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Home thoughts from abroad

Written By: - Date published: 7:19 pm, February 20th, 2014 - 55 comments
Categories: election 2014, labour - Tags:

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett has put up a couple of  interesting posts for an international audience on progressonline,  about Labour’s prospects in the upcoming election.   While I don’t necessarily agree with all his specific policy preferences, I think his political message is timely and accurate. I  agree with him that Labour’s approach to this election cannot be “just a list of things that you’re against.”

I could write National’s election pitch now. I don’t know where to find Labour’s in one place. The components are certainly there, as Nick Leggett points out. But they need to be pulled together, not buried under an endless barrage of negative press releases that sometimes appear to be more about personal point-scoring than focussing on the things that matter to voters.

I’m pleased Nick has aired his concerns. Politics is about perceptions, as the cliche has it. And he’s not the only one that has concerns. It’s time for Labour to focus more on the things that it’s for, and what it will do. That could be very popular with voters.

55 comments on “Home thoughts from abroad”

  1. newsense 1

    Kiwi Assure
    Early Childhood education, Paid parental leave, Baby payment
    Auckland rail link started in 2016
    Charter School to be scrapped
    Single power buyer model
    A promise to look at the Greens well received solar power scheme
    Living Wage for all public servants employed by the Government
    Prioritisation of living wage contractors in government contracts
    Re-assessing the casino deal

    That’s a fairly good start and that’s just off the top of my head.

    • karol 1.1

      Agree, newsense.

    • Mary 1.2

      What about the Social Security Act? Or is that still a no-go zone for Labour? Worse still, will it be more of the same from Labour?

    • Richard McGrath 1.3

      So you mean

      Kiwi Assure (which Kiwibank has been providing already)
      The baby bribe (which has turned off the middle class, leading to today’s horrendous poll result for the left)
      Scrapping charter schools (which is all about protecting teacher union members and nothing about offering choices to parents and kids)
      Single power buyer model (nationalisation by stealth)
      Greens solar power scheme (unviable without taking money from others – fortunately people are waking up to the voodoo economics of solar)
      Living wage – creates unemployment in the private sector, but not in the cossetted world of the public service, far removed from the real world of supply & demand and reward commensurate with productivity. And why is the living wage not $50 an hour? Or $100?
      Casino deal – I agree the government should not be involved in gambling and giving any corporate welfare to casinos (or banks, or any other private enterprise). One thing to which I can relate.

      Come on Labour, lift your game.

  2. karol 2

    I’m really not clear on what Nick Leggett is offering as an alternative strategy for Labour.

    And there are things in his two posts that I find questionable:

    Post #1: Labour needs to poll higher to have “the moral authority” to govern?

    The 2nd post: Labour should not be chasing the non-voters? But should be aiming to take votes off National?

    “But there is clear majority support in the wider electorate for both a pursuit of strategic mining and a far greater investment in motorways. ”

    Support for raising the retirement age?

    I’m fine with more apprenticeships and trades jobs.

    • swordfish 2.1

      “I’m really not clear on what Nick Leggett is offering as an alternative strategy for Labour.”

      As a resident of Porirua (of which Leggett is, of course, Mayor) I can tell you he’s pure Blairite. Very much associated with the Goff/King Right of the Party. Along with his good friend and former Goff insider, Phil Quinn, Leggett was a fan of Rogernomics and, as a youngster, was inspired to join Labour by Mike Moore (of all people !!!!!!!!! Imagine being inspired by someone who played a leading role in the betrayal of Labour voters while, at the same time, burbling on endlessly about Lamb-burgers).

      He gives a broad hint that, like Labour’s Right, his strategy is to move to the “centre” to win the swing vote (as opposed to mobilising the non-vote). He’d no doubt call it “modernisation”.

      Legget’s a guy who, for instance, in his first term as mayor, evicted a whole group of poor single elderly people (whose sole income was the pension) from social housing provided by the council. People who lived through Depression and War unceremoniously chucked out of their homes of a decade or more presumably so that the highly ambitious, upwardly mobile young Mayor could say something impressive about “rationalising Council assets” on his CV.

      The website he’s posted on also appears to be of a British Blairite ilk. I see there’s a post by some git calling for British Labour to challenge the Co-op’s boycott campaign against Israel’s illegal settlements. He even describes the Palestinian territories (illegally occupied by Israel according to International Law) as “disputed territory.” Israel’s leading apologist in the New Zealand media – the neo-conservative bore, David Cohen – wrote a Listener piece last year promoting Leggett as the next Labour leader. Perhaps Leggett shares the Israel-Right-or-Wrong Policies of Britain’s Blairites ? (who made membership of ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ compulsory for anyone in the British Labour Party with any Cabinet ambitions).

