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Inconvenient indeed

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, June 15th, 2013 - 62 comments
Categories: class war, jobs - Tags:

Your favourite smug, self-aggrandising Tory and mine, David Farrar, wrote a post yesterday about something called the “Performance of Manufacturing Index”, which is a wee survey that the BNZ does. Apparently, it shows manufacturing on the grow. ‘How inconvenient’ for people worried about the crisis in manufacturing, Farrar chortled. Then, Blenheim’s largest manufacturer laid off 84 workers.

Yeah, laugh all you want, Farrar. And point to all the dumb arse employer surveys you want.

Here’s the truth – 40,000 jobs gone in manufacturing in five years, including 6,000 in the last year (in case you think there’s a recovery happening). Now, another 84 highly-skilled workers out of well paying jobs, which will send an economic and social shockwave throughout their community.

But what the fuck do Farrar and the Right care? As long as they get rich off government dodgy contracts and property speculation, and the dollar stays high so their luxury imports and overseas holidays are cheap, what do they care? Well, they’ll care when even the St Johnny’s tarnished halo can’t keep National in the mid-40s any more.

62 comments on “Inconvenient indeed”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Yeah, my thoughts around that was whether this survey is always on the same businesses from survey to survey, or whether they completely change out the group selected each time, etc. Because the “best results in 9 years” can easily be sheeted home to the sampling. I’m sure DPF probably knows that, being it’s his job and all.

  2. Descendant Of Sssmith 2

    You can’t survey a business that has closed.

    I guess it’s entirely possible that for some they have short-term gains from the closure of others.

    Medium and long term it’s shite for the industry.

    A raw product, low wage, income disparate, low skilled, broke government future moves ever closer.

    Nothing is truer than those mocked up posters saying “national a blighted future”. We’re seeing it in action day after day after day.

    • Eddie 2.1

      and that’s the biggest point against the PMI – you can’t survey a business that’s closed. In fact, a closure might boost the average result of the survey because, if that business was participating before, it was probably reporting intentions to fire staff , low orders etc

      • Rob 2.1.1

        Yeah , I mean what do employers have to do with manufacturing anyway. Especially when you have true ground up manufacturing expertise and leadership from the likes of winston , Russell and shearer .

  3. karol 3

    Then there was this article a couple of days ago.

    A run of weaker manufacturing data, which snapped a 15-month streak of gains yesterday, is likely to cast a pall over the country’s economic growth as the effects of the drought come home to roost.

    Sales volumes of manufactured goods fell 0.6 per cent in the March quarter, according to data released by Statistics NZ, with the volatile metals category dragging the headline number lower with a decline of 6.2 per cent.

    The drop in metals was due to poor aluminium sales volumes, which fell 13 per cent compared to the December quarter, as the Tiwai aluminium smelter battled with low international demand and the high New Zealand dollar.

    That was offset by a solid performance from the meat and dairy sector in the quarter, with sales volumes up 0.5 per cent. Overall, the picture was a very mixed affair, with seven of the 13 manufacturing industries gaining in the March 2013 quarter, while six fell.

    ANZ senior economist Mark Smith attributed the primary industry gain to farmers bringing their animals to slaughter sooner than usual because of the drought, with meat sales volumes making up for reduced dairy production in the period.

    Stripping the boost from the primary manufacturing sector from yesterday’s figures, and the total sales volumes declined 0.8 per cent.

    Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon was slightly more bearish, saying the weaker manufacturing figures threatened the bank’s March GDP forecast of 0.8 per cent.

    “We expect that the greatest impact will instead fall in the June quarter, with milk production still down and meat production having been pulled forward,” he said.

    Economists expect the soft run to be limited to some extent by ongoing construction activity in Christchurch and Auckland.

    “Lifting construction sector activity will become an increasingly important source of support, but the fickle global scene, the high New Zealand dollar remain headwinds for the manufacturing sector,” Smith said.

