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Key and Banks on ACT: snap elections, coups & Isaac

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, January 27th, 2012 - 55 comments
Categories: act, election 2011, john banks, john key - Tags: ,

The  tea tapes contain a pivotal exchange where John Banks and John Key talk about “restructuring” ACT – including Banks confirming his orders from Key to make Catherine Judd the new leader. We also learn that National advisors called Key in a panic during the Brash coup calling on him to stage a snap election. It’s an insight into the cynicism of National and Key, and also Key’s poor political judgement.

Starting at 6.05 on the tape, Key and Banks spend quite a bit of time talking about their plans for “restructuring” ACT …. and how it’s important that their collusion isn’t made public. Banks practices his denial lines (ironically, it’s this very conversation that made it public):

I mean, longer-term, I reckon ACT’s got to, um… The reason I didn’t text you is it’s better if I don’t. Because it puts you under pressure to say ‘he has or he hasn’t’ done.

Banks: No No. ‘I haven’t heard from the Prime Minister. I don’t expect you to have any…’. What’s that number of yours? I’ve got two numbers for you”

Key: the proper one’s 594594

Banks: 594594.  ‘I haven’t talked to you’. If they want to know, if I’ve talked to the Prime Minister. I think it’s important that, over the campaign, we stay at arm’s length. ‘He’s got his own party and I think the new Leader should be Catherine Judd‘ (Judd now uses the surname Isaac)

Key: Yeah yeah. She’s good.

Banks: Don Nicholson and Seymour – the four of us can restructure and rebuild this party.

Key: And she’s good actually. I reckon she’ll have quite a bit of female appeal. That’s where you want to go.

Where Key’s grand plan to install Isaac as leader stands after Brash and Banks failed to get her into Parliament, we don’t know. ACT currently has no leader.

Key’s mention of the snap election comes in response to Banks saying of Don Brash at 6.53 on the tape:

“he’s a strange fella, that other fella” [incidentally, the tape is riddled with this weak code talking, because they realised that, realistically, with the media pack metres away, their conversation wasn’t private]

Key responds:

“Yeah. We’ve been down that road before. That’s why, when they rang me in the UK, I never ever thought it was going to be surging to 15% and we should have a snap election”

So, ‘they’ (which will be his senior advisors) called Key when he was in London for ANZAC Day last year, at the time of the Brash takeover of ACT. Despite it being clear that some factions within National were behind this coup, talk of ACT getting 15%, taken from National, spooked Key’s advisors into recommending a snap election.

He didn’t refuse because there was lack a real justification – no crisis of government – that would have necessitated a snap poll. Quite the opposite, he thought ACT wouldn’t seriously threaten National’s vote and, so, he didn’t need to go early. Both he and his advisors clearly felt no compunction about calling a snap election for purely political ends, however.

Interestingly (and I seriously doubt that this idea wasn’t planted by National advisors), Guyon Espiner wrote a piece at the time of the coup recommending that National hold a snap election. This reeks of National’s (highly effective) pre-framing tactics – give Guyon a hint and some lines, which he runs knowing that if and when it happens he will be able to claim amazing foresight, and thereby win the leader of the press gallery to your framing. So, I would say that the snap election was a pretty close thing.

Ironically, it would have been the right thing for National to do, for the opposite reasons to what they supposed.

ACT would still have polled abysmally in May and Labour would have polled higher but the Greens wouldn’t have done anywhere near as well, the Conservatives wouldn’t have bled 2.5% of National’s vote for no seats, and Peters probably wouldn’t have been back. National could very well have won an outright majority in a snap election in May but waiting cost them dearly (which is why Irish mocked their poor judgement for going for a November election back when Key announced it last February).

55 comments on “Key and Banks on ACT: snap elections, coups & Isaac”

  1. Rich 1

    When did Key pre-announce the election date – ISTR late 2010? After he’d done that, calling a snap election would have been hard.

    • queenstfarmer 1.1

      I don’t know, some might say it was a magnanimous gesture instead of reserving the right to play games with it like all parties typically have – eg the sort of opportunism that Irish advocated.

      or maybe not. Regardless, it is a good thing. I would support a law change that prevents a Govt from calling a snap election unless they lose a confidence vote (and possibly some other special circumstances arise). Of course they could engineer to lose a confidence vote, but that would hardly be in their interests.

      • adriank 1.1.1

        Not sure that snap election law would be worthwhile though, queenstfarmer: both Prime Ministers who have called snap elections in the modern era have been punished for it (I assume had Helen let the term run its full course in 02 they would have received a result similar to National’s last year).

        • queenstfarmer 1.1.1.1

          The benefit is that it would remove the possibility of manipulation. Why should a Govt be able to set a date that potentially disadvantages its opponents? I don’t think they should. So my preference would be to remove it – have a fixed election cycle.

      • felix 1.1.2

        Not sure that “advocate” is quite the word you’re looking for there with regard to Irish Bill.

      • Key doesn’t deserve credit for not kicking democracy in the teeth by calling a politically motivated snap election. That’s a basic thing we should expect of all Prime Ministers.

        Besides, he still got to pick a relatively advantageous date during the regular election window anyway, so it’s not like there’s any credit to give- he picked a different self-serving course. Labour is just as bad in this regard, but that doesn’t get National or Key off the hook for not giving the power away to someone truly independent, or just creating a fixed set of rules.

        • queenstfarmer 1.1.3.1

          Key doesn’t deserve credit for not kicking democracy in the teeth by calling a politically motivated snap election.

          True.

          That’s a basic thing we should expect of all Prime Ministers.

          Not really – what we expect is at least a little game playing, always with the prospect of a snap election. Key broke with tradition by announcing early (and sticking to it) that the Govt would go full term.

          • No, we should not have to expect game playing. We should have a fair and neutral method of setting the election date that doesn’t inherently advantage specific parties nor does it have any systemic bias in favour of government or opposition parties.

            In short: The Prime Minister needs to give up their ability to call elections. If they want a snap election, they can instruct their own government to vote against itself in a vote of confidence.

            • queenstfarmer 1.1.3.1.1.1

              I think we are in full agreement, just saying it differently.

              It would take a law change to remove the ability to call early elections, so perhaps as part of the MMP review (maybe it is already on the radar?)

              • We’re in agreement as to what we want, I’m just saying you should be more upset that you’re not getting it and expect more from your leaders. When it comes to politicians, having high expectations, but knowing they won’t always be lived up to is, I find, the best course of action, and it encourages you to constantly pressure them to be better.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      I always thought Key announcing the election date so early (late Jan or early Feb 2011) was a really bad move on their part, because I expected their popularity to wane over the length of the year and if the ABs had lost the world cup he’d have to bite the fallout – bit risky.

      Similarly if the election had been called early, like June-July, it would really have caught Labour and the Greens out of position.

      Seemed to me like Act’s takeover would have been the perfect excuse for a snap election, but he didn’t bite. Now he’s got only the slimmest of majorities for his key asset sales policy.

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    That’s where you want to go.

    An opinion. Hardly a “grand plan”.

    Who was the fucking idiot who called this tape a game changer? It’s just wouldn’t have been.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Ironicially, Key made the tape into a game changer, both for Winston and the Greens.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Don’t forget the conservatives, who would have bled off Act as well as some from National.

        • Huh? I don’t see how the conservatives were hurt by the tape. Unless you’re implying they would never have got 3.5% without it, in which case I disagree. National and Act bleed from the centre in this type of controversy, people on the right of politics just dismiss it as a partisan bash-up.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t say they were hurt, I was adding their name to this list:

            “Ironicially, Key made the tape into a game changer, both for Winston and the Greens.”

      • Jack 2.1.2

        Wrong about Winston Peters… just because the press said the tapes have grown his popularity doesn’t mean it is true. Peters was gaining momentum before the tapes and according to the Horizon Polls was up around 8 percent. People like myself who voted for Key in 2008 and regretted it decided to go with Winston because Labour and Greens weren’t calling a “spade a spade”… Peters does and I hope he rips Key another you know what in Parliament. Oh, and I am 63 and am not dead… Since my decision, I have grown fond of Peters because every party, major news media and right wing blog are after him and he seems to still elude them.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          What will be fascinating will be if Winston can transform NZ First into something more than just the ‘Winston Party’ by the end of this term. The man is at the dusk of his political career (which is not to say that he won’t accomplish a lot more in the time allotted) and without renewal NZ1 will finish with him.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Key should have called an earlier election than he did. The electorate would have accepted an end of July election on the basis that it gets it out of the way for the World Cup, and it was well within the acceptable normal timeframes.

    National was extremely strong earlier in the year, and both Labour and NZ1 were nowhere. Betting an election on the AB’s win was foolish and in the end was a lot of risk for zero gain. And Key’s media star was in definite wane in the last quarter.

    All in all it’s no surprise that the National coalition is 4 seats down on last time.

    • chris73 3.1

      Except of course they still did win and how many MPs did Labour lose?

    • Jack 3.2

      I agree. He has maybe 2014, so I would say another 6 years.. and then nzfirst might be over but a lot of things can happen between now and then.

  4. Shona 4

    Thanks for a partial transcript. I just can’t tolerate listening to Key for more than a nano second. He has such abysmal diction and an impoverished vocab. His speech impediment is nauseating.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.1

      Listening to Key is painfully bad, but nowhere near as bad as looking into those blank dead eyes! I always imagine a serial killer would have eyes like his! I’ve never seen a real live zombie before – it really creeps me out! The terrible diction is even worse on the phone – I know – I got a pre-recorded call from him before the election!!

  5. so is kweeweecorp now pretending it doesn’t have a controlling interest in binkycorp?

  6. Absolute conclusive and irrefutable proof that ACT is a poodle party.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Poodle party ?

      More like chew toy, once they got down to one MP

    • Hami Shearlie 6.2

      NO!! Poodles are the smartest dogs around -Act, well they’re more like pugs or bulldogs – stubborn, yet completely dense!! And after all no poodle would be caught dead being called “Binky”! They’re far too classy for that!!

  7. ak 7

    Guyontory Spinner’s piece is more than just interesting, rather damning evidence of his role as opinion-leader for Joyce and the nasties’ funders.

    Quite delicious really: they’d put so much sterling work into the “nice John” image over preceding years that the contrived snap election gambit was a failure with the focus groups and talkback. Hoist by their own filthy petards again.

  8. james 111 8

    Really has no legs at all real damp squid for both Labour and Winston the fake

  9. kweewee will never call a snap election because even his densest advisor will tell him that he and his gubmint would go down like a row of sh*tcans when it comes to a matter of principle because neither he nor his party or his gubmint have any.

    • Please use real words. There’s so much wrong with this government that there’s no need to call them made up names when you can just list all of the stuff they’ve done instead.

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        I suspect he thinks that they are real words. They make about as much sense as some of his statements.

        [randal has posted here for ages using his own ‘signature style’ for want of a better term. He’s never given any of the moderators concern, and while it sometimes takes a moment or two to decode what he’s saying … well there’s no obligation on anyone to do so if they don’t care to.

        I’d prefer to see this end here… RL]

        • mickysavage 9.1.1.1

          Randal always makes perfect sense to me.

        • Ah, apologies, I thought this was an attempt to establish some sort of silly derogatory name for Key. 🙂

        • lprent 9.1.1.3

          The only modertor attention he has ever required is that Akismet tosses his comments ino the spam queue every day because of the randal style. We release them manually every day. That has been going on for years.

          But I think we are winning (each one we release tells the program it was wrong). Akismet has let through at least a dozen of his comments automatically over the last few weeks. I had to read the moderated message log to be sure

  10. randal 10

    Last time I heard this was a free country.
    If you are ofended then grow up and accept that life is like this and your precious sensibilities aren’t worth shit.

  11. Maui 11

    I think Matt’s point is clear communication, aka plain english, rather than complicating life with obscure self-referential formulations such as ‘kweewee’, ‘gubmint’, and ‘sh*tcans’.

    Cheers,

    Maui.

  12. law 12

    “Yeah. We’ve been down that road before. That’s why, when they rang me in the UK, I never ever thought it was going to be surging to 15% and we should have a snap election”

    It is a stretch but- the 15% could be them talking about how large the gap was between Labour and National…

    • Carol 12.1

      Wasn’t Brash claiming that his ACT party would make 15% in the 2011 election.

      • law 12.1.1

        Wasn’t Goff claiming that he would win the election?

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.1

          Well Goff came within about 1-2% of his claim.

          • law 12.1.1.1.1

            lowest result in how many years?

            The original claim was a genuine theory- far fetched I agree, but as possible as some of the claims made here.

            • RedLogix 12.1.1.1.1.1

              A 1- 2% swing to the left, and Key could not have formed a government. It was a very close election….but you know this.

              • jaymam

                Even without such a swing, if more Epsom people especially lefties had voted for Goldsmith, that would have knocked out Banks and ACT for ever, and added another seat to non-National , i.e. a two seat change..
                I tried more than most, to achieve this.

  13. randal 13

    well if that isnt clear then how come you understand what I am saying?
    r u gubmint lackeys or sumthng?

  14. randal 14

    dats rite boy.
    when da gubmint gets me da job den I wont have to sit here amusing myself at the expense of grubby little ward heelers whose only claim to fame is dey know how to extract money out of the system but yet want complete obedience and deference from the peasants.
    in a pigs as* if you get my drift.

    • Tazirev 14.1

      Sorry, just realised you suffer from Slater-Farrar Syndrome, hows the eyesight these days??

  15. Maui 15

    randal, you are not the only one in that situation.

    • Maui 16.1

      So join the queue.

      Google or Ixquick by

      ‘Lessons_From_The_Great_Depression_For_Dummies’ or

      ‘Living_Well_In_A_Down_Economy_For_Dummies’ (both pdf files)

      as well as

      ‘Download’.

      Both are aimed at the North American market, but have constructive advice
      for the world we face today .. unless you are in the top 1%.

      Cheers, and have a good day ..

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    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
  • Housing is popular
    I’ve written several blog posts talking about challenges facing local democracy and consultation processes. This is an important issue. Harvard economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson make a convincing argument that inclusive political institutions, such as broad electoral franchises and ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    4 days ago
  • Increasing cycling and walking in New Zealand cities
    This is a post from Caroline Shaw and Marie Russell who are researchers at the University of Otago Wellington Having high levels of walking and cycling for transport in our urban centres is a crucial component of having a sustainable, people-oriented, 21st century transport ...
    4 days ago
  • Movement or Moment.
    Barring some disaster, Hillary Clinton will win the US presidential election in November. That poses an interesting question for the US Left, because the defensive support for her offered by Sanders supporters and other progressives in the face of the ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Global warming is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, fast
    A new study measures the loss of ice from one of world’s largest ice sheets. They find an ice loss that has accelerated in the past few years, and their measurements confirm prior estimates. As humans emit heat-trapping gases, we ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Reading: White rappers, Gawker and the Uber killer
    Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.   G-Eazy. Photo: AFP White Rappers, Clear of a Black Planet – by Jon Caramanica, The NY Times “But now we have arrived in the ...
    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 ...
    frogblogBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • An improved design for the Tamaki/Ngapipi mess
    My post yesterday about the hot mess that is the proposed Tamaki-Ngapipi intersection resulted in a lot of discussion, especially around the design and the role consultants play. Reader George who is also an engineer decided he could come up ...
    5 days ago
  • Electrons!
    Earlier this year Key is said to have asked his Ministers to come up with some new policy ideas, to deflect the criticism that they were a tired, exhausted, intellectually bankrupt government spinning its wheels and going nowhere. Maggie Barry’s ‘Predator ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 days ago
  • Rally in the rain shows love for humanities
    Tertiary Update Vol 19 No 30 Hundreds of people who work and study at the University of Otago rallied under umbrellas yesterday to say they love humanities. The university is planning to cut staff from five humanities departments Local TEU ...
    5 days ago
  • 10 percent budget cut at Lincoln
    Lincoln University is planning to cut “unpopular courses” the Christchurch Press reports. The Press says that vice-chancellor Robin Pollard told the university council it was necessary to “expedite” a review of all courses offered by the university and that he ...
    5 days ago
  • Victoria told pay offers are unequal
    People working at Victoria University of Wellington have rejected two pay offers, saying both treat people unequally. Union members at the university held a large and lively paid union meeting this week to consider two pay offers from their managers. ...
    5 days ago
  • Perspective
    From an excellent New Yorker article about the exoplanet detected in Proxima Centauri: In the coming decades, we will discover exoplanets by the tens of thousands and will come to know them, from afar, in intimate detail. Yet the nearest ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 days ago
  • Perspective
    From an excellent New Yorker article about the exoplanet detected in Proxima Centauri: In the coming decades, we will discover exoplanets by the tens of thousands and will come to know them, from afar, in intimate detail. Yet the nearest ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 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. ...
    13 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
    13 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
    14 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. ...
    6 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
    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
    7 days 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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