web analytics
The Standard

Muddling through with “intelligent austerity”

Written By: - Date published: 4:21 pm, June 23rd, 2012 - 31 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

That’s what we’re doing – it’s official according to Treasury. It was revealed on Friday at a lunchtime seminar in Wellington with Dr Girol Karacaoglu, recently appointed Chief Economist at the Treasury.

The best response came from Dr Geoff Bertram, who asked “What’s intelligent about it?”, citing anti-tradables bias and income inequality as two unintelligent outcomes of current policy.

Karacaoglu admitted that Treasury were very aware of anti-tradables bias in current policy settings. Treasury were asking themselves what could they do in the face of high current account deficit, low savings, high real interest rates and low growth.

Good questions all – Treasury’s “intelligent austerity” answer was to focus on increasing savings of the Government sector – budget cuts in my language.

So it was with interest I read today  “How to end this Depression” by Paul Krugman in a recent copy of the New York Review of Books. This is what he had to say about austerity policies:

Assessing the effects of austerity therefore requires painstaking examination of the actual legislation used to implement that austerity.

Fortunately, researchers at the International Monetary Fund have done the legwork, identifying no fewer than 173 cases of fiscal austerity in advanced countries over the period between 1978 and 2009. And what they found was that austerity policies were followed by economic contraction and higher unemployment.

There’s much, much more evidence, but I hope this brief overview gives a sense of what we know and how we know it. I hope in particular that when you read me or Joseph Stiglitz or Christina Romer saying that cutting spending in the face of this depression will make it worse, and that temporary increases in spending could help us recover, you won’t think, “Well, that’s just his/her opinion.” As Romer asserted in a recent speech about research into fiscal policy:

The evidence is stronger than it has ever been that fiscal policy matters—that fiscal stimulus helps the economy add jobs, and that reducing the budget deficit lowers growth at least in the near term. And yet, this evidence does not seem to be getting through to the legislative process.

That’s what we need to change.

I couldn’t agree more. Seems much more intelligent to me. You can read the IMF research here.

31 comments on “Muddling through with “intelligent austerity””

  1. ianmac 1

    Austerity/cutbacks from Mr English in the late 90s made the Recession worse didn’t it? As a non-economist I do not understand how restriction on spending would encourage growth and confidence.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    There’s a problem with stimulation – growth. In other words, it’s unsustainable and I really can’t see that imposing unsustainability on the economy is any more intelligent than imposing poverty.

    • fustercluck 2.1

      Growth, in the sense of an expansion of the industrial system we use to manage our interaction with our ecosystem, is indeed unsustainable.

      Growth, in terms of the artificial imagined abstraction we call the monetary system, has no effect in the material world and can readily be used to avert crises associated with human manipulations of this system.

      To put it another way, we can ‘grow’ the monetary system to bring about a fairer distribution of ‘wealth’ and begin the process of turning away from the most destructive aspects of industrialism and towards more sustainable civil practices.

      Since ‘growth’ can mean almost anything one desires, especially in terms of pour abstracted value systems, the question is more how one brings it about rather than abandoning the concept entirely. After all, if we assign great value to sustainable practices, we can ‘grow’ our economy whilst improving environmental practices.

      To put it yet another way, we invented money and we can decide to use it for good or for evil.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Growth, in terms of the artificial imagined abstraction we call the monetary system, has no effect in the material world …Yes it does. It contributes in massive and obvious ways to the crises you suggest we use the money system to avert. and can readily be used to avert crises associated with human manipulations of this system. No. Manipulations leave the basic nature of the money system or economy in tact and the aspects of the economy you attempt to ‘tame’ through legislation (manipulation) will re-assert themselves. Money and the particular money system or economy we have are distinct entities. Scrap the latter and the former might become a useful tool… depending on the nature of the economy we construct to replace this one we have at the moment.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        An increase in monetary income results in an increase in resource use thus growing the “money supply” is as unsustainable as “growing the economy” as it’s essentially the same thing.

        To put it another way, we can ‘grow’ the monetary system to bring about a fairer distribution of ‘wealth’…

        No we can’t as the problem is distribution and overuse of resources. Without addressing distribution we cannot bring down the use of resources. As I’ve said before – we can’t afford rich people and monetary savings are delusional.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      Businesses do it all the time- for a limited time.

      eg “Fieldays” promotions for cars run all month on TV – then stop.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Businesses do it all the time- for a limited time.

      eg “Fieldays” promotions for cars run all month on TV – then stop.

    • Stimulus is not an unsustainable strategy if coupled with saving during boom times- ideally your result is roughly zero-sum in that equation. There’s a reason we keep going back to Keynes- in many ways he was one of the original economists with the idea of economic steadfastness that is a sort of precursor to the economics of sustainability. (of course, in sustainable economics, your goal wouldn’t be to get back to growth, it would be to mitigate the extreme of the recession and to cut off the stimulus at just the right point before recovery to avoid an artificial boom without plunging yourself back into recession)

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    ALL of this is imminently depressing.

    Governments could spend more into the economy, as Krugman suggests, but that would mean significantly more taxes or significantly more debt. And stimulating the economy in this way necessarily means increased consumption of physical resources and energy.

    Notwithstanding that the banksters and financial economists run the show now; there will be no modern WPA.

    • KJT 3.1

      Not necessarily. If we transfer the money spent on jet flights to Hawaii to those who need it for food and housing.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Food and housing are a start, allowing basic survival. But people need to work and they need to have roles in building up society. That was what the WPA was about.

  4. Bill 4

    Austerity isn’t about ending recession.

    It’s about driving down wages and wage demands thereby delivering more profit (both directly through the financial precariousity of workers and indirectly through the demise of smaller businesses) into the hands of bigger businesses.

    And it’s also about gutting public services and the conditions of the workers within them and then delivering those public services up to private providers.

    It’s intelligent enough depending on the perspective you view it from. It just ain’t intelligent to believe the spin and call for ‘alternative recessionary measures’ as though seeking an end to the recession was ever really the game plan, is all.

    • Bill 5.1

      But if that scenario was to be pursued, how would it be different to ‘re-setting’ for a re-run and an even bigger mess?

      Financial institutions would bust their arses to overturn any restrictive legislation and know how to go about that stuff these days given their eventual success with regards the Glass-Steagall Act.

      How long would it take them next time around? Another 70 years – the time it took them the first time around? I don’t think so. They already have the ‘democratic’ institutions and personnel in their pockets

      And what about the continued addiction to market growth and consumerism and the climate collapse and resource depletion that results from those things?

  5. roger 6

    It might be smarter to introduce a CGT, introduce a carbon or pollution tax and give advance notice of an increase in the age for superannuation. These steps would bring in more revenue, close the government deficit and would enable raise the top tax rate. The stimulus should come from better (and more) government spending on R&D and high value exports from the manufacturing and tech industries.

  6. RedLogix 7

    And what about the continued addiction to market growth and consumerism and the climate collapse and resource depletion that results from those things?

    It’s hard to answer that decisively Bill. Perhaps the most credible voice is Greer:

    Collapse now, in other words, and avoid the rush.

    There’s a fair amount of subtlety to the strategy defined by those words. As our society stumbles down the ragged curve of its decline, more and more people are going to lose the ability to maintain what counts as a normal lifestyle—or, rather, what counted as a normal lifestyle in the recent past, and is no longer quite so normal today as it once was. Each new round of crisis will push more people further down the slope; minor and localized crises will affect a relatively smaller number of people, while major crises affecting whole nations will affect a much larger number. As each crisis hits, though, there will be a rush of people toward whatever seems to offer a way out, and as each crisis recedes, there will be another rush of people toward whatever seems to offer a way back to what used to be normal. The vast majority of people who join either rush will fail. Remember the tens of thousands of people who applied for a handful of burger-flipping jobs during the recent housing crash, because that was the only job opening they could find? That’s the sort of thing I mean.

    The way to avoid the rush is simple enough: figure out how you will be able to live after the next wave of crisis hits, and to the extent that you can, start living that way now. If you’re worried about the long-term prospects for your job—and you probably should be, no matter what you do for a living—now is the time to figure out how you will get by if the job goes away and you have to make do on much less money. For most people, that means getting out of debt, making sure the place you live costs you much less than you can afford, and picking up some practical skills that will allow you to meet some of your own needs and have opportunities for barter and informal employment. It can mean quite a bit more, depending on your situation, needs, and existing skills. It should certainly involve spending less money—and that money, once it isn’t needed to pay off any debts you have, can go to weatherizing your home and making other sensible preparations that will make life easier for you later on.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/collapse-now-and-avoid-rush.html

    The problem most people have is that to live successfully like this you need a community around you and we just do not have this. I know you have thought about this a great deal Bill…

    • Bill 7.1

      The thing about increasing levels of exclusion through repeated crises isn’t so much the material day to day stuff (shit as that is) so much as the prospect of being denied access to health care, education and a level of welfare that affords some degree of access to resources etc. Think of any number of countries in Africa. Millions of people with no access to water or land (attempt to cultivate a bit of waste land and Go directly to jail. Do not pass go…) etc. That’s bad enough. Then add on the denial of health care etc and human life is a big fat zero.

      I know many people reckon they can hang on in there in the 20% or so that society…or social provisions… will function for in the future. But their kids? Grand kids?

      If we don’t lay the foundations while we still have access to resources or while we can still ‘cash in’ what we have accumulated as individuals in the market and use the resulting ‘pay out’ to invest in a functioning (and I’d maintain) democratic society then we, or more likely our children or grand children, are going to wake up one morning scratching dirt.

      Think Africa. Think South America. You wish that on your descendents? Or anyone elses?

      • Georgecom 7.1.1

        A couple of the best things to start doing

        1. reducing debt
        2. if you have your own home, figure out how you can grow food on it and make a start now putting in gardens, fruit trees etc

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          3. Maintain your health and fitness at best possible levels.

          • Bill 7.1.1.1.1

            So….acknowledge that capitalism did not deliver people from ‘short brutish’ lives (or however Hobbes line on the supposed nature of pre-capitalist societies ran) and will in fact deliver to that state of affairs?

            The suggestions above (Get lucky with health, grow food, kill debt etc) might be necessary, but they certainly aren’t sufficient in terms of creating a full or rewarding life. They are essentially ‘island’ solutions and since ‘no man (sic) is an island’….

            • Foreigh Waka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Three things that stand in the way of this utopian world and have aided the minority since time memorial:
              1/ greed
              2/ envy
              3/ gluttony
              always, always works. Never has failed and delivered on the spot. How do you propose to change that? It is a trait that in inherent in every person, not just the rich. This is why it works.

              • Bill

                Don’t know where you picked up the notion of utopia in this thread, but…What other traits, besides greed, envy and gluttony would you say are inherently human? And if we are talking of economic reward leading to reinforcement of certain traits, then which do you think it would be better to have rewarded and which not? And when you’ve decided on which traits to emphasise, then why not construct an economy that encourages those aspects of our nature and discourages the others?

                • Foreign Waka

                  Hi Bill, my comment was not meant to contravene yours, just to express my point of view over years of experience.
                  I referred to Utopia in respect to the belief that human nature can be changed. Wars have shown us over centuries that greed, submission to it and the envy towards others with more luck coupled with the waste of everything once the goods are in possession has not changed. So why would it now? Yes, the government can build incentives into politics, but do we not know that these are to create greater gain for those in power?
                  Given a chance, many would cheat the system. The rich with tax evasion the poor with benefit fraud etc…. You pointed out Africa. The mining that has produced so much wealth has impoverished the people of the continent and as long as the VALUE of society is centered around GOLD, MONEY, OIL, CROPS etc. nothing will change.

                  • That’s not what utopia means. In the lowercase sense, that’s not specific to the orignal reference:

                    2. ( usually lowercase ) an ideal place or state.
                    3. ( usually lowercase ) any visionary system of political or social perfection.

                    People are not agreed as to whether such systems or states are possible within human nature, and cynics use the word “utopian” as something of a synonym for “impractical”. Much of today’s society would sound fanciful or impractical if you focused enough on the positives when trying to describe it to say, someone from the 1700s. I imagine that if we can deal with the coming disasters the previous generations have managed to tee up for us, things will eventually level out, and from there continue to improve. There’s a lot of opportunity for positive social change in coping with disaster, anyway.

                    • RedLogix

                      The usual mistake people make is to assert that human nature is fixed and never changes.

                      In fact it is highly variable and adapts very promptly to the social circumstances it finds itself in.

                    • Foreign Waka

                      My apologies, – Utopia should be utopia? Despite speaking 4 languages, I have yet to master to be perfect.

            • Georgecom 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Bill, agree about maintaining some necessities of life as being different from leading rewarding lives. The first three items above (I have added a fourthm below) are simple individual actions someone can take. There will need to be societal modifications as well. These include, but not limited to, a stronger emphasis on localism over globalism, some guarantee of income/universal basic income, flexible sharing of work, maintenance of a social wage.

              This publication, as an example, speaks of “Prosperity without growth”
              http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php?id=914
              I see that as the notion of ‘relative’ prosperity. If nothing else it is a strong repudiation of neo-liberal alchemist economics.

          • Georgecom 7.1.1.1.2

            4. Learn to grow and cure your own tobacco

  7. lefty 8

    This morning several people on this site are actually speaking political and economic sense.

    Why can’t any of our politicians understand this stuff?

    Instead they either want austerity (National) or another round of the same mindless cycle of growth which means even greater inequality, more power to the finance sector, less democracy etc (Labour) or a combination of the two but called green growth (the Greens).

    We are totally trapped unless we have a political revolution that redefines democracy in a form where thinking and debate are valued.

    • Bill 8.1

      Why can’t any of our politicians understand this stuff?

      Oh, I think they understand it alright. But there’s a belief problem that gets in the way: their belief that a capitalist (market) economy and parliamentary democracy are to some degree natural, necessary and/or benevolent.

      So their belief will determine that all solutions must be capitalist and parliamentary in nature.

      Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention the wee aside that their belief is aided and abetted in no small measure by the fact that their lifestyle and position in society is in that upper 20% tier…a position that offers them a daily perspective far, far removed from that of ever growing numbers of people.

      To be fair to them, it’s not as though too many of us did anything other than turn a blind eye to the underlying factors that decimated human life in places away from ‘the west’. Our focus revolved and revolves primarily around us, our well being, our prospects. Their problems were and are something to do with them…y’know, they were and are deficient in some way. But we were nice enough to donate a couple of bob when starving belly’s showed up on the TV screen. And we do have governments and NGO’s that continue to run aid agencies. So y’know, we are good people and we’re willing to extend something of a helping hand even in the most hopeless and sadly natural set of circumstances.

      Expect the same mindset to continue with the difference that the 20% will be viewing ‘us’ this time around, just in the same way we previously viewed the billions whose lifes were blighted in parts of Africa, S. America and Asia.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • John Key must take responsibility for Saudi Sheep Scandal
    John Key must take responsibility for his Government’s Saudi sheep scandal, and apologise to New Zealanders for sullying the reputation of our country for fair dealing, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “His ham fisted attempt to… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Family violence overhaul long overdue
    A long overdue review of family violence laws is a major step forward in addressing New Zealand's disgraceful record of domestic abuse, but fails to address funding issues, Labour’s Associate Justice spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “New Zealand has one of… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Reckless complacency in face of disastrous dairy result
    Another dramatic drop in global dairy auction prices highlights how reckless National has been in failing to properly diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Overall prices dropped by 9.3% in the auction, including a 10.3% drop for… ...
    7 hours ago
  • $4 million was to advance trade not settle legal claim
    It is now even more apparent that the $4 million payment to the Al Khalaf group was to advance trade with Saudi Arabia, not to settle a legal claim, says Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “Documents released today… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Predictable result of unfair law changes
    National’s destructive labour laws have forced 1000 workers at Talley's-owned freezing works AFFCO into taking strike action just to keep their employer at the bargaining table, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Government only has itself to… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Changes dilute Coroners’ role
    A planned change to the Coroners Act which means an inquest won’t be required when a death occurs in official care or custody is a backward step and weakens the important role coroners play, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Obama acts – Key sits on his hands
    President Obama’s plan to tackle climate change proves that leading nations are mustering the courage to do what is necessary, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “His plan to cut emissions from United States power stations by a third… ...
    1 day ago
  • Forestry death guilty plea proves case for reform
    A logging company’s guilty plea over the death of one of their workers proves the need to strengthen health and safety laws, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. Charles Finlay was killed in July 2013 when he was… ...
    2 days ago
  • Daughter for the Return Home
    Christchurch East MP Poto Williams who hails from the Cook Islands, will be returning this week as part of the Cook’s celebrations on becoming self-governing 50 years ago.  Her family background is connected to the northern Cooks, the islands of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tiwai Point welcomed but strategy needed
    The  news that Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter will remain open is good news for the 800 workers at the plant and the people of Southland, but points to a need for a comprehensive regional development strategy, Opposition leader Andrew Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    4 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    6 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    6 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    7 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    1 week ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    1 week ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    1 week ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere