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The Standard

Killing the Cullen Fund’s costing us

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, January 8th, 2013 - 45 comments
Categories: superannuation - Tags:

You may have missed it, but David Shearer recently picked up National’s policy of not contributing to the Cullen Fund until 2017/18 because the Government’s in deficit.

Of course, there is nothing fundamental about being in deficit that alters the case for investing the Cullen Fund any more than there is for transport investment or any other capital spending. It makes as much sense to say you shouldn’t put money in the Cullen Fund when there’s a deficit as to say you shouldn’t unless the surplus is over $5,691,000,000 – zero is an arbitrary and meaningless point. As long as the return exceeds the Crown’s cost of capital, it’s worthwhile.

So, how much have the canned contributions cost us so far? $1.2 billion.

If the contributions had continued at $180m per month and National hadn’t made that weird one-off $250m payment at the end of the 2008/09 year (if investing in the Cullen Fund was so crazy as they claimed, why did they finish with an extra big payment?), we would now have $8.6b more in the kitty to pay for our future superannuation costs and gross government debt would be $7.4b higher – net government debt would be $1.2 billion less than it is now.

(all the data for working this out is here)

And, because, the returns are compounding, the lost gains in the last three years will get exponentially larger (even if returns only keep up with inflation) over time.

Since the contributions were cancelled, the fund has averaged a return of 1.18% a month versus the average Crown borrowing cost of 0.22% per month. 5.5 times. Over its full life, including the big losses in 2008/09, the Cullen Fund has exceeded its goal of beating the Crown’s cost of capital by 2.5%.

Cancelling the Cullen Fund contributions may end up being the costliest mistake this National has made. Because the contributions and the lost gains on them will have to be made up later. See, there’s a legislative requirement that there is a certain amount of money in the Fund (roughly $100b) when it begins to pay down at the end of next decade. The Fund is currently $20.5b when it would be $29.1b if the contributions had continued, and that gap get exponentially wider every year the contributions are suspended.

The legislation has a formula that works out the amount of contributions needed each year to get to that $100b target.

To try to make up the lost ground, when contributions resume in 2017/18, Treasury’s model says we’ll have to put over $2 billion a year in, whereas, if we kept the contributions up the whole time, it would be $1.5b. And the lost time means we’ll never close the gap – in 2030, the Fund will be worth $96b if the contributions only resume in 2017/18, but if they resumed today, there would be $110b.

By failing to invest early, we’re losing tens of billions in the long-run. Tens of billions that would pay for our superannuation when the time comes and would right now be reducing our net debt to the rest of the world.

But that’s National for you, short-termists and failures to the end.

45 comments on “Killing the Cullen Fund’s costing us”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    By failing to invest early, we’re losing tens of billions in the long-run. Tens of billions that would pay for our superannuation when the time comes and would right now be reducing our net debt to the rest of the world.

    But that’s National for you, short-termists and failures to the end.

    You didn’t mention Labour in your conclusion, even though they have copied this exact same National policy for the exact same National reasons?

    • mike e 1.1

      CV with out the 20 billion in the Cullen fund National would be making cuts similar to Camoron in the UK!?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        National would have to borrow an extra $45M per week to keep contributing to the Cullen Fund, but that borrowed money would have been paying itself back even faster as the fund gained.

        Having said that, I remain extremely dubious of the safety of these monies invested in the casino financial markets.

  2. Lightly 2

    which is why it’s good to see the Fund actually doing direct investment in assets, buying up large interests in strategic assets (even if one of them is a petrol station chain), not just trading in shares

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      :) sure, its important to follow the clue of the banksters mafia in Europe. Buy up ports, airports, farms, power generation and grid, and other productive assets.

  3. DH 3

    Well I for one hope that the left parties don’t drag this up again. It’s a fools gambit.

    James the risk free rate of return quoted in the fund workings is not the cost of Crown borrowing. That’s the 90day bill rate. Interest on Govt debt is considerably higher than that 0.22% and if they’d borrowed more to pay into the fund it would likely be higher again.

    Any gains would have been negligible, much less than $1.2b, and offset against the reduced cashflow from interest payments on the borrowing.

    • Lightly 3.1

      long-term govt bonds are now going at less than 3%. The 90 day Bill is at 2.5%.

      “Any gains would have been negligible, much less than $1.2b, and offset against the reduced cashflow from interest payments on the borrowing.”

      care to do the numbers, or are we just supposed to believe you?

      • DH 3.1.1

        The argument is stupid. The high returns from the fund since payments were cancelled are primarily due to the value of existing investments bouncing back after the big losses in 2008/2009. It doesn’t follow that new money invested would have returned the same kind of sums.

        The long run return from the fund is 2.62% above the risk free rate of return. Even if Govt borrowing cost was the same that’s a gain of $26.2million for every $1billion invested, which wouldn’t come close to $1.2billion in four years.

        Whatever the gains it would also have resulted in a cashflow loss to the Crown of a greater sum, since the cost of Crown borrowing is higher than 2.62%. With the Crown running a deficit they’d have had to borrow the interest as well, which would compound Govt debt further.

        The intended purpose of the Super fund is to take the burden of Super off future generations. Well borrowing won’t do that will it, future generations will instead be paying off similar sums of Govt debt & be no better off.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Borrowing to put into the Cullen Fund would have left the country better off today, by $1.2B.

          I agree that past performance does not necessarily indicate future performance however (a premise you would do well to stick to yourself).

          • TightyRighty 3.1.1.1.1

            CV, the cheertator has pronounced, therefore it must be so!

            No matter that DH may have a point should he wish to love it himself, this is not a cheerocracy, this is a cheertator ship. All hail CV!

            Why not just Kim Jong-un it and say that labour would have been responsible for the extra 1.2b if national had continued with the payments?

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              but Labour wouldn’t have continued with the payments. Labour and National think the same way and both have said they wouldn’t continue the payments.

        • mike e vipe e 3.1.1.2

          DH you have got your accounting wrong the 2.62% is the difference between borrowing costs and return i.e. profit.

  4. Here is a link to an interesting chart.

    Max Keiser alludes to it because of the minute amounts of gold owned by your average sovereign wealth fund but it also shows that most sovereign wealth funds invest ridiculous amounts of money in other things. The Cullen fund was recently given the price for being the most innovative SWF. They even beat the Kazakhstan oil fund.

    What that meant according to the website is they had a good system for deciding what to buy and invest in. The Cullen fund has some interest in Dairy, Forest and other real world assets but the GAAP changed one or two years ago allowing them to deny us to find out what kind of derivatives they have on their books, most especially which ones are currently losing money.

    My guess is that with a Merrill Lynch derivatives and wealth specialist on the first of the board of guardians in 2002 when they started trading and a Goldman Sachs banker on the current board of Guardians it is reasonable to presume that the Cullen fund is chockablock with new fangled Financial Products, collateral debt swaps and other derivatives which will evaporate into thin air when the global Financial System collapses under the weight of the derivatives bubble.

    • tc 4.1

      ‘GAAP’ Generally Available Avoidance Policy, so much for IFRS and other tomes from the international beannies board etc etc protecting people by providing transparency so they can make informed decisions.

      There’s a reason why they don’t want you to see the smoke and mirrors.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Goldman Sachs bankers get bonuses based on how much money they can rip off from their clients.

        GS is not called the “Vampire Squid” of the investment banking cartel for nothing.

  5. alwyn 5

    There is one major reason for the Government NOT putting any further money into the Cullen Fund.
    NO politiciann, in any party, can be trusted to keep their grubby little paws off the investment policy, at least in the long run. As the fund was set up it was meant to be kept well clear of the political desires of the hack politicians in our Parliament. Unfortunately, because of the Constitutional rules that prevent any Parliament binding its successors we can’t rely on that continuing indefinitely.
    National, for example, proposed in 2008 that the fund should invest 40% of the funds in New Zealand. I don’t know whether they forced it to happen or not but it was certainly a proposal.
    The Green party have been the worst offenders. If one reads through their policy they have very definite proposals for what the fund should do. Basically they will decide what they think is desirable and then order the Fund to invest in their fantasies. I am quite sure they will, if they ever get into power ORDER the fund to invest in any rail project that is proposed, regardless of the economic merits. They will also insist it invests in any form of “renewable” energy that is suggested.
    I would suggest that there won’t be any fund to pay for Super in the future. It will all be frittered away on political grand-standing.
    Labour and Green policies will also prevent the money ever becoming available to pay for Superanuation.
    After all the fund is state owned and therefore anything it owns must be a state-owned asset. However to obtain the funds to pay Super the assets will have to be sold, and these parties policies forbid any such sale.
    Will the funds ever become available? Not a chance. They will just be an enormous slush fund for economic illiterates, like Russel Norman, to blow on their favourite fantasies.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Countries with major sovereign wealth funds like Singapore, Norway and Russia seem to do quite well.

      However, I am concerned that our funds are invested in productive assets as much as possible, and not financialised casino instruments.

      And you don’t have to be worried about politicians wasting the money; the bankers are more likely to steal it first.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        I don’t know anything about the operations of the Russian Fund. Given much of the activities of the Putin regime I would however worry about its soundness.
        One thing to note about the Singapore and Norwegian funds is that they do not invest at all in their own countries. This is not the case in New Zealand and would become even less likely if the Green party had any influence. Investing exclusively outside the country enables one to cash up when it becomes time to spend the money. Investing inside your own country will mean, in practice, that when the state requires the money, as the Cullen fund is meant to be needed, it will mean the only practical buyer of the assets will end up being a foreign purchaser, which is something the Labour and Green parties are sworn to oppose.
        The worst thing that a fund such as the Cullen fund could do would be to invest the money in NZ Government bonds or such like. Then the state would owe the money to itself and when it was needed for paying Super it would have to be done from current taxation. In practice there would be no fund at all.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          But the Cullen Fund doesn’t need to “cash up” productive assets, that’s why they are called productive assets: they generate a strong income stream eg dairy farms and hydrodams.

          One thing to note about the Singapore and Norwegian funds is that they do not invest at all in their own countries.

          Not true. For example, Temasak invests in a lot of Singaporean companies.

          • alwyn 5.1.1.1.1

            To your first comment about not having to cash up. This illustrates what I was saying about the way that the design of the Cullen fund will be manipulated to achieve other aims. (Note I am not suggesting that you are a politician who is going to do it). I am only saying that the design of the system will be changed.
            The fund was intended to receive positive contributions from the state until 2029 and then to be run down from that date. The peak of the assets would be achieved in about 2050 and the fund was then expected to SHRINK from about that date.
            I refer to http://www.nzsuperfund.co.nz/index.asp?pageID=2145879268

            You are right about Temasek Holdings. Singapore has two Sovereign Wealth Funds. Temasek Holdings is the smaller. The other, The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, is about 50% bigger. It was that one I was thinking about when I said they did not invest in Singapore. In total about 12% of Singapores funds are invested in Singapore companies.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              12% internal investment is probably a deliberate target by the Singaporean authorities. More than that and the nature of their geography (tiny island nation) would present too much of a risk. For instance, a tsunami causing massive damage to Singapore would end up causing massive damage to their sovereign wealth fund in just one hit, exactly when they needed it.

              In NZ, I suspect that we could have up to 20%-25% internal investment in NZ and still achieve a relatively good risk profile (e.g. no one tsunami or earthquake could take out all NZ investments in one hit).

    • millsy 5.2

      And what is your problem with rail?

      Your concerns (however unfounded they are), will be addressed by having the nation building activites that you deride with such scorn being the filthy neo-liberal scum you are, be the responsibility of a seperate fund.

      You beloved nats, with their Future Investment Fund, has provided such a vehicle, but they, with their obsession with neo-liberalism, are too blind to see it. DS, is probably as well., but he apparenltly has expressed interest into looking into whether a study is possible as to whether we might think about adopting Singapore’s Temasek Holding model.

      • alwyn 5.2.1

        I only just noticed this comment.
        My, you were grumpy when you wrote it weren’t you.
        “You beloved Nats” you say. I don’t know whether you mean “YOU”, in which case you are wrong as I am certainly not a member of that party, or “YOUR”, in which case you are wrong as I certainly don’t think much of them.
        You did notice I said “No politician, in any party, can be trusted to keep their grubby little paws off the investment policy …”. Does that sound like someone who loves a party?
        I distrust the activities of ALL politicians. They are, as a general rule, in it for the power they can over the rest of the populace.

        • millsy 5.2.1.1

          I did a search for your comments. You tend to slant to the right.

          • alwyn 5.2.1.1.1

            I would agree with that. It’s just that I don’t trust po;iticians
            Actually it was the phrase “being the filthy neo-liberal scum you are” that I thought was just a tad harsh.

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    interesting. a long-standing, well read socialist that I am friends with argues that the “Greens” are “idealists” :) and do not see the people clearly, except Julie, mmmwha

  7. Tiresias 7

    It must be remembered, too, that National’s friends in the finance industry do very much better out of KiwiSaver than they do the Cullen Fund.

  8. infused 8

    There is equal chance we could have lost that much money. What would your headline be then? Either way National is fucked, but less fucked this way.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      There is equal chance we could have lost that much money.

      Best to invest it in houses and property instead

      • TightyRighty 8.1.1

        No, big budget movies seem the way forward.

      • alwyn 8.1.2

        You are aware of what the primary cause of the banking liquidity crisis in 2008 was are you?
        All those people putting ever larger amounts of money into houses and property and then when the bubble burst the whole thing fell apart.
        Now repeat after me, “House prices can fall as well as rise”.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1

          The thing is that your answer covers investment asset prices, and implies that it wasn’t actually a liquidity crisis in 2008. Never was of course.

  9. TightyRighty 9

    But for 67 million the country for got 1.5 billion back. That’s ROI

    • mike e vipe e 9.1

      tighty almiighty we didn’t get 1.5 billion the film co got that before expenses that just the takings at the door.All up between the hobbit and LOR the govt has pumped nearly $400 million and NZ has benefited by $400 million Zero profit!
      The Hobbit is not doing any where near as well in door sales down considerably on the LOR !

      • TightyRighty 9.1.1

        At the risk of another incoherent rant, source please for your claim that $400m went in, and that NZ only saw $400m worth of benefit.

        I think you are full of it to be honest. The film companies spent more than that all these films in NZ. So should we just ignore the marketing and tourism spin offs?

        • mike e vipe e 9.1.1.1

          Between council and govt hand outs since the Clark govt started funding the LOR i think you will find from last years hobbit fiasco figures published here on the standard thats roughly the sum stumped up by us the tax payer!

      • TightyRighty 9.1.2

        At the risk of another incoherent rant, source please for your claim that $400m went in, and that NZ only saw $400m worth of benefit.

        I think you are full of it to be honest. The film companies spent more than that on all these films in NZ. So should we just ignore the marketing and tourism spin offs?

        • mike e vipe e 9.1.2.1

          These film companies might have spent more on these films but not all in NZ!

  10. tracey 10

    One drawback is that having bought shares when prices were high we have lost the opportunity to buy in when they are low. Key would know this from his trading days. The one thing he has some knowledge of hes fucked up

  11. tracey 11

    Tightright cld you post your source for the statement that the coubtry has received 1.5b from the hobbit?

  12. mike e vipe e 12

    Tight arse almighty show me the real figures they Don’t look any where as good as you portray!
    The feel good factor maybe but no real increase in tourism no real increase in jobs!
    The Americas cup on the other hand has built a $2 billion a year boat building industry!
    When the hobbits have finished thats if they are the film industry will bugger off to Estonia!

  13. irascible 13

    I would contend the biggest balls up any Government of NZ has made was the Muldoon decision to axe the 1972-75 Labour Governments contributory superannuation scheme followed by the KeY-English decision to prune the Labour Government (Cullen) fund. In both cases short term self interest has won out over long term investment in the country and thus encouraged the “flog off the assets to foreign corporates” policies we now see being enacted in the name of “saving the country (by destroying it)”.

    • millsy 13.1

      Very little chance the NZ Superannuation Corporation would have made it beyond the 80’s (rather like disco really). It would have been chopped up and farmed out to Wall St.

  14. irascible 14

    Agrred. Richardson would’ve been in there boots & all ready to privatise and gut the NZ Superannuation Corporation in the quest for “private enterprise efficiencies.”
    I doubt if Douglas would’ve attempted to dismantle what was, in 1975, his policy and creation. Then, again, that is supposing that Douglas didn’t undergo the same sort of road to Damascus revision that lead to his leaving Labour and creating ACT.

    • millsy 14.1

      ” doubt if Douglas would’ve attempted to dismantle what was, in 1975, his policy and creation. ”

      You never know with Douglas….

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    8 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    9 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    9 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    9 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    9 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    10 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    10 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    10 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    10 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    11 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    12 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    19 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the inadequate response to sexual violence prevention
    On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Judgment day for Planet Key (the song, that is)
    From Darren Watson's website:News@ 30 March, 2015read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    22 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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