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The Standard

Huge Nat u-turn on City Rail Link

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, June 26th, 2013 - 64 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

It’s a massive win for the Greens, for Labour, and Auckland. National has caved to the pressure from local government, from business, and from its political opponents. With the polls so close (recent outlier notwithstanding) National couldn’t afford to go into 2014 opposing the CRL when Aucklanders want it and the opposition is mobilising it as an issue, including the Greens’ ‘re:connect’ campaign.

There’s plenty of outstanding issues. How much funding will the government put up? When will the CRL be built?  Will it be a PPP? Will National try to slip in a Puhoi to Wellsford PPP at the same time? Are they going to stuff around with the alignment of the tunnel? (I suspect they’re going to drop the Warkworth to Wellsford part of that RoNS as part of the trade-off, which would be great)

But this is a win for the Left, no doubt. It’s a huge backdown from a government that has spent years and years saying that rail is dead and we don’t need the City Rail Link. As recently as a few months ago, Gerry Brownlee was dismissing yet another report that said the CRL was the only way to keep Auckland moving.

Key has clearly had to override his numbskull transport minister in the interests of politics – he couldn’t go into the next election arguing that a four lane highway in the middle of nowhere was more important than the CRL that all the Auckland establishment and the opposition is calling for, not if he didn’t want to risk a couple of percent of the party vote by pushing Aucklanders away.

Great work by everyone who has forced National into this u-turn.

64 comments on “Huge Nat u-turn on City Rail Link”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Poor John Roughan.

    • Rhinocrates 1.2

      Ah, schadenfreude. Love it!

    • xtasy 1.3

      John Roughan will be busy organising protests now. He may perhaps use his dear NZ Herald to whip up emotions amongst rate payers and those Aucklanders who want to drive their individual cars from cradle to grave.

      We live in a society where you must count yourself lucky to organise a few dozen to protest against draconian, unfair and partly illegal welfare reforms, but where hundreds or thousands march against liquor stores, dairies selling legal highs, against certain substancesbeing put into baked bread or tap water, and to take a stand against crime.

      So get some rate payers and car lovers enraged by telling them they will pay for all this, and you are likely to get a few thousand march up Queen Street, I am afraid.

      Welcome to the “dark side” of NZ.

  2. National only brings dessert to the table when they’re about to serve liver for the main course. Does this mean they bullied Brown into trading CRL funding for housing policy?

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Beware the details. It’ll be funded by pokies?

    Still, a good win in round one. Many more to go.

  4. Pete 4

    Good. They have made the right decision. The Nats do have a stiffy for PPPs, though, but I guess the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      The good is the enemy of the passable…I think what we are going to get from the NATs is going to fall into the “passable” category.

  5. BM 5

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10893094

    Mr Key also suggested the $2.86 billion project could be paid for with proceeds from asset sales.

    Amusing.

    • framu 5.1

      i know – its cracks me up watching key and english suggest that they can spend the same money multiple times over :-)

      how many things have the suggested for asset sales profits now – 4? 5?

      remember that it was already counted before it even sold in the nats very first budget

      (yes i know the that they suggested the future investment fund here – but i think you get my point)

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        It’s BM, a seeming National supporter, so there’s pretty much no chance he gets your point. He’s probably buying what Key said and thinking that those asset sales are such great things.

      • Winston Smith 5.1.2

        Oh please Labour and Shearer spent the money for the “holiday highway” numerous times, its what politicians do

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          How did they do that from Opposition?

        • framu 5.1.2.2

          Yeah WS – just how did labour and shearer spend money from a project that was created by the current govt?

          time travel perhaps?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.3

          The holiday highway is part of National’s RoNS. It didn’t even exist as random thought prior to the election of this government. This being true how could Labour and Shearer, who aren’t in government, have spent the money that National have allocated to the delusional RoNS multiple times over?

      • James N 5.1.3

        Mighty River Power down 10% on issue price already… Who mentioned schadenfreude?

    • Chris 5.2

      Key would be referring to Auckland Council assets?

      • insider 5.2.1

        Watercare, airport, Wynyard wharf, vector, POA. there’s lots of cash tied up there

        • QoT 5.2.1.1

          lots of cash tied up there

          Yes, we call them public assets. I presume you haven’t been so foolhardy as to “tie up cash” in a mortgage, a car, appliances? Rent your work shoes from Hannahs, do you?

    • the pigman 5.3

      But I thought the proceeds of asset sales were going towards hospitals, the children, ensuring the welfare of fluffy animals and the rainbow unicorn protection league?

  6. Tim 6

    Onward!
    Now for the Gisborne resurrection, and a heap of other possibilities – Christchurch included
    It’s taken a while for them (gNats) to see the bleeding obvious though.

  7. WILDSTYLE 7

    Nats won’t build it before 2020 though. Knew there would be a catch.

  8. Ad 8

    2021 is a bit of a way off.

    Be interesting to see what links the PM makes between it and the second harbour crossing tunnel option.

    Bringing CRL forward will depend quite substantially on whether Auckland’s construction, finance, and local government sectors can come to arrangements that enable acceleration within procurement.

