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Key, Brownlee & McCully have questions to answer

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 44 comments
Categories: corruption, film, Gerry Brownlee, Minister for Overseas Holidays, Parliament - Tags: , , , ,

It seems we don’t have a government at the moment. John Key is incommunicado in Hawaii. The Acting PM, Bill English, and Key’s press people refuse to speak for him. Someone needs to front up because serious questions are emerging about the honesty of statements Gerry Brownlee and Murray McCully made in Parliament and to the New Zealand people.

Last year McCully told Parliament that there was no government policy not to meet the Dalai Lama:

KEITH LOCKE (Green) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Is it Government policy that no Minister will officially meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits next month; if so, why?

Hon MURRAY McCULLY (Minister of Foreign Affairs) : No.

But MFAT diplomat Graeme Morton told the US embassy:

“PM Key had earlier conversed with Premier Wen Jiabao concerning the Dalai Lama’s December 4-7 visit to Auckland, saying that neither he nor any of his ministers would meet with the Dalai Lama.

“Morton said the Chinese ‘obviously registered’ this. Morton added that the PM … made this decision without any consultation, but others in the Government are still obliged to respect it.”

You can’t take the account of a Kiwi diplomat as reported by US diplomats as the gospel truth but it’s up to Key and McCully to set us straight if it isn’t – just as Labour has corrected misinterpretations in other leaked US cables.

The fact that McCully and Key have both been silent and Kevin ‘Captain Panic-pants’ Taylor refuses to make a statement on Key’s behalf suggests that the cable has revealed the truth – Key did have a secret policy of not meeting the Dalai Lama despite his pre-election pledge and McCully knew that. This means McCully’s statements to the contrary where deliberately misleading the House and Key aided and abetted him.

Then, there’s Brownlee and the Hobbit shakedown. The new revelations have destroyed Jackson’s reputation and exposed him as a liar. They should take down Brownlee too.

We now know that on the 18th of October Peter Jackson told Brownlee:

“There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit.

What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such a way that it feels that its $500 million investment is as secure as possible.

Unfortunately Warners have become very concerned at the grey areas in our employment laws. The situation hasn’t been helped by the fact that they spent a lot of money fighting the Bryson case – unsuccessfully – in the New Zealand courts.”

Which says two things: the blacklist didn’t matter and Warners wanted a law change so workers couldn’t get employee rights even if their work was in the nature of employment if they were signed up as contractors.

Yet here’s what Brownlee told the House in subsequent days (he doubtlessly made similar statements in the media):

“If we look at the history, we see that there is no doubt there were some financial concerns about the future of The Hobbit. Everyone knows that. Those concerns have been sorted. There were some concerns about the effect of Bryson v Three Foot Six, but there had been a history over a period of 4 years where it felt like we were getting to a slightly more settled position. Indeed, Warner Bros came here earlier this year and made a movie called Yogi Bear, which was about $160 million worth, and there was no issue at that point.

So, Brownlee is saying that the Bryson decision – which upheld the long-established law that it is the nature of work that creates an employment relationship, not whether the contract says ’employee’ or ‘contractor’ – was not an issue for Warners, the opposite of what Jackson told him.

Where things tipped over seriously is when the Australian union decided through the International Federation of Actors to issue a ban on anyone signing a contract for The Hobbit unless that contract was negotiated by the Australian Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. That was the problem. At that point, everybody who was likely to have a stake financially in the picture asked themselves what that would mean for the next 4 years as they went ahead producing those pictures. It was pretty clear that there was an unsettled industrial road ahead

Of course there was a settlement and Jackson said that the blacklist wasn’t an issue anyway.

The Government has moved to try to get things back on the right track. I want to make it very clear that Warner Bros did not tell us what to do.

In fact, they’re doing exactly what Warners and Jackson told them to do.

Brownlee is refusing to make any comment other than that he is ‘comfortable’ with his actions. No surprises there.

Labour will need to hunt down these ministers in the coming year because there’s no what Hawaiian John will.

A final note, in Parliament Brownlee also said:

I have seen in the street some of the actors who want to work on this production, and they were protesting against the union’s activity. Anyone on that side of the House who wants to say that people somehow are being misled, or otherwise, assumes that those actors are not intelligent enough to work out that without these films being made here, this industry will not grow.

Those Weta workers, mainly techs, who marched when their boss told them to must be feeling like real chumps now. And they are. They marched against workers rights and it was they themselves that lost out the most from the Hobbit Enabling Act. They were being used as extras in a shakedown staged by Jackson and Warners who knew the issue was never the blacklist and that the Hobbit was never going overseas.

44 comments on “Key, Brownlee & McCully have questions to answer”

  1. Those Weta workers, mainly techs, who marched when their boss told them to must be feeling like real chumps now. And they are. They marched against workers rights and it was they themselves that lost out the most from the Hobbit Enabling Act.

    so what exactly did they lose out most from the act ?

    and you make it seem like they didnt have a choice to march, as though Taylor told them to or he wouldn’t have employed them if they didn’t…that’s a big call

    all i know is, one thing they didn’t lose for sure was employment for the next year or so !!! way to endear yourself to them though, calling them chumps…yeah nice one bruvver

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      so what exactly did they lose out most from the act ?

      well for one thing they are pretty smart dudes, and with these latest email releases it will be clear that they were not told the full story and instead used by the money side in a much bigger game.

      and you make it seem like they didnt have a choice to march, as though Taylor told them to or he wouldn’t have employed them if they didn’t…that’s a big call

      Come now, we all know that work place peer pressure and politics is seldom that obvious.

      all i know is, one thing they didn’t lose for sure was employment for the next year or so !!! way to endear yourself to them though, calling them chumps…

      Dude thats just the thing. Most of them DON’T have EMPLOYMENT. Most of those marching were CONTRACTORS. With no minimum wage protection, with no employment court protection, and then had those lacks of protection entrenched by NAT legislation.

      So when you say “what exactly did they lose out”, all of the above and more.

      • Speaking Sense to Unions 1.1.1

        that’s why they all supported the CTU I suppose

      • pollywog 1.1.2

        I’ve been a contractor for lots of events, been screwed a couple of times and never worked for those people again cos they get a rep for it…they tend not to last long in the industry

        It’s the nature of the beast that we got paid lots for a short term and it was a risk we undertook knowing full well the fickle nature of events. Thats just how it is, if the promoter or production company go broke, you don’t get paid.

        No amount of legislation is gonna make it so we would and now the law says that. So all its done is remove the false hope. Even more so now, contractors need to value themselves for what they’re worth, don’t sell themselves short and read the fucking fine print…the devil is always in the details !!!

        • mickysavage 1.1.2.1

          So polly

          How do you feel about Key and Brownlee and McCully lying to the New Zealand public?

          • pollywog 1.1.2.1.1

            about the same as i did Goff lying about selling his property, Fa’afoi remembering going to the opening of McDonalds in Porirua, Wong not doing business on holiday, Key not raising GST etc etc…

            it’s par for the course with politicians of all ideologies and ethnicities and something i’ve come to expect and can’t do much about

            i’ll vent on line about corruption and abusing taxpayer money and use my vote for whomever i decide come election time perks but thats about it for now

            i’m pretty much your average guy and i imagine theres lots of people like me who feel this way. political spinsters know this and play on it and i can’t see that that’s gonna change by me getting antsy about it

    • Bright Red 1.2

      the techs lost most from the Act because it was they who were able to get the true nature of their work recognised as employmetn if they wanted to and the facts justified it. Now, they can’t.

      (btw, being an employee was never complusory, so going on about how great contracting is is beside the point)

  2. Speaking Sense to Unions 2

    there’s workers and then there’s The Workers.

    The first are real people, like film workers, the other is a political device. The CTU stands for The Workers. That was not lost on a lot of workers who stood to lose their livelihood because of the unions antics.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Hey Speaking Cents to Unions

      This country needs strong unions to counter balance the power and co-ordination of large employers and corporates. 90 day right to fire, ACC changes, wage suppression activities must all be fought and fought hard. This country also need unions to stand up against political leaders willing to sell out the sovereignty of our a country and the protections for our workers to foreign money.

      Unions are there for workers. Unions get their workers higher wages and better working conditions.

      Unions are for those who understand that workers who stand together move forward together, and that workers divided are workers who will fall.

      • pollywog 2.1.1

        All well and true CV but it’s about picking your battles and lining the troops up behind a strong leader with a good cause…none of which Actors Equity had

        I’m still keen to hear how film workers were hobbled by the hobbit enabling act cos i already know McCully, Brownlie Key and co are liars, it’s part of the job description for being a politician.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Yeah I’m with you on the fact that AE bumbled and caused a lot of damage in the process.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          …and co are liars, it’s part of the job description for being a politician.

          No it’s not and any politician caught doing so should face instant dismissal and jail time.

          • uke 2.1.1.2.1

            Absolutely.

            Nor is lying acceptable from business-people. It’s fraud. No doubt some people will soon be praising PJ and co. for their “business acumen” in manipulating public opinion, but I expect most will be experiencing a distinct sense of disenchantment.

            • felix 2.1.1.2.1.1

              No doubt some people will soon be praising PJ and co. for their “business acumen” in manipulating public opinion

              yeah pollywog pretty much did yesterday

              • pollywog

                If Jackson hadn’t lied, i believe there’d be no hobbit and little chance of ever getting another big budget movie here. He would just gone ‘fucken bunch of ingrates can all go to hell now’ and taken off overseas to ply his trade.

                not that it worries me cos i’m pretty much out of the game but i still got mates who would be hella pissed.

                • uke

                  Nah, I think it just got a bit personal for PJ and he couldn’t put ego aside and find a way to resolve things without lying.

                  Now he (+ Walsh + Boyens + the rest) has been caught out and, although probably still in denial, I bet one day he’ll wish he hadn’t been such an disingenuous spinster. Moral reputation counts for something in the court of public opinion and business circles, too. And reputation is one thing you can’t CGI once it’s been tarnished.

                • felix

                  That wasn’t the comment I was referring to polly.

                  But if it’s ok for Jackson to bullshit all of us like that, is it ok for anyone else too?

                  What’s your criteria?

                  • pollywog

                    studying motive and intent is my criteria…

                    if in the best interests of the maximum amount of people then sure, bullshit and blag away. do what you gotta do to get what you want as long as your motives remain pure and you have noble intent

                    it’s a far cry what Jackson did than say Hotchin…fudging your prospectus to dupe potential investors or hiring a trusted public figure to pimp your shit only to maximise the bottom line for your majority shareholders and then to extort large sums for personal gain and stash it in offshore accounts.

                    for all the sideline bullshit, Jackson is an artist and a visionary and i believe his motive was pure and his intent noble… ie to benefit NZ and the wider NZ film industry. Its not like he needs the money or the grief.

                    Brownlie and Key are IMHO self serving politicians who exploited the situation for their own benefit…ie to shit on the unions and protect Key’s brand of public likeability. Their lies were duplicitous, their motives impure and their intent totally ignoble.

                    I can’t wait to see the arse end of those clowns. The only ones who come out of this with any mana intact is Helen Kelly and surprisingly enough Blinglish for not playing the game, and even implying he wouldn’t have opened the cheque book for Warners, possibly even calling their bluff.

                    • felix

                      Sorry mate I just don’t believe that Jackson bullshitted us for our own good. If you do, the question you need to ask yourself is “Why then couldn’t he have gone on telly and told the truth for our own good instead – i.e. made his actual case, that the film being made here hinged on getting the employment law changed?”

                      The “he doesn’t need the money” bit is a red herring too – where do people get this idea that multi-millionaires, after spending decades building personal wealth and empires, suddenly decide it’s not important to operate in their own interest any more? Straight up bullshit. I see this all over the blogs but never in real life – real people tend to keep doing what they’re good at, and usually get better at it over time.

                      None of this is a criticism of his work or status as an artist btw – I have my own thoughts about that but that’s another story (and not a nine hour one about walking)

                      Anyway the point is Jackson’s real cut of this whole scam wasn’t money, his cut was the law change. He’s the one who benefits from it and he’s wanted it done since Bryson.

                      And that’s why he lied to us on telly – ‘cos to tell the truth would make him look petty and vindictive, a greedy boss. And that’s not a look for a Knight of the Realm so he hid behind Warners’ skirts and had his little cry and all your mates bought it.

                      As for English, yeah I suppose you could say Bill’s best quality is that he’s a tight fisted bastard.

                    • Akldnut

                      Polly – it almost reads like you could be making a defense that Jackson may have been sucked in by the puppet masters playing in the big show?

                      Not your intention……?

                      My two cents says that the achieved result was the ultimate goal of everyone concerned except the people who are actually bank rolling this sham………you, me and every other taxpayer in the country.

                      Jacksons not that naive or gullible – he should be fucking ashamed of himself.
                      Can’t wait to see the end of these pricks and their assault on, and manipulation of New Zealand.

                    • pollywog

                      Why then couldn’t he have gone on telly and told the truth for our own good instead

                      The truth ?…we can’t handle the truth. Son, we live in a moviemaking world that has rules. And those rules have to be guarded by a few good men with money. Who else is gonna do it? You ? Me Felix ?…PJ has a greater responsibility than we can possibly fathom :)

        • ron 2.1.1.3

          Pollywog – I keep hearing that argument. You seem to be saying that because AE were on a hiding to nothing they shouldn’t have stood up for their rights. Or that because they were incompetent then somehow the appalling actions of Brownlee et al are ok..

          I think the scabs that marched against the union are still scabs – no matter how wrong the union got the process. It doesn’t change the fact – scabs marched against fellow workers.

          BTW = It is very rich to hear those same scabs saying how dumb AE was and how badly they got it wrong. The truth is those scabs were too fucking stupid to see they were being manipulated. -If St Peter was telling the truth – that the blacklist wasn’t the issue = then why were the scabs in the street? They marched against the wrong thing, the wrong people, a non-issue. Dumb fucks, they marched to back the Warners campaign to assault the sovereignty of New Zealand. Nice work dumbies.

          • pollywog 2.1.1.3.1

            You seem to be saying that because AE were on a hiding to nothing they shouldn’t have stood up for their rights

            what rights are we talking about here ?… actors might have rights to larger residual payments overseas but they didn’t here and its unreasonable and generally unworkable to apply pay parity of our industries to overseas rates.

            and essentially thats what guts of their gripe was, a bigger share of profits should the film blow up, but if they arent prepared to share the risk up front and cut a loss on their paycheck if the film tanks, then they shouldn’t expect more rights to a profit thats not theirs.

            scabs, workers, marches *yawn* its just not that simple anymore…

            the film techies marched in the hope they’d still have work regardless of any machinations behind the scenes. There was for a time a very real chance these movies wouldn’t get made here or at all.

            • adriank 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Off topic but Pollywog, I just flicked through your blog and was wondering if there’s any reason you left Ladytron off your elle-x-tronica playlist?

              If you’re not familiar with them, check out their songs Seventeen, Beauty*2 and Ghosts, they are brilliant.

              • pollywog

                heh…theres heaps of ladies left off that playlist. Theres bound to be a version 2 at some stage.

                i tend to just throw an absolute shitload of them together and then pare it all back to some sort of…dunno really

                not really looked into Ladytron so much but will give em a decent go on your say so..

                chur

  3. AndyB 3

    re: wikileaks/Dalai Lama – if it’s good enough for Helen Clark so say: “My jaw dropped open when I read this rubbish, it’s absolutely incredible,”

    it’s enough to amuse that most of what was said in the cables is a pack of lies.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Its the US interpretation of NZ comments and events. You can call it a “pack of lies” but these cables get built into reports that Congress and the White House sees. So sorta important.

      Still want to know why NZ officials were briefing US diplomats on sensitive internal NZ discussions.

    • pollywog 3.2

      it’s enough to amuse that most of what was said in the cables is a pack of lies.

      politicians lying… tell me ait ain’t so !!!

      never mind that most of the wikileaks stuff has already been vetoed for all the juicy stuff so what you get is what ‘they’ want you to ‘know’….

      …amusing and worthy of gossip and thats about all.

      Politicians are the new rockstars…get used to it

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        politicians lying… tell me ait ain’t so !!!

        Arn’t you at least a little upset?

        • pollywog 3.2.1.1

          sure, but what’s the point ?…it’s just a waste of energy if i’m not going to do anything more than whinge on the net about it.

          and like i said, it’s something i’ve come to expect from them…especially this gov’t

          • Maynard J 3.2.1.1.1

            Are you going to do anything more than whinge on the net about how people shouldn’t criticise Peter Jackson for lying?

            Maybe organise a wee rally of your own to support his right to lie and manipulate.

            Maybe hand out flyers affirming pollywog’s support for Jackson’s cynical behaviour.

            Go on, get amongst it, you won’t look ridiculous in the slightest.

            • pollywog 3.2.1.1.1.1

              People can criticize Jackson all they like for lying and so they should if they’re moved to do so but that’s not my point.

              My point is, if he hadn’t and events hadn’t transpired as they have, would we still be a viable option for big budget moviemaking and would the Hobbit have gone ahead ?

              I doubt it…do you ?

    • Bright Red 3.3

      AndyB. It would be foolish to assume that everything is wrong or exaggerated in these cables just because some things are.

      That would be like me assuming you don’t know the difference between “assume” and “amuse” just because you mixed them up in that comment.

  4. randal 4

    national knows now that they can do whatever they like while the left falls into a froth wondering why the slogans they have relied on since 1917 dont seem to work anymore.
    until the left lets go of its old ideas and tunes into the working man for its inspiration and direction then this bunch of scoundrels will have free rein.
    when the captain of the allblacks is in the paper every second day posing with the prime minister then national know their roll is almost unstoppable.
    its time for new directions all roundand time to get rid of the dweebs in the party and get some tough guys instead of spoonfed pantywaists.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    The media know where Key, McCully and Brownlee are. Normally, I agree that the media should respect the holiday time of ministers. Normally. But this government has a modus operandi of simply refusing to front up and discuss anything in the media, and ramming the change through under urgency.

    If John Key and his ministers refuse to front in the grounds they are out of town, the media should make it easier for them by going to where they are and knocking on their door. What could be more reasonable?

  6. Adrian 6

    The captain of the ABs is not posing with the PM, the PM is posing with the C of the ABs. Key is the most serial society stalker the country has ever seen to the point of being sickening. The most un-Kiwi thing I have ever seen is his autograph on a NZ soccer jersey with all the World Cup team. Shit like that has to be EARNED in NZ Key you wanker!

  7. M 7

    ‘The captain of the ABs is not posing with the PM, the PM is posing with the C of the ABs.’

    Adrian, absolutely correct – this is shameful that Kay is using the ABs as Viagra for his reputation and I’m not a rugby fan either.

    Maybe we need some British reporters to hold seminars for journos to show them how to pursue the truth of a story or situation like to constant refusal of Key to front up on anything, why no action is being taken on getting people into jobs via urgently needed public works and not greenwash cycle tracks, why no preparation is being made for peak oil, why beneficiaries get the bash to pay for his mates monthly payments on the Audi/BMW/Mercedes and weekend jaunts.

    If the press did its job, Key could conceivably be hounded out of office after being exposed for the sniveling little creep he is.

  8. prism 8

    Apparently Gerry Brownlee is feeling impatient about the slowness of the Pike Mine solution. Does this man think at all or is he just a human bulldozer with verbal abilities that give the impression that he is sentient?

    And why is John Key in Hawaii? I approved of him visiting Kaikoura earlier this year, and I think he should be turning up in a number of places in NZ and spending his money here, same for most MPs. We don’t want more overseas currency being used by consumers when our accounts are so unbalanced, and we have a domestic recession, the Leaders should be setting an example of supporting the country’s tourism and earning dollars for NZ not spending them anywhere but here.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    The government may well have no policy not to meet anyone in particular. Doesn’t mean to say they will meet with them though. If I rocked up to parliament, how far do you think I would get if I claimed that John Key had to meet with me because they had no policy that said they wouldn’t?

  10. The Voice of Reason 10

    How is the air up there, PJ? As the song says:

    You tried to put the blame on me
    You’ve got a lot of nerve
    You say you’re so lonely, well
    It’s all that you deserve

    When you get tired of your
    Love of life in high society
    Well, get some kicks and take a trip
    And come on down with me

    And everyday I’ll pass and say
    Hey!

    How is the air up there
    How is the air up there
    How is the air up there
    According to you I just don’t care
    I’m falling on the ground

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/64855/actors'-union-demands-apology-from-peter-jackson

  11. Am I aloud to say that I think all politicians should be striped naked and chained to parking meters in say Cortney Place, then left to die of exposure …. as well as letting the general public spit on them as the walk by …. also we need to get all public servants on say 100 +K a year and string them up as well.
    Those thoughts give me such a warm feeling.

  12. randal 12

    by the look on gerries face its either where are the pies or who just farted.

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    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    3 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    3 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    4 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    6 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    7 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    7 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    2 weeks ago

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