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LB: Greens’ Solar Sense and National’s Nonsense

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, February 18th, 2014 - 28 comments
Categories: energy, greens, housing, russel norman, same old national - Tags: ,

 

The original of this post is here at Local Bodies. 

Russel Norman’s recent announcement of the Green Party’s solar energy initiative is a fiscally neutral, smart policy. Home owners will access cheap government loans that are attached to the house, not the person, and will be paid off through the rates bill. The policy is already being seen as a positive move by those who understand the benefits of solar energy. A $10,000 solar panel installation will save a home owner $28,000 over the 25 year life of the system.

Solar energy uptake has been slow in New Zealand compared to many other countries but it is by far the fastest growing energy sector. By having having a target of installing panels on 30,000 homes in the first term of government the Greens have set a realistic goal and allowed for a well managed growth of the industry.

The benefits of the policy go well beyond the 30,000 homes, it will also support the development of new businesses, in the same way that the home insulation scheme did, and will provide hundreds of jobs. Having an increase in demand for photovoltaic panels will support a reduction in manufacturing costs, so that future installations will become even cheaper.

For many households, especially those where winters are colder, power bills are a major part of their household budget. Although the average household power bill is around $2,000 a year it can be well over double that for those who live in the south.

Our own Invercargill home is pretty typical of many, it is a larger, brick and roughcast, character home built in 1932 (luckily it was built to face north as many weren’t). We have insulation above the ceilings, underfloor insulation, some double glazing and recently installed solar water heating. Despite also having a heat pump and wood burner our electricity costs over the last year was over $3,300. We have also shopped around and have changed providers a number of times, which has not always been an easy process.

My sister and husband have a modest income but are now the proud owners of a life style block and have their house completely off the grid with a high performance solar system of panels and storage batteries that cost them $25,000 including installation costs. They are now self sufficient for their electricity needs and after 8 years or so the system will have paid for itself.

Friends have recently built a new house and paid $6,100 for 24 panels, $2.800 for an invertor and $9,000 for installation. Over January they received a $70 credit from Meridian for their excess generation.

National have already been burnt by the reception of the Greens’ well received education policy when their own expensive education initiative received lukewarm support. Simon Bridges desperately suggested that the modest loans were somehow “magic money” and an unnecessary subsidy. Bridges incredibly didn’t believe that solar energy was necessary in New Zealand. John Key bizarrely claimed that the scheme woulddestabilise the current system and would cause companies to increase charges. National would rather see people dependent on the current flawed system that has seen a 22% increase in power bills over their time in office.

We are now seeing a stark contrast between a Government desperate to support the status quo of increasing charges and large company profits, while the future focussed Greens are truly progressive in their thinking.

 

lprent: Just over a week ago, I went down to see my parents in Rotorua. I spent some time looking around the rather neat solar array on the top of the garage feeding DC to a inverter and then into a smart meter supplying the house and the power grid.

While this was relatively small array, during summer it was providing 96% of the required power for the household. It cost $11k of capital to purchase and install.  It has room to expand if it isn’t enough in winter (my parents are still tweaking their power needs).  But the economics of it were pretty damn good because it was likely to save them somewhere close to $1300 per year out of their limited retired cash flow. That makes good sense for them and they’re expecting that it will add quite a lot ot the value of their property if they ever had to sell it.

It also made good economic sense for for me if I can find a way to put it up on the top of my apartment block. I think  that the Greens have a winner in this policy. Having to put up with the expectation of further major increases in power costs over the next decade as I head towards retirement and limited income make this an asset worth investing in. I think that a lot of people looking at their annual power costs and with the expectation of further rises as a result of National’s asset sales causing further profit mining will think the same.

28 comments on “LB: Greens’ Solar Sense and National’s Nonsense”

  1. Bill 1

    One thing I wonder about is folk like me who rent. Let’s say a landlord actually agrees to install. There goes the rent again, which, if unemployed, probably puts people even further beyond the max housing costs allowed by WINZ. So – correct me if I’m wrong – but as renters, we gain or save nothing…and possibly eat less.

    In conjunction with the ‘healthy homes’ policy, I can see rents spiral even more out of control unless a cap is put on the amount of rent landlords are allowed to charge. (A formula built around a %age of GV might work)

    • shorts 1.1

      your rent might increase to cover the rate increase/costs (incurred by your landlord)… but you would also enjoy the full benefits of the install by having vastly lower power prices

      I’d guess wildly that in most cases tenants might well be slightly better off

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.1.1

        It’s not vastly lower energy prices, really. The cost incurred vs savings made isn’t a big gap. And it’s really sad that’s what we have to lead with (it’s not the Greens’ fault, they know the $ sign catches people’s attention).

        Because even if the effect was completely cost-neutral, we should all do it anyway for the sake of a cleaner, green planet.

        It’d be nice for Norman or Turei to go “yes, it might only save you a few dollars a week, it will also be you doing your bit to go some small measure for fighting climate change. Every journey has to start somewhere.”

      • lprent 1.1.2

        The difficulty is (as Bill was alluding to) that the landlord sees no direct benefit for any investment except in property values or increased rentals above the cost of investment.

        Fortunately for Bill’s budget I suspect that it will have a takeup like that of insulation in rental properties. It doesn’t happen.

        Unfortunately that means that tenants wind up with massive power bills and statistically an early death. One damn good reason to buy a property.

    • Naki Man 1.2

      Rents in NZ are low and usually don’t cover costs. Most landlords are hoping there will be a capital gain, that is the only way they can make anything out of a rental. If government try to interfere with rents you wont have anywhere to live. If you think you might get cheaper power as well as cheap rent I don’t think that is going to happen. The problem is that houses in Auckland and Christchurch are over priced due to supply and demand.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.2.1

        Actually rents are high.

        It’s just that houses are over valued and you have to borrow way too much to buy one.

        Dropping the value of housing to more appropriate levels is the answer. Take capital gain speculators out of the market.

        • cricklewood 1.2.1.1

          Thinking about that I’m starting to think the best and fastest way to achieve that is to dramatically increase the rights of the tenant. If its difficult to rent for a year or two then flick it on to realise the gain I’d expect you would remove a large chunk of speculators from the market. Be far more effective then cgt etc.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.2.1.1.1

            I don’t know that that’s necessarily the answer, either.

            I think landlords should have fair rights to expect their property to not be damaged, to be notified of damage or issues that tenants have noted, to be able to change tenants at the end of a lease, etc…

            The issue is that there are minimal standards to being a landlord. It would be amazing to see, for instance, a requirement implemented after a grace period where you would need to insulate a home in order to rent it out. (a grace period, and even some sort of subsidy, would help address the possible consequences of tenants getting kicked out so places could be insulated)

            That said, the only way to solve high rental prices is to solve the overvaluing of properties, which is best addressed with a comprehensive capital gains tax.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          Dropping the value of housing to more appropriate levels is the answer. Take capital gain speculators out of the market.

          And that means banning offshore ownership and stopping the banks from creating money.

  2. Ron 2

    had a look at Greens policy and I agree it is certainly an area to look at. However I wonder about a couple of things.
    1. The scheme is a direct feed system with no way of storage which relies on power being generated in the daylight being feed back into the grid. When you want to use power you are required to pull it from grid.
    2. As far as I can see there are very few suppliers willing to participate in buy back of home generated electricity and in the last year the buyback price is decreasing. Users are absolutely at the mercy of power companies and if they refuse to allow buyback what then

    I think that any such scheme should provide a single point of contact/supply similar to the scheme Auckland City set up to encourage solar water.
    Also the law should be changed to ensure that all providers must enter into a buyback scheme and the price of buyback must be set maybe as a percentage of supply price.
    Its also pointless if one enters into such a scheme and then finds out that supplier starts fiddling with the supply price by upping the line charge to make the electricity supply more expensive.

    • lprent 2.1

      Also the law should be changed to ensure that all providers must enter into a buyback scheme and the price of buyback must be set maybe as a percentage of supply price.

      From memory there is a bill for that in the works and widespread support across parties.

    • lprent 2.2

      Also the law should be changed to ensure that all providers must enter into a buyback scheme and the price of buyback must be set maybe as a percentage of supply price.

      From memory there is a bill for that in the works and widespread support across parties.

      • Ron 2.2.1

        had a quick look for any bill and the only thing I could find is David Clark’s Energy Efficiency Amendment Bill which aims to improve efficiency of supply. It does have a paragraph under section 15 that states
        (i) to contract for market operations services (but see subsection 2) and system operator services

        not sure if that means compulsory buy back but it would need more specific statements if the proposed draft bill is ever to have the effect we want.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I suspect that the NZPower legislation would come with the necessary rules around solar power buy back and pricing. Technically, NZPower should actually remove the retailers in the electricity industry anyway.

    • weka 2.4

      “1. The scheme is a direct feed system with no way of storage which relies on power being generated in the daylight being feed back into the grid. When you want to use power you are required to pull it from grid.”

      Er, not it’s not. The loans will be available for either grid tied and battery systems. Did you read the actual policy?

  3. remo 3

    Its a great idea. no matter what way round I look at it. There will always be issues to be identified and resolved , but the direction is sound and progressive.

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    COULD be a good policy. But it is too little and too late. Humankind is finally waking up. USA, Vice President, Kerry is seeking action from Indonesia?

  5. tricledrown 5

    12 volt systems are way cheaper to install although a 12 volt system will not replace everything you use it can reduce you electricity use.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      ???

      You need batteries, or the power is being thrown away. Batteries are expensive and need to be replaced.

      The alternative, of wiring everything in your house to 12V, is also expensive.

  6. Lulu 6

    “National would rather see people dependent on the current flawed system that has seen a 22% increase in power bills over their time in office.”
    Fact: bundled retail electricity charges have risen 19.4% under Key lead government and rose 65.0% under previous Labour government. (May be more, can’t access Nov 99 data).
    MED as at: c/kWh (Nominal)
    15-Nov-00 13.99
    15-Nov-01 14.05
    15-Nov-02 15.07
    15-Nov-03 16.37
    15-Nov-04 17.95
    15-Nov-05 18.84
    15-Nov-06 20.26
    15-Nov-07 21.50
    15-Nov-08 23.09 +65% from Nov 00
    15-Nov-09 23.62
    15-Nov-10 25.28
    15-Nov-11 25.36
    15-Nov-12 26.78
    15-Nov-13 27.57+19.4% from Nov 08
    Which begs the question why didn’t price rises slow under Labour? They installed the Electricity Commission which was directly accountable to the Minster of Energy in 2004. They had a chance to deal with this then.
    Now price rises have slowed since national government replaced the Commission with an independent Electricity Authority operating under clear statutory objective in 2010.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “Now price rises have slowed since national government replaced the Commission with an independent Electricity Authority operating under clear statutory objective in 2010.”

      I think it probably has much more to do with the GFC and subsequent economic slump destroying demand than it does with any regulatory tweaking on National’s part.

      Just like the low interest rates Key likes to take credit for are actually a sign that the country was doing poorly and aren’t actually something to be proud of.

    • I won’t argue with the percentage of power increases, Lulu, because whatever it is (for some it will be much more depending on their company), it is still well above the rate of inflation and the cost of production. The real problem is still the commercial model set up by Max Bradford that saw an economic advantage of cheap power turn into another form taxation. For those living in poorly insulated rentals power bills are an unnecessary burden and for our manufacturers it limits their ability to compete with those overseas.

      With the cost of solar becoming ever cheaper and increased innovation in other forms of production, many will choose to produce their own power over connecting to the grid. It is also highly inefficient to transmit electricity over long distances as we currently do. I can see it possible in the future that the country will have to decommission some of our hydro schemes as demand drops and many power companies will go under before common sense cuts in.

    • I’ll grant you that Helen Clark’s government had other priorities than electricity prices, but John Key’s has done absolutely nothing to arrest the growth of power prices- if anything we should expect the trend to accelerate now more of them are privately owned.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    It’s one the most exciting policy initiatives I’ve heard in my lifetime.

    We haven’t had visionary infrastructural policies such as this mooted since the 1970s, and make no mistake, this is just the start to a significant alteration of electricity delivery.

    It reminds me of the early 20th century when the hydro schemes, and telephone were initiated.

    Nothing but good will result from its implementation.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    A $10,000 solar panel installation will save a home owner $28,000 over the 25 year life of the system.

    And if they’re well installed and cared for then you can expect them to last 40 years. The Greens are probably basing their calculations on the warranties that the panels come with which are more usually 20 to 25 years.

    It also made good economic sense for for me if I can find a way to put it up on the top of my apartment block.

    I’ve been thinking about putting solar panels upon apartment buildings and the only solution I can think of is a major installation (As big as practical) that belongs to the apartment building. You’d have a single power feed into the building which also connects the solar array to the grid. Feed to each apartment would then be taken from that single feed with the administration of the billing then being done by the building’s association.

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    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
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    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    12 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    17 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    19 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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