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Imperator Fish: Winning in 2014: a prescription for Labour

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 pm, June 10th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: humour, parody, Satire - Tags:

Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish is well known for his inciteful insightful analysis of many issues. However he has really really outdone himself in this repost of his original work. With its clarion call for rioting clarity it will bring war unity to all parts of the political spectrum outside of Labour advising them on their strategy. Who can wait to read the few lines of commentary by David Farrar giving the 9th floor position as he quotes this post. Indeed!


Labour should be prepared to do a deal with Hone Harawira (pictured above), but any sort of deal with the Mana-Internet Party would be electoral suicide for Labour.


As a Labour Party member I get so frustrated at the constant negativity about my party. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what the party ought to be doing, and barely a day goes by without some blogger on The Standard, The Daily Blog, or Pundit, opining stridently about the strategic errors Labour is making.  It seems as if all is in turmoil, as those within the party and on its fringes debate the direction Labour should take.

But if the various factions would only stop denouncing each other for a moment, they would see that it’s bloody obvious what Labour needs to do to win the 2014 election. It doesn’t take a genius to work any of this out.

And yet it seems as if every day someone new is giving the party advice on what it should do, which demographic it should target, and which policies it should adopt. Honestly, reading the blogs these days usually leaves me with a headache.

It’s not rocket surgery, guys! Just get it together, will you?

It’s startlingly obvious. All Labour needs to do to win is move to the left and capture the support of all those disaffected voters fed up with our failed neoliberal experiment, while staying firmly in the centre where all the middle class votes are. Labour has been failing precisely because it has struggled to work out what it is about, and what it stands for, but it needs to stand up for the working classes and the poor, while remaining a party predominantly for middle New Zealand.

Hundreds of thousands of young people did not vote for Labour last time, because they could not see any point. Most of these young people are uninspired by Labour, because it offers them nothing new. In their minds, Labour is largely indistinguishable from National. Labour must therefore position itself as offering something quite different to National.

There are also hundreds of thousands of middle class voters who went with National instead of Labour last time, so if Labour wants to win these voters back it must look to steal some of the territory currently occupied by the Nats. These people want a steady reliable government focused on fiscal prudence. They’re largely happy with the way things are.

Labour is a broad church, and it cannot hope to win power without carrying the majority of the voting public with it. That means policies that address genuine middle class concerns. But Labour is also a party for the workers and the poor, and was born from the union movement. At its heart must be a concern for the welfare of workers and those struggling, even if this has to be at the expense of the middle class.

Labour also has an image problem, but that can be fixed easily enough. Many voters are frightened off by the perception that Labour is a party run by gays, feminists and minority groups. The party has driven off good blokes like John Tamihere and now Shane Jones, blokes who offer a different perspective and can communicate with working class males in a way that the current party leader cannot. Many voters are also frightened off by the perception that Labour is still a party struggling with its attitudes towards gays, feminists and minority groups, as evidenced by the Neanderthal attitudes of past and current caucus members, like John Tamihere and more recently Shane Jones. Labour needs to embrace all perspectives, while driving utterly from the party anyone who happens to have the wrong opinions.

Labour needs to end its obsession with identity politics, while remaining a fearless and unashamed champion of the rights of women and other traditionally oppressed groups in our society.

The policies that Labour adopts will ultimately determine whether it wins this election. David Cunliffe needs to be brave and adopt bold policies that get this country up and running again. But he can’t afford to scare the centrist vote by doing anything drastic. Indeed, although we need firm and decisive action to right this sinking ship, the economy is on the mend and there really is no need for a radical change of direction. We need to accept that our free market economy has failed ordinary New Zealanders utterly and completely and needs to be abandoned, while accepting that our free market economy is here to stay. Labour should focus on policies that moderate the worst aspects of the free market but otherwise allow businesses to prosper, while at the same time returning to an economy heavily controlled by the government.

People will respond to a leader who offers a bold and clear vision of the path ahead, so long as they realise that big government isn’t the cure for all ills. People have to take responsibility for themselves, because the world doesn’t owe them a living, and they should also expect the government to care for them when they fall upon hard times or are disadvantaged. The role of Labour leader is to promote policies that allow the government to take an active role in society, while accepting that people don’t necessarily want more government in their lives.

The world has changed, and we simply can’t afford as a nation to try and return to some golden age when health and education were free for everyone. But the world is changing, and people are finally realising that the only reason we can’t all have free health and education is because the elites who run this country don’t want to pay more tax.

Labour must promise to be fiscally prudent, so as not to alarm the markets, and so as to encourage people worried about government spending to vote for them. That doesn’t mean, however, that Labour should focus too much on controlling government spending. An increase in government spending will provide a much needed stimulus to the economy, so long as it is done in a way that doesn’t increase government expenditure. Government debt is an ongoing problem and has to be kept under control, regardless of who is in power, but this country has quite low levels of government debt and we can afford to loosen the purse strings considerably.

In the end the difference between victory and defeat may come down to a few percentage points on the night. It may also come down to the results in a few electorates. Labour should be prepared to do deals with other parties on the left in key electorates, such as Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau. But people just don’t like Hone Harawira, and any sort of deal with the Mana-Internet Party would be electoral suicide for Labour. Labour needs to campaign on its own values and just refuse outright to do any sleazy deals, while being smart and strategic in the messages it sends to voters in key electorates like Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau.

Only by shifting left while remaining firmly in the centre, and breaking from the past while adopting a steady-as-she-goes approach, will Labour win back all those voters who abandoned it because the party was too radical or not radical enough.

But it’s all so obvious that I’m surprised I even have to tell you this.

38 comments on “Imperator Fish: Winning in 2014: a prescription for Labour”

  1. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1

    LOL!
    Now that really is insightful.
    😆

  2. Mike the Savage One 2

    I have been waiting for exactly this!

    Yep, promise everything and (deliver) nothing, and all will be well, the people are used to it anyway. Nothing to worry, this is great advice, very “insightful”, so deep, I cannot see the bottom of the well.

    Great stuff, we now only need to print the leaflets and banners.

  3. anker 3

    Brilliant. I was trying to write something on open mike that conveyed this. SY has done this for me!

    I have been thinking a lot lately, that Labour gets criticized every which way, by almost everyone, included on this site. Including being told they are the one’s sabotaging a win this election. This came after many of this site criticized the deal between Mana and IP (prior to we knew about Ms Harre) and supported Sue Bradford for walking away from Mana if an agreement happened.

    • Tracey 3.1

      i guess the thing is many of us now voting green or looking to mana, ip etc were probably labour voters once. So, you have a point. Maybe we all need to stop pining for labour to become again what it used to be. For me it is its apparent snubbing of some of its obvious partners that is a little difficult to stomach, but that could be it aiming for the middle class vote 😉

      • lprent 3.1.1

        Labour as a party really doesn’t make much accommodation at the voting level.

        Some of its candidates and volunteers have been known to. I always used to plan campaigns to roust out the green supporters for instance. From memory Stuart Nash as candidate made a statement in Epsom in 2005 when he saw that he didn’t have the numbers to defeat Rodney Hide (who ran a frigging good campaign).

        And very late in the campaigns, usually days out from the election, you’d sometimes get Labour leaders pointing out the obvious electoral logic for a particular seat when asked. This is usually after a poll in that seat showing Labour well behind and in 3rd place. Coromandel in 1999 being the clearest example.

        Seats are far too important as a centre for organisation to give up. Parties have to hold them against Labour or to take them off Labour. I’d also point out that it is damn good for the other party as well. Look at the remanent results of making deals with National. The husks of mostly dead parties.

        But generally you’ll find the pre-election accommodations are rare.

        Labour will usually make their accommodations at the parliamentary level after the voters have made their choices. As it stands, they have excellent past working relationships in government with the Greens, NZ First, Peter Dunne, and the current head of the IMP.

        The obvious exception was the purported MOU with the Alliance in 1999. It was apparently a response to Winston working with National after the 1996 election because the Alliance and Labour were having problems with their post-election coalition and/or support agreement.

        The trick always is going to be for any party in an MMP environment to win enough places at the table to get a place in the formation of a government. Everything else is dangerous for both parties. Just look at what happens to parties that depend on deals with National.

        Roust out your own vote should be what every political party does.

  4. Tracey 4

    Very clever, and amidst the satire a big grain of truth… Labour doesnt know who it is trying to represent and many others dont know either. Be something. Anything.

  5. Chooky 5

    ” But people just don’t like Hone Harawira, and any sort of deal with the Mana-Internet Party would be electoral suicide for Labour. Labour needs to campaign on its own values and just refuse outright to do any sleazy deals, while being smart and strategic in the messages it sends to voters in key electorates like Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau.”

    WHAT A LOAD OF BULLSHIT!…Labour needs to be forging links with Mana /Internet

    “Only by shifting left while remaining firmly in the centre, and breaking from the past while adopting a steady-as-she-goes approach, will Labour win back all those voters who abandoned it because the party was too radical or not radical enough.”

    IS THIS FOR REAL?!…How can you shift left and at the same time stay in the centre?

    This is a joke piece right?…imo not helpful because it is confusing to the naive and unsophisticated (like me)

    For Labour, my prescription under Cunliffe is ….as my Father used to say when out at sea with his diesel motor …. “Steady as she goes”

    BTW…David Cunliffe has been sounding exceptionally good on radio lately ( i dont watch tv much …but I hear the same on tv)…also John Key is looking increasingly flustered and fat around the gills in the newspapers

    • Tracey 5.1

      ” This is a joke piece right?”

      Right.

    • Tracey 5.2

      ” This is a joke piece right?”

      Right.

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      the humour parady and satire tags give it away…

      • ianmac 5.3.1

        Too right satire. Obviously satire but it does illustrate the problem in having a democratic party system. Everyone believes that their opinion matters. Good? Bad too because the variables become grounds for debate and dispute.
        The answer this far down the Election track is to support the leadership. David and Russel are doing a great job so as far as I am concerned, so no quibbling over detail. Just a collective “Hear, Hear!”
        (Unless you are a Right Wing Mole intent on sowing seeds of disharmony!)

    • Treetop 5.4

      I am not a fan of coat tailing and it has to go. Dealing with reality is necessary for Labour to coat tail in Harawira’s electorate and Sykes electorate. The minority party with the most electorate seats is going to be the Mana Internet Party.

      Key is in no hurry to do a deal with the Maori Party because I do not think they will win an electorate seat. Key has not embraced the Maori Party, now that Banks is gone.

      I hear Cunliffe’s principles over coat tailing. I also hear him not being prepared to prop up the Mana Internet Party in at least two electorates. Labour candidates will get the party vote in most of the Maori electorate seats, (except for Harawira and Sykes seat) because there is a long history with Labour compared to the Mana Internet Party.

      There is a dilemma here for Cunliffe and he has to swallow a couple of dead rats (which are in the rules). Key got into government by swallowing two dead rats.

      There is a definite trend that swallowing two dead rats is required to win an election.

      Labour need to thrash housing and to grab the center vote by saying they will build 5,000 mixed and single dwellings to accommodate those on NZ Super and benefits. Labour need to make clear statements for the build e.g.

      The 50% who cannot afford to service a mortgage.
      We will house the elderly who cannot afford to live on the NZ Super.
      A healthy home is vital for all children so they can concentrate better at school.
      An insulated double glazed home saves power so people can eat better.

      I do not think that there are many landlords who are center voters either.

      • Shrubbery 5.4.1

        We have to deal with the reality that electorate seats are still FPP rather than preferential voting, and also that there is a high threshold for parties to get list seats without an electorate. This system means that parties with substantial support can miss out on electorates and their votes are undemocratically wasted. The coat-tailing clause allows the election to be more democratic than otherwise, as at least parties winning an electorate get to have their party vote count.

        The electorate system also encourages two candidate races. When the left splits its vote between two candidates, it can lose a strongly left leaning seat to a right leaning candidate, as in Waiariki last election. Similarly, voting for Green in Ohariu stopped the Labour candidate beating Peter Dunne, but if the green votes had all gone to Labour, a left wing candidate would have won a significantly right leaning seat.
        Shenanigans involving cups of tea will continue until the election system is fixed to remove the threshold and to allow PV in electorates – don’t blame National for using it better than Labour. Blame them instead for refusing to fix it. It would be nice if the left made them pay the consequences for not fixing it.

        Until such time as there is preferential voting in electorates, the parties of the left have to work together in electorates and where the are multiple left candidates likely to get votes in key electorates, pick one to be the focus of the campaign. Kelvin Davis shooting his mouth off in Te Tai Tokerau helps no-one, and the left should also be looking to get Annette Sykes in in Waiariki.

        • Tracey 5.4.1.1

          is it wrong that whenever i see your handle i think of monty pythons holy grail

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4.1.2

          The minor left wing parties only get to have Labour/Green approved candidates?

          I think you’re ignoring the power of cynicism.

  6. Jenny 6

    I.F. is conflicted. IF Labour go Right they are criticised if Labour go Left they are criticised, if Labour throw Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau they are criticised, if they don’t they are criticised.

    If Labour drive out intolerant anti-environmental misogynists like Shane Jones and John Tamahere, Labour are critised, if they embrace these self styled champions of ‘masculinist culture’ Labour are criticised.

    Like all good art, this satire piece holds a mirror up to the reality, accurately describing the bind that Labour are in.

    The way out of this bind is obvious. For good or ill, a clear direction is needed. A clearly defined separation between the Nats and Labour, or between the Greens, Mana/IP and Labour.

    Are Labour part of the Centre Left/Right, or are Labour part of the wider Left.

    If Labour are part of the centre that is what they will be, a part of the centre, if they throw in with the Left they will be biggest and leading part of the Left.

    Party of the Centre or Party of the Left.

    Those who support Labour remaining a Centrist Party argue that if Labour move more Left they will become unelectable, even if this is true, the question remaining is this; Is it better to vote for something we want, and not get it. Or, vote for something we don’t want, and get it. Faced with this mind and spirit numbing conundrum is the reason I feel that many don’t vote.

    What is needed is something to inspire them.

    As the ancients said; “Man does not live by bread alone”.

    What is needed is somehting to inspire us all.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Of course the “move to the left” is a National warning to undecided voters. But it doesn’t have any meaning at all.
      So let us avoid debating the Left/Right and go for “it is in the interests of all New Zealanders who want a fair and equal society.”

      • greywarbler 6.1.1

        Jenny pops the question?
        Labour – Party of the Centre or Party of the Left?

        Let’s hear the answer. We are on our knees, will you be ours Labour or the inconstant companion thinking to dilly-dally between us and the flashy flirt in the up-market apartment on the hill?

        This is the song for now.
        No I don’t believe in ‘if’ any more
        It’s an illusion
        ‘If’ is for children, building day dreams.>/i>
        Roger Whittaker

        Time for commitment, constancy, and depth of passion to the people.

        If I knew then what I know now
        (I thought I did you know somehow)
        If I could have the time again
        I’d take the sunshine leave the rain
        If only time would trickle slow
        Like rain that melts the fallen snow
        If only Lord if only

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Let’s hear the answer. We are on our knees, will you be ours Labour or the inconstant companion thinking to dilly-dally between us and the flashy flirt in the up-market apartment on the hill?

          A centrist, pro-capitalist party with left leaning historical roots.

    • Tom Gould 6.2

      Labour has been successful in winning elections in the recent past, in the modern era, only when it has a leader the public warm to and like. Kirk was one. Lange was one. Clark was one. Sadly, for the left and the centre left, Key now occupies that space. And there is pretty much nothing that can be done about it. Until he gets tired of the gig, and until the left can organise themselves a leader the public can warm to and like. And moreover that the media like and can follow.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Winning in NZ politics has rarely been about superficial likeability Tom. Instead, it is about smarts, gutsiness, and an ability to make political values very real in every day life.

        The Labour Party wins when it stands for what it believes in. The electorate always punishes Labour harder when it appears to be less than sincere in it’s aim of advocating for the bottom 80% of NZ society.

        The majority of this group earn less than $35K pa. They are in households with a total household income of around $60K pa or less.

        When the Right (in National and in Labour) talk about middle class votes they are always talking about the top 20% in this country, typically those earning say salaries of say $75K pa or more.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        Given the chance, I believe the public will warm to Cunliffe. He has an endearing side to his nature that the public has yet to see. If the membership had been listened to, he would have become the leader two and half years ago and the public would know by now he was a leader in waiting.

    • Tracey 6.3

      the only people i saw sad to see jones and tamihere go were from tge right

  7. Jenny 7

    <So let us avoid debating the Left/Right and go for “it is in the interests of all New Zealanders who want a fair and equal society.”
    ianmac

    Ian, before we shut down the debate could, you be a weeny bit more specific about, what you think is “.. is in the interests of all New Zealanders want a fair and equal society”?

    • ianmac 7.1

      Jenny. What I believe is that it is a bit late to debate what is a fair and equal society. The Election is so close so I will applaud and defend the official announcements of David and Russell. The finer debate about fairness and equality starts again in October.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        Yes, let’s us all keep the politics out of politics, for those not ideologically partizan, or interested in politics that should make the elections a really gripping contest, Not.

        Aren’t elections supposed to be the forums contending parties debate issues like fairness and equality?

        Hmm, I think I see the problem….

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.1

          There are a lot of things that we could be discussing in the run up to the elections.
          1. Whether we should be eating meat.
          2. Ditto sugar.
          3. Legalising cannabis.
          4. Tightening up on alcohol.
          5. Getting another constitution.
          6. Whether we should even try for a constitution at the risk of a plague of giant borer beetles arising to eat away at the fractured one we have.
          7. Christchurch
          8. Auckland
          9. Roads of notional significance, or decent rail.
          10. Getting anything made in NZ instead of going for cheap overseas.
          11. to 111. I won’t go on. My point is that we have to narrow down our dissent and get concentrated on the goal. Ianmac is right as so often.

          And Jenny you can enjoy yourself disagreeing and bringing up this and that point – you can win your argument but I think most of us now want to win the war. And the battle is on for retaining what’s left of our country and hope for a return to better lives.

          We won’t get that through National even though they trumpet themselves as being centrist, with a socially responsible leaning. Labour isn’t all that we want, but it’s more than National so we need to keep our eyes on the goal of getting them in whether they are perfect or not. It’s quite clear to me, and I believe that is what Ianmac and a significant number here think.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    The worrying aspect of where we sit today is many of the debates raised in IF’s satire are not too far from the truth.

    Here we are, weeks away from the election and still “everyone seems to have an opinion about what the party ought to be doing”.

    That debate is well and truly over for every other party contesting this election. From Mana to ACT, they are all going in with a consistent message which their respective activists are screaming in tune with each other.

    You only have to look at the recent immigration cluster fuck to see how confused the Labour message is this close to the election.

  9. greywarbler 9

    Farrar’s 9th floor position. Is that a yoga posture? Somehow the mind slips to Yogi
    and then Jabba the Hutt. Likeness?

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    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    21 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    21 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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