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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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    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    2 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    2 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    3 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    3 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    3 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    3 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    4 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    4 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    5 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    5 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    5 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    7 days ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

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