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Labour’s popular housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 3:40 pm, January 10th, 2013 - 121 comments
Categories: david shearer, housing, labour - Tags:

I’m delighted to see that over 70% of respondents to a recent Herald poll, published today, think Labour’s 100,000 houses plan is “a winner for Labour”. The plan was announced by David Shearer at Labour’s November conference.

I’d also like to thank Olwyn for asking some questions about Labour’s policy on housing in response to Zetetic’s post – they deserve an answer.

Olwyn asks: “Does Labour share Zetetic’s concerns about the state house sell-off?” These concerns were also expressed in the Herald by Metiria Turei.

Of course we share the concerns; here’s what Labour’s 2011 housing policy said:

Labour is committed to increasing and upgrading Housing New Zealand’s state housing stock. Labour also remains committed to the policy of income related rents for state house tenants.

We need to invest in housing. The last Labour Government spent nine years repairing the damage caused by a National Government that oversaw a fire-sale of nearly 13,000 state houses, carried out no modernisation whatsoever, and introduced market rents plunging tens of thousands of families into poverty overnight.

I think that’s pretty clear.

Olwyn asks again : “Will it(Labour) do things differently? Build more state houses for example?” Labour’s policy again:

Labour will focus on new builds for any state house acquisitions, rather than purchasing existing properties, to increase the overall housing stock. Where possible new state houses will be built in accordance with the disability sector approved Lifemark standard for accessible, adaptable lifetime design.

Once again from Olwyn: “Is the same caucus able answer the question about affordable housing?

The current policy on housing affordability, approved by the Caucus and Party Council, runs to seven pages in the 2011 election manifesto, and starts thus:

The road back to housing affordability

Getting the New Zealand housing market back on the path to affordability will take time and structural change in our economy. Only a Labour government has the plan to do this.

You can read the full policy here; it runs for 12 pages, 287-299.

Olwyn goes on to say: “If Labour will not answer such questions, then surely this gives you a clue as to why these days Labour is being criticised by the left almost as much as National is.”

As I hope I have indicated above, I don’t think Labour has a particular problem answering the questions. I do accept that there are problems with Labour’s communications, as well as in left perceptions of Labour. So those of us who do support Labour have a responsibility to explain the policies as well as engage in the policy debates.

However I do also think that some on the left sometimes do not give Labour credit where credit is due. Housing policy is a good example, as it is one of the litmus policies where the distinction between Labour and National is most clear.

The best example of that distinction is also mentioned in the policy above. In 1999, Labour campaigned on a promise to change state house rentals from so-called market rents to income-related rents. Labour did this in government, and it made a huge difference to state home renters.

Labour promised to pay for this policy by increasing the top rate of income tax from 36% to 39%. They did this too. As far as I am aware this is one of the few times any social democratic government has campaigned and won an election on a promise to increase income tax. There’s nothing right-wing about any of that.

And I think the fact that Labour’s 100,000 houses policy is so popular gives the best answer to David Shearer’s more virulent critics. The poll was taken at the beginning of December, so the policy will have been widely discussed over the holidays.It is a big idea, it is very Labour, it is very different from National, it goes alongside Labour’s commitment to state housing.

It should get the new year off to a good start. I’m optimistic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

121 comments on “Labour’s popular housing policy”

  1. Steve H 1

    So instead of saving money, living to the bare minimum to get a deposit and pay off a mortgage, you should be able to not save, spend as much money as you like on nice food, alcohol, takeaways and V8’s, and not make a sacrifice whatsoever? And still get a decent house too?

    I’m in, workings over-rated.

    • McFlock 1.1

      …spend as much money as you like as long as the amount you like to spend on those things is infinitesimal to the point of purely imaginary.. .

      FIFY

    • burt 1.2

      Work is what other people do to fund your lifestyle – this is socialism : Other peoples money is yours for the taking … all you need to do is vote for the party that promises it to you !

      • xtasy 1.2.1

        burt: Welcome to another disciple of divide and rule by applying injustices across the board. And perhaps put the boot in next time to beneficiaries, whom you will despise, as they are from your view “not pulling their weight” (as if there is one class of permanent beneficiaries, while in fact there is very much movements out of and also into benefit dependence).

      • McFlock 1.2.2

        So in the marketplace we should act according to our own self interest, but when voting we should act according to the interests of other people?

        That right there is the con that lets non-millionaires vote national.

      • One Tāne Huna 1.2.3

        burt, it’s called a free market: we freely decided to take all your money and spend it on poor people, because you don’t deserve the benefits of the society you despise.

        This just in: no, wait, we didn’t, we just required you to pay your taxes, cry-baby.

      • mike e vipe e 1.2.4

        burt you should form the suckers party for those sucked in by simplistic short term thinkers such as yourself and SH .
        most major companies in NZ were started on the back of govt investment of one type or other!
        You could all advocate to go back and live in Dickensian times!

    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      In the 1970’s and 1980’s it was quite possible to do what you suggested Steve H. Too bad successive Right Wing governments have ruined the chances for so many after them.

      You can’t save anything worthwhile on less than $45K pa. and even if you did, no bank would loan you a mortgage sufficient to buy a house anywhere other than Ashurst, Bulls or Ettrick.

    • xtasy 1.4

      Steve H: You apparently have not read much about Labour’s housing policy!

      The Kiwi Build policy will require people to save and pay down a deposit, and they also must fulfil other criteria, so they cannot get an “affordable” home and simply sell it on straight afterwards, making a nice tax free gain.

      And for state housing, have you ever enquired what your circumstances need to look like, before you ever even get onto a waiting list for a state home?

      With house prices at what they are here in Auckland now, where most choose to live due to better job-availability, you have to be a big earner to be able to save anything for a home. Labour want to ease the pressure on the market with their ideas.

      The major issue I have so far with Labour’s plans is the unanswered question of where the cheap land to build on will come from. Mike does not appear to address the major shortfall here.

      More is needed, and Labour will have to work through the Kiwi Build plan again, addressing some flaws in it.

      But they are certainly doing a heck of a lot more than this government!

    • mike e vipe e 1.5

      D#*k head a labour govt are going to sell guaranteed bonds into the market to start the ball rolling
      some of New Zealands most prosperous times were when in the past the govt stated housing programs they were times of very low unemployment as well!
      Young families have very little chance of getting started and having a stable place and community.
      Young families Can’t afford to live it up like you say I’m still bringing up 2 teenagers on a very respectable income and it ain’t cheap!
      No doubt there are a few irresponsible out their but they are few and far between and are unlikely to save a deposit or have kiwisaver in place!
      You are just being an ignorant bigot by victimising poor people!

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    I notice those polled think Labour’s 100,000 houses plan is “a winner for Labour”.

    I wonder what the answer would have been had they asked whether it was a winner for home buyers, or taxpayers. I would have answered “is it a winner for Labour?” in the affirmative, and I think it’s a fucking stupid idea. I just happen to think political parties promising free shit to people is always a winner with the people being offerred free shit. Paul’s always thrilled about Peter being robbed.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      That isn’t something you noticed, it’s something you inferred. The article says the respondents approved of the policy, and the journo said that makes it a winner for Labour.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1

        Well, I inferred it from this:

        I’m delighted to see that over 70% of respondents to a recent Herald poll, published today, think Labour’s 100,000 houses plan is “a winner for Labour”.

        And I think it is the only inference you can take from what the author wrote.

  3. burt 3

    OK folks, the gummit wants to send you a message – don’t worry – vote Labour : Everything will be fine and the coalition with the Greens will provide the freshly printed money to create wildfire inflation build houses.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      What’s the difference between printing the money into the NZ economy and borrowing it into the economy from China?

      • You_Fool 3.1.1

        One is a Green/Red policy and the other is Blue…. and Burt’s favourite colour is blue so therefore that one is obviously better

    • bad12 3.2

      May i be so impolitee as to inquire if your name is by any chance f**k-head, the US has printed trillions of dollars, is still printing the stuff and according to their Prez will continue to do so untill such time as unemployment has fallen to a suitable level,

      Before you start on the ‘run-away inflation’ idiocy i suggest you check the current rate of inflation in the US,

      Dumb f**ks like you make me angry beyond what’s good for me…

      • infused 3.2.1

        The US will be gone by then. Because retards like you have no clue.

        • bad12 3.2.1.1

          And you think that what you have just posted is intelligent debate??? fuck off back to the slimy fucking hole you just crawled out of you piece of shit…

    • mike e vipe e 3.3

      Burt where’s your evidence every major trading block has printed money(no infltion problems in any of their economies) that’s why our balance of payments is so bad you idiot we wouldn’t have to borrow $52 billion of other peoples money. (Where’s all the inflation there you numskull, read some thing about economics not your homespun Act BS” ACT <than 1%support")
      You Right whingers keep reeling out this economic diatribe without any evidence but are happy to support a govt who spends other peoples money by borrowing and paying more people to be on welfare funny that!

  4. Lightly 4

    but what’s the answer for the 40% of families who can’t afford KiwiBuild? Why is Labour only subsidising the top 60%?

    • Steve H 4.1

      Because its nice to get something that isn’t just “for the poor, poor people who don’t have to work”?

      Something for the middle class that isn’t just another tax increase?

      • Lightly 4.1.1

        a) I think that the bottom 40% includes quite a bit of the ‘middle class’, most of them are working – in fact there are only about 10% of families with kids who don’t have any work income
        b) there’s already lots of middle class spending eg Working for Families. There’s also 270,000 kids living in poverty and sharply falling homeownership in the lower income brackets.
        c) If you assume that the top third of families by income can’t get KiwiBuild, because surely we’re not subsidising the wealthy here and the bottom 40% can’t afford it and about half the rest already own a house…. are there even 100,000 eligible families out there?

      • Colonial Weka 4.1.2

        Do you really believe that the bottom 40% of families don’t work?

    • burt 4.2

      Why is Labour only subsidising the top 60%?

      Because that’s enough to get the levers of power…. It’s not about good long term outcomes, prudent fiscal policy, better outcomes for NZ people – it’s about being popular enough to get the levers of power !

      Hell the numbers don’t even stack up – how will Labour build houses for hundreds of thousands less than is currently possible… who cares… enough stupid people in love with other peoples money will vote for it !

      • Lightly 4.2.1

        $300,000 homes are possible. There’s lots of them. The problem is that there aren’t enough and they’re being snapped up by property investors.

        • The Al1en 4.2.1.1

          Who invest to on sell and pay no taxes on huge profits.
          If WFF is middle class welfare, housing portfolios are legalised tax rorts.

          Will DS promote a CGT with such vigour as ‘his’ new homes package?
          Will he legislate for a minimum standard of habitability, and pledge no more families living in garages?
          Will he signal that landlords are responsible for problem tenants, and made to pay fees for noise control/policing as a consequence?
          Will DS clearly (See what I did ;) ) express his solidarity for the party core constituents and make a huge impact on their lives, or will he appease middle class voters to win back their votes?

          The right always tell us no-one should get something for nothing, so why slumlords and party leaders?

  5. Steve Wrathall 5

    Hope your number comes up and you get the discounted house. Immediately flick it onto the market and trouser $100K. Labour’s Lotto housing policy is a “winner” all right. But like Lotto it has many more losers.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I guessed your twisted money grubbing mind would come up with this idea

    • mike e vipe e 5.2

      One small problem Silly Wanker they have to hold the house for 10 years minimum and pay back homestart and kiwisaver !

      • Steve Wrathall 5.2.1

        Borrow against future windfall. Thank you sucker taxpayer. Learn some economics.

        • Chris 5.2.1.1

          Just so we all have a solid understanding of how you understand the economics of this:

          The government will be build a large number of houses in one area and sell them for $300,000. Once this first tranche of houses are built, they will build some more presumably in the same area and sell these ones for $300,000 also. Yet somehow you are going to find a buyer who is willing to pay $400,000 for a house readily available for $300,000.

          Or do you mean you will sell it in ten years for $400,000 giving you a princely return of 2.9% p.a.

  6. Matt 6

    I think the response would have been very different if the question had been, Are you happy to fund 100,000 houses for people that can not be bothered to save and buy their own home?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      How about: are you happy to tax property speculators and slum lords out of the market so that ordinary families can afford decent housing in Auckland?

    • Blue 6.2

      Pretty sure these houses are not being given away for free. There was something on that pesky press handout about having to have saved your own deposit to get one. And you have to either get a mortgage like everyone else or have $300k lying around to buy it outright.

      The quality of RWNJs is really decreasing.

      • Steve Wrathall 6.2.1

        Who said they were being given for free? Names please

        • Blue 6.2.1.1

          That’s generally what’s implied when Matt claims these houses are being ‘funded’ for people who “can not be bothered to save and buy their own home”

          If they don’t have to buy it, then it must be free.

    • xtasy 6.3

      Matt: You have no clue, it shows! To get one of those 100,000 proposed new “homes” (not necessarily all standalone “houses” on sections), a deposit will still be needed! So how does one get that? Santa Claus has been and gone, but I got no deposit from him. Lotto maybe a tough chance too. So what is left? Work and earn it. Stop distorting the true facts of the plan.

      • Matt 6.3.1

        How is that distortion Xtasy? What about the people who have already had to fork out and buy houses at the inflated prices what mechanism will be in place to protect their existing investment and ensure they don’t fall into negative equity territory?, I do not have a problem with a hand up however I don’t believe that people should be receiving a hand out.

        It would appear that some of the commenters here get fairly feral pretty quickly and are prone to slagging people off its not really becoming for the party is it?

        • xtasy 6.3.1.1

          “What about the people who have already had to fork out and buy houses at the inflated prices what mechanism will be in place to protect their existing investment and ensure they don’t fall into negative equity territory?”

          By that logic you are in favour of ever increasing house prices!

          This is acceptance of the divide and rule mentality we are getting from the National led government, in virtually all areas of government and policies.

          How do you know whether, and by how much prices would fall for other homes, if the 100,000 new homes get built within say ten years? You are making mere speculations. With population growth projections and expected additional migration, the homes will be needed anyway. And even with a stable population, there is not much need to expect that prices for homes in Auckland and Christchurch will drop due to more housing being built for affordable prices.

          Forget also not the leaky home fiasco, which has left thousands of homes with damages, many of them unsellable. Others face huge repair costs, even after legal court action settlements – or accepting the government’s offer.

          Some will have to be demolished over coming years, leading to more shortage of homes.

          What will happen if the homes that Labour proposes do not get built? Hey, bingo, that may be what you and a few others want, as it will ensure prospective gains for homes that exist already, and that do not meet the increased demand.

          Also do not forget, that there are many thousands on waiting lists for Housing NZ homes, which the government never offered. Do you want them to spend the rest of their lives in caravans, in garages, living in over-crowded homes with others, or staying in boarding houses or even sleeping rough?

          • Steve Wrathall 6.3.1.1.1

            Actually the massive increase in house prices occurred under Auntie Helen

            • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes it did; Cullen refused to reign in bank lending during that period. Bad mistake. Bank lending should be reigned in now. And a big fat stamp duty placed on anyone buying a speculative property.

        • Blue 6.3.1.2

          What about the people who have already had to fork out and buy houses at the inflated prices what mechanism will be in place to protect their existing investment and ensure they don’t fall into negative equity territory?

          An ‘investment’ can go up and down in price. An informed investor takes that into account when buying and realises there are never any guarantees that they won’t end up losing money.

          If you buy it, you take the risk.

          Welcome to the market.

  7. Populuxe1 7

    Where is the land coming from? Can Labour guarantee this won’t cause a Bill Clinton-esque real estate bubble. Isn’t this just putting a bandaid on Auckland’s top heavy overpopulation when a more farsighted and lasting strategy would be to encourage relocation to other centres. etc etc

    • Saccharomyces 7.1

      +1 to that P1. I don’t see how this can be achieved without having unintended consequences.

      I also agree on relocation, the problem is how do you encourage that relocation? Do you have any ideas on that? The only one I can think of is bettter infrastructure between centres…

    • ad 7.2

      It’s never easy, but the first place you look is current Crown land holdings and go through the offer-back procedure. There’s a fair old bunch of them, often wtihin brownfield sites.

      The step after that, if you followed the preferences of the Public Works Act, would be for central and local government to act in concert together, for the public work of housing.

      Or go it alone. Where it can get to the Land Valuation Tribunal. It’s harsh business, and the results are never perfect in retrospect, but that are better than what was there. Good examples of it in the last two decades can be found in Te Atau Peninsula, Hobsonville, Point England, and New Lynn.

      The PWA is a tough Act to be on the other end of, but that’s what a market intervention looks like. That’s how you get the land.

  8. ad 8

    Well, good to see Mike back. It’s the best positive policy Labour has had in years; so much of what Labour has proposed has been defensive and reactive. Nor do I mind that it supports real estate capitalism; it’s a major part of what New Zealand is and would take at least two full Labour/etc terms to keep to a steady simmer rather than binge-purge cycle.

    I haven’t heard much about how Labour would enable the big City councils to partner with them. Auckland’s great public housing selloff a generation ago was a major driver of the nasty price/ownership sorting mechanisms Auckland now has going. Barring some exceptions, Auckland Council is largely relying on its Unitary Plan to simply set a framework for the market rather than actively making the market (which is the way to change it).

    We now have pretty much no mezzanine finance for housing, few developers other than the real majors and a few boutique practices, and a still highly conservative banking system post GFC. So public-public partnerships are necessary, and they would also blow on the dying coals of the whole civic realm. Labour needs to think beyond Central Gvoernment’s instruments.

    It also needs to reaggregate and de-corpratise the Housing Corporation, and make it simply a sub-Department of Work and Income. The structural splintering over two decades has encouraged real abdications of responsibility from the public sector and huge devolution in to NGO-Corporate hybrids. Labour needs to take back the idea of the public in public housing, for the public sector and the public good.

    Mike I would just encourage you to get the actual housing spokesperson on this site to promote policy. That’s what they are employed for.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Gosh the chunder bucket has been urgently and well employed on this one.

    Fulfilling social needs?-the right don’t like it up’em that’s for sure. Clue for Labourites-become left social democrats again, house, feed, care for and educate citizens (rather than individuals) and you may get somewhere.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    I don’t understand why Labour is not proposing building these houses via a Ministry of Public Works, instead of funneling huge contract and profits to corporates.

    • burt 10.1

      Because they want the glory – not the risk !

    • ad 10.2

      It’s not going to come back unless you aggregate the civil build back together again for the central public realm, which just to start with would mean:

      – split off Kiwirail operations from track and station assets,
      – aggregate Kiwirail track and station assets with NZTA’s motorway assets, and run their Asset Management Plans jointly
      – get rid of NZTA to split off those motorway assets, so NZTA is just a revenue generator and distributor
      – decorporatise Housing Corporation and have a monopolitistic single-supplier construction contract
      – and unwind Transpower into a Department again, along with any unsold power generators

      … much of which would require legislative change to the State Sector acts…

      and then
      – have a really good talk with whomever governs monopolies these days

      …and having done all of that, all you’ve done is form another corporate – this time a public one.

  11. Pete 11

    Home ownership also brings with it a number of positive social benefits. People are more rooted in their communities and have a greater stake in them. Children are more likely to perform better at school if they’re not moving around every few years, and there’s greater political engagement on the local and national level.

    • karol 11.1

      Actually, I think home ownership can lead to political disengagement, as people get focused on ensuring they retain their property, upgrading it, DIY etc, etc, more concern they maintain their foothold, rather than focusing on what’s happening in society at large, and especially disconnecting from what’s happening with the less well-off.

      • felixviper 11.1.1

        Very true karol. Who was it who said “people with mortgages don’t go on strike”?

        I also agree with Pete about the wider benefits of being secure in a stable community, but that doesn’t – or shouldn’t – have to be related to home ownership.

        • Mary 11.1.1.1

          It’s about the consequences of the breakdown of what was a far more caring and inclusive society. State assistance for first time home buyers was originally available to everyone because of “the wider benefits of being secure in a stable community”. Labour’s current policy reminds me of the food in schools debacle where almost everyone said let’s “feed the kids in deciles one to three”: yet another band aid response to a far deeper problem, and creating further divisions. Nothing wrong with food in schools, but only if it’s across the board with objectives based on social cohesion, “the wider benefits of being secure in a stable community” etc, rather than a knee-jerk response to inherent inequality.

      • Come on ! Karol I expect better from you than daft statement like the above.
        Mt wife and I bought our house through the SA.loan scheme and we are the proud owners of our “Little palace” I can assure that because it was possible to own our own house,an impossible
        dream in our first years of marriage , has made me more socialistic than ever . To me making it possible for a low paid working family to own their own home is the true meaning of Democratic
        Socialism . Plus one of the reasons the Labour Party was started.

        • karol 11.1.2.1

          It’s not daft. And the original Labour Party didn’t start to enable home ownership by workers. it focused on Labour policy and state housing.

          Yes, many people have benefited, especially the upper working classes. But those on the lowest incomes suffer, and it has got increasingly difficult for those on upper working class incomes to buy their own homes.

          I am glad to see you have remained very socialist/social democrat. But, I don’t think it’s true of all people, working class or otherwise, who became home owners. And not all working class people have been able to become home owners. How do you explain the increase of working class support for National or who stopped voting over the decades? More importantly, what about the impact on more sustained political activism (eg union activity), beyond voting every few years.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1.1

            TPP deliberately referred to democratic socialism…much cooler than “social democracy” if I may say so ;)

    • burt 11.2

      Pete

      As noted succinctly by felix, people have a vested interest in keeping a cash flow when they have a mortgage. With or without a mortgage they have a vested interest in looking after their property and improving it’s value. That’s not always true of renters.

      Greater political engagement … do you have a link for this study you reference ?

      • Mary 11.2.1

        You’re misrepresenting what felix said, which was that security in a stable society can come from home ownership but that that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. An example, I’d say, would be how state rental housing used to help bring such stability. There are also other factors unrelated to housing, of course, but I think the point felix is making is that security and stability is crucial to participation, rather than home ownership.

        • felixviper 11.2.1.1

          Exactly Mary, much better than I had put it :D

        • rosy 11.2.1.2

          “security and stability is crucial to participation, rather than home ownership.”

          This hits on one of the tenets of the neo-liberal turn. A flexible labour market is not simply a contracted rather than employed labour market. It is a mobile one.

          Neo-libs don’t like state involvement in housing just because it’s crowding out market signals but because it does build help build a stable and secure society (if it the state support is widespread, not just for the economically deprived portion of the population) through long-term fixed rentals.

          Home-owenerhsip is a bit more of a conundrum. Felix’s ‘homeowners don’t go on strike’ is a powerful driver for capitalists to support home ownership over long-term rental.
          From David Harvey

          In the 1890s this trend starts as the business-class was wondering how to get lower-income populations stabilized and less restive. There was a wonderful phrase the business-class used to use, “Incumbent homeowners don’t go on strike!” Remember, people had to borrow to become owners. There’s your control mechanism.

          On the otherhand for neo-libs – the problem is that home ownership makes labour less mobile.

          The flexibility of a labour market, and its ability to handle bad times without costly spikes in unemployment, is based in no small part on the ease with which the economy can reallocate workers to growing industries in growing places. When home-owners become stuck, they make the economy as a whole more brittle.

          I see a conflict between making the economy more brittle and society more brittle. It seems to me that long-term rentals (5-10 years, maybe) need to be in the mix for building a strong, stable and secure society. I’m not seeing anything from any political party that’s linking in issues of future employment, social balance and housing tenure yet this combination is crucial, especially to those on the left.

    • Steve Wrathall 11.3

      Yes, taxpayers will be rooted by this policy

  12. Olwyn 12

    Thanks very much for your answer Mike. I hope that the 2011 plan regarding State Housing is retained, and perhaps even increased a little, as we approach 2014. I have just come back from the dentists so I have yet to read the 12 page document you have posted. I am assuming that the plan will end up with safeguards against both sub-prime bubbles and property developers. More vitriol from the right than the left on this occasion has to be a good sign.

    • Anne 12.1

      I have just come back from the dentist.

      Root Canal perhaps? If so, lucky you. Mine comes up next week. Having trouble concentrating on anything until the damm thing is over. :(

      Thanks for asking excellent questions.

      And thanks to Mike Smith for answering promptly. It augers well. Finally we might be starting to get somewhere – at least in this area of policy.

  13. karol 13

    I’m very pleased to see state housing being included in the Kiwibuild policy. Is Shearer going to make some public statement to that effect? Why hasn’t he made this explicitly clear before?

    Am I the only person who assumed that nothing in the 2011 LP election campaign policies was automatically going to be picked up by Shearer?

    I assumed he would continue with some stuff, but not with others (eg GST on/off fruit and veges).

    It goes to trust, and the continuing issue that I really don’t know what Shearer stands for – his under-lying political position. Trust needs to be strong as, once in government, a party can back of some policies they had prior to the elections (e.g. closing the gap).

    And I am still not seeing anything in Kiwibuild for us lifetime private renters. It still looks like a policy to ensure the children of the reasonably well-off can buy into the housing market, with some state housing tacked onto it. The housing crisis in Auckland is acute right now, especially for those on low incomes – and it needs addressing urgently.

    • Puddleglum 13.1

      This is a crucial point, karol.

      The 2011 election manifesto was under a different leadership and was part of an obvious play for the left-wing vote that manifested in the 2011 election campaign (apart from raising the age of super).

      If Labour can confirm that its Kiwibuild policy is in addition to the housing policies carried into the election and will not compromise, reduce, delay, dilute or make other substantive or substantial changes to the housing policies cited in this post then it would be a good sign and be a housing policy that sat naturally with a centre-left party.

      I’m a bit surprised, though, that the 2011 housing policy appears to have been endorsed, in part or whole, for the 2014 manifesto. I presume it has been endorsed given that it is being strongly implied in this post that Labour’s stance has not changed in this area and will not change in any significant way in the lead up to the election (hence it is – and will be – a distinguishing feature between the two main parties).

      I’m aware that other 2011 election manifesto policies appear to have been reversed (e.g., GST back on fruit and veges) so perhaps these ones have been confirmed?

      • Saarbo 13.1.1

        I was told at the Conference (by a member of Labour Council) that you can safely assume that Labour Policy is the last policy document produced unless a particular policy has been repealed.

        I think Labour need to make this more explicit on its website.

        • Puddleglum 13.1.1.1

          I suppose I knew that, but that’s a technical issue that does not seem to ‘do the work’ that it is being used for in this post.

          Specifically, the concern is that there may be a (further) shift rightwards under Shearer. Surely, it is what the policy ‘will be’, and how policies are promoted or prioritised, not what the last policy document on the website is, that would put to rest concerns about where the party is heading. Or am I missing something?

          As Jenny Kirk mentions below, such ‘current policy’ does not always seem to be determining the emphasis of public pronouncements from the Labour leadership as often as would be expected if, indeed, such policy ‘still stands’ and is what MPs should be asserting (unless and until some further policy document supplants it).

      • Jenny Kirk 13.1.2

        The current Labour Party constitution states clearly the Policy of the last general election remains Labour Party policy until it is changed and approved by the Party and the Policy Council. This has not yet happened. It is likely to happen at the 2013 annual conference in Christchurch.

        Therefore, the 2011 general election policy – available on the Labour Party website – continues to remain the Party’s policy at this time.

        Meanwhile , I find it difficult to understand why the Leader and other Labour MPs are NOT using the 2011 policy to make a stand on various issues as they arise. Perhaps this failure provides one of the reasons why Labour supporters are perturbed at the current direction of our Parliamentary caucus.

      • xtasy 13.1.3

        Puddleglum:

        “I’m aware that other 2011 election manifesto policies appear to have been reversed (e.g., GST back on fruit and veges) so perhaps these ones have been confirmed?”

        Your cautionary and sceptical notes are justified.

        Mike Smith is trying to warm up the left-overs of the last election manifesto that Labour released. Some of what they announced as part of that, prior to the last election, was last year reversed, or abandoned, as Shearer made very clear.

        As far as I remember the $ 5000 tax free first income, the GST off fruits and vegetables, the working for families tax credit (or what it was) to also be applied for beneficiaries, and some other things were “off-loaded” soon after Shearer took over.

        As for Labours 2011 housing policy, it rather resembles a potpourri of various proposed measures, with much remaining uncertainties, where Housing NZ was going to be maintained as state housing provider, but also “third parties” were going to be involved more in housing developments for poor, disabled and needy.

        Category C and D Housing NZ waiting list candidates were supposed to be getting continued assistance under Labour to find “alternative” housing – which means also Labour were planning to off-load them off the waiting lists, as this government is doing already.

        The Welcome Home scheme was to be kept and expanded, but also other measures were considered, in co-operation with local government. Crown land was to be made more easily available, and so forth.

        It was in large part sounding good, in other parts not much different from what the Nats are doing now, and otherwise it is full of intentions and much ambiguity and vagueness.

        So warming up old policies here does not convince me, I am sorry!

        More clarity and commitment is needed, will be expected and will be welcome. So, Mr Shearer, where is your clear statement re land for Kiwi Build, safeguards that first home buyers will stay in the homes, that building materials can be obtained more cheaply, and above all, where is a clear commitment to state housing projects, at least to a deficient level as in Manifesto 2011???

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.3.1

          Mike Smith is trying to warm up the left-overs of the last election manifesto

          I’m trying to decide if this was deliberate.

    • QoT 13.2

      Am I the only person who assumed that nothing in the 2011 LP election campaign policies was automatically going to be picked up by Shearer?

      You are not. I mean, maybe not nothing, but I certainly assumed that anything to be retained from previous policy statements would be explicitly spelled out. You know, the 2011 policy statement being the Old Testament to David Shearer’s Jesus Christ and everything … /snark

  14. ad 14

    One extra thing. It’s not enough.

    One good fresh non-reactive policy in six years.

    Even the image on the post of Michael Joseph Savage says: nostalgia is still the talisman.
    Give me policy and leadership that is a fresh vision, and yes, is better than historical heroes.
    Not aspiring to. Not as good as. Better than.

    Not good enough. Not by a long shot.

  15. bad12 15

    My questions for Labour’s housing spokesperson would be,

    (a) Put a number and time-frame to the ‘Labour are committed to building more state houses, 9 years of the last Labour Government did not return the Housing NZ portfolio, (75,000), to the size it was before National began to sell them to their mates,

    (b),The figure of 60,000 dollars in household income is being used as the benchmark by commenters with regards to qualifying for a mortgage so as to be able to partake in the KiwiBuild program proposed by Labour,

    If that figure is anywhere near correct then what of the decile of income earners below that, most of whom are now locked out of HousingNZ rental by dint of having an income above a benefit, are not the decile with earnings of 30,40,50,000 dollars more in NEED of Labour Government help,

    (c), Again with regards to the number of HousingNZ properties, with a population of 3.3 million we had a total of 75,000 state houses mostly tenanted by low waged workers, the population is now some 4.4 million with a current Housing NZ rental stock of some 69.000,(less the 500 odd the Tories have recently flogged off), the 69,000 are now in the majority housing beneficiaries with the low waged trapped in the private rental market which is the root cause of the demand and the un-affordability of housing for the decile above the low waged worker,

    On a population basis alone the numbers would suggest that we NEED at least 100,000 state houses…

  16. tracey 16

    For all those above who dont like this policy, do you accept there is an accomodation problem, particularly in auckland, and if they do, what do they see as a solution, please be specific not broadbrush. Thanks

    • karol 16.1

      The heat needs to be taken out of the (upper end) of the property market, asap. This means the primary focus should be on building more state housing first. Maybe also a CGT on housing.

      • karol 16.1.1

        PS: as the 1930s Labour government is referenced in the image on the front page for this post, as far as I can see, their solutions to the housing crisis at the time looks pretty much focused on building state houses – and they did more than just focus on one flagship policy, as listed on wikip.

        It’s breath-taking – a total change of direction.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Auckland needs to be depopulated and people moved to other centres. Having 30% of the country’s population in 0.3% of the land area is a recipe for distress.

          Agree though Karol – what Labour needs to deliver to NZ now is a seachange in approach to the social-economy of this nation. Not just one ‘flag ship policy’ but an entire programme of political economic change.

          • karol 16.1.1.1.1

            Yes, CV, I think there needs to be more focus on de-centralisation. Unfortunately the long term Auckland Plan is focused on centering key cultural establishments and activities in central Auckland – makes it easier for tourists, you see. But for those of us out in the burbs, there’s a lot of travelling.

            Many of us have our reasons for staying, and availability of jobs is a biggie. I have been considering moving out of Auckland due to the cost of rents here. When I’m fully retired I maybe will. However, I grew up here, and have a strong emotional attachment to it. Also one of my long term interests is the history of Auckland, and there are a lot of heritage collections and sites here that I am interested in.

          • Coronial Typer 16.1.1.1.2

            That will never happen. For the last century its been quite the reverse. As a quick factoid on how irreversible the tide is, in every territorial authority in New Zealand except Christchurch, Queenstown Lakes, Auckland, and Hamilton, population will generally shrink and in a few cases about roughly stagnate, and this will accelerate in the next decade. I think this census will shock us somewhat.

          • Tracey 16.1.1.1.3

            it’s similar the world over… London? Paris?

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 16.1.1.1.4

            cv 16 1 1 1
            +1

      • bad12 16.1.2

        A capital gains tax would be slow and ponderous as people will just sit on their ‘investments’ so as not to be caught by the tax,

        Such a tax if the above occurred would simple punish those who need to move cities,(houses), for legitimate reasons,

        Build enough,(100,000) State owned rentals in Auckland and target their rental at the low waged workers in that city and demand for rental housing will plummet like a stone

        I will not bother tho to repeat the rumour of how many rental properties the previous Prime Minister owns, nor speculate how many of the current Labour MP’s in the current Parliament own, so despite my passion for the subject in some ways i believe i am wasting my energy upon such advocacy,

        My view is that State house rentals should be available to everyone regardless of income so long as as a tenant they pay 25% of household income as rent and ditch the upper limit,

        If all the low waged workers who WANT State rentals were housed at 25% of income the direct subsidy to HousingNZ from the taxpayer would drop dramatically,

        If after that enough State housing was made available to house all-comers no matter what their income at 25% of income with no cap of ‘market rent’ there would be no need for the taxpayer to be subsidizing HousingNZ at all and payment of the accomodation subsidy would largely be made redundant…

    • bad12 16.2

      As Karol says, ”the heat needs to be taken out of the buyers market”, the larger part of the over-heating is the seriously pampered middle-class buying ‘investment property’ as rentals,

      As Housing NZ’s rental stock has reduced in actual numbers while at the same time the population has grown by a million the number of those dependent upon benefits have also grown,as a large part of eligibility for a HousingNZ property is based upon income the decile of HousingNZ occupancy has changed from low paid workers to beneficiaries,

      Build 100,000 new HousingNZ tenancies in Auckland and demand for rentals for the decile of low waged workers who cannot ever expect to be able to afford a mortgage at current house prices and demand for rental accomodation in that city will drop dramatically killing the demand from the middle class to buy rental property and lowering the cost for those on the verge of being able to afford a mortgage,

      Housing the decile of low waged workers below earnings of 50,000 a year at 25% of household income will free up their income for use in the wider economy as most in private rental are paying 50% and above in private rental, and stop part of that income simply becoming a direct flow of capital along with any accommodation supplement being paid for private rentals to the overseas banking industry who hold the mortgages of most of this middle class game of monopoly which is what the Auckland housing market has become…

  17. tracey 17

    Isnt cgt a pillor of labour party policy?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      CGT is useless at controlling Auckland real estate speculation. If you expect to make a 30% capital gain on an Auckland property over the next 5 years, giving 15% of that gain up in a CGT is very acceptable.

  18. bad12 18

    The Chinese have built whole cities,(admittedly all tower blocks) to house 250,000 people in places in both China and Africa,

    The whole build has taken them from bare site to complete city in 3 years, anything is ‘do-able’ it simply takes the ‘political will’ to do so…

  19. Herodotus 19

    However I do also think that some on the left sometimes do not give Labour credit where credit is due. Housing policy is a good example, as it is one of the litmus policies where the distinction between Labour and National is most clear.
    From my industry knowledge the policy has one major problem under the current market and that labour is to utilise private enterprise the policy is unworkable. Nothing much else !!!
    Land eartworked for high density sells for $400/m2 + gst add in council contributions $20k dwelling and you get for a 120 m2 house a section size required 270 m 2 so land cost is $124k and that is the lowest land available that I have come across in Auckland in the last few years. Add in the current market trends, inflation for building materials and to find enough available.
    Love to see any details and see how this is to be implemented and not become another empty broken government policy in trying to buy the votes from the middle and upper class

    • Rogue Trooper 19.1

      following on from your comments when this policy was first announced your costings are invaluable

    • mike e vipe e 19.2

      herodotus Multi story low rise buildings such as in Melbourne inner-city redevelopment

      • Herodotus 19.2.1

        So where is the land, to allow such developments to happen either town planning rules would be required to be rewritten, and if so the value of the land increases, or the govt buys the land under the current operating plan and either goes for a plan change or a variation to planning rules. Both take time and remember that there has been an estimate that the max the costs will be is $1.5b. These solutions take time and to cover 10k dwellings pa this solution should not suffice. Next valiant effort, at least mike you are trying to come up with solutions more than can be said for labour or its cheerleaders. And the sketch that came with the policy was a stand alone detached dwelling.

  20. Don’t believe anyone mentioned it, or can’t believe I missed it, but the picture of Savage in the thread title…

    What’s that all about? An attempt at well earned respect by association?
    No pics of Dave in front of his own appreciative crowd yet?

    At least we know if it’s all about spin, the promo group have one that didn’t turn and went down leg in their arsenal.
    Can’t wait for the flipper and the googlie.

    • karol 20.1

      Yep.

      I mentioned the 1903s Labour government & the image @6.15pm (16.1.1)

      Trust.

      • The Al1en 20.1.1

        You did too, and I feel no shame in being second :lol:

      • bad12 20.1.2

        A bit off topic, but i had a wee look at your link and was struck by just how many of the names in that Labour Governments Cabinet struck a chord of me knowing the name, Mabel Howard for one, and 4 or 5 other’s, but i can’t for the life of me remember why i remember their names so well,

        John A Lee who is prominent by not being included i have read a lot of and Savage of course we all remember…

  21. bad12 21

    I don’t think the Herald poll at the center of this particular post is something for Labour to have a massive party over either,

    A poll where 500 people are enthused enough to reply with 70% in favor from a circulation area as large as what the Herald has aint exactly mass enthusiasm…

  22. millsy 22

    Steve H has obviously never heard of 3% housing corp loans, family benefit capitalization and the like.

  23. David H 23

    @ Mike Smith 70% of 500 is something to crow about??? Well that just goes to show you that the state of the Party is dire indeed, if you are going to crow about those pathetic numbers. Now what did the bosses say when you went back and told em’ we’re not going to play? did you get a pat on the head or a kick up the bum and told to go and try again???

    So Some questions.

    1 When is Shearer going to apologise to the membership for the shit he pulled after the conference?
    2 When is Shearer going to apologise to all the beneficiaries for the roof painter bullshit?
    3 When is shearer going to stand down and have a DEMOCRATIC vote?
    4 When is Shearer going to fire the Dinosaurs that are the cause of most of the problems in Caucus?
    5 When is Shearer going to PUBLICALLY apologise to David Cunliffe?
    6 When is Shearer going to learn to speak?
    7 When is Shearer going to have the Balls to come in here and face us instead of sending the messenger boy?

    And Will Mike Smith even bother to come back and answer the next load of criticism, because NO ONE else from Labour is allowed to, by royal fucking decree of the megalomaniac Shearer.

    • xtasy 23.1

      “7 When is Shearer going to have the Balls to come in here and face us instead of sending the messenger boy?”

      Maybe he can’t find “the Ba**s”, because he may have none?

  24. Tracey 24

    “70% of 500 is something to crow about???” It’s about the same size as the nightly sample the PM views to work out what to do/say the next day!

  25. Bill 25

    So hang on…this whole post is based on a readership poll that is undoubtably heavily weighted by people who actually have some money or who have prospects of having some money.

    And then 2011 Labour Policy; policy that may no longer actually be Labour policy seeing as how everything (from memory) was up for review, is being used to promote the good side of a completely different 2012 policy announcement?

    Is that about right, or am I missing something here?

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      As Trotter just said, it appears that Labour’s housing policy is a nice big Private-Public Partnership. What we need next is a military policy which is a nice big Private-Public Partnership.

  26. DH 26

    I’m a fan of the policy but I think it’s important for people to rationalise why they like or dislike it. I like it only because it will significantly slow or even halt inflation in the housing market for a good few years. That should lead to more investment in productive sectors of the economy

    House prices go up for one reason only; demand exceeds supply. The choices for halting housing inflation are to intervene in the market to either reduce the demand or increase the supply (or both). An increase in the supply of this magnitude will seriously affect the housing market, which to me is a good thing.

    It’s not so good for those who rely on capital gain to protect their investment or those who might end up with negative equity in the overpriced home they recently bought. The collateral damage is a concern.

    Renters should be happy with it. This will take 100k plus people out of the rental market and the consequence of that is easy to work out – much less demand for rentals and subsequently lower rents. That will indirectly benefit lower income earners.

    Unfortunately though I don’t see it as any kind of solution to a long term problem. It’s more of an election bribe.

    That’s my 2c FWIW

    • bad12 26.1

      Doesn’t negative equity tho only really effect a home owner at the point of sale, admittedly those who’s house price dropped would still be paying the same amount of mortgage on the property BUT, must already have the income to be able to service that mortgage,

      As far as the private landlord’s being left holding the sticky end of the spoon goes i have no sympathy, these people have been pampered by successive Governments policies for far too long…

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        If you are underwater, the bank can usually demand the difference to be paid in full, immediately, or take the home from you.

        House prices go up for one reason only; demand exceeds supply.

        No no no

        You arent wholly incorrect, but you also haven’t factored in ponzi expectations of asset price appreciation.

        • DH 26.1.1.1

          “You arent wholly incorrect, but you also haven’t factored in ponzi expectations of asset price appreciation.”

          Of course I’m correct, it’s economics 101. Demand is all the people who want and who can buy a house. Why they want to buy is irrelevant in that context, whatever their reasons it’s still demand. The ponzi speculators just add to the demand which consequently exhausts the supply and perpetuates the inflation.

          This scheme will burn property investors bigtime. Many new-home buyers chasing existing housing stock, which is their only choice at present, will go instead for the cheaper houses which will lead to a reduction in the demand for second-hand houses. That slowdown in demand will lead to a further reduction in demand by speculators and investors as they see future capital gains dwindling.

          The large scale of this scheme guarantees that the inflation ratchet will be broken for the duration, should easily last an extra 2-3yrs past that before prices start ramping up again. Land makes up over 60% of the house value in many areas of Auckland, it’s not inconceivable that this scheme could lead to a very big crash in the price of houses.

          • Rogue Trooper 26.1.1.1.1

            we hope and pray. Transmission Gully’s an interesting PPP anchor pulling dirt uphill according to Sue Kedgley.

          • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.1.2

            Of course I’m correct, it’s economics 101. Demand is all the people who want and who can buy a house. Why they want to buy is irrelevant in that context

            I can see your reasoning. I’ll say however that justifying anything as Economics 101 usually means it’s highly suspect from my perspective, as the “science” of orthodox economics as it is taught is basically completely wrong.

            Your purely “supply side” solution matches your philosophy of economics but I would also carefully analyse and deal with the demand side as well, particularly that associated with ponzi speculation and ponzi financing.

  27. GeoffC 27

    Kiwbuild. A govt economic stimuli package designed to create a controlled housing bubble and on flow growth. With a boost to GDP multiplier its will directly and indirectly create jobs.
    The commodity flow on effect will be a massive stimuli to the economy.
    Aimed a demographic who can provide the minimum deposit and mortgage repayments.

    My suggestions.
    QE bonds to kiwi bank to onsell as cheap mortgages for kiwi build home buyers.
    Use cullin fund as investment platform to provide a building company. See Z strategic energy provider.
    Provision for govt to become involved in the purchasing and sourcing of materials and or contracts to third party nZ companies to provide bulk consumables for kiwi build homes.
    Examples where the market dos that now…see Lockwood stone wood jennian home etc.
    Minimise profit taking at all levels of the initiative.
    Housing nZ contracts for refurbishments of state houses are very very stringent and tight on private sector margins.

    Entire object is govt initative to control and stimulate the economy via housing…brilliant.

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    On the Left | 30-10
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    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 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...
    frogblog | 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...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 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 again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    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
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 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
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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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