web analytics

Greens Budget Alternative

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, May 21st, 2012 - 68 comments
Categories: budget2012, Economy, exports, greens, infrastructure, Privatisation, russel norman - Tags:

The Greens launched their Budget alternative this morning. Titled “Smart Green Economics” it lived up to the billing, as did its Economic Policy launch before the Budget. Extra heft was provided by BERL economist Dr Ganesh Nana with a commissioned paper arguing that the Government’s asset sales programme leaves the government accounts permanently worse off, and may also worsen the country’s deficit, our “largest single vulnerability”. The BERL paper is here.

Russel Norman  argued our current account deficit is in decline, our net international investment position is declining and that manufacturing, 20% of our export economy, is being decimated. He also said  that the 2010 tax switch was not fiscally neutral as the Government promised, but has left us $2.2billion worse off. Spending $14 billion on roads when the real oil price is likely to double over the coming decade is also a poor quality spend.

Russel Norman didn’t just critique, but also pointed to the opportunities in smart green economics. Openings in the geothermal sector mean it would be tragic to sell off Mighty River Power. Other opportunities combining  economic rebalancing, fiscal resilience and the smart green economy include capital gains tax, reprioritised transport spending, putting a commercial price on water, extending the home insulation scheme and boosting research and development. More included setting higher standards for fresh water, higher mining royalties and royalties reserve fund, putting a real price on carbon, having a public option of Kiwisaver, supercharging our energy SOEs, and investing in our children.

Plenty of positive stuff to think about there.

Ganesh Nana explained the difference between Government debt and deficit, and external debt and deficit. The first may or may not be bad, the second is ll bad. He said lack of clarity in much media comment around the difference between these led to confusion, with which I heartily agree. The asset sales programme as stated does not address the Government’s debt, simply replaces one asset with another. He argued that with $100 billion sitting in term deposits in the banks there was plenty of opportunity for Government to borrow from New Zealanders at realistic rates without affecting our external deficit. Again, plenty to think about.

It was good to hear about opportunities and alternatives. We’ve heard enough of TINA.

68 comments on “Greens Budget Alternative”

  1. Carol 1

    The Greens launched their Budget alternative this morning. Titled “Smart Green Economics” it lived up to the billing, as did its Economic Policy launch before the Budget. Extra heft was provided by BERL economist Dr Ganesh Nana with a commissioned paper arguing that the Government’s asset sales programme leaves the government accounts permanently worse off, and may also worsen the country’s deficit, our “largest single vulnerability”. The BERL paper is here.

    Laila Harre earning her salary then?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10795565

    Former Cabinet Minister Laila Harre has taken up a senior policy position with the Green Party.

    The Greens announced Ms Harre’s appointment today, saying she would take up a newly-created advisory role of issues director for the party.

  2. Gosman 2

    Goodo. I’d expect Interest rates to rise significantly under any Green run economy then.

    • Dv 2.1

      Good to see careful reasoned analysis gosman.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Please explain how the following statement doesn’t mean higher interest rates?

        “He argued that with $100 billion sitting in term deposits in the banks there was plenty of opportunity for Government to borrow from New Zealanders at realistic rates…”

        • Deano 2.1.1.1

          well, isn’t National saying that there’s plenty of money in term deposits for people to buy shares in the assets with? Wouldn’t that push up interest rates too, in your analysis?

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            I presume people will choose voluntarily to invest in the shares in the part privatised SOE’s because they are attracted by the returns they believe they are likely to be receiving. What will attract them from removing their savings from Term Deposits in Commercial banks and investing in Government Bonds?

            • Ant 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The fact that a nation state is generally more stable than a bank, also rational irrationality like patriotism.

              • Gosman

                The patriotism argument would apply equally to Kiwibank.

                Given that the Commercial banks have essentially an unwriiten guarrantee of protection for their deposits as a result of recent actions out of the GFC your security argument holds less sway.

                However technically there isn’t an awful lot stopping NZ people from investing in Government bonds now. They could pool their money and put it into an investment company that just buys NZ Government Bonds for example. The fact they don’t do so suggests they possibly would like the higher returns offered by the Commercial banks.

                To get more money from the people with 100 Billion in Term investments in NZ the Government will have to offer something more than just a combination of patriotism and security.

                On top of this fact is that removing a proportion of the 100 Billion will increase the cost of capital for the commercial banks who will then have to raise interest rates to raise the short fall.

                • Matt

                  The government could make interest on government bonds/notes tax exempt to attract more, ahem, interest.

                  • Gosman

                    So how will the Commercial banks make their term deposits more attractive to fill the gap caused by people leaving them to invest in Government Bonds?

