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John Key Selling (out) New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, November 11th, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: business, culture, democracy under attack, Environment, Minister for Overseas Holidays, tourism, workers' rights - Tags:

In the latest installment of saga of John Key selling out NZ to Hollywood, we can see just how low our PM is prepared to go. He’s undermined New Zealand workers’ rights in order to sell NZ’s identity and tourist industry to Warners, the TPP and beyond.  John Key has no shame: he is strongly aligning his role as NZ minister of tourism, with this ill-fated Hobbit saga. This seems to be promoting John Key’s reputation with the US corporates and government over the best interests of NZ.

Today, a Stuff article shows exactly how much John Key has sold NZ to Warners.

Tourism NZ sought approval from Warner Bros for every aspect of its $10 million “Middle-earth” marketing campaign – even checking with the film studio over issues that did not directly concern it, official papers show.

The documents, released under the Official Information Act, reveal the extent of the company’s sway over the government agency’s “100% Pure Middle-earth” marketing strategy, as well as the influence of Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films.

In an earlier post I showed how the Hobbit actors union dispute resulted in NZ workers’ rights being undermined.  As I quoted in that post, Nigel Haworth (2011) made this excellent summing up the outcomes of the dispute.

Thus, analytically, the New Zealand state simultaneously conceded, financially and legislatively, to the global film sector whilst taking the opportunity to further its ER liberalisation and attack the domestic trade union movement.

In a later post, I argued that the massive promotion of the Hobbit involved piggy-backing the branding of New Zealand as 100% Middle-earth on the earlier branding as 100% Pure, all to please Hollywood.  Statistical evidence shows this is not the best way to promote NZ as a tourist destination.  The focus on attracting US tourists is misplaced, and only shows how much John Key is in awe of, and a lackey for US corporates, especially the razzle-dazzle of the Hollywood industry.

Others agree that this extensive selling out of NZ, is not likely to provide the benefits promised.  In an op ed piece in Stuff today, Tony Wall asks, Isn’t it time we kicked the Hobbit?

Tourism NZ is relying on hobbits to boost a flagging industry, promising that the coming Peter Jackson films will be bigger than the Rugby World Cup. But some experts warn it’s a risky strategy and not a true reflection of who we are.

It’s not enough that Key’s government has turned NZ’s 100% Pure image into a farce with the withdrawal from Kyoto2, but this intensive selling of NZ to Hollywood is becoming cringe-worthy, as Wall reports:

Simon Milne, director of the New Zealand Tourism Research institute, says the approach could be counter-productive with the “high-yield, experienced, knowledgeable traveller”, who could see the Middle-earth comparison as “naff”. …

Milne believes the 100% Pure campaign has reached its use-by date, with international media already pointing out the hypocrisy.

“We have to be careful about branding ourselves Middle-earth. It’s not who we are, it’s a film set. We need to do more than that, we have to go deeper than that. If we look at global trends in tourism, there’s a real focus on authenticity.”

Milne says the films might provide a short-term benefit, but does not believe they will lead to a sustained increase in visitors.

In The Guardian in October, Toby Manhire was also not entirely convinced by the shift to 100% Middle-earth branding.  And he makes a wry comment about how far this is from Tolkien’s vision of Middle-earth from 1930s Oxfordshire. He reports how the 100% Middle-earth branding has engulfed TVNZ, Air NZ, commemorative stamps and coins, and Wellington Council.  This relies on NZ’s highly skilled crews and digital animators, but is now being undermined by the high NZ dollar.

It’s not enough that this government is destroying our economy and culture, increasing unemployment, and demonising those struggling most to survive on low incomes, but it is selling out our government and democracy to US corporates.

53 comments on “John Key Selling (out) New Zealand”

  1. marsman 1

    John Key is an insult to NZ. He is beyond a joke, a nasty joke at that.
    I feel ashamed that Wellington, a cultural city, is being cheapened by the whole Middle Earth farce.
    Compliments on your post KAROL.

  2. infused 2

    ‘Middle Earth’ isn’t that Warners IP? If you actually read the entire thing, not just the shitty story Stuff put up, you’d realise that was the reason for sign off.

    Your blog post is just as bad as the Stuff article.

    Kyoto is shit. No one wants it. Lets pay millions of dollars to someone else for no reason. Sounds good to me.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      1) ‘Middle Earth’ in direct relation to trademarks and images of the films is owned by Warners. NZ however, is NOT owned by Warners. You would think.

      2) “Kyoto is shit”. Kyoto was a highly detailed, very well balanced, widely accepted international agreement. But who cares; universal laws remain and the human race will reap what it sows.