    • Rob 3.1

      So Karol , after 15 months of gains , you focus upon on 1 lower result, and you think it is a crises . Has anyone here actually ever been involved in a manufacturing organisation , because it does not read like it. In fact it reads like a whole raft of arm chair supposed experts and teachers talking it down , well I suppose that is the glorious left .

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        15 months of gains! LOL

        Yeah if you count gains in cow shit pumped to create milk exports, you are correct, Rob. I guess that makes you a cow shit expert.

        • Rob 3.1.1.1

          I would like to claim it , but I would feel like a fraud with the real cow shit experts.

  4. tc 4

    This is also what Luxon was given the CEO role for. Norriss and Fyfe did the obvious reorganisation and fleet clean up whilst price gouging domestic and otherpractices kept margins healthy.

    Now Luxon will slash his way through the areas nice guy Fyfe has left, staff and work practices is the ‘low hanging fruit’ that nationals screwed over econimic recovery now place next in the queue.

  5. TheContrarian 5

    “Your favourite smug, self-aggrandising Tory…”

    Replace Tory with ‘moderator’ and I would have thought you meant LPrent.

    [RL: The man works incredibly hard to make this site work for everyone. Including you. While you are always free to express an argument or engage in discussion … flat out disrespect like this just pisses me off.]

  6. sanctimonious 6

    Disrespect-what a tosser.

  7. deemac 7

    ah, Farrar, the guy who thought it appropriate to turn up to a British High Commission do celebrating the “best of British” as Jimmy Savile… classy!

    • felix 7.1

      Allow me to answer on Farrar’s behalf:

      * don’t be so precious
      * offense is taken not given
      * can’t you handle a joke
      * it’s just a costume I didn’t actually molest anyone
      * i’m not responsible for your feelings

      * just don’t call me a greedy closeted slurring fascist dwarf lest your lack of politeness signal the end of fucking civilisation itself.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    As I said in the previous discussion here on this subject, unemployment is not a valid indicator for the prosperity of the manufacturing sector for a number of reasons. For instance, companies may find more effective ways of doing things with less people. In this instance, improved performance in manufacturing will be directly correlated with increasing unemployment. In fact, as the GFC unfolded in the US, it was well publicised that firms were improving their bottom line through reduction in staff costs.

    So, I don’t respect the arguments put forward here that cite increases in unemployment as evidence of a crisis in manufacturing when in fact it might show the exact opposite.

    • felix 8.1

      As long as the machines are happy.

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        Whatever. The proposition put forward on this site is that there is a crisis in manufacturing.

        However there is no crisis. “Crisis” can be defined as An unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change.

        By this definition there is no crisis in manufacturing. The changes we are seeing in the manufacture of non-edible products are part of a long term trend of outsourcing to cheaper economies. However, that slack has been more than taken up by food products such as dairy, wine etc. Expect the long term decline in locally manufactured non-edible goods to continue. It isn’t surprising and is a trend that wise businesses would factor into their planning model.

        • felix 8.1.1.1

          Exactly.

          Leave people out of your calculations and there’s no problem.

        • lprent 8.1.1.2

          When you can point to an increased value in 20xx dollars of manufacturing sales or production value over time, then that may be a valid argument. However all of the figures I have seen have shown a long term fall. So your argument has nothing to do with the post. Did you fail to read the post AGAIN?

          Productivity and profit gains can come from many reasons, many of which indicate an unhealthy business. For instance; running down r&d, not trying to grow sales, deferring or cancelling expansion plans, running down inventory levels, and stopping capital improvements are just as common as laying off less productive staff – and frequently are the cause.

          All of these typically improve productivity and profits in the short term as they reduce the costs of growing a business. All of them also presage a manufacturing business that will grow less in the future. Bearing in mind the lack of signs of r&d, market expansions, or capital improvements I think that we are seeing manufacturing necrosis.

          It is unsurprising that Farrar doesn’t understand this. I don’t think he has ever been around manufacturing or any *productive* enterprise in his life.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3

          However, that slack has been more than taken up by food products such as dairy, wine etc.

          Except that the food sector isn’t employing those people either.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 8.1.1.4

          Firstly:

          By that definition tis need a crisis.

          Stability would by definition require that manufacturing jobs remain about the same.

          You then posit that the change to outsourcing, etc is likely to continue and should be factored in i.e. it is a decisive directional move.

          Secondly: no doubt you can support your contention tha job losses are due to increased investment in machinery and efficiency gains. I can’t recall a single announcement about job losses that refer to such gains.

          I can recall plenty that refer to lost contracts, moving production offshore, lack of sales due to the high dollar, government buying Chinese trains, ec

          The meat industry is an example of where there have actually been announcements of efficiency gains due to improved plant = loss of jobs but don’t hear much of this in relation to manufacturing.

          One benefit of the high dollar is that some companies may have purchased and upgraded plant from overseas but they would only be doing tha if they were certain of being able to sell their products.

    • Arfamo 8.2

      The crisis is not in manufacturing per se – I’m sure there are manufacturing businesses doing very well, having reduced their staff. The crisis is in the manufacturing sector’s inability to provide the same level of decently paid jobs that it used to, and this government’s inability to develop & implement policies that replace those lost “good” jobs with others. Jobs are what are needed by the majority of the working age population. Jobs that produce something.

      • Populuxe1 8.2.1

        Yep. Though it is far from clear which sectors can provide those jobs. If we knew that, doubtless we would know what training to invest in.

    • Eddie 8.3

      how do explain the fall in manufactured exports, fall in manufacturing as a share of the economy (and god knows its not because the rest of the economy is booming!)

  9. Yes 9

    I was listening to radio live yesterday when they were interviewing I think the union leader. Correct losing 84 jobs not good and he said the dollar and the lack of NZ air force work lead to the demise.

    Garner rightly pointed out that the dollar had dropped and asked how much the NZ dollar should be at. This guy said 60 cents. Omg you could hear a pin drop in the studio. Do unions not know what the impact would be if the NZ dollar was 60 cents on the economy would be. 60 cents to save 84 jobs is crazy. Exports would be good but imports would sky rocket leading to massive costs increases. 60 cents would actually make the rich richer. 75 cents is where the dollar should sit.

    And the loss of air force work…hmmm who killed the air force in NZ. Yours truly Labour … How much maintenance can you do on a dozen sky hawks sitting on trade me.

    Also if Russell understood economics and know the dollar goes up and down ..his 3.5 billion dollar printing press has just cost the economy and taxpayers billions.

    • felix 9.1

      “60 cents to save 84 jobs is crazy. “

      40 THOUSAND jobs, dickhead.

      • infused 9.1.1

        And probably make hundreds of thousands suffer.

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          You mean like our younger generations who will have to pay back the excess National generated debt? Like I had to do for the last 30 years since that fuckwit National government of Muldoon?

          John Key seems to like following his irresponsible footsteps

          • Green machine UpandComer 9.1.1.1.1

            It always makes me ‘chortle’ as it is said above, whenever a Labour supporter, or a Green supporter, has something to say about debt. How you don’t keel over from cognitive dissonance is beyond me.

            • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1.1.1

              “How you don’t keel over from cognitive dissonance is beyond me.”

              I guess it’s because you don’t really know the definition of cognitive disnonance.

              Fact: Labour between 1999 and 2008 got us to a net 0 government debt position by paying back debt and refusing tax cuts that the right kept jumping up and down about every chance they got.

              Fact: National cutting taxes as they did in 2009-2010 as drastically increased government debt, pretty much undoing all of Labour’s good work.

              National is the party of debt and reckless spending (in this case, mainly tax cuts), not Labour.

            • lprent 9.1.1.1.1.2

              How you don’t keel over from cognitive dissonance is beyond me.

              Because I know what I’m talking about and you clearly do not? Perhaps you haven’t caught up with the reality of the debt situation over the last two decades. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_New_Zealand

              If you went back to the late 70’s and early 80’s you’d have seen the same reckless wastage by another National government.

              Always nice to squash another idiot with more interest in myths than reality.

              • Jimmie

                It is kinda funny lprent about you grizzling about the Nats borrowing over the last few years to soften the affect of the GFC and the Christchurch earthquake when through 2008-09 every leftie around was harping on that John Key should have been printing $$ and borrowing hand over fist to ‘stimulate’ the economy.

                Also between 2008-13 every effort of the government to minimise and reduce wastage and low quality spending has been screamed at by lefties as killing the economy and public sector.

                And don’t harp on about the tax cuts causing the rise in debt – there is no way that the government lost $30 billion in lost tax revenue over the last 5 years from the reduction in income tax rates.

                It’s simply that the political left in general are more one eyed than Cantabrians and can’t admit that the child eating (in their eyes) Key has actually muddled his way through the GFC quite effectively and this is shown by his continued high poll ratings.

                Key is the Nat’s biggest asset to win next year. The left tried to win in 2008 and 2011 by saying that Key couldn’t be trusted but the voters thought otherwise. Gotta try a different tactic come 2014 especially if the economy continues to grow over the next year.

                Otherwise the left as a whole is just not going to be relevant at all.

                (PS. Get rid of Shearer please – he is an embarrassment)

                • Colonial Viper

                  Key is the Nat’s biggest asset to win next year.

                  Haha!

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  There aren’t efforts to reduce wastage – just efforts to transfer expenditure to the private sector.

                  Have you not read the reports on the massively increased cost of consultants, the building of roads that were not justified on normal roading assessment parameters, the massive increase in funding for Prime Ministerial services, the increasing dishing out of millions of dollars to failing private schools, the costs associated with trying to get a national MP elected to an International position.

                  And you call the left blinkered.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Forgot about the 1billion to bail out SCF that was unnecessary as well.

                    I think pointing out that Key was not to be trusted was simply an observation not an election strategy and that voting for key = trusting him.

                • jcuknz

                  Nicely put Jimmie … why I will continue to vote for him in preference to the current Labour Mob. He will muddle along better than the LM

            • xtasy 9.1.1.1.1.3

              Dark Machine UpandDowner:

              If you would have any clues about import and export business, you would have shut your words here up long ago:

              http://www.allbusiness.com/economy-economic-indicators/money-currencies-interest/15051093-1.html

              Heard anything about “hedging”, as much as I hate it, and as much it may still make sense, and they all do it, even the government, to protect from volatile currency fluctuations?

              You are as smart as a smart ass without the “smart” at the front, dear mate.

              Get a life, do economics 101, read up on Keynes, Friedman, Krugman and others, and get back once you have seen the light, thanks!

      • Yes 9.1.2

        There not 40000 lost!!!! Even rusell conceded that this week….Monday announcement wii read…cliche cliche cliche

        • felix 9.1.2.1

          How many is it, Yes? Just the 84?

          Because if it’s not just the 84, and you knew it, then you knew you were lying when you wrote the comment above.

        • Pasupial 9.1.2.2

          @ Yes (9.1.2)

          “Monday announcement wii read”: You get your news from a games console? That actually explains quite a lot…

          BTW (re: comment 9): “75 cents is where the dollar should sit”. Why that particular exchange rate? Just because it’s a nice round number?? Please show working.

    • lprent 9.2

      Perhaps you haven’t figured out that the 60-65 cents range was common over the last 20 years and that imports don’t exactly earn us any income…

      As it is a high dollar makes it harder to sell overseas, therefore reduces jobs, therefore reduces the number of people to buy imports. It also means that we wind up with extra debt paying for increased numbers of people not working and less overall business profits to tax.

