web analytics

Local Bodies: The Myth of Free Trade Agreements

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 49 comments
Categories: Economy, trade - Tags: ,

Reposted from bsprout at Local Bodies.

I have attempted numerous time to comment on Ele Ludemann’s Home Paddock blog in response to her post on Free Trade Agreements and promoting the false perception that they are vital to our economy. While I can’t imagine that Ele would be deliberately blocking my comments, none of them have been allowed to appear. Here is what I was attempting to say:

Most FTAs favour the larger nations and Australia’s FTA with the US has been a disaster for employment and the environment and the balance of trade favors the US by $13 billion. The growth of imports from the US continues to grow far faster than their exports to them.

Our CER deal with Australia has not actually served us that well when Australian supermarkets can block our products and New Zealanders working and paying taxes in Aussie can’t access the services that they help fund.

I recently attended a presentation from the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank and when he was asked about the importance of the FTA with China he actually couldn’t put a value on it. Apparently there was no evidence to show that the increased demand for our primary commodities wouldn’t have occurred without it.

As for the TPPA, all evidence from leaked documents so far show that corporate lobbying and influence provide real threats to Pharmac, patent rights for our IT industry and the potential for our Government to be sued for loss of profits.

Our open borders may make us the 3rd easiest country to do business in but that doesn’t mean that is an economic advantage, it actually exposes us to exploitation and is one of the reasons why our Current Account deficit is one of the largest in the OECD. The real fear should not about the loss of FTA’s but the real consequences of having them in the first place.

The IMF has indicated that our economy is actually quite fragile and it is interesting that an ex IMF official compares our economy with Ireland’s and suggests we are at the point of collapse.

Key is obviously aware of this and Pattrick Smellie suggests that the early election date was really to get it done before the economy dips again and the fragility of the recovery is properly revealed.

49 comments on “Local Bodies: The Myth of Free Trade Agreements”

  1. thechangeling 1

    Criticizing FTA’s these days is a hard thing to do as not many ears are listening critically it would seem seeing as the Labour Party have continued the ‘neo-liberal model of development’ by signing an FTA with China, and the only alternative party with an opposing point of view has been relinquished to the Greens/Mana.
    The critical problem as I see it in New Zealand (and around the world) is the creation and use of unemployment as a method of transferring wealth from the public sector to the private sector (by suppressing wages and down sizing the public sector) which is in turn owned either directly or indirectly by members of right-wing political governments aka ‘The National Party’ Government in New Zealand.
    Making an increasing proportion of what a country actually consumes seems such a very simply equation to ensure all citizens can be gainfully employed and in turn enjoy a good standard of living, but in a neo-liberal environment where dairy is held up high because National Party MP’s in particular have a vested interest, this is clearly not the case.
    If only 16,000 people actually work in the dairy sector then how does this translate to being good for all NZ (a mantra that’s continually pushed down our throats on the msm) whilst the FTA’s that are slated to help that sector continually expand at the expense of 150,000+ unemployed and another 350,000 underemployed people continue with lives that are poor, dull and meaningless.
    Manufacturing has been the sector that’s employed most New Zealander’s over the past 100 years or so but is under constant attack with both competition via FTA’s at home and abroad and also an artificially high dollar so this is where a coordinated solution probably lies.

  2. tracey 2

    Is there somewhere to examine our trade with a nation pre and post an fta and to see if in any of fta the money flowing to nz exceeds to money flowing to tge other party?

    • john 2.1

      In 2008 we exported $2b to China and imported $6b. (a $4b deficit)

      Today we export $10b to China and import $8b (a $2b surplus).

      • thechangeling 2.1.1

        The ‘surplus’ or ‘deficit’ is irrelevant for two reasons. Firstly in the situation of a surplus which is usually derived from agricultural exports, those earnings go to the owners, managers and shareholders of the farms that produced them. Presumably some tax does go to the government and low wage farm workers continue to receive low wages and are also used ‘flexibly’ whenever farm managers decide to save money by cutting staff.
        It’s a commonly perpetuated myth that greater New Zealand gets any access to this extra money derived through an export surplus. Also few if any jobs are created by exporting more as is frequently touted as unemployment statistics remain at 150,000+ and 350,000 who can’t find enough work to make ends meet (depending on whose stats you want to believe).

        • john 2.1.1.1

          The Changeling says “The ‘surplus’ or ‘deficit’ is irrelevant for two reasons. ”

          If that were true, we could just go into massive deficit, the whole country could put themselves on holiday leave, not do any work at all, and simply purchase everything they wanted from overseas, and not sell anything.

          • thechangeling 2.1.1.1.1

            Or we could become self sufficient and make what we actually consume instead of being wedded to an internationally derived capitalist matrix that makes this country very dependent and vulnerable to neo-liberal capitalist cycles and pressures.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              +111

            • john 2.1.1.1.1.2

              We could make our own cars, but they’d cost so much few people could afford them.

              With massive subsidies, and a market 500% bigger than ours, not even Australia can afford to make it’s own cars.

              It’s lala land to think we could.

              Besides, we’d still have to buy the plastic, rubber, aluminum, copper etc from overseas.

              • Draco T Bastard

                We could make our own cars, but they’d cost so much few people could afford them.

                That’s the delusion of the finance system and not actual reality. Factories are all made so that each unit costs the same to make – no matter where it is.

                Besides, we’d still have to buy the plastic, rubber, aluminum, copper etc from overseas.

                Got them all here – except the rubber and we could probably make synthetic from what we do have.

                • john

                  Draco says “Got them all here”:

                  Nonsense. We can only supply a fraction of our own oil needs, and we don’t have bauxite and copper in commercial quantities.

                  Draco says “Factories are all made so that each unit costs the same to make – no matter where it is.”

                  Yeah right. So a factory producing 1,000,000 Toyota Corollas has no savings compared to a NZ factory producing just 1000 a year.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    All your examples are irrelevant. NZ doesn’t need 1M Corollas a year. The export land model ensures that no one will be supplying NZ with oil in 20-30 years time.

                    And NZ uses minimal amounts of Al and Cu, now that we’re no longer a manufacturing nation.

                    But there is no doubt that we will need to change our lifestyles and our attitudes, in an age of energy and resource depletion.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Nonsense. We can only supply a fraction of our own oil needs, and we don’t have bauxite and copper in commercial quantities.

                    Commercial quantities is a rather restricted view. We have them and they can be mined and economically as well (which means we have the resources available to mine and process them).

                    As for the oil, well, we really should stop using it anyway.

                    So a factory producing 1,000,000 Toyota Corollas has no savings compared to a NZ factory producing just 1000 a year.

                    That is correct. Each Corolla still requires exactly the same amount of inputs.

                    As I say, our financial system is delusional and causes us to see things incorrectly and uneconomically. That’s why our environment is being destroyed with our political parties saying that we need to keep growing even more when we really need to be doing the exact opposite.

      • Saarbo 2.1.2

        The question is: Would that have been any different if we didn’t have an FTA with China? China would still have restructured its dairy industry leading to low domestic supply and the need to import billions of dollars worth of milk powder…the FTA had nothing to do with that. Interesting Post…spot on the mark I reckon.

        • john 2.1.2.1

          But the significant majority of the increase in exports to China has NOT been dairy – it only makes up 1/3 of our exports to China.

          Trade form ALL goods has skyrocketed since the FTA.

          At a time when overall imports into China actually went DOWN, our exports there skyrocketed.

          Before the FTA it took a decade for exports to go up $1b. They’ve since gone up $8b – that’s 80 years growth at the previous rate.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1

            We’ve already signed the China FTA. Maybe it proved positive for NZ.

            That doesn’t say fuck all about the stipulations or conditions of the TPPA.

            • john 2.1.2.1.1.1

              The funny thing is, for years we’ve heard calls for increasing the value of things like our huge logs exports – we should be employing Kiwis to make products out of wood here instead of exporting cheap raw products.

              Yet when there’s an agreement that will finally allow us to do just that, instead of being priced out of the Asian market with tariffs on our finished wood products and even sawn timber, the same people are against the ONE thing that will allow what they’ve been calling for for years.

              • Draco T Bastard

                We’re still priced out of the Asian market because our dollar remains artificially high and the currencies of Asia are artificially low. This may correct over time but I’m figuring that we would have dropped into serious decline before then and won’t actually be able to afford products from Asia. Meanwhile, Asia will no longer need any products from us.

                • john

                  So that’s why we can’t sell wood products to Asia – the high dollar. That explains why we’re selling so little to China.

                  Oh wait a minute. Our exports to China have skyrocketed – 80 years worth of trade growth just since the FTA in 2008.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But we don’t sell wood products to Asia – we sell raw wood and then import the wood products. And that is totally uneconomical.

                    • john

                      So why do you think forest companies are desperate to get the TTP agreement so we can sell more processed timber into Asia?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Probably because they’re stupid. The TPPA isn’t going to help us.

                      If we were producing/selling processed wood our saw mills wouldn’t be shutting down.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    john, the China FTA is a done deal. It’s history.

                    It says nothing about whether the TPPA is good for NZ or not. The TPPA is not modelled after the China FTA. My bet is that the TPPA cuts our sovereignty out from under us and is essentially a corporate rights document – and must not be signed.

                    • john

                      But that is exactly what BSprout is trying to say at the top. That the China FTP hasn’t made any difference (which it obviously has), so the TPP won’t be any good.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The TPPA corporate rights document needs to be shit-canned. Now.

                      The China FTA is ancient history.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    The IMF has indicated that our economy is actually quite fragile and it is interesting that an ex IMF official compares our economy with Ireland’s and suggests we are at the point of collapse.

    Tat sounds about right. Too much reliance on just one product (farming) and a declining ability to provide anything else for ourselves over the last thirty years as the “free-trade” delusion destroyed our ability to be self-sufficient.

    Key is obviously aware of this and Pattrick Smellie suggests that the early election date was really to get it done before the economy dips again and the fragility of the recovery is properly revealed.

    Think I said that too when Key called the early election.

    • Wreckingball 3.1

      “destroyed our ability to be self-sufficient” – you talk about this as though it is a bad thing.

      Why on earth would we want to be self-sufficient. Have you not heard of the phrase comparative advantage and specialisation?

      Shall we start manufacturing cars and shoes again? How is that going in Australia?

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        A high degree of self sufficiency and ability to enact import substitution will become increasingly important as energy depletion progresses and the global financial system comes under more strain.

        Have you not heard of the phrase comparative advantage and specialisation?

        Strategic economic concerns outweigh those limited theories.

        Shall we start manufacturing cars and shoes again? How is that going in Australia?

        Yes, why not. Employ NZ workers to make NZ goods – but on a strategic basis.

        Australia took the wrong track, specialising in commodity exports (rocks, mostly).

        • srylands 3.1.1.1

          You seriously think we should make shoes and cars? That says it all about you. You have no credibility. Stick to quackery.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            If you have a strategic argument to make on the future of NZ industry, please make it. I’m all years.

            You have no credibility. Stick to quackery.

            Well, at least I’m not an economist or a bankster.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.2

            “Quackery”?
            Well, he would take “delusional and obsessive belief in a discredited religion”, but fuck-knuckle neolibs like you have cornered the market…

      • thechangeling 3.1.2

        At the least more people would HAVE JOBS. And stuff made here almost always lasted longer than the rubbish made in China.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        Why on earth would we want to be self-sufficient. Have you not heard of the phrase comparative advantage and specialisation?

        Yes I have – I also know it to be as delusional as most of the rest of present economic dogma.

        On the loss from trade
        Dubious assumptions of the theory of comparative advantage

        Shall we start manufacturing cars and shoes again?

        Shoes, probably. Cars, probably not as they’re highly inefficient.

        The only reason why long distance trading seems to work is because we have a monetary system that doesn’t. It’s physically impossible for China (or anywhere else for that matter) to make things cheaper than we can. And economies of scale no longer apply as all factories are made to be as close to efficient as possible. That means that to make a device in a small would cost the same as if it was made in a large one.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.3.1

          Shoes, probably. Cars, probably not as they’re highly inefficient.

          Electric trains, trams and buses – definitely

  4. john 4

    In the late 1990s, exports to China were $1b.

    It took a whole decade just to grow to $2b.

    The China FTA was signed in 2008, and the world went into recession.

    Today we export $10b annually to China

    Pre FTA the average annual increase was $100m a year. After the FTA the average has been $1333m per year.

    So the growth rate, during the worst recession in 80 years, was 13x higher (1300% greater) after the FTA, than before it.

    And we’re supposed to believe the FTA had nothing to do with it.

    Bsprout is living in lala land.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      While you are at it you better remark that it was a Labour Govt who signed the FTA

      And we’re supposed to believe the FTA had nothing to do with it.

      It had some minor bearing but China wanted our milk anyways to feed their burgeoning middle class.

      • john 4.1.1

        Yeah right. So they didn’t want in 2007, or 06, 05, 04, 03 etc,

        then suddenly when the recession hit, they wanted 1000% more.

        And I’m quite happy to acknowledge the China FTA was put in place by the Labour Govt.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          You’re just looking at the top level numbers. That says nothing about what actually happened.

          The fact that you are pretending it does – marks you as a superficial, 2 dimensional thinker.

          • john 4.1.1.1.1

            The fact that you think we would have got 80 years growth since 2008 without the FTP makes you delusional.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The fact that you are still looking at top line numbers and trying to call simplistic conclusions from them marks you as a 2 dimensional thinker.

              Time to shit-can the TPPA corporate rights document, right now.

              • john

                We’ve got exporters from many sectors telling us how the China FTA has made an incredible difference to them, but you’re mind is so made up that even with that, I’m sure you’ll find a way to delude yourself that even the exporters are wrong and you’re right.

                80 years growth since 2008 is just a big coincidence.

                Watch out for those distant Nigerian relatives who want to give you $17 million.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The China FTA is a done deal. It’s not being re-ligated.

                  The current issue on the board table: time to shit-can the TPPA corporate rights document, right now before it is too late.

                  • john

                    On my list of things that concern me, and the problems NZ faces, sorry – I couldn’t find the TPP.

                    I tried a paranoia sandwich, and a drink of conspiracy theory, and put on some doom and gloom tinted glasses – but nope – the TPP still doesn’t bother me any more than the enormously successful China FTA did.

                    • felix

                      What the fuck has the China FTA got to do with it? That was a trade agreement.

                      The TPP is nothing of the sort.

                    • framu

                      john – you got some points here – but if your going to be a dick why should i bother reading?

                      once again – people are making valid points – your ignoring them and resorting to nonsense

                      up thread you recognised the difference between china FTA and the TPPA – now your steadfastly avoiding the point

                      and frankly – you should care about the TPPA – for the simple fact that its being sold as a free trade deal when its nothing of the sort.

                      if a car salesman said the mini you were looking at was a bmw – would you buy it?

  5. Wreckingball 5

    Another baseless assumption from you VP.

    “A high degree of self sufficiency and ability to enact import substitution will become increasingly important as energy depletion progresses and the global financial system comes under more strain.”

    1) As resources become more scarce, it is going to become even more important to be very good at what we are good at. Trade will continue so we have to make sure we are producing things that we are good at producing. How is this protectionist claptrap you are proposing going for North Korea? They manufacture the majority of their products, they probably have full employment and they don’t have anything useful to trade with the rest of the world because they haven’t specialised.

    2) Where is the evidence that the world financial system is under ‘more’ strain? Ok we had a GFC, we have had the Oil Shock, Asian Crash, dot com bubble in the past. We have recovered before, and most of the indicators show that we (especially NZ) are well on the way to recovering again.

    3) Why should the government be able to use my money to subsidise certain industries? I know how to spend my money more efficiently than the government.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      1) As resources become more scarce, it is going to become even more important to be very good at what we are good at

      Nonsense. We don’t even know what we are good at yet. In 1900 Nokia was good at sawmilling.

      Trade will continue

      Nope. Not the high speed globalised trade of today, and especially not using USD.

      How is this protectionist claptrap you are proposing going for North Korea?

      North Korea’s problems don’t stem from import/export restrictions.

      2) Where is the evidence that the world financial system is under ‘more’ strain?

      Go away – you know nothing. The fact that most governments in the world have now passed legislation enabling them to take money directly from your bank accounts via “bail ins” to save banks in future crises should give you a clue to something they know, which you don’t know.

      most of the indicators show that we (especially NZ) are well on the way to recovering again.

      They lie.

      3) Why should the government be able to use my money to subsidise certain industries? I know how to spend my money more efficiently than the government.

      No you don’t. More to the point, it’s not your money. It’s the government’s money. The government printed it and the government gave it its value. You’re just a very temporary custodian.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      As resources become more scarce, it is going to become even more important to be very good at what we are good at.

      A society isn’t an individual and thus doesn’t specialise. Due to it’s makeup of lots of individuals it’s quite capable of doing everything well.

      Where is the evidence that the world financial system is under ‘more’ strain?

      All the rising debt that can’t be paid for.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    1 hour ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    2 days ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    2 days ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    2 days ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    2 days ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    3 days ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    3 days ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    4 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    4 days ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    4 days ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    4 days ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    4 days ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    5 days ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    6 days ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    6 days ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    6 days ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    6 days ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    1 week ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    1 week ago
  • Massey East houses a start but Nick Smith should think bigger
    The Massey East 196-home development is a start but the Government must think bigger if it is to end the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “It is great the Government is finally realising it needs to build ...
    1 week ago
  • More changes needed to ensure fewer cases like Teina Pora’s
    Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Labour sends condolences to UK
    The New Zealand Labour Party is sickened and saddened by the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Ms Cox was killed in cold blood while simply doing her job as a constituent MP. She ...
    1 week ago
  • Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list
    Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota by 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Paula Bennett as a victim hard to swallow
    The National Party spin machine has gone into overdrive to try and present Paula Bennett as the victim in the Te Puea Marae smear saga, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Bill English in Parliament today tried valiantly to paint ...
    1 week ago
  • Voters to have the final veto on paid parental leave
    New Zealanders will have the final right of veto on a Government that has ignored democracy and is out of touch with the pressures and demands on families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Today’s decision by National to veto 26 ...
    1 week ago
  • Collins should put Kiwis’ money where her mouth is
    Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash is calling on anyone who has received a speeding ticket for going up to 5km/h over the 100km/hr open road speed limit to write to him and he will take it up on their behalf ...
    1 week ago
  • Where is the leadership on equal pay for work of equal value?
    The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year
    New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per ...
    1 week ago
  • Pora case a case to learn from
    Conformation that Teina Pora will receive $2.5million from the Crown for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment does not fix the flaws in our system that led to this miscarriage of justice, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to start again with RMA changes
    The National Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act have attracted more than 800 submissions, many of them critical of key aspects of the Resource Legislation Bill. There has been much criticism of the new regulation making powers given ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • Bennett’s briefing completely unacceptable
    It is completely unacceptable that Paula Bennett briefed her political staff on the police investigation into Hurimoana Dennis after her meeting with him, despite it having nothing to do with her social housing portfolio, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Green Building Council
    Building smarter, greener cities It will be clear to anyone who has been watching the public debate on the housing crisis that housing in New Zealand is sadly far from being economically sustainable when Auckland has the fourth most unaffordable ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paula Bennett has more questions to answer
    It is unthinkable that Paula Bennett’s press secretary went rogue and tried to smear the reputation of someone involved in helping the homeless, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Political staff would not take such serious unilateral action without the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech on Notice of Motion on Orlando
    Mr Speaker, The Labour Party joins with the government in expressing our horror at this atrocity and our love and sympathy are with the victims and their families. Our thoughts are with the people of Orlando and of the United ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiakina Ngā Wai – Swimmable Rivers Report June 2016
    The campaign to clean up our rivers was launched at the Green Conference at Queens Birthday weekend. However, the work prior to the launch goes back a number of years. Russel Norman and Eugenie Sage deserve full credit for the ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere