web analytics
The Standard

Hello everybody! Hi Dr Nick!

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, January 22nd, 2013 - 39 comments
Categories: accountability, bill english, Hekia parata, john key, same old national - Tags: ,

So Nick Smith is to be returned to cabinet after spending nearly a year on the bench for his ethical flaws.  Presumably 10 months on the back benches heals all those desires to abuse your powers to try to help your friends get money.

He may well get David Carter’s portfolios (Primary Industries and Local Government) as Carter moves to become speaker with Lockwood off appointed to his cushy London job.  Amy Adams is to keep his old Environment portfolio (and get some sort of promotion).

I think Robert Winter has it summed up best – Dr Smith doesn’t deserve it and will be an easy opposition target, but with so much lack of performance in the cabinet John Key can’t help but see him as in improvement.  I mean, if you’re seeing Hekia Parata as one of your best communicators… and keeping her in education (somehow making Anne Tolley look competent), anything starts to look justifiable.

And if you never saw the ethical flaws in your Finance Minister fiddling his expenses for personal gain, then misusing your powers for someone else’s gain (albeit a close personal friend) seems positively altruistic.

I give you the National Cabinet: Quality with a capital K. (please take them…)

Update: Smith get Conservation and Housing.

39 comments on “Hello everybody! Hi Dr Nick!”

  1. Northshoreguynz 1

    Was Nick Smith the minister who deregulated the building trade to let in leaky homes?

    • Lightly 1.1

      thought that was williamson

      • Bunji 1.1.1

        Wow, that took a lot of finding… I’ve always wondered who the Minister Responsible was (had heard Williamson, but wanted to check)… And the answer is:

        Graeme Lee as Minister of Internal Affairs was responsible for bringing in the de-regulating 1991 Building Act under the 1st Bolger Government. It came into full effect in 1994, and was repealed by Lianne Dalziel as Commerce Minister in 2004.

      • tracey 1.1.2

        Mr Williamson and Mr Banks voted for it at the time.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Nick Smith is a damn sight harder working and more knowledgeable than the majority of his layabout caucus colleagues, including Parata.

    Key is very short of talent in his caucus, he has the smarts to recognise that, and furthermore Key has the leadership nous and self-confidence to bring back on to the field one of his highly experienced performers.

    • McFlock 2.1

      more capable but more corrupt, vs abject, publicly displayed incompetence.

      Such choices for a tory leader.
      No wonder he’s looking glum.

    • tracey 2.2

      passage of time heals all things, especially lack of ethics… for the Pm that passage of time is less than 24 hours

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    This just shows the level of corruption in this government.

    Nick Smith used his power as a Minister of the Crown to get money for one of his Tory mates. He should be in jail for what he did but no, Key is going to give him a 100k pay rise today after giving him a six month holiday.

    While the workers of this country descend further into poverty on a daily basis, Key is rewarding his corrupt ministers. Their after party tonight will probably cost 5 times what an average worker earns in a year.

    These kind of ethics belong in a Sopranos episode or Ethiopia

  4. Peter 4

    Comments like this annoy me. We’ve gone from an outright denialist in Carter to someone far more nuanced and intelligent. Yeah, he’s still a National Party cabinet minister, but he’s very aware of those issues, and I expect to see some good things happen. It’s a less than perfect world, but some steps are better than others.

    I’ll always give Smith credit for bringing in water metering regulations – that move alone has forced a major rethink.

    • Bunji 4.1

      So because he’s slightly greener than his colleagues we shouldn’t question his ethics, even when he uses his Ministerial influence to try to get money out of government coffers for a friend?

      And his Local Government Act is pretty dang nasty stuff. Even if it had to be completed by Carter, it was his doing.

      • Peter 4.1.1

        By all means, question his ethics. You’d find close to the same level of money for mates with the other team in power too, if you looked. They all do that.

        But performance wise, I’m pleased to see him back. It may be an admission from Key that they are seriously struggling on environmental issues.

        • tracey 4.1.1.1

          Did he agree or disagree with the demolition of the democratic structure in Christchurch to ensure dairy farmers who have chosen to dairy on drought affected land can get all the water they want from the rivers???

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    Smith back, Kaye in, Bridges gets Labour. Bye everybodyyyy from Wilknison and Heatley. Claire Trevett has the details:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10860685

  6. vto 6

    Why don’t Labour announce a reshuffle at the exact same time and dilute the news? Get in amongst the news and ankle tap the Nats. All most people would hear then is labour and national and heads changing places, instead of the news being all about the nats.

    Is Shearer still on hols?

    • karol 6.1

      In their article predicting a Smith comeback, Stuff also said Shane Jones would be back to the Labour front bench in Shearer’s upcoming reshuffle – in the next week or so, I think. It’s since been removed from the Stuff article.

  7. xtasy 7

    Nick Smith appears to be replacing Phil Heatley as Minister for Housing now.

    That tells me: The Nats are going to plan a greater emphasis on housing policies, and it seems that they want to take the bull (if one can call Shearer and his Labour caucus such at all, ha, ha) by its horns, to offer a probably more “market friendly” alternative to Labour’s housing policies announced a bit before Christmas.

    So Nick the d*** has been “forgiven” for his inappropriate conduct while ACC Minister.

    An interesting bit I heard on 1ZB this morning, where both Hooton and Pagani were asked about their interpretations on Smith’s return to cabinet.

    Pagani talked about Smith being viewed as a competent or great “reformer” and as having been working on paving the way to possibly privatise ACC at some stage.

    She then made a bizarre comment re reforming and privatising, a bit like, this would be just “what the right wing of the Labour Party would want”, but then she swiftly corrected herself, referring afterwards to the “right wing of the National Party”.

    Well, I had to wonder, was she honest, or was it just a little verbal mix-up??!

    Heatley appears to have been unable to convince Key that he is worth having for looking after housing. That is very interesting.

  8. George D 8

    As Peter said, he’s not incompetent, just ideologically and ethically challenged. He’s also probably the least-worst person they have to be dealing with these issues, from the perspective of someone who cares deeply about our environment and the future of our country. That doesn’t make him good, of course.

    If you want to get Nick Smith out (you’d make my Grandma very happy), you need to put forward someone other than Maryan Street to contest his seat. She’s a nice person who doesn’t have what it takes to win. While he could survive on the list for a while, but he’d get churned out and replaced by fresher talent. Right now, he’s safe until he wants to retire, however many years in the future that is – he’s not that old.

    To think that Nelson used to be a pretty safe Labour seat…

    • tc 8.1

      ‘To think that Nelson used to be a pretty safe Labour seat…’ and Waitakere, Mangakiekie etc etc. Some are down to a better message some are down to dud candidates.

      Let’s all wade ankle deep across the Nat talent pool but as they say in sport you don’t have to ge good, just better than your opposition.

      Your move DS.

    • pollywog 8.2

      Who would you have in mind to contest and oust Smith from Nelson?

      • George D 8.2.1

        I don’t know Nelson. Someone with presence, mana, and intelligence, and with a degree of respect from the community. Whoever that is (they probably don’t exist, and will have to be cultivated).

        • pollywog 8.2.1.1

          if Labour can parachute a custom fit for Mana like they did with Fa’afoi, why not drop in some rich old redneck to suit Nelson:)

  9. Rich 9

    This is, one should note, his second offence. He got convicted for contempt of court in 2004, but the (Labour) speaker considered that the entertainment value of keeping him in parliament outweighed his transgression.

  10. karol 10

    Just alerted to the extension of Bennett’s role in the reshuffle, by a tweet from Sue Bradford:

    Cabinet housing changes an indictment of Heatley, alongside a stark warning as Paula Bennett now involved here as well http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/pm-announces-changes-cabinet-line/5/145587

    From the voxy article that Bradford links to:

    “I have also asked Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to work with Nick as Associate Housing Minister, reflecting the strong links between these two areas. Tariana Turia will remain as Associate Minister and a part of that housing team.”

  11. Ed 11

    Smith earned my contempt for his blatant dishonesty regarding ACC. The misrepresentation of its financial position, when he must have known that it held higher reserves than when National was previously in power, and had always been based on a government guarantee, was accompanied by an appalling muzzling of Directors and Management before a select committee hearing, all to try and line ACC up for sale. The industry had however been burned once with National’s antics, and he eventually turned to merely repeating the lies to try to discredit Labour, and to line up some ‘good news’ for when they decide to politically determine a reduction in levies and government contributions.

    Smith may well have influenced the continuation of that cynical misrepresentation when National recently decided to ignore recommendations to reduce levies – they want to save that for election ‘good news’ . . .

    National have clearly been hurt by their housing failures and Labours initiative – look for more dishonesty from Smith and Bennett as they try to persuade us that black is white . . .

  12. tracey 12

    Wilkinson has done little wrong, imo, other than telling the truth as employment minister and having to be “corrected” by the PM for mistakenly telling the truth about National intention and then resigned in the wake of the Pike River report… So she is gone. Brownlee must have s detailed GPS data system on where the bodies are buried… he was more culpable than Wilkinson over Pike River.

    Women dont really last long in this cabinet, get the shit jobs and shitty times and then get knocked off…

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Wilkinson has done little wrong, imo,

      Wilkinson was completely shit and incompetent at her job at Conservation. She had no personal interest or care in the subject area of Conservation. She let her Departmental budget get slashed and failed to defend her staff when they were attacked. She let NZ’s international reputation as conservation leaders go down the tubes via issues like the Ross Sea, and 100% Pure.

      To claim that Wilkinson was demoted just because she was a woman you’d have to claim that Nikki Kaye was promoted just because she was a woman.

      In reality, Wilkinson sucked bad at her job, and Key showed the leadership nous to make her pay.

    • Peter 12.2

      Wilkinson is quite possibly the worst Minister that the conservation portfolio has had. She’s presided over the loss of most DOC scientists, and another upcoming review (that she did little to stop) will result in the loss of a lot of uniformed area staff.

      She’s also stood by whilst all sorts of crazy commercial proposals are being proposed for the conservation estate – try CV’s two private roads for private companies within public parks. Also try the Minister losing her ability to even create a new scenic reserve – Phil Heatley’s bill going through parliament right now stops that, and gives that power to Brownlee’s faction in cabinet. Oh yeah, it also approves, by rubber stamp, mining on most of the conservation estate.

      Where’s the march down Queen Street on this one?

      She also tried to remove a marine reserve from Akaroa Harbour, was taken to the High Court, and lost.

      Amongst my friends and colleagues, Wilkinson’s sacking was treated with cheering.

  13. coolas 13

    Nick Smith is the architect of the draconian Local Government reforms that open the way for Council amalgamations at the whim of lobby groups, (by-passing referendum), and stripping Councils of their cultural/social well-being functions. The guy’s a wrecker, as well as devious, and dishonest.

    Now he’s back with Housing and Conservation. He’ll slaughter Labour’s housing policy – he’s good at that (I can see Shearer stammering and bumbling already) and with Conservation he’ll no doubt scheme a way to deliver more DOC estate to mining, promote fracking, and any other transfer of public wealth to private he can find.

    Fortunately Nick Smith is prone to fucking up, and he can go loopy under pressure. Might take awhile now he’s ‘refreshed’ but I’m confident he’ll fuck up again.

  14. rod 14

    The Brat Pack are alive and well. Ryall, English and now Smithy’s back. Jeez, Thanks for nothing Johnboy.

  15. bad12 15

    Yes Wilkinson paid the price of Pike River, and Phil Heatley is about to pay the price for being unable to move 150 odd State House tenants out of their West Auckland homes without first creating what is best described as a riot and some very bad publicity for the National Government, plus Phil’s propensity to take on the characteristics of a frightened mouse every time Labour’s Annette King rose in the House to ask Phil yet another barbed question to which He didn’t have an answer,

    While not wanting to fear monger the advice to HousingNZ tenants is to at least consider a plan ‘B’, Smith hasn’t been elevated to Housing Minister if there is not a ‘plan’ about to be put in motion,

    Moving tenants from desirable HousingNZ properties so as to free up the land for ‘private speculators’ seems to be the current flavor of this Slippery National Government and we may yet see more of an imperative applied to such tenants to move than has currently been the practice, i will choose not to speculate upon what form of leverage Smith and Bennett might use to move the poorest of the poor located in the State housing portfolio ‘on’,

    The politics of the changes Slippery has made to His Cabinet are a continuance of the finely balanced nature of the National Party Cabinet where the English ‘brat pack’ have one of their number back in the form of Smith,(although why they would want Him is beyond me), and Slippery gets a definite acolyte in the form of Nikki Kaye in to keep the balance between the 2 camps on a par,

    Meanwhile downstairs in the also ran’s corner Maurice Williamson has a couple of recruits awaiting tasks for their idle hands, Maurice who flatly refused the House Speakers role when Slippery tried in vain to shoehorn the biggest threat to His leadership(Williamson) into the position hasn’t quite finished painting the target on His leaders back but should find a couple of able brush-hands in the deposed Wilkinson and Heatley who’s only way back into the Cabinet is to support a challenger at some point in the future when the numbers add up…

  16. millsy 16

    Well my calls turned out to be wrong. The only one I got right was having Kate Wilkinson lose all her portfolios (by implication). Dont ever ask me for advise on what horse to put your wages on.

    Foss got the boot instead of Parata.
    Nick Smith had DOC under Shipley/Bolger, I cannot really trust him with it again, cannot really trust him with Housing either.

    • bad12 16.1

      Wasn’t the news clip of the Slippery one enlightening, Slippery appears most at ease and loses the voice that slides toward the speech of a 5 year old with undertones of a lithp when doing what He does best,

      Giving it to previously trusted allies is something He was noted and applauded for in His previous guise as a trading floor functionary,(minor), in the International Banking Industry,

      Wonder if this morning mere hours before we all learned of His sacking He gave Phil Heatley His sweetest of smiles as He dispatched the fallen from grace Minister to ‘Siberia’ with no right of return…

    • Anne 16.2

      Maybe your calls were too logical millsy. :)

  17. BeeDee 17

    “Moving tenants from desirable HousingNZ properties so as to free up the land for ‘private speculators’ seems to be the current flavor of this Slippery National Government and we may yet see more of an imperative applied to such tenants to move than has currently been the practice, i will choose not to speculate upon what form of leverage Smith and Bennett might use to move the poorest of the poor located in the State housing portfolio ‘on'”.

    Britomart Flats in Berhampore for instance! Rumours abound in Wellington about demolition of these flats and planned sale to a private developer. It’s a leaky building but the reason being given for moving people out is that the building is an earthquake risk.

    • bad12 17.1

      Aha, i am going to assume that they housed the tenant’s in other HousingNZ properties???, i was told recently of another HousingNZ property that had been vacated by the tenant and immediately sold into the private market for 500 thou,

      i don’t know how true that is, sometimes people pass on such info that later turns out to be untrue presumably for the sheer joy of watching my blood boil,

      The problem being, and in Wellington this is exacerbated by the need to find housing for the City Council tenants currently going through the upgrade of the Council housing stock is that every time they close a block for whatever reason without first having built replacements(a forlorn hope with this lot as Government), the overall housing situation becomes that much more dire and can be seen in the reported 3 fold increase of night-shelter patrons,

      The other major block to get the axe from the HousingNZ portfolio in Wellington was that block of flats up on the Terrace, and i am willing to bet that it’s bowled over and the university aquires the land,

      There’s whole streets in Lower Hutt with boarded up HousingNZ residencies and in Porirua whole blocks were knocked over by the last Labour Government and the land still lies empty,

      This in the middle of a housing affordability crisis in both the ownership and rental markets to say the least is unacceptable and the only ‘good’ to come of the whole mess is to show us all that the ‘market’ has failed in meeting the housing needs of the New Zealand population and building programs as accomplished by previous Governments need be urgently implemented…

  18. Lloyd 18

    Nick is already blaming Councils and the RMA for the high cost of housing. Why?

    No mention of the failure of the market as it is in the interest of every spec builder to build the biggest house possible on any lot, which means the most expensive house for that piece of land. No mention that it will take government to build smaller cheaper houses unless market rules are changed.

    Also no mention of the lack of a capital gains tax means that speculation on houses will continue Meaning that first home buyers are out-bid time and again by ‘investors’, who then gain most benefit by selling the house to another investor in a few years time.

    No mention that increasing numbers of government rental properties would act on the market to lower rents and therefore the profits of private property speculators and help slow house price increases.

  19. peterlepaysan 19

    Gordon Campbell asked what was wrong that reinstating Nick Smith was the answer?

    Any ideas anyone?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Confidence slumps in Auckland
    Auckland has joined the rest of the country in seeing a major slump in business confidence, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “This proves that in spite of the housing bubble, the city is not immune from nervousness about the… ...
    26 mins ago
  • Government has no credible climate change plan
    Today’s announced climate change target falls short of the ambition required to meet even our existing targets, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “The target announced today amounts to a decrease of only 11 per cent from 1990 levels. This… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Auckland house prices now 10 times incomes
    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    4 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    5 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    6 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    6 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    6 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    6 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    6 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    6 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    7 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    7 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 week ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 week ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere