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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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    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    3 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    3 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    3 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    3 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    4 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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 –… ...
    5 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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.  ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks ago

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