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In other news: the failings of Key’s government

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, November 21st, 2012 - 20 comments
Categories: class war, climate change, economy, ETS, greens, housing, john key, labour, mana, Metiria Turei, national, nz first, poverty - Tags:

John Key’s government is failing to provide adequate policies for the environment, affordable housing, and a living wage, while continuing with their crony-capitalist neoliberal ways.

The urgency of these issues are evident in a round up of items that have caught my eye online today:

There is a UN report that CO2 emissions have reached a record high in 2011.

According to an article in The Guardian, says that there’s,

… a 40 percent increase over levels in 1750, before humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest.

Although CO2 is still the most significant long-lived greenhouse gas, levels of other heat-trapping gases have also climbed to record levels, according to the report. …

All told, the amount of excess heat prevented from escaping into outer space was 30 percent higher in 2011 than it was as recently as 1990.

The Key government’s withdrawal from Kyoto2, and the environmental neglect and abuse continues to tarnish NZ’s “Clean Green image”.

In a survey, Kiwi children say a PM should focus on providing basic necessities like food and housing.

Yesterday, Metiria Turei posted,

A survey conducted for International Children’s Day today asked children what would be the first thing they would do if they were in charge of the country and kiwi kids voted to provide the basics – food, clothing and shelter – to ensure everyone could have a good life. …

“This should be a reality check for MPs and the Government in particular. Kiwi children were more likely than those in other developed countries to focus on providing the basics.

“Maybe that’s because a fifth of our children are living in poverty. This survey shows our kids are well aware that too many are missing out.

As Anthony Robins’ Poverty Watch series of posts show, the Key government is doing nothing to tackle NZ’s unacceptable levels of poverty.

Mana welcomes Labour’s commitment to building houses, but asks what’s being planned to provide affordable housing for low income people.

In response to David Shearer’s KiwiBuild proposal, John Minto says,

“It is a worthy policy and we will support it.  But where is affordable housing for families on low-incomes?  This entire group has been disregarded in Labour’s announcement today”.

“No low-income family will be able to afford $300,000. These families struggle from week to week and will never be able to save a deposit or meet the mortgage repayments required for home ownership.  They are caught in the vicious squeeze between high private rental costs and the government’s impossible criteria for eligibility for a state house”.

“The most desperate need for housing is state rental housing which is why MANA’s first policy priority in housing is to build 20,000 new state homes within two years”.

Labour at least has a policy to deal with some aspects of the housing shortage.  The Key government’s plan is an ill-thought-out shambles, which will do nothing for those in real need.

NZ First asks, John Key to reveal the full extent of his involvement in the Sky City-China Southern Airlines (CSA) gambler visa deal.

Winston Peter’s says the deal allowing CSA frequent flyers to dodge visa requirements, comes on top of Key’s pokie deal with Sky City.  He says Key’s statements about these deals are contradictory and indicate crony-ism is involved.

Mr Peters says the Prime Minister must come clean on why he is willing to jeopardise the nation’s security, and fuel problem gambling with hundreds of extra pokie machines, in return for a convention centre.

“Mr Key is clearly involved in this whole gambler visa mess which according to high ranking Immigration Department officials is highly likely to see criminals enter the country.

“The Prime Minister has some serious explaining to do,” says Mr Peters.

On all these issues, the Key government is continuing to damage NZ and the lives of ordinary Kiwis, indicating a bleak future.  The Labour Party’s policies are an improvement, but fall well short of what I’d expect from a Left wing party.  Mana and the Greens  are leading the way on affordable housing and anti-poverty campaigns.  The Greens still have the most helpful and comprehensive take on, and responses to, pressing environmental issues.

20 comments on “In other news: the failings of Key’s government”

  1. Uturn 1

    Mana’s housing policy catches all the things Labour’s drops; turning a policy that is a treatment of symptoms in a way that perpetuates the problem, into addressing the problem and making a step forward in a new direction. There isn’t a direct link to their ideas, it’s part of the wider policy page:

    http://mana.net.nz/policy/

    “Increase Government support for third sector housing providers – whānau, hapū and iwi, community and church based organisations who work to provide quality social housing (rental and owned) in local areas. Support the development of Indigenous housing models, as well as sweat equity, shared equity, eco housing, cooperative housing and other innovative forms of home ownership.”

