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The Standard

I wish it could be Xmas every day…

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, December 21st, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: david parker, economy, employment, equality, labour, national/act government, poverty - Tags:

… then maybe more attention would be given to the increasing numbers of people struggling to get the necessities of life.  And then maybe people would be pressuring for solutions other than the short term band-aid of charitable giving.  I’m glad charities are doing some very caring work, and that many people are donating to them.

But as Anthony Robins has been posting about every week: our government is not doing anything to put an end to poverty or the social destructiveness of large income inequalities.

This morning the NZ Herald reported record levels of people queuing  for packages outside Auckland City Mission:

Fuelled by the highest rate of unemployment in 13 years, the queues snaking along the pavements outside the Auckland City Mission have nothing festive about them.

“I keep saying every year it’s unprecedented … but I’m almost beyond words when I look out there,” said missioner Diane Robertson. “This is nothing to celebrate.”

More than 100 people were lined up on Hobson St and round a corner into a neighbouring lot yesterday, some since 5am, to receive charity – Christmas food parcels and donated gifts for children.

The majority did not want to appear in the newspaper. “Maybe if I had won something or it was something lucky,” a woman said.

Ms Robertson said the mission’s clients were struggling with unemployment and entitlement cuts. “They’re losing options.”

And the continuing recession was adding people to the queue as those on low incomes fell into the same poverty cycle as beneficiaries.

“As an agency we really try to get people off benefits and employed – make life better than it’s been,” Ms Robertson said. “But right now we’re just alleviating poverty, because there’s no place to go.” …

A woman in the queue, who did not want to be named or photographed, said she had left her Papakura home at 4.30am to get some gifts for her children. Her sister had driven her into the city. She said this year had been particularly difficult.

“It’s been hard. Really hard.”

She was thankful for a bit of help to put on some kind of Christmas for her family, she said.

Another woman said it was her first time at the mission after hearing about it through a friend. Rising prices at the supermarket had been crushing, she said.

Maybe it’s time to revisit the ground breaking book The Spirit Level, which has been the focus of several Standard posts in the past.  It provides detailed evidence of the destructive impact on society of high levels of inequality. There was this post from Anthony Robins, Equality of Opportunity; and this one from Bunji that was the 6th part in a series: Digested Read – Spirit Level 6: Future Options.

Meanwhile, today we have learned that NZ went into a double dip recession in 2010.

New Zealand suffered a double dip recession in the wake of the global financial crisis, with the second leg coming in late 2010, new data has revealed

Statistics NZ today released gross domestic product figures for the September quarter showing the economy grew by 0.2 per cent, slightly below most economists’ picks.

Back then Bill English, John Key et al were trumpeting their policies as ones that would begin the economic revival to a brighter future. But as Labour MPs remind them today, those policies just benefited the well off at the expense of those on the lowest incomes.

Labour finance spokesman David Parker said the double dip recession came at the same time that National’s ‘tax-switch’, that raised GST, came into force.

“National has trumpeted its tax switch as a boost to the economy. But the truth is it kept growth negative and held the economy in recession,” he said.

“National’s tax switch was not only unequal and unfair, it choked off demand and the economy shrank.”

Finance Minister Bill English today said the economy remained on track for moderate growth over the next few years, “despite growth predictably easing a little in the September quarter”.

Annual growth – from the September quarter 2011 to the September quarter 2012 – came in at 2 per cent, after the revisions English said.

Brighter future: always on the way, never arrives for those on the lowest incomes.

27 comments on “I wish it could be Xmas every day…”

  1. xtasy 1

    Christmas is not celebrated much by me, due to the over-commercialisation of the event, and as I have too little time for the unfounded reasons stated by Christians for the event to be celebrated. Father Christmas hopefully gets proved nothing but fairytale nonsense to kids by even those parents trying to “sell” that story to the very little ones at first.

    Anyway, you posted another good comment story there, Karol, and I take note that your skills in writing pieces in this forum seem to be improving and achieving a very great standard day by day.

    I was grateful for an organisation providing me with a bit of a food parcel, and I will not name them for various reasons. It was a very nice gesture by someone there, who appreciates the difficulties I have recently experienced. So this is something I will not forget.

    But charity is only the last resort, emergency, and in some ways ‘bandaid” type of solution to poverty and the facts that benefits are for most impossible to live off in dignity these days. This was all started by the ruthless cuts that were made under Shipley and Richardson (her policies fittingly named “Ruthanasia”, given her first name is Ruth) in 1991 or so.

