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John Key’s bullshit about rising inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, May 14th, 2014 - 86 comments
Categories: child welfare, david cunliffe, Economy, john key, poverty, same old national, Shane Jones, slippery, unemployment, wages - Tags:

Russel Norman and David Cunliffe have asked about John Key’s government’s record in Question Time today.  They referred to this census evidence, as reported on RNZ, that the inequality gap on NZ is growing.

In 2006, the median income for someone in the Orakei area, including Mission Bay and St Heliers, was $36,600.

Data from last year’s census, which has just been released, shows that figure has grown to $42,700.

But incomes for those in the poorest suburb of Mangere-Otahuhu actually fell, dropping $200 to $19,700 last year.

The figures for Auckland as a whole show the median income last year was $29,600, an increase of nearly $3000 from 2006.

Key denied there is rising inequality in NZ.  He ignores the increasing inequality in Auckland that is impacting heavily on those struggling to make ends meet: they are also living with increasing transport, housing and energy poverty.  Key’s response is to divert from this by, ignoring the gleefully attacking the opposition and praising the (alleged) successes of his government.

john-key-snake-oil

Key still keeps referring to general numbers of jobs and employment, and ignores the extent of underemployment, and low paid jobs.

The speaker again runs cover for an out of control government, that refuses to be held to account – something expected in a democracy.

I’ll link to the transcript of the exchanges as they become available – and to Question 2 by David Cunliffe about income inequality.  Key’s response to that is to deliver a speech, blaming the GFC, and praising the government poverty.

NZ’s growing income inequality gap is in an international context, where income inequality is growing in the US, as reported by the New York Times.

What if inequality were to continue growing years or decades into the future? Say the richest 1 percent of the population amassed a quarter of the nation’s income, up from about a fifth today. What about half?

To believe Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, this future is not just possible. It is likely.

In his bracing “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” which hit bookstores on Monday, Professor Piketty provides a fresh and sweeping analysis of the world’s economic history that puts into question many of our core beliefs about the organization of market economies.

His most startling news is that the belief that inequality will eventually stabilize and subside on its own, a long-held tenet of free market capitalism, is wrong. Rather, the economic forces concentrating more and more wealth into the hands of the fortunate few are almost sure to prevail for a very long time.

To a later Question, Bill English referred to OECD evidence that income inequality in NZ, is not rising: at best, it’s flat.  Parker responded by asking if those stats have taken account of housing affordability, and included measurements of wealth such as capital gains.

Several questions in Question Time have focused on issues of income inequality, and causing heated debate.

Update: Question One

Update: Transcripts

Question One

Question Two

In which David Cunliffe referred to the Salvation Army giving the government a D in their report (as reported by the Child Poverty Action Group), and to the numbers of children in poverty (as in the Child Poverty Report, which indicates a rise in diseases of poverty, and that 10% of children live in severe and persistent poverty).

 Question Four on Income & Social Inequality

In which David Parker refers to rising housing unaffordability as an indicator or f rising inequalities, and the impact on this of a lack of capital gains tax.

And Bill English said this:

On average across New Zealand, income inequality has not got worse. In fact, we are one of two developed countries where the OECD as recently as yesterday has said that it has been stable since 1994—and the Opposition should take some credit for that.

OEDC on Income Inequality in NZ3 News report in 2011.

A new report reveals the average income of New Zealand’s richest 10 percent is now 10 times that of the poorest 10 percent.

It’s a similar story across the OECD, but New Zealand’s income gap has grown faster than any other developed country over the past 20 years.

English was talking about the “average income as a measure. The 2011 report tells a different story because it compares the top and bottom 105.

#realbudgetnumbers

#realbudgetnumbers_1

#realbudgetnumbers_2

#realbudgetnumbers_3

 

86 comments on “John Key’s bullshit about rising inequality”

  1. fender 1

    The juvenile nature of the way the PM interacts in the house is so poor and predictable that viewers must be dropping off faster than Nationals poll numbers.

    Also someone really should inform this worst PM ever that the NZ Labour and Green parties have not held the treasury benches in Australia.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      He isn’t willing to lead, so Key blusters.

    • David H 1.2

      But no one will pull him up on it by way of point of order ora series of questions designed to tie him up in knots.

  2. Mary 2

    Carter is appallingly biased. Something needs to be done about ministers being allowed to refuse to answer questions by simply saying they “reject the basis of the question”. Extremely undemocratic. It’s Carter’s fault.

  3. wyndham 3

    It is standard routine for Key and English to routinely blame the Labour Party for any flaws in present government policies. That is number one.
    Second, it is the fault of the GFC.
    Thirdly, it is the fault of the ChCh earthquake.
    Which leads me to ask – – – for what length of time can a political party continue to blame it’s predecessors or earlier events for failings in it’s own governance ?

    • Gosman 3.1

      You do acknowledge that the 2008 PREFU predicted a decade of deficits and a huge increase in government debt as a result don’t you?

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        The GFC was caused, no not by Clark or Labour, but by the financial industry. An industry that was and still is picked as a winner. Whtye, ignorance on the recent debate, that governments don’t or should not pick winners, was hilarously deluded, since he says this is why governments should be neturalized and castrated, because they can’t help but choose winners, industries or groups. And of course exposes why he’s not a democrat because whats the point of voting if the government doesn’t influence citizens lives. Whyte abdicates any personal responsibility for selecting the financial industry. Its a winner takes all by ignoring it play.

        The GFC, more due to the beliefs of men like Key, than anything Labour did or did not do, has led to growing inequity (which has now accelerated under National).

        English says the overall exposure of the economy, GDP to debt is dropping. But this misses several points, its the rich who are getting out of the way and lowing debt, not the farmers and homeowners. Its the rich who are getting the to the chairs first as the music stops. And GDP doesn’t show the underlying problem, that led to the GFC, that of un-referred to debt, environment, social, and economic. Sprawl, inequality and pollution (macro and local), all are
        out of control and for the most part not accounted for by governments. So its nice that English finally, unlike Key, is willing to enter the frail but he’s still talking and using measures of the oil religion.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          10 years of deficits was not as a result of the recesssion caused by the GFC. Treasury would have no way of knowing how long such a recession would last. The deficits predicted were based on projected expenditure and revenue as at the time of the financial update and were not dependent if the the economy was in recesssion or not.

          • RJL 3.1.1.1.1

            @Gosman Treasury would have no way of knowing how long such a recession would last.

            Yes, because Treasury’s job is basically just to look after a very large key and to periodically check (and fret about) the amount of bullion lying around in the government’s vault.

            Treasury spends no effort whatsoever on economic modelling or predictive capability.

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Ahhh no. Economists generally have little clue how long a specific economic cycle will last but can generally use a rule of thumb of 5 – 7 years. This would preclude them predicting a cyclical based deficit of 10 years.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1.2

              pease dont confuse gosman with any facts that dont suit the story he is peddling.

              • Gosman

                What facts has been presented by RJL that could possibly not suit my position?

          • framu 3.1.1.1.2

            “projected expenditure and revenue as at the time of the financial update and were not dependent if the the economy was in recesssion or not.”

            so quite obviously when economic conditions changed both treasuries predictions and any assumptions about what a governing party might do to change their own expenditure and any overhangs from the previous administration would also change

            you cant say the nats have done great because they reacted to events and at the same time criticise labour using an out of date prediction that has no ability to factor in what might have been done differently

            youve also got the distractotron fired up – the inital comment had 0 to do with the prefu. What do you think about national routinely blaming labour 6 years after the fact?

          • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.3

            Still spinning this tiresome fiction Gosman? You need better writers.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.3.1

              didnt english one say cullen wasnt spending enough? so had he run deficits and not surplus’ what would the nats besaying now…

              • Gosman

                Up till 2008 he might have. However the 2008 Budget was basically a massive spend up by Labour to try and buy the election. Hence the predicted decade of deficits. It was a pity really as I did rate Cullen as generally being an above average conservative finance minister up till that point.

                • Tracey

                  i imagine he is very sorry to have lost your respect.

                • Tracey

                  had he done the spending english says he wanted, and hasnt done the 2008 spend, we might be in the same position, which would have made english wrong.

                  anyway, we have this rockstar economy now and english said businesses should be giving everyone payrises. oh thats right, they ignored him.

                • Lanthanide

                  What was the “massive spend up” exactly?

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.3.2

              What tiresome fiction?

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.4

            treasury? the bunch of no hopers who taught english everything he knows about economics. bloody career bureaucrats.

          • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1.5

            10 years of deficits was not as a result of the recesssion caused by the GFC.

            Followed (and refuted) by:

            The deficits predicted were based on projected expenditure and revenue…

            Can any readers think of something that happened in 2008 that might have affected revenue projections? Something big enough to cause a decade of deficits if the government kept spending at the rate it was in the mid-2000s? Anyone?

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        well we have the huge govt debt and yet key, and you, seem to be feeling quite proud

        • Gosman 3.1.2.1

          A huge government debt that was predicted in 2008 before National took office

          • Tracey 3.1.2.1.1

            predicted by the treasury that you were rubbishing above? that treasury you mean?

            • Gosman 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Where was I rubbishing Treasury? All I stated was that very few economic forecasts (and certainly not Treasury) would predict a cyclical trend lasting a decade. The deficit and associated increase in debt were the result of underlying structural issues with the nation fiscus.

  4. Gosman 4

    Based on Stats figures inequality across NZ is virtually the same as it was when National took office. Ponting this out is not ignoring anything.

    • karol 4.1

      John Key ignored the specific stats on growing income inequality in Auckland. As I said in the post, the OECD stsats, at best, show the inequality gap has been flat. But yet Key is claiming they are doing all sorts of good things.

      But he does ignore that, on top of an ongoing big inequality gap, those struggling in places like South Auckland, have had their income go backwards, while their costs of living re housing, energy and transport poverty have been rising. And as Parker pointed out, the increasing wealth gap exists on top of income inequality, especially via housing specualtion etc.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        John Key uses the stats that support his position just as Labour and the Greens use stats that support their position. This is hardly unusual.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          John Key uses stats to avoid doing work.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.2

          may i present exhibit A as proof of the death of truth.

          its not a game gosman. i can only assume you take such a flippant view of tge truth because twisting it has served you well financially…

          the bottom 50% of south aucklanders are 200 bucks a year worse off than in 2006… is that one months power in the winter, school uniforms, dentist for mum or dad….

          meanwhile over in st heliers they have 4000 grand more a year.

          just a coincidence its those suburbs, right.

          • Gosman 4.1.1.2.1

            What is the baseline?

            What happened between the baseline and now?

            What has the recent trend in inequality been?

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Meh, you’ve no interest in helping these people Gosman, just wasting time and waiting for the clock to run down.

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.3

          John Key uses the stats that support his position just as Labour and the Greens use stats that support their position. This is hardly unusual.

          It’s certainly not unusual. Witness Nick Smith on the news last night informing us he’d discovered that only 11.8% of NZ properties are owned by overseas residents, and many of those were overseas NZers, so this talk of foreign investers driving up house prices in Auckland is rubbish. It’s superficially plausible, until you notice that he’s given you a national figure, not an Auckland one. I guess it’s conceivable that property investors in China are keen to snap up desirable properties with rapidly-increasing values in Invercargill, Hawera and Westport, but… no, hang on, actually it’s not conceivable in the slightest – he’s a lying weasel, just like his boss.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 4.1.1.3.1

            Or Joyce on Q&A insisting on using quarterly earnings statistics to claim workers are better off – instead of the Labour Cost Index, which actually represents changes in people’s base pay rates.

        • karol 4.1.1.4

          Gosman, of updated the bottom of the post, after looking for some information on reports that have been discussed before on TS, and that was referred to in Question Time today.

          Basically, English said that the OECD had said this week that “on average” NZ’s inequality had been stable since 1994.

          But, I quickly found a 3 News report that referred to a 2011 OECD report that showed in NZ, in the last 20 years, the gap between the top 10% and the bottom 10% had risen faster than in any other OECD country.

          I also added some links to articles about the Salvation Army in the last year, giving the government a D for poverty, and about the Child Poverty report.

          • Wayne 4.1.1.4.1

            Karol,

            That TV3 item will be wrong. The relevant period for the shift is 1984 to the present, not the last 20 years. Not surprising that a short TV item will confuse the dates.

            The stats also refer to the rate of change, not the absolute change. And in any event must have been overtaken by what has happened in Greece, Spain, et al in the last 5 years.

            So what the stats actually show is that NZ had one of the flattest distributions in the OECD in 1984 (when wharfies got higher pay than doctors in hospitals). What David Lange referred to as a “polish shipyard”.

            In 1984 the economy was the most regulated in the OECD, so bringing it into the middle of the OECD meant some pretty dramatic changes. Actually more so than any other OECD country.

            And think about that for a moment. If you go from the virtually the most flat distribution in the OECD in 1984 to a distribution that puts you in the middle of the OECD, you have to move faster than anyone else. And it largely all occurred in a 9 year period from 1984 to 1993, so obviously pretty disruptive for many.

            And for you and others that still seems to produce a lot of angst. I note that David Cunliffe often talks about ending “30 years of the neo-liberal experiment”. But frankly I don’t believe him – he won’t do it. When Russell Norman says the same thing, I believe him – he would do it.

            • Tracey 4.1.1.4.1.1

              he often talks about it?

            • Clemgeopin 4.1.1.4.1.2

              Your last few lines indicate that you are simply trying to sow discord between Labour and the Greens. Your tactic here is despicable. You say you don’t believe Cunliffe. Do you believe Key?

      • aerobubble 4.1.2

        Past time Kiwi expats returned with wealth, able to buy into housing.

    • adam 4.2

      Do you read Gosman? Or is life a serious spin session for you? Read what Karol put, or I don’t know, read what pretty much every social service agency in the country is saying about the income gap.

      I think I’ve said it to you before – think before you write – your an idiot who just proves to me and the rest of the left that the right wing have gone from bat shit crazy to embracing nasty as well.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        You have nothing to really add to this discussion then adam beyond an ad hominem attack on myself. Goodoh. I take that as evidence I have made valid points which you can’t refute.

        • karol 4.2.1.1

          Actually, Adam made a good point about the social service agencies. I just added stuff to the post, about the Salvation Army report, referred to in Question Time today, in which the Sallies give the government a D for poverty.

  5. Gosman 5

    Test

  6. Will@Welly 6

    Key has not “ruled out tax cuts”.
    My crystal ball tells me that Act will have its way – 0% for anyone earning over say $150 – $200,000.
    Around 20% for the rest of us, with a sharp increase in user fees.
    Poverty in New Zealand, expect that to grow to around 50% in the next few years.

    • The Real Matthew 6.1

      That is not the ACT Party tax policy.

      You are being disrespectful by representing it as such.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        Yip. I know it can be hard to distinguish good satire from the truth, but better to let the ACT party hang themselves with their own lunacy rather than making things up.

      • Tracey 6.1.2

        disingenuous maybe, not disrespectful. it might have been when prebble had been thinking, which in hindsight has never been good for anything political he is involved with.

        you are right though, ACT betrayed the principle of 0% tax when it thought no one would vote for itb

  7. Gosman 7

    I will grant one thing. The replies by John Key at Question time in that clip were rather tiresome and are largely petty point scoring. I’d prefer if he tackled this issue head on as I beleieve the stats are there to support his position.

    • karol 7.1

      It was Key’s appalling performance as in that video, that spurred me to make a post – that, and I had already been thinking about posting about income and wealth inequalities.

    • I feel fairly certain that if the stats did support his position, he’d have used them. Or even if they vaguely sounded like they supported him – cf. Steven Joyce pretending that increases in earnings are the same as increases in wage rates.

  8. blue leopard 8

    A picture off a conspiracy facebook page, but the message is a good one:

    ‘You have the right to remain stupid. Everything you do not know, can and will be used against you. Most likely for profit.’

    • miravox 8.1

      You have the right to remain stupid

      And from the ‘you have a right to be educated’ variety of website, a a simple 3 min video from the New Economics Foundation explaining inequality in the UK.

  9. Tracey 9

    i see that bridges thinks the answer to poverty issues is to talk to retailers….

    ” The number of people having their power disconnected because they can’t pay their bills is too high, Energy Minister Simon Bridges agreed today following criticism from Labour.

    His comments came after Labour’s energy spokesman David Shearer released a statement condemning “record high” levels of disconnections in the first three months of this year, which he said showed the minister was out of touch with ordinary households.

    Data collected by the Electricity Authority showed 8967 homes were disconnected between January and March. That compared to 9620 in the first quarter of 2013, and 9897 in the last quarter of 2013.

    Mr Bridges said disconnection figures were higher than he would like.

    “While the numbers for the last quarter have fallen, and we are at the lowest level in two years, I remain concerned about the high levels of disconnections.

    “I have written again to retailers to ask what tangible actions they are taking to bring disconnection rates down,” he said.

    “It is clear that proactive customer management – including the provision of better information to customers about payment plans and making personal contact at an early stage – is the most effective way of avoiding disconnections.”

  10. Richard@Down South 10

    Key is hinting at possible tax cuts…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/10044378/PM-hints-at-campaigning-on-tax-cuts

    how crazy is that

    • BM 10.1

      Key will seal the election and probably get an outright majority if that happens.

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        with “a massive spend up” you mean?

        gosman will be by shortly to explain why that will be the death of NZ

  11. finbar 11

    No way is the corporations ruler going to admit to wealth inequality,if he did,it would call him and his corperations exploitation a lie to their words of fairness.All lower than the one percent of controlers wealth are aware of it, yet like him ,not so much for the cronies, but him,with his loaned batch in Kiwi,Cambell should have flown out to Hawain tax bolt hole, his true home and batch,where he will be going after this coming election, and leave us with his $50 billion crony debt to pay for.

  12. finbar 12

    I have it on good knowing, that our P.M.has updated his old Hawian mansion to a bigger better one.Those crony addups it would be seem to be paying off..

  13. jcuknz 13

    It is worth reading Piketty’s book or at least the Executive Summary which I did and you will find that it is an inevitable result of those with some spare income getting richer and those with just enough to meet their needs remaining at that level.

    The book has some interesting stats about how the two world wars and the depression wiped the slate clean in the first half of the 20th century but the ‘haves’ have been building their ‘have’ with a vengence since and we can either let the situation continue or do something about it with progressive, really progressive, taxation on a world scale…. he admits this is unlikely to happen but suggests a 0.5% tax on income up to a million and then perhaps 5<7% for those with an annual income of a billion etc.

    An interesting read … the Summary is rather less than the actual book and I guess gives us the guts without the tedium of the whole story.

    • finbar 13.1

      The combined governace of europe have just sad yes to taxing all monetry tranaction..Honest tax knowing.

    • karol 13.2

      I’m looking forward to reading it. I have it on order.

      Also, The Spirit Level is important because it spells out ho those vast inequalities between the richest and poorest impact negatively on society as a whole.

      The differences between the stats referred to by Key and English, and those referred to by Norman, Cunliffe and Parker, is that the Nats focused on the “average” which has not changed in 20 years. But, it’s a different story when you look at the stats and reports referred to by the opposition. These focus on the increasing gap between the richest and poorest.

      I guess the Nats don’t care too much, because I doesn’t impact immediately on their main constituents the middle-to-high income earners and wealthiest. They don’t really seem to care about the bottom 10% who are really struggling, nor those in the next 10%, who are probably pretty stressed.

      However, the higher earners and wealth hoarders would probably care more if they understood how such inequalities are damaging to society as a whole.

      • Wayne 13.2.1

        Karol,

        I think the main reason for the change is the dates chosen. Unemployment is higher now at 6% than it was in 2007, when it just about as low as it got, at around 3.5%. Unemployment is invariably concentrated among the lowest skilled.

        So you can get a situation where the bulk of the city get an increase in income, but one part does not. The only real solution to that is to reduce unemployment. And in the long term that means increasing skills.

        I see that Treasury is predicting unemployment at 4.5%, and Labour is aiming for 4% – not really a huge difference.

        Given that future surpluses are projected to be quite large over the next three years, each political party should be able have significant new initiatives during the campaign that fit their perception of what will be best for New Zealand (as opposed to getting the books right, and dealing with the earthquake, which have been the main challenges for the last 5 years).

        Virtually all official stats say inequality has not really changed over the last 20 years. And this reflects my basic perception of New Zealand. The big shift occurred with the changes of the 9 years of 1984 to 1993. What you would call the “neoliberal experiment”. And what I would say was essential to save the economy, given what Labour inherited in 1984.

        However, there must be some change in inequality when unemployment increases and when it goes down. And over the last 20 years, unemployment was higher in the early 90’s, reduced to a low by 2007, went up in the GFC, and is coming down again. Perhaps the stats “smooth” these changes out a bit.

        • miravox 13.2.1.1

          “The big shift occurred with the changes of the 9 years of 1984 to 1993. What you would call the “neoliberal experiment”. And what I would say was essential to save the economy, “

          Collateral damage? You’re good with that Wayne?

        • framu 13.2.1.2

          “And what I would say was essential to save the economy, given what Labour inherited in 1984.”

          TINA?

          or were there other alternativ es?

          cmon wayne – was the first secret ACT party the only option?

          • Wayne 13.2.1.2.1

            There could be some argument that it could have been done less abruptly, but not not much argument about the need for overall direction of the changes. Excepting the contributors to The Standard.

            People would say the adjustment in Australia was less abrupt than ours, but in 1984 the NZ economy was much more regulated than Australia, so change here was always going to be more difficult.

            Today in 2014, what are the basic differences between us and Australia. Their tax system is a bit different. No tax on the first $15,000 and a top rate of 47%. A modest capital gains tax. Compulsory super savings. But on this last issue I reckon our super system is better and fairer than theirs. Other than that not too many differences.

            So 30 years later our economies are much more aligned than in 1984. One of the reasons for CER in 1982 was to start aligning the two economies.

            • Clemgeopin 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Just imagine what sort of a country, what sort of conditions. inequality, inhumanity, poverty, unhappiness, unfairness would have prevailed just now in New Zealand if the Rogernomics extreme agenda had been allowed to prevail unabated until now? You would have today in action all the draconian, thoughtless, greedy, survival of the fittest kind of policies and society here! Who would want that apart from the selfish Libertarians/ACT personality types?

            • miravox 13.2.1.2.1.2

              hmm… a little disappointed you didn’t address my question at 13.2.1.1, Wayne.

              Although worded quite abruptly, I’m quite interested to know whether the damage to vulnerable groups that has occurred since the neo-liberal experiment in the 80s is ok with you.

  14. Clemgeopin 14

    A good evidence of how the right deceived through false propaganda. The western dominated media fall for it and spread it unquestioningly to manipulate opinion and perception to suit those in authority. Key, English and their spin masters are adept at this manipulation game.

    Here is a very educative film by John Pilger about what USA did to the South American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile when ordinary people struggled to free themselves from ‘the modern form of slavery’. Includes plenty of nice historical footage.

    Worth watching it if you haven’t already. Cheers!

    http://www.maoritelevision.com/tv/shows/tuesday-festival-documentaries/S01E001/war-democracy

  15. Paul 15

    Carter must be the worst speaker ever.
    A disgrace.
    He and the media are a threat to democracy.

  16. karol 16

    Tweets from the Labour Party #realbudgetnumbers Will add to post.

  17. Murray Olsen 17

    What on earth was Mallard trying to do with his point of order?
    As for Key, has he ever given a straight answer in his life?

  18. Penny Bright 18

    Seen this?

    Got your diary out folks?

    Upcoming Robb Lectures at Auckland University on

    ‘The human cost of inequality’

    Fisher and Paykel lecture theatre,
    Owen Glenn Building Grafton Rd

    https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/news-events-and-notices/events/events-2014/05/sir-douglas-robb-lectures.html

    7.30pm

    Monday 19 May “Evidence of damage”
    Wednesday 21 May “The causal prosesses”
    Friday 23 May “The solution”

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright

    • lprent 18.1

      I’ve been planning to put up a notice post (if no-one else does) during the weekend.

      That could be a pretty full theatre.

      Does anyone know if it will be filmed? And if so would be be able to showcase the video.

  19. Kahukowhai 19

    Winston Peters has nailed National for the $50 billion increase in national debt in the past two terms of this government. We must apply ourselves to the question of exactly who has benefited the most from this $50 billion economic injection.

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    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    2 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    2 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    2 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    2 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    2 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reply to PM’s statement on deploying troops to Iraq
    “The decision of any Government to send troops to a conflict zone is a very serious one, and it is right that this House takes time to consider it, to debate it, and, ideally, to vote on it, but we… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister must take action on death trap slides
    Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. “No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories… ...
    3 days ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • On the River Patrol in Te Tai Tokerau
    Last Wednesday, I went on a tour of some of Northland’s rivers with  Millan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol as he monitored water quality throughout Te Tai Tokerau. The dry conditions meant we couldn’t use the boat but we visited… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening of Parliament 2015
    Russel NormanOpening of Parliament Speech February 2015 Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou katoa. A brief history of climate change What a summer! It's been hot, even here in Wellington, hotter than any summer I can remember. All… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago

  • Politicians’ pay increases
    “An increase of 3.5% in the minimum wage compared with 5.5% increase for politicians is appalling. It is another example of the wealthy looking after themselves and showing no regard for the poor” says Peter Malcolm, National Secretary of Income… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Invade Mexico for Guacamole Reserves Instead
    #WagePeaceNZ, founded yesterday, along with all 7 of its Twitter followers, demands that New Zealand invade Mexico for its Guacamole reserves in lieu of sending 143 troops to Iraq. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Australian Prime Minister to thank New Zealand fire crews
    The contribution of more than 400 New Zealand firefighters in helping battle bushfires across the Tasman over the past 14 years will be acknowledged tomorrow during a visit by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to an Auckland fire station. ...
    3 hours ago
  • A simple question for Winston Peters: Where do you live?
    "Winston Peters has set a new record, being economical with the truth only hours into his campaign," claims Northland ACT candidate Robin Grieve. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Northland doesn’t need yesterday’s man
    "It's great that Winston Peters is finally taking an interest in Northland. But frankly we don’t need yesterday’s ideas from yesterday’s men in our region," ACT Northland candidate Robin Grieve said today. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Children’s Day – 365 days a year
    Barnardos wants New Zealanders to celebrate Children’s Day on 1 March, and to recognise the effort it takes to raise great kids over all 365 days of the year. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Will MPs Put Taxpayers’ Money Where Their Mouth is?
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling the bluff of MPs and has written to each one asking whether they will be accepting the backdated pay increases announced yesterday. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: ...
    6 hours ago
  • Fonterra Sneaks Round The Corner
    Fonterra’s subsidiary Glencoal has put its plans for an open cast mine on SH2 at Mangatangi on hold indefinitely. The local community is celebrating. They worked very hard with submissions on all the impacts of coal mining that you are… ...
    6 hours ago
  • How Free Is Free Speech?
    How Free Is Free Speech: Do we recommend unconstrained freedom of expression? The Chief Human Rights Commissioner, David Rutherford, will be In Conversation with Noel Cheer at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington on Tuesday 3 March 2015 from 12:15pm… ...
    7 hours ago
  • No military deployment in Iraq: Nationwide peace vigils
    Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country at 5pm on Thursday, 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement ...
    8 hours ago
  • Message of Nationwide Day of Action :‘TPPA? No Deal!’
    “An amazing 22 towns and cities across New Zealand have rallied to the call for a nationwide day of action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 7 March”, according to Chantelle Campbell who is coordinating the national events ...
    8 hours ago
  • New Group Against Amalgamation
    A group of Wellingtonians have launched a campaign to resist the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s scheme to amalgamate Wellington’s existing councils. The group, Best Little Capital, has been formed by Wellingtonians Michael Moughan and Digby ...
    9 hours ago
  • Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise
    Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise Media release Friday 27 February 2015 Earlier this week Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced that benefits will increase by 0.51% on 1 April. Yesterday MPs were granted a 5.5% ...
    10 hours ago
  • Sensible Sentencing challenges MPs to refuse pay rise
    “I realise this will take courage and we extend an open challenge to all MPs – or any MP from any party – to have the courage to be the first to stand up and publicly denounce this nonsense and… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Labour Party President Elected
    Labour Party President Elected Nigel Haworth has been elected as Labour Party President following a vote conducted among the constituent organisations and elected representatives of the Party. This follows the resignation of Moira Coatsworth in December 2014. ...
    10 hours ago

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