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The Standard

Insurance Council goes Galt

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, November 3rd, 2013 - 62 comments
Categories: business, Economy - Tags: ,

Well that didn’t take long. The Insurance Council has come out attacking Labour for KiwiAssure. Which is odd really, given the claim that there’s already a competitive market. You’d have thought they would welcome a new member to the industry. Wouldn’t you?

Or alternatively, they’ve been making big money at the expense of all of us while the government turns a blind-eye, and now they’re panicking about the rort coming to an end.

Of course the Chief Executive of the Insurance Council, Tim Grafton, was also the Director of Strategy for Jenny Shipley, Chief Advisor to Bill English, and a Senior Advisor to Bill Birch. Which goes to show how permeable the line between the National Party and big business really is.

Ol’ Tory Grafton’s release makes for great reading though, aside from lacking any internal consistency (the “bad old days” theme of the title and first line isn’t addressed anywhere else in the release), I really enjoyed Grafton’s Atlas Shrugged* moment:

the last thing anyone should be doing is trying to drive away insurance capital,

What are they going to do? Pack up they’re bags and leave? Oh! No! Who would overcharge us for insurance then???

*HatTip: IB

62 comments on “Insurance Council goes Galt”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    ICNZ- The goose that lays the Galten beg.

  2. tricledrown 2

    Insurance companies are like the mafia using stand over and scare tactics to get money out of people for protection.
    But when it comes time to provide the protection they will

    use every tactic to get out of paying.
    This connection to shipley is worrying I would expect that these insurance companies will crank up the ChCh rebuilf to make National look good.

  3. Macro 3

    But these people know about insurance – unlike you and me – so therefore they are obviously right, and we don’t know what we are talking about… Even though NZ has been the prime example of State funded and administered Health, Accident, Earthquake, Working Income, and Personal Belongings Insurance for decades

  4. newsense 4

    “It makes absolutely no sense to have three State-owned insurers – EQC, ACC and now KiwiAssure.”

    Gosh and here’s me thinking the only thing propping up the government books was ACC. If we have two successful state insurers why wouldn’t a third be a good idea?

    For those of us too young to remember, what was the history of State Insurance, before it became State insurance?

    • alwyn 4.1

      Very briefly the old State Insurance Company could be summed up as
      1. Cheap rates
      2. Would insure anybody
      Unfortunately it also was
      1. Very, very hard to get anything out of if you made a claim.
      2. Quite unhelpful and rude to its customers.
      I had a number of friends who, when young, insured with State. One had his car stolen and it was never recovered. Even after nearly a year the company wasn’t paying out for a total loss on the grounds that the vehicle might still be found! That seemed to me to be an excuse that ran out after about a month, but not to still claim it after a year.
      He did finally get his money but their behaviour was appalling.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        1. Very, very hard to get anything out of if you made a claim.

        The one time I made a claim it took less than a week. I actually had to return the check because the stolen item was recovered.

        2. Quite unhelpful and rude to its customers.

        That happens everywhere and the worst I’ve ever got has been from the private sector – especially banks. IME, it’s the abusive customers that don’t get helped, i.e, they’re their own worse enemy.

      • Tim 4.1.2

        Well of course ACC is not what was intended by its architect either – having been neutered and fucked around with over the years by those with a neo-liberal approach to all and everything.

        They went for ACC, then the insurance companies – de-mutualisation et al >>> value for ‘shareholders’ and bugger all for customers.

        I imagine Labour intend implementing their policies with better oversight than has occurred in the past.

        Perhaps, since the Commerce Commission as been so bloody useless (enabling the rise of the duopoly and protecting corporate interests over those of the ‘consumer’ and ‘taxpayer’), Labour might have to provide them with some “GUIDLINES” (hint hint)

  5. Populuxe1 5

    It’s hardly surprising – look at what the insurance companies are doing in the US in response to Obamacare

  6. newsense 6

    Also if the foreign owned insurers are such good value and good insurers then they will keep their customers ahead of any government scheme surely?

  7. KJT 7

    Just like the “competitive” banking industry suddenly found they did not have to charge as high a set of fees to make money, when Kiwibank started, the insurance industry are terrified they may actually have to become competitive.

    Time we got rid of the rort that is the private finance industry altogether. If they were really as efficient and competitive, as they claim, they would not be so scared of State competition.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The reality is that private companies can’t compete with government in efficiency or costs.

      • TheContrarian 7.1.1

        Private health is far more efficient than the public health system. Don’t get me wrong, I love NZ’s public health system but private is easily more efficient in many areas.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          Ah, no it’s not. You get lack of waiting lines in the private sector not from them being more efficient but because so many can’t afford them. The public hospital system is inundated whereas the private system isn’t.

          Compare them side by side and you will find that the private system is less efficient. They have more expenses (advertising, profits) and they don’t reach the full population. The last time I read (admittedly a while ago) a comparison between the US and NZ was that the US cost US$6000 per capita and only reached 5/6ths of the populace compared to NZ US$2000 per capita while reaching close to the full population.

          No, the private system is not any more efficient. It, quite simply, can’t be.

          • TheContrarian 7.1.1.1.1

            Well having spent a long time working in the public sector I was frequently frustrated by the bureaucracy, lack of innovation and inability to chart my own course without having to ask 6 different people and waiting weeks to get answer. Moving to private I really noticed how much more efficient it was.

            “No, the private system is not any more efficient. It, quite simply, can’t be.”

            Yes it can.

            • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s a symptom if it being publicly funded. My uncle tells similar stories about Telecom before it was privatised in terms of having to go through multiple layers of bureaucracy trying to justify to get things done (where this can be as simple as asking for new stationary that is required to do your job), that in a private environment the barriers largely don’t exist.

              I guess this means in a private environment resources can be ‘wasted’ compared to a public, but I’d have to think that the over-the-top gatekeeping going on in a public system probably outweighs the cost of the waste in the private system.

              • TheContrarian

                You just need to watch the first episode of Revolution (in the side bar) to get an idea of how inefficient the govt. can be.

                I’ll give you a more recent example after eating my dinner…

                • TheContrarian

                  I worked for a large govt department a few years back. They had a problem in which they were overpaying their staff, sometimes in large chunks.

                  There were two reasons for this:
                  *outdated and poorly utilised software
                  *A central payroll but decentralised HR

                  Firstly the software was not fit for use. It ran on a Monday – Sunday timescale but pay ran on a Wednesday to Wednesday. Also the paylips it produced were extremely difficult to understand
                  Secondly if someone working in Christchurch was receiving a particular allowance on top of their salary, say $40 p/week for using their own car as opposed to one provided by the department, and they changed to a car provided they’d put a slip into the HR department to cease the allowance. HR sometimes sat on that slip for up to a year, all this time payroll was still paying the $40 allowance not knowing it should be ceased. I was hired to get the money back and I knew what the problem was however no one wanted to deal with the systemic problem but rather clean up the aftermath. Anytime I wanted to make a change it would take ages because it had to go through several people, several departments and I would get the answer back to just carry on from someone who obvoiously hadn’t read what I had suggested. After 2 years I finally had some movement but then had my contract terminated because they just wanted to go back to how things were happening before.

                  What a complete waste of resources. Firstly the overpayments but secondly hiring me to fix it, paying the salary to me but taking none of the recommendations and continuing to make the same errors knowing that it could be fixed but no incentive to do so. A private company would have long gone bust.

                  • KJT

                    I can tell many similar stories about the private sector. And for some reason they don’t go bust, and they keep paying the managers who make the stuff-ups even more millions.

                    Badly managed is badly managed, whether it is public or private.

                    The silly idea that any MBA can manage in any industry, whether they know anything about it or not has a lot to do with it.

                  • Craig Glen Eden

                    Two words “Nova Pay”

              • Draco T Bastard

                My uncle tells similar stories about Telecom before it was privatised in terms of having to go through multiple layers of bureaucracy…

                And yet I never had such a problem.

                Anecdotes != truth.

            • greywarbler 7.1.1.1.1.2

              The C
              Did you ever read the Brit book written on the start of reorganisation of their public service ‘Your Disobedient Servant?’
              Author Leslie Chapman 1978

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.3

              Well having spent a long time working in the public private sector I was frequently frustrated by the bureaucracy, lack of innovation and inability to chart my own course without having to ask 6 different people and waiting weeks to get answer.

          • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.2

            Comparing US healthcare to NZ healthcare to judge private vs public is pretty pointless, because the systems are just so different in terms of treatments offered and population dynamics etc. You’d be better off comparing private hospitals in NZ to public hospitals in NZ.

            Anyway, private hospitals in NZ simply don’t do the same range of services as public hospitals. For example all emergency surgery and admissions are taken care of by the public service. It’s only things like scheduled exams and surgeries that are done in private.

            • TheContrarian 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Agreed – bad example

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Comparing US healthcare to NZ healthcare to judge private vs public is pretty pointless, because the systems are just so different in terms of treatments offered and population dynamics etc.

              Nope and the reasons for that is that a large chunk of the cost of running the US health care system is advertising, another large chunk goes into excessive CEO and upper management pay rates, ~10% into profits and then there’s a fairly large chunk that goes into not paying out claims. They’ve actually ended up with more bureaucracy. There’s a reason why ObamaCare has that a minimum of 80% premiums gets spent on actually providing health services. After all that, their outputs aren’t any better than ours.

              I was, quite simply, comparing a highly inefficient system (US health care) with a highly efficient one (NZ health care).

              • Tat Loo (CV)

                Don’t forget shareholder dividends. Lots of shareholder dividends for lots of large, wealthy institutional investors.

        • miravox 7.1.1.2

          “Private health is far more efficient than the public health system”

          I’m thinking you have a pretty narrow definition of efficiency there.
          the U.S. spends more on health than any other country, has quality that is no better and has the most unequal access in the developed world.

        • KJT 7.1.1.3

          Another comedian.

          The US private system costs hugely more than any public one for much less coverage and worse average health care.

          Having worked for both private and Government organisations I can say that stultifying bureaucracy and poor management are endemic in the private sector, and State enterprises, run like a business.
          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/government-should-be-run-like-business.html

          Especially as we hugely reward managers who know nothing about the business, apart from cost cutting, asset stripping and screwing staff.

          • newsense 7.1.1.3.1

            I really dislike this- it’s public so it must be less efficient thing. A well run service with enforced targets and accountable people will be efficient either way.

            A crap company will be a crap company, public or private.

            Govt. can be inefficient, it can be efficient. Private companies can be efficient, they can also criminally neglect to invest, aim to confuse to essentially defraud as a business strategy etc etc…

            Certainly the arguments given for private companies about competition frequently seem to be a crock of crap…

          • Tim 7.1.1.3.2

            “Having worked for both private and Government organisations I can say that stultifying bureaucracy and poor management are endemic in the private sector, and State enterprises, run like a business.”

            EXACTERY

            I recall people moaning about bureaucracy in the old Ministry of Works; lazy buggers leaning on shovels; all the usual. Then you realise what they actually achieved, and contrast it with the bloody FultonHogan/Chorus/subcontractor/subcontractor/self-employed approach – a Warehouse type “everyone gets a bargain/everyone clips the ticket”.

            Vogel Computer Centre was run on extremely tight reins and supported a number of departments. Moving on to the banking sector from there (Databank and trading banks) was a bloody eye opener in terms of inefficiency, waste, needless bureaucracy, difficulties in getting decisions made, troughing, management being wined and dined by salesmen – then making technical decisions for which they weren’t qualified ….. the list goes on.

            Government Departments run on corporate lines are the problem – often run as highly paid CEO’s feifdoms. That’s what the 1980’s brought us all.
            The old public service might have been ripe for ridicule, but post-Douglas et al I think I’d rather have walk shorts, socks and sandals!

            • greywarbler 7.1.1.3.2.1

              Tim
              You mention fiefdoms. That causes me concern too.

              There is the Transport one where there is a huge budget for them to spend however they like, providing they can produce apparently irrefutable stats to back their ideas. And they are so sure they are right. Consultation is about perhaps leaving a memorial tree on the blitzkreig road they are planning.

              Government, seems to hand over its authority completely to the administrators. ‘I can’t do anything it’s an operational matter.’ Or the plan has been researched and consulted on for years, it’s time to move on it. A road to hell, nice and straight and fast. I’m not saying that they are all wrong but they have too much autonomy.

        • QoT 7.1.1.4

          private is easily more efficient in many areas.

          Only because our public system carries the bulk of healthcare. It’s really easy to deliver fast and effective services when other organisations are picking up the bulk/the difficult cases/backing up your shit when things go wrong.

          • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.4.1

            Funny how this fairly obvious point never surfaces when right-wingers are discussing how much more “efficient” private health care is. Make private hospitals open emergency departments and deal with everything affecting all comers and see how much better the service they provide is then…

          • Funny 7.1.1.4.2

            Spot on

  8. Will@Welly 8

    The neo-liberal culture is suddenly confounded by a dilemma not of its own making. A political party wanting to set up an insurance agency to compete with other businesses on the free market.
    Suddenly the “level playing field” isn’t so level any more. How friggin’ sad. Instead of ripping off Kiwis, the insurance companies might have to pull finger and do something pro-active ,

  9. Venezia 9

    This news about a state owned and run insurance company is great news indeed especially to those of us in Christchurch who have borne the brunt of the dishonest international corporate versions. I will be one of the first to sign up when KiwiAssure gets up and running.

  10. Tracey 10

    Nosense

    acc is not an insurance company. Thank you.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Well, it’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a pay-go system but the stupid 5th Labour led government turned it into a fully funded insurance system. Since then it’s gone to hell.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    @ Zetetic

    You asked, “What are they (insurance companies) going to do?”

    Answer: Pour money into defeating Cunliffe / Labour.

    Entrenched campaign financing limits are essential or we will end with the American system: “the best government money can buy.”

  12. muzza 12

    Banking and finance includes insurance, and in many instances are the same banks that have been annihilating all in their tracks, are the underwriters and owners of the insurance industry.

    Which is about all that needs to be known about the insurance industry, so of course they will be seeking to defend their stranglehold in this pacific island nation.

  13. insider 13

    Kiwi bank already offers a full suite of home insurance and personal and life. Why is Cunliffe needing to reinvent what already exists? Isn’t the scandal that kiwibank is not already offering what he says his new scheme will offer?

    • felix 13.1

      Perhaps you won’t vote Labour after all then.

    • IrishBill 13.2

      Most of Kiwibank’s insurance offerings are third-party contracted by private sector insurers.

      • Psycho Milt 13.2.1

        Exactly. Just like the private sector banks’ insurance offerings – funny thing, banks aren’t insurance companies…

      • insider 13.2.2

        “We’ve teamed up with Kiwi Insurance Limited (a related company of Kiwibank) and TOWER Insurance Limited” So a mix of its own insurance and that of tower, a nz company.

        So Cunliffe is going to kill off this because…?

        Note that Cunliffeyeahsure will be reselling overseas backed insurance.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.2.1

          Note that Cunliffeyeahsure will be reselling overseas backed insurance.

          I hope not as that would be a really stupid idea as the Chch fiasco has already proved.

          • the pigman 13.2.2.1.1

            Yeah I suppose it is likely to use existing reinsurers, although clearly not that much detail is available at this stage.

            However, as for insurers of the affected Christchurch homes blaming their reinsurers (which I’m sure they do), it’s total bullshit. The insurers should be honouring their obligations and sorting out the disputes with their reinsurers separately, and hypothetically speaking, you’d certainly expect KiwiAssure to do so in order to avoid that situation.

            • Colonial Viper 13.2.2.1.1.1

              The NZ Govt will use some re-insurers, but it can also largely self insure. There is no reason for KiwiBank to offer third party insurance products once this is all set up.

        • SpaceMonkey 13.2.2.2

          The Government is big enough to self-insure.

      • Lanthanide 13.2.3

        IIRC a figure someone (Labour MP, Parker maybe? Cunliffe?) said was 98% of the insurance sector is owned by foreign corporates.

    • PleaseThinkOfThePuppies 13.3

      Banks simply resell someone else’s product, they do not provide their own insurance services.

      When I was with ASB (customer for over 20 years, never got crap from them so moved to Kiwibank as soon as it started), my Life and Car insurance were all from someone else.

      Talking of crap service, was a Meridian customer for over 8 years and it was only once i cancelled my contract with them to go with the local power co that they rang up offering me a mediocre rebate (cancelled due to them being on the block).

      Hint to all biz out there, its easier to keep customers than gain new ones.

  14. QoT 14

    drive away insurance capital

    This may be a completely obtuse comment, as I know sweet fuck-all about the insurance industry, but:

    Isn’t a good proportion of the insurance industry’s capital our capital? It’s not like they stick a whole lot of their own money into a term deposit and let us use it to rebuild houses and buy new cars for free.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Insurance companies have big big pots of money. Premiums really make up their profit stream; the underlying capital acts like an endowment that keeps them in business. I believe there’s also regulatory requirements around how much money they need to have on hand etc.

      • felix 14.1.1

        If that’s the case it’s just more reason for publicly owned alternatives without the dead weight loss that the “profit” represents.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 14.1.2

        Insurance companies have big big pots of money.

        The NZ govt has big pots of money.

        And unlike insurance companies, the NZ govt can always issue more money if required, so it is always a safer, cheaper underwriter.

        • SpaceMonkey 14.1.2.1

          “And unlike insuarnce companies, the NZ govt can always issue more money if required”

          Not quite… not under the current financial system. Banks create currency. But the NZ Govt can borrow money a lot more easily than most…

          • Tat Loo (CV) 14.1.2.1.1

            Do you know of any entity in the world apart from the NZ Government which can legally print a $100 note?

            If required the Reserve Bank can credit the Government’s accounts as required.

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    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    11 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    11 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    12 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    13 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    13 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    13 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    14 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    14 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    14 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    15 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    16 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    23 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    24 hours ago

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

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