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Labour’s Kiwisaver announcement

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, June 17th, 2014 - 202 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david parker, labour, superannuation - Tags:

LEC CUnliffe January 27 2014 speech-4

David Cunliffe and David Parker have announced Labour’s Kiwisaver Policy for the election.  Details are here.  The headlines are:

  • KiwiSaver will be made universal for all workers apart from the self employed.  Students, beneficiaries and those with an income below a yet to be set level will be exempt.  Labour intends to continue with the growth in the minimum wage to maximise cover.
  • the $1,000 Kick-start and government contribution of up to $521 a year will be retained and will apply to all new enrollments.
  • The employer and employee minimum contribution rates will increase gradually by 0.25% a year for six years from 3% each currently to 4.5% in 2021.
  • As previously announced variable Kiwisaver contributions will be used as a tool to control inflation rather than just relying on interest rates, meaning people pay more into their savings instead of more in interest.

The justification for the policy is as follows:

New Zealand has chronically low savings. Many New Zealanders retire with little more than the government superannuation to live on. An increasing number don’t even own the home they live in. Without a savings pool, retirement can be about scraping by, rather than enjoying life.

Our small savings pool also means our businesses have to turn to overseas lenders and investors when they need capital to grow.

The result is that New Zealand has high international debt and a large part of our economy is owned by overseas investors. As a country, we send nearly $10 billion a year offshore in dividends and interest payments.

KiwiSaver is helping to turn this situation around. Our domestic savings are growing. Over $21 billion is now invested in KiwiSaver and over 2 million New Zealanders have joined the scheme.

But KiwiSaver is incomplete.

There are still around half a million wage earners who aren’t members. These are predominately people on lower incomes. They are missing out on receiving up to $521 a year in government support for their savings and matching contributions from their employer. This risks creating two classes of retirees: those who can live well by drawing on their KiwiSaver and those who only have government superannuation to fall back on.

Stand by as the right try and pick holes in the policy or suddenly develop a sympathy for the lowest paid amongst us.

202 comments on “Labour’s Kiwisaver announcement”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    Some word or phrase seems incomplete in your last sentence of the 1st bullet point, I think.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Oops should say “Labour intends to continue with the growth in the minimum wage to maximise cover”. Will correct.

      • Clemgeopin 1.1.1

        Sorry to be a pain here, but prior to that sentence, the word ‘yet’ seems missing too:
        below a [yet] to be set level.

        Better proof read again and please delete my two posts so that they do not interfere with other comments on the policy.

        [Corrected thanks. This is the trouble with having 5 minutes to post ... MS]

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    WHY is Labour forcing NZers to put their hard-earned savings into private financial institutions, “investment managers” and Wall St, all of whom take their cut and gamble at no risk to themselves with the rest.

    Is there going to be a PUBLIC Kiwi Saver investment scheme which is fully backstopped against Wall St fraud and malfeasance, by the Government.

    Labour should make it so that people can invest directly with the high performing Cullen Fund, and bypass the private sector fund managers entirely.

    Will this increased compulsory saving in KiwiSaver make it easier or harder for people to make their mortgage payments as interest rates continue to rise.

    • The Al1en 2.1

      “Labour should make it so that people can invest directly with the high performing Cullen Fund, and bypass the private sector fund managers entirely”

      Good idea. I’d be in.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      “Labour should make it so that people can invest directly with the high performing Cullen Fund, and bypass the private sector fund managers entirely.”

      Yes, very good idea, although any move to do this would necessarily reduce the return of those in that segment of the fund, because managing a retail scheme has significant overheads compared to a wholesale one that is answerable only to the government.

      Actually this is one of Winston’s policies that he came out with a while ago, but he was claiming that it meant the public could have a “fee-free” kiwisaver option, which I rubbished at the time with language similar to the above (you could do a search here and find my comment).

      There are also actually structural problems with using the Cullen fund as a vehicle, because their investing time period is very specific, in that the fund will start being drawn down in 2030 to pay for superannuation. It’s also not necessarily a good idea for individuals to lump all their eggs into the same public basket – better to diversify your savings.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Yes I remember that conversation Lanth and you did make solid points. I thought it was worth exploring further and possibly has the potential to be made into a very popular option amongst savers.

      • alwyn 2.2.2

        The Labour Party had better not increase the contributions required by an employer or employee too much in a compulsory Kiwi Saver scheme if you really want to encourage diversification of savings then, particularly if they are still proposing to go ahead with the incredibly poorly conceived idea of varying the contribution rate to control inflation.

        At the moment they are proposing that 9% of an employee’s remuneration should go into the Kiwi Saver scheme they have chosen. That is probably as much as anyone would want to save toward retirement and it is all going to be in a single egg in a single basket, unless they are going to allow people to have more than one Kiwi Saver scheme. At least as summarised here that doesn’t seem to be intended.

        • Tracey 2.2.2.1

          At the moment many employers are effectively opting out by making salaries inclusive of employer contribution… So what do you mean by “too much” and how is national dealing with the perpetual problem of private saving?

          • alwyn 2.2.2.1.1

            There is considerable doubt among economists as to whether we really do have an under-saving problem, at least as it applies to saving for retirement.
            An example of discussion on the problem is the following paper

            http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/nztnztwps/04_2f12.htm

            There are a variety of other studies on the matter, including work by NZIER which agrees with this.
            The people who mostly complain about the subject are fund managers, including people running Kiwi Saver schemes who want to get their hands on the money which people will be required to save.

            There are also many economists who consider that people contributing to Kiwi Saver do so as an alternative to other saving, not in addition to it. Thus there is no net increase in peoples savings. For example I joined Kiwi Saver simply to get the taxpayer benefits. I wasn’t working and only had to stay a member for 5 years. Any money I put in simply came out of savings I had already made.

            As far as the employers actions I think you may assume that this will be the norm if it is made compulsory. It may not be stated up front but it will be a consideration that the employer is taking into account. After all the employer is basically interested in how much it will cost to employ someone to do a job and that does include their compulsory contribution to a super scheme. It isn’t really any different to a person getting an employer supplied car as a salary sacrifice is it?

            As far as “too much” the back of envelope calculations that suggest increasing contributions by 6% as an alternative to a 1% increase in the OCR seem reasonable. Certainly the Labour Party have made no attempt to refute the calculation. This could easily mean a 15% of salary package going into a Kiwi Saver scheme for everybody that belongs.

            People are unlikely to save anything else and therefore there will be no diversification of their savings at all.

    • Ian 2.3

      Yep – my thoughts exactly

    • Macro 2.4

      My thoughts entirely! This is a crock if it is to be based upon Private financial institutions.

    • Chooky 2.5

      CV +100…clearly Labour need to add more to this policy :

      1) to make people feel their precious savings are secure and not subject to overseas corporate raiders

      2) to put in money for those who cant afford to themselves eg unpaid care givers at home, the unemployed , those on very low wages struggling to survive…

      …otherwise I dont think this will fly for Labour …..and NACT will be scare mongering and have a turkey shoot

      ….the result will be to put off Labour voters voting for Labour ! …. just as the high retirement age ( higher than Nacts) for the pension will put them off !

      Labour need to get a grip here …good in theory but a marketer should be able to tell them whether it will cost them votes which they cant afford to lose

  3. Bifter 3

    This is it. Finally the game changer we have been hoping for.

    Ever since Cunliffe beat those two class traitors in the leadership race I knew that he would come good. To be honest my faith had been tested by his decision to surround himself with morons but it seems he has either given them the boot or is discounting their advice.

    [lprent: I don't think that you are sincere about your stated opinions. You look like an briarpatch astroturfer to me. Adding you to automoderation so that I can examine you more closely. ]

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    The result is that New Zealand has high international debt and a large part of our economy is owned by overseas investors. As a country, we send nearly $10 billion a year offshore in dividends and interest payments.

    The big Australian banks are responsible for perhaps 45% of this $10B being taken offshore every year.

    I am struggling to see how feeding up these largely foreign owned financial institutions and the financial sector as a whole is going to help NZ overcome our current account deficit unless it is done purely with NZ Government bonds and similar 100% Kiwi investment vehicles.

    I think the idea of a variable enforced savings rate to help control inflation and monetary supply is excellent; but there are other major problems with the scheme as it is laid out – especially as I cannot clearly see how these additional worker savings will be kept in NZ and not flow out anyway to Wall St etc.

    • Rosie 4.1

      CV, a serious question (banking knowledge isn’t my strength) Can the government intervene and make our state owned bank more appealing to folks looking for a place to set up their kiwisaver account? And would this even keep the money on shore anyway?

      I’ve been with Kiwibank since they opened mainly for the reason that we own it. However Kwibank is steadily looking more and more like foreign owned banks, except that they do have lower fee’s. Should there be more of a draw card for NZer’s to bank with Kiwibank and would it make a difference to the issue you mention above?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        CV, a serious question (banking knowledge isn’t my strength) Can the government intervene and make our state owned bank more appealing to folks looking for a place to set up their kiwisaver account?

        There are many ways that the Government could slant the field toward KiwiBank, but the overseas owned financial sector would complain bitterly.

        What comes immediately to mind: turn Kiwi Bank into a mutual bank where customers get a cut of the profits of the bank at the end of the year. Have a policy which says that money with KiwiBank goes straight back into the community to help local businesses and organisations with cheap loans.

        And would this even keep the money on shore anyway?

        Well, the distribution of the end of year bank profits would stay in NZ at least.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          “What comes immediately to mind: turn Kiwi Bank into a mutual bank where customers get a cut of the profits of the bank at the end of the year. ”

          I’ve honestly never understood this. Bank profits primarily come from fees. I don’t see how I could receive more bank in profit than I paid in fees, unless someone else is paying more in fees than they get back in profit. What incentive is there for that person to stick with the bank if they’re paying high fees?

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            I guess it would be like Westpac distributing back out to its customers its $1B in profits, instead of repatriating those monies back to Australia.

            Where you might eventually come out ahead if the bank builds up a solid portfolio of income generating investment assets…

        • Rosie 4.1.1.2

          Thanks CV. An interesting option. I’d be into that. And lets not care about the overseas owned financial sector complaining bitterly if we were to go ahead and be proactive about taking care of ourselves. They are no different to feudal overlords and need to be put in their place.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.3

          tsb is also nz owned

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        The KiwiBank KS fund is a bought-and-rebranded Gareth Morgan KS fund (which I’m a member of).

        If you like KiwiBank because it’s owned by NZ, then you may not like their KS fund, because it almost exclusively invests offshore. Their rationale being that most NZers have the vast majority of their assets in NZ (eg house, car, etc) and so by investing overseas they offer diversity and protection to their NZ-based customers.

        • alwyn 4.1.2.1

          Gareth used to hold the view, and may still do so, that if you have a job in New Zealand you shouldn’t have any other assets at all here. You shouldn’t even own a house.

          Incidentally the worst of all investment decisions a person can make is to buy shares in the company that employs them. If the company gets into difficulty you are likely to lose both your job and your savings at the same time.

          As far as Kiwi Bank paying out profits to its customers the difficulty is that it doesn’t really have enough money to do so. I don’t think, from memory, that it has ever paid a dividend as it is always requiring more capital from retained earnings. I don’t think the state putting in extra capital so the bank could immediately pay it out to its clients would appeal to even a finance spokesman like Parker. Norman might be a starter of course.

          • Tracey 4.1.2.1.1

            mutual societies work in health insurance and general insurance too.

          • Tracey 4.1.2.1.2

            there is interesting research on profit sharing with employees.

            Funny how shares and bonus are deemed to “work” for ceo’s even when they fail

          • geoff 4.1.2.1.3

            Didn’t gareth Morgan’s kiwisaver company do really poorly? I think I’d rather listen to his son for investment advice than him.

    • Chooky 4.2

      The Greens have a good policy on Oz Banks…(maybe someone could do a posting on this ?)…it is to get rid of Australian Banks I think …or at least OZ banks taking billions out of New Zealand in profits

      • alwyn 4.2.1

        Do you have a reference to this policy you talk about?
        It sounds much more extreme than anything I’ve heard about them.
        In their policy material all I can find is this

        “4. Keeping it Kiwi (Kiwibank and other NZ owned Banks)

        The Green Party will:
        1. Retain New Zealand government ownership of Kiwibank.
        2.Support measures to strengthen Kiwibank to balance the foreign ownership of New Zealand’s other major banks. We will encourage Kiwibank to strengthen its banking division, and allow it to retain its profits in order to do so.”

        This sounds a great deal more limited than what you are suggesting and there is certainly no mention of getting rid of foreign banks.

      • dave 4.2.2

        theres a really good documentary from pbs the retirement gamble on the 401k system
        short version is fund managers are robbing bastards and fees are the killer i hope nz first and greens can twist labour towards there policy’s on kiwi saver

  5. Bill 5

    So this idea from ‘the left’ is for wage slaves to invest a portion of their wages with their exploiters, who can then make money from it, with the idea that they (the wage slaves) can claim a cut if they live long enough…and the gamblers don’t go belly up (again). Good-o.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “can claim a cut if they live long enough…and the gamblers don’t go belly up (again). Good-o.”

      1. Kiwisaver goes to your estate if you die, and can be withdrawn for other reasons such as terminal illness, permanent emmigration, financial hardship etc.
      2. You are free to choose a “cash-only” investment that invests solely in bank term deposits and other liquid assets. The only safer option would be to stash cash under your bed, but that isn’t actually “investment” so much as “hoarding”.
      • Sabine 5.1.1
        1. One needs to have an estate….if one is childless/family less the government is laughing all the way to the bank.
        2. It might be fiscally more sensible to pay of existing debt (charged at current usury rates of 17.9% – 19.9%) to the tune of what (in my case) 250 +$ a month, than “save” with Kiwi safer which is dromant and serves me not should I need it.
        3. It would be way more attractive if the “Saver” is given the option of withdrawl througout their savings period. I.e. every 6 years up to 35% can be withdrawn no questions asked, and the “Saver” then could use it for mortgage payments, studenloans or a set of new teeth if needed.
        4. Will we here the same bs. we are hearing now about insolvency when the current 20 years go retire in 50 years and the banks that were entrusted to ‘invest prudently and fiscally commercially” and bo fucking hoo the money aint there, cause redux 2008?

        Nope, sorry Labour, you aint getting my tick of approval on that.

        This to me is nothing less then legalised wage theft.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1
          1. Which is no different to any other asset owned by someone if they died and it goes to the government. There’s nothing special about it being in Kiwisaver except that you didn’t get to spend it at the time, but suggesting that you expect to die before you turn 65 isn’t really a sensible objection. Also if you have a will then the Kiwisaver amount would go to whomever that specified, regardless of your familial situation.
          2. Courts have recently upheld that creditors cannot access your Kiwisaver funds, so for those in a particularly bad debt situation, KS could be a silver lining. Similarly companies lending credit will take your post-KS income into account, so fewer people may get into bad debt situations if they can’t get the loan to begin with.
          3. It’s designed to be a savings scheme for your retirement. If you take it out early, then it’s not serving that purpose. Eventually the state superannuation is going to have the entitlement raised and the value is likely to be reduced, either through inflation, a direct cut, or through means testing.
          4. Probably. But that’s a wider problem than just KS.
          • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1

            Also on #2, if you’re in employment (which are those for whom KS is going to be compulsory), then your employer has to chip in the same amount of savings too (minus the thieving tax this National government introduced to these contributions). So a 67%+ return on the savings deducted from your wages is likely going to surpass most other debt-repayment options you have, anyway.

            • The Chairman 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Employer contributions are likely to come at the expense of employee wage increases or price hikes (inflation).

              • Lanthanide

                Under the last Labour government this wasn’t legal. Under the current National government it is.

                I wouldn’t be surprised if the rules were reverted to how they were.

                • The Chairman

                  Perhaps, but it is something Labour should clarify. Moreover, that won’t address price hikes and will most likely drive employers to them.

        • Tracey 5.1.1.2

          one needs to have a will. Fify

          Government doesnt get it just cos you have no children or family. You can distribute your estate however you like through a will. You can even write the will yourself, no lawyer required.

        • dave 5.1.1.3

          usa the 401k have a massive shortfall due to wall street greed !

    • emergency mike 5.2

      My feeling too Bill. ‘Pension funds’ are targets for raids by the corporate elite when they need it. For the um, stability of the banking system, you understand. Or maybe for some noble ‘market making’.

      Not impressed.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Yep, watch out for new bank “bail-in” plans now in place all over the world including NZ. Cypruss set the example – unscheduled bank holidays were held and depositors had monies removed straight out of their bank accounts in order to help the banking system stay afloat.

        • nadis 5.2.1.1

          Why the issue with bank bail in? Is there a universal law that says banks must be immune from default? Ignoring systemic risks for a moment, a bank is a corporate body and deposits are one form of funding for that corporate. Bank goes bankrupt, then assets are distributed in order of priority with deposit holders first (or second after IRD).

          Now the systemic issues are best served by a system like the US has where the first 100k of individual account is guaranteed. But in principle a bank is no different to any other corporate, and investors in banks including depositors are taking investment risk on their deposits.

          Cyprus had a whole lot of other issues – the bail in was driven to a large degree to punish the money laundering capital of Europe – half the deposits in Cyprus were from Russian entities. The alternative for Cyprus was depositors losing 100% of their deposits rather than what happened. From memory I think only depositors in one particular bank were affected, deposits up to EUR100,000 lost nothing but balances above that effectively became equity and would lose prob 40%. But the alternative was to lose everything in a disorderly default.

  6. s y d 6

    universal = compulsory

    as if this is giving, not taking.

    as if it’s our fault that all our shit has been sold, cos we didn’t put enough of our meagre wages in the bank. wasted that cash on food and clothes and a packet of durries.

    naughty people.

    we are not at war with eastasia.

  7. Rosie 7

    Good to know these details – helps us plan in the (hopeful) event of Labour winning the election.

    I’ve got no problem with a compulsory kiwisaver if it benefits the country and the individual, and on the whole support such an idea, (and the exemptions) however I’m still worried about affording it. I see the policy would kick in, in October 2015. If interest rates keep rising between now and then how can anyone but the very wealthy cope? Will interest rates be in check by that stage?

    Our mortgage has just gone up by $50 a week (and thats after a good healthy haggle) which left us going from tight to uncomfortably tight, like a pair of jeans that have been through the wash and shrunk. What will our situation, and that of thousands of others be like by 2015?

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      “Our mortgage has just gone up by $50 a week (and thats after a good healthy haggle) which left us going from tight to uncomfortably tight, like a pair of jeans that have been through the wash and shrunk. What will our situation, and that of thousands of others be like by 2015?”

      Hopefully you had the good sense to fix your mortgage rate, particularly with one of the attractive 2 or 3 year rates at the moment?

      Broadly I would suggest voting in Labour with their policies to reduce the cost of electricity and put up the minimum wage (which will stimulate the economy) will benefit you. The Green’s carbon tax cut would be more money directly in your pocket, too. Car registration is set to be reduced next year (would have been this year except for Nationals vaunted “surplus”).

      Finally you should start considering what additional sources of revenue might be available to you – odd jobs or perhaps renting out a room.

      • Rosie 7.1.1

        Yes, Lanthanide, we refixed. We simply couldn’t afford to go the 3 year option and have split the loan into 1 year fixed at a cheaper rate and a slightly higher rate for 2 years, with our fingers crossed that my health will recover and I will be able to work again before then. As it is I am looking for part time work but not getting any interviews. (Believe me, we’ve considered other alternate sources of income!)

        We’ve only had the mortgage for 2 years and had a low deposit hence the steep increase. We’ve always had our mortgage on a fixed rate and as rates went down I simply refixed on to the lower rate and negotiated the refixing fee to be halved or even waived in one case.

        Any yes it is two ticks for Labour this time around. Party vote and here in Ohariu we need to get rid of Dunne so the Labour candidate is also getting my vote :-)

    • john 7.2

      Mortgage rates have just gone up 0.25%. If your mortgage has gone up $50 a week, that means your mortgage is over a million dollars (of have you just come off a fixed rate).

      If that’s the case, best to downsize and get something smaller, to save yourself in case they go up to 11% like they were in 2008.

      Rates are still close to all time historical lows – it’s not realistic that they’ll stay this low in the medium or long term.

      • Rosie 7.2.1

        Hi john. No I do not have a mortgage of over a million dollars lol. Please see my response to Lanthanide above.

        Our house is a perfect size for the two of us. I will not be downsizing. Not after living in shitty damp flats all my life when I’ve finally got a lovely sunny well insulated double glazed decent home. I’m not going anywhere!

        It’s not me that has the problem, it’s our greed driven banking system.

        • john 7.2.1.1

          The banks don’t hold a gun to our head and make us pay stupid prices for houses priced way above what they’re worth.

          That’s down to collective stupidity.

          House prices in many places are way above what they’re worth. The rental returns are appallingly low, and can’t go much higher – wages won’t allow it.

          We looked at buying a rental in 2005/6/7 but the returns simply didn’t justify it. The only return would be if the overvalued purchase price became even more over valued because enough people naively believed the bubble will continue to expand.

          In the long term, most people can’t afford rent or mortgage payments that increase at a higher rate than their wages go up, which is only slightly more than the CPI.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.1

            What’s that smell? Ah, sanctimony.

            • john 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh great – a stalker.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                :twisted:

                Well what do you expect, making daft assumptions about Rosie’s situation then compounding your mistake with beard-stroking platitudes?

                This constructive criticism is brought to you by the Campaign for Better Wingnuts.

          • Tracey 7.2.1.1.2

            comparing your failed foray into an investment property with rosies home is interesting.

            You voted labour in 2008 didnt you john, you know cos at 11% that showed how well the economy was doing… And the 18b debt a third of tge size now. You couldnt possibltility have voted against that?

            • john 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Deciding not to buy into an overpriced bubble, just before the bubble bust, is a failure?

              • Tracey

                Cmon john no one here believes youdidnt buy cos of your prediction of a bursting bubble… Which in aucklandwas oh so temporary.

                How about addressing tge other parts of the post..dont worry bout it, those ready see through you.

          • Rosie 7.2.1.1.3

            “The banks don’t hold a gun to our head and make us pay stupid prices for houses priced way above what they’re worth.”

            What makes you think I paid for a house well above its worth? Where have a I said that? You don’t even know my situation, as has been pointed out by OAB and Tracey.

            For your info I spent 6 months finding the right house that wasn’t over valued for the reason that I didn’t want to waste a single cent and line the pockets of others. The house I bought 2 years ago was 2 years old at that point and the purchase price was the same as what the previous owners paid. Since then building costs have gone up so I have no qualms about what I paid.

            “In the long term, most people can’t afford rent or mortgage payments that increase at a higher rate than their wages go up, which is only slightly more than the CPI.”

            Thats not the fault of the people is it? What do you suggest people do? Suck it up and live in crappy rentals for the rest of their lives?

            • john 7.2.1.1.3.1

              Rosie says “What makes you think I paid for a house well above its worth? ”

              I was talking collectively, which is why I said the reason was collective stupidity.

              Rosie asks “What do you suggest people do? Suck it up and live in crappy rentals for the rest of their lives?”

              Right now renting a house (crappy or nice) is often cheaper than owning it.

              There’s plenty of sites do the comparison. Interest.co.nz says it’s still cheaper to rent,
              ” Conclusion: On a national basis, we think it is now clearly better to stay renting than buying.”

              http://www.interest.co.nz/property/rent-or-buy

              Housing in Auckland has been overpriced for around a decade now.

              The point about people not being able to afford rents or mortgages, was that house price increases are not sustainable – they can’t just keep going up and up much faster than wage increases.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Says who? When I say your credibility is at an all time low I don’t mean to imply you’ve ever had any.

              • geoff

                Who says they cant, if wealthy immigrants keep buying them and speculators reinforce that. It doesnt matter if the wages of kiwis keep going down as long as relatively wealthy people keep entering the country.

              • Rosie

                Hey john, guess what, after renting houses from age 17 until 42 I know that renting is cheaper and yes, we all know that both rent and mortgages are going up faster than wages, so theres a problem right?

                So saying that “collective stupidity” is contributing is unhelpful. People chose to buy a house for many different reasons and they SHOULD be able to buy a house if they chose to, but not everyone can and some of those that do buy, struggle. Because we have a banking system and currently a government unwilling to intervene in the problem of housing unaffordability does that make it acceptable?

                You are suggesting that we should just tolerate what the market dictates and rent even when we no longer want to.Sounds pretty lame to me. So back to the idea of Kiwisaver and it’s counterpart interest rate control, I’d rather see a government doing something and making an effort than see a government such as ours that stands by and doesn’t give a toss about people’s lives.

          • framu 7.2.1.1.4

            “The banks don’t hold a gun to our head and make us pay stupid prices for houses priced way above what they’re worth.”

            your shifting goalposts john

          • Anthony Bull 7.2.1.1.5

            You didn’t seriously look at buying a rental then, as I bought a new 400k apartment (with a $0 deposit using equity leveraging) in Wellington in 2007 and its making $1000 a month positive cashflow/gross profit now, and I will never have to put another cent into it.

            When I retire in 30 years time, it will have paid its loans off, have made considerable capital gains and after tax there will be about $400k sitting in an account to use also. Or I may leverage it to buy a second rental in the next ten years, then repeat and rinse.

            If you had done your homework back then you would be away laughing at the moment.

        • dave 7.2.1.2

          the problem is most of us have paid far to much for homes that were a few decades ago in line with domestic incomes but with bankers pushing cheap credit faster than a drug dealer the country is sitting on huge dept bomb that to large extent only needs a few bases point increases to blow up adding to fire we have massive money printing in china europe and the us which is spilling over into our market in form of excess asset price inflation its not good !!!!when it pops its not just going take down those in debt its going affect all of us .

  8. Dave_1924 8

    So:

    What is the undefined lower limit where compulsion doesn’t set in?
    Why would I want to put more fees in the hands of the Funds Management Industry – they make a fortune already?
    How safe will my KS balance be from Government borrowing to fund their little schemes?

    • Lanthanide 8.1
      1. I’m sure they have a feeling for what the number will be but nothing concrete right now. They already talked about raising the minimum wage so that more people will be able to contribute, which suggests that those on the minimum wage won’t be compelled to join. Hopefully they will be able to share the number before the election, but it must be remembered that the Opposition does not have access to the same kinds of resources that the government has for when it constructs and researches policy.
      2. Sure, no one voluntarily pays fees without receiving something in return. So what you receive in return is a KS fund, including $1,000 government contribution, $521 “tax credit” top-up annually and matching contributions from your employer. You are also free to choose a low-fee fund that invests solely in cash assets. There is (finally) a comprehensive comparison website here: http://fundfinder.sorted.org.nz/
      3. As safe as anything can be in a country where the Parliament is sovereign and can write new laws at any time it pleases. The government is ultimately only answerable to the voting public. KS is currently legislated to be the private property of the fund holder and the government has no access to it; any more so than the government would have access to your private bank account.
      • Sabine 8.1.1

        1, So the minimum wage goes up? How much? From $ 13.75 ro $ 14.25? That is not even keeping up with raising rent, food and transport costs.

        How much would the minimum wage actually have to go up to really make a dent and get peeps of government support, as I really do believe that the current minimum wage is only governmental sponsored corporate welfare. No one in this country anywhere can live decently on $ 13.75 before tax.

        2,I have no issues with paying fees for a service….however I have an issue paying income tax on interest, especially if my savings and my savings rate is dictated.

        1. If the government can legislate that participation is compulsory that the Government must take responsability when the private property managers of the fund holder fuck up and gamble the lot away. (see the much glamourised s401k funds in the states….they did not do well in the big financial mess of 2008 and many retirees and soon to be etc have lost what they thought were their savings).

        and for what it is worth, the government can and has access to our bankaccounts

        Remember Crete
        http://greece.greekreporter.com/2013/03/16/cypriots-frantic-as-bailout-hits-bank-accounts/

        and the reaction of dear Leader

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/130845/govt-dodges-clear-answers-on-bank-bailout-policy

        so quite frankly, no If this policy would come from National i would scream Poison, it coming from Labout does not make it better.

        disclaimer….I have a Kiwisaver, and have been part of it since it started. I have no issues with saving schemes, I have issues with compulsory/legislated savings rate that are not guaranteed.

        As for an earlier payout, or smaller payouts throught a Life, a young on might be on that kiwi safer for 50 odd years considering that the retirement is going to be raised. (this is the way it is handled in Germany btw. where the due date is every 6 years, and a person can take all, or some or nothing out, and just simply continues contributing)

        During this time, the need may arise to dip into your savings to a. pay for some medical costs, buy a house, pay off a student loan, has a child or two, or has been unemployed and needs the money because WINZ is not helping. etc etc. You might say it is not prudent, but it is also not prudent to have a Loan at 20%….now the government could legislate that the maximum interest charged on any loan is something like 10% ….but it aint doing it?
        As the KS scheme has a provision for Hardship and oversees move etc, it could be made simple by providing People with the right to just simply withdraw every 6 years, instead of having to argue with a Bank person that really my medical needs, or my family needs are such that I need to access what is MY MONEY!

        So to cut it short, if it is to be made compolsury it needs to have guarantees, or else it is legislated Wage theft, as the person paying into the scheme has less spending money.

        Also, we need spending, so to take even more money out of circulation to save for “retirement” aint gonna be helping the economy.

        another disclaimer, i will be voting for my Labout MP, but the Party Vote goes to Green.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Minimum wage is already $14.25; Labour propose to raise it by a whole 75c/hr upon taking office. And then to transition to a Living Wage – over a few years.

      • The “comprehensive comparison website” really isn’t, unless the only things you think matter in an investment are fees, returns, and “what customer services” they provide.

        I’ve been looking today in anticipation of Labour implementing this policy in 2015, and my criteria are:

        • how little I can get away with having in markets
        • how much of what is invested in markets is in New Zealand-based companies
        • how a fund determines the social and environmental benefits of the products it invests in.

        Yet this information is apparently impossible to get, and from what I can find, one of the most-touted “ethical” investments, the Kiwibank fund, is almost entirely invested overseas.

        If I’m to be forced to save (in a way which long-term hurts me financially, though it won’t cause me anywhere near the kind of hardship it will to others) then I should have the right to choose where my money is going without having to read the fine detail of a dozen investment statements.

    • fisiani 8.2

      Safe with the Greens in government. Of course not. Don’t be naive. Your funds will be forced into Green initiatives that the private sector know to be unprofitable.

  9. I take it that “universal” is the new weasel word for “compulsory.”

    • Te Reo Putake 9.1

      Only if you’ve never previously heard of national superannuation, Liam.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        You can opt out of National Super by not filling out the forms, TRP.

        • Liam Hehir 9.1.1.1

          I would have used “universal” if participation in Kiwisaver had been limited to employees of industries, ages or on needs basis. A more straightforward description of this policy would be that it will make Kiwisaver “compulsory” or “mandatory”.

          Don’t get prickly, I’m not saying Labour is the first or only political party to engage in euphemism.

          • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1.1.1

            It’s not an euphemism, Liam, it’s part of the jargon of superannuation and has been since pensions were first proposed over a century ago. But, yeah, sorry for being prickly. Had to deal with an idiot earlier in the day, some of the bad vibe must still be harshing my buzz.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2

            lol
            So you think it would be “universal” if it didn’t apply to everyone?

            :roll:

            • Liam Hehir 9.1.1.1.2.1

              It would be “universal” if it was open to everyone. We have “universal” healthcare – it doesn’t mean I have to have the operations the hospital recommends. I have a right not to consent.

              You can apply for superannuation and 8 weeks before you turn 65. Because it’s universal, you have a right to do so.

              Nobody forces you to take the money. It’s not mandatory.

              • McFlock

                So?

                According to many tories, unemployed people choose to not work. Therefore nobody makes them work, therefore nobody forces them into kiwisaver, therefore it’s only “universal” not “compulsory”.

                • But by that logic there’s no compulsory seatbelt law for motorists or compulsory helmet law for cyclists, since not everyone is compelled to use those vehicles. You would instead be talking about a “universal” seatbelts or helmets. But I can’t think of anybody who would naturally use that awkward construction.

                  For example, would you describe GST as being “universal” rather than “compulsory” just because it’s paid as a result of theoretically voluntary economic activities?

                  Bottom line: employees may currently choose whether or not they participate Kiwisaver. That choice is being removed. The fact that this may be a good idea (and it may be a good idea) does not mean it’s not, in essence, a move to compulsory Kiwisaver.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    You’re still missing the point, Liam. It’s perfectly fine to use the layman’s term ‘compulsory’, but when talking about pensions and superannuation, it’s normal to use ‘universal’. I even heard RNZ say ‘workers would be “forced” to sign up’. That’s a pretty harsh way of saying the same thing, but at the end of the day it’s not the language that’s the key thing.

                    I’m heartily sick of seeing working class kiwis get to the end of their working lives with nothing to show for a lifetime of labour. Kiwisaver has the potential to end that inequity and, even better, makes employers contribute too. OK, it’s too close to socialism for some people, but fuck ‘em. I want to see our older workers have genuine choices in their latter years and having both a pension and an employer and government subsidised super scheme is a better option than doing fuck all.

                    • Except for when we had a referendum on the matter in 1997 right? What was that called again? Oh yeah, the the “Compulsory Retirement Savings Scheme Referendum” in which about 92% of voters then rejected the “Compulsory Retirement Savings Scheme”

                      If it’s worth anything to you, I’m not making a value judgement on the policy. I’m fairly conservative – and inclined to be opposed to the policy. However, I am also a convert to Kiwisaver in one form or the other. If we must have some socialism, then we can agree this is a more agreeable form of it. So it’s an not an invincible inclination by any means.

                      Assuming Thomas Picketty is right, and investment income vastly outstrips every other form of income, then Kiwisaver can theoretically reduce inequality by making investment easier. Assuming people are in it long enough, it could even build capital over generations.

                      All that being said, I don’t think we should paper over the fact that this is an essentially coercive action. Currently, employees have the right to have a personal investment account through Kiwisaver. Labour want to make it compulsory.

                      It should be described as such – for the same reasons as proponents of asset sales shouldn’t hide between the “mixed ownership model” and the Obama administration shouldn’t hide behind “overseas contingency operations”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Investment income is falling world wide (with the exception of rentier forms of capitalism cornered by the oligarchic class). Bond yields suck due to ZIRP. Stock markets are skyrocketing due to QE – but that is already badly faltering. Consumer demand in western countries is falling over – due to austerity and stagnation.

                      And we are slowly moving into the steeper end of energy depletion. Which is the final nail in the coffin of the “economic growth” that investment returns need to eventuate.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “Except for when we had a referendum on the matter in 1997 right?”

                      Wrong. That referendum was on a specific scheme that was pants. It was rejected because the scheme was no good, not because people didn’t like the idea of compulsory retirement savings. In fact, the best example of our attitude to the matter was the ’72 election where we voted en masse for Norm Kirk to bring one in. Which Muldoon knackered a few years later.

                    • Ok – but it was still called “compulsory” right? Rather than a “Universal Retirement Savings Scheme”

                    • McFlock

                      Instruction from crosby textor:

                      your next semantic diversion will be whether Labour’s proposal is a “retirement savings scheme” or a “pre-death endowment sequestration” [preferred].

                    • Okay, that’s quite funny.

                      But to legislate to make what compulsory is currently a choice and instead call it a “universal” program reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where the President renamed [her] tax hike a “”temporary refund adjustment.”

                      Moe: Refund adjustment? Hey, sounds good to me.

                      Lenny: Sure beats a tax.

                    • McFlock

                      But to legislate to make what compulsory is currently a choice and instead call it a “universal” program

                      But to legislate to ensure everyone does what not everyone currently does is also to make it “universal”.

                      Each term is as accurate as the other in this instance. But you seem to take odd connotations from “universal” and pretend that “compulsory” is neutral.

                      And you don’t seem to have made a single comment about the merits and drawbacks of the proposal.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s only “awkward” if you’re unused to typical definitions of words as used in the English language.

                    Frankly, either term is valid for something that is applied to everybody and mandatory.
                    I believe that in some cases GST can be claimed back, so it’s not universal. Although for those who aren’t exempted, it is compulsory.

                    If there are exceptions, a thing is not universal. Access might be universal, but that thing is not.

                    Bottom line, the logic behind the proposal seems to be that the public goods (and even the private benefit) of universal/compulsory membership outweighs the private good of being entitled to piss all one’s money away.

                    But bending over backwards in a semantic argument seems to be more interesting to you than actually debating the balance of public vs private goods and bads of the proposal.

                    • So we don’t have universal superannuation then?

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, you can’t read long sentences?
                      I will summarise.

                      Short answer: yes with an “if”.
                      Long answer: no with a “but”.

                      Either equally valid.
                      Both irrelevant to the post.

                    • @Colonial Viper above.

                      Well I personally wouldn’t feel qualified to make a definitive pronoucement on the matter myself, and would draw your attention to the stated assumption behind my comment.

                    • No need to get snippy. I’m trying to argue in good faith.

                      I just think the word “universal” gets at the heart of what’s being proposed. It’s a word that usually connotates benefits, not contributions.

                      “Compulsory” is a good word – it’s unambiguous, forthright and accurate. That being said, I can see why Labour wants to avoid using it and that’s a politicians prerogative. Cutting through euphemisims is ours.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      On the upside, after all these hours, Liam has at least learned that universal in this context isn’t a weasel word. It’s a start, I suppose. Perhaps now we can move on to whether Labour’s proposal is a Good Thing?

                    • McFlock

                      I just think the word “universal” gets at the heart of what’s being proposed. It’s a word that usually connotates benefits, not contributions.

                      “Compulsory” is a good word – it’s unambiguous, forthright and accurate.

                      so you judge one (often negatively-viewed) word on its accuracy, and the other (fairly neutral) on its alleged connotations.

                      And you’re trying to argue in good faith?
                      Get real.

                      [edit:] @TRP – lol

                    • Sorry to disappoint – I have learned nothing.

                    • McFlock

                      that was your choice from the start.

        • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1.2

          I was talking about the concept of universal super, not the mechanics of our version.

          Pop quiz, Standardistas! Can you name the other countries who have universal super?

          • Tracey 9.1.1.2.1

            australia? Uk?

            • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Canada, Denmark and Russia. At least they are the ones, that like us, don’t have means testing. Funnily enough, it’s one of the reasons the eastern bits of the Ukraine have bolted into Putin’s tender embrace.

              • Colonial Viper

                That and the Ukraine is going to be a very cold, dark place this Winter.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yep. Though lots of Europe’s Russian gas still goes through the Ukraine so there might be a bit of unofficial taxation in kind on the way through. A tap here, a tap there, that sort of thing.

                  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/16/russia-cuts-off-gas-supply-ukraine

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Given that Ukraine uses 50 billion cubic metres of gas a year, the EU might notice that it’s getting short changed on its supplies from Russia.

                    Ukraine does have quite a few bcm of natural gas stored in reserve (Russian gas which hasn’t been paid for, actually) but its not enough to last this winter out.

          • alwyn 9.1.1.2.2

            The United States qualifies, by your definition.

            • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1.2.2.1

              Don’t think so, Alwyn. Pretty sure there’s only four countries with guaranteed, non means tested superannuation. I thought the USA had a variety of state and employment based schemes, but no over-arching payment that everyone got at a nominal ‘retirement’ age. But you may have some relevant info to hand. Unlike some, I’m always happy to learn interesting new facts!

              • alwyn

                I was thinking of the Social Security system. I hadn’t checked it but I was thinking of the fact that literally everybody has a Social Security Number. You can’t really exist in The States without it. Even illegal immigrants have them and deductions are made by their employers.
                I’ve had a further look and according to Wikipedia

                “Some Federal, state, local and education government employees pay no Social Security but have their own retirement, disability systems”

                Thus you will be right and it isn’t (quite) universal. Close but no cigar. Next time I’ll go to the trouble of checking before posting.

  10. Labour’s fiscal fiddling on wages and savings is pathetic.
    It’s so-called ‘brains trust’ is a hotbed of the ABC capital cringers.
    Workers welfare comes second to parliamentary careers and bankers’ profits.
    Capitalism is doomed and if we don’t act so are we (humans).
    While coat-tails exist my party vote will go to IMP.
    Why? Because Labour is stuck on 20% of the vote and I don’t see that changing much so unless we get some overhang from the left of Labour and the Greens they are not going to beat the NACTs.
    That is the only hope for a Labour-left government that has some new blood and new ideas to stir up the shit of its craven Blairite grand coalition dogma.

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      Do you flat with Phil Ure, Dave? I think some of the smoke maybe drifting under your bedroom door.

      From the top:

      Labour is looking to enrich workers. What’s your problem with that?

      The ABCers have bugger all influence in caucus these days and a good number have recently announced their retirements or are stepping aside to be list only.

      You don’t like coat-tailing so you’re going to vote for a party that depends on it. Weird.

      Labour is stuck on 20% of the vote. Um, no, you’re channeling one of BM’s wet dreams.

      Blairite grand coalition dogma? I think I saw them at SxSW or was it Camp Lowhum? Are you their triangle player? Groovy, man.

      • bad12 10.1.1

        Te Reo, and just like Alices wonderlands all the ABC faction stepped through the looking glass and disappeared, poof, gone,

        Excuse me if i have ”harshed your buzz”,(got any more like that, absolutely hilarious),

        Face it, the only left policy announced so far by David Cunliffe has been that beneficiaries will be included in ”Best start”, the rest of it, Business As Usual…

        • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1.1

          Shit, the list of things you know fuck all about also includes the works of Lewis Carroll. Talk about losing the plot …

          • bad12 10.1.1.1.1

            There there Te Reo, the buzz must have got overly harshed this morning,(excuse me while i chortle up my sleeve at your little ham fisted attempt at street cred),

            Hows defending David Parker going, must be a little hard defending one who took his learning off of Sir(spit)Roger Douglas,

            Another wonderful piece of ”winners and losers” from David don’t you think…

  11. fisiani 11

    First compulsory pension theft now compulsory wage theft. The ABC caucus are doing a damn fine job of getting rid of The Cunliffe in late September.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Comical Fisiani that isn’t up to your usual standards: if it isn’t funny it just looks like foolish dribble.

  12. James Thrace 12

    I am not in favour of any form of compulsion to invest in KiwiRorter until the following are implemented:

    1) The level of principal paid in is guaranteed in the event of GFC Mk II
    2) Banks will be forbidden to use KiwiRorter balances as part of their “balance sheets” to comply with Captial Adequacy Ratios as set out by the RBNZ
    3) Fees are to be set by Central Government at a nominal sum of CPI each year. So if CPI in 2015 is 1.5%, the total fee payable is 1.5%. If CPI in 2020 is 2.2%, the total fee payable is 2.2% etc

    The current set up is just a gravy train for Goldman Sachs – the bank that owns the world.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The current set up is just a gravy train for Goldman Sachs – the bank that owns the world.

      This is also my perspective and I want to know why it’s been set up in this way as if GFC I never happened.

      Your suggested steps are logical IMO.

    • Tracey 12.2

      Milford charges a fee and then a further fee based on performance above tge benchmark. I have no problem with that. I have watched too many funds rort people through lack of performance incentive, just take the fee and fuck the fund.

      • nadis 12.2.1

        Problem with most performance fees is they are badly structured. The concept is sound – alignment of interest, but most managers have fees that align interest on the upside, but not on the downside. Milford has one of the worst examples of a performance fee I have ever seen. Check out their Global Fund – invests 100% in global equities. The performance fee is calculated as 10% of the return above OCR+5%. So in a year when equities do 20% – Milford captures 10% of the performance above 8%. So if Milford did nothing but passively invest in equities they would have pocketed 1.2% of thee fund in performance fees FOR DOING NOTHING! A manager should only earn a fee for doing better than the market.

        This is so egregious I withdrew my money from their kiwisaver when I saw this fee structure.

    • Lanthanide 12.3

      My kiwisaver fees are currently less than 1.5%. Why exactly should I be paying more?

    • nadis 12.4

      James

      pretty much all of your three points in place right now:

      1. Invest in the conservative option – very low likelihood of losing capital especially once you take into account government subsidies. But this comes with a much bigger risk – not growing our capital. Anyone with 10 or 15+ years should be in an aggressive fund, just buy a low cost, passive style fund, invest regularly and don’t ever panic.
      2. Kiwisaver funds can not be part of bank balance sheets. Funds are unit trusts and held by an independent trustee on behalf of investors. Regulated by the govt actuary and the FMA. Nil chance of assets being taken or used by banks as part of their reg capital. Their is nil chance of gross mismanagement or inappropriate use of funds. The FMA has already unofficially strongarmed at least two kiwisaver providers out of the business.
      3. Fees are quite low already and generally below your CPI example. Average fee for a growth fund is 1.75% but you can find options as low as 0.50%. Conservative funds average 1.29% and again as low as 0.50% if you search around.

      KS isn’t perfect but a lot of the obvious bad practices have been taken out of the equation. Goldman sachs makes very little out of kiwisaver – they don’t manage any kiwisaver money and have a very limited presence in NZ. To see who’s making the money look at the market share stats – ANZ, ASB, AMP, Westpac, TSB/Fisher – they make up more than 85% of the market.

  13. Lefty 13

    Somebody needs to explain the role pension funds play in increasing inequality to the Labour leadership.

    Actually while they are about it maybe they could give them a rough rundown on how capitalism works.

    Maybe then they would be able to come up with some policy that wasn’t just for the benefit of the rich.

  14. The Chairman 14

    “Growth in the minimum wage to maximise cover” gives away the “yet to be set income level”

    Contribution rates will increase gradually by 0.25% to 4.5% in 2021, yet variable Kiwisaver contributions (meaning people pay more) will be used as a tool to control inflation?

    Is this on top of the 4.5%? And up to what level above 4.5% ?

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      @ Chairman, the mere act of making Kiwisaver compulsory, and also increasing the rate by .25% per year, will act as a damper on inflation.

      After that, I suspect the adjustments would probably be for employees to pay more and employers less, so not going over the 9% rate but pinching money directly out of employee’s paychecks.

      • The Chairman 14.1.1

        What of the dangers of flooding the markets with liquidity?

        Too much liquidity chasing a limited number of investment opportunities is prone to inflating bubbles

        • Lanthanide 14.1.1.1

          Good thing kiwisaver funds aren’t required to invest only in New Zealand, eh?

          • The Chairman 14.1.1.1.1

            Not in a down cycle when there isn’t any new investment demand, yet we require the funding back to simulate our economy.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.1

              You can’t stimulate the economy by taking away the spending power of bottom and mid level consumers.

  15. bad12 15

    Bravo Labour, i say again Bravo, there’s a pattern emerging here, my reading of the skeleton of this pattern says that a kid at school today will not be getting a pension from the State,

    Give it another 5, years that is, and the next in the long line of Neo-libs that have hold of the Labour Finance portfolio will be giving us another ”there is no alternative” with the call for the raise of entitlement for super to 70 and on it will go,

    Which ”workers” do Labour represent, the cleaners and the other low paid struggler’s in the economy, doubt it,

    Labour cannot see past it’s own heavily middle class nose when it comes to formulating policy…

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      “that a kid at school today will not be getting a pension from the State,”

      Probably. I don’t expect to get any sort of pension till I’m 70, and that’s if I’m lucky.

  16. john 16

    The justification for the policy at top, paints a one sided picture. Just a few points to add some balance-

    • Kiwis have over $100 billion invested offshore. So dividends and interest are not the one way street they’re made out to be.
    • Foreign investment in NZ is not all bad. 25% of our jobs would not exist without foreign investment.
    • Foreign investment in publicly listed NZ companies has gone from 60% 15 years ago, down to just 30% today.

    I think a lot of Labour’s Policies are not well thought out, for example the asset sales sabotage plan called Kiwi Power. It’s really badly thought out late one night in a hurry and totally undermines the whole premise of the anti asset sales argument, that the assets should be kept because they provide such a good income for the government.

    Even more poorly thought out was slowing house prices by clamping down on immigration, when such a large number of Labour voters are immigrants i.e. Pacific Islanders and around 50% of the Auckland population. That was a real own goal that will haunt and haunt.

    However the Kiwisaver policy, and using Kiwisaver as the economies pressure valve instead of interest rates, is one of the policies well worthy of further investigation.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      The Kiwi Power plan will not just sabotage National’s Quisling theft, it will also deliver lower power prices the way similar policies do all over the world.

      Remember that the left parties have said they’ll return our property to its rightful owners on terms that suit us? I would be delighted if that were accompanied by the sounds of wingnuts choking, so it’s nice of you to oblige.

      Thanks.

      • john 16.1.1

        The claim is that it will save $750m and allow the power companies to still make a reasonable profit is nonsense

        How can $750m be saved, when that is MORE than the total profit from ALL the power companies, which was $376m in 09, $606m in 2010, $592m in 2011 and $488m in 2012.

        So they will ADD a middle layer of bureaucracy, leave the power companies with a profit, and save more than they currently earn. They need to do some primary school maths.

        It’s no wonder more than one expert in the sector have said it will cost consumers MORE than they would otherwise pay.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1

          The people with the vested interests are your top advisers?

          Look, I know your partisan bias renders you more-or-less blind to a reality check, but as I said, I’m trying to nurture better wingnuts. Clearly, if the lines you are parroting were true, countries that introduced similar policies must all have experienced a consequent jump in power prices.

          All you have to do is provide citations and you’ve made your case :lol:

          • john 16.1.1.1.1

            So how do you explain saving $750m when the companies don’t even make that much?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1.1.1

              It always comes with a trace of pathos when you have to explain basic business concepts to people who cite business values at the drop of a hat.

              Question: what is the difference between turnover and profit?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Cat got your tongue?

                Next question: as a saving to consumers, does the $750M come out of turnover or profit? Think carefully now.

                • Colonial Viper

                  But what are we going to do with all those $200K pa salaries in the power companies!!!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    There’s no need for public utility salaries to go that high. The problem is the SOE model :twisted:

                • john

                  If you cut prices by $750m it obviously comes off turnover and profit.

                  Just because your turnover goes down, that doesn’t reduce any of your expenses. None. Generating costs, interest, depreciation, are all exactly the same.

                  That’s why not a single person anywhere in the Green Party or Labour Party
                  has been able to give even the slightest explanation of where the $750m will come from.

                  They don’t have the foggiest idea.

                  That’s a total failure.

                  Which is no surprise for a policy that was nothing more than an ill thought out sabotage plan desperately hatched late at night just before the asset sales.

                  Like the immigration own goal, it doesn’t pay to make policy on the hoof.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh John, youre starting to sound shrill now. Why so desperate? NZers know that they’ve been taken for a ride by the power companies, Labour is simply pointing out by how much.

                    • john

                      It’s laughable.

                      Not a single person in Labour or Greens has yet been able to explain where the $750m will come from when it’s more than the companies have been making.

                      Neither can they explain why SOE prices went up much faster under Labour, and by significantly less under National.

                      That’s what happens when you make up policy on the hoof late one night around a kitchen table.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What happens when you’re an authoritarian follower of limited intelligence with no valid argument?

                      Calling the Bellman, come in please your time is up.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    No John, it doesn’t. That would be why they researched existing successful policy from the real world instead.

                    If you’re going to tell lies you’re going to make yourself look more like mendacious trash than the innocent victim of a right wing brain (see how charitable I’m being – I’m still giving you the benefit of the doubt).

                    Are you sure you really want to go there?

                    • Lanthanide

                      Lol, afflicted by a right wing brain, love it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If only we were right-wingers: we could propose eugenics as a solution!

                    • Lanthanide

                      Re-education camp?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Nah, we’re stuck with promoting evidence-based policy and cleaning up after the shitty puppies. On the other hand I’m sure I could find work for them at the Ministry of Truthiness.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    This presents an opportunity to debunk John’s lies about immigration policy too.

                    The NZLP makes policy more-or-less in public; all policy, including immigration policy, is subject to its constitutional arrangements.

                    When right wing trash make hay out of this (in the absence of public policy making in their own camp), the Johns of this world can always be relied on to swallow it hook, line, and shrinkum.

                    What kind of fuckwit government doesn’t manage immigration? Oh, that’s right: the one we’ve got.

                    • john

                      What kind of political Party craps on their own supporters?

                      Oh that’s right. One on 30%

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Beaten, humiliated, the cur lashes out in one final, desperate, feeble spasm, only to be told: I’m a Green voter, chump.

    • Lanthanide 16.2

      “It’s really badly thought out late one night in a hurry ”

      Actually during the power reforms in the 90’s, the consumer’s institute recommended a single-buyer model, as is successfully used elsewhere in the world.

      20 years after Max Bradford’s reforms have shown to only increase prices for the public, I think it’s time this venerable idea was debated and considered for implementation.

      But let’s not let history get in the way of rhetoric, shall we?

      • john 16.2.1

        If power prices had stayed low, we would still have the broken transmission lines that meant regular blackouts for Auckland.

        We would still have a Cook Strait Cable that was years past it’s use by date, with risk of major blackouts across the whole North Island.

        And we wouldn’t have nearly enough power for demand.

        The majority of increases over recent years have been transmission and lines charges.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.1

          Still many millions of dollars in fat to be cut out off profit margins and senior executive pay.

        • Lanthanide 16.2.1.2

          It is quite possible to invest in infrastructure without having excessive costs imposed on top.

          Do you think Meridian’s ads with Newsboy on TV somehow help power the country? What about Mercury Energy’s ads about how they have “good energy”? Or those ads with the pukekos? Do you think power prices could be lower if gentailers weren’t competing with each other in an artificial marketplace?

          Or how about how National forced Meridian to sell one of their dams on the Waitaki River to Genesis Energy and then subsequently took a special dividend of $520M from Meridian to pad their budget out after they’d recklessly given tax cuts to the top 20%? Did you know that now all of the power companies have been privitised, that Genesis is talking about selling the dam back to Meridian, because it is more efficient if Meridian manages it, which is exactly what all of the experts said at the time that National cooked up their ridiculous scheme?

          Maybe if you dig under the surface, you’ll discover that our electricity “market” is really a racket and that it isn’t serving the interests of NZ citizens.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2.1.2.1

            Too many facts for John I’m afraid.

          • john 16.2.1.2.2

            That’s funny.

            We spend billions upon billions of dollars each year generating and distributing electricity, but the prices have apparently escalated massively, all because of the newsboy ads.

            And it’s funny that for companies who are supposedly rorting the system, they have such very slim profit margins.

            And that although generating power is supposedly incredibly profitable, that no other companies want a slice of the pie.

            • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.2.2.1

              And that although generating power is supposedly incredibly profitable, that no other companies want a slice of the pie.

              You really are a fucking moron. Of course they “want a slice” of the generation pie. That’s why they bought up all the billions of dollars worth of shares the Government sold off.

              Man, please pay attention. Slacker.

            • Lanthanide 16.2.1.2.2.2

              “We spend billions upon billions of dollars each year generating and distributing electricity, but the prices have apparently escalated massively, all because of the newsboy ads.”

              I was using TV advertising as an obvious example of what happens when you set up a faux market with gentailers that compete against each other for the same customer base. Take out the television ads. Take out all of the special promotions. Take out all of the duplication of account management, customer service management etc, and you can likely cut administrative overhead costs by 5-10%, if not more.

              “And it’s funny that for companies who are supposedly rorting the system, they have such very slim profit margins.”

              They could increase their profit margins if they stopped paying such massive salaries to their CEOs and directors, which incidentally rose massively as a result of the privatisation. Of course the shareholders are going to want increasing profits, not flat profits, so this in turn will directly result in higher power prices.

              “And that although generating power is supposedly incredibly profitable, that no other companies want a slice of the pie.”

              Because it takes a lot of capital to get into the generation game. The existing generators exist because they inherited their assets from the state that had built them up over decades.

  17. gsays 17

    good standard of debate and discussion, however…

    when i heard this policy announcement my first thought was that they have just handed the election to the right.

    what to me, became clear last two elections, is that voters are very selfish and shortsighted.

    2008 they voted for taxcuts, 2011 they voted for selling of state assets and against capital gains tax.

    i do think the policy has merit (tempered by bills’ comments @ 5 and james thrace @12) but to the great unwashed will just seem like less for me.

  18. cricklewood 18

    My one abiding concern is that some twit at the reserve bank or parliament will in 20 so years as large amounts of Kiwisaver come due will decide that it will be “inflationary” and then seek restrict access by either changing the age of entitlement or limit the amount that can be removed per year etc.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      Politicians that diddle people out of retirement money tend to have short careers.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        No problem, they leave and join the board of a big bank or some such

      • cricklewood 18.1.2

        Two things, it only takes one term to do something like that and then following govts never change it.
        Its also why raising the super age is a fairly silly policy for Labour to have…

    • The Chairman 18.2

      There is talk of forcing Kiwisaver investors to use part or all of their savings to buy life annuity.

      http://bit.ly/1ivhwYf

      http://bit.ly/1m5hepc

      • nadis 18.2.1

        Talk is only by those self interested. Which I guess could be a concern. Annuities are a product entirely without merit – I really cant see them being imposed in NZ. Globally other countries are getting rid of them. Especially now with interest rates at all time lows they make even less sense. Put the money in several banks of your choice.

      • Unfortunately I can easily see it happening. Once you’re making policy based on the idea that people must be forced to save their money “wisely”, it’s logical to make more policy to force them to spend it wisely.

  19. Dom 19

    This policy is very confusing to me

    -What is the income level where compulsory contributions kick in?

    -Is the Variable Savings Rate tool going to be used by the Reserve Bank ON TOP of the eventually raised contribution rate of 4.5%?

    -If I’m just inside the income range for compulsory contributions it’ll be a hell of a hit in the pocket. Bloody hell there’s enough deductions coming out of my wage packet already!

    Is it just me that’s confused over this?

    • Lanthanide 19.1
      1. The level has not yet been announced, but other wording they’ve given implied that it will be set somewhere above the minimum wage; ie those earning the MW won’t be forced to join Kiwisaver, but as the minimum wage is raised (Labour’s goal is to get to $17/hour eventually), they will likely enter the compulsory bracket.
      2. This is unclear and it hasn’t been stated by Labour how it will work. It’s possible they may take the contribution rate over 9%, or they may balance it so that instead of an even 4.5% / 4.5% split between employee and employer, it could stay at the total 9% but be weighted to 5% employee / 4% employer, to take money directly out of people’s paychecks.
      3. Yes, that does seem to be the result of the policy. Trying to apply some sort of abatement rate to this to phase it in over an income band seems infeasible.
  20. infused 20

    All I heard was bad press about this today.

    Policy doesn’t bother me either way, but I think Labour slipped up here.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      Yes, we will profit from accepting the word of a right wing shill at face value, comrades :D

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      OK as much as it pains me, infused has a good point here.

      WHOM EXACTLY exactly are the voters that Labour is hoping to sway into its court with this compulsory KiwiSaver policy. Which is the CONSTITUENCY that Labour is attempting to impress with this.

      Because the only people I can see who will like this policy, are the financial sector and big banks.

      Small employers will hate it, people on low incomes will hate it, beneficiaries and unemployed – they won’t give a stuff about it.

      So…WHOM is this policy designed to appeal to. Anyone hazard some suggestions?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2.1

        Populism is your benchmark? Treading on Winston Cray-Cray toes much?

        • Colonial Viper 20.2.1.1

          Why would a political party be interested in populism? Is there a General Election happening soon?

          So what is the answer to the question – what constituency is Labour targetting with this policy announcement?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2.1.1.1

            The constituency of people who support compulsory retirement savings, according to opinion polls, is quite large. Whether they’re traditional Labour voters is debatable…

      • Lanthanide 20.2.2

        All those who greeted their variable-rate KS plan with interest, which included the reserve bank and many in industry, IIRC including federated farmers.

        The first part to making the variable-rate policy possible is universal membership.

        • Colonial Viper 20.2.2.1

          OK, so with this policy are there even 10,000 votes to be won amongst all of that crowd?

          • RedBaronCV 20.2.2.1.1

            More likely lost 10,000 I think. All I hear are voters departing.

            The minute such a scheme is compulsory the drift off of universal super will start and future right wing governments will give that a decent shove anytime they can.

            Putting the burden for controlling inflation onto wage & salary earners only. Why shouldn’t the self employed be required to join too?

            No provision for those who do unpaid work at times during their adult life -there go the women departing with their votes. Any drift in universal super will hurt them badly. Likewise the low paid.

            Wages and salary earners will have a good chunk of their savings out in the open (not hidden in trusts and companies) at the mercy of future government policies.

            • Colonial Viper 20.2.2.1.1.1

              Indeed, I don’t see any disadvantaging of the financial sector, of financial capital or the owners of financial capital with this scheme.

              In fact, they are about to get a whole lot richer off the back of compulsory KiwiSaver.

  21. fisiani 21

    Parker is surely not stupid. He knows this policy will hurt the poor and first home buyers suffering under the huge mortgage rates that inevitably follow a Labour govt. Who can stomach being forced to forego 9% of their wages? Cui Bono? Parker of Robertson will be the next leader. Listen to Matthew Hooten analysis on Radio NZ today. I’ve posted on this a few days ago. Hardly anyone on the Labour List will make it into parliament. Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern will be gone. Kelvin Davis will be gone unless he is in the top 10. The Labour secret man ban adds to the problem. I cannot accept that the continual roll out of unacceptable policies is not deliberate.

    • RedBaronCV 21.1

      And without even trying Nact has a woman ban – they don’t even seem to have women standing for seat selection just blokes

      • fisiani 21.1.1

        King Country and West Coast and Invercargill would disagree to name just a few.

  22. mickysavage 22

    Man tough crowd!

    Short term poor workers will not get a benefit and young people with a mortgage should concentrate on paying this off. But medium to long term increased savings will mean more local control of local industry and companies. Aussie has boomed with a similar arrangement.

    • john 22.1

      The question is, will Labour’s proposed Capital Gains Tax on shares mean that everyone’s Kiwi Saver Account will now be taxed for capital gains?

      • fisiani 22.1.1

        John you are absolutely correct. Labour equals tax and more tax and even tax on tax.Tax on baches boats, businesses, buses,and bingo wins. Screwed 9% of your wage and the CGT slapped on it. I tell you It’s a vote winner. So too is being forced to work another 1000 days.

      • Lanthanide 22.1.2

        Everyone already pays tax on their Kiwisaver gains. Most (all?) KS are set up so they qualify under the PIE tax scheme, which has slightly different tax rates than standard income tax, with the maximum tax rate being 28% instead of 33%.

    • Colonial Viper 22.2

      But medium to long term increased savings will mean more local control of local industry and companies (1). Aussie has boomed with a similar arrangement (2).

      Hi MS,

      1) Why (and how) will it mean “more local control of local industry and companies”? Can Labour point to evidence that the current $18B in KiwiSaver funds has in any way led to “more local control of local industry and companies.”? If those KiwiSaver funds tripled to $60B what actual difference would that make in “more local control of local industry and companies”?

      2) Aussie’s arrangements were suitable in the era of the 1970’s to now. But we are now in an age of energy and resource depletion and substantially increased financial instability. Is there any evidence that Labour has taken these factors into account in the set up of this scheme?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.2.1

        Surely there’s evidence that the NZLP has considered these factors. You’re a member of the NZLP and therefore you would have raised them during the policy development process, right?

        • Colonial Viper 22.2.1.1

          Caucus somehow forgot to call with me before releasing this policy

          It’s fairly simple questions – we already have $18B in KiwiSaver funds. How has that helped to retain ownership and control of local companies? How will a bigger sum do so in the future? It didn’t stop our power generators being sold off.

          And has this scheme taken into account the permanent end of economic growth due to resource and energy depletion, or are we just trying to feed the “infinite growth on a finite planet” ponzi scheme further.

          Also why not just fix the damn problem. If the aim is to retain control and ownership of local companies, why not just make it happen now instead of waiting another decade for some market acceptable financial strategy to possibly take hold.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 22.2.1.1.1

            Populism?

            • Colonial Viper 22.2.1.1.1.1

              Do you have anything relevant to say about the aspects of the policy that I raised?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Well, I made the point that a reason to not “fix” the problem “right now” is populism: I think it would be a relatively hard sell as policy goes, however necessary.

                I suppose more money in Kiwisaver equals more local investment. Are you saying that there has been no discussion of these matters within the party before the policy announcement?

                Labour’s article on the policy platform states that it:

                is not our election manifesto. That will still be created through the democratic processes and structures of the Party, and will contain the specific initiatives that an incoming Labour Government will undertake. The manifesto is required by the Constitution to be consistent with the Platform.

                What gives?

                • Colonial Viper

                  What gives is a fucking disconnect mate, that’s what gives.

                  I suppose more money in Kiwisaver equals more local investment.

                  Only if you force the funds to be invested onshore instead of on Wall St or other places offshore.

          • Lanthanide 22.2.1.1.2

            “It’s fairly simple questions – we already have $18B in KiwiSaver funds. How has that helped to retain ownership and control of local companies? How will a bigger sum do so in the future? It didn’t stop our power generators being sold off.”

            You’re conflating issues here.

            The power generators were sold off because National wanted to sell them off. Whether KS existed or not, National would still have made that decision.

            That fact that KS does exist, and that many KS providers (apparently) did buy shares in the SOE’s, does indeed confirm that we have retained ownership of these companies (through KS) that otherwise would have gone offshore (because ‘mum and dad’ didn’t have the cash to invest in the firesale themselves).

            • Colonial Viper 22.2.1.1.2.1

              OK so KiwiSaver funds bought a few % of the going shares. I suppose that’s better than having those few % go offshore. I’m not convinced though that any of that translates into any kind of effective or practical “more local control” of Kiwi industries and companies.

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    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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