the most important measure.  When the people are confident for their future they do not change their vote.  Confidence slipping normally means a reduction in support in the next month or two.  Here’s hoping.

  15. randal 15

    Of course it is game on. National have shown themselves to be a party of nowhere men. Hamburger heatley was trying to get teev time last week but he came across as a cross between a retread tyre salesman and a fairground barker.. As for TVNZ they fancy themselves as having an oversight role in the lives of all new zealanders and its about time their bums was kicked as well.

  16. HC 16

    New polls out tonight, both showing the National (Socialists) are leading and taking the election in November in great strides.

    Yeah, polls are generally conducted between 3 and 7 pm, when landline customers are phoned by polling services asking an array of questions, taking around 15 to 25 minutes.

    The likely respondents that are home then, that have landlines, who put up with such nuisance calls, even answer questions patiently and seriously for up to 25 minutes, tend to be senior citizens or mature baby boomers who have nothing much else to do, got their mortgages paid off, dislike “bludging” beneficiaries, love Don Key (wave and smile always appeals to elderly ladies), are not worried about losing jobs, do not care much about the long term future of NZ (due to not many years left to live) and tend to be a bit more on the “conservative” spectrum.

    So any surprises?

    Those that do not respond, decline to be involved, have no party preference, are not home, are too busy working and studying to survive and invest in their future, they may not even be included.

    Truly representative though in a modern “benign” dictatorship led by a catwalking, rugby uniform wearing wannabe PM. All is well in Aoteaoroa NZ. You are in safe hands, trust me and I will see you through (until I catch the plane out to Hawaii).

  17. Anne 17

    Those that do not respond, decline to be involved, have no party preference, are not home, are too busy working and studying to survive and invest in their future, they may not even be included.

    Add to that list the huge no. of people who can no longer afford landlines and who are likely to be Labour/Green voters. The poll companies claim they take that into consideration. Pfft… how can they do that when they can’t even contact them. The sheeples like to go along with winners… so it’s a given they are influenced by the “outcomes” of these polls.

    What a cynical and conniving rort!!

    • Vicky32 17.1

      Add to that list the huge no. of people who can no longer afford landlines

      That puzzles me greatly! I am on UB but will never give up my landline, as mobile calls are far too expensive. (I have a mobile too, but never use it for calling, only texting.) I could never be without a phone, for medical reasons.
      The more important thing I think, it that polling companies have phone numbers listed by addresses, and I have only twice in 15 years living here been asked to take part in a political poll. Polling companies know full well this is a state housing area, so they don’t call us! The first time, after I had given my Labour/Green answers, the woman who had called told me that her supervisor had just told her that my answers would not be used as “We have enough from your demographic”. I find that far more interesting than any assumptions about landlines – which are not necessarily true. Everyone in this State housing street, almost all of us on benefits – have landlines, mostly for the same reason that I do.

      • Anne 17.1.1

        I think most of those who don’t have landlines are part of a younger generation Vicky32. I have a landline too – which I can’t really afford any more – but this is what I am used to… Younger people on the other hand often can’t afford both a landline and a cell phone, so they choose their cell phone. These are the ones who never get polled, and they are an ever increasing portion of the population demographic. Note I also included the Greens in my comment who, I’m sure, would feature significantly among them.

        • Vicky32 17.1.1.1

          Younger people on the other hand often can’t afford both a landline and a cell phone, so they choose their cell phone.

          I believe that’s the case with my son and his flatmates, although in their case, being young health professionals, they have more money than I have ever seen in my life!
          I stick with my landline as it’s much cheaper otherwise I could never afford it. (I have just the phone, no add-ons, so $44.00 odd a month.) My mobile is a prepay, my son uses it to phone me, as we have this Best Mates thingy, otherwise it too would be unaffordable.
          I had a friend (one of many who have had such experiences) who was stretched out on her kitchen floor with an ectopic pregnancy, who nearly died because although her daughter found her, Chris was practising false economy – no landline phone, and the daughter had to struggle (at 5 years old!) to find a neighbour who was at home, to call an ambulance. My own son had an accident at 3 years old, and because the ex refused to have a phone, I had to do the same. The only number I can afford to call on my mobile is 111!

          • Anne 17.1.1.1.1

            Yep. It’s so unfair on those who can’t afford landlines (or broadband) but that’s NAct type market-forces for you. I splashed out on broadband – which is what I really can’t afford – but I wouldn’t be without it now. It has opened up a whole new world for me. I can access information that I never could before.

            • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Broadband is far more important than a land line now. Of course, we’re finally starting to see plans that use the broadband to supply a land line as well and that starts bringing the whole lot down in price. Won’t be long before “phone” lines cease to exist.

              also cellphone calls/txts on prepay deals can be rationed according to income – landlines are a fixed “pay up, now!”

              Orcon has a mobile plan that has a zero monthly charge. Pay by the minute but charged after use rather before. I find it more convenient than pre-pay as I don’t have to worry about how much is left and when I need to top up to keep the number.

