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The Standard

Key says ‘damn the torpedoes’ on asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, October 30th, 2013 - 44 comments
Categories: privatisation, referendum - Tags:

The asset sales have been an unmitigated failure. They’ve raised less money than expected, they’ve cost more than twice as much as National said they would, no ‘mums and dads’ have shown up to buy the shares, and the public is waiting for its referendum. Now, it turns out that Treasury warned Key not to flood the market but Key plans to keep on flooding it.

It’s pretty much common sense from the Treasury (which is something of a revelation in itself). They told National: ‘look, if you’re going to sell 3 big electricity companies into a sharemarket that is already heavy on electricity companies, for God’s sake don’t do them all at once, the market can only swallow so much at a time; rush it, and you’ll get less Kiwi ownership and less money for the Crown’. Specifically, Treasury said don’t sell more than $1.5 billion every 12 months and spread it over 3 to 5 years.

Well, Key and co went ahead and sold two companies that were meant to be worth nearly $5 billion in just six months. The result: $1.3 billion less than thought and a fraction of the expected ‘mum and dad’ investors.

Of course, Key’s made a Prime Ministership out of ignoring all common sense and repeatedly failing in the pursuit of ideology, so he’s ignoring the lessons of Mighty River and Meridian, and threatening to sell Air NZ and Genesis in the next six months.

As Kiwi citizens, and the owners of these companies, we’ve got to send a strong message to Key and National in the referendum. A strong ‘no’ vote will tell them that, if the asset sales continue, National will get slaughtered in the election. That won’t matter to Key, he knows he’s odds on to lose and he’ll be on the next flight to Hawaii when it happens so he doesn’t care how big he loses, but it could force more level heads in National to rope him in.

44 comments on “Key says ‘damn the torpedoes’ on asset sales”

  1. Old Irascible 1

    Meanwhile, Hungary’s right wing Government says “We’ll take back the state assets for the public good.”
    http://theirasciblecurmudgeon.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/on-wisdom-of-selling-state-assets-right.html

  2. tricledrown 2

    Key will sell the other half of the power companies.

  3. Tracey 3

    He still has 12 months…

  4. vto 4

    I laughed yesterday when I heard the boss at Meridian state that the company’s governance will improve to best practice because it is now a listed public company….

    …. is it worth pointing out Chase Corp? Dominion Finance? Equiticorp? Feltex? Pike River? Where does this list end?

    …. what is it about these so-called “captains of industry” that they flick their blinkers to shut so often and on matters of such consequence?

    …. wait for Meridian to get into trouble…. and need taxpayer support ….. ffs …. idiots

    • Copperhead 4.1

      You missed the elephant in the room, Enron. Public ownership did that one very well…

      • Tat Loo (CV) 4.1.1

        Its the same old meme that private is somehow better than public. For the privateers and corporate monopolists that is of course the case. Just check out the rape and pillaging caused by the listed UK energy companies.

    • miravox 4.2

      “… the company’s governance will improve to best practice because it is now a listed public company….”

      You heard the one about the train company operating the east coast line in the UK that was privatised and couldn’t provide a profitable service?

      It went bankrupt, was re-nationalised, and with the profit requirement of it’s Bermuda-registered holding company removed, has since then paid more money back into public funds that any of it’s private pseudo-competitors. It has a much improved (and much better) safety record, punctuality and customer satisfaction ratings than all the private operators.

      So good in fact, that the Tories are going to re-privatise it. Two of the top bidders are majority-owned by the French state, and one a wholly owned subsidiary of the German government-owned rail operator, but somehow the British state can’t own it.

      Hilarious.

      Watch out Air NZ.

      • halfcrown 4.2.1

        Thanks for that miravox, as I said not long ago, when Air New Zealand was “privatised” and the major share holding was bought by Briely Investments, we were told that it had to be privatised otherwise in a decade it would be a third rate operator with debts of 500 million. After a decade of privatisation, and bungy jumping by the spivs from the right, in 2001 the then Clark government had to re nationalise Air New Zealand as it was a third rate carrier with debts of 880 million. Now they are out of the shit Key wants to sell it off to his spiv mates AGAIN.

      • Francis 4.2.2

        Yep, there’s two ways that companies go after privatisation:

        1) In the case of some SOEs, the new owners milk them for all they have while failing to fund essential maintenance. After several years, the privately owned company is on the verge of collapse with its asset near ruin (the railways are the best example of this, but I’m sure similar things have happened to other companies). Eventually, the government is forced to buy them back if they stand any chance of surviving.

        2) The companies, which were performing reasonably well under public ownership, then go into the private sector and continue to perform reasonably well. However, instead of the profits going to the public, they go into the hands of a few (usually overseas) owners or companies. These companies are often Monopolies, Duopoly, or Oligopolies, so private ownership also allows the companies to forego their social responsibilities and instead dramatically increase prices (and thus increase profit margins). Examples of this include Telecom and the power companies.

        Either way, the public looses out. Particularly in the long term.

        I also have to ask, what’s the difference (in terms of the way the company is run) between public and private ownership? Was the SOE model not designed to effectively be a publicly owned company run like a private company? If the trouble is supposed to be with the management of the company, what’s to stop the government simply restructuring the management while retaining the entity of the dividends?

        • Tat Loo (CV) 4.2.2.1

          I also have to ask, what’s the difference (in terms of the way the company is run) between public and private ownership? Was the SOE model not designed to effectively be a publicly owned company run like a private company? If the trouble is supposed to be with the management of the company, what’s to stop the government simply restructuring the management while retaining the entity of the dividends?

          Actually, nothing.

          In some cases, when shit in the private company has gone real bad, statutory receivers or similar are called in to get things back on an even keel.

          The “private companies are run better” canard was set up by the neolibs (along with bullshit like “market discipline”) and left wing/progressive elements never pushed back against it adequately.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2

          2) The companies, which were performing reasonably well under public ownership, then go into the private sector and continue to perform reasonably well. However, instead of the profits going to the public, they go into the hands of a few (usually overseas) owners or companies.

          Telecom: The $17b of profits went into private pockets and now we get the honor of paying even more taxpayer dollars to put in place the network that the $17b should have paid for. It’s really nothing short of legalised theft.

          I also have to ask, what’s the difference (in terms of the way the company is run) between public and private ownership?

          These days, nothing – even the dead-weight loss of profit is the same.

          Was the SOE model not designed to effectively be a publicly owned company run like a private company?

          Yes it was and, generally, speaking, it’s doing that which is, of course, why we’re all worse off.

          If the trouble is supposed to be with the management of the company, what’s to stop the government simply restructuring the management while retaining the entity of the dividends?

          Nothing but it’s not management that’s the problem that Tories and other capitalists have the problem with. What they’re really concerned about is those profits going to the government rather than them.

          The grip of privatisation on our vital services has to be broken

          Privatisation is a failed and corrosive model. In Britain, it has combined with a determination to put up any asset up for sale to hollow out the country’s industrial base to disastrous effect. If Britain is to have a sustained recovery, it needs a genuinely mixed economy. The political and corporate elite have run out of excuses.

          The same can be said of NZ.

          • TheContrarian 4.2.2.2.1

            “The $17b of profits went into private pockets and now we get the honor of paying even more taxpayer dollars to put in place the network that the $17b should have paid for. It’s really nothing short of legalised theft”

            This assumes that the 17b would have gone in totality to the network. An assumption, nothing more.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2.1.1

              A reasonable assumption considering that that was exactly what was happening to Telecom’s surplus before the sale – as I’ve told you before. Sure, governments probably would have fucked with that, especially the 1990s National government, but that still would have shown the dead-weight loss of profit.

          • miravox 4.2.2.2.2

            A great article by Seamus Milne there, Draco

            This bit, too:

            the costs of privatisation have created a powerful counter-momentum in Europe (and even more so in Latin America) to bring services, resources and utilities back into the public sector: water in France, power in Germany, and transport in Britain (Newcastle is currently attempting to take back bus routes). In September, the people of Hamburg voted to bring back the power supply into municipal ownership. Berlin is set to follow suit this coming Sunday.

            Of course, where I am in this far-left (according to some) outpost of Vienna, public utilities still remain in public hands. A referendum this year on the topic overwhelmingly rejected selling them.

            The sale of public utilities and services is flawed ideology, the NZ public knows it, but accepts it anyway. Strange – people must have lots of money to burn.

            • Tat Loo (CV) 4.2.2.2.2.1

              Or too much trust in the Government of the day.

              • miravox

                Yep, and that’s even crazier. Governments need to be challenged not to misuse the power the public has entrusted to them. Not trusted unreservedly.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  And that curiously, is supposedly the role of the news media and of journalism: to constantly challenge those in power and those in official positions.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2.2.2

              The sale of public utilities and services is flawed ideology, the NZ public knows it, but accepts it anyway. Strange – people must have lots of money to burn.

              I don’t think that they accept it. I think that they feel powerless to change it. Both major parties have been selling off assets and only a minor party or two, which people don’t have full trust in, are saying that they’ll renationalise.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      what is it about these so-called “captains of industry” that they flick their blinkers to shut so often and on matters of such consequence?

      Because they believe themselves to be better than anyone else. The failures that we see in the private sector is proof that they aren’t.

      • hoom 4.3.1

        “Because they believe themselves to be better than anyone else.”
        Don’t forget: Rapacious self serving sociopaths.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    You gotta think think who is pushing this policy forward and would National benefit financially before the next election from ‘selling the lot’

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      Depends how many of them are capable of taking the long-term view. Key is in it for the short term and can expect huge rewards from his clients for transferring our wealth into private hands. These rewards will be delivered offshore, so he won’t even have to worry about the potential for vilification and contempt every time he shows his face in public.

      Visiting performers are often amazed by our openness, at how ridiculous their bodyguards look on Queen St. Even Muldoon was eminently approachable in public, (anecdotally) even at home. Our Prime Minister feels differently; he travels with security because he’s stealing from us and he knows we know.

      • Quincy 5.1.1

        I recall during the Muldoon era while driving my Morris Minor along the quay in Wellington I passed Muldoon’s limo (no doubt carrying him from the airport to parliament) parked up on the roadside with his driver out helping a woman to change a wheel.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      They probably will but that’s not why they’re selling any assets. They’re selling to increase the profit for the private owners. That extra profit comes from our pockets.

      Then there’s what happens once everything is privately owned as it once was under the aristocracy.

    • SpaceMonkey 5.3

      Possibly some in National will do well but John Key’s bankster mates and hedge fund operators will do much better. That National might contemplate a sell-the-lot firesale is a indication to me that financial collapse might be closer than many think.

  6. fambo 6

    Looking on the bright side, the PM signalling that he plans to sell off the rest of the assets in the hurry must increase the motivation for people to vote in the referendum, and (hopefully) reduce National’s chances of winning the next election.

  7. Sable 7

    There’s an assumption here I find interesting but naive, that is, that Keys is operating in the interests of the New Zealand people when in fact the only people he is interested in is himself and his well heeled mates…

  8. karol 8

    Steve Baron: another referendum, another ignored result, on the sham of NZ democracy.

    It is easy for political pundits and politicians like Whanganui MP Chester Borrows to suggest people are not voting because “we are all a pretty apathetic bunch”, but a rational voter is quite justified in coming to the conclusion that voting is a waste of time. Maybe we expect more from our political system than casting one vote every three years and when we are not given the opportunity to mould our own destiny in specific referendums, we give up in disgust? Democracy is not just about “elect me, I know what’s best for you”, it’s about having a say on the real issues that often affect us directly. The same can be said when it comes to conscience votes in Parliament – who cares what John Key or Chester Borrows thinks? What is important is what the majority of their constituents think.

    The Government is not taking our democracy seriously. So, all you politicians down in Wellington, don’t belittle us by denying us our democratic rights and do not assume we are apathetic and ill-informed. Dwell on the words of President Thomas Jefferson: “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”

  9. Rodel 9

    Be interesting to know which mom and dad politicians bought, at bargain prices, the assets that we used to own. Is there a way to find out? If its a blind trust thing I guess not.

  10. captain hook 10

    I’m getting really pissed off with the noo noo heads who think the share price is the defining issue of the asset sales.
    Its the future income stream that is important and where the payoff for National is.
    wrangling over the share price is just a red herring that lets National completely off the hook and lets them know that the proletariat is still ignorant of how the whole thing works.
    Wake up.

    • tc 10.1

      +1 and the insertion of a minority shareholding that can have a big say in dividend V reinvestment, minority interests being looked after are enshrined in our corporate laws.

      They couldn’t care less if the price was multiples of what is it as these are long term money spinners.

      The low price just makes this an even better deal for the nats backers.

    • Rob 10.2

      But that is exactly how a share is valued Captain , its value is determined by future generated cashflows.

      • framu 10.2.1

        whatever happened to demand and supply?

      • tc 10.2.2

        Value is not the same as price which captain is referring to or ‘Historical Cost’ in accounting terms.

        Supply and demand drive price but that’s no indication of value…..hands up who thinks Zero are worth what that caps out at with it’s actual customer/revenue/cost structure.

        One fund manager I recall called a sharemarket a hysteria index.

  11. Roy 11

    [pedant mode] David Farragut’s famous, foolhardy order to ‘Damn the torpedoes!’ actually led to a successful naval invasion of Mobile Bay, so you might want to reconsider the headline of this article. It isn’t really appropriate since Key’s asset sales program is a disaster [/pedant mode]

  12. Sawitt Cuming 12

    Key is only doing what he is told by his bosses at the Federal Resrve and his mates on Wall Street and in the corporations. Once we elected our own leaders but those days have long gone. Anyone not preoccupied with genuflecting at the Mall or otherwise “having fun” would have joined the dots and come to this conclusion for themselves ages ago.
    Iceland and Hungary are showing the way but Key has to go, the sooner the better and back to Wall Street for preference.

  13. Peter Freedman 13

    The obsession of conservatives in selling off everything that moves would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 13.1

      They aren’t conservatives, they are neoliberals. True conservatives conserve stuff. Plenty of National voting Southland conservatives hate the fact that our nation’s assets are being sold off.

  14. Ennui 14

    I have said it so often before so fekkin often: this whole “sale” issue is NOT about funding government. If the Left debates it on that basis they will get screwed because they are using the language and argument set out by their opponents.

    This debate is about one very small class of people who realise that the future is energy poor laying their hands on a strategic asset that produces power. This is about the rich positioning themselves as energy barons renting power to us serfs and peasants. Todays price and return are irrelevant, in fact the extreme Right are probably delighted with the debate to date being about “government funding etc”.

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    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Kick Out The Jams: Beatcomber
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  • Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web
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  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
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  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
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  • Climate change: Halfway there
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    2 days ago

  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
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    20 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    20 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    20 hours ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
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  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
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  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
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  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
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    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
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    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    7 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
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  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

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