    If they can accelerate Clifford Bay (good grief), they can certainly accelerate CRL.

  9. valid point 9

    A disappointing result. The CRL will be NZ’s most expensive ever vanity piece. The real irony though is that the rates to pay for it will be so expensive, the Auckland CBD will be inaccessible for the working class to go near there.

    • Rob 9.1

      But its a huge boost to Auckland Manufacturing …..

    • framu 9.2

      i wouldnt call a near halving of travel time and an increase of trains per day vanity

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      The CRL will be NZ’s most expensive ever vanity piece.

      Actually, that would be the RoNS ($10b+) that don’t even break even on a cost/benefit ratio which the CRL (~$3b) does do.

    • Lloyd 9.4

      Is it vain to produce an efficient transport system that will not produce carbon dioxide to move people, when even the United States president has said that we have to do things about global warming, NOW?

      Anything that makes Auckland a more efficient city, gets people out of their cars AND out of buses cannot be called a ‘vanity piece’.

      If you want to look for a vanity piece take a look at tax cuts for the rich, selling off assets that make more in dividends than costs of paying interest on borrowings of the same value or a lack of capital gains tax.

  10. scotty 10

    Duncan Garner is flat out on Radio Live ,spinning this as a win for John Key and National , ‘so pragmatic and sensible’, can hardly contain his glee that his JK has trumped Labour again.

    • Ad 10.1

      Which is true. National have pulled the transport centrepiece off both Labour and Greens, and simultaneously made it their own and dumped into the lap of Mayor Brown, two weeks out from nominations for Auckland’s elections.

      It will now be the central contest of the election: if Auckland wants it so bad, how are they going to pay for their share? It’s not yet obvious.

      • Lloyd 10.1.1

        Since any construction starting 2020 will almost certainly not be under a Gnats government, the gnats have done the trick of eating their cake and having it too.

        Gnat politicians will now be able to stand up and say “aren’t we wonderful, we are giving you a wonderful rail link”, whilst at the same time it will cost them nothing.

        If they were really in favour of the link they would fund works starting next week.

    • Hayden 10.2

      The transition from “the CRL is a loony-left pipe-dream” to “the CRL is an inspired National initiative, all praise to John Key!” (without even a hint of cognitive dissonance) is going to be beautiful.

    • Paul 10.3

      Duncan Garner…further evidence of our ‘fair and balanced’ media.

  11. xtasy 11

    “There’s plenty of outstanding issues. How much funding will the government put up? When will the CRL be built? Will it be a PPP? Will National try to slip in a Puhoi to Wellsford PPP at the same time? Are they going to stuff around with the alignment of the tunnel?”

    It may seem to be welcome news for those supporting the inner city rail loop, but I would be extremely cautious on this one. Wait and see what the details will look like. I suspect that the Nats and the government have not just by accident chosen a Friday to announce details.

    In car mad Auckland and New Zealand most will be busy with their weekend activities and planning of those, while and after the announcement will be made. Also will politicians be off home for the weekend.

    Fear perhaps that with some offered funding there will be some very unsavoury parts coming with it, for all to swallow.

    NEVER trust John Key and the Nats!

    • AmaKiwi 11.1

      The devil is in the detail and the detail we’ve seen sucks.

      Auckland wants to start construction 2015 / 2016.

      Nats want to start 2020 . . . . . until they develop their excuse to delay it longer.

      My fantasy: Auckland deteriorates into (further) gridlock and a top Nat politician dies of a heart attack or stroke because St. Johns couldn’t get through the traffic jam.

      Am I too cynical?

    • Mary 11.2

      I like how Key and Joyce say it won’t fix traffic congestion, almost as if they’ve decided to fund a dead duck. Makes the political expediency blatant.

      • Lloyd 11.2.1

        You never hear from the gnats that all their roads of national significance won’t reduce road congestion. Anyone who looks at new roads knows ‘build it and they will come’ – the new roads will also cause congestion. That doesn’t happen with trains (unless they stop across a railway crossing…..

  12. Chooky 12

    They are sure to have shares in it somewhere along the line.

  13. Dv 13

    AND
    who will now pay for chch hospital
    the modern schools
    the irrigation schemes
    pay down debt

    • AmaKiwi 13.1

      This is National, you fool. You don’t pay down debt, you increase it. That’s our legacy for future generations. Let them learn how to struggle.

  14. millsy 14

    I knew Auckland would get its rail loop. All along. It was really only a matter of time. You have to remember that this was first proposed in the 1920’s and supported by those hard core green lefties Gordon Coates and Dove-myer Robinson.

  15. Rosetinted 15

    On radionz this evening -Bryab Crump show – about transport in Sao Paolo. This is a place so jammed with cars that traffic queues of 200 kilometres have occurred. They are working on this big problem. There is a series of 6 on cities from Windows on the World from the BBC.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/windowsontheworld/

    This was the info for tonight’s.
    Wednesday 26 June: A Route 66 of the Future – Sao Paulo (Part 3 of 6)
    A Route 66 of the Future is about travel and transport, real and virtual. In Part 3, Gary Duffy investigates Sao Paulo’s transport issues and its attempt to become a ‘smart city’. It is the nature of modern life that populations, especially in the developing world, move from the countryside to ever-growing urban conurbations. More and more of us are moving to megacities and megalopolises. Such is the case with Brazil’s Sao Paulo with its myriad downtowns, favelas and urban sprawls accommodating 11 million people. But how do you move such a huge population around and ensure relatively pain-free travel?

  16. BrucetheMoose 16

    In other words- Here’s a big lolly for Aucklanders – on a long stick.

    • Rosetinted 16.1

      BrutheMoose
      I think there is more meat to it than that – could well be a sav on a long stick, nicely warmed up and welcome on a cold day.

  17. Yes 17

    Gaurantee there is a back room deal…why did Len give up…what assets has Len decided to sell…national control Len…Len supports sky city deal????

  18. unicus 18

    To think these bloody fools tried to wind back the clock when they scuppered the AK fuel tax for the sake of some imaginary ideology makes my flesh crawl – and to those in ”the rest” of NZ who are now paying for ‘our’ rail network thanks but we were quite willing and able to pay for it ourselves and would have been four years further on in or network development but for these deluded hicks

  19. Tom Gould 19

    Interesting that this post neglects to even mention the one person who was by far the most instrumental in getting consensus on the CRL, Len Brown, who has worked away doggedly over nearly three years putting together a powerful lobby that in the end, Key simply could no longer ignore. Even if it meant humiliating Joyce and Brownlee. By my reckoning, around 80% of the credit goes to Len Brown, about 10% to Labour and the Greens, and about 10% to the fellow travellers.

    • Yes 19.1

      Well done len I say – sky convention centre the trade off?

    • Rosetinted 19.2

      Tom Gould
      Did Mike Lee try for something like this too? He worked on transport for Auckland in a robust way for years.

    • unicus 19.3

      Just to set the record straight TG – your percentages are a bit haywire –

      Len probably referenced the Regional Land Transport strategy to access the ” powerful lobby ” in existence long before he became Mayor . Cam Pitches at Better Transport AK -the joint Councils and ancillary ‘ fellow travellers’ on the RLTC Mike Lee ( Green/ Lab ?) and his Councils who led the charge against Wellingtons intransigence over the fuel tax signed off the electrification and rolling stock contracts – and built 15 new stations – double tracking on the western line (Labour ) . So Ive got the breakdown thus – 50% Labour /Green 30% fellow travellers 15% to the people of Auckland who have grown patronage 30% a year since 08 and 5% to Len for having the nouse to jump on board – after all he wasn’t even on a council before he became Mayor

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    And here’s why the U-Turn:

    Nearly 47 out of 100 Aucklanders rated the Government’s performance on the Central Rail Link project as poor in the fortnight before it announced it would support a 2020 start date for the project.

    46.9% rated performance on the issue has poor to very poor and 19.9% said it was good to very good. Others were neutral or not sure, according to a June 13 to 26 Horizon Research poll of 1026 Aucklanders aged 18+. Weighted to represent the Auckland adult population the poll has a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

    It seems that most of Auckland is starting to get pissed with National and their ways.

    • karol 20.1

      But don’t expect slippery National won’t add some benefits to them as part of the deal:

      Good for SkyCity because the CRL will bring more gambling addicts to their doorstep?

      Will Len and the elite, undemocratic “Committee for Auckland” sell the ports to pay for the CRL?

      And what else will Key, Brownlee & Joyce include with the CRL deal when they make the full announcement tomorrow?

      New roads across Auckland? The “East-West link”, from Onehunga or Mangere to Highbrook? The eastern highway? An extra Waitemata Harbour crossing?

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1

        But don’t expect slippery National won’t add some benefits to them as part of the deal:

        Oh, I’m sure that they’ll try something and I’m sure that it’ll be negative for them as people look at the corruption that’s inherent in any deal that National does.

    • lprent 20.2

      Yes. It is quite noticeable amongst the centre-right people I know (and I know a lot of them). Irritated more than “pissed” would be the best way to describe them. But you see that they are in the process of sitting in judgement and not liking what they are seeing.

  21. One Anonymous Knucklehead 21

    What happened? Did some large construction company donate a whole lot of cash to the National Party or something?

  22. The whole ideas is nuts. Just as Britomart was. All that is needed is electric buses on dedicated bus lanes feeding off the main stations on the existing rail network. Flexible, clean, with a view as you go of the cones and no need to go up and down deep escalators into the nether world. No need for a rail connection between Mt Eden and Britomart, but a light rail connection could be built in a couple of years that loops around Symonds, Anzac, Customs, Ponsonby, K Road in both directions.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      All that is needed is electric buses on dedicated bus lanes feeding off the main stations on the existing rail network.

      Won’t work as the existing rail network wouldn’t be able to carry the capacity.

  23. Rosetinted 23

    red rattler
    I used to travel by tram from the burbs to Newmarket when I was a nipper. Good old rattlers, and proceeded in a stately but speedy fashion on what was a freeway most of the time down the middle of the road.

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    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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