web analytics
The Standard

“Minister for Small Things”

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, March 1st, 2013 - 51 comments
Categories: capital gains, class war, david cunliffe, housing, overseas investment, tertiary education, tv - Tags: ,

Yesterday, David Cunliffe, in response to Peter Dunne’s Student Loan Amendment Bill, labelled Dunne as “Minister for Small Changes” (to the student loan and child support Bills), and “Minister for Small Things”.  Small, but significant in relation to Dunne’s MO.

Cunliffe talked about the growing inter-generational swindle being perpetrated by the current costs of getting a university education, compared with the cost of “Old Peter” Dunne’s higher education.  Born in 1954 he likely paid nothing for his tertiary education, and is leading a “charmed life” on a ministerial salary, and in a few years can claim superannuation.  Cunliffe argued that Dunne doesn’t agree with “paying forward” to give the same advantages to today’s young people that Dunne received.

If Dunne had been born in 1995, and wanted to do the same university study of undergraduate and graduate study of 5 years, it would cost $5,000-$6,000 (and some change) per year.  Thus before heading to work, he’d be looking at $30,000 debt for fees alone, without considering living costs, which would extend the debt to $64,000 plus.

So today “young Peter” would be unable to afford a mortgage.  Meanwhile those of “Old Peter’s” generation who have invested in capital gains-free housing, have created the destructive housing bubble.

And yesterday, Peter Dunne used Twitter to smear as racist, the Green’s statements about limiting the ability of non-NZ residents to buy property in NZ.  TV3 gave it an anti-Asian slant last night.  The TV3 report stated,

Almost two-thirds of voters want restrictions placed on foreigners buying property in order to bring house prices down, according to the latest 3 News Reid Research poll.

Of the 200 people at an auction on Auckland’s North Shore today about half were Asian. Three houses sold in 20 minutes, all to Asians.

If the bidders aren’t New Zealand residents or citizens, if they are foreign buyers – the Greens would like restrictions placed on them.

They say it’s not racist; it’s about controlling house prices.

“Most New Zealanders are not racist. They understand that it is simply people from overseas that are driving up the price of property,” says party co-leader Russel Norman.

Two-thirds of voters agree with the Greens.

Asked, if to make houses more affordable the Government should put restrictions in place to stop foreigners from buying up investment properties here, 63 percent said yes, 30 percent no and the rest didn’t know.

Under law, in Australia non-residents cannot buy established dwellings as investment properties. The Greens want a similar ban here – at least on investment properties – but the Prime Minister won’t go there.

Dunne applied TV3’s anti-Asian slant to the Greens, even while repeating the Greens’ disclaimer of such a slant. [h/t gobsmacked]

The Green and Left xenophobes seem to be out tonight! They don’t like foreigners owning property but say it’s nothing to do with race!!!

And then Dunne followed this up with a bit of Godwin:

The Greens & Labour’s attacks on Asians owning property has eerie overtones of Nazi Germany singling out groups because of race. Not decent.

The crisis in (un)affordable housing has several causes, though all linked by underlying “neoliberal” policies and propaganda.  The main focus continues to be on the affordability of home buying.  However, the crisis is most severe for those on low incomes that are renting.  The more intense focus on home buying is part of the problem.  Also part of the problem are big spending non-resident buyers of property in NZ (from diverse countries including the US and Europe), and the shifting of the goal posts over the last few decades.

A large number of boomers don’t own property, especially those who have always been on relatively low incomes.  However, with the “neoliberal” swindle, even middle income young people are now suffering as a result of the housing crisis.

Of course, those boomers like Dunne who have benefited from the rise and rise of the “neoliberal” swindle, want to keep it that way.

51 comments on ““Minister for Small Things””

  1. johnm 1

    Dunne is a tit feeder on whichever government is in power. YUK! No wonder we’re in a mess with the likes of him.

    • geoff 1.1

      I think we can all agree that Peter Dunne is a reptile who would sell his own grandmother if it helped his chances.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Greens should return the favor, if Labour want Greens in the tent, Dunne has to be ignored completely.

      • Tim 1.1.2

        Indeed Geoff. Sincere condolences to his wife. It is of course a sign of how desperate he’s becoming.
        Not that long ago (hours), I was in Countdown J’ville (in the 12 items or less Express Queue).
        There, ahead of me, was someone with a blue rinse, all togged up with about 50 items she was expecting the cashier to process. As she did – she was engaging in political discourse – speaking as loudly as she possibly could with the cashier – in order to be heard by all. An obvious Dunne supporter. She exuded a sense of entitlement from her every pore. Behind me in the queue, about 20 people had built up were watching in amusement and with disdain.
        I’m hoping those 20 will turn up to vote come election day. The Blue Rinse lady had absolutely no idea of how she was being observed and judged by the 20 plus in the queue behind.
        I thought to myself …. the epitome of the current National Party.
        I’d actually wished I’d been standing in line with a Finlayson or someone of his ilk. An OK sort of fella but someone sat in a bugger’s muddle of a Party full of the likes of the social climbing wankers, wankeresses and snobbery of the important Mrs Blue Rinse.
        I wondered what Skeith Wholeyoak and others would be thinking – especially about the likes of Finlayson et al) – not that I’ve ever voted for such a incompetent political party (Neshnool).
        Then I thought to myslelf ….. this situation – the predicament, the attitude, the completely out-of-touch idea of the grande electorate is what a Labour ABC cabal is.
        UGLY, in every sense of the word.

      • Arfamo 1.1.3

        Dunne is just another example of how in NZ today if you don’t stand for anything you can stand for Parliament.

  2. ropata 2

    the greens are right, as usual. but this will never happen as long as most voters are also property owners, and there’s easy money to be made. most of our fellow kiwis don’t understand that true wealth = assets, they are dazzled by dollar signs

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Actually, it seems that most voters agree with the Greens. The problem is that Labour and National don’t.

  3. vto 3

    Calling for a ban on foreigners owning any property in NZ clearly covers all races so how on earth can it be racist?

    • Arfamo 3.1

      It’s not racist. And Dunne knows that. He just knows that making up and constantly repeating lies, especially big lies, works. Goebels was a master of the technique.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.2

      The way TV3 portrayed it was certainly racist and they could have done better on this one.

  4. vto 4

    There is no advantage to having foreigners own our land. It is solely detrimental. Hence why so many other countries, like China, don’t allow it.

    This is distinct from “foreign investment”. Don’t let the deceptive pricks mix the two issues up.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      And we don’t need foreign investment either which is also bad for our society. Really, why do we need foreign currency to use resources we already own?

  5. jbug 5

    Thank goodness someone is actually delivering it to the National coalition in the House. About time! Good on the Labour hierarchy for finally starting to use the talent in the caucus for good effect!

    • Arfamo 5.1

      Yes but look at how empty the debating chamber is. He may be “delivering it” to the National coalition but nobody gets to know about it from the MSM.

  6. prism 6

    Is it racist to worry about the effect of China on our economy when the majority of clothes and tools etc etc which we buy are made in China? It’s a cheap shot to condemn reasonable concern and discussion as ‘racist’. Property purchasing from overseas by people with access to riches beyond our own distorts our market in this small country. That’s a fact and to understand it we need to look at all nationalities, but China is constantly in our lives for many reasons including the actions of some Chinese businesspeople in bringing our main money earner, milk powder, into disrepute, temporarily this time.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6368089/Who-is-really-buying-New-Zealand

    How to for overseas people wanting to buy property in NZ
    http://propertypanel.co.nz/blog/owning-a-slice-of-paradise/

    Another info piece for overseas investors looking at Auckland.
    http://www.escapeartist.com/OREQ13/Real_Estate_In_New_Zealand.html
    Right now we are spending a great deal of our time with the New Zealand market. In particular we are concentrating on the Auckland region that is proving to be an increasingly popular investment choice for many of our International investors. There are a number of reasons for this, growth is good, rental yields are relatively high, acquisition costs are low, taxes are low, foreign ownership is hassle free and the exchange rate for most foreign investors is particularly favorable.

    Compared to other similar developed cities across the world Auckland is offering excellent value and many suggest that in relative terms it is undervalued. Add to this its continued high projected population growth and limited supply of land and it is easy to see why many investors are excited about Auckland.
    In addition New Zealand has largely stayed out of world politics (post September 11), this plus its relative isolation is having many see it as a nice place to invest and possibly to live in the future as it is increasingly being seen as a safe haven. This article will look at some of the factors that make New Zealand, and in particular in and around Auckland a good place to invest and how as an international investor you can go about this process.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7810453/Property-linked-to-high-dollar
    “Fundamentally, New Zealand has a high exchange rate because we’re an attractive place for foreign investors to put their money,” Crampton says….
    But we still have a dollar worth almost US82 cents that is killing our exporters, as the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association has been saying for years.

    And the International Monetary Fund says the kiwi is about 15 per cent overvalued. It has said that repeatedly, at least as far back as May 2010.
    The high exchange rate is making buying into NZ an attractive option for overseas investors, at the same time as it makes it more expensive to run manufacturing here providing employment to NZ.

    • karol 6.1

      Good to see you back commenting, prism, and with a very full and informative comment.

      This bit from the first link to stuff is especially interesting:

      Figures released by the Overseas Investment Office show that of the 872,313 hectares of gross land sold to foreign interests over the past five years, only 223ha were sold to Chinese.

      People from the landlocked principality of Liechtenstein had purchased 10 times more land than the Chinese – 2,144ha in the same period.

      The top buyers were the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Israel. The United States had 194 purchases for a total of 193,208ha.

      • stargazer 6.1.1

        thanx carol. i was having this debate on facebook yesterday ie that there is no credible proof that chinese or asians are buying more land than other foreign nationals. i was really disappointed with the way tv3 news covered this story, which then allows the nonsense comments we got from peter dunne.

      • prism 6.1.2

        Yes karol that was interesting. I can understand, as I said earlier, why the Chinese came up in people’s sights, Crafar farms was such a big parcel of was it 16, farms. They would have had individual owners before the Crafar guy worked his magic to buy them probably with leverage provided from finagling banks. And there was so much publicity around this ‘brave little battler’.
        Many hoped that they would be able to be bought by keen NZ sharemilkers.

        Of course the problem is that we are well trained dogs in NZ – anybody wealthy from overseas can offer us a flavoursome money treat and we’ll extend our paw for a shake and roll over to have our tummies tickled instead of showing our teeth to ensure proper respect for us as we guard our territory.

      • Poission 6.1.3

        Liechtenstein is a tax haven that uses the same methodology of hidden foreign trusts as NZ to hide assets and avoid tax

  7. fenderviper 7

    Dunne has obviously been getting too involved in the new ‘legal high’ testing. He must have a cocktail of chemicals flowing through his blackened blood and it’s also making his hair fall out. What the people of Ohariu see in this fool needs explaining, I know he’s apparently present everywhere in the electorate but can’t people there see he’s nothing but a flake. The answer may lie in the electorate I guess, as from my experience these folk would probably vote for Colin Craig if Dunne was to admit he has nothing to contribute and retire.
    I look forward to the end of UF and Act sooner rather than later, they are both irrelevant in these times and are only around thanks to modern medicine and blue rinse hair dye.

  8. Poission 8

    The minister for money laundering and tax evasion also decided that Hollywood needed a gst break

    http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2012-04-23-minister-introduce-new-gst-measures

    • aerobubble 8.1

      Hard on citizens, ease up on business. This has breed lazy boardrooms and exodus of skilled kiwis.

      The role of government is to create a happy content society, and breed hard nosed boardrooms, but Dunne has consistently does the opposite.

      When we train rugby players, we don’t lower the bar, cut the weight they have to lift, we don’t losen the rules, in fact as the numbers of lean motivated rugby players increases we raise standards of training, we create clearer rules, and consistently review.

      Business in NZ does not need more investment (to pay down debt or cover interest on debt), it doesn’t need less rules around health and safety, we need better engaged government that punishes those in debt who act as a drag on our economy.

      Oh, wait, Key has borrowed us into a huge mess, and lowered taxes on those who are most indebted.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        The role of government is to create a happy content society, and breed hard nosed boardrooms, but Dunne has consistently does the opposite.

        That’s normal for neo-liberal governments. Make it easier on the rich and harder on everyone else.

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    an “IGT” yarn from across the smoko room table;
    man works entire life as Diesel Mechanic (almost obsessively)
    abrasive personality, few friends and peers
    lonely wife (yes, she told me)
    6 Days a week, on-call, for the man
    last year, both hips replaced; this year spurs will be placed to fuse spine (“won’t make old bones”)
    has diabetes and high blood pressure (investment properties to leave though)
    this man will be 70 years old on the job this year. Oil-fueled Capitalism : Lovin it!

    (and for you soft-cocks running this country? Try being a Diesel Mechanic for two or three decades,
    yet carry on, plenty of limestone chips to soak up the spills)

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Should’ve retired 10 years ago to let a young mechanic in to the workforce

      Maybe no life after work to retire to though?

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1

        seems to be the case; PWE and all that millstone, still, refreshing to see the Gen “Z” wising up; Gr8 to see all their tattoos, piercings, and f*ck-u attitudes; can’t stop The Children of The Revolution, just sit back and enjoy the music (wailings). The Hand-brake certainly appears to be cultural (Storm in a tea-cup over Argo ref for example). The magic of “blogs” is that nobody reads them and they are outdated by the time they reach the market shelves.Having seen Lynns FB page, it is encouraging that the Alternative is gettin’ thrown about the joint.Have a good day. Off to read the paper and see what else has blown up; nothing like the power of exponentials.Victoria.
        Be Trailer Parks next; Everclear-“White Trash and proud of It”.(on less than 12K per annum)

        • prism 9.1.1.1

          rogue T
          What do you reckon about living in trailer parks? Some people I’ve heard of, usually retired, enjoy the life. At least you can have a place of your own. There used to be one in South Auckland but the police closed it down because some crims lived there. Now they have to live elsewhere and are probably harder to keep control of. If the goverment is going to turn their backs on the ordinary citizen not getting up to $100 per hour and not even having their low minimum pay keep pace with inflation, perhaps it is time to choose a new paradigm.

          • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1.1.1

            greatfull for any home, personally, and both times i have lived in motor camps i have been more than content; often great community, open space, trees, facilities like pools, wifi, sports courts, barbecues, etc, a variable cosmopolitan international clientele in season, out of season.Many folk retire to them, especially keen fishermen, and sometimes the locations can be beautiful (Higher Ground is always preferable), have even been offered opportunity to add to the vege gardens other residents have already established.
            Downsides; insulation from the elements, space to swing a cat (just joking, cats love me) and too many books :) (and itinerant “temptations” for an old soak like me) 😉

            • prism 9.1.1.1.1.1

              So principal problem is insulation. What about curved shell roofs that sit above the caravan roof on feet that are attached to it and create an insulating air gap and protection from the elements?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        Maybe no life after work to retire to though?

        Yep, that was the case with my father. Without a job his life, as far as he was concerned, meant nothing.

  10. Tim 10

    Indeed DtB. It’s an attitude that still prevails tho’. The manner in which people derive their self-esteem these days though is not so much being able to just do an honest day’s work for which they’re fairly rewarded alongside others, but it’s their job title, their positions in relation to others, and their ability to jerk off at various afterwork functions. Many of them roll along thinking they’re invaluable getting an earn in their creatively invented job title positions, right up until the time a ‘restructure’ or an economic downturn sees them without an income. That’s right about the time they realise they shudd cudda wudda not spent so much on the daily latte or bought that second plasma TV for the bedroom.
    Within 6 months or so, they’re getting the dose of reality that increasing numbers of NZers are facing – with mortgages behind, power bills unpaid, and wondering why they ever thought that krismetuk John came across as such an esprayshnull slippery dick.
    It reminds me of the late 80’s. A time when the Class of 87 bought properties with an Evans Bay outlook, invested heavily in CISCO shares, cultivated their Masters of the Universe personas, then had the likes of me trying to convince them that they shouldn’t top themselves or take off overseas when their it all turned to shit.

    How history repeats! They’d deluded themselves that they’d arrived when they’d obtained a mansion, a car that compensated for the size of their penis, their darlin little Johnny was enrolled at St Markwhere they’d ensure their contemporaries would see them dropping the little’un off at 9am every morning, and that they were voting National.
    Didn’t take them long to realise that National wasn’t their best option and nor was it ever going to be, especially when after they’d cashed up and were bankrupt, along would come a Ruth Richardson.
    I’m thinking her husband Steven Joyce is waiting in the wings today.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The top 1%-2% always do fine in a major depression.

      The bottom 10% poor just get poorer, but that’s what they were anyways.

      The huge section of people in the top half…i.e. the middle class who think they are doing so well, they get totally crushed.

      • Tim 10.1.1

        I agree C.V.. But somehow, this time round, I think things are changing as far as that dynamic goes.
        It’s kind of why the agenda they subscribe to will be their demise. (i.e. – already WITHIN the “1% – there are signs of infighting – the 1% versus the .01%)
        Translated to a NZ context, that huge concrete slab you see around ChCh at every turn – holding up banks (penninsula), whilst the programme of demolition goes on and fuck all is actually built – (the slabs known as “brownlees”) means that the 90 (or 90.99%) realise they’re being royally ripped.
        Even IF this next election were to be lost to those with a social conscience (whether because of apathy, a recognition that the ‘alternative Labour’ party is utterly funked, or still this phenomenon that sees people seeing Jonky as krismetic and an image to “aspire” to) – WHATEVER – the eventual reality of a scorched earth NZ will kick in. IF it has to get to that stage – all the worse for the losers (NActs et al).
        Methmetuks et play – if only that.

        • Tim 10.1.1.1

          No edit function: with a social conscience…. should read withOUT a social conscience

          Hey btw – where Gosman and the other evening’s distractions tonight?

          Do you think maybe they’re hard at Bomber Bradbury’s new venture?.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2

          (i.e. – already WITHIN the “1% – there are signs of infighting – the 1% versus the .01%)

          Indeed…the scavenging top 0.01% realise that the bottom 50% have nothing left to give now.

          All the remaining wealth is in the top 10%. The parasitic vampire squid 0.01% is now going to start consuming them.

          And you can see it happening now. Doctors losing power and pay within their own health system. Lawyers losing money and options within our public defenders system. University lecturers on pay freezes unable to get grant funding for anything. Small and medium business owners going to the wall.

          The top 10%, too often Tory voting, are next in the queue.

    • prism 10.2

      Joyces wife is called Suzanne. Best not to get us muddled about such matters.

  11. vto 11

    Peter Dunne is eerily similar to Pete George

    *shiver*

  12. swan 12

    They understand have been lead to believe that it is simply people from overseas that are driving up the price of property,”

    FTFY Russel

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Supply and demand. There’s a very limited supply of NZ and a hell of a lot of foreigners wanting to buy here. This will, inevitably, push the price of property in NZ up beyond what NZers can afford especially as the governments since the 1980s have been working to lower NZ wages.

      • swan 12.1.1

        Do you have any stats on that? The economist I have heard interviewed on this issue believe that foreign buyers will not be having a significant effect, and in any case it would only be due to restrictions on development on the supply side.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Great lets listen to the economists, that’s always worked out well for NZ.

  13. newsense 13

    what are the other Labour MPs doing? Isn’t Karol a green?

    • karol 13.1

      I’m foremost a leftie. The last 2 or 3 elections I have party voted Green + Cunliffe for my electorate. Then I moved away for a little while, but am now back in New Lynn electorate, and will most likely vote Green + Cunliffe next year again (unless Mana looks a better option).

      I support Cunliffe. He’s a very good electorate MP, and has front bench abilities.

  14. Cantabrian 14

    Peter Dunne certainly got a free university education – perhaps we should ask him if he still supports the IRA?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 hours ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    6 hours ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    22 hours ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    22 hours ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    1 day ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    1 day ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    1 day ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    2 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    2 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    2 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    2 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    2 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    3 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    3 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    5 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    6 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    6 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    6 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    6 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    6 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    6 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    6 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    7 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    7 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    1 week ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago

  • ‘Count human health in your climate calculations’
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    1 hour ago
  • Salaries for Members of Parliament
    The Remuneration Authority has issued its determination on the salaries for Members of Parliament following amendments to the provisions in the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 earlier this year. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government must not abandon health and safety reform
    While resistance in the National Party caucus delays the passage of the Health and Safety Reform Bill, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid says there should be no health and safety law exceptions for small businesses and farmers. ...
    2 hours ago
  • MasSiVe Hikoi welcomed by Human Rights Commission
    The Human Rights Commission is welcoming this week’s MasSiVe hikoi led by Kiwi men who oppose sexual violence. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Ongoing celebrations for Supreme Court ruling
    Recreational fishers are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that changed the fisheries management landscape in New Zealand. In a landmark decision in 2009 the Supreme Court confirmed the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, ...
    3 hours ago
  • Banks investigation “not subject to political interference”
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority found that the Police investigation into John Banks’ return of expenses and donations at the conclusion of the 2010 Auckland Super City Mayoral election was thorough and robust and was… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Using racism to win means you’ve already lost
    The Human Rights Commission is urging everyday New Zealanders to stand up to racist sports fans and players. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Jim Butterworth
    Jim Butterworth was the elder statesman of our great union. He served to protect and advance the interests of New Zealand working people over many years of union organising and leadership. Jim led the northern region of the Engineers’ Union… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Closure of Relationships Aotearoa
    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand.  ...
    4 hours ago
  • Three Years Since Villaggio Fire
    Jane and Martin Weekes, the parents of the two-year-old triplets, New Zealand citizens, who were killed in the Villaggio mall fire in Doha, Qatar, on 28 May 2012 will be reflecting on the short lives of Lillie, Jackson and Wilsher… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Count human health in your climate calculations
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    5 hours ago
  • PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay DHB’s decision on food services
    The PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s decision to reject Health Benefits Limited’s proposal to outsource food services to multi-national company Compass Group. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices and Volumes)
    We are combining the Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices) and Overseas Trade Indexes (Volumes) into one release as of next week’s 2 June publication. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Core government cap disappointing and disingenuous
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Government’s continued focus on capping the size of core government administration is counter to providing New Zealanders with the services they need and depend on. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Saudi ‘Compensation’ Not in Full And Final Settlement
    The Taxpayers’ Union is has uncovered that despite building a $7.5 million ‘Agri-hub’ and paying $4 million to the Al Khalaf Group, no settlement agreement or liability waiver was secured in relation to the apparent claim the Government is using… ...
    22 hours ago
  • SkyCity still holds winning hand
    SkyCity still holds winning hand despite having to pay more for Convention Centre The Problem Gambling Foundation says it is not surprising SkyCity was prepared to put more money into the Convention Centre considering the Casino has been granted ...
    23 hours ago
  • Doctor, I’ve got a 7 year itch
    Young Labour supports the campaign by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association to have the 7 year lifetime limit on student loans scrapped. “This policy by the National Government makes no sense. It means that medical school students may be… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Vulnerable people will be most affected by closure
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is concerned that vulnerable clients are being left in the lurch in the wake of the abrupt closure of Relationships Aotearoa. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Young Nats call for Govt to back Med Students
    The Young Nats support the New Zealand Medical Students Association’s campaign to exempt medical students from the seven year equivalent full time study cap on borrowing for course costs, and want the cap extended to nine years for this group… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Review of fire services a major opportunity for future
    Wellington, Wednesday 27 May 2015 - Rural and urban volunteer firefighters make up 80 percent of New Zealand’s fire services. Their representative organisation, the United Fire Brigade’s Association (UFBA), says the Minister for Internal Affairs, ...
    1 day ago
  • Fire Service review rules out fairest option
    Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton says “the Government has made a mockery of genuine consultation by ruling out the fairest, most cost effective and sustainable way of funding the Fire Service” in its release of the Fire Services review… ...
    1 day ago
  • NZMA supports students’ call on loans
    The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports the call by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) for the Government to urgently address the impact of time restrictions on the student loans of many medical students currently ...
    1 day ago
  • No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm
    Exclusive: No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm WEDNESDAY 27 MAY 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered that despite taxpayers forking out $11.5 million to build an ‘Agri-hub' in Saudi Arabia, officials failed ...
    1 day ago
  • Abduction attempt blamed on lax politicians
    Commenting after yesterday's attempted abduction of a five year old boy outside a Hastings school the Sensible Sentencing Trust has lashed out at politicians for “putting our kids at an undue and totally unacceptable risk”. ...
    1 day ago
  • Press Release from SuperGrans Aotearoa
    SuperGrans applaud the government for providing an extra $25 per week for low income families and further supporting Whanau Ora, Children’s Teams and CYF. These are all initiatives that will enhance collaborative effort to support our precious and ...
    1 day ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa welcomes discussion
    The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) advised by phone this afternoon (26 May) that five agencies have been selected to undertake the work Relationships Aotearoa (RA) had been contracted to provide for MSD. “Since 15 May, RA has been working… ...
    1 day ago
  • Human Rights Commission welcomes Rotorua partnership model
    Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy has welcomed news that Rotorua District Council has agreed to a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership model. ...
    1 day ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. ...
    2 days ago
  • Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve
    Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve Christchurch City Council wants public input into a plan that could help make Banks Peninsula's Takapūneke Reserve a National Reserve. The Council is currently seeking written suggestions to help draft a Reserve ...
    2 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    What the Dickens is going on at SDHB? Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping ...
    2 days ago
  • Maori Party Labels One Man, One Vote Supporters as Racist
    The Maori Party’s approach of bullying and intimidation against those who have stood up for one person, one vote, in Rotorua, is a dishonourable act by Members of Parliament that should know better. Democracy Action, a pressure group which champions… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government proses weakening the Health and Safety law
    “The Government’s suggestion that the new workplace health and safety laws will be weakened is very disappointing”, says Hazel Armstrong health and safety lawyer and member of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel. ...
    2 days ago
  • Giving faces to the faceless
    Powerful films and unforgettable documentaries can highlight human rights in ways speeches and documents never will says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. ...
    2 days ago
  • Deaf Aotearoa applaud NZ On Air funding announcement
    Deaf Aotearoa are thrilled with the announcement that NZ On Air will be providing additional funding for captioning on TV One, TV2, TV3 and FOUR. Independent captioning and audio description service Able will receive $400,000 more in the coming year,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Scott Technology lays off Christchurch workers
    Thirteen workers at Scott Technology, which manufactures, services and installs equipment for the appliance industry, were informed last week that they have been made redundant. This announcement, which came as a shock to the workers, comes after ...
    2 days ago
  • Smaller Convention Centre Should Mean Less Pokies
    Family First NZ says that with the downsizing of the SkyCity Convention Centre, the legislative concession for allowing an increased number of pokie machines should be significantly reduced, if not scrapped. “As we said from the outset, this deal ...
    2 days ago
  • Parliament missing in action on RMA reform
    Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said recent indications of ‘no change’ to sections 6 and 7 of the Act means it is now clear that after six years Parliament is incapable of delivering anything more than the lowest common denominator –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government wants safer workplaces… or does it?
    Government wants safer workplaces… or does it? Today a widow and a mother sit together in the High Court in Wellington fighting for justice for the men that were killed at work in the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010,… ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders reckon they’re doing pretty well
    The majority of New Zealanders say they’re highly satisfied with their lives, and slightly more rate their sense of purpose highly, Statistics New Zealand said today. These are the first results from Statistics New Zealand’s survey of nearly 9,000 ...
    2 days ago
  • Rural hospitals’ services vulnerable
    “The Southern District Health Board’s efforts to tighten its financial belt are clearly going to have very serious consequences for rural hospitals,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists ...
    2 days ago
  • Settlement and iwi unity overwhelmingly important to Ngāpuhi
    The settlement of historical Te Tiriti Waitangi grievances and iwi unity are growing in importance to Ngāpuhi, says a Horizon Research survey report released on 24 May. ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous”
    26 May 2015 Media Release Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous” The government must not water down changes to health and safety legislation which are vital for New Zealand workers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “The ...
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayers Short-Changed by Skycity Deal
    The Taxpayers’ Union is outraged over the latest details of the SkyCity convention centre released today, specifically that the number of delegates the centre will be able to hold has been reduced for a second time. Taxpayers’ Union Executive ...
    2 days ago
  • Parental Notification Supported by Parents & Teens
    Family First NZ is calling on politicians to reflect the concerns and wishes of parents and also teenagers, and ensure that young pregnant girls in a crisis situation receive the family support they deserve and need. ...
    2 days ago
  • Integrated approach needed for Māori economic development
    Business and asset development, employment opportunities and wealth creation must contribute to Māori well-being, according to iwi at the launch of a Māori economic development research report in Whakatāne. ...
    2 days ago
  • Unions stand together on rejection of poor pay offer
    The Public Service Association (PSA) supports the decision by New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) members to reject the settlement offer made by DHBs in their Multi-Employer collective agreement, announced earlier today. ...
    2 days ago
  • Government forces closure of Relationships Aotearoa
    Negotiations between Relationships Aotearoa (RA) and government agencies failed late yesterday afternoon (25 May 2015) when the negotiation’s lead agency, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), broke good faith provisions. ...
    2 days ago
  • 10-Year Passports Welcome But Cost Still Above Average
    The  Taxpayers’ Union  is delighted with today's announcement from Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dunne, that New Zealand passports will have a ten-year validity from the end of the year. ...
    3 days ago
  • Judd and Fox presenting at Māori Governance Hui
    New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd and Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox are the latest to join an exciting line up of speakers and presenters attending this weekend’s Te Tatau Pounamu Maori Governance and Representation Conference in Palmerston North. ...
    3 days ago
  • Sri Lanka bans Glyphosate imports
    The President of Sri Lanka has banned the importation of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) [1] due to the increased incidence of chronic kidney disease associated with the use of these glyphosate formulations. Argentina [2] has also published evidence ...
    3 days ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere