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Must watch TV tonight

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, August 29th, 2013 - 79 comments
Categories: equality, tv - Tags: ,

Inside New Zealand: Mind the Gap: A Special Report on Inequality

Bryan Bruce’s new documentary on Inequality in New Zealand will screen tonight (Thurs 29 Aug) on TV3, 7.30pm (Click for sneak preview).

Bryan’s last documentary INSIDE CHILD POVERTY triggered a nationwide debate on the plight of our poorest children when it was broadcast in November of 2011. Now the veteran investigative journalist is back with MIND THE GAP in which he reveals why inequality is bad (even for the rich) and what we can do about it.

79 comments on “Must watch TV tonight”

  1. geoff 2

    Pretty fucking good so far!
    The right wing nutters will be positively frothing over this one.

  2. Colonial Viper 3

    can’t get to a TV but I hear it is good. Go Helen Kelly!!!

    • Pete 3.1

      Hopefully it’ll be available on demand. It’s very good so far. I agree with the idea of a Tobin tax.

    • karol 3.2

      I forgot. Was watching Citizen A. Will catch the doco on plus one.

    • Comrade Coba 3.3

      Time for a militant male figure to front the CTU. Hard core action is needed if Nact get back in next year. Helen has been great however while we are changing leaders.

      • karol 3.3.1

        So you’re saying it’s not a job for a woman? What century are you living in?

        Helen continues to do a great job.

      • Rosie 3.3.2

        Er, Comrade, clearly you’ve never been in the presence of Helen Kelly. Either that, or you’re just being a dick on purpose.

  3. Paul 5

    Best documentary in NZ for 20 years.
    How did the corporate media allow its telecast?
    Destroyed the neoliberal lie.

  4. Linz 6

    Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I have the old Bob Dylan song running through my head, The times they are a-changing.

  5. BM 7

    Shame everyone was watching police 10-7

    • vto 7.1

      http://thestandard.org.nz/keys-earthquake-fun/#comment-687717

      What happened to you on this thread today BM? You and your general approach to issues were exposed as a complete and utter sham and you ran away.

      • BM 7.1.1

        Coding.
        It would be great to sit around and argue all day but work needs to be done.

        • vto 7.1.1.1

          ha ha yeah right.

          The thread is still there and there are many posters and facts and arguments for you to answer – all of which expose your total nonsense and lack of thinking.

          Why not go back now and try to answer them? You know, for your own credibility like

          • BM 7.1.1.1.1

            As enjoyable as that sounds, I will have to pass.
            I’m about to turn off the computer for the night and go have a read.

            • vto 7.1.1.1.1.1

              ha ha. owned

            • Paul 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Do it tomorrow then.

            • felix 7.1.1.1.1.3

              Still be there tomorrow. Guess you can answer it all then, eh?

              Unless you’re too busy tomorrow of course. And the next day. But then you won’t be able to trool the standard all day I guess, being so busy and all.

              • North

                Cop out BM. I guess you’ll be like the PM and fastidiously ensure that you NEVER see the programme. Moral cowardice.

  6. Rhinocrates 8

    I can just imagine Russel Brown’s response – first, he suggests a mediocre band and links to a couple of vids, then he plugs his own show, then he brings up some minor point about how the media handling has been less than perfect… but oh, who gives a fuck?

    Sorry, but Hard News doesn’t seem to have gone into an entropic decline so much as driven off a cliff. What the Hell happened? Really? It was good once, really good.

    • Sanctuary 8.1

      you got the right thread brother?

      The main right wing response to this doco will be to try and ignore it, just like the way that champion of liberty Farrar strenuously ignored the GCSB bill. The answer is to sharpen up those fake gmail addresses and get concerned trolling on kiwiblog folks!

      Anyway, I am going to get a red tee shirt made that says “I am a Socialist”. I feel socialism’s day is coming again!

      • Rhinocrates 8.1.1

        Sorry, just rather disillusioned with the bourgeois liberals. Probably rather belatedly. I had my hopes of being an aspiringly secure middle class type myself once.

        Turns out I’m one of the precariat, since I don’t work in the media.

        Otherwise, I agree.

  7. NZFemme 9

    Extended interviews with a few of the economists are available:

    https://www.facebook.com/mindthegapextra

  8. Pete 10

    And here’s what David Cunliffe said on Facebook:

    Who else is tuning in to watch Bryan Bruce’s doco ‘Mind The Gap’ at 7:30 on TV3?

    Remember the days when families could live off one income?

    The graph shows a market failure which has made this near impossible for most families. We’re working harder and longer than ever before, but wages have remained flat. The failure of wages to keep up has meant many families are living in poverty. It hurts me to think that 270,000 kids live in poverty in this country. Part of the solution is a Living Wage for all Kiwi workers, and fairer workplace laws.

    I’ll lead a government that is prepared to tackle this injustice head on.

  9. chris 11

    Excellent documentary. Sadly it will go whoosh over the heads of a lot of kiwis.

    None so blind etc. etc.

  10. geoff 12

    I’m still a little stunned that that was an actual show on the actual telly in ackshul NZ.

    That was fantastic.

    Somebody buy that man an Emersons.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I recommend the Porter

    • Bill 12.2

      A pint of Lion Nathan? Nah.Where’s your principles guys! Gimme a pint of Invercargill Brew (Pitch Black anyone?) – or a pint from a fair few other other independent brewers over a (diminishing or soon to be diminished) corporate brew any day. A-hem. Cheers :-)

      • NZFemme 12.2.1

        Yeah, but Emerson’s is just a five min drive away for me! And until I can figure out how to keep my fermenter at a more stable (warmer) temp so I can brew my own, Emerson’s will suffice. At least while Richard is still running the joint. (He is still isn’t he? Even though it’s been sold?)

        • Bill 12.2.1.1

          sheesh – did you just get me advertising? I think you did! Emersons and Invercargill Brewery and more besides, in riggers, on Lower Stuart St down towards the court. Castle Macadam Wines. (Shame on me!)

        • Pete 12.2.1.2

          If you’re after a Dunedin microbrew, what about Green Man?

  11. Ximena 14

    I’m unable to see this doco here but I get the gist of what its about. Good to see some switched-on minds in New Zealand. The socialist movement is starting to gather some strength in Australia too. We need to take a giant left hand turn away from neo-liberalism, our children and their children deserve a full-time job and their own home. Life has become to hard for those left behind in the market economy.

  12. Clement Pinto 15

    I like the idea mentioned in the doco of setting the maximum possible pay rate for any job in the country as a set multiple of the minimum pay rate.

    For example, if the minimum wage is say $15/hr (or $30,000/pa), then the nation’s max pay for any job could be say, a multiple of 50 of that (or some agreed number by an independent panel of experts or a majority in parliament)=$750/hr (or
    $1,500,000/pa).

    The only way the top max rate could increase is by increasing the minimum rate first. So, if the min goes up to say, $40,000, the Max goes to $2,000, 000

    This way, the gap between the rich and the poor will be maintained and the life will be fairer for all.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      You can accomplish an effective maximum pay rate by introducing a 89% income tax rate on income over 10x the average wage (which is roughly $49K pa, which translates to a threshold of around $490K pa).

      Let’s say you earn an extra $1M pa over this threshold…you’d only get to keep $110,000 of it.

      Of course this will inevitably lead to all kinds of gaming, including CEOs in Auckland being contracted to corporate subsidiaries based out of Delaware, etc.

      One way to combat this is to withdraw the operating licenses for organisations with set ups deliberately designed to evade these tax rules.

      • Epping Road 15.1.1

        What “operating license” do you mean, do you propose the government should issue operating licences to businesses so that they need the government’s permission before they can employ anybody? Good thinking genius, yeah that will definitely work.

        • framu 15.1.1.1

          maybe, just possibly, settle down a tiny bit

          so the words “operating license” might have conotations – but, do we or do we not have laws that require businesses to be registered and behave in certain ways?

          Sole traders are of course a bit different in regards to registration – but they wouldnt be included in the scenario CV is outlining

          think of that as the “operating license”

    • Bob 15.2

      CP – Good idea, as long as this was linked to the minimum paid wage within a company rather than the minimum wage set by the Government. This way good employers can pay their CEO more if they pay their staff more, rather than waiting for the Government to raise the minimum wage.

      The only issue is, then you would have people complaining that inequality is growing by a factor of 50 i.e. for every $1 a minimum wage worker gets, a CEO could get an extra $50, thus growing inequality by $49 in one foul swoop.

  13. Steve 16

    Good on Bryan Bruce for producing a documentary that cuts through the neo-lib bullshit and exposes the lies that we have been force-fed for the last 30 years.

    I sense the winds of change are at last blowing through this country. People have a keen sense that the current consensus is not working. The left must articulate a new way forward that throws the neo-lib idea on the scrap heap where it belongs.

    The fear of the old guard is palpable as more and more of their lies are being exposed.

  14. karol 17

    The doco didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. But I think it’ll be news for a lot of Kiwis. It’ll be news many Kiwis will either not accept, or forget about once they get back to their daily activities.

    However, it’s the steady drip that changes cultural attitudes. The doco explained the issues clearly and in terms that are easy to understand. It supported the argument with visual images that are more likely to stay in people’s minds than words alone: the family living in tents, the guy keeping a record of his household’s budget, the graphs of wealth being sucked upwards while the middle-class is under pressure, the figures of benefit fraud compared with tax evasion…. etc, etc…

    The doco needs to continue to be widely available so people can continually be reminded of the reality of a large income/wealth gap, the damage of a “me” society, and a need for a “we” society.

  15. Anthony Blomfield 18

    was a bit surprised so far many assumptions with not a huge amount of Facts.
    i.e. He just suspects the new Class System as working how he Supposes.

    Blaming poverty on Roger-Nomics and Neo-Liberalism seems sad.

    There are many factors.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Rogernomics and neoliberalism being the most powerful of them.

      I’m surprised at how many assumptions you present yet so few facts, Anthony Blomfield.

    • karol 18.2

      A 1 hour TV programme cannot present all the facts and evidence without sending people to sleep. The experts interviewed and stats presented indicate solid evidence behind the claims made in the programme.

      You want evidence?

      NZ world leader in inequality:

      Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the worst rates of income inequality compared to other developed or wealthy countries. In two decades from mid-1980’s to mid-2000’s NZ went from being one of the most equal to become one of the most unequal countries in the developed world.

      Inequality increased faster than in any other OECD country.

      Most of the increase was due to larger rises in overall incomes for the top 20% of income earners.

      Incomes for the bottom 20% actually decreased over the two decades from the mid-1980s.
      […]
      [sources]
      Inequality: A New Zealand Conversation

      Household Incomes Report 2012

      Social Report 2010 – Income Inequality

      Inequality in NZ: How bad? Does it matter? What can we do about it?

      Children’s Health Monitor on Inequality

      OECD on NZ Income Inequality

      OECD 2011 Divided We Stand

      OECD 2008 Growing Unequal?

      Inequality a New Land Crisis Max Rashbrooke (ed)

      Closing the Gap (NZ) on the evidence and claims in the book The Spirit Level.

      Are you proud to be a Kiwi? Of course you are! New Zealand has been a great place to live, work and bring up children.

      But now we have some of the highest levels of social problems–drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, imprisonment, obesity, teenage pregnancies, infant mortality–in the developed world.

      And also, in the developed world, we now have one of the higher income gaps.

      Watch the video below, where Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of “The Spirit Level”, explain why poor social outcomes are a direct result of income inequality.

      But, I guess some people would rather just ignore the weight of evidence showing the damaging impacts of a high level of income inequality?!

      • Anthony Blomfield 18.2.1

        I guess I agree the state of things is not so great.

        I still believe it is the remanding Government Regulations no?
        and not a consistant justice system that are at fault?

        i.e. Giving Corporates Tax Payers Money should be a criminal offense.

        second Governments should have to be accountable for every law they pass.

        PS: One way to address this 1% of people in the world control most them money is to remove the Government regulation that they enforce what is the Legal Currency of the country.

        Open up free markets to print and distribute other currencies to citizens or allow citizens to trade to each other in any currency. This would effectively make the fortunes of many “Wealthy People” null in some circumstances.

        But all that said… Good to see a Documentary addressing real issues in NZ.

        And I think the Selling of the State assets how National has done is sad.

        But I just did not like tying it all in to “Rogernomics” failed.
        Open to debate

    • risildowgtn 18.3

      Evidence of these factors??

  16. Winston Smith 19

    Must have a word with my National paymasters about their slip in allowing this sort of program on tv, you know being that TV3 is in the pocket of the govt

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      The fact that a single exception is so notable, proves the rule.

      • Winston Smith 19.1.1

        Well I wasn’t happy about INSIDE CHILD POVERTY playing before the election and JC attacks on JK (though that appears to have abated) suggests National are slipping when it comes to controlling the message

        What are we paying these guys for if this is what they produce?

        • fender 19.1.1.1

          “What are we paying these guys for if this is what they produce?”

          Exactly what Key will be asking, considering Mediaworks were given a $45 million loan!

          • Winston Smith 19.1.1.1.1

            Exactly! Heads need to roll and I still haven’t recieved my pay yet from Crosby/Republican/National, its not good enough

            • fender 19.1.1.1.1.1

              You didn’t really expect them to keep their word and cough up your pay did you?

              Many business owners will tell you that it’s often the richest that are most reluctant to pay their bills.

  17. shorts 21

    the beauty of this documentary was its simplicity – simple plain language that anyone could understand… now if only enough can view the thing so it doesn’t just end up as a piece of content to be added to NZOnScreen as a historic artifact of how we once were

    Thank you to TV 3 for showing the doco at a family friendly time

    • Rosie 21.1

      +1 shorts. There was information within the doco that many readers here would be familiar with already, but for me hearing it put so plainly was really helpful. Bryan Bruce has a knack of getting info across clearly, without cluttering his message. So many interesting points to last nights show.

      Should be compulsory viewing for all NZ households, especially those one’s who continue to live in a bubble and think that nothing has changed.

  18. framu 22

    my only two complaints..

    1)the bits with people dressed up as zombies – waste of time that could have been used better

    2) the making of an argument, which opens the door to an obvious and on the surface easily believable rebuttal, but not firmly closing the door on said rebuttal

    but hey – have i made a doco and got it on TV? – well no i havent.
    And i get that a 1 hour (well about 45min after adds) cant deal with everything

    Is there an online resource to add depth? It feels like that would be neccessary for such a wide ranging topic

    It feels like a common thing from the left – presuming that the wider audience is already up to pace with an issue, then gifting the naysayers a free go to attack through lack of time to add the required detail

  19. burt 23

    Brilliant…(not)
    It was very unbalanced. Poorly presented as a series of patsy questions with little or no critical analysis of the conclusions.

    One thing that struck me was close to the end – The idea that we shouldn’t follow economic theory is very valid and should be explored more – however the kicker which showed how bias the presentation was followed that…

    We shouldn’t follow economic theory – it should follow us – followed by we should legislate to put morality back into business….. So we don’t follow a prescription for how our economy works – but we create a prescription in law for it ….

    From my perspective there were a large number of valid messages and thoughts we should all consider – but presented like that it came across as a partisan rave

    C-

  20. burt 24

    For example… Much was made of the decision to follow neo liberal policy in the 80’s and how wrong it was – yet there was no facts presented about how dire the economic conditions were that preceded that. NZ was a mess … we were 9/10’s broke and that was a direct result of decades of poorly though out popularism via socialism.

    If we want to make a point of taking a wrong turn – we need to clearly understand why we were at that cross road in the first place.

    • framu 24.1

      “no facts presented about how dire the economic conditions were that preceded that”

      actually burt, there was – but it was admittedly a pretty short bit

      “little or no critical analysis of the conclusions. ” – but i can agree with that. (regardless of our assumed differences)

      But i still think it was a good starting point to a topic that would take a vast amount of time to cover the ground properly

    • jaymam 24.2

      “NZ was a mess” for several reasons. What were they?
      Muldoon said “I know the New Zealand economy better than any other living soul”.
      “Think Big” was a mistake and resulted in huge borrowing. Subsidies to famers were rightly removed. NZ spent a huge amount on cars and still does. House and land prices are now the main problem why people are poor. Cheap State Advances loans and capitalising the family benefit for a house deposit, were working. Who got rid of that?

      • burt 24.2.1

        Muldoon was probably more socialist than the Labour party are today. His think big was much like the nationalise everything mentality we still see today in left leaning parties.

        So sure, his policies were a disaster – just like they would probably be today.

        The problem is half thinkers equate Muldoon with National when in reality – Labour want to repeat his arrogance of we know best and state owned everything is best.

        • fender 24.2.1.1

          “Labour want to repeat his arrogance of we know best and state owned everything is best.”

          [citation needed]

          PLEASE read this

        • Murray Olsen 24.2.1.2

          Think Big was all about privatisation of profits which flowed from socialisation of development costs and risks. It had much more in common with such projects as the roads of national insignificance than it did with anything proposed by left wing parties. The main difference is that there was a better strategic argument for building some of the Think Big stuff, even though it was often still a not very good one.

    • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 24.3

      @ Burt,

      Your questioning of the dire circumstances that the Muldoon era created is something that I would like to know more about too.

      I think they wouldn’t have included this information in that documentary in order to keep the message simple and easy to understand – it was only 45 minutes of information, after all.

      I am suspecting that the collapsing of economies in the West around the 1970s had a lot to do with the boom subsiding that was created by the war.
      Also the consumerist boom possibly levelled out (everyone had bought the new consumer goods that were on offer; new stoves, fridges cars).

      I suspect that at that point, the people making the most profit needed to start accepting less, and they didn’t do so, instead placed increasing pressure on those further down the chain to take the cuts, and allow them to keep the good profits they were experiencing.

      I believe this continues to occur today; it appears that people get used to boom profits and continue to refuse to tighten their belts when the boom is over and leave the other classes to do so; thus creating more poor. Neo-liberalism was simply the mechanism that enabled this to occur. Quite frankly, I think the problems occurring today are really that simple.

      Am interested in others ideas and knowledge on this era.

  21. Sable 25

    The real problem is falling or static rates of pay, rising inflation and taxation combined with the expectation that one person will do the job of two people. As a result we are seeing large numbers of unemployed and people who are employed but are so badly paid they may as well not be.

    This is down to both National and Labour undermining working conditions by watering down employment laws. The result, predictably, is poverty at one end of the spectrum and increasingly outrageous wealth at the other.

    Just take a look at what’s happening with McDonald’s in the US. People have clearly had enough of these ugly neo-liberal policies:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/18714250/us-fast-food-workers-strike-to-supersize-wages/

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    Freddie Gray: brutally murdered by Baltimore cops by The Spark A young man is dead in Baltimore, killed by six murdering cops. In the same week, a murdering cop goes free in Chicago when a prosecutor and a judge tie… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Questions For Oral Answer April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Hobbling Democracy: TPPA and The Covenant of Secrecy
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark The TTIP and TPPA, both sounding like ominous injections of political disaster, continue their march towards belittling, and corroding the democratic content of its participating countries. The holder of the needle remains US President Barack Obama,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • The Decline and Fall of the United States | David Swanson
    Opinion – David Swanson After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Fearing the loss of Hegemony: The Concept of US Retreat
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark Nothing upsets those drunk on imperialist virtue than the fact it might end. Such romances with power do have a use-by-date, going off like old fruit. Eventually, the crippling contradictions will win through in the end.… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Strong Support for Clarification of GMO Council Jurisdiction
    Press Release – GE Free NZ On Friday, 24 April GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of NZ with 19 other 274 parties sought clarification in the Environment Court on whether there is jurisdiction in the Resource… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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