    Since then benefits have not been increased substantially, and as Mary points out in another thread, it was even under a Labour led government, that the much needed Special Benefit was being phased out. Only few still get it, those who received that benefit component without interruption since.

    Temporary Additional Support was the replacement, and it is capped. I learned through the experience of a mate, that he was totally unable to survive on his sickness benefit, as WINZ said to him: “That is all you are entitled to”. He was struggling to pay rent for a flat, not being able to pay utilities on time, and basically faced looking for alternative accommodation, which may have been years in a boarding house, had he not been able to get formidable support to finally get a Housing NZ home.

    That though has not improved his income at all, as the accommodation supplement is not paid to Housing NZ home renters. So he pays less rent but also gets less. He lives on borrowed time, as his home is in an area where Housing NZ want to sell properties. Consequently the day will come, where he will be shifted, like the ones are in Glen Innes.

    Many people have lost jobs this year, and so queues at food banks and the Mission are longer yet again.

    The government wants to bring in even more harsh benefit rules, so more will fall through the cracks, as they are already under NatACT’s regime. There will be more homeless, more depending on friends and families, more desperate, more prepared to commit crimes and to also engage in prostitution.

    Thank you John Key, Paula Bennett and gang, you are so “caring”, we will bear all this in mind over Christmas and the holiday season!

    • bad12 1.1

      Befor Shitly/Richardson came Mouldoon who added income tax to benefits where no tax was paid by beneficiaries befor,

      The Clark Labour Government then added the icing to the cake of poverty by not allowing benefit dependent families to be included in the Working for Families tax credit scheme claiming this would be a spur to them getting a job…

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.1

        Are you sure Muldoon introduced tax on benefits? As far as I can remember, it was Douglas, but I may be wrong. I remember protesting against it at the time, on the basis that it was stupid and inefficient, but can’t remember the exact year.

        • bad12 1.1.1.1

          Am pretty sure it was Mouldoon, it’s not a question to die in a ditch over and i am happy to be proved wrong,

          Have had a few digs with Google to try and tease the answer out of the ether, no joy there so i am obviously not asking the right question,

          Perhaps someone else can spread a little light on the subject…

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.1.1.1.1

            Well after Muldoon.

            Giving the partner half was a positive move and done first and that would have been around 85/86 but making taxable is really just a way of clawing some of any benefit paid back through the tax system once you get work if it is in the same tax year.

            It is also not widely known except to those actually on benefit that when tax cuts are given benefits remain the same. Instead of paying more net to those on benefit less paye is paid to IRd.

            It’s another area in which the poorest are disadvantaged. If benefits are to be taxable then they should also benefit from tax cuts when these are given at the bottom end.

            Look forward to Labour increasing benefits to make up for this disadvantage as well.

            NZ yearbooks may be useful in pinning down date.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.1.1.1.1.1

              1087 yearbook says benefits taxable from 01/10/1986.

              • Descendant Of Sssmith

                Should also add that Muldoon did not support Ruth Richardson’s benefit cuts and abstained from voting.

            • Mary 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I think the idea of taxing benefits was to allow any part-time income earned on top of a person’s main benefit to be taxed at the secondary rate, i.e. because the benefit is primary income – marking, of course, the very beginning of Labour’s ongoing assault on the poor. The next was Michael Cullen’s introduction of “standdown periods”. Who could’ve imagined how far Labour was prepared to go with those attacks? Unbelievable.

    • Mary 1.2

      Hi Xtasy. I think HNZ tenants do have a slight advantage over non-HNZ tenants because while HNZ rents are set at 25% of a person’s income, the accommodation supplement is paid as a 70% subsidy of the difference between a person’s rent and 25% of the person’s income up to stated maximums. I do agree with your general sentiment, though, which I think goes back to how basic benefit rates haven’t increased in real terms since the cuts in 1991. Labour promised to restore those pre-cut levels but reneged on that promise pretty quickly, just as they opposed the Nats trying to axe the special benefit in 1995 then turned around and did it themselves in 2004. Labour also opposed introducing income status into the tax system when Bill Birch did it in 1996 then adopted the idea itself but in a way 100 times worse with its Working for Families. I have never seen or heard one Labour MP ever facing up to that hypocrisy before, which must tell us something about where they’re planning to take social security, that is, of course, if we’re ever dumb enough to give them the chance. Unfortunately I think we are.