      • karol 2.1.1

        Thanks swordfish. My feelings on the subtext of the two posts was – Goff as leader, good; Cunliffe not doing as well.

        Trotter: Q.E.D.

      • bad12 2.1.2

        Nicely put swordfish, as a Porirua boy by birth i would have described Leggat in far harsher terms, you have tho encapsulated the main points nicely tho…

      • Tracey 2.1.3

        Thanks swordfish

        I hadnt read your post when I wrote mine at 720. I had the feeling I was reading someone who wants national lite but wondered if I was too jaundiced.

    • Tracey 2.2

      I thought the same about those two points.

      To take off national you have to be offering broadly the same failed ideology cos thats what moved them from l to n. Stop trying to get back the people who loved what roger douglas did.

      Moral mandate is straight from the nat playbook.

      The mayor seems to have bought the nat message pretty strongly which is important because it shows how easily the nat meme travels. Labour and Greens get your memes going.

      a few pithy things and say them over and over

  3. newsense 3

    affordable housing too…

    • Herodotus 3.1

      Affordable housing is only a pr policy. There is nothing contained within the Labour (or national) policy that will improve the current situation. And I am sure that Labour strategists are fully aware of this, yet they feel obligated to be seen to be doing something.

  4. xtasy 4

    That post or article by Nick raises as many questions as it tries to answer, it is neither here nor there, rather exposing more lack of clear direction of what Labour NZ stands for, I am afraid. Do NOT celebrate this, please, it should be seen as more reason to re-assess and re-orientate, while the time for this, and clear cut, progressive policies is slowly running out in this so important election year.

    I sincerely hope that Labour get their act together and present some truly modern, progressive, constructive and supportive policies in the coming months, otherwise they are likely to stuff up again.

  5. Clemgeopin 5

    I agree that Labour leaders should continuously talk about their policies clearly as public memory is short and easily distracted by National’s muckraking and PR stunts.

    Keeping our policies in the minds of the electorates is the key, not Key..

  6. Chooky 6

    Good interesting Post …and yes agree xtasy….”I sincerely hope that Labour get their act together and present some truly modern, progressive, constructive and supportive policies in the coming months”

    …….Labour should just IGNORE NACTs game playing ( and stop playing a defensive role all the time)

    ……..Labour needs to set in place a NEW GAME ( I sincerely believe they need an advertising agency or professional outside help to do this)….an attacking game and a positive game as you point out

    …….Labour needs to appoint NEW SPOKESPEOPLE for its most important policy portfolios

    As Mike Smth says :”It’s time for Labour to focus more on the things that it’s for, and what it will do. That could be very popular with voters”.

    ( and of course I think they have Winnie in the BAG…after Key’s spying on him)

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      The new game is a good idea, but I think advertising agencies are to be avoided. They’re not genuine enough.

      You’d do better to recruit Dotcom – a man who knows how to connect with the cloud.

      Labour should be preparing a kickstarter-like initiative for regional development – this will generate sustainable growth and success stories.

      Documenting the ‘failed nation’ of planet Key will also help pull New Zealanders together to rebuild our country. It’s never needed it more.

      • Chooky 6.1.1

        @Stuart Munro ….yes you are probably correct about advertising agencies…and Dotcom’s help could be brilliant…if it could be pulled off.

        …also your other ideas seem REALLY GOOD to me!

        • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1

          Thanks… like most of us I’ve been worrying about this stuff for decades.

          But I also got to spend a bit of time with Lee Kie-Hong before he died. The bloke whose economic plans took Korea from where it was in 1950 to where it is today… I don’t know a tenth of what he knew – but the character of his reforms – bottom up, empowering communities, prioritising education I learned somewhat.

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 6.1.1.1.1

            The bloke whose economic plans took Korea from where it was in 1950 to where it is today…

            With the country run by a group of families and where the government is practically indistinguishable from the operations of the chaebol conglomerates? Yeah, that sounds awesome.

            • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s not perfect certainly. But in 1950 it was poorer than Somalia. Somalia has not progressed.

              The thing is, all these neo-liberal reforms NZ suffered were predicated on generating a miraculous surge of growth. Neo-liberalism doesn’t work though, so all the sacrifices have only made New Zealanders poorer. All these politicians who like to talk about growth ought to be very interested in a system actually generates growth. But, oddly enough, they’re not.

              When New Zealanders are reduced to eating tree bark, and 30% of us starve, as will happen soon enough if National and ACT have their way, it will pay to know how to rebuild.

  7. BM 7

    Labour only has one policy.

    Tax the fuck out of the majority of kiwi workers and redistribute that money to their supporters.

    Can’t say it’s won me over.

    • newsense 7.1

      really about time I changed handles with you…

    • Arfamo 7.2

      Um…have you been checked for alzheimer’s? That’s the Nats’ policy.

      • BM 7.2.1

        No it’s not.

        This baby start policy is a pitch at low income breeders, which the vast majority of are labour voters.

        Living wage is a pitch at low skilled workers, which the vast majority of are labour voters.

        Money for these policies have to come from some where and that some where is higher taxes or more taxes.

        The 1% ain’t going to pay for these bribes it will be the middle income wage earner.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.1

          50% of working kiwis earn less than 22 bucks an hour for a 36 hour week bm

          These middle income earners you speak of… earning 25 bucks an hour are the target of labour?

          What are you pretending to earn these days bm?

    • Clemgeopin 7.3

      BM, You are OK with unlimited wealth and income of the small % at the top of the chain and do not care enough for the well being of the vast majority in the country? The 1 to 2 billion dollars of tax cuts EACH YEAR, that primarily gives a bonanza to the wealthiest, by reducing a modest tap rate of tax from 39% to 33% is ok with you? Do you really think that 39% of tax at the top end of income is TOO much? Do you prefer a rich man favouring indecent government or a progressive and caring fair government?

      • BM 7.3.1

        Most of the people that make serious coin tend to use serious tax minimization strategies,which tends to provide a shield from tax increases.

        It’s the people who are in a waged position that cope all the tax increases because they can’t write off any of their income.

        • Arfamo 7.3.1.1

          You’re right. So the answer is to remove the serious tax minimisation loopholes for the serious coiners. These people probably really should be shot but that’s going a bit too far these days. And we’d probably have nobody left in Parliament if that happened.

          • bad12 7.3.1.1.1

            Arfamo, wrong,wrong,wrong, not about the first part, the second tho should become mandatory…

            • Arfamo 7.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s interesting isn’t it? How so many people believe that the more money they make, the less tax they should have to pay. And that it’s fine for the low paid to have to get by on inadequate wages and be clobbered by direct and indirect taxes. And for how long the plebs have put up with this shit. I must do some more reading about the flat tax idea.

          • srylands 7.3.1.1.2

            Could you please name these “serious tax minimisation loopholes” in New Zealand that would allow someone on a salary of (lets say) $200,000 to reduce tax liabilities? What exactly are you referring to? And what changes to the tax code would you make?

            Someone on that income pays $56,920 in tax. That seems like a fair whack to me.

            So tell me about these “serious loopholes”. How does this person wack say $10,000 off their tax bill?

            • Arfamo 7.3.1.1.2.1

              Why are you asking me? Ask BM. He’s the one claiming serious coiners use serious tax minimisation strategies. Why should there even be the ability to minimise tax if you’re wealthy?

            • bad12 7.3.1.1.2.2

              SSLands, you work for the small firm of Wellington tax lawyers, i am sure you are well versed,

              Then again as the bean counter of other peoples loot you are probably a minor fish in the pond not privy to the good info,

              Next time your boss is giving you grief over your use of His computers to continually make your abysmally empty comments on political web-sites why don’t you ask Him to explain how such tax rorts work,(not necessarily for the wage worker but then how many wage workers earn 200 grand), at the least the question will take the bosses mind off of the idea of a written and final warning…

              • Tracey

                He does?

                Then why was he jetsetting to oz to find employees cos nz lacks those skills? Seems odd cos aussie tax structure is quite diff to ours.

            • Tracey 7.3.1.1.2.3

              If they have a company they can split their income with their spouse by making him or her a director. Regardless of whether they do any work for the company.

              Its not a loophole of course. Its a law.

              In whatever imaginary role you have cast for yourself today do you work as an employer or contractor or business owner?

        • Tracey 7.3.1.2

          So you vote national to perpetuate that system?

          do you have a trust?

      • Herodotus 7.3.2

        The real wealth is unaffected by PAYE tax rates. This is a distraction, and all who are so blinkered to be concerned about increasing the tax rates of workers is only an accessory in the concentration of wealth to the few.
        Worry about what was referred to in TV3’s dock Mind the Gap $1-$5b annually uncollected tax
        http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/08/31/mind-the-gap-guest-tv-review-from-david-cunliffe/
        How wealth is generated and then not taxed or there is tax evasion, and as a consequence in many cases is then shipped offshore deteriorating our balance of payments.
        https://www.interest.co.nz/news/40814/banks-settle-structured-finance-tax-disputes-ird-nz22-bln-update-1
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10532076

        • Tracey 7.3.2.1

          I wish I could recall the study but many years ago just after Act moved from no tax to a flat tax a study showed that people were only likely to start donating income when their tax rate dropped below 25%.

          I agree that increasing income tax is not the answer. Not increasing it and tinkering at the edges is also not the answer.

          We dont need a third way or a brighter future we need a new way and a new future cos the one we have is greedy self centred and mean

    • xtasy 7.4

      “Bulls(shit) Master” always has an opinion, but is rowing up the flow, against the flow in the river, like swimming against the tide, that will eventually rip him/her into the open sea, while it may be the Greens making up for Labour losses, still ensuring a new government.

      • Tracey 7.4.1

        Bm is a regurgitator of others opinions he thinks are his own.

        There was a time when you could engage with him. I recall a conversation where he had revealled he used to do some trading. But in the last many months he seems to just regurgitate the thoughts masquerading as facts he picks up elsewhere. Drilling deeper finds nothing.

        Hes not the only person on any side of the divide that does this.

        I realise facts are irrelevant. National knows this and its one reason they frustrate the heck out of people who oppose them.

        Frankly if 20% od labours vote went green we might see the kind of shifting sands we need. However the opportunity would be lost in the stampede of fear

    • bad12 7.5

      BM, the head of wellington Bus that runs all the buses in Wellington was supremely unimpressed with calls for safety barriers to be erected on Wellington’s Willis Street after road changes lead to a spate of Bus V pedestrian accidents,

      That of course was until one day as a pedestrian He stepped off the un-barriered Willis Street and copped one in the head, a bus that is, didn’t do much for His health but sure as hell changed attitudes to barriers which began appearing the very next day…

  8. quartz 8

    Progress? Crikey Mike Smith, are you really climbing on board with the blairtes? You should know better than that: http://www.smh.com.au/world/tony-blair-offered-to-help-rupert-murdoch-over-phonehacking-20140220-hvd3a.html

    • Mike Smith 8.1

      No I’m not a Blairite and I’ve posted enough on Murdoch here that I don’t need to revisit. It’s Leggett’s political analysis I agree with – the perception that Labour is too negative. I would like to see that change.

      • geoff 8.1.1

        We’d all like to see that change , mike, but you’d be naive not to realise that a big part of that negative perception is being created by wealthy interests. Labour/greens policies are the first opposition parties to be seriously challenging the neolib status quo in this country, ever. But go ahead give arseholes like leggett more oxygen, do your bit to help National get reelected.

        • bad12 8.1.1.1

          geoff, indeed, look at the recent attacks of a personal nature and then there’s the concert of distraction that hardly looks accidental after every release of policy by either Labour or the Green parties,

          ‘The cynic’ usually banished from the forefront of my mind to lurk in the darkness where all those other voices lurk,(totally unnecessary information),whispered to me the other night that Labour/Green need not bother with such releases of much needed alternative policy to the Neo-liberal paradigm,

          Simply produce the baubles needed to have the comfortable middle class grant their pardon to form a Labour/Green Government and then unleash a torrent upon the Neo-liberal ism in the vein of the 1991 Richardson/Shiply attack upon the poor using a loud TINA as justification just as they did is what the cynic whispered,

          Naughty i know…

        • Saarbo 8.1.1.2

          Yep, it does appear that this year, the attacks against Labour appear to be concerted. DC’s home, Taurima (a former Labour electorate candidate is discovered to be a Labour supporter…surprise, surprise), nit-picking over details on DC’s speech, and in todays NZ Herald “Labour refuses to reveal Leadership contest details” .

          The right wing biased media are on a mission and are unfortunately succeeding…frustrating.

          • Tracey 8.1.1.2.1

            Len brown was their front page yesterday.

            No article about the salvation army report. No article showing a journalist on the streets to see if what the sallies say they see is real or not…

      • Tracey 8.1.2

        Its developed because national repeats it over and over and over. We all know govts get more media time until the campaign starts. Labour needs to sow some seeds now. Pithy lines that every mp chooses from to repeat when asked about anything.

        Bandy 60bn in debt around alot
        Half of kiwis earn less than 22 bucks an hour and can only find 36 hours of work a week
        80% of kiwis are a redundancy letter away from needing support from welfare and their neighbours… I dont know the actual figure but it is way higher than people think

  9. fender 9

    After reading the links I think the guy should leg it over to the National Party.

    Shame he didn’t elaborate on what Labour have actually done so far to aim for the non-voters that he calls a “creeping worry”. Raising the retirement age is hardly a “tantalising prospect” or “definitive gem”.

    As Mayor for Porirua he should just keep quiet till after the election rather than try to stir shit to undermine the Leader.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      What he’s doing is what all the ABC/Rogernome/Blairites are doing. He’d rather have three (at least) more years of NAct than actually challenge the mythical neoliberal consensus. The best thing people like him could do to help a victory for the broader left would be to join National or ACT. That would leave a Labour caucus that wasn’t scared to actually open its mouth and would actually believe in something partially worthwhile. They wouldn’t be missed.

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        And thats why a vote for change is not labour right now…

        • Murray Olsen 9.1.1.1

          I agree. I was toying with the idea of an electorate vote for Labour, but after the raising of retirement age, not dropping GST on anything, ambiguity on mining and drilling,……… My electorate vote will be Green and my party vote will be Mana. Unfortunately, they won’t become part of government unless Labour gets enough votes.

  10. Ad 10

    Nick Leggett is good at his job and could actually stick to doing it. His mate Goff and the entire goddam ABC Club remain largely unaccountable for Labour’s worst election defeat in decades. Even the full sized ABC puppet Shearer did nothing for them.

    Nick Leggett is no campaign strategist on a national level. If he thinks we are going to win the election with more mining and more motorways he is out to lunch.

    His final point about Labour having to message something like “it’s a great economic recovery happening to someone else” is true, and I would expect to see a major economic development speeceh by Cunliffe in March. I am confident that we will.

    But writing off the 800,000 enrolled non-vote, well I’ve got to tell you that just fucks me right off. They are the people who vote Labour by and large, and wanted to, and Leggett’s hero helped them all to enthusiastically stay at home. They are the poor and brown who ain’t seeing their wages increased, employment conditions increased, or getting any healthier or better housed. They also remain Labour’s best chance of winning the election.

    Responding to social need with policies that help real people’s lives is the core of Labour, and it’s the core of winning this election.

  11. George D 11

    Mike’s right. If all Labour does is present a negative vision then all that we’ll see is depressed turnout. That means a vote in line with polling (which consistently underestimates Labour, except when it does particularly badly). And that means the left loses the election.

    There are a number of ways to be inspirational, and they all start with having a few key unifying themes that every attack and every positive policy announcement reinforces. A ten year old could have told you what the Greens stood for at the last election. Labour must do the same. A huge amount of message discipline is also needed, and I worry about that.

  12. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 12

    I find the second article by Nick Leggit is a very inaccurate assessment of what Labour has been presenting and promoting.

    This article might be cause for concern for Labour – re getting their message out clearly – however regarding the suggestions re policy settings; the article was factually incorrect and therefore the analysis has no accurate foundation re the policy direction needed.

    Corrections:

    Labour were taking a stand against drilling and then shifted to supporting it – with conditions. The article says otherwise. [n.b. The drop in popularity ratings happened after this occurred]

    -Labour does still aim at raising the retirement age – the article says otherwise [an issue that National dropped on the understanding it was mightily unpopular]

    -Labour have very much been sending out a message of ‘ the recovery is a good story happening to someone else’ ; the difference between ‘economic recovery’ and how that is shared out – the article’s conclusion implies otherwise.

    -Labour have been sending very positive messages out, such as: creating opportunities for all and not ‘pulling the ladder up’. The article says it is coming across as ‘merely listing its opposition to things’.

    I really do not know the stats re how effective a ‘centrist’ approach would be or not and it is up to Labour to research and find out what approaches are popular and what is not – have they done this research? I question that re the raising of retirement age.

    My main criticism of Labour is re the strength of their message (not what they are promoting). They do not appear to check whether they are staying on message. For example: the Australian Supermarkets issue re promoting ‘Australian Made’ which they appeared to be criticising and yet this stance appears a)to go against what Labour would have to do here as far as promoting more jobs here in NZ rather than this importing of products and exporting jobs that is going on now. And b) appears to go against any criticisms re the TPPA re the country having its ‘sovereignty’ taken away due to dubious international agreements. c) (related to b) goes against its own message re the negative impact of corporate cronyism.

    In conclusion: I like the message Labour has been sending out – yet I question whether they are being disciplined about staying on message with their responses to current affairs arising since Cunliffe’s ‘State of the Nation Speech’.

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    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    20 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    21 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    21 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    22 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    22 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    1 day ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    1 day ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 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… ...
    16 hours 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
    16 hours 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… ...
    17 hours 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
    17 hours 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. ...
    17 hours 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… ...
    18 hours 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
    20 hours 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… ...
    20 hours 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… ...
    20 hours 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… ...
    22 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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