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The Standard

Key’s ‘big’ new policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 28th, 2013 - 83 comments
Categories: education, jobs - Tags:

Reboot apprenticeships in context

Because of the scale, it’s hard to tell, but the $145m cuts to trades training are 12 times larger than the extra ‘Reboot’ money.

83 comments on “Key’s ‘big’ new policy”

  1. kiwi_prometheus 1

    National are scrambling to block the Left’s popular move on affordable housing.

    Over at interest.co.nz this is the general reaction ->

    “A little too late I think for Key to now bet againsts Labours’ and Greens’ “$300,000 house and cheap housing for life” offer”

    “It’s a bit laughable really….National has been paying lip service to housing affordability over last four years…and they’ve probably just seen some results from polling and focus groups saying it’s a big issue and Labour has the edge”

    But even more interesting ->

    “I don’t hold out much faith. Had someone call in talkback yesterday saying they were at a trade/investor show in China a month or two ago and there was someone there from the NZ Ministry of Economic Development handing out taxpayer-printed glossy brochures touting to wealthy Chinese to invest their money in NZ. Amongst these, above all else there was alarge section encouraging investment in residential property, basically saying how easy and devoid of risk it was.”

    Time to slam the door on immigration. Send most of them back to the 3rd World overcrowded, heavily polluted, corrupt, authoritarian hell holes they come from.

    They don’t come here to contribute to our society but to take what they can of our dwindling economic pie.

    Multiculturalism is an abject failure as admitted by Germany, France and Britain just recently.

    How about a website called “Asians To Go”, lol.

    • Jackal 1.1

      There’s a huge difference between multiculturalism and immigrants who come here to make a better life for themselves and foreign investors who have no real care about what happens in New Zealand apart from the money they can make. So let’s not confuse these two things kiwi_prometheus in some sort of racist diatribe that has no basis in reality.

      Immigration in itself is not a bad thing as long as government’s aren’t changing the system to disenfranchise local inhabitants in order to promote it. Immigrants who want to integrate themselves into New Zealand and bring additional skills and culture should be welcomed, because without that we will become even more isolated and backwards.

      But I digress… What Eddies’s post highlights for me is the complete hospital pass the media has given National concerning their announcement to “reboot” apprenticeships. There’s been no proper analysis of the propaganda and therefore no journalistic integrity within the MSM. The public is largely left believing that National gives a stuff, when the numbers clearly show they don’t.

      • kiwi_prometheus 1.1.1

        “The public is largely left believing that National gives a stuff”

        I dunno about that, the comments from interest.co.nz suggest there is a lot of skepticism. The public generally are cynical about politicians motives.

        “There’s a huge difference between multiculturalism and immigrants who come here to make a better life for themselves and foreign investors who have no real care…Immigrants who want to integrate themselves into New Zealand and bring additional skills and culture should be welcomed…”

        There are way too many getting in. Slam the door shut. The issue with rich Chinese investors given the kind of access that exists no where else in the world is just the latest example of what has been going on – with lots of cheer leading from the Multicults.

        We need the skills? Train up our kids – 20% unemployed = GREAT DEPRESSION ERA STATS.

        Culture? Give me a break – NZ already has a rich culture and history. It needs to be protected not exposed to Globalisation and the teeming billions looking to escape hell on earth.

        A few is ok so don’t call me a racist again. But it has gone way, way to far, but the Multicults are blinded by their own sanctimonious rhetoric.

        • Jackal 1.1.1.1

          kiwi_prometheus

          There are way too many getting in. Slam the door shut.

          I’m pretty sure there was no net gain in population due to immigration last year. So the problem is too many Kiwi’s leaving and not having children because of economic repression.

          Immigration is currently the only way to ensure our population stays the same and this is important because population has a direct impact on the economy. If our population declines too much so will our economy further decline into another recession.

          New Zealand has a rich culture, but it can only be enhanced through diversity and multiculturalism. I think you’ll find most New Zealander’s of ethnic origins will not agree with Chinese investors getting a free pass just because they’re greasing the palms of certain National MPs.

          Of course the government should be ensuring people have the opportunities available to train here instead of just bringing in foreign workers. That’s obviously a lose lose situation for New Zealand and its population.

          • kiwi_prometheus 1.1.1.1.1

            “I’m pretty sure there was no net gain in population”

            Sure I know, but that doesn’t change the fact there are too many immigrants, especially from Asia.

            “too many Kiwi’s leaving and not having children because of economic repression.”

            Yep, need to deal with that.

            “Immigration is currently the only way to ensure our population stays the same”

            So taken to its end logic, all real NZers will be in Australia, while NZ will be over run with immigrants – mostly Asian. They’ll rename it New Asia or something.

            Very stupid reason to flood our society with 3rd worlders.

            Take a look at Britain, France, Germany – what an epic failure Multiculturalism is there.

            “it can only be enhanced through diversity and multiculturalism.”

            Only?

            No, we need to preserve our Western heritage – there’s only a few million of us, there are literally billions of Asians.

            Is China multicultural?

            Is Japan multicultural?

            Is Indonesia multicultural?

            No, they protect their own cultures. Not that anyone from the West would want to live in those overcrowded, polluted, corrupt, racist, authoritarian places even if they did get a genuine invite.

            • CV - Real Labour 1.1.1.1.1.1

              No, we need to preserve our Western heritage – there’s only a few million of us, there are literally billions of Asians.

              India and China are the economic powerhouses of the 21st century mate.

              Time to sharpen up your Mandarin.

              Oh, and ask your dairy farming mates to start using Kiwi workers, that might help too.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “India and China are the economic powerhouses of the 21st century mate.”

                Even if I accept that is the case, how that justifies flooding NZ with 3rd worlders I don’t know.

                These “emerging markets” having been doing just that, “emerging”, for how many decades now? China is flat lining – no more crazy growth, rapidly aging population, vast majority of them still on $2 a day or something.

                Over hyped.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  Yeah China went from not being able to manufacture decent steel 40 years ago to manufacturing a million iPhones and iPads a month. Nothing to see here.

                  lol

                  • kiwi_prometheus

                    You are avoiding the point.

                    You obviously aren’t bothered to inform yourself on China’s growth predictions, aging population stats etc.

                    The US economy still dwarfs all others, even after a generation of economic decline.

                • tracey

                  “flooding NZ with 3rd worlders”

                  You’ve never seen an actual flood have you?

              • centro

                India and China are not the economic powerhouses of the 21st century. You’ll find most scholars find it unlikely that China will be able to reach the status of the USA unless it undergoes huge change. It’s political system, economic system in which the middle and low class are suppressed in favour of the big state owned companies, social inequality which will eventually bring conflict and its shot to its own foot in the form of its one child policy that means it now has a huge number of old people and much less youth, all mean that it will struggle to reach super power status. India perhaps could but it has more than a century of work to go to rid itself of corruption and social issues. The 21st century will see the USA decline but no other power will supersede it and the world will be made up of alliances and regional blocs allied to one another.

            • tracey 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Go look at the immigration statistics before you spread your yellow peril nonsense.

              Sorry to say but “western” are immigrants to NZ, so square that one away.

        • fatty 1.1.1.2

          A few is ok so don’t call me a racist again

          lol

        • QoT 1.1.1.3

          A few is ok so don’t call me a racist again.

          So, k_p, you think it’s not racist to just hate “too many” people of colour. Interesting.

    • Daveosaurus 1.2

      A homophobe, a sexist, and now a racist as well. Congratulations Prom, you’ve just won the trifecta.

      • tracey 1.2.1

        I wish he really was tied to a rock… I laugh every time I see his name and read his posts (with full knowledge of what Prometheus was known for).

        • Daveosaurus 1.2.1.1

          You’d have a hard job finding an eagle desperate enough to touch that one’s liver, though.

    • Instant Kiwi 1.3

      Do you know that major group of immigrant is from UK and Australia. Do you still want to slam the door shut. What do we do next once we have shut the door about people who are already here?

  2. BM 2

    Houses are expensive in certain places around the country, that is indeed true.
    What Labour is proposing is going to drive the house prices significantly, lots and lots of people who currently own a house aren’t going to be too impressed when their one major asset plummets in value.
    According to the last census over 1.5 million people own of partially own their own house, that’s a truck load of votes right there.
    To put it that into perspective at the last election only 2.2million people voted, threaten the value of peoples one major asset and Labour will be obliterated.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      That’s very arguable, as the types of houses Labour’s plan are to build are firmly in the ‘starter’ home segment which is sort of the bottom quartile of houses, where most of the 1.5m who own their own homes, logically only 25% of them fit into that quartile. Furthermore, many of those 1.5m who own homes would like it if their children would move out and buy their own home, and don’t particularly want to act as guarantors on mortgages, so they would likely welcome an expansion in the lower segment of the market.

      Really the people who won’t like it are landlords, not owner-occupiers.

      • BM 2.1.1

        You don’t think chucking an extra 100,000 below market value homes into the housing mix won’t have some effect on house prices.

        Just raising another point, who do you think that 25% of home owners that you mentioned would vote for?, I’m guessing Labour voters, hmmm bit of a dilemma that.

        Also, landlords
        You’d be surprised how many are just Mum and Dad investors, trying to build up a nest egg for their retirement.

        • the Al1en 2.1.1.1

          “You don’t think chucking an extra 100,000 below market value homes into the housing mix won’t have some effect on house prices.”

          I hope it does. For too long people having been living in vastly overvalued homes.
          Some may well be in negative equity. They will have to accept the market fucked them.

          “Also, landlords
          You’d be surprised how many are just Mum and Dad investors, trying to build up a nest egg for their retirement.”

          Tax free, Scum suckers.

          • BM 2.1.1.1.1

            You must be very young.

            • the Al1en 2.1.1.1.1.1

              “You must be very young.”

              That’s relative. I could just as easily be old and very wise, depending on the reference point.

              “So a large chunk of home owners are going to see their one major asset decrease in value over the next 5-10 years.”

              That’s what happens when the housing market is filled with speculators seeking tax free profits. It goes boom, it goes bust. People get hurt, hence the need for action by the Greens and Labour.
              You can hate the equaliser if you like, but it’s greed and money lust that causes the mess.

              “Looks like voter poison to me.”

              I guess nobody likes being told they were conned, but like Lennon wrote “I tell them there’s no problem, only solutions”.

          • Foreign Waka 2.1.1.1.2

            A transaction tax would have been taking care of the speculators. Equally, taxing the tax haven of trust accounts. However, the generation with none of these luxuries,going into retirement in 10-15 years will be the hardest hit since WWII. If they get a pension it will be too little to live on and too much to die. Any property (most likely the home the person(s) live in) that is now being made worthless takes also the savings away that was to have a greater ROI as any savings account or shares(yes this is the twice burned generation in regards to that investment). So in other words, you just want to have a slice and the people who have saved and not spent their money on takeaways, fast cars, iphones and pods get shafted – once more.
            One wonders why bother at all, don’t you?

        • bad12 2.1.1.2

          The housing policy of both the Labour and Green Party’s have been well signaled along with the unaffordability of both buying and renting homes in the areas that will be targeted to build the bulk of the 100,000 homes in,

          There will be a 3-5 year time lag between the start of the build and it’s ultimate INTENDED effect becoming apparent in the housing sector, this intended effect is to lower the cost of buying and renting a home,

          It then behooves those who would not have property as an investment if the returns of both rentals and capital gains were not on a continuing upward track to divest themselves of such investments should they no longer like the perceived future returns on such investments…

          • BM 2.1.1.2.1

            So a large chunk of home owners are going to see their one major asset decrease in value over the next 5-10 years.
            Looks like voter poison to me.

            • Jackal 2.1.1.2.1.1

              That all depends on how many ignorant money grubbing scum there are who don’t realise there’s not enough houses to accomodate everyone. Some people might even realise there is a housing crisis but not give a damn because it makes them money. These people are traditionally National and Act voters anyway.

              The benefits to reducing overcrowding and homelessness will also have flow on effects to home owners, who by and large understand the cost of having a dysfunctional housing system. The market has simply not delivered, and it is well past time that the government did something about it.

            • Lanthanide 2.1.1.2.1.2

              “So a large chunk of home owners are going to see their one major asset decrease in value over the next 5-10 years.”

              No, the price of houses will stabilise and stop climbing at such an accelerated pace. It is unlikely that house values will fall because of this policy, it simply isn’t large enough to do that.

              What is really going to drop house values is when all of these baby boomers try to cash out on the “nest egg for their retirement” at the same time, thus flooding the market with supply.

            • tracey 2.1.1.2.1.3

              you must be from the “what’s in it for me?” generation.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.3

          A fanatsy, have you any real numbers ?

          Landlords are overwhelmingly professional investors

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.3.1

            “A fanatsy, have you any real numbers ?

            Landlords are overwhelmingly professional investors”

            In terms of what, houses owned or people? Because like many areas, there will be a small number that own a lot of houses, but most houses that are rentals will be owned by people for whom it is their only rental.

    • kiwi_prometheus 2.2

      Well that implies a keep kicking the can down the road strategy.

      “Houses are expensive in certain places around the country”

      Exactly, so the majority of houses won’t see plummeting values, because they are not nearly as inflated to start with.

      The positives of a rebalanced economy will outweigh the short term pain.

      • BM 2.2.1

        The positives of a rebalanced economy will outweigh the short term pain.

        As long as it’s not you suffering the pain, it’s all good.

        • Jackal 2.2.1.1

          You haven’t established that there will be any pain through devalued house prices. You also need to take into account people who are trying to purchase a new home, so prices plateauing or decreasing will be good for them, but not so good for our Australian owned banks. There will likely be a rebalance to the economy whereby more investment goes to productive industries. So in effect you’re arguing against New Zealands economic recovery… Are you perhaps a National voter BM?

        • RJLC 2.2.1.2

          BM, if you have a better solution, or for that matter even a simple alternative plan, to enable a rebalancing the skewed property market values then please share it, we’re all ears.

          • BM 2.2.1.2.1

            The issue with house prices is not the house but with the land.
            Free up more land, lower consent costs and you’re 90% of the way there.
            in 2000, you could pick up an 800sqm section for 50-70k in a good area, that same section is now 1/4 million+.
            This is the issue.

            • Lanthanide 2.2.1.2.1.1

              IMO a large problem is simply how much building materials cost in NZ compared to Australia and other countries.

              • BM

                Cost per sqm to build has hardly changed in the last 10 years, it’s land prices that have risen dramatically.

                • Jackal

                  Do you have any evidence that the cost per sqm to build houses hasen’t increased much in the last 10 years BM? Or is this just more uneducated waffling?

                  With overall construction costs in the order of 15-25% lower in Australia, there is clearly a problem with our supply chain here in New Zealand. Once again it’s a problem the market will not fix on its own.

                  • BM

                    10 years ago, the rough price to build a house was around $1000 per square meter.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      So you can get me a 300 m2 house built for $300K in Auckland?

                      Sweet! I got a bit of land and consents all ready to go. Who do I call?

                    • BM

                      Isn’t that the figure being quoted for Kiwi build.

                    • Fortran

                      $1,000 per square metre is now at the very lower end of the scale.
                      If you get a chance look at the Modul House Price Index book and you will see that $1,000 is very low for what is generally expected.

                • joe90

                  Cost per sqm to build has hardly changed in the last 10 years, it’s land prices that have risen dramatically.

                  Wellington region January 2002: $978 – $1061 /Msq

                  Wellington region July 2012: $1634 – $1795 /Msq

                • KJT

                  Not true.

                  My quote ball park has risen from approx $1100m2 to $1600 m2 between 2000 and 2010.

                  Note. Back then I could get a house prefabbed in NZ sourced materials in Australia, ship it over here and still undercut NZ materials prices.

                  We are ripped off for materials in NZ. Houses in oz are about the same money even though Aussie builders earn twice as much as Kiwi ones.

                  Havn’t done any building for more than three years now. But I expect $1700 per m2 is realistic at the moment.

                  That rise has all been in materials and council charges. The labour rate has stayed the same against inflation.

                  Still makes a 100m2 3 bedroom house, in good standard materials about 160k. Even less if we are doing prefab to the same plan and bulk buying materials.
                  Not 300k as some seem to think.

            • scotty 2.2.1.2.1.2

              Won’t this also devalue the current housing stock, that was so important to you at 10.00am, or have you changed your mind?

              • BM

                Of course it will
                I was just pointing out the dangers that labour faces with kiwi build and how people may react to it, not so much about keep house prices inflated.

                With kiwi build ,Shearer and labour are going to put themselves directly in the firing line of a large % of pissed off home owners and could get politically slaughtered because of it.

                While Nationals plan of freeing up land and lowering consent costs will see the councils cop all the flak and they will come away unscathed.

        • kiwi_prometheus 2.2.1.3

          “As long as it’s not you suffering the pain, it’s all good.”

          Still can’t face the issue can you BM?

          Want to keep pretending there is no problem, then NZ becomes the Greece of the South Pacific sooner or later.

          There will be plenty of pain then, BM.

          • Polish Pride 2.2.1.3.1

            Or perhaps we could become the Iceland of the South Pacific…..
            A country that was in the same position as Greece but just chose a different path to deal with it.

            • kiwi_prometheus 2.2.1.3.1.1

              Yeah the evil bankers got told to eat shit when they tried to socialise their ponzi scheme losses.

              Awesome!

              You know it isn’t a half bad idea – imagine if Keys announced on the 6 news tonight that as of tomorrow there will be a 75% capital gains tax on 2nd properties, Reserve Bank directed to block 100%+ mortgages, massive Govt public housing build, streamline local council BS, slam door on immigrants.

              Watch the pandemonium break out followed swiftly by real green shoots economy.

              • MrSmith

                BM has a fair point, are people going to happy about a loss in value to their home/investment ? No there mostly not.

                So easy for National to attack this policy when the time comes. Labour would be far better talking about lifting wages, but are they?

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  Well like I said before, we can keep kicking the can down the road if you like, a slow steady economic decline and stagnation, punctuated by overnight crises and with the constant risk the whistle is blown from outside NZ on the ponzi scheme confidence game.

                  Or consciously deal with the problem in a timely, considered manner.

                • KJT

                  Of course not.

                  None of us are going to be happy that the price of our largest investment/ retirement nest egg has dropped.

                  Though most of us will get over it when we find that someone in the next generation can, actually, afford to buy our family home, and that beach retirement house no longer costs 550k.

                  Even though we know it is necessary both economically and socially that land prices reflect the incomes that can be earned from it. (Agricultural land is overvalued also meaning far too much of our farm earnings head offshore as interest).

                  That is why both Labour and National will not bite the bullet and make sure house prices drop. Easy enough to do. Limit bank lending ratios, limit foreign ownership and supply state housing.

                  It is better for their election prospects that they can blame “the market”.

                  The problem is the “market” incentives are all for banks to push land prices upwards, to make sure they continue to get increasing interest income. While we continue to have, effectively, much lower disposable income, because so much is tied up in land.

                  And. I agree, a “Labour” party should be talking about re-empowering workers to get a fair share of the wealth they create.

                  • CV - Real Labour

                    NZLP: NZ Liberal Party (hat tip Puddleglum)

                  • Foreign Waka

                    Its the rates, every time a discussion like that ensues there is a reversal further down the line. Mostly by the time the local council is advising on the new rates. If that does not happen, the council will have to get the central govt to bail them out. A typical money go round set up. I like to see a/ capital gains tax, b/ trust funds are being taxed normally and c/ local bodies have a very specific field of activity. This would relate to i.e. water, fresh and storm, rubbish, infrastructure such as roading, parks and street lighting etc., whereby parks should be restricted in size otherwise falling under DOC. Most of all, a transparent system that shows where the moneys are going – in detail.
                    I think restricting foreign ownership has to be more specific. Surely, a family moving into their home is something different than the large farms buy up of recent times. And you are right, banks should have the same criteria for lending money to a ratio that is sustainable – and this should apply for all loans, private and business. No more bailing out.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Councils must help manage, regulate and protect the commons of their local communities. See latest Greer post :)

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    Since NZ has an insane car culture (foisted on it by oil companies and heavily promoted by the corrupt NZ media) building more roads is obviously a winner.

    Never mind that we are living in post Peak Oil world or that we are in the early stages of Abrupt Climate Change, due in a large part to transport emissions.

    The profits of corporations comes ahead of everything (well almost everything: obviously the profits of banks and the maintenance of their Ponzi scheme comes first! Without that there would be no backhanders to opportunists like Key.).

    • Foreign Waka 3.1

      Yes, but the public transport is beyond belief compared to overseas. With the 24/7 economy and people living were they can afford to pay the rent no wonder that cars are the main means of transport. PT works on the schedule of school kids more than anybody else. Increasing the frequency and loops/stops would cost too much money. Look at what a train ticket costs. And to top it all off, the no train, no bus days – for what ever reason – is another issue. As long as there is no reliable service that caters to the majority there will be plenty of cars on the road.

  4. infused 4

    “Labour leader David Shearer has conceded his party’s affordable housing policy will only be able to deliver small apartments or terraced housing in Auckland for the $300,000 price tag – while standalone family homes are more likely to cost up to $550,000.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10861855

    Yes, National are ‘scrambling’ to block such a shitty policy from Labour.

    Also, amount of money spent != better results.

    • Polish Pride 4.1

      I doubt that even a terraced house or apartment is a shitty proposition for someone living and working in Auckland without a snowballs chance in hell of buying a home in the current market.
      I imagine to them, this will be a dream come true.

  5. rosy 5

    Pretty straightforward illustration of why there’s none of the 170,000 jobs promised in Budget 2011.

    Actually 170,000 seems to be one of those sticky numbers with that many unemployed and the only plan is an apprenticeship scheme 12 times smaller than the money already taken out of trades training. Is anyone in the MSM counting?

  6. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 6

    The road transport lobby group is as good as the Italian mafia in getting money out of the government. When I visited Naples years ago I saw useless highways leading to sports stadia, rarely used, and was told that this was built by the local mafia lobby.

    There’s no use in training lots of skilled workers – NACT has managed NZ so there is less and less business. The only business that gets talked about is rebuilding after an earthquake, or housing the unfortunate low wage employed, underemployed or unemployed. Apart from dairy and tourism business, and road transport and making, enterprise cannot flourish.

    Further the NACTs insist on wrecking businesses and destroying investment as with their mad Picton ferry rerouting idea. An enterprise-rich, profit centre is to be starved of important numbers of visitors for the sake of road transport saving some costs and having shorter trips.

    Picton must be retained as it is. Clifford Bay scheme has involved Chinese financiers, and while it may give a testosterone injection to be dealing with big loans with powerful international moneymen, it is not to our advantage as NZs in this case.

    • Afewknowthetruth 6.1

      Shell, BP, Mobil etc. run the government…… along with the Rothschilds of course. Whichever party is in power.

      Monsanto would like a bigger share of the cake and the bought-and-paid-for liars in parliament are in the process of handing Monsanto a bigger share via the ‘Food Safety’ Bill.

      Up and coming are various Chinese corporations.

      Spread your legs and get raped NZ, it’s good for you.

      • CV - Real Labour 6.1.1

        If we go with one of the Left Wing parties, at least they’ll use lubricant.

        • kiwi_prometheus 6.1.1.1

          If you are a white male they won’t.

        • Tim 6.1.1.2

          My worry is that they’re predominently “bottoms” – lubricant or not. There’s the occasional “top” that emerges from time to time – the trouble is – is that they’re total fuckwits – often called Trev!

      • QoT 6.1.2

        Yay, using sexual violence as a metaphor for something which isn’t sexual violence, that’s totally awesome and cool and edgy and not dismissive of real victims! Yaaaaaaaay!

  7. geoff 7

    What a fantastic graph, Eddie!

  8. Erentz 8

    Shouldn’t cuts to trade training be shown in the negatives. The others are all positive spending on policy, that ones a reduction in spending.

  9. Simeon 9

    Why not show the amount they have ear marked for welfare, corrections, education, health? Or Len’s $2.2bil train set?

    Wouldn’t it be more expensive for south Auckland residents to use the existing route to see their mates out West? Don’t the trucks need to move the goods through Otaki for Wellington to dine on?

  10. tracey 10

    Key forgot to ask those in the trades if they can afford to take on apprentices…. OOPS…

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

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