  2. Rogue Trooper 2

    The Maori Flag: A symbol of liberation and identity

    Black-represents Te Korekore, the realm of Potential Being. It represents the long darkness from whence the world emerged.It represents the heavens, the male element is formless, floating and passive.

    White-represents Te Ao Marama, the realm of Being and Light. It is the physical world. White symbolises purity, harmony, enlightenment, balance and air rising.

    The Koru, represents the unfolding of new life, that everything is reborn and continues. It promises renewal and hope for the future.

    Red-represents Te Whei Ao, the realm of coming into being. It symbolises female, active, flashing, south, yelling, emergence, forest, land, gestation and spirals. Red is Papatuanuku, Earth Mother, the sustainer of all living things. Red is the colour of eart from which the first human was made.

    turn U down here for a cup of tea?

    • Uturn 2.1

      Could be in the general HB area early next year, but not confirmed as yet. Today we can settle for a virtual rooibos.

  3. Macro 3

    Another very timely reminder Karol

    Thanks for a great post

    Re the first Point – in case you may have missed it – The World Bank (no less) has just released a report saying that unless the govt’s of the world get their act together and change direction; we are headed to 4 Degrees C warming by the end of this century.
    http://climatechange.worldbank.org/content/climate-change-report-warns-dramatically-warmer-world-century

    • karol 3.1

      Thanks, Macro.  A very worrying report from the World Bank.  And it warns of worse impacts on poorer countries, lower agricultural yields, and risks to human support systems among other things.

      And governments are too  focused on immediate economic returns to be bothered doing anything constructive.  What will it take? 

  4. Dr Terry 4

    “Mr Key has some explaining to do” – well, have we not always known it? Key does not for a moment think he ever has to explain anything – the less ethical he becomes the more his closed minded supporters back him. He gambles on his support at least as much as he gambles on anything else (one hell of a lot!)

    ” . . . and that quality (of leadership) derives from the breadth of the morality upon which it rests” (C.I. Barnard).

    “Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing” (Tom Peters).

    “Leadership requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation” (Alan Autry).

    “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity” (Dwight D. Eisenhower).
    “Real leadership means tackling tough problems ourselves and not leaving them to our children” (Jon Kyl).

    “Bad leadership during the past years has cast on our Party the shadow of great and grave burdens” (Jonos Kadar).

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Labour at least has a policy to deal with some aspects of the housing shortage. The Key government’s plan is an ill-thought-out shambles, which will do nothing for those in real need.

    And, as Frank Macskasy points out, Nationals housing policy is just a recycled housing policy that will probably go the same way as it did before only to be resurrected just before the next election.

    • David H 5.1

      “And, as Frank Macskasy points out, Nationals housing policy is just a recycled housing policy that will probably go the same way as it did before only to be resurrected just before the next election.”

      In All honesty to Frank. I think he meant to say, All of Nationals policies are just Recycled policy that didn’t work last time or the time before that.

  6. Adrian 6

    Two days ago a ” confidence survey” taken late in October was claiming that we are out of it, that we are on our way,happy days are here again, Today, credit card spend was down .9% in Oct. Who do they talk to? And if David Shearer is going to be the leader that he thinks he is he should be all over this, and if he isn’t he should contract it out to someone who knows how to tear strips off the Nats, like …aww… ummm….how about David Cuniliffe!

    • KJT 6.1

      Yeah. All the shops shutting their doors and unemployed kids, in Northland, is a figment of our imaginations.

      • David H 6.1.1

        Same here It’s a little worrying when one of the 3? pubs closes it’s doors due to no patrons. And the amount of closed shops is worrying as well, that means no spare jobs, for the teens that just hang around all day with nothing to do and bugger all money or prospects. It reminds me of the last time the Nats had their go at ruining the country in record time. Or the time before that. De’ javu anyone?

    • karol 6.2

      I suspect some of the wealthier classes haven’t yet experienced much of a down-turn.  With each recovery, the less well-off have lost ground, and the wealth gap increased.

      But I guess some are happy to be thinking they are on their way to another bubble… and then the inevitable crash. 

  7. Whatever what Karol you will likely find me protesting outside parliament fairly soon over December, my situation is pretty bad and there are others in worse situations.

    I wrote a poem on my blog that is a short summary of my feelings:

    The Long black smog

    The state crushing the soul,
    Sounds of sirens,
    Giving way to endless suffering,
    Millions starving and no jobs to spare,
    The weak to die, The rich to take,
    Leaving only despair in their wake,
    As darkness surrounds the halls of power,
    The vipers spread their poison,
    Half the country zombies in their wake,
    Parties, drink, games and drugs,
    The way to hide from truth, from human rights,
    Abandoning reality and believing wrong is right,
    When the dust settles on this outpost of hell,
    Where children are beaten, and parents go free,
    Injustice the norm, Dotcom guilty before innoscent,
    Maori called terrorists,
    No terrorists to be found,
    Lie to the people and build more fear,
    Give government powers, they have no right to have,
    Control and manipulate,
    Christchurch Earthquake a tool of the trade,
    Steal their homes, Give none back,
    Take their democracy,
    Leaving bitter memories,
    Pain and sorrow still goes on,
    But still the public,
    Don’t think somethings wrong,
    New Zealand,
    A long black smog.

  8. Tanz 8

    Meanwhile, he hams it up in that pink shirt. the man is there for the sake of celebrity.

  9. Tracey 9

    Perhaps to assist the genuinely low income folks into houses the government needs to back a housing corporation (from the old days) style mortgage. 20 year mortgages at a fixed rate of (whatever is appropriate). The contract with the crown could include provisions for improved circumstances (ie couple becoming double income once kids are at school, or one adult finding a better paying job and so on). It’s good to have an idea/policy to play around with, tinker, critique because this government is just adopting its “nothing to see here” approach to everything that disinterests it. As an aside the PM seemed singularly disinterested in meeting one of the greatest figures of modern democracy from the clip I saw of him yesterday. He thought (in a monotone) it would be interesting to hear what she had to say… he sounded very animated during his address tot he NZ business group… In otherwords democracy and fighting for it is a bit ho-hum give me a meeting with the top 1% any day… It’s all about the money honey.

  10. MQ 10

    We shopuld focus on providing food, housing and reducing Cos emissions?
    yup we can do that and ensure we never ever win an election.

    In a country where we dont have a functioning investment culture or a way to save money, properties becomes the only answer. Thats NZ today half my neighbours own investment properties. These are labour voters in Mt Albert and Mt Roskill. Our heartland. these are todays middle class the people we must convince to vote for us to win an election. We can forget about these people and hope that South Auckland can deliver for us but that in terms of demography is suicidal.
    We need modern messages for these people, these people are born and brought up in labour households and we cant risk alienating them. but lets be honest food on the table isnt the issue most affecting them, we might however make them agree to pay an extra cent per dollar in tax if its sent to those that cant afford food for their children, however that cant be the thing we go to the election on.

    Enter a bank in any other western country and the banker will offer you different funds, stockexchange plans etc. Enter a bank in NZ and the banker offers higher interest rates and term deposits or the holy graal a mortgage, for a first, second third or investment property.
    The investment market is skewed, is flawed. but its there and the voters we need, the voters from our old heartlands are now sitting owning houses worth a million NZ dollars.
    Dont belive me have a look at what houses close to Davis Shearers representative office goes for, do the same with Phil Goffs office in three kings. This is the heartland of the Labour movement. This is where were we are loosing ground and this is where we need to regain the voters to win the next election.

    To win any election we need to win the Middle class. the urban middle class. its in the big 6 cities that labour win or loose their elections.
    how about we actually care enoug to come with a policy that interests and makes these voters feel labour is the choice. these are voters with a social consience, voters whose parents worked hard to make ends meet they are happy to share some wealth, to support a cityloop and public transport but they wont accept politics that focuses solely on the 5% of kiwis that cant make ends meet. They dont deem it as fair.

    Also if we are to have any credibility we need to stick to facts. John Key isn’t neoliberal. Look at what the Chicago boys did, their policies, look at what real neolibs think and does.
    John Key is uninformed, lacks a vision and doesn’t understand what makes New Zealand a competitive economy but that doesnt make him neoliberal.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Wow…talk about pandering to the investment (financial speculation) classes…guess what, 250,000 children in poverty don’t have the money to invest in ETFs, stocks and bonds or derivatives

  11. deemac 11

    do let us know when Mana actually achieve anything? I’m not holding my breath. The far left’s refusal to dirty their hands by engaging where it will actually have an effect weakens the whole left.

    • “do let us know when Mana actually achieve anything?”

      You’re expecting rather a lot from one MP out of 120+…

      Shouldn’t the question be; “do let us know when National actually achieve anything?”

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