      This may be a basic concept of the country paying our way that you are just too thick to follow. Certainly seems like it reading the crap you are famed for…

    • Paul 9.3

      I just don’t get the logic of your arguments.
      Blaming Labour for some of their neo-liberal policies which damaged NZ’s economy is not a reason to support National’s neo-liberal policies which damage the economy.
      Have you the width of vision to see outside petty party politics?
      Can you not see that the economic experiment imposed on the world in the 1980s has been a catastrophe for the vast majority of people and a disaster for the environment?
      This is much much bigger than Labour National.
      They both are supporters of the present economic system.

    • Poission 9.4

      .his 3.5 billion dollar printing press has just cost the economy and taxpayers billions.

      farm debt has increased by 15b$ since the start of the GFC(2007) ie 31,777-46,785 B$ of which around 10% is in improvements and the remainder in increased bank debt for land capture or an increase in lending bank printing presses of 13.5 b$.

    • Eddie 9.5

      um, 60 US cents to the dollar is the long-term average exchange rate.

    • xtasy 9.6

      Yes: You are an idiot! Do not bring in the exchange issue, as trade deals, being purchases or sales, are done for periods, and for fixed times. Usually currency fluctuations are accounted for, in advance. So it is a risk area, and that is what both parties accept. Now any deals usually are pre-determined for months ahead. While you point out the NZ Dollar just dropped against the US, the Euro and so recently, that does not affect most deals done some short time ago.

      You really have no clue of trade and business, stop pretending that you do, you are a lost cause here, take a break and inhale some fresh air and get some sunshine, to improve your vitamin intake and metabolism, perhaps.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.7

      Once it was around 50 cents US . Your point is ?

      • jcuknz 9.7.1

        I remember when it was 42c and the pound at around 26c .. really do not follow the arguments becuase this is a world wide problem with advances in technology putting people out of work and the only solution I can see is a reduction of the number of people. A long term solution which can only be accomplished by a reduction in the birthrate.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    Why the focus on just “high value” manufacturing. Like it or not we consume boring items such as soap and toothpaste etc and many of these can now no doubt made in fairly sophisticated plants.

    A tour of the local grocery store shows a good number of basic products made in Australia with it’s higher wages, unions etc or other countries with similar labour force policies. Nor do I buy the economies of scale arguments – if it’s reasonably automated then smaller production units are likely to be just as viable. Larger scale production also has to be traded off against distribution costs which are tied to oil prices and hence increasing.

    If the manufacturing is in low wage countries are they using cheap labour and clapped out machinery which won’t go on for ever?. Besides if you are investing in expensive plant doesn’t it make sense to domicile it in an enviroment that is reasonably stable politically. What if your cheap labour country has a coup? Look at Fonterra, it lost a large plant and investment in China over San Lu, and some other company lost a huge hotel to an offshore “partner”.

    You have to pay an awful lot of low wages to offset these sorts of capital loss – perhaps Fonterra should have looked at shipping chinese milk here to turn it into milk powder?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Import substitution

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Why the focus on just “high value” manufacturing. Like it or not we consume boring items such as soap and toothpaste etc and many of these can now no doubt made in fairly sophisticated plants.

      http://www.healthbasics.co.nz/

      Great stuff. Far cheaper than the average bar of soap.

      Nor do I buy the economies of scale arguments – if it’s reasonably automated then smaller production units are likely to be just as viable.

      That, amazingly enough, is what tsmithfield is trying to say. The bit that he fails to get is that such automation results in increased poverty in this country unless those people go into other work which is similar (if it’s not similar then it’s going to have to be training). That other work isn’t happening due to our high dollar meaning that even the global market isn’t enough to soak up our surplus. Throw in the fact that any other country can and will do the same and we’re stuck as a declining export country and, under the present capitalist system, increasing poverty.

      If the manufacturing is in low wage countries are they using cheap labour and clapped out machinery which won’t go on for ever?

      I think you’ll find that a lot of those low wage countries are getting the latest and greatest machinery actually. That said, I did see a video on China that showed an assembly line where actual people were putting components on circuit boards. Something that a machine could have done better and cheaper still. It’s not what you’d see in the factories that make Apples latest iPod.

    • xtasy 10.3

      Heh, strange that, so much of that used to be made here – in NZ, wow, what has happened???

      Global corporate expansion, diversification, outsourcing, off-shoring, and more, so the slaves in low wage countries make tooth paste we need, and more, but NZers sell logs, milk powder, shell fish, raw fish and Chinese made tikis for tourists and importers overseas. Great achievement, a booming ecomony for some, but not for most. Fuck this shit, get a life and declare war, that is economic an social self determining war, of sorts!

      • Pasupial 10.3.1

        @ Xtasy

        I understand your anger; really, I do. The other week, over on The Daily Blog, I posted this comment (to Trotter’s; “What if we’re Wrong?” post):

        “The fate of all empires is disintegration, and as most recently demonstrated in Afghanistan: Just because you can’t win, doesn’t mean you should stop fighting.”

        But by the next day found myself having to retract this declaration of war:

        “Non-violence requires no less courage. I think of the WWI conscientious objectors; crucified and hung out to die in no man’s land, would I have that level of determination? Resistance is the key, that persistant refusal to acquiesce even when utterly outmatched. Or as the film says:

        “You can’t win, but there are alternatives to fighting.”
        – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/06/07/what-if-were-wrong/#sthash.4zE9i382.dpuf

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    this upturn in manufacturing PMI is primarily to service Construction sector and the Christchurch rebuild.

    apparently approx. half of the items on Aussie supermarket shelves are ‘own / in-house’ brands, a trend that is apparent locally, down the aisles. Frekk, there is a lot of sh*t food in the supermarkets in general, although, you seem fair David.

  12. xtasy 12

    Come on, Eddie, I give T.S. credit, where it is deserved, but on this one you are not quite sincere:

    http://www.manufacturingnz.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/64552/April-2013-PMI.pdf

    In detail it may not be quite as great as the government tries to make out, but honestly there is increased performance. The question is in what areas, and whether it is in all areas (which is not the case), and whether it is improving value added manufacturing (it is in part).

    So party lines go against this, I know, but this is again a “success” that is likely not so much of the government’s making, but a “resilient” Mainland China and a few other trading partners, who actually, with quantitative easing and other measures, keep themselves above waters, to continue importing NZ products. And for the Chinese, they love baby formula and milk powder from here, same as logs and raw fish, so they can produce value added products from that to make more sellable products out of it for their markets.

    New Zealand continues to be a “dumb economy”, and it should be Labour and Greens attacking that, that this useless lot just sells off more raw materials and little value added stuff, and thus sinks us down the economic comparison ladder at OECD stage.

    At least NZ First got the message, but that is another story, eh?!

  13. xtasy 13

    No, never give in, never give up, Guantanamera, viva

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=P7oMT23rIOA

    The supposed “free market” is a compromised system, and that means we can compromise it any time, to be fairer, more humane and just any time!

    There have always been m,anagement controls and incentives, all over the “capitalist” world, to make a damned system work, that did not really work. So get a life, we need healthy economic management, same as the EU, NAFTA, US, Canada, Latin America, most of Asia, Africa and so on. They fool us to believe that NZ is the only “free” economy and trading on supposedly “equal terms”. You have to be a nutter to believe NZ is “equal” to Mainland China, the US, NAFTA and the EU, and think we are “free” to negotiate. NZ governments are criminals, that is the ones of the last 2 decades. They must be sacked and locked up to pay for treason, nothing less.

  14. Thank you for this article.

    e.

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    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    4 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    5 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    5 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    7 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    7 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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