  2. bad12 2

    The village idiot from Dipton is of course talking with the same tongue as Slippery the Prime Minister has been using this week when He commented on TV3 that ”wages have begun to close the gap with Australia”,

    The language they both,(Slippery and English), talk is Bullshit mostly inherited from an ancient race of miserable two faced pricks called ‘Scum’,

    The Slippery little Shysters wages might have taken a jump toward parity with an Australian used car salesman but for the average low wage worker engaged in pushing the heavy wheels of capitalism the year has shown no gains, (the Reserve Bank saying that the spend on public servants was not as great as expected so that sector is obviously going backward),

    The village idiot from Dipton claims ‘modest growth’ and borrows most heavily of the language of that ancient civilization previously known as scum in doing so, what the village idiot calls ‘growth’ is in fact no such thing, the economy out-side of that of Christchurch has in fact for the year contracted by a massive 2%,

    The Christchurch earthquake rebuild may help the village idiot hide the Depression that is occurring in the wider New Zealand economy but the unemployment numbers won’t, by March 2013 i expect unemployment to be at 200,000 and on the move, (fast), toward 250,000,

    Meanwhile, Slippery and the village idiot from Dipton seem hellbent upon re-building Christchurch while keeping inflation inside the target band when it is my and other’s opinion that the Christchurch rebuild is in fact NOT ‘growth’ and therefor should not appear in the GDP figures as that….

    • @Bad12, the village idiot from Dipton comes from my neck of the woods, i came across
      him in a place i worked in at the time, i then thought to myself this idiot is running nz’s economy,
      it took all my strength not to say something to him.
      I am also struggling financially because of health issues and having to survive on a benefit,
      i have decided what is important is health costs,a roof over my head,electricity costs,car
      costs,(i need a car for medical visits and hospital visits), telecomunications are via skinny,
      which cost $4 pw, and $4pw for a t-stick, then food costs which are whatever is left
      usually $25-$30pw, Bills that followed me from not being able to work are down the bottom
      of the list, that is the reality, it’s called survival,there are only so many ways to spend
      $12.000 a year.
      Christmas time only emphasizes the fact that life in the hard lane of the benefit system
      is living below the poverty line,there are also others who on low incomes are following
      close behind.
      I have genuine sympathy for all of those who are struggling this christmas.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        Cheers vivaciousviper, yeah they took one look at Bill and thought we can’t let Him run the family farm into the ground,(and the rest is history),

        You have tho a great back yard as a consolation of sorts ae, i managed to spend part of my mis-spent youth in what was then the Borstal down there and later spent a couple of interesting and enjoyable years in Ohai,

        It’s not Wellington tho and this place always drags me back….

    • Brooklyn 2.2

      And anyway 2% is just population growth so we are only treading water even counting Chch.

  3. vto 3

    If it was merry xmas everyday then most all of us would all end up overweight I’m sure.

    And yes personally I am disappointed in these people in government. They have most definitely made things harder for those in the bottom half. Taxes are up, levies are up, car registrations are up, petrol tax is up, wages are frikkin stuck on ice, all whilst ……

    for the upper half
    Taxes are down, handouts are frequent, environment is up for grabs, assets are coming your way, and acceptance that you aren’t required in this society to think about helping those less fortunate is acceptable.

    Great year thanks John Key, you wanker and arsehole.

  4. Rodel 4

    by mistake I listened to a few seconds of Laws on radio retard (sorry ‘live’) today. …talking about overweight polynesians queuing up at Auckland city mission. He is so sick that man.
    New Zealand’s got talent but with Laws, Hide; oe or two others & they used to have Banks, radio retard hasn’t.

  5. fabregas4 5

    I wish that people would stop spelling Christmas Xmas. It’s not a big wish.

  6. rosy viper 6

    Arrgghhh, Karol. Now I have the song by Wizzard going around and round in my head ;-)

    This whole process is like a slow moving car crash. Willful ignorance on behalf of the government since it’s first day in office. It’s not like it wasn’t warned back in 2008.

  7. Well National has single handedly destroyed the welfare system, raised taxes on the middle and lower class and made the country into a Pinochet style neo liberal paradise. Don’t dissent or the police will beat you up, just like the good old days of the waterfront strike.

  8. Descendant Of Sssmith 8

    No National haven’t done this single handedly. They have been aided and abetted by successive Labour governments. Parties such as Act, the business round table and so on.

    As I noted in another thread Muldoon wouldn’t vote for and spoke against Richardson’s benefit cuts.

    He was miles more left than the current Labour government in many areas.

    Things that were normal when I was 18 are now seen as extreme left positions.

    Communism was extreme left not a decent rate of benefit. An 8 hour working day, government work for young people and those with illness and disability, more GDP paid in wages than profit, control over banks, standardised pay rates so competition was based on quality of product and serviceratherthan who could pay the lowest wage and so on.

    It’s easy to forget how far to the right we have gone.

    • xtasy 8.1

      DOS: Yes, I remember well, the last few years of Muldoon’s life. He seemed to have gone through a process of internal change, not uncommon of ageing persons of whatever background. He ran his Radio Pacific weekly political “talk back slot” and at times sounded like a real old “socialist”.

      He had NO time for the new extreme right economic and social policies.

      Naturally he would have felt criticised by Richardson, Shipley and Bolger for his own failed policies, and he certainly got flak from the senior Labour politicians in the 1980s for that also.

      But his own party turning against him, that was a bit much for him, I suppose.

      Also did he work with the gangs at times, trying to get them sorted and into doing something more constructive, by creating work schemes and the likes, as far as I can remember.

      In his last years he was naturally still a grumpy old fellow, but he had mellowed a lot from his earlier years.

  9. Nick K 9

    Brighter future: always on the way, never arrives for those on the lowest incomes.

    Inequality and those on lowest incomes are different things.

    If those on lowest incomes could nevertheless lead a comfortable life, what would it matter if someone else had more money? And if those people can still lead comfortable lives, but they’re not multi-millionaires, so what?

    If the Left truly wanted to help those in need, you would focus on raising incomes from the bottom through economic growth, rather than trying to make the poor rich by making the rich poor.

    • felixviper 9.1

      “If those on lowest incomes could nevertheless lead a comfortable life, what would it matter if someone else had more money? And if those people can still lead comfortable lives, but they’re not multi-millionaires, so what?”

      If your auntie had balls she’d be your uncle, Nick, and people on low incomes are not living a comfortable life.

      Shit is fucked up Nick. People are really struggling. People can’t even afford to go to work, Nick. The wages are not enough to live in a house and eat food and buy clothes and electricity and water and go to work without government subsidies such as WFF. Have you thought about what that means? I mean really thought about it?

      People. Can’t. Afford. A. Job.

      And you can be fired at any time. And when you are, you can’t get the unemployment benefit for 13 weeks. 13 fucking weeks, Nick, because you’re expected to be saving money from the job that doesn’t pay enough to live on so you can provide for yourself and your family when you get fired.

      And all that’s if you’re one of the lucky ones who has a job at all.

      Comfortable life? Fuck off with your comfortable life Nick. Fuck right off.

  10. bad12 10

    Nick K, you seem a little thick but i am prepared to waste a few minutes of my day in what is probably a futile attempt to enlighten you,

    We have as a country been forced fed the myth of ‘economic growth’ for the past 30 odd years, meanwhile those very same people who have been spoon feeding us all with such crap along with ‘smart and knowledge economy’s’ have busied themselves trading away any chance of actual real and sustainable growth occurring by signing us up to a myriad of trade deals based upon nothing more than access for New Zealand dairy products,

    The trade off made has been at the expense of manufacturing in New Zealand where the cheaper economy’s have been given free access,

    Pray tell us Nick K, where can growth in the economy occur….

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1

      The problem is mainly not that we haven’t had economic growth or productivity increases but that the workers on low incomes who have created that growth have not benefited from it.

      In fact that have not only not benefited they have deliberately via legislation and policy had their previous benefits eroded via lower wages, longer hours and lesser working conditions and job security.

      If the share of their productivity even returned to 50% of GDP in wages and 50% in profit we would see significant improvement in those at the bottom.

      It used to be that 70% of GDP went to the workers – 70% now goes to the owners.

      That’s quite a significant reversal in the last 30 years.

      It might be different if that change had actually resulted in innovative businesses that grew the economy in some way but it hasn’t. Most of the money in the business owners hands has been used to buy previously state owned businesses, to purchase properties and to store as cash / assets / transferred overseas.

      Lowering wages to increase profit doesn’t lift productivity unless you consider people having to work longer hours to earn the same amount of income. That’s a piss poor way to increase productivity and simply reflects the piss poor quality of managers and business owners in this country.

      If your way of increasing profit is simply to lower wages you’ve got a shit product or service and it’s an exceedingly lazy approach.

      Because we’ve gone down that road however we have little innovation in this country. Add to that the other lazy way of doing business by buying state assets.

      We could have had many more innovative businesses here if we had not taken these lazy approaches – we wouldn’t have tied up so much resource and effort in managing things the public sector was already managing for one thing.

    • Nick K 10.2

      Pray tell us Nick K, where can growth in the economy occur….

      I can’t answer that question because I am thick.

      • bad12 10.2.1

        I unreservedly apologize for the unfounded accusation inherent in alluding to your state of intelligence as ‘thick’,(even tho you have belatedly admitted to a state of thickness of mind broader than an obese elephants arse),

        In my opinion you are now an economic genius of world renown so answer the f**king question you thick b******d…

  11. SPC 11

    On the minimum wage? An increase from $13.50 to $13.75 is coming. Key will say it compensates people for the CPI change – but this excludes housing and also note for the fact that cheaper imported goods for the middle class that lower the CPI level are not in play for the poor. How many buy a cheaper car because of a high dollar?

    Those who pay pay rent (may have been a 10% hike in Auckland or Christchurch) and power (up 10% next year?) and food – don’t notice a 1% rise in costs.

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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    6 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    13 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Eagle Pursuit
    Source: New Zealand Police – Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Police Pursuit Robbery suspects arrested following high speed drive Tuesday, 31 March 2015 – 7:58pm Auckland City Two men have been arrested in Remuera after driving at high speed and in… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    15 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the inadequate response to sexual violence prevention
    On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Judgment day for Planet Key (the song, that is)
    From Darren Watson's website:News@ 30 March, 2015read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    16 hours ago
  • Keith Rankin on Subsistence and the Benefit
    Analysis by Keith Rankin – First Published on Scoop.co.nz. Rural Northland poverty in the spotlight. Image courtesy of Localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz. YESTERDAY ON RADIO NEW ZEALAND’S MORNING REPORT “Te Manu Korihi for 30 March 2015“, Mana’s Hone Harawira discussed the matter… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    18 hours ago
  • A rape joke walks into a comedy festival
    Here’s a story about stand-up comedy that shouldn’t be shocking: Adrienne Truscott’s first full-length show involves an hour of jokes about rape culture, during which time you can see her genitals. Supplied In reality though, how rape is… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Introducing: Wurld Series
    Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music. Wurld Series. Name: Wurld Series (Luke, Jared and James). Age: 24, 25, 30. Hometown: Christchurch.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Tonight on Evening Report – March 31 2015
    Tonight on Evening Report we lead with a video cross to Hanoi to gauge how delegates from South East Asia, meeting on nuclear disarmament in Vietnam, have responded to news New Zealand has been spying on its trading partners. This and… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    19 hours ago
  • On The Dial – Episode 17
    This week in On The Dial, the Northland by-election, we go behind the scenes of Parliament’s Hansard office, talk to comedian Adrienne Truscott, and, of course, look back at the Cricket world cup. The National Party is promising to take… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Research on the price of protest in West Papua released – PMC
    MIL OSI – Source: Pacific Media Centre – Analysis published with permission of PMC Headline: The price of protest in West Papua – Research Image: Demotix Tuesday, March 31, 2015 West Papua is a region… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    20 hours ago
  • Photo of the Day: 50 shades….
    The new suburbia; detached buildings so close you wonder why they bother and every mood from drab to dreary. At least you can no longer hear children play… now they’ve been banned. ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    20 hours ago
  • the win in winston
    Unintended consequences has been a concept on my mind recently - some thoughts on the recent by-election in Northland.The election of Winston Peters in Northland will have unintended negative consequences for the left I think. The left as a whole… ...
    21 hours ago
  • NZ Government launches tax modernisation programme
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Tax modernisation programme launched Revenue Minister Todd McClay today released the first two in a series of public consultations designed to modernise and simplify the tax system. “Taxes are an important part… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    21 hours ago
  • Discovering the roots of Lttle Phnx
    Wellington-based synthpop artist Lttle Phnx talks about finding a sound that's as unique as her story of growing up. Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx. Photo: Alexander Robertson/The Wireless Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx makes sweet, electro, synthpop from a… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Oh dairy me
    A couple of weeks ago, Nick Smith and the government decided to prolong the sham that is ECan until 2019. When announcing that there would be a “mixed government model”, he went on to say that democracy was “too risky”… ...
    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    22 hours ago
  • Freedom of information and tikanga
    Yesterday the Māori Affairs Committee reported back on the Hawke's Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill. The bill looks relatively uncontentious, establishing a joint Regional Planning Committee with Hawke's Bay iwi to decide on regional plans and policy statements under the… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • National’s Bulldozer Lurches Onwards
    The National Government barely paused after their humiliating by-election loss in Northland. In his normal cavalier and dismissive manner Key shrugged off the defeat, "so I got it wrong on that one, but that's the way it goes." He he… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Feeding the watchdog?
    The Officers of Parliament Committee reported back today on the annual appropriations for the Ombudsman, and have recommended a significant increase in funding. There's additional funding to help it cope with its duties under OPCAT and the United Nations Convention… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago

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  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    1 week ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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