              • Herodotus

                The cost for fibre – Data package fee, wiring of data box in house and fibre from house boundary to house, then retrofit fibre internally or wireless house link. and if there is a power failure there is a phone failure as the phone runs thru the fibre box. Unlike currently that a power cut does not inpinge on the phone (Unless you have a wireless that is plugged into a power point)
                DTB go to a new sub division and see the costs that are faced. Developments I have some understanding of – the uptake of fibre is not great owing to the costs.
                Then there is the new junction boxes that have to be established around communities, and the fibre that is blown has a limit in the distance it can travel to the properties boundary. The confusion as to who does what: is it Telecom, Chorus or Worldxchange.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The confusion as to who does what: is it Telecom, Chorus or Worldxchange.

                  All caused by the stupidity of selling Telecom in the first place and then hoping that competition would make things cheaper rather than realising that competition would actually make things more expensive as it did in the 19th century. And no party anywhere, except possibly The Alliance, even considering the the rational option of bringing the whole lot back into public ownership and going back to a monopoly provider.

              • Vicky32

                Won’t be long before “phone” lines cease to exist.

                I seriously hope not! Sometimes the old tech is best – I still have two typewriters (electronic and manual, and that way I don’t have to faff around with printers and their consumables), and I for the life of me don’t understand why TV is going to go digital, forcing everyone to get set-top boxes! If it ain’t broke, why “fix” it? When it happens, I’ll keep my TV for DVDs but for the rest, I’ll revert to radio 24/7… I’m lucky sight is not as important to me as hearing…

        • McFlock 17.1.1.2

          also cellphone calls/txts on prepay deals can be rationed according to income – landlines are a fixed “pay up, now!”

      • Herodotus 17.1.2

        V32 should you be afortunate to have copper replaced with fibre, or move to an area where fibre is the only option – there will be no landline options available. As areas that have fibre have only a dataline fee structure, you cannot just get a traditional landline. So a land line is under $50/month most datalines + box cost exceed $100/month. So for these their only other option is cellphones.
        I notice that no one is reporting this out – just how great fibre to the home is. It isn’t if you only use a phone

        • Vicky32 17.1.2.1

          So a land line is under $50/month most datalines + box cost exceed $100/month. So for these their only other option is cellphones.
          I notice that no one is reporting this out – just how great fibre to the home is. It isn’t if you only use a phone

          My giddy aunt! That’s something to worry about if I have to move… Cell phone calls are jolly expensive! Now I understand how it’s possible for someone to not be able to afford a landline… which had previously not made sense to me..

  18. Herodotus 18

    AA rating should be an issue.Yet we are now on the same level as Japan !!!! Yet nothing that has come out from labour is a game changer. Someone name a policy with how it is to be implemented by Labour that does not follow the Neo lib conformist thinking?
    CGT requires a working group before implementation. So when would a CGT pass and when could and real revenue for the govt be received? I would say 2020, at best (pity about those self serving exemptions, to tarnish the policy, I wonder how many of these exceptions benefit current politicians? ). So how is a $5k tax free threashold to be financed?
    http://www.interest.co.nz/news/51598/labour-leader-goff-calls-tax-working-group-tackle-tax-avoidance-take-pressure-middle-classes
    Be it Lab or Nat they follow the likes of the Un, IMF, World Bank we already have had much of our sovernity usurped away from NZ and decisions are being made by faceless organisations off shore.
    Iceland are experiencing this war head on – yet very little is being reported…..
    http://michael-hudson.com/2011/04/why-iceland-voted-no/

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      As has been said, a CGT doesn’t bring in a lot of tax itself but closes one of the loopholes that allow people to avoid paying tax increasing the tax take indirectly which will be an immediate change.

  19. Pro_Rata 19

    Manly have just won the final, so Key cannot vicariously feed off the winning mana of the Warriors

    • felix 19.1

      Too late for Key, he’s publicly tied to the Warriors now.

      His oft-touted political instincts seem to be failing him lately.

  20. JJ 20

    More jealousy of our popular and competent prime minister!

  21. ak 21

    So the Jonah Key kiss of death catches the Warriors in its relentless metastasis from Pike River to Christchurch, our credit rating, Don Carter and Ali McCraw or whatever their names are…..for God’s sake keep him away from the children…

  22. Rob 22

    John Key has to be the most vacuous PM NZ
    Has ever had
    Our credit rating has just been downgraded
    That and our high dollar makes us so vulnerable
    Can we ever expect him to show leadership
    And even consider showing up?

    • happynz 22.1

      Can we ever expect him to show leadership
      And even consider showing up?

      Not likely.

      What is it with the news programmes in this country, anyway? Not a peep last night nor this morning about the credit downgrade. Just more blethering about some poll showing what a magnificent bloke John Key is. One would expect this Dear Leader stuff out of North Korea. It’s creepy when it happens here.

  23. randal 23

    of course it is game on. national and their media pals thought they had it all sown up with a gallon of hair gell and teeth whitener and it was going to be a walk in the park. By now the voters have had enough of politics lite and lighter and the attempts by national to use gimps like hamburger heatley to put a face to their policies have seriously backfired. Its all over for national.

  24. sopa 24

    .. bar the counting

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    4 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    4 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    4 days ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    4 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    5 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    5 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    1 week ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    1 week ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago

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