                    • Ant

                      How do they compete with each other for deposits at the moment?

                      Commercial banks already exist in a climate of competition, what makes you think that a single new entrant into the market will cause such evil and horrible consequences?

                    • Matt

                      Gee I don’t know, how did they manage everywhere else tax exemptions on government bonds have been used as incentives. 

                    • Gosman

                      You really don’t get it do you? There is no such thing as a free lunch in economics. If the Greens wish to tap into the 100 billion dollars of Term Deposits to help fund their spending plans that will mean higher interest rates pure and simple. They either have to offer better returns for Government debt to tempt investors or even if they do it by reducing tax on returns they will reduce the overall capital available to banks who will have to raise interest rates on their deposit book to satisfy their needs. I am truly astounded by some leftists lack of basic understanding of finance and economics sometimes. The only way they could increase borrowing without this is via printing of money. For some reason they aren’t suggesting that.

                    • Matt

                      To satisfy their needs? Whose needs, the banks?

                      The phrase “fuck them” doesn’t begin to cover it.

                    • Gosman

                      As stated, you really don’t understand economics. At least you acknowledge that the policy will lead to higher interest rates.

                    • Matt

                      You may not be good for much (Soylent Green?) but you do have an elaborate fantasy life.

                • PaulB

                  Commercial banks do not have any sort of guarantee from the government. Get with the programme.

                  • Gosman

                    Given what happened in 2008 they have an implied guarrantee. That is the trouble when you provide it once. It becomes difficult to deny it when banks get in to trouble at a latter date.

                • Fortran

                  Only Kiwi Bank has a guarantee – the New Zealand taxpayer – which is why it has the highest security rating in the country, by Standard & Poors.
                  The overseas banks do not have that only Reserve Bank oversight.

    • Bored 2.2

      WTF have you been? Whole week somewhere else…..did you get somewhat world weary? Or was it that you had to do some “work”?

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      “Goodo. I’d expect Interest rates to rise significantly under any Green run economy then.”

      As well they should. National keep trumpeting how good it is that interest rates are low now and that they did it.

      Of course interest rates are low: the outlook for the economy isn’t great.

      High interest rates show a strong economy, low interest rates show a weak one. Of course the average idiot (and journalist) doesn’t realise this so buy into Nat’s spin 100%.

      Also nevermind that the reserve bank is independent of the government, and if the government actually had a credible economic plan I’m sure Alan Bollard would be itching to raise the rate. As it is, it’s expected it will be cut this year.

      • Gosman 2.3.1

        Not true at all. Many economies have had low interest rates on Government Bonds even when the economy was going great guns.

      • Bob 2.3.2

        In that case Lanthanide, you must have agreed whole-heartedly with Rogernomics? Intrest rates were through the roof in the late 80’s!

  3. Carol 3

    Nice slides & graphs from Norman. But I need more detail on the policies.

    What’s involved in the allegedly lucrative returns for “Green growth” and a “smart green economy”?

    How to improve the quality of water, invest in children, “supercharging our SOEs” etc?

    What is mean by a “Public option for Kiwisaver”?

  4. Peter 4

    Very nice to see it from the Greens. But again, Labour’s strategy is wanting, the major opposition party is missing in action over this Budget, at least thus far, and allowing the Greens to get all the air time. Maybe there is deep strategy in this that I miss, but I’m a bit more politically attuned than most, and if I can’t see it, the general public sure as hell can’t.

    • Ant 4.1

      Yeah Labour seems AWOL on this one…. The beauty of front-footing like the Greens have done is that it comes across as vision and not sour grapes.

  5. Liberal Realist 5

    Great to see some an alternative budget from the Greens.

    Doesn’t Russell Norman come across as a Prime Minister in waiting more and more as time goes on?

    No doubt CFM (“Corporate Fawning Media”) will not air this at all or it will be buried in the 6th page of the Herald…

    The BERL report should be the final nail in the coffin for asset sales but it won’t be. What I don’t understand is that poli pimp “The Hair” could shaft Nationals plans and be hailed as a hero for doing it. I would have thought “The Hair” would care about his political legacy? I guess not as he’ll be remembered as the Nact whoring pimp who’s vote allowed NZ’s strategic assets to be sold off…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I would have thought “The Hair” would care about his political legacy?

      I suspect at this time that he’s only concerned about the baubles of office and shafting NZ will give him those. Actually standing on principal and voting where the evidence tells him would be against giving him that sense of power.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    He argued that with $100 billion sitting in term deposits in the banks there was plenty of opportunity for Government to borrow from New Zealanders at realistic rates without affecting our external deficit.

    Governments should never borrow but print money at 0% interest. Yes, this means that the capitalists won’t have a government guaranteed income and will have to actually take some of those risks that they keep harping on about. I don’t have a problem with that.

  7. AAMC 7

    While the private sector is Deleveraging the Public sector needs to be borrowing and underpinning demand, this would seem perfect territory for the Greens as this Govt spending could be directed towards Green infrastructural development, creating jobs whilst improving the environment and boosting the economy and demand, leading to a natural reduction of debt due to an increased tax take and economic activity. Our central bank should print the money with which to achieve it.

    Yeah yeah Gosman, inflation inflation, seen any outta Japan in the last decade of stagnation and printing??

    Real problem though, the Greens won’t front foot this, the are caught up in the neo-classical narrative around debt in order to appear economically reasonable within the Orthodox framework that brought us the GFC and the GFC2 now rolling out.

    For a look at some stats on what happens to the private sector when the Public sector is in Surplus..

    http://www.slideshare.net/MitchGreen/mmt-basics-you-cannot-consider-the-deficit-in-isolation

    • Gosman 7.1

      I also haven’t seen much in the way of growth out of Japan over the past two decades despite massive investment in infrastructure projects by Government. However your linking to Japan isn’t a good fit anyway as the problem with Japan post the 1990’s has been deflation. I would agree that expansionary monetary policy would have less of a negative inflationary impact in such an environment. A more apt analogy to use is probably the UK at the moment where they have engaged in quantitative easing and also have higher inflation.

      • AAMC 7.1.1

        QE as euphemism for giving money to irresponsible banks.

        Self inflicted Austerity – like their parrots here in Nats – is what’s grinding the UK to a hault. Their QE hasn’t been invested by Govt into the economy, it’s been used to attempt to add some solvency to banks running enormous risk on re-hypothecated bubble money.

        How did you like what happened to the Private sector during Clinton’s surplus in those slides? I gather you likely didn’t look.

  8. Jackal 8

    My only real concern for the next election is that Labour will romp in and not really need to form a coalition with the Greens. But you know, we’ve had nine years of Labour where New Zealander’s standard of living declined, and now we’ve had National inflict even more damage on the country in less than half that time… so there really isn’t anything to lose in trying what the Greens are proposing. It couldn’t possibly be worse.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Bear in mind that western living standards are unsustainable without increasing availability of materials and energy, so those living standards are going to decline regardless of the party in power.

      The question is, whether or not it is organised to happen in a way which is socially sustainable and socially responsible.

      The NATs aren’t interested in any such thing, the many can starve while the few eat cake as far as they are concerned.

      And both the Greens and Labour think that “growth” will be back again tomorrow. Neither have the guts to tell the electorate the truth.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Was just about to make pretty much the same comment.

      • Jackal 8.1.2

        Agreed. I don’t mean to sound like a doomsayer, but even with an egalitarian system in place, our lifestyles are going to have to change and will in all likelihood get more difficult. It’s all about degrees of difficulty really.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1

          …and will in all likelihood get more difficult.

          It wouldn’t be a difficult lifestyle just one that has a lot less waste than the one we have now. What we’d be looking at is extending the life cycles of the products available, i.e, computers can only be upgraded every 5 years. Recycling would have to become the norm – if the product can’t be recycled then it’s not on the market. High density housing in walkable communities with buses and trains becoming necessary for longer distances.

          • Carol 8.1.2.1.1

            +1

          • Jackal 8.1.2.1.2

            You’re essentially talking about planned obsolescence DTB, which is designed into most items these days. Basically they’re designed to fail at a certain age, usually after the warranty runs out. With some things it’s a technical obsolescence, whereby new developments supersede the old. Computer and program manufacturers are some of the worst, often releasing developments slowly to maximise their profit margin.

            The problem here is that extending the life cycle of products comes at a cost to the manufacturer, so unless governments develop policy that ensures items are not designed to fail, the profit motive will continue to keep low quality products on our shelves. Government’s realize that they gain less tax if things are designed to last, so unless a new measurement of growth is developed, governments are caught in a catch 22.

            What I was talking about is the convenience of our modern lifestyles, whereby things like plastic packaging and cheap transportation will not be so readily available. The end of cheap oil and globalisation will cause a decline in availability of items because governments haven’t properly secured supply chains through localized production. The difficulty is in how fast people will learn to adapt, and to some extent, whether they can at all.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3

        +1

        Need a party which comes out with the truth rather than the comforting lies that the parties that we have propagate to sooth the populace.

      • AAMC 8.1.4

        I think it’s important to be honest on this point, especially for those of us who vote Green. They are as wedded to the narrative of growth as the rest, I understand their desire to appear mainstream, but as long as we tinker at the fringe of orthodox economics, it’s BAU.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.2

      “My only real concern for the next election is that Labour will romp in and not really need to form a coalition with the Greens.”
       
      Yep, I’m losing sleep over that possible outcome, too. Much rather have the Greens than Winnie, but, realistically, I think Labour will need both. You are completely wrong about living standards in the Clark years, by the way. Life got measurably better after a decade and a half of the ACT in disguise Lange government and the even worse Bolger/Shipley shambles. People had jobs, for starters.

      • Jackal 8.2.1

        While your essentially correct, and many indicators did improve, some did not. Gains in health look to be mainly a result of reducing smoking rates, particularly for females. The bad news is that Kiwi’s got more obese, drank more and became less physically active during the Clark years.

        However the amount of children living below the income poverty threshold halved and suicides also declined, which are often good indicators of how society (and the government) is performing. Government debt reduced and median household incomes increased under the last Labour government.

        Males lagged behind in most statistics and there were marginal lifestyle gains for females… so it’s a pass, but only just.

        Then John Key waved his shitty magic stick, and median household incomes are now in decline, Government debt has increased markedly and inequality and suicide rates are increasing. Home ownership levels are falling as well… so National gets a big fat F for fail.

        Time to give some Green policies a go methinks.

  9. I think all I can say is fucking idiot greens, they haven’t a bloody clue, they are part of the problem, and like every politician they are lying to ya.

    • Jackal 9.1

      About what?

      • AAMC 9.1.1

        About endless growth and the virtue of Govt surplus.

        • Jackal 9.1.1.1

          The old purest versus practical debate eh. Unfortunately the Greens have to work within the current system, whereby their policies will be judged to be competent if they break even or post a surplus… it’s not as simple as just dismissing capitalism. It’s pretty early days to see if there is any financial benefit to their home insulation scheme, but I expect there will be.

          The difference is where money is allocated and a clean green future in fact offers the best of both worlds. Firstly it reduces reliance on fossil fuels, which is important for our continued survivability. Secondly it means the economy will continue to function when the shit really hits the fan and we wont end up riding donkey’s to town.

    • weka 9.2

      No-one would vote for them if they told the truth.

  10. Peter in Papua New Guinea 10

    Smart Green Economics – the ultimate oxymoron.
    All the Greens want is tax tax tax and spend spend spend.
    Energy costs will jump 20% due to carbon taxes, lets see what happens in Aust in July. The polluter will pass on the cost and guess what, either demand falls due to lower spending power of inflation increases.

    • mike e 10.1

      so peter making the rest of us subsidize carbon is not a oxyoumoron

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Hey Peter, you do realise the money taken from you in taxes is being spent on us, in our communities and in our cities?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      You have NFI WTF you’re talking about do you?

      Smart Green Economics – the ultimate oxymoron.

      Nope, the only rational option. Normal economics is delusional and probably psychopathic.

      All the Greens want is tax tax tax and spend spend spend.

      Nope, go read their policies.

      Energy costs will jump 20% due to carbon taxes, lets see what happens in Aust in July.

      An increase in costs isn’t an increase in inflation but an increase in costs. Sure, demand will fall but that’s normal economics. The whole point of the “free-market” is that it will adjust to the new normal.

      Of course, we don’t actually have a free-market as it’s owned, lock, stock and barrel by the 1% and a decrease in demand will see them lose a little income which is what they’re whining about and what you’re swallowing.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        Yeah Peter is locked in a stupid unworkable model of badly thought out and unrealistic neoliberal economics.

  11. Anthony 11

    I boastfully posted the other forums before. But I guess often in self righteousness. But the way I see it, as one of the ones who caused the problem.

    Don Brash was one of the few hopes for New Zealand he said at the time about 5 years ago it would be harder than the second world war to get New Zealand to a Growing sustainable country catching up with Australia. That was over 5 years ago and he was ignored along with many of Acts initial policy’s. So if was as hard as war then well.

    The Solution is:

    I really see it, first we need pleading to international help to help us recover and get international aid. We need to outsource Government departments such as entire health sector to Australia to administer. We need to have boarder-less “passport free” crossing to Australia, common currency just for start.

    We then need to remove RMA completely and privatize the Building Department and all associated acts.

    Sell the entire Tertiary Education sector.

    Reduce income tax to 10%

    Removed GST of all food, and basic living items.

    Introduce Capital gains tax

    Sell parts or New Zealand to Europe and America allowing them to create cities such as a French city in South island ran and administered by France.

    Increase school standards. (Longer Day- Real economic teaching learn anther language from early on.)

    Remove the treaty of Wiatangi form many government items.

    Put some Politicians in jail. ( And look at performance pay- Electronic Elections on the internet).

    Write a CONSTITUTION based on the American.

    Removed number of MPs make it 99 and fix MMP i.e. party percent list choice elected from public.

    Remove Government Standards: i.e allow cheap quality small electric cars on road. Allow Insurance companies to take risk analysis – not Government
    Increase tax on alcohol. Also other government arbitrary standards which may not have cost benefit logical ratio.

    Sell some roads completely.

    Remove many testing and certification schemes.

    Reduce all fines by 50%

    Sell ACC and allow privatization and suing

    Removed 50% of Government Agency’s and ministry’s.

    Stop putting money in the Rugby industry.

    Sue the transport minister for spending millionths on motorways for the Roading Lobby.

    Invest in heavy public transport and bike lanes for the big city’s.

    Gee its going to be hard for someone.

    Will put more later

    • fatty 11.1

      LOL…is this NZ committing a capitalist crucifixion?…I kinda agree with you cause we are so far up shit creek we may as well go out with some fireworks.
      When are you gonna post the rest Anthony? I wanna know how we should slaughter the babies? Is there a mass suicide pact for poor people too?

    • happynz 11.2

      Sell parts or New Zealand to Europe and America allowing them to create cities such as a French city in South island ran and administered by France.

      This is my favourite proposal. If it came to pass I’d be plumping for a Mexican city for my own selfish reasons. The Mexican food situation here is dire. ‘Decent affordable tacos for all!’ is my rallying cry.

      Seriously though (actually, I am serious about the dire Mexican food in this country), Anthony’s libertarian wish-list is more than a bit over the top.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    Anthony must be busy rolling the dice to see which neolib policies he can put in at random with other random nonsense. No vision, no philosophy, no sense of community: Anthony is a lost row boat in a big sea.

  13. ad 13

    I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Greens’ well orchestrated set piece, bothin the timing and in the supporting analysis from a good economist. At minimum, it drew the PM out on it.

    Great tactics and go the Green team.

    Sadly, after muzzling Cunliffe, Labour’s team remain quite on the defensive this week. Precisely the wrong week to be defensive. Giving Key a free hit on Shearer – ouch!

    Knock knock Labour – anyone home? It’s budget week.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    3 hours ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    4 hours ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    7 hours ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    1 day ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    3 days ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    3 days ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    3 days ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    4 days ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    4 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    4 days ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    4 days ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    5 days ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    5 days ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    6 days ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    6 days ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    6 days ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    1 week ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    1 week ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    1 week ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    1 week ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    1 week ago
  • Massey East houses a start but Nick Smith should think bigger
    The Massey East 196-home development is a start but the Government must think bigger if it is to end the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “It is great the Government is finally realising it needs to build ...
    1 week ago
  • More changes needed to ensure fewer cases like Teina Pora’s
    Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Labour sends condolences to UK
    The New Zealand Labour Party is sickened and saddened by the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Ms Cox was killed in cold blood while simply doing her job as a constituent MP. She ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list
    Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota by 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Paula Bennett as a victim hard to swallow
    The National Party spin machine has gone into overdrive to try and present Paula Bennett as the victim in the Te Puea Marae smear saga, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Bill English in Parliament today tried valiantly to paint ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Voters to have the final veto on paid parental leave
    New Zealanders will have the final right of veto on a Government that has ignored democracy and is out of touch with the pressures and demands on families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Today’s decision by National to veto 26 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Collins should put Kiwis’ money where her mouth is
    Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash is calling on anyone who has received a speeding ticket for going up to 5km/h over the 100km/hr open road speed limit to write to him and he will take it up on their behalf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the leadership on equal pay for work of equal value?
    The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year
    New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pora case a case to learn from
    Conformation that Teina Pora will receive $2.5million from the Crown for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment does not fix the flaws in our system that led to this miscarriage of justice, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to start again with RMA changes
    The National Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act have attracted more than 800 submissions, many of them critical of key aspects of the Resource Legislation Bill. There has been much criticism of the new regulation making powers given ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • Bennett’s briefing completely unacceptable
    It is completely unacceptable that Paula Bennett briefed her political staff on the police investigation into Hurimoana Dennis after her meeting with him, despite it having nothing to do with her social housing portfolio, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Green Building Council
    Building smarter, greener cities It will be clear to anyone who has been watching the public debate on the housing crisis that housing in New Zealand is sadly far from being economically sustainable when Auckland has the fourth most unaffordable ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere