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Keeping it Kiwi

Written By: - Date published: 4:26 pm, February 18th, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: economy - Tags:

udder.jpgDairy farmers have rejected the Fonterra Board’s short-sighted plan to sell 20% of the company.

Fonterra wanted to raise cash with a stock-market float to fund expanding its dairying operations in other countries but in the long-run Fonterra would have paid out far more in dividends to (offshore) stockholders. The dairy farmers would end up working to line the pockets of foreigners and New Zealand’s current account would have suffered.

We already send nearly $4 billion a year offshore in dividends, mostly from companies like Auckland Airport, the Banks, Toll, Telecom, and Contact that were foolishly sold by governments in the 1980s and 1990s.

Good on the farmers for having the wisdom to keep their business kiwi-owned. (Now, work on that environmental impact)

Fonterra should fund its expansion plans by reducing the milk payout. That would reduce inflation and result in profits earned overseas returning to this country in the long-term.

18 comments on “Keeping it Kiwi”

  1. The Government shouldn’t be in any private enterprise. Why the heck should they have any say in how an airport is run?

  2. Steve Pierson 2

    The question is: why should a government, having spent millions developing an airport, sell it off cheaply?

    Our largest airport is not just a normal ‘private enterprise’, we’re not talking about a diary we’re talking about a major strategic asset.

    Take your ‘government out of the provision of goods and services’ argument to its logical next steps and we should privatise the road network.

  3. deemac 3

    I would have thought the negative economic effects on the NZ economy of the sell-offs of the 1980s and 1990s (detailed on this site many times) were the perfect answer to Brett Dale’s dumb post. We’re still suffering as a result.

  4. andy 4

    The farmers I know, were more worried about control. They have to buy a ‘share’ for every kilo of milk solid sold to Fonterra. They own it and controll it. With a 20% float farmers would cede control over that portion but continue to fund with thier personal capital. The deal was not clear enough about controlling interests, voting rights and capital raising. With equity markets not looking healthy at present it is prudent in my mind for farmers to bank the profit and pay down debt, then look at the structure of fonterra.

    BTW, who stood to gain most from the float. Management awarding themselves share packages, bonuses based on share performance not milk production and Investment banks generous fees. I think farmers rejected based on the fact that they would have to buy shares in there own company to keep control. Sounds almost like telecom mum and dad investors, who payed for it twice.

  5. Draco TB 5

    The Government shouldn’t be in any private enterprise. Why the heck should they have any say in how an airport is run?

    Because it’s a natural monopoly and so doesn’t respond to the normal free-market forces which drive prices down to cost. Even Milton Friedman agreed that natural monopolies needed to be government owned to prevent private individuals (either individually or in corporate form (Remember Theresa Gatung’s words)) from scamming the populace.

    Natural monopolies found in modern societies include:
    Telecommunications
    Health
    Roads
    Airports
    Electricity (generation and reticulation)
    etc.

    What makes them natural monopolies is:-
    1. Barriers to entry – they’re just to expensive for everyone to set up their own.
    2. Physical space – there just isn’t enough room.
    3. Efficiency – It’s far more efficient and cost effective (due to scale) to have one of them and the bureaucracy that runs it than multiples. Multiple networks won’t drive the cost of broadband down but will, as a matter of fact, drive the prices up. All that cabling, labour and administration costs and those costs have to be recovered.

  6. the sprout 6

    “We already send nearly $4 billion a year offshore in dividends”

    that is an utter disgrace.

  7. Gooner 7

    Steve, I am not sure about that last paragraph.

    If Farmers appear to dislike the current plans, I am fairly sure they won’t vote for reducing their payout and hence their income!!!

  8. AncientGeek 8

    Great summary Draco.

    There is just one thing I’d add. Often the natural monopoly is in the infrastructure rather than the services. For instance there is little point in setting up different telecomms networks side by side. But that doesn’t mean that those networks cannot have services run on top of them by different companies.

    For instance the most ISP’s share the same infrastructure for international bandwidth, but often purchase from the same suppliers.

    cap: in structural

  9. Phil 9

    Draco / AG

    I disagree with some of your thinking.

    While I accept that natural monopolies exist, and need to be subject to non-market control, simply saying that “health” is a natural monopoly is a complete fallacy.
    Certainly there are aspects of health services that should remain in public hands (A&E being the prime example) but other componenets of a health system can, and do, run very well in market/competition models. Ryman Healthcare and the Medical Assurance Society come to mind here, so does F&P healthcare for that matter.

    Same goes for Telco’s – I agree completely that two sets of copper wires running the length and breadth of the country is woefully inefficient, but the advances seen in wireless technology make that less relevant – I am told by those much more tech-savvy than myself that throwing a satelite into stationary orbit and running a wireless network is actually not that (comparatively speaking) difficult or expensive.

    Roads too are not able to be painted as an all-or-nothing public good. A road from say, a forestry plantation to the closest railyard of port could quite concievably be a privately constructed road, held in ownership and subject to a toll.

  10. Phil 10

    “”We already send nearly $4 billion a year offshore in dividends’

    that is an utter disgrace.”

    Would it be less or more of a disgrace if we had decided not to borrow the capital in the first place, and were nearly $40 billion in total revenue worse off?

  11. AncientGeek 11

    I agree with a lot of what you say. The situation is a case of it depends.

    For instance, there is virtually no way to run a public health (as vaccinations, outbreak control, sewerage, etc) on the basis of a private system. It has huge benefits for the country as a whole, but only if there is almost universal coverage.

    That being said, there is nothing to stop the state purchasing those public health services from private providers. But what happens when the private provider decides not to continue in that area of business. You are left with hole in your coverage, and a high level of risk. Now the obvious rejoinder is that will be other providers available. But they are likely to not want to increase their capital expenditure..

    I’m a bit tired so I won’t expand the argument. Suffice it to say, that frequently where there is a private coverage system, it is usually very patchy.

    I am told by those much more tech-savvy than myself that throwing a satelite into stationary orbit and running a wireless network is actually not that (comparatively speaking) difficult or expensive.

    Depends what you regard as a wireless network and what your position on earth is. It is a geometry and usage problem. Geosync sats are good at broadcast, and painful as a bidirectional systems.

    Geostationary orbit

    To have a geostationary orbit you need to position the satellites at an equatorial position at something like 35k km’s up (look up the exact figure). The half circumference of the earth by comparision is 0.5 * pi * 12k odd, but the usually you’re heading to something quite a lot smaller than that, say from NZ to Alaska.

    That is fine if you live at the equator, 35k up. Even there you are looking at latency problems. You hit speed of light limitations – at least 0.25 secs each way. These are present on land line systems as well – there are measurable speed limitations between here and aussie. But they are 4k km’s worth rather than 70k km’s (35k up and 35k down at best).

    If you live in southland, the angle means that you are probably at about 40k kms (find a calculator). However you have a lot more atmosphere because of the angle in the way, attenuating the signal through the last 20km’s or so of air and other assorted radio freq absorbers like water vapour.

    Thats not counting if you have a large hill between you and the equator. What I’m saying is that because of angles not all places are equal. Direct satellite coverage is patchy at best. You usually overcome this using local repeaters. Like the cell network, this works best in built up areas, and gets expensive pretty fast if you want to get wide coverage.

    That is one side of the problem. The other side is the uplink. You’re looking at considerable power to punch complex signals out of the atmosphere. Thats ok on the sat side because you’re punching signal over half the globe – becomes worth while. But if I’m sending signal from my location out to at least 35k to a small target, it becomes uneconomic pretty fast, especially when you’re doing at the household level.

    There are several solutions to the uplink issue (iridium,copper or microwave to transmitter etc), but they all add costs. In particular you’re talking about broadcast systems using high power with correspondingly high maintenance, compared to lower power and maintenance cable systems.

    The reason the uplink is important is that the net isn’t a broadcast medium. It is almost as important to me to send my video of the kid to the grandparents as it is to download the next blockbuster. Thats becoming more and more the case everyday.

    And in all of this you’re looking at latency. My experience of using sat systems hasn’t been good, probably because I use a lot of real time systems. The min latency or about 1/2 sec (and usually more like 1 sec in NZ) between me sending a request and getting an answer is a killer. Compare that with the average 0.225 secs I just got pinging my favourite server in the US. It gets hard to run an accounting system in the US from India with a satellite system.

    Teleoperating in various forms (like running remote servers) is getting more and more important these days economically. I avoid sat system like the plague these days – adequate for watching movies. Useless for remote desktop.

    Short answer is that sat is a good expedient where you don’t have good copper/fibre. Great where you want to do a rapid setup for people to view things on something like the web. Not particularly good when you wnat to do more direct economic things with the net. Will get replaced by cable systems as people go beyond just looking at things.

    Yawn & off to bed

  12. Andrew Jull 12

    “That being said, there is nothing to stop the state purchasing those public health services from private providers. But what happens when the private provider decides not to continue in that area of business. You are left with hole in your coverage, and a high level of risk. Now the obvious rejoinder is that will be other providers available. But they are likely to not want to increase their capital expenditure.”

    What AncientGeek says is quite accurate. Private health care providers are very canny about what will actually cover. Thus they are a happy to provide low risk surgical services (including quite complicated procedures, such as cardiac surgery, but to low risk individuals), but do not provide high risk services. Any surgical patient that moves from being low risk to high risk during their private hospital stay is transferred (without appropriate reimbursement) to the public system. For example, it is quite common for surgical patients to move from private to public if they develop complications that need further surgery or if they need intensive care. The private providers not only cherry pick what conditions they will treat, they cost shift their most expensive patients into the public sector.

    Examples of work the private sector is unlikely to pick up: any chronic condition (this is why they do not provide any non-surgical services for cardiac or neurological conditions, stroke, diabetes etc.), intensive and critical care work, emergency work, any training, etc. It is all just too expensive for them, because the work is in essence open ended. So private provision of hospital services is no panacea and it is quite mindless for politicians and other associates (thinking here of the slew of Health Ministers under National and Labour who were driven by monetarist ideology – David Cagill, Simon Upton, Jenny Shipley, Bill English, and possibly in the near future Tony Ryall) who have never been involved in the sector to think simplistic sloganeering will “fix” provision of services.

    By the way Phil, last time I looked Ryman Healthcare operated retirement villages, not private hospitals, The Medical Assurance Society provides insurance cover to medical insurance and financial services to health professionals and F&P Healthcare manufactures medical devices such as humidifiers for oxygen. Thus none of your examples are actually exemplary of private health care providers.

  13. Phil 13

    And there-in lies the problem in your argument Andrew – those companies are quite sucessfully involved in the health sector, and make good profit (haven’t looked at the results from the latest reporting season yet…) doing so. The whole point of my OP was that “health” as one diverse entity of services, products, and institutions, cannot and should not be thought of as being exclusively public or private in nature.

    With respect to AG’s thoughts on private sector services being dicontinued, I think thats a totally spirious argument. Having suppliers change, and needing to update your operational practices to take account of that, is Management 101 stuff. The ‘risk’ you describe seems to me to come from a failure of the public health provider to account for, or ensure against, that prospect arising.

  14. insider 14

    Surely sending $4b in dividends is not an issue if NZers are investing overseas and getting dividends back? Fonterra owns businesses overseas and sends dividends back to farmers. Is that a bloody disgrace?

    Seems like a rather childish whining. “I’m too small, I’m special, I need to be protected from all these nasty foreigners.” Yeah yeah, go tell that to the Singaporeans, Swiss or Luxembourgois

    I have westpac shares and get about $30 dividend a year so am doing my part. 🙂

  15. Draco TB 15

    With respect to AG’s thoughts on private sector services being dicontinued, I think thats a totally spirious argument. Having suppliers change, and needing to update your operational practices to take account of that, is Management 101 stuff. The ‘risk’ you describe seems to me to come from a failure of the public health provider to account for, or ensure against, that prospect arising.

    This would be a viable argument if there was any competition supplying the required services. This is unlikely to be the case due to what AG said – private companies don’t do high risk. There is also the simple fact that the public health system is a very large undertaking and so any company that provides for it is likely to be in a monopolistic position and therefore any other company that bid for the tender would likely need to set up from scratch. There’s even a very nice example of this in Auckland where the competing bid pretty much depended upon them hiring most if not all of the doctors from the previous tender holder. Things didn’t go to well when most if not all of those doctors said they wouldn’t work for the new company.

    There are certainly exceptions to my list but they are the exception and not the rule.

    Surely sending $4b in dividends is not an issue if NZers are investing overseas and getting dividends back? Fonterra owns businesses overseas and sends dividends back to farmers. Is that a bloody disgrace?

    Yes, it is.

  16. Steve Pierson 16

    Net flow of investment income is $3.2billion out of NZ.

    captcha: “cocktail City”, sounds like a nice place to visit

  17. AncientGeek 17

    With respect to AG’s thoughts on private sector services being dicontinued, I think thats a totally spirious argument.

    It isn’t. Look at the epidemiology of disease outbreaks. Get a outbreak of something like measles or bird flu or something. The initial diagnosis and containment is always at the front end. If that is going through a ‘transition’ like say the med labs have been, it is bloody dangerous to the wider population.

    I’m afraid that primary health care is too important to be left to the private sector.

  18. AncientGeek 18

    Phil: Just one point.

    Your arguments seem awfully familiar. They sound exactly like the ones used to justify deregulating building inspections. It wasn’t exactly a raging success at any level you want to look at it. It led to more regulation because the building standards dropped, and we had leaky buildings.

    Perhaps if you specified the obligations and penalties for the private industry if they did not fulfill their role. The obligations should include the extent of coverage, and the minimum contract periods. I’d start by specifying the insurance backing for liability, and the requirements for directors.

    In other words rather than look at benefits, make sure that the risks are covered.

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    Taken from The Electronic Intifada (see our links section): Glasgow Celtic fans have launched a fundraiser to match any fine that Europe’s ruling football body, UEFA, will give the Scottish club for an expression of Palestine solidarity at a recent ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    frogblogBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: It’s Carter/Docherty Day; or three short – and wholly unrelated – things
    I’m big on making sure voters know how to make the best use of their votes at elections, so last week I went along to the Transparency International Mayoral Forum.After short-opening statements, the candidates were asked about governance, and avoiding ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right
    Back in March I wrote this post in which I expressed scepticism about Auckland Transport's rationale for having a by-law that prohibits the display of election advertising anywhere that is visible from a road, except for the 9 weeks before an ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • Sailing to the Arctic with the people who call it home
    The courageous Inuit community of Clyde River is standing up to protect their Arctic home from devastating seismic blasting.The circumpolar Arctic is home to four million people representing a diversity of cultures. As northerners, they share many connections, but in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why fixing your phone is one of the most empowering things you can do
    Like most people, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. In the morning, its shrill alarm rouses me from sleep. During the day it bobs between my ear, my hand, and my pocket. At night, I hunt for Pokémon before ...
    4 days ago
  • Microbeads: How did companies respond?
    Remember THIS video?Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, ...
    4 days ago
  • Does your cafeteria serve ocean destruction?
    Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, a university cafeteria, or at even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace ...
    4 days ago
  • My Arctic Home
    I live in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) in the Canadian Arctic. Most people have never heard of my town. It's 450km north of the Arctic Circle with a population of roughly 1,000. We are isolated from much of the world, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • One less objection to Skypath
    Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people ...
    4 days ago
  • A Political King.
    Birds Of A Feather: If Edward VIII had been a less enamoured sex-slave to Wallis Simpson and a more convinced fascist, it is entirely possible that he could have completely upended the British constitution. Royal words, and deeds, still matter ...
    4 days ago
  • Polity: Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy
    This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:Rt ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs
    My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife ...
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to be
    Nothing from me today - I'm off to Christchurch for Phoenix, their annual larp convention. Normal bloggage will resume Monday, once I've caught up. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?
    Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Pencilsword: I can’t draw horses
    ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
    . . “…We should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” – John Key, 7 September 2008 . . ref . In September 2008, one month before the general election, National’s leader addressed the party’s “Bluegreen* Forum“, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    19 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    3 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    6 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    6 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

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