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If Epsom & Ohariu were Northland & Te Tai Tonga…

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, October 26th, 2011 - 29 comments
Categories: democratic participation, MMP, Politics - Tags:

There’s a tired old line trotted about by those who dislike MMP and that whole proportionality thing it guarantees: “it gives minor parties too much power”.

You usually see it used to disparage law changes like the repeal of section 59 (which only 113 MPs voted for! Injustice!) and parties like the Greens … but since the anti-MMP movement is pretty much based on the right (in terms of a return-to-FPP movement, specifically; plenty of us politic-geek lefties throw the horns for systems like STV) you just never see the same criticism made of, say, ACT.

ACT, who exist because the voters of Epsom have basically struck a bargain with National: make sure your true-blue candidate is guaranteed a viable list spot, and we’ll supply the coalition partner of your dreams.

That bargain might be on the down now, but still we get stories about the PM coquettishly refusing to instruct National voters to tick Banksie (nudge nudge, wink wink) while of course supporting his own party’s guy (just what you’ve got to say, innit, hint hint.)
[And yes, having just snarkily defended proportionality you might think it’s hypocritical for me to disparage ACT; but when parties like NZ First get nearly 10,000 more votes than ACT and no seats at all, proportionality’s on my side of this one.]

Anyway. The question I pose today is, why, when the Greens get nearly 7% of the popular vote yet “have too much power”, do we not look to the two rogue electorates who have held so much more sway in the formation of our government? [Someone far smarter than me can probably do the math, but without ACT’s five seats in 2008 you can’t deny National would’ve had less free rein.]
So where’s the hate for Epsom and Ohariu?

Call me a raging feminist if you will, but here’s a funny thing:

Epsom is (at Aug 09) 64.4% Pakeha/European, and only 6% Maori/Pasifika. 35.9% of its population have a Bachelors degree or higher, compared to 14.2% nationwide. 59.2% of its households have an income over $70k, and 46.4% over $100k, at a time when the median was $59k.

93.8% of people receive no government benefit.

Ohariu is 69.2% Pakeha/European, and 11.3% Maori/Pasifika. 28.4% of its population have a Bachelors degree or higher, and 58.1% of its households have an income over $70k, and 38.2% have an income over $100k.

92% receive no government benefit.

… So we’re looking at white, academically-educated, well-off electorates (and please let’s not start the whining about how $100k per household doesn’t make you rich).

All I’m wondering is, what if those statistics looked very different? What if Mana and Labour were striking a deal over Northland? 40% Maori/Pasifika, 6.6% Bachelors or higher, 20.4% of households on 70k+, nearly 1-in-5 on a benefit?
Or, even more scandalously, the electorate that’s over 74.4% Maori, 9.7% varsity-educated, 1-in-5 on a benefit, 29.5% of households over 70k Te Tai Tonga?

Would the dominant story still be about the Greens having too much power? Would the Armstrongs and O’Sullivans of the world still be talking about dealings in Epsom as though it were a clever intellectual exercise?

Is anyone seriously going to argue that rich white electorates having significant, some might say disproportionate say in the future of our country, and this being treated as normal, isn’t a reflection of who’s in charge of New Zealand? (Hint: not the unions.)

~

Note: Before y’all ask, I haven’t subjected Wigram to the same analysis because since 2005 Wigram just hasn’t played the same role as Ohariu in providing a swinging single vote or Epsom in bringing in additional seats.

For more QoT goodness and a little badness (good badness, that is) head over to her blog: Ideologically Impure

29 comments on “If Epsom & Ohariu were Northland & Te Tai Tonga…”

  1. Uturn 1

    The answer isn’t in statistics or logic.

    “…It gives minor parties too much power…”, is middle-classese (or aspiration-ese) for a long list of cliché, unexamined, ideas that eventually are defined as “They’re not like me”.

    Much like the comments of a poster here whose main argument was “…they’re ruining the grass…”, his point wasn’t that the grass would get ruined, but the grass is a symbolic image relating to a concrete concept within a cultural or personal language. You won’t catch them with logic, primarily because they aren’t listening, aren’t aware they can’t listen and usually don’t want to change.

    A certain mind is off out into the future all the time. It doesn’t reside here, with day to day acts, it thinks that life happens after work, during retirement, after promotion, after the climb, in Tahiti, Noosa or a beachside resort, and anything of the now and familiar is low class and backward. It knows solutions to everyone’s problems – aspiration, planning, schedules, logic, reason, ambition. It seeks out reflections of it’s own ideas and appearances and rejects alternatives. It does not know what it is, so embraces cultural norms as it’s identity.

    Common phrases, sentiments, keeping up appearances of class, is it’s M.O. We’ve seen a lot of it recently with people attaching their emotional state to the winning of the RWC. After a while, the self-inflicted damage of delayed self-awareness creates anxiety and serious problems can occur once the host realises the problem. Panic sets in and anything that reminds them that the identity of culture is not real makes them scared, angry and then openly hostile. At that point the host can either stop and examine the problem to make changes, or fight it and project it outwards; ad nauseum, or until psychosis sets in, which ever happens first

    It doesn’t much matter which culture you pick, it happens with all of them. People are designed to grow, mentally, not stagnate for economic purposes. “…It gives the minor parites too much power…” could mean anything, but is usually along the theme of “…it reminds me of all of the parts of myself that scare me…”.

    That’s my theory based on my life/personal experience. I should also add that just because something scares people, doesn’t mean the the alternative is true/right/good. It takes far more work to find what is true than a simple either/or reduction.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Some Wigram stats:
    12.1% Maori or Pacific, 71.1% European, 11.4% Asian

    12.6% Bachelors or higher, 26.3% on $70k+ and 9.9% on $100K+

    13.3% on government benefits

    The stats are actually surprisingly close to Te Tai Tonga, except for the ethnicity.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Incidentally as a resident of Wigram, I’d have to say this election seems like a bit of a non-event. There are hardly any National billboards around at all, I’ve seen a few Greens ones but mostly it’s Megan Woods for Labour everywhere. Seems like National aren’t even bothering to contest it.

      http://www.meganwoods.org.nz/about-megan/

  3. Rich 3

    I suspect that Northland (along with places like the East Cape) is only Tory because a large chunk of the population is on the Maori roll.

    Rural seats like West Coast (where the working class is predominantly Pakeha) are a lot more marginal.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Sounds like a ripe area for gerrymandering. Get Labour to team up with Mana or someone else and gerrymand the maori voters onto the appropriate roll so that left-wing parties can win both electorates.

  4. Ari 4

    While I’d love to chuck Peter Dunne out, it’s pretty ridiculous that these parties even require electorate seats to get into parliament in the first place. If they have the party vote for at least one seat, they ought to be in Parliament anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Thinking about that. Electorate seats can be won with less votes than a list seat. An electorate seat can be won with about 10k votes whereas a list seat requires about 60k. What this shows is that we have the threshold around the wrong way. This brings about the idea that it should be that a party cannot win an electorate seat unless they win enough party votes to support a seat in parliament, ie, you need to have 0.8% vote to win a seat in parliament.

      The present 5% threshold should, of course, be dropped so that if a party does get 0.8% of the vote they get a seat whether they win an electorate or not.

      • Mark 4.1.1

        Well that’s just idiotic. You’re saying that we should deprive electorates the right to democratically vote in the person they most want representing them? Yes, MMP needs adjusting; no, we shouldn’t force unpopular representation on people just because their local MP is part of a minor party.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          And yet our present system deprives people of their chosen representatives unless they pass some arbitrarily high proportion of the vote and yet a lot of people want to keep that injustice.

          Tell me, are you one of those people?

        • mik e 4.1.1.2

          yes take away the 5% threshold and that would allow true proportionality and would stop the carpet baggers but put stronger legislation to stop extremist parties from gaining power.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1

            but put stronger legislation to stop extremist parties from gaining power.

            What on earth would such legislation even look like?

            Best opt for a ~3% threshold and leave it at that. Once one in 33 voting NZers back a party they should be in.

            • QoT 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Obviously something like “no party may campaign in a general election:

              a) which commenter mik e at The Standard judges to be too extremist.”

              • lprent

                Oh Oh… I know. Lemme moderate…. I have lots of experience with political wannabes who are unsuitable.

                Which I suspect will raise and dispose of all of the issues (especially succession after my good fair self croaks) about getting someone (apart from mik e) to act as the governor general, ombudsmen, presidential, court figures, etc.

            • Ari 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Why 3%? If we’re lowering it, why not just set it at .87%? (ie. 1/120th of the vote) There’s actually a good reason for having a threshold that low, (if we ditch it altogether, because the saint-lague formula is quite friendly to minor parties, they could possibly win a seat with a very small amount of the vote, less than an electorate) but given the small size of our parliament in world terms, I don’t see why any other criteria than “win a seat” should be required for a small party to enter parliament.

              If they have ridiculous or harmful ideas, so what? Tens of thousands of people get what they voted for if those ridiculous ideas are heard, and hopefully being seen to support those ideas becomes unpopular and people with silly or extreme views change their minds. I really don’t see how anyone but National* win by having any significant threshold at all.

              * Labour is far more likely to benefit by going into coalition with small parties that might die to the threshold, seeing they can sometimes be almost sensible.

    • QoT 4.2

      I absolutely agree that the current 5% threshold is too high, Ari. And it seems pretty objectively unfair that NZ First with 10k more votes gets 0 seats to ACT’s five. In a fairer system, Ohariu and Epsom wouldn’t be as big a deal.

      • Ari 4.2.1

        Not just that, but ACT might be stood down this election due to running John Banks as their lifeboat electorate candidate, and it worries me both that (a) their voters might get disenfranchised, and (b) that because of this a very small minority of their voters could become much more extreme and turn to corruption, crime or terrorism to get their voices heard. (given that these are ACT voters, it would probably be corruption, but still!)

        I don’t particularly care about NZ First not getting into parliament, I don’t like them, but I think it’s incredibly unjust to their voters, and that it’s poisonous to our democracy to have people unrepresented after they actually went out and voted for a party that actually should have won multiple seats in parliament.

  5. Craig 5

    Well, Charles Chauvel came pretty close to disposing of Dunne last time. United Future seems almost moribund. I gather that the Faustian bargain struck back in 2000 between Dunne and Future New Zealand (seats in return for FNZ’s infrastructure and membership) reached a Marlovian* ending in 2007 when Copeland and Baldock walked out and tried to re-establish Future New Zealand/the Kiwi Party, blathered on about Binding Citizens Referenda, failed to get enough petition signatures for a non-binding CIR and then slithered into the Conservative Party.

    After 2007, the infrastructure deficit and membership loss started to eat away at “United Future”, leading its former organisational members (ie Denise Krum) to return to National. I suspect that given various machinations in the seat, Charles may well end up pipping Petey at the post.

    Added to which, David Parker has a finance portfolio background. He’ll probably clean the floor with Banks in any Epsom candidates debate…

    • mik e 5.1

      I thought the mouth piece for the hair piece would have surfaced by now

    • Jum 5.2

      Craig,

      I’ve had a look at the Epsom candidates. I agree that David Parker has the gravitas and the persona that would grace Epsom far better than the weird and wacky reps they’ve had foisted upon them by John Key and National so far.

      But the factor that has more importance than any of that is what the rich and ruthless choose at the ballot box; if they choose anyone other than the best which to me is David Parker, that proves once and for all that their greedy selfish and arrogant interests take precedence over New Zealand’s future as a country seeking and all New Zealanders’ future children.

      Workers need to know that Key will stop at nothing to get into power again to allow his backers to carry out the sacking of New Zealand and support the international conservatives’ and corporates’ sacking of the greater riches lying untouched and pristine south of New Zealand. Whales first, minerals next.

      Try the try-hard Nat candidate of Hunua – been there yonks, supported by huge election campaigning by Act in 2008, yet now nothing from Act, but huge billboards from Conservative. Are we missing a game change here?

      • \Craig 5.2.1

        Jum:
        Good point. It does make strategic sense for the Conservatives to campaign in rural and provincial city seats, although I gather that Colin Craig’s public recognition factor diminishes as he gets further from Auckland (and don’t forget, he came a distant third in the Auckland supermayoralty race). Whether they’ll get Rodney or not should be critically assessed by an objective polling agency. As for the big billboards, yeah, the guy is a millionaire. However, that needs to be pitted against amateur antics like late entry into the election race and his bob-each-way policies- oppose asset sales *and* the emission tradings scheme?!! These are plainly clip-on policies, poorly elaborated. The Conservatives seem to be a cult of personality party (yeah, another one…)

        I see that the latest Horizon poll has them on 2.2 percent, just behind Mana.

    • Ari 5.3

      “We’re winning with it right now” is not a good reason to keep an unfair voting system. We should want to win in a fair fight, where everyone’s ideas are heard, we should want to find out the public’s REAL feelings about parties and candidates; the same way we should care about science, and facts- what is ACTUALLY right, not just what sounds nice.

      Besides, fairer voting systems work for our values much better in the long term- it’s only really the bigoted parts of the upper-middle class and the regressively rich who stand to benefit from distorting public opinion.

      By the by, if citizen-initiated referenda consisted of actual draft bills, and would have to pass a consistency check with the Bill of Rights* to go ahead, I’d probably support binding referenda.

      * By which I mean one that actually mattered, not like the ones actual bills go through.

  6. Dont care if its the jackasses in Act or the socialists in Green, MMP gives too much power to the smaller parties.

    Always hated it.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      MMP takes too much power away from National you mean.

    • Ari 6.2

      It’s National and Labour who determine how much power goes to smaller parties, given they’re the keyholders in negotiations. I think blaming MMP for that is rather misguided. If Labour and National’s ideas are so much more right for the country, then they should not compromise on them.

      If there’s any problem with MMP, it’s that it needs better tweaks to make the larger parties act more responsibly- for instance, requiring parties to have popular votes on their lists would probably be great for both Labour and National. (although it would likely pull both parties leftward, just because the largest parties are both right of their constituencies)

    • Jum 6.3

      Brett Dale,

      What you liked was the election results for National that had far fewer votes than Labour but still got to govern. It happened twice if not more.

  7. \Craig 7

    While I don’t like the microparty constituency/list entourage aspects of MMP, those can be fixed without compromising MMP itself. In Germany, a minor party has to win two Bundestag seats if it’s well under the five percent threshold.

    Ah- the Maxim Institute has come out supporting SM! Well, actually no, they’re having a buck each way:
    http://www.maxim.org.nz

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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
    Press Release – ASMS Thank you for the opportunity to address you again. As always my comments are personal observations, although in broad terms at least I believe they are consistent with the Associations view on the matters discussed. In… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Government Tilts the Playing Fields
    The most shocking example of Government bias can be seen when comparing the treatment of the Problem Gambling Foundation and Relationships Aotearoa with how they bail out failing private and Charter Schools.Wanganui Collegiate is an elite Private School of around… ...
    2 days ago

  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    6 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    6 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    2 weeks ago

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