    • We’ll be paying for climate change either way. Better to pay now and prevent as much of the problem as we can, rather than pay to adapt to the change later.

  3. BM 3

    As the article that you linked to says:

    Tourism NZ’s spokesman Chris Roberts said Warner held the rights for The Hobbit so any direct or indirect references had to be cleared with the company, but he admitted some of the matters raised did not require Warner’s approval.

    “Considering how much value is in this ‘brand’, they have been very generous. So, in terms of maintaining good relationships, we have tended to share with them aspects of our campaign that might not strictly require their sign-off.”

    Roberts said Warner did not veto any aspect of the campaign. “They loved it.” He said Tourism NZ had worked with Warner to identify the best media outlets to “meet their needs to promote the movie and our need to promote NZ”.

    I don’t see what the issue is.

    Also once again all this shows is David Shearer being negative about NZ and any efforts to get the economy going, this will be a big lose for him and the Labour party in the eyes of the NZ voter.
    Really dumb politics.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      This is absolute double talk. Who cares about the “VALUE” in Warner’s branding and IP, the true IP value is NEW ZEALAND.

      THEY should be checking with US as to whether or not they are representing our country correctly.

      • BM 3.1.1

        Warners own the IP rights to the film, we’re going to use the hobbit to promote NZ.

        Of course Warners should get to yay or nay any proposal put forward that may effect the Hobbit brand, bizarre to even think that they shouldn’t.

        For me the main point I took away from that story was the negativity of David Shearer and the Labour party.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Bullshit. You’re still back to front. NZ should get a yay or nay to any proposal Warners puts forward that may affect the NZ brand. Bizarre to even think that they shouldn’t.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Also once again all this shows is David Shearer being negative about NZ and any efforts to get the economy going,

      This isn’t about getting NZ’s economy going because, quite frankly, it won’t. What this does is get Warner Bros’ economy going at our expense.

      • Wayne 3.2.1

        This is a typical Left delusion, still can’t get over that the Hobbit is made here. You would sooner have a wholly NZ cottage film industry, rather than a much larger industry that is globally connected through the one place that really counts in this industry – Hollywood.

        Of course Warner Bros benefits, but so does NZ and especially Wellington.

        I bet Grant Robertson goes to the opening, assuming he has an invite, or is Labour going to boycott it, with a demo outside.

        • karol 3.2.1.1

          This is as much about NZ’s tourist industry, as it is about The Hobbit. I’m happy for anyone to make movies here if it benefits NZ.

          But Wayne, there’s not a lot in this promotion for NZ. Even many in the NZ tourist industry see this.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2

          This is a typical Left delusion, still can’t get over that the Hobbit is made here.

          Could have made The Hobbit here without Warner Bros or Hollywood.

          You would sooner have a wholly NZ cottage film industry

          You mean that world class industry that produced LoTR, Avatar and numerous other movies?

          …through the one place that really counts in this industry – Hollywood.

          1.) There’s this nice little idea called competition, perhaps you’ve heard of it.
          2.) There’s also an entire world outside of the USA.

          We really don’t have to compete with Hollywood for the US market. Watch A Lonely Place to Die to get an idea as to what I’m talking about.

          WTF should I, or anybody, be concerned if Grant Robertson is going to watch a movie?

        • lprent 3.2.1.3

          I bet Grant Robertson goes to the opening, assuming he has an invite, or is Labour going to boycott it, with a demo outside.

          Why are you asking Draco? He doesn’t support the NZLP and from memory he probably never has.

          Read the about. The labour movement is somewhat wider than the NZLP and this blogsite frequently has people from well outside even that broad group.

          However in my view labour should boycott it. I’m afraid that the sight of National cravenly changing labour laws at a whim from Warner’s went well beyond anything that Labour or any other party in NZ should support.

          • Fisiani 3.2.1.3.1

            We will thus soon see whether Grant ( ) Robertson is truly an acolyte of the Laft and boycotts the movie premiere and protests or whether he sits in the comfy seats with the capitalists. Problem is that he has been denying being a Hobbit hater. Images of him protesting would sully his image. Robertson must thus face trial by Hobbit.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.4

          Shame that Jackson, belonging to at least 3 unions himself, and happy to get the benefits associated with belonging to those unions, worked against NZ actors getting union protections and benefits.

          The Hollywood kowtowing hypocrite.

          • Frank Macskasy 3.2.1.4.1

            On top of which, CV – not many folk know this – but Jackson needed funding from the QE2 Arts Council to finish his first project, “Bad Taste” (the final scenes involving the Alien House taking off like a rocket).

            Had it not been for taxpayer funding (which I don’t begrudge), “Bad Taste” would never have been finished; his career in movie-making might never have taken off; anbd we’d be living in an alternative timeline where he never produced movies, and LoTR nver happened…

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.4.1.1

              anbd we’d be living in an alternative timeline where he never produced movies, and LoTR nver happened…

              We can always dream…

              😈

        • Tracey 3.2.1.5

          Are you still buying that already proven false line, that the Hobbitt was going to be made somewhere else???

    • BM, the issue here is twofold;

      1. Subsidies to big business. I thought subsidies were a no-no in our Neo-liberal Nirvana?

      And if Warner Bro’s can get subsidies, why not our own local industries? Key doesn’t seem to like subsidising our own enterprises, according to his statements.

      2. In bowing to Warner Bro’s pressure, Key used government power to unilaterally change the status of workers from employees to contractors. This wasn’t “nanny statism” – this was all out Big Brother at work, interferuing in the lives of employees. (More here, in a blogpost on National’s track record on raising wages in NZ: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/john-keys-track-record-on-raising-wages-preface/ )

      If Labour had pulled a stunt like that, you and your fellow National supporters would be livid with rage.

      “Also once again all this shows is David Shearer being negative about NZ and any efforts to get the economy going…”

      Rubbish.

      In case you hadn’t noticed, National has been in power for the last 4 years. Why is it that you right wingers demand responsibility from the unemployed, solo-mums, etc, but you’ree willing to turmn a blind eye to your own Party?! The right wing are big on others taking responsibility – but you don’t apply the same expectation to yourselves.

      Why is that?

  4. LynW 4

    Totally agree Karol, excellent summary of the situation! I read that article and felt so angry and dismayed! We are a country not a corporation and we have our own identity! I lost respect for Peter Jackson after his involvement with Key in undermining workers’ rights and made a personal decision to shun the Hobbit. I note the Hobbit has also crept into Air New Zealand’s marketing! I guess you can’t expect much less from a leader whose background involved selling to the highest bidder and wheeling and dealing! My heart aches for New Zealand.

  5. Bill 5

    Imagined conversation.

    “We’re willing to incorporate your movie into our branding. Now, let’s sit down and negotiate how much you will pay us for what would otherwise be quite long term free publicity for your commercial venture.”

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    It’s not enough that this government is destroying our economy and culture, increasing unemployment, and demonising those struggling most to survive on low incomes, but it is selling out our government and democracy to US corporates.

    That, from what I can make out, is this governments sole purpose for being.

  7. felix 7

    The film industry isn’t promoting tourism. It’s the other way around.

    We are spending our tourism budget to promote a movie.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      Thing is, everything this government does is to promote/prop-up the private sector at the taxpayers expense up to and including dropping those same taxpayers into poverty.

    • LynW 7.2

      +1, and the film industry acting like they’re doing NZ a favour!

      • Tigger 7.2.1

        +1. It’s smart to leverage off a major movie to sell some tourism. It’s dumb to tie your entire tourism brand to that movie.

  8. bbfloyd 8

    THe conclusion is rather stark…Johnny sparkles (nee Key) is a DISGRACE!!

    It will take New Zealand, and it’s people years, possibly decades to live down the embarrasment that he is to each, and every one of us…..

    Not to speak of the possibly permanent damage to our reputation, and ability to make our own way in economic terms alone…..

    How long before we do an “aussie”, as in tell people we are australians while overseas, simply to avoid the stigma?

  9. Richard Christie 9

    I’m with Milne. 100% naff.
    As an aside, I’m hoping Jackson does better with the screenplay and character development this time around, last effort 10/10 for visuals, sets etc, 1/10 for it’s really pathetically poor screenplay which reduced the books to a comic-strip equivalent, but his using the same scriptwriters is not cause for confidence.

  10. Barry 10

    The “news” report seems to be a lot of noise about very little.

    The interesting point is that it is published at all. This is similar to the sort of rubbish that was published about Labour 5 or so years ago. It seems that the News media have fallen “somewhat” out of love with National and are prepared to criticize them randomly to fill their columns.

    • karol 10.1

      are prepared to criticize them randomly to fill their columns.


      You mean as opposed to the way the MSM usually fills its columns, with news of stuff crucial to large numbers of Kiwis – like the latest car crash (I’m sure it’s crucial to those affected), or news of Lindsay Lohan’s latest run-in with the law, John Key’s latest mincing photo op, something the (non)sensible sentencing trust said, queues to buy the latest over-priced Apple product…. etc, etc?
       
      Yet the selling of NZ in ways that will further undermine NZ’s economy, workers’ rights and our democratic independence, are just “noise about very little”….

    • Barry, you would’ve loved my parent’s homeland. The media was Party-controlled and published only pro-government stories.

      There’s still Nth Korea and Cuba, I guess.No “falling out of love” in those countries.

  11. Johnm 11

    Key is Corporate Man, Kiwi ordinary people and true democracy simply don’t register for him, he’s blissfully happy that way, selling of our assets is like asking a Jew or Christian “Do you believe in God”? The Free market cult has enriched him: it’s his religion, people are mere market fodder. :-(

  12. Shorts 12

    I see where this is going…. Middle Earth to be replaced by the Hunger Games (sequels)… Winners get a trip to planet key

    Golf on warners, golf on

  13. I think this “Middle Earth” branding is even worse than this article relays.
    I believe it is about taking NZ away from 100% Pure in order to set us up for the big-boy-big-money mining and drilling interests.
    This aim has nothing to do with the interests of NZers and everything to do with big money interests.

    • We have an opportunity to be a clean, green country and pursue income generating activities that will only create increasingly desirable products, services and applications and would generate interest for tourism too, or we can go down the same old filthy road of “drill it, mine it, sell it.”

      One only needs to see the political and physically aggressive quagmire, such countries who’ve followed this “D.I.M.I.S.I.” paradigm, are embroiled in and view how morally or practically bankrupt (or both) they are, to see that, with present world conditions, inviting foreign oil interests into this country is fool-hardy and not in the best interests of New Zealanders.

  14. Rich 14

    It’s mostly nothing about helping the local or national economy and everything about getting an invite to parties with movie stars. Especially for an operation like Wellington Airport, which is basically a glorified bus station whose management, in normal circumstances, would draw a salary in the high five figures and an invite to the Fulton Hogan party with a bunch of roading contractors.

  15. xtasy 15

    “100 per cent pure middle-earth”, wow!

    NZ will in years to come be known as “Little Hobbiton”, “Middle Earth Land”, or something along those lines, if this gets out of control.

    Coins, t-shirts, brochures, figurines, items and insignia representing copies of such used in the films, tourist play-grounds, fairs and what else there may come, is this “New Zealand”, or will it not rather be some kind of “Disneyland” type country in future, where tourists come to see and experience “play stuff” out of fantasy land and movies.

    Of course there is a place for it, but it could have adverse effects.

    And what is it all based on? The films were made based on a book, by whom again? He was Russian by the way. Maybe next the Russians will get envious and come with intellectual property claims?

    “Clean and green” and “100 per cent pure” are certainly gone as credible labeling, since the government will not even bother participating in working out and agreeing to a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol.

  16. Hmmmm… interesting…

    None of National’s apologists have come up with the usual excuse for kowtowing to the Wide Boys from Warner Bro’s…

    Wait for it…

    Wait for it…

  17. Tracey 17

    I don’t think this is off thread, but accept it should be deleted if it is.

    A few days ago a trial began in Sydney of a man who had defrauded about $8.5m. He was never asked about his company, the dozen or so investors never did due diligence. These people were not dupes as such, apparently bright successful people in careers and business. How were they duped? By the lure of celebrity it seems. The ybased their investment in his music label on his photos of himself rubbing shoulders with celebrities…

    So why is this relevant tot his thread??? Because I can see our PM doing this. He seems so blinded by the bright lights of celebrity that he almost loses control of his thinking side… Is it this kind of non-thinking that leads to Warner Bros having to be consulted before we market our county? For those who say they vetoed nothing, that’s not the point, they have the option and can’t be left out of the process.

    Apparently bright and successful people doing silly things to get a chance to stand beside a celebrity???

    http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/news/local-news/224660/court-case-begins-85-million-aussie-record-label-fraud.htm

  18. Not more Middle Earth and 100% Pure. *starts being sick* What about things like Maori culture, artwork, society, food and how New Zealanders actually live? Rather than just focusing on exclusive resorts, golf courses, elves and hobbits. xD

  19. Tracey 19

    Case in point… Mr Key will have an idea what we are paying for the royals to come here to celebrate their mother’s 60 year reign…. but wont say until they are gone…

    ” The New Zealand Government is paying for the costs associated with their six-day visit, including the Duchess’ hairdresser, who is paid to travel with the royal entourage.

    “The reality is it costs quite a lot but I think that is realistic when you think about how far they’re coming and the number of people they bring, the size of the operation. The size is significant,” Key told Newstalk ZB.

    He said the staff requirements were appropriate, given the number of functions the royals would be attending.

    While Key said the cost of the tour wouldn’t be released until after the visit, “

  20. JonL 20

    ” He seems so blinded by the bright lights of celebrity that he almost loses control of his thinking side”

    What do you mean, “almost”………

  21. tracey 21

    Those who support him in polls must think so.

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    Ireland voted for marriage equality over the weekend, becoming the first state to approve it by referendum. Its a sign of how the cultural tide has shifted in the former theocracy, but its also putting pressure on other countries to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Forget that $1000 Kiwisaver kickstart
    The Government has canned the $1000 KiwiSaver kickstart programme. Photo: 123RF The Government is being accused of stealing from future generations by scrapping the $1000 KiwiSaver kickstart payment. Legislation cancelling the payment was one of a number of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Training an army that doesn’t want to fight
    Last week the Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to ISIS. The reason? Iraqi forces fled rather than fighting:US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said the rout of Iraqi forces at the city of Ramadi showed they lacked the will to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Making mountains out of scientific mole hills
    Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet speaking at the Global Health Metrics & Evaluation conference 2011. (Photo credit: Vimeo.) The controversial Lancet editor, Richard Horton, has produced an opinion piece which some are interpreting as an attack on medical science,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Introducing: October
    Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music.Your time ... starts ... Now!  Photo: Connor Hickey Name: October Age: 18 Hometown: Blenheim Sounds like: My… ...
    1 day ago
  • Keynes
    “We’re all Keynesians now” declared the most identifiable anti-Keynesian of the latter 20th century, Milton Friedman. National has - partly at least - adopted Keynes’ ideas in its fiscal policy, too. It wasn't afraid to run deficits during bad times,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • The Peer Review: Emily Mabin Sutton
    As well as being a maker and creator herself, Emily Mabin Sutton is helping other scientist make their ideas reality.  To say Emily Mabin Sutton has her fingers in many pies would be an understatement. The 23-year-old is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Protect Your Signature!
    There’s always something comical about American corporations’ union-busting videos. They wouldn’t be out of place in between news clips on Starship Troopers. And if you’re looking for a conspiracy theory, there’s something eerily similar about all of them – with… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 day ago
  • The cupboard is bare, says Dear Leader
    . . The latest on Budget 2015; Prime Minister John Key is lowering expectations about measures to combat child poverty in this week’s budget. Mr Key says there’ll be “some support” for those suffering material deprivation. “But you’d appreciate that… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Wanted: Health Minister who reads their own research
    Content note: discussions of transphobia and it's impacts, focussed on the recent political discussions about trans* healthcare. There's so much to find troubling about National calling life-saving healthcare for trans* people "nutty" and Labour leadership failing to stand behind regional… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland’s New Bus Shelter Design
    Around a year ago Auckland Transport launched a trial and consultation of three potential new bus shelters that they intend to eventually roll out across the region. The trial was held on Symonds St where the three different designs could be… ...
    1 day ago
  • Who is Charlie? And where are you going?
    I didn't say anything about the Charlie Hebdo killings at the time because some things are so bloody obvious they shouldn't need to be spelled out.  You don't kill people over drawings is one.  For the record, I'll spell it… ...
    1 day ago
  • Judd and Fox presenting at Māori Governance Hui
    Press Release – Maori Council New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd and Mori Party Co-leader Marama Fox are the latest to join an exciting line up of speakers and presenters attending this weekends Te Tatau Pounamu Maori Governance and Representation Conference… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Press Release – iPredict Budget Boosts National And Key, But PM Still Expected to Retire by End of 2017iPredict LTD New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update Monday 25 May 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE www.ipredict.co.nz Budget Boosts National And… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • How will people hold governments to account?
    Opinion – Citizen News Service Bobby Ramakant, Citizen News Service – CNS One of the major failures of current times is how democratic systems are being made ineffective so that people with a ‘power of one vote’ are not… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • NZ Publishers Call for Economic Evidence in TPP Discussions
    Press Release – Copyright Licensing Ltd Leaked documents suggest that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement may result in an extended copyright term. New Zealands current provision, as required as a minimum by the Berne Convention, is life of… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago

  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    18 mins ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    19 hours ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    22 hours ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    3 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    4 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    4 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    4 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    4 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    5 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    5 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    5 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    6 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    7 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    7 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    7 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    7 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    7 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago

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