web analytics
The Standard

Musings on Mana

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, December 7th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: greens, hone harawira, mana, maori party - Tags: , , , , ,

David Small has been a activist for social justice for a long time. Notably in the 1981 tour and getting raided by the SIS in 1996. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Canterbury, in the US on Fulbright scholarship, and Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He offers his views on the Mana party effects on left politics in NZ.

Where to now for progressive electoral politics in Aotearoa?

When Hone Harawira parted ways with the compromised remnants of the Māori Party, some left-leaning activists, political figures and commentators were quick to seize on the possibility of building a political party around him that would advance the interests of Māori as well as the broader left. I was skeptical. I believed that while Hone’s agenda (that is the kaupapa on which the Māori Party was originally formed) overlapped with that of the broader left, it was not the same. I hoped that Hone would aim to forge ahead with a progressive Māori party that would win the Māori seats and eventually become the natural electoral vehicle of Māori.

I also had a number of concerns about the Māori/left mix that was being touted. For one, it seemed as though it was really serving as a shortcut to get a left-wing party up and running without doing the hard yards of building it from the bottom up. Hone’s seat would give the party a parliamentary presence which might be convenient in the short-term but could ultimately make it unsustainable. The experience of the Alliance showed both the benefits and the pitfalls of parties being dependent on the electorate seat of a single individual.

Bomber Bradbury (who defriended me over this) and others kept quoting electoral arithmetic that “proved” that the Māori/left party idea would produce the numbers to oust National. I always doubted the possibility and even the desirability of a government with Goff as PM. But I was more concerned at the medium/long-term impact such a party might have on the rest of the electoral landscape and in particular on the Greens.

The Greens are the only “third party” that has survived for the life of MMP without ever having the luxury of an electorate seat. And they have done so whilst undergoing a total change in leadership. I think their model of dual leadership and the historical accident of not having an electorate seat have contributed to their sustainability. (Labour may have done them a favour by refusing to cut them an inch of slack in the Coromandel all those years ago.) Also, notwithstanding the criticism leveled at the Greens for refusing to rule out a deal with National this year, they remain one of the most progressive Green parties in the world. My worry about the proposed Māori/left party was that it if it had a reasonable showing in November, it could have attracted enough votes from the Greens to pull them under the 5% threshold. I was also concerned that if too many progressive Green members and activists jumped ship to Mana, the Greens could drift to the right.

As it happens, I doubt that Mana took more than a few hundred votes off the Greens. Mana performed quite well in the Māori seats, with Hone holding Te Tai Tokerau, Annette Sykes coming a strong second in Waiariki and Angeline Greensill pushing the Māori Party into third place in Hauraki-Waikato. But the leading Pakeha candidates failed miserably.

Just 402 people or 1.7% of the voters backed John Minto in Manukau East. This was only 22 more than the Conservative Party candidate and half the support of the NZ First candidate. Sue Bradford did even worse in Waitakere coming sixth out of seven candidates with less than 1% support. The Conservative Party candidate got twice as many votes as Sue and even the legalise cannabis guy beat her. I have the greatest respect for John and Sue but, at three and four respectively on the Mana list, it would have been bizarre for them to have been carried into parliament with anything like that level of electorate support.

I think Mana’s future lies in the direction I always hoped Hone would take; building a strong progressive Māori party that can win and hold the Māori seats. And I think the non-Māori left who are interested in electoral politics can lend Mana some support but need to look elsewhere for our own political parties. Help to maintain the Greens as a progressive force. Use the opportunities presented by the rout of Labour to keep it true to its principles. Or start building a new left vehicle that might tap into the sort of inspiration that spawned the Occupy phenomenon and engage the disenfranchised into thinking and acting politically.

Just my two cents. Comments and conversation wanted.

David Small

22 comments on “Musings on Mana”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    This demonstrates the need for parties on the left to sit down and seriously co-ordinate what they are doing and how they are positioning themselves in the electorate.

  2. alex 2

    Broadly I agree that Harawira is not that interested in building a left-wing party, but I think you have missed the point on Bradford. She was going out of her way to not get electorate seats because the broader left plan was to unseat the unpopular Paula Bennett, which meant people had to vote Sepuloni. Furthermore there was absolutely no way the Greens were ever going to slip under 5% this time around, even with a surging Mana party. They play to very different demographics. The real casualty of a strong Mana party could only have been Labour who might have lost their dominance over South Auckland.

    • gingercrush 2.1

      She didn’t get party votes for Mana either and to be honest the electorate votes she got would have been better had they gone to Sepouloni. In other words Sue Bradford didn’t actually help Sepuloni. Primarily, the problem lies with where you get your votes from. I don’t know why Bradford and Minto or any of the left outside Labour expect the unemployed and low-income to flock to them.

      You show your own ignorance in presuming South Aucklanders would actually vote for Mana. South Auckland were some of Mana’s best areas. Still less than 0.90%. But outside of the Maori electorates their best results were in Northland and Rotorua. Undoubtedly Harawira and Annette Sykes played a part in that.

      I still think if Mana persists on being more than a maori party then they will need capture votes in the urban swing seats where the Greens have done well. Taking a mere 1% from those electorates would be helpful. In addition provincial electorates such as Northland, East Coast, Rotorua, Taupo and Whangarei could be places where they could capture votes.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        It is a question about how you can bootstrap a party under MMP, and that is the question that David Small is asking.

        So far we have two moderately successful models that have survived to date and managed to go independent of a reliance on an electorate seat. The Greens and NZ First. 

        In both cases under MMP they used an electorate seat as a centre. The Greens in Coromandel and NZF in Tauranga. In both cases they survived losing that seat but managed to stay above 5%.

        Arguably (as David points out for the Greens) losing the seat was actually beneficial because it forced those parties off the dependence on defending an electorate seat. That appears to have caused several other parties to fail IMHO including Act, Progressives, and United Future. They spend so effort in those seats that they don’t build a constituency.

        Both NZF and the Greens have a nation-wide constituency and therefore a nationwide party organisation. While they had it before, they had to develop that further without a electorate seat. It makes their parties resilient.

        While NZF dropped below 5% in 2008, that is likely to be more because of the cynical campaign waged on NZF by NAct to cause their 4% vote to be redispersed giving National two extra seats in 2008 (see Hager’s excellent “I’ve just been internalising a really complicated situation in my head“. They certainly laid the ground work for their predicable (to me anyway) bounceback this last election.

        As you say, if Mana wants to survive long term, they really need to start building that wide constituency and plan on losing TTT.

         

        • marty mars 2.1.1.1

          “As you say, if Mana wants to survive long term, they really need to start building that wide constituency and plan on losing TTT.”

          Time is needed and it seems to me that they are working really well on building their voter base – but time is needed as it was for the Greens and NZF. Once people hop on the Mana waka I can’t imagine, barring some disaster, that they would leave. Losing TTT is always there but far too early to be thinking of that IMO – let’s get a few notches on the belt first.

          • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1.1.1

            I understand the point lprent is making, but Mana is already more than parliamentary numbers and strategy which a look at the the Mana FB presence shows. The place is bubbling with (albeit sometimes naive) enthusiasm. And it is cash strapped, it was bring a plate at Hone’s election night function. Hone’s re election was needed as a platform and resource to try and help build the base from at this early stage. What do you think other fledgling parties do? Parliamentary rules regarding docking of MPs pay for absence on sitting days are set to be changed i.e. increased, I would argue to give Mana a biff, as Hone as is his style, has said he will be out and about during the year.

            “There is more to a seat in parliament than sitting on your arse”… as the bard Bragg once sang.

            Way too early to give up on TTT just yet. There are Northland/Far North issues a plenty such as mining exploration off Oneroa a Tohe (90 mile Beach) and an unhelpful and some would say racist FNDC led by Mayor Wayne Brown.

            David Small tries to make a case for opportunism from the left involved with Te Mana Movement. Many of the marxists are actually quite diffident about Mana and have offered qualified but respectful support. Don’t forget the history with the likes of John and Sue being part of the 81 tour movement that kept the focus on racism in Aotearoa-our own back yard, once the thugby was over.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.1

              it was bring a plate at Hone’s election night function

              When would it not be? Offhand I can’t think of a function in Mt Albert Labour that hasn’t been like that unless you’re paying for the food through a ticket. Money is there for campaigning and I always bring along a lot of change to any party function.

              Way too early to give up on TTT just yet.

              Oh I’d agree – but an analogy with the drugs that keep me alive (and others)….

              Mana activists really need to be aware that having a reliance on the electorate seat is like any drug. It leads to a dependency which when withdrawn causes withdrawal symptoms that may cause death. Even having it causes problems because you have to keep expending effort to keep it fulfilled that you cannot expend on more productive life extending activities.

              • Fair point Lyn – but that dependency comes from having the seat and keeping the seat – I look forward to the day when dependency with the seat is an issue – can’t see it at the moment, although the dependency attitude must always be watched out for.

                And I agree with TM that there are many many issues to be addressed and Mana will be addressing them I hope.

                Lets put it into perspective though – imagine a year or two ago – there was no Mana, no choice and no hope and now we have all three – not just for Māori but for all who value equality as a basic human right. These early years of the Mana Movement will form a nice early chapter in the history of the movement. The legends are being created as we speak.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.2

          I think Mana is a bit different from the other 1-seat wonders though, in that Mana has a real shot of taking 2 or 3 electorates once the MP fades.

          That in fact may put them in an even worse position, though: then no one gives you their party vote because it would be “wasted” and so you end up causing an overhang and never get any talented list candidates in.

          • Ari 2.1.1.2.1

            Depends, in some respects it’s actually easier to campaign for electorates, so potentially Mana could make some headway campaigning to get as many electorates as possible.

            There’s also the possibility that the MMP review will bump the threshold down significantly. At 2-4%, Mana could simply refuse to campaign outside TTT and go for the party vote to grow to the point they become a list party, and at the ideal .89-1% threshold, Mana would already be in the position to lose TTT.

    • Ari 2.2

      I don’t think you’re entirely right that Mana and the Greens play to entirely different demographics, as both tend to have support among very progressive Maori or very progressive Pakeha who are interested in politics of strong solidarity. I considered voting for Mana this election, (I gave my party vote to the Greens on the logic that it was far more likely to help an extra MP into parliament there) and I’m usually a Green voter, and I know a lot of people who would usually have voted Green actually DID vote for Mana. I think we just didn’t notice Mana convincing previous Green supporters to vote for them because of the strong surge in the Green Party vote anyway.

      There are of course audiences that Mana will appeal to that the Green Party won’t because of its pragmatic philosophy, and that’s fine, and hopefully will be enough for Mana to start convincing some disenfranchised Labour, former-Labour, or Maori Party voters into the fold.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Key’s precedent with having cabinet ministers like Mr 0.61% Dunne and Mr 1.07% Banks means it should also be acceptable for a Government led by the Left to have Mr 1% Harawira as a cabinet minister ?

    *Percentages based on current prelim figures: http://www.electionresults.org.nz/electionresults_2011/partystatus.html

  4. Richard 4

    “The Greens are the only “third party” that has survived for the life of MMP without ever having the luxury of an electorate seat.”

    False. The Greens held Coromandel in 1999-2002. 

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Correct, but the point is that they just barely scraped over the 5% threshold and therefore didn’t need the electorate seat anyway. And I believe they only won it because the previous incumbent left (or everyone was pissed at them) and Labour weren’t standing a strong candidate.

      I believe they’ve been a distant 3rd in Coromandel since.

  5. It is early days yet and Mana have proved that they are are a party where tino rangatiratanga and social justice are the kaupapa. Hone’s war on poverty line was deliberate, even though I don’t like the terminology personally.

    I have posted about a book I just finished reading about Miyamoto Musashi and the lessons from his legend that the Mana Party can follow. Such precepts as “keep you opponents waiting”, “learn other ways than just the sword” and that, as Musashi developed an innovative two sword technique that allowed him to defeat multiple enemies, so the Mana Party can learn to win against multiple opponents with their own innovative techniques. Hone and Mana must stay true to the kaupapa and disregard distractions from the right, centre and left.

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.com/2011/12/discussing-book-and-mana-party.html

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    People often miss out the “Movement” part of Te Mana’s name. And that is the key to its future. Supra parliamentary. That is where left politics must regain traction.

    A number of young people are getting involved at branch and campaign level. Young are a major non voting apolitical sector, so that is a positive. To banish Hone back to some sort of a ‘left’ Māori party is continuing dead end identity politics. Mana is a hybrid, Māori led, weighted toward kaupapa Māori but inclusive of other opressed and exploited peoples in a post colonial country under the thumb of finance capital, with a bankster as PM.

    Mana contributes more of a class analysis than any other party in parliament. The other parties all claim to stand one way or another for “every New Zealander”, the reality of course being something different, Mana does not. Mana Movement may be a six month old aspiration but it is one worth retaining in the environment that ev and AFKTT point out here regularly.

    It may have been better not to stand in the general seats (this time round) on retrospect. The thinking was to try and snag some party vote. Bit tricky when Bennett would not even front up to debates in Waitakere. Mana will likely have more seats at the next election, particularly if the Māori Party attach themselves to the nats again.

    The left, parliamentary and non parliamentary, do need a lot more formal coordination as the fear and loathing has started already with this government before the specials have even been announced.

  7. fatty 7

    I still fail to understand why a party cannot be pro-equality and pro-Maori…to me it makes sense, and nobody has come close to justifying why…surely people realise that capitalism is the new colonialism

  8. randal 8

    faty fool.
    hone is his own man.
    he delivers and he understands the issues.
    identifying undiagnosed nicotine addiction in youth was a masterstroke.
    as long as he concentrates on health and education and votes against asset sales he will be right.

  9. BruceMcF 9

    “I believed that while Hone’s agenda (that is the kaupapa on which the Māori Party was originally formed) overlapped with that of the broader left, it was not the same.”

    Nor could any single party agenda be the same as the agenda of “the broader left”. That’s why its so hard to organize “the broader left” in the first place, since “the broader left” so rarely fits into a single agenda.

    It seems to me that the musings above skips a step. For the Mana Party, the question is whether a Maori-led progressive party has a long term future as a viable political party. For “the broader left”, the question is what impact a long-term viable Maori-led progressive party would have on “the broader left”. Before thinking about what impact a Maori-led progressive party might have, for good or ill, it bears musing on what the general shape of such a party would be.

    First, if its to be a Maori-led progressive party, rather than an exclusively-Maori progressive party, there has to be some reason for pakeha and Pasifika voters to join a party and a movement that is explicitly Maori-led. And for it to attract Maori-support as a Maori-led progressive party, it has to have a durable commitment to being and remaining Maori led.

    Thinking about it from both sides of that political equation, the Maori seats are the key. As long as the parliamentary party is anchored on the Maori seats, the political dynamics of contesting Maori seats ensures that it remains a Maori-led party. And in terms of what progressive pakeha members of a Maori-led party get out of joining a Maori-led party ~ its the Maori seats, and the promise of not being subject to the threat of electoral wipe-out in the event of vote slipping below the 5% threshold.

    If Maori seats are to be used in that way, it has to be done honestly to be viable over the long haul. Any cynical effort to use the Maori seats as leverage for what is a pakeha-led party behind the scenes would be sniffed out later if not sooner, and result in loss of the Maori seats ~ after all, the charge will be made in any event for a Maori-led party that campaigns for votes outside the Maori electorate, and the only way to stand against the charge over the long haul is for it to be fundamentally untrue..

    From that perspective, I agree that the position of the pakeha candidates on the party list needs some consideration. I wonder about the wisdom of having a party list for what has to be a Maori-led party to have ANY position down the list with a plurality of pakeha MP’s. A “Maori-led party with broader appeal” identity suggests that the first two candidates on the list should be Maori candidates and then from slot 3 on down, no more than one in two non-Maori candidates.

    In the New Zealand electoral system, for the party to be anchored on the Maori seats but not limited to the Maori seats means that it cannot be an “overhang” party. It has to aspire to attract a sufficient party list vote to bring members in from the party list. There are three sides to that. First, it has to win the party list votes of its electorate voters. In other words, it has to convince its electorate voters that it is not an “overhang” party and that a party list vote for the Mana Party is not a wasted party list vote. And second, it has to win split votes in the broader electorate, voting party list for the Mana Party and casting the electorate vote for the preferred LOTE among the serious contenders.

    Which kind of means its general electorate candidates are out there trying to win party list votes. It might even be useful to start out, “I’m not asking you to vote for me. I’m asking you to vote for the Mana Party,”, and then make the case for the Mana Party movement and the specific platform it is putting forward in that particular election.

    Third, it has to win party list votes from the Maori electorate outside of those who cast their electorate vote for the Mana Party candidate. In other words, it should aspire to reverse the current Maori Party split vote pattern, and have a stronger party list vote in the Maori seats than its electorate vote. Which means that the Maori seat candidate needs to find the way to express, one way or another, “I’m asking for your vote. And whether or not you vote for me, I’m asking you to support the Mana Party.”

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    18 mins ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    2 hours ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    2 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    2 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    3 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    4 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    4 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    5 days ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    6 days ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    6 days ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    6 days ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    6 days ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    1 week ago
  • Independent investigation needed into claims scientists gagged
    Steven Joyce must launch an independent investigation into claims that scientists are being gagged, says Labour’s Science and Innovation spokesperson David Cunliffe. “When 40 percent of scientists say they are being gagged and can’t speak out on issues of public… ...
    1 week ago
  • Swamp kauri mining and exports should stop
    Seeing swamp kauri mining for the first time this week was a shock. Dark peaty soil had been stripped of its plant cover and giant excavators were digging into wet, swampy soil to unearth logs that had been buried for… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • MSD going down wasteful spending track
    The Ministry of Social Development is paying big salaries and forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars on management courses while at the same time looking to hand some services over to a multinational outsourcing company with an appalling track… ...
    1 week ago
  • South Auckland housing meeting highlights stark realities
    The stark realities of life for South Aucklanders in substandard Housing New Zealand and private rental homes were fully exposed at a South Auckland housing meeting today, Labour’s MP for Manukau East Jenny Salesa says. “Local people generously shared their… ...
    1 week ago
  • The Pope, the scientists, and the diplomats: getting there on the climate ...
    The Pope’s Encyclical on the climate: ‘On Care for Our Common Home’, has finally been released. Evoking St Francis before him, the Pope reminds us that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life, and… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party supports Gifted Kids Awareness Week 2015
    Providing high quality teaching that caters to the specific needs of every child is an enormous challenge, but there is no investment more rewarding for society. Gifted Awareness Week gives us a chance to think about how diverse the needs… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Truck sellers still getting away with rip-offs
    The Government has admitted its brand new lending rules are already inadequate, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesman David Shearer. “Gaping holes in the Responsible Lending Code – which came into effect this month -- mean the vulnerable will not be… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government Screws the Lid Down On Raw Milk Access
    The Government’s raw milk policy announced yesterday will make it more difficult for many consumers to access the quality product of their choice, and may even be setting up the raw milk sector to fail. The Government, in its paranoia… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Operation Desert Storm
    Blaming Saudi sand storms for the deaths of 70 per cent of Kiwi lambs born on a model farm meant to showcase New Zealand agricultural expertise is another part of the ludicrous attempt to disguise buying the cooperation of a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, your expensive slip is showing
    A Minister's comments at a press conference in Dunedin today show just how easily costs can blow out at the Southern DHB, Labour's Acting Health spokesman David Clark says. "Fresh from criticising everyone from members of the Board that his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bridges of Northland on backburner
    Transport Minister Simon Bridges today admitted no progress has been made towards his Northland by-election bribe of 10 new bridges and could only say they would be funded sometime in the next six years, Labour's transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MP lets down Cook Island community
    The Cook Island community has been let down by National List MP Alfred Ngaro’s decision not to support a proposal that would have removed a restrictive residency requirement, Labour says. An amendment to the Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Islands,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a moratorium on all live sheep exports
    The events of the last two weeks have highlighted how weak our regulations around live exports are, particularly in relation to live sheep exports. We urgently need a moratorium on live sheep exports until they’ve been significantly strengthened. We have… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Weak growth highlights lack of economic plan
    Today’s weak growth figures are less than half of what was forecast in last month’s Budget and signal rough weather ahead, Labour’s Finance spokesman Grant Robertson says. “GDP figures showing the economy grew just 0.2% in the first three months… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori TV editorial interference scandal deepens
    The Maori Development Minister has misled a select committee and appears to have broken the law through editorial interference in Māori Television, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran said today. Labour has released emails between Te Ururoa Flavell’s press secretary and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must act on energy CEOs salaries
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges must send a message to the Boards of the nation’s power companies that astronomical CEO salaries are not appropriate, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.  “The CEOs are earning from $ 2.1 million to $1.3 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Black Caps backs South Dunedin flood recovery
     People dealing with the aftermath of the Dunedin floods will be supported by the boost from Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson who have put their weight behind the Dunedin Flood Appeal in a  video released this… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Continued pressure at heart of sacking
    News that the Government has appointed a Commissioner to replace the Southern District Health Board is hardly a surprise given the mounting pressure it has been under to do more with a lot less, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson David… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A whale of a spend-up at MoBIE
    The latest revelations of extravagant spending at Steven Joyce’s Super Ministry are just the tip of a very expensive iceberg, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. "New information shows the building comes kitted out with hair straighteners, while the… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere