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 It came into full effect in 1994, and was repealed by Lianne Dalziel as Commerce Minister in 2004.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

  • ANZ has moral obligation to fully compensate farmers
      The ANZ Bank has a moral obligation to fully compensate farmers after the High Court today declared it breached the Fair Trading Act by misleadingly representing interest rate swap loans, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. The Commerce… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Fairfax can’t use restructure to cut terms and conditions
    The restructure and upheavals at Fairfax should not be used as an opportunity to cut journalists’ terms and conditions, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Businesses have to adapt to new technologies and consumer demands and there is… ...
    17 hours ago
  • McCully excuses unravel in Saudi sheep scandal
    Murray McCully has misled New Zealanders, Parliament and his Cabinet colleagues on the real reasons for paying millions of dollars in the Saudi sheep scandal – it’s time for him to clean, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Nats break health and education spending promises
    National has outstanding promises of almost $1 billion to be spent on health, education and agriculture from the Future Investment Fund but has only $536 million left in the fund, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “John Key and Bill… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    23 hours ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    1 day ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    1 day ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    2 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    2 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    2 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    2 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    3 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    3 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    3 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    3 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    3 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    4 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    4 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    6 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    7 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    7 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    7 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    7 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    7 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    7 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    7 days ago

  • Med student crisis wake-up call
    The national student NZUSA is putting its full weight behind the growing calls by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association, political parties, youth wings and professional associations for the Government to immediately reinstate access to the ...
    38 mins ago
  • EMA Supports Need to Get the Health and Safety Bill Right
    With New Zealand facing the biggest changes to health and safety laws in 20 years, the EMA supports the Governments delay of the Health and Safety Reform Bill if it means getting the right result for employers and workers. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa meets with transition providers
    Relationships Aotearoa met this morning (Thursday, 28 May) with representatives of four of the five providers appointed by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to transition RA clients. ...
    18 hours ago
  • ‘Count human health in your climate calculations’
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. Doctors, nurses,… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Mccully Must Disclose Legal Advice
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, to publicly release the legal advice relating to the Saudi sheep deal. ...
    19 hours ago
  • ‘Count human health in your climate calculations’
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Salaries for Members of Parliament
    The Remuneration Authority has issued its determination on the salaries for Members of Parliament following amendments to the provisions in the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 earlier this year. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Government must not abandon health and safety reform
    While resistance in the National Party caucus delays the passage of the Health and Safety Reform Bill, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid says there should be no health and safety law exceptions for small businesses and farmers. ...
    21 hours ago
  • MasSiVe Hikoi welcomed by Human Rights Commission
    The Human Rights Commission is welcoming this week’s MasSiVe hikoi led by Kiwi men who oppose sexual violence. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Ongoing celebrations for Supreme Court ruling
    Recreational fishers are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that changed the fisheries management landscape in New Zealand. In a landmark decision in 2009 the Supreme Court confirmed the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, ...
    22 hours ago
  • Banks investigation “not subject to political interference”
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority found that the Police investigation into John Banks’ return of expenses and donations at the conclusion of the 2010 Auckland Super City Mayoral election was thorough and robust and was… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Using racism to win means you’ve already lost
    The Human Rights Commission is urging everyday New Zealanders to stand up to racist sports fans and players. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Jim Butterworth
    Jim Butterworth was the elder statesman of our great union. He served to protect and advance the interests of New Zealand working people over many years of union organising and leadership. Jim led the northern region of the Engineers’ Union… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Closure of Relationships Aotearoa
    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand.  ...
    24 hours ago
  • Three Years Since Villaggio Fire
    Jane and Martin Weekes, the parents of the two-year-old triplets, New Zealand citizens, who were killed in the Villaggio mall fire in Doha, Qatar, on 28 May 2012 will be reflecting on the short lives of Lillie, Jackson and Wilsher… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Count human health in your climate calculations
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    24 hours ago
  • PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay DHB’s decision on food services
    The PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s decision to reject Health Benefits Limited’s proposal to outsource food services to multi-national company Compass Group. ...
    1 day ago
  • Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices and Volumes)
    We are combining the Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices) and Overseas Trade Indexes (Volumes) into one release as of next week’s 2 June publication. ...
    2 days ago
  • Core government cap disappointing and disingenuous
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Government’s continued focus on capping the size of core government administration is counter to providing New Zealanders with the services they need and depend on. ...
    2 days ago
  • Saudi ‘Compensation’ Not in Full And Final Settlement
    The Taxpayers’ Union is has uncovered that despite building a $7.5 million ‘Agri-hub’ and paying $4 million to the Al Khalaf Group, no settlement agreement or liability waiver was secured in relation to the apparent claim the Government is using… ...
    2 days ago
  • SkyCity still holds winning hand
    SkyCity still holds winning hand despite having to pay more for Convention Centre The Problem Gambling Foundation says it is not surprising SkyCity was prepared to put more money into the Convention Centre considering the Casino has been granted ...
    2 days ago
  • Doctor, I’ve got a 7 year itch
    Young Labour supports the campaign by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association to have the 7 year lifetime limit on student loans scrapped. “This policy by the National Government makes no sense. It means that medical school students may be… ...
    2 days ago
  • Vulnerable people will be most affected by closure
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is concerned that vulnerable clients are being left in the lurch in the wake of the abrupt closure of Relationships Aotearoa. ...
    2 days ago
  • Young Nats call for Govt to back Med Students
    The Young Nats support the New Zealand Medical Students Association’s campaign to exempt medical students from the seven year equivalent full time study cap on borrowing for course costs, and want the cap extended to nine years for this group… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review of fire services a major opportunity for future
    Wellington, Wednesday 27 May 2015 - Rural and urban volunteer firefighters make up 80 percent of New Zealand’s fire services. Their representative organisation, the United Fire Brigade’s Association (UFBA), says the Minister for Internal Affairs, ...
    2 days ago
  • Fire Service review rules out fairest option
    Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton says “the Government has made a mockery of genuine consultation by ruling out the fairest, most cost effective and sustainable way of funding the Fire Service” in its release of the Fire Services review… ...
    2 days ago
  • NZMA supports students’ call on loans
    The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports the call by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) for the Government to urgently address the impact of time restrictions on the student loans of many medical students currently ...
    2 days ago
  • No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm
    Exclusive: No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm WEDNESDAY 27 MAY 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered that despite taxpayers forking out $11.5 million to build an ‘Agri-hub' in Saudi Arabia, officials failed ...
    2 days ago
  • Abduction attempt blamed on lax politicians
    Commenting after yesterday's attempted abduction of a five year old boy outside a Hastings school the Sensible Sentencing Trust has lashed out at politicians for “putting our kids at an undue and totally unacceptable risk”. ...
    2 days ago
  • Press Release from SuperGrans Aotearoa
    SuperGrans applaud the government for providing an extra $25 per week for low income families and further supporting Whanau Ora, Children’s Teams and CYF. These are all initiatives that will enhance collaborative effort to support our precious and ...
    2 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa welcomes discussion
    The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) advised by phone this afternoon (26 May) that five agencies have been selected to undertake the work Relationships Aotearoa (RA) had been contracted to provide for MSD. “Since 15 May, RA has been working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Human Rights Commission welcomes Rotorua partnership model
    Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy has welcomed news that Rotorua District Council has agreed to a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership model. ...
    2 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve
    Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve Christchurch City Council wants public input into a plan that could help make Banks Peninsula's Takapūneke Reserve a National Reserve. The Council is currently seeking written suggestions to help draft a Reserve ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    What the Dickens is going on at SDHB? Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping ...
    3 days ago
  • Maori Party Labels One Man, One Vote Supporters as Racist
    The Maori Party’s approach of bullying and intimidation against those who have stood up for one person, one vote, in Rotorua, is a dishonourable act by Members of Parliament that should know better. Democracy Action, a pressure group which champions… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government proses weakening the Health and Safety law
    “The Government’s suggestion that the new workplace health and safety laws will be weakened is very disappointing”, says Hazel Armstrong health and safety lawyer and member of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel. ...
    3 days ago
  • Giving faces to the faceless
    Powerful films and unforgettable documentaries can highlight human rights in ways speeches and documents never will says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. ...
    3 days ago
  • Deaf Aotearoa applaud NZ On Air funding announcement
    Deaf Aotearoa are thrilled with the announcement that NZ On Air will be providing additional funding for captioning on TV One, TV2, TV3 and FOUR. Independent captioning and audio description service Able will receive $400,000 more in the coming year,… ...
    3 days ago
  • Scott Technology lays off Christchurch workers
    Thirteen workers at Scott Technology, which manufactures, services and installs equipment for the appliance industry, were informed last week that they have been made redundant. This announcement, which came as a shock to the workers, comes after ...
    3 days ago
  • Smaller Convention Centre Should Mean Less Pokies
    Family First NZ says that with the downsizing of the SkyCity Convention Centre, the legislative concession for allowing an increased number of pokie machines should be significantly reduced, if not scrapped. “As we said from the outset, this deal ...
    3 days ago
  • Parliament missing in action on RMA reform
    Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said recent indications of ‘no change’ to sections 6 and 7 of the Act means it is now clear that after six years Parliament is incapable of delivering anything more than the lowest common denominator –… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government wants safer workplaces… or does it?
    Government wants safer workplaces… or does it? Today a widow and a mother sit together in the High Court in Wellington fighting for justice for the men that were killed at work in the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010,… ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders reckon they’re doing pretty well
    The majority of New Zealanders say they’re highly satisfied with their lives, and slightly more rate their sense of purpose highly, Statistics New Zealand said today. These are the first results from Statistics New Zealand’s survey of nearly 9,000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Rural hospitals’ services vulnerable
    “The Southern District Health Board’s efforts to tighten its financial belt are clearly going to have very serious consequences for rural hospitals,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists ...
    3 days ago
  • Settlement and iwi unity overwhelmingly important to Ngāpuhi
    The settlement of historical Te Tiriti Waitangi grievances and iwi unity are growing in importance to Ngāpuhi, says a Horizon Research survey report released on 24 May. ...
    3 days ago
  • Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous”
    26 May 2015 Media Release Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous” The government must not water down changes to health and safety legislation which are vital for New Zealand workers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayers Short-Changed by Skycity Deal
    The Taxpayers’ Union is outraged over the latest details of the SkyCity convention centre released today, specifically that the number of delegates the centre will be able to hold has been reduced for a second time. Taxpayers’ Union Executive ...
    3 days ago
  • Parental Notification Supported by Parents & Teens
    Family First NZ is calling on politicians to reflect the concerns and wishes of parents and also teenagers, and ensure that young pregnant girls in a crisis situation receive the family support they deserve and need. ...
    3 days ago
  • Integrated approach needed for Māori economic development
    Business and asset development, employment opportunities and wealth creation must contribute to Māori well-being, according to iwi at the launch of a Māori economic development research report in Whakatāne. ...